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BASIC INFORMATIONCANON OR ORIGINAL:
Heidi Klum (illusory appearance as Mastermind)
HFC Black Court (this has been cleared with Kim)FULL NAME:
Mastermind, Black Rook
(She knows that Martinique uses the same codename. She also knows some people call her "Lady Mastermind." Fuck that. )NICKNAMES:
None. Subordinates call her "Ma'am" if they know what's good for them. Colleagues call her "Mastermind" or "Ms. Wyngarde" or "Rook," depending on how they know her. Presumptuous colleagues call her "Regan," which irritates her.CURRENT AGE:
32DATE OF BIRTH:
August 19, 1979MARITAL STATUS:
StraightBASE OF OPERATIONS:
She travels a lot, but is most often in ManhattanTIME AT INSTITUTE:
NoneREGISTERED WITH SHIELD?
Swindon, U.K.KNOWN RELATIVES:
Jason Wyngarde, aka Mastermind (father)
Margaret Pryor (mother)
Martinique Wyngarde, aka Martinique Jason (half-sister)
Megan Gwynn, aka Pixie (half-sister; she doesn't know this)PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Regan's appearance as Regan Wyngarde differs radically from her appearance as Mastermind.
(Regan Wingarde - this is her real appearance:) HEIGHT:
Comfortable, but expensive and stylish. Carries a gun in a concealed holster.UNIFORM:
(Mastermind - this appearance is illusory:)HEIGHT:
Implausibly slender, buxom, and willowy. EYES:
Very pale blue HAIR:
Platinum blond with irridescent highlights.DISTINGUISHING MARKS:
Tattoo of an eye centered below her sternum. She often entertains herself by having it look at people, wink, etc.CLOTHING STYLE:
It depends. If she wants to be underestimated she goes with skimpy and painted on: deliberately provocative, bordering on frankly pornographic. If she wants to be taken seriously she goes with a voluminous satin dress and leather evening gloves and thigh-high boots. Her accessories and jewelery change according to her whim. UNIFORM:
When serving in her official capacity to the Black Court, she dresses as above, but always in black.POWERSGENERAL DESCRIPTION:
Illusionist, minor telepath.
She can project illusions into target minds, causing the target to perceive things that aren't there and not perceive things that are.
- Her illusions can be extremely detailed and complex, involving multiple moving parts in different locations affecting multiple senses (including senses Regan herself doesn't have).
- She can blanket an entire region, affecting all the minds in it, even if she doesn't know they're there. Or she can target individual minds (up to three targets is easy, more than that gets tricky; she has never successfully targetted more than six minds this way) if she knows where they are. Blanketing a region is easier, but her illusions are more powerful if targetted.
- It takes a lot of concentration to create a new illusion, during which she is mostly helpless, but maintaining the illusion afterwards (including causing illusory objects to move around and respond to their environment) is relatively simple: roughly comparable to, say, keeping her finger on her nose. Creating familiar illusions is much easier than new ones.
- Her illusions have a hypnotic component that renders them convincing, even (within limits) when they contradict common sense. (This is similar to hallucinations in certain mental illnesses.)
If a mind is strongly enough affected, this can even trigger psychosomatic reactions. For example, an illusory weapon might actually harm or even kill someone. This effect is not reliable, especially against strongwilled targets.
- She has limited telepathic abilities that allow her to draw sensory impressions from a target's mind. For example, she can create an illusion of your best friend, or your favorite meal, etc., even if she doesn't know what they are. She can also perceive what you are currently perceiving, in order to edit that perception. She can only pull from one mind at a time, although she can project the resulting illusion into multiple minds.
- Her illusions fade gradually from awareness when she stops projecting them (e.g., you look away and then kind of forget about them, rather than be startled when they vanish). This takes anywhere from a few seconds to about ten minutes, depending on how powerful the illusion was in the first place.
- If she's blanketing a region, she can affect all minds in a 3-km radius. Her maximum range for affecting a targetted individual mind has never been established; she once successfully maintained an illusion into a target on an intercontinental flight of 8000 miles. However, this was an extreme outlier, the target was well-known, and it required intense concentration. In more typical cases, the illusion starts to fade at about the 15-km range.
- She can project illusory "static" (aka "psychic chaff"), preventing the recipient from thinking clearly or concentrating. This is significantly easier than other forms of illusion.
- Her illusions can affect psychic senses (e.g. telepathy, psychometry, clairvoyance) as well as material ones. For example, if she conceals or alters her appearance her mind is similarly concealed from telepathic detection. Obviously, the more skilled the telepath, the less likely this is to work.
In addition to her psionic ability, Regan has a sharp tactical mind honed by years of executive experience; she is as brutal an opponent in a corporate boardroom as on a mutant battlefield. She also carries high-tech gadgets on occasion, though she doesn't rely on them.
Regan's power does not work on the other illusionist Wyngardes (Jason, Martinique, any others that might turn up), and their powers do not work on her.WEAKNESS:
Physically she has no special defenses; anything that can affect an ordinary person can affect her. She does carry high-tech defensive gadgetry, though.
Targets with exceptionally strong wills or psychic defenses can resist the hypnotic component of her power, especially if they have reason to suspect illusion. They still perceive
the illusion, but they don't necessarily believe it's real. However, Regan's power is formidable and has been known to fool even powerful telepaths.
She cannot make two people see two different things at the same time.
Her illusions affect the mind, not the senses. This means that cameras, motion sensors, etc. are not affected. However, people looking through cameras, in mirrors, on computer monitors, etc. are
affected, as long as they are in her range, and will therefore see her illusions appear in a camera display, in a mirrored reflection, on the Internet, etc.PERSONALITY
Regan comes across as a smart, vivacious, confident, ingenious woman with a wicked sense of humor, who knows what she wants and doesn't let anyone get away with anything. She's actually pretty likable. Only when you get to know her do you begin to suspect that she's a sociopath who doesn't really care about anyone or anything beyond herself.
She tries not to let people get to know her that well.
When it comes to achieving her goals, she is bold and aggressive; she knows what she wants and she goes after it with surgical precision. However, when it comes to dealing with opposition, she sometimes suffers from "cat and mouse disease": will often choose an elaborate risky expensive time-consuming plot to completely demoralize and destroy an opponent rather than just shoot them already. She's aware of this failing and tries to counter it, with varying degrees of success.
She collects money and power, but doesn't really care about it; it's just a way of keeping score. What really motivates her is winning against skilled opponents. She respects sharp opponents; everyone else she regards with contempt (though she pretends not to when it's convenient). Consequently, the closest things she has to friends are her enemies and her rivals; she has been known to regret it when she finally defeats a long-time opponent.
"Fighting" for her means tactics and strategy, not fists or guns. In fact, she's a physical coward, and will usually avoid situations that put her at even a small risk of injury. (She can be bold, even reckless, in other contexts; it's just physical injury that affects her this way.)
She has absolutely no respect for law or custom or even basic human decency, though she fakes it when convenient.
She has an irrational impulse to one-up other illusionists. Freud would have a field day with that. This is particularly extreme when it comes to her family. Relatedly, she devotes a fair amount of attention to identifying illusionists around the world and obtaining DNA samples to determine if they are also Jason's kids.HISTORY: PRE-APOCALYPSE
Regan's mother was an exotic dancer named Margaret Pryor who caught Jason Wyngarde's eye and, after a surreal evening she later dismissed as the effects of hallucinogens slipped into her drink, became pregnant. Regan grew up poor with her single mom in a lower-class neighborhood in Swindon. Her early life was banal, but when she was eight her father returned for her and moved her to London. Her life as Regan Pryor ended and she became Regan Wyngarde.
Jason hired tutors to teach Regan the ways of business and how to navigate the upper-class social network (among other things). She met her older half-sister Martinique then, and learned of her father's criminal career as Mastermind. She and Martinique were rivals for their father's attention for years. At age 16, she moved out of Jason's house and began a series of highly lucrative white-collar crimes, most of which have not yet even been noticed, let alone solved.
In 1998 she used family connections to become a Black Pawn of the London Hellfire Club, intending to use the position to obtain valuable business contacts. She also took on the mantle of Mastermind, creating a new persona and a name for herself in the London criminal underground.
By 2007 she had funneled stolen assets into corporate purchases and orchestrated a series of mergers and acquisitions that left her the CEO of an entirely legitimate holding company called Prior Art Inc., which made its fortune by acquiring other companies and strip-mining them for resources, technologies, and patents. She had also advanced to the rank of Black Rook, and had her eye on the Black Queen position.DURING APOCALYPSE (April 5th through April 12th, 2009)
In late March of 2009 Regan visited Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan in order to conduct some background research on a Pakistani chemical engineer whose research was potentially worth obtaining. This turned out to be spectacularly bad timing, as she was caught in Pestilence's attack on the region. She survived, but was converted by Pestilence's nanites.
This triggered a vast leap in her powers. She gloried in them and fought willingly on Apocalypse's side. But when Pestilence was ultimately defeated, she was taken in for recovery and claimed to have been entirely controlled by the nanites.
Unlike many of Apocalypse's converts, she found the experience not entirely unpleasant; the worst part of it was when the nanites were removed. She does not admit to this, as she suspects it has something to do with her having been a more-or-less willing participant, which she also does not admit to. The whole experience did alter her perspective on life quite a bit, however; much of her current focus on defeating powerful adversaries derives indirectly from Apocalypse's fixation on survival of the fittest.POST-APOCALYPSE
When Regan recovered from her conversion, she still had vastly improved powers. Experimenting with them she discovered that winning the corporate game was no longer interesting; it was just too easy to manipulate it however she wished. Prior Art grew enormously successful and she grew both enormously wealthy and increasingly bored.
At the same time, she found the London Hellfire Club destroyed, and as the new Inner Circle began to form it was virulently anti-mutant. After some maneuvering and calling in some favors she received an invitation to join the New England Club, which she did. Her long-term goal is still to become a Black Queen, though she has no particular plans along those lines at the moment.
She has been active in the Club's Inner Circle ever since, but her role has largely been behind the scenes. She covertly uncovered various of the Kingpin's secrets at the Black King's bequest, contributing to his eventual downfall. She was not personally affected by the dimensional shifting of WWX, but several Black Pawns were, resulting in breaches of HFC protocols that she tracked down, repaired, and punished.
The Black Knight Longshot was also severely affected during this period, but as she was a mere Rook investigating a Knight's activities did not fall within her purview. Still, she was aware of his anomalous behavior -- not that Longshot's behavior was ever precisely typical -- and was oddly relieved when the original Longshot returned to this dimension. She would never admit it, but she's grown fond of the little killer.
Since then she has continued to act as an emissary of the Black Court to various other powers, typically those on the wrong side of the law. In the process she has been careful not to overstep her boundaries or make unnecessary enemies within the Court, knowing that their support will be crucial to her eventual bid for Queendom.SAMPLE RP POST:
Regan was lounging on a couch in the back of the smartly appointed conference room as the five major shareholders of Blue Note Technologies filed in and sat down. She'd come straight here from her regular jog around Central Park, and her tracksuit and running shoes did not fit in well with the custom-tailored suits and thousand-dollar shoes that sat around the table. It didn't matter, of course; nobody here could see her, and the Blue Note stockholders' meetings were never recorded.
Matthew Ellison III, the largest shareholder and company founder, opened the meeting when the last invitee took their seat. "If it's all right with the rest of you, I'd like to dispense with the usual starting formalities and get right to it. As all of you know, Prior Art has been attempting an unfriendly takeover of Blue Note for the last week. They now own 13% of publicly traded Blue Note stock. That's 89% of the outstanding stock that isn't held by someone in this room."
Ellison paused to drink some water from the glass in front of him, and Regan masked the taste of the doctored water with a moment's concentration. When he put it down, she slipped on a latex glove, got up and replaced his glass with a new one. As she did so, the man continued speaking. "You're all just as capable of counting to 50 as I am: for their takeover bid to succeed, either I have to sell, or two of you have to. I'm sure you're all wondering who they think they're going to convince to sell... who the traitor in the ranks might be."
What happened next depended a great deal on who you were.
As far as Ellison was concerned, he began a rousing speech about how all the people in this room were long-time friends of his and all committed to the company's success, and he was confident that not a single one of them would betray his trust, and no doubt the folks at Prior Art were running some kind of ill-conceived bluff... and was interrupted before he'd hardly gotten started by a mass exodus from the room.
As far as the assembled stockholders of Blue Note were concerned, Ellison went on to deliver the shocking news that he himself was selling out, and that he encouraged them to do so as well while the stock price was still artificially high, before walking out of the room as they sat in stunned silence. A moment later, they were all leaving the room themselves, frantically calling their stockbrokers.
Regan saw both versions, the latter being an illusion of her own creation, and nodded with satisfaction as Ellison's puzzlement gave way to panic as he was suddenly unable to take a breath. A few minutes later he'd collapsed twitching to the floor, foam gathering on his lips, and Regan wrapped his hand around the bottle of pills she'd brought with her, two of which she'd earlier crushed into his glass. A few minutes after that she was on her way to her favorite cafe for an early lunch, where she appeared pleasantly surprised by the news that Prior Art, Inc. was now the majority shareholder of Blue Note Technologies.
When Ellison's body was found there would be an investigation, of course, and nobody would believe it was a suicide. But the top suspects were five of his trusted colleagues, all of whom he'd just informed he was inexplicably betraying their trust. And the last
person suspicion could fall on was Regan, who stood to gain nothing from preventing Ellison from following up on his announced intention to sell.
She nodded with satisfaction as she finished her meal. Her father could not have done any better.