Steve Coops

Gaia

L-R: Barry, Plantman,Chinsoute, Squash, Evergreen, Listener, Springer and Ramus


CLEA DATA FILE

Team Identities:

  • Ramus – Dr Justin Nieves
  • Plantman – Floratum Hydrausis
  • Squash – Felix Lapointe
  • Chinsoute – Chinsoute Boggun
  • Barry – Baryolax Xigon
  • Listener – Roxanne Coile
  • Springer – Kemtiana Toda
  • Evergreen – Wisterian Tricus

CLEA Classification:

  • Species Beta (Barry)
  • Species Beta Hybrid (All except Barry)
  • Magical Avatar (Evergreen)

Special Skills and/or Abilities:

  • Species Beta – Barry, is able to pass on a form of telepathic communication to others in his “clan”. Also a skilled tracker and hunter.
  • Species Beta Plant/Human Hybrid – Plantman is a humanoid plant and his appearance reflects that. He is skilled in fighting and was Evergreen’s protector. His plant abilities means he is in tune with his surroundings. He can also transform into an aggressive carnivorous plant and consume prey larger than himself. In this form his feet root into the ground so he loses mobility.
  • Species Beta Human/Animal Hybrid – Squash; Can assume a biped primate “Bigfoot” form. Massive strength and able to withstand extreme cold.
  • Species Beta Human/Plant Hybrid – Ramus; Can transform into a tree like form with enhanced strength and greater resilience. Can also regenerate lost limbs.
  • Species Beta Animal/Human hybrid – Chinsoute; Stronger and more resilient to damage than humans.
  • Species Beta Human/Animal hybrid – Listener has the means to sense her surroundings by making contact with the ground. In becoming one with the environment she “hears” plants and animals and can learn of danger well in advance.
  • Species Beta Animal/Human hybrid – Springer; In her natural form, Springer has a part human, part frog appearance. She is capable of leaping huge distances and swimming at great speed. As well as this she can hold her breathe for long periods of time. Her skin is also capable of absorbing oxygen underwater meaning she does not need to surface. In her human form she loses all those advantages.
  • Species Beta Plant/Human hybrid – Evergreen is capable of “talking” to plants and calling for aid. She can also grow vines from her hands which she can lasso or snare enemies. Can also use them to reach high up places.
  • Weapons Expert – Listener; in her previous life she was a merc so has experience in handling many types of firearms.
  • Scientist – Ramus, before the accident that changed him Ramus was a highly respected botanist.
  • Magical Avatar – Evergreen; After receiving the Avatar for Flora, Evergreen gained the ability to “grow” plants. She can also grow “transportation” pods which can move contents between any areas of fertile land anywhere in the world.

Limitation(s)/Weakness(s):

  • Evergreen, Plantman and Ramus (in changed form) vulnerable to fire and loses strength if dehydrated.
  • Springer can dry out rapidly in her natural form.

Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:

  • N/A

Notes/History

When the first human level intelligence creatures “evolved” on Terror Island, collectively known as Species Beta, they competed for food and resources which meant the strongest succeeded and the weak would be killed out. Eventually this form of basic power struggle became problematic and so the various “races” ended up sharing territories living in a form of tribal society.

This continued even when humans returned to the island. Since most of them were stronger and attuned to the oddities of the changed environment they were well capable of dealing with any unwanted aggressors which was precisely why the area had become known as “Terror” island.

Eventually governments from around the world would set up blockades and restrict access. Then the only visitors inland were human scientists and their military protectors. Unless provoked most chose to ignore the humans or, ironically, study them with the same curiosity as the scientist were doing to them.

Under the noses of prying human eyes the creatures on Terror Island that had human level intelligence had forged together a system of power sharing and territories. Each race generally kept to agreed areas and any conflicts were resolved by a single being recognised as having an unbiased status. The hybrids considered such a person as royalty and whatever he/she said was the law. This meant should one of the races be found guilty of breaking the “law” then the other races would rally round and carry out any punishment. This simple method of ruling in the forests and jungles was the only way peace ensued.

The Gaia group came about after that system failed. One of the races known as “Brutes” grew tired of having to put up with the limitations on their territory but with the Queen of the Forest in place they could do nothing. The Venator though changed that.

They wanted hybrids for use in the Praetorian Club’s illegal fights and having learned of the Brutes displeasure they made a deal with them to give the Brutes power in return for collecting hybrids and dealing with any military forces. The Brute leader agreed to alliance and soon Venator started to collect samples.

In order to prevent the military patrols learning of their activities the Brutes took out a remote science facility. Without communications or having anyone to alert the security forces Venator could start collecting. To appease the Brutes they captured the Queen of the Forest and with her taken the entire power system on Terror Island started to break down. This allowed the Brutes to start expanding their territory. Without a ruler where was no combined response so nothing could stop them.

Eventually the security forces on Terror Island, Task Force Z got suspicious as to why a science facility had gone silent. Two TF Z officers were sent to investigate, Corey Peterson and Sofia Ortega. When their attack helicopter landed on the room they found the entire facility decimated. Then Brutes started to appear so they went to alert their superiors.

In a radio dead spot that meant they had to fly back to base but no sooner had they lifted off the roof, a Brute threw a rock and damaged the helicopter which managed to fly for about a mile before crashing into the forest. Injured but alive, Venator told the Brutes they needed to capture the pair or else if they made it back to base the entire military might would be scrambled. Preferably they needed to be silenced altogether.

Before the Brutes found Corey and Sofia, the pair were found by two of the islands inhabitants, Baryolax Xigon and Roxanne Coile otherwise known as Barry and Listener. They pulled them from the wreck and got them into hiding before the Brutes found the crash site. Listener had at one time been an illegal visitor to Terror Island on the illfated “Greenhand” expedition and had been left behind. Over time exposure to Bacteria Z she had caused her to develop a strange ESP ability that allowed her to sense things connected with her surroundings. She could literally touch the ground and detect anomalies. The same connection also allowed her to intuitively “know” if something was wrong with the environment. That ability had allowed her to sense the location of the wreck. Since her abilties were created by exposure to Bacteria Z she had become a Species Beta hybrid, like most of the creatures on the island, albeit her “natural” human DNA was relatively unchanged.

She admitted to Corey and Sofia that she would not have bothered investigating it if wasn’t for the fact that the Brutes seemed intent on finding the crash. Roxanne figured that something must be important for them to warrant such activity, such as weapons or supplies, so she was somewhat disappointed to find two TF Z officers instead.

Since Listener was a human that appeared to have “gone native” Corey and Sofia had no problems accepting her help. They were a little unsure about Barry though. Barry was a “full” Species Beta, biped creature whose species had evolved on the island. With long tail at the back and the face of a dinosaur his appearance made the pair feel uneasy. Roxanne said she called him Barry since his real name was too long for her to be bothered with. About the strangest thing Corey and Sofia saw was the fact that Listener appeared to understand his growls and whistles.

When they questioned how she understood, Roxanne told them to remain still. Barry then approached and flicked out his tongue. The tip hit Corey’s neck causing it to bleed. Sofia, in panic tried to to find her sidearm but Roxanne assured her Corey would be alright and everything would become clear, only she had to allow the same treatment. Gripped with terror, Sofia did as asked and after the tongue strike she felt odd.

Then all of a sudden she started to “hear” words that were not being spoken. One sounded like Corey but then there was another male voice. She soon realised it was Barry that she could hear. The creature explained that his species was telepathic. The tongue strike was a method of linking minds. Normally his kind would stay in clans or family groups and the tongue strike or “binding” would be performed by leaders. Being able to hear the thoughts of other members allowed them to hunt without needing to call to each other. On prey species the tongue strike acted differently and disorientated the target temporarily

Barry had been rejected by his clan as he was the runt of a litter but Listener had found him. Having never seen a human he had used the tongue strike to get away from her, but then discovered that the “binding” worked on humans as well as his own kind, although unlike his own species it was not permanent and needed renewing. Since it was a mind to mind communication there were no language barriers.

Though Corey and Sofia were unnerved that they were all connect to each other Barry reassured them that the effect would wear off in a few days. Now able to open a dialogue without speaking and alerting any Brutes with noise, Sofia and Corey explained who they were. In return they were told about what was going on and why the Brutes had attacked. Upon learning that Venator were on the island Corey and Sofia realised that someone high up in Task Force Z was obviously corrupt as there was no way a team that big could get on Terror Island without “help”.

Used to military tactics Sofia and Corey were confused as to why none of the inhabitants had fought back against the Brutes, since they all followed one person’s “laws”, the Queen. Listener suggested that in taking out the Queen first, the Brutes and the Venator had psychologically destroyed any chance of an alliance for the other race had panicked which meant they could not provide an organised defence. Consequently this was bad news for Sofia and Corey to escape trouble since Barry and Listener know that two thirds of the island’s interior had fallen to the Brutes and those inside their expanding territory had capitulated rather than chosen to fight.

When asked why they had not surrender Listener and Barry replied that they had joined a small band of island inhabitants who had chosen freedom over what they believed was a far worst fate. With the Brutes closing in and grabbing territory though they had doubts about how long they could avoid that. Sofia and Corey suggested that the group get off the island. It was then that they were reminded of their earlier statement the pair had made suggesting corruption in the TF Z and suggested whomever it was would probably want them two dead and hand the group Listener and Barry belonged to over to Venator.

Hopes were dashed and then Sofia suddenly remember that there was an old smugglers boat on the coast that had been beached during a storm. TF Z aircraft sometimes used it as a visual waypoint. They had no idea of the condition though since they had never got up close enough to see it properly. This information perked Barry and Listeners interest but there was nothing more that could be done until nightfall.

Under the cover of darkness Listener and Barry took Sofia and Corey to the others in the group, Ramus, Springer and Chinsoute. They were a little shocked to see that Chinsoute Boggun was a Brute there but it was revealed that females were considered inferior and as she was smaller than others of her kind she had been made an outcast.

Kemtiana Toda or “Springer” like Listener was another Species Beta hybrid. She had an ability to switch between an amphibian and human form. Unlike Listener though, she was not unique but part of a large group of people. That had once been “normal amphibians but following the meteor strike which turned the area into Terror Island, remnants of human DNA and Bacteria Z had transformed them all into creatures like her. Consequently though she had a human form, her amphibian form was her natural appearance. Following the Brute rebellion she was the only one of her people to escape before they claimed the swamp lands.

Lastly there was Dr Justin Nieves. Since he had  human sounding name and looked human the TF Z officers wondered if he had come from the wrecked facility. He said no but had been involved in a lab accident at another facility and become exposed to Bacteria Z. This had given him the means to transform into a tree like form. Knowing he would be locked up and studied Justin had decided to hide his “affliction” and then escape into the forest where he hoped to escape his fellow scientists. There he had made friends with the other creatures and they had kept him hidden from the TF Z and security from the research company that had learned of his “condition” and had wanted him back at all costs.

With everyone now together the group discussed the discussed the latest activities of the Brute aggressors. Sofia and Corey mentioned that they might have a means of escape but then Springer reported exciting news. She had spotted Venator earlier in the day and had seen they had the Queen of the Forrest and her bodyguard as their captives. Though they liked Sofia and Corey’s idea to get of the island, the others refused to leave without the Queen.

Whilst a rescue attempt seemed suicidal the others would not be dissuaded.Sofia and Corey considered making a run for the boat the next day but then realised the group’s only chance at a rescue would need their military expertise, and they were right. Though the Venator did have advanced weapons and some sort of military training they had been so reliant on the support of the Brutes they had got sloppy and were not expecting an ambush attack.

The Queen of the Forest aka Wisterian Tricus seemed to have received terrible treatment. Her hands were enclosed in metallic spheres and she was gagged whilst her guardian Floratum Hydrausis had chained solidly from head to toe. Before attacking Springer advised Corey and Sofia that whilst the pair appeared human, they were in fact more like her and were actually plants with a human form. Springer suggested that the Queen had been gagged since she could call for help from other plants and her hands had been enclosed because she could grow vines from them to use as weapons.

With only side arms as weapons Sofia and Corey knew they needed the Queen’s abilities so the others created a distraction. Before the Venator got organised Corey managed to remove the gag from the Queen. The forest then came alive and every plant seemed to respond to the call. That gave the Venator big problems. Her guardian was released next and he transformed into a huge carnivorous plant. A trio of Brutes arrived to investigate the commotion and the guardian consumed one of them, causing the others to retreat. Rather than wait for any reinforcements the group made their escape.

Despite being chased by Brutes and Venator the group made it to the boat. With time to catch the breath, Sofia removed the sphere’s covering the Queens hands and she grew vines which she used to patch holes in the underside of the boat. With that down they managed to refloat it. Sofia and Corey’s knowledge of patrols then managed to got them past the naval patrols. It then took them several days to reach the coast of Australia

Travelling up a river they found a secluded location miles from civilisation where the group could create a new “home” for themselves. Corey and Sofia then left and promised that in order to protect the group they would keep their location and their very existence a secret. They then took the boat back down river and along the coast to ensure they were not being followed. After that they paid a visit to the nearest CLEA facility. Though they were not CLEA officers but military the pair knew that CLEA would want to know of Venator’s activities. It was also a way of bypassing any possible corruption in the TF Z. At no time did they reveal they had escaped the island with help.

In due course CLEA, with full support of the Task Force Z’s leaders rooted out the corruption. By the time that had been done Venator were long gone. With the Brutes controlling the other races on the island things would never return to normal for its inhabitants.

Following the trials, Sofia and Corey chose to leave the military and join CLEA. Annoyingly for them Barry’s gift was supposed to wear off but it did not so they were stuck with hearing each other’s thoughts. Though they thought they had been careful in regards to Barry and the others they found out they were wrong when some Species Beta, illegally brought to the mainland escaped. Despite Sofia and Corey’s attempts to keep the other escapee’s a secret Chief Joshua Hunter already knew about them. He asked the pair to find the group and request their help.

Though angry that Sofia and Corey had come for their help and that meant in their eyes trust had been broken, the group decided to help returning the favour they “owed”. As the CLEA chief had surmised, the group being mainly Species Beta were more suited to deal with a threat that was similar to them rather than sending in normal agents or even White Guardians.

In time Joshua would call upon the group again. This time they asked for equipment and funding in return for their services. Unlike other teams they had no backers or wealthy entrepreneur to support them. As such they were at a distinct disadvantage when the enemy was better equipped than them.

With budget cuts, Joshua could not authorise such funding, unless the group became an official CLEA team. However he did suggest a workaround and put them in touch with the Knight’s Forge and Phoenix Alliance.

Now known as Gaia they are classed as a group of vigilantes but considered a support asset to CLEA. This means they are free to carry out their own “assignments” but will carry out mission for CLEA if they consider it in the best interest of themselves or innocent lives are at stake. Since Wisterian was deposed from her honoured position she has chosen the name Evergreen, rather than maintaining her original Queen of the Forest title.

With CLEA’s budgets being stretched Hunter had problems funding them but managed to get Gaia to accept help and resources from both the Phoneix Alliance and the Knight’s Forge. In working with those groups Gaia was able to learn to trust people albeit they prefer to retreat to the isolated hideout rather than mix with humans during down time. They in turn supplied equipment to help the group in their causes. Barry ended up with a form fitting suit that helped protect against weapons, whilst Springer ended up with an outfit that keep her amphibious skin “moist” since it was prone to drying out when exposed to air for a long time. She did have the option of changing to her human form but she was not always comfortable with that. Chinsoute even obtained a new outfit. Whilst Evergreen and Plantman chose to retain their old clothing, she chose to adopt the new clothing because her old clothing was a constant reminder that her own people had regarded her as being “inferior”.

Being one with nature meant getting around was difficult since the entire group liked open spaces. Boat were tolerable but took time to get to trouble spots. That left aircraft which none of the group liked due to the claustrophobic enclosed cabins. This problem would solve itself in time when a stranger suddenly appeared at their “hideout” one day. How he had found them he would not reveal. All he stated was that he had observed their activities and after being satisfied they did not harbour ill will to normal people he had come to present Evergreen with a gift.

The “gift” was an odd shaped tiara which he took out of an ornate box. Though the group was suspicious Evergreen felt drawn to it and could not stop herself from putting it on. The instant she had put it on, she became the magical Avatar for plants. The stranger explained that the last Avatar had misused the power and he had forcibly removed its owner from the object but believed that Evergreen by her very nature was ideal as the new Avatar. With that said he literally disappeared before their eyes.

In experimenting with new new magical abilities Evergreen learned she could “grow” pod like structures in the ground which could “hold” a member of the team.. The pod could then be commanded to retreat and grow anywhere there was fertile land. Thus she could transport the group without aircraft, although using magic in that manner drained her physically. As well as talking to plants the new magic allowed her to also rapidly grow plants.

The last person to join the group was Felix Lapointe. Gaia had gone to Canada to investigate a monster sighting and encountered him instead. He had actually been sighted when dealing with the true problem from the Blue Aliens. The last of his kind, a race of people that could transform into “Big Foots”, he worked at a Ski Resort for Martin and Eva Cudmore. Only they knew what he truly was and they and they had secrets of their own for their family had used magic for centuries to protect the area. Along with him the trio had been waging a war against the invaders for years.

Eva and Martin though had been killed, and the mantle passed onto their children, Gillian and Ryan. Though they were capable of managing without him, he felt unable to leave out of fear of persecution. When he encountered Gaia he discovered there were others, like him that people might think were monsters. Therefore when they invited him to join he decided it was time for a new start and a new life, whereupon he became known as Sasquatch, later shortened to Squash. The choice to leave was made easier because if Gillian and Ryan needed help he could come back, and bring a lot of extra help in the form of his new friends.