Strictly speaking, it is technically true that Mal Rossi is a normal human, but it's difficult to quantify the man in that fashion. Sure, he has no ascendant abilities, whether you refer to paranormal powers or MAX implants, but there's something off about the man. This is because he loves to blow things up, and has an almost supernatural skill in the demolition of just about anything he lays his eyes on!
Limitations / Enhancements:
Explosives: his stock in trade, Mal always has some form of explosive device on his person during a mission, for it's generally his job to make large objects simply 'go away'. These explosives can range from anywhere between rank value 30 and 50 explosive power, inflicting like Slashing (fragmentary) or SD Energy (incendiary) damage to everything within the sector they detonate in.
Knives: Mal also carries several blades while on a mission, to a) strike an opponent silently or when out of ammunition, or b) to set up all manner of simple death-traps. The former allows him to inflict rank value 10 Slashing damage in melee, but the latter gives him the ability to build snare traps and make punji stick ambushes that can generally cause his targets to impale themselves.
Machine Guns: while on a mission, Mal always has at least one hard-core piece on his person, ranging from an M-16 to an M-60. The former inflicts rank value 10 damage in a semi-automatic burst, rank value 20 damage in a full-auto spread, and the latter boosts this damage +1 RS. And, of course, Mal can use the rounds from his firearms to fashion even more death traps. He's fun that way.
Pistol: like most fighting men, Mal has a piece on his person at all times, whether he is on the job or not. Though local regulations may frown on this personal practice, Mal nonetheless carries a semi-automatic pistol capable of inflicting rank value 6 Piercing damage with a single shot, or rank value 10 Piercing damage in a full-magazine burst; of course, the latter requires he reload quickly.
Addict / Alcohol: for a good long time, Mal hit the bottle pretty hard after the 'Nam. Even though he had a good job going, conflict has a way of scarring a body something fierce. He's all better now, relatively speaking, but most addicts are always in jeopardy of a backslide. If under particularly stressful conditions, Mal must pass a Willpower ACT at -2 RS to resist drink, if alcohol is present.
Demolitions 2: Mal is something of a criminal genius where the destruction of people, places, or things is concerned. He can use his crafty noggin at +2 RS when setting up explosives, booby traps, or other troublesome devices, helping him to achieve the maximum effect with such things. If Mal happens to have any C-4 on him, back off - fast!!
Guns: a well-seasoned mercenary and former New Zealand Army regular, Mal's naturally quite adept in the use of modern firearms, be they standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic in nature. As such, he can fire all such weapons as though his Coordination trait was +1 RS in value, a skill that has kept him alive more times than he can count - though still not as much as his demolitions talent.
Knives: in addition to his excess destructive skill with bombs and guns, Mal can also put most any foe to task with a blade in hand. Though he most often uses his knives to set up punji stick death traps and whatnot, he can also wield one like an angry demon, doing so as though his Melee trait was +1 RS in value - though he'd rather just blow a body up, of course.
Martial Arts style B: while he can kill a man six ways from Sunday with just about any instrument, mundane or otherwise, Mal has also been trained to defend himself should he find himself completely unarmed. Should this unpleasant occasion arise, Mal attempts melee attacks (punches, kicks, head butts, etc.) as though his Melee trait was +1 RS in value.
Military / New Zealand: finally, Mal's skill set includes a basic knowledge of military protocols. Having served with the New Zealand armed forces, as well as being associated with the Australian army and having hung with mercenary types for years, Mal can easily bluff his way through a military compound - assuming the proper forged identification - or blend seamlessly into a large military unit.
Naturally, one man Mal can rely on for aid in a pinch is Mark Hazzard, as these two mercenaries have simply been through too much together to let little things get in the way of their friendship. Also, Mal can reasonably rely upon his and Mark's old business manager, Treetop, if necessary, as well as many other folks within Hazzard's shop. Friends in this line of work are rare, you know.
Mal doesn't have much of a 'standard' 'costume', per se. He'll usually wear clothing appropriate to a given mission (camouflage patterned fatigues in the jungle, jeans/jacket in an urban setting, and so on). Of course, no matter what, he's almost always wearing a blue headband while on missions, perhaps as a lucky charm or something, and he definitely wears black leather boots on the job.
Mal's something of a cultured ruffian. He loves opera and the finer things in life, and yet he well and truly gets off by blowing things up. Though he's a mercenary, hanging around with Mark over the years has helped him to also add principle to his work. While he used to do dirty jobs in the past, he doesn't any more - not if he can help it. This kiwi's an all-around good guy, really.
Real Name: 'Mal' Rossi (first name unknown)
Legal Status: naturalized American citizen (from New Zealand) with a probable criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: Mark Hazzard's shop
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Mal has a full red beard and moustache, and something of a New Zealander accent.
Not too much is known about the man known to the free world as Mal Rossi, other than the fact that he is from New Zealand, and was a member of that nation's armed forces. During the Vietnam War, while he was attached to the Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam (AATTV), Mal got himself caught up in the Tet offensive, and though he fought well, he was filled full of holes by NVA regulars.
Luckily for him, an American Corporal by the name of Mark Hazzard was also there, and though he, too, had acquired free air conditioning, the man managed to pull Mal out of the city and into the woods. As Mal rested, Hazzard took food, water, and a radio from enemy troops, and kept them at bay until help could arrive. The two were involved in a few more events later, but Mal eventually got shipped home.
He got a great job in construction, using his skills to blow things up, but he was nonetheless scarred by his experiences in the War. As such, Mal descended into a lifestyle consisting primarily of heavy drinking, and practically lost everything. When he was at rock bottom, Mal was saved again by Hazzard, who convinced him to get rid of his booze and get a real job - in mercenary work!
Working with Hazzard for Treetop, another old buddy from the War, Mal did all number of jobs around the world, usually together, but often with the addition of other, supplemental mercs should a given job be too big. However, Mark grew increasingly bitter about the jobs Treetop was signing them up for, and his conscience started to make him do things to ruin various contracts.
While this strained their friendship, Mal and Hazzard were still good buddies, however, and as such, Mark helped Mal when he developed problems with his kid sister. You see, she'd been dating this guy who Mal considered 'biker trash', and wouldn't have it. Telling Mark that the biker kidnapped his sister, Hazzard enlisted the aid of another friend, the Princess, and went to work finding the girl.
After they liberated her, Mark found out the truth, and managed to keep Mal from killing the goon outright, once the opportunity showed up. Of course, this dude's friends didn't live through the encounter, because they jumped the gun and opened fire on Mal and company. Nonetheless, Mal eventually accepted his sister's choice in a boyfriend, and let it slide.
Eventually, though, things went sour when, on a job in Europe, Mark blew a bodyguard contract when he found out his 'boss' was actually a former Nazi war criminal. In his effort to kill the client, after he had a girl he met slaughtered because she found out his dirty little secret, Mark was blocked by Treetop. Since the pilot wouldn't move, Mark blasted each of his legs and went on to ruin his 'boss'.
While this effectively ruined their partnership, Mal nonetheless hooked up with Hazzard again when Lincoln 'Stryker' Griffin set them up with an important job running arms to several Mujahedin rebels in Afghanistan, and when Hazzard got captured on the mission, Mal (and all of Mark's other buddies) rallied their resources and skills to break him out. Unfortunately, Hazzard got himself killed days later.
What Mal's been up to since this dark day has yet to be revealed.
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