Steve Coops




  • Dr Marcus Hellen

CLEA Classification:

  • Alpha Superior

Special Skills and/or Abilities:

  • Alpha ability – Gives Marcus the ability to create illusions that can target an individual or a group of people. Beleived to be a pyschic override of his target’s sences, his illusions take the form of a 3d environment so if the person moves his or her eyeline the “creation” will track accordingly. Unlike certain psychic Alphas who have to keep their minds focussed on their target, once Marcus “creates” an illusion it remains in his target’s mind until he chooses to remove it. Much like a film set, Marcus can see his own illusion via a “shadow” that remains in his own mind after he sends the visual creation. His “version” though acts like an overlay so he can “see” what is real and what is not at the same time.


  • Since his illusions only affect the way a persons mind percieves visual data anyone closing their eyes cannot see the false creation.
  • His illusions are merely that. i.e. If a target realises there is a wall present where there previously was not then they can simply walk through it. Normally such willful actions can break the illusion altogether.

Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:

  • Suspected of medical negligence (cleared on court appeal)


Like most Alpha Inferiors Marcus was oblivious to his potential. Having qualified from med school he joined a private practice and gained such a stellar reputation that he was able to branch out on his own and so opened his small but quite respectable practice. Though as a doctor he had often wondered why he never became ill himself he thought it was down to his clean living and healthy life style keeping him in perfect condition. He however missed his first chance to find out that he was different from other human when one of his patients sought his help about a suspected eye condition. His patient had suddenly become sensitive to light.

As Marcus could not find any reason for the condition he gave the patient a thorough work over and physical examination during which he noticed that his patient had a similar birth mark to himself, diamond shaped blotches on his back. This was of course a sign that a person was an Alpha Inferior but one Marcus ignored because he had no reason to think it was anything other than a birth mark. He even commented to the patient that he had a similar mark and jokingly asked if they were related!

Unable to find anything wrong with the patient to explain his condition, Marcus took a number of pictures and sample to be sent away for further analysis and recommended that until the results came through the patient wore dark glasses. However when Marcus sent the results away he sealed his patients fate for the information was picked up by Black Shadow spies and Shadow Force sprung into action.

A week later Marcus opened the paper and was shocked to learn that his patient had been found dead after apparently committing suicide with prescribed drugs. As soon as he read that Marcus became suspicious that something was not quite right  because he had not prescribed the drugs found at the scene. When he reported this to the police he was astonished to find that they were investigating him as they wanted to known that he had prescribed drugs to a patient suffering from severe mental depression.

This second revelation was even worse than the first because he had never diagnosed the patient with the condition. However the police showed Marcus the computer records that showed that he had not only diagnosed his patient with mental depression but also that he had prescribed the drugs the patient had used to supposedly kill himself. It was now that Marcus began to think that somebody was framing him for murder. In reality Black Shadow had simply found
a patsy to divert any nosey law enforcement agencies (including CLEA) away from themselves.

Though under the circumstances he was not likely to face any criminal charges Marcus knew he was at risk of being found guilty of medical negligence and could be struck off and knew he had to clear his name. He begged the detective in charge of the case to check that his records had not been hacked but it seemed to Marcus that the officer had already made up his mind who was to blame. In the end Marcus saved his career by producing alternative evidence in the form of hand written notes that contradicted the fake records. That at least place doubt on the computer files and Marcus was able to keep his practice when the medical council ruled in his favour.

However without the Atlatica Police Department officially clearing his name bad publicity meant it took years for him to get his business back and he felt he often wondered how many other innocent people had been ignored and treated the same way by slap dash police practices and felt he would not be able to trust the police in dealing with a problem ever again. He also wondered whom had set him up and suspected it was someone in power but had no explanation why they had done it to him.

Years later Marcus then began to experience the light sensitivity that his patient had. As before he could find no explanation, he ended up sending his note to a colleague and the delay allowed his Alpha Abilities to activate. Able to create anything in his imagination and make it appear real, but with no substance like a hologram Marcus thought he has a medical enigma and considered allowing the medical profession to “study” his fantastic gift.

Only then did he recall the tales of time past when Alpha Heroes protected the people around the world and how they had been systematically hunted down. At this point he now suspected that in the years previous his patient had not been killed to frame him but perhaps had been killed because he had the potential to gain fantastic gifts. Suspecting that someone was killing people like him Marcus considered signing up for the White Guardian to receive protection from CLEA as it was apparent to him that he was an Alpha Superior.

However he knew that White Guardians worked for CLEA and he had serious trust issues with law enforcement people since the APD had nearly wrecked his medical career. Reading the papers Marcus noted that there were a few stories of people with fantastic powers that acted like the Heroes in the past. As he had a very special gift and great power Marcus considered that he could do the same and so despite being labelled as a vigilante he became an amateur crime fighter.

By day he was a doctor but once work was over for several hours at night he became the costumed adventurer, Merlin. He chose the codename because like magicians and wizards he could make illusions seem real. Even better for him was that he could cloak himself in an illusion and hide his true identity.
Fighting crime though was not an easy task and in the dark alleys around Atlantica where the police were afraid to go crime seemed rife and despite his gift Marcus found in certain situations he had to withdraw because he was simply outnumbered. Being what many would consider one of first of a “new” generation of heroes he was very much alone in his “work” until Team Zodiac destroyed Black Shadow and Alphas began appearing from every nook and cranny

The first time he happened across another Alpha Superior was when he enountered Yin Bao Chou and she was using her gifts on the wrong side of justice.
She had the ability to borrow other peoples bodies and take control of them but during a robbery she revealed that she was not the true owner of the boy she was using. Having heard the alarms Merlin arrived expecting to fight criminals. Across the street from the store he came across the comatose body of a young woman and thought she had been a victim. With no time to waste he entered the store and found a man holding the store owner at gunpoint and trying to open a safe.

The owner kept talking to the man like he knew him and when Merlin jumped the robber the owner screamed that his “employee” was not acting at all like himself. A brief fight during which the robber made a number of angry exchanges some of which seemed odd for a man to come out with, Merlin landed a knockout blow. Whilst waiting for police to arrive “Merlin” asked why the store owner felt his employee had acted odd and was told that his employee had asked for the combination to the safe, which he already knew the answer to!

This did seemed odd to Marcus and he considered that the employee had either been hypnotised or brainwashed. Then he remembered the girl outside across the street and ran back to see if she was alright. As Marcus examined her he could hardly find a pulse but then quite inexplicably her pulse grew stronger and she opened her eyes and seemed to recognise him.

She immediately tried to make a run for it but was too weak and as she fell down she uttered a comment that he had heard only moments before come from the mouth of the robber. Now he suspected that she had somehow taken control of the employee’s mind. Creating an illusion Marcus completely disorientated her by making the street appear to turn. What she thought was an opening was in fact a wall and she ran headlong into it.

As she lay on the floor in panic she tried entering Marcus’s mind but he felt he presence and using every ounce of willpower ejected her. Again she searched for another body in which she could inhabit and perhaps attack Marcus but by now he had worked out her gift and working on a hunch threatened if she left her body he would disable it giving her nowhere to return to.

By now he could hear police sirens in the distance but to stop her escaping he created an illusion of complete darkness so she was blinded. Returning to the store owner he found the “robber” dazed and confused as to what was going on and gave a quick explanation to the store owner of what had transgressed and informed him that his employee was not the guilty party and that he as Merlin would take care of the problem.

Knowing that police might arrest him as a vigilante Marcus exited before they turned into the street and then he went over to the blinded woman and before he released he from his illusion he demanded to know her name. Though he knew he should had her over to the authorities, Marcus had other ideas and thought she might be of more use to his cause as a crime fighter. Believing her to be only an opportunist criminal as the way she had gone about the robbery hinted at her being an “amateur” Marcus gave her an ultimatum to change her ways in a month and be a help to society or else he would turn her over to the APD. The latter part was not an idea he really wanted to carry out so he hoped she would not call his bluff.

She agreed and using his Alpha abilities Marcus promptly vanished. During the next month he made several “random inspections” of Yin Bao Chou to see if she had changed her ways. Having given him a genuine name and not an alias meant she had been easy to track down, and when he found her he was pleased if not a little surprised around her choice of helping the community.

Instead of using her Alpha abiltiy to fight crime like he assumed she would she had simply chosen to perform charity work. Being a doctor allowed him to pay a visit to where she was helping out without raising her suspicions. After the month was up Marcus met her again as Merlon and proposed that having proved herself they could work together in fighting crime.

Yin seemed hesitant of the idea as she said that as her abilities involved taking over someone else’s body then that was surely a crime in its own right. She was of course correct but Marcus considered that if she took over a criminal’s body then the equation was balanced out as once she was in charge the person could not commit a crime. Furthermore he suggested that she could use her gifts to infiltrate gangs and find out what they were up to. It was now that Yin reminded him that as soon as she left her body it shut down and the longer she was away the closer it came to death.

For a doctor of Marcus’s calibre he solved that by assembling medical apparatus together to act like a life support machine to keep her body alive when she was “inhabiting” someone else. Together they solved many crimes much and it was all the more sweeter for Marcus when he could embarass the APD at the same time. Two years later and the time arrived that Marcus had been expecting, the day when Yin Boa Chou, now called “Hijack” chose to go off on her own. Having made her into crime fighter Marcus knew it would be wrong for him to stop her no matter how much he liked her as his sidekick. He though knew that without his equipment she was extremely limited in what she could do on her own so he set about solving that problem.

As a crime fighter Marcus had become accustomed to learning all the rumours and tales that spread around the city streets. Significantly he remembered the stories of a man called the “Armourer” (Cade Lewis) who could create fantastic sophisticated suits of body armour but would only do so to clients he felt were worthy. Marcus considered that the “Armourer” might just be able to solve his problem for him.
After eventually finding the man and securing a meeting, Cade took the unusual step of accepting Marcus at his word. Normally Cade liked to test his clients first in case they were of criminal intent but he had heard of “Merlin” and trusted his judgement and so agreed to help. Together they designed suit that Hijack could wear that would keep her body ticking over when she was not in it, thus allowing her to go off one her own.

Consequently when the day came for Merlin and Hijack to part company he presented her with the suit and explained what it did. Eternally grateful for the gift she promised to uphold the law as he had taught her to do, and that was all he had wanted from her. Alone again but with another crime fighter on the streets of Atlantica his fight continued for there were now a growing number of Alpha criminals that needed to be dealt with.

He still kept an interest on his protégé, Hijack and learned she had teamed up with two others to form the team known as “Trident” and even had the opportunity to “work” with them. He even worked with other hero groups but never stuc karound for too long since he was always dogged by trust issues going back to the time he was framed.