Enter Void

From LJ Archive

Some of you have probably heard of this website. It’s a site for sequential art battles.
You create a fighter and submit it. If it’s accepted, you then battle other members characters by drawing comic strips of a minimum predetermined length, and having them voted upon by other members. The one with the most votes wins, and has their strip considered the cannon events for those characters.

Quoting from the Void FAQ:
There are four different types of battles, Normal, Trophy, Scar and Death.

  • In Normal battles, nothing is on the line other than a win or a loss.
  • In a Trophy Match, a piece of your fighter’s clothing, weaponry, or any other item is on the line. Should you lose, the predetermined article is now the property of the victor.
  • In a Scar Match, you must leave a mark or a wound on your opponent. Should you lose a Scar Match, your fighter will be retired and you will not be able to issue or accept any challenges until you submit a new Design Sheet indicating/depicting the new scar.
  • In a Death Match, your fighter’s existence is on the line. Should you lose a Death Match, your fighter is killed, and they cannot be brought back out of retirement. However, you are allowed to submit all new poses, a new design sheets, bio and intro pages for your dead fighter if you would like them to be Undead or a Zombie in some form. The new design and story must reflect their undead transformation. Resubmitting the old images and saying “He’s a vampire now” is unacceptable. If your fighter is immortal or cannot be killed, DO NOT ENTER ANY DEATH MATCHES. If they die in a Death Match, it does not matter what your bio says. They are dead in VOID.

There are other rarer forms of battle too, such as tag-team matches, tournaments and the annual “Armageddon”, as well as others. There are also the “Beyond Battles“, where there is no opponent. These “battles” exist solely for the purpose of plot progression. Additions to your characters story.

Most battles tend to take place in Void City, something that developed over time, and apparently not an original intention of the website. A like it, many other pieces of accepted chronology and background detail have similarly developed. One is the VCPD’s hatred of Furries (ostensibly because some members go PO’d at a surge in furry members, who rapidly left, wasting peoples time), and the counter forces of the “Furry Enclave” (freedom fighters/terrorists). The VCPD is run by one Paddy McBastard, which should serve to give you a general impression of the place.
Some storylines are silly, some are tounge in cheek, and some are genuinely disturbing.

Rough version of some background detail (a poster) for the intro story..

So, I’ve joined up, and I’ve been working on a character. What follows in the information I’ve worked out about her, and I’d like it if folks could point out any glaring holes. I’ll be posting it to the Void forums, but only once I’ve fleshed out the physical designs some more.

My fighter is a furry-type critter, but a human guy is part of her profile. But that’s okay to do it seems. I intend to make it a serious run at dealing with some dark subjects, and making lots of use of the Beyond Battles.

1. Sex/Gender

2. Age
4 literally, 19-20 visually, mentally about 14-15.

3. Height/Weight

4. Color of Hair/Eyes/Skin
Light grey fur and hair, shimmering/crystalline.
Mid-grey eyes
Dark grey/black skin

5. Posture
Good but introverted. Slightly hunched when relaxed. Reverts to combat posture when threatened.

6. Appearance (Good-looking, over/underweight, clean, neat, pleasant, untidy; shape of face/head/limbs)
Attractive, clean, scruffy. Slim, digitgrade, mesomorphic body type. Currently measures point-four (variable) on the Anima-Scale (conceptual scale for quick categorisation, perhaps used by VCPD and other agencies? Zero being an animal, 1 being human. Neko 0.75, generic furry 0.5, were-type creatures 0.25).

7. Defects (deformities, abnormalities, birthmarks, diseases)
Minor build defects. Including, but not exclusive to; Flaw in instinctual-level visual configuration. Spectral compression not taken into account with inclusion of wider-than-visual eyesight range. Upshot being that “natural” reactions to set colours (green and blue being calm, red being a danger or tension colour) are slightly spectrum-shifted. Knock-on effect in characters choice of clothing colours (colour, not hue).
Lab destroyed before the full default AI base personality could be installed.
For the same reason, a number of features were also never installed (such as chameleiod fur-patination function).

8. Heredity (inherited traits from character’s family)
Created as an advanced prototype for the PRC (Peoples Republic of Canada) Army, by an outside contractor. Installed with combat-related procedural memories from several test sources. Includes firearms usage, but is mainly hand-to-hand combat in a mixture of styles. There was also installation of some declarative memories to give an instant starting point by which orders and directions could be given, rather than by programming through the instinctual interface APIs. Some installation of semantic memories was to be attempted to allow the MANC to be tested on basic infiltration techniques, but the research facility was destroyed before that could be completed. Some engram leakage may however have occurred from the skills donor subjects, working into the MANC’s subconscious over the subsequent time outside the lab, and triggered by similar experiences there. The majority of any non-uploaded traits would be minor from any of mixed races of lab staff, but mostly from the post-theft “work” of Dr Henry Morrison, her abductor.

1. Social Class (lower, middle, upper)

2. Occupation (Type of work, hours of work, income, condition of work, union or non-union, attitude towards organization, suitability for work)
Thief. Dr Henry has been using Crystal for numerous small robberies, and living off the proceeds. Until coming to Void, nothing of any notable risk or huge value has been at stake. Doing this has led to her being shot several times, but she has responded with far superior skills every time, bordering on overkill. On Henrys orders, she has been told not to kill anyone. He doesn’t want them too high on police radar.

3. Education (amount, kind of schools, marks, favourite subjects, poorest subjects, aptitudes)
Minimal. Most of her education is in the form of the memories uploaded into her at the lab, and what she has picked up on the subsequent 3 years on the run. Her only notable subject is that Henry taught her how to operate some of the functions of her own upload interface. Some being the operative word, as he placed limits on the user account so no extreme modifications that might threaten his control could be made.

4. Home Life (Parents living, earning power, orphan, parents separated or divorced, parents’ habits, parents’ mental development, parents’ vices, neglect, character’s marital status)
What passes for Crystals home life is six months of semi-foetal memory in a containment tank while her subsystems were tested, followed by intensive deep-insertion skills programming. Only the initial phase of semantic memories had been completed when the laboratory suffered a catastrophic incident, where Dr Morrison took advantage of the situation, stealing her and as much equipment as he could carry, before sabotaging his section to cover his escape.
The subsequent three years at first had Dr Morrison in hiding with Crystal to ensure they were not being pursued, followed by a long time travelling from city to city, pulling off minor robberies to provide living money. During this time, the doctor left Crystals memory state incomplete and began conditioning her into obedience to him. He often left her unattended in dangerous areas and let her be attacked, then would comfort her and speed any necessary recovery. “I’m the only one who loves you. I’m the only one you can trust.”
After a year, on the anniversary of their escape, her “birthday” as he called it, he began to take advantage of his control over her, sexually, and has been doing so frequently since. Her body is quite capable of meeting the biology of this, but her mind is not. It upsets her a lot, but she has been conditioned to do what Henry says. And afterall, no one else loves her. There is no one else to turn to. Coming to the dense urban sprawl of Void however, to hide from the doctors former employers after he attempted to sell weapons plans on the black market, it is questionable as to whether the doctor will be able to keep her from interacting completely with those who don’t want to harm her.
The doctor has tweaked her responses slightly without her knowledge. Specifically while she can suppress most pain, he has created a workaround for when the pain is caused by him. This is again a measure to further enforce control on her when she disappoints or upsets him.

5. Race
MANC-(ap). Military Anthropomorphic Nano Construct (advanced prototype). A pseudo-biological entity created using nano-cells, and in a composite anthropomorph form-factor. Designed for durability, covert urban insertion and to be both field configurable and upgradable.

6. Religion and/or Nationality
None. Though despite foetal memories, she has learnt to accept Dr Morrison as he creator/father/god. Made in The Peoples Republic of Canada.

7. Place in Community (‘leader among friends’, clubs, sports)
Isolated. That person that if you see, never makes eye contact and shys away.

8. Political affiliations.
None. She has not been exposed to enough culture to form any, and loyalty programming had not been installed at time of theft. Her loyalty is to Henry.

9. Amusements/Hobbies (books, newspapers, magazines he/she reads, etc.)
Being rather limited in her interaction with people, she amuses herself with very simple things. Beams of light through cracks, pebbles, the curling patterns of smoke (which she does, mainly for this purpose and because it “tickles” inside).

10. Time Period/Era (social structure and how it pertains to your character)
Near future.

1. Moral Standards
She knows most of what she does is wrong, but can’t help but do what she’s told.

2. Personal Premise/Ambition
On some level, she knows what Henry does to her is wrong and that he is stifling her. Though she would never admit it to him, she often dreams of playing out in the sun, away from him.

3. Frustrations
That the doctor insists on her going out only at night, whereas he can go at any time, leaving her alone and only “meeting” the sort of people who go out at night in the areas where the doctor sends her.
A nagging undefined feeling that what the doctor does to her is wrong, but she can’t do anything about it and isn’t sure why.
The knowledge that there must be a better way to live than stealing from others, but that Henry won’t consider them.

4. Temperament (choleric, easygoing, pessimistic, optimistic, etc.)
Innocent. The only part of a personality that was uploaded into her were the child and early-teen years of a generic AI base pattern. Given the right circumstances (IE, non-combative, and away from Dr Morrison), she would probably be very kindly, and eager to finally have friends.

5. Attitude toward Life (resigned, militant, defeatist, etc.)
Alternately crushed and joyful. Life is a dark place where you sleep through the days and go out only at night, where you have to hide from people who will hurt you and fight people who’re there to stop you from stealing their things. But every so often, something simple and beautiful occurs for a moment. Just enough to stop the light going out.

6. Complexes (obsessions, inhibitions, superstitions, phobias, etc.)
Finds it very difficult to talk to people, but hasn’t often had the chance.

7. Extrovert? Introvert? Ambivert?

8. Abilities (languages, talents)
Very strong, very flexible, very durable. Has inate knowledge of several defensive and offensive hand-to-hand disciplines.
Due to her smoking, her systems tend to concentrate the toxins into a pearl-like substance which she has the bad habit of spitting on the ground. This then tends to dissolve a small hole in whatever it lands on. This also can mean she has the option of spitting it at people if so inclined.
While she currently only knows English, she can learn sequential information very quickly once it’s been parsed by her upload terminal. Literally being able to re-encode the data into chemically stored information and make it a part of herself.
In theory this can also apply to DNA. If she were able to identify the portion of a persons genes that gave them a certain trait, the terminal could eventually transcode it and apply it to her. It would usually be easier and quicker however to program the new feature from scratch rather than translate it, except in the case of something little understood (such as some potent mental powers). Another theoretical use of this feature, could be breeding of sorts. Between MANC units, it could allow combination of best features and possibly into a new unit if nanocells were significantly different enough from the originals. With DNA transcoding, could potentially cross-breed with just about anything.
While major body adaptations take several days to incorporate, in critical circumstances, instinct can cause some stored adaptations to be loaded in a matter of seconds. However this can cause gross tissue damage and great pain due to cellular heating and specific tissue expansion (such as spontaneous wrist-blade growth, which creates heat but can also temporarily sever muscles, tendons, and at very least, skin).
Under severe damage conditions. The biology of her cellular structure means can cut off blood flow within seconds to damaged arteries and veins, meaning she doesn’t bleed a lot. Fluids are then rerouted through secondary veins and capillaries. A similar sequence occurs if major nerves are damaged. Signals are rerouted through peripheral nerves. Functional, but on greatly reduced capacity.
Under extreme damage conditions. While her brain is a specialised organ, the information within it is backed up through her entire structure. Thanks to the redundancy given by excellent implementation of Information Theory, Crystal should be able to loose up to 80% of her body mass and still be mentally recoverable, though regenerating that number of cells would take weeks if not months and the memories of the last few hours before damage would be increasingly hazy approaching the incident.
Loss or severe damage to the head, but leaving the body intact can incur a zombie-like state, where cellular intelligence (analogues to a distributed limbic system) takes over. The body will attempt to retreat and find somewhere to recover and get high functions operating again for better tactical analysis. However if a threat is still present and detected by remaining senses and prevents retreat/recovery, the body will attempt a psychotically feral attack before attempting retreat again.
In case there is not enough biomass to get higher functions operating again, the body will attempt to consume anything nearby. This could potentially cover anything from raw sewage, paper, up to live animals and people. Any body parts separated from the main mass can be quickly re-absorbed, but parts smaller than 64cubic inches in mass will self-destruct (decompose) after 5minutes. This is to prevent samples from being taken and the technology reverse-engineered.
Lastly, she has a visually unpleasant skill. Most of her energy reserves are stored as long-chain hydrocarbons. If significant water is to hand, she can swallow and regurgitate it rapidly in the form of a clear mucus. Depending on water concentration, this can be anywhere from merely slick to nearly glue. If she does this at you, hope she hasn’t eaten chillies for lunch or close your eyes.
Defensively, her visual spectrum extends from the ultraviolet down to upper-terahertz. This gives her superior vision in low-light conditions, and the ability to see through low-density clothing and coverings with crude resolution.
The shimmering and crystalline look of her rough fur is due to a high concentration of silicates, which are thermally ablative. In addition to this, unlike most furred creatures, she is able to sweat. The sweat is “wick’d” down grooves in the hairs, allowing even greater heat resistance. Damage beyond cosmetic burn marks should only take place after sustained high-temperature bombardment. She could quite safely sit inside a burning building for upwards of half an hour, and resist flame-throwers. Napalm and other dousing fluids though may cause skin damage and loss of fur attached if ignited before sweat reaction takes place. A momentary blast of raw heat would need to exceed 2000c to cause harm.
High redundancy of data and insulating properties of buckminster-fullerine based cells also leads to high resistance to ionising radiation and electrical discharges.
Blood pumped by distributed peristaltic motion of veins. No heart, no heartbeat. Blood in an emulsion of water and oxygen carrying chemicals. No blood cells.
Despite her finer cellular structure, she CANNOT “T-1000” her way through bars, doors and window-cracks any more than you could be feeding yourself through a meat grinder.

9. Qualities (imagination, judgement, taste, poise)
By herself, she loves to draw and dream. She also dances, a residual trait from her upload testing. She doesn’t want to loose it completely, so she is carefull not to do it when Henry is around lest it be against his tastes.
Her fashion tastes tend to be toward baggy-casual when she has a choice in it, and colours that were last favoured in the 1980s. While disliking it, she appreciates the functionality of the much closer garb she has to wear on missions.

10. IQ
Questionable. In a lot of ways, her intellect could be staggering. Especially if a higher proportion of her nanomass were switched over to computing. Most of her deductive thought however is rather autistic, in that it is done subconsciously. Concious processing is still above average, but held back by notable psychological barriers.

11. Time Period/Era (periodic ways of thinking, and how it applies to your character)
Generally modern-day modes of thought. May change depending on how much interaction she gets with the world outside.

While her background sounds disturbing, I have a rough storyline figured out for her. So, no death matches for me!