From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
This article about a character is a work in progress and may be incomplete, missing content, and/or subject to drastic or frequent edits.
Nick Tessler was once an engineer for Crey Industries, making a comfortable living working on boring projects. Then came an offer he couldn't turn down - head of design for a secret military contract to design a powered armor suit using new technologies reverse-engineered from the Rikti. If things had gone smoothly, he may well have continued his quiet little life...but things never go smoothly, especially not when Crey is involved. Working this job, Tessler started to see the darker side of Crey - human testing, unethical practices, a general disregard for human life. Unable to continue working for a company so clearly evil, he stole his newly-completed first prototype and broke out of Crey's facilities. His career now shot, he had little choice in life but to continue on the path he had started, becoming a licensed Hero and adopting the persona of "Ace Hadron" - named in part after the ACE armor he developed and still uses.
Ace is more comfortable as a follower than as a leader, and tends to take a supportive role whenever possible, even though his armor gives him the power to hold his own alone. Though he is a bit of an idealist, he doesn't fight crime solely for the sake of fighting crime, instead focusing on attempts to undo the harm done by Crey and, for reasons he chooses not to disclose, the Rikti. While he occasionally feels some lingering guilt about how his career likely helped Crey commit some of their atrocities, he is well-adjusted enough to understand he was manipulated and lied to and does not blame himself for their actions. When that guilt does surface, it tends to be quickly overpowered by resentment and a newfound "enthusiasm" for "bringing them to justice" (the desire for revenge, of course, being both immature and un-heroic and thus below him. Naturally.)
More recently, Ace's life has taken another completely unexpected turn when he responded to a distress signal sent by an unknown alien ship shortly before it crashed. This turned out to be the transport for a group of alien catgirls on an intergalactic sightseeing trip. Upon learning that our planet was at war with the Rikti - who their species had recently fought off their own planet - they volunteered to aid us in our own war and formed the supergroup "Crimefighting Catgirls from Space" (CCS). They managed to convince Ace to act as an intermediary to help them avoid any unnecessary cultural misunderstandings - as well as providing them with much-needed financial support. He likes to think of himself a sort of Charlie (catgirl Angels? Stranger things have happened in Paragon), but in reality he's far less important to them than he thinks. While they appreciate his help, any ego-stroking on their part is just to make sure he keeps paying the rent. While living with the CCS provides Ace with no shortage of stress (he now understands that high school teachers are grossly underpaid), he really doesn't mind - in part because their engineer is intelligent enough to maintain a conversation about subatomic physics, in part because their differing culture and non-native (though conversationally fluent) grasp of our language means they are just about the only non-scientists who don't (mistakenly or maliciously) confuse the position of the 'd' and 'r' in his superhero name.
ACE powered armor v0.9
The ACE powered armor suit is a marvel of weapons technology. Developed by Crey Industries under D.E. Nicolas Tessler, it weighs just over 150 pounds (plus pilot) and sports a variety of offensive and defensive weaponry. The exoskeleton is incredibly durable, able to withstand a great deal of force with minimal discomfort to the pilot and providing nearly full-body protection against attacks and environmental hazards (a helmet was planned but not completed before the prototype was stolen, leaving the head unprotected.) The suit has an internal power supply of Rikti origin, the precise mechanisms of which are not yet fully understood, though it appears capable of running the ACE armor for centuries.
Weapons systems: ACE quantum manipulation field, assorted conventional electric blast weapons. Other notable systems: Jump jets (capable of both high-speed forward leaps and multiple-story vertical jumps), automated stabilizers (to minimize harm to the pilot when struck, falling/landing, knocked down, etc, keeping them upright and in control as much as possible)
The ACE quantum manipulation field is integral to the success of the ACE armor, using newly-reverse-engineered Rikti technologies to force a state of quantum entanglement between the molecules of a target and those of an internal control drive, allowing the control drive to directly influence the properties of the target. This allows for a wide variety of effects including transfer of energy in various forms...in laymen's terms, it allows the pilot to "steal" or "drain" health, endurance, speed, power, etc, from a targeted foe(s) to the pilot (and his/her allies). In addition, the ACE armor possesses several conventional electric blast weapons (chosen instead of other firearms due to a lack of need for ammunition and the ability to draw from the same power source as the ACE quantum manipulation field) built into the gloves and arms, ranging from a straightforward electric bolt attack to an area-affecting electric field and more.