Exiles #9 – Mystique/Blob

This one got kind of weird on me.  I’d been playing with the idea of having Mystique in the Exiles but in the guise of someone else for a while.  I just couldn’t figure out who she would be disguised as or what her agenda would be.  Probably, to be properly used, she would run around changing skins like I change underwear, causing chaos and confusion, either with an actual agenda or just for the joy of causing trouble.  As a general rule, that is not how my mind works, though.

For no apparent reason, I abruptly thought it would be interesting if she pretended to be the Blob.  Again, probably better if she just faked it without having his powers but I figured the rest of the Exiles would notice.  Then, it became an issue of figuring out why she would have the powers and not just change forms and cause havoc.

I decided magic was the answer.  She was locked in the form and had the powers.  I always liked the link they hinted at (no doubt because of their similar appearances) between her and Nightcrawler.  I also liked the link they made (no doubt for similar reasons) in Paradise X between Nightcrawler and Belasco.  Given that Belasco is a powerful sorcerer, it seemed the problems had somewhat solved themselves.

I think an interesting follow up plot to what is given below would be Nightcrawler developing his teleportation abilities almost immediately after birth and disappearing, ending up, unknown to everyone back in Limbo.  For obvious reasons, and because she’s rather cold-hearted, anyway, Mystique wouldn’t really care but other Exiles would find her lack of worry detestable.  And then, because of the difference in the way time runs in Limbo, he would come back soon as an adult.

Mystique

Raven Darkholme

Fighting:     EX

Agility:      EX

Strength:     EX

Endurance: AM

Reason:       EX

Intuition:     EX

Psyche:       IN

 

Health:        110

Karma:       80

Resources:   EX

Popularity: 10

 

Powers:

 

Imitation: Mystique has the Unearthly ability to transform herself into an exact duplicate of any humanoid creature. If she assumes the shape of a larger person, however, she must make an Endurance FEAT each turn. Each Transformation takes 1turn.

 

Costume: Mystique’s unstable costume bestows upon its wearer the following powers:

The Amazing Ability to absorb any incoming electrical attack and transform it into an

energy blast of one rank lower intensity with a 2 area range.

The costume can rearrange itself into any garment she imagines.

 

Psionic Scrambler: This device gives Mystique a Monstrous resistance to any type of mental probe or telepathy.

 

Enchanted Form: Blob: For his own perverse pleasure, Belasco locked Mystique in the form of Fred J. Dukes, the Blob. Not content with his plaything only looking like the Blob, he also magically granted her the other mutant’s powers. Though she has broken the enchantment that bound her in this shape, the powers remain when she takes it. Additionally, she does not have to make the normal Endurance FEAT to remain in this particular larger form.

Immovability: Mystique can bond herself to whatever surface she is standing on my force

of will (requires one round of concentration.) It requires and Unearthly strength plus a

Red Endurance Feat roll to budge her, and even this pulls up the ground around him.

Mystique can never be Stunned or Slammed, regardless of what martial art or attack

column is used.

Bodily Expansion: Mystique can expand all of the cells of her body’s fatty covering all at

once. This destroys any tight fitting body restraints of Excellent Material Strength or less

(simple iron shackles, iced up, etc.)

Body Armor: Mystique has Unearthly body armor against physical attacks, an Amazing

resistance to heat, cold and energy attacks. Her eyes, nose and mouth are not so

protected and she may be temporarily blinded by called shots in these areas.

Soft Body: Mystique can absorb physical impacts without harm to himself, and can absorb and hold a being who is physically attacking her. This requires a Psyche FEAT roll to relax the body around her opponent. Once grabbed, the opponent is held (as in wrestling) with Monstrous Strength.

 

Talents: She has Remarkable skills with knives, garrotes and any form of handgun or machine pistol. She is proficient in Martial Arts B and C and has Leadership and Espionage skills.

 

Contacts: Mystique’s background gives her complete access to the United States Department of Defense. She was the leader of Freedom Force and could likely call on the members who survive. She also has contacts with the rebel forces of Limbo.

 

Background: Little has been revealed about Mystique’s early life. Since she can eliminate the outward signs of aging with her shape-changing power, it is not known exactly how old she is. She apparently learned to use her shape-changing power at a very early age as there is no evidence of her alter ego, Raven Darkholme looking like anything but a normal human being. Mystique was known to be a longtime friend of the mutant Destiny before the latter’s death. At some point, she became the protector of the young mutant Rogue, whom she looked upon as a surrogate daughter.

 

Mystique has concealed her superhuman powers and criminal intentions so well over the years that, as Darkholme, she has been able to rise rapidly through the United States Civil Service to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency (DARPA) in the United States Department of Defense. This position gave her access to military secrets and advanced weaponry, both of which she has used for her own criminal and subversive purposes.

 

To help her in her criminal activities, Mystique organized the second Brotherhood of Mutants, which originally consisted of herself, Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, Pyro and Rogue. The second Brotherhood became notorious when it attempted to intimidate the public by assassinating Senator Robert Kelly, who was investigating what he perceived as the possible menace posed by the existence of mutants and other superhuman beings. The X-Men thwarted the assassination attempt, and the Brotherhood later clashed with the X-Men on other occasions as, as well as with the Avengers and Dazzler.

 

As anti-mutant sentiment among normal human beings greatly increased, the federal government launched its own covert anti-mutant program, Project Wideawake. Believing the times had become too dangerous for the Brotherhood to continue its criminal activities, Mystique went to Dr. Valerie Cooper and offered the Brotherhood’s services to the government. Even with the leverage she could bring with her Darkholme persona, Cooper agreed only on the condition that the Brotherhood pass a test she imposed: the capture of Magneto. The Brotherhood, now renamed Freedom Force, succeeded in bringing Magneto to the authorities and soon afterwards officially entered the government’s employ.

 

One of Freedom Force’s first missions was to take the Avengers into custody after charges of treason were leveled against them. Mystique remained the leader of Freedom Force and the federal government was unaware of her identity as Raven Darkholme. In return for entering the Government’s employ, all members of Freedom Force received a presidential pardon for all criminal charges against them but with the provision that it would be revoked if any member was found committing a crime.

 

Freedom Force clashed with the X-Men in their new guise and with their new roster in Dallas. They were not aware that the supernatural entity the Adversary was operating in the area and, while utilizing one of new member Spiral’s teleportation spells, they accidentally ended up in Limbo.

 

Spiral realized the danger they were in immediately, but before she could reverse the spell, she was slain by the ruler of Limbo, Belasco. Most of the rest of Freedom Force fought his forces and several were slain, including Blob and Avalanche and Destiny, overwhelmed by the potential futures she saw in this dimension, died of a heart attack. Rogue attacked Belasco, trying to steal his powers but his will was far too powerful for her and the attack backfired, giving her a portion of his abilities but also perverting her soul and making her his willing servant. In the face of such losses and seeing her own adopted daughter turned against her, Mystique called for her followers to surrender.

 

Far from upset with the invasion, Belasco was thrilled to have new playthings and that was exactly what Freedom Force became. Pyro was forced to become a gladiator, fighting in Belasco’s arena for his pleasure and denied any fire to manipulate. Spider Woman became his chief torturer, the promise of being reunited with her daughter forcing her to commit the worst atrocities in her master’s name again and again. The demon lord made Rogue his favored assassin and executioner, using her ability to steal the identities from her victims and making her more and more powerful with every death she caused.

 

Mystique’s fate was likely the most unpleasant, however. Thrilled and fascinated by her shapeshifting abilities, Belasco took her as his personal plaything. She was forced to change forms at the demon lord’s whims and he took particularly perverse pleasure in making her take the form of her comrades that he’d killed.

 

Time moves differently in Limbo and it is impossible to tell how long Mystique and her followers were trapped there. At some point, Belasco impregnated his plaything. Far from being dissatisfied, he was pleased and amused at that possibility of an heir, even if it was sired on such an inferior being. It happened that Mystique was in the shape of the Blob when this event occurred and Belasco mystically locked her in that form to ensure that no harm would come to his offspring while it was in her womb.

 

The Fates aligned and it was during this pregnancy that the Exiles arrived in this Limbo. Their mission was to stop Belasco’s invasion of his reality’s Earthly dimension. After so many years, far from being broken, the members of Freedom Force had only sharpened their hatred for Belasco and they allied themselves with the Exiles and the forces rebelling against their master. All, that is, except for Rogue. Her soul was irreversibly corrupted not only by her original contact with her “father” but also with all the demons she’d absorbed and slain over the years as his assassin.

 

Though the combined forces of Exiles, Freedom Force and rebels was enough to topple Belasco’s regime, Rogue was powerful enough to stop the coup singlehandedly, slaying Pyro and felling the Exiles. A glimmer of her former personality remained, however and she could not bring herself to slay her adoptive mother. Mystique was not restrained by such sentiment and took her daughter’s moment of hesitation as an opportunity, slaying her with Belasco’s soulsword then turning the blade on the demon lord as well.

 

The invasion of Earth by Limbo was halted with the death of Belasco but he had one final surprise in store. Spider Woman had been bound to the dimension by her very own psychic webs and was incapable of leaving. She had become ever more obsessed with being reunited with her daughter over the years and, despite what a bad idea it seemed to bring a young, innocent girl to Limbo, found a way to have Rachel brought to the dimension. Surprisingly, Rachel had a natural link to the dimension and immediately became the new Ruler of Limbo.

 

Mystique was under no such compulsion and the Exiles could not remain to further stabilize the dimension. When they departed, she travelled with them, joining the team. Of course, she was still in the shape of the Blob and the Exiles were unaware of her true identity. It was not until she gave birth to Belasco’s child weeks later, a son who had her blue skin and yellow eyes but his father’s features, including a forced tail and pointed ears, that she was released from the spell and could resume her true form and reveal herself.

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