As are most of his fellow GI Joes, Updraft is a normal, albeit highly trained, human, lacking any sort of background conducive to the development of super-human abilities. However, he does have access to various high tech devices thanks to his membership in this highly elite team.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Helmet (s): Updraft makes sure to wear this on the job - you never know when you're going to crash, after all. This item provides Updraft intensity 8, or +2, protection from physical attacks striking him in the cranium, and like Screened Senses for his vision when the visor is down.
Knife (s): regardless of his other current equipment, Updraft always has a blade with him. He can wield this implement, made from m.s. 13 materials, to either inflict +2 slashing damage or to cut through items of up to its own m.s., given enough time and effort.
Retaliator (i): his primary implement in the war against international terrorism, this high tech helicopter was partially designed by Updraft. This small, two-seat flying vehicle has considerable armaments and towing capability, and is described in its own vehicular entry.
Sidearms (a): Updraft carries two such weapons, both of which can discharge a single round to inflict his Agility +4 in damage. One is a semi-automatic pistol, gaining +1 damage when firing a three-round burst, while the other has a scope, for a +1 to hit in ambushes.
Aerial Combat (a): not just a pilot, Updraft has the ability to fight effectively while at the stick of most any helicopter (or as a gunner for another pilot). He may resolve combat card play while in the air, whether offensive or defensive in nature, at a reduced difficulty.
Boxing (s): a vital chunk of his Army training, Updraft has been educated in the fine art of utilizing his own body as a lethal implement when necessary. He may divide his pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee attacks, the last of which will occur as a contingent action.
Guns (a): a portion of his Army basic training, Updraft has learned how to utilize most conventional firearms available should the need arise. He may fire most standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifles or pistols at one difficulty level lower than is usually necessary.
Military / United States (w): the source of his other talents, this skill serves as a handy 'origin' of sorts for Updraft. In addition to providing his extensive training and an understanding of the SOP, the Army has provided Updraft several additional, floating military contacts.
Piloting (a): a masterful pilot, Updraft operates helicopters like an extension of his own body. He may resolve piloting actions at a reduced difficulty, doing so with either his Strength or Agility - he's that good with helicopters. But then, he tends to wear them like a second skin!
As a member of GI Joe, Updraft can rely upon his fellows for assistance should he need it - the Joes value their helicopter pilots, since they're some of the most insanely brave men on earth. As a military man, Updraft has several additional, as of yet unstated Army-style contacts.
Soldier: Updraft is a pilot for the Army, flying being part and parcel of his very existence. The man loves being in the air, and works constantly at being the best combat helicopter pilot he can be. Heck, it motivates him to stay in the military to do what he loves.
While on duty, Updraft wears a gray flight jacket with burgundy trim, elbow pads and shoulder pads, khakis trousers, black and burgundy boots and gloves, a burgundy leather belt, a burgundy hip holster for his sidearm, a burgundy shoulder sheath for his knife, and a gray helmet.
Matthew's a born flier.
He loves being in the air, and he loves helicopters. He has so much air time logged that it's often startling to not see him in a cockpit. But then he's gotten to the point that flying a 'copter is neither a science n an or art, such vehicles being a virtual extension of his body.
Real Name: Matthew W. Smithers, Grade O-3
Occupation: helicopter pilot, flight instructor
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: Eggbeater
Group Affiliation: GI Joe
Hair: light brown
Weight: 160 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none.
The Army has many helicopter pilots, most of which are pretty good at what they do. But pilots like Updraft are pretty hard to come by. He's one of the best helicopter fighter pilots the world has ever seen - but this has a whole lot to do with his curious, unique methodology.
You see, Updraft has a meditative, almost Zen flying style. He molds his being to the craft around him, even as it seems to shape itself to match him, so much so that the vehicle will move with his own body language. You can actually tell he's flying a 'copter from almost any distance.
This strange ability lended itself well to Updraft's career, not to mention various competitions; he's won the World Helicopter Championships for America at least once. Furthermore, he served as a special instructor at the Army's Flight Warrant Officer school at Fort Rucker.
This is what got him selected to be a potential GI Joe operative. Updraft passed the team 'audition' easily enough, but he didn't initially see a lot of action with the group. This because he was actually aiding in the final design and construction of the one and only Retaliator.
This highly responsive helicopter was mainly built with Updraft's abilities in mind, and is incredibly agile as a result. It's also able to haul a large amount of cargo, having a one of a kind 'capture claw' built into its tail, which Updraft can ever use to seize opposing ground forces!
Once he had a working Retaliator, Updraft used it on various classified 'Special Missions' for the Joe team, the nature of which have yet to be revealed. Updraft was present during Cobra's last attack on the third Pit, however, which was mainly a testbed for new technologies.
The villains had to make a good show of it, though, and did their level best to level the joint. This attack failed, of course, and Updraft and his many teammates drove off the invading terrorists. He's made himself available to the team ever since - even when they didn't need him.
GI Joe was intermittently active after 1994, at least until Cobra actions invariably forced them back into action once more. And when this occurred, and the threat was great enough, the Joes were always happy to call on Updraft to join the fight - and he was happy to come back for more!
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Updraft:
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