From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Go ahead, try to run. It won't help.|
|Real Name:||Juan Martinez|
|Nationality:||American (naturalized citizen)|
|Occupation:||Police officer, spirit of justice|
|Place of Birth:||Guatemala City, Guatemala|
|Base of Operations:||Paragon City, RI|
|Known Relatives:||Francisco Martinez (father), Sylvia Martinez (mother), Ilena Martinez (sister), Francisco "Frank Jr." Martinez (brother)|
|Species:||Ghost (formerly human)|
|Age:||24 (at death)|
|Height / Weight :||5' 10" / 160 pounds|
|Eye / Hair Color:||Brown / Black|
| Dark Miasma, Dual Pistols, Flight|
Shadow of Life, Sense Guilt
|Twin automatic pistols; PPD radio, handcuffs, etc.|
|Updated: 12/4/2022 - Player: @Megajoule|
Too honest to take the money.
Too naive to know how far they'd go to hide their crimes.
Too young to die.
Too much left undone to rest.
In life, Juan Martinez was a beat cop in the Paragon Police Department. In death, he continues to protect and serve.
Martinez has acquired two unusual allies. The first is the electronic shade of Dr. Carole Friedkin, better known as the hacker "The Doctor", who persists as a literal "ghost in the machine" after being murdered by her employers. Their conditions are similar in some ways, very different in others. The second is his ancestor and spirit guide, Aktun Balam (Cave Jaguar), who was a Mayan chief and village priest in life and Martinez' distant ancestor. He provides advice and wisdom as well as practical assistance with his own powers of darkness. [He is represented in-game as Martinez' "Dark Servant".]
Martinez no longer seeks personal vengeance, but a righteous anger still lurks just below the surface of his pleasant manner, waiting for an outlet. Guided by his new instincts, he dispenses justice and mercy like a dark angel. There is also regret - for the life that was taken from him, for all the things he meant to do someday and now never will. And under all of this, almost lost in the darkness, is the remnant of a good and earnest young man who loved his family and only ever wanted to do the right thing.
Martinez is almost as hot-blooded and overconfident as he was in life, and the advantages that his new condition and powers give him over ordinary criminals only add to this. He tends to charge into situations without waiting for backup, wanting to protect fellow officers (and even heroes) from danger. He's been surprised enough times by enemies that can harm him that he's starting to learn caution, but only that and the wisdom of Cave Jaguar holds him back.
Martinez is a ghostly revenant, returned from the dead to seek vengeance on those responsible for his murder and watch over the innocent.
Since his return from the Netherworld, Martinez is shrouded in the darkness of that realm, which he instinctively knows how to manipulate. He can cloak himself in shadow, terrify enemies with his stare, draw the life from them, and trap them in the slowness of nightmare.
Martinez is armed with a pair of ghostly .45s which never need reloading. The spectral bullets that they fire can incapacitate rather than kill, if he wishes; these people feel the trauma of being shot, but wake up later with no physical injuries. The bullets can also be imbued with the power of flame, frost, or darkness.
As a ghost, Martinez can float through the air simply by willing it so.
Shadow of Life
Most people, including his co-workers and contacts, see Martinez as a perfectly ordinary cop in PPD uniform. He can lower this veil at will, allowing everyone or just one person to see him as he truly is. There are other, subtler effects: people don't seem to remember hearing of his murder, don't notice that he doesn't clock in and out, and don't think it strange that he never has to reload and turns up on rooftops and behind locked doors. Those with strong wills and/or an awareness of the supernatural can penetrate the illusion, and others may get the feeling that there's something odd about him without knowing exactly what.
Martinez no longer needs to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep, and is equally incapable of enjoying such things.
By concentrating on someone, Martinez can get impressions of any crimes they have committed - their "spiritual rap sheet", as it were. These impressions can be disorientingly vivid for particularly heinous crimes and individuals. This ability does not tell him whether someone is lying, unless it's about something they have (or haven't) done.
Martinez was and still is a trained police officer. He was in good physical shape before his murder, which helps to explain his supernatural endurance and resilience to those unaware of his true nature.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Martinez is subject to all of the usual limits and taboos of a ghost, some of which he is still discovering. For example, he cannot enter churches (though graveyards are another story).
As noted above, Martinez is a bold and impulsive "cowboy cop", which sometimes gets him in over his head.
In addition to his pistols (which cannot be taken from him, dissolving into shadow and vapor and reappearing in his hand if one tries), Martinez carries a police radio, handcuffs, a couple of small flashlights and a standard baton.
In the Line of Duty
Eldest son of an immigrant family. Straight-A student. Fourth in his class at the Academy. Everyone expected great things of Juan Martinez, and he was determined not to disappoint them. Assigned at his own request to Kings Row, where he grew up, he was partnered with Jake Henderson, an experienced officer. Henderson had a long list of minor disciplinary problems in his file and a rather laid-back attitude to law enforcement, which had kept him from promotion; he often chided Martinez for being "so damn gung-ho" and insisting on going "by the book" (which usually meant lots more paperwork, even if most of it got foisted off on the rookie).
Contrary to Henderson's grousing, Martinez was willing to cut his mentor some slack and overlook some of his pettier vices. But he couldn't overlook the envelope full of cash he found in Jake's jacket pocket one day while retrieving it from the squad room. He confronted his partner about it later, while they were on patrol; Jake was evasive at first and tried to lie, then admitted it was a payoff but offered a variety of excuses. A nearby purse-snatching by some Skulls interrupted the argument, but things remained cool and strained between the two cops for the rest of the week.
Without informing anyone, Martinez hatched a bold (i.e., reckless) plan to record Henderson talking about the money and present the tape to Internal Affairs. He didn't know that Jake had already told some other dirty cops in the precinct. The ringleader, Detective Michael Giradello, decided something had to be done. He and Henderson arranged to catch Martinez coming out of a bodega one night when they were all off duty. Claiming that they merely wanted to talk with him, they lured him into a nearby alley where the others were waiting.
A savage beating followed. Henderson protested and tried to get them to stop; he'd been told they were going to offer to cut the kid in, maybe rough him up a little or lean on his family to keep him quiet if he refused (as Jake expected he would). This was never Giradello's plan, though he did make the offer for form's sake, as Martinez lay battered and bleeding on the cracked pavement. When the young man told him to go to Hell, he calmly replied, "After you," and shot him in the chest with a pistol used in a prior robbery.
The department honored him. His family wept and buried him. The killing was attributed to "gang violence" (meaning the Skulls) and the case closed, still unsolved, pending new leads or evidence. Jake Henderson started drinking even more. And a year and a day later, at the stroke of midnight, Juan Martinez gasped and awoke to find himself lying in the same dark alley, the fatal gunshot still ringing in his ears.
Vengeance is Mine
Over the course of the next month, all four of the other men who'd been present in that alley perished in bizarre accidents. The first to go was Ofc. Henderson, who fell or jumped from the roof of a building that he had no business being up on. [Martinez confronted and implacably pursued his terrified ex-partner until, trying to leap to an adjacent rooftop, he missed and fell seven stories.] Next was Det. Avery Jordan, electrocuted during a reported shootout with an unknown assailant in an electrical substation. A week later, Det. Don Kelly crashed his beloved classic Camaro into a retaining wall. [He was trying to run Martinez down and didn't have his seatbelt on; nor did the old muscle car, paid for with dirty money, have an airbag. As he lay dazed and injured against the steering wheel, Martinez put a flaming bullet into the gas tank and walked away from the explosion.] Hardest of all to explain was the death of Det. Mike Giradello, who was found sprawled across the altar of St. Mary's; the candles he knocked over when he fell had briefly set his hair and clothing on fire. [Giradello took refuge in the church, which Martinez found himself unable to enter, and demanded that the ghost leave him alone or he would begin killing hostages, starting with the priest. In response, the priest angrily revoked his right of sanctuary. Seconds later, a precisely-aimed shot from the church door, over a hundred feet away, took him right between the eyes.]
And that should have been that... but to Martinez's faint surprise and dismay, no tunnel of light appeared to lead him to his heavenly reward. (Nor was he sucked down to The Other Place.) Instead, he was soon tracked down and accosted by an angry Benthic Avenger - hardly the sort of "spirit guide" he might have expected. Apparently there were rules for this sort of thing, and in his ignorance, he'd broken about half of them. Benthic offered to help straighten things out, but only after extracting a few promises of good conduct, the first of which was no more killing - at least, not for a while.
Martinez did have one more lead, and maybe an explanation for why he had yet to pass on. Before his final tumble, Jake Henderson let it slip that the Family was behind the payoffs and may have even given the order, through Giradello, to silence him.
Martinez never actually put in for a transfer to the Independence Port precinct; he just started showing up on the docks and at the station house, and everyone acted as if he belonged there. His star quickly rose in the department, not from any particularly high-profile busts but just relentlessly chasing down every tip he got about Family smuggling and other rackets. Any Tsoo, Sky Raiders or even Council and Freaks who crossed his path got busted too. The captain praised him, but also warned the young officer about pushing himself too hard and his bad habit of charging in without backup. "You've got to stop taking so many chances, or one of these days you're gonna get yourself killed." Martinez would always smile and nod, mumble something apologetic, and then do the same thing next time.
Despite his apparent recklessness, no one in the Family was able to "take care of" Martinez for good. He cleared entire warehouses before other cops could arrive and shot his way out of several ambushes. He had an uncanny knack for avoiding bullets; this, along with his incorruptibility (the last person who tried to offer him a bribe got thrown off a pier), earned him the reputation of being "untouchable." Many button men claimed they did hit him, but others refused to believe that - everyone knows Martinez is no hero, just a regular cop and nothing more. A plan to put a bomb in his car failed when nobody could find one assigned to him; he seems to simply turn up at crime scenes somehow. Twice, men sent to threaten his family disappeared without a trace or ever getting near them; the second time, the capo who ordered it and his inner circle were found dead in and around his office, full of bullet holes but no bullets. [Benthic gave him an earful about that one, but Martinez was unrepentant. The Tsoo actually have a pretty good idea what he is, but they're not sharing. They nearly trapped and destroyed him once; he barely escaped, and has been much more cautious when facing them ever since.]
Martinez also assisted Capt. Gordon Stacey of Brickstown in the ongoing investigation of Crey Industries. His part in that investigation came to an abrupt end when someone (surviving witnesses could only describe a terrifying figure in a long coat, accompanied by a blot of shadow) shot his way through an entire Crey lab rumored to be part of the Revenant Hero project. The research assistants, beaker washers and other innocents were spared, rendered unconscious without lasting injury; the facility manager and a few other scientists were shot and killed, as were many security guards, though some were "merely" maimed. [The Benthic Avenger's reaction, upon hearing of this through her usual channels, was to put her head down on her desk and weakly beat her fist against it.]
When Martinez finally caught up with the mysterious underworld figure who united the Sicilian Families, he thought he'd find answers, and maybe peace. Instead, Nemesis (or a Nemesis) responded to his questions with mocking laughter. "A dog does not know the names of the fleas that pester him; he only knows that there are many." Nemesis, the brass giant declared, had given no orders for the murder of one rookie cop; such trivial matters were left to other lesser men.
Martinez was forced to confront what Benthic had been telling him all along, that his quest for vengeance was hollow and would bring him no satisfaction. It was at this lowest moment, when he was finally ready to listen, that his "dark companion" revealed his true face and nature. Cave Jaguar explained to his distant descendant that he'd been sent back from the Netherworld not to seek vengeance, but to be a force for justice, and to complete a career of service which had been ended almost before it began. Which means that Juan has at least forty more years to go before he can "retire"...
Martinez had been on the Peregrine Island beat for a few months when Captain Nolan asked him to check out a series of unusual suicides, the sort of "weird" cases that Martinez seemed to excel at. The investigation led him to Astoria, which had recently fallen even further into darkness. Juan threw himself at what he found there with his usual boldness, trusting in his supernatural abilities, only to find that the foes he faced were just as supernatural and just as powerful. He got in over his head, again... and this time, two innocents died.
The only thing that kept him from succumbing to despair (a very bad thing to do in Astoria) was the wise counsel of Cave Jaguar, who took him from that place and sent him on a vision quest through the Netherworld itself. Juan learned patience, confronted and accepted his fears and doubts, and finally got a chance to apologize to the shades of those he'd failed to save. Armed with new determination and a greater understanding of his own abilities, Juan helped Dream Doctor and other heroes re-seal Mot and put an end to Diabolique, once and for all.
Martinez now divides his time between patrolling Peregrine (his "day job") and dealing with the remaining followers of the Pantheon and other dangers in Astoria.
- The clothes his true aspect wears are the ones he died in, though for some reason the coat is a little worse for wear, and the colors are washed out. The blood on his shirt is always fresh.
- Current badge is "Untouchable"; others worn include "Ectoplasmic", "Hallow Spirit", "Hell and Back", "Judge and Jury", and "Law Enforcer".
- Somewhat resembles a young Charlie Sheen (aka Carlos Estevez), if the actor's Hispanic features were stronger.
- His parents fled Guatemala's civil war for America when he was only two years old.
- His family knew him too well, and remember his death too strongly, for his "everything's normal" power to work on them. He has not tried to contact them, and Benthic got him to agree to stop stalking them from afar - at least for now.