The Armored Assassin
Vanguard-Enhanced Black Skull
Imparted Knowledge: The Armored Assassin has the most of the skills Vanguard possessed in life, holding in his head a majority of Vanguard’s scientific and technical expertise. However, because his brain doesn’t possess the same raw intellect enhancements that Vanguard or other Teslas possess, he doesn’t match Vanguard for raw intellect, or in the ability to learn NEW information.
Mimicked Tesla Expertise: The Armored Assassin has Tesla knowledge artificially implanted into his skull, allowing him to reconstruct any Tesla device that Vanguard built in life. However, because he is not a Tesla by genetics, he lacks the ‘flashes of insight’ for new devices.
Urban Commando Training: The Armored Assassin still retains his full Urban Commando training, making him skilled in a full suite of skills, from combat to persuasion to demolitions to stealth to urban survival.
Energy Pistols: The Armored Assassin has replaced the trick pistols of his mainstream counterpart with twin particle blaster pistols, featuring numerous firing modes.
Tesla Armor: The Armored Assassin wears a suit of light power armor that features numerous pieces of integrated Tesla technology. Among other features, the armor features a combat AR overlay, teleportation circuitry, and is constructed out of a Tesla metallurgical compound.
Tesla Gadgets: The Armored Assassin carries numerous Tesla gadgets of various purposes on his person, keeping a ‘utility belt’ of such attached to the armor. Chief among these gadgets are several varieties of energy grenades.
Tesla Obsessiveness: The Armored Assassin possesses mental traits common to most Teslas, such as extreme obsession with their area of expertise and detrimental hyperfocus on scientific or technical problems/curiosities.
Pursued by Reaper-103, Marcus Solokov AKA The Black Skull found his most precious asset, his regenerative healing factor, stolen from him. He was approached by Arachnid Prime, who offered to restore his healing factor in exchange for his servitude and access to the prisoners of Blanch Correctional. In our world, he said no, rejecting Arachnid Prime and setting himself on the path to true heroism. In another world, he said yes, falling under Arachnid Prime’s sway.
But in the Microverse, the realm of worlds that should not be, that could not be, improbabilities that were too impossible to exist but too feasible to die…..the realm where the existence you live in is doomed and dying, rotting away into the raw soup of creation….Marcus Solokov took another path.
He took several different paths.
One path was to look to his enemies for advantages. Marcus knew that in order to not be beholden to anyone, he needed to create a ‘cure’ himself, but he wasn’t anywhere near smart enough to do so. But, he had heard rumors….
Vanguard, once upon a time, investigated braintaping technologies as he neared death. The experiments had been unsuccessful, creating only partial records and faulty AI copies of his mind. However, what was a failure for Vanguard could be a boon for Marcus, if he could just take Vanguard’s enhanced intellect, Tesla abilities, and/or knowledge of superhuman genetics.
Marcus spent his time tracking down Vanguard’s minions, tech, and bases, under the guise of tracking down dangerous criminals, preventing his organization from re-appearing, or even looking for items or things to bait his ex-teammate Zurich. Although suspicious, the mayor allowed Marcus to pursue these leads apart from the group, as he WAS bringing super-villains to justice and pieces of Vanguard tech into federal custody….
Eventually, Marcus found what he was looking for. Pieces of Vanguard’s braintaping apparati, containing digital records of parts of his mind. Marcus carefully studied the records, partitioning out only the pieces he thought would be useful. When everything was in place, he threw the switch and downloaded parts of Vanguard’s mind into his own.
Marcus had succeeded in what he wanted to do; he downloaded Vanguard’s technical expertise, the multitudes of information stored in his Metahuman mind, without also downloading personal memories or pieces of Vanguard’s personality. However, while much smarter now, he still didn’t have the expertise to fix his own genome. Which, of course, meant that he needed to find more braintapes, and download more into himself, so he could become even smarter….
By the end of this process, Marcus downloaded every piece of technical knowledge that existed on Vanguard’s braintapes, including his memories of how to create and use his own Tesla technology. Along with this, came Vanguard’s Tesla impulses, his mad science proclivities. Now battling his own mind as he attempted to continue to enhance his own intellect artificially, Marcus built himself a suit full of Tesla gadgetry, and became The Armored Assassin, still questing to fix his own DNA.