From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
As Albert, he is a reserved and laid-back individual. A real salt of the earth sorta guy with a good work ethic. The sorta guy you could sit down and have a few beers with and just talk about life. While this is fairly accurate to the nature of the man who moonlights as the thief Prestidigitation, it is also a persona he emphasizes ever so slightly when going about his daily routine. After all, a laid-back engineer getting parts is less conspicuous then a grandiose and foppish fellow.
The Show Begins
Albert Gage was born to Martha and Lucas Gage on April's Fool's Day in the suburbs of Baltimore. The eldest of two siblings, high expectations were set for little Albert. He displayed a fondness for magicians he’d see on the television in the mid-70s such as Doug Hennings, David Nixon, and the likes. A theatre kid in high school, he craved the recognition they get and the awe they inspire.
Initially planning to study theatre and become a professional magician in his college years, his family confronted him and chastised him for this pursuit insisting instead he go to school for something “useful, say…engineering. He reluctantly agreed, they held the power of the purse in the situation after all, and ended up getting a double major in electrical and mechanical engineering, eventually going on to get a master’s from Paragon City University Steel Canyon, cementing his move to Paragon from Baltimore.
It would be with this degree that he used to fund his hobby of magic, and from which he experimented and drafted designs for gadgets which would help aid in the mystique of any shows he would be performing. After initial testing on smaller, more local audiences and small restaurant venues. He found an agent with deep connections, but a steep cost, to which he became doing more commissions and designs that would sell on a larger market to save up to afford this agent.
Give 'Em the Ole Razzle Dazzle
Eventually he was able to hire the agent, and doors started opening to him, he was playing larger venues, reaching a larger audience. The rush was exhilarating, he finally was getting the taste of his childhood dreams, and he wouldn’t stop now.
Under the name of Drake the Magnificent, he continued to play venues, until eventually getting the call of a lifetime, the call to perform at the Golden Giza in St. Martial.
Upon receiving the call he could scarcely wait, and hastily packed his belongings making the big move to St. Martial, perhaps too impulsively.
At first, things went well, he kept the audience entertained for a few years, and began to get the recognition he craved..,the rug was pulled out from under him. His shows began to become repetitive and boring as he ran out of ideas. Eventually he was relegated to be the warm-up act for more up-and-coming talents, and before too long...his shows were empty, and Sonata saw a bad investment in keeping him. Vexed at his situation, and desperate for cash in a place where all his connections died, he turned to bank robbery, Using a variety of magic sounding aliases and modified versions of his equipment for his shows, he became the villain known as Prestidigitation, a magic-obsessed (and perhaps magic envious) bank robber and thief with a motif of magic and theatrics who aspired to be remembered...no longer as the famous magician of the stage, but an infamous magician of trinkets and contents of vaults.
Smoke and Mirrors
- Genius Level IQ - While possessing no meta-human powers or ability, Albert possesses a Genius Level IQ.
Tools of the Trade
- Boutonniere - A fake red flower worn on the lapel of his jacket, within the center of the flower is a heavily modified camera flash allowing his to produce a bright, blinding flash of light.
- "Harry" - A rather large top hat with some major technological modifications: a couple secret compartment making up the upper portion of the hat along with built in light distortion unit providing him the ability to bend light around him effectively making him invisible.
- Mask - This simple mask has been designed with flash-resistant lenses as a response to police flash grenades as well as the to protect himself from his own pyrotechnics and light shows.
- MediPort Beacon - To ensure his spree of thievery and villainy continues on, Albert had acquired a MediPort beacon from a hero he had defeated and modified it to work both in the Etoile Isles, and Paragon City.
- Wand - Seemingly an ordinary magician's wand has been designed by Albert to encase a miniature holograph project to project his holograms.
The Flaws of Duplicity
- Electromagnetic Pulses - Due to his reliance on various gadgets and devices, an EMP Pulse leaves him completely without a majority of his arsenal of tricks, making him a relatively harmless target.
- Ego - Hubris, a flaw as old as time. For all his planning and calculation, Albert is susceptible to mistakes from over-estimating his capabilities, or if his pride is on the line.
- Mortality Despite all his trickery and shenanigans, he is only a mortal. He can be killed or harmed in all the ways you'd injure an average Joe Shmoe.
- Psionics. Prestidigitation possesses no mental barriers to protect him against mental barrages, making him just as susceptible to such intrusions as a normal human.
The Magic Act
A year into his villainous career, Albert decided to reach out to other washed-up charlatans and hucksters. Former Vaudeville stars, television psychics, disgruntled stagehands, and the likes to cause.
The Critic's Reviews
If you have any opinions of the eccentric villain, feel free to place them here!
Trivial Matters (Trivia)
- Prestidigitation is a subversion on my tendency to play Magic origin heroes and magicians that are thieves by playing a magician thief with no magical capability whatsoever, in fact despite his use of technological gadgets he is highly envious of magic users.