From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Time Spent and Time Wasted on Praetorian Earth
Before the Hamidon War, Horace was a technician at a power plant in rural Central America. When the Devouring Earth struck, Horace found himself on the run like so many others from his home. By the time the town's people found each other there was barely anyone left. Horace and but a few of his co-workers and several working class citizens were all that was left and they needed guidance in their dark hour. Horace was the head technician so that made him the only one with any kind of leadership skills, so he took it upon himself to lead the small band of refugees out of Devouring Earth territory and try to find some sort of civilization. The area was thick with the Hamidon's forces but there was plenty of battered military gear scattered around once the group made its way to the more populated areas. Horace and his few co-workers took the gear and under his leadership, they managed to repair and equip the refugees. The gear was substantial but they were not a military group and thus had to engage in guerrilla tactics to sneak across DE territory.
By the end, most of group was still very much alive, and they settled into Nova, Horace and the group disbanded and he was left to be forgotten. No-one knew of his deeds and all he could do was move on, as much as that hurt him.
After a few months of settling into the newly founded "Utopia," Horace found a job as a technician at one of the developing Anti-Matter Reactors. Horace had taken a step down in rank as he was no longer a head technician and now working under someone else, and while normally this would not have been a problem, Horace had received some unexpected side-effects from his "adventures" in the Devouring Earth controlled territories. It seems he was infected with a very minor strain of Tellurian Plague, it wasn't enough to be noticeable but it would eventually begin to manifest as Schizophrenia and that would manifest as Megalomania later.
At first nothing seemed to bother Horace but as a few years passed and Praetoria began to flourish again, his Megalomania began to emerge. He remembered the days of the Hamidon War and remembered how he had led that group of people out of DE land and he thought he was destined for greater things. He thought he should have been in a better position and began to experiment with various cybernetic augmentations in order to improve him overall.
When Cyber Augmentation made an appearance, Horace was more than happy to experiment with them. He began with simple Augs that increased things like response time and motor functions but as more and more of these cybernetics came out, he found himself using augs that he didn't even need. He began to use augmentations that increased most of his physical attributes and also installed a Neural Hub. Once Horace realized how useful the Neural Hub was, he began putting all sorts of augs into his head, and it would be these that would cause his Schizophrenia to become overwhelming.
Horace continued his work at the Anti-Matter reactors, continuing to take orders from inferior people, continuing to build up his hatred for those around him, and continuing to grow more and more separate from the world. During his work at the Anti-Matter reactors, Horace has also been transferred to other laboratories run by Dr. Keyes. These labs contained a wondorous amount of technology that Horace found to his liking, and he made it his personal duty to take as much as he could.
While Keyes kept his labs very secure, they weren't secure enough to stop one his own employees from stealing right from under his nose. Horace was very careful about what he took and when he took it, he might steal something small that there is plenty of or he may take a prototype cybernetic implant. All in all, there was no defense to his cunning and sly style and Horace could help himself to almost anything he wanted.
However, one day he was discovered by the lab's lead scientist who was more than furious with Horace's actions. He spent a good ten minutes just yelling at Horace while also threatening to bring his actions to Dr. Keyes and Horace was only getting angrier and angrier. The scientist was storming off when Horace snapped; he grabbed the scientist and slammed his fist directly into the man's face. The cybernetics in his arms allowed Horace to lay the man out in one blow, his skull was shattered and all that was heard was a few gurgling noises as the man choked on his own blood.
Horace had no idea what he just did, he simply acted, and lost his mind when he struck his superior down. He could only do one thing and that was to run and hide. He left without a moment’s notice to try and let the heat die down, and that was indeed the case. It seemed the scientist wasn't aware that the area he dragged Horace to was completely unmonitored thus the PPD had no leads and no witnesses for his heinous crime and it wasn't long before he caught wind of these facts. Horace still decided he couldn't return to work, he had to disappear somehow or give the people something else to worry about, so he would have to adopt a means to throw the PPD off track and become someone that could throw them off his trail for good. He would later become The Phantom Gear, a thief who steals technology and who works the inside to get to where he needs to be and who leaves little to no evidence left behind.
When Horace went into hiding, he decided he needed a way to keep the PPD from investigating the murder with all their resources, and to do this he needed to "create" a criminal worth pursuing. When he decided that, he created the moniker, The Phantom Gear, who would steal high profile devices and weapons while still working as Horace McArthur to throw the heat off of him entirely. To give the media and the police something to really fret over, he also left behind calling cards, usually something simple like a business card with the signature of The Phantom Gear. However, because he often stole from high security facilities, the media was forced to not make reports on the case due to the panic it may cause. If people found out that a thief was bypassing Praetoria's most powerful security then people might not just panic, they may do much worse.
A few months passed and Horace's case was eventually abandoned for lack of evidence and shipped to Cold Cases, and the PPD began to have to worry about more pressing matters now, such as the Resistance, Destroyers, and the Syndicate. The Phantom Gear made use of these new players by tossing aside his identity as The Phantom Gear and joining Powers Division to help fight them. Of course Horace had his own reason for assisting the PPD, such as finding a way off Praetorian Earth for good. Horace enjoyed his life there, but it was much too small and riddled with rules and regulations that he had grown bored with. He spent several months working with Powers Division, assisting them and the PPD as needed, letting them think he was on their side, and little did they know that he was both Horace AND The Phantom Gear.
While working with the Powers Division he used the name Casvel and did a number on criminal and Resistance members alike and soon he would discover a way to Primal Earth where his sinister nature would really get to shine.
Horace spent only a few months in Powers Division before he found himself working alongside his old employer, Anti-Matter, and by that point Neuron had already taken his place as Praetor of Science, something Horace found incredibly amusing. Here he was watching his boss rambling on like an idiot, while Horace was in a position of power above Keyes. While this was a thought that soothed Horace's mind, he still had to work with the broken moron, and so began his time raiding through Keyes' labs to "clean out" Resistance members and Rogue Clockwork.
Horace spent a great deal of time cleaning out the Resistance from Keyes' lab, but spent more time raiding his computer files for all sorts of experiments and new technology schematics. One file he found hadn't been accessed for some time and this bothered Horace even more when he saw what was in it, two robotics designs, codenamed Boa and Claymore, that only needed a few modifications to simply be on par with the "advanced" War Works. On par, however, was not what Horace would want for such incredible machines, they would be better if not years beyond the mass produced trash that Neuron was pumping out.
Once Horace downloaded the files to his Neural Hub he made made his departure. He finished his work with Anti-Matter, knowing that he had gotten all he could ever want when he was contacted by a member of the PPD about an offer to help Praetoria further. He was of course talking about a portal to Primal Earth; where "Casvel" could take the fight to the Primals, and Casvel would indeed do that but he would kill Supers just to increase his own power and the potential of Boa and Claymore.
Casvel stepped toward the portal when he was asked where he wanted to go, he was told of a place where people fought for peace, truth, justice, and all that nonsense Horace could care less about, but he was also told of a place where people's lives are nothing but a fight for survival, where the strong survive and the weak become dust in the wind. He asked more about the strange land known as the Rogue Isles, and quickly decided this was where he wanted to be, he felt it was calling to him and informed the officer of his choice. The officer set the portal for the Rogue Isles and Horace stepped through to begin his new life of crime, strife, and power beyond imagination.
Knowledge is Power (Primal Earth and beyond)
Horace didn't intend to try and make a name for himself as soon as he stepped through the portal but he did plan to pour all the resources he could get into constructing Boa and Claymore until they were beyond perfect. He would spend over a decade stealing the parts needed both from Praetoria and from Primal Earth, he would spend time modifying and remodifying these parts and robbing banks to get the funds needed to acquire parts he couldn't or didn't feel like going through the effort to steal. Horace spent some time fighting the various criminal groups and mutants of the Isles in order to get valuable combat data for the robots to use, and he would also do much research on famous war generals of both Praetoria and Primal earth to give them the genius tactical data of the past.
Boa would be the first to be completed followed shortly by Claymore, and both had their own unique abilities, Boa was fast and dexterous and Claymore was massive and tough. Horace constructed both of them after himself, both have some of his personality and both can act surprisingly human. Horace worked alongside the two for about a year; the trio downed many heroes and villains and caused much havoc in both the Isles and Paragon, but this wasn’t enough. The heroes and villains where small time at best and Horace wanted more, he needed more. Soon after this revelation he would begin to target true villains, both known and not-so-known but all powerful none-the-less.
A New Earth and New Enemies
Horace spent time killing low profile villains and took down several high profile Resistance members during his time in Powers Division but the data he collected from these fights was not enough to perfect his machines, and the data from history's greatest warriors was flawed. He had to combat stronger opponents and he did just that. For a while he used a bow and arrow, the arrows made from solid Impervium, and also carried toxins to cripple his foes.
However, these proved utterly useless against the first foes he chose. It started one night in the Pocket D and Horace was scanning the crowd for potential targets, two such targets stood out above the rest, literally and figurativley. He chose to follow two insectoid people by the name of Frylord and Maestro Punkt. He thought victory would be assured even with his primitive tools, of course he was wrong. Frylord's shell proved too tough for the arrows and Maestro was much better with her bow and arrows, and Frylord proved immune to Horace's toxins. A brief fight occured in Port Oaks, Horace was beaten badly but secured an escape when he planted five arrows into Maestro. Fry seemed reluctant to let Horace escape even as Maestro bled out on the side walk.
Frylord eventually caved, and Horace was allowed to escape, but it would not be the last they saw of him for Horace had many more tricks in store for them. Horace had another robot ready, the last of one-hundred prototypes, before he would release Boa and Claymore upon the Isles.
The Prototype-100 failed to eliminate Frylord and Maestro, but it was not a complete failure, since it provided the last of the data needed to complete Claymore and Boa. Horace and his two new weapons would attempt to kill Maestro and Fry on several more occasions, but it would lead to failure and Horace's imminent capture. After several attempts to finally best his foes, he was ambushed by Angelfish, the leader of Arachnos Tower. She damaged Horace's eye and arm beyond saving and she also took him prisoner.
Horace was expecting death but then a strange figure by the name of Xell offered him a chance to escape if Horace gave Xell the data he collected on Maestro and Frylord. It seems he was an enemy of the Tower and this was a perfect opportunity. Horace accepted and soon made his escape back to his hidden bunker in Praetorian Earth.
Fixing Loose Ends
While Horace escaped from the tower he still had to deal with the enemies he had made. He only targeted one and that would be Maestro. His plan was simple: erase her memories that she had on he, Boa and Claymore. He took her captive one last time and used a device on her that he called the Psycho-Breaker a device that bombards the victims mind with psychic waves. The psychic waves can do anything from destroying the mind to erasing memories. Horace only planned to erase her memories, lest he suffer retaliation from the Tower.
His task was a success. Maestro was captured and mind wiped...but Horace realized he was defeated in the process. He had given up on taking out this target because she and her friends proved too tough for him. He released her after the mind wipe and went on to continue his work in the Isles.
Rebuild, Remake and Reinvigorate
Horace has used a multitude of weaponry such as archery, dual pistols and even a high tech energy rifle, but none of them really fit him properly. It was with this realization that he should improve upon his oldest weapons. Since Boa and Claymore were beyond perfect it was now time to improve upon the prototypes that made them a reality. He had to construct some generic shells for the Prototypes, mostly because building the frames similar to Claymore or Boa would take way too much time. The shells do their job and once completed Horace then transferred their Intelligence Units into each shell.
Each Prototype that was reactivated contributed a major breakthrough to Boa and Claymore's construction in some way. Once they where reactivated Horace injected himself with a new batch of nano-bots, ones that could increase temperatures rather than reduce them. He uses this thermal radiation to protect, repair and cripple and they seem to work much better than previous nano-machines. Horace set out into the Isles once more with his robotic soldiers to spread mayhem and attempt his dream of world conquest.