June 20, 2016
171. THE TRAVELER
The Traveler; Puteshestvennik (Travler in Russian)
Moscow, Russia, Earth (Core Reality); Late 21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Ilyana possesses the ability to channel energy drawn from her surroundings to connect the molecules that make up her body to other molecules in the past, allowing her to time travel. It is unknown if she is able to travel to the unknown future, as theoretically that energy has yet to materialize. Ilyana can also channel energy through a specialized whip, allowing her to use it as a powerful concussive weapon.
It was a cold day in Moscow. A little girl was sitting on her bed in her mother’s house, staring out her window as snowflakes fell, painting the ground white beneath a gray sky. Her name was Ilyana Rankova, and in her gaze was her father. He was talking to her mother in front of their home. She wanted to spend as much time with her dad as possible, but their visit was over. After a few moments he crossed the street, and got into his car where his new family, including the girl’s half-sibling, and her dad’s new wife, awaited. All Ilyana wanted was to have her father in her life. She wanted things to be the way they used to be, before the divorce. Every night since her parents separated, she prayed they would get back together. Alas, her nightmare continued. Until that day…
As Ilyana’s emotions swelled up watching her father drive off, she cried to the heavens, asking her prayers were not only going unanswered, but why the one thing she wanted most was being given to another kid who, by her accurate estimation, was spoiled rotten, was mean, and didn’t deserve her loving father. The surge of emotion continued to burst inside of her, as tears streamed down her face. Ilyana became overwhelmed with sorrow. Every fiber of her being was supercharged with yearning by her brain, to go back to a time when her mother and father were together and happy – that’s when her first “event” occurred. The air around the little girl began to glow brightly, before it rapidly infused her body and she exploded!
WEIGHT: 131 lbs.
A few moments later Ilyana awoke from what seemed like a nap. She felt odd. After shaking off the cobwebs in her head, she realized she was in her bedroom. Except it was decorated like it was when she was four years younger. Then, she heard her dad’s voice. As she ran to him from upstairs, what she saw startled her greatly. Before her were both of her parents, a few years younger, and they were eating dinner with her younger self. She was baffled! Ilyana contemplated how that could be. She pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. When the pain shot into her skin, she knew it was real. It seemed to Ilyana that God finally answered her prayers. She had traveled back in time!
Whether it really was God or something else, Ilyana was not sure. She did not waste time to act, though. She immediately moved with stealth towards the garage, where she took the keys to her mother’s car and slashed her tires, for that was the night her mother had begun secretly meeting with another man, which ruined her parent’s marriage. She believed she fixed her future. However, a part of Ilyana felt like things were still not right. It appeared something else needed to occur, too. So, she hid and waited, which proved to be a smart move.
Over the next few hours her mother discovered the slashed tires and missing keys, called the police, and her parents filed a report before everyone went to bed. Ilyana knew better, and she remained hiding until her mother emerged from her bedroom to make a phone call in secret to the man she’d planned to meet with earlier; they were rescheduling their rendezvous.Ilyana then spoke to her mother from the shadows in a disguised, creepy voice. She told her mother that grave consequences would result if she began a relationship with this man. Ilyana’s mother dropped the phone in horror, and rushed to turn on the lights. A bright explosion occurred from the far corner of the room, and by the time the lights were on, Ilyana had been transported back to the present day.
As she wobbled to her feet from her bedroom floor, she realized she had returned to moments after watching her father drive off. Ilyana took a second to gather herself, then she emerged from her room. She thought maybe she had indeed been dreaming, and tried to wrap her head around what just occurred. At that moment, her father came up the stairs in front of her. Ilyana did not know what was happening, and as she stood, bewildered, her father asked if she was alright. He then told her to wash up and go downstairs, as dinner was ready. Ilyana slowly walked to the dining room, and saw her mother placing food on the table. She then went to the kitchen, where she hugged and kissed Ilyana’s father lovingly. Ilyana was dumbfounded. She sat at the table, with her mind racing a hundred miles an hour. It finally dawned on her that she had actually traveled back in time, and the moment she scared the daylights out of her mother with her terrifying message from the shadows was the moment her mother decided not to begin a relationship with the other man. The little, despondent girl, who yearned to have her family back, had reformed her life!
Ilyana honed her ability to time travel all throughout her teenage years, into her early twenties. She learned how to tap into her gifts to charge the atoms around her, absorb them, and then connect her molecules to the energy of a particular memory in the past. From there, she learned how to navigate molecular trails of energy through time, to travel anywhere in the past she wished, and not just times within her own memory. Ilyana also learned she could absorb energy, and channel it into objects. She often did this as a party trick in college for her closest friends. However, outside a very small circle of people, her time traveling abilities remained a secret.
After graduating from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and a Masters degree in Social Work, Ilyana tried her hand at being a social worker. She wanted to be there, to help kids from broken homes, and families who were not able to time travel and fix their lives as she once did. The stressful nature of the job, the long hours and the low income were wearing on her, though. Eventually, she left the social work profession, and began indulging in what really made her happy: recreational time traveling.
Ilyana soon started exploring history. She visited key moments in all eras of the planet’s and mankind’s existence. She watched as they built the Sphinx. She witnessed the preaching of Jesus. She attended live performances by Tchaikovsky. She even traveled back to the time of the dinosaurs. That particular trip, however, she soon regretted, as she was almost immediately killed by a deinonychus. The raptor chased Ilyana down, and cornered her. She barely escaped with her life, but was horribly scratched over her eye, before gathering enough wherewithal to travel back to the present. After that, she self-imposed a few very clear boundaries for her time-traveling adventures. The dinosaur excursion made Ilyana realize she must keep her time-traveling to the known, and well-documented history of civilization.
She briefly considered re-entering the world as a regular nine-to-five civilian, but quickly realized she had already seen and experienced too much to go back to a normal life and job. And so Ilyana began to further develop her abilities, in order to better suit her time-traveling sensibilities. She mastered the use of a whip, into which she was able to transfer energy, that packed a much more powerful strike than normal, and she traveled through time, robbing banks, and depositing money into accounts that she set up all across the space-time continuum. She used some of that money to invest in certain fledgling stocks she already knew would become extremely profitable in the future. She also bet big money on sporting events, to which she already knew the outcome. After a while of hustling and financial maneuvering, Ilyana amassed a sizeable fortune. She was able to live the easy life. Unfortunately for her, this rapid rise to fame did not go unnoticed.
As Ilyana began purchasing some of the most desirable properties in Platinum City, she crossed paths with ruthless business mogul Edgar Lockhart. He was keen to know how a social worker was able to amass a large real estate portfolio, which rivaled his own in the great city. Thus, per his normal methods, Edgar set up a meeting with Ilyana. The two shared a cordial lunch, and discussed real estate endeavors. Then, after it was over, they went their separate ways. Unbeknownst to Ilyana, though, Edgar had used his own hyper-ability to read her mind. He learned every detail about all of her time-traveling trips. Every minute of her life became known to Edgar, and he was beyond intrigued. Yet, he wasn’t quite sure how to proceed. He was unsure if he should recruit her or destroy her, as she could pose an enormous threat to him. If she became vexed at him, she could travel back in time, and effectively end him before he was even born. On the other hand, if he could figure out a way to use her powers to his advantage, a single trip to the past could potentially help him rule the world. Presented with a monumental decision, he needed time to weigh his options. And time he had, for Ilyana was none the wiser that Edgar read her entire life. Thus, he put her on his list of hyper-powered humans to watch, until he’d made up his mind.
Many months later this list was obtained by the super-soldier Lt. Rashard Bonds, as part of a series of events that included the infiltration of Edgar’s computer files by a the hyper-cognitive doctor simply known as “Confidential”, and a shootout in a warehouse in which the Iga Clan ninja Faceless had intercepted the files, before they were sold on the black market; for it was rumored that the info contained within could spell the downfall of the Iga Clan itself. After Faceless’s clanmate Interface hacked the files open, it was discovered that Confidential had actually delivered the detailed information about all the criminal and shady dealings of Edgar Lockhart. Additionally, the files contained the intel needed to potentially bring Mr. Lockhart to justice. Lou and the Iga Clan agreed to work together against the evil businessman, and the leader of the Iga Clan, Danzo, agreed to allow Interface to join the elite squad Lt. Bonds was building for a series of special covert missions. Established heroes Black Jag and Musashi had also agreed to help, and he had recruited hyper-beings Orenda and Encore – both of whose names had been on the list.
Once Lou read through Ilyana’s profile, which detailed her time-traveling abilities, he knew that she would be a perfect addition to the team. She was the ultimate fail-safe – if anything on the mission went wrong, Ilyana could go back in time to correct it, and fix the future. This all but ensured their success. He set out to find her, but unfortunately, after several days of searching, he could not find Ilyana anywhere. She had seemingly disappeared. Lou called on the network hacking skills of Interface, and found Ilyana’s last known whereabouts as Platinum City.
Upon arriving, Lou contacted Platinum City Police Force officer Julius Thorne, also known as Brolic; a nickname he took on when he gained hyper-strength. Julius was working Ilyana’s missing persons case. Lou informed Brolic of the basics concerning why he was seeking Ilyana, and the cop did not ask for, or need, anything else. Lou was a bona-fide global hero, and Brolic was happy to have his help, as his usual partner and fellow hyper-cop, Ladarius “Ox” Lincoln, had taken leave for a personal matter.
The two worked every lead and angle they could. Yet, their efforts were to no avail. That was when Lou began getting suspicious. How could Ilyana just vanish without a trace? She was known for taking several extended vacations, and had been given the nickname “The Traveler” by those who knew her well. But none of her associates or friends had heard her mention anything about a trip recently. In fact, they all had similar stories about her being abnormally unresponsive to text messages and phone calls over the recent months. Lou then received a call from Interface.
She had been working on locating the people on Edgar’s list, as she did with Orenda, Encore, and Volar. However, she was beginning to discover that Ilyana was not the only one who had gone missing. In fact, a number of them were popping up dead; and all were victims of some of the most elaborately intricate gunshot wounds ever seen. Lou became alarmed. Assassinations, victims mowed down, and professional-style kills were signs of a well-funded, diverse, yet organized hit squad. Brolic asked what was going on, and Lou replied it was imperative they find Ilyana ASAP. He then asked the super cop to call in every favor on the street he had. Somebody had to know something about the killings, and Lou suspected they had to be tied to Ilyana’s disappearance.
A few hours later, the two heroes finally met up with one of Brolic’s informants, who claimed to have information. However, the snitch was reluctant, and refused to talk. Lou was desperate, and unfortunately had to pull rank on Brolic. The super-soldier employed some black ops torture methods, and before long the informant began telling them everything. He said that people with powers in the underworld of Platinum City, who did not work with Edgar Lockhart, were all laying low. Word on the street was, an elite squad of gunmen and women known as the Lockhart Force was hunting them down with a vengeance. Brolic wondered why the Lockhart Force would do that. The super-soldier administered a drug to the snitch that would make him forget everything, and sent him on his way. Then, he explained everything to Brolic in detail. Lou told the cop about the Alpha Initiative, Edgar Lockhart’s vast criminal empire, the upcoming mission to topple said empire, and an ominous prophecy given to the mighty Captain Noble by the Zhibdean monk Hosho, that just so happened to identically correlate with a prophecy given to the members of the Iroquois tribe from which Orenda originated. Brolic was blown away, and instantly began walking in circles, to try and wrap his head around everything.
After another day of searching, all leads went cold, and it seemed obvious that Ilyana had most probably been killed by Edgar’s forces, along with everyone else on the list of hyper-beings, and if everything Lou told Brolic was not motivation enough, the fact Edgar killed one person on the cop’s watch was more than enough reason to join up.
Brolic told Lou that Edgar had to pay for his crimes, all of them, then told the super-soldier he wanted in on the Alpha Initiative. Lou knew of Brolic’s abilities, as well as his distinguished police career, and gladly accepted the cop’s help. With all the powered beings on the list being dead, having the likes of Brolic on the team was a great addition. Plus, Edgar apparently knew Lou and the government was planning something, and that they were coming for him. Time was running out fast, and there was no more time to recruit. The showdown with Edgar Lockhart and his forces was finally at hand!