From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Carcinogen is the first villian I created on Virtue. There are those who take the view that the primary function of the law is to enforce order, if justice happens to come out of that, then it is a happy bonus. Of course, enforcing order mainly benifits those who are the architects of that order, the rich and the powerful. So what happens when the law is unjust? Do you stand around waving picket signs, hoping the embarassment you cause a politician will outweigh the potential campain contribution loss he'll incure from offending the rich? Do you take more direct action? Many superheroes wear a mask instead of a policeman's badge because they fall into the latter category. Because they are willing to fight for their definition of justice and stand by their convictions no matter what. So is it just a matter of degrees, or perhaps the judgement of the general public, that distinguishes a "hero" who fights for his beliefs and a "villian" who does the same?
An industrial accident in India contaminated the area around several villages with radioactive waste. Crey Corp Pharmaceutical landed a lucrative contract with the Indian government to treat the villagers affected. However, due to the expense of the treatment only a fraction of the villagers who needed help were getting it.
Enter Dr. Eric Reiche: a young up-and-coming medical researcher who devised a much more cost-effective treatment for those villagers suffering from radiation poisoning. In fact, he found that his cheaper cure was actually easier to create then Crey's more exspensive treatment. Eric was getting close to being able to go to human testing when a bunch of thugs broke into his lab, planted a bomb among the barrels of radioactive waste samples, and injected Eric with an overdose of his own formula. There have been a number of infamous incidents of scientists testing unproven discoveries on themselves with disasterous results. The intent was to make it look like Eric had died in just such an incident of unprofessional wrecklessness, getting rid of him and discrediting his work. When the bomb went off the medicine in Eric's system absorbed the radiation as it was supposed to. However, instead of neutralizing it, the overdose in his system made the radiation a part of him instead.
The Rise and Fall of Neutron
When Eric was discovered by emergency personel who responded to the blast they discovered Eric standing among the ruins of his lab as a human nuclear reactor, devastating waves of energy pouring uncontrollably off him. Positron sensed a kindred soul in Eric and made for him a containment suit not unlike Positron's own. Eric was certain that Crey was behind the attack but was unable to offer any proof. Positron counciled patience and offered Eric a chance to fight for justice so that the weak need not be at the mercy of the strong. Eric accepted the offer to be Positron's protege, taking the codename of "Neutron."
For a time Neutron had quite a successful hero career. Then he came across a case where it turned out Crey was hiring the Freakshow to sabotage thier buisness rivals under the guise of the usual Freakshow anarchism. Neutron was able to foil the plot but then watched as Crey's lawyers dismanted all the evidence he had collected to prove Crey had hired the Freakshow. Positron again tried to council patience but Neutron's rage would not be denied. He assualted Crey Corp's offices and killed the executive who had been directly responcible for negotiating with the Freaks as well as massacring all the office workers who had been there at the time. Neutron had been planning to go after the Countess next had he not been brought down by Positron himself.
Neutron was tried and given a multiple life sentence for 14 counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder. For Neutron, the swiftness with which he was convicted and the swiftness Crey had been aquitted, showed that it is power and not justice that informs the law. While in prison Neutron decided to change his name to Carcinogen, vowing that he would use his radiation powers to be a cancer to this corrupt society if he ever got out.
Carcinogen's chance came in the jailbreak engineered by Arachnos to find the person of destiny foretold by the Fortunae.
Joining the Academie de Vindicta
For a time, Carcinogen operated out of the Rogue Isles striking at Paragon City, building his own power, and conducting research. After a time he began to grow dissatisfied with the direction of his life. For all the destruction he caused, the people of Paragon just rebuilt. For all of the corporate parasites he killed, there were plently more ready to sell their souls for a corner office.
After meeting FelFox he learned of the Academie de Vindicta and decided to join. The Academie was envisioned by its founders as a sanctuary from the unforgiving enviroment of the Rogue Isles. A place where people could learn the skills they needed to make their way in a difficult world. Carcinogen agreed to contribute his scientific knowledge to the Academie in exchange for using their resources for continuing his research.
Carcinogen is sincere in his desire to nuture the talents of those who come to the Academie, though for his own reasons. Carcinogen decided to realize his ideal just striking at Paragon, alone, wasn't enough. In teaching the Academie students his knowledge his also nutures whatever hatreds and ambitions they may harbour in their hearts. Once his research into the nature of metahuman power progresses far enough he plans to take the next step and not just teach the next crop of supervillians, but actually create supervillians as well!
Carcinogen has shifted his plans to the long term. He envisions producing more villians than there are heroes to neutralize them. He doesn't really care about the agendas of his students. He foresees that eventually a tipping point will be reached, where all these supervillians tearing at the fabric of society for their own short-sighted ends will cause that society to crumble. When that happens, Carcinogen plans to be there to pick up the pieces and found the society of true justice he envisions.
Carcinogen the Sorcerer
After a time Carcinogen had finally gained enough notoriety to come to the direct attention of Lord Recluse. Carcinogen was approched by one of the Arbiters to told to declair his alliegence to one of Lord Recluse's lieutenants. Carcinogen consider himself to already be a master of science, but was tired of being constantly blindsided by magical threats. Thus he chose to ally himself with Scirocco in oder to gain access to Sicrocco's library of Mu lore and learn the ways of magic.
Scirocco wasted no time in putting his new apprentice to work. he wanted Carcinogen to help him obtain a tome called the Mallus Mundi. While obtaining the book for Scirocco he was approached by the Arbiters who asked him to spy on Scirocco's designs. Carcinogen was warned by the Arbiter that the Mallus Mundi could give the person who presformed the right rites to remake the world however they saw fit! That as part of his conviction that he was a tragic figure who had evil forced upon him by a curse, Sirocco was planning to create a world without evil. All the villains would either be turned into good guys or be erased from existance entirely! Carcinogen had been playing both sides of the fence up until this point, but when he saw Ice Mistral changed from a coldy vicious soul to a bubbly teenie-bopper, he sided with the Arbiters.
Though he thwarted Scirocco and increased his standing in Aracnos, he was left troubled. On the surface, Scirocco's plan was everything Carcinogen had purported to belive in and fight for. Scirocco wanted to create a world of true justice, just as Carcinogen had always said he wished to. He should have been fighitng with Scirocco, yet he found himself fighting tooth and claw against Scirocco's plans. Carcinogen was forced to conclude was that what he had been truly striving for all this time was power; the power to be the absolute master of his own destiny! Crey had tried to dictate what his destiny would be when he became a stumbling block to their profits. Positron had tried to mould him into a bright-eyed defender of the status quo. Carcinogen decided that the reason he had fought against Sirocco was that, once again, another person would be deciding who Carcinogen was and what sort of world he would inhabit. Carcinogen vowed that he would continue his quest for power, for that would be the only way he could have the freedom to find his destiny!
Carcinogen must constantly wear his suit of powered containment armor in order to control the nuclear power that streams off him. The suit comes equipped with a powerful onboard computer as well as sensory and communications equipment. The suit also gives Carcinogen the power of flight. Through a system of shutters and filters, Carcinogen can use the suit to unleash powerful blasts of focused nuclear power, or emit debilitating levels of raditation. By adjusting the filters on his optic lens, Carcinogen can utilize a form of X-ray vision to see through solid objects. By emitting raditation in carefully controlled fashion, Carcinogen can promote cellular growth in others in such a way as to promote healing instead of cancer.
Being locked inside his suit 24-7 has led Carcinogen to pick up knowledge of engineering as well. This has lead him to unlock the secrets of how to use a staff he captured from one of the Fake Nemesis. As well, it has let him create a axe with a quantum phase field around the blade that disrupts the energy signature commonly found in spirits and the undead.
Recently, Carcinogen developed a transparent polymer membrane sheath that allows him to contain his deadly radiation, but is thin enough to allow an actual sense of touch.
The results were less than satifactory. Although he could feel the shape of things through the membrane, texture continues to elude him. He only wears the sheath when in a social mood since it is much more delicate than his armor and therefore the possiblity of a containment breach is much greater. He also sometimes wears it when he feels a little shock value would be helpful in his dealings. There are some who whisper that in the shock of finding out what he looked like under the armor has left him a bit unbalanced.
Studying the lore of ancient Mu, Carcinogen has also become a magic-wielder. He now uses magic to compliment his mastery of science and technology. For example, incorperating a warding rune into his armor to increase its fortitude.