The Dead Fist
Transformation: supreme (rank 3)
You know how parents like to come up with “white lies” to make the world more palatable for their kids? The stork and the birds and the bees and puppy heaven and all that shit that shields them from the sex and violence of the world? My dad had one for me.
When I found out I could absorb the “spiritual residue” of the dead, he told me I had been “blessed by God” with the ability to talk to “the angels from heaven.” That weird, shivering feeling I had down my spine was just my mortal soul flattered to be in the presence of such holy beings. Perfectly natural for a mere mortal to feel so embarrassed and afraid in their presence. The reason why I was able to remember the things these “angels” told me was because their divine knowledge was unforgettable. Why would God let you forget something one of his angles taught you?
Of course, it was a load of bullshit. But that bastard father of mine never owned up to it. And he was never one to sit any of his kids down to have “The Talk.” And mom? Well, there was nothing left of her corpse for me to “talk to,” so that was a no-go too. So, no, I went through my entire youth believing this shit about angels and divine perfect memory.
Then I hit up a Mayan ruin early on in my career. As I was pillaging. Wait. What I mean is, as I was excavating this Mayan temple, I found some carvings about a ritual that makes people vessels for your ancestors, allowing the deceased to return to the mortal plane. But said carvings also talked about offering up the soul of an innocent and spilling massive quantities of blood belonging to the loved ones of that innocent soul. And in one fell swoop I not only found out that dad sacrificed mom, he did so to fuck around with my immortal soul so I could be some sort of necromatic CB radio.
Except if said CB radio also drained the contacted spirit of its very essence and transferred it to the hole in my soul that acts as a fucking soul hard drive.
Way to be a bastard, dad. You made me the badass that I am, but you’re still a bastard.
The Stolen Fist
Martial Arts: superior (rank 2)
I found out that dad always meant to incase me in some elaborate mechanical device, lobotomizing me and using my mindless body as some sort of soul battery. He’s patch into the Dreamtime, contact the soul of some deceased dude via a scrap of his mortal remains, and then use me as a vacuum cleaner and suck up that soul for his own uses. He was disappointed that I ended up becoming, y’know, independent and capable of making decisions on my own, running off from him well before giving him a chance to indoctrinate me into his little conspiracy thing.
It was one of those happy coincidences that any of this happened. I was in a bar fight during my freshman year of university and things got a bit out of hand. Like, fist fight evolving into fire fight out of hand. Push came to shove came to punch came to quick draw, and before I knew it some martial arts expert my gang was duking it out with was lying on the ground, dead from multiple gunshot wounds. I tried to resuscitate him, but he was long gone. And in the heat of the moment, my “talent” kicked in and I accidentally sucked up his soul.
All of his martial arts prowess flowed into my mind, and it was one of those life-changing epiphanies. If you’re gonna be some fucked up soul battery because your dad was a dick, you may as well take advantage of it. But knowledge only gets you so far. The secrets of the dead will make you a buck and get you on the good side of all sorts of secret cabals, but you still need to be able to snap a few necks when that knowledge isn’t what the guy across the table wants.
And you know how these things go. What starts off as a hobby or a minor facet of your job soon becomes your obsession. I went from regular tomb raider to raiding tombs to steal the fighting techniques of the dead.
No more need for that student-mentor bullshit. Learning’s now a one way street.
The Educated Fist
Detective: superior (rank 2)
You know what my dad wanted me to study? Molecular Biology. “Make some biological weapons for me, wouldn’t you my little honey bee?” Isn’t that shit for low-grade terrorists? Is that what he wants me to be? Some dirtybomb-making nutjob toiling away in dank labs, where every move could potentially let loose a pandemic plague killing all life on Earth? He was probably hoping I’d debilitate myself so he wouldn’t have to feel too guilty about turning me into some half-alive experiment. Or worse yet, do the very biological research that’d turn me into said experiment.
Yeah. Fuck no.
I’m all for helping out dad’s “H.I.V.E.” or whatever, but can’t I at least do it on my own terms? Does it always have to be “The H.I.V.E. Way of the highway?”
Then again, considering the fact that he performed some ritual on me when I was a kid to make me a dead guy portal, he probably knew I would rebel at his suggestion and do something completely different...
Dammit! No matter what, it’s as if that bastard’s already ten moves ahead of me.
Still, I’m proud as shit of my awesome archaeologist skills, reverse psychology or not. All I have to worry about is triggering some ancient curse that’s far worse than the one my dad placed on me. Those are way easier to handle than E. Coli, I say. You can almost reason with vengeful spirits. Or at least blast them with some ancient relic. Good luck doing any of that with a virus.
The Balancing Fist
Acrobat: superior (rank 2)
Funny story, this. More bullshit about my dad. I accompanied him, the Visceral Vizier himself, on one of his “commie hunts.” He tracked the guy to a diamond mine in South Africa and had me go ahead of him, working my way through narrow caves, climbing up sheer ledges, and basically doing everything possible to develop some claustrophobic complex. When I finally found the guy deep in the mine, I had to dangle from a stalactite for two hours while I waited for my dad’s party to catch up with me, all while our mark was making a deal with some Argentine Nazis. Two hours of “when are they going to look up, see me, and blow my brains out?”
I didn’t develop a fear of tight spaces, but I did develop OTHER lingering issues, thank you very much. If I hear Spanish spoken with a German accent, I nearly break into tears. It isn’t healthy.
Also, I was seven years old and on summer vacation. Yeah. At least I got a head start on the whole “don’t die in a cave” thing. Really helps in the new job of stealing dead guys’ souls from ancient ruins. But dad’s getting no thanks from me.
The Intergalactic Fist
Combat Supremacy: supreme (rank 3)
Got a new gig going. I haven’t cleared out all of the more obvious places on this rock, but I think I’ve scored the biggest spiritual haul in the history of the world.
Easter Island’s a pretty wonky place. All those Moai statues and the remoteness and shit. No one knows why people on some podunk island did all of this idolatry. But I think I know what’s up.
Pretty obvious, I know, but what all those ancient alien theorists and don’t realize is that those aliens didn’t just leave a bunch of statues. Underneath this place is the real deal. Not just alien tech but actual alien remains. Not these modern day cow rapers and redneck mutilators that aren’t worth a damn, but the real old school beings that our ancestors saw as gods. They have some heavy stuff buried under this island, and my sources say some righteous mummified alien warriors are among that loot.
Of course, I have no idea how my sources know about this if this shit is still buried deep beneath the ground, but that’s one of those gaping holes I’m willing to risk jumping over. If need be, I can always go Fist of Quetzalcoatl on them after the fact.
So, with any luck, these moves are about to go intergalactic.