Having been part of ARGO’s illegal experiments that forever changed their lives, this trio formed with one intention – to get revenge on those that had hurt them. However the trio would eventually get past their need for vengeance and take up crime fighting in general.
CLEA DATA FILE
- Quinn McGrath – Quartz
- Chrysalis – Michelle Bertrand
- Anna Milewski – Stonewall
- Alpha Superior (McGrath)
- Alpha Superior (Bertrand)
- Alpha Superior (Milewski)
Special Skills and/or Abilities:
- Alpha ability – McGrath can transform himself into a large 6-8ft tall humanoid beast with thick hide and mineral coating on his back that is highly resistant to physical attack. In this form he possesses super human strength.
- Alpha ability – Bertrand has the ability to “grow” stone shapes. She can use this to encase her enemies in a “shell”. Alternately she can grow objects on her own body to use as for attack and defence, such as creating a disk like shield and mineral spikes (akin to stalactites). Lastly she can eject crystal shards at speed from her hands to produce projectile weapons.
- Alpha ability – Milewski has the means to transform into a “living” statue. When she changes she can choose any height from her “natural” size up to a massive 30 ft tall. What she lacks in speed she makes up in raw power.
- Both McGrath and Milewski have “unstable” abilities. As well as choosing when to transform a sudden influx of adrenalin can trigger an automatic change. In the case of McGrath he remains stuck in his “monster” form for random lengths of time when an “accidental” change has been initiated.
- The larger the height Milewski chooses the more strain it places on her body and the quicker her Alpha ability will “fail”.
Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:
- Assault and battery
Though this group would eventually become a trio for several years it was only a partnership between Chrysalis and Quartz. Though initially from completely different social circles they united in order to tackle a common cause that had caused them so much pain and grief, ARGO.
Before the met, Michelle was a nine-to-five secretary, whilst Quinn was the son of a Senator and one of the few CLEA White Guardians. He used the alias “Stone Knight” for he had the means to convert his skin to a stone like armour by “growing” crystals onto the top surface of his skin.
Having set up a new base of operations in Atlantica, ARGO was trying a new series of experiments into the “Alpha Effect”. In previous experiment s ARGO had simply tried finding the genetic differences between Alphas and ordinary humans in order to learn what made the former immune to diseases but since neither ARGO or anyone else had made any progress in that area Dr Ellie Watson suggested that perhaps they should take smaller steps and first of all and learn what the difference was between Alpha Superiors and Alpha Inferiors. Comparison genetic data gained by comparing the two, she hoped would then put them on a path working backwards and lead to the end goal that would give them the genetic coding that separated Alpha Inferiors from ordinary people.
Since every person had different DNA the experiment entailed required the same test subject to be tested both as an Alpha Inferior and an Alpha Superior. Whilst the rogue doctor knew she could perhaps obtain a suitable Alpha Inferior there was a problem in getting that person to “change” to a superior since the metamorphosis occurred at random in real life (an in many cases did not occur at all) and then required an external trigger to complete the transition. Simply waiting and hoping for the best was not going to work but Ellie had an idea that she might be able to “jumpstart” the transition by finding an Alpha Inferior and Alpha Superior with similar genetic makeup and then take samples from the Superior and graft them onto the Inferior. She believed doing the surgery might just cause the Inferior to change status and thus they would have their data.
Finding an Alpha Inferior that fitted the profile was easy because often such people were not aware what they were Alpha humans and so to themselves and everyone around them these people were considered “ordinary”, whereas Alpha Superiors were often aware they were special and either hid themselves or were protected by others.
Over a period of weeks bio scanning drones spread out across Atlantica looking for a suitable target and they found it in Michelle Bertrand. She met with all of ARGO’s needs in that as well as being an Alpha Inferior, she was new in Atlantica, having come from New Tokyo on a business transfer and so would not be missed easily (when she was abducted for the experiment).
The match they had found for her was going to prove tricky to snatch without being noticed. Most Alpha Superiors had the means to keep their abilities secret and in the case of Quinn McGrath he had a higher profile with CLEA being a White Guardian. Taking him was seen as creating as much attention as running into a CLEA base and threatening agents. Even worse for ARGO, was that like most CLEA personnel he was aware of the rogue science group as they had been looking for them for some time. Despite the high risks, the three core members decided that Quinn was perfect for their experiment and so reasoned they might get away with taking him providing they used extra precautions.
After discovering when Quinn was on leave, ARGO decided to kidnap him then and keep him sedated during the time he was with them, and then only return him when he was scheduled to return to duty, instead of the more normal usual approach which was to keep the test subjects for a couple of days at a time, return them and then kidnap them again. By the time Quinn realised he had lost over a week of time and worked out who was responsible ARGO planned to have closed down their operation and be long gone.
Due to Quinn’s CLEA profile, he and Michelle were scheduled to be the last “pairing” they would use before leaving, and before them they had successfully taken and returned four other pairs. As with the others, the abduction operation went smoothly with the drones darting their respective targets and bringing them to the secret lab unconscious.
Almost as soon as they arrived the ARGO scientists wasted no time in getting to work by performing a whole barrage of tests on their comatose bodies. Unfortunately as with the other four pairs they had used ARGO found no fathomable distinction between Alpha Inferiors and Alpha Superiors. They had hoped for better results since Michelle and Quinn were so genetically similar (compared to the other pairs) so rather than chance losing valuable data, with time running out they took extra skins and bone samples from both of them to use at a later date.
Just before the drones were due to return both of their test subjects to their homes, Watson made one mistake and her quest for research and decided to perform one last experiment. On each pairing she had performed a unique test and in the case of Michelle and Quinn she tried to jumpstart Michelle’s Alpha abilities by injecting a sample of Quinn’s DNA right into her brain. Previously she had simply grafted tissue onto the Alpha Inferior’s skin but this drastic action by Ellie was a cross between impatience and continuing disappointment.
As with the previous four experiments Ellie thought she had failed but in fact she had succeeded, but just like as Teknor had done when they jump started the Zodiac Gemini twins, Ellie introduced an unforeseen instability. Almost as the needle was removed from Michelle’s brain her body went into spasm and she began coming out of her induced sleep and no matter how much anaesthetic Ellie and the other scientists (Ethan and Kenneth) pumped into her body they could not stop her waking up.
Awaking in an alien environment with surrounded by people she did not know was the biggest shock of her life and when the Ellie and Ethan moved in and tried to restrain her it only added to her panic. She fought bravely and was surprised when the people trying to capture her left after seemingly giving up the fight easily.
In reality the scientists realised that the game was up and the longer Michelle was left to raise the alarm there was a higher risk of the police of CLEA being alerted. The ARGO scientists therefore decided it was time to leave and so ordered a security drone to barricade the two test subjects in the lab until they had made their escape.
Locked in the room, as the alarms began to sound in all the chaos Michelle turned and saw Quinn. Realising she was in deep trouble and needed to get out she was not the sort of person who could leave a “helpless” person to their fate especially if he, like her had also been kidnapped. Naturally the first thing Michelle did was try to wake Quinn. Then the instability that Ellie had created came into effect. As Michelle made physical contact with Quinn, her Alpha abilities activated for the first time. Since she had some of Quinn’s DNA in her body, her Alpha abilities used Quinn’s abilities as a template giving her similar powers to him.
Though she could not grow “armour” she could absorb minerals through her body and use the material to rapidly “grow” crystal shards which she would later learn to shape into cocoons, shields and projectiles. At this moment in time though she was unaware she was even an Alpha. With her body though still in a state of flux whilst she stood there trying to wake Quinn, the instability of her new “gift” created a form of bio-feedback. This had the effect of stabilising her Alpha Abilities but at the cost of radically altering the way Quinn’s worked.
His body suddenly went into spasm and he woke up, just as back up security drones had begun to file into the room. Though he was not entirely sure how he come to be in a lab, as a White Guardian and thus operative of CLEA he suspected ARGO from the usage of drones. Quinn’s initial conclusion was therefore he was being used in some sort of experiment. He then noticed an unknown woman standing over him in a frantic state and guessed she had also been subject to the attentions of ARGO. Taking charge of the situation he told Michelle to get behind him and activated his Alpha abilities.
Instead of his skin simply turning to stone he became engulfed in pain and suddenly took the form of a large lumbering humanoid beast, not unlike something out of a fantasy novel. The crystal armour was still present but only on his back and shoulders and was no longer smooth. Quinn came to the logical conclusion that, he had been “altered”.
With an imminent threat to his and the woman’s life Quinn knew there was no time to test out his new form. Since it seemed to give him similar protection to his old form, he instinctively chose to do his duty as an agent of CLEA and get them both to safety. Luckily his new guise gave him increased strength like he’d never felt before as well as resilience to the incoming fire. Using these to his advantage he managed to batter the drones until they were little more than spare parts and then cleared an escape route. Time was of the essence for Quinn knew that once the ARGO scientists had made their own way out the laboratory they would blow it up to bury any evidence.
Upon exiting the lab, Quinn and Michelle found themselves in the Atlantica sewer system, indicating that ARGO had set up their lab underground. The dust cloud that rushed past them a moment later signified the lab had been destroyed.
He maintained his new form until he got Michelle to the surface, and once there he tried to change back to a “human” in order to make contact with his superior. It was only now that he realised that somehow the rogue scientists had made him stuck in the hideous body of a monster.
His superior immediately sent an investigative task force and he was debriefed albeit in his new form. Agents then travelled down to the sewer to look into Quinn’s story and whilst they found the lab there was nothing left. Michelle was also debriefed but could not provide detectives with any useful information nor a reason why ARGO had been interested in her.
Then when the meeting was over as she was starting to head for home, she went over to see him. He was grateful that she had saved him but deeply upset that ARGO had messed with his gift. Quinn was also upset that CLEA was not mounting a full scale operation to track down ARGO, and as they spoke for the first time, by mistake Michelle accidentally used her Alpha abilities for the first time. Shocked at what was going on Quinn realised he was not the only one that had been altered, so before they parted company he gave Michelle his contact detail in case she needed any help.
For several days CLEA doctors worked on Quinn’s problem but without success. They suggested he go home and take some leave but he would not leave CLEA’s Atlantica HQ because he was embarrassed about how he now looked. Agents who saw him did not help because they gave him a wide birth. Ten days into his “leave” (where he did not actually go anywhere) Quinn awoke one morning and found he had returned to “normal.” He then tried triggering his Alpha ability and it worked. He even managed to change back perfectly okay. The doctors looked into him and suggested his body could have suffered shock when he was with ARGO. They concluded he was now fully recovered but three days later and he went to the gym and whilst on a treadmill he suddenly changed form only now he could not change back again.
Once more the doctors looked at him and could not understand what was going on but eventually through a lot of experimentation, Quinn would learn that he could activate his Alpha ability normally and access his new form and revert back at will. However elevated levels of adrenalin would cause the same effect only when that happened he would not be able to revert back to a human form for a random period of time that could be days or weeks. Without full control over his Alpha abilities it not only meant his ordinary life style was over but also his means to function as a White Guardian was also affected.
As the weeks passed Quinn found his unpredictable abilities a hindrance and had grown enraged that his superiors had not shown an interest in hunting down the people responsible for his current “condition.” During one fit of anger at his superiors Quinn shocked them by quitting and told them he was becoming an Independent Hero, that way he could find ARGO on his terms. Then he received the call from Michelle who was having problems understanding her own gifts, so Quinn offered to meet her.
As well as offering to help her he outline his plan to go after ARGO and then asked for her help. Though not normally a vengeful person, ARGO had given her some anger issues of her own so she agreed to assist him. The first thing that Quinn did was bring her means of using her Alpha abilities up to White Guardian standard. Then as she learned to understand her gifts Michelle discovered she could grow crystalline “eggs” out of the ground to encase objects (or people) and as well as this she found she could also shoot crystal shards from her hands or grow a protective disc shape shield instead.
By the time they were ready to take the fight to ARGO, Quinn assumed the identity Quartz and Michelle became Chrysalis. The pair went on the warpath literally. Like a force of nature they found several ARGO labs and laid them to waste. Then during one late night encounter they met their match when they were surrounded by thirty drones.
ARGO had sent practically all its mechanical troops to destroy the pair and they did not care whom was watching. CLEA had been monitoring Quinn for some time and his old boss was finding it hard to find excuses not to arrest him. Rather than send a team to put a stop to the unfolding battle, his old boss for word to Zodiac who would not be under quite the same obligations to arrest Quinn. Instead they would be more interesting in saving civilian lives and containing the collateral damage.
Fighting side by side with Zodiac, Chrysalis and Quartz vanquished the drones and set back ARGO’s abduction capabilities by several years. Once the battle was over McCabe talked to the pair and learned of their ongoing mission. He suggested that they abandon the quest for revenge and put their talents to better use, even explaining how the Gemini twins had also been subjected to illegal experiments and abduction but had gotten over that to use their gifts for more than just vengeance.
They failed to understand his message though and the revelation that other laboratories had performed illegal experiments only added fuel to the fire as far as Quartz and Chrysalis were concerned. Rather than give up on their quest they informed McCabe that such underhand scientists had better beware that they would pay for toying with the lives of others. Ignoring McCabe’s protests Crystal and Quartz fled, for as they well hell bent on operating outside the law, CLEA would no longer be able to ignore them and they would be regarded as criminals. McCabe considered stopping them but decided to give the pair the chance to try and come to their senses.
A year after their encounter with Zodiac the pair would find themselves approached by two individuals. The first of these was Shane Wright (Mind Storm). He was considering creating a small group to target those people that targeted Alpha’s in general. Though he certainly had revenge as part of his plan, Quartz and Chrysalis declined the offer as they were solely interested in bringing down ARGO.
The second person to track down Quinn and Michelle was Anna Milewski. She had the means to transform into a massive living ‘statue’. As this had the potential to cause accidental collateral damage the Protectorate had decided she needed to be neutralised. Law enforcement agencies as well as some military agencies thought the same thing but whilst they had rules Orion, sent by the Protectorate did not.
Staying one step ahead of Orion was difficult as she knew she could not use her Alpha ability, for the same reason they wanted her captured in the first place. The major problem for her was an adrenalin rush would cause the transformation so keeping calm whilst being chased around took an enormous amount of willpower.
The reason she had been looking for Chrysalis and Quartz was the fact she had been artificially “triggered” the same as Michelle by ARGO using one of Quinn’s DNA samples they had stored. This she revealed to the pair when she tracked them down. Anna also told them she had stolen some of ARGO’s files which is how she had learned that they had used Quinn’s DNA on her. Though she was relatively smart it had taken a while for her to find Quinn and Michelle due to them changing aliases on a regular basis leaving Anna with only the pictures on the file to go on.
Having explained her story she had only one reason for finding them and that was to join them on their quest as she wanted ARGO stopped before they could use Quinn’s DNA to make any other “monsters”. As well as being linked via Quartz all three had seen their lives ruined by the rogue scientists so Michelle and Quinn would not deny Anna’s request. However she did explain that before accepting her into the partnership, the Protectorate had targeted her so they might have more than just ARGO to worry about.
Surviving for so long on her own touched a chord with Quinn and Michelle, so much so that Quinn told her she would no longer need to run. They then formed a pact and agreed to defeat ARGO and stand up to their enemies together. Anna was no longer on her own.
The first time the Protectorate caught up to Anna after that day, the retrieval team now found she was well protected and when the fight started attract the attention of bystanders the retrieval team were forced to withdrawal for tactical reasons as they did not want public exposure. The last thing a secret organisation needed was to get “noticed”. The Protectorate were therefore forced to reconsider their stance in regards to Anna.
The trio would also cross paths with Zodiac on a second occasion. This time they were tracking ARGO who had appeared back in Atlantica. ARGO was not interested in them but Trident and having missed capturing one member of that team (Gecko) she had gone for help at the White Tower. ARGO responded by sending an invasion of drones to the tower, and Quartz, Chrysalis and Stonewall joined in. The trio had been looking into the ARGO activities and whilst pounding the Atlantica Streets had seen the drones converging on the tower.
Though the attack was partially successful, McCabe and the other Zodiac members recognised the trio as allies as did Gecko (who represented Trident) so for the first time they were no longer alone. Though Trident and Zodiac stated they would not support the trio’s more extreme methods they recognised the trio’s efforts to help both groups and so promised to provide “other” help when needed.
As time went by the trio invariably found themselves coming across situations where they witnessed criminals in action and found it increasingly hard to simply stand by. When the had started pursuing ARGO they had not wanted the “distractions” of taking on other criminals but in the end they had progressed to a point where they realised that in allowing other people becoming victims they were no better than ARGO in the sence they felt the lives of others were less “important”.
Though ARGO was their number one “enemy” the trio began handing out justice to anyone that happened to cross their path. The general public then elevated them to “heroes.” McCabe from team Zodiac took note of their actions and arranged for the trio to meet the Knights Forge where they were then given specialist clothing to cope with their unique abilities. This was greatly needed by Quinn and Anna. Quinn’s razor sharp outgrowths had a habit of ripping through clothing like a knife through butter so he received and outfit where the material would “self heal”. Anna by comparison trashed her outfit every time she became Stonewall so she received was given special clothing that could stretch to accommodate her enlarged size. Cade Lewis based this clothing on the outfit he had been “forced” to create for Alpha Strike’s “Bulldozer”.
Currently the trio are active in North America although the have been seen further afield.
Team Attack moves
Whilst there are several groups of heroes (and villains) that work together, not many develop a combined team attack. This trio though are well documented in using double and even triple attacks to produce devastating results.
- Rock ‘n’ Roll – A combined move worked by Chrysalis and Quartz whereby Chrysalis grows a pair of crystal boxing gloves on Quartz hands giving him a lot bigger hitting power.
- Bowling Ball – Quick attack whereby Stonewall hurls Quartz like a ball at their opponents.
- Cactus Ball – As above only Chrysalis adds a layer of crystal spikes to Quartz’s body before he is thrown.
- Rock Wedge – Containing move that cna be used defensively and offensively. Consists of Quartz, leading Stonewall who lifts Chrysalis off the ground so she can rain down crystal shards from ‘high’ ground whilst Quartz guards against any ground attacks.