5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Ben Santini of Stormwatch Team Achilles (Wildstorm Comics)

Ben Santini

Profile #2 - Team Achilles


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This writeup starts where the previous one stopped. Our game stats assume StormWatch is still an UN organization, since it’s how it is most likely to be used in a campaign.

Background

  • Real Name: Benito Santini
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Victoria Ojuku Santini née Victoria Ojuku n’Gengi (wife, aka Flint)
  • Base Of Operations: UN building, Manhattan, New York City
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 190 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Since his second knee was destroyed and age has slowed him down a bit, Santini doesn’t consider himself to be a front line soldier and doesn’t normally enter combat or run around on the battlefield. He’s still an extremely proficient special forces soldier, however, and a master of both armed and unarmed combat.

Santini is an excellent leader, a superb tactician and a highly intelligent, ruthless planner. He’s definitely a “the end justifies the means” thinker, since he’s often the last line of defense. If he fails, the unthinkable may happen – so he doesn’t pull any punch.

He will lie, cheat, manipulate, kill, betray and sucker punch as much as necessary, and he’s every bit as much a sseudent of Machiavelli as he is of Sun Tzu. Although he doesn’t like it, he has no problem with playing dumb or weak to lure opponents in a false sense of superiority.

When fighting Santini expect plans within plans, expert decoys, being manipulated into destroying your own assets, tons of dirty tricks and booby traps and having unexpected hacks messing with what you considered to be reliable assets. Also expect to end up fighting Santini’s enemies for him.

Santini also has access to Project:ENTRY technology.


Project: ENTRY

Project : ENTRY is an I.O. project that was launched under Santini’s authority under the direction of Dr. Kendricks, a former NASA scientist. The goal was to have an equivalent technology to the “doors” teleportation gates used by the Authority – teleportation through parallel universes.

Due to Kendricks’ skills and information derived from a StormWatch project (which had briefly managed to open a gate to another universe before the StormWatch II satellite had to be destroyed and StormWatch closed down), the project was functional within ten weeks.

However, I.O. still had a number of men who owned their loyalty not to Santini but to the previous director – Ivana Baiul. Baiul saw project : ENTRY as the perfect vehicle to get rid of Santini, by sabotaging the installation. After the initial team of Black Razors and scientists, led by Blake Coleman, stepped through the gate, the machinery crashed due to subtle sabotage.

As Baiul had anticipated, Santini then mounted a rescue op, stepping in the repaired gate with the rest of the Black Razors. As soon as they were gone, Project : ENTRY crashed again. The entire Black Razor team, I.O.’s operations director and several scientists were stranded on another Earth.

They soon understood that every man, woman and child on this Earth had been slaughtered a few months ago – the streets of every city on the planet were full of piled, rotting corpses. As they came under attack, it became evident that a single superhuman, named Devil, was responsible for this unimaginable slaughter and was now attacking them.

The whole science team and most Black Razors were slaughtered ; only Santini, one Dr Offenberg and two Razors (Coleman and Cisco) survived. Eventually, Santini bluffed Devil, teleporting him to the Australian Outback then detonating a compact nuclear device place on him.

After gating back to Wildstorm Earth (Offenberg knew the ENTRY tech), Santini investigated and discovered that Devil was actually a project born on his own Earth, in his own organization, and headed by Ivana Baiul. As the latest biological super-weapon, Devil had been field-tested on an Earth that was completely unprepared for him, and stranded here until needed again. Santini attempted to have this terrifying scandal brought to the Hague as a war crime, but I.O.’s liaison with the US government, Senator Terns, buried the whole affair.

None of the survivors of project : ENTRY would forget what happened, though – in fact, those events are in many ways seminal to what would later become Team Achilles. In particular, Santini arranged to become the sole man alive to have all the plans of tech necessary to operate project : ENTRY.

The limitations of Project : ENTRY are not precisely known. It first opens a gate between Earth Wildstorm and Earth ENTRY – the point of appearance of the gate in Earth ENTRY is the exact equivalent of the point it was opened in on Earth Wildstorm. Then another gate is opened on Earth ENTRY, at least six or seven meters away from the first ; stepping into this gate takes you back to Earth Wildstorm, but at pretty much any point targeted by the project : ENTRY operator.

Since Earth ENTRY is littered with corpses and nothing has been maintained for months, this can make stepping from Earth Wildstorm from Earth Entry impossible. In particular, it seems difficult to teleport inside buildings – Team Achilles couldn’t port in straight in the Federal Reserve building and had to assault the place normally, but it *was* possible to teleport in personnel inside buildings in the UN building or in Grozny. Basically, the GM gets to say no to any teleportation that would be abusive and bypass the scenario – he’s fully supported in that by the source material.

Project : ENTRY never failed to open a gate, and could be very precise in its gate placement – on several occasions, a Team Achilles operator could jump from a building, fall through an ENTRY gate, continue his fall in the ENTRY Earth for two meters or so then fall through another gate and come back on ground level somewhere else on Earth Wildstorm. This proved very convenient to extract the sniper team, allowing them to take position on elevated points dominating the battlefield – something you normally avoid in order to have both a less conspicuous position and an escape route.

There have been instances where the door from Wildstorm to Entry wasn’t in the same spot – for instance when the Midnighter was catapulted from Manhattan to China via an ENTRY warp. The most likely explanation is that Tefibi was gaining a better mastery of the ENTRY technology, and became able to ignore some of its limitations. . There are also hints that the gates themselves exist in the Bleed, which is sort of the Wildstorm equivalent of the astral plane.

One of the strong points of Project : ENTRY teleportation is that the gates are a natural phenomenon, not an electronic field like most teleportation technologies. It is thus impossible to block it with dampers or force fields – a tremendous tactical advantage if the opponent doesn’t understand ENTRY teleportation, as the UN Special Security Council realized too late. Likewise, ENTRY teleportation doesn’t leave energy residues to trace, unlike “normal” teleporters in the Wildstorm universe.

The net effects of Project ENTRY are Dimension travel (Travel): 03, possibly with the Limitation Only To ENTRY Earth, and Warp: 35. Tefibi never had any problem with this technology – either it doesn’t require skill rolls to operate, or such rolls were trivial given Tefibi’s ungodly Gadgetry Skill.


History

(See the pre-StormWatch writeup for Santini’s pre-Team Achilles history.)

What happened during Project : ENTRY, and the realization of Devil’s true origin, marked a turning point for Santini. He knew humanity needed a considerably more powerful protection against SPBs, and he knew he couldn’t do it as part of American forces, given the issues with I.O. The situation with the Authority was also getting out of hand.

How exactly the new StormWatch came to be is unclear. It is known that it was voted on by the UN’s Security Council at a point where it had been made certain the US representative couldn’t veto the initiative – it was obvious the US would never go for something that could threaten their own SPB activities.

The creation of the new StormWatch also was done without the consent of the “United Nations Special Security Council”, a group of six multi-billionaires who controlled much of the UN and had specifically been the real masters behind Bendix’s StormWatch.

Santini spent months before the actual StormWatch launch inspecting and cracking numerous files with Coleman and Tefibi – although Coleman and Tefibi never met each other. In particular, they managed to start cracking the encryption on many very, very juicy Bendix files. It is also apparent Santini came with many top secret I.O. technologies and data in his briefcase ; in particular he had a fully operational ENTRY projector assembled in the UN building in Manhattan, although he didn’t give Tefibi enough info for him to understand the full implications of ENTRY tech.

Despite those preparations, the new StormWatch had to be rushed into action three weeks early. Santini’s old nemesis, Ivana Baiul, was now head of an Homeland Defense agency, and decided to test Santini’s steel (and increase her own budget) by having Islamist terrorists attack the UN’s H.Q. in Manhattan.

Santini and Coleman, who were jogging in Central Park at that point, managed to slip in the building, kill a superpowered guard, capture another and assemble the team, taking out the majority of the SPB terrorists and forcing the two survivors to retreat.

Shortly after, Santini was teleported against his will by the UN’s Special Security Council. The multi-billionaires were furious to see a new StormWatch not under their control, and wanted to make clear to Santini who was boss. Santini had a plan, however – the SSCC didn’t realize he had a hidden emitter in his knee, nor that project : ENTRY teleportation couldn’t be electronically blocked.

After a short, tense discussion Santini had two members of his assault team, Hämäläinen and Weiss, teleport in and execute the SSC members. He then massaged the situation so that it would look like the SSC members had been killed into the UN buildings by the terrorists, allowing him to escape any retaliation planned by the SSC.

The new StormWatch was very low-key – no super-satellite, no super-powered operatives in colourful Spandex, no squadrons of high-tech jet fighters with terribly powerful bombs. This time, the team was working with an UN budget, without the benefit of billions from the SSC. Santini had a very international team made of less than ten persons, almost all of whom had elite military training and had proved to be the best of the best. All the Americans on the team (Cisco, Coleman, Tefibi) were ex-I.O. operatives who hated Baiul and I.O.’s policies, and were personally loyal to Santini.

The rest included two ladies from France and Russia respectively, as well as shock troops from Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Israel. The new StormWatch, called Team Achilles, relied on training, experience, hard-hitting military tactics and top-of-the-line intel, technology and weaponry. Eventually, superhumans were added to the team, though usually not as front line personnel.

Team Achilles personnel included Captain Golovin (sniper), Sergeant Pinckney (spotter), First Lieutenant Weiss (assault), Master Sergeant Coleman (assault), Lieutenant Hämäläinen (close combat), Specialist Cisco (entry), Lieutenant-Colonel Grunier (medical, negotiator), Lieutenant Barak (telepathic warfare), civilian specialist Tefibi (ordnance, computers, tech) and two SPB “consultants” – Buzz Dixon (intel) and Frederick Ngebe Braumholstein (aka Codename Alias, intel/impersonation) who operated outside of the team – in fact their existence wasn’t revealed to the team until after several weeks.

Coleman was eventually KIA, and Cisco retired due to both serious wounds and his marriage. Santini eventually added an SPB to his front line troops – Victoria n’Gengi aka Flint. Most of the team has had hostile encounters with SPBs prior to joining Team Achilles, and shared to some degree Santini’s distrusts of the ones Master Sergeant Coleman called “superfucks”.

During the following months; Team Achilles proved to be up to the task of controlling a number of threats. A powerful Serbian empath radiating low-level hatred over the Balkans was taken out and had his powers neutralized. The remainder of the terrorist group that had attacked the UN was taken out, along with a major target – Dhul Fiqar, one of the few known activators of Seedlings, who was providing SPBs to Islamist terrorist groups.

They further prevented the Russian army from moving into Chechnya (from which they had been expelled by the Authority), took down a reality-manipulating SPB who had taken over a small American town and prevented the reincarnated George Washington from pretty much destroying the US – although extensive damage was done to key Federal buildings and personnel in Washington, D.C. – such as the SCOTUS and Congress. They also stopped an European villain named Baron Chaos.

However, during that time, the vendettas continued. Baiul managed to capture Tefibi – but was outmaneuvered as the StormWatch telepath was much more powerful than her intel indicated, and had layered multiple booby traps in Team Achilles minds. Santini also abused his resources to track down and kidnap Senator Terns, the man who had prevented the truth about the SPB named Devil from reaching the Hague. Santini kept Terns, widely considered to be the most powerful Democrat in Congress, prisoner in his H.Q. and had Codename Alias replace him. Santini also sent Flint to Earth ENTRY on his behalf to bring him the head of Alfre… of Devil, and she did.

During those months, a highly dangerous feud developed with the Authority, though both parties’ action. Santini considered SPBs taking the world into their own hands an abomination ; though he made a point of not killing any of them, he still kept outmaneuvering them. The Authority came to the conclusion he was out for SPB blood, however, and Santini and his men started figuring on their list of terminate-with-prejudice targets.

When the Authority took control of the US in a coup d‘Etat, the situation for StormWatch became dire. They could no longer operate from Manhattan, and it became almost certain the UN would fold if the new Authority-led US government asked for Santini’s guts. Santini destroyed everything in his H.Q., killed his one remaining prisoner and evacuated a few seconds ahead of the Authority, whom he left to contend with the vicious booby traps he had left behind.

He told two new recruits and his support personnel (Grunier and Barak) to go – they weren’t closely associated with him and would escape Authority retribution, though they chose to remain with the team anyway. The rest had to hit the mattresses and go rogue.

Santini still intended to do his job, though – and control SPB threats to humanity. He accepted a contract from Vatican contacts, and found himself in a struggle between the two self-declared descendants of the Merovingians – and thus, of Christ. Santini eventually maneuvered his way out of the thick intrigue by having everyone killed and selling all the remaining info to his main contact in the Vatican – who incidentally seems likely to be the future Pope.

At that point, several of Team Achilles’ prisoners on Earth Entry (including Senator Terns and the latest reincarnation of George Washington) made an escape attempt and clashed with Team Achilles again. All team members ended up trapped on Earth ENTRY. While Santini has a plan to come back to Earth Wildstorm, it does involve trekking from the US to Siberia to access a top-secret lab. Team Achilles may thus not reappear on Earth Wildstorm before several years have elapsed.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

See the Powers and Abilities section – Santini’s sharp, devious mind is both his dominant personality trait and his greatest asset.

Santini doesn’t like SPBs, as a rule. This is because he’s familiar with the phenomenon of distantiation occurring in many SPBs – they start to consider themselves more than human, and then start getting trapped in their own fantasy where they stop considering themselves as human. From there, no longer valuing human life and eventually seeing oneself as a perverted Nietzschean man-god becomes way too tempting.

From his I.O. days, Santini has seen several men and women going down this path as they replaced more and more of their body with cybernetics or were activated. Furthermore, nobody who as ever been on Earth ENTRY can doubt the terrifying danger loose cannon SPBs pose – one man killed six billions.

This doesn’t mean that Santini hates all superhumans – he simply intensely distrusts them, seeing them as more likely than not to snap at some point. He’s perfectly able to work with superhumans (and more than that – he married Flint) – as long as he’s quite certain their psychological profile means they won’t leave humanity behind.

Santini is a devout Catholic, and invests a fair amount of faith in his Church. He seems to have read a lot about the history of the Church and Catholic theology – in fact, in many ways, he is reminiscent of the Jesuits at their height.

Santini isn’t a rigid leader. Although he makes it certain that people know who’s boss, controls access to information (mainly to defeat enemy telepaths) and occasionally rants a bit about how he’s ready to sacrifice any member of his team for the greater good, it is obvious he’s a fair officer who trusts his men and makes the best decisions for them.

Santini has a calm, wry, abrasive sense of humor.


Quotes

“We’re not super-heroes. We kill super-heroes.”

“Insertion team, this is Santini. Our visuals are for shit. Somebody give me a sitrep. Can we transport out the hostages ?”

“Who needs proof ? I’m not some judge or jury who you can buy off. Jukko ? Kill these pieces of shit.”

Coleman : “Why can I never beat you at poker ?”
Santini : “Because I never blink and I love to bluff.”

(After Cisco complains about the smell on Earth ENTRY) “That’s what eight million rotten dead bodies smell like. Think of it as a reminder of why we’re necessary.”

“Me ? I believe that an informed citizenry and a free ballot change more for humanity every day than any group of spandex-and-leather-pantsed superzeroes ever could.”

“You’re the one who fucks their religion, buddy. You don’t see me out killing innocent people in the name of the Pope.”


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ben Santini as the Weatherman

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Justice
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 06 Occupation: StormWatch Weatherman
Inf: 08 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 019 HP: 050

Powers:
Radio communication: 18

Bonuses and Limitations:
Radio communication only to emit a homing signal (-3)

Skills:
Acrobatics (climbing): 05, Artist (actor, poker): 06, Artist (cooking): 03, Martial artist: 05, Medicine (first aid): 03, Military science: 06, Thief: 05, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 05, Weaponry : 06

Advantages:
Credentials (UN, High), Iron Nerves, Expertise (military tactics, Catholic lore), Leadership,Omni-connection (US armed forces and intelligence only), Rank (Colonel)

Notes:
StormWatch personnel are placed outside their normal chain of command ; while on StormWatch duty their Rank Advantage becomes a 0-pts flavour advantage. Rank more or less applies *within* Team Achilles rank, but this is quite looser than in most military units.

Connections:
StormWatch : Team Achilles (High), US Armed Forces (Low), US Intelligence (Low),Blake Coleman (High – until his death), Luis Cisco (High), Flint (High), Vatican (Low)

Drawbacks:
MPR (knees get painful with prolonged exertion)

Equipment:

  • STORMWATCH BODY ARMOUR [BODY 07, Skin armor: 02, Limitations : Skin armour only vs. bullets and blades, Partial Coverage (long coat level)]
  • .45 pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 08]
  • 9mm backup piece [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Range: 03, Ammo: 08, Limitation : Projectile weapons has No Range – use the listed Range instead]
  • Combat knife [BODY 08, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 07 w/Martial artist)]
  • StormWatch fetish [BODY 10, Radio communications: 12]
  • One omni-gadget ABC (8 APs)

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: StormWatch : Team Achilles comic books

Helper(s): Phil Dixon, Roy Cowan

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.