Arpad Barnett isn't a normal human... but he'd like to be. His problem is that he's got various technopsionic powers, both latent and active, that he not only doesn't understand, but has a hard time accepting. As such, the man is constantly having problems with both his sanity and his work.
Natural Psionics (Technopsi Powers):
Computer Link (s) (i): this intensity 10 skill allows Arpad to communicate with electronic systems directly. It lets him understand computer code as though it were his native tongue, whether it is currently being processed by a computer system or is merely printed out on paper.
Easy difficulty actions let Arpad sense the function of a program just by looking at it, whether it is active, dormant or listed on a printout. On the other hand, average actions let him make and monitor computer transmissions, either within a single machine or through connected networks.
Cyberspatial Projection (a) (w): his most recently discovered power, this art allows Arpad to project his mind into any cyberspace in his vicinity. Once he has done this, Arpad's consciousness can interact with traffic and travelers within said c-space normally, as though using a cyber deck.
Lacking cybernetic implants, Arpad has no software from which he can draw special abilities. However, he can eventually learn a power stunt for each of his other powers, stunts which will act as though they are his 'programs'. This power works for Arpad at intensity 10.
Device Sympathy (s) (w): the opposite of his computer link power, this skill lets Arpad sense what a device is 'feeling' at any given moment. Working almost like psychometry, technological sympathy can be used to tell who has used a device in the recent past, and where.
This is the power that gives Arpad the most trouble, since he cannot control it in the slightest. Thanks to this intensity 16 power, Arpad is always at the mercy of all electromechanical devices in his area, which constantly shout out what they're feeling to him since he can 'hear' them.
Mesmermechanism (a) (w): this art, the use of which normally results in Arpad needing therapy, allows him to take mental control of any device. If Arpad passes an easy difficulty action with this intensity 10 power, the device he uses it on will do his bidding.
The thing to keep in mind when using this art is that devices can only do what they were designed to do. Guns shoot, cars drive, etc... Furthermore, if an overridden device has an inherent Willpower score, such is added in opposition against the activation of this power.
Technical Intuition (s) (w): this intensity 13 skill gives Arpad an instinctive understanding of technology - what it is, what it can do. When holding (or even looking at) any device, he automatically knows how it works, and how to operate it properly.
Arpad will immediately sense any sort of booby trap or other impediment to operating an item, and is allowed an easy difficulty power action to bypass them. This power also works on any item built by psi powers, whether it is of a technological bent or not.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Baseball Bat (s): carried on missions before he got his new cane, this bat is a slightly more menacing item. Made from titanium, a m.s. 18 metal, this metallic bat can be used to inflict Arpad's Strength +4 in bashing damage with every attack.
Cane (s): this weapon is an Agency 13 special. Built out of titanium, the cane has a m.s. of 18, and has a lead-lined chamber concealing a secret blade. Arpad can use his cane to inflict damage per his bat, or may inflict his Strength +3 in slashing damage with its edge.
Laser Pistol (a): carried on some missions when heightened firepower is required, this weapon (which usually gives Arpad fits) is another Agency 13 device. It can be fired to inflict his Agility +5 in energy damage per blast, and has up to twenty shots per battery charge.
Boxing (s): an Army-given skill, one that Arpad has honed over the years, is his ability to fight unarmed when necessary. When engaged in weaponless melee, Arpad may divide his pre-cardplay action score between two attacks, the last of which will occur as a contingent action.
Clubs (s): though he is trained in the use of firearms, Arpad has found that their chatter is too distracting under normal circumstances, so he has learned how to fight with simple, non-mechanical items like canes, bats, and so on. He uses all such weapons without penalty.
Detective / Espionage (i): since he has taken to investigative work of late, Arpad has trained with some of Mike 013's colleagues in the fine art of detective work. As such, the man is now well versed in the principles of surveillance, interrogation, and criminal investigation work.
Electronics (i): going to college after his discharge from the Army, Arpad became a competent electronic engineer, having a Masters degree in this field. He can design, build or repair electronic devices, whether analog or digital in nature, at a reduced difficulty.
Languages / English and Hungarian (i): thanks to his upbringing, Arpad was raised speaking English as well as Hungarian, the native tongue of his mother. Though he doesn't really use the latter language much, he can still speak it with ease, and can even read and write in that tongue.
Marksmanship (a): a part of his Army training, Arpad knows how to handle guns. Whether he's firing a standard, semi-automatic or fully automatic rifle or pistol, or even freaky weapons like a shotgun, Arpad may do so at one difficulty level lower than is usually necessary.
Military / United States (w): the source of two of his talents, this skill described the time Arpad spent in the Army - at least, until he was seriously wounded in action. Though out of the service for years, Arpad still has an instinctual understanding of military protocols and procedures.
Arpad is a member of the investigative group known as Agency 13, and as such can count its membership as reliable contacts. Furthermore, the guy's got plenty of military contacts due to his time in the service, and though many of them think he's nuts they'd still help him out if he asked.
Peace of Mind: more than anything else, Arpad strives for inner peace. The problem is that, in order to do so, the man requires outer peace as well - in other words, he probably won't be happy until he is trapped on a deserted island somewhere, with no technological items to speak of.
Arpad doesn't do costumes. He isn't a super hero, and thinks most of them are crazy. As such, he wears comfy clothing when he's working for the Agency. These include blue jeans, a white tank top, brown cowboy boots, his old dog tags, and a pair of Oakley ™ sunglasses.
Arpad is troubled, as he never really got a handle on his technological powers. While he's a dedicated, efficient fellow, Arpad is constantly distracted by the hoots and hollers given off by high tech things in his vicinity, and this tends to make him a perpetually grumpy adventurer.
Real Name: Sgt. Arpad Barnett, Ret.
Occupation: professional investigator, former Army trooper
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: divorced
Alias(es), if any: a few throwaway, one-use aliases
Group Affiliation: Agency 13, former U.S. Army operative
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Arpad wears his hair somewhat long, as all of it is about five inches long, and walks with a pronounced limp.
Arpad is the child of Jupiter Barnett, a World War II veteran, and Duci Borbala, his Hungarian bride. Though raised in the States, Arpad was forced to learn both English and his mother's tongue; Jupiter didn't necessarily like the idea, but he loved his wife and deferred to her wishes.
That's how Arpad was named Arpad after all, instead of something like Alan or Joey. His childhood was sort of strange though, in that both of his parents were keeping secrets. Not the kind of secrets that most parents do, mind you, but Secrets. You see, super powers run in the family.
Jupiter, for instance, got his name as a result of a freak accident at birth, one which gave him impressive electrical powers. This accident wouldn't have even happened, mind you, if not for the fact that Arpad's grandfather was an entreatist mage specializing in the Greek gods.
Arpad's mother, on the other hand, is a telekinetic of the highest order, trained by Mindwatch back in the day until she was a veritable overmind in that discipline of power. His parents' powers complemented each other somewhat, and they fought Nazis and other villains in their day.
With all this ominous history backing him up, it was a surprise to both of Arpad's parents that he didn't develop powers himself. His big sister did, after all, becoming a heroine in her own right; her career didn't last long though, for she was eventually 'vanished' by B.A.H. operatives.
Since Arpad had no ascendant abilities, his parents didn't have to have 'that' talk with him when he was in high school, and he grew up relatively normal. He joined the Army, hoping to serve his country like his father did, and was subsequently wounded in action in the 'Nam back in '71.
This is where Arpad developed his trademark limp, the one which forces him to rely on a cane to walk normally. Shipped home and honorably discharged since he couldn't really walk well, much less run, Arpad had to find himself a 'real' job in 'the world'. So, he went to college.
Drawn to the world of electronics, Arpad went for a degree in this area, and wound up with a Master's by the time he got married. Settling down to raise a family, Arpad got a good job with the phone company (this was a bit before the whole baby Bells thing went down) and had some kids.
Imagine his surprise when all of his high tech toys started talking to him. This was because a strange confluence of his parents' powers, which didn't manifest until he turned thirty, combined to form his strange technopsionics.
Unfortunately for Arpad, his powers didn't bode well for his sanity.
Slowly growing more edgy, Arpad's life fell apart over the next decade, his wife leaving him due to his irrational behavior (and all that screaming at the television). She took the kids with her when she left, which only made Arpad even more despondent. He even tried killing himself.
Imagine his surprise when he was rescued from a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge by his mom! After she took him home with her own impressive powers, she and Jupiter explained their histories to their son, and that he wasn't crazy... just possessed of strange, special powers!
While they hoped that this would ease Arpad's mind, it only served to overturn the last part of Arpad's structured life. He lost his mind, and spent several years in an insane asylum. It's taken lots of drugs and therapy, but Arpad finally came back to the real world.
The only problem was that he couldn't work in his chosen field, what with him hearing the screaming of devices as he repairs them; there's no such thing as anesthetics for inanimate objects. So, having nothing else for it, Arpad started to wander the earth, looking for a purpose in life.
It was at about this point that he was contacted by Mike Jensen, a young man wearing a bevy of accursed high tech devices, who had a job offer for him. He had somehow become aware of Arpad's abilities, and wanted him to use them in his nascent investigative firm, Agency 13.
Unwilling to do the 'super hero' thing, Arpad turned him down at first, but Mike changed his mind by explaining the Agency's true purpose: it was to look into weird happenings the world over, in order to better predict them on alternate timelines. This because their world was a nexus of sorts.
Events on this earth were mirrored in countless other timelines, you see. Having no other job prospects, Arpad agreed to work for Mike, though he wasn't too happy about it. This because he'd have to go back to school, after a fashion, learning investigative techniques from Mike's 'peers'.
Soon enough, Arpad was ready for Agency work, but to his displeasure Mike constantly sent him out to look into various high tech crimes, or other bizarre events that involved incredibly advanced technology. Mike only did this because he wanted to help Arpad out, though.
He figured that, if Arpad was exposed to enough high tech chicanery, he'd finally become accustomed to his powers - perhaps enough that he could at long last control them (and turn off the voices). So far though, this hasn't worked out as well as Mike hoped.
In fact, it's only served to make Arpad surlier than ever...!
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