Steel Advocate

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Orpheus Icon Web.png
Vanguard Herald Advocate
Michelle Thompson
Player: @AlwaysAPrice
Real Name
Michelle Thompson
Steel Advocate
January 11th, 1967
Chicago, IL, USA
Vanguard Herald Advocate
Legal Status
Vanguard Operative
Marital Status
Single, widow
Physical Traits
Apparent Age
Early 40s
136 lbs. (211 lbs. armored)
Powers & Abilities
· Equipment ·
· Dual XERIS-203 "Retaliator" Pistols ·
a.k.a. "Horatio" & "Caine"
· Vanguard Light Battlesuit ·
Energy Translation Matrix · Targeting & Reaction Assistance Systems · Limited Range Flight Capabilities

Orpheus Icon Web.png Steel Advocate

Function & Responsibilities

As the world's only sanctioned meta-human military force, the Vanguard is under constant scrutiny, its motivations and machinations questioned at every turn. One way it seeks to defuse this suspicion is through various rehabilitation and reform programs overseen by the Herald, offering "villains" the opportunity to renounce their crimes and, with Vanguard's backing, turn their abilities to the defense of Earth's citizens from threats other than the Rikti.

As a Vanguard Herald Advocate, Michelle Thompson's caseload consists primarily of arranging pardons and clemency agreements for super-powered individuals who came to the Vanguard as fugitives. Her specialty is arranging defections for meta-humans who have previously displayed loyalty to a corrupt or hostile regime. Few of the U.N.'s members are willing to accept such defectors without stringent scrutiny; it is Thompson's job to ensure her clients pass this scrutiny and to negotiate the conditions of defection.

Career & Service

Michelle Thompson served the people of Paragon City as an Assistant District Attorney for the 10 years prior to the First Rikti War. Following her husband's death during the war, Thompson retired from prosecuting to return to law school, specializing in international law. Thompson accepted a job offer from the Vanguard Herald's legal division that saw her working to clarify the policies and procedures that would govern the Vanguard's licensing of convicted or wanted criminals as operatives in the ongoing war against the Rikti's entrenched forces.

In 2007, after the Second Invasion, Thompson moved into the Advocate program, which offered villains who joined the war effort a path to legal redemption, and assisted several high profile villains, including the Sword's Lt. Ani Hess in defecting from the Etoile Islands to operate as heroes in Paragon City.[1] She continued in this role full-time until 2010, and still works with the Advocates in a less active capacity today.

In 2010 she unexpectedly volunteered her services to Helm R&D as a field tester for prototype armor and weaponry intended to be used in bolstering the Vanguard's ranks by raising non-metahumans to a level of combat-readiness suitable for operations against the Rikti. Thompson, without authorization but without violating the terms of her possession, took the bold step of registering the experimental equipment with D.A.T.A. despite its prototype status (and Vanguard's ownership) and applied for a CCFA license in Paragon City.

By mid-year she had accrued enough arrests, field experience, and public renown as the Steel Advocate to not only be promoted to full Vanguard Operative status in addition to her employment as an Advocate, but also to force her superiors to afford her legitimate consideration as an applicant to head the Herald's Orpheus Initiative -- a program originally conceived two years earlier by Thompson herself.

Orpheus Icon Web.png Personality Profile

Vanguard Observations

Thompson exhibits a curious kind of moral flexibility that molds around and supports her dedication to the law and common good, rather than conflicting with it. Life, freedom, and choice seem to be her paramount concerns. Where enforcing the law, policy, or procedure would tread on these rights of another who has not invited them to be abridged by their actions, she is not averse to bending the law in order to manipulate loopholes to the greatest benefit of all parties. Nevertheless, she refuses to shirk her duty or forgive complicity merely out of sympathy -- there must be something to gain.

As a Vanguard Operative, Thompson lacks ruthlessness but has nevertheless repeatedly proven herself capable of meeting the Rikti on the battlefield without hesitation. While she has frequently admitted to feeling extreme fear and anxiety in the heat of battle, she executes her objectives with professionalism and determination that outweighs her doubts. Despite her commitment to the Vanguard, and while she has proven herself reliable in the most extreme of circumstances[2], it should be noted that her preference seems to be using her equipment, training, and experience against Earth's homegrown threats and criminal element.

Thompson's experiences as a prosecutor in Paragon City give her a unique insight into the minds and motivations of super-powered criminals, a boon in her role as coordinator of the Orpheus Initiative. Given her long and successful history of prosecuting such offenders, her fervor for the reform program as an Advocate and her determination to see the Orpheus Initiative implemented under her direct guidance is somewhat surprising.

Myers-Briggs Type

Introverted · Sensing · Thinking · Judging

The one word that best describes Inspectors is superdependable. Whether at home or at work, Inspectors are extraordinarily persevering and dutiful, particularly when it comes to keeping an eye on the people and products they are responsible for. In their quiet way, Inspectors see to it that rules are followed, laws are respected, and standards are upheld.

-- Keirsey Temperament Website - Portrait of the Guardian Inspector

ISTJs are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don't keep their commitments. But they usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked. And when asked, they don't mince words. Truth wins out over tact. The grim determination of the ISTJ vindicates itself in officiation of sports events, judiciary functions, or an other situation which requires making tough calls and sticking to them.

-- TypeLogic - ISTJ Profile

Associate Assessments

She's too soft! She doesn't tan the supple flesh of her less-than-impressive charges. She needs someone like me to be stiff for her. And she's so tight with the funds! I don't know how she manages to squeeze all she has in.

-- Winterizer, Orpheus Field Commander

Michelle's not only a considerate, caring, and supportive boss, she's the reason I'm in Paragon again at all. She made me feel like redemption was within reach, and helped me try and get my hands on it more than I can even say. On top of all that, she's a great friend, even if she does need to chill out more often... I know you're tapping this call, boss!

-- Wyr3h3d, Orpheus Initiate

Michelle's the best lawyer I could have asked for in pursuing my clemency. When I reneged, she would have been right and justified to wash her hands of me entirely like the rest of the Vanguard did, but when she saw an opportunity to help the Reciprocators bring me home, she latched on like a dog to a bone and didn't let go until I was a hero again.

-- The Androgyne, The Reciprocators

Michelle will work with anyone in order to get the job done.

-- Captain Robin Keyes, Airship Aria

For as long as I have walked God's green Earth, I have only ever once been moved by the grace of a woman. Thompson carries herself with the most desirous gait I have ever seen AND I WILL POUND THAT MILF SO FUCKING HARD YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE BRO

-- Sunsurge

Orpheus Icon Web.png Equipment Overview


Vanguard[3] Light Battlesuit

Prototype Lightweight Armor

An experimental full-body battlesuit intended to provide smaller, unpowered operatives a similar defensive and offensive edge in combat to that experienced by fully armored metahuman soldiers, while preserving their flexibility and speed advantages over Rikti troops. Lightweight impervium plating is positioned for maximum protection without impeding movement, underlaid with a reinforced kinetic absorption mesh to reduce impacts and diffuse energy blasts.

Energy Translation Matrix

The most revolutionary aspect of the Steel Advocate's armor, the ETM converts incoming kinetic energy and energy attacks, diffused by the absorption mesh, into power stored in integrated cells throughout the suit. This power can then be used to fuel additional functionality of both the armor and interfaced weaponry, such as the suit's limited range flight capabilities, pulse gauntlets, and the XERIS-203 rail systems.

Targeting & Reaction Assistance Computerized Intelligence

TRACI is a computer program currently being tested by the Helm and the most recent addition to the Steel Advocate's cutting-edge arsenal of prototypes. TRACI provides constant 360 degree monitoring of ally and enemy positioning, topographical analysis, vital sign monitoring, and power management assistance during combat. Not a true AI, TRACI is minimally interactive, all its analysis presented via HUD display and infrasonic impulses that guide and alert the operative to developing conditions.

XERIS-203 "Retaliators"

Prototype Hybrid Sidearm

Developed by the Helm, the XERIS-203 is one of several candidates to become the standard issue sidearm for all Vanguard operatives lacking offensive powers. In its default operating mode a .50 caliber gas-operated semi-automatic pistol, its rail enhanced mode gives it additional punch when needed, provided a power supply is available. The high power demands of the XERIS-203 have been the chief obstacle to its adoption.

Electromagnetic Rail Integration System

Electromagnetic rails housed alongside the barrel of each Retaliator can further accelerate standard projectiles to phenomenal velocities. With ERIS activated, standard rounds are given the added velocity needed to punch through Rikti armor and force fields, and resultingly provides much greater accuracy at range. The power demands are great enough that the system must be used with discretion, to give the power source time to recharge between uses.

Translation Matrix Interface

As the power demands of the Retaliator almost led to the Helm scrapping the project, Thompson took the initiative upon volunteering to test both pieces of equipment to personally finance the development of an interface to replace the XERIS-203's built in, limited power supply and allow the weapon to draw on the power stores accrued by the Kinetic Absorption Mesh and Energy Translation Matrix.

Last Updated: 5/25/2011

  1. Advocate Thompson was initially just a background NPC, referenced off-hand once or twice in the Androgyne's RP. I fleshed out her role and personality a bit and gave her some "screen time" in Renegade, and I liked what I came up with then enough to roll the character up several months later so she could have a hand in restoring the Androgyne's legal status, since she struck me as the sort not to let the black mark of her only renegade sully her record for long. The mixture of sleazy PR smoothness, lawful-neutral righteousness, and even-tempered professionalism struck a chord that's led to me playing and planning for her entirely independent of the Androgyne.
  2. Michelle's one of two characters I've gone to the trouble of coordinating an MoLGTF for.
  3. Originally Michelle wore a lot of the Enforcer set with Valkyrie plating standing in for the Vanguard chest detail until 35. Then Alpha and Clockwork arrived and pretty much ensured her costume wouldn't use a single piece of the comparatively blah Vanguard armor. I've tried every piece, and none of it looks quite as good or concept-appropriate as her current armor, so the "prototype" designation will remain to explain why it hasn't been retrofitted with Vanguard stylings.
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