From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
((Work in Progress))
Adrienne is, in all senses of the word, a cat. No matter what she is wearing, her body moves with the fluid grace of a hunter, blue eyes flicking about the room. Her moods can be playful or predatory, shy or sensual, moods blending into the other with that same slow fluid grace.
Around newcomers, she tends to remain aloof, hiding behind her shades and suit, expression impassive as she simply maintains the role of bodyguard. Around more close acquaintances, she lets her guard drop a fraction, allowing herself to smile or laugh, making tossing in a small quip as a playful bat. A few have seen her actually cuddle, leaning against them and touching in a friendly familiar sort of way. Or even on all fours as a cougar, curled at their feet and purring, or rubbing on their legs begging for attention.
She does have a rather odd habit. Once a month for five days, she'll vanish off the radar completely.
Adrienne "Dances-with-Moonlight" Hunter was the first born child to Michael Hunter and Alana Brown Bear-Hunter, the second born being a little boy named Michael Jr. Both the children were raised in a little town in Maryland near Annapolis, where they could enjoy the median between urban sprawl and a little nature reserve in their own back yard. Adri and Michael enjoyed their backyard, climbing all over any trees they could find like a couple of monkeys, and making their own forts from fallen trees and branches. Adri and Michael were the best of pals, even if they did get on each other's nerves from time to time.
Adri's aunt, Sarah Brown Bear, noticed a few odd things about the little Adri. Like how all animals but some stray cats would run away, but the stray cats were drawn to her like a magnet. Also the child's interest in the Old Ways, of the spirits in the woods and make-believing in forms oddly similar to the old rituals. So Sarah would bring her niece and nephew little trinkets on her trips down from Pennsylvania.
When they started school, Adri always protected her little brother. She protected him at home from the neighborhood bullies, simply standing in front of him and giving the bullies a stare-down with her piercing blue eyes. She was a rather quiet child in school, speaking when spoken to, doing her work and passing her classes with a decent grade level. The bullies tried to get her to hit back, to respond. They tried pulling her hair when the teachers weren't looking. They tried knocking her food out of her hands onto the floor. They tried anything they could think of short of leaving bruises or scratches on her to get her to respond. She simply gave them her predator's glare and walked on.
But they found a new target in Michael. That would make her respond. So they'd pick on him, tugging on his hair or shoving him on the dirt. But she didn't fight. She'd put herself inbetween her little brother and the instigator and turn her gaze on them, but this time, it had a barely concealed rage held deep within. And the bullies wanted to see if they could break it out of her.
They got their chance.
One day after school, Adri and Michael were just wandering home from school when the bullies came back. This time, some of them had brought high-schoolers to "defend" themselves against this 14 year old and her 10 year old brother, a dozen boys total filling the street in a half circle. The highschoolers probably didn't see why this girl was such a trouble, but the middle-school bullies had egged them on. So one of the high school boys walked up and shoved her. She just looked up at him after stumbling back a step. So he shoved her harder. She stumbled back into a concrete fence, moving Michael out from behind her in time to keep him from being crushed between her and the fence. Or at least from having the wind knocked out of her. Her back stung from the impact, but still she watched the others, making no move against them.
So the bully was frustrated. And he took a step, and punched her in the stomach. Her blue eyes snapped wide with shock and she collapsed on her knees, then her eyes slit as she curled up, groaning. That surprised her more than hurt, knocking the wind flat out of her. She heard Michael trying to get them to stop, a moment before a boot slammed into her stomach again, making her jerk on the ground. She lay there, gasping, with voices buzzing around her head, then she heard a cry and a clunk like a melon dropped on concrete. She lifts her head, looking around quickly. She spotted Michael's limp form crumpled a few yards away, having been shoved into the wall and knocked unconscious. And the middle-school bullies were having fun kicking the unconscious boy.
"Get... off him," she almost growls, slowly getting up. The pain in her stomach was nothing compared to the rage that was boiling inside her chest, in her heart.
"Make me, bitch," the high-schooler that had kicked her said, and he went to kick Michael in the mouth.
Adri saw red. And she gave herself up to it. And the Rage consumed her.
She came back to herself feeling oddly winded, like she'd been running for miles flat out. And her body ached all over, her hands feeling so strange, her body feeling at once heavy and light. Her mouth felt strange, hell, all of her felt strange. And where had the bullies gone? She dared to look down... and almost passed out. Instead, she just picked up the still limp body of her brother and ran for home. She clambered easily up into her second-story back bedroom, seeing as all she had to do in this new body was reach up and climb up. She slipped her little brother into his bedroom, then tried not to whimper at the sight of him covered in blood. Was he going to be okay? She pauses, moving her paw as gently as she could to his neck, feeling for a pulse, and she relaxed as she felt the soft steady rhythm under her pawpads.
She moved to her room and grabbed her spare backpack, just snatching fistfulls of clothing and shoes and anything she could get her paws on through the window into the bag. She knocked her savings, a few hundred dollars she'd saved over several years, into her bag, then zipped it up before climbing back down. Hopefully, Michael hadn't seen a thing and wouldn't remember enough about the incident to be worried.
At least she knew the backyard like the back of her hand, slipping deep into the woods to curl up. She looked up at the lonely moon, then down at herself, then blinked as she slowly began to change back to her normal self. She looks back at her house, then at her flesh still tainted with blood. There was no way she could go home after this. Might as well think that she was killed, or hurt. She didn't want to think about what happened to those kids that had been hurting her brother... So she rinsed off in the frigid stream water in the reserve and dressed quickly in her boots, her socks, loose jeans and a t shirt, then headed off to Lock Haven to find her aunt.
A few days after she'd set out, she was on a Greyhound headed for Lock Haven with her shades on and a newspaper in her lap from Maryland. One talking about the brutal murder of twelve kids in a Annapolis suburb by some kind of raving lunatic, and one kid that was missing. And that kid was herself. She makes a little whimper, then lifts her head to make sure no one was looking at her before she stuff the newspaper back away. There was no way for her to go back home now, not with everything like this.
She eventually makes her way to her aunt's house, who actually doesn't seem all that surprised to see her. Which is odd, because her parents had called everyone, going almost insane from worry. But her Aunt Sarah seemed to understand what was going on, even offering to teach the young Pumonca how to hunt and paint and make clothing and shelter in the Old Ways.
Adri didn't get to enjoy the peace for too long. Her shifting body burned through food more quickly than the wildlife could safely support. Her form drove her to hunt livestock, shoving her into the spotlight as she made off with cattle, goats and sheep in her claws and teeth. The local police knew they weren't equipped for such a task, so they called into the Paragon Police who were specialized at subduing and capturing meta-human threats.
The young shifter stumbled right into their trap when she was hunting, the smell of a freshly killed cow filling her nostrils and calling her hungry body from the woods. So hungry, her mind hadn't registered the myriad of new smells surrounding the area. She crouched down, able to finish off half the kill in greedy mouthfuls before the trap was sprung. It took a few dozen web grenades and stun gas grenades to topple her to her side, her blue eyes wild and confused. A mask was placed over her muzzle, and that would be the last time she saw a free sky for five years.
Wild animals don't take being caged very well. Adrienne was no exception, even for a fourteen year old child. At first they let her share a cell with a young woman from Japan, Koromoto Tomiko. Through their conversations, one of the therapists who visited them both to talk overheard Adri mentioning playing the violin since the age of ten. So the therapist brought her one, and was amazed at the sudden change. Instead of the pacing animal she had seen Adri randomly shift into, a young musician took over, eyes closed as her only focus became her instrument. The therapist even tested violin music, noting a significant change in the young girl's tension but not as dramatic as the act of playing. So they prescribed that Adri should have access to a violin and sheet music at all times, if not violin music on an Ipod set aside specifically for her.
The end of her first month saw her with a cell ripped open like a sardine can, and her feral form crawling desperately up the walls of the guy's wing of the jail. She was subdued and thrown into a solitary and reinforced cell, but still in the main section of the jail. They did leave her her violin and sheet music, finding solace and comfort as she played. At first, some of the prisoners snapped at her, yelling at her to stop playing trash. Others yelled back at the complainers to shut up and let them enjoy it. Adri didn't listen to either side, other than maybe playing a little louder or a little softer depending on whose side of the argument was louder at the time. But she got into the habit of playing Brahms' Lullaby each night, starting out loud and turning slowly soft, gaining a bit of pleasure from hearing the sounds of the Zig slowly calm to her music.
Years passed and they trusted her with a little more, giving her more music and books to read. She devoured them eagerly, her curious mind ravenous for information. Her favorites were history books and books on animals, spending hours on her bed just reading as a cougar, long thick tail flicking behind herself as she used a claw to flip the pages.
Four years in and the new therapist in the Zig finally deems her ready to go out and mingle with others, but under guard supervision. Eager for fresh air, she readily agrees, taking her prized violin out onto the grounds. The other prisoners seemed surprised to see her as the source of the violin music, having expected some eccentric mastermind to be playing his nights away. She just perched on a bench and played to her heart's content, even picking up on some songs she heard on the radio they played.
But there were some who didn't like her playing. A prisoner named Samuel Davis came up to her and told her to stop playing her "Romantical crap". She responded as she normally did, meeting his eyes evenly and continuing to play. Not getting a response from her, he pushed her, snapping at her again. She had to pull the bow from her violin to catch herself from falling, but got up and moved to another bench a few feet away to start playing again. He chased after her, snatching her violin from her hands and smashing it firmly on a nearby wall.
The two guards assigned to her had no chance to respond, her orange jumpsuit fading into tatters as she leaped on the prisoner, fangs and claws bared. She registered none of the guards' attempts to stop her with their batons, just taking the man and slamming him into the wall by his ankles repeatedly, just like he had her precious violin. She didn't stop when his body sagged, the bones snapping like so many broken twigs. Her body only dropped when a hefty dose of tranquilizers were shot into her back. She turned briefly to give the snipers a faint snarl before toppling.
She woke up in a large empty room. No books, no violin, nothing to separate her from the animal inside her. And she just paced restlessly, stopping only for food as her eyes roamed for something other than walls.
She awoke one morning to the sound of explosions, her head snapping up from her paws as she looked around. The top was open on her cage, and no rope. Her eyes narrow, suspicious of a trap, but she moved quickly, coiling her legs under herself. Her talons sunk hard into the metal, leaving rakes as she hefted herself into her freedom. She crouched there a few moments, watching the chaos flow around her and breathing in the new scents. Blood, fear, thrill, fire, fighting... She rose up to her full height, then rolled her head back to lets out an inhuman scream, shouting her defiance until the cages near her shook. Then her body tensed and she took off, racing off for her freedom.
The wildcat finally got up enough nerve to hunt down her brother, even though her parents had told her to sever their ties the moment she stepped into the Zig. She looked up their names on the internet at the Cap's university, then sat back stunned as she looked as a newspaper article from the day before. Her mother, father and Michael... all dead, because some fool on the highway fell asleep behind the wheel of his bigrig.
((IC opinions on the wildcat.))
With a primal sort of power, the young wildcat tears through her prey with claws and teeth. Shredding through them or taking them and using them as makeshift baseball bats against their allies, she dives into battle with a feral abandon. If left in that sort of state too long, her vision blurs and she has a hard time telling friend from foe until the lust for blood fades.
Her thick fur and hide seem able to deflect most anything, from bullets to even flung cars. Her skin seems thinner when not clothed in fur, but recently she has gotten a hold of a suit of impervium armor that can flex with her shape shifting. But she can tire and become vulnerable if her adversary is patient. And just as durable.
Have you ever seen a cat jump several times its body length? Yeah, something like that.
Adrienne has five known forms. She normally drifts around in her human form, clothed in whatever she fancies at the time or her impervium armor. She usually prefers her hair loose, maybe a hint at her untamed nature. She'll wander around in a tank top sometimes in this form, proudly displaying a tattoo of a prowling cougar on a background of tribal markings.
Under her impervium she sometimes bulks up, her muscles thickening and her short nails sharpening into small claws. Her canines extend slightly and the tips of her ears grow a small tuft of tawny and black fur.
As her control starts to fade away, her body shifts and lengthens, towering at a good seven and a half foot tall. Her teeth lengthen and sharpen in a feline maw, her ears raising to the top of her head. A six foot thick tail sprouts behind her, twitching for balance. Her claws thicken into talons, sprouting from her toes as her legs shift to a more feral digigrade form. Her muscles thicken more, her tanned skin sprouting with tawny fur, a snowy swath painting from her chin and down over her belly.
Even further out of control, she drops to all fours, her canines lengthening to sabers the length of a man's forearm. Her body grows, shifting to a saber-toothed cougar the size of a small mini van. A long scar rakes through her right shoulder, right through the muscle, caused by a large blade of some sort. Be wary, as in this form she is primarily in a "Kill or be killed" mindset.
When relaxed or feeling somewhat kittenish, she'll drop to all fours and shrink down a bit, her body melding easily into a cougar, six foot long from nose to tail.
((Yeah I know these aren't the best quality))
Tidbits and Secrets
Birthday: September 25th, 1986
Favorite Color: Green, Blue
Favorite Food: Steamed Blue Crab