Keith Remsen is a paranormal, a formerly average young man that was granted strange and wonderful powers in the aftermath of the White Event - potent dream-based abilities that only grew in both power and utility as timed passed (even if his control did not). After the so-called Black Event, Keith's powers were greatly expanded, although his grip on his sanity slowly declined as well.
Astral Projection: after his stay in a mental asylum for four years, Keith regained an awareness of the world around him - and some new abilities. For one thing, he can now send his Nightmask into the waking world to observe events. He may do this with rank value 10 ability, though his wandering mental self-image is effectively invisible without the use of his illusion projection power.
Dream Projection: Keith's primary power is his ability to slip into the dreams of others, an ability which he can use at rank value 50. While he's in the short-lived pocket plane where a dream takes place, Keith can interact with it on a physical level, his traits replaced as if he were astrally projecting. It is important to note that his power rank value used to be much lower than it is now.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Keith's control over his Nightmask has slipped somewhat as a result of the psychic backlash caused by the Pitt incident, and as such, Keith is usually loathe to enter a body's dreams these days. You see, in addition to actually entering a person's dreams, Keith now has the ability to mold said dreams to some extent, with the use of his illusion projection power.
While this sounds like an additional tool he can use to help solve the mental problems of others, it isn't fully under Keith's control. Sure, he's managed to reign in this ability to some extent while he was committed in that mental hospital, but sometimes his subconscious mind will nonetheless twist a body's dream around in distressing and uncomfortable ways.
And this is something that Keith just doesn't like to inflict on other people if he can help it.
Illusion Projection: another power that Keith manifested after the Pitt incident is the ability to affect a target (or targets) with 'waking dream images', images that typically bend and warp a body's sensory perceptions until the normal world is buried in a stream of bizarre imagery. Keith utilizes this power at rank value 40. So far, Keith has demonstrated little ability to control this power.
However, he can use it to affect the minds of others, essentially to make his Nightmask persona seen and heard in the waking world (if he happens to be astrally projecting). Furthermore, he can use this power inside the dreams of other people to great effect, though this isn't such a good idea, as his subconscious mind may take Keith (and his would-be patient) on a mental ride they won't soon forget.
Precognition: the emergence of this power was what drew Keith out of his self-exile in a mental institution, warning him of a severe threat to his world. He has absolutely no control over this power, with precognitive flashes hitting him whenever there's some dire threat to him or his loved ones. Consider it to function (if uncontrollably) at rank value 10.
Sensory Link: while using his dream travel power, Keith and his sister, Teddy, share a sensory link. Though he is unconscious, Teddy can sense everything that Keith does, even though she is awake. Emotions and stray thoughts sometimes can pass through this link, but not always. This power ought to be considered rank value 40 in its extent.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Costume: Keith was given a real life version of his Nightmask costume by Mambo Matilda, a powerful Voodoo priestess. Though its exact capabilities are unknown, it supposedly 'gave him strength', and allowed Matilda to focus her magic through it. This effectively allowed Keith to use his dreaming powers while he was awake, before he gained his illusion projection power (while he was fighting Tullius Ballad).
Now that he's gaining additional control over the waking minds of people (with his illusion projection), it is unknown exactly what effect this costume has on Keith and his powers. It's likely that he may have more control over his illusion projection, being able to use it in the usual fashion. Or, he may simply receive a +1 RS to the power rank value, but still have control issues to resolve.
Insanity: after the Pitt incident, Keith began to been lose his sense of reality. The psychic backwash of all those deaths mangled his subconscious somewhat, which culminated in his completely losing his mind after executing Blowout. While Keith has recovered from this psychic trauma somewhat, the simple truth is that it's quite possible for him to backslide at any given moment.
Acrobatics: as part of his physical therapy, Keith was required to work through intensive acrobatic routines, routines he continues to practice to this day. As such, Keith can add a +1 RS to any ACT rolls he makes when performing dodge, escape, evade, feint, and weave maneuvers. This comes in real handy for him, as he's not really that physically powerful.
Military / United States: after he got drafted, Keith had to pick up on military protocols really, really quick. Having been in the Army for a little while, the stuff's pretty much in his head, so his Intellect should be considered +1 RS in such matters. Of course, his crash course in military etiquette also granted him the Guns skill for free, as well as adding the Army to his list of contacts.
Psychology: Keith interned with Doctor Lucian Ballad for over a year, and grew up with two psychologist parents. This, combined with several mental crash courses given by the United States military, effectively grants Keith this skill. His Intellect ACTs in matters of mental behavior and tendencies should be considered +1 RS. This helps him analyze people's dreams a whole lot.
Keith could easily rely upon anybody from the Ballad Dream Institute for aid if he should need it; this includes Doctor Lucian Ballad, Lita Mercado, and of course, his sister, Teddy. Furthermore, since he's been drafted, Keith could likely rely upon the US Army as a contact, as they sort of needed him to determine the stability of their paranormal recruits.
In addition to the above allies, Keith has worked with the paranormal known as Justice on several occasions, and he's likely a reliable contact. Especially since Keith pretty much helped him to get his mind back after a year of believing he was some sort of extradimensional warrior.
While working for the Army, Keith simply wears military fatigues. However, while he's in people's heads as Nightmask, he wears black stretch fabric suit under a long black vest that tapers into thin strips of fabric towards the bottom; the chest of his outfit has a sort of crackling energy effect imprinted on it. In addition to his black boots and gloves, Keith wears a mask while in people's dreams.
In case they might recognize him in the real world.
Despite the fact that he was in the Army for a time, Keith is still quite the eager beaver, his desire to help others often making him rather impulsive. Though he went through some dark times, involving both his powers and the ramifications of his mistake about Harlan Mook's sanity, Keith is once again doing everything he can to help the world.
Real Name: Lt. Keith Remsen, Retired
Occupation: psychologist, formerly working for the United States Army
Legal Status: American citizen with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: the United States Army
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: has a crescent moon-shaped scar on his forehead, a scar that glows when he uses his dream powers.
Keith Remsen was an aspiring psychology student that was being sent to study with the venerable Doctor Horst Kleinmann, who'd taught his parents (also psychologists) everything they knew about their respective field. However, when he was at the airport, a bomb was detonated in the immediate vicinity of his family, and Keith's life was forever changed.
His parents were killed, his little sister was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, and Keith himself was rendered comatose after a bomb fragment wedged itself into his skull. Months later, during the mysterious 'White Event', Keith awoke with a start, having apparently recovered from all his injuries save for that one bomb fragment in his head, which the doctors couldn't safely remove.
Since it wasn't hurting him by just being there, they left it. So, save for a few minor scars (and one prominent one on his forehead, in the shape of a crescent moon), Keith was relatively okay, if out of shape. After being bed-ridden for so long, Keith was in terrible shape, and required intensive physical therapy before he would be able to function normally in society.
Beginning his physical therapy (with Lita Mercado) and his mental counseling (with Doctor Ballad), Keith slowly began to pull his life back together. However, while he was recovering, he started to notice that he was having bizarre dreams. Vivid dreams. And, strangest of all, he was having dreams inside the minds of other people!
The first time Keith did this, he discovered who the man was that had bombed his family, as he was also caught in the blast (he was the dreamer, whose bomb went off too early). Keith then decided to keep hitting this man's dreams until he discovered who had sicced him on the Remsen family. While in the man's head, he discovered another dream traveler mucking about: Doctor Horst Kleinmann!
Apparently, the Doctor had accomplished with technology what Keith could now do naturally, and was trying to ensure his lackey died of fear or something (for his failure). Interrogating the Doctor (who was dreamwalking in the guise of 'the Gnome', Keith discovered that the good Doc believed that Keith was being sent to spy on him by his parents.
Insanely jealous of his dream technology, the Doctor simply tried to get rid of his imagined competition by blowing it to bits. Of course, he didn't bank on Keith developing natural, paranormal dream powers, and as Kleinmann's lackey died, Keith bailed out on the Doctor, leaving him to ride the mad swirl of imagery that denoted the man's death. Believing the Doctor gone for good, Keith got on with his life.
However, the Doctor managed to survive the destruction of his cybernetic dream equipment, and slowly rebuilt his gear as Keith joined up with Doctor Ballad, Lita Mercado, and his little sister, Teddy, who could serve as an effective anchor for Keith's mind while he was rooting about in people's dreams, which she could do via a unique mental link the siblings shared with each other.
They formed the Ballad Dream Institute, with the goal of helping people solve their extreme mental problems with Keith's own brand of dream therapy. The Institute managed to remain in business for years, weathering assaults by Doctor Kleinmann and his minions, as well as several recurring problems of John Tensen's (Justice) and Ken Connell's (Star Brand). Of course, this was until the Pitt occurred.
While he was performing dream therapy upon another psychic paranormal, an empath to be precise, Ken Connell pulled his colossal bone-head move that resulted in the creation of the Pitt. Of course, as his client was attuned to such occurrences, the death of over a million people totally shredded up her mind, and since Keith was wandering about inside it at the time, he was terribly affected as well.
Furthermore, this psychic trauma was spread to his sister, Teddy, who was supervising Keith's dream work. After the Pitt's damage was done, Teddy slipped into a coma, a coma that Keith couldn't free her from with his own impressive powers. Before he could work out a decent strategy with Doctor Ballad, however, the Draft was instituted, and Keith was forced to use his powers to serve his country.
Since he was effectively a trained psychologist, and since he had the power to inspect a body's mind, the Army made him a Lieutenant. His duty was to determine whether or not the paranormals the Army was collecting were sane or not, which he did by romping about in their dreams. However, this wasn't as simple as it sounded, as Keith's own sanity was becoming less and less assured.
You see, that Pitt backlash he experienced was severely messing with his subconscious mind, and Keith's Nightmask was beginning to run rampant while he touched the dreams of others. Furthermore, he was beginning to manifest the bizarre power to alter the perceptions of others, whether or not they were dreaming at the time. This led Keith to determine several paranormals were fit for duty that weren't.
Like Harlan Mook.
Keith called him sane when, in fact, the teleporting paranormal was severely disturbed. This led him to undergo a critical breakdown while in basic training, and he tried (and failed) to kill the so-called Pitt-Bull. To punish him for this, his superiors locked Mook up in 'the Hole', an underground vault that acts as a sensory deprivation chamber. Being already disturbed, this threw Mook completely over the edge.
Gone gibberingly nuts, Mook then teleported out of 'the Hole', totally destroying the chamber in the process - this because he leaves a devastating explosion after teleporting, which has an intensity directly proportional to the distance he teleports. After hearing the President was giving an address, Mook teleported to Washington DC to kill the man, angry about this whole draft mess.
Teleporting away mere feet from him, Mook almost killed the man, but it was discovered that then-President Reagan was, in fact, a paranormal, whose regenerative abilities saved him from Mook's blast. At any rate, Keith was given a special assignment after this: to track down and neutralize Mook, as his error in judgment caused this entire mess.
Before he left on this mission, however, Keith finally managed to bring his sister out of her coma, with Doctor Ballad's assistance. While he was assigned to study paranormals at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Ballad was allowed to treat Teddy there, what with her being a paranormal, too. With this finally accomplished, Keith could devote all of his energies to dealing with his terrible mistake.
Keith wasn't too interested in Mook, though, as the world was falling apart around him, in the grip of a new world War. However, he finally managed to trick Mook into coming to him with his dream powers, and shot him to end the menace he represented. This killing wore heavily upon Keith, however, and not able to deal with his guilt over the whole deal, he retreated into the dream world.
Keith pretty much just played around in people's dreams for the next four years, living in a mental hospital to avoid reality. However, events conspired to draw him out of his self-imposed exile, events he could sense with his emergent precognitive abilities. Seeing visions of a destructive alien invasion, Keith pulled himself together and assembled every paranormal he could get his hands on.
His force included Justice, the Psi-Hawk, the Overshadow, the paranormal team DP 7, as well as several members of the US Army's Paranormal Platoon, which fought in the War several years back. These heroes made their way into orbit to meet the craft containing members of the extradimensional (to them) Starblasters, who journeyed to their world to seize the power of the Star Brand.
They broke into the craft, but several heroes led by Quasar were already inside fighting the thing, and in the confusion, Nightmask's allies set upon them instead of the villains. They fought until the Stranger outwitted the techno-organic leader of these Starblasters into trapping himself in the universe that contained Keith's earth, though his earth was trapped in the mainstream Marvel Universe in exchange.
Furthermore, to prevent the Star Brand's energies from 'contaminating' the rest of his reality, the Living Tribunal sealed the New Universe's earth in an impenetrable energy field and left it in orbit around the Stranger's laboratory world. The ramifications of this on Keith's life (much less the lives of everybody from this variant earth) have yet to be revealed, though they're undoubtedly not good.
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