From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Currently work in progress
Fear the Sting! Wasprider!
Evil-doers of the Rogue Isles beware! On her yellow cycle she arrives! Wasprider! Defender of innocents and nightmare to villains!
But don't believe those campy advertisements, even when she has to spout them herself; the Wasprider is not that hero. She merely wishes to be that Wasprider for an audience of one. A reformed Widow operating under a new guise, the Wasprider scours the Rogue Isles for weakpoints in Arachnos control, always striving to find a way to loosen Lord Recluse's hold. Her fight is for the good of the people, but her methods - and her affiliations - would make most Paragon heroes uneasy. Walking the gray line, Wasprider hopes to regain a life she has lost, and to bring just vengeance against those who took it from her.
A Happy Family
Life was once kind to Sakie Hachibana. Graduating from Tokyo University with honors, she was propelled into the successful life as a translator and secretary for the United Nations. Her only concerns came from an outside source; her parents, who frowned upon her for marrying the man she did.
Tetsuya Hachibana was not the most driven individual in the world of academics. Two years older than Sakie, his high school sweetheart, he had opted to join the army rather than go to college. In his training, he spoke fondly of the Imperial Wind and their superpowered legacy that lingered in the Japanese military, and so wished that someday he would be allowed a powered suit of his own, or to be given the genetic enhancements to grant him true superhuman potential. Sadly, it was not to be; he could never quite put up the discipline to make the rank. On top of that, Sakie was expecting at the young age of 22, and he had to take leave - an action which forever impacted his fellow soldiers' perception of him.
Nevertheless, in spite of stumbles along the way, Tetsuya and Sakie lived a charmed life under Sakie's payroll. Their son, who they named Masanori, was handled by a nurse while Sakie worked and Tetsuya was away, and over the years Sakie's work slowly permeated the household. Tetsuya had begun to learn English and French, and together they took on the task of teaching Tetsuya both Japanese and English. Masanori, they were quick to discover, had an amazing learning potential, and when they tested him they discovered he was a budding genius. This pleased Tetsuya most of all, who believed that through his son, he would make up for all his own missed potential in youth.
But the future was not to be so bright for the Hachibana family...
Along Came a Spider
Seven years after Masanori was born, he had skipped to fifth grade and was doing especially well in math, working in a special packet of Pre-Algebra while his peers were doing long division. He was already making his parents so very proud. Likewise, Sakie was performing swimmingly at her job, having just achieved a pay raise and started talks of translating top-selling English novels for Japanese readers. During this time of blessing after blessing, Tetsuya had begun to feel left behind...
Until the day a letter appeared in the Hachibana post box. It had no return address and no stamp. Inside was a pamphlet about a special training program for experienced soldiers in Japan, calling for them to consider leaving the armed forces and getting into a private military corporation in America. It was called the 'Gumodan,' the Spider Brigade, and its promises caught Tetsuya's eye; all applicants considered for advanced weapons testing and field use. While this would sound risky to most, Tetsuya saw it as an opportunity to have the sorts of powers the Japanese military had denied him. Working Sakie onto the idea would prove tricky, however; Tetsuya knew she didn't approve of his more 'violent' ambitions.
So, instead of telling Sakie about the pamphlet, he told her of the opportunities to be found for the entire family if they moved to America. Masanori would learn so much more about American culture, which would no doubt make him excited to learn more about the world at large. Tetsuya told her that he'd 'find something to do' when they got there, and with some reluctance Sakie agreed...
Beyond arriving in America, Tetsuya had not devised what to do to cover his trickery and, needless to say, when Sakie discovered his true intentions she was quite angry with him. Neither of them, at the time, knew that this 'Gumodan,' or 'Arachnos,' was all about, due to their respective occupations both keeping mum on any contact they may have made with Arachnos. Regardless, Sakie did not appreciate being tricked into traveling across the world for Tetsuya's power trip, and the argument that ensued almost ruined their marriage, and Masanori never quite recovered from witnessing it. Sakie had to back down to protect their family, but she would soon find Arachnos difficult to ignore.
The Widow Draft
When Tetsuya became an Arachnos Soldier, he was encouraged to sign up friends for the program. He jotted down some names, and envelopes fluttered back into the east, to bring more ambitious men and women into the service of Lord Recluse. Arachnos, to Tetsuya, appeared a powerful military organization dedicated to harsh, but fair governing of a small, anarchic region called the Rogue Islands. It was exciting to him, so exciting that it was easy for him to ignore or color over the flagrant denial of human rights some factions within Arachnos were responsible for.
Sakie tried to find work in the United Nations again, but the nearest office she could work at was hours and hours away, which steeped her in ire once again for her husband's impulsive decision. In the Rogue Isles, it was difficult to know if messages would even reach their destination, within or to the outside, and in time Sakie started to believe she would not find another job. The parents' roles had changed, Tetsuya now raking in large paychecks while Sakie watched Masanori and little else. When desperation settled in, Sakie took Tetsuya's advice, and looked into performing some duties for Arachnos, despite her bad inclinations about the organization.
A preliminary test that Sakie willingly took proved to be a deal with the devil, for as soon as she applied, she was drafted by Ghost Widow's faction. Her 'potential,' they had said, was adequate, and in keeping with the fine print(in a packet which Sakie had not even received due to the mail issue), she was able to be forcefully drafted. Sakie argued against it, but Arachnos' decision was set in stone.
Sakie was to be involved in a project called 'Spider Wasp,' which she would work on while she completed her five-year training period. Though Sakie did not understand why it was named such, Sakie was tasked with reading over a vast number of Arachnos' past project reports, and write down her feelings and observations as clearly and honestly as she could. It was an awkward project, at first, because she hardly had begun her training and did not feel right judging Arachnos protocol. Very swiftly, however, it became a horrifying and mentally exhausting task; every day after her physical training regimen and before her meditation exercises, she was to read at least five reports, ranging from weapons development to new medicines to 'supersoldier experiments.' In every report, there was given a casualty list(separated as 'significant,' a concrete number of Arachnos employees killed, and 'insignificant,' a rough estimate of 'non-important personnel' involved), as well as a 'human resource cost,' the meaning of which eluded her for two and a half years. After seeing the term for so long, she finally felt brave enough to ask, and discovered it denoted the amount of Grandville recruits had been 'used' in that particular experiment. Most Grandville recruits happened to be children. Sakie immediately began to home-school Masanori at night, which took up both of their valuable time to sleep. Soon, Sakie could take no more. Arachnos was ruining her and endangering her family.
But Widows could not resign, she was told. They served for life. Tetsuya would not help her, for fear of looking like he was aiding a desertion, but he would at least listen to her. He listened to her talk of the projects and said nothing, always maintaining the stern face of an Arachnos soldier. The face terrified Sakie, for she knew that Tetsuya would not budge if Recluse had his eye on him. After several months, Sakie devised an escape plan.
An Escape, A Vow
She moved in the night, taking ten year old Masanori with her. Using the mind-masking abilities the Widows had taught her, and by drugging Masanori into a deep, deep sleep, she aimed to pass under the psychic radar and escape through a recently-damaged section of the wall in Grandville. The section was guarded, but the Bane Spiders did not feel a thing - Sakie knew how to throw a quiet dart. There, at the broken wall, sensors would not likely pick up her lengthy unscrewing of bolts and clipping of wires, her hour-long 'dig' through a shield of technology. Escape was so close, she could see the moonlight glittering off the ocean through a crack in the last panel.
But when the panel fell away, Sakie stepped out into the night right into a small horde of Coralax. Recluse's Admiral, Captain Mako, was returning from reconnaissance at the time. Sakie did not try to fight, and for surrendering Mako merely beat her. Severely.
Arachnos had deemed Sakie insubordinate. As punishment for her transgression, she was to learn the price of loyalty. Both she and Tetsuya were to be punished, as Fortunatas pried out his past conversations with Sakie from his mind. To keep them both in Grandville, Arachnos took custody of young Masanori, placing him in an orphanage where he was to be 'kept,' as in kept from being adopted as well as being kept from anything more than eating, drinking and sleeping. His books were taken away and replaced with Arachnos-approved media. At the time of the sentencing, Sakie was practically catatonic, but in retrospect she could remember a name; Phipps. The man who funded the orphanage was Weston Phipps, who was also responsible for a variety of cruel projects to keep the slums of Grandville under control.
Sakie returned to her duties again, continuing her training and report analysis. Her reports had become more truthful than ever, but briefer and briefer with her mental fatigue. No longer did she fear Arachnos, for she had nothing left to lose. She simply could not summon the strength to put into words how she felt, to try and explain to anyone, let alone herself, how such evil could be.
Two years passed, and Tetsuya became an even colder person. He was gunning for Arbiter rank, and though he told Sakie on numerous occasions that he blamed her for Masanori, he did not look terribly perturbed. Sakie learned not to rely on him or anyone, instead retiring to a Widow dormitory where she was permitted an hour of free time. An hour of escape for her, as she fled into the poor-quality books and television shows Arachnos allowed for Grandville.
But one day, something strange and miraculous happened. Sakie turned on the television in her dorm room, and there was only static. It was strange, because with Arachnos' technology she could not imagine a signal getting lost or a tower breaking. She was about to turn the television off when something flickered through. An image, a silhouette, flashing against the static. She would later learn that it was some tech-savvy deadbeat in Grandville attempting to launch his pirated TV channel - a crime for which he was made into 'human resources.' But at that time, in that moment, the image was a sign from her past. For just a few seconds, the fuzzy image of Kamen Rider lit up her television screen, posing dramatically. Kamen Rider was Masanori's favorite show, back in Japan...
Sakie waited until the rare day that her and Tetsuya had the same free hour, and approached him at his dorm. She told him she was leaving, and that it would work this time. At this, Tetsuya's cold soldier facade at last cracked. He lashed out at her, striking her across the face and yelling at her for being 'foolish.' Losing Masanori hurt him, too, but he was not going to make the situation worse through rebellion. Tetsuya was planning on making Arbiter rank to prove his loyalty, to win Masanori back, and Sakie was going to ruin it if she left. She was going to condemn Masanori to a life at that filthy orphanage - or worse. But Sakie did not back down. She understood, after so many years of reading reports, that there was so much more to live for than just her perfect future. That future was gone already, anyway. What she had found was a new purpose, to save not just Masanori, but all the children and men and women used in cruel experiments. To end Arachnos. Tetsuya told her that she was going to get herself and their son killed, but she dared him to stop her and he would not move. He looked down at his hand, the hand which hit her, and was silent. After a moment of tense quiet, he apologized...and told her he would not tell anyone of her plan to escape.
That night of Kamen Rider gave Sakie another idea, and it proved invaluable to her escape. By hooking up her 'psychic amplifier' headgear to a radio tower in Grandville, and relaying the psychic 'signal' through an incapacitated Bane Spider, she could send a wave of psychic static through the entire network of Bane Spiders, temporarily knocking out their instantaneous response times. This would do nothing about Fortunatas and their wider-reaching clairvoyance, but Sakie felt confident she could get out before they arrived. Instead of trying to dismantle her way through the wall, this time she went over it, using a Goldbricker's stolen hover pack, and some Bane Spider grenades to incapacitate the turrets.
Her power pack ran out just past the beach, and Sakie crashed into the waves a free woman. Without wasting any time, she tore her uniform off and covered herself in tattered rags. This, perhaps the most morally uncertain part of her plan, was where she would replace herself with one of the many Grandville refugees, whose papers were already signed, so that she could escape to Mercy Island. From there, Project Destiny would cover her up. Then, and only then, would she allow herself to think of the life she was stealing to try and save many more. 'Anna Sakamoto.' The name was burned into her mind forever, from the moment she took poor Anna away from the crowd to take away her hard-earned ticket. Sakie left her with fifty food stamps, more than she would get in a month in the Grandville slums, and an apologetic note promising she would one day make it up to her. To everyone. To Sakie, every last individual within Grandville was either Masanori or Tetsuya, victim or pawn, downtrodden or deluded. That night, in the cramped quarters of a cargo ship surrounded by a hundred wet and frightened human beings, Sakie Hachibana made a vow to save them all.
A New Face
Once Sakie arrived at Mercy Island, she at last saw first-hand what anarchy lay beneath Lord Recluse's firm hand. With a constant flow of madmen from the Zig, Mercy knew no rules save for the open-handed 'guidelines' Recluse enforced from turret-laden battlements to protect his own men from the outside. Becoming a part of Project Destiny was as easy as fulfilling an errand for the right sort of man, and once in, everything became even easier. Project Destiny gave the villains free reign, so long as they didn't directly oppose Arachnos, and under this banner of seeming nicety, Sakie fulfilled jobs for money at enough of a distance so that her contacts wouldn't ask questions. Nobody saw her work, so nobody could tell she was a fresh Widow. Once she had enough money, she figured nobody would ever know.
The costume was the easiest part. It came naturally to her, a second sense that brought her to the woman called Facemaker to pick the materials and look. What Sakie would become would be a message, to everyone in Grandville but especially Masanori, that out in the Isles a woman was fighting against Arachnos. For every person in Grandville that turned on their televisions during that phenomenon and saw Kamen Rider, Sakie would be a sign. One man could override the entire radio network of Grandville(by accident, no less!), and from that mystery-man's favorite television show, a hero would rise. Arachnos officials would know her from 'Spider Wasp,' and wring their hands in hatred at the one that got away. The downtrodden would hopefully smile for once in their lives, and see in her a hope for resistance. And if they did not see her, did not recognize her connection with that mystery-man's signal...then they would know her name when she came to Grandville herself. When she would come back to save her son and husband from Arachnos.
Fear the Sting! Wasprider rides!
- To the general public, Wasprider hides the fact she was once a Widow with her costume, theme and attitude. What this means is that only someone who has fought Widows extensively before(I.E. almost everybody) can tell she was trained as a Widow, and only after some close scrutiny of her fighting style. She has recolored and restructured most of her Widow gear to make it difficult to relate the two.
- Due to her years of reading terrible, top secret Arachnos reports, Wasprider is privvy to an astonishing number of current projects being run by Arachnos. From an OOC perspective, basically any Arachnos project that doesn't involve world-affecting plots or high-level magic(something Recluse rarely dabbles in), there is a fair chance Wasprider has heard of it and may recall details.
- Because Wasprider wasn't trained fully as a Widow, she is capable of mentally masking her presence, but she is not very proficient at blocking telepathy. Please send a tell before trying to mind-read, but most standard psychics are capable of penetrating her guard when she isn't paying attention.
- Wasprider still wears her wedding ring, but whether or not she and Tetsuya are still together is uncertain, even to her.
- RP Power Specifications:
-Most importantly, Wasprider's poisons are all non-lethal, paralytic poisons delivered via dart and spine.
-Superspeed is RPed as Kihachi(Yellow Bee), her customized yellow Kawasaki motorcycle. Aside from its stylish yellow-and-black paint job, it is equipped with a variety of gadgets, mostly involving darts and gas grenades it can fire off.
Future Story Arcs
One day this world will be forced to face what lies beyond the Dark Mirror, to see where they stand under the Praetorian Empire...
Know my Sting! Scorprider!
In Praetoria there is no Sakie Hachibana, no Wasprider. In Praetoria, Sakie Dokumori knew a very different life from her Primal Earth counterpart. Sakie Hachibana fell from grace, a happy life in Tokyo to the frontlines of Arachnos...and Sakie Dokumori? Hers is a story of rags to riches, of weakness into strength. When Sakie's once-proud husband, Junpei, betrays her and takes their son into the hands of the Resistance, Sakie serves the Loyalists and dons the mask - becoming the Scorprider - to reclaim her family...by any means necessary.