Name Capt. Cara Conroy, MS
Using cashed-out savings from past missions, speaker gigs, inheritance from parents, etc. etc. Fusion has, as discreetly as possible, obtained a little cottage tucked away in a rural area in Western Maryland. Using her own skills, borrowed favors from friends, and perhaps unaccounted-for tech left behind by her deceased colleague William Martin, she has managed to set up some fairly impressive amenities inside the unassuming building so that, beyond being a nice place to live, if she needs to get away or lay low --- she's learned to be ready for everything and knows she may not always be trusted because of what she has become -- she has all she needs at least temporarily to stay safe while researching other options. She built it over time, asking different friends or associates to purchase different components as needed as her form is rather distinctive, but she has never told anyone the precise location of the house. While certainly no Batcave, it contains a state of the art computer system that allows her full use of her technical knowledge, runs on its own generator and has its own custom security system, and of course is set up to nullify any accidental fires she may set while spending time in the place. The couch is very comfortable, and some lovely pansies are planted outside the front door.
Cottage (Tiny, Toughness 6) - base cost -1
2 pp gained, spent on increasing flight to rank 6
She qualified for and entered the U.S. Air Force Academy, enduring both its rigorous training procedures as well as the nasty "hazing" efforts especially aimed toward female cadets. She never let her cheery demeanor drop, though on several occasions was reprimanded for fighting when in reality she was defending herself from forceful advances from other cadets. At the academy she pursued a Bachelor's in physics and engineering as well as trained to become a pilot.
Shortly before graduation, her parents were killed in a car accident, by a DWI driver. Though she deeply mourned them, this only forced her to push herself harder toward her ambitions. After graduation, she somehow managed to find the time to get a Master's Degree in Physics, in the process working on some experimental projects for military hardware at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, in between tours of duty in the Middle East and additional service and training with the Air Force (eventually attaining rank as Captain). And then finally, got around to entering NASA's astronaut training progam. She's lived in Colorado, Maryland, Florida, and several nameless desert camps throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Cara's work at the APL attracted the attention of Dr. William Martin, but he did not contact her until she was working at NASA. Under the surface auspices of NASA's science division, but in reality working for PILOT, he recruited her to assist him in a most unusual project: working with an alien device fueled by a seemingly inexhaustible energy source, apparently found washed up on the Pacific coast many years ago. He was originally hoping to duplicate the device and its energy source initially, but doing so led to nearly disastrous results several times. He instead wanted to use the device they had for the use of the defense of the planet, and decided to combine his project with an earlier attempt to develop a combat suit usable in all environments, including the vacuum of space. The device could power the suit and provide it combat capabilities. Both Cara's scientific acumen and astronaut training made her an ideal candidate to both test the suit and provide advice in its improvements.
After many trials, they took the suit to a space station to test its capabilities in space, with Cara inside the suit. During a space walk, the area around the space station was suddenly immersed in a wave of blue light, and Cara could feel a presence within her mind that was less a message and more a sensation of outrage. An image in her mind told her the outrage was directed toward the use of the device driving the suit. Before her, the space station imploded, and she began to feel her body stretch and fold in on itself. But just before her last conscious thought could fade, she sensed, just as suddenly as the Presence's arrival, the Presence's rage change to remorse.
First, she felt nothing--as in oblivion. And then felt again, and she burned.
When she awoke, the position of the Earth suggested hours had passed. The space station--and Dr. Martin--were little more than ash and tiny particulates of matter.
And she... was glowing. And breathing. She was no longer looking through the mask of the suit but now down upon her universally glowing-blue body, the same color as the energy emitted from the alien device. When she closed her eyes, she could feel the nearby rush of the atoms of the floating particles. She could also sense her own body, which seemed to be a solid form one moment, liquid or gas the next. She was no longer human, but rather a consciousness attached to reality via a fusion of whatever remained of her body and the alien energy.
What was creepier is she still sensed a presence in her mind. And it sounded kind of like Dr. Martin. Was it the alien? Was it Dr. Martin's ghost? It wasn't a malevolent presence, but it's weird to have an old man's voice popping up at random offering advice.
After realizing whatever had happened was her new reality, Cara had to immediately put her powers to the test: she flew back to earth. She could not fly very fast--that had been an issue of the original suit as well--but once she got into the Earth's gravitational pull, that was little issue. Dealing with the heat of entry was the bigger issue but, her form adjusting to the energy forces, she survived.
She found PILOT's agents waiting for her. They were aware both of the destruction of the station as well as the entry of the UFO--her--into the atmosphere. Fortunately, despite the audacity of her story, she was ultimately not held to blame for the destruction of the station, which she knew she ultimately could have been accused of. Fortunately, her record largely spoke of her altruistic nature.
As new threats quickly arose, Fusion more than willingly helped protect the earth from HIVE and other menaces. Still adapting to her new body, she struggles sometimes with fine control, and often misses simple human pleasures like sleeping and eating (she meditates to keep her mind rested, and while she can technically eat nothing tastes like it used to). Still she survives as she always did--with a cheerful demeanor and non-stop determination to improve herself. She was asked to join Titan Team X--she had a mix of military training, altruism, and scientific understanding that made her a valuable asset to a potentially unstable team of Supers.
The source of the Presence that both unmade and made her has never appeared again, and there has been no notable sign of or remains of Dr. Martin. she wonders, sometimes, why the Presence was so angry--and then why it relented. Was there something Dr. Martin had done, that caused her to be spared but not him? Was he actually "spared" after all but turned into something else?
Knowing she might need a place to retreat to as she further learns to control her powers--she very quietly, using assets from inheritance from her parents as well as savings--acquired a small cottage which she has outfitted to survive her "accidents" (see Modest Bungalow of Solititude in her character sheet). She hopes she won't need a place to escape to. She knows she probably will.