From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Real Name:||Carmen Maria de la Pastor Ramirez|
|Known Aliases:||Topo, Top, Xochi|
|Place of Birth:||Texas|
|Base of Operations:||Steel Canyon|
|Known Relatives:||Mother, Father, 2 Brothers, 4 Sisters, Assorted Others; Largely in Texas and Mexico|
|Divine Patronage; Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue|
|Storm Manipulation and Creation; Water Manipulation and Creation; Electricity Manipulation and Creation|
|Obsidian Knives, Combat Suit|
|Divine Aura; Heart as a Sun and Blood as Burning Water. Very religious, attempting to convert people to her faith regularly.|
Theme Song: Before My Body is Dry (( It's close enough 8D ))
Carmen is a charitable, albeit sometimes awkward, individual. Formerly a full time hero, she has now decided to dedicate her powers to helping those less fortunate in a more meaningful way; by creating water and charging large batteries that are sent to villages in third world countries to help improve their quality of life. She can only help so much, but she does what she can.
Having recently come out of retirement to continue work part time, Carmen has gone on a few missions for various mercenary groups, most notable being her time working for John Starkweather. Such a decision she has regretted quite a lot, and continues to regret more with each day.
Carmen does not have powers. She makes this very clear whenever people ask her. She merely uses the powers of her patrons. Her tie to her patrons has left a mark in her body, when the connection is established, her healing is enhanced and she has her divine aura of glorious sun in her heart. There is truth in the blood.
One day as a young woman, Carmen found herself at a zoo. She had been near the alligator enclosure, a larger swampier area, with an elevated walkway above it that crossed from one side to the other over the waters in the middle of the enclosure. There had been a couple of college fraternity guys, they had sneaked in alcohol, and were drinking, and talking about stealing a gator to hide in the dean's office as a prank. Carmen didn't think of it until she found herself and them on the walkway and they tried to sneak in. She grabbed at them to try to pull them back up on the walkway, and the railing broke. They all tumbled into the enclosure, and into the water.
The alligators were quick to come and find them. Their thrashing drew attention. People near the enclosure were freaking out more than they were. Far below where they were, and in murky water with dangerous animals, there would appear to be little they could do.
Tlaloc spoke to Carmen in that moment. Comforted her. Told her that she would be okay. While the fraternity brothers found themselves dragged into the maw of reptilian beasts, she found herself dragged in a different way; Tlaloc told her to take a deep breath, and thousands of tiny hands dragged her into the water.
In those moments beneath the dark water, Carmen saw visions of Tlalocan. Of Tlaloc and his wife, Chalchiuhtlicue. They spoke to her, told her of the purpose they were giving her, and about all she could do to help save the world. That she just had to learn how to properly make sacrifices in exchange for the ability.
Carmen woke up later, in a first aid facility at the zoo. They told her she had nearly drowned, that she was lucky to be alive, lucky to not have a scratch on her. She wasn't lucky, she was blessed. She was chosen. She had her mission.
Over the next few months, Carmen practised her sacrifice. The sting of the knife scored her body, and the smell of burnt blood adorned a small altar. She didn't have what others would call powers yet. She was still just training. That is, until one fateful day.
Camping Trip Event
So it came to pass that one day her family, and many friends of the family, decide to go camping further up north in Colorado. Fun, games, campfires, fishing, hiking, drinking, and sharing stories; there was a good time to be had by all. Unfortunately, due to dry conditions, and the rather callous carelessness of their fellow campers, the trip soon turned to tragedy.
Fire broke out at the campground.
Spreading fast, they soon found themselves in a rather dangerous situation. The blaze began to block out the way out. They frantically gathered themselves up and began to try to get out of there, only to find the roads unyielding. Alternate ways were necessary to get out. Fire departments responded as fast as possible, to try to help clear them out, but the choking smoke left little hope in them.
Tlaloc spoke to Carmen again. He told her that she could save them all. That she was ready to perform the truest sacrifice, and open the gut of the clouds with her blood. She could save everyone, and so she did. Finding solitude, Carmen performed the necessary sacrifice in quiet, using the very flames of the forest fire to burn them in offering.
Lightning cracked, and the heavens opened up. Water came pouring down. The rain battled the forest fire, soaking the world, and became a large boon for the firefighters. While they did not know what she had done for them, they had worked together to save almost everyone. She blames herself to this day about her inability to actually save everyone. She could have been a better sacrifice. She could have done it. But unfortunately, many died, notably children.
She didn't attend their funerals, for her shame. Instead she communed with her patrons and found what they needed her to do. She was ready, they said. She could save the world.
The Starkweather Job
Words almost fail to describe just how bad the job went. The craft to send them into space was shoddy, and nearly killed them. The nullification field was selective. Her arm broken and foot sprained, she had to work with rather uncooperative persons, some with a fetishistic desire for science, and others who simply wanted her dead.
She met some competent people on the mission, of course, she wouldn't have survived otherwise. Gerad, Calculated Cataclysm, Alpha. More than capable, they helped keep things together when things appeared to be falling apart. It was also her first time meeting Koneko, Siat'Maht, and a few others, and the beginning of a lot of drama.
The alien hybrid on board possessed remarkable healing capabilities, even within the nullification field, and took concerted effort to counter and fight. It was almost like something from film. Acid blood, regeneration, hiding in vents, dark alien spaceship, advanced plasma weapons, a tiny gun that shot a bigger boom than any of the rifles. They managed to complete their mission, which was hand over control of the spaceship to John Starkweather.
Siat and Gerad each had their own influence upon the ending. Siat established himself as the captain, and Gerad destroyed a large portion of the ship. Carmen doesn't know why he did this, but she assumed he had his reasons. Siat likely did it just for selfishness.
The pay was great, and she was able to donate a lot to the GGWC because of it.
The aftermath was less great, the alien hybrid appears to now be loose in Pocket D, and John has begun hiring hookers based on the event for some kind of fetish.
Slaying an Elder God
Again, fault of John, some artefact he had in his possession brought a large swathe of Pocket D's patrons into a hellscape. Pitted without power or tool against the workings of a god, they were all but powerless. The less said about the specifics of what occurred in the hellscape, the better. Many sore subjects were brought to light. Many dark secrets and fears came true.
As it turned out, this was the work of a Malithrax, seeking to create mass outrage at his god, Amok the Undying. His intention? To make them kill Amok, who had experienced all save for death.
So they did. The dark twisted angel and harbinger of pain and torment was rend in twain and burnt to cinders. The god infused with death and undying was rendered inert; dead. The battle was great, the flesh woven scape of hell ripping asunder as plague and vile darkness battled to crush the light of the heroes.
But the sun burns eternal. Dark gods don't bask, they whither.
Amok was laid low, and destroyed; as by design, but still no small feat.
Contact with her Other Half
Carmen's time following the death of Amok and Malithrax was troubled. Visions haunted her and in her worry she began to sacrifice more to try to do even more than before. Friends learned more about the nature of her powers and while she was able to convert more and more to the faith, others wanted to intervene for her safety.
Rachel and Rachel, and Laura, offered themselves ( according to one Rachel's word ) as sacrifices to be used in Carmen's stead, as an enhanced understanding of the nature of her patronage made it clear that it would cost less in their blood than her own due to how she valued people- namely others more than herself.
But this caused a great fear in Carmen- she made a deal with Rachel and found herself immediately breaking it. She couldn't use their blood if she needed more blood right away, after all. So she spent her powers and with a shaking hand she went to bleed again. She didn't get the chance.
Maitiltlalia, her nahualli, established connection and assumed direct control. For the following week, she, rather than her, handled Carmen's business- though made no attempt to hide what had happened. There was much concern for Carmen, but Maitiltlalia was not going to let Carmen die, as she didn't want to die for her mistake.
So Maitiltlalia took actions to assure Carmen would understand the gravity and importance of sacrifice that she did so blasé before.
Rico's Bones Arc
Death in the Family
Carmen's cousin, Rico, had spent some time in the hospital, for an unknown heart condition. However after a week there the symptoms seemed to have passed and unable to afford keeping him there, his parents had him discharged. Somewhere between the hospital and home, however, Rico went missing. How exactly this happened is unknown, still, as he was discharged and taken home in his parents' car. He would arrive home later than them, but was dead.
And his bones, missing. A threat left behind with them.
Freaking out, Carmen relied on her friends and strangers to try to keep calm, and keep a strangely reborn Menace off her. Laura took her to another room while Marty handled the threat. From there, she arranged things with Laura to get her family to safety. Longbow agents came and took them to a secret GGWC safehouse.
So began a long series of friends and strangers signing up to help Carmen find her cousin's bones, so that he may rest, and that those responsible may be brought to justice.
El Paso Church Office
Research indicated that FAITS, a star and fertility cult that had a strangely clean record full of circumstantial and coincidental wrong doing only but overt opposition to GGWC, was likely responsible for the death. They were involved but never confirmed so with related cases, would have access to the snakes that would have produced the toxins that were ruled responsible for Rico's death, and so an operation was put into place.
Carmen, Van, Marty, Laura, Andrew, Datalink, Bianca, and later Clint worked together to infiltrate a small church office of FAITS near El Paso. However, things of course did not go as planned.
They knew they were coming. They were scoped, caught on camera, caught by guard patrol, set traps for, and for Marty, Carmen, and Laura to start there was a psychic invasion to hamper their ability to perform their duty on the mission.
While over-preperation paid off in keeping them safe despite this, a critical judgement error soon ruined all their planning at once. Datalink's analysis of the gas revealed that it should not be flammable, and so Van could safely use his powers after the area was flooded with the lethal gas. This was a mistake.
There was no longer hiding their presence, police and fire and medical responders were on the way and everyone around could tell something was going on as well. Laura incapacitated the 12 on site guards, and their vehicle, and Marty was able to call in Clint, seeking his help in healing.
A police liaison, a local hero, had arrived and she went to work healing them while Carmen collapsed outside the building. Those inside entered a secret basement and broke through to a room that was one half sacrificial chamber and one half information storage.
And they found the information they needed. The 'local hero' left around Clint's arrival as he took over healing, although those she helped found themselves similarly invaded by the psychic aversion. Not that it mattered, they were done now. Only, Carmen was also done.
Left outside, she was found in a critically injured state, having apparently absorbed all the damage dealt to the others in the explosion. She was taken to a hospital where she remained for some time while the others would continue their investigations.
The Mexican Cartel Warehouse
Investigation revealed that the local hero who helped heal them was not with the police, or even a hero, or even known. More investigation simply revealed more problems. Precognition, or future seeing through oracles, the reason Rico was chosen in particular, shape shifters, corruption, influence, too good of timing, secret shady deals, and tenuous connections with the cartels and more overt cults.
But Rico's bones were located.
So with everyone healed as much as they could be, the team went on another mission, this time only Carmen, Laura, Marty, Andrew, and Dan. Smaller, faster, but still packing the power of two full supers.
The warehouse was confirmed under cartel hands, they had acquired it before the FAITS could remove the bones, and now the cartel was using coffins with the bones to help ship and push drugs, particularly cocaine. More of this ended up being consumed in the mission than would otherwise have been advisable. Mostly by Marty.
However, through a car chase, sky battle, flaming drug explosions, deals with corrupt police, breaking those deals, a street war between cartel thugs, cops, federales, longbow, and the heroes, they were ultimately able to recover not only Rico's bones, but the bones of countless others. That, and apprehend the shape shifter villain, who was taken into Longbow custody.
Powers, Equipment, Methods
Carmen is powered by the patronage of Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue. Supernatural forces, gods, they grant her some of their power in return for sacrifice. Carmen routinely performs autosacrifice in exchange for these divine boons, as it is necessary for her to continue her work with helping the world.
Carmen's sacrifices only mean anything while she has an established connection to the divine. If something disrupts it, she cannot use the boons. While connected, her divine aura is present and bright. When disconnected she registers are completely mortal.
To access the boons, Carmen gives blood, usually at the end of a knife. She has an assortment of obsidian daggers for her ritualistic offerings. However, her combat suit has a built in push-dagger for her to rapidly make more sacrifices to keep herself powerful and fighting. These blades also function as secondary weapons, of course.
Sacrifices need not be fresh to be useful, but have to have been made in a way that truly involved sacrifice. However, due to her charity work, she does not keep much reserve of divine power on hand.
Sacrificial damage done as part of her payment for boons is incredibly hard to heal; it would require the person healing to sacrifice about as much as they heal of her to do. Not the same amount of damage, but a proportionate sacrifice. Otherwise, the sacrificial damage must heal roughly as normal.
In combat, Carmen supports her comrades with a variety of weather effects, but primarily is about stopping her foes. Her attacks hit hard, and are usually in some way debilitating.
Carmen is a large proponent of charity, and donates most of the money she makes, and uses of her powers, around the world. In particular, she works with Golden Glory Worldwide Charity (GGWC). The GGWC was founded in Mexico originally as an organization to further the cause of the indigenous people, but soon spread to helping impoverished people worldwide. She donates money, water, and batteries from her own inner storm to this organization, and they handle the logistics of distributing it.
Carmen will some times go on trips to various locations where GGWC has had a positive impact, in order to help raise awareness of the struggle the people there are going through. This usually coincides with larger sacrificial donations from her to bring about rains and keep the power on. Afterwards, Carmen is usually drained and needing of rest, so she returns home for privacy and vacation.
Personal Views & Morals
Carmen is fairly devout in her worship of the Teotl. Their influence can be seen in her views on things now, mingled with her original upbringing, and personal experience. For ease, they will be put into bullet points below
- Strong central authority, the strong and capable should rule
- Everyone is capable of being strong
- The community before the self
- Sacrifice and selflessness
- Compassion and kindness
- Courage and valour
- Having children is important
- Modesty and humility
- More worship of the Teotl is necessary
- Sacrifices should only be made by those who understand what they sacrifice
- Duty and diligence
- Charity is strength
- If it's bad, it was probably Tezcatlipoca's fault
- Shut up and listen if Tezcatlipoca is being serious
Truth in the Blood; Spoilers
Carmen is not want to admit some of the truths in her past. Some police reports may give clue to the events described here, but without excessive digging and investigation, the truths below are likely hers and hers alone now.
Before it All
Carmen was chosen because of her predisposition to cutting. The blade met her skin many times before she fell into the alligator enclosure. Depressed, and seeing herself lowly, the pain of the blade made her feel somewhat in control. It was a pain she could influence properly. Pain that mattered, when so much didn't seem to matter.
Unheard, a voice whispered. Unseen, eyes watched over. Before she knew him, he knew her. In the basement of her home, in secret she would cut herself, and he saw promise.
The zoo event didn't happen as she said. Police reports will be keen to point out that more than her and the fraternity boys fell into the enclosure. Carmen had been in love with her, for years they had been together in secret. She had been the only one to know what she did, and the only one to make her feel special. Her love didn't know what was pulling Carmen down, and did her best to pull her back up. Stuck in the murky waters, she couldn't save Carmen, and tried to go to get breath so she wouldn't die, herself.
But Carmen stopped her.
In the dreamy world of Tlalocan, Carmen held to her love. She had to show her the paradise. She had to show her the beauty. Her love had been in pain with her, but now she could be at peace. So she held her, embraced her, drowned her. The dark waters clogged her vision, and she woke in paradise, yet she was not thankful. She did not want to die, even if it meant this.
When Carmen awoke, she was alone. No person could understand. No one could know. The blade cut deep that night, but not solely for the sacrifice.
Camping Trip Event
Carmen would speak that the sacrifice to call the rains was hard. That it hurt her deeply. That she didn't think she'd be able to live after doing it.
That wasn't because how much she had cut from herself.
From all the practice at autosacrifice, the techniques, the methods, she had been prepared to perform the sacrifice of others without knowing it. When Tlaloc told her that she could bring the rains, and she asked how, he told her what he needed for them.
Huddled in fear, the panic of people trying to gather themselves up, Carmen offered to go find the children. No one thought anything of, Carmen was a fine upstanding young woman. She knew where the children had been playing, and so went there. The children were scared, the smoke and flame already bringing them to tears and coughing spurts. She took them by the hand, and told them that she would bring them to safety.
She would save them. Each cut made the storm stronger. Each child made the rain spread. Each life saved more.
She had done the right thing.
She sat on her knees. She cried, in the rain. She cried in the forest. She had sacrificed something that hurt. She gave up something she had never wanted to.
She had done the right thing.
She understood; ten children had died because of her, but many more people had lived. They sat in paradise. They were eternal, and loved, and safe. Their lives over, but their spirits eternal, and safe from danger. Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue would not permit harm to come to them ever again. They would play games, and have friendships to last until the end of time.
She had done the right thing.
She left for Paragon City, at their behest, shortly after.
More than sacrificing just herself, Carmen does sacrifice others, though she's quick to deny it. On her visits to where her donations end up, she will have long discussions with families and the children. She has established a variety of small cults to Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue in these places; though with some regulation. Only autosacrifice is permitted when she, or another proper agent of the gods, is not there. When she is there, she addresses the needs of the community and performs necessary sacrifices to help them achieve such ends.
Golden Glory Worldwide Charity is itself secretly a cult to the Teotl. They keep their worship hidden, and do what they can to help feed the gods so that the world can be made stronger.
Persons of Interest
- Tlaloc: "He is my patron, and my god. I do as he asks."
- Chalchiuhtlicue: "She is my patron, and my goddess. I do as she asks."
- Most of the Teotl: "Without them, the world would have fallen apart far worse than it already has. If they were properly fed, we wouldn't need heroes."
- Koneko Toujou: "I've given up. She is not my duty, she is another's. I wash my hands of her for now. If she improves, I'll try again. I can't help those who refuse to help themselves."
- Daniel Hunter: "I think he's from the future. He's funny, though, good guy."
- Black Falconess: "She doesn't approve of my religion, but that's... okay. We can still be friends so long as she doesn't try to stop me."
- Jack, the Bounty Hunter
- Jackson: "Claims to be an asshole. I think he is one, but not as much as he may claim."
- Revenant: "The least grim reaper I can think of."
- Marty: "Converted him to Xochipilli. Obviously he has good tastes."
- Van: "He seems nervous and worried about too many things. He needs a vacation."
- Scylla: "Successfully converted, she's way more intelligent than I am, but let's hope she can be at least a fraction as faithful!"
- Celosia: "She has the patience of a saint."
- Doctor Gerad: "Intelligent, confident; he's a leader. If only more people would follow. Also, saved me from the Rachels. That was nice of him."
- Calculated Cataclysm: "Kind of an asshole, but somehow incredibly endearing. I think it's because he's funny."
- Guardian Deluca: "For a simple mortal Longbow, he's remarkable. An excellent leader, he has a bright future ahead of him."
- Insectoid: "Please stop vomiting. Please."
- Acanous: "I don't even begin."
- Laura: "I knew it! I knew it! I knew she'd end up with Deluca! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh they're going to be cute. What? Stop looking at me like that!"
- Foul Agent 97: "Mook with a heart of gold. I want to help him... maybe establish a mission in the Etoile Islands? If only Arachnos would let me."
- Vivi: "She doesn't look 4 years old..."
- Reiraku: "Chinese Amazonian, I believe was how she said to describe her. A matriarch to be, but humble."
- Renvia: "Interesting faith, shame she went full Monotheistic. Such denial in that claim."
- Bianca: "Security officer, I guess. Her eyes are very interesting, could almost get lost in them... not in that way."
- Rachels 1 and 2: "They make things vibrate. You can see the trouble."
- Jerricha: "A prostitute with delusions of grandeur. Huehuecoyotl would be proud."
< WIP >
- Tezcatlipoca: "Tezcatlipoca is my king. I know that without him I would perish. But he does earn his name, enemy of both sides..."
- Cipactli: "If it were not for Tlaloc, you would wake. If it were not for Tezcatlipoca, you would live. I hope their efforts keep you held at bay."
- Itzpapalotl: "The Obsidian Butterfly is not to be trifled with."
- The Tzitzimime: "Space is scary."
- Mixcoatl: "These are not your hunting grounds."
- Coyolxauhqui: "Each step on your face rings insults more true than your bells."
- Mayahuel: "If only you were not so excessive. You are to blame for many problems."
- Malinalxochitl: "You have no honour."
- The Banished Pantheon: "False gods burn in the light of the sun."
- Arachnos: "You remind me of Malinalxochitl. Powerful, conqueror, but corrupt and cruel. Huitzilopochtli was right to put a stop to her, and we are right to put a stop to you."
- The Rikti: "We did not need more danger from the stars."
- Most Necromancers: "Could you not? The afterlife isn't that bad, let the dead rest. Stop disrupting the natural order."
- John Starkweather: "His blood is not even worth sacrificing."
- Siat'Maht: "Obviously capable, but he's an asshole. Unrepentant."
- Malithrax: "Him and his god got what they wanted. And what I wanted for them. His spawn, however..."
- That stupid alien hybrid: "Tezcatl's Taint, why does this thing even exist?"
- That prostitute who pretended to be a 'last of her kind alien princess': "I know you were probably paid well, doesn't mean I have to like you."
< WIP >
Quotes about Topoxochi
(( Want to put an IC quote from your character about Carmen? Edit it in below here! ))
Last Updated: 9/11/2015