The Cobalt Streak
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Ignatius Floyd Byron is a Superhero resident of Paragon City. Taking on the Hero name "The Cobalt Streak" and wearing an outfit to match, the Speedster-flavored Tanker-classed Hero has fought to keep the peace across Primal Earth and beyond.
After gaining powers from a chance study on superhuman regeneration through a Crey Industries subsidiary, Iggy immediately registered in Atlas Park through the Scientific Experimentation Research and Application to Paranormal Humans (SERAPH) branch of the FBSA. Working his way up in security rankings with other registered heroes of the city, Iggy rose to a position of moderate stardom in the public eye and Hero community at large.
Working for a handful of years locally and just branching out into global Superhero work, Iggy's career was put to an end by one of the groups he had thwarted repeatedly. A brainwashed sleeper agent of the 5th Column was activated for the task, assassinating Iggy as he exited a coffee shop in Steel Canyon.
Barely a month later The Cobalt Streak was spotted in Paragon stopping crime and investigating his own death, with only a handful of months lost in the ensuing confusing details of his return. Relationships grew strained through the following months as Iggy made new friends and enemies, ultimately turning him away from the path he started to follow as he became more active across Paragon City and the globe as a whole with new Super Groups and coalitions.
These alliances were short-lived for Iggy. Looking for something more fast-paced for his method of crime-fighting and problem-solving, The Cobalt Streak turned to Portal Corporation. Expanding his horizons far beyond the layman's view of the universe, Iggy fit well in the structure of scientific advancement and accomplishment coming out of Portal Corp, going as far as to volunteer for lengthy missions into alternate realities untouched and unexplored by what was referred to as Primal Earth.
The exact date of his official disembarkation for the five-year mission is still classified data under the Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs' Interdimensional Security and Counter-Intelligence Act of 2009, but what parts of the FBSA-ISCI are available offer only broad strokes of the purpose of the mission. The Cobalt Streak set out to chart as many alternate Earths as possible, making contact with friendly governments and organizations as he went while reporting possible threats to Primal Earth security from these alternate dimensions.
After five years of exploration the beacon leading back to Primal Earth no longer had a lock on the original dimensional coordinates. Hopelessly lost in a multi-dimensional maze of worlds and timelines, Iggy continued forward with his mission for over thirty years, discovering untold worlds throughout the multiverse before happening upon a familiar villain in a dystopian Earth; a technological terror in beaten brass and Prussian blue calling himself Baron Rhamnousia.
The Cobalt Streak and Iggy's return to Primal Earth showed things to be about what he remembered. He found familiar faces, learned of a few tragic encounters, and cleaned up what mess he could from a non-Praetorian doppelgänger taking on his life for a brief period of time.
Born August 31st, 1982 to a pair of genetic researchers and mere minutes before his twin sister Rachel-Ann, Iggy had an idyllic childhood. Spending his formative years in and around Boston, Massachusetts led him to exceed expectations as a student and as a son, performing well in school in both academics and sports. Taking a keen interest in social studies and hockey respectively, Iggy applied himself to leadership roles on and off the ice in an effort to fully immerse himself in his passions. On the suggestion of his coach he took up ballet and figure skating to better perform in the ice rink, with both activities broadening his experiences socially and physically throughout his adolescence. It was these latter interests which earned him a reputation as being a quiet-yet-warm young man, establishing romantic relationships with his partners in recitals and performances until his adulthood.
Academically Iggy rose to the top of his class and stayed there for the remainder of his time in primary school, delivering the final speech at his graduation as valedictorian of his graduating year. College was no different; applying to and being accepted at Boston College without incident. The shift from structured lesson plans and required schedules in academics to something with more personal responsibility took it's toll on Iggy. With the performance aspects of ballet and ice skating giving him a physical outlet without conflict or direct competition, he threw himself into every extracurricular activity he could until finally finding something fitting; boxing. Taking classes in theology and ancient Greek history with numerous electives in mental health care and social services, Iggy watched the world pass by from his dorm on campus.
The Rikti Invasion
In the time between his graduation from high school and the First Rikti War, Iggy's parents went from simple professors and researchers in their fields to the leading authority in New England for genetic modification and wave-bombardment techniques for the biotech division of Crey Industries. The First Rikti War saw Iggy and his family being evacuated to a private shelter in northern Massachusetts with various other families, all of whom were high-ranking officials or experts in their fields. The compound, situated a half mile underground and running enough illegal programs to shut the company down for good several times over, severed the families link to the outside world while the Rikti attempted to dominate Primal Earth. They knew only what the security personnel told them, never experiencing the hardships of the Rikti Invasion.
Cut off from the rest of the world for almost six months and secured within the Subrock DNA Compound by hired mercenaries and brainwashed security staff, Iggy went stir-crazy. Picking fights with the various staff and mercs, Iggy eventually had his access to the facility as a whole restricted and was locked in his quarters for the remainder of the Rikti War. A chance visit from Countess Crey to the facility gave Iggy his first real defeat in the face of adversity, when the Countess' personal bodyguard Hopkins made an example of him in a sparring match.
With the end of the Rikti War Iggy dropped his studies at Boston College and set out for Paragon, Rhode Island. He spent the next few years helping with the reconstruction and restoration efforts in King's Row, alternating between underground boxing matches in a now teeming refugee population and social work for the very same crowd. Iggy eventually ended up volunteering for a familiar-sounding medical study with a supposed-competitor to Crey Biotech; a decision which would change his life forever.
Just Dumb Luck
"The study of the human body subject to gene therapy and artificial growth acceleration through manipulation of genetic markers and radiological treatments" was supposed to be a three-month program by a Crey competitor to look into speeding up certain aspects of human healing and recovery in order to decrease downtime from injuries. Intended for security personnel and heroes, it was portrayed as a medical breakthrough aimed at healing the wounds and removing the scars of the Rikti War. Illegal purchases and a hostile takeover of the core company in charge of the gene therapy study led to Crey Biotech taking control of the study before it was fully underway, with some of their most promising work being applied to a this large batch of volunteers. Iggy and a handful of other subjects in the three-hundred-odd test sample responded to the treatment a thousand times more intensely than expected; gaining super-human strength and endurance on top of various additional mutations based on their personal physiology and genetic divergence.
Iggy gained the most obvious and strongest manifestation of powers for an easily-confirmed reason; his father, the scientist who created the altered therapy, had used Iggy's genetic markers as a baseline for the project. The study had inadvertently been based on and around Iggy's genetic makeup, granting him phenomenal strength and endurance with none of the muscle degradation and wasting syndrome that other applicants had suffered. Upon discovering this, his mother and father set into motion a series of events in their workplace to cause the project to be cancelled and scrapped, with Iggy being discharged from the study along with the other volunteers. Crey Biotech caught wind of the mix-up and results of the study before it was entirely covered up, with Crey Industries itself taking an interest and active role. Rebooting the project and terminating the employment of all involved in the initial company and study, Crey set to use this work in a new regeneration protocol for the Paragon Protector project.
Iggy fought back against the NDA and terms outlined by Crey. Claiming his body for their scientific research, Iggy engaged in a lengthy legal battle with Crey Industries for the right to his powers. With the help of his sister Rachel, now practicing law in the area of metahuman affairs and rights, Iggy received a judgment in his favor. Seventeen-million and eight-hundred thousand dollars in settlement, a rare waiver allowing public use of his new-found powers, and an even-rarer apology from Crey Industry's board of directors were the result of his lawsuit.
Wild, Wild Life
Iggy took some months to come to grips with what he could and could not do, not officially registering with City Hall until August of the same year he won his suit. Registering with SERAPH under the condition of nondisclosure of his power-set and it's source, Iggy spent the next few weeks deciding on a suit and a name.
The Cobalt Streak. Deciding on a name and general appearance (without stepping on the toes of other established heroes with their own styles), Iggy finally donned his costume and set to work to help his new-found home of Paragon as a registered hero. Not a minute after stepping out from City Hall and standing beneath the massive statue of Atlas, Iggy was recruited into Hyperion Force by one of their more eccentric members. Barely a month passed before The Cobalt Streak was dealt his first blow in defeat, by a Superpowered Collections and Recycling Cell of Crey. Seeking to reclaim the research his body contained under the guise of a Council operation, the Crey outfit managed to temporarily nullify his powers in a tense series of skirmishes across Paragon. Iggy held his own against the augmented Crey mercenaries for a time, barely keeping even with his foes until Hyperion Force came to his aid. Through the timely aid of Semlin E'Chemos and Arroan Sorenki, Iggy managed to survive the encounter.
Life During Wartime
Since then, Iggy fought a one-man war against all of the people whom attempted to hurt those he knew and cared for. He protected those he could, stopped threats against his friend and allies through direct action, and had gone great lengths to expand his powers and skill-set. He found love and devotion, almost erased himself from existence through his accelerated speed, and touched the lives of countless people with his dedication and kindness.
And then he died.
Ignatius Byron, The Cobalt Streak, was assassinated on July 18th, 2008. Shot by a sniper in Steel Canyon's Blyde Square while having morning coffee as part of his constant routine, Iggy could do nothing to stop his own untimely demise at the hands of a sleeper agent of the rapidly evolving Council / 5th Column. His burial and wake were quiet affairs, with his family holding a small private ceremony. No body was left behind after Iggy's death for a proper burial or viewing; his own powers consumed him entirely upon expiration.
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
In a world of psychic manifestations and magical beings, The Grim Reaper is a reality. Various heroes and villains of the eras have encountered their own forms of Death, ranging from the Valkyries of old Norse mythology to a literal skeleton in dark robes armed with a harvest scythe. Iggy met his own Death in the space between worlds, discussing at length with the personification of the end of life his own existence and what would come next. The very power which Iggy manifested was still consuming him, first bodily and now his soul. Death told him what would happen to his spirit if he clung to the physical world, as well as what his future would bring if he did not pass on. Accepting his fate, Iggy visited the land of the living only briefly before passing on to the afterlife without struggle of further argument.
Call On Me
A handful of weeks passed before there were sightings of the recently-deceased hero. "Cobalt Caped Crusader Returns!" and "Boston's Favored Son Back From Death's Door!" were among the headlines, as the seemingly revived Cobalt Streak was once again speeding across Paragon City fighting crime. Mysterious as his return was, no organizations could offer an explanation for his abrupt return, nor the memory loss which he suffered because of it. Losing the last few months of relations and interactions with the people close to him caused a great deal of stress in his life, leading Iggy to distance himself from those he worked with and had once called friends and family. The resulting gulf grew wider over the course of the next year, leading Iggy to join numerous organizations in an attempt at finding peace and closure with his own death.
Working with Portal Corporation was the only outlet he found that he could truly immerse himself in. Venturing to other dimensions and alternate Earths for the sake of scientific study and discovery kept his mind focused; visiting other cultures and establishing diplomatic ties on behalf of Primal Earth kept his mind off his social problems.
Every Day A Story
Armed with a beacon to return home with and an experimental version of the already experimental Portal Corp tech to transition between dimensions, The Cobalt Streak set out on a five-year mission to explore the multiverse. Upon the completion of his five-year mission the speedster disembarked for his home dimension, only to find the transponder beacon meant to guide him no longer functioning. He spent months working on the device, transitioning from one Earth to the next while searching for a way back or the technology to repair his equipment. Backtracking only led him to variations of the worlds he left behind, while moving ahead through the multiverse distorted the laws of space, time, and nature further and further from the established groundwork which he was familiar with.
For over thirteen years, 4,783 days of travel, The Cobalt Streak crossed the vast cosmos of the multiverse. Visiting 758 alternate Earths or their contemporary counterparts and averaging a little over six days on each Earth, Iggy spent more time abroad than he could have fathomed upon leaving Portal Corp from his Primal Earth home. Only a chance encounter with a vaguely familiar villain on a world still suffering from the aftereffects of the Second World War set him on the right path home.
Baron Rhamnousia was a villain whom appeared on Earth Delta Omicron 9-10 in the early 1900's. His autonomous minions and advanced-for-the-time equipment helped the Axis to extend World War II fifty years, only bringing the conflict to a close in the early 90's through the efforts of Earth Epsilon Beta 9-9. No sooner had the world been saved from the horrors of world war than it was plunged into darkness again, with the ancient Ugaritic god Kothar-wa-Khasis using Baron Rhamnousia to manifest in New York City and begin consuming all of the technological progress of the planet. A joint effort between Earth Delta Omicron 9-10, Earth Epsilon Beta 9-9, and the fallen pantheon of ancient gods from Earth Sigma Sigma 3-4 led to the saving of Earth Delta Omicron 9-10. Baron Rhamnousia escaped justice the day Kothar-wa-Khasis was defeated, never being seen again.
Iggy's arrival sparked fear and confusion on this Earth. Already familiar with the problem presented by travelers from other dimensions, the leading experts of Earth Delta Omicron 9-10, Apature Gateways, fiercely interrogated The Cobalt Streak for a number of days before deciding to allow him the opportunity to leave. The mention of Iggy being a similar traveler to Baron Rhamnousia struck the speedster harder than any blow he had suffered in the years he was abroad.
- Ignatius: "Baron Rhamnousia? Brass equipment, controlling and egotistical, gear-headed staff of authority?"
- Apature Gateways Scientist: "Ah, yes? How do you know of the Baron? He has been missing since the war ended in '92."
- Ignatius: "Doesn't matter what he calls himself; I know Lord Nemesis when I see him."
Baron Rhamnousia was the anchor which Iggy used to return to his place in the multiverse. Traveling nonstop for weeks between worlds, The Cobalt Streak tracked down every instance of Lord Nemesis he could find. Worlds where he escaped justice, worlds where he was incarcerated. Worlds where he was slain by dumb luck, only to be discovered with Iggy's involvement as having survived and staged his death. Worlds where The Prussian Prince of Automatons succeeded, failed, and was still attempting to dominate all he surveyed passed Iggy by as he honed in on Primal Earth.
The Cobalt Streak's powers primarily result from his exposure to Electromagnetic Wave Bombardment and moderate gene therapy.
Iggy's entire body exists on the quantum-level at a different vibration than the world around him. When not directly controlling the speed at which he moves Iggy clocks in at just over twenty times the baseline of Primal Earth, experiencing the world in literal slow-motion. The difference in quantum vibration compared to his surroundings causes Iggy to manifest certain wavelengths of energy when moving, generating electromagnetic interference of various magnitudes as well as extensive concussive force.
The focus of Iggy's powers are his 'super speed.' Initially theorized as accelerated movement by SERAPH, Iggy has slowly come to realize that the nature of his speed is far more involved and deeper than simply moving quickly. Projecting a thin sheath of energy around himself to keep from combusting while in motion and offering a buffer against incidental damage to his surroundings, Iggy is able to achieve almost limitless acceleration approaching the speed of light. In practical terms, Iggy's quantum speed has a very hard limit to protect from destructive side-effects. Functioning at twenty-times the speed of those around him, Iggy can assimilate information quickly and displays reaction times impossible to replicate without bending or breaking the laws of physics. This also grants him a measure of protection from psychic interference, though broad-ranging psionic assaults can still cause him problems.
With a source seemingly extradimensional in nature, Iggy's manifested energy is an integral part of his powers. Originally appearing a stark pink, the concussive force of this energy acts as a medium through which The Cobalt Streak can apply direct nonlethal force. Through years of manipulation and practice Iggy has succeeded in redirecting the power and intensity of this energy, eventually manifesting a dark blue color when wielding it.
An object vibrating quickly enough can absorb the kinetic force of a blow. A lethal slash of a sword, or the smash of a bat can be absorbed by the correct vibration regardless of the object being struck. Iggy has spent years perfecting his manifestation of invulnerability, gaining an almost complete immunity to common forms of damage while showing an extensive resistance to magical, radiological, and elemental sources of injury.
More information can be found on Iggy's super speed here.
Ignatius "Iggy" Byron, The Cobalt Streak, has been through hell and back as a character. The concept for Iggy started in 2006, when the player @Cobalt Streak (then @Aetherine) switched their focus from City of Villains exclusively to the entire City of X franchise. Established as a new hero just putting on their tights in Paragon City, Iggy has gained a small following of close friends and adoring fans throughout the years and numerous adventures in crime-fighting and, occasionally, saving the world.
Iggy's soundtrack can be found here.