From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
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The following are recordings detailing the efforts of a WSPDR reporter attempting to learn about Dechs Kaison.
Depending on who you ask, Dechs Kaison could be one of many things. These things cover a complete scope from selfless hero to ruthless villain. I've been hearing his name popping up more and more lately, so I've decided to find out what I can about Mr. Kaison.
At a glance, Dechs appears to be nothing more than the average businessman. In public, he most commonly wears an unassuming shirt, tie, and canvas trench coat. He also appears quite fond of his fedora. He looks to be in his thirties. Dechs doesn't seem to spend much time in any one place. He takes care of what he needs to in short order, always moving at a fast pace. This has made it difficult for me to even get close enough for a second look. From distant observations, I have noticed that he seems to talk to himself a bit more than most sane people.
I've managed to get close enough to notice a few more details. He doesn't talk to himself, though I'm not entirely sure who he is talking to. I know it's more than one person, as I've heard several names. I have yet to see him with a communication device or even touch his ear. Another note: his skin is rather odd. It looks ... I don't know... kind of shiny.
That "average businessman" image I mentioned? I forgot that as soon as I saw him rampaging down the streets with an entourage of robotic death and a mind to collect on a bounty. This is not the usual way I see him, however, as he does try to keep his public appearance to that of a minimal impact. Regardless, it has made me hesitant to approach him. I'll try asking his usual contacts about him.
It seems I have found a way to get near him. Dechs is an avid card player, often seen in the Golden Giza in St. Martial. From what I hear, his love for blackjack and poker brought him to the tables, but his stubborn attitude showed him the nearby arena. An argument from which Dechs would not back down resulted in a duel that was too easily won. Since then, when the card games fail to keep his interest, Dechs wanders over to the arena looking for a challenge. Amongst the crowd of the casino, I should be able to get close to him. Provided I bring enough cash to sit at his table, I might even be able to speak with him.
That was the worst night of poker I've ever experienced. Dechs knocked people off that table all night. I got as much information out of him as I could afford.
He believes in and actively pursues two things: power and money, though he jokingly implied that there is little difference. While Dechs may not call himself a villain, he could hardly qualify as a hero. "Virtues, morals, honor and the like are not condusive to profit." Dechs claims that he is a natural leader and those in his employ are well taken care of. Everyone else is treated "as profitability demands." This of course sparked a conversation regarding who he employs. He mentioned that he recently started up the Kaison Corporation and was hiring like minded individuals. "The Corporation favors those of natural talent, be it mental or physical, but no one is overlooked so long as they are willing to work for the good of company."
At this point he got up to move to a different table. I was out of cash, but desperate to talk with him more, I asked to be considered for a job. His reply left me speechless.
"What, isn't WSPDR paying well enough these days?"
The recordings continue:
After the debacle at the Giza, I decided to do some digging into the past to find more about Dechs Kaison. So far, I've turned up nothing more than diddly on this character, and I've tried everything! Until about a year ago, he doesn't exist anywhere! I've been through public records, Longbow, PPD, Arachnos records, I even have contacts to get FBI and CIA records... Nothing. I've got even less savory contacts that can't tell me anything about this guy.
Alright, I've finally found something, I just had to keep looking further back in time. I ran across a Dechs Kaison born in Chicago, circa 1920. From what I can tell, this is Dechs Kaison Sr., and he was almost as good as junior at destroying records. Almost being the operative word here. It's an incomplete file from the FBI, so I don't have much, but from what I can tell, he worked for anyone that could afford him. Implications of assisting the mob. Suspicion of doing research for the Germans during WWII. Selling information to the Soviet Union. There's nothing about any relatives. He's mentioned alongside dates until 1967, after that, I'm back to nothing. With this list of dealings, though, it's safe to assume he pissed someone off that he couldn't handle.
The following information would not be publicly available in any way, but is recorded here because I feel like typing it. Dechs isn't too dodgy about his past, and he'll likely tell you about it if you ask.
Dechs Kaison was in fact born on July 27th, 1907 in downtown Chicago. He was a brilliant child but became involved with the mafia at an early age, cutting his formal education short. He learned about living on the streets, smooth talking, gambling and drinking. His intelligence carried him far; where it did not, his charisma filled in the gaps. He was never a made man in the mob, which was how he preferred it. He sold secrets as well as weapons, working for anyone who paid well enough. Many times, rather than cash, he would accept information or technology, however this changed as the casinos started throwing him out for being too fortunate at the tables. Since he often dealt with both sides of opposing factions, he had to tread carefully. By way of clever manipulation and the occasional betrayal to law enforcement, he kept his list of enemies small. Through all of this, he managed to avoid criminal charges.
Just before the start of World War II, while the nations were still anxious and murmuring rumors of what was to come, Dechs was already in Germany laying the groundwork for his future. Dechs was placing his bets accordingly, because he knew what Hitler was planning. Although not in support of Hitler's ideals, Dechs was highly interested in the obscure research being performed by the Nazis. It wasn't long before Dechs found his way into the scientific division of the Nazi regime. Though not part of his ambition, in the event that they won the war, Dechs would just be that much farther ahead of the game.
The Nazis gave Dechs everything he could want; he had an enormous lab, a team of scientists, but most importantly, access to the other research being done. Using all of this to his advantage, he pursued the creation of a regenerative alloy. He had theorized this 'Living Metal' since the first years of his life, but now he finally had the means to achieve this goal.
Hitler was promised an army of tanks that would repair themselves and fortresses that could not be breached. In truth, Dechs had no intentions of sharing anything he discovered, but Hitler was a fool desperate for power. He was willing to fund the pursuit of any means to ensure his hold on the world, including delving even into occult speculation. With the sheer number of research projects underway, there was no chance that a close eye could be kept on all of them.
Kaison's team of scientists were forced to work much harder than many of the others. The reasons for this were twofold. Dechs, foreseeing that the Nazis could not win, wanted to see the success of his research before the regime collapsed. Perhaps more importantly though, the overworked and drained scientists payed little attention to what Dechs did to their research. Dechs had begun to steal and sabotage crucial pieces of progress. On his own, during the time after the scientists would leave for a short night of sleep, Dechs was able to complete the creation of his 'Living Metal' without being forced to relinquish his discovery. Once forged and cured, the metal could be dented or damaged, but would repair itself to the originally forged shape.
The creation of 'Living Metal' alone was not sufficient for Dechs. Perhaps it would have been, if not for his knowledge of the other research projects. A prominent team was doing all sorts of experiments, integrating metal into flesh. They were developing mechanical limbs that could make supersoldiers. These limbs replaced human ones, requiring barbaric amputation of test subjects. The project was likely doomed to failure, but it gave Dechs further ambition than for a mere regenerative alloy. He would find a way to truly integrate this metal - safely - into his own flesh. This was the moment Dechs made his first steps on the journey to becoming superhuman. With the facilities he had access to, combined with the research notes he took from his inspiration, he was able to bond the regenerative alloy with his skin on a molecular level.
The full effects this procedure entailed were unknown to Dechs at this point. The area of skin he first bonded to had a very faint metallic appearance, though still felt like skin to the touch. It reacted as skin would, even bleed when cut, however the damage healed rapidly and left no sign of the wound. He had only performed the procedure on a small portion of his left arm, but within weeks the metal had grown to encompass his entire body. Whatever this metal was doing, Dechs had no control of it.
By summer of 1942, Dechs knew it was time to fold and find another poker table. Before setting fire to his lab and destroying any chance of someone else replicating his discovery, he was sure to steal any other records he could get his hands on. He escaped the German compound with enough stolen research and military secrets to buy his way into Stalin's good graces. Stalin was not so kind as to give Dechs a lab, but did allow him to stay within the Soviet Union free from interference. This caused Dechs to turn to the Russian crime syndicate, which eventually led him back to the United States.
It was twenty three years later that Dechs was finally able to investigate the effects 'Living Metal' had on his body. To look at him, you would not know that any time had passed because he appeared exactly as he did when leaving Germany. Having amassed enough clout and wealth, he brought the Kaison Corporation into existence. Publicly, the company was a medical science research facility, focused on finding cures for uncommon disease. Covertly, the facilities were used for the advancement of Kaison's 'Living Metal' technology and only a small portion of the staff knew of this purpose. Since it was vastly unprofitable, the continued pursuit of his usual criminal earnings were required to keep the staff paid.
An extensive surgery was the only way to explore exactly what the 'Living Metal' had done to Dechs. The operation itself was intensely grueling because Dechs was very much awake for the procedure, as his body was shrugging off the anesthetics. The team had further difficulties because his body was often attempting to heal mid-incision. This was not limited to his skin, the metal had bonded with all of his inner organs as well.
Dechs discovered that the metal was no longer bonded side by side with organic cells, rather the two had mutated together. This new type of cell had grown and replaced the normal cells in his body unilaterally throughout. While still functioning entirely human, at every moment in time, the tissue in his body was trying to restore itself to the way it was when it first assimilated the new cells. Among other things, this had halted the aging process. Drugs, such as the anesthetics, had a greatly diminished effect on him. Further, Dechs could no longer gain or lose any muscle tissue, however the changes did not make him any stronger or more tolerant to pain. As soon as Dechs understood what he had become, the staff that knew of the private inner workings of the Kaison Corporation were immediately paid well enough to retire to the tropical islands of their choosing.
The public company continued to operate as it had while Dechs worked to replicate the initial regenerative alloy. Since the only sample he took with him had already mutated into something else, he had to begin again from nothing but his notes. This task was simple; the difficulty came when trying to manufacture it on a large scale. Not willing to trust anyone with the secrets of the metal, Dechs began building simple robots to do his bidding. By 1976, the first generation of these robots was completed. They were constructed with easily attainable steel, but later generations would be made of the same regenerative alloy they produced.
I'm still working here, cut me some slack!