BastionA compound just outside Fallujah, Iraq*"Sigma-Two, report"*
Even with the volume turned down, the sound made him jump slightly. "Ooo... big, bad Ranger"
, he thought. "Get it together, soldier."
He keyed his throat mike twice: the ready signal. *"Roger, Sigma-Two. Proceed."*
Sgt. Michael Rooker signaled the rest of his Ranger squad to follow. Their task was simple but mission-critical: take out the guard outpost without alerting the compound. They moved out with silent, practiced precision.
A guard wandering outside smoking a cigarette was the first. Sgt. Rooker came in low and from behind. His hand closed over the guard's mouth and nose, jerking the head to the side. Insert the K-Bar knife into the foramen magnum, the hole at the base of the skull, and scramble the brains: one down, no noise.
The breach was next. A small flexible camera was inserted under the door to show them the room's occupants: three men. Two were playing cards at a rickety folding table while a third with his back to the door was manning a radio: that one would be first. They moved into position surrounding the door and readied their suppressed MP-5's. A small shaped breaching charge was placed on the knob - risky, but quieter than kicking it in. Video cameras on their helmets were switched on to relay the action back to base. Michael held up his fingers: three, two, one, *whump*
Sgt. Rooker was the first in, eyes on the radio-man. He depressed the trigger, sending silence fire into his back. Even in the close confines, the sound was barely more than the rattle of a bicycle chain and the clatter of falling brass shells. The card-players were similarly caught unawares and were quickly dispatched by other squad members. A chorus of whispered "clear"s followed and Michael could briefly relax. He keyed his throat mike: "Sigma-Two, clear. Four bandits down." "Hey, Sarge... you need to see this."
Michael walked over as the specialist turned over the "radio-man"'s body. The dead eyes of a ten-year-old boy stared up at the ceiling... and his killer. Michael staggered backwards... a kid. He had killed a damned kid. He stumbled over to the cracked sink and vomited for what seemed hours. "You okay, Sarge?"
---------------------------------------Landsthul Regional Medical Center, several months later"Sgt. Rooker reports as ordered, sir."
Colonel Shepperd looked up from the file he was perusing, then closed it. Michael could see his name on the front - it was a thick file. "Take a seat, Sergeant."
The Colonel watched with an analytical mind as Michael sat - despite months of therapy and treatment, the younger man was still tortured. Tension sang out in every movement and every expression was haunted by that terrible event."Sgt. Rooker, I'll be brief; I have a choice to make. I can either recommend your discharge under Regulation 625-200 Chapter 5, thereby wasting a highly-trained and valuable asset. Or I can send you back to your unit where you might and most probably will break, jeopardizing not only your life but the lives of your entire squad. As you might imagine, neither of these possibilities appeals to me."
Michael started to open his mouth in protest but Shepperd raised his hand to stop him. The Colonel's voice softened into his 'therapist mode'. "Michael, you've been through hell. Anybody would have cracked after that, and anyone who wouldn't isn't fit to wear the uniform. I cannot in good conscience allow you to return to the field, but that doesn't mean you can't still serve."
Sgt. Rooker's apprehension changed to curious interest. "A third possibility has presented itself. Have you heard of AEGIS?" Michael nodded - they were some sort of anti-super enforcement agency. "Well, son, it turns out they are in need of someone who has your training and mind-set; someone who has a keen tactical mind, extensive combat experience, in excellent physical condition… and who will not kill. Interested?"
-------------------------------------Emerald City AEGIS Field Office
<<Michael flashes back to the DNAscend process & his training, then reports for duty to the Agent in Charge>>
Bastion - PL 10
Strength 5, Stamina 7, Agility 8, Dexterity 5, Fighting 8, Intellect 3, Awareness 2, Presence 2
Agile Feint, Assessment, Benefit: AEGIS Agent, Close Attack 5, Equipment 1, Great Endurance, Improved Critical: Shield Attacks, Inspire 4, Luck 2, Power Attack, Set-up, Skill Mastery: Acrobatics, Takedown, Teamwork
Acrobatics 4 (+12), Expertise: Tactics 5 (+8), Insight 6 (+8), Intimidation 3 (+5), Perception 6 (+8), Persuasion 6 (+8), Ranged Combat: Thrown Weapons 8 (+13), Technology 2 (+5), Treatment 2 (+5)
Diamond-Alloy Shield (Easily Removable (indestructible))
. . Shield Block: Enhanced Trait 8 (Traits: Dodge +4 (+13), Parry +4 (+13))
. . Shield Usage
. . . . Shield Bash: Strength-based Damage 2 (DC 22; Penetrating 3)
. . . . Shield Deflect: Deflect 13 (Reflect; Reduced Range: close)
. . . . Shield Fling: Burst Area Affliction 10 (1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, DC 20; Alternate Resistance (Dodge), Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, Selective; Instant Recovery, Limited: Ranged Attack only, Limited Degree)
. . . . Shield Throw: Strength-based Damage 2 (DC 22; Increased Range: ranged [5 extra ranks], Penetrating 3)
DNAscendant Program (Advantages: Great Endurance)
. . Leaping: Leaping 2 (Leap 30 feet at 8 miles/hour; Check Required: DC 11 - Athletics)
. . Speed: Speed 2 (Speed: 8 miles/hour, 120 feet/round; Check Required: DC 11 - Athletics)
Binoculars, Commlink, Lock Release Gun, Multi-tool, Restraints
Grab, +13 (DC Spec 15)
Shield Bash: Strength-based Damage 2, +13 (DC 22)
Shield Fling: Burst Area Affliction 10 (DC Dog/Fort/Will 20)
Shield Throw: Strength-based Damage 2, +13 (DC 22)
Throw, +13 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +13 (DC 20)
Honor: Michael has a very strong sense of honor and duty stemming from his time in the service. He is also highly patriotic.
Identity: Michael Rooker
Motivation: Atonement: Michael is haunted by an incident in Falujah where he mistakenly killed a child.
Responsibility: Bastion is an agent of AEGIS
Dodge 13/9, Parry 13/9, Fortitude 9, Toughness 7, Will 9
Abilities 80 + Powers 18 + Advantages 21 + Skills 21 (42 ranks) + Defenses 11 = 151
Credit-where-credit-is-due time: thanks to TheJoshie for "Anthem" - the source of much inspiration for this build.