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I realized that Battle the Universe has gotten big enough and sprawling enough to require a 101 page.  So here it is!

Battle the Universe takes place in a USA not far from our own, circa around 2020 or so.  A new presidency has brought on social and political instability, made only worse by the sudden surge of superpowers within random members of the population. (Superpowers were around before this, but much more rarely.) When the police and the government are distrusted by large sections of the populace, street vigilantes result: ordinary people who don outfits and go cause a ruckus.  Such vigilantism is illegal, but that doesn't stop them.

But of course, anything people do can and will be commercialized: thus, the rise of the reputable superhero team who works WITH, rather than AGAINST, normal law-enforcement, usually accompanied by much fanfare and TV dramatization.  The money they have lets them achieve much larger things than street-level vigilantes... but they have to keep making it to stay afloat, which requires strict behavioral standards.

Battle the Universe follows an ensemble cast of street-vigilantes trying to get by in the world.

The Main Cast:

A picture of Tank, a white man with a black crewcut and a blue shirt.  He looks a little dubious.Tank: A multiple with flaky superpowers (energy redirection, when they work) and a resistance to mind-control.  They make it onto Law & Justice by dumb luck, and quickly realize that the big time isn't entirely what they thought it would be.  Their system members are:
Lorry: The front man.  Ended up getting the job out of sheer reliability.  Not the smartest, not the most creative, not the best with their powers, no stage presence whatsoever... but he takes out the garbage on time.  Married to Lucinda.
Lucinda: The outsider.  Can barely front at all, never mind use their powers.  Loves running, organizing, and getting everyone's shit together.  The only person Kara really respects.
Kara: The holy terror.  Used to run Tank with an iron fist and mindfuckery until Lucinda took her out of commission.  Amoral, manipulative, but starting to get in line now that she's figured out that it's the only way she'll get what she wants.
TJ: The kid.  Was in Deep Sleep for a very long time, only to suddenly resurface in Tank's adulthood.  Is the key to Tank's history, not that anyone realizes.  The only one who really gets along with the Zombie.
The Zombie: Exactly what it sounds like.  Can't write, read, or talk much, but knows all about surviving.  Mostly comes off stupid and frustrating to the rest of the system, but got them through a bunch of bad years.  How it ended up a zombie, nobody knows.
 A picture of Reggie, a black man with short hair and a goatee.  He's wearing a black basebal cap and a brown trenchcoat, with a pair of goggles down around his neck.Reggie: A depressive man in his mid-twenties who dropped out of caring about life after the death of his brother.  He has no powers, but found that vigilantism does more for his mental health than anything else he's tried, so now he's a crimefighter.  Saddled with the very unfortunate hero name of 'Black Man,' (not by his choice), he accidentally became a viral sensation on the Internet and is now kinda stuck with it.  He can fight, but really, he's way better at the whole planning side of the business.  Jake is his partner, because he helps bankroll the whole endeavor, and Reggie really needs the money.

A picture of Jake, a white man wearing a red domino mask, which doesn't obscure his blond soul-patch and pony tail.  It's not clear in this picture, but he's wearing Confederate flag spandex from head to toe.Jake: A trust fund baby in his early twenties with absolutely no self-awareness.  Super-strength and super-durability (a little higher than Zambi's) has left him with an inflated sense of his own invincibility, and he tends to just flail into situations through pure luck.  Tried going solo for a while, but lacked the brains to pull it off, so now he relies on Reggie to do all the planning and thinking.

Picture of Incognito, whose features are completely obscured by a black mask with the word 'Incog' written in white.  Also wearing a white tuxedo shirt, a black vest, and an undone blue tie.Incognito: One of the old vigilante vanguard with painful, uncontrolled shapeshifting.  Old enough to be a grandparent, Cog's abilities have grown increasingly unforgiving over time, forcing Cog off the street and into research and organizing instead.  Really dislikes pronouns, an impromptu leader of the street vigilantes of the city, and wealthy eccentric recluse to the outside world.

A picture of Mig, a homeless man with heavy stubble and brown skin.  He's wearing a battered aviator's cap and goggles, a sweatshirt, and suspenders.Mig: Another one of the old vanguard, with super-strength in his legs.  He gave up all creature comforts and devoted everything in his life to vigilantism--even though it meant becoming homeless and descending into a dark place for a while.  He's doing better now, but still homeless.  He and Incognito have an on-again-off-again thing.  He supplies Cog with boots-on-the-ground street-level intel, and is very, very good at what he does, but his knees are starting to go on him.

A picture of Zambi, a trans woman with long dreadlocks pulled back, a greasepaint mask, and a dark shirt.Zambi: A trans woman in her late twenties who's able to keep doing vigilante work with the help of her large, super-supportive family and support network.  She has the relatively-common powers of minor super-strength and endurance, but finds herself torn between her work and what she's told being a woman entails.  Mostly does her work under the radar, but came to Incognito's attention and now works as part of that network--and her community mostly likes her.  Also has recently taken T under her wing.

A picture of T, a nervous-looking young trans man with dark hair slicked back, grease paint making a domino mask, and a dark shirt.T: The baby of the group, a trans man in college who has no powers, just a voracious appetite for radical gender theory.  Meeting Zambi made him realize his own gender identity, and he's kind of latched onto her.  A neurotic idealist who has way more understanding of social justice theory than its actual practice, and not prepared for the sheer sleep-deprivation vigilantism entails.

The Other Folks:

Law and Justice: The big-time superhero team Tank ends up a part of.  They've got money and a TV series, and they're not afraid to use either.  Members include:
Martial Law: The leader and spokesman of Law and Justice with super-strength, super-endurance, and an MBA.  He loves corporate buzzspeak and is responsible for Law and Justice staying on top of the TV ratings.  Decent guy, just hip-deep in corporate super-politics.
Blind Justice: A blind woman with hypervision.  Mostly works behind-the-scenes trying to scrape up grant money and manage the nitty-gritty that Martial Law can't get to.
Gammabeast: An enormous furry monster man from Alaska.  Very strong, has freeze-breath.  In superheroism basically because it's the only way he can afford the accommodations he needs to survive.
The All-Seeing Eye: A telepath and psychic who handles team communication and crowd control in the field.  Also uses a wheelchair and had to fight very hard to get accommodation on the team.  Comes off as grumpy and suspicious, but he has good reason for it.  Sometimes gets stuck doing Law's dirty work.
Quantize: (FORMER) She's in the mental hospital.  She's not okay.  Friend of Eye.
Hyde: (FORMER) Law and Justice's biggest shame.  He's REALLY not okay.

 
Other BTU World-Building Posts:

Superheroic Fashion Design
 

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