Exiles # 24 – The Patriot

sots-cover-final-600pxFirst, a very special announcement.  The final book in the Mystical Island series, Sea of Twisted Souls is up for pre-sale.  And the first book is on sale for only $0.99.  Check it out here – www.amazon.com/Megan-Cutler/e/B00KDPQAF6

And here’s a little blurb to whet your appetite –

It’s been sixteen years since Damian departed the island. Sixteen years since he broke his promise to be there when Morulin needed him. Now her father has chosen her brother to rule the island and, to make matters worse, her family doesn’t understand her anger when Damian reappears without warning.

Morulin isn’t interested in making amends. She’d rather spend her time with the enigmatic Pilgrim, a dimensional traveler with plenty of stories to tell. Damian seems to loathe him, which makes his company all the more appealing. But Morulin can’t ignore her stepfather’s strange behavior, especially when strange incidents begin to plague the bathhouse. Could the Pilgrim be responsible, as Damian insists? Or is Damian trying to frame their newest visitor?

One thing seems certain; if Morulin’s family can’t heal their fractures in time to solve the mystery, they might lose their precious dimension-hopping island home all together.

And now, on to our regularly scheduled programming –

I’ve always thought of Steve Rogers as the only Captain America.  By the time I was reading comics he had come back and most of the things that they flashed back to were him in WWII.  Of course, I was there for when he was replaced by USAgent and became the Captain, but that wasn’t a real Captain America.  I knew, like so many other things, from my reading of the Handbook of the Marvel Universe that there were not one but two other men who wore the costume while Rogers was frozen in ice.

Recently, I read the Patriot TPB and got to see a nice, if abbreviated view of one of those men’s career before, during and after he wore the stars and stripes uniform.  The character below caught my interest, especially since she ended up getting powers and then pretty much disappeared.  I started thinking of what might have happened to her after she disappeared off that radar.  I came up with a lot.  She bounced around and switched identities but I like where she came out.  So, without further ado, here’s the Exile version of the Patriot.

Patriot

Mary Morgan/Morgan Mace

Fighting: EX

Agility: EX

Strength: GD

Endurance: EX

Reason: GD

Intuition: AM

Psyche: TY

Health: 70

Karma: 66

Resources: RM

Popularity: 20

Powers:

Heightened Hearing: Mary Morgan, as a result of the experimentation she underwent has a Monstrous sense of hearing that function with superhuman quality on an intuition FEAT roll. She can hear the heartbeats of anyone in the same area with her and has an Amazing ability to detect if someone is lying by changes in his heart rate (unless the subject has a pacemaker, body-control power, or is a pathological liar.) By focusing, she can hear conversations being held up to 10 miles away and whispers as far as 1 mile away.

Radar Sight: Patriot can see three-dimensional objects (including attackers) up to three areas away using a radarlike sixth sense. This sense is omnidirectional and works in light or darkness, but it cannot distinguish fine details. A great number of moving people or objects, or the presence of Remarkable or greater levels of sound reduces her Intuition roll for special uses of this sense to RM.

Reduced Aging: Since undergoing experimentation in World War II, Mary’s aging has been reduced by a factor of 10. Thus, Morgan looks only 7 years older than she did in the 1940’s.

Equipment:

Bullet Proof Cloak: Patriot’s cloak is made of Kevlar armor backed by woven Beta cloth. It provides Excellent protection from physical attacks and Good Resistance to Fire. It automatically protects her from behind but Patriot may not attack or take any other action to protect her front with the cloak.

Pistol: Patriot carries an ordinary revolver as a sidearm. It does Good shooting damage.

Talents: Patriot is knowledgeable in Reporting and Detective/Espionage Talents. In combat, she uses Acrobatics, Martial Arts B and C and is a Marksman.

Contacts: Patriot has contacts with Silver Sable and the Wildpack and Captain America

Background: Mary Morgan was a young debutante from a wealthy family who craved something more than a vapid life as a trophy wife. To this end, she moved to Manhattan and, through the influence of her family got a job as a reporter at the Daily Bugle.

She was soon teamed up with a reporter named Jeffrey Mace. World War II was sweeping the rest of the world but there was little activity in America. After Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance into the war, there was much more sabotage and espionage activity in the US. Mace began focusing on this particular beat, especially the actions of costumed heroes like the Liberty Legion in opposing enemy actions on domestic soil.

Inevitably, the idealistic man found himself taking on a more active role and took on the costumed identity of the Patriot. Mary, proving she was much more than just a pretty face, quickly deduced Jeffrey’s secret. She was discreet, however, and kept the secret to herself.

Under mysterious circumstances, Mary was kidnapped and subjected to experimentation by a Nazi scientist. The Patriot freed her but not before changes were made to Mary. She gained superhumanly heightened senses and, though she would not realize it for some time, slowed aging.

Mary soon created her own costumed identity based on Mace’s, named Ms. Patriot. Mary had been harboring a crush on the man for years and hoped that they could adventure together and foster their relationship. Jeffrey did not share her attraction and fearful that she would get hurt, spurned her offer to team up.

Mary nonetheless, continued her vigilante activities as Ms. Patriot throughout the war and even afterwards. Mace had joined the Liberty Legion and, after the apparent death of Steve Rogers and the actual death of his successor, took on the mantle of Captain America.

A romance blossomed between Mace and his government handler, a woman named Betsy Ross. Betsy eventually took on the costumed persona of Golden Girl and briefly adventured with Mace. Mary was understandably jealous and began to be jaded by her experiences.

When the young man wearing the Bucky costume as Mace’s partner was gunned down, Jeffrey mistakenly accused Morgan of performing the attack. She directed him to the actual culprit but was so disgusted by the turn of events and being the object of suspicion of a man that she once cared about that she fled to Europe. For years this act would put her under suspicion by American government officials.

Mary wandered through Central and Eastern Europe for a while, both examining the aftermath of the war she’d covered as a Bugle reporter and hiding her trail so that it would be difficult to find her, at best. In the course of her travels, she met the prince of Symkaria, a postage stamp country in Eastern Europe. The prince was smitten with her immediately and, though she had her reservations due to her poor luck in romance previously, he wooed her and finally convinced her to marry him.

They would not live happily ever after, however. The Cold War was at its height and Symkaria was constantly under threat of espionage and sabotage as both sides jockeyed to use the small, but strategically placed nation for their own devices. All too familiar with the effects such activities could have on a country, Mary reluctantly created a new costumed persona, the Sable.

As the Sable, she would spend a decade aggressively defending her adopted nation’s right to neutrality, foiling sabotage, espionage and even invasion attempts by both the US and Russia and their pawns and even once fending off encroachment from Latveria and its new dictator Dr. Victor von Doom. That small country and its powerful ruler would eventually become allies, though both sides recognizing that they could protect themselves from the encroachment of larger countries by banding together.

Mary would give up the Sable persona when she became pregnant and von Doom would prove a valuable ally again as he created a robot double to carry on the identity. Tragically, the robot would not prove up to the task and before the birth of her child, the robot failed to prevent the explosive assassination of Mary’s husband.

Devastated by the loss of the man she’d come to love, guilty that she had not stopped the attack herself and angry with von Doom for his robot’s failure, she remained only long enough to give birth to her son before leaving. Seeking revenge, she snuck into Latveria and attempted to assassinate Dr. Doom but failed. Doom, feeling guilty for his failure, did not kill her but let her go, instead.

Mary wandered aimlessly, eventually ending up in England. She changed her name to Morgan Mace to hide from her former life, taking her surname from the man who provided her so much inspiration when she was younger. For years, she lived a quiet life. That ended when a vampire attacked her. With her training and skills, she was able to fight it off for a time but only the timely arrival of Union Jack kept her from being another victim.

The attack and the intervention of a costumed hero snapped Morgan out of her fugue and gave her purpose again. Repeating a previous strategy, she created a costumed identity based on someone she admired, in this case, Union Jill. The major difference this time was that Union Jack accepted her as a partner and the two of them were able to cure the vampire infestation in London and England in general.

Morgan started to miss her home country, however and, once she and Union Jack had vanquished Baron Blood and his minions, she returned to the United States five decades after leaving. With so much time passed, most of the people who might have recognized her were dead and those who were left could not reconcile that an octogenarian appeared to be in her 30’s.

Morgan wasted no time with this transition. She resumed her crime fighting career, though she once more changed her persona. Going back to her original theme, and now so many years after the end of the original’s career, she took the identity of the Patriot.

With her skill and experience, she quickly proved herself an effective and efficient crime fighter and, after a few encounters with various Avengers, she was invited to join. Morgan was careful to distance herself from Steve Rogers, not wanting to answer the questions that would come up if he happened to recognize her from the few times they interacted in WWII.

It was not long after she joined that the West Coast Avengers were chartered and she volunteered to join that group. The Avengers took her one farther and made her the leader of the group, much to the chagrin of Hawkeye who believed he should have the job.

Patriot proved to be a good choice as the prime threat the West Coast Avengers faced was one familiar to her. The Night Shift, lead by Baroness Blood, a protégé of the vampire who gave her and her partner Union Jacks so much trouble back in England threatened California and the West Coast Avengers numerous times.

The West Coast Avengers finally foiled Baroness Blood’s ultimate plot of creating a vampire mutant army only with the timely aid of the Exiles. With her nemesis eliminated and confident that Hawkeye could take her place as leader of the West Coast Avengers, Morgan decided to make yet another change and join the Exiles. For the first time in her long life, she felt that she was moving toward something instead of fleeing from something.

And as usual, if you’ve read this far (or just skipped to the end)…you can buy my novels and games at blackguardpress.com