June 5, 2016
156. PAULA THYATIRA
Platinum City, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Mid-21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Paula was born from one of the seven bloodlines of the Veil, which means she is specially equipped to hunt mysterious lost souls known as ghost orphans. She carries a weapon called a living-blade, which is infused with her blood. She is an expert swordswoman, and is trained in a number of fighting techniques.
Paula Thyatira is the last surviving member of the House of Thyatira – one of the seven specially anointed bloodlines tasked with hunting down lost souls known as ghost orphans, with the purpose of sending them to a heavenly afterlife. Together these seven families of hunters were known as The Veil. The collective still uses that title, however, by the time the 21st century rolled around, there were only five bloodlines left, as two of them (Pergamum and Ephesus) had been wiped out through a series of brutal encounters with the ghost orphan hordes they hunted.
Paula Thyatira’s existence is the only reason a third House is not considered extinct. And though the other four families (Philadelphia, Smyrna, Sardis and Laodicea) continue to thrive in the war against the ghost orphans, the stories of the fall of Thyatira and the other two houses serve as cautionary tales.
WEIGHT: 126 lbs.
Paula’s father, Paul served as the head of Thyatira, and for many years he led the hunters of his bloodline with nobility, skill and ferocity. However, the death of his wife during a particularly unpleasant encounter with ghost orphan marauders left him a broken man. Paula was nearly 8 years old when her father met, fell in love with, and married a woman named Samantha Willow. Even from a young age, Paula was suspicious of her, but there was no way to know that Samantha was actually a sleeper agent working undercover on behalf of the ancient ghost orphan Kallisto (today going by the name Virginia Ice).
Because she was not a hunter, she was not able to fully integrate herself into the inner workings of the greater society and network of hunters throughout the world. However, Paul’s blinding love for her did allow her to gain a great amount of influence over decisions he made, and how he coordinated the other members of his bloodline, all of whom looked to him for guidance and leadership. Additionally, and most detrimentally, she acquired an insider’s knowledge to the whereabouts and addresses of the Thyatira hunters, as well as the locations of their bases of operations.
This allowed Kallisto to organize a violent coordinated attack against the House of Thyatira during the times they were the most vulnerable – i.e. when they were sleeping, vacationing, celebrating, etc. Within the span of a couple of nights – and before the other families could react – the Thyatira hunters were slaughtered. Kallisto herself came for Paul in his apartment in Platinum City. Fortunately he was able to react, grab his living-blade and defend himself, as a fight between him and the ghost orphan ensued. The battle was a true back-and-forth affair for many moments, before Samantha finally revealed her true nature and assisted Kallisto in the killing of her husband.
During the fray Paula, who was 12 at the time, was able to escape. She found her way to a family of hunters from the House of Smyrna, and told them what had happened to her father. Over the next few days, the other hunters began to discover the totality of destruction and death that had befallen the House of Thyatira, and it wasn’t long before they realized Paula was indeed the very last of her bloodline.
With that pressure on her shoulders and always in the back of her mind, she trained vigorously, and by the time she was in her late twenties she was revered as a highly respected Veil hunter. Unfortunately, it would also be discovered that she had a physiological disorder that prevented her from conceiving children – and thus the Veil had to come to terms with the fact that the House of Thyatira would indeed die with Paula’s eventual demise.
By the beginning of the 22nd century the Veil as a whole was thriving, and Paula was a big reason for that. As Disa Philadelphia rose to prominence, and eventually became the de facto leader of all the hunters, Paula was always around to lend a helping hand. She also assisted Disa in creating a partnership with Platinum City University, in which Veil kids could enroll for free, while continuing their training with the use of university resources and equipment. In return, members of the Veil would serve as faculty members and in other positions around the university. It seemed to be something of a golden era for the hunters.
And then came a series of events that sent everything into a tailspin. First, a student who was possessed by a ghost orphan walked into Disa Philadelphia’s lecture hall and prophesied that within seven weeks the walls of Platinum City University would fall, and in turn so would the Veil itself. Then in the middle of those seven weeks, a holy warrior named Seraph Solomon appeared and needed the help of the hunters to stop the Age of Serpents prophecy from coming to pass. That culminated in a battle that pitted Disa, Paula and a crew of nearly forty other hunters against Bishop Cornelius A. Grippa – who had been possessed by the demon king Paimon – and a hundred of other priests who had also been possessed by vile lost spirits.
The hunters won the battle, but at that point it was only a few days before the end of the Seven Week Walk, and a warning from the angel Bath Kohl had made it clear that the Veil was truly in real danger of meeting its end.
As Paula sharpened her blade and prepared for the next fight, she was visited by Reagan Smyrna, the hunter who happened to be married to Peter Philadelphia, the son of Disa. Paula, who was now in her late 40s, was known for being someone with whom others could share deep secrets and major personal concerns. The joke was, like her family name, anything she was told in confidence would go to the grave with her.
Reagan was concerned about her husband Peter, for it had been recently revealed to her that in the past he’d had a somewhat romantic connection with the sinister villain Virginia Ice – who was inhabited by the leader of the ghost orphan marauders, Kallisto. Reagan was angry and frustrated. But not at her husband, for the two of them had discussed his past, and to a certain extent come to terms with it. Her anger was directed at Virginia Ice, because she knew the ghost orphan was attempting to use the revelation to throw her off her game. And she was frustrated, because she was beginning to realize that it was working. Reagan was unable to focus, and train,and prepare for the coming battle; and now she had come to Paula’s apartment, seeking counsel and confidentiality.
After a few moments of speaking, however, their privacy was violated, as Virginia Ice herself crashed through the window and attacked! The frigid ghost orphan pulled out her twin glocks, and fired a succession of frozen bullets. The two hunters jumped for cover, but Reagan was hit in the left shoulder. Her arm immediately began to go numb. Meanwhile, Paula grabbed her living-blade and engaged the cold-blooded assassin. Paula fought with ferocity, and even disarmed Virginia of her frozen glocks, but the ghost orphan was just too quick. She hit the elder huntress with a succession of punches and kicks, before knocking her unconscious with a blow to the head.
Virginia then turned to Reagan, who took a deep breath and resigned herself to the instrument of fate standing before her. Virginia picked up her ice-cold glocks and pointed them at the hunter’s head for a moment, then holstered them. The ghost orphan said she was not there to kill her; instead, she just wanted to let her know that she was no longer interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Peter, and that in her mind, it was over. Reagan looked at Virginia with the appropriate amount of skepticism and hate, then grabbed a living-blade, and lunged at her mortal enemy. The ghost orphan easily evaded the attack; then simply made her way over to the window, waved goodbye and left.
By then, Paula had regained consciousness. Despite the epic battle that clearly awaited the hunters in the coming days, the elder huntress was well aware that the psychological war between the orphans and hunters was at an all-time high – and the good guys were losing.