From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Hoi Polloi at one of her usual haunts in Port Oakes, outside Pocket D|
|Real Name:||Unknown (most likely forgotten)|
|Known Aliases:||Super-hobo, hobo-lady, The Queen, Wings|
|Species:||Evolved (Homo Superior)|
|Occupation:||Freelance Intelligence Aquisition, Drug Dealer, Prostitute|
|Place of Birth:||Unknown|
|Base of Operations:||Port Oakes|
|Hat, coat, clothes, antique straight razor|
"Sleeping on platforms at train stations, Sipping chemical cocktails,
Alive to the Universe, Dead to the World."
"The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature,
capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty"
- - Unknown
Hoi Polloi is a known vagrant in the Rogue Isles, one of the many wandering homeless of Port Oakes. Reeking of weed, she can be most often found in St. Martial's red light district, looking for the next big thing, or in Pocket D, asking passers-by for a handout or an extra cigarette.
Member of the Helix Covenant
"We did all these missions to get transport. We fought our way into the bank.
And super-hobo leaves the bank with two dollars."
- - Woefull
Hoi has been witnessed not only talking to buildings and furniture, but occasionally to nothing at all. A prolific user of marijauna, she is often seen with a slightly hazy grin on her face. Foul mouthed and under-educated, she has no qualms about starting a verbal battle with anyone she comes across. She will draw the line at physical altercations, however, as she is under-nourished and physically frail.
Hoi is a chainsmoker, and can often be seen in Pocket D asking for a cigarette. If not, she will be asking if anybody has a dollar for her. There has been some evidence of brain damage, as no matter how much money people give her, she will always proclaim to only have "two dollars".
With living life on the streets, Hoi has very little in the way of a moral compass. Sex, drugs, theft, murder, she's seen and done it all in the interest of survival. There is very little Hoi would not do to keep herself alive. That being said, she will loudly proclaim that she lives each day "as if I'm gonna be shot in the face t'morra, 'cus I prolly will be".
"Jesus, Hoi, what have you been smoking??"
- - Blackstar upon looking inside Hoi's mind
Hoi Polloi is a low-level tel-empath - or so she has been told by Nation Exarch, Black Agony. She has the ability to telepathically communicate with small mammals, birds, lizards and - most commonly - insects. She is frequently seen in their company, and never travels alone.
It has been noticed that with the ability to communicate with them, she also has the ability to experience their sensory input - to "see" or "hear" what they perceive. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sneak up on Hoi, and is also very useful for gathering intelligence.
Hoi maintains what is referred to as "The Colony" - the select, specific animals attuned to communication with Hoi's "mental wavelength". The drawback of this hive mentality, is that animal contact with her mind causes irreparable damage to the animal's or insect's brain chemistry. The animals are rendered mute, and incapable of being probed by other telepaths. This is because their brains now operate on a completely unique wavelength than what telepaths standardly read. This also means that if they are separated from Hoi's conciousness for an extended period of time, death will result.
Hoi herself is not without her own form of "brain damage" due to her abilities. Two-way telepathic communication from another telepath, or having her thoughts probed, typically poses a great risk to the other party, as the excessively loud and alien chatter of the colony inside her head provides a confusing, frightening and painful atmosphere that most telepaths are not trained to deal with. Both Sychosis and Blackstar have experienced this sensation first hand - a mistake that both have assured her that they do not care to repeat.
Recently, Hoi has begun to shed her skin in a process similar to molting, evidenced in spiders and other chitinous insects. Upon further examination by Dr. Nihilus, he has concluded that she is experiencing the first symptoms of a secondary mutation. His theory is that she will shed her skin to expose an insect-like armored layer beneath. X-Rays show the possibility of wing growth as well.
Weaknesses and Limitations
"I didn't know you were addicted to dopes."
Hoi's particular genetic mutation is limited to the lesser-evolved minds of animals and insects. She is genetically incapable of telepathically contacting the human mind. Telepathic contact from outside Hoi's mind can be damaging to whichever individual attempts it (see above).
The rapid onset of her mutation, combined with the incessant chatter of thousands of tiny inhuman minds, has left Hoi's psyche somewhat damaged. She is known to be mildly schizophrenic. Also, she is psychologically addicted to marijauna to calm herself, and ease the tension and pain that builds in her mind, and helps to dull the 'voices'. She is also known to suffer the occasional migraine, especially if a member of the Colony is killed.
"Better'n sex or weed... is the pain."
- - Hoi Polloi to Dante A. Ravencroft
In recent weeks, it has been slowly coming to light that Hoi is on some level a masochist. She will walk into a room, find the biggest guy there, and hit him in the head with an ashtray if it will get his attention. This invariably leads to a physical altercation. While Hoi may be small and underweight, she will give whatever opponent she chooses a run for their money, even if she knows she's going to lose.
This may simply be an adrenaline addiction. On another level, after years of being invisible and ignored, her violent outbursts and the subsequent beatings that follow may simply help her validate her own existence. The pain and the fighting solidifies her reality, assuring her that while she may be ignored, she does still exist.
She fights, not because she wants to die, but because she needs to verify she's alive.
Inside Hoi's Mind
A torrent of raw, intense, filth. Of a thousand minds chattering at once, the sensation of seeing through the eyes of the thousands of little things we never notice and never see, and of all of them turning in unison as you blunder into their commune, and looking right... at... you.
Suddenly feeling like one lost man in the midst of a forest, and realising that every day as you move through this world, convinced you are the master of your domain, you don't don't realise that there is an army around you, surrounding you, ready to remove you wholesale if you step wrong... and all they need is a reason....
...like daring to touch Hoi Polloi.
"Can I shoot her?"
"No! I like her."
The only belongings that Hoi Polloi owns are the ones she carries on her person, her hat, her coat, and her clothes. She is also known to carry a large, antique-style straight razor, an item she aquired from a pawn shop some years back. She currently wears a pair of mutant ability nullifying bracelets to keep her abilities in check. Recently, she has aquisitioned (read: stolen) an engraved silver zippo lighter.
"They say you must walk a mile in another man's shoes to understand his life...
but some people's shoes are full of bees..."
- - Agony
Very little is known about the homeless woman's past.. but then again, most people don't talk to her long enough to find out. It's not exactly information she shares. In a conversation with Dr. Nihilus, it was learned that her father was also a mutant, with the ablities very similar - possibly more powerful - than Hoi's own. The Doctor had also discovered that both of her parents are deceased, the result of a circus accident involving the company's tigers.
Recently asked about her "real name", Hoi has mentioned she doesn't remember it. It is unknown if this is a lie, a brain injury, or a result of heavy drug use.
It has been mentioned by Hoi that she has been living on the streets for approximately ten years, though with Hoi's unreliability with numbers, this could be wholly inaccurate. She has confessed that her years on the streets have lead to her willingness to do anything for a buck, including drug dealing, prostitution and murder. Her experiences have left her with very little (if any) of a moral compass.
"Doc...yer a fuckin' asshole."
- - Hoi Polloi to Dr. Nihilus
Not only did Hoi excessively use marijauna to deal with the side effects of her mutant abilities, Dr. Nihilus discovered her rampant abuse of opiates, specifically morphine, oxycodone and demerol. Determined to break her of this habit during her confinement to the station, he has prescribed methadone for the addiction, and anti-psychotics for mild schizophrenia.
Without the chemical barrier she received from her drug addiction, Hoi was left nearly defenseless against her own mutant ability. Upon returning to the planet's surface to maintain contact with the colony, thus preventing it's surface dwelling members from dying, she was overcome by the sheer volume of psychic 'noise' surrounding her, and suffered a violent siezure. She was teleported back to the station and placed into a chemically induced coma. The doctor's treatment was placing her in nullification bracelets to lower the intensity of her abilities, at fifteen percent power while on Nation, increasing their strength to upwards of fifty percent for visits to the surface. Blackstar has trained her in the mental discipline required to control her powers without the use of drugs.
Clean of the suppressive nature of her previous heavy drug addicton, Hoi's mutant genetics kicked back into high gear, as she manifested a secondary mutation. Molting her human skin, her torso and arms have covered in a thick, leather-like carapace, and she has sprouted insect-like wings, granting her the ability to fly.
Despite the the bad blood between previous Nation and previous allies Inevitable Evolution, Hoi has been seen in the recent company of IE co-leader Run Riot. It would seem the two have entered into some manner of relationship with each other, though the extent of this relationship remains a mystery. This has caused tension between the two of them, and close friend Woefull, to the point of instilling some sense of regret in the shamelessly amoral insect woman. Only time will reveal if this rift can ever be repaired.
Hoi's recent encounters with Riot have also caused a falling out with Inevitable Evolution member Sergeant Violator, her most recent lover angered at what he saw was a betrayal. Finding out about the encounters between Riot and Hoi, Violator intervened, professing his love for the insect woman, culminating into an argument in Pocket D, with Violator leaving Inevitable Evolution.
After a short and volatile relationship, Run Riot felt it necessary to cut ties with Hoi, unable to reconcile her violent and villainous nature, and her loyalty to the separatist group Nation. The response from the insect woman was bloody, carving out a chunk of chitin from her chest on which he had burned an anarchy symbol, and mailing it to him on his birthday. Some have theorized it was not merely a symbol she carved from her, but what might have been her last vestiges of humanity. She has renewed her career in prostitution, often seen around Pocket D in search of the next available client.
With cold weather creeping it's way across the Etoile, Hoi has in recent nights found herself at a disadvantage, the weather having a devastating effect on the Colony. Insects do not tolerate frigid temperatures, and is increasingly finding her defenses at a minimum. She has been left to rely on her few mammalian Colony members while roaming the streets, as opposed to the manifold eyes of her insects. While indoors, Hoi has tried her best to regroup, leaving pocket Colonies scattered safely across the Isles, but chilly nights often find her out wandering nearly alone.
After a vicious attack by Irmine - having been beaten, poisoned, raped, bled and finally impaled, leaving then insect woman on the brink of death, she was rescued by Battlebriar and brought to one of his manor houses, where she entered unto a Chrysalis to heal. The ordeal has left her traumatized, unable to tolerate physical contact of any kind, and extremely skittish. She has also fallen back into heavy drug use, and is no longer taking her anti-psychotic medication. Nullen Void found the woman passed out in an alleyway, and brought her back to the Helix Covenant, led by Amanda Webb. It's their sincerest hope that they can finally help free the homeless woman from her demons once and for all.
Despite the her best efforts, Amanda Webb was unable to grant Hoi the peace that the former Council soldier felt she deserved. On the Wedding Day of her ex, Run Riot, she called Adam Moone to the piers near Facemaker's in Cap Au Diable for a short chat. No one is clear what words were spoken, but the exchange ended with the insect woman putting Moone's pistol in her mouth, and firing. Her body is presumed to have fallen from the railing into the cold water below. Adam was distraught for some time afterwards.
Amanda Webb still refused to give up on the woman, even in death. Having contracted Shade Nefarious to retrieve her soul from hell, Amanda began several dubious research projects in an attempt to clone a new body for Hoi, one that would not be subjected to the disabilities and addictions that plagued her in her previous life.
1 - Got A Dollar **WARNING: Mature Content**
2 - Warm In The Night **WARNING: Mature Content**
3 - Morphine
4 - Disposable
What people have said about Hoi Polloi:
- "When all you have is nothing, you hold onto it with both hands."
- "I really miss her, you know?"
- - Arlow
- *written on a piece of crumpled loose-leaf paper* "One of the few people who knew me, really knew me to the point that I never had to speak. And when I didn't have words, she spoke for me. I miss her. Things just seem empty without her drawl."
- - Blue
- Hoi has a large tattoo of a spider web that encompasses most of her left hip and thigh.
- She was recently given Iron Supplements by Dr. Nihilus, for treatment of anemia and malnutrition.
- While she is known to smoke weed, she will not drink alcohol. She states it "clouds the mind".
- Hoi is only educated up to the ninth grade.
- She likes hanging around Dr Von Dread, because - as the good Doctor put it - "You smell as bad as I do".
- She has a tremendous amount of respect for Eisregen, despite him telling her he's "not a nice man".
- In spite of her appearance, she would actually rather be 'clean', but the colony disapproves of this behaviour.
- She has taken an odd facination in Dr. Nihilus, possibly because he appears to be one of the few concerned for her well-being
- Dr. Nihilus loaned a collection of poems by Catullus to Hoi, while she was confined to Nation due to injury. Despite her limited reading skills, she finished it as best she could. She found particular interest in #85 and #110.
- When Hoi asks people for a dollar, some people have been kind enough to gift her with 1 inf, which her player gains no end of amusement from.
- Hoi wears a gold necklace with a small gold crucifix on it. It belonged to her mother.
- She has recently formed a closer friendship with Woefull, the pair seemingly matched by their ability to be ignored by everyone else. She's apparently ruined this friendship, one of the few she actually has, about which she feels a tremendous sense of guilt (a first for her).
Current Theme Songs
I don't care if your world is ending today
Because I wasn't invited to it anyway
You said I tasted famous so I drew you a heart
But now I'm not an artist, I'm a fucking work of art
Is it weakness, or is it love?
Or just amusement when you're bored?
You've forgotten what I look like
But I won't be ignored
- - Sweat It Out by Meg Lee Chin
Past Theme songs
Feel about a nation, so precious is the freedom.
Carousel the brass ring, reach into a black mass.
So its corroded, it's always polluted.
We all want some of it.
Alive to the Universe,
Dead to the World.
Shiver in the alleys
and dying in the cold.
Little hands and little faces
what are you running from?