From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|"It is better to misinform than it is to deny things, lies are like honey, and the truth can be so bitter."|
|The Red Queen|
|Real Name:||Miraiko Minato (Amilia Argiope)|
|Known Aliases:||The Red Queen, Lady Argiope, Argiope, The Azure Wasp (Hero persona), Our Lady in Red|
|Age:||56 at death (looks 26), reborn in Dec 2020 (looks 26).|
|Place of Birth:||Mercy Island|
|Base of Operations:||Fancy Firavel's in Mercy City|
|Known Relatives:||Father-Hiroshi Minato; Mother- Isolda Remerez (deceased); Sister- Isabella Minato; Fiance- Lilliana Belladona (deceased)|
|Enhanced strength, enhanced healing factor, enhanced visual senses, resistance to Psionics, enhanced cognitive functions, ageless|
|Hybrid Wolf/Bane Spider Armor, Stealth field generator, customized Arachnos Rifle, Mu electrical gauntlet system, Custom HUD enhanced helmet with air filtration system|
Miraiko Minato was born in Mercy island a sickly child with nothing but her keen intellect and will to survive available to her. Her father had recently arrived on the island from Japan, but her mother was a Mercy Island native. She was pushed hard to strengthen her mind by both of her parents, all while they scrapped a meager living working various jobs in the isles. She managed though to prove her intellectual ability by graduating from High School at the age of 14. She was granted a scholarship to a university in Croatoa in Paragon City and leaped at the opportunity. She would eventually get a double doctorate in Robotics and Microbiology while at the university graduating fully at the age of 20. It was at this time she was contacted by the Conclave, and she was offered a job as a researcher, with her own lab, and her debts fully paid off. She readily accepted and moved to Cap Au Diable and began her research into nanobots that could strengthen the mind and body of those who were administered with them. The hope is that they could allow for the sick and weak to become strong.
While working as a researcher she met a young Widow named Lilliana Belladona, and they quickly fell in love and started a relationship. The two were inseparable whenever they weren't working for their respective organizations. Officially she worked for a small tech firm, and she kept her actual employer secret, even from Lilliana. She knew that if Lilliana knew the truth she would be in danger from the Conclave. The two eventually rented out a small flat in Aeon City and lived a pretty simple life, but one where they could always support one another. This bliss though would not last forever. After being together for nearly three years Miraiko was informed by a Wolfspider that Lilliana was killed by Longbow in a raid. She would not be coming home.
At Lilliana's funeral Miraiko also died. She vowed revenge on Longbow, and heroes in general. These powered individuals had stolen away from the women she had loved, they would pay for their crimes. She went to her lab after the funeral, took the incomplete and still experimental nanites, and injected them into herself. The nanites went to work immediately, strengthening her bones, muscles, and even enhancing her mind. The process was exceedingly painful but it was nothing compared to the pain she felt over Lilliana's death. When the nanites had done their job she found herself oddly cold, her emotions were dulled, almost like feeling them through a thick fog. She quickly left her lab, burning it down behind her as she contacted the Conclave and informed them she would be joining Arachnos to get her revenge. The Conclave supported her decision to her surprise.
She joined Arachnos not as a Widow but as a Wolf spider, she wanted to be on the front-line killing Longbow agents, she wanted to keep killing them till she no longer could feel any pain. The training she received was harsh and painful, even with her enhanced body she was still pushed to her limits, and often beyond. The training broke her in many ways, made her into a new person. It was here she adopted the moniker of Argiope and fully committed to her new life. She eventually proved not only her ability but her worth to her superiors as a wolfspider and was granted the opportunity to become a Huntsman.
During her training to become a Huntsman she was involved in a training 'accident' that led to the loss of her right eye. Arachnos was kind enough to replace it with a cybernetic one. The nanites in her body integrated the eye and its electronics further into her system than was expected by Arachnos scientists. The nanites seemed almost hungry to integrate tech into Argiope's body.
After serving as a Huntsman for several years the Rikti war started. It was in this crucible of conflict and warfare that Argiope would be forged into the cold, calculating, and efficient individual she is known for being. She would lead countless raids both for Arachnos and for the Conclave into Rikti bases, stealing tech and capturing Rikti for study. Her emotions seemed to vanish whenever she entered combat, becoming a cold and quiet killing machine.
After the war, she was granted her request to become a Free Agent so long as she never joined a heroic faction. This was a stipulation she was fine with following. She went from Operative Argiope to Lady Argiope overnight. As a Free Agent, she found she had to repair and rebuild her own tech without Arachnos's help. It was during this time that she became deeply involved in the Conclave. Utilizing their resources for mutual gain and development. She would eventually rise to the position of head of espionage within the Conclave.
She also gained the ear of Sirocco, and he became her patron. She would go on to serve beneath him as a Free Agent, helping with various duties and assignments that he didn't want Arachnos to officially be involved in. This furthered her ability as a master of espionage and subterfuge. Eventually, though he called her to Dark Astoria to help in the investigation of Mot. While Sirocco and his initial Arachnos unit would go in a direct action she was assigned to go on a scouting mission. While on the mission she encountered a Devourer, a large insectoid monster that belongs to Mot. The creature flung Argiope like a rag-doll and she lost her right arm to it. She eventually defeated the creature but had to return to a Conclave safe house. While there she used the facilities to construct a simple robotic arm from various pieces of robots that were in various stages of construction. The nanites activated and integrated the arm and the tech inside of it, to better fit Argiope. Even granting it several of the powers the suit had normally.
Argiope was killed by a bio-weapon gone wrong in August of 2020. For several months hopes of her return were unanswered and it was believed she has truly dead and that there would be no return for her. On December 17, 2020 the Shroud Device that Lady Argiope had constructed finally completed its task and she was reborn. Lady Argiope lives again.
Lady Argiope is affiliated with only two major organizations:
- Arachnos: As a Free Agent and a known associate of Sirocco.
- The Conclave: The head of Intel and Clandestine activities.
Argiope is known to be associated with Gilded Osprey.
Lady Argiope is known for being very cold and logical more often than not, especially when it comes to working. In personal relationships though she can be surprisingly aggressive and is known for teasing and harassing her friends and would-be lovers. She also tends to be dismissive of others' concerns and worries, viewing them typically as non-issues so long as they do not get in the way of her own plans and goals. She is very disciplined though in her daily life and regimen, likely from her Arachnos training, as well as seeks to increase efficiency in all of her duties and assignments.
Lady Argiope was not born with powers like many seem to be, instead, hers came to her through desperation, pain, and rage. Her powers were granted originally by the experimental nanites she injected into herself, and then from the cybernetics that the nanites integrated into her system.
Argiope is stronger than the typical human, not quite to the levels of super-human, but enough to be seen as far above average. Her strength is equivalent to professional weight lifters without the lack of mobility from the muscle mass. This is easily attributed to the nanites in her system and the cybernetics that they've integrated throughout her body.
Enhanced Healing Factor
The nanites in her body quickly repair and replace damaged bone and tissue, but they cannot replace missing limbs or missing organs. Her healing factor though does allow her to survive injuries that would lead to the average human's death.
Enhanced Visual Senses
Between her cybernetic eye and her own eye that was enhanced by the nanites in her body, her eyes sight is about equivalent to the eyesight of an eagle or hawk. This has allowed her to see foes and strike at them before they even know she's coming.
Resistance to Psionics
The nanites have done some rewiring of her brain and have made her resistant to Psionic attacks and hard for psychics to read. While not impossible it will take far more concerted effort than most typical humans.
Enhanced Cognitive Functions
With the rewiring of her brain, she has also developed faster patterns and pathways for her thinking. Allowing her to plan and adjust in half the time as an average human, this has also given her the effect of having faster than average reflexes.
When she injected the nanites in her body the nanites recognized that moment as being the reset point. As such the nanites keep her body age-wise in nearly the same spot. She is eternally stuck at the age of 26 and will likely not be able to die of old age due to the nanites in her body.
Lady Argiope's body is fully infused with an experimental nanite system that can easily integrate technology into the host. This has allowed for Argiope to add some of her suits abilities to her own body but also has created a fear of losing her humanity.
The Nanite system in Argiope quickly and efficiently will integrate any technology that is added to her body. Removing the lag and disconnect between Argiope and her cybernetics as well as bringing aspects of those cybernetics into other parts of her body to reduce one side of the body is more enhanced than the other.
MKVII 'Red Queen' Combat Armor
Stealth field generator
Mu electrical gauntlet system
Custom HUD enhanced helmet with air filtration system
Customized Arachnos Rifle
Miraiko Minato was the eldest daughter of Hiroshi Minato and Isolda Ramirez, two low-income workers who resided in the slums of Mercy Island. Her father had come from Japan with the hopes of starting a martial arts dojo like his elder brother and father, only to have those hopes dashed. Her mother on the other hand was known for her street-smarts and for being able to earn money no matter how hard it seemed to get. Miraiko was pushed from a young age to study and further her intellect so she could escape the harsh life of Mercy, and the isles in general. She became fluent in both English and Japanese, as well as conversational in Spanish. She also had an innate talent for building things and repairing various pieces of tech her family found while working.
She was put into a private school at great expense by her family in the hopes that she would live a better life. It was around the time she was 8 years old that her younger sister Isabella was born. With the new baby and Miraiko in school, her family was being pushed to the brink to maintain a living lifestyle. Miraiko focused hard on her studies and quickly began to skip grades and prove her intellect as that of a genius to many in her school and beyond. By the time she was twelve several colleges had already begun to try and recruit her to attend there. She finally graduated from high school at the age of fourteen and quickly accepted a full paid program for her bachelor's degree at Croatoa University. She would say goodbye to her family, but she would never see her mother again.
Miraiko entered Croatoa University at the age of fourteen and was hosted by a local family until she reached the age of eighteen. Her first four years were fully paid for on a special scholarship for low-income, high-grade children. It would require her to get a bachelor's degree in one of the STEM programs in Croatoa though. This was something that Miraiko was all for, as she found technology and engineering in particular something of great interest. In her first year of college, she earned a position on the Dean's List, proving to herself and her peers that she belonged there.
While in college she began to notice that she was attracted to girls and not boys like most other girls she saw. This led her to be very confused at first and thinking perhaps there was something wrong with her. It would take the support of her host family, and friends back in Mercy that she kept in touch with. When she was seventeen she finally felt comfortable enough to come out of the closet and inform her family and friends that she was a lesbian. Her parents did not take the news well, they cut off all communication with their daughter saying that she wasn't raised that way. She found solace though with her host family and through her friend Lilliana back in Mercy.
During her senior year, she created a functional robot as part of one of her final projects. The robot used an advanced AI program to do a simple tasks such as walk and pick-up items. It was revolutionary in many ways, but it was outclassed by other projects that were presented. It was also during her senior year that she would complete her minor in Molecular Biology, a minor she had picked out during her sophomore year to pursue. Her senior year still saw her graduate with honors, but not at the top of her class. She was only 18 and had not only completed her bachelor's but had also received her Master's degree in Robotics.
She decided to pursue a double doctorate in Robotics and Microbiology in the hopes of finding ways to marry the two sciences into one. It was a difficult task but she kept studying and working on it. Writing papers regarding nanites and cybernetics, theses reports on how nanites could cure disease and strengthen the human body. Many of her papers were not allowed to be published due to fear of villains getting their hands on them, and many of her experiments were turned down as they would require human test subjects. While these were annoying roadblocks she still pushed onward and received her double doctorates at the age of 22.
After graduating from Croatoa University with her double Doctorate degrees she was contacted by Future Tech Industries, a shell company controlled by the Conclave, regarding a position as a head researcher at a new lab facility in Cap Au Diable. Miraiko readily accepted the posting as they had also offered to repay all of her debts that had accrued when she began seeking her Masters and Doctorate degrees. Her return to the Rogue Isles was bittersweet, she was coming home but she also knew her family wanted nothing to do with a daughter they saw as broken. Yet she still had friends and her long-distance romance with Lilliana was finally going to be an in-person one. Lilliana was now working as a Widow for Arachnos and was stationed in Cap au Diable. Lillian met Miraiko on the southern docks when the ferry arrived. Miraiko had but a small backpack with all her worldly goods and nothing else. The two would share a long embrace followed by their first kiss.
Lilliana helped Miraiko settle into her small studio apartment in the neighborhood of Haven. While nothing nice it was simple to add had a large number of locks and barred windows. The apartment looked more akin to a prison than a house, but it was the city of villains. After she settled in Miraiko quickly began working at the small local laboratory, focusing on her research into cybernetics and nanites that had been dismissed as too dangerous by those in Paragon. When she needs volunteers all she had to do was ask her benefactors for some and they would seemingly appear from nowhere. While at first concerned where the 'volunteers' came from she learned to suppress those feelings to ensure her benefactors would be pleased with her progress.
After she created her first super-powered soldier for Future Tech Industries she was invited to officially join The Conclave as a member of their research division. She learned that the projects she was working on would allow for the Conclave to have cybernetic assassins and enforcers to ensure their secrecy. While terrified of the ramifications of this revelation she swallowed her fear and pride and accepted. This would allow her to continue to grow as an engineer and scientist. She continued to research and develop her nanites trying to perfect their design but she continued to run into issues of the nanites overwriting the subject, often with disastrous effects leading to the subjects death. During this time she also continued to grow closer with Lilliana, their relationship blossoming in the harsh landscape of Cap au Diable against all odds.
Miraiko decided to try and patch her relationship with her estranged family. While they may have dismissed her as broken she still knew how much they had sacrificed to give her a life and she wanted to be involved in theirs. She was able to contact her father and found out her mother had been killed when some snakes had taken control of a warehouse she was working at. Her father apologized to Miraiko and stated how proud her mother would have been with her accomplishments. Miraiko spoke with her younger sister who was working at the Casino as a dealer, and the two shared happy memories of their childhood. Miraiko and Lilliana would go to Mercy and visit the family there, holding hands and ensuring that it was understood they were a couple and that they would have to accept it. While there was tension at first Hiroshi accepted the two as a couple and was happy that Miraiko had found someone that made her happy in this dark world they lived.
The couple moved in together, in a small flat in Aeon City, thanks in part to a pay-raise from Future Tech Industries. Miraiko kept hidden the connection between her company and The Conclave, doing so out of fear for her lover's life. The new home was nearly double the size of her old one and had a grand view of Mount Diable. they lived a life nearly in bliss, or as close as one could in the Isles. Lilliana eventually was called to help repel a Longbow incursion on Mercy. It was to be an extended mission, possibly for several months. Miraiko said goodbye to her love, giving her a parting kiss and a pendant with her picture inside so they would never be apart from one another.
Two months later a Wolfspider came knocking on the door of Miraiko and brought her the bad news. Longbow had captured Lilliana in an escape attempt, along with several other Arachnos operatives, Lilliana was killed. She had died ensuring the survival of other Arachnos operatives and gave her life for the cause. The words numbed Miraiko, the love of her life, the woman whom she had known for most of her life was taken from her by so-called heroes. The pain of the experience made her want nothing but revenge. She worked with Arachnos to ensure that Lillian would be given a respectful funeral with full honors as she had earned them in service to Arachnos.
The funeral took place on a cloudy day, but the sky would not shed a tear for her departed love. She watched as Lilliana, who due to her injuries, was given a closed casket funeral was interred in the earth. As the tears streamed down her face all she could think of was how she too had died that day. All she wanted now was revenge, she wanted to eliminate Longbow and make those heroes of Paragon City feel the pain she felt. After the funeral, she immediately went to her lab and accessed the latest iteration of the nanites. It was still untested and highly experimental, but it didn't matter. One of two things would happen; she would be killed by her experiment and be reunited with Lilliana, or it would work and she could seek revenge for Lilliana's death.
She plunged the nanite syringe into her arm and injected it into her body. The nanites would swarm through her bloodstream infesting her muscles, bones, lungs, and organs. They would strengthen them to beyond human levels while also creating new neural pathways in her brain. Her mind raced, and her body reacted faster. The nanites caused her whole body to feel like it was burning as they rerouted the neurons and nerves throughout her body. When the pain subsided she found her emotions felt hollower, almost like they were coming through a thick fog, they were less intense. Her feelings for revenge remained, but now she could think more clearly. Knowing that now the nanites were unable to be recovered she decided it was best to burn down the lab and eradicate all evidence that Miraiko ever existed.
She contacted the Conclave and requested authorization to join Arachnos to avenge Lilliana. To her surprise, they approved her request, so long as any tech she could replicate be sent to them. She accepted this stipulation and requested they help eliminate her entire history from the world. Make it seem like she was a ghost and all references showing she died in a lab fire. Miraiko was to be dead, she had to become someone new. An angel of vengeance and rage, a servant of Arachnos, and a servant of The Conclave.
When arriving at the Arachnos recruitment facility she showed her strength and speed and gave her name as Amilia Argiope. She quickly passed the initial trials and passed basic health requirements to enter Arachnos service. The training regimen though was exceedingly brutal, the 'Bootcamp' that all new Wolfspiders were put through trained them in the use of several basic weapons, armor upkeep, survival in various hostile environments, as well as a lack of sleep. Her body was routinely pushed to its limits, forcing the nanites in her body to adapt and overcome her limits and push her further. Her knowledge of robotics and engineering allowed her to ensure that the electronics within her suit were up to date and running more efficiently than the other recruits.
After completing Bootcamp as the top of her class, likely due to her own super-human nature, she was assigned to Mercy Island. She fought in several skirmishes with Longbow and took extreme pleasure in killing them painfully. Her blood-lust, while softened by the nanites, still drove her to be far more aggressive and 'cold' when dealing with Longbow operatives. Her constant hard work, and dedication to completing missions effectively and with great efficiency led her to becoming quite renowned among the wolfspiders who were assigned to Mercy. Eventually, she was given command of her own small platoon of Wolfspiders to deal primarily with Longbow incursions, and on occasion clear out Snake tunnels when they cropped up.
During one of her battles against Longbow, she discovered details regarding a base of operations off the coast of Mercy in international waters. With approval from her chain of command, she led a raid on the facility with her squad. The raid was a difficult one, with a high casualty rate, but in the end, it was successful. They were able to secure the base and obtained information vital to Longbows operations within Mercy. Argiope found that she liked the idea of striking from the shadows and gathering intel for larger task forces to act on, it allowed her to ensure victories without having to worry about as many deaths. She discussed this with her supervisor who gave her special dispensation to form a recon unit from the Wolfspiders on Mercy island since Bane Spiders were not assigned there.
With her group of Wolfspiders, she began to mount a shadow war with the Longbow forces that plagued the island. She would set up stake-outs in various alleys and abandoned buildings. Finding out who was leading what operation, taking out specific targets to gain additional intel, and even taking out bases that could provide vital information to the ongoing struggle. She learned that stealth and subterfuge were far more valuable than large visible assaults, and flashy maneuvers. It was in the shadows that wars would be won.
Her exploits as a Wolfspider earned her recognition and prestige, enough that her commander put her in to become a Huntsman. It was an honor to be offered the opportunity, and Argiope accepted it. While the hatred for longbow remained, she had developed a loyalty to Arachnos and the Conclave, they were the two organizations that had allowed her to overcome her weaknesses and form a new life. She still kept with her a small pendant with Lilliana's picture in it.
Huntsman training made the wolfspider program look like summer camp. Everything was harder, more brutal, and now more than ever there was a level of conflict between the candidates. Not everyone would succeed, as there would be limited spots to become a huntsman and only the best of the best could achieve it. Argiope knew she had a slight advantage due to her nanites and her own intellect, but she couldn't let herself rise to high, or else she might become a target by the others. For the first half of training her strategy was successful, she remained middle of the pack as those of lower-ranking were eliminated and those of higher destroyed each other. Eventually though one of her peers recognized what she was doing and arranged for an 'accident' to eliminate her from the running.
During an exercise, a 'misplaced' explosive detonated near Argiope. If not for her heightened reflexes she would have been killed, instead though she lost her right eye. She was nearly removed from the program because she was no longer fit for duty. She fought against that and proved her ability to keep pushing forward. As the training continued she discovered the culprit of the attempted assassination. The individual disappeared the next day with no evidence as to what happened to him. Argiope completed the program with only one eye, and as a reward, she was given a new cybernetic eye by Arachnos scientists.
The nanites her body reacted unexpectedly with the introduction of foreign technology. They blended the technology further into her biology, truly making the cybernetic eye part of her instead of just a replacement for her lost eye. The nanites also utilized the new data from the eye to enhance her biological eyes eyesight giving her eyesight on par with some eagles and birds of prey. This was at first terrifying to Argiope because she had not anticipated the nanites still had tricks up their sleeves, eventually though she accepted that the nanites were potentially dangerous if she continued to add more cybernetics to her body.
As a Huntsman Argiope continued to work as an espionage agent, and now worked much more closely with various widows and Bane Spiders. She would take this opportunity to integrate Bane spider components into her armor as well as 'acquire' a stealth field generator for her armor. Arachnos tended to look away from these minor breaches of code so long as she brought in results on her missions, which she did. While other members of her initial Bootcamp unit would begin to show their age and become less effective Argiope seemed to go in the opposite direction only becoming more effective and efficient with age and showing no signs of aging.
During this time Argiope began looking to the future. She no longer felt the constant drive for vengeance, as if that part of her life had finally ended after nearly a decade of service to Arachnos. She began to tinker with various pieces of combat armor and created her "MKI Combat Suit", it combined her understanding of Bane Spider armor and Huntsman armor into a robotic suit with very simplistic combat AI. The suit also provided access to enhanced physical speed and jumping ability using minor thrusters and exo-musculature systems. This would be the start of Argiope's obsession with creating combat suits that integrate themselves with the user's mind.
A few short months later she created the Mark II which was similar to the MKI but gave up the speed and super jumping for stealth and assisted aiming systems in the HUD. She also added an air-filtration system to reduce contaminants in the air. This variation also utilized whole new pieces instead of cobbled together from Arachnos scraps.
Shortly after completing her MKIII Armor, the Rikti invaded earth in the year 2002. The onslaught devastated Paragon City, but it didn't ignore her home town of Mercy. Argiope and her squad were one of the first on the ground to fight against the Rikti swarm as they attacked the island. The fight itself did not go well, but it provided many opportunities for Argiope to discover where hidden Rikti bases may be located. Using this information she began to assemble small assault teams to take out smaller Rikti bases and steal the tech for the Conclave.
The war eventually saw her moved from Mercy island to Cap au Diable and assist with its ongoing defense at the behest of Dr. Aeon, he may not have asked for her personally but she did request experienced troops to aid him in securing the town. Cap au Diable turned out to be a rather boring assignment as the Rikti seemed to begin to focus their efforts on Paragon City and on the Heroes that resided there. Finally, word came that the Rikti had been cut off from their home due to a group of Heroes in Paragon. This allowed Argiope to begin to return to her original duties securing Mercy Island, while at the same time she filtered large amounts of information regarding the locations of dozens of Rikti based to Conclave agents to do with as they saw fit. She used some of the stolen tech from the Rikti to create her Mark IV and eventual Mark V armors.
The reconstruction of Mercy ended up not going the way Argiope expected. Recluse essentially abandoned the lower portion of the city to the snakes, caring not what happened to the people who lived there. It went in line with his Darwinian philosophy but it left a bad taste in Argiope's mouth. It was one thing to allow the powerful to take what they wanted, it was another to abandon your subjects to certain doom. This finally led to Argiope seeking a way to leave Arachnos officially. She submitted a specialized packet to her superior to become an Independent Agent, this would allow her to act without oversight, and to select her own missions. This was normally reserved for super-powered individuals, and Argiope provided proof that the nanites made her such. To her surprise the paperwork was approved, allowing her to act independently of Arachnos, even if technically she still worked for them.
Finally free of direct oversight of Arachnos Argiope took an 'official' job as the owner of Fancy Firavel's Club in Mercy Island. While the club was but one of many Fancy Firavel's on account of it being a franchise, her's was special as it was also the new headquarters of the Conclave. She had proven not only to be resourceful, but adaptable. This made her the second in command of the Intel division of the Conclave, and a member of the Outer Circle. While this new position was great, it was not her end goal. The Conclave she had found stood for something, control from the shadows, a world ruled by the powerful and elite for the betterment of all not just raw hubris. While most of its members were unaware of this goal, members of the Inner and Outer Circles were well aware.
The club itself was in shambled when she took over, the roof caved in, the whole underground storage area a mess, the attached apartment filled with spider webs and unexploded Rikti ordnance. The previous owner had abandoned the place during the war, and it had seen better days due to that fact. Working with the Conclave the club was brought back to working condition, and the use of Ritki tech allowed for the underground storage space to be turned into a rather impressive secured facility for the Conclave. The attached apartment was fixed and made into a suite for Argiope as the 'face' of the Club. This position allowed her to eventually arrange for the Family to take out her superior within the Conclave, a woman who she saw as weak and unable to serve the Conclave. When the family successfully assassinated her she saw it as confirmation of this fact.
She was quickly brought into the Inner Circle of the Conclave and made the head of Intelligence for the Conclave. This allowed her to solidify her holding and built-in her a new loyalty to an organization that she could help grow and foster. She developed dozens of fake conspiracy sites that provided false rumors and half-truths regarding the Conclave, while she created a new 'facade' for herself. She was to be a villain for hire, she would offer her services to heroes, to become their villain and improve their 'street cred'. All while using business cards with the Conclave's symbol upon them. This allowed her to obfuscate any truth regarding the conclave without ever having to outwardly try and counter what was being said and shared on the internet or in person.
The Azure Wasp
The Lady of the Conclave
Argiope enjoyed her post for several years before her past comes literally knocking. A Bane Spider arrived at the club asking for Argiope, she had been requested, by name, by Scirocco. She was to become a member of his task-force that was being sent to investigate Dark Astoria and the rumors of a risen God. Argiope simply nodded and prepared her MKVI armor, her newest combat suit that finally had a flight, stealth, and combat capabilities. She had been working on it primarily in her spare time and had primarily been fighting heroes in her MKV armor. This was the perfect opportunity to test out the new suit and prove her ability to Arachnos once more.
Sirocco allowed Argiope to assemble a small team to assist her in her assigned duty as a scout. She took a Mu Mystic, and two Bane Spiders with her, while Scirocco and his group would do their main mission. Argiope was to investigate the cemetery hills of Dark Astoria where there was a rumor something had risen from beneath the earth. Even with their stealthed unit, they were beset by Knives of Vengeance shortly after leaving the rest of the Arachnos force. The fighting was fierce and saw the death of one of the Bane Spiders before they managed to succeed. The remaining members committed themselves to be doubly as careful, Dark Astoria was far more dangerous than it was before.
As they neared the cemetery they were beset upon by large spider-like beings that emanated a feeling of dread and hopelessness. The three survivors fought back against the small ones with ease, then the large one grabbed Argiope and lifted her into the air. With one of its claws, it ripped Argiope's right arm clean off and consumed it before throwing her several yards to the side. Argiope his the ground hard and was bleeding heavily from her open would. Screaming in pain she activated her emergency weapons system, tapping into her suit's power source she launched a massive charge of electrical energy at the beast with her left arm, while the Mu mystic used his own magical electricity. The creature was killed, and Argiope passed out.
She wouldn't wake up for several days, but eventually, she did back in Mercy. She was in an Arachnos intensive care facility and was being overseen by the Mu Mystic that had saved her life. Nearby the Bane Soldier that had fought the monster was also in intensive care, but the three had survived. Argiope was told she was being fully released from Arachnos service due to her injury, she would not be receiving any replacement limbs or further financial support from Arachnos due to her failure to identify the threat and overall failure of her squad. She returned to her club after a few more days of treatment.
She began to utilize the Conclaves tech facility, and the assistant medical robots, to begin creating a new arm. It had to be able to function with her suit, without needing to be part of it. It also had to match the same dimensions as her lost limb perfectly or else she couldn't use it the same way. IT was not easy to design and develop the limb and it took several weeks of near-constant planning and development before she had the schematics just right. She then used the fabrication facility to actually build the arm. With the arm finished she had one of the robots move it to the medical facility where she would use a remote surgery robot to install it herself. She utilized a large dosage of Dr. Pains' newest pain killers without letting him know. After all better to ask forgiveness than permission had become a bit of her motto in these circumstances.
The surgery, even with the pain meds, was excruciating and she nearly passed out several times as she had to reopen the wound, remove some bone, and install the metal joint system. She managed to install the cybernetics into her muscle groups without much issue before the finally installed the rest of the arm. As soon as the arm was fully set the nanites in her body immediately went to work. They began to integrate the cybernetics and metal joints that interacted with her flesh into her body. Making the machines truly part of her and not just some random piece of tech.
After the surgery she sat-up and began testing the arm, the nanites had already begun to heal the wound and blending it into the arm as she moved. It felt nearly natural, the 'nerves' she had installed were being enhanced by the nanites but it was still similar to feeling through something and not actually feeling the thing. She had lost another part of her humanity she felt as she looked to the mechanical arm, what made a person who they were? What would happen if she had all of her body replaced by a machine, would she still be human?
Fearing that she would continue to lose her humanity to the nanites Argiope decided it was time to find a way to mitigate the loss of self. She began to research something known as Incarnates, beings who were empowered by the Well of Furies and were near godlike. With power like that she could keep the nanites from destroying her humanity and perhaps ensure the Conclaves goals could be achieved. To achieve these she stole an incarnate artifact and imbued it into her robotic arm. The nanites themselves then sought to integrate this new thing into the body, infusing them with incarnate power and thus infusing Lady Argiope with some early bits of Incarnate power. She also continued to keep track of the ongoing issues in Dark Astoria and learning of the great beast that was said to consume the souls of the dead. The creature had likely been consuming souls for at least a few decades, which would mean her long-dead beloved was likely one of them. This opened her up to a feeling of hopelessness.
A New Start
After having achieved the early stages of Incarnate power Argiope could finally feel some emotions again. With the return of even just a small fraction of those feelings, she felt empty. The loneliness in her life, the lack of warmth and love, began to gnaw at her. She knew that part of this feeling was due to the recent changes, but she also knew it was because part of who she was, was gone forever. She sought to reduce this pain by turning to a well known 'neutral' club known as Pocket D. She could go there and express these new-found emotions without worry and drink away the pain inside. She found herself flirting with several women, even sleeping with a few, some heroes and some villains. Nothing though seemed to help alleviate the hollowness she felt inside herself. She began to curse herself for having sought to become an incarnate, the feelings of loss and loneliness seemed to consume her every waking moment.
Yet one day when she went to Pocket D she met a woman whose icy blue eyes caused her to feel something other than emptiness, other than sorrow and loneliness. This woman, Gilded Osprey, had ignited a feeling long thought lost in her past. Argiope knew she had to make her's. They started chatting, and the woman, while showing interest, was distant. She too held back a wellspring of pain and haunted memories, something that Argiope could truly empathize with. The two would grow closer both through talking and by fighting side by side. Eventually, Argiope decided it would be best to bring her into the Conclave, and show her every part of her life, leave nothing hidden as she had in the past. With this opening up the two truly entered into a romance and became a couple. While the relationship started positively the constant busyness of Argiope, be it working with the Conclave or running the Club, led to the two not seeing one another for some time. This distance created great strain on the relationship, and while Argiope sought to retain it, the relationship would collapse. Argiope though would still give a gift she had been working on, a replicated version of her nanites to help Gilded Osprey overcome her own weaknesses.
With the fire burnt out, Argiope felt a sense of that loss again, but it was much weaker now. She decided it was time to face her demons again, to stop seeking comfort in short gains, and instead attack the source. Ever since she found out her beloved's soul was likely consumed by the beast of Dark Astoria, and her failed plot at revenge, she had felt hollow. Becoming an Incarnate, however minor, only seemed to make it far worse. No, she would need to accomplish her goal, she would need to return to Dark Astoria.
Return to Dark Astoria
With assistance from Dr. Pain and Lotus Slaying Lights Lady Argiope finally made her way back to Dark Astoria. She had spent much of her time and energy preparing to achieve her vengeance on the being that stole her arm and the beast that it served. She contacted Scirocco and informed him she was going to be joining his efforts to contain and defeat the threat, something he welcomed since he was now disobeying Arachnos's own orders. She wouldn't meet up with him directly instead pursuing her own investigation with Pain and Lotus. The three of them first traveled into the past to research the origins of the beast and perhaps find some sort of weakness that they would exploit. While in the past Argiope's nanites absorbed small bits of the creature's essence granting her some resistance, and perhaps an eventual immunity, to its most dangerous abilities. In the end, they had to defend a city from the incursion of those loyal to the beast and god-like entity, the three would succeed in that task and return to the present with the information they would need.
Lotus Slaying Lights would depart upon their return to the present leaving the task to just Lady Argiope and Dr. Pain. It was not an easy task, and many steps had to be taken in preparation for their final battle with the foul creature. Before they would go after this 'God' they decided it would perhaps be best to take on the creature that stole her arm. They tracked it down to its lair where Argiope forced the creature to submit to her, she would make use of the creature in her assault on the beast. While everyone else focused on the idea of saving the world Argiope looked into how to ensure the beast's power would be hers so that it could no longer be a threat in the future. To succeed at that she knew she would need to betray many of those who were fighting beside her, except for Dr. Pain. When the final battle took place Lady Argiope and Dr. Pain denied the help of the others in the direct assault on the beast, instead suggesting that they focus on securing the city while they completed the deed.
Argiope tapping into her Incarnate powers was able to unleash devastating destruction upon her foes, sending massive bursts of incarnate enhanced electricity and healing herself and her allies from near-lethal wounds. Lady Argiope would sacrifice the creature she had forced to submit to her as a way of ensuring she would be able to face the beast itself. The beast itself though was formidable, and to defeat it Argiope accepted being consumed by it. For but a moment all was dark until she tapped into that immunity she had been developing and ripped open the beast, allowing her to finally bring it to its knees. With the creature at her feet, she was able to draw into herself, using foul Mu magics thanks to Dr. Pain, sealing it away and consuming its power. Now Argiope was truly and incarnate and not just replicating one. With this power she sought to rescue her beloved from the beast, to restore her spirit once again. As she reached into the void she found nothingness, the spirit of her beloved had been long fully consumed by the beast and there was nothing left to rescue. All that she had done, all the fighting, the bloodshed, the betrayal, all for not. She was well and truly gone, not even her soul would remain. The pain and torment felt in Argiope's heart was unseen on her body for she could not show this weakness to Dr. Pain for fear he may use it to his own ends. She departed and decided to use this pain to focus herself, to dedicate herself fully to The Conclave and ensure that its goals would be met.
The Conclave in Japan
Argiope traveled to Tokyo Japan to investigate rumors within the Conclave of one of the surviving sects of the Conclave still existing there. Finding the Conclave in Tokyo took many weeks of careful analysis and investigation but she eventually discovered that the Conclave in Tokyo was in fact out of sync with the rest of the universe, existing in a sort of pocket realm but trapped there. They had ended up there as part of a survival strategy during the Rikti War, but the device meant to bring them back to reality was damaged and they'd been trapped ever since. Argiope with assistance from Sylver Nova managed to create a portal into and out of the desynced Conclave facility. Once a way in and out was established creating a secure way to maintain the entrances and ensure the Concalves secrecy were put into place. The new facility had once been a Red Court drone development location, as well as stored some vital information regarding the Conclave from before the Rikti War. This new resource was vital to Argiope who utilized it to develop the Shroud Device and its sister project the Soul Trap Device. These two devices in conjunction with one another would allow for Argiope to achieve immortality akin to that of Dr. Pain but without fear of losing her soul in the process.