Created by Andy Hicks
Will is an altered human, a once-ordinary Marine (if there is such a thing) who was exposed to a horrible chemical weapon that changed his physiology forever. In addition to his enhanced physical abilities, Will now has a preternatural sense for all things dangerous to him!
Danger Sense (w): Will's only real power, aside from his exceptional Agility score, this ability allows him to know when any sort of danger awaits him, either direct or potential. Functioning at intensity 15, this power also allows Will to dodge as if his Agility score were that high.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Canes (s): these steel-reinforced wooden canes have an effective material strength of 14, and as such, Will can use them to inflict his Strength +3 in bashing damage with each painful strike (and he does, too - Will's a veritable master with these weapons).
Sticky Boots / Gloves (a): the adhesive compound that these items are coated with allow Will to do the whole spider-climbing thing, with intensity 5 ability. This is enough to stick to most standard materials, such as brick, concrete, asphalt, and the like.
Acrobatics (a): trained to possess innate maneuverability by the government, Will is now nimble and dextrous by nature. If he has the room to maneuver, he can reduce the difficulty of any action intended to dodge an attack or reduce the damage caused by a fall.
Boxing (s): in the event that he should lose his trademark canes, Will has the ability to spar unarmed. With this skill, he can divide his total action score between two unarmed melee attacks per exchange, the last of which will occur as a contingent action.
Guns (a): his intense Marines training has granted Will the ability to utilize just about any hand-held projectile weapon with ease; any attack he makes with such a weapon will lower the inherent difficulty of said attack by one difficulty level.
Military (w): Will used to be a U.S. Marine. As such, dealing with military protocols is like riding a bicycle for him (read: unforgettable), and he can decipher military orders and plans easily. Further, he can use this skill in any attempt to lead a body of fighting men.
Skill / Canes 2 (s): though he can fight with fists or guns, Will simply prefers to use his specialized canes in combat. When using them (or other canes), Will can make attacks as if the difficulty of said attack were one level lower than normal, resolving such with either his Strength or Agility.
Thanks to his long past in government service, Will has at least one contact in both the C.I.A. and the United States armed forces (their exact identities have yet to be revealed, but are available whenever Will calls in his 'markers').
Repentant: after years of doing the dirty work of just about anybody that could pay, Will reached the breaking point... and is trying to redeem himself in any way he can. To this end, he does everything within his power to disrupt the shady operations of his former employers.
Hardcore's 'uniform' consists of loose fitting jeans, a sleeveless Marine-issued T-shirt and combat boots, along with his special adhesive gloves. He also frequently wears sunglasses when moving about in public during the daytime, to avoid drawing attention to himself.
Of course the clothes, tattoos, and canes usually do that trick pretty nicely.
Hardcore's shirts are also equipped with leather harnesses sewn into the back that act as holsters for his canes.
Personality (in the words of Andy):
Hardcore isn't a very pleasant person. A compulsively suspicious, foul-mouthed native Texan, he is self-confident to a fault. This causes him to say whatever is on his mind, whether good or (usually) bad, and almost always prevents him from seeing other people's points of view.
He is also prone to bull-headedly sticking to his ideas on how to handle situations, no matter how strong the argument against his tactics, or how much trouble they may cause. And his strong aversion to taking orders from anyone - born from his many troublesome years in service to one agency or another - doesn't help matters either.
Real Name: Will Cross
Occupation: mercenary, adventurer
Legal Status: American citizen, legally dead
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: Robert Douglas, Rodney Greer
Group Affiliation: none; former Marine, former CIA 'contractor', former agent of the Plebian Federation, occasional merc in the service of the Direct Action Americans and various other vigilante groups
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Will has a standard U.S. Marines tattoo on his right arm, with 'Semper Fi' on it and everything, and a sort of barbed wire tattoo on his left arm.
Will Cross was a marine serving in "Operation Desert Storm" when his platoon, while helping retake a city in Kuwait, were subjected to the effects of an Iraqi chemical weapon used to sabotage a building. His entire platoon, along with several civilians in the area, were killed. Will, on the other hand, mysteriously survived, but was thrown into a coma.
When a second wave of soldiers reached the area, they saved the fallen soldier. Upon hearing of Will's improbable survival, the CIA took special interest in his case. Suspecting something incredible about Will, they reported him killed in action, effectively erasing any evidence of his existence. The CIA then carted him off for their own purposes.
When Will finally came to after months spent unconscious in a secret hospital ward, hidden away by the CIA, he and the agency were surprised to find that not only did he survive the ambush, but also that the chemical weapon had actually served to greatly augment his Strength, Endurance, and especially his Agility.
They immediately went about training him to become one of their ultimate operatives, schooling him in acrobatics, several disciplines of the martial arts, and in the use of two weapons specially designed for him: a pair of steel-reinforced canes that could be used as weapons, while allowing him to move about and travel through the world without extra impediment.
Canes are very unassuming, but can be used as blunt weapons. For instance, Will could go through an airport without hassle, because security would never be on the lookout for them as weapons. Along with the canes, he was equipped with special adhesive gloves and boots that would allow him to climb walls and ceilings, helping him to sneak into and around highly secure buildings.
Finally, he chose his new code name - Hardcore.
Hardcore initially welcomed his change in occupation, and went on to participate in assassinations, coups, and any other unsavory tasks he was assigned to complete on the agency's behalf. After a certain amount of time though, he realized that he could perform similar deeds for organizations and individuals in the private sector - with much greater benefit for himself.
He became a mercenary for hire, performing dirty deeds underground for anyone willing to meet his price. But that would only last for so long. Hardcore could no longer ignore the consequences that his selfish, immoral actions were having on countless innocents. He could no longer aid those who sought to advance only their own villainous agendas, usually with dangerous implications for the rest of society.
His conscience finally overcame him. Hardcore has decided to completely sever all ties with the shadowy entities he had once worked for, and dedicate himself to trying to undermine them (and anyone else like them) at every opportunity, believing that to be his only path to redemption. Of course, this change of heart makes Hardcore a very dangerous man to his previous employers.
Not only is he intent on preventing the advancement of their goals, but as a party to numerous illegal operations, he has the ability to expose them to others. Because of this, Hardcore is now constantly on the run from these organizations, who will stop at nothing to hunt him down and eliminate him as a threat to their planned conquests.
Of course, exposing these parties to the general public would also expose himself, and put him in even greater danger - at least in his mind. Thus Hardcore is intent on pursuing his crusade in secret, never letting his past come to light.
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