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Zer0

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“How’s the wife and kids? Still dead huh? Well, that’s reality for you” – SID 6.7

"Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race."

"What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds, a parasite asks, 'Where's my share?' A man creates, a parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?' A man invents, a parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God...'" - Andrew Ryan (Ayn Rand)

“It just sounds to me like you need to unplug, man.” – Choi

“You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival.” -- VIKI

How exactly the person known as Benjamin Stiles became the entity called Zer0 is a bit of a mystery, even to himself. Benjamin was born into and raised by an upper middle class family. Not quite enough to be considered ‘moneyed’ but at the same time, he was allowed enough luxuries that he had no reason to be unhappy with his life.

Stiles was a gamer, through and through. So much to the point that he actually scared his parents just a bit. The school counselor said that his fixation with games was a sort of escapist technique. Apparently it was a coping mechanism for a heretofore undiscovered problem that Benjamin apparently saw with the world. His therapist(which was hired promptly after the report from the school counselor) ruled that he had standard teenage anxiety / angst and this was simply how he dealt with the ‘stresses of modern living’

Stiles, and his online friends who had come to recognize the kid’s practices and online lethality(“Ultimate L337 master of pwnage”) told both the counselor and the therapist to back the hell off. He liked games, he was good at games. That was it.

This lasted through the majority of his high school existence, though college saw a small but noticeable change overtake Stiles. Looking through a magazine interview with the creator of DOOM 3 “The God Formerly Known As Carmack” as he referred to him, Stiles had a revelation. In his quest for ultimate gaming godhood, Stiles had neglected something – The rest of the world. Stiles decided that while he would not allow his razor’s edge of computer skills to dull, he would actually go out and experience the world that wasn’t online. And so ended Stiles’ “Coping”

Once he took one step into the world outside the online world, Stiles realized something. He was one smart son of a bitch. Medicine, Science, Engineering, Math, History, if it was a subject in school, he excelled at it. His parents were so thrilled that he had finally taken an interest in something other than computers, getting funded for his collegiate misadventures wasn’t even close to a concern.

Being fairly attractive, by anyone’s standards, and possessing the ability to actually communicate with people(apparently a skill sorely lacking in most technologically inclined individuals) he did what any self-respecting social geek would do with his skills. He used them to pick up women. While he cruised through classes, he made it a point to assist any women that he found attractive in any way he could; academically or otherwise.

After spending several more years in college than would have been necessary for any sort of degree, Stiles left college with 2 bachelor’s degrees in Science and Engineering, 1 Master’s degree in Computer Programming, and the beginnings of a family. Working for a fairly respectable software company, he was doing well. Turning his talent for making electronics do what he wanted into a respectable income. Still playing just enough to keep his edge and reputation (he’s the guy that comes for you if you lose your humility. Respect the skillz, n00b)

This all changed about 5 years ago. He never got the complete details of the situation but from what he could gather, his family fell victim to a brutal crime at the hands of a mitoid gone berserk. The official report was a rape homicide though that hardly did justice to the images Stiles accessed later. The killer died on the scene as the mite ran its deadly course.

This time Stiles really did escape. He left his job, left his home, and wasn’t seen anywhere except online for several weeks. He turned all the skills that he had learned both in school and out of school about network manipulation toward making him a ghost that only a few knew how to find. Stiles demanded that he be left alone, even by those who were his friends and neighbors. It was after two months of absenteeism that someone finally came to check on him to see if he was still sane(even though they were pretty sure he wasn’t anymore. Who would be, after that?) That person was quite possibly the last person to see Benjamin Stiles.

Stiles’ eruption wasn’t quite ‘epic’, but given the amount of technology and electronics in the area, it was certainly memorable. When someone finally managed to pull him away from his computer long enough to talk to him, reality kicked in. All the pain and realization that he had pushed away for so long came flooding back, and his mind just snapped. His body screamed. A cascade of exploding glass and sparks radiated out from him as tv screens, light bulbs, car alarms, anything that had an ounce of electricity running through it overloaded all at once. The room was completely dark for a moment with the exception of the glow of a single computer monitor and a soft light that seemed to be radiating from the fallen form of Benjamin Stiles.

Nobody was around when he woke up, but all it took was a look in the mirror to see what had happened to him. His eyes were an illuminated series of rapidly flowing symbols and numbers over darkness and there was a soft, white glow emanating from his body. When he started walking back to his computer, the machine immediately started working for him, accessing programs and files as quickly as he could think about them. Stiles knew that his life would never be the same again. And he was right. At that point, Benjamin Stiles disappeared.

Within the month, a new individual rocked the OpNet underground. After being contacted by e-mail and by cell phone, a number of individuals had been recruited into what was called “Hardline Computing” which in turn released some fantastic RPG and First person computer games the likes of which very few without nodes had ever seen. It was a new powerhouse in the gaming world though attempts to find any sort of CEO or figurehead failed miserably.

After two years, Hardline Computing had become a cash machine, generating software programs for everything from taxes to gaming to opnet operating systems. That’s not even getting into the stylish hardware they designed, as appealing visually as it was functionally. A new cutting edge for gamers everywhere. “Crafted for gamers, by gamers” was the tagline for Hardline Games and their edgy as hell systems.

Zer0 himself had established a central operating system in northern Kansas, the exact center of the continental United States, where the people are friendly(well, friendlier) and they know to leave those who want to be left alone alone. It is from there that Zer0 runs his cyber-empire, monitoring the flow of traffic through power lines and opnet feeds around the world.

When he’s not watching traffic or arranging meetings by proxy or by monitor, he is in what can only be described as a machine shop straight out of science fiction. Zer0’s equipment is already top of the line… the best that money can buy and then some(as modified by a Nova computer fanatic). So what exactly is he doing down in Kansas? What is he building and do the Teragen recruiters that he has been speaking to recently have anything to do with it?

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Name: "Zer0"

Concept: "Man in the Machine"

Nature: Visionary

STR oo

DEX ooo

STA oo

- - - - -

PER ooooo

INT ooooo

WIT ooooo

- - - -

CHA ooooo

MAN ooooo

APP ooooo

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Abilities:

Academics(Int) ooooo

Computer(Int) ooooo

Engineering(Int) ooooo

Linguistics(Int) ooooo (English, Japanese, Korean, L33T, and Thalassian)

Medicine(Int) ooooo

Science(Int) ooooo

Biz(Wits) ooo

Perform(Cha) ooo

Weave(Wits) ooooo

Backgrounds

Cipher ooooo

Resources ooooo

Contacts ooooo

Node oo

Eufiber ooooo

Cyberkinesis ooooo (Tainted) 15 NP (15)

- Alter Data

- Control

- Reprogram

- Fool

- Initialize

Mega-Intelligence o (Engineering Prodigy) 3 NP (18)

(Scientific Prodigy) 3 NP (21)

Mega-Perception o (Hyperenhanced Hearing) 3 NP (24)

Mega-Stamina o (Adaptability) 3 NP (27)

Absorption o (Electricity) 3 NP (30)

24 pts in Abilities 4 NP (34)

9 pts in Attributes 3 NP (37)

+4 Willpower 4 NP (41)

Mega-Int Enhance (Medical Prodigy) 3 NP (44)

15 pts in Backgrounds 3 NP (48)

6 more pts in Attributes 2 NP (50)

Quantum ooooo (14 BP)

Taint oooooo

Willpower ooooooo

Aberrations: Glow

Aberrant Eyes

Feeding Requirement – Electricity

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