From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Jason McAllen, registered with Freedom Corps as The Bay Bruiser, is still relatively new and unknown throughout Paragon, due primarily to his busy life and relatively low amount of time spent on-duty as one of Paragon's superheroes. This in no way diminishes the dedication he puts toward his work as The Bay Bruiser, as he takes his role quite seriously.
Sean and Terry McAllen immigrated from Ireland on recommendation from Sean's older brother, Michael, a police officer in Boston. Sean gained employment in construction, while Terry ran the household. It wasn't very long after they arrived that they found out Terry was expecting their first child, and eventually gave birth to a boy, Jason.
As a child, Jason was bright. He seemed interested in just about everything that was going on around him. His parents started early, focusing this curiosity and aiming it toward school. No one in the McAllen family had gone through much schooling, and these two wanted a different future for their son, something better than barely scraping by. As soon as the boy could talk, they encouraged his asking questions, Terry practically home-schooling him before he was able to begin attending public school. Before kindergarten, Jason could already read and comprehend at a third-grade level.
This head-start would serve the young McAllen for the entirety of his school-days, widening the gap to 7 years by the time he was in third grade. Because of this, he was bumped up three grades, starting middle school at 8 years old. His parents refused to allow him to be advanced any further, fearing disparities in maturity levels he'd encounter.
Throughout the rest of middle school, the boy excelled. His assignments almost volunteer work to him. His parents continued reinforcing the power that knowledge and school, specifically, granted. However, no matter how good the boy did, or was congratulated and pampered by his teachers, Sean and Terry remained firm, not congratulating him for something he was doing because he should in the first place. Their praises were few and far between, only arising when he went above and beyond necessity, but their pride of, and love for, the boy was quite obvious to him.
His freshman year of high school is where the story of the Bay Bruiser truly begins. He opted out of the generic science class and instead took Biology, his teacher inspiring an awe and interest he'd never felt before where learning was concerned. He found himself riveted to the studying of the internal workings of Life. The young man grew into a scientist over the next four years, his curiosity expanding along with his knowledge. Everything new he learned led to a myriad of new questions.
His exemplary performance and sheer aptitude for the sciences earned him attention of numerous top-shelf colleges across the country. His parents, while still devoted and supportive, worked to keep the young man's feet on the ground. Money was still decidedly an issue in his family's life, barely keeping their heads above water. So when a letter arrived offering full scholarship to MIT, the college he grew up less than 5 miles from, the decision was made.
Graduating at 15, he quickly began working on everything he'd need to attend MIT. His father began working extra, and his mother got a part-time job at the local library. Jason, however, focused exclusively on his studies, and particularly the field of molecular biology and genetics. The reason for all internal workings piqued his interest more than anything he could remember. His course-load at MIT revolved primarily around this, choosing Micro-Biology as his major on his fifth day enrolled.
Over the next six years, McAllen expanded his knowledge, and even that of the general scientific community, his thesis describing the process by which he determined which gene sequences were responsible for what attributes. He wrote papers after this, published in niche magazines, and made modest speeches at various universities along the east coast, earning his own steady, and impressive only to himself, income.
Over the next two years, he worked, officially, as a laboratory assistant, though he in essence ran the operations. He and his colleagues determined a procedure to target, and enhance various gene sequences, thereby enhancing those characteristics. Through a mixture of minor retro-viral and radiation bombardment, coupled with minimal gene-therapy, they would theoretically be able to strengthen a human's immune system, skeletal structure, musculature, and so much more.
When it came time for live testing, the wall of Ethics interfered. All requests for support and permission to commence tests on humans were met with stonewalled refusal, claiming all tests had to be performed on alternate subjects before human tests would be permitted. Jason was furious and frustrated. This work revolved exclusively around the human genome. The processes could be applied to other species, but that wasn't the point. The point was to better mankind. This could weed out the vast majority of diseases, could limit if not eradicate the danger inherent to today's society. The possibility, indeed the probability, of a Nobel Prize and it's boon were also quite appealing to the young man.
Birth of the Bruiser
After three months and no progress, Jason was fed up. Late one night, after the majority of the labs had shut down, he began the procedure on the only subject he had: himself.
His targets were physical resilience, primarily the skin's tensile strength, and his musculature. According to his theories, this would grant him vastly superior protection from both internal and external threats, as well as enhance his physical strength to augment this protection.
His work went smoothly, everything exactly as he expected. After administering the drugs, he passed out, also expected. The body would essentially shut down to reboot itself with the upgrades.
His body worked it's scientific wonder. His physique changed over the next few hours from that of a tall bookworm to that of a hardened athlete. Unfortunately, the procedure wasn't as perfect as he envisioned. When he came to, he opened his eyes, but was unable to see anything. When his vision didn't return within several minutes of full consciousness, he began to go into shock, quickly replaced with panic. His targeted augmentations worked better than he expected, his uncontrollable tantrum wreaking havoc on the lab. By the time he managed to calm, the entire east wing, in which his lab was situated, was in rubble, groans, cries, and other ghastly sounds coming to his ears as the dust settled. He was left completely unscathed aside from his clothing in tatters.
He managed his way home and collapsed just inside the door of his parents' house, both having rushed to the door, awakened by the commotion at the college.
The Bay Bruiser
It took several weeks for Jason to grow accustomed to his new situation. The strength now inherent was intimidating, and he refused to move for several days until his parents both refused to help him with anything. He felt like a newborn, having to relearn to walk, though his failures could result in disaster rather than minor bruises.
He worked on these senses as seriously as he worked on his schoolwork. Within three months, he was moving around as a normal person, albeit a normal blind person.
This achievement, however, did nothing to lift his spirits. If anything, this cleared road-block only served to deposit him at a dead end. He couldn't see. He therefore couldn't do lab-work. He'd just gotten a letter of censure from MIT, and another essentially blacklisting him from the entire professional scientific community because of his reckless test. The latter bringing the cries of anguish back to him from that night. A depression the likes of which he'd never imagined possible overtook him. He didn't even have the drive learn the Braille he'd need to read now.
It took the gentle support of his mother, the tough love of his father, and several more weeks to get him out of this pit. He had these abilities. He couldn't be harmed, and he could lift previously unthinkable weights. He could see well enough given the proper circumstances. Imagine the good he could do. Imagine the lives could be saved by abilities like this. Not to mention he needed to stop moping like a little kid. He was a man. He needed to act like it. He made mistakes. Tough. Everyone does, everyone learns, and everyone lives with them.
"The past is over and done with. Who cares what happened after it's happened? Use it as a lesson learned, and don't make the same mistakes again." His father's statement seemed to break him out of the shell that had been built around his will. He could do this.
He began working again, now on improving the control of his new strengths. The neighborhood provided an endless source of training. Between children playing, and the trouble-spots several blocks away, he began honing his body like he'd honed his mind his whole life.
Everything was progressing wonderfully. The people in his area no longer acted afraid of the superman, instead enjoyed having him around, between the kids' play and the adults' favors, he was making a bit of a difference for the good. And it felt good. Until news reached his family of the death of his uncle. A routine traffic stop gone horribly wrong took the life of the 54 year old police officer. Apparently several 20-somethings decided they'd rather shoot a cop than receive a ticket for not wearing their seat-belts and driving with an open container.
Terry was shocked. Sean was stunned. Jason was inspired. He couldn't be hurt. They couldn't have outrun him. Only, he couldn't join the police. Blindness aside, his physical state and professional reputation removed that possibility. He could, however, operate independently. Freelance. Vigilante.
McAllen got his hands on a police scanner and began monitoring events with the aid of a code-book describing the various dispatch terms. He began responding to criminal events: a break-in here, a robbery-at-gunpoint there. He even arrived at a few fires, diving into the inferno to rescue people the officials couldn't get to, between collapse and heat. The vast majority of his showings were to stop brawls or major robbery attempts.
"He manhandles the culprits in a fashion we normal people would love to be able to do. Into vehicles, onto balconies, as though he were throwing a ball. The few who have gone in-close have been sent reeling by staggeringly forceful fisticuffs. Boston is steadily growing a special place in its heart for this man. Boston's Bay Bruiser."
The Bay Bruiser's reputation spread throughout Massachusetts, a local hero. Jason McAllen, however was feeling forgotten. Yes, he was The Bay Bruiser, but he was a scientist first. If he couldn't be that, then what was the point of any of it all? He expressed such feelings to his mother, who had the idea that he could be both in an environment that welcomed it. An environment suited to needs as well as strengths such as his.
He packed his belongings after goodbyes befitting his family, and arrived in the City of Heroes. The 25 year old would-be hero quickly registered with Freedom Corps, and after very little searching secured himself an apartment in Faultline's newest complexes.
He advanced quickly through the lower Security Levels, his advance slowing as he reached the upper-20s. He once again felt the scientist in him struggling through frustration. With his newfound access to Paragon's facilities, he came across staggering new technologies with which to help him.
Over the following year, he managed to secure a meager laboratory setup designed to operate with someone with various visual impairments. Using this setup, he began working on his particular case, analyzing the changes his body went through, taking readings of the abilities themselves, and beginning to work through what went wrong and how to fix it.
He was later approached by several high school students from Skyway. One in particular was as interested in science, and biology especially, as Jason was. Over several conversations, the desire to teach and inspire, as his Biology teacher did, grew in him. He applied for, and received, a substitute teaching position for Paragon's educational system, and has since taught at several of the schools throughout the city.
A former member of the Pariah Project, he has, over the last two years, been focusing exclusively on his genetics research and teaching biology. He has recently accepted a temporary position at Paragon University as a professor of Biology and Applied Genetics, this being the first school in the country to grant him, albeit cautiously, an opportunity to begin working in the scientific field. He still substitute teaches Biology at various high schools throughout Paragon as well.
McAllen's abilities stem from genetic modifications, granting him vast, superhuman strength and physical toughness. He uses these attributes to perform as a Tanker, the member on his teams dedicated to drawing as much fire from his enemies as possible, while leaving his teammates free to dispatch them relatively unscathed.
His strength has not been officially measured, but he's been witnessed hefting fully-loaded buses, manhandling the Freakshow tanks with very little difficulty, and recently lifting Zeus-class mechs with his punches. His physical resilience borders on impervious, very few attacks causing any damage at all. Rough estimates give his skin a tensile strength roughly 150 times stronger than normal human skin.
His primary mode of transportation relies on utilizing this strength to leap staggering distances at high speed. Latest sightings put his maximum jump height at approximately 175 feet, and nearing 350 yards in length.
The Bay Bruiser's physical superiority is off-set by his marked weakness to any form of psychic attack or invasion. His strong personal will is the only thing that prevents him from losing control, yet he is incredibly susceptible to mind- and emotion-reading.
Other than the superpower-oriented weaknesses, his greatest is simply his blindness. His brain is no longer able to process any sort of visual stimulus, and as such his hearing and his touch are the only two means he has of "seeing" anything. In combat situations, this is no problem, as the noise is significant, and he can track the activities. This unfortunately also makes him susceptible to auditory assaults. In a peaceful situation, if one is quite and cautious enough, they could approach the Bruiser completely undetected.