From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Player: @Gossamer Blush|
|Known Aliases:||Ausha Bateman, Aush, Rori|
|Hair Color:||Strawberry Blonde|
|Place of Birth:||Anchorage, Alaska|
|Base of Operations:||Confidential|
|Known Relatives:||Windsaber (Adrian Bateman, brother)|
|Knowledge of Tactics, Fighting Styles, Philosophy, Physics related to Energy|
|Tricorder, Cell phone, Backpack|
|No additional information available.|
It is said in the way of Iaijutsu that perfection and beauty are one and the same; so saying, the most beautiful of strokes is the most perfect; it is in the way of Iaijutsu that we believe nothing perfect can last in this imperfect world. Therefore, the only perfect strike is the one that exists for barely a fraction of a second, and its gone as swiftly as it was. There is no measure of time for that instant where the sun first crests the mountains, as night tastes dawn; be that moment, be that perfect, glittering dawn, my students. Be glittering. Ephemereal. Beautiful. Terrible. Transient. Be the dawn - and death and sorrow will follow you.
- - Unknown
Auroral: Like unto the dawn.
Now, I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Yeah and I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But listen love; love is not some kind of victory march
No it's a cold and it's a very broken Hallelujah
- -Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Ausha Bateman was born, along with her twin brother Adrian, to Frank and Carol Bateman, both professors at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Almost from birth it was evident to her father, who was a mutant himself, that she was more than human. And although she excelled in the sports programs they enrolled her in she seemed to take greater pleasure in excelling academically, noting that it seemed to please her parents more.
Upon entering middle school it seemed that Ausha was primed to take life on and live out a fairy tale. A trip with her father and her aunt to a bank changed all that. While waiting in line a brawl between metahumans spilled over into the bank. Although Frank Carol did his best to protect his sister and daughter using his power over the atmosphere it wasn't enough. Ausha's Aunt was hit by a stray blast of power and instantly incinerated in front of the girl and her father.
The damage, psychologically, to Frank Bateman was tremendous. Abandoning his family and emptying their bank accounts he disappeared one night with Adrian and set out on a quest for vengeance, and never spoke to his daughter again.
Although Carol Bateman did her best to move on and continue with her life it was impossible. Losing her position at the university due to a 'possible danger to the students' in the form on her husband she attempted to hold on to numerous menial jobs. None of them lasted long however. Every time Frank Bateman, as Windsaber, was front page news, so was Carol. The reporters hounded her regardless of where she was resulting in her inability to maintain a steady income.
It was during this time, more than any other during her life, that Ausha developed her love affair with literature of all kinds. At her mother's direction Ausha spent almost every waking hour in both the university and public library devouring the free entertainment in the form of books as well as keeping safe and warm in the building. In particular she developed a taste for eastern philosophy. Largely this was due to the sheer amount of it contained in her father's press clipping, though, many of the ideas in the Go Rin No Sho would shape her and remain with her throughout her life.
A month before Ausha Bateman entered high school Carol Bateman collapsed due to an Aneurysm brought on by excessive smoking and drinking and died with her daughter holding her hand on the ride to the hospital. Being a minor and having no family to speak of Ausha was placed in a state orphanage and entered high school as expected.
Although she had lived her entire life being aware of the most basic aspects of her gifts it was during this time that she her ability to harness and manipulate energy truly began to emerge. And throughout the first two years of high school she quietly practiced them, learning the limits of her powers and attempting to make friends in a school where she was the orphan daughter of a known villain.
Needless to say it was not the best of times. The next two years passed slowly, the only joy in Ausha's life coming from her now sacrosanct trips to the library and her nightly flights over Anchorage. All this changed when she happened upon a magazine offering cash for the services of super-powered mercenaries. Seeing a chance to change her life, and, more importantly a chance to leave it behind she kept the number safe and left the orphanage the day after her sophomore year ended.
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come all this way to fool you
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
The next seven years of Ausha Bateman's life were spent traveling the world and setting in motion the events that would lead her to becoming Auroral. She worked primarily as a mercenary selling her powers and accumulating a small fortune in the process.
It was also during this time that she discovered her powers could extend to interface with esoteric energy sources allowing her to, effectively, cast spells. This discovery was made when she was trapped for a period of nine days in Oranbega though she eventually managed to escape.
It was also during this period that, while on a contract in Africa, she was hired to defend a Church Mission from local Warlords. This would become one of the defining points in her life, as, while speaking to one of the priests he explained that if she didn't change her life she was going to die alone someday, completely unremembered and unknown by anyone would cared about her. When he saw her single-handedly kill a hundred and fifty of the warlord's soldiers the next morning he admitted that maybe she deserved to.
Amazed and thoroughly disgusted by what she had become, Auroral left Africa and traveled to the one place on Earth she believed she might be accepted.
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Arriving in the Etoile with no desire other than to finally find an end the circumstances of her life one way or another Auroral would definitely have her wish granted in ways she could have never imagined.
Within the first month of being active in the Etoile Auroral met and befriended Dana Frost who extended an invitation to join Ravenous. She accepted and remained until the activities of the group, which, was essentially a crime syndicate began to wear on her. Though she still lived with Dana Frost and her then fiancé Ember Prime who had become her closet friends. She also carried other friendships with her from this time such as Alfonso Rodriguez and Sureshock Serenity.
But with the good came the bad. An increasing trend of promiscuity on her part, combined with her very real fear of losing someone who cared about her (and her feelings of being completely inadequate for such a person) kept her from maintaining any stable relationships. Eventually this led to her being controlled and held in thrall by a member of the Carnival of Shadows. Branded with a magical tattoo she would carry (until it was removed months later by an unknown benefactor,) she fell deeper and deeper into depression striking out recklessly at anyone who crossed her, hoping to find someone who would kill her.
Baby I've been here before
I know this room, I walked this floor
I used to live alone here before I knew ya
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Upon meeting Black Agony Auroral found, at last, some semblance of the family she had wanted for so long. She found also, a direction, a home, and a slew of new problems to throw at herself. Never-the-less Nation's warrior-goddess seemed to be happier and more stable. That is, until it all came withering to a close. When Nation went their separate ways Auroral was a rare sight in the Etoile, preferring to waste her time eating ice cream and watching soap operas in other people's homes (the fate of these people is, usually" Deceased.) The last known siting of her was in Paragon city, leaving from Atlas park flying west.
Yeah, but it's not a cry that you hear tonight, friends listen.
Not the cry of some mystic who's seen the light
No, it's a cold and it's a very broken Hallelujah
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Auroral's frequent smiles hide behind them a scared, lonely, girl who's only wish in life is to be loved, accepted, and appreciated by the people she holds in high regard. This drive however is often hurt seriously by her Borderline Personality Disorder. When she finds those people and discovers she's loved and accepted she tends to push them away as hard as possible in a classic pattern of self fulfilling prophecy. But, she's getting better. Both Black Agony and Battlebriar have made huge leaps and bounds in stabilizing her and giving her a sense of peace she normally only found in combat.
"Bah! Neural pathology sucks! Briar, can you do my homework for me?"
- - Auroral
Beyond the above, Auroral is intelligent, charming, affectionate, and frequently playful person able to hold an intelligent conversation with virtually anyone about anything. Although she's only completed up to the 12th grade in conventional education a lifetime of reading has educated her far beyond this, especially in Martial related philosophy. In addition her powers give her an uncanny understanding of energy that she's reinforced with careful study.
Maybe there's a God above
As for me; all I ever seem to learn from love
Is how to shoot at someone who out-drew ya
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Purely for reference: Those people who had regular contact with Auroral.
"If we were half as focused on the Cause as we are on fucking, we'd rule the world by now."
- - Auroral
Nation, in some ways, means everything to Auroral. However, she's canny enough to see it for the powder keg it is and fully expects it to erupt sooner or later. But, it's offered her a second chance at life, the chance to finish school, and the chance to become a teacher. Something she's very much looking forward too. But then, who doesn't enjoy a chance to reinvent themselves?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Despite repeatedly knocking Battlebriar into hospitalization he just keeps coming back and caring. Auroral loves, admires, and respects Briar for his honesty and tenacity even if his over dramatic ways make her sick. Still, he's the 'father' of her child and she knows that he would die, and kill, to protect Timbre. And that's something she dearly wants for the girl. Something she never had in a father. Of course the fact that he's completely cute doesn't hurt either. Battlebriar could have been the great love of her life; instead, he's become her rock, her conscience, and her friend - and who's to say that's a bad thing?
Auroral is immune to Battlebriar's ambient pheremones, and immune to the psychotropic drugs he uses to inspire loyalty in passersby, the Seeds of Confusion. It is not known whether this is a function of her powers, a conscious decision of his, or some tertiary influence, such as an agreement between the two.
Killing softly and serial,
He lifts his head, handsome, horned, magisterial.
He's the smell of the moonlight wisteria.
He's the thrill of the abecedarian.
See the muddy hoofprints where he carried you?
- - Okkervil River - So Come Back, I Am Waiting.
Nation's Exarch is the person who brought direction to Auroral's life. Gave her a set of values to frame that life in, and, brought her to the closest thing she has ever had to a family. Still though, she's pretty certain that the status quo between them can't remain forever. At some point strong personalities always collide. Still as long as he at least appears to hold the interests of the Evolved in his black heart, not to mention, keeping Canvas free of pain, she's more than happy to serve the Exarch.
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
And she tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
- - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
I've been, well, with people before who I could touch. And I never felt as giddy, empowered, or dizzy I have lately. Thinking... About you.
- - Auroral - Speaking to Canvas in the Monkey Fight Club (Sharkhead location)
For a person who's usually flirting or hanging all over one attractive person or another it might seem odd that Auroral has essentially fallen head over heels in love with Canvas. Closer examination reveals exactly why this happened. In Canvas, Auroral found a person whom her usual method of 'crush on and then push away' was absolutely moot. Canvas keeps herself at a distance. That combined with her completely sweet disposition, the utter tragedy of her, and her overwhelming beauty (At least to Ausha) makes her simply divine to Auroral. There's also the underlying metaphor of Canvas; "I'm always bruised, but, I get better, everything hurts me, but, I endure." That creates a person who Auroral desperately wishes would love her. After all, who else could?
"I have seen the sun rise over a dead forest, golden light over frozen fields. And I wept, knowing that nothing would heal this world."
- - Knight Rain, observing the aftermath of Auroral and Eisregen's excursion to Peregrine Island bank
Ah, cold Eisregen. Auroral's worked with him enough to respect the perspective his age and experience give him. She also realizes that he's one of the few people in Nation capable of actually beating her in a fight. On the other hand, neither Eisregen nor Auroral is a fool - and both recognise the other for what they are.
"Less than three you, dad. Less than FOUR you, mom!"
- - Timbre, farewelling her adoptive parents
"I have to ask, Rory, do you have any idea what the hell she's talking about half the time?"
- - Battlebriar, on Timbre
Perhaps the most positive influence in Ausha's life, her adopted daughter is the source of both much of Ausha's happiness as well as the prime mover behind her intial feelings and interest in Canvas. Ausha wants Timbre to have the life she never did and will do everything in her power to see this happens.
The first friend Ausha had in the Rogue Isles. Although their friendship has waned of late with Dana's busy schedule they have the unique ability to just pick up where they left off and a mutual understanding of what it means to have to fight your way through life.
"Wow. Goofy looks and trailing sentences and you're - oh my god, you're actually looking at your shoes. Tell me I was never this bad when Dana and I started."
- - Ember Prime, observing Auroral talking about Canvas
The 'great, unrequited' love of Auroral's life. Or, that's how the joke usually goes. Julia Lathan is without a doubt Ausha's closet friend and the first person to draw a smile out of her no matter how bad the situation is. Although initially at first there was tension between the two due to some mixed signals regarding Dana Frost it quickly dissolved and the two remain friends.
"Is it any coincidence we don't get sick as often as others? Any surprise we don't yield to common ills, that we heal from breaks, jump higher, hit harder, move faster? The simple truth is that whatever mutation binds us brings together those traits from a time past, from the panthers when they branched off, from the bats when they did. We've not used those traits, but they've been lying in our DNA, waiting for when we needed them. We need them now."
- - Battlebriar, on the commonality of 'basic' superhuman traits amongst Evolved
Auroral's unique genetic structure, at its base, grants her enhanced strength, agility, senses, and a basic healing factor. Functionally she's able to lift about 3,000 pounds and perform acrobatic feats on par with Olympic gymnasts. While her tertiary senses aren't quite as developed as say, Battlebriar's, they acute to a point slightly beyond peak human. Additionally, while not quite on the level of some Evolved her regenerative abilities allow her to recover most wounds in record time, though, she usually augments these with technology given the sheer scope of the beatings she usually takes.
It's worth noting that Auroral's body responds remarkably well to stimulants. Medical drugs are adapted well, radiant healing energies quickly incorporated, and, considering her horse-like constitution, she's actually capable of getting drunk on 'normal' alcohol. One might note that this might influence how her body processes her own natural drugs, such as serotonin, testosterone and adrenaline - suggesting that her physiology stacks the deck against her.
"To manipulate energy - to take the fundamental force that the universe itself uses to exist - is the single most amazing power imaginable. You can change the world and do so, with every breath, little one - you need to stop thinking of yourself as 'just another Evolved' and start thinking of yourself as the universe's own precious daughter."
- - Auroral, to D
"What physics proscribe, nothing can defy. Nasty fascist physics."
- - Dr. Nihilus, bemoaning the difficulty of an experiment involving energy conversion
Auroral's gifts go beyond simply being a 'more perfect human'. Her main abilities are psionic in nature and grant her the ability to perform numerous feats with energy. This aspect usually includes: Focusing her powers, bringing them far beyond the levels they typically operate at, and draining ambient energy.
"In Paragon, you can make the walls to keep out the foxes and the lions... In the Etoile, you can only protect yourself with a shotgun. There's just too much bad out there to ever really be safe."
- - Unknown.
Auroral is also capable of forming both personal force fields as well as shielding other objects. This is not a feat she usually employs though given that it leaves her relatively defenseless, a bad way to be in the Etoile. No, by and large, Auroral simply manipulates energy in a kinetic shield. While it feels like an invisible, solid object, it really isn't - it's millions upon millions of short pushes against the force around it - a constant motion, a flickering flame that protects and disperses force that comes towards it. Auroral doesn't bother simply meeting enemy force head-on; when an attack is made against her, she pushes it aside lazily, blunting and dispersing the attack in a smooth motion. This is done about her body, constantly, feeling the ebb and flow of energy around her in a spectral display.
This projection is the method by which she usually 'attacks' using her personal Energy field as a weapon. Auroral sheathes her hand or her foot in a sheathe of kinetic force, then immediately dissolves gravity and friction as she swings her fist. The effect is a limb that weighs something in the district of a ton or more making short, stoccato impacts at speeds appreciably close to Mach 1. The energy sheath - a glittering blast of red light, the byproduct of her powers - is hugely necessary, because Auroral would simply shred her own limbs fighting this way normally.
During a brief time in Paragon she projected these blasts externally, instead of delivering them with her hands, but, again, the decrease in potency limits this as a viable tactic in her day to day. She is generally better off delivering her damaging payload straight up, and leaving the pinpoint ranged strikes for someone more specialised.
One might note that Auroral has also the capacity to simply vanish from sight - a simple manipulation of energy by comparison to unbinding gravity. Auroral simply wraps light in a loop around her - along with a large number of other ambient energies - setting up a natural flow, a 'path', as it were, for those energies to follow. When you point a flamethrower at Auroral and fire, the reason she doesn't get hurt isn't because she was hiding behind something - it's because the heat itself simply walked around her, following this 'path'.
"If only you could see you how I see you, you'd never doubt you were beautiful again."
- - Auroral, to Canvas
As with almost all Evolved, Auroral's body came predisposed to cope with her powers. Just as most Evolved can eventually garner conscious control over their powers, can intuitively understand them, Auroral's body contains all kinds of self-managing tools that allow her to better utilise her energy manipulation powers. Since she can absorb energy to protect herself, harm others, and most importantly, subsist without food, her body has identified it as a food source, making Auroral a kind of energy predator.
Auroral can, without the use of her primary or tertiary senses, identify energy sources. These senses clamour for attention amongst her primary and secondary senses, meaning she can better focus on such things with her eyes closed, and in quiet situations. This ranges from heat signatures, radiation, kinetic energy (even that caused by sounds impacting the air) and of course, the rich bruise-purple of Alpha Radiance.
High above the planet, watching the Aurora Borealis dance across Alaska, the beauty is only as intense as the eye can allow; Auroral sees with sight unseeing, knows without learning and asks without speaking, closing her eyes and seeing them, sees them as they truly are.
And such is the beauty, she cannot but weep, tears of ice floating behind her in the darkness of space.
Auroral, curiously, cannot detect or interface directly with psionic sources; instead she has to recognise the way the bloodflow in a psychic's brain works, flows to the nodes that she has to learn about through practice, watches their temperature rise as they feel the fear as they realise she can recognise them. She can easily pinpoint the characteristics of energy down to its wavelength though she requires instrumentation to produce an actual number. Additionally she's able to sense the Alpha Radiance emitted by the Evolved, though, pinpointing the expression of the AR is beyond her without instrumentation.
It has been noted that Auroral can patch into radio and television communication with relatively little effort, but this is likely due to familiarity and perhaps an unconscious achievment as a child. Such powers are based more on intuition than on actuation or analysis. Suffice to say, if Auroral says that there's nothing interesting on TV, she's probably right.
Weaknesses and Limitations
"I don't get it, mom. Why are you the general? That's like Max Sterling telling Commander Gloval what to do, which is really weird, since they never met in continuity, and if Max ever did he'd have been a commander himself, which he wasn't until after Gloval was dead - ohmigod! I just spoilered! Sorry, mom!"
- - Timbre
Auroral's most obvious weakness is her Borderline Personality Disorder. It can turn her from a veritable force of nature into an insecure wreck, grasping for affection only to reject it as soon as it's given. It takes a strong person to get her attention and a stronger person to survive it. Worse, one must be very careful with Auroral's ego - pointing out that she is a potent warrior and a terror on the battlefield is actually more likely to upset her than help her.
Beyond that, despite the nature of her powers, she has no defense against direct psionic assault. She has trained herself to avoid some of the usual tricks telepaths employ, but those are more about barring doors and covering windows; a simple all-out neural assault would easily puncture most of her defenses.
Additionally while they provide her with a large degree of safety her fields can be breached by someone with sufficient strength or training - they are not oblative, perfect shields, but instead carefully positioned pinpoint defenses of equal-and-opposite force. A multi-angle attack (such as a fireball) can usually be dispersed across a field, but enough attacks in short sequence can overwhelm her ability to intercept them. Single, concentrated king hits (such as employed by Run Riot or a Rikti warship) are generally pointless, as not only can she see them coming, they're much easier to disperse and deflect.
"Unsubstantiated, empty, meaningless and unjustified things that may be, things that may not. What do we care what they say?"
"Argent, you're going to find that people care far less about what is, and far more about what seems to be."
- Auroral has been seen cavorting with Ember Prime, despite her own relationship and the married status of the other woman.
- Auroral has single-handedly destroyed thirteen drop-ships, if you believe the youth of Priori.
- Rumour persists that Battlebriar is in love with Auroral.
- Auroral's intuitive grasp of small tactical squads seems a sign of deep-seated psychosis; during combat, it is entirely possible for Auroral to treat even dear friends like mere objects, tactical options to be distributed and sacrificed as appropriate.
- Auroral has been overheard being insulted for her terrible singing voice.
- Auroral has commented multiple times that she considers herself straight.
- Much is said of Auroral regarding her promiscuity; some tallies speak of as many as nine partners at once, all male, and there is talk that a video of the event has been circulated in the underground.
- Auroral is said to be an energy vampire of sorts, absorbing ambient heat; this has been said to be emotional, too, and that Auroral actually persists in finding tormented and lonely people and making them feel worse people because she needs their suffering to feed. This would explain her relationships with Canvas, Agony, and Battlebriar.
- At least three African nations have religious sects that see Auroral as a divine messenger of god, destroying their enemies.
- Ausha Bateman is still considered to live in Anchorage, Alaska, and is in fact on the official PTA registrar as a teacher and office administrator.
- Battlebriar has commented multiple times that Auroral is a 'broken person' - he refers not just to her life but also her body. A particularly rare blood condition and genetic markers has made her ability to have children a precarious one.
- Auroral's family unit of Canvas, Battlebriar, Timbre and Sychosis is said to be is far closer than it should be.
- Auroral has suggested in the past that Kameleon get a tail piercing, which suggests perhaps intimate knowledge.
- A Japanese mutant whose only power is prophecy has referred to Auroral, by name, in his texts - calling her 'The constant half.'
- Arming the nuclear weapons of Nation requires two archon's keys - or one, if it is Auroral's.
- Ihsan can often be seen following Auroral like a shade.
- Auroral has been seen in Paragon City, even walking past police officers and security staff without comment.
- It is rumoured that Auroral is immune to Battlebriar's toxins because of overexposure, and that he has been steadily abusing her, then wiping her memory until she proved resistant.
- Despite her vast personal fortune, Auroral dresses in relatively simple clothes, does not partake of particularly expensive food or alcohol, and generally lives frugally. One might wonder what exactly her personal cash reserves have been used for.
- Auroral is vegetarian, and has been for several years.
- Musical Theme Playlist
- Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
- Okkervil River - So come back, I am waiting.
- Okkervil River - A Stone.
- Brandi Carlile - The Story
- Brandi Carlile - What can I say?
- Bad Religion - Sorrow
- ↑ Said quest ultimately lead to his death
- ↑ Battlebriar's libido, Soubrette, possibly Mercy's libido, and dozens of straight-slash fans.
- ↑ "Eisregen, can I borrow your knife? Timbre's interested in a boy."
- ↑ Although she still has the native resilience to liquor that one would expect of any experienced self-abuser.
- ↑ Chemical receptors that relate to depression, sex drive and aggression respectively.
- ↑ A well kept secret is that this ability includes that of 'esoteric' energy sources (aka magic). She rarely uses this aspect of her Evolution, though, as these forces tend to be volatile and require intense concentration to remain without the formulae that accompanies most magic. That being said, she does know a few 'special' spells.
- ↑ Some attibute this quote to Windsaber.
- ↑ As a curious effect, one can use this to see Auroral - when she flies in front of an intense source of light, one can watch the light waves bend and bubble slightly, like behind a perspex sheet; Battlebriar has described it as witnessing 'the symphony of light.'
- ↑ Such as Windsaber's almost savant-like grasp of mathematics and physics, or Battlebriar's intuition on matters of biology and evolution.
- ↑ A number of nemesis troops attempting smokescreen tactics found that to their terror and dismay, Auroral fought them even more efficiently than normal by closing her eyes and simply following the wisps of heat that they represented.
- ↑ More than a few telepaths have found themselves in brutally short conversations with Auroral regarding the use of their abilities, as she becomes more and more practiced in recognising the forms people use for telepathy.
- ↑ And has.
- ↑ "I'm not! C'mon, shut up! Good god, I said I'm not!"