Name: Julia Reid
Age: 28 || Height: 5’8” || Weight: 131lbs
Bright blue eyes, a ruddy complexion and jovial character make for a disarming expression – that is, if you can find a face behind the curly chaos of Julia’s rust-red hair. The way her frizzled fibers flit and float is all too fitting for her unfettered fascination with the physical world. To her credit, she always throws a wide smile and a hearty laugh at those who draw the connection between her mad scientist motif and infectious curiosity.
An absolute menace of unpredictability, at three years old Julia could be found plugging in lamps while holding the prongs just to figure out why it shocked her. Her inability to let alone the question “How does that work?” saw her through a Masters in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and ultimately to the greatest experiment of her life. Well, most people would call it an accident, and an electrician might call it a “deadly arc flash”. Not Julia. To her, it was just the first of many experiments that would utterly redefine how she saw the world.
Some four or five years ago, Julia was consulting for a mid-size manufacturer after a brand-new piece of machinery had “just stopped working”. It was one of those missed-my-coffee early mornings where she just had to power yawn through whatever problem the client had. This was not the first visit, either – she’d made no fewer than five trips out to the factory in the three weeks since they had signed them, usually to flip a switch or plug in a cord. Sighing, she opened up the machine’s switchboard and immediately noticed the breaker was tripped. Again. As her mind was debating how to get her manager to fire the client, she reset the breaker. Switch, click, bang. Wait, bang?
A downline fault meant the breaker was under load when she flipped the switch. The resulting arc flash melted the breaker and cascaded into a full 400 amp phase to phase short circuit, vaporizing metal and blowing both Julia and the switchboard clear across the room. She was blind and deaf from the blast, but there is something so visceral about the shattering of bones that everyone can appreciate.
“…thirty-seven broken bones… shattered spine… paralysis from the chest down… 2nd degree burns… skin grafts… lacerations due to shrapnel… vision and hearing loss…”
Julia slipped in and out of consciousness for days, and even once she was stable it was weeks before she could sit up, or speak, or do anything that felt vaguely human. It was especially awful because she had so many questions she wanted to ask the nurses. How was she alive? What had they done to her? What was the tingling feeling all over her body?
Powers, Abilities, and Equipment:
Julia is effectively a quadriplegic. While the doctors were able to reconstruct her spine, repair the broken bones, and cover up most of the burns, they could not restore motor function. Despite this, Julia can still move, and feel, to some extent. The blast awakened in her the ability to create and manipulate electrical potential differences within her body. Because the central nervous system is fundamentally electrical, she can activate her muscles by simulating nerve activity, and she can similarly “feel” by evaluating the character and intensity of the nerve signals. While she can identify that something is painful, she does not feel any actual pain, granting her apparent toughness at the risk that she ignores potentially fatal injuries or illnesses.
From an outside perspective, Julia is basically a walking battery; she can move the “terminals” to different parts of her body in order to create different electrical phenomena. By charging her hand, she could play the electric buzzer prank on someone. Charge it more, their heart might stop. She can create arcs of electricity, similar to an arc welder or plasma cutter, but doing so without proper welding equipment could burn or blind her. Provided a good enough understanding, she can power most electronic devices, albeit large tasks will exhaust her. On the contrary, Julia has a complete immunity to electrocution, and being shocked will invigorate her with energy.
It is valuable to note that while not impossible, it’s very difficult for Julia to “shoot” lightning in the conventional sense. Electricity will typically follow the easiest path to ground, which means that a lightning bolt will really only travel down, and do so chaotically.
To achieve very high voltages, Julia must also charge up for at least a few seconds. As the charge becomes greater, her hair will begin to float.
(( TODO: Complete the backstory and tidy up the abilities section. ))
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