From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Neutron is a young man who had somehow survived the horrors of the Institute for the Rehabilitation of Mutant Children. Many believe the Institute was a front for Crey and have dealings with Malta. Of all the children only seven have survived the incident that destroyed the facility five years ago. Of the 7 who survived the other 6 have committed suicide, disappeared in the wilderness, or joined Arachnos. Neutron is the only one that has become a Hero. He joins the Reciprocators after his return to Paragon City in December of 2007.
Doctor Algernon’s tampering with Neutron has caused several anomalies within the man. First of Neutron has a double X chromosome. Despite this he is male, any testing shows that he is male; his blood shows he is male, and even genetic screening shows he is male. The only way to notice this oddity it so do a full gene observation of his DNA, where it would be revealed he has two X chromosomes and not an XY like a natural male does. This is due to Algernon’s attempt to remove what she perceived as a useless Y chromosome (not the male determination genes, but the actual Y chromosome itself).
This anomaly actually occurs because Neutron is not a natural human mutant anymore. He is actually a Lazarus Clone. Cloning technologies used to “resurrect” a dying or dead person. The process involves creating a new body and transposing the memory templates of the dying individual to the new body. Since Algernon was obsessed with perfection, she made changes to the DNA. Furthermore, she had no choice in the case of Neutron since his base DNA was corrupt beyond measure.
The process of recording usually destroys the mind of the original; however it can be stored for later use. The end result (as long as only one clone is made) is that the person goes unchanged. Personality, will, fear, hates, and the ones he loves all remain the same. Even simple magic would mistake the clone as the original. This is how Neutron is perceived by his peers as being the same person with a heavily changed genome. Neutron knows the truth but tells no one in the fear he will be treated as a different person.
Simply put, the Neutron that lives now was not the same Neutron that joined the Reciprocators, and the one that joined was not the same one that was born over twenty years ago. Algernon cloned him twice to save his life, the first time when he was 15 and the second time when he surrendered himself to Crey. Satisfied she has cured him finally, she has vowed not to do the operation again.
To a being who can sense souls they would agree it is the “same” Neutron, but that he does appear frayed as the operation to restore him as a Lazarus clone is taxing on the soul. This also explains Neutron’s weakness to magic, as his soul was tossed around so many times through science; his mystical essence is vulnerable to mystical energies.
Recently Neutron has manifested the existence of a second personality, a Dark Neutron. It was not long before the two were distinguished by the name Neutron for the dark half, and Michael for the good half. Michael (the one the Reciprocators knew already) was in control but Neutron would attempt to subvert his will and gain dominance. This came to an end when Pariah Flux awakened Neutron to the foreground.
It also became apparent that Michael was indoctrinated by the Institute; the programmed block was a simple one, to follow orders from his superiors in the most efficient way possible. When Black Starbeam advised Neutron to get a better hold of his emotions, Neutron proceeded to commit emotional suicide by using his understanding of his own biochemistry. Thankfully Static Bolter was able to tell Neutron to not do such an act and to think things through, which managed to prevent the catastrophe. This indoctrination also explained why Neutron surrendered himself to Crey when he was dying; it was a subconscious level decision to get him to the one person who could have saved him, Dr. Algernon.
In the weeks that followed Neutron's awakening, he slowly gave up his attempt to absorb Michael and in the end seeked redemption for the crimes he committed when he was still a test subject (which ironically PPD was aware off and exempted Neutron of any crimes, but the sting of Sin was still marked on Neutron’s soul) by selflessly finding a mean to remove the indoctrination and allowing himself to be absorbed into Michael instead.
Though some would argue Michael is the dominant aspect now, having the same dreams, goals, virtues, and vices of the Neutron everyone in the Reciprocators knew. Acting along somewhat predictable patterns which are consistent to Michael; others would be quick to point out his personality and mode of speech is closer to what Dark Neutron was. Overall everyone can agree Michael experienced a dramatic personality shift. He is still learning how to rein in his more overt nature.
As Fumiyo pointed out, they were both sides of the same coin, neither of them being a manifestations of good or evil, but the split being down along different lines. Both sides showed nobility of spirit and now the two halves have finally been merged and balance restored.
Neutron is able to manipulate sub-atomic particles, this allows him to generate radiation fields and alter his own interactions with the physical world. He can cause rapid cellular growth in others, accelerate their metabolism, and cripple his foes with particle fields. He can also release neutrino blasts, positron bolts, focused X-Ray beams, and cosmic particles. He can also generate EM waves and invert his body’s relative weight to achieve flight. However all these abilities degenerate his DNA, even if he was to refrain from using them he would die within a few years.
Doctor Algernon’s solution was to fully remove the genes and restore his human DNA to a healthy state, or to insert a codon for a regenerative enzyme into his DNA. After she was persuaded to keep Neutron “special” she went with the latter option. This enzyme suppresses Neutron’s powers and gives him near perfect regeneration. This healing occurs on the molecular level of his DNA, but it is so rapid it offers him a physical recovery similar to those with true regenerative powers. Since Neutron does not want to feel grounded inside the base, he practices the sword so he can keep fighting crime even when his primary powers are dormant.
Initially the enzyme should only be produced when Neutron is experiencing too much cellular damage. But it seems something went wrong and it is produced 99% of the time. Neutron has synthesized a serum he can take to artificially suppress the enzyme so that he can gain his initial powers again when needed. He works on his research inside of the Citadel, to further understand his own biology and to help other mutants who suffer a similar fate that he once did.
Neutron has very little relations with people outside of the Reciprocators. They have become his family and friends. Though he does attend Military training to become an Air Force Officer, he does not relate with his fellow classmates. This said he does maintain a professional approach with them; he has already gained his call sign, “Glowbug”.
Despite his friendly disposition, he feels a little outcaste from the rest of the Reciprocators. Neutron does not see himself as a Hero, additionally he tends to develop formal relations with other members of the Cips. He only counts three members of the Reciprocators as friends, but due to his inexperience with dealing with others, he has nearly lost those friendships on several occasions. Recently Neutron has began reorganising his friendship ties with his fellow Reciprocators literally cutting loose some of those he once perceived as friends and making new ties with others, probably due to his personality shift.