David Alan Landers, also known as Mastodon, is a paranormal. He is an otherwise normal human being who was forever changed in the wake of the White Event, a paradoxical and mutagenic phenomenon that bathed his world in its strange energies. He was further altered by the psionic powers of the ESPeople, the leader of which made his mind virtually impervious to psionic attack or influence.
Body Armor: thanks to the nature of his paranormal ability, Mastodon is very tough. While his primary power is his prodigious strength (which caps out at fifteen tons, at his last check), this capability also has several side effects. For instance, Mastodon's musculature is incredibly dense, giving him this power at rank value 6 (-2 RS versus energy attack), enough to stop standard bullets in their tracks.
Resistance to Psionic Attacks: thanks to Walt, the leader of the ESPeople, Mastodon's mind has been strengthened against mental assault. While others can use powers such as telepathy and dream projection to communicate with him, Mastodon shrugs off any forms of psionic damage or influence. He can resist such powers with rank value 100 ability, preventing even the likes of Philip Nolan Voigt from affecting him!
Limitations / Enhancements:
Abnormal Attribute: Mastodon cannot hide his paranormality. The man is simply huge, and even his head has slightly changed its shape as a result of his paranormal powers. Furthermore, it is incredibly difficult for Mastodon to find clothing that fits him, meaning his makeshift wardrobe makes him even more conspicuous. Even his facial hair is unusual, growing about one half an inch each day.
Driving: the one skill he possessed before becoming a paranormal, Mastodon is quite the capable driver. He excels behind the wheel of most ground-based vehicles, whether we're talking a tractor, a Winnebago ™ or a pick-up truck. Whenever he's operating a ground vehicle, whether or not he's experiencing inclement weather, Mastodon should receive a +1 RS on Handling ACTs required behind the wheel.
Guns: between the Woodsman and the United States Army, Mastodon has been trained in the use of most modern firearms. Whether he's holding a standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol, Mastodon may operate the weapon as if his Coordination score was +1 RS higher than is listed above. This bonus even applies to out of the ordinary, esoteric weapons such as a shotgun or a stun gun.
Martial Arts style B: while he was laying low in the wilds of northern Wisconsin with the Woodsman, Mastodon was trained how to fight. That old fur trapper showed Mastodon how to properly leverage his immense strength against others should he need to (and he usually did). Whenever engaging in unarmed melee, whether punching, kicking, or even charging a foe, Mastodon should do so at his Melee value +1 RS.
Military / United States: Mastodon did not enlist in the Army willingly. After being captured near the Pitt, he was conscripted into the military as a part of the United States government's effort to build a paranormal fighting force. Though he was Drafted, Mastodon nonetheless learned the ins and outs of the Army SOP, and received formal training in combat - to improve what the Woodsman already taught him.
Survival: while the Woodsman taught Mastodon how to fight in a variety of different situations, whether armed or unarmed, the most valuable skill he imparted upon our hero was the ability to survive on his own. No matter where he finds himself, Mastodon has been educated in the fine art of scrounging up enough food, water, clothing and shelter to get by - even if he has absolutely no equipment to start with.
Mastodon can readily rely upon his fellow paranormals from therapy group C in the Clinic for Paranormal Research - even Scuzz, who originally left them on hostile terms. Over time others have joined their little band, including Captain Manhattan, Chrome, Metallurge, Mutator, and Sponge. Mastodon also has additional contacts in the form of the Woodsman, a lone hunter who took him under his wing while on the run.
The clothing Mastodon wears is almost always thread-bare or makeshift in nature. Clothes simply aren't manufactured for people of his size, and as a result he often has to make his own - or have some made for him by friends. His outfits often have a 'rustic' or home-made look to them, and quite often incorporate bits of fur in them as well, to help him keep warm while operating outside.
Mastodon has truly come into his own. For the longest time he had grave doubts about both his character and his capability, but he has, over the years, laid this self-doubt to rest. He had perhaps the hardest time of his friends from the Clinic adjusting to his paranormality, but then his was the most obvious (right next to Jeffrey Walters, of course) - and finally winning the heart of Stephanie seems to have helped him in this regard.
Real Name: David Alan Landers
Occupation: moving man, former Army private (AWOL), former cheese factory worker
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with a considerable criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: DP 7 (therapy group C), former member of Paranormal Platoon Able
Height: 6' 11"
Hair: brown, balding
Weight: 525 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Mastodon is huge. He stands just shy of seven feet tall, and is massively muscled for someone his size. He is bald, and the bones in his forehead have shifted forward about an inch, giving them a protruding appearance. His facial hair grows about a half inch per day, making him 'shaggy' and giving him his trademark beard and moustache.
David Alan Landers was originally a mild-mannered worker at the Waupaca Cheese Factory who had recently lost his parents. Alone in the world, as far as family was concerned, David nonetheless had several friends that he could rely upon - including close friend Sue. She had helped him deal with his recent losses, and of course wanted to be more to David, though he just couldn't see it, being a little bit thick-headed.
Though he was happy to live out his life in general obscurity, this was not what fate had in store for David. You see, shortly after the White Event, an astronomical phenomenon with mutagenic properties, David began to change. At first David thought he was but hung over, but then the pains started. Overwhelming cramps set in, particularly after every meal David had - and David had become ravenously hungry.
Having Sue bring him groceries without seeing him, David writhed in pain over the next week, his body swelling in size astonishingly. Before long, David had decided he'd had enough, and swallowed a bottle of pills to end his life - much like his own brother had. This didn't work however, for the man had developed an astounding metabolism along with his swollen size, and his body broke down the otherwise lethal dose of drugs.
He was raced to the hospital when someone discovered him however, at which point David's stomach was pumped by doctor Randy O'Brien. When David came to, he was questioned by the doctor, who had been having his own run-ins with the bizarre of late - though nothing quite as obvious as David's sudden onset of super strength. You see, he had developed the ability to create strange, negative-image doubles of himself.
But had no real control over them. In fact, one such double, which Randy started calling antibodies, told David about a Clinic Randy had discovered in the newspaper, one which supposedly could help people with problems no one else could solve. Thinking there was nothing else for it, David decided to go there for help with his issue, as did Randy - his antibody was starting to interfere with his medical residency!
The two arrived at the Clinic for Paranormal Research and found everything seemingly on the up and up - at first, anyway. Over time, Randy began to notice suspicious activity being conducted by the Clinic's staff, but nobody else really did. This was because the Clinic had its own paranormal staff, which were working to condition the minds of its paranormal patients... and Randy was resistant to this process.
When matters came to a head, Randy decided to leave, and tried to convince his friends from the Clinic's therapy group c to come with. David naturally agreed, having seen enough with his own eyes to convince him, as did the rest of the therapy group. Once free of the Clinic's walls, however, the septet were immediately beset by the Clinic's goons, three paranormal headhunters that 'graduated' from the place months ago.
David and company fought these bozos off for a while, leading the Clinic's head, Philip Nolan Voigt, to send a team of human mercenaries after them. Before those villains could catch up with our seven displaced paranormals, the group generally grew closer to one another, having a variety of misadventures in the back woods of Wisconsin. During this time, David became particularly smitten with Stephanie Harrington.
This housewife was sort of on the outs with her husband, who was disgusted by the strange sparkles her body began to give off - even if they had healing properties. David was mystified by this, since he found Stephanie to be breathtaking in the extreme, and did everything he could just to spend time with the lady. This culminated in an encounter with her husband, Chuck, which caused David to seriously injure the man (not his fault).
Soon after this, the group was slowly captured by those headhunters, one by one, as they separated from each other. David was the last of them to evade capture, and disappeared into the wilds of Wisconsin with the aid of a lone Woodsman who took him in. This man helped David out considerably, teaching him how to survive in the wilderness and how to fight - as someone had done for him, long ago.
Upon leaving the care of the Woodsman, David subsequently stumbled into an encounter with the so-called ESPeople, six paranormals who had found each other before the Clinic could, and hid themselves away. They also helped David out, though not intentionally; their leader placed a 'mental block' in David's mind to make him forget he'd met them, which was to help maintain their secret but also made him resistant to psionics.
David was captured by the Clinic's men soon after, though his immunity to mental powers helped him avoid being brainwashed again. It also allowed him to clean up most of the bad apples at the Clinic, as he faced off first against Philip Nolan Voigt, the so-called Overshadow, and then his right-hand man, Dexter Charne. With their removal, the Clinic was able to get on with its stated mission sans brainwashing.
David wanted to just leave mind you, but Randy convinced him to stay since Stephanie couldn't be moved; she'd been rendered comatose by Charne's powers while he was on the run. Since he couldn't bring himself to leave her side, David stayed on, working in a variety of roles for the Clinic when its budget cuts forced the facility to enlist its patients to perform various tasks to keep it running smoothly.
All was not good in paradise, however. With a lack of discipline, the Clinic's patients quickly spiraled out of control, and soon enough the therapy groups had dissolved, leaving only a series of paranormal gangs in its place. This came to a head during a vicious riot in the Clinic's auditorium which almost saw the entire place wrecked - and would have, if not for the aid of David's friend Lenore.
Shortly after this, David wound up leaving the Clinic alongside most of his therapy group again, albeit with a few new additions in the form of Mutator and Sponge. He did this to help out another therapy group friend, Jeffrey Walters, who'd ran off to Pittsburgh to save his family immediately after it had been devastated in some unknown calamity. This turned out to be a very, very bad idea.
Not realizing what they were walking into, the paranormals were beset by various scavengers and refugees active around the area - as well as the Pitt itself, a huge smoking hole that was all that remained of the former city of Pittsburgh. This misadventure culminated in David breaking his foot in the Pitt, being savagely attacked by the Pit Bull, and finally his capture by the United States Army.
Once he had healed, David was subsequently Drafted into the Army's Paranormal Platoon, group Able. He was in the first group to be trained as the Army's paranormal fighting force, though this didn't go well. When forced to accompany Major Zentner (Bloodhound, one of the Clinic's former paranormal thugs) in an effort to recruit a recovered Stephanie, David knocked him out and prompted her to flee the military.
This got David thrown in the Hole, a pit the Paranormal Platoon's leadership used to punish those who disobeyed orders or otherwise caused problems. Left in this dark cement hole for weeks, David finally snapped and tried to kill himself. This got him yanked from service, but not before he was sent on a suicide mission into the Pitt, supposedly to recover a research team that had gotten lost down in there.
After being dropped off, one of his fellow paranormal rejects tried to kill him - after doing in the other member of their bunch. This caused him to die due to the use of his own powers, not that David was too broke up about this. Mind you, he was surprised to happen across Randy down there in the Pitt, after the man had come to rescue him - and got himself paralyzed by a geyser of Pitt-juice while looking for David.
The two then climbed their way out of the Pitt a second time, and then headed for greener pastures. This ultimately turned into a trek to New York City, after the two learned their old pal, Voigt, was not only dead but was running for President! They confronted the man, but were driven off by their old friends from the Clinic, who worked for the CIA but had been brainwashed into doing his bidding.
Unable to bring himself to hurt Stephanie and his other friends, David was soundly thrashed by his three female friends, who were joined by a brainwashed Jennifer Swensen. After this, David simply settled into an apartment in New York City to live close to Stephanie, who was still living nearby as a part of her now-bogus mission for the CIA to spy on Voigt and his doings.
Though David and company lived under the man's death threat for a while, Voigt was ultimately dealt with by Jacob Burnsley, the wielder of the Star Brand, and this allowed the former Clinic patients to get on with their lives. After an encounter with the mysterious Cure, though David didn't partake of the man's 'gift', David's life settled into something resembling normalcy - and he even got the girl!
You see, Stephanie had finally left her dirtbag husband, and as such was no longer averse to the idea of David's affections. That and she didn't work for the CIA either, having been cut loose along with her friends once the government realized they'd been co-opted by Voigt. Thus, David and Stephanie managed to live 'happily ever after', despite a few bumps in the road here and there.
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