From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Granddaughter to a 'retired' super villain, Blue Memento recently registered as a hero and quickly climbed in security level not long after appearing in Paragon City. Due to how often she is seen fighting on the streets, many wonder if she even has an identity outside of her heroic one- helped along by the fact that Kathrine Bell is perhaps one of the least noticeable people in all of Paragon City.
Paragon City isn't the only place in the world that has its share of villains. For the better part of a decade, a small town in the northern states near the Great Lakes named 'White Lake' was renown for three things: its nearly endless snowfall, the local heroic figures who had rebuilt the town decades ago after a horrible blizzard, and the local crime lord, Joseph F. Jack. JFJ started as a small-time thug whose only outstanding feature was his skill with picking locks and getting into places he should by all rights not have been able to.
That all changed a few years after the turn of the millennium. Somehow, on a trip to Paragon City to traffic some illicit goods, the unremarkable thug had gotten his hands on technology belonging to a relatively unknown villain. With his new 'toys', he was capable of shaping and creating ice at will, and it wasn't long before he was putting the ability to use by freezing his rivals and those who poked their noses where they didn't belong. Through intimidation, thinning the herd, and the occasional show of charisma, he reached the top of the food chain, and Joseph 'Lord Frost' Jack was born.
He grew paranoid as time went on, seeing patterns in things where none existed. Plans to see him removed from his self-proclaimed position where whispered everywhere he went, and he could picture assassins lurking in every shadow, waiting for their chance. He sent his goons to attack people seemingly at random, striking out at those he believed were plotting against him. People began filing out of White Lake in droves to escape the rapidly escalating crime rate. One man, a 'Dr. Alphonse Bell', took shelter not far away in an advanced bunker of his own design. His young granddaughter, barely 12 at the time, accompanied him inside the glorified time capsule.
Despite being only faintly aware of what was happening and why she had been moved away from her friends and hometown, Kathrine took the sudden seclusion from the world oddly well. She busied herself with exploring the extensive compound her grandfather had made (when he had made it she wasn't quite sure), playing with whatever odds and ends she managed to get her hands on. Of all the things she found in her trips around the bunker, what occupied most of her time were the comic books and movies based on the 'true stories' of Paragon's heroes. The young girl was enthralled by the tales of good and evil, internalizing the mottoes and morals of each hero and story almost religiously.
To give his granddaughter more to do, Dr. Bell handled her education and gave attention to her apparent skill with puzzles. She was rewarded for completing exceptionally difficult examples of the latter with more comics and the occasional stuffed animal (one of which, Schrodinger, she grew deeply attached to). In her late teens, Kathrine was already starting to grasp the basics of electrical engineering. It was also around this time that cabin fever began to set in, having finally run out of distractions to fend off the sense of isolation.
After reflecting on the situation, Kathrine confronted her grandfather with an idea. If some two-bit villain managed to invent technology to manipulate cold and ice, they could do it too. It would then be a simple task to subdue him. She convinced him to help her with the project in spite of his concern for her well being on the condition the suit would be able to protect against physical force as well as cold. The prototype was finished in remarkably little time thanks to the elder of the twos' experience, but the duo spent several years refining and upgrading it to ensure it would be flawless. She named the suit 'ACES' out of the desire of an acronym in following with her favorite comics.
As a finishing touch, she affixed her favorite stuffed animal to the suit's shoulder as a good luck charm- her grandfather taking care to make it just as durable as the rest of her suit in perhaps one of his odder gestures of familial affection. After taking a few months to run tests and accustom her to using it, Kathrine was ready to go out into the world once more. She donned the name 'Blue Memento', hoping to return the town to its former peacefulness by embodying the heroes of old.
The fight against the crime lord responsible for her problems was... underwhelming, to say the least. His paranoia had whittled his own numbers down to a bare bones operation of those too spineless to leave, and time had not been kind to his own freezing device without the ability to give it proper maintenance. The arrival of a hero sent the few remaining goons running almost instantly. That left 'Lord Frost' himself, who could do little but throw glorified snowballs at her and injure his fists on the armor covering her torso. She would have felt sorry for him if he hadn't been a complete sociopath. Instead, she settled for encasing his arms and legs in ice before phoning the police.
It was during the wait for police that her curiosity got the better of her. She grilled the man for information on the technology he had been using, half in the hope of someday confronting the person indirectly responsible for White Lake's problems, and half to give the feeling of closure to the whole debacle. His ego took it as a chance to boast. The machine had belonged to a obscure villain going by the moniker of 'Professor Avalanche' who was forced into hiding after several close calls with heroes. He stole it from an underground auction that had gotten hold of a warehouse the would-be world conqueror had used to store his inventions, and fled back to White Lake to put it to good use.
Snatching the device itself from the man, she took a glance at its inner workings. A cold weight settled into the pit of her stomach as she realized it was a near exact replica of her and her grandfather's own prototype. With some reluctance, she asked if he knew the real name of 'Professor Avalanche', or at least had a description of him, but found he knew neither. She poked and prodded for more- age, gender, modus operandi- and received some basic details but nothing concrete. Frustrated by the lack of information, she stood and turned over what she knew in her head.
Even as the police took him away and she met the thanks and congratulations on her first capture with enthusiasm, the doubt still lingered. Her grandfather DID complete the prototype with an amazing amount of speed, especially considering their lack of resources in the bunker. The bunker itself was also suspicious- beyond heroes, villains, and military, there were few who would have both the resources and the reason for a secret location like that, and only those with reason to hide away from the world at large would choose such a small town to build it near. The age and gender fit, as did the time frame that 'Professor Avalanche' disappeared with when her grandfather moved to White Lake.
As soon as she returned, she confronted him with the evidence. He admitted to creating the device Joseph Jack had used while in his youth, his short tenure as 'Professor Avalanche', and to choosing the small town as a home for the purposes of staying hidden. He recognized the effects of his invention when it resurfaced, but feared that the news of such a device would draw the attention of heroes- especially if an old man matching the description of its inventor appeared to reclaim it. He instead hid in the bunker, hoping to wait it out, so he could raise his granddaughter in peace.
Cold, Lonely Roads
Furious that her grandfather had picked his own safety over preventing the damage his invention had done, Kathrine packed up her things and stormed off at the first opportunity, refusing the speak with or even acknowledge him. Despite her anger, she couldn't bring herself to turn the person who had raised her in. She settled for getting as far from him as she could; saving up money from odd jobs to keep herself afloat just long enough to move to the next town. She settled down for a few years in a town not too different from the one she once called home, and even managed to put herself through college for a few years.
It was during this time that the sense of isolation made its return. She wasn't used to speaking to other people after her sheltered upbringing, and her home felt lonelier than ever now that she lacked even her grandfather's company. She needed something to aim for, a goal to focus on as she tried to accustom herself to the world. With that in mind, she made one final move, to Paragon City.
There was never a dull moment for Blue Memento after she moved to Paragon. Always one cry for help that needed answering, or some crisis to avert. She spent more and more time in her guise of Blue Memento as the days went by, enjoying the ability to hide behind a mask and help others with their problems. The connections she forged with her fellow heroes- as loose and temporary as they sometimes were- satisfied her need for contact and made her feel at home for the first time in years.
The contrast between Blue Memento and Kathrine Bell couldn't be larger. In costume, Blue Memento is quick-witted, boisterous, courageous, and almost overbearing in her confidence. Outside of her costume, that infallible certainty in herself vanishes, the girl becoming a stuttering mess when confronted with anything out of her comfort zone. She prefers to keep people at arm's length, be it through a wall of cheer or quietly fading into the background. The real her shines through to those who get to know her well enough to drop her guard- introspective, clever, calm, and friendly, but not annoyingly so.
One way to draw her out of her shell is to hit upon subjects she knows about in detail- comic books, computers, movies, and old trivia relating to heroes and villains, to name a few. She also has a budding skill in playing a guitar and has taken up various hobbies in her spare time, though being a nearly full time hero has left little. Both in and out of costume, Blue Memento rarely does anything in half measures- she works hard and plays hard. Hobbies are obsessed upon thoroughly before she's content to move onto the next, and those who manage to create even a shakey friendship will find someone willing to risk life and limb to protect them.
Adventures in Paragon
To be expanded
To be expanded