the Old Man
The Old Man, as he is known to most people these days, is none other than Ken Connell. The third manifestation of Ken in the universe, the Old Man is the punch line of a temporal paradox involving that man's very existence. As are Ken and the Star Child, the Old Man is a spontaneously created human being, one who simply did not exist until he came to be as a result of the Star Brand's own creation.
Immortality (s): after acquiring the Star Brand over 500 years ago, the Old Man was rendered immortal. He can be killed, but he won't die. If brought to zero Health and slain, his body will assume a regenerative form, a sort of fish-headed, pink humanoid looking thing with really loose, baggy skin, until he's all healed up. Even total body disintegration cannot stop this regeneration from occurring, only delay it.
Longevity (s): while he's unkillable, per se, the Old Man still ages - though at an extremely slow rate. Consider this intensity 4, as he's got at least a 2905 year life span. He may have spent almost half of his time, appearing to be in the beginnings of middle age, but the Old Man still has some life left in him (if you don't take his ultimate fate into account, that is).
Hindrances / Augmentations:
the Star Brand (w): for all of his existence, the Old Man has possessed the Star Brand, a device that can be used to draw forth endless amounts of energy from the very fabric of space-time. The Old Man never channels a truly infinite amount of power from the thing, however. He typically manifests Star Brand effects at intensity 15, at least when he barely concentrates on said effect.
If he wants to, the Old Man can easily increase the effect of any power he knows how to produce with the Star Brand, doing so with a general ceiling of intensity 25 unless noted otherwise in a specific power's description. He typically doesn't utilize the Star Brand in this fashion unless it is absolutely necessary, however, as this level of energy discharge often has unforeseen effects.
Furthermore, the Old Man can utilize more than one Star Brand effect at a time. Operating two powers at once requires him to pass an easy difficulty Intellect action, each additional power increasing the difficulty by one level. In other words, the Old Man can theoretically use all of his Star Brand powers at once, but this is hard for him to concentrate on. At any rate, the Old Man has these known Star Brand abilities:
* Ability Boost (w): in addition to the already high level of strength offered to him by the Star Brand, the Old Man can enhance his lifting ability to even greater heights if necessary. Wielding this power at intensity 25, the Old Man can then boost his Strength to a like level, allowing him to move a tremendous amount of mass whenever he feels the need to do so.
* Body Armor (s): when he concentrates on it, the Old Man can spread the Star Brand's energies throughout his body, achieving intensity 20 (+5) body armor. This makes him pretty much impervious to all but the most powerful of attacks - save for, perhaps, those of the Star Brand itself. He's been laid low by the likes of his own power, and for a very long time at that!
* Energy Generation (a): by extending its energies outside himself, the Old Man can create startling displays of the unknown, paradoxical power of the Star Brand. While he can focus this into a directional blast of power, it typically manifests as a sort of explosion centered on his body, inflicting intensity 15 damage to everybody within near missile range.
If he should increase the effect above intensity 15, however, the Old Man must make a desperate difficulty energy blast action to focus it into a beam, as opposed to detonating everything within his immediate area. Furthermore, the blast effect of this energy burst (if unfocused) is increased to affect everybody within far missile distance if he has raised its intensity over 15.
* Environmental Independence (s): the Old Man can utilize this power at intensity 30, essentially making it unnecessary for him to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe. So far, he has only had to rely on the air part of this power in the past, so he doesn't likely know that he no longer needs those other things that are vital to life. However, he still eats, drinks and sleeps out of habit.
* Flight (a): unlike most of his other Star Brand abilities, the Old Man wields this power at intensity 30. In effect, this allows him to pretty much cross the globe in mere minutes, though he typically limits this power to intensity 5 within a city. This comes in real handy, especially since he's not very good with geography, and tends to fly about aimlessly while in deep thought.
* Mind Control (w): one ability that the Old Man demonstrated regarding his power that the other wielders of the Star Brand have yet to use is his power over the minds of others. By focusing his will, the Old Man can control the actions of others with intensity 15 skill, forcing them to do what he wants for either short or long periods of time, if he passes an easy difficulty Mind Control (willpower) action.
* Portability: the Star Brand itself is easily portable, and the Old Man can move it about on his person as he sees fit. If he wants to get rid of the Star Brand, 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. Attempting this is a very, very bad idea.
This is because, without a true sentience to control it, the Brand's 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. This was, of course, discovered by the Old Man during his many attempts to rid himself of this thing.
* Super Flight (a): the Old Man can move about in the far depths of space as he sees fit, doing so at intensity 30. However, this isn't necessarily a good thing, as he lacks an inherent sense of direction out there, and could easily get lost if not paying careful attention to where he's at. With interstellar space being so darn big, it could take the Old Man a while to get back once he's gotten lost.
Boxing (s): skilled at fisticuffs, the Old Man has the ability to make two unarmed melee attacks per exchange, the last of which will occur as a contingent action. With his Strength, however, this makes him very, very dangerous...
Brawling (s): the Old Man knows how to fight - with or without his powers - doing so quite underhandedly most of the time. As such, if he drops an opponent to zero health / cards in melee, he can render the poor sap comatose - which may most likely be the end of him (or her)...
Driving (a): as Ken Connell, the Old Man could drive a car with competence, but he was particularly skilled in the art of motorcycle riding, especially using off-road dirt bikes and such. He can perform motorcycle driving maneuvers at one difficulty level lower than is normally required.
Repair / Tinkering (i): having an intuitive understanding of all things mechanical, the Old Man - in another life - landed a job as an auto mechanic. He can repair just about any broken machine, though he isn't very good at actually building new devices and such.
While he is an older version of Ken Connell, the Old Man didn't know this until the very end of his existence. As such, he cannot claim any of his 'modern' self's contacts as his own, or anybody else for that matter. In fact, he has primarily been a loner during his long life.
Greed: though he was the one who gave the Star Brand away - even if encouraged to do so by mental programming, the Old Man was greedy for power. Once he wasn't the only person to wield the Brand's power, he did everything possible to get it back - and ultimately got his wish.
The Old Man wore no costume, per se. While going about his business in recent times, however, he has worn a consistent outfit, one that included a brown leather jacket, gray trousers, brown leather shoes, a black turtle neck sweater, and a black leather belt.
Stubborn and obsessed, the Old Man is the essential Ken Connell, even if he didn't know it. Though he believed himself to be someone else, he shared all of his previous self's mental issues, heaping on the additional problems concerning a complete lack of scruples
The quintessential narcissist, the Old Man's world revolved around him and him alone.
Real Name: Ken Connell
Occupation: former Dutch duke, formerly performed various odd jobs
Legal Status: Danish citizen with no known criminal record, legally dead
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: various, but unrevealed
Group Affiliation: none
Height: 6' 5" (growing to 7' 6" thanks to the Star Brand's ever-increasing power)
Weight: 230 lbs (growing to around 350 lbs as the Star Brand's power increased)
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Ken Connell, in his aspect of the Old Man, had a rather large beard and moustache - and was balding around the temples.
After agreeing to help the Star Child plug up the apparent paradox that the existence of both himself and the Star Brand represented, Ken Connell merged his mind, body, and spirit with both the Star Child and the Old Man, and this combined entity acted at once to stitch up the damage to the space-time continuum it perceived. It reshaped reality somewhat in the past, and sent Ken back there.
Of course, before he arrived, Ken's memories were tampered with, and he was made to believe that he was a Dutch duke all his life, a memory that was enhanced by the subtle alterations in causality made by the tripartite Connell entity. Immediately after his arrival and submergence into this false life, this man who was Ken Connell was struck by a wave of unstoppable energies.
These energies were the White Event, a discharge of temporal energies that he himself would cause in the future, which traveled faster than light and thus wound their way back through time. Being there to collect them, the former Connell acquired great power, power he hid from his 'fellow' Danish folk and tried not to use, lest he be branded a witch or some such - and be driven from his home.
However, as time passed, the Duke noticed that he wasn't really aging alongside his peers, and eventually left his Duchy to wander Europe, doing odd jobs and other things to pass the time during his otherwise endless existence. He was content with this life until a cave-in at a mine he was working at caused his untimely demise, crushing him flat under a mountain of stone.
Emerging from the rubble in his fish-like regenerative form, this former nobleman was horrified, believing the power was mutating him into some unrecognizable monster. He eventually reverted to normal, but his fears remained. As such, he tried to rid himself of his might, starting by giving his power, his Star Brand, to various flora and fauna - since they wouldn't use the power irresponsibly.
However, the Brand consumed these non-sentient hosts within a short period of time, and forced to reclaim the Brand, he who was Ken Connell flew to the stars rather despondent. There, he came up with the idea of transferring his power into an inanimate object, and the closest object fitting that bill was a nearby asteroid. Hoping this would work, he moved his Star Brand into the space rock.
The resultant explosion totally eradicated his physical presence, and energies given off by the absolute disintegration of that asteroid washed over the earth. Yes, this was the White Event that gave all the paranormals of earth their powers. The former nobleman, protected by the echo of the Star Brand in his body, eventually came back to life, making for earth due to some unknown urge.
Descending to the planet's surface haphazardly in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, the centuries old man, now appearing in his early forties and significantly taller than he was when first arriving in the past, attracted the attention of one Ken Connell. At this point, mental programming placed in his mind by the Star Child activated itself, and this Old Man gave the Star Brand to this (to him) stranger.
Shortly afterward, Connell found the corpse of the Old Man, and believing him to be dead, buried the body nearby. This was a ruse, however, as (responding to those Star Child given mental directives) he immediately began to pose as a strange alien life form, trying to reclaim the Star Brand from Connell. The young man decided to keep the power, however, and managed to drive the disguised Old Man off.
After many months, he returned to Ken Connell in an effort to reclaim his power, though he still retained a small portion of it. Stating that he needed the power to fight an alien war across the cosmos, the Old Man almost regained the Star Brand, until Ken began to question the Old Man's claims. When guile failed, the Old Man resorted to extortion, threatening all of Connell's loved ones to regain the Brand.
This ultimately failed, however, when his scheme left Connell no other choice but to deal with him - permanently. In a pitched battle on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Ken Connell and the Old Man fought savagely amongst themselves, a battle the Old Man ultimately lost. Once he'd won, Ken blasted the Old Man's lifeless corpse back into space - believing him dead at long last.
The inherent immortality that the Star Brand had granted him revived the Old Man in time, however, and a year after his devastating defeat, he returned to reclaim his power once more, attacking Connell while he acted as the guest of honor at a local comics convention, as he had since gone public with his powers. The Old Man was victorious this time, returning in kind the damage Connell inflicted on him a year ago.
Of course, doing so utterly destroyed the convention center Connell was in, and their battle wiped over five thousand lives off the face of the earth in one fell swoop. Not caring about this, the Old Man simply waited for Ken to revive, at which point he would try to convince him to return the Star Brand once again. This plain failed, however, for Ken found another way to dispose of the weapon.
Freaked out by his transformation into that pink, fleshy fish-headed thing, Connell thought he was changing into a monster, no thanks to the memories of his past life the Old Man shared with him as a part of this plot. Deciding to get rid of the thing, Ken didn't go to the Old Man; he instead decided to transfer the Star Brand into an inanimate object to discharge its power.
Though he knew doing so would cause an explosive result, Ken thought he was far enough away from Pittsburgh when he made the transfer. He was wrong, however, and totally annihilated his home city - and a large area around it - as a result. In Pittsburgh at the time, the Old Man was similarly obliterated, and it took him another year to pull himself together after this carnage.
When he finally did so, the Old Man was confronted by a new bearer of the Star Brand, one Jacob Burnsley, who found himself on the receiving end of the Old Man's wrath immediately. Burnsley eventually defeated the Old Man, however, and towed him out to an asteroid in orbit around Jupiter, where the other bearers of the Star Brand's power had assembled at the so-called Star Child's behest.
Once the Old Man was there, the Star Child explained that the existence of the Star Brand was causing something of a paradox, in that it was created when the entire sum of space-time was folded in on itself. Hoping to correct this before all causality collapsed, the Star Child proposed a dangerous scheme - sending the various aspects of Ken Connell - himself, Ken, and the Old Man - through time.
This plan would tidy up all the various problems that seem to have come into being by the existence of both Connell and the Star Brand, this because the bizarre logic of the paradox the Star Child was trying to resolve involved Ken Connell apparently creating himself - an impossible act. It took some doing, but Connell and the Star Child convinced the Old Man to go along with this plan.
As such, once all of their other loose ends had been dealt with, the three aspects of Ken Connell merged themselves into one being, and after subtle alterations were made in each of their minds and the world around them, dispersed themselves through time and space to trap themselves in an endless temporal loop. The Old Man mostly got the short end of this stick, however.
You see, his mind was completely wiped clean, and his essence was transported into the body of Debbie Felix. That's right. While the Star Child became Ken Connell, and Ken Connell became himself, the Old Man apparently became the Star Child. Though somewhat confusing, this loop in time has indeed been closed, and as such, we shall never see the Old Man again - unless causality breaks down, of course!
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