December 29, 2016
Part 1 of 5
Lafayette, LA, USA, Earth (Core reality); Late 21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Placebo possesses a plethora of psionic abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, mind control, and more. She can also fly and breathe, and exist in harsh environments such as outer space and underwater, through the use of psionic force-fields.
My name is Francine Fray, and I am the most powerful psionic being in the universe. That means that I can do almost literally anything I put my mind to. I am telekinetic,which means I can move any object with a simple thought. I am also telepathic – I can read the minds of any living or sentient being in existence. Beyond that, however, I can also induce control over them. And it’s not just an influence on their minds, but also on their hormones, enzymes,and any other chemical or physiological factor of their molecular make up. In other words, not only do my targets think they are acting under the impression of their own free will, but that also feel that they are acting in their own best interest. It is for that reason I came to call myself Placebo.
WEIGHT: 162 lbs.
My powers first manifested when I was seven years old. It was night time. I was asleep, and I was having a nightmare about my father. His name was Leroy Fray, and he was an incredible human being. He was a carpenter, in the traditional woodworking sense, right at the time when the world became less and less dependent on that particular skill set. In the late 21st century, with automation, the rise of the hyper-human workforce, and the discovery of several other building materials (both on Earth and from other planets) that could mitigate the further destruction of Earth’s dwindling tree population, he suddenly found himself struggling to find consistent work. Several politicians at the time promised to bring those types of jobs back, but the bottom line is, the future was moving in a different direction. Woodworkers were obsolete. Leroy, being the resourceful man he was, began taking training courses and acquiring new skills that would allow him to be more viable in the workforce. And despite having no hyper-abilities himself, he was able to make enough money at a toy manufacturing plant to keep a roof over our heads.
The nightmare I speak of began as a typical dream. A recurring one I’d had several times, in which my father played chess with my sister Charlotte and I. From the time we could hold a pawn he began teaching us the game. Apparently sometime after we were born, he’d found out that his own name meant “king”, and rather than call us his little princesses, he instead called us his little knights. He began learning the game of chess, and by the time we were old enough to learn ourselves, he had become a very good player, even competing in a few regional tournaments. He used his woodworking skills to create customized chessboards and pieces for us, and we played in every free moment. By the time I was 6 years old, my sister (who was 2 years older) and I were both showing a higher aptitude than him.
We obsessed about the game; competed constantly; watched internet videos about the masters; and worked exceedingly hard to get better. Outside of school, we really didn’t socialize with other kids too much. Our father and that game was our world. So, it would make sense that my dreams often centered around those two things. On the night my powers manifested, I was dreaming about a particularly intense match between my father and I. But then, at a crucial point in which he had me in check, and claimed to be 6 moves from checkmate, my chess pieces morphed into giant monstrous versions of themselves, and began attacking him!
I immediately ran to his aid. I screamed at the creatures and tried to beat them back with my fists, but it was useless. Suddenly, his pieces transformed into creatures as well, and instead of defending him, they also chased and attacked him. And it was in that dream that I first manifested my hyper-abilities. I could feel my mind pulsating with power, as I began to unleash a succession of psionic blasts at the creatures. They quickly refocused their vicious intent toward me, and the battle grew more and more violent,as I had to exert more powerful psionic energy bursts with each passing moment. After what felt like an eternity the creatures began to overwhelm me, which meant my father was becoming more and more vulnerable. Everything was spinning out of control. I screamed with helplessness, my hands reaching toward my father, who by then had been picked up by one of the creatures. I strained with all my might to reach him, turning all of my power, thoughts, and energy toward him… but alas, I could not save him.
And then, I awoke in my bed to the sound of my father screaming in his bedroom. Both my sister and I jumped out of our beds and ran to him. He was in excruciating pain, holding his head, writhing wildly. We were frightened beyond belief. My sister, who was 9 years old at the time, embraced him and hugged him in an attempt to sooth him. She rocked back and forth, asking him what was the matter, but for the next few minutes he just continued to scream. Then, in a moment of relief he began to calm down. He got quieter and quieter, until he was completely silent.
It took my sister and I nearly 15 minutes to realize that he hadn’t fallen asleep; but that he had suffocated from being encapsulated by an airtight force-field. My sister’s hyper-abilities had suddenly manifested as well. When the authorities showed up that night, they quickly realized what had happened. My psionic powers and my sister’s ability to produce force-fields had both manifested in uncontrollable and violent ways, and together we had accidentally killed our own father.
We were taken to New Hero Hospital, where the doctors helped us stabilize our powers a bit. We were also introduced to Dr. Reshawnna Lancelot, who attempted to counsel us on the psychological trauma that comes with the knowledge that you just committed patricide. She legitimately cared for us and our situation, and from what I could gather when I read her mind, she genuinely did everything in her limited power to help us cope. But at the end of the day, she did not have the capacity to truly help us. We eventually found our way into the foster care system, and for the next few years we were shuffled through a multitude of group homes and orphanages. Then, when I was 15 and my sister 17, we were taken to live with Vivian and Carlos Valenzuela, and for the first time I felt like I was at home again.
For one thing, Vivian and Carlos were avid chess players. Additionally, they were also extremely powerful hyper-beings. And finally, they had a dojo in which they trained select hyper-beings to control and maximize their powers and abilities. Vivian, also known as “Ebb”, had the ability to completely mute the hyper-abilities of any hyper-being, while Carlos, also known as “Flow”, had the power to enhance the hyper-abilities of any hyper-being. I took to the teachings of Ebb and Flow immediately and with fervor. Flow, a master of meditation and prayer, taught me how to tap into the vast reservoirs of psionic energy flowing through me. And Ebb, a supreme martial artist, taught me how to fight and defend myself when my powers were inaccessible. I hungered to learn as much as possible, desiring to reach higher levels both physically and psionically. I felt the more powerful I was, the more control I had. And if I was in control of myself and my surroundings, nothing like what had happened to my father would ever happen to anyone I loved ever again.
Within 2 years, I had reached such a high power level that my foster parents were beginning to believe I was becoming dangerous. They thought I needed to be reigned in. I disagreed, and begged them to continue training me. But they refused. I began to lash out against them. We argued constantly; exchanging harsh words on many occasions. Additionally, my sister, who came to be known as ‘Magnifica’, had begun her journey toward becoming one of the greatest superheroes the universe would ever see. She was noble and heroic, and made bold proclamations about defending the galaxy from evil. She formed a hero squad known as The Diamond Alliance, comprised of King Ka’Desh, Utopia, Twinstar, Thundersnow and Mr. Amazing. Under her leadership they were celebrated throughout the cosmos for their work and accomplishments. My foster parents compared us often, telling me I should aim to be more like her.
But I wanted no part of heroism. I wanted only to become as powerful as I possibly could. I wanted to always be in control of my life, and any situation I found myself in. My relationship with Ebb and Flow eventually became untenable, and when I was 18, I left my foster home and found other ways to test and ultimately enhance the limits of my powers. While my telekinetic abilities grew to the point that I could manipulate the movements of entire solar systems, it was the control over sentient beings that truly drove my thirst to level up.