May 25, 2016
145. MARIAH GRANGER
Platinum City, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Late 21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Mariah is an extremly intelligent meta-technician and scientist.
Mariah Granger has always been a curious soul. As a child growing up in Platinum City, she routinely got tangled up in precarious predicaments from her wacky experiments. After innumerable failures, though, it took only one success to set her on her destined path.
WEIGHT: 128 lbs.
Throughout her childhood, Mariah had a favorite blanket. She grew so attached to it, that even as a preteen she always kept it near. But after all those years it had become old and tattered and was falling apart. Her parents wanted to throw it away, but Mariah fought them tooth and nail. Then one day, she overheard her them discussing tossing the blanket when she was at school. Mariah hid it from her parents and knew she had a very short clock to save it, before they eventually found it and got rid of it for good. So, she toiled over scientific theories online, involving chemical applications that reinforced atomic bonds between materials, making them more durable. Mariah then bought illegal substances off the dark web using a bitcoin account she set up and deposited funds to and from virtual wallets she had managed to hack. She then had everything delivered to her older, 21-year-old sister who lived on her own, but not too far away. This led to Mariah working all night after her parents went to sleep, mixing concoctions together and testing different compounds. After about two weeks, she developed a makeshift spray that increased her blanket’s durability tenfold. After a little patch work and another spray treatment, Mariah unveiled her improved blanket to her parents who were astounded at its rejuvenation. From that day forth, Mariah’s parents realized what she kept secret from mostly everyone: Mariah was a child genius.
Her parents, both city employees in the Platinum City Dept. of Transportation, spent a lot of time working to afford sending Mariah to the best schools possible. Eventually, she gained a full scholarship to Platinum City University where she double majored in Chemistry and Physics. Mariah breezed through her first three years of undergrad with straight As. She planned to immediately enroll in PCU’s doctorate programs for her majors following graduation. However, her curiosity and precocious nature would prove to get the best of her again.
One evening while studying late in a laboratory, Mariah overheard a commotion in the next room. She saw the shadow of a person who was already making an attempt to flee. Angered it may be a burglar robbing her beloved science department of resources, Mariah followed the person across campus to a secluded, private wing of the University. There, she rummaged about looking for the bandit. When she found them, Mariah hid, took out her cell phone and called the police. The person heard her, however, and immediately charged. Mariah shrieked and dropped her phone, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the worst. Just before the would-be assailant attacked, though, a swift breeze came across Mariah’s face, instantly followed by a wet sensation. She opened her eyes and realized she was covered in a red liquid, and it was seeping into her clothes. Then, Mariah noticed the source – a beheaded body on the ground nearby, spraying her with blood. She screamed loudly before looking up to see a woman standing over her with a crimson-drenched sword. It was the vaunted Veil hunter, Valerie Philadelphia. Mariah had unknowingly followed a ghost orphan into The Veil’s section of campus and Valerie killed it before it could harm her!
Mariah noticed flashes of light near the dead body, along with light trailing from her own clothes. The light then shot into the air through the ceiling and disappeared. Disoriented and not thinking, Mariah jumped up and bolted. Valerie tried to chase her down, but suddenly more ghost orphans appeared, and the huntress was forced to deal with them.
When Mariah returned to her apartment, she plopped down on the ground and shook with fear. She could not comprehend what just happened. Her fear quickly turned to curiosity, though. She rubbed the blood between her fingers, remembering the light that emanated from it. She hypothesized it must be special and immediately began collecting as much as she could. She stripped down and rang her clothes, squeezing the blood into a jar. She then bagged her attire and cleaned herself up.
A whole new discovery was at hand and she knew it.
Mariah became consumed with analyzing and experimenting with the strange blood. So much so that she skipped all of her classes. She did not sleep, and abandoned her friends and family to pursue her discovery. Ultimately, she was placed on academic probation. This did not deter Mariah, though. She was not even compelled to stop when she was suspended from the University for failing every class she had. All Mariah did was steal as much equipment as she could from the University labs and took it to her apartment where she barricaded herself in. Mariah only left to steal food, and that was because she had used all her money buying additional equipment and chemicals for her experiments. She continued to work day and night. However, her time ran out when she received an eviction notice for failure to pay rent. Her sister had helped as much as she could but she was living paycheck to paycheck as well. Luckily for Mariah, she had managed to crack the mystery of the blood!
Mariah called her mentor, Professor Diego Stranahan, at the University, telling him she made a groundbreaking discovery and wanted help reaching his contacts at the largest and most powerful meta-tech company in the world, Universal Intelligence. She was hoping to sell them her findings. Professor Stranahan refused, stating not telling the police he knew she was the one who stole all the lab equipment was all the help she would get. So, Mariah went back to the only other place she knew might accept her: the dark web.
Mariah created a website explaining her discovery. She offered video evidence of its authenticity as well. Mariah also placed her services online to the highest bidder. She sought to be hired by anyone willing to pay the right price to fund her continuous work and discovery. It as an unusual commodity to sell on the dark web, but Mariah hoped that maybe amidst the drugs, sex and guns being sold, one person might be interested in helping her chase her dream of being the world’s greatest scientist. And she needed someone to bite quickly as she only had 30 days before she’d be put out on the streets.
It was not until day 30 that an offer finally came through. Mariah was sitting on the sidewalk in front of her apartment building surrounded by all her things, when a limousine pulled up. A man in a suit exited from behind the wheel, and told the young lady to produce identification. She paused at first but complied. The man then told her to check her bitcoin account. She complied with that as well. Mariah’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw that $1,000,000 had just been deposited! The man then asked her where the formula was. Mariah laughed and pointed to her head. She said she was smarter than to write it down. She had memorized it and erased all hard and virtual copies of her work before going live on the dark web. A window rolled down and a voice emerged from the back of the limo. It recited the formula precisely. Mariah was dumbfounded and angered at the same time. She pondered how anyone else could know of it?Then the window completely rolled down, revealing the man behind the voice was Edgar Lockhart.
Mariah asked who he was. He told her to get in and he would explain everything. After Mariah got in the limo, Edgar introduced himself. Mariah was shocked. The world’s richest, and arguably most powerful man was before her. He explained he knew because, like her, he was gifted. He said he could read minds, and in reading hers, he knew she possessed unparalleled brilliance. Mariah then asked why he would pay her if he already knew the formula. Edgar explained he wasn’t buying the formula. Rather, he was making an investment into their partnership. He desired a genius like her, and knew she would be an invaluable asset to his empire. He promised much more money was to come, but Mariah only asked she be given the freedom to experiment and research as she wished outside of any projects he had for her. Edgar exclaimed he would never dream of stifling her genius, and the two shook hands, making things official.
Mariah gathered a team of scientists, engineers and creators, including her close friend Bernadette Brothers, and began the process of expanding the reach of her formula. It wasn’t long before Mariah unveiled her discovery under the Lockhart Holdings umbrella. The city was looking for a way to transport a precious mineral located in huge deposits deep under the Gulf of Mexico in international waters. It was believed to be 1,000 times more powerful than nuclear energy. The problem was, once the mineral was removed from the earth and was exposed to air or water, it immediately began oxidizing, decreasing its potency at an exponential rate. The mineral also could only be found in that one location on the entire planet, so each pebble of it was extremely valuable. This fact also created a race against the clock, as numerous corporations from across the world were trying to mine the material themselves. Edgar Lockhart knew Mariah’s formula was the key to securing a contract with the US Government to attempt to mine the mineral. Her partner Bernadette, however, believed that Edgar had underhanded intentions of taking complete control of the project. Mariah thought it was prudent not to get on Mr. Lockhart’s bad side, but agreed to take her friend’s concerns under advisement.
Mariah and Bernadette never got a chance to actually have a real discussion about it, as the next morning it was found that Bernadette was wanted by the authorities for attempting to extort Universal Intelligence. She was forced to go on the run, leaving Mariah the opportunity to agree to Edgar’s terms without objection. With the formula, and in conjunction with the PCDoT, Lockhart Holdings won the national bid to try and obtain the mineral for the USA.
The grand discovery Mariah made from experimenting with the ghost orphan blood was the ability to synthesize a substance that made it possible for solids to be phased through other solids, just as the light passed through the ceiling the night when she was attacked and saved by Valerie Philadelphia. It also could be modified with nanotechnology to enable interfacing capabilities through supercomputers. Thus, PCDoT built an extension of their existing railway system into the ocean, all the way up to the dig site. The trains used were self-guided and coated in the synthesized substance. This allowed them to venture underwater, without being affected by the surrounding environment. The trains then phased deep under the ocean floor into the mineral deposits. Once at their target destination, the containers were remotely solidified, trapping the mineral inside an airtight unit. After they obtained as much of the mineral as they could, the containers were then reactivated to phase through objects while carrying the valuable resource. Finally, the trains were remotely guided back to Platinum City and the containers were phased inside airtight storage units owned by Edgar Lockhart, where the mineral was to await testing by the US Dept. of Energy.
The venture was a smashing success. Mariah was lauded as a premiere scientist. Mariah’s parents, who oversaw the transportation aspect of the project – it was a condition of hers for allowing her formula to be used – were commended greatly and appointed top positions within the PCDoT. Edgar Lockhart was labeled a genius and innovator, as usual, and the US was seen as undeniably being at the forefront of the energy field. Mariah’s dreams of achieving greatness through her scientific work finally came true, but what will ultimately come of her work? Furthermore, what will happen when Bernadette Brothers – who is now possessed by a ghost orphan herself – returns to seek revenge?