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

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The Atomic Punk

Okay, I’m really stuck for ideas for Character Contest 91: The Phantom ________. Since I’m here, switching gears to my Archive.

Character Contest 41: Art Martial
For this one, I set out to include more than just “traditional” Martial Arts. By “traditional,” I mean Far East styles such as karate and kung fu. However, I did slide into Asian themes. This was an opportunity to re-visit Japanese mythology.

For instance, Tengu is not really a Martial Artist. He’s a street racer. Not entirely happy with his mask or his overall color scheme. I like how the masking of the metal wings to the leather jacket turned out. He needs some work. On the fence whether to include him in my meta-verse.



The residents of Tokyo don’t know what to make of their latest sentai. Like his legendary namesake, Tengu seemed to fly down from the mountains into the valley. The mountains being the skyscrapers of Tokyo; the valley its twisting, fast-paced streets.

At first, Tengu was thought of as a villain. His first appearances were in street racing. He has never lost a race – no matter how hard his opponents try to wreck him.

The underground and the police believe that racing was a way for him to gain notierity. Once people began whispering his name, Tengu declared war on the streets. Throwing molotov cocktails at cars, businesses, even abandoned property. Investigations began to reveal that these were hits not just arson. Police found that Tengu’s victims were often involved with drugs, rapes, murders, kidnappings, and other serious crimes.

The Yakuza declared him a marked man. Perhaps that was his goal all along. Corrupt officials try to hide Tengu’s fire-bombings as mere arson, even attempted murder.

Tengu is a master of stealth and speed. Not just on his motorcycle, but he is blinding quick. Appearing out of nowhere, moving about Tokyo seemingly unhindered. He is a master of martial arts. No one is able to recognize a particular discipline in his style. He carries a sai more for defense and as a tool to pry open locked doors or jam doors shut.

He also has super-human motor skills: balance, hand-eye coordination and dodging ability. Tengu has been seen riding up to a criminal on his motorcycle then snatching the gun from his hand. All without disrupting the villain’s stride as he runs in terror.

Along with his molotov cocktails, Tengu carries gas grenades. The gas causes the dread tengu-kakushi, dementia and paranoia. Anyone who inhales becomes paralyzed with fear, or worse, flies into a panic. Tengu’s mask obviously protects him from it’s effects. Though the gas wears off, Tengu uses the grenades as a last resort. He prefers physical combat.

He never speaks, yet everyone knows what Tengu wants through simple gestures, motions, or just common sense. For instance, “if you don’t drop the gun, bad things will happen” goes without saying. “Jump through the door that’s on fire, it’s the only way out.” “Tell the others what happened. Let them know that I’m coming.”

The Japanese still cannot decide if Tengu is a hero or a villain. The majority despise his vigilantism and wanton destruction of property. They are even afraid of him, as with the mythical creature of the same name. Yet, they are thankful for what seems his primary focus: the protection of children. Tengu has rescued children from all manner of danger: accidents, fires, kidnappings, rapes, murder. He has even avenged some violations of the innocent.

Tengu’s enemies in the underground, and in government, have tried to exploit this duty. He is always able to sniff out the trap. Which means little. Tengu still executes his mission as if a real child were in danger. Which means just as much pain and humiliation for the would be ambushers.

Though these are noble deeds, superstition still holds. No one has seen Tengu without his mask. No one knows if he is even human. What will it cost Tokyo should Tengu decide that it is time for the citizens to pay? No good deed is worth a deal with the devil.