Kayla Ballantine was originally an ordinary human woman who, after her super-hero boyfriend returned from a trip outside the multiverse, was inadvertently exposed to an alien artifact of power. This device, the Star Brand, infused her body with power undreamt of, which changed her life forever... ostensibly for the worse, at that.
Immortality (s): after Quasar gave her the power of the Star Brand, Kayla was forever changed. She can be killed, but she won't die. If brought to zero health points and cards, her body will assume a regenerative form, a sort of fish-headed, pink humanoid looking thing with really loose, baggy skin (until she's all healed up). Even total body disintegration cannot stop this regeneration from occurring.
Longevity (s): while not ageless, Kayla has nonetheless received a seriously longer life span thanks to her exposure to the Star Brand. Possessing this power at a minimum of intensity 4, she likely has at least a 3220 year life span; 70-20 (standard human life span minus her likely age when she gained the Star Brand) x 64 (power intensity cubed) + 20 (again, her age) = 3320.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
the Star Brand (w): Kayla possessed a portion of the Star Brand for some time, which can be used to draw forth an effectively infinite amount of energy from some unknown source. Kayla hasn't really tried, but should she put her mind to it, she can do virtually anything she wishes. She hasn't gotten that far yet, but it's really only a matter of time before she develops the Brand's power further.
The Star Brand is capable of virtually anything, save for the resurrection of totally dead biological entities. Powers it is used to actualize typically function at intensity 15, though if he or she wants to, the bearer of the Brand can boost this operating power level as high as is desired - with a typical ceiling of intensity 25. And even this isn't the upper limit of the Brand's power.
Additionally, the bearer of the Brand can utilize more than one of its powers at a time. Operating two powers requires an easy difficulty Intellect action, and each additional power used raises the difficulty of this action by one difficulty level. In other words, Kayla could theoretically use all of her Star Brand powers at once, but this is difficult for her to concentrate on. At any rate, Kayla has demonstrated these Star Brand abilities:
* Body Armor (s): by subconsciously spreading the Star Brand's energies throughout her body, Kayla can achieve virtual invulnerability. She doesn't do this on purpose, of course, but it seems to come naturally to her, possibly because she simply believes in the Star Brand's power implicitly. As such, Kayla possesses intensity 20 (+5) resistance to physical and energy attacks, letting her ignore most conventional assault.
* Energy Generation (a): by expanding its energies outside herself, Kayla can create startling displays of the unknown, paradoxical power of the Star Brand. While she can focus this into a directional blast of power, it typically manifests as a sort of explosion centered on her body, inflicting intensity 15 damage to everybody within near missile distance.
* Energy Sense (w): Kayla has demonstrated on at least one occasion the ability to sense curious energy sources, such as those generated by the Star Brand. She can track such anomalous power sources with intensity 15 skill, though she can conceivably perceive any form of energy that she knows of, given the time and practice necessary for her to sort such energies out.
* Flight (a): though she hated this power at first, Kayla has slowly learned to appreciate the joy of unaided flight, and has begun to use it with higher frequency of late. In an atmosphere, she can fly about at intensity 8 speeds, or approximately 375 miles per hour. Naturally, she can readily enhance this significantly (in or out of an atmosphere), depending on her needs.
* Portability: the Star Brand itself is easily portable, and Kayla can move it about on her person as she sees fit. If she wants to get rid of it, it is similarly easy to just move it onto the body of another person, should they want the thing. However, it is vital to note that the Star Brand cannot exist on an inanimate object; placing it upon such a thing is a very, very bad idea.
This is because, without a true sentience to control it, the power will rage out of control, disintegrating the object (and a very large portion of the surroundings). For instance, placing the Star Brand into a bent ten pound weight destroyed said weight and all matter within a twenty five mile radius, accidentally creating the Pitt. Needless to say, this also ruined Ken Connell's day.
Similarly, placing the Star Brand into a non-sentient animal isn't a good idea, either. This won't cause the calamity described above, but it will kill the animal over time, as the Star Brand's energies, unchecked, will consume it within days. Of course, this was discovered by the Old Man during his many attempts to rid himself of this thing.
Service (i): while it is possible (and even likely) that she has more talents under her belt, it is known that Kayla most assuredly is a competent receptionist. As such, she can naturally juggle multiple phone calls, type up letters and memos at breakneck speed, and otherwise deal with prospective clients - all at the same time. She thus makes secretarial-based actions at one difficulty level lower than normal.
Even though she's rather miffed at the guy, Kayla can most assuredly rely on her ex-boyfriend, Quasar, for help should he find a way around the Living Tribunal's quarantine of the earth she currently resides on. Furthermore, she seems to have made good friends with several heroes from the earth her Star Brand came from, especially Metallurge, who may very well be a romantic interest by this time.
Responsibility of Power: Kayla really wanted nothing other than to be normal, so you can imagine her surprise when she developed nigh-irresistible cosmic powers. Though she rejected them at first, Kayla has seemingly become resigned to the fact that she has these capabilities, and considering her good nature, likely isn't opposed to using them to help others.
None, really. Kayla didn't really see herself as a hero of any sort, and simply wore normal clothes while she utilized her Star Brand powers - which she usually did when some menace or another was trying to steal them. As such, her wardrobe will vary from appearance to appearance, depending on her mood and current fashion trends - though this may change as she grows used to her powers.
Kayla is a bright, brave-hearted soul, who seems to enjoy life to its fullest. For instance, getting marooned on a parallel world has hardly caused her any undue stress. She is a caring and loving woman, who seems able to put up with a whole lot from those she cares about - though there is an upper limit to the lunacy she will tolerate at the hands of such people, rest assured.
Real Name: Kayla Ballantine
Occupation: secretary, ersatz superheroine
Legal Status: American citizen with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: none
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 110 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: her Star Brand tattoo sticks out somewhat, and was on the bottom of her scalp, on the back of her head, last time she was seen.
Kayla was an ordinary woman before she went to work for Vaughn Security Systems, a firm set up by the super-heroic Quasar to enhance his secret identity. She was good at what she did, however, and made quite a contribution to the success of this company. However, Kayla found herself attracted to her boss, and since the feeling was mutual, the two eventually wound up dating each other.
Wendell (Quasar) eventually revealed his secret identity to Kayla, and though she took this in stride, her life went straight downhill soon afterward. You see, several months later, Quasar found himself outside the multiverse that contains the so-called Marvel Universe. While there, he encountered an alien power device known as the Star Brand, and brought it back home with him.
Missing for quite some time, Quasar was more than happy to express his love for Kayla and his pals from work upon his return, but as he hugged Kayla, Quasar inadvertently transferred the Star Brand to her. This wasn't readily apparent, however, as Quasar had done so on the back of Kayla's scalp, so the power tattoo wasn't visible unless you were specifically looking for it.
As time passed, Kayla found herself at the mercy of several alien entities, all of which wished to get their hands on the Star Brand, despite the fact that she didn't even know she had it. This situation came to a head when the villainous Quagmire, from yet another parallel earth, abducted Kayla and her friend HD Steckley while the women were on a road trip-style vacation.
This thug delivered Kayla and HD to the planet Scadam, where the so-called Black Fleet was in the process of destroying every last organic life form present. During this assault, Kayla herself was blasted to pieces, but the power of the Star Brand reintegrated her body. Slowly realizing that she had incredible powers, Kayla started to use them in her defense - and that of the aliens around her.
Ultimately, Kayla annihilated all but one of the Black Fleet craft, and then made for earth with her pal HD This trip took quite some time, and involved hitching a ride from a bizarre species known as the Dancers. Eventually getting home, Kayla and her friend were beset by the curious Kismet, who was also on Scadam recently, and had failed to identify the force that annihilated the Black Fleet at the time.
As these things go, a fight eventually broke out between the two cosmic-powered beings, a fight that Kismet lost - badly. Thinking she'd killed the woman, Kayla wanted nothing more than to rid herself of the Star Brand, and when HD offered to take the power from her, Kayla readily agreed. That was when HD revealed herself to be none other than Ereshkigal, an evil deviant sorceress!
Using the Star Brand, Ereshkigal tried to throw the whole of the multiverse into chaos by rocking the Cosmic Axis, but thanks to Kayla, Quasar was able to interfere with this mad scheme. Once Ereshkigal was utterly defeated, the Living Tribunal returned the power of the Star Brand to Kayla, as he couldn't come up with a better place for it - she'd already been exposed to its power.
Soon after this debacle, Kayla was abducted by the so-called Starblasters, a band of extremely powerful alien goons working for the villainous Skeletron - who was, in fact, the last of the techno-organic Black Fleet craft! This being delivered Kayla to the Stranger, who (claiming to be God in Kayla's dreams) convinced her to surrender the Star Brand to him. That's when things got really bad.
You see, the interaction of energies from two disparate universes caused the Stranger's laboratory world to partially enter the plane of the Star Brand's origin, the so-called New Universe, at which point Skeletron seized the Star Brand from the Stranger. This caused the rift between universes to collapse, though not before the Stranger yanked the Star Brand's world of origin into this universe.
He claimed that he did so in order to protect it from Skeletron's depredations, but in truth the Stranger merely wanted to study the vast amounts of paranormals walking on this brand new (to him) world. This was not to be, however, as the Living Tribunal appeared and, declaring the power of the Star Brand a menace, sealed its home world (and Kayla) within an impenetrable force dome.
Trapped on a world she never made, all because of her (now) ex-boyfriend's inadvertent mistake, Kayla simply decided to get on with her life - or whatever life she could make for herself in this bizarre new earth. In fact, she was last seen walking off into the sunset with Metallurge, another paranormal that she'd met during the whole mess with those accursed Starblasters.
Though it appeared that she was powerless at the end of this tale, it is vital to note that every other wielder of the Star Brand who has given his or her power to another has always retained ten percent of its potency - unless the Star Child was involved, that is. As such, it is most likely that, on the world of its origin, the Star Brand will eventually re-emerge on Kayla's person in the near future.
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