From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Johan Christiansen Stryfe
|Place of Birth:
|Base of Operations:
|Paragon City, RI
| Col. Jack Stryfe (Ret) - father, deceased
Emily Stryfe - mother, deceased
|No known super powers
|Combat skills, special weapons and tactics, devices
|Assault rifle, gadgets
|No additional information available.
Colonel Stryfe is ZenSolstice's first character on Virtue, after several on other servers. Using the classic template of a non-powered hero, reliant upon training and technology, he was built upon the essence of the human spirit, both wonderfully talented and incredibly flawed. Stryfe is the first character ZenSolstice has taken to 50. Formerly part of The Reciprocators, he was killed in action fighting the Rikti off world.
Stryfe was a soldier, pure and simple. Skilled in the harsh realities of combat, he brought a 'directness' to his work as a superhero, a stance that (whilst effective) brought considerable ire upon him. Having never recovered from the murder of his wife and child, he took that pain to the streets, taking down criminals with brutal efficiency. Direct, sombre, focused and wounded would have been the best words to describe him. Before joining the Reciprocators he kept a Spartan existence, using the apartment he once shared with his family as his base of operations, the living room more like a combat prep area, the other rooms neat, clean and nearly devoid of any personal touch. Every precious memento was placed in secure storage, later moved to Reciprocator vaults after his death.
In the field he wore simple, utilitarian gear, eschewing the flashier uniforms and outfits others used as both clothing and symbols. Never having thought of himself as a Hero, he was extremely uncomfortable in any sort of costume, only coming to terms with his Reciprocator outfit by thinking of it as a military uniform. Most often he could be seen in fatigues and combat boots, simple t-shirt and a distinctive long coat, the latter constructed from synth-leather and carbonate fibre weave, providing him with a modicum of personal armour.
A natural leader in a combat environment, he was somewhat difficult to approach personally. Guarded and remote, he wore his grief like a cloak, only occasionally showing glimpses of the man he once was - happy, confident even somewhat mischievous. Even though a widower, he always described himself as married, still devoted to his beloved wife and family.
Stryfe's powers were entirely derived from intensive physical training, extensive combat experience and technological gadgets. His weapon of choice was a modified assault rifle. Backup gear included targeting drones, medical devices, deployable turrets, trip mines, chameleon suits, smoke and web grenades, tasers and even simple caltrops. Each of his devices was either wholly constructed or heavily modified by himself, first at a small scale in his apartment, with greater advances later being made using the excellent facilities at the Reciprocator base (see The Reciprocators/Citadel of Defiance).
A modified, military issue AR-17 combat rifle, this weapon was capable of both rapid and precision firing. At first coupled with an under-mounted shotgun, later attachments included a flame thrower and cryo-beam. Other devices known to be used in the field were grenade launchers and rocket launchers. When first obtaining his Hero licence he used metal jacketed rounds, uncaring of his opponent's survival, especially if they were Arachnos. Later, impressed by the dedication of his fellow Reciprocators to bring their suspects in alive, he changed to a gel round, both reducing collateral damage and the number of perpetrators being sent to the morgue or the hospital, instead of the Zig.
A graduate of Paragon City University majoring in Electrical Engineering, he was skilled in the construction and development of various mechatronic devices. Using standard gear where suitable, he took great satisfaction in tinkering with other equipment, heavily modifying it for his personal uses.
In addition to his combat gear, Stryfe modified a medical device usually used by City paramedics to assess and stabilise a patient. Using this to carry a variety of combat drugs and stimulants he was able to administer first aid to both himself and his team mates in the field. Using some patented devices, he constructed a graviton emitter suit - including boots and belt - designed to work together to grant him flight capabilities.
Conditioned, fit and well co-ordinated, Stryfe was able to fight well beyond the capabilities of a normal soldier. Many considered his abilities either a derivation of a super-soldier serum or a minor human mutation (...or both), but the simple truth is that he was the pinnacle of the classic combat soldier - tough, resolute and skilled. Despite these natural and trained gifts, he was a flawed personality, prone to introspection, depression and even suicidal tendencies. Guilt-ridden over what he saw as his responsibility in the demise of his family, it often led to reckless actions in combat and ultimately, his own death.
Weaknesses and Limitations
For all his physical abilities, Stryfe was very vulnerable to psionic intrusion and manipulation. His only defence in this regard was the swirling maelstrom of pain, anger, hate and guilt that was his ravaged psyche after the death of his family. Formidable, he was still human and subject to that condition, requiring sleep, sustenance, warmth and air. There were a myriad number of ways to harm him, most of which he avoided through either luck or careful planning.
Rarely without his ubiquitous combat rifle, other equipment included his devices listed above. Apart from his carbonate fibre long coat, the only other gear he would often wear is a simple pair of flash-goggles, ostensibly to protect his eyes from flame thrower flash burns.
Family and Childhood
Born Johan Christiansen Stryfe in Salamanca, Paragon City, only son in a military household, Stryfe enjoyed a strong, loving environment. His parents raising him on the values of family, duty, honour and respect. Graduating from Paragon City University, having attended OCS, he enlisted into the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. Quickly garnering respect from his peers and admiration from his subordinates, he eventually came to lead the Crimson Skulls Paratroop Regiment, primarily working against the interests of the Rogue Isles. His operational success ultimately made him a prime target for elimination by Arachnos agents. Numerous failures to neutralise him led to a bolder, more insidious plan.
The Death of his Family
Unable to directly remove this threat to Arachnos sovereignty, they decided to strike indirectly, at the heart behind the man. Infiltrating Paragon City, using the sewer systems disguised as Lost, surveillance teams tracked his family's movements. Knowing when and where to strike, the Arachnos covert team laid explosives on the monorail track minutes before Melissa and Rebecca Stryfe boarded TransRail 114. The resultant explosion tore the track apart, derailing the vehicle, sending it plummeting to the ground in Skyway City. Stryfe's wife and daughter were among the 49 passengers and crew killed in the incident.
Work in Paragon City
The operation had its intended effect. Crushed with grief and anger, Stryfe resigned his commission. Unfortunately for Arachnos however, he immediately signed up as a civilian Hero, taking his anguish out on the criminals and villains that teemed in the great City. Concentrating specifically on foiling both Arachnos and Lost plots, he caused them far more damage than any of his military operations could ever have done. Once again he was targeted for elimination, though this time he was nearly impossible to eradicate.
Acknowledging the danger of working alone after a near fatal incident involving the Lost, Stryfe bent his efforts to contacting a suitable Super Group. Working with other superheroes, he was alternately impressed by the dedication and strength offered by many and disconcerted by the blasé attitude or blatantly undisciplined nature of some. In looking for an appropriate Group to join, he was entirely surprised by the offer made to him by Black Starbeam and Static Bolter after a particularly gruelling mission in Bloody Bay. Stryfe joined The Reciprocators soon after.
In the Reciprocators, he had found a new home. The values he had been raised on were strongly evident and once more he felt not only secure in the event he needed mission support, but also needed and respected for the knowledge and skills he had honed over many years in the military. Participating in team missions as both leader and support, he quickly rose to the rank of Tertiary Tier, a position he both relished and took great responsibility in - principally focusing on assessing and training new recruits.
During his tenure in the Super Group, he worked with many of its members. None touched him quite so profoundly as Spade Retenra, Ami Sumeragi and Alexus Apollo. Spade struck him as a kindred spirit, a wounded soul struggling to come to terms with crushing loss and constant pain. Impressed with her incredible martial arts skills and innate regenerative talents he took it upon himself to watch her closely, trying to impart his own precarious balance he had found to counteract his grief and to learn from this remarkable woman who could endure so much hardship and remain resolute. Both Ami and Alexus moved him in different ways, romantically attracted to each, he nonetheless distanced himself from both, perceiving such liaisons as a betrayal to his responsibilities as a Tier and to the love and devotion he still held for his beloved wife.
Fall from Grace
When the Lost kidnapped Spade Retenra, Stryfe used extreme, and illegal, methods to extract information from their operatives. Eventually determining that she was a prisoner of the Council, his actions helped to indirectly free her from captivity. Confessing his guilt to both Black Starbeam and Static Bolter, he freely handed himself over to Paragon City authorities. His trial was quick, quiet and conclusive, resulting in life imprisonment. Given his exemplary military career and current efforts in crime-fighting, Stryfe was placed in the custody of the Reciprocator Primary Tiers, with strict conditions placed upon his actions and movements. The Colonel continued to work for the citizens of Paragon City, though primarily confined to the dangerous and difficult work at Portal Corp, now more than ever aware of the gulf between himself and a true Hero.
Stryfe was about to step through the portal to his next away mission when disaster struck. A Rikti assault team had finally managed to obtain a clear path back to Earth, using the now dead world in dimension Tau Omicron 9-3. Having eliminated the Heroes sent to drive them back, the Rikti were amassing troops to create another foothold in Paragon City. Obtaining a matter scrambling device in the form of a high-yield thermonuclear weapon, Stryfe led a team through the portal in an attempt to thwart the invasion. Faced with insurmountable odds, the Colonel detonated the device, obliterating himself and ensuring the Rikti could not use that dimension to again subject Earth to their cruel dominion. In recognition of his selfless heroism, Colonel Stryfe was pardoned of all crimes, his name and honour restored to him in death.
Colonel Johan Christiansen Stryfe now rests with his wife and daughter in Salamanca. His coffin empty except for a Reciprocator uniform and some mementos left by his comrades during his service.
Stryfe never used to wear his wedding ring during his crime fighting ops, wary of harming it or himself if it got caught on something. The only time he wore it was during his last mission, warned by some instinct to take it with him.
After his last mission, Stryfe was posthumously promoted to Second Tier with The Reciprocators.