From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
A moniker granted to him by Adolf Hitler during an impromptu congress in January 1943, this is Zahn's second designation on Earth, and perhaps his most internationally well-known. The origins of this name are assuredly rooted in Zahn's preference for swift and merciless action against his opponents, which he unhesitatingly demonstrated in the controlled combat exercises initiated in the Reichsbunker, beneath the Reichstag in Berlin. From his February 1943 inception into WW2 in Tunisia to the Fall of the Reich in 1945, the Hyperseig fought tirelessly on behalf of the Fuhrer's fascist cause across Africa, Europe and the Eastern Front in Russia. Over the course of the war he worked very closely with Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, with whom he shared a similar outlook on the honourable treatment of non-combatants that persists to this day.
(Placeholder for the modern Hypersiege pending completion of 'Present' history)
Though technically no different from his Hypersiege persona, Solstice Prime was Zahn's first designation on Earth, granted to him by Stalin himself. To the WW2 historical community these two are one and the same, whereas to Zahn the duality represents a important distinction of history and ability. Solstice Prime as an active anti-hero did not come about until the Cold War, where he was known as the fire-slinging hero of the Soviet peoples.
Aleksandr Zahn, Marconeville Mogul
The son of a wealthy Georgian (Country) wine tycoon, Aleksandr Zahn is best known in America for his position as Founder and President of Zahn Corp. Internationally he is more renowned for his close friendships with the politically powerful, having acted as a legal adviser to high profile U.N. Security Council attendees in the late 1950s and 1960s. He is also something of a celebrity for his outward youth, despite the fact that he has attested to having practiced law since 1951.
Maintaining a primary residence in Marconeville, Port Oakes, it has been publicized that "Aleksandr Zahn's is a name the Family wont cross", which has been proven over the years as his seemingly legitimate company has grown exponentially even in the face of so much regional corruption. The true reasons for this are unknown to the general public, and Mr. Zahn prefers to keep it that way. Tabloids have also featured him as a member of the clandestine Illuminati, a faction whose existence has widely been dismissed as a myth.
More recently Mr. Zahn has been spotted in Paragon City, where it is reported that he intends to acquire uptown property for a sizable branch office.
The conglomerate known as Zahn Corp. was founded by Aleksandr Zahn in the Spring of 1974, originally as a private consulting firm specializing in Intellectual Property, Securities in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Biomedical Engineering and more prominently Research and Development. Today it exists as an international conglomerate, grossing many billions per year from its unique approach to consulting and consolidation, as well as the wide portfolios of its prominent leaders, though perhaps none so much as Mr. Zahn himself.
While most legitimate businesses would scoff at moving their headquarters to a metropolis reputed to be thoroughly entrenched by organized criminals, Zahn Corp. is said to enjoy a surprising lack of interference from the organized factions within Port Oakes, even agents of Arachnos itself. Very few members of the general public are aware of the corporation's most lucrative contracts under the Research and Development division, some of which include the outsourced manufacture of Crey Power Armour, Arms Development, and numerous other clandestine ventures. Why would the Family deign to keep its nose out of such potentially lucrative affairs? This is a question better posed to the villains Hypersiege and Comrade Crossfire, who have conveniently "encouraged" many of the corporation's competitors since the business' inception in the Americas.
Prominent Members include Sergei Kraussfyr, Vice President of Research and Development.
Most certainly a product of his direct relationship to the last Divine Emperor of Solaar, Zahn III is, for all intents and purposes, the 3rd generation descendant of Zahn Prime, the main sequence star in the distant Solaarian Galaxy. While the star went nova over 1,000,000 years ago, in the height of its glory it existed as the semi-sentient deity of the Holy Solaarian Empire for several billion years. Each of it's three descendants were male, and all exhibited the same characteristics of physical and mental brilliance, immortality, nigh-invulnerability, and the complex ability to manipulate matter and energy on a sub-atomic level - even their own bodies.
By exerting some measure of stored energy, the exact origins of which are unknown, Zahn is capable of altering the flow of electrons in virtually any form to produce the desired effect. While there are some theoretical limits to this ability, during World War II Zahn was known to the russian commoner as the Angel of Destruction for the raging infernos he left behind on his battlefields. Other accounts attested that entire units under his command moved at unbelievable speeds across the land, lending further mobility to the already startlingly responsive Nazi forces.
Mass and Matter Manipulation
With a small amount of concerted effort Zahn is capable of altering the physical properties of matter as well as energy, whether by increasing overall mass, density, or otherwise, on a sub-atomic level. It is through this gift that many believe his uncanny strength is derived, as former allies at the Nuremberg Trials testified that he seemed to 'draw strength from within'. Allied scientists have presented many theories regarding this ability in their search for a chink in Zahn's armour, the most feasible of which attests that, by increasing the density of his musculature by many hundreds of pounds per cubic inch and infusing them with energy (typically solar in origin) he has made amazing displays of power.
Weaknesses and Limitations
More a limitation than a weakness, it has been observed that Zahn can project only so much energy at a time, and requires at least a full minute of rest to focus his energies towards different disciplines.
For example, while Hypersiege was widely known to have titan-like strength and uncanny regenerative abilities during his exploits in World War II, this was not the case during his evolution as Solstice Prime, when experimentation indicated that the primary focus of his powers was the release of stellar heat and the willful manipulation of subatomic particles. While there are clear similarities in both instances, this 'shifting' is indicative of a limitation that even Zahn does not fully understand. Further adding to the conundrum is one Comrade Crossfire, who obtained his powers from self-augmentation using Zahn's DNA, only possesses those abilities which Zahn exhibited as Solstice Prime.
???? - ????, Entropy Prevails
Amidst the roiling nebulae some thousands of light years away, an expansive interplanetary empire once dominated the galaxy known as Solaar. An infallibly advanced civilization, its technological prowess far outweighed even that of Earth's future Ouroboros. It was during the earth's Pleistocene era, some 1,000,000 years ago that the stellar body the peoples of Solaar had worshipped for eons could no longer be contained. In a brilliant flash of blinding light, the galaxy's only sun, Zahn Prime, went supernova, utterly destroying 12 planetary bodies along with all life upon their surface.
All life, save the lone scion of the galaxy's divine Emperor. The adolescent Zahn III, Crown Prince of the Holy Solaarian Empire was thrown clear of the stellar explosion, his divine lineage proving true by virtue of his survival. Hurtling through space at an impossible speed, the unconscious prince finally made impact with the planetary body known as Eroth, later known as Earth. It was there amidst the glacier-ensconced wasteland he would remain, comatose for the next million years.
1939 - 1942, Stalin's Discovery
On the morning of June 21st, 1939, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin received a report from NKVD Director Lavrentiy Beria that detailed a number of unprecedented spikes in geothermal activity seemingly emanating from a central point within Karla Crater in the Tatarstan region. By the time NKVD forces had received permission to break ground, they arrived to find a pool of liquid magma bubbling up from a hole in the crater center. In less than half an hour the earth around it began to melt away as well, revealing a body of meteoric iron, some 6 feet long. Special equipment was brought in to recover the meteorite, and the incident was quickly covered up: witnesses without security clearance were silenced, magma cooled, with the discovery being shuttled to Moscow for review.
The U.S.S.R's top scientists were able to compile marginal amounts of data after a short number of weeks, but all reports stemmed from the same fact: the incident's catalyst was undoubtedly related to the alignment of Summer Solstice, when the Earth's surface is closest to the sun. It was this discovery which prompted one Professor Sergei Kraussfyr, a russo-german physicist recently ejected from Germany, to bombard the stellar deposit with solar radiation at intense heat, thus replicating the effect of complete solar proximity. Kraussfyr, having acted as a german informant for Stalin in decades past, was easily able to garner support for his experiment, as it was generally believed that the meteoric body was a limitless source of energy. As a result, facilities were immediately designed and erected in the Stalingrad region, and a date was set.
Top members of the Comintern and ranking military officials gathered around a circular chamber designed to enact the experiment, watching in awe as what was thought to be a nigh-indestructible metal melted away like an ice sculpture in June. In only 4 minutes time, the gathered assemblage gasped as the last of the now mercury-like metal melted harmlessly to the floor. A beautiful, red-skinned humanoid lay amidst the liquid remains of the meteorite, his fiery hair growing more radiant as the solar bombardment steadily increased. The true source of the mens' awe, however, was the luminous aura that pervaded around the creature, growing ever stronger as its body reacted to the imposed proximity to the "sun". As the rays grew more intense, so did the dispositions of onlooking scientists, as Kraussfyr's hand pushed the density lever further and further towards the maximum.
When the attending technicians in the outer chamber began to pass out, Kraussfyr's peers clamored at the control mechanism, struggling in vain to force their way past the sizable NKVD guards that surrounded him. Stalin, who looked on from the back row of the circular theater, was too enamored with the discovery to care. What he saw laying amidst a pool of mercury was not a scientific boon, but a weapon! A weapon he could use to destroy the Soviet-oppressing Nazi regime, and dominate the whole of Asia.
As the radition output reached 10,000 REM, the being that would be dubbed Solstice Prime stirred from his torpor. With sparkling azure eyes looking upon the third dimension for the first time in over 1,000,000 years, he drank in what he perceived to be the power of a nearby stellar body, coaxing unbelievable amounts of energy from the Soviet machinery. It was when the soviet instruments we strained beyond their limits that Prime found no more energy, falling immediately back into torpor. Striding into the now radiation-free chamber with impunity, Kraussfyr looked through the reflective glass toward his benefactor, whom he knew was overjoyed beyond words. The Soviet plans for war were about to change.
Over the course of the next three years, Kraussfyr oversaw the implementation of 'Project Solstice' - a government-funded experiment whose ultimate goal was to prepare the subject codenamed Solstice Prime for service in "special operations in the armed forces". Kraussfyr spent these years introducing Prime to a multitude of various stimuli and reviewing data in the hopes of understanding the true limits of his abilities. Like Stalin, the specimen's origins were insignificant insofar as he was concerned - it was of much greater interest to understand the potential that could be coaxed from within.
During the second year of the project's implementation, Prime, who had been exposed more and more to generalized aspects of humanity, was found to have the ability to augment certain superficial elements of his visage. The vibrant red skin that had prompted such awe in his awakening chamber could be shifted to a more neutral tone in an instant; fire-yellow hair toned down to a bright blonde. Despite these voluntary alterations, the intense aura of energy was still unmistakable in the wake of his daily solar "feedings". While most of the scientists on the project were fascinated, these developments concerned Kraussfyr, as it seemed to indicate that their precious specimen had educated itself beyond their ability to control. No reports were issued on his opinions in this regard, and as a result Stalin was actually pleased by the development. He knew that the people's acceptance of Prime's angelic appearance would be further smoothed over by some measure of normalcy - and thus a trump card of propaganda to be used against peoples both within and without: this champion, sent from the heavens, would obey him and him alone in the obliteration of Russia's enemies. Unfortunately for him, this plan would never come to fruition.
By June 29th, 1942, Kraussfyr's staff had very nearly packed up their facilities and research for relocation to Moscow prior to the imminent arrival of a German siege on Stalingrad. All that remained was the specimen himself, awaiting transport by an armoured convoy that had been due from Moscow weeks earlier. Telegraphs were attempted to inquire about the status or possible foul-play, but it was later found that these never reached their destination.
Nazi intelligence, having been informed of the Soviet discovery months prior, had mobilized internal agents and intercepted the convoy, which arrived on the morning of June 29th. Kraussfyr, suspecting that the secrecy of his project had been compromised, made plans to escape with the specimen before the German agents could reach its chamber, but realized that he was too late as violent shouting erupted on the floor above. In an act that would change the outcome of World War II, Kraussfyr burst into Prime's chamber and quickly drew a vial of magma-hot blood from his slumbering specimen. Stopping only a moment to look upon the alien's angelic form, he had no way of knowing that this was the last time he would look upon Solstice Prime in a state of such infantile innocence. Escaping through a series of hidden tunnels connected to Stalingrad's sewer network, Kraussfyr made his way to Moscow, where he would later use this stolen DNA to augment himself and oppose the Nazi military machine on behalf of his motherland. (See Comrade Crossfire)
1942 - 1945, Fuhrer's Weapon
Nazi General Maximilian von Weichs, who received the convoy from his headquarters outside Stalingrad, ordered Prime stripped and shackled for immediate transport to Berlin, where the Fuhrer would inspect their captive personally. Weichs, foreseeing an inevitable defeat in the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, knew from intelligence reports that the successful capture of Solstice Prime would be the perfect method of overshadowing future failures. In this he was correct, as Hitler was overjoyed by the possibilities Prime presented to him, nevermind the obvious advantage in propaganda, which his Soviet nemesis had counted on years prior. Despite Wiech's later defeat in the battle, he was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall on February 1, 1943.
Though they perhaps nurtured the same intent, the Nazi's methods for conditioning their new weapon were much more severe than the Soviets. While torture or invasive experimentation upon the subject was expressly forbidden by the Fuhrer, indoctrination made up the mainstay of the 'conditioning' process by which Hitler intended to make Prime believe in their fascist cause. It was around this time that the aftereffects of Prime's eons-long torpor had begun to subside, as more and more exposure to faint amounts of radiant energy from the surface awakened new portions of his brain. Where he had once been as a fledgling who understood only survival, he was growing closer and closer to comprehending his abilities, and of even more significance: remembering his past. Linguistic capability began to return in December of 1942, when it is officially recorded that Prime's first uttered words were 'Mein Fuhrer'. Overjoyed by such a gesture of fealty by what had become his favoured "pet", Hitler was completely oblivious to the fact that Prime, now regaining his memories daily, had initiated the fledgling stages of a campaign of manipulation that would continue for years.
With memories regained, 'Prime' knew himself as Zahn again for the first time in over a million years. While it has always been suspected that his motivation for willingly supporting the Axis could be mostly attributed to brainwashing, the actual reasons are known only to Zahn himself.
Now that Hitler was satisfied with his pet's loyalty, he ordered combat tests be carried out immediately. No longer the doe-eyed amnesiac, Zahn demonstrated his physical prowess with awe-inspiring ferocity, flawlessly killing fifteen special ops troops who were ordered to track and destroy him in a vast underground complex. This delighted his Fuhrer, who, ignoring the urgings of his scientists for further study in a controlled environment, immediately arranged transport for Zahn to Tunisia. Prior to shipping out, prominent members of the Nazi party were called together in the Reich's Congress Chamber to witness the promotion of their Fuhrer's new champion. All watched - some in awe, some in horror - as the vibrant-skinned alien marched onto stage beside Hitler, uniformed and decorated as a Generalmajor. It was here that Hitler announced an unswerving faith in his champion, dubbed Hypersieg. He shared his belief that this "perfect being", delivered to the Reich by Heaven, was further proof of the validity of their cause, and would prove the downfall of all who opposed the Reich. The true test of these claims was not far off...
On February 19th, 1943 Erwin Rommel initiated the attack on Kasserine Pass in Tunisia. It was on the eve of the first day of battle that routed American troops were introduced to the threat that was the Fuhrer's champion. Tanks were upturned with bare hands, assault rifle and light support fire turned aside like so much chaff on the wind. With two of the three Allied forces MIA, and the third having taken such heavy losses in retreating, morale plummeted even further with tales of the so-called Wehrmacht Beast that had pulverized troops and shattered tanks beyond repair. While credit for these victories would ultimately be granted to Rommel, commissioned officers within the Afrika Corps were quite aware of this Hyperseig's presence amongst their ranks in Tunisia. Rommel, initially fearful of a potentially volatile element having been introduced into his operations, found Zahn to be an extremely agreeable and obedient subordinate, and planned to make great use of his abilities in the months to come.
The Statesman's Stalemate
Rommel's plans for Zahn would come to a halt in late February, 1943, due to anything but chance. Not only had the Allies called in General George S. Patton, America's foremost expert on armoured warfare, but the General's close friend - a hero called the Statesman, as well. It was upon a small plateau outside the village of Thala that Zahn would meet his match. During a skirmish on the open Tunisian plains outside Thala, Hyperseig had nearly routed a unit of U.S. forces known as Nickforce when what appeared to be a common G.I. caught his fist mid-blow. Intrigued, but not missing a beat, Zahn propelled his enemy overhead, slamming him into the ground with a titan's might. Counter blows were exchanged into the wee hours, and soon Zahn found himself entranced by the melee - so much so that Rommel's forces, now up against a more organized Allied force, were being pushed back by the hour. The Statesman, who would later testify as a front-line witness at the Nuremburg trials, spoke briefly of the exchange:
"It was a harsh night for the men, raining hard as it was, but for 6 hours I carried out the mission given to me by General Patton: to keep the 'Wehrmacht Beast' at bay. I shouted for him to surrender several times during grapples, but this 'Hyperseig' would just push harder."
Inevitably Rommel's Afrika Corps fell to the organization and cunning of the Allied counterattacks, but the favored General gave credit where credit was due. Just as was reported back to Berlin, Rommel truly believed that Hyperseig's opposition of the Statesman was the only way he and the mainstay of his officers had evaded capture that day. Needless to say, the stalemate between the two champions served as a major boost of morale for German forces: the Statesman's reputation for ruthlessly opposing the Fifth Column's efforts in America was well known.
Gran Sasso Raid
(Placeholder for Gran Sasso, September 1943)
Fall of the Reich
These stalemates between Zahn and the heroes of opposing nations were a constant concern for the Axis throughout the war, and it soon became apparent that Hyperseig's presence, even rumoured, served as a beacon to superhumans fighting on the side of the Allies. Fortunately for the Axis, not all were as successful in impeding Zahn's efforts as the Statesman had been. In several cases entire teams of super-powered individuals were either slain or hospitalized, despite orders to capture alive if possible. It was in this way that Zahn first began to display a cold-hearted indifference towards combatants, being completely unwilling to entertain pleadings for surrender. Historians attest that Rommel, who had befriended Zahn since their time together in Tunisia, found this merciless practice distasteful, but still held great respect for Zahn's honourable treatment of non-combatants. Zahn, like Rommel, found the rampant genocide their Fuhrer advocated against communists and jews sickeningly wasteful, often going out of their way to defy orders and protect them from harm when possible.
(Placeholder for D-Day, June 1944)
In early 1944 Zahn, and supposedly Rommel, were contacted by the German Resistance and felt out as prospective participants in their upcoming operation against Hitler. Aides close to Rommel would later testify that Hyperseig, having received the communique after Rommel, was predisposed to fly (under his own power) immediately to Berlin and warn the Fuhrer, but after many private hours of discussion between the two, Zahn returned to his suite without action. Later in the same year, the operation, codenamed VALKYRIE would fail, but it's intended outcome seemed not far off - the Axis was in decline.
As soon as October 14, Zahn received news that Rommel had died of a heart attack. Though he knew this to be false, Zahn remained silent, if perturbed on the matter. Continuing to fight in the Reich's name, Zahn did what he could to prevent Patton's push toward Berlin in winter of 1945, but while battles could be won in the field, it seemed that even a one man army could not halt the Allied advance. Facing imminent defeat on all sides, it was here that Zahn began to have doubts about the cause he had upheld, and with his one true friend having been slain over the course of the Reich's fall, none were left who could convince him that the war could be won.
Zahn received orders to withdraw to the Fuhrerbunker on April 21st, 1945 to participate in a situation conference on the 22nd. Arriving only a few hours prior to the meeting, the Fuhrer is said to have met with Zahn privately beforehand. It was during this meeting that Zahn reportedly departed the bunker, Hitler shouting after him to return to his side. The Fuhrer's SS guards were called to apprehend Hyperseig at the entrance, but none dared approach. Throwing aside his cape in the foyer, he knew there was only one recourse.
Taking direct flight towards the encroaching Soviet forces, Zahn summoned forth an unmatched strength of will as he plunged into their ranks, mercilessly throwing aside blade, bullet, blood and bone in a deific dance of destruction. The fight, which had the effect of quickly demoralizing the invading Soviet forces, went strong for well over an hour, with Zahn purposefully halting his advance just short of the command unit. This desperate offensive inevitably drew the attention of his former acquaintance and recent enemy, Comrade Crossfire, which WW2 historians widely believe was the purpose of the hasty assault. When the two clashed on the field, Hypersiege feigned defeat and fell from the sky through the roof of a cobbled building, his crimson-armoured opponent chasing his heels. Based upon the accounts of nearby soldiers, an explosion was heard from within the building before all went silent, and nothing could be heard from within for over half an hour. Eventually Crossfire emerged, the seemingly unconscious Hypersiege resting limply in his arms. While Nazi Germany mourned the fall of their golden defender, the next chapter of Zahn's time on earth had only just begun.
As what remained of the Axis continued down the path of annihilation, reports of Hyperseigs fall against the forces of the Soviet invasion of Berlin spread like wildfire to headlines around the world. When the General Chiefs of Staff of the Allied Armies got wind of this, many allied super-powered wartime participants were either diverted to oppose the Fifth Column remnant in the Western Hemisphere or asked to remove themselves from the field as combatants altogether. Recently released documents quote Commander-in-Chief Dwight D. Eisenhower as having said, "The gods have once again punished the titans in the midst of men at war. Now is the time for man to rise up and repair the damage he has wrought." With the Nazi threat at large having been removed, the Allies breathed a sigh of relief in the hopes that they might set the world aright. However, as of May 1945 there were still battles to be fought in the Pacific...
Zahn's reputation as a rather ominous figure for the Allied war effort would follow him into the service of the Soviet Union. Though the general public believed him slain, the truth of the matter was all too clear to the Allied command, who allowed Stalin to detain the former Nazi titan as a secret concession of the Berlin occupation. As such, Stalin had high hopes for Zahn's 'rehabilitation' in his service, sparing not a moment before putting his former enemy's trump card to work on his personal agenda.
With the Nazi's defeat, the Allies looked to end the conflict with Japan in the Pacific as quickly as possible. Up until now, Stalin had been hesitant in his support against the island nation, but could no longer afford to put off a show of force against them with American and British forces on his doorstep. Hypersiege, now dubbed 'Solstice Prime', was to travel to the Chinese peninsula of Shandong, where Red Guard leader Mao Zedong had reported the recent presence of the (then evil) arch-villain Foreshadow.
1945 - 1985, Cold War: Project P.R.I.M.E.
(Placeholder for Cold War Participation)
(Placeholder for 1986 - Present)