From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Reiko-Chan is Cobalt Anima's main character, the first she made after her initial aborted attempt at playing City of Heroes. While there have been many, MANY alts, the fast playstyle and interesting character concept keep her coming back to Reiko. She's truly taken on a life of her own.
Rachel Cohn was born in Paragon City. Her family wasn't particularly well-off; her dad was a Paragon City cop and her mother was a first-generation American who worked for El Super Mexicano. They lived in Kings Row, and while they didn't have a good deal of money, there was a good deal of love. Rachel was an only child, and a happy one, growing up healthy and strong, athletic and good in her classes.
Things got a lot more serious when her father was shot and killed in the line of duty when she was 16. She knew the dangers of his work, but to lose him so young, when he was her hero, greatly affected her. His life insurance and pension saw to her family's financial needs, but Rachel decided she was going to pay homage to her fallen father, and when she graduated, she took classes at PCU in criminology and criminal psychology, moving from college into Police Academy.
She graduated in the top quarter of her class, and fast-tracked her way through beat-cop, getting promoted to Detective right about the time of the Rikti War. EVERYONE got pressed into duty during that...it was hard work keeping order when the world was falling apart around you. Thankfully, she managed to make it through it, and in the aftermath of the war, was posted to Kings Row, her home town.
That's when things got complicated. The Circle of Thorns was becoming exceptionally active in Kings Row after the War, and they were causing all kinds of magical havoc in the city. One day, a well-meaning hero who broke up the Circle working a transformation spell on an innocent civilian failed to notice one of their spellbooks, flung behind a dumpster during the battle. The spellbook was found by Marvin Bryce, a teenage...well, nerd and anime geek, to be honest.
Marvin's favorite anime series was Reiko-Chan And The Elemental Knights, a typical mahoushoujo series about a girl and her friends who could transform into mystic warriors. Each was empowered by an element, except Reiko-chan, who was their leader and possessed mystically-empowered martial arts. Of course, one of Marvin's favorite facts about the show was that all of the girls were drawn not in the typical semi-chibi style, but straight from the schools of Go Nagai and Gainax; buxom hotties who bobbled all about in exaggerated fashion.
Marvin, through a quirk of fate (and getting stuffed into the dumpster by some high-school bullies), happened to FIND the book. And when reading through it, determined that he could do summonings, and set about on his master plan...to summon Reiko-chan and keep her for his very own anime girlfriend!
Librarians From Hell
Of course, the Circle wasn't going to take kindly to the loss of one of their mystic tomes, and they started working a tracking spell to find the book. Meanwhile, Marvin was setting up for his summoning up on the rooftop of his apartment building. It was sheer chance (or mischance) that Rachel happened to see the squad the Circle had sent to get the book back, sneaking through the alley and up the fire escape. She drew her pistol, called for backup, and stealthily followed them up the stairs.
On the roof, Marvin was chanting the last words of his spell...the Circle moved to confront him, and Rachel stepped off the escape, moving onto the roof, ordering the Circle to freeze, before they could attack the boy. Unfortunately, she didn't notice the charcoal-marked summoning circle on the roof in the darkness, and stepped into it as she moved to cover the Circle. The summoning circle breached, as the spell triggered, and summoned the fictional character into the same time-space that Rachel was standing in. With the circle broken, the second part of the spell, to bind her to servitude of Marvin, never triggered properly, and Rachel, more than a little disoriented, found herself unarmed, wearing a short skirt, high heels, and a tight top, very Japanese and VERY buxom.
The Circle tried to attack the newly-changed woman, who fought back...only to discover she had the -powers- of the fictional character, too! Bright energy flared from her hands, flinging Circle members around like ragdolls and quickly knocking the lot of them out as she pummeled them with punches. In moments it was over, Marvin staring in shock, the Council out cold, and Rachel freezing her butt off in a skimpy outfit on a Kings Row roof.
Rachel grabbed Marvin, and took him, and the book, down to the squadhouse to sort everything out. After explaining everything to her Captain (accompanied by plenty of ribbing from her fellow officers at the precinct), Marvin was released with a warning (since he hadn't broken any actual laws), and Rachel was sent down to Atlas Park, to meet with the Sorceress Azuria at MAGI.
Azuria's news wasn't good, as far as Rachel was concerned. The spell was never intended to summon a fictional being, and it was cast by someone with no training...improperly...and into a damaged summoning circle, WITH a living being standing where no living being should be. Despite the best efforts of MAGI and Azuria, they were unable to actually break the spell and return her to normal. Rachel was stuck as Reiko-chan...with all the powers and abilities of that fictional character.
In personality, Rachel is almost completely unlike what she -looks- like. She's serious, more than a little sarcastic, and very much a cop from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. She doesn't break easy, and she's very dedicated to the whole ideals of "protect and serve"...it's part of why she's not so sure she WOULD break the spell now even if she COULD, since she can help people a lot better WITH these powers than without them.
The spell, honestly, embarrasses the hell out of her. Like many female cops, she went through the ranks being razzed for being a girl at all, and her defense mechanism was to act as un-girly as possible. Now, she finds herself spending the majority of her time in the body of a teenage Japanese girl (which plays all kinds of hell with her normal cultural identity as a Latina), and what's more, one who has the body of a teenage wet dream and a completely impractical costume! (While she can change her clothing, if she transforms to power-up, it returns to the fuku.)
Beyond that, she's very much committed to the job. She still considers herself a cop first and foremost, even if she's on "special duty" these days, and she wants to help people; she'll put her life on the line willingly to help save a civilian. (Though thankfully being on "special duty" means she's got a Mediport receiver, which makes that a little less potentially fatal than it could be.) Personal relationships tend to take a back-burner...while she's got teammates and friends, she tends to see them as fellow cops and partners; she hasn't had a romantic relationship since she was a teenager beyond "going out to a bar and having a few drinks".
Teammates And Allies
Special OAV Edition! Snapshots of a Superheroine, go!
Reiko/Rachel has a lot of different looks. Some of them she's pleased with, and some others, not so much...
The following is a gallery of Reiko-chan in her different looks, and in action around Paragon City.
- February 2005
Rachel is transformed by the spell-gone-awry from Marvin. She contacts Azuria and MAGI for help in breaking the spell but is unsuccessful, trapped in the form of a fictional character, with the powers thereof.
- March 2005
Rachel discovers that the more she draws on her powers as Reiko-chan, the more the fictional girl's personality and skills begin to overwrite her own. She finds her English skills suffering, her police training slipping, and herself more and more acting like a stereotypical Japanese "magical girl".
- April 2005
Azuria, along with some assistance from some of the other mages of Paragon City, manages to alter the spell laid throughout Rachel's being, enabling her to transform to and from Reiko-chan back to her normal identity and body. The only downside is, she only retains her superpowers while in the Reiko-chan identity. After much deliberation, she opts to remain on "special duty", transforming into Reiko-chan to go heroing in Paragon City, and transforming back when not actively being a superheroine.
- May 2005
Rachel starts regularly teaming with the superheroine Night's Cloak, and through her, joins up with the other woman's superheroic alliance, the newly-minted American offshoot of the Dawn Patrol. She begins to work with them extensively, most heavily against the recently emerged Council. She also discovers she has a virtual twin in Reiko Kanami, a Japanese native who found a pair of mystic bracers that changed her into her favorite anime character; Reiko-chan! The confusion between the two twin heroines within the general public was somewhat amusing, all the more so on occasions where they worked together.
- August 2005
Recent troubles with increased Troll activity in Skyway City, as well as a rash of arsons in Steel Canyon, cause a number of disagreements between Rachel and the Dawn Patrol. Her concerns are on the street-level events, looking at it from the perspective of a cop, while they're much more focused on larger-scale supervillainous activity. She ends up parting ways with them, resigning her membership in the group to return to solo operation.
- October 2005
Statesman calls on all heroes to join a massive strike in conjunction with Longbow on the Rogue Isles. Rachel accompanies the strike, but while they cause the immediate thwarting of Lord Recluse's plans, they're unable to break the power of Arachnos for good. Feeling the need to broaden the scope of her activities with the increased activity of Arachnos, she founds the Hard Days Knights along with fellow heroes Gallant and Night's Cloak, an organization which slowly grows and expands, including the other embodied members of the Elemental Knights.
- January 2006
Rachel and her teammate Gallant, who by this time have begun to have a more serious romantic relationship, decide to become engaged. By this point, having been entrusted with a higher Security Level and doing more of her heroing in other parts of Paragon City, Rachel puts in for, and receives, a transfer to Talos Island, doing her mundane policing there.
- March 2006
The growing romance and impending wedding between Rachel and Gallant comes to a tragic end when he's killed attempting to stop the machinations of the Crey Corporation. While Rachel is convinced of their involvement in things, she lacks the evidence to take any kind of official action. Still, she takes great vindictive pleasure in doing her best to ruin as many of Crey's assets as possible within the course of her activity.
- June 2006
Dismayed by her lack of success against Crey and the death of her fiancee, Rachel disbands the Hard Days Knights and requests to return to normal police work. The PPD grants her request, and she transfers to Brickstown. She remains untransformed, living life as ordinary Rachel Cohn, refusing to access her superpowers, as she goes into retirement.
- July 2007
July 24, 2007. The Rikti return in full force, launching a massive second invasion of Earth. Vanguard is given a virtual blank check by the United Nations Security Council and empowered to take all means necessary to stop the Rikti threat. In the face of such a crisis, Rachel comes out of retirement. She asks for and receives permission to go on detached duty; effectively transferring from the Paragon Police Department and enlisting with Vanguard. Since her powers are far too useful to be locked away, she once again transforms and resumes full activity using her superheroic powers, battling the Rikti threat.
- November 2007
With the initial threat of the second Rikti invasion blunted, Rachel is contacted by Ms. Pelvannen, seeking instructors for her training institute for young superheroes, the Ravenswood Academy. While initially reluctant to become involved, Rachel agrees to become an occasional teacher, teaching the students the matters of superheroic law they'll need to know to become professional crimefighters, and also to train young students in fieldwork from time to time.
- December 2007
Rachel is contacted by the Menders of Ouroboros, guardians of time. She is offered membership within their organization in an attempt to protect and preserve the timestream. Seeing with it the possibility not just to do great good, but possibly to repair the tragedy of her lost love, she accepts membership, and begins performing missions to help preserve the timeline. At the same time, she puts in the paperwork with the PPD to officially transfer to Peregrine Island, though she remains on reserve with them, due to the proximity of the local Vanguard headquarters and her work with them. She begins to work more actively with other heroes from Ravenswood Academy, including the school nurse Rose Cross, one of the sports coaches, the Cherry Hills Slugger, and the mysterious swordsman High Dragon.