- Know that all things done before the naked stars are remembered.
- —John M. Ford, The Final Reflection (1984)
Stellar Protector is my nod to the cosmic characters of the comic world. There's bits and pieces of Green Lantern, Nova, Quasar, and even the Silver Surfer blended in with the game's Kheldian backstory.
"Let's do this!"
· 50 (+3)
Natural Peacebringer ·
Paragon City, RI
United States Citizen with no criminal record
Hyperion Force Base, Atlas Park
Former PPD Detective, Hero
Registered Hero of Paragon City
· Known Relatives ·
Nivera (wife), Judy Thompson (daughter), Nicholas Thompson (father), Valerie Thompson (mother), Jacob Thompson (brother)
Powers & Abilities
· Known Powers ·
Control and manipulation of cosmic power
· Equipment ·
· Other Abilities ·
Thompson is very much a blue-collar guy in his attitude. He believes strongly in "an honest day's work for an honest wage", and is a strong supporter of the ideal that the police are there to protect and serve the public interest. In the words of a police captain, Thompson's moral compass points true North; there is right and there is wrong, and it isn't difficult to tell the difference.
As a result of this and his time as a cop, Thompson has no use for "anti-heroes" who use excessive force to solve a problem; he firmly believes that killing an opponent isn't the right of an arresting officer...or a hero. That's for a jury to decide; Thompson's job is making sure the criminal is off the streets, and unable to hurt anyone else. It's of note that in his time as a police detective, he had never been obliged to discharge his firearm. It's of further note that since becoming Stellar Protector, he is very deliberate as to how much of the cosmic energy he channels he uses to apprehend a criminal, knowing that it could very easily be used to do unspeakable things to the criminal.
When Stellar Protector began his career as a hero, he was somewhat unsure of himself, only beginning to understand the things he was capable of doing, and was more inclined to follow the lead of other heroes, trusting that they knew what they were doing far better than he did. As he grew in ability, power, and experience, Thompson became more confident in his decisions. While he agonized over setbacks that led to the deaths of heroes he worked with, he grew to understand that sometimes-even if he did everything right-people could die.
As one of the co-leaders of Hyperion Force, Stellar Protector transitioned into a leadership role that he would never have expected for himself-and to his own surprise, he performed well in that capacity. While he occasionally wondered if he is really up to leading such a diverse membership of heroes, his actions demonstrated that he was up to the task. His sense of responsibility compelled him to step down when he became aware of the arrival of new Stellar Gems on Earth; in many ways, he is relieved to leave the leadership of the Force in other hands. He hasn't quite consciously realized that he still tends to take charge of situations he becomes alerted to, though.
All of Stellar Protector's powers derive from his Stellar Gem (currently in the form of a clear gem-like bracer on his right arm). The cosmic energy supplied by the gem is derived from the stars themselves; as a result, it is nearly impossible for the Gem to run out of energy prior to the heat-death of the universe. However, the Gem itself limits how much power the bearer can utilize on an inhabited world; the further away the bearer is from inhabited worlds, the greater the available power to Stellar Protector. There is no known way to override these limits.
Stellar Protector can channel cosmic energies as an offensive weapon. This energy can be emitted via any extremity, and is manifested as concussive force. Stellar Protector can choose to simply contain the energy in his hands, adding tremendous striking power to his physical blows. As he continued to grow in power and ability, he found himself able to use the same power he used to heal himself to heal others to a limited extent.
The Gem can also create photon seekers, in a manner similar to those of Kheldian Peacebringers.
The Stellar Gem's power can protect its owner, utilizing cosmic energies to render the Protector resistant to harm. This is often realized by creating a shell of cosmic energy around him. That same energy is also capable of healing his wounds, allowing him to survive wounds that would kill ordinary men (on one occasion, the Gem virtually rebuilt his body from the ground up after a near-death experience).
Eventually, Stellar Protector discovered that he could convert his body into energy as well; at first, he was only able to shift portions of his mass into energy, allowing him to enter a phased state, but with practice he was able to convert his entire body to cosmic force for a limited time. This process is arduous; the phased state conversion saps his strength, while the full conversion leaves him vulnerable for a brief period when the energy reconverts his body to its natural state. The Gem itself is converted as his body is, but remains bonded to him in ways he doesn't understand.
In addition to harnessing cosmic energy for assorted uses, the Stellar Gem aids its wearer in other ways.
The armor manifested from the Stellar Gem is polymimetic in nature, adapting itself to the situation around it. In the presence of heroes who concentrate on defense, it strengthens Stellar. In the presence of those who believe the best defense is a good offense, it hardens making the Protector even more difficult to harm. For those who use their powers to influence or control the battlefield, it adapts to render Stellar more resistant to similar effects.
The armor also provides the Gem-bearer the power to fly. While Stellar Protector's flight speeds are very limited in the boundaries of Paragon City (and for that matter, most of the lower atmosphere), the Gem has indicated that he can achieve roughly .1c (ten percent of the speed of light). Further, the bearer can travel through interstellar space by generating "warp portals"; the nature of these portals remains undefined at this time.
His speed can be increased to an extent by converting portions of his mass to energy, which has the side benefit of allowing him to pass through solid objects. Such a drastic change to his body is draining, and Stellar Protector cannot maintain such a state for long.
Until recently, Stellar Protector believed that he had reached the upper limits (on Earth) to the Gem's power. Lately, the Gem seemed to have continued increasing its power levels; his cosmic energies proving far easier to manipulate than before, and the raw power of the energy proving to overcome his opponents quicker. His shielding has also strengthened, leading him to speculate that the Gem is still increasing his personal power.
After hearing from Hyperion Force about the growing number of Incarnates, thanks to the Well of Furies, Stellar has begun wondering if the cosmic rift opened in the days of direct conflict between pure and tainted Gems may have pulled some of the Gems into the Well's power source; this theory has only gotten stronger over time, as the Gem has physically changed his armor and increased its power output in response to "Incarnate-level threats".
As a side note, thanks to his efforts as a leader of Hyperion Force and on his own, Longbow has been willing to assist him on especially dangerous assignments, requisitioning a Cataphract and a Warden to back him up if he calls for help.
Thompson was a pretty good detective in the PPD, and that hasn't gotten any less sharp. He has training in simple firearms, but has ceased using any since gaining his powers.
Weaknesses and Limitations
As a creation of the Kheldians, the Stellar Gem's bond with its host renders the host vulnerable to Quantum weaponry, as the source of its power duplicates the energies of a true Kheldian.
Stellar Protector in full armor
The Stellar Gem is a device that appears in its natural state as a clear, oddly shaped gemstone. When bonded to a host, it transforms into a band wrapped around some extremity of the host (in Stellar Protector's case, a bracer around his right forearm). The Gem has a sophisticated and advanced artificial intelligence, which can communicate. The Gem will only communicate to the host, however. When actively using its powers, the Gem will manifest an extension of itself around the host, for use as armor. It will also create a number of shards to use as minor throwing weapons to use against foes less mighty than the Nictus.
The Gem allows its host to survive in hostile conditions, from undersea depths, to outer space. It is implied that the Gem can enable its host to travel at interstellar speeds, but this implication has yet to be tested. The Gem allows communication with any species the host comes across; so far, it has demonstrated translations of every Earth language and a small number of alien ones.
Mark Thompson lived his entire life in Paragon City. Crime of the superpowered variety was nothing new to the city (although certainly not to the extent it grew to after the Rikti War); crime by the non-powered was equally large. Mark didn't have any special powers; he didn't have the mutant gene, for example. All the same, he was raised with a strong sense of right and wrong, so when he graduated high school, he applied for a job with the police department.
The Rikti War came and went; disasters of all kinds plagued Paragon City, and in that time, Mark managed to make Detective in the King's Row Precinct. But the city still seemed like it suffered and crime didn't seem to be receding at all, and superhuman crime became far more prevalent than non-powered crime.
Then, on August 25, 2008, things changed.
It was a routine crime scene. There were signs of tremendous carnage, of the type left over when heroes and villains go at it. There were innocent victims, too, people the heroes had arrived too late to save. Sickened to his soul by the dead, Mark wasn't thinking when he saw an oddly shaped clear gem in one of the rooms of the building-and he picked it up. The gem immediately transmuted, flowing over his hand like water until it formed a clear band around his right wrist.
Mark was already in a panicked state when the gem then spoke to him.
The Stellar Gem
The Gem revealed that it had been created a very long time ago, when the conflict between the aliens known as Kheldians and Nictus was still in its infancy. In the hopes of gaining an advantage over the ruthless Nictus, the Kheldians-and the race many of them had been Joined with at the time-attempted to strengthen their forces by enabling those without a Joined Kheldian to stand up to the Nictus as equals. They did this by creating the Stellar Gems.
Not true gems, these devices were a combination of weapon, armor, communications device, and information source, and bound to the user in ways similar to the means that Kheldians bound themselves to their hosts. Unfortunately, because these Gems were powered with energies similar to that of the Kheldians themselves, those bound to the gems were similarly vulnerable to weapons designed to kill the Kheldians. The experiment created ten thousand Stellar Protectors (as they came to be known). They defended their world against the Nictus alongside their Kheldian benefactors, and for a time, it appeared that the strategy would be a success-until the Nictus learned how to corrupt the Stellar Gems, and twist those bound to the gems to their own purposes.
The Kheldians had no choice but to fight their former comrades-in-arms. In the end, the Kheldians prevailed, but at a terrible cost-many Kheldians were permanently destroyed, and nearly all the Stellar Protectors had been slain, both those who aided the Kheldians and those who served the Nictus. Worse yet, the AIs in the Gems caused the Gems to scatter throughout the universe. Three of the Gems would be lost in the interstellar void, until they drifted too close to a wormhole, which deposited them between Mars and Earth.
The Gem revealed that one Gem was tainted, and fell into an island group in the Atlantic. Another was untainted, but landed into the Indian Ocean. A Nictus had managed to acquire the Gem now bonded to Mark, and attempted to taint that one as well; the Gem itself has insufficient information as to whether or not it succeeded. Nevertheless, Mark realized that his time as a simple police detective was over-now, he was humanity's first Stellar Protector!
Intro: Hyperion Force!
With the benefit of the Stellar Gem's analysis, Mark applied to the group of heroes known as Hyperion Force. At the time, the group was carefully rebuilding after a period of inactivity; in point of fact, their base of operations had recently been destroyed by parties unknown. Mark, as Stellar Protector, quickly found himself in the unlikely position of being Arc Tangent's right hand. Mark wasn't sure if he was really the right choice, but to his own surprise proved himself as a capable leader-even though he had some setbacks, particularly during a mission in the Rogue Islands.
His time in Hyperion Force has also been marred by attempts on his life; first, he was nearly killed at a tech facility owned by Solachroma Industries, a company involved with extraterrestrial research; he and one of the researchers were nearly slain when a quantum reactor overloaded in the facility. Later, his townhouse was destroyed in an explosion while he was inside; only the Gem's power as well as skillful surgeons kept Mark alive. He would later learn that at least one rogue Peacebringer wanted him dead, in order to destroy the Stellar Gem, fearing that its power could be far too dangerous to the Earth.
By the end of March, 2009, Mark found himself in a new situation; with the departure of Arc Tangent from the Force, he was promoted to co-Executive status with Mercurial Talon. To his own surprise, he has performed more than admirably in this role; the team defeated and brought to jail a number of villains, including an assassin contracted to kill members of the team, a mad scientist, and even Silver Mantis (until Arachnos broke her out again).
Invasion of the Gems
In late December 2009, a number of villains assaulted Kheldians across the city; all of them bore black versions of Stellar Protector's armor. It was determined that there were literally hundreds of Council soldiers wielding the tainted Gems. Mark himself was confronted with a trio of these Gem-Bearers, who captured him and took him to Arakhn. Through technology millennia old-but still in advance of humanity's efforts-Arakhn tainted Mark's Gem as he lay unconscious; the expectation was that the tainted Gem would kill Mark upon his awakening.
However, the heroes of Hyperion Force arrived to drive off the Council. It was determined to keep Mark medically comatose and insensible while they attempted to find some way of removing the permanent bond between his Gem and himself. The recovery of the third missing Gem in mid-February 2010 proved to be the answer; bonding it to Mark caused the two Gems to attack each other via the hero, but with the greater power of the pure Gem, in combination with the aid of his teammates and his own will to live, the tainted Gem was destroyed, leaving Mark bonded to the last remaining untainted Gem on Earth.
On September 16, 2010, Mark married the heroine Nivera after a lengthy engagement. Prior to this, he had spent time in space attempting to locate the alien race that had created the Stellar Gems, whom he gave the name "the Crafters". The trip had proven fruitless, as he found no sign of a living race-but time would show that his search had an unexpected result nonetheless.
In the latter part of October 2010, Mark was alerted to the arrival of four new Stellar Gems, which had bonded to new bearers across the world. Realizing that someone had to guide these nascent Stellar Protectors-and keep them from getting killed by the enemies they would inherit as a result-Mark stepped down as Executive officer of Hyperion Force to spend his time helping the new Protectors adjust to their new status and train them in the use of their alien weapons. Their time on Earth would be short-lived: in June 2011, Aaron Richardson destroyed all four of the recently arrived Gems-although fortunately, none of the nascent Stellar Protectors were injured in the process-during a gambit in which he arranged for virtually all of the the tainted Gems still in Council hands to be destroyed by the same procedure. This once again left Mark the sole Stellar Protector on Earth.
Mark took an indefinite leave of absence from Hyperion Force in early 2012 when he was contacted by the Vanguard concerning an old Russian excavation site which had concealed the presence of a large starship-one which had seemingly been constructed by the Crafters. He spent several months assisting a joint group of Vanguard and Russians in trying to uncover the secrets contained within and embodied by this vessel, but returned home to Kings Row so that he and Nivera could raise their newborn daughter, Judy.
- Paragon City Police Department (King's Row Precinct): Thompson was a detective in the Paragon City Police Department, at the King's Row precinct; while he has no official standing with the department at this time, he is still a resource that they call upon as a brother-in-arms, and he can call upon them for help as well.
- Hyperion Force: Upon the recommendation of his Stellar Gem, Thompson applied for membership with Hyperion Force; this recommendation came as a result of analysis of super-groups recruiting, in need, and of Thompson's own psychological profile. He was one of the group's co-leaders until his departure.
- Detectives Becktrees, Freitag, Wayne, Trace, and Clane: These detectives comprise the investigative arm of the Kings Row PPD; Thompson remains on excellent terms with them, and continue to work with them for a Kings Row Youth Basketball League.
- Nivera: Thompson recently married this Nemenian woman after a lengthy engagement. Amazingly, given the kind of things that tended to happen to them during the engagement, the wedding went off without a hitch.
- The Council: Upon learning of his Gem's origins, Stellar Protector has aided the local Kheldian population in their fight against the Council and their Nictus allies.
- Arachnos: Stellar Protector has clashed with Arachnos in his capacity as a member of Hyperion Force, particularly with the Arachnos Black Ops Brigade. He remains unaware of the existence of Stellar Abyss, one of the elite members of the Brigade.
- Corona Storm and Starbirth: These rogue Peacebringers have attempted to kill Stellar Protector in the past, fearing what the Stellar Gem is capable of doing if it should be corrupted, or if its power were loosed of control. Both were eventually captured on two separate occasions, and are being rehabilitated by the Kheldians.
- ↑ In keeping with the tradition of the City of Heroes naming detectives based on fictional cops, these detectives are named for other investigators of crime-Clane as a reference to John McClane of Die Hard; Trace referring to Dick Tracy; and Wayne refers to this guy who likes to dress up as a bat.
- Thompson still gets together with the detectives of the Kings Row PPD for weekly basketball games. While he is unable to participate in the inter-city PPD basketball league as a player due to his current status, he has taken on a "coaching" role to the Kings Row team. These detectives often spend time organizing youth basketball as well in Kings Row.
Stories (External links)