From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Michael Deffry was a Fields Medal winning mathematician and a former Portal Project scientist. A married man with a daughter, he had tenure at Brown University and was roundly acknowledged as a pretty smart guy. Because of his expertise, and his former ties to Portal, he was called in as a consultant by the FBI to investigate evidence and clues left at scenes of mass murder caused by the monster called Quark Zombie. The creature had a habit of leaving large amounts of paper notes covered with equations, logical notation and mathematical formulas. FBI Agents were desperate. They wanted to determine the motivations of the creature in order to capture or destroy it. They needed an expert to decipher the mathematical notes to try and find clues.
Thus began a subtle but quick descent to into madness and soon Professor Deffry disappeared, abandoning his family and his life.
He was not seen again until a few years later in the Rogue Isles in the thrall of Quark Zombie. The monster now uses Deffry as the interface between itself and humanity.
The Dangerous, Maddening Idea
When you work out the math and physics, the concept of a multiverse contains a insidious idea: Globally, nothing is unique and nothing can ever die. When you get the proper perspective, as revealed by science, you realize that all the stuff people sweat over in the local context is utterly meaningless. You also realize that murders and killing are really no big deal on the grand stage. So, why worry? Why not kill a few people? It doesn't matter, right?
It doesn't really matter because you can prove with mathematical certainty that there are infinite number of universes with exact duplicates where all your infinite numbers of duplicates don't kill someone.
This is the idea at the root of Michael Deffry's insanity. He has learned too much. He has been taught, seduced, into this idea by the beautiful mathematical proofs of the Quark Zombie, a mysterious radioactive monster from Hilbert Space.
Traits, Quirks and Mannerism
Professor Deffry usually wears suits or semi-formal wear suitable for university professors. This suits sometimes shows tears, dirt, smudges and other wear, as if he's been crawling around a lot a dirty and wet places. He also sports a large collection of bright blue Converse hi-tops. He also often wears a brass lapel pin in the shape of a lemniscate. Why he'd fixate on blue Connies considering his circumstances, is something he himself doesn't understand.
In general his personality is introverted but he has long learned in adulthood to function in social settings, provided things stay scripted. He is witty and can usually roll with the oddest conversational topics or at least shine someone on.
One staggeringly creepy thing about him: If someone mentions his abandoned wife and daughter to him, he doesn't bat an eye. He just smiles confidently and says, "They don't matter. There are an infinite number of universes where there are an infinite number of me who didn't abandon them. It all evens out." If the questioner pursues it, hoping to find an emotional wedge, he'll smile broadly, "Bring them here right now. Vaporize them before me and, watch my reaction."
How His Powers Work
Looking at Professor Deffry's eyes will reveal that he doesn't have any. Instead he has two pitch black pits where his eyes used to be. If you look still more closely, in a darkened room so your eyes can adjust, you'll see stars in those voids! No, we're not making that up. His eyes are literally tiny, stable wormholes into deep interstellar space. This by itself is nearly incredible, the spatiotemporal manipulation is as exquisite as it is astronomically powerful, but that is only the beginning.
This gift was given to him by the Quark Zombie. For that creature such a wonder is nothing. Regardless, it is from these wormholes that Professor Deffry's power emits. He is merely a conduit.
In addition to the spatiotemporal powers, the Mathematician can project great bolts and arcs of high current electricity. These can burn, electrocute or just paralyze organic targets. All the huge amounts of energy do this is projected through the wormholes of his eyes and then directed by his AR gloves. The gloves themselves are trivial and easily replaceable.
As remarkable and freakishly advanced as the technology behind his powers are, there are lot of unanswered questions. For example, we might speculate that Quark Zombie used this gift as excuse to learn more about how the human mind worked and thus gain a similar level of understanding. At the moment, it lacks the empathy and understanding Professor Deffry has (Although is rapidly losing.)
Having cosmic wormholes surgically grafted to his eye sockets, and all the more active work the Zombie calls on him to do, requires his body to be more vigorous than well-preserved, healthy 48 year old man is really capable of. His body is saturated with standard cell repair machines which heal minor wounds, increase his strength and agility to the limits of human norms, prevent him from aging further and otherwise prevent him from dying from the radiation hazard posed by small wormholes in his head.
Evidence of these machines can be seen in the trace amounts of black, tar-like sludge around his eyes. Normally the nanobots in these "black tears" biodegrade to uselessness in a few hours. Perhaps later on, the Mathematician may think of ways to prevent this leakage entirely.
Affiliations, Allies and Associates
Astounding as his power is, Professor Deffry is merely a henchmen to the radioactive horror of the Quark Zombie. He, as a human, who is slowly becoming inhuman, is assigned the role to explain the creature's wishes conveniently to humanity. Being that the creature speaks primarily through advanced mathematics, he and others of his profession are really the only ones who best understand the monster.
In his past life he was well connected with the Brown University faculty and prior to that, was very strongly involved in the early days of the Portal Project, later to become the Portal Corporation. It is a misconception on the part of the public that the Portal Corporation was a purely private venture from the start. It was not. It was huge governmental and military research project from the very start with lots of international involvement. Michael Deffry was there in those early days and, as such, had a very high governmental security clearance. This has since been revoked.
Hilbert's Grand Hotel
The Quark Zombie has a hideout to end all hideouts. It's just hard to get to and hard to leave once you're there. [Description of Hilbert's Hotel to put in here later after some suitable art is found.]
The Grand Project
Isn't there always some grand scheme for a villain to strive for? Any real villain worth their salt usually has a scheme, even if it's merely an attempt to devolve the world into chaos. Like all great villains, Professor Deffry is working towards a goal. It's a goal explained to him by the Quark Zombie and he agrees with it. So in truth it's really the Quark Zombie's goal but it may as well be his.