As a big fan of superhero stories, I can understand just how clichéd my origins really are. I mean really the only son of millionaire parents murdered while he was a child who grew up to become a crimefighter seeking justice? Please. It's almost embarrassing. Thank God for secret identities, honestly, because I'd have every superhero from here to the Frozen Wastes rolling their eyes at me. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm ashamed of my life far from it it's just that I've always wanted to be taken seriously as a superhero and it's just so easy for people to assign you to a stereotype and forget about you. Besides, I'm not fighting for justice... well, not entirely. I'm fighting for love. Corny huh? Well maybe, but let me explain. My parents WERE millionaires, that much is true. My father was a bigwig industrialist with his own company and my mother a concert pianist, but more importantly they were very much in love. Now I'm not talking about a strong affection kinda love, I'm talking the real deal that deep, finding your soulmate can't live without you kind of love. When I was 10 years old they went to some charity event for my father's company, Jacobi Corp. it was one of those black tie, rub elbows with the mayor things that cost you $500 a plate. Problem was though, a disgruntled former employee had crashed the party. Uninvited. Angry. With a sniper rifle. My dad had never even met the guy face to face, but when you're the boss you tend to get blamed for everything. As my parents waltzed across the dance floor, a single shot rang out. The bullet struck my father in the back, passed straight through him and into my mother. I've talked to a ton of witnesses over the years to try and get this part exactly right, because I think it's critical to understanding why it is I do what I do. In that instant after the bullet struck, I think they both knew that they were dying, but instead of crying out for help they knew couldn't reach them in time, they just kept dancing. The hall had erupted into chaos with people diving under tables and bolting out doors but my parents just swayed to the music. They gazed into each other's eyes and smiled as they enjoyed their final minuet. With one last kiss, their embrace weakened and both slumped to the floor and with their last breaths they whispered a final "I love you". See, people assume that because my parents were murdered that I'm fighting out of hatred or vengeance, but I'm not. Those last few moments of my parent's lives showed me a reason and a purpose much stronger than either of those. Love. I loved my parents very much, and I miss them terribly, but I'm not saddened by their passing. They died as they lived happy and in love. No crime, no criminal could ever take away what they had, but they can cut it short. And so I've sworn to fight for love to stop those who's actions would taint such a pure and beautiful thing. I know, not your typical macho testosterone-filled superhero kinda thing right? Well that's okay because I'm not your typical superhero even if my origin is.
By the time my parents were killed, I had already begun my training in archery. I was big into the whole medieval thing when I was a kid and at first it was just playing swords with my friends on the grounds of our estate transformed by our imaginations into a sprawling battlefield before a great castle. In time though, my dad wanted to get me into something a little more structured and seeing as I clearly lacked the speed and co-ordination needed for swordplay, he suggested using the bow and arrow. I had all these visions of Robin Hood or elvish Rangers dancing through my head but despite my enthusiasm, my first few lessons were a disaster. I was never a terribly strong kid, and although I showed a great eye for archery, I simply couldn't pull that damned bowstring back and hold it long enough to make a shot. My father could see how disappointed I was in my own shortcomings I mean, he knew the kids picked on me being better at books than at sports and so he came up with a novel solution. He got me a crossbow. It's easy to hold and aim and even easier to load, and I took to it immediately. After my parents died, shooting targets was kind of my way of dealing with the loss, y'know. I'd practice for hours and showed an immediate gift for it heightened of course by the resources needed to hire the top instructors. When I decided to actually start fighting crime, using the crossbow seemed a very natural thing to do. I mean, I hadn't suddenly gotten athletic during my teenaged years, so I figured a weapon that kept a nice distance between me and the bad guys was probably the safest bet. Yeah I know it isn't terribly heroic, but it's practical it's intelligent. Of course, hitting targets in my backyard and knocking the gun out of a bank robber's hand at 50 feet are very different things, as I've learned, but I've gotten very very good over the past few years. I mean SCARY good. Thank goodness for that though, or I'd be the lamest superhero ever.
Weapons Creation: Supreme
- Ranged Attack Only
In the beginning, I would tease James about the sheer number of specialty bolts he carried around with him on patrol. All I carried with me was my shotgun and a bad attitude, and here he was with explosive bolts, zipline bolts, flash bolts, electro-stun bolts, sonic disruptor bolts, net-discharging bolts... I mean I couldn't even keep track of them all. To me, they just seemed kind of redundant. He had such an incredible talent for accuracy, a plain old regular crossbow bolt could take someone out in almost any situation... why all the razzle-dazzle? In the end, I think maybe he's just a little insecure about himself as a superhero. He's not exactly built like an Adonis, and for someone so skilled with a crossbow in his hands, he has to be the most uncoordinated person I've ever met in my entire life. He knows that without his crossbow, he's vulnerable, and so I think he compensates for that fear by constantly making newer and more specialized bolts. To his credit, they are really clever weapons, though I'm not surprised. He was one of those boy genius types and although he's painfully modest about it, he actually got a Masters Degree in Electronic Engineering at the age of 16. I mean, Jesus, I never even finished high school. He spends hours in his lab tinkering and creating and testing new bolts... I suppose if you've invested so much time and passion into something you're sure as hell going to carry it around in the hopes of using it. I don't really tease him about it anymore, because those crazy things have saved our lives more times than I can count. I think his dad would be proud of him... I know I am.
Body Armor: Standard
It's really difficult to say at what point my relationship with Molly started to shift from professional to romantic. I mean, I was smitten from day one but a woman like that beautiful, intelligent, powerful, confident well they don't usually go for the science nerd type, y'know? I don't think I ever really pursued her per se because honestly, she was so far out of my league that she was almost a different sport altogether. Still, as a crimefighting duo our skills meshed perfectly, so I just tried to focus on the job instead of how fantastically attractive she was. No easy task, let me tell you. After a while though, I kinda got the sense that she had feelings for me as well, but every time she started to get close and open up a bit, she threw up another wall and pushed me away. It's like that with Molly loving her isn't so much a test of commitment as a test of endurance. I was getting so many mixed signals that I was just going completely out of my mind. Then, maybe a month before Kyoshi followed Molly home and made us a trio, we were after this guy called the Pistoleer. He was a hired assassin who had taken out a father of two with a wicked ricocheting trick shot the day before I think he was hired by the guy's mistress or something, I don't remember exactly. Anyhow, the point is we had tracked him down to an alley near The Pit but he gave us the slip. As we searched the area, a shot rang out and BAM I took one right in the chest. I don't think Molly realized it at first, because she took off after the guy, but when she returned a few minutes later, I was still down on the ground, barely conscious. When I started to regain my senses, I found myself cradled in Molly's arms in the alley. She was crying her eyes out and begging me to hold on I'd never seen her act that way before. Of course, the bullet had struck the Kevlar mesh underneath my costume and short of knocking the wind out of me and giving me a wicked bruise, I was fine. When I told her, she freaked out it was kind of an odd mix of anger and elation she was crying and yelling because I guess I'd never mentioned that I wore Kevlar before. Never seemed to come up in casual conversation I guess. As she started to settle down, I wiped the tears from her face, and she just leaned in and kissed me. It was the first time she had done that, and I remember every blissful nanosecond of it to this day. "Don't you ever scare me like that again," she whispered, "I don't know what I'd do without you." From that day forward, it was love true love, like my parents had. It hasn't been an easy road, but it's been worth every step.
If I had to change one thing about James' costume it would have to be his goggles. I'd never tell him so because I love him and I don't want to be one of those controlling girlfriends, but the goggles look terrible. They do next to nothing to hide his secret identity, and they make him look... I don't want to say "geeky" because to be honest that's kinda what I love about him, but more "odd", I guess. He has such beautiful blue eyes too it's a shame to hide them. In fairness though, when you are making trick shots at a hundred feet, a pair of telescopic goggles are pretty handy, and they're great for reconnaissance. Actually and again it's something I don't think I could ever admit to James I've used them once or twice behind his back. I remember about a year and a half ago James slipped off to "an important appointment" but wouldn't tell me what it was. I guess it speaks volumes to my self-esteem that I thought maybe he was seeing someone else, but regardless I had committed myself to following him. Kyoshi was giving me the evil eye as I grabbed the goggles and headed out but he's always been smart enough to know when to let me make stupid mistakes. At any rate, I followed his limousine for as far as I could, but eventually lost him in the traffic. Perched on a rooftop, I put on the goggles and scanned the area until I found him. He was at the cemetery, at his parents' graves. A wave of guilt and shame over my suspicions hit me as I realized that it was the anniversary of their deaths. Still, I watched him through the ruby lenses as he sat with them, and talked to them and laughed as he recounted stories with them. It was the most touching thing I'd ever seen. After a while, I had to take the goggles off because my tears were welling up inside them and fogging up the lenses. James had a better relationship with his parents after they were dead then I ever had with mine alive. I found myself wishing I could face the anniversary of my mothers death with the same love and optimism, instead of going to pieces like usual. I packed up my gear and slinked home in shame, but with a new appreciation for the man James is. Kyoshi was waiting for me, of course, and gave me more of the evil eye, of course. Even though he never speaks, I wish I listened to him more often.