Unlike most members of Cobra, much less humanity as a whole, Crystal Ball possesses psionics! The seventh son of a seventh son, he was blessed with numerous natural mental powers, which he has abused in various petty schemes with which to bolster his fortunes.
Natural Psionics (Psipathic Powers):
Precognition (a) (w): though limited in scope, Crystal Ball has the ability to peer into time itself! He may wield this power with intensity 2 ability, giving him the power to determine the outcome of events up to two days from his current point in time.
Auscultation (t) (w): though he cannot probe the deeper recesses of others' minds, Crystal Ball can nonetheless eavesdrop on their very thoughts, doing so with intensity 13 ability. Card play is not required with this talent unless his target actively shields their mind.
Mesmerism (s) (w): finally, Crystal Ball can take control of the mind itself! He may perform this feat with intensity 13 ability, either implanting hypnotic commands or suggestions as he sees fit, if he can pass an easy difficulty Mesmerism (willpower) action.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Hypno-Shield (w): manufactured through unknown means, Crystal Ball can utilize this item to greatly bolster his mesmerism power. Though he loses four points of effectiveness when focused through his hypno-shield, this power instead becomes crowd control, affecting countless targets.
Sidearm (a): since some people are too obstinate for his powers, Crystal Ball carries this piece on a handy hip holster. He can fire a single round with it to inflict his Agility +4 in damage, or a semi-automatic burst of such to inflict his Agility +5 in damage.
Guns (a): though he avoids gunplay, Crystal Ball knows he has to resort to such on occasion, and doesn't want to blow off his own foot. As such, he's received training in the use of standard, semi-automatic, and fully automatic rifles and pistols, which he wields at a reduced difficulty.
Lore (i): having a bona fide occult background, Crystal Ball has chosen to study the obscure and bizarre in order to stay in character. As such, when attempting Intellect actions depending on mystic cults, antiquities, or even cryptozoology, Crystal Ball does so at a reduced difficulty.
As a member of Cobra, albeit one who is typically utilized behind the scenes more than on the front line, Crystal Ball is in generally good standing with the organization. He can likely rely upon Cobra for assistance should he but ask, as long as his goals coincide with their own.
Greed: Crystal Ball, despite possessing a mind equipped with staggering power, is wholly a creature of material comforts. He engages in the various crimes he commits because he wants all the comforts of wealth, without having to actually bothering to do hard work for it.
Crystal Ball wears an ensemble which bolsters his image as a mystic. It includes a brown leather shirt with a fur collar and a golden arcane pattern on the torso, a brown leather belt, black leather buccaneer boots, black leather trousers, and large brown leather wrist guards.
A selfish villain, Crystal Ball gleefully wields his psionics against others, caring not who is hurt in the process. Despite the vastly expanded powers of his mind, however, Crystal Ball is inherently small-time, and rarely attempts to execute plans with far-reaching effects.
Real Name: unrevealed
Occupation: professional psychic
Legal Status: citizen of the United States, wanted for crimes in numerous nations
Marital Status: unrevealed
Alias(es), if any: Dr. Scott Stevens (in the Devil's Due continuity branch)
Group Affiliation: Cobra
Height: 5' 9"
Hair: black, a tuft of white hair up front, and white hair over his temples.
Weight: 150 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Crystal Ball has almost comically arched eyebrows, and wears a long, bushy moustache. you always know when Crystal Ball is utilizing his psionics, as his eyes glow a deep, red-purple hue.
The seventh son of a seventh son, the man who would grow up to become the criminal known as Crystal Ball was born of a gypsy father and an American mother in Bangor, Maine. Thanks to this incredibly rare lineage, Crystal Ball developed startling, inherent psionics!
While some blessed with such power would use their abilities to help their fellow man, particularly with costumed terrorists running rampant around the world, Crystal Ball was no such person. No, he opted to cash in with his psionics, using them to build a small fortune!
Dressing like an otherworldly mystic and predating on the foolish and gullible, Crystal Ball readily developed a comfortable life for himself. However, he was always hustling for the next big thing, and grew tired of having to exert such effort constantly.
Eventually falling in with Cobra, a terrorist organization determined to rule the world, Crystal Ball let them take advantage of his psionics for a solid paycheck. This was even easier than pulling the wool over the eyes of unwitting dupes - and gave him more leisure time!
Generally, Cobra didn't risk Crystal Ball in the field, prefering to have him wield his powers against others without their knowledge - or against their prisoners. But on occasion, the risk seemed worth the reward, and Crystal Ball would find himself out in the real world.
In the most notorious example of this field work, Crystal Ball and Raptor worked together in a hare-brained attempt to abduct the President of the United States - this from a packed baseball stadium that was filled to the gills with GI Joe operatives. Naturally, they failed in this.
Whether or not he was utilized outside of Cobra Island after this is unknown, but in time Cobra abandoned that real estate, and presumably Crystal Ball did as well. When Cobra eventually folded in 1994, Crystal Ball probably resumed hustling others in another petty crime spree.
When Cobra got its act back together again, they made use of Crystal Ball in their attempts to keep General Rey in line. Rey was a Serpentor clone, after all, and someone had to keep his manufactured personality functional before he could be properly activated by Cobra.
These efforts were ultimately stymied by Duke and Rey himself, who had discovered the truth about the General's origins. Defeated, Crystal Ball was jailed for a time, though he managed to escape to menace the world with his macabre mind once more!
Cobra directories featuring a version of Crystal Ball:
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