From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Trent the 'Haute Dawg'|
|Real Name:||Trent Lambert|
|Known Aliases:||Haute Dawg, Hawt Dawg, Hot Dawg, Lucent Lupin, and so on, but he typically just goes by Trent|
|Height:||6 and half feet on the dot|
|Occupation:||Contractual Architect and Interior Decorator|
|Place of Birth:||Winnemucca, Nevada|
|Base of Operations:||Northern Talos Keys|
|Known Relatives:||Erika (Mother), Liam (Father), Riviera (Older Sister), Shannon (Older Brother)|
|Pyrokinesis; photokinesis; electrokinesis; heightened sense of smell, hearing, and taste|
|Acrobatics, color theory|
|Aloe vera, i0Sat, Galaxy S20|
|No additional information available.|
Trent Lambert is one of Paragon City's many heroes. He is also one of its many non-humans. That all said, he's one of its few lupins, a species that looks similar to bipedal wolves (though he might correct someone that said so in that he's no more a wolf than a human is a gibbon).
An accomplished hero, he leverages his influence in the city toward promoting awareness of LGBTQ+ and non-human issues, and has helped in orchestrating events dedicated toward these causes.
Outside of his heroic work, he is self-employed as an interior decorator and contractual architect. Examples of his work include an edifice in Kallisti Wharf, as well as a few homes in Founders' Falls and the Talos Keys, including his own personal condo.
He is a member of the Northern Star super group, an organization affiliated with the United Nations.
Gregarious, eloquent, and quick-witted (if also a bit overly inquisitive), Trent tends to get along readily with most. That being said, the soft-spoken facetiousness of his belies a patent assurance in his abilities that sometimes borders on overconfidence, and mirth will quickly give way to a steely iciness in the face of discriminatory words, either against him or others. While he sincerely enjoys dressing flamboyantly, his provocative appearance, sparkles and all, hints toward his willfulness: it is not just a style but a dare—he knows others often get harassed for dressing and looking unconventionally, and so it's a look of solidarity of sorts.
Although he does at times feel like a fish out of water in Paragon City, his kind being so rare, he doesn't let that stop him from engaging with others and seeking common ground outside of appearances. He staunchly values sapient life beyond the borders of species, opting to save it first and foremost, and vehemently refusing to take it.
He's also an absolute priss. An inveterate epicurean, he relishes in bath bombs, scented candles, gastronomy, and high thread-count sheets, as well as spa days and mani/pedis. While he's not the type to shirk from a sewer mission, he is the type to complain quite vocally about it and spend an hour in the shower afterwards, if not an autoclave.
Despite a cavalier and party-going presentation, behind it all lies a hero that takes his work seriously and prioritizes it above all else. When presented with a case, playful quips and good-natured sarcasm quickly give way to a sober-minded and incisive affect.
Powers and Abilities
As a result of his mutation, Trent Lambert gained the ability to manipulate energy in various forms. Due to continued practice, he has a particular proficiency with atomic, radiant, and thermal energies, manifesting as pyrokinesis and photokinesis across the electromagnetic spectrum. He possesses enough fine control over these abilities to dedicate them to both heroic and mundane ends, whether to elevate body temperatures to cause heat exhaustion across numerous foes simultaneously or to accomplish tasks such as heating water to appropriate temperatures to steep various types of teas. While also capable of electrical manipulation, for a lack of dedicated practice he is considerably lacking in finesse in external applications of it, although it has enabled him to discover the gift of flight.
As a lupin, Trent possesses legs that can handle building-clearing leaps, as well as powerful and precise senses of smell and hearing.
Spicy foods, malodorous scents, non-fitted shirts.
In particular, as a consequence of his mutation and immunity to extreme heat and cold, his TrpV1 nociceptors (receptors responsible for transmission of pain signals in response to temperature) are underused and thus extremely sensitive to anything else that would activate them, such as capsaicin.
Trent was born in Winnemucca, Nevada, a nearly featureless city when compared to larger and glitzier ones to be found in places such as everywhere else. But among its scant features was a moderate community of lupin individuals like himself interspersed with the humans, and such was his status quo. While not entirely common, he never felt out of place.
The youngest of three children and the definite ‘runt’ of the litter, Trent enjoyed a happy and benign upbringing. As the son of two educators, good study habits were instilled early on, and as the youngest sibling, he quickly learned how to butt heads. He grew up a content and well-adjusted individual, and when he realized the direction in which his sexual orientation swung, he was fortunate to have a family supporting him through the process of figuring that out. His sister even gifted him with a pink triangle brooch that he immediately cherished, perhaps more so than the fireman calendar his brother bought him.
Up towards and into high school, Trent’s days and nights were spent on studying, extracurriculars, socializing, and eventually the tumultuous and disastrous world of high school dating. He juggled AP classes, performed on the cheer squad (while giving a chipper ‘up yours’ to those suggesting he be a mascot), and did officer duty in his school’s sparsely populated LGBT club as one of the few queer teens at his school not in the closet (the latter pursuit teaching him to butt heads even more with those less than open minded). All in all, it was burning the candle at both ends and somewhere in the middle, but the lupin enjoyed it all the same. It was a simple if crowded life, all until sophomore year, which is when he set his bed on fire.
What started with a pleasant, sappy dream involving a romantic interest ended with the shrill shriek of a fire alarm, with flame, with fear. Scrambling from his bed and tearing his burning covers from his body, he had just a moment to process that his fur wasn’t burning. And then his sister blasted him with a fire extinguisher. The rest of his family rushed in seconds afterwards, and despite his lack of apparent injury, his mother insisted Trent be taken to the hospital, a decision which might have saved their lives. The entire drive was a gauntlet of questions. Had he been smoking? Could there have been an electrical short? Was he okay?
Of course not, maybe, he thought so.
It was when they actually got him to the hospital, an eyesore of an edifice at the edge of town, when the staff attempted a cursory read of his temperature, that something strange first came to light. Each thermometer the nurses used displayed the same error, an ‘H.’ They simply couldn’t read temperatures that high. After some conference with other medical staff, they shepherded the increasingly distressed lupin to radiology to attempt imaging what was happening in his body, only to be stopped by a sudden, baleful pitch of an alarm. One of the nurses mused aloud if perhaps the radiation area monitoring system was also on the fritz…
…And Trent ran. He didn’t have a good reason beyond a hunch, but as the whine of the alarm went silent with his departure, that hunch was all but confirmed for him. He ran, and ran, and ran, and being a young and healthy lupin, he ran faster than the hospital staff could follow, into the night and into the desert.
The following few hours were fraught for his family. Even that far out in the middle of nowhere, the term ‘mutant’ wasn’t unheard of, and one of the nurses had put two and two together. Phone calls were made, and those that received them made phone calls of their own. Hours later, men and women—indiscernible for the PPE they were wearing—arrived at the hospital, took statements, and left in search of the wayward kid as soon as they’d arrived.
They didn’t search long—really only a fraction of the time spent awaiting their arrival—nor did they want for a trail to follow. Even deserts teem with life, and there was good strip absent of it to follow, meandering with withered flora, breathless fauna, terminating in a ten-foot diameter circle devoid of any life save for the lupin sleeping fitfully in its center, clutching the brooch his sister had given him. Their Geiger counters clicked, but only once every second or two. For the time being he was safe enough to bring back, if not safe enough to bring home.
The next couple of months, while not easy, were easier than that first night. With coaching, practice, and a couple of feet of lead lining (at least in the beginning), Trent gained, if not an understanding of, a handle on his new abilities. He learned how to rouse them and, more importantly, how to keep them from getting roused. He even managed to keep on top of his studies, because there was no way he’d let himself get held back a year. Eventually his caretakers, members of a West Coast branch of GIFT, decided that he had sufficient control over his abilities. But he’d never forget that first night when he didn’t. He’d returned to a semblance of normalcy, but he’d never quite return to normal.
As he readied himself to return to school, he knew well ahead of time from social media and friendly texts that the news of him had beaten him there. The News, in fact, was there to film his appearance back on campus and to speculate on the potential peril of it. However, after an uneventful day, followed by an uneventful week, the vans eventually thinned out in search of other stories.
As Trent caught up properly with his studies, he did his best to resume his crowded routine of club duties, sports, and the politics of a social life. But to his ire, if not to his surprise, friends acted a bit more awkward, and strangers acted bit more interested. He was a spectacle now, and folks weren’t quite sure what to make of him. And while previous high school antagonists and rivals might’ve lost the willingness to harass him to his face, that didn’t stop them from whispering behind his back, and now they had new things to say. ‘Flamer’ garnered redoubled usage, and ‘hot dog’ was quickly worked into the mix. But life goes on and so does high school.
By the time he neared graduation, Trent already had a university in mind, as much for its eponymous location as for its curriculum. Paragon University, with campuses across Paragon City itself, a place renown for people like him. And… for people not like him. Visiting the city upon his matriculation, he found that, among the aliens, werewolves, and hybrids, there were few actual lupins like himself. But not one to let a trifle thing like that stop him, he found his niche on campus and in his new home. He began his search for answers.
His first few years of higher education, he majored in biomedical sciences, throwing himself into studies on meta biological processes, assisting in research projects (and of course involving himself with the school’s LGBT organization and outreach as well.) While he had a handle on his abilities, he had no idea where they came from, and so he sought specifics. Then, failing that, he sought generalities. He sought to understand just what about his physiology could survive itself. And he failed again.
Eventually he swapped to an architectural degree, burnt out by the hunt but not wanting to waste the math courses. All the while, he thought about what do with himself, the part of himself he couldn’t figure out. It had steered his studies on an abortive course, but it was a part of him. It had led him to Paragon. Perhaps he could use it the way others did in the city.
The notion of using his powers for good (or rather, for greater good than keeping a coffee hot or pulling a roast from the oven without potholders) had always lingered on the periphery of his mind. But therein lay the rub: what sort of ‘good’ could one do with powers as noxious as his? Well, he had learned long years back to manipulate the longer wavelengths of light to make colorful displays, mostly as a mechanism to assuage the concerns of his peers, and maybe there was more he could do with that. He could produce enough heat to vaporize metal, but that also meant he could produce just enough heat to exhaust someone for an arrest. With these aims he trained, focusing on precision, focusing on limiting his usage in regards to the limits of others.
It took until he had finished graduate school for Trent to feel confident enough in his control to set out on the streets, but the time spent also gave him time to decide upon his image and his mission. The ‘hot dog’ jabs from high school he spun into a nom de guerre. The triangle brooch his sister had given him, so many years back, he pinned to his chest.
With the blessings of those at GIFT, he set out to make a difference. A difference with individuals like himself in mind.