Gregory Rendell

Jerks, demons, megalomaniacs, psychopaths, self-interested jackasses and other general varieties of gits, welcome. Leave your ego at the door and don't murder your kindred during your stay.
Post Reply
User avatar
IamLEAM1983
Site Admin
 

Posts: 3636
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:54 am
Location: Quebec, Canada

Gregory Rendell

Post by IamLEAM1983 »

Name: Gregory Rendell
Age: 58 years old
Gender: male
Species: Green Chimera (recombined T-Rex analog), abortive lich

Strengths: looking at him, you'd be tempted to consider that the main asset of Elysium's leader is his sheer size and brawn. It wouldn't be incorrect to say Rendell has bear-hugged Terran soldiers until their spines snapped, or that he's casually closed off windpipes with a single hand. It wouldn't be incorrect to assume he's dislocated more limbs and torn more ligaments than any part of the thwarted 1975 invasion's forces, and it wouldn't be excessive to say he's punched skulls to mush with a few repeated blows. It wouldn't be excessive to say that Rendell's thick hide and musculature enabled him to take an inhuman amount of rifle and pistol rounds, and to keep going.

It would, however, ignore the fact that his strongest weapon is his mind.

Today, the victors like to imagine Gregory Rendell as being a self-deluded beast, a big palooka with delusions of distinction and intellect. They'd be wrong. He's twisted minds with as much ease as a seasoned Void Weaver, sans debilitating insanity and by preying on the hopes and dreams of easily manipulated individuals. He's soothed aching hearts with false promises and momentarily presented picture-perfect renditions of love and care. He's been a steadfast friend and a stalwart commander, and would have no trouble assembling a new roster, a new set of terrorists operating directly under his command. He knows people, knows what makes them tick, and has the resources and patience required to give hope to people he wishes to use. Professional observations have shown that Rendell's IQ is in the two hundreds based on several charts and calculation methods, and that this gives him all the advantages and disadvantages to come with it. His genius, however, isn't easily observable in practical fields, but he's shown a frighteningly effective ability to manipulate data and its accompanying sources regardless of the distance or difficulty in accessing that data.

To be honest, Rendell makes John Smith look like an unrestrained social butterfly. His sociopathy is readily apparent to skilled observers, but he tends to have altogether too much ease at roping in people who aren't aware of how manipulators work. Average social functions bore him and are as easy for him to exploit as wooden blocks for a toddler. He, quite literally, only derives substantial amounts of satisfaction when he is stringing events along. Expressing congeniality for its own sake is something he seems incapable of doing.

In any case, some have compared his stay in Chimera Row as being akin to Al Capone's tenure in Alcatraz. He shows no desire to escape – not when he's proven time and again that he is perfectly able to metaphorically reach outside of his cell with honeyed words and a few strategically kept promises. What began as a spartan retreat from the world turned into a mildly luxurious residence, of which the carceral elements are all but nonexistent. Having an entire pavillion to himself and being circumscribed to its expansive grounds, he's turned the deliberately bleak environment of his prison into a loft-like and borderline palatial environment using his myriad connections and his thorough corruption of the attending staff. Little by little, he's managed to have everything from an Internet connection to a few flatscreen TVs supplied to him, along with designer Italian furniture.

The short of it is that Elysium is well and truly alive and that its figurehead is poised to bide his time.

Having survived his contact with the Centennial Tree, Rendell found himself faced with partial lich status. With a chunk of his face and half an arm having gone skeletal, blue, lambent energy tends to lazily roil around him like a halo of cigarette smoke. A padded black glove covers the bare bones, which he only takes off when he intends to touch someone directly with it. Magic and technology keeping him from wholly burning with his stolen power, he isn't so much a mage in the making as a kind of arcane capacitor. The longer gifted types stay in his presence, the more their powers are lessened. With a little effort, he can dig into the precious little stores of via that lie in even the most mundane of men, and rob it from them. The catch is that taking this means robbing the spark of Life from them, which either kills them or leaves them in a state approaching brain death.
Weaknesses: he may have pumped himself full of enough nanomachines to stimulate his body into a near-complete semblance of life, but the fact remains that Rendell is dead, as any lich would be. Severe injuries no longer heal normally and require him to retreat from the battlefield for prolonged amounts of time, in order to pool some of his stored power towards the task of healing. He also might have managed to turn his prison into an airtight arcane Faraday cage, his amount of carried via is sufficient to hex – or destroy – even modern-day adapted electronic appliances, if his surrounding environment isn't initially prepared and made devoid of arcane power. He, literally, is a walking kill switch for anything manufactured after World War Two. This makes stealth a difficult angle to consider, as lightbulbs explode in his wake, car stereos blare and squall and, in some rare cases, these cars' fuel tanks can also explode. He does sometimes put on archmage-level jewellery items designed to limit his via emanations properly – such as whenever he has to appear before the detention center's review board – but he cannot guarantee their efficiency for more than a few hours.

Being more of the “Touch of Death” persuasion than anything resembling an actual practitioner, Rendell hasn't bothered to expand his skillset with serious amounts of arcane know-how. The flipside of this is that he learns very quickly. In a purely arcane duel, the first bout against an archmage would end with his defeat. The second one would be more pitched and the third one...

Chances are there wouldn't be much left of the archmage in question after the third confrontation. Rendell operates with a serious case of knowledge deficit as far as eldritch creatures go – but that one setback will not remain readily apparent for long.

By far, however, Rendell's prime weakness is also Caliban's strength. Gregory is an unrestrained egotist, with deeply rooted narcissistic tendencies. The only person of interest to him is himself, and he delights in showing off his good breeding and infaillible culture; as if all those that surrounded him were plebs who were barely worthy of witnessing the magnificience of his intellect. Respond to his snobbery with deliberate crassness or a general lack of care for noble pursuits, and he'll quickly grow bored of you. Those he keeps around are those who reciprocated his self-love and who successfully fed his convictions and desires.

Unfortunately, the incident with the Tree has also caused a few splinters to appear in his already unstable psyche. Where a good villain should try and convince his adversaries of his being harmless – typically in order to gain the upper hand – Rendell doesn't always feel the need to hide his nefarious purposes. In some interviews, he might appear slyly personable and even borederline pleasing. In others, he'll rock the Evil Grins like the best of them and will rather openly gloat about how he's only ever chosen to remain incarcerated. Why he doesn't feel the need to lie or show more deceit, no on-site psychs can understand. Perhaps this comes from the scope of the monstrous things his organization did to Hope and the world, but he doesn't consistently feel the need to hide his destructive urges, in regards to the established society.

Appearance: where Smith and Goliath saw medicinal proteins and long-since extinct antigens to exploit for pharmaceutical purposes, Rupert Isaacs saw life. For a brief time, he'd assumed he would be the one to lord over these new and returned life forms, but the sight of Rendell's developing body triggered something in the geneticist, some sort of insane form of worship. In a certain sense, anyone could see why he would.

Standing at nearly seven feet tall with a majestically lean frame of some two hundred and seventy pounds, he could give the most trained of all Gruffs a run for its money. At about one percent of body fat and a body that seems tailored to correspond to bodybuilding tenets while remaining healthy and hydrated, he stands tall and wide, the slightest of gestures rippling across his entire frame. To Isaacs, that frame must have appeared fairly Olympian, if not suitably godlike. Greyish-green scales cover his frame, giving the illusion that his skin is perpetually oiled.

As can be expected, however, his head and hands tend to break with that assumed perfection. He displays the projected maw expected of T-Rexes, along with twin rows of small, if numerous teeth. Perched atop his proportionately big muzzle is one small if surprisingly expressive yellow eye. The left side of his face has been partially consumed by the Tree's energy stores, however, leaving his left eye socket and its surrounding archway of bone completely bare. The bare expanse of bone seems to stretch out towards the left nostril, a bit like a birthmark, only to stop short of it.

Similarly, his left hand isn't much more than an array of bones held together by a combination of will and arcane power, his flesh seamlessly resuming about halfway up his forearm. He covers this hand with a black and padded leather glove most of the time, while he inexplicably shows no shame in exposing his bare eye socket to the world. Chimera Row's psychiatrists are unanimous in saying that he seems to consider his marred physique as a point of pride, a form of defiance towards those who sought to defeat him.

As can be expected, Rendell hasn't stuck to orange prison jumpsuits for very long. His influence allowing him to relay haberdashery requirements on top of every other little form of corruption he instigated, he's managed to spend several decades building up quite the selection of bespoke suits and ties. Pushing his arrogant displays so far as to have a pair of platinum handcuffs fashioned and placed at his disposition, he makes every effort to make his twin's monthly visits look as futile as possible and only pays lip service to the fact that he still is a defacto prisoner. In fact, once he's let loose in his own sealed complex, you'd entirely forget that he's being held against his will. He has everything a man of his impeccable tastes could desire, and it all stems from his remaining loyalists and those he's managed to butter up. Caliban has shaken Heaven and Earth on multiple occasions and has only occasionally managed to dent his twin's gravy train. Even so, those dents didn't last very long. Take away his wine cellar and the so-called Father of all Transgenics will typically receive a new one from anonymous benefactors within the week.

If one thing tends to jump out at medical examiners more than anyone else, however, is that he seems to have spent the last decades tirelessly trying to undo the work done by the nanites which are forcefully inserted into his bloodstream on a regular basis, maintaining his bodily functions and curtailing his actual death and decomposition process. Rendell wants to die, but not out of some suicidal bent. Dying would allow the via that is poisoning his body to finally finish its work and to have him ascend to full-fledged lich status. Insofar, the best way he's found to try and test the nanites leashing him to a mundane existence is to take to the ingestion of various poisons on a recreational basis – hoping that he'll eventually bite the bucket on a permanent basis.

In a way, it strikes him as particularly ironic that those who had once desired his death above all else now have to keep him alive at all costs. This form of shackled and government-sanctioned immortality might be useful if he were allowed to roam free, but he still hasn't managed to successfully corrupt the greater prison's security detail. Only those in the section which he occupies, along with the head warden, have been successfully pocketed. In the meantime, Caliban is fighting a financial and compliments-based tug-of-war against his twin, pooling assets into these guards' retirement funds and even covering required operations, if this will allow him to maintain their reputation as being incorruptible.

Of course, you could argue Caliban is corrupting Chimera Row's guards and staff for the cause of Good, but that's another story entirely. Long story short, there are days where the resident megalomaniac definitely looks under the weather; but these days are paradoxically where his sociopathic or sometimes psychotic bends are most clearly observable.

As can be expected, he is typically rushed to the prison's medical ward every single time – just in case he'd have managed to find an appropriate cocktail and came close to shedding his mundane limitations. He's come close a few times before, only further lenghtening the list of controlled substances that are forbidden from entering the prison's complex.
Behaviour: as the self-proclaimed Father of all Transgenics, Gregory Rendell displays an unfailingly regal poise, perfect and seemingly unbreakable self-control, flawless social graces and an intellect that's caused several neuropsychiatrists around the globe to display as much praise as sheer terror in the face of what their observations revealed. A Renaissance Man as born, bred and built as only a place as lawless as Paradise could afford, he's been compared to an unholy mash-up between the world's greatest intellectuals and its most reviled historical monsters.

Under a certain light, he can appear to be a luminary, a beacon of hope for the hopeless and those unable to chart their own course. He, obviously, used to be seen as a sort of champion by a militant subset of Aspasia and Spearhead's fellow Transgenic community, and brought everything needed to further that impression to the metaphorical table. In a way that would make even the mammoth's fairly commendable attempts at social engineering look pithy, he has the disgustingly uncanny ability to make his most convinced of enemies slowly abandon their prior judgments and come to see things his way. Where Void Weavers might twist the mind with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, he could be compared to a bonzai tree specialist, cutting one branch here and letting another grow there, not so much obliterating sanity as altering it, word by word and for each and every ideal expressed.

The end result is a vast network of thoroughly convinced operatives, who have come to look to the maimed, if still arguably grandiose figure as some form of promised hope made flesh.

Gregory Rendell is a clever man. A deeply, intensely, perceptively and dangerously clever man. In light of this, detention procedures require all guards not affiliated to his private wing to wear portable radios, smartphones with headphones or at least some form of MP3 player. Listening to him is strictly forbidden, as he can kill a man more surely with mere words than with any sort of weaponry. It'll simply take more time.

No sharp objects are allowed on those visiting him, and contacts are strictly monitored and played back several times, during which they are observed by not one, but four full-time auditors. Objects to be gifted are, technically, to be thoroughly inspected each and every time, and every single poison which is currently on the prison's blacklist must be removed. If contaminated objects are passed, they are to be eliminated without any further process. Complaints from Rendell's visitors are to be ignored.

The list of his personal Do's and Don'ts is large, spanning eight pages and made available to each guard affected to his containment. Every week is closed with a psychological evaluation for the entire eight-man staff, to be absolutely certain that no changing points of view or ideologies have taken root as a result of their working around Rendell.

Considering, it's no surprise that Rendell's personal psychiatrist is a healthy Karthian who is tested on a weekly basis, nor would be any shock to consider that the T-Rex has been the object of several documentaries concerning the peculiarly precise and sometimes downright fussy specifics of his imprisonment.

What the public never sees, however, is that the walls of his metaphorical cell are cracked.

As can be expected, the first years of Gregory's imprisonment were a trial by fire for the local authorities. Entire swaths of the prison's staff fell to the Father's honeyed words and promises, and he was not yet detained in a separate facility. Prison riots started, clans were formed and, inexorably, Rendell emerged as a prison boss, surrounded by die-hard supporters who also happened to be hardened killers and thieves. It took years for the lizard's influence to be broken, but no amount of pressure, fired staff members or cut operational budgets could change the fact that he'd managed to stick a finger in Chimera Row's cogs and pinwheels...

Now, even though the top on-site brass is clean as a whistle, anyone with a badge or a history of prison security quickly realizes that the prison warden has no real power. There isn't one cell transfer, one mess hall fight, one shanking or one minor case of bullying that happens without Rendell hearing about it or having ordered it to happen. The staff has been rotated and changed multiple times, but there seems to be no way whatsoever to entirely and completely isolate the saurian overlord from the rest of the populace. Political cartoons are quick to point to some kind of nonsensical form of nepotism as a reason, but the pundits forget that Caliban has no reason whatsoever to prolong this situation in any undue fashion. His closest friends and family members know a day doesn't go by without Caliban doing his best to try and shut out Rendell from the entire world – but there is little he may do to accomplish it.

It's no surprise then, that owing to a fever caused by a few caster beans and a tiny bit of weekly psychotic dissassociation, Rendell will gloat. He hasn't strictly won, he'll admit, but he hasn't lost either. The game isn't over, he holds, but has rather been placed at a standstill. On his best of days, he'll be frighteningly calm and factual about his impending victory, to the point where his congeniality might start to feel like an insult. On his worst of days, as cold sweat runs down his forehead and pain shoots through him, he'll spare you a fixed and utterly homicidal grin, seething about your apparent nothingness between his teeth.

As a rule, however, non-transgenics are utterly insignificant to him. He's buttered up his fair share of humans and anthros and has slept with a lot of women from either race, without counting the station days' lot of Drifter women, but he doesn't significantly care for any of these people. His only source of forward motion rests in the sick and twisted dreams he entertains for himself and those Chimeras who have remained loyal to him. Rationalizing the world's worst forms of ethnic cleansing and seemingly convinced of the moral, physical and intellectual superiority of his comrades over anything else the world has ever harbored, those non-Chimeras he intends to safeguard don't have much to look forward to. He might wax big talk about electing human provincial leaders, but the fact remains that he's more keen on seeing Mankind locked in zoo cages.

He's broken countless hearts and betrayed a myriad allies, and everything suggests he'd do it again and again – without the least bit of remorse. He cannot be trusted in any shape or form, but his presence, intellect and good breeding make it difficult for most of everyone to keep any sort of reflex-based hatred up and running for long periods of time. Sickeningly reasonable, sometimes, he'll do everything required in order to make your violent-if-justified antagonism seem excessive, if not utterly gauche.

There's really only one rule to consider, according to Caliban.

No matter what you do, don't ever play chess with him. Chess, in this case, being as much a literal as a figurative concept. He might ram a game piece down your throat, but he's far more likely to use any sort of quiet and intellectual exercise as a means to worm his way inside your head-space in a more insidious manner than any kind of seasoned telepath could manage.

Goals: in the late eighties, Caliban wasn't able to block a temporary transfer request that saw Gregory, hand and feet-cuffed and dressed to the nines, on Larry King Live. As can be expected, he stole the screen time with his presence and intellect, presenting himself as an ostracized millitant figure. The Transgenics are being denied fundamental rights, he argued, and he'd only ever wished to strike back against the supporters of a hateful oligarchic system that only saw his brethren as being expendable – expensive Petri dishes on two legs, as it were. The biotech industry was profiteering based on the living genes and cells of developed and wholly sentient beings, and no form of station-based pacific protests had allowed for this to change. They'd all come to Earth hoping to find a better place, only to be greeted by ballistic missiles and the threat of ICBMs.

Millions bought into Rendell's sob story on a nation-wide basis. With the show being broadcast in other parts of the world, Elysium created an ideal breeding ground for more recruits, ostensibly cannon fodder that wouldn't be allowed to meet with the self-proclaimed only “true” Transgenics Rights activist. The only thing that prevented the T-Rex from becoming some sort of new revolutionary icon was the Hague's incoming trial for Crimes Against Humanity. He'd been only months away from finalizing a publishing contract for another fizzling piece of dissent, in the form of a five hundred-page behemoth essay decrying the exactions of the biotech and augmentation-related sectors.

Even today, all you have to do to find supporters to his cause is type “Free Rendell” or “Free Father” in Google, and watch the results fly. Most common results aren't enough to warrant an investigation; there's plenty of Facebook groups that regurgitate the maniac's pre-canned melodrama and aren't much more than the work of misguided people who honestly have their hearts in the right place. As Travis could explain, the Surface Web doesn't contain much of anything you'd find scabrous – even if there's a dangerous amount of ignorance on display. The Deep Web is where things get hot – including certain seditious private message boards only accessible through the use of a direct IP address, housing angry Transgenics and sympathizers to the cause. Looking at Wyvern's frightfully extensive research on the terrorist network, it's obvious Rendell is after anyone with a shred of talent and isn't above cannibalizing other extremist factions to obtain what he desires. Able to twist his rhetoric around to please virtually anyone, he's managed to unite White Power believers and Muslim militants who might have lost all common measure under the same banner.

Turning himself into his network's baseline connective tissue, the one idol everyone venerates, Rendell intends to lay waste to Washington D.C., sack places of arcane import for all their worth, and grip the entire world by the proverbial horns. If one cell is more active than its American sibling, it apparently is the Russian group. As far as anyone can tell, Rendell seems to be actively financing research on the ancient goblin city's via pylons, perhaps wishing to exploit dead Hyperborea's wealth of deceased warlocks for his own benefit.

History: in Hope's universe, alien technology allowed for the full sequencing of the human genome to occur decades earlier than in ours. In 1957, Mankind was given the keys to the chemical soup of Creation. While tests immediately began in order to find antigens for a wide variety of illnesses and physical conditions, Henry Smith was one of those who believed in the tavern-told stories of the incredible hardiness and resilience of the Summer fauns of old and the descendants of the dragons' saurian slaves – the Dragonkin of Winter. History had wiped them out, but deep within their related species, both amongst the animal kingdom and the sentient populace – there rested the key to a treasure trove's worth of primeval antigens. Laws prevented the outright resurrection of the deceased species, but tolerance was expended towards their bare mitochondria and protein strains. If Henry had had his way, then Aspasia and Spearhead would more than likely not exist, while new cures could have been synthesized from their respective species' strong and adaptive genetic code.

Henry needed someone capable – someone who could think outside the box and, if necessary, skirt the boundaries of ethics if that meant millions could be spared from suffering. That someone happened to be Rupert Isaacs, an unhinged if brilliant botanist and geneticist, a man whose reputation as a Renaissance Man had been proven time and again. As odd and socially awkward as he was, even if he sometimes seemed to disconnect from reality, he served as a new kind of Archmage – one without powers or connection to via – for a new age of medical marvels. He was convinced that he'd be not only be able to recombine several divergent strains into their primeval parents, but that he'd also create entirely new life forms from scratch.

As you can expect, standing so close to godliness didn't help his ego or his foresight. He barreled ahead, publicizing every step of his research despite Henry's disapproval. Seeing as Alexander Ruthven wasn't stupid and read the paper like everyone else, he quickly realized that his company sat on a gold mine – if only Isaacs could be promised to cooperate.

Initially, the plans had involved the extrasolar development of at least one squad of Transgenics, followed by their presentation to the vampire's Washington connections. Why stick with mere antibiotics when you could the same DNA to create full-spectrum warriors straight out of Fae legends? All that was needed was a smart rearrangement of certain trait and morphotype-specific alleles with the use of a randomization algorithm, and you had yourself a stable population that stood ready and able to reproduce, if need be. Throw enough cosmetic shifts in the pot and you stabilized the gene pool, preventing recessive traits from resurfacing.

Complicating matters was the fact that Titania had openly petitioned Goliath in order to have the gene sequences used to re-introduce fauns into the population. As a Fae, and sensing the chance to breathe life into a stalwart race of allies, she'd felt obligated to bring these matters to the United Nations, in order to, hopefully, provide these new fauns with a legal footing on which to exist. Before the corporation could proceed with the incubation of its fertilized eggs, however, a team of mercenaries raided the company's Hope-based Biotechnology division. At the time, this stood as one of Wyvern Holdings' biggest cases, as the portfolio investment firm had directly backed Isaacs' research. Aldergard was fuming at the thought of having been played for a fool by a craven and self-serving vampire, of all people; and he obviously expressed dismay at the thought of what these embryos would be subjected to. Unfortunately for him, all trails went cold after the facility was ravaged. It would be decades before any sort of clue would come of the collected crime scene-associated debris.

Today, however; released documents show that Hyperion Biologics, a company founded by Isaacs shortly before the heist, purchased the nitrogen canisters from mercenary hands it had more than likely hired in the first place. Today, we do know that an unmarked shuttle left for Gliese, and that the media-associated troubles that followed Goliath in the wake of this are partly responsible for John Smith claiming office as CEO of the company. A mixture of guilt, anger, resentment, rage and annoyance had eaten at the family patriarch, providing a ripe context for the son to step forward.

In 1962, as the Rust Belt era comes to a close and Hope battles Russian warlocks and Siberian superhumans amongst others, Isaacs reaches Paradise and is received by Takeshi Watatsumi, Wanderer to the Oriental dragon of this name and human leading figure to the Five Hundred Dragons. A large warehouse in Sector 7 of the station has been purchased with expected criminal interests, Terran gangs having long since begun to implant themselves in the fertile and lawless ground of extrasolar society.

Two years later, stable growth of one of Isaacs' custom strains – the so-called Green Chimera – is observed. A Yakuza-financed neurosurgeon, called Eiko Kazamatsuri, specializes in assisted neuroplasticity and is tasked with the proper maturation and training of the Transgenic's cortical functions. Considering, she was dismayed when ordered by Isaacs to utilize his training protocols at the risk of facing rather literal termination. She'd seen him work once before and had understood enough of his vision for whoever this new being would become to be seriously worried. Twice, she attempted to spirit her protocols in place instead of his, and twice she was caught red-handed. Finally, resigned, she allowed for the already eccentric scientist to display the extent of his insanity and hubris : his knowledge and open veneration for the new life form he'd created surged into the saurian being's unconscious mind, following along a veritable cocktail of High Culture and downright noxious personality affects. Not only that, but Isaacs didn't seem to mind the raw limitations of the T-Rex's wetware and pushed his painstakingly created sentient lizard's brain past the breaking point.

In 1967, after several abortive attempts and prolonged comas, the man who would call himself Gregory Rendell was born. Immediately, Eiko noticed the deleterious and syrupy effects of Rupert's open worship on the young lizard's psyche, her exams coming back with troubling evidence of acute narcissism and frighteningly unrealistic world-views. Where humility would have been a desirable trait, the Transgenic attempted to summarily seize control of the facility.

At first, Watatsumi allowed these attempts to play through close to completion, hoping that a few vicious katana-driven beatdowns would teach the verbose dinosaur a thing or two about his proper place in the syndicate. What he hadn't expected, however, was for Rendell to adapt frighteningly quickly to Takeshi's martial style, born out of his numerous successive reincarnations.

Soon, there was little the swordsman could do to hold its creature back. No flurries or parries helped, to the point where he perished at Gregory's fist. Knowing that the Wanderer would not re-emerge for several decades, Rendell had time enough to carry his own plans to fruition. The formerly Yakuza-driven staff cut all ties to the mainland and began to answer solely to the Transgenic. One of the first points of business implies the creation of a physical and synaptic backup for the Father, as Rendell fully intends to use Isaacs' provided technology and expertise to cheat death, if necessary.

Years pass, with the Red and Blue Chimeras being steadily produced and indoctrinated. As expected of Rendell, they are told of the uncharitable nature of the planet their genes used to call home, and are pushed into believing that retribution is at hand. In every other way, however, Rendell attempts to raise model citizens of Paradise, possessed of something resembling his own vat-grown education and just as ready and willing to kill as any Drifter. His ambitions become widely known across the station, which pushes a few Point leaders, armed vigilantes and Dusters to lead raids against Sector 7, which has been completely overtaken by the Transgenics. The Massacre of Sector 7 will follow, an attempt at a station-wide ethnic cleansing that will seal the Drifters' rising enmity towards the genetically created organisms. These events are also tied to Caliban's creation, but these are to be covered in his own document.

Victorious and having beaten Tyler Renny's Dusters, Rendell's disciples find themselves free to extend their reach across the sector. The misguided Transgenics now being ready and willing to fight anyone who would doubt of their right to sovereignty, further experiments were carried out that had been previously blocked by Eiko's scant few loyal staff members. Some would be finished on Earth and others took place onboard the station. In either case, ethical boundaries even the fiercely independent Paradise natives would agree to are violated without any care for the resulting consequences. Finding herself powerless but still able to grasp the societal divide between the Drifters and Transgenics, she began work on the gambit that would lead to the creation of today's most outspoken – and respected – legal representative of Transgenics rights.

In 1974, forcefully commandeered Karthian and Drifter shuttles landed at Hope's spaceport. The diplomatic envoy's unconditional terms of surrender were met with obvious hostility from Hope and Washington alike, opening the way for the Transgenic Wars of the same year – as well as the Battle of Hope, which took place one year later.

For a few months, Rendell's efforts to pelt the globe with alien weaponry seemed to pay off. Cities were ransacked, Nexuses were shut down, dryads and other tutelary spirits perished. In a single year, he managed to deeply alter the makeup of the world's ley lines, creating dark spots where previously fertile arcane areas stood, and relegating this denied power to areas that had previously been scarce in potential. In response, research in Transhuman fields exploded. Clanks returned to prominence, even as new and increasingly modern armature models were being designed under military contracts. The slow and steady research into the development of lifelike prosthetic limbs was also accelerated. In barely eight months, warfare on Earth was forever changed.

At first, Hope seemed to have been spared. Rendell had taken to consider it as the future capital of his new world order, and used it as a meeting ground during his rare ceasefire communications. With the road to Point Judith and the city's docks and wharves closed, the metropolis was being willfully disconnected from the outside world, largely in order to protect the remaining civilians. Considering the Centennial Tree's purpose, the seventies saw quite a few superhuman and metahuman beings come to life, with some returning faces banding together in order to ensure that Sophia's Nexus would have a fighting chance. Caliban also emerged into the public eye during this period, going through periods of mistrust, careful attention and then outright acceptance as he did everything he could to work in tandem with Eiko's space-based underground railroad. She'd remained behind after suffering her injuries and had chosen to use her station-locked status as a means to give a chance for the doubters and the deserters within Elysium to reach Earth as allies.

Slowly, things came to a head as the resistance began to procure its own Karthian and Drifter tech and as inexorably, Humanity fought back. Rendell had been far too cocky and far too sudden in his approach, as suddenly blanketing the Earth in plasma fire meant that he'd have a hard time coordinating a solid retreat. Little by little, cities returned to Terran hands and countries followed suit. His one and only chance was to claim the one Nexus he'd intended to keep as a trophy of sorts and to hope that Isaacs' technological prowess would enable him to survive forceful integration with Sophia.

The Battle of Hope soon raged on, stretching for several weeks as the previously pristine Centennial Park saw trenches being dug into it and fortifications were erected around the Tree. Neighborhoods fell, then entire boroughs, then key infrastructure items. For a while, things seemed to be going in Gregory's favor. Desperate, however, the already injured dryad and her allies pulled one last gambit, aware that no Transgenic had seen the Tree before – nor an exact map of the park. The T-Rex's men fell prey to Amazo's deployed illusion and charged a Nexus that wasn't there, allowing for the thinned ranks of the U.S. Army to drive a wedge through their numbers. Incensed, Gregory attempted to bring his troops back to some form of order, only to find that the flanking and rear-end combination was tearing his local forces apart. With no instant communication possible and Archie's blessedly primitive approach to international coordination, Morse code allowed for the local resistance members to broadcast their working strategy.

Now that he was desperate, Rendell pushed for the real Tree as strongly as he could. Exhausted, Amazo opted to let the poor idiot try his luck; knowing full well that there was a strong chance of Sophia burning him alive with close-quarters and extreme via exposure. This is almost precisely what happened – if not for the fact that Rendell saw through the deception and attempted to tap directly into the Tree – without using the dryad as a go-between. Dryads acting a bit like living transformers and capacitors for the raw yield of arcane potential, the megalomaniac went up in flames. Understanding the process behind the creation of a lich, he'd hoped to supplant the Tree and become a living fount of arcane power. Then, he'd hoped, none would ever be able to deny him.

Things, again, didn't go quite as planned. Bucky pulled him away from the Tree in extremis, locking him somewhere between traditional death and the undeath enjoyed by liches like Zebediah or Silas. Initially, physical containment and Paradise exsosuit tech forcefully kept him in this biological no man's land, until Goliath pioneered in the field of medical nanotechnology, in the 1990s. Forcefully kept alive – and therefore locked away from his would-be nature as a lich – Rendell found himself the head of the following decades' Transgenics trials. His twin would preside the associated commission, more or less earning every inch of the birthright he'd wanted to claim for himself. All it took for Caliban Smith to become the mouthpiece of all Transgenics was one well-earned election and the inauguration of Chimera Row.

As for Rendell, he'd become one of the institution's most well-known residents; something of its own Al Capone. Incarceration teaching him the merits of temperance, he transitioned from an isolated triple-max inmate to a prison boss and finally, to the establishment's informal administrator – despite all of Caliban's attempts to stymy his reach and influence.

Today, Rendell is something like a cross between a self-avowed kingpin of crime and the local Hannibal Lecter reference, his cultivated patience turning from a simple asset into a fearsome weapon others have very quickly recognized.
Post Reply