From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Real Name:||Klein Bouchard|
|Occupation:||Robotics Engineer, Software Developer, Vigilante|
|Place of Birth:||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Base of Operations:||Calgary|
|Known Relatives:||Gary Bouchard (Father), Latrice Bouchard (Mother, deceased)|
|Absorbs natural elements in the air and converts them into deadly toxins.|
|Genius level intelligence, expert in robotics.|
|Typically wears a gas mask in public to prevent accidently triggering his mutant ability.|
Klein never showed early signs of intelligence or special ability. He was a completely normal youth, growing up in the busy streets of Calgary. He was loved by his parents, being their only child, but not completely spoiled by them. The boy attended normal schools until he was accepted into the University of Calgary. He had been fairly good at maths and physics and so enrolled in their engineering degree, specialising in robotics. He maintained decent grades, a good social life, and his side job and various projects allowed him to rent a small apartment off-campus.
It was the year after he graduated from UoC that Klein's life began to change. While attending a party held by a non-graduate friend of his, Klein became severely intoxicated. After hours of black-out drunkeness, his better friends locked him in a spare bathroom until the morning. When he awoke naked in the bathtub the next morning with a severe headache, he figured that would be the worst of his problems. It was not. Still groggy, the twenty-three year old clothed himself in a towel and left the bathroom to find the remaining party-goers, those that did not leave the apartment, dead and bloated where they lay. Klein felt himself becoming sick from nerves and fled back to the bathroom. Some of his closest friends were just outside the door unbreathing, unthinking. While he was contemplating what to do next, the front door to the apartment opened. A female shreiked and cried. Minutes later Klein could hear her speaking on the phone, most likely reporting the scene. Without thinking, he dashed out of the bathroom and through the front door, never looking back and not caring that he dropped the towel after half a mile.
Klein first called his folks from a public phone, clothed in stolen Goodwill wear. His parents had already seen news reports but begged him to come home. When he arrived, his mother was stricken with grief. Even after explaining that he had only gotten drunk and spent the night in a bathtub, they worried for him. The police arrived for questioning minutes later. He regurgitated the same story. They wanted to take him into custody for fleeing the scene of a crime. Klein protested angrily. Then the policemen began to choke. His mother began to choke. His father punched him out. He saw no more of his parents.
Laying down on his back in his borrowed dirty white t-shirt and tattered rust trousers, Klein blearily eyed the sun. He rolled over, stood up, and didn't bother to pat himself clean of sand. He had no idea where he was, but he knew it couldn't be Canada. His father must have deposited himself here to keep him safe. He was... beyond the borders of his homeland. Further, he knew that he was making people sick. He did not know how, but knew he could find out. Klein wandered a wasteland that day. And the next day. And as many days as it took to find a shelter. Along the way he stopped at intermitten gas stations and bought water with Canadian change which looked American enough in a hurry. Finally he arrived in a small town, no bigger than three blocks and made an appointment with the town doctor for a physical check up. The bloodwork would not be back for a week. He told the doctor he had no money and the doctor put him to work. Klein was warmed by the man's kindness. A week later, the bloodwork was inconclusive; elements of an unknown genome and filled with trace toxins, but otherwise healthy. Klein showed no physical ailments but wasn't feeling his best. He told the doctor he needed to go and the man let him, his debt paid.
Klein practiced for weeks on vegetation, willing himself to excrete the toxins he knew were in his body, the toxins building up and mutating, waiting for the nerves to tighten for them to be expelled. He tried punching himself which only worked one out of ten times. He tried cutting himself. Once. A near-phsyical altercation with two white trash mechanics in a pick-up truck did the trick. After one of them threatened to "beat the shit out of this little faggot", Klein's body released all his pent up toxicity, immediately vaporizing the two of them, apart from their clothes and accessories. He took their cash and trucks and drove on. His ability needed people to work. This was a crux.
Throughout that year, Klein took odd jobs that helped him sustain himself as he moved accross the country, having ditched stolen truck, buying and repairing a Yugo for 100$. Robotic engineering hadn't translated into car mechanic, but Klein could figure it out and found most of the parts at junkyards as he went. Another find was a 1940's gas mask. He repaired it and carried it with him - just in case. Klein became socially awkward when he did need to socialize. His brilliance shone, but hinted at something off. Eventually he reached the east coast of the United States, hovering his way up into Maine. Off and away from a town called Caribou, he established a sort of shanty and lived there, again doing various odd jobs. It was on one of these jobs that he met Carly Leincraft.
Carly's appartment was in serious need of fixing up and her landlord left her to pay for all the repair work herself. The problem was that she was just sixteen and could not get hired to do work. The apartment was an odd result of her last legal guardian providing for her well-being and subsequently dying, leaving the owner's of her estate to fund the various projects and dependants she had left, of which Carly was one. Klein was happy to do the work but saw that he and the girl were in somewhat of the same boat; neither of them having a social life and both of them just scraping by. Klein had worn the gasmask to do the repairs which frustrated the girl because she could not see his face. He decided to confide in her of his secret ability and necessity for the mask and carried on with his repairs. The girl, in turn, confided that she was never ill and did not age. Then the both of them fell over laughing at one another. Finishing the repairs, Klein was offered dinner, cooked by an over-zealous Carly who burned the chicken.
The two maintained a close friendship, Klein eventually moving in with the girl. He brought with him his shanty experiments; some bipedal robots intended to do maintenance work. Carly named them all after different kinds of minerals which she seemed overly familiar with. He suspected that she may be telling the truth about not aging. There would be little time to dwell on this, however. A man called Jayden Vansh, claiming to be with an organisation called the Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, visited their apartment one March afternoon. He was looking for Carly but had not expected to find Klein. After a brief arguement over "not going anywhere with you" and an even more brief physical altercation ending with "sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!", Klein, Carly, and Klein's robots were hauled off to Rhode Island.
Over the next few months, the two settled down within the agencies they had been delivered to. Klein was working for division called Vanguard. He saw little of Carly but kept in contact with her through emails, text messages, and occasional video conferences. They were putting Klein to work on maintaining the Vanguard HVAS and developing new technologies for the Sword and Shield divisions of Vanguard. He had even modified his own robots with a few ideas. They knew of Klein's mutant ability as well and provided him with a special mask, which was, if anything, more comfortable than his old one. They knew about what had happened at the University of Calgary and had granted him an official pardon, or as much of one as Vanguard could grant. And they gave him a codename,"Chemical Engineer" which he didn't like very much, but was grateful enough for other reasons to not make a fuss.
Klein was only around a few of the metas and supers that visited the compound. Of course there were the Vanguard regulars who headed the departments, but he had also personally met a few of the big and little names floating around Paragon. This Rikti business wasn't small stuff. Very rarely, Klein was permitted to do field work, testing new offensive upgrades on the HVAS personally. These took him all over the city. And in time, he came to love it there. He came to feel as though he was part of something. It had been touch and go getting there, but there he was. And here he goes...
Powers and Abilities
Klein has a mutant ability that acts as a defense against other people by converting particals of their own genetic makeup into deadly toxins. In order to do this, he must either breathe in these microscopic particals or come into direct flesh contact with his assailant or innocent bystander. His body then absorbs the particals it needs to produce a toxin and Klein exudes it from his skin; usually through his hands, mouth, or entire upperbody. ((Roleplayed through various powersets including Thermal Radiation, Dark Melee, Dark Armor, and Dark Blast.))
He is also gifted with high intellect and reasoning, though he is especially good within his field of study, robotics. ((Robotics Mastermind))
Further more, Klein is stricken with what he considers to be "dumb luck". It has gotten him through numerous situations in which he had zero control and came out unharmed or otherwise fine. ((Roleplayed via Super Reflexes on the brute version of Klein Bouchard)).
Pocket D and Roleplaying
The easiest place to find Klein currently is Pocket D. He comes here to meet up with neutral clients and friends, including Carly Leincraft, but never Jayden Vansh. If you're interested in roleplaying with Klein, feel free, but know:
- He's an absolute spaz.
- He won't actively divulge in any of Vanguard's going-ons.
- He will most likely be wearing his gas mask. Feel safe about this.
- If you're a pal of Jayden's, he probably will like you less.
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