Potentia Ex Machina
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Longbow Threat Report|
|Potentia Ex Machina|
|Real Name:||Oswald Stark|
|Nationality:||Rogue Isles citizen|
|Occupation:||Roboticist under the employ of the Crimson Cutlass|
|Place of Birth:||Confidential|
|Base of Operations:||Grandville et al.|
|Power armor, robotic henchmen, force field device, healing device, pulse rifle|
|Though not entitled to the title of 'Doctor', he occasionally calls himself one, usually when he feels the need to impress someone.|
This article is out of date. Very out of date. I'll get around to updating it real soon now, though.
You can see the 'justification' of my repeated postponements of the task one edit ago on the history page. --23:03, 16 July 2008 (MST)
December 2005 - December 2007
In December 2005, Foresight Science and Technology issued a press release stating that Arachnos had raided their Peregrine Island lab, stealing a prototype device which, when used, creates force fields. They also destroyed or erased all data pertaining to it. No further details were given. Two days later, Foresight, working in conjunction with Paragon City law enforcement, discovered that Arachnos had bribed a high-ranking Foresight employee, Oswald Stark, prior to the raid to aid them in obtaining lab blueprints, etc. He was found badly wounded by an Arachnos power-mace and unconscious in an alley in Steel Canyon the next day. He would have recovered in due time, had Arachnos not attacked Steel Canyon Medical Center and kidnapped him. He was, due to sheer incompetence on the part of the PPD and Longbow officers in charge of the investigation, presumed dead, but in reality he was held alive at an Arachnos base in the Rogue Isles for the next two years, supposedly because he was "useful" in some unspecific capacity.
December 2007 - January 2008
When it was discovered he was one of Lord Recluse's Destined Ones, he was given the force field device (which Arachnos had never been able to make work, but for some reason, possibly sheer incompetence, didn't destroy) and promptly shipped off to Fort Darwin for briefing. In late January 2008, he commenced overt operations in the Rogue Isles as Potentia Ex Machina, stealing magical artifacts, collecting bounties on the enemies of Arachnos, and so on, with the aid of his robotic henchmen and a suit of power armor, both of his own manufacture, the latter based on prototype schematics he stole from Foresight before he was imprisoned, as well as the force field device, which he integrated into his armor, by dint of considerable effort. It wasn't until the end of the month, however, that the United States discovered that he was very much still alive, when he returned to Paragon City with a vengeance, robbing a bank, and making off with a large sack full of money. There were, however, no fatalities.
February 2008 and Beyond
After his Paragon City heist, which would be the first of many, he wandered the Rogue Isles for several weeks, stealing from the various villainous groups there more or less indiscriminately, and also doing contract work, all to fund his ever-growing squad of robots. Eventually, he overheard a loudly-spoken discussion in his hotel in Aeon City. The topic was the Dread Aces, and a multitude of their alleged activities. Having never heard of them before, he initially believed them to be an urban legend, but some research on the Internet that night proved him wrong. He devised a method of contacting their leader, the Crimson Cutlass, and eventually joined them.
Inventions and Equipment
Humility-class Power Armor and Foresight Force Field Generator
Though a rather plain grey-and-white, Stark's suit of Humility-class power armor with integrated force field generator is not to be underestimated. In addition to its standard functions, as well as those of the force field generator, it boasts a potent energy shield, self-powered flight capabilities, as well as the ability to fire bolts of kinetic energy. The helmet, which is altogether more imposing, houses a comprehensive HUD with data on everything from the suit's power level to his robots' exoskeleton integrity, and is also, inexplicably, able to completely fold in on itself.
Eir-class Healing Device
Not much is known about Stark's healing device. It seems able to repair any damage caused to anything, from cuts and bruises on a human to aiding in reattaching a robot's severed limb. His official explanation is that it uses an arcane crystal taken from a Circle of Thorns mystic, but it is more likely that it uses nanorobots, and that he named it after a Norse goddess because he didn't have anything else named after a mythological figure, rather than because it has some connection to her.
Diligence-class Battle Drones
His Diligence-class battle drones, CIT Diligence, CIT Temperance, and CIT Chastity, are Stark's standard foot soldiers. Armed with an energy weapon capable of inflicting anything from mild discomfort to fatal burns, they are durable, mobile, and cheap to maintain. The blueprints of the first iteration - a sort of remote-controlled machine gun on wheels - were in existence as early as 1998, when Stark was first employed at Foresight Science and Technology's Paragon City branch, but somehow never made it to his superiors.
Charity-class Defense Drones
Stark's two Charity-class defense drones, CIT Charity and CIT Kindness, were not initially designed for combat - in fact, the energy weapon was a mere afterthought - instead being designed to keep the other robots up and running with their shield generators and repair systems, and incapacitate foes with photon grenades and 'seekers', which are basically semi-autonomous high-tech flashbangs. Stark considered replacing the energy weapon with a plasma cannon, but decided that it went against the Charity-class' true purpose.
Forgiveness-class Assault Drone
They told him him it couldn't be done; that the power cells would self-destruct; that the capacitors would overload; that the damn thing would never move, but he showed them! CIT Forgiveness is an impervium-plated, energy-shielded, plasma-shooting, flame-throwing engine of glory, and Stark's magnum opus. The plasma cannons are theoretically capable of disintegrating a tank, at risk of causing the entire robot irreparable damage. A recent upgrade added two missile batteries, brining the Forgiveness-class one step closer to Stark's original vision.
Virtue-class Heavy Assault
With the Forgiveness-class prototype completed, Stark is setting his sights even higher, on the hazily-defined Virtue-class heavy assault. Despite his previous successes, it is almost certainly an unachievable pipe dream. It is not clear whether the Virtue-class would be an upgrade on the Forgiveness-class, or a whole new model, but it is not likely that it will ever get far beyond the blueprint stage.
In his first experiment in mixing magic with technology, and in order to solve the problem of how to keep his robots out of the way, but easily accessed when needed, Stark had a pocket universe built into his power armor, by outsourcing the job to a powerful mage. It works by equipping each robot with a beacon which shifts them into and out of the universe in question on command. What effect the destruction of the armor might have on it is unknown.