Re: The Reactor Core (The Atomic Punk’s Archive)

Home Forums The HeroMachine Art Gallery The Reactor Core (The Atomic Punk’s Archive) Re: The Reactor Core (The Atomic Punk’s Archive)


The Atomic Punk

Character Contest 54 – Bounty Hunter

One of the first characters in my meta-verse, Vulpina is one of my favorites. She is a bounty hunter who specializes in tracking meta-villains though she has no super powers herself. I referred to this ability as the “Normal Factor.” Still open to suggestions for something other than the obvious “X-Factor” comparison.



HeroMachine 2.5

Brooke Kingsley was born and raised in Laredo. Her family traces its Texas roots to the days when Mexico opened the land to American settlers. The Kingsleys had a long tradition of lawmen. Lawmen with checkered pasts. Some simply would look the other way. Others were worse than the criminals whom they were entrusted to bring to justice.

Brooke wanted to continue the tradition. When she graduated high school, Brooke joined the Air Force for a short tour as an SP. Brooke planned to some day join the FBI. While she was overseas, her father Josiah, a Border Patrol agent, began demanding more bribes from Los Águilas del Diablo.

The Devil’s Eagles are often mistaken for a street-level drug gang in the United States. In Mexico, they are one of the most powerful and deadliest criminal organizations. Some members are meta-humans. Most notorious was El Toro Rojo. The Red Bull was a real-life minotaur. A ferocious, unstoppable giant with the cunning and intellect of a man.

Angered by Josiah’s audacity, the Eagles dispatched the Red Bull to send a message the day before Brooke returned home from the service. In a brazen daylight attack, the Bull razed the Laredo border crossing. He killed Josiah, six other border agents, and four civilians. Dozens lay injured. Some pinned under the cars and trucks that El Toro threw around as if they were piñatas.

El Toro Rojo escaped to Mexico. The Federales refused to allow the U.S. Border Patrol to pursue. Everyone knew that the Mexican agents had been bribed, but they went as far as to fire upon the pursuing Americans. Diplomatic relations froze instantly.

American and Mexican officials refused to cooperate in the investigation. Neither country’s superheroes were able to apprehend the elusive Red Bull. The attack escalated into open warfare between meta-humans seeking justice and those who profited from the chaos.

Brooke took her fight to courtrooms and presented Congressional testimony. Still, there was no progress in destroying Los Águilas. The Kingsley family could not even collect on Josiah’s life insurance or due pension.

She became active in the community. Brooke travelled the country speaking against violence and for restoration of order. When she was at a rally in Eagle Pass, El Toro Rojo attacked again. This time to silence Josiah’s daughter.

Brooke survived with a new outlook and determination. The law could not stop the Bull. The so-called superheroes could not stop him. She even blamed herself for delaying justice. The rampage broke her organization Patriots for Peace. The super-attorney Jack Lane had successfully sued her for personal and property damage. Brooke protested, but the slick lawyer had a legal trick for every appeal.

Staff Sergeant Chris Montag, a service buddy stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, was there to help her. Chris would meet with Brooke. He coached her back into the routine of PT training.

Chris worked in weapons research and development. He had access to the munitions depot and cutting edge technology. He would grab “some serious firepower” and the two would go to the base’s proving grounds.

Before being re-assigned overseas, Chris gave Brooke keys to the base and the R&D lab. He knew that El Toro Rojo and the Eagles would return. Brooke was again on her own. She was also flat broke. No one would hire her for fear of their own safety. She could not get a government job because of her father’s corruption. His connection to the Devil’s Eagles had come to light during the court process of discovery.

One morning, the sound of squealing tires woke Brooke. My car! They’re repossessing my car! she shouted. Without thinking, she ran to her garage. Her car was indeed gone. However, parked in its place was a pink jeep. Her father’s old hat and badge were on the driver’s seat. Brooke saw a flyer in the windshield wiper. It read:

Wanted: Dead or Alive
El Toro Rojo
$10,000,000 Reward

Brooke smiled and donned the hat. She drove the jeep to Lackland late that night. Inside the munitions depot, she found a rocket launcher. Chris had taught her how to use it. They had even squeezed off a couple of the experimental “Wolf’s Fang” rockets. Ammunition specially-designed to take out tanks and meta-humans.

Through her own connections in the Border Patrol, Brooke slipped into Mexico. It did not take long for word to find its way to El Toro Rojo. He decided that he would be the hunter not the prey. He charged right into Brooke’s trap.

At first, no one believed the rumors. Not until Brooke and her pink jeep crossed back into the United States. There at the border, she lifted the Bull’s head to claim justice and her reward.

Calling herself Vulpina (“The Wolf”), Brooke is a bounty hunter who specializes in bringing fugitive metas to justice. She uses the reward money to keep ahead of her prey’s powers and technology. Though a normal human being, she holds her own against metas.

Brooke has what meta-researchers call the “Normal Factor” or “N-Factor.” The phenomenon that allows even the most mundane homo sapien with no known super powers or enhancements to stand equal to metas. Some argue that the N-Factor is itself a super power.

She lost her father’s badge in the battle with El Toro Rojo. So Vulpina had it tattooed on her arm. Though Josiah was a dirty cop, he was a damn good father. She may not be corruptible like the Kingsley’s before her. However, Brooke shares her forefathers’ sense of frontier justice.