The big contest marked the beginning of my incredible journey. Whaddaya mean which one!? Have you been living under a rock this year or what? Well, since you're so far outta the loop, I suppose I should begin by explaining the contest, its origin, and its purpose before I continue on.~Oh...right. Please forgive me for failing to introduce myself properly. The name's IvoryCeleste Ivory. I can't tell you much about my early childhood because, to be perfectly honest, I don't really remember much about it. I know next to nothing about my parents but assume they were well known and admired, because people always comment on how my beauty rivals my mother's; how I have the same easy-going, care free spirit my father had; and, the comparison I receive the most, how my grace and beauty of movement had to be the manifestation of divine abilities inherited from mother. ~Yep, you heard right, my mom's a goddess. I have divine blood flowing through my veins which seems to carry with it a natural ability to dance, but that's the extent to what I know about her. My father used to contend in FPL matches during the portion of my childhood that I can recall. He never allowed me to watch, so I don't know how well he faired and I can't, for the life of me, seem to find anyone willing to divulge this information. Apparently, he had some run in with members of The Fallen who, in turn, threatened both of our lives. That's how I ended up spending the remaining years of my youth at the Khazan City Orphanage. The former owner and my father were close, so I was entrusted to the orphanage for protection while my father lay low, or fled, or something like that. My name was changed to conceal my identity and a "specialist" was hired to erase my memory up to that pointwell, all but the memory of my father. Despite his best efforts, the person could never completely relieve me of all memories tied to my father. I may have forgotten his name and what he looks like, but I'll always remember his voice and the good times we shared. Anyways, that's a story for another day, so I'll move on.~I rediscovered my love for singing and dancing during my stay at the shelter. I enjoyed singing and often overheard others remarking that I had the voice of an angel. Still, my passion for dance far surpassed any enjoyment I received from singing. Dancing came naturally to me, consuming every fiber of my being until it became a part of who I am. Where my voice had been compared to angels, my grace was deemed "god-like." In fact, I earned the nickname "Goddess of the Dance" because of my gift. Unfortunately, this came with a price, a price I would pay the moment my father's friend passed on, and my care fell into the hands of those greedy mothers at the orphanage. They wasted no time in taking advantage of me by exploiting my talents. I remember performing countless times in an attempt to "raise funds for the orphans," (funds we never saw used for our benefit), but that's also a story for another day. It's time we got back to that contest I was going to tell you about...~*scratches head*~Hmmm...let's see. I guess the best approach is to start from the very beginning, some time around the end of last year:~Around that time, The Sentinels had reached another low-point on the roller coaster ride that is their history. Public approval and interest plummeted at alarming rates; bankruptcy loomed over the horizon for the umpteenth time as funds declined at astronomical rates; and, worst of all, no potential recruits existed for the first time in years. Desperation settled in while the leadership frantically scowered the omniverse for a solution to these problems. An answer revealed itself during the search of planet Earth. A singing contest having something to do with an idol had completely taken this world by storm.~"A singing contest!? Surely you jest." The government officials, outraged by this ludicrous proposal, rejected it immediately. Sentinel finances barely produced enough income to keep HQ up and running, so paying to air a show that featured a bunch of wannabe super-stars was definitely out of the question. The Sentinel officers, however, refused to give up on the matter, for they could see the potential gold mine that had been stumbled upon.
Closed Mind: Ultimate
Growing up in an orphanage made life difficult enough, but doing so while possessing the traits and abilities inherited from my parents eventually took its toll. I didn't ask for these gifts; in fact, in the beginning, I often cursed them out of my desire to lead an average life among normal children. Unfortunately, that dream proved impossible.~Between the caretakers' desire to take advantage of my talents, forcing my hand by making life extremely difficult when I refused to cater to their demands; the other girls at the orphanage, most of whom displayed a jealous animosity towards me; and the hopelessness of knowing I really couldn't leave, because I'd be hunted down and killed for reasons unknown to me, I felt the pressures of my situation choking the life out of me. At one point, I even considered ending my existence here; at least then I'd get to meet my mother for the first time. But then I met Serenity, a girl who would save my life by becoming my first true friend at the orphanage.~Serenity definitely lived up to her name. She exuded a joyful tranquility in spirit that surpassed all logic and understanding. The girls constantly ridiculed her due to her small stature and quiet demeanor, yet she didn't allow their antagonizing to dictate her emotional state. The caretakers deemed her worthless due to her lack of an exploitable ability, so they often handed her insanely difficult or ridiculously grotesque tasks and slammed her with ludicrous punishments when she failed to complete them. Still, through it all, Serenity maintained her unwavering joyshe never complained once.~I wanted that same peace, that same unshakable spirit that could never be broken. The answer, which she revealed to me over time, turned out to be quite simple. "When facing harsh times," I remember her saying to me once, "You need to find a happy place." Eventually I learned that this 'happy place' should involve a memory, a dream, or a passion that's so strongly tied to my emotions that it envelopes my mind, body, and soul, syncing them in perfect harmony. The mere thought of it had to be enough to release me from the stressful, binding cares of this world and take me to a place where my mind felt at ease, my body relaxed, and my spirit at peace. For Serenity, the loving memory of times spent with her deceased parents took her there. For me, it was the memory of my father, the dream of someday meeting my mother, and the passion I held for dancing that lifted me to that place.~Thanks to Serenity's help, the girls' insults began to fall on deaf ears. I remembered my father's comforting voice when they made every effort to trash my self-worth. Imagining my mother's radiant, angelic appearance brought smiles to my face at times when I'd usually shed tears. Even today Serenity's influence aides me during hard times. Thoughts of dancing flood my mind whenever I need a mental release. Sometimes I return from my happy place to find that my body danced along with the dream.
Environmental Awareness: Supreme
Years flew by, and the time for me to leave the care of the Children's Shelter approached. Whatever dangers awaited me as a child had passed by the time I reached young adulthoodwell, that's what I'd hoped at least. Shortly after my departure, I stumbled across an ad for the Khazan Idol tryouts. It goes without saying that I couldn't overlook this opportunity of a lifetime, so I decided to enter. The chance to perform on what was potentially the greatest stage in any universe enchanted me on a level that mere words can not describe.~During the finals, the judges frequently commented on my stage presence, stating that I had a natural ability to captivate my audience. The real truth, however, was much more than that. I don't know how to explain it to you other than to say that I could "feel" everything that went on around me. Kind of gave the term "In tune with my surroundings" a whole new meaning, if ya' know what I'm sayin'.~Whenever a camera swept by, I sensed it and adjusted myself to just the right angle to give the cameramen the perfect pose, angle, and lighting for their shots. The comment was made that everyone who watched me on TV felt as though I sang to them personally. I somehow knew the emotions of my audience, especially those within the first four of five rows. If an individual wasn't enjoying my performance I knew about it, then I added spice to my routine to win them over as well. I could never figure out how I why, but I ALWAYS knew WHEN I'd gotten their approval.~For those reasons, victory was all but assured. Reading the audience caused my popularity to skyrocket, because I never allowed anyone to leave unentertained. Life was good. I was dancing for fun again of my own free will, and the happiness I'd known prior to my stay at the orphanage began to return to me after nearly a decade's absence. Unfortunately, that pleasure would be short lived...
Ghosts of the Past
The competition ended, and as expected, I emerged victorious. Over the next two and a half weeks, I found myself at press conference after press conference either discussing my experience during the Khazan Idol competition or discussing my status as the Sentinels' newest member. It felt great to be loved once again. After ten plus years of being looked down upon on account of my gifts, I received praise for them. I prepared my self to live happily ever after as Khazan's cutest crime fighter/spokeswoman.~That was before the fateful day when my past would catch up to me.~It happened at what was to be the new City Hall Building. The usually routine of hearing questions and giving answers was suddenly interrupted by a vague whisper. "Celeste," the faint voice spoke to my mind, "you're in danger here." I ignored the mysterious, yet strangely familiar voice at first, passing it off as one of my random daydreams. "Celeste!" this time the voiced echoed through my head with a thunderous boom, "You must leave here at once, there's no time to wa..." The voice cut off suddenly just as I sensed eleven individuals approach the site. I mentally scanned the area, trying to get an idea of who they were. The six individuals at my three and at my six definitely harbored evil intent towards me. Straight ahead were four more dark auras converging on a fifth, who I recognized to be my father. ~"Daddy!" I exclaimed, as I ran in his direction with tears in my eyes. But my newfound hope quickly turned to despair as the dark auras surrounded my father and closed in. As I drew nearer, their murderous intent flooded my senses freezing me in my tracks while I quivered in fear.~"Your father is finished," scowled a deep, horrifying voice, "but not to worry, you'll soon join him in the other realm." A terrifying laugh followed as my father's aura vanished. I fell to my knees sobbing, wishing that I could've done something to save him. But it was too late; my father was gone againthis time for good. With their primary target destroyed, the ten assassins focused their efforts on me. I felt them probing my mind to try to get a beat on my location, and I knew that my time was running out.~After finding a place to hide, I went to my happy place to buy some time by leading my pursuers on a wild goose chase. I never would've guessed that my sub-conscience would send a mental S.O.S. while in this state. I was later found by Elwin D'Larthi, leader of one of the search parties that'd been dispatched to find and return me to SLJ headquarters.~When I came to, I vowed to avenge my father's death.
My vow meant nothing without the strength to backup my words. I frantically searched for a mentor, someone with abilities similar to mine who could train me. That's when I found video footage of a heroine named Sailor Archer. Her martial prowess fascinated me, because her movements resembled the fluidity and grace of a great dancershe'd be the perfect trainer for me. After wasting another week trying to find her, I discovered that Sailor Archer was actually an alias used by Elwin D'Larthi, the woman who rescued me earlier.~Miss Elwin spent the next five months training me in the martial arts. I had a natural tendency to avoid oncoming danger by just dancing, so we didn't focus much on defense. You know how the saying goes: "If it's not broken, don't fix it." I'd say that, out of our eight hour daily sessions, I probably spent one or two of those hours honing my defensive abilities. We used the rest of the time to incorporate offensive techniques into my dancing. By the end of the two months, I'd developed into an extremely proficient fighterenough to spar with Miss Elwin herself and hold my own for awhile. ~My body responded very positively to this intense training. My agility and endurance reached their peaks. I could move in ways impossible (even) to me before and maintain that motion for much longer periods of time. Perhaps the greatest, and most surprising, improvement involved my increased strength. The results of my conditioning caused my father's strength to begin revealing itself in me for the first time ever. ~Naturally, I wanted to test the limits of this newfound power, so I went to the training room to find out just how strong I'd become. I started off with some of the typical tasks regular martial artists would take on, like breaking wooden boards. No matter how many I stacked on top of each other, the end result never changed. Technically, I couldn't punch or kick through any of them, because as soon as I made contact, the wood was reduced to nothing more than a pile of sawdust. In addition, I left several craters where my strikes had impacted with the floorgood thing it's built with whatever alloy they used. I figured a car would last longer, and was pleasantly surprised to find out how wrong I was. One swift kick totaled any vehicle while the force of the collision produced a shockwave potent enough to crush all unprotected items in the immediate vicinity.
Now that I had the necessary power to exact my revenge I could move on to the next phase of my plan. After thanking Elwin D'Larthi for her efforts, I set out to find a new mentor, one who would train me to in the arts of perception and analysis. The mystery surrounding the identity of my dad's murderers continued to elude me, and I wanted to learn how to pick up the trail and follow it to the entity responsible for my father's death.~I found my next teacher in less than an hour.~Dr. Timothy was probably one of the most well known and respected detectives that the Sentinels had to offer, and he was also a brilliant tactician to bootso much so that EVERYONE I turned to pointed me in his direction. Upon greeting him, he wasted no time in showing me why.~"Let's see here...Celeste Ivory, orphan with few friends grows up to become Khazan's sweetheartbut the story doesn't end there. He finally makes contact with you after a twelve year hiatus only to be killed by some unknown group of villainswhom you want to track down to return the favorbefore you get a chance to see his face. Does that about sum it up?"~"...In a nutshell, sir." I couldn't believe how much he already knew. I concluded that he was the type of character to know more about you than you know about yourself, and I needed to become that same person in order to reach my new goals.~Seven months. That's how long it took for me to master just the basics of Dr. Timothy's craft. But I did, and it paid great dividends. I developed into a decent gumshoe in my own right, and my increased attentiveness had its perks in battle as well. I started noticing weak points to exploit in my opponents; before long, seeing these openings became second nature to me. Between this attention to detail, my colossal strength, and the techniques Miss Elwin taught me, I had grown into the perfect combat soldier.~After nearly a year of training, the time had finally arrived. I was ready to embark on my journey. The prey would soon become the predator; the hunters soon the hunted.
The Goddess of the Dance
Fast-forward to the present. I've been following leads for almost two months now. I'm on my way to meet an informant who claims to know the identity of the big boss in charge of the entire organization, but something just doesn't feel right about this rendezvous point. This place just doesn't have the glitz and glam that you'd expect from an uptown residence. The isolation of it doesn't ease my suspicions either. ~Still, I press on. I can't run the risk of losing this valuable intel, regardless of how dangerous the situation might become. I consider calling in for backup, but it's already too late. I sense a platoon of troops bearing down on me with malicious intent. No time to react; I'm quickly surrounded. They must've teleported here somehow, because there's no way so many dark, powerful auras could've escaped my sensesespecially since their essence matches the ones from before.~I can see them all now. About twenty or more warriors dressed in some type of dark garb with demonic-looking masks or helms covering their faces or foreheads. Despite their ninja-like appearance, most of them are armed with some pretty hi-tech weaponry. I see balls of fire, ice spears, wind vortexes, and the like begin to form in the hands of the unarmed ones. It's painfully clear that these guys have no intention of letting me escape this time.~As they take aim, I begin to wonder if there's any truth to the myth of a person's life flashing before his eyes as he faces death. Suddenly, I feel them coming, the instruments of my demise approaching from every conceivable direction and flooding the air like rain on a stormy day. As the moment of impact arrives I find myself flashing back to the final day of the Khazan Idol competition, and the greatest performance of my career.~Guess the myth holds true after all...~(Khazan Arena, around this time last year)~"Good evening folks, I'm Sila."~"And I'm Paundy, broadcasting live from the Khazan Idol finale."~"Ladies and gentlemen, the moment that we've all been waiting for has finally arrived! Celeste Ivory a.k.a. 'The Goddess of the Dance,' will soon deliver on her promise to produce the performance of a lifetime."~"That's right, I don't know what, or if, she'll sing anything tonight, but who cares about that anyway? I can't wait to see the routine she's choreographed. Ooh, here she comes! The crowd goes silent as she takes her introductory position."~"Wow, even her poses are graceful. I'm starting to believe that she truly is the daughter of a dance goddess. She certainly hasn't given us any reasons to doubt her lineage, that's for sure."~*cue music*~"Nothing special here at first, just your basics. She lifts a straight leg, up in front of her, reaching above her head with the adjacent hand to grab the foot. From this position she springs into the air executing a spectacular move that I can't even put into words. It kind of resembles a pilot's worst nightmarethe death spiral. After landing on the ground in a perfect sideways split, she uses her hands to spring right back up into a triple back-flip somersault. She lands on her toes and curtsies to judges before transitioning into a few of those spinning-dance-kick thingies that those ballerina types like to do so much. Obviously, this is just the warm-up for her."~"Here we go, the music changes and she goes into a pop-lock/robot mix. Very nicely done... Wait a minute, she's leaning forward now. Sixty degrees, Thirty degrees, my God! She's almost parallel to the ground and shows no signs of losing her balance any time soon!"~"Oh my God, now she's doing the splits from that position! Simply amazing! How can her toes withstand all of that pressure? Mine hurt just thinking about..."~"Whoa! Did you just see that!?"~"I did, and I have absolutely no idea how she managed to get air born from that position. I'm even more stunned as to how high she went." ~"How? How in God's name do you go from a stance like that into anything other than a face plant, pull off another barrage of twists and somersaults in mid-air, then land in the exact same position as before without seriously injuring your body orat the very leastflinching at some point?"~"She's the Goddess of the Dance, that's why. After that last flip, Miss Ivory lands upside-down in a perfectly balanced, unwavering handstand. From there she pushes off with her fingers, going air born to prepare for...~"I can't believe my eyes, mid-air break dancing! A fantastic feat within itself, but factor in the speed involved, and I'll bet even her toughest critics will soon change their tune. Any normal individual would go dizzy from spinning so fast that many times while upside-down, but not 'The Goddess." ~"Finally the rotations stop as she gently lands on her head. And just when you think you've seen it all, she pushes off of her head, and well, words can't even describe these movements. If you're not watching, then you just plain missed itend of story. I didn't even know the spine could go in that direction."~"You mean those [many] directions, don't you? If I wasn't convinced before, I'm definitely convinced now. The range and variation of motion Celeste displays has to be divine inheritance. To those of you unlucky enough to miss this spectacular visual, I'll try to paint you a picture: Imagine an individual with the combined flexibility, range, and variety of motion of a slinky and a Rubik's cube. Now imagine that the individual has a grace and fluidity of motion that far surpasses any professional dancer, gymnast, or martial artist. That'll give you a SLIGHT idea of the spectacle I'm witnessing right now." ~"Yeah, if you can form a mental image of this person, you might be able to grasp an idea of a fraction of the movements Celeste is capable of. Anyways, we're nearing the end of this performance. As her body 'reconfigures' itself, she lands on her toes and curtsies again as the crowd goes ballistic. Never in my life have I seen such fluid motion from one move to the next, especially when involving these immensely high degrees of difficulty..."~*Flashback fades out as Celeste returns to reality.*~I tend to get lost in my happy place, especially when facing danger. The danger always seems to have passed when I return to reality; this time is no different. I'm now surrounded by a small mob of astonished villains armed with nothing more than clicking pieces of metal. By now, none of them stand any more than five to ten feet away. That must've been REALLY frustrating for them.~It doesn't matter much at this point. About two-thirds of my would-be assassins have fallen victim to the stray attacks that missed their intended mark. The rest will soon wish they had suffered the same fate as those months of training under Elwin D'Larthi bring a harsh end to their crime spree. ~Well, as you might have already guessed, I'm no closer to finding my enemies than I was two months ago. But the fact that they went to such great lengths this time must mean that I'm making significant progress. They're out there somewhere; it's only a matter of time until I find them and bring them to justice.
Standard Issue (sort of)
- Ranged Attack Only
- Area Affect
- Weakness: Power in Item - Easy to Lose
- Weakness: Limited Uses - Multi-Use
The Voice of Angel Will Send YOU to Hell, or the VAWUH 3000 (that's how many prototypes it took to get it just right) was created to help me with situations where I could not achieve proximity for close combat. ~It's a complicated weapon with a simple concept. Basically, the techs down at HQ discovered a way to convert my singing into a destructive force. The "bullets" for this firearm are created in a special studio where my voice is recorded then converted into energy.~Naturally, this process costs money--LOTS of money--so I'm only allowed one clip at a time. That usually provides me somewhere around 18 to 20 shots a month, so needless to say, I only use it for emergency situations.~Most people can go to the firing range everyday and pop off hundreds of rounds each time to acclimate themselves to their weapons and how they work. I get twenty shots a month--if I'm lucky. For this reason, the difficulty of my search (for my father's assassins) has proven to be a blessing in disguise. The extra time has allowed me to develop my aim and get use to the mechanics of my sidearm.