I am so far behind in the A-to-Z Challenge I need to move like a green snake up a sugarcane.
This past weekend was crazy busy and weekends in generally are going to be quite the thorn in my side this month in relation to getting this challenge completed. So, have I already lost? Been disqualified? I certainly hope not. I still have a lot of villains to unleash on this unsuspecting world...Muwahahahaha!
My next group of villains are interesting to me because, although not planned this way, they have a number of things in common. First, there is a high-technology aspect to each of them. Second, they are all old characters who've gone through several different incarnations. I have changed and updated the look, name and other elements of these characters over the years even though their core concepts have stayed the same. Lastly, since they're all old characters who've gone through a number of retcons and reboots, I don't really have good images for any of them already on hand. I have had to create new images for each.
I know what you're thinking, the opposite should be true if they're old and have had multiple versions made but many (most) were original drawings that were never scanned into any computer because, believe it or not, we didn't always have computers and scanners in our homes. Yes, I am that old.
So, I apologize to the artists whose work I, um, not so much plagiarized as, er, manipulated and kit bashed in order to create these next few pics. I will identify the artist of the 'base image' when possible.
True Identity: Facsimile Android 'Kismet' Edition - Model F10
Fake Out, if she has not adjusted her height or weight, stands 5' 10" and weighs 180 lbs. She is able to alter this through collapsible extensions in her feet, legs and mid-section. She can also absorb and convert water and basic carbon in the air to add weight or temporarily disperse some of the gases in her interior to decrease her weight.
With her metamorphic, metal and polymer surface and a network of holographic image projectors, she can essentially look like anyone.
Origin and Background: Robotics genius Simon Sykes was very proud of his latest series of Androids and who could blame him. The new F.A.K.E. series units were improvements in practically every way over the older Facsimile Android 'Deception' Edition or F.A.D.E..
There were well over fifty F.A.D.E. units in operation, ordered by various government intelligence organizations worldwide. The major user of the product was and remains the United Nations' own InterNational Supernormal Intelligence Group - Highly Trained (I.N.S.I.G.H.T.). Even so, only nine of the more expensive and elaborate F.A.K.E.s were requested. A tenth was constructed and kept by its creator, Prof. Sykes, as a test bed for further upgrades and improvements.
Over time, the F.A.K.E. units proved incredibly effective and a dozen more were ordered. Before, the new orders could be filled however, I.N.S.I.G.H.T. contacted Simon Sykes regarding a very delicate matter. The superheroine Maiden America (granddaughter of the original, Golden Age hero The Great American) had been badly injured after escaping from the villainous Master Plan). I.N.S.I.G.H.T. needed a F.A.K.E. customized to imitate Maiden America and they turned to Sykes, not only for his expertise and technology but because of his former relationship with Maiden America (the two dated for years and were almost engaged).
Promised he would get to see Maiden America as soon as his work was completed, Sykes refitted his personal unit, Model F10 to emulate the patriotic maid of might down to the last detail, including the cute face she would make when angry at him and her surprisingly hearty laugh.
While the ruse worked, something went a bit awry with F10's programming. Staying in one persona so long, and a very detailed and nuanced persona at that, left a lasting impression on 'her' that made her think she really was Maiden America. Briefly, when in Maiden America's presence, F10 seemed to malfunction and try to kill 'the imposter' but was defeated by Maiden America and Touché. Eventually, Sykes was able to seemingly erase the Maiden America memories and mannerisms and decided to reset her for active duty in the field.
Approximately one year later, while posing as the Secretary of Defense, F10 was nearly kidnapped by Master Plan and his minions. An electromagnetic pulse from the power armored superhero Intrepid, released in order to knock out Master Plan's suit and those of his henchmen, short-circuited F10's mind and sent her into a berserk rage. She recalled all her previous missions and personalities, especially Maiden America's, but was suddenly shocked to find out she was a machine. After battling her way past agents of I.N.S.I.G.H.T., The Vanguard Project, Touché and Intrepid and Master Plan and his forces, F10 disappeared.
'She' has shown up again and again over the last couple of years, her plans usually involving the theft of cybernetic technology or information. She has stalked and even kidnapped her creator, sometimes disguised as Maiden America or another woman, in the belief that the two of them were meant to be together. As a result, her arch-enemies have become Maiden America, Touché and the Vanguard Project agent codenamed Automaton.
Powers and Abilities: Constructed using electro-response polymer plastics and magnetic induction memory metals, Fake Out is able to reconfigure her form into that of virtually any human or near-human humanoid imaginable. She can grow and shrink nearly 3 feet and alter her weight from 100 pounds to 280 pounds (although she can also visually appear to be heavier or lighter than this range).
In addition, a series of holographic projectors and light receptors built into her body and project the image of any person she chooses. She can self-edit her software to create entirely new, non-existent people as well.
Perhaps her most amazing ability is the 'Kismet' System devised by her inventor, robotics specialist Prof. Simon Sykes. With the Kismet System, Fake Out can adopt/adapt to not only the subtleties of Human emotions but can imitate a person's behavior, mannerisms, voice inflections and even 'guess' or estimate what they would do in a given situation. Further, Wi-Fi/remote internet and computer access enables her to double check information on an individual nearly instantaneously. The system gives her 98.9% accuracy on correctly guessing details and information about a subject and their closest friends and companions that is not public knowledge.
Check this out:
F10 (or an F.A.K.E.) infiltrates an international terrorist group disguised as the highest ranking lieutenant's wife. He suspects their is a spy or impostor in the group and asks her a question only she would know. Something personal between them.
Lieutenant: "When we first met, when we were eight years old, I have a nickname for you. You did not like it so I stopped calling you that. I think I only said it five times or so. What was it."
F10 (Disguised as wife): (Scans internet, uses satellite uplink and connects to intelligence agencies all over the world, reads Lt.'s body temperature, looks at his posture, remembers everything written, said and shown about him, 'her', his allies and his family. Guesses.) "Lost lamb. I thought it rude at the time."
Lieutenant: "I knew you were you. A man knows his own wife after all these years. I wonder who the impostor is..."
Personality and Motivations: At first glance Fake Out's motivations are fairly clear; Bring Simon Sykes to the realization that he loves her just as much as she loves him and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, her mangled mind also knows that's impossible as she is an android (albeit a very advanced one) and he is Human.
To this end she will steal cybernetics tech and/or kidnap or threaten those with knowledge of cyber-science in order to find a way to make herself more like a living, breathing person.
Bear in mind that she is not above seducing others disguised as the perfect woman (and with the Kismet System she can determine your perfect woman better than you can) in order to get to the people or things she needs.
Fake Out was originally created for a 1st edition Mutants & Masterminds campaign and has been used in campaigns for each edition of that system. She will (hopefully) appear in my next Champions campaign as well. Fake Out has gone through several names and appearances including AI Candy (the A.I. for Artificial Intelligence is pronounced 'Eye' in Japanese), Faker and Wannabe.
The inspiration for her was a combination of a female Ultron and "What if a LMD didn't want to stop pretending to be someone?".
This illustration is a kit bashed image made from a few drawings by the amazing Ryan Kinnaird.
Fake Out for ICONS:
I meant to give her Interface, which is an ability in ICONS that enables one to interact with computers. It just made sense for a robot and to represent the Kismet System. As it turns out, I didn't do it because she rarely uses it for anything other than perfecting her disguises. Should I have? What's your call cape and cowl community?
Final notes for this post...
Mourning the loss of two iconic ladies who for better or worse (at least in the latter's case) were giants in their respective fields.
Now it's time to say goodbye...to Annette Funicello, original Mouseketeer and queen of the beach movies. Why? Because we liked you.
While I didn't always agree with her you can't disagree that she made tough choices in hard times. Give it up for the Iron Lady of British Politics, Margaret Thatcher. Though no fan of politics, the anglophile in me would be terribly off put if I didn't mention her passing. Stiff upper lip old chap.