July 10, 2016
191. VITA ARENCIBIA
Miami, FL, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Late 21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Vita has no natural hyper-abilities, but she is naturally very intelligent.
Vita’s earliest memories were of kissing her mother and father goodbye as she left her home nation of Cuba with her aunt and uncle. Her parents were farm hands who helped pick tobacco leaves for cigars, and they did not make much money. Times were rough for them and they knew that her aunt and uncle, who had taken jobs as instructors at the University of Miami after graduating from University of Havana, would be able to provide a much better life for Vita. So, her parents allowed her them to adopt her and take her to the US.
WEIGHT: 131 lbs.
SKIN: Light brown
Throughout her younger life, Vita became enthralled with the glamor of Miami. South Beach, the model-esque women, the Ken-doll looking men, fancy clubs and celebrity presence, all influenced her in a way that made her want to become a movie star. Vita’s aunt and uncle, however, had different plans. They pushed for Vita to excel in scholastics. This pained her, especially in her high school years, as her friends were beach-bound every weekend, while she was preparing for science fairs or debate events. Yes, she tried sneaking out of her home to be with her friends, but her Cuban guardians were too smart and too strict to let that happen more than once. They themselves had pulled every trick in the book when they were younger and were always three steps ahead of Vita. Consequently, during her senior year, an incident happened that made Vita truly appreciate her guardians’ strict rules.
One night, many of her friends had met up at a party on U of M campus. They were partying with college students and there were hundreds of people drinking and having a great time. Things, however, began to get out of hand when two rival fraternities got into a huge altercation, which led to dozens of fist fights and an all-out brawl! Campus security was called, but were unable to gain control. And so Dade County police, along with the Miami PD, were also called to the scene. Many of the high school kids and a lot of college students were arrested for drug possession and underage drinking. Vita’s aunt and uncle had been at a faculty gathering on campus that night, and as they were leaving to head home, they passed by the chaotic scene. Among the cuffed kids Vita’s aunt just happened to recognize a few of Vita’s close friends, and immediately began to fear the unthinkable – that her niece had snuck out to the party and was now being arrested as well. She stopped the car and got out, along with her husband.
They approached the officers and pushed through the crowd to see the kids, but soon realized that Vita was not among the arrested. In fact, she wasn’t at the party at all. The pair of instructors then petitioned the officers to let Vita’s friends off the hook with a warning, but were unsuccessful ,due to that fact that the kids all had illegal pills on them and were blasted drunk. The officers had no choice but to book the kids and process everything in an official matter.
When they got home, they immediately checked on Vita. She was in her room studying for final her exams, and had elected not to sneak out to the party. All of her aunt’s and uncle’s discipline and guidance had paid off and saved her life. They told her about what had happened, and she was even more relieved than they were. They shared a big hug, and from that day Vita knew she was on the right path. She continued to work hard, and became the most studious student and talented athlete in her school.
Vita graduated at the top of her class and earned a full scholarship to the University of Miami, where she majored in Mathematics, before graduating from MIT with a PhD in Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics. A few years later, Vita was tapped by numerous tech companies such as Google, Apple, IBM and Universal Intelligence, as well as the US government. Her mind was the greatest mathematical and computational mind in the world. Some people even theorized that she was a hyper-being, due to her incredible brain power. Vita was pure genius, though. She had no powers. Her brilliance was a combination of fortunate genetics, a strong support system and extremely hard work over the years.
All of this success also resulted in her rise to mainstream stardom. Vita became a pop culture fix, like Neil de Grasse Tyson and Bill Nye before her. She graced magazine covers and consistently appeared on TV. Vita even began dating high-profile actors and athletes. Alas, she had become a star after all! It was this celebrity, though, that caused her to land on Knox Hyde‘s radar.
Knox Hyde worked for Homeland Security and was developing a controversial program called Project INTEL, which was slated to be used as a way to prevent mastermind hyper-villains like Edgar Lockhart from emerging in society. The intellicap technology was a device that would be implanted in the minds of people who were identified as brilliant, or potentially brilliant, and allow the government to track their brain activity and block it, if the individual showed signs of turning evil or producing illegal hyper-serums. For months, Knox tried to recruit Vita to build the computational infrastructure for his INTEL program. She, however, refused as she did not particularly enjoy working for the government – she knew there were always strings attached. Plus, she did not want to be involved with a project that tampered with people’s brains. Thus, Knox had to use other mathematicians and scientists to develop the INTEL program technology. Ironically, they still based their efforts off of Vita’s published works and known methods, which is why it was so incredibly effective. Then, after everything was approved by President Remington and they began initial testing outside of their first subject, Patient Zero, Knox decided it was time for Vita to join the program, whether she liked it or not.
Knox reached out to a particular associate of President Remington’s. He was mostly unknown, but those very few who did know him knew he only came around when something MAJOR was being handled. Since the POTUS made all of her resources available to Knox, it was no question he needed the mystery man’s help with Vita. In addition, the US government did not like the fact that Vita repeatedly refused to work for them, rather opting for the spotlight while building her super-stardom, and concentrating on her own projects and research. Therefore, plenty of high-ranking officials had no problem in helping force Vita’s compliance.
As Knox and his accomplice plotted, Vita had finally worked out her parents’ visa situation and was able to get them moved to the US. They had been separated for decades, and were now finally reunited! It was perfect timing, too, as she was about to give a speech at a banquet commemorating her aunt and uncle on the great work they did in the Latino community of Miami. However, one night while she was working on the speech as her parents slept, the mystery man snuck into her home and kidnapped her. She was then transported to Knox’s detention center, and had an intellicap implanted into her brain.
When she awoke from surgery, she was forced to read all of the papers and books she ever wrote on mathematics. They had her solve virtually every complex equation known in the history of mankind. Also, they had her review the intellicap technology and overhaul it, greatly improving its quality. As she worked, the intellicap fed all of her brain activity into the INTEL servers, allowing Knox’s team to analyse and map the combination of synapses that fired in relation to her brilliance. On numerous occasions throughout the ordeal she thought about refusing to do any more work for her captives, but Knox had threatened to kill her family if she did not comply. And so, she was forced to do all that he demanded.
When she finished, Vita was fitted with the new, and greatly improved Intellicap. Alas, just like Patient Zero and Myron Holden before her, Vita’s genius was able to be snuffed out by the device in her brain. She could not understand equations placed in front of her that she normally could solve in her sleep, and she could not comprehend her own books or work. She knew she once was capable of doing it, but the intellicap prevented her brain from functioning properly. All of the data pertaining to how her mind operated that they captured during Vita’s time there was being used against her.
In addition, Knox was able to finally customize the level of effectiveness of the intellicap, due to Vita’s improvements. Where before it require additional surgical procedures to increase or decrease how much brain activity an intellicap blocked or allowed, now effectiveness could be adjusted remotely. One minute, Vita was allowed access to the entire breadth and depth of her considerable intellect; the next minute she could barely solve 2+2. Knox had reached yet another milestone in the development of Project INTEL. And as he celebrated his achievement, Vita crumbled into depression as she came to grips with the fact that her greatest gift had been taken from her.