Ken Connell is a truly unique man, one who apparently came into being as a direct result of the Star Brand's paradoxical self-creation. He was seamlessly inserted into the timeline by the power of the Star Brand at some indeterminate point, and acted as the first (and single most notorious) host for the Star Brand's nigh-infinite power.
Immortality: after he accepted the Star Brand from the Old Man, Ken was rendered immortal. He can be killed, but he won't die. If brought to zero Health and Shift 0 Endurance, 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: while not ageless, Ken has been shown to be possessed of at least Poor (4) longevity, as an older version of himself (who was aged by five hundred years) only appeared about twenty years older than he is. He likely has at least a 2880 year life span; 70-25 (standard human life span minus his likely age when he gained the Star Brand) x 64 (power rank cubed) + 25 (again, his age) = 2905.
Limitations / Enhancements:
the Star Brand: for a time, Ken possessed the Star Brand, a device that could be used to draw forth an effectively infinite amount of energy from some unknown source. Ken never really learned how to channel an infinite amount of power from the thing, however. He typically manifested Star Brand effects at Amazing (50) rank, which was what he could manage when barely concentrating on said effect.
If he wanted to, Ken could increase the effect of any power he knew how to produce with the Star Brand. He could boost it to any rank, with a typical ceiling of Shift Z (500) unless noted otherwise in the specific power description. Ken typically didn't utilize his powers at this level unless it was absolutely necessary, however, as this level of energy output could have unforeseen consequences.
Furthermore, Ken could utilize more than one Star Brand effect at a time. Operating two powers at once required a successful Reason FEAT roll, and each additional power added a -1 CS penalty to this FEAT. In other words, he could theoretically use all of his Star Brand powers simultaneously, but this is difficult for him to concentrate on. Ken has demonstrated these Star Brand abilities so far:
* Damage Reduction: by spreading the Star Brand's energies throughout his body, Ken can achieve nigh invulnerability. If he's not concentrating, however, he can be hurt normally, and even killed - though his immortality would eventually counter that. When he spreads the Star Brand's energy throughout his body, Ken benefits from 8 CS of damage reduction where physical and energy attack are concerned.
* Energy Generation: by extending its energies outside himself, Ken 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 power rank Energy damage to everybody within Very Near distance (50 yards, at its standard intensity).
If he should increase the effect above Amazing (50) rank, Ken must pass a red power FEAT roll to focus it into a beam, as opposed to detonating everything within his immediate area. Furthermore, the blast effect is increased by one area for each +1 CS he adds to the power rank. For example, a Shift X (150) ranked explosion would affect everything within four areas of Ken.
* Environmental Independence: during his many adventures, Ken has demonstrated that the Star Brand allowed him to function without air. It is likely that he wields this power at Class 5000 rank, effectively neutralizing his need to breathe (save out of habit, of course). It is unknown, however, whether or not Ken needs to eat or drink in order to survive; he probably doesn't, but he may not know this.
* Flight: simply by willing it, Ken can move about in all three dimensions, at up to Amazing (50) speed (375 miles per hour) if he's not really concentrating. However, should he desire, he can kick his flight rank up to Beyond (infinite) speeds, though this would be dangerous in several ways. For instance, he could hit something exceptionally hard at these speeds.
Sure, he would eventually recover, thanks to his immortality, but it'd likely take a good long time; being scattered over several light years tends to cause a body some inconvenience. Furthermore, this would cause a planet an impressive amount of damage if he pulled this stunt in an atmosphere; again, he'd recover from the resultant plasma cloud, but this is rather inconvenient.
Especially for the natives. Finally, there's the simple matter of getting lost. Ken did that once while exploring the solar system, and he almost didn't make it back. If he flew too fast, too far, it would've been a good long while before Ken managed to make it back home (interstellar space is very, very big). This is why, if he wishes to enhance his speed, Ken usually limits himself to Shift Z (500) rank.
That being, of course, Mach 10 in earth's atmosphere.
* Portability: the Star Brand itself is easily portable, and Ken can move it about on his person as he sees fit. If he 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'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 weapon.
* Super Strength: while his strength has been considerably enhanced by the Star Brand (to its currently Amazing level), Ken can use the device to raise his lifting ability to astounding levels - Shift Z, or 500 tons - which doesn't add to his Health totals. Oddly enough, thanks to the Star Brand's belief-based nature, structural integrity doesn't affect this ability whatsoever.
In other words, Ken really could lift up a building, or a small town, or an ocean liner, etc., without it falling to pieces; luckily, he never took engineering or physics courses, or he might have thought differently. In addition to this, Ken could use his flight power to carry lifted items with similar, equivalent strength. If he dropped such items, however, the results would've been disastrous.
* Telekinesis: after he went insane, Ken managed to learn how to manipulate objects with the Star Brand's power without actually touching them. To date, he's only manifested this power once, but he wielded it with Amazing (50) ability. It's likely he could enhance its power as he can with his other Star Brand abilities, but he simply hasn't demonstrated it at those levels yet.
Driving / Motorcycles: Ken is a rather skilled driver of all sorts of two-wheeled vehicles, like motorcycles and dirt-bikes. He receives a +1 CS on all Control maneuver he attempts while operating such a vehicle, even in exceptionally rough terrain.
Martial Arts type B: during his adventuring career, Ken has demonstrated competent ability in a fight - invariably using his fists as weapons. As such, when making unarmed melee attacks, Ken may do so as though his Fighting rank was +1 CS higher than is listed above.
Repair and Tinkering: Ken is also a skilled auto mechanic, having worked at an auto repair shop for years (and having had to put his bike together after crashing it several times). His Reason in such matters should be considered +1 CS in rank.
Ken could easily rely upon Jenny Swensen for aid, should he need it, as the two developed a sort of friendship during their various meetings. Before he got them killed, he could have also relied upon his friend Myron (a psychologist) and his girlfriend Debbie for any sort of help they could provide. Finally, he's met (and sort of befriended) Keith Remsen, if that counts.
Originally, Ken wore a brown leather jacket with a Star Brand symbol on the front, brown leather pants, and blue gloves and boots while adventuring. However, after he went public with his powers, he donned a primarily black costume, with a sort of white pattern crossing it diagonal to the Star Brand logo over his heart, and white boots.
Ken has been diagnosed by his psychologist friend as being a loser. Seriously. He has serious ego problems, wanting everybody to think of him as a sort of great guy, even before he acquired the Star Brand. He tries to do the right thing, however, though he's often so unsure of himself that he nonetheless messes it up. He also feels very guilty about inadvertently destroying Pittsburgh.
Real Name: Kenneth Connell
Occupation: adventurer, former auto mechanic
Legal Status: American citizen with no criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: none
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: when he wielded the Star Brand, it's presence on his skin was kind of distinguishing, though he could move it to a place where it wouldn't normally be seen.
While riding his dirt bike in the hills outside of Pittsburgh, auto mechanic Ken Connell came across a blasted circle of forest. Investigating, he was greeted by an old man who, after interviewing him for a few short minutes, gave him the most powerful weapon in the universe: the Star Brand. Ken passed out from the physical shock of this, and when he woke up, the Old Man was dead.
In fact, it appeared that he wasn't even human, as when Ken found him, he appeared to be a sort of pink, fish-headed thing with loose skin. Burying the apparent alien, Ken went home to think about his new abilities, and confided in his old pal Myron, a psychologist who Ken trusted enough to talk about this bizarre occurrence. Though he didn't believe the alien bit, he was still wowed by Ken's ability to fly.
Though Myron tried to help him decide what to do, it took Ken about a year before he finally decided to help people with this amazing powers. During this time, he had various adventures across the earth, several of which involved the return of that Old Man, who tried to get Ken to give him the Star Brand back. Having gotten used to such power, however, Ken declined... violently.
Deciding at last to go public, he donned a costume made for him by his girlfriend, and Ken exposed his powers to the media in several spectacular ways. He was liked and adored by the public, which was what Ken always wanted, though this didn't last. It all came apart when he decided to attend a comic book convention as a guest of honor, and the creators of several comic books tore him apart.
After these folks pretty much insulted him for being stupid enough to fly about as a costumed 'hero', the Old Man again appeared to confront Ken, and this time, killed him. Spectacularly. In fact, the explosion the Old Man used to achieve this flattened the complex, killing at least five thousand people in addition to Ken himself. Of course, Ken got better.
His body, for the first time, assumed that pinkish regenerative form. In a panic, Ken made his way to Myron's place, who convinced him to get rid of the Star Brand once and for all. Feeling guilty about the deaths he had inadvertently caused, Ken didn't want anything else to do with the power. As such, he grabbed a bent iron weight and flew into the skies.
Remembering things the Old Man had revealed to him, about the creation of the White Event, Ken was going to get far away in order to release the Star Brand's power into the weight. Of course, he decided that ten miles up was probably good enough, and transferred the power over into that inanimate object. The resultant explosion ripped his body to shreds, and obliterated the city of Pittsburgh.
Again, however, this wasn't enough to kill Ken. His body eventually pulled itself back together once more, though he'd gone completely nuts after realizing what he'd done. Of course, he still had ten percent of the Star Brand's power flowing within him, so this made him unbelievably dangerous to have around. His son realized this when he finally managed to track him down.
You see, Ken's girlfriend discovered that she was pregnant several months before, and after the Pitt occurred, her son was violently born into the world. Trying to understand his place in the world, he tracked Ken down to get his help, but since the man was gibberingly insane, the so-called Star Child decided that he had to protect the world from Ken.
Given a choice of suffering permanent death or powerlessness, Ken chose powerlessness, and was returned to the earth without his portion of the Star Brand; his child was indeed powerful enough to take it from him. Of course, he was still crazy, and after he saw an apparition of his dead friend Myron, Ken accidentally drove his motorcycle off a cliff.
He didn't die, however. By this time, the Star Child had temporarily halted the process of death itself across the earth. Ken, though horribly burned and broken up by the wreckage of his bike, was still alive. In fact, he formed a sort of White Event cult in the ruins of Pittsburgh, and preached the gospel of his godhood until death returned to the earth, and he died yet again.
Once he died, Ken's body finally had an opportunity to heal itself, and he awoke anew in his old body, this time with his sanity returned to him. Realizing the horrible things he'd done, Ken resolved to help fix matters somewhat, when the Star Child teleported him (and everybody else that'd ever used the Star Brand's power) onto an asteroid in orbit around Jupiter.
He'd been delving into the origins of the Star Brand, you see, and discovered that it was spontaneously created at some indeterminate point when the universe folded in upon itself for a microsecond. As such, he resolved to trap the Star Brand in time before its continued existence destroyed the continuity of the universe as it was presently known.
In order to do this, however, he needed to absorb the energies of the Star Brand from those who currently wielded it (all three of the others), and then he needed to wedge Ken Connell himself into this time loop, since he was already there. You see, it was revealed that the Old Man was a much older version of himself, and that the Star Child was actually a younger version of Ken.
So, once he'd absorbed the Star Brand into himself, the Star Child took Ken and the Old man into time, altering their essences and minds until they fit into the places he needed them to be, so that this loop could be completed once and for all. While the Star Child's essence became what would become Ken Connell, Ken Connell's essence was transported into the past so he could become the Old Man.
And finally, the Old Man's essence was imparted into Ken Connell's baby while it was still within his girlfriend, Debbie. As such, Ken was finally able to atone for his horrible mistakes to some extent, as his sacrifice managed to heal the wounds the Star Brand inflicted upon the time stream, even if it meant he'd be doomed to repeat his actions over and over....
the Star Brand entry written with Ty R. States!
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