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Coda officer (WildCATs enemy) (Wildstorm comics)

Coda


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Coda was one of the two main organisations opposite to the WildC.A.T.s, the most high-profile comic during the thunderous launch of new publisher Image in 1992.

One gets the impression that the chief drive was to draw numerous and scantily-clad “babes”, in the parlance of these days. However, some stock background and history later appeared. It’s very much colour-by-the-numbers, but it’s there.


ORGANIZATION

Full Name :
Earth’s Coda Sisterhood.

Purpose :
The Coda produces highly skilled female warriors and agents, selling their services as mercenaries and spies. On Earth, it was mainly designed to supply the Kherubims with skilled manpower in their war against the Daemonites.

Modus operandi :
The members, though human, undergo a blood-tying ritual with their Kherubim sponsors, giving them extremely long life spans. Their traditional weapon is the Clef Blade (a sort of light glaive), but Coda operatives are capable of killing with any weapon, or unarmed if necessary.

Like any mercenary unit, they are contacted by warring parties. They expect to be given a designated assignment they will accomplish or die trying to. The only alternative to success is death, according to their dogma. The Coda can accurately be called a cult.

The services of the Coda are remarkably expensive. In DC Heroes RPG terms, make a Wealth check against an OV of 12 for an operation involving a single agent, to 16 for a full raiding party. Contacting them require a Low Connection with the Coda itself, or a High Connection with the Underworld, Mercenary World, or similar spheres.

Extent of operations :
Worldwide.

Relationship to conventional authorities :
The Coda is a covert operation not mandated by any government and regularly committing major crimes. It does act as a supplier and occasional opponent for governmental intelligence agencies worldwide, as well as some highly influential private interests.

Bases of operations :
Mount Themiscrya, Southern Greece. This is where the Coda’s Majestrix resides. They have secondary undercover bases all around the world. For instance, the Milos Bistro in Washington DC was a front for the East Coast’s base.

Former bases of operations :
Many places were just abandoned after some years of use. The Île du Mystère, near Madagascar, holds a Coda sanctuary that has been long forgotten by the Majestrix herself.

Major funding :
Payments from contracts. It is generally assumed profits are reinvested in various legal and illegal activities, such as the financial markets.

Known enemies :
Zealot, Grifter, Artemis have been officially declared traitors to the whole organization. Coda dogma forbid any kind of personal grudge.

Known allies :
The Coda usually does not lower itself to having allies. But they may have uneasy but recurrent working relationships with outside parties, such as regularly employing some trusted mercenaries. The closest it came to an alliance recently was its deal with the Cabal.


MEMBERSHIP

Number of active members :
Thousands worldwide.

Number of reserve members :
None. No one quits Coda and lives to tell the tale, with some extremely rare exceptions.

Organizational structure :
Basically a cult structure with military aspects. Each member is expected to be totally obedient to her superiors, following even blatantly suicidal orders. The supreme ruler is called the Majestrix, the junior officers are called Centurions ; Centurions command units called Phalanxes. Many other, currently unknown titles are expected to follow a loose Classical model.

Since Andromache yielded to Grifter’s terms, her authority is steadily eroding. Local leaders of the Order now tend to act on their own, and unprecedented political infighting is taking place.

Known officers :
Andromache (Majestrix), Delphae (Oracle), Cordelia (Far East Operations Director).

Known current members :
Jade, Ms Poppinopolous, Hestia.

Known former members :
Devin (employed by the Cabal for the capture of Voodoo, deceased), Zealot (founder of the Order), Artemis (Former Zealot’s trainee), Olympia Atreides (late WildCAT).

Known special agents :
Alex Fairchild, Svertlow (a mercenary paid to retrieve Fairchild).

Membership requirements :
All the members of the Coda are women, and are personally invited to join. No one applies to the Coda. At some point in history, they demanded to be paid with young girls to integrate them in their cult.

Note :
All members of the Coda are arrogant, regarding and stubborn. They are convinced of their fighting superiority and react violently to any threat to their honor or the honor of the Order. They all consider male as inferior and only worth as sexual toys.


HISTORY

Founder :
The Coda was founded by three Kherubim Noble-borns including Zealot. They then stepped aside in favor of a human-led hierarchy, retaining a simple role as advisors. The other two Kherubim founders were never named.

Other leaders :
Andromache.

Previous purpose and goals :
At some point, the Coda extended its activities to assassination and mass murder. That apparently was during the general period of the fall of Troy. Originally, the Coda order was firmly aligned with distant Kherubim interests, but gravitated more and more toward monetary gain, which prompted Zealot to leave.

Their mercenary streak became dominant enough that they eventually accepted Daemonite money and aligned with them.

Major campaigns or accomplishments :
They were part of the expeditionary force aboard the Trojan Horse – the fall of Troy should thus be put to their credit if they were not working covertly. Cordelia managed to provide complete security and disappearance to the Gen 12 soldiers and their offsprings for years despite I.O.’s best efforts, and then reinsert them undercover in the USA.

Major setbacks :
All assassinations attempt against Zealot were failed, usually with fatal consequences for the assassins. Grifter made the Majestrix back up under threat of his gun, presumably breaking her authority and condemning her to death from her own cult.


PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT

Resources :
23 APs.

Standard Coda operative :
These women are the average fighter sent to a mercenary assignment. They are equipped with whatever hardware their employer can afford, but always pack archaic weapons such as knives, swords or the traditional Clef Blade. They are hardly more than a handful as their fee is very high.

Standard Coda operative

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Adolescent male power fantasy
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 012 HP: 005

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 04, Charisma*: 03, Martial Artist*: 04, Military Science*: 03, Thief*: 04, Weaponry: 05

Advantages:
Intensive Training, Near-Immortal.

Drawbacks:
CIA (Accomplish the mission, obey orders, stand or die).

Equipment:
Coda Clef Blade [Body 08, EV 05], other weapons.

Coda’s finest :
These women are the field leaders of the organization. They are either sent as field commander/advisers in a “regular” army, or sent in spying/assassination mission. They are deadly foes always acting solo and should always be handled as “named”, highly skilled villains.


Coda Finest

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Adolescent male power fantasy
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 023 HP: 025

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 07, Charisma*: 06, Martial Artist*: 07, Military Science*: 06, Thief*: 07, Weaponry: 08

Advantages:
Attractive, Intensive Training, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Near-Immortal.

Drawbacks:
CIA (Accomplish the mission, obey orders, stand or die), CIH (Zealot, Grifter).

Equipment:
Coda Clef Blade [Body 08, EV 05 (08 w/Martial Artist)], other high-quality weapons.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

First appearance :
WildCATs #1.

Origin issue :
WildCATs Trilogy #2.

Significant issues :
The whole WildCATs run (and Zealot miniseries) as Zealot is the finest example of the Coda precepts of warfare and discipline. And over and over, she dispatched teams of Coda’s tracking her to kill her for her “betrayal”. Step by step, we learn the history of the Order, its methods and the way it degenerated to the point she left in disgust.

  • WildCATs #19, In the Prologue to “Wildstorm Rising” we see the WildCATs thrashing the East Coast main base, ending in the self destruction of the whole building when the local CO  orders for the implementation of the Omega Option (explosive self destruction of the base).
  • WildCATs #22-28, In the “Homecoming” episode, we learn of the original Kheran Coda, which used to be the Earth Coda’s role model.
  • WildCATs #37, Later on, we meet with Olympia Atreides, a Daemonite former Coda, targeted for an abduction attempt by the Puritans. She is saved by the infiltrated Max Cash, Grifter’s brother and former WildCATs II aka Condition Red.
  • WildCATs Trilogy, tells much about the past and present of the order.
  • Gen13 #1, #8-11, Jade is part of the team sent by Damocles to retrieve the Qeelocke that will be a key in the “Fire from Heaven” crossover.
  • Gen13 #3-5, the teenagers meet an ancient sanctuary of the Coda on the isolated Île du Mystere near Madagascar. In her quest to find her father, Fairchild is led to this island. Grunge is taken prisoner in the Coda shrine, used for breeding purpose, and destined to be a human sacrifice.
    Legends of a “Fountain of Youth” had lured explorers there, but the closest thing they find is the blood rite of the Coda with their Kherubim leader. Fairchild makes quite an impression, as she’s non Coda and can nevertheless outfight them.
  • Gen13 #16-17, Ms Poppinopolous works with a gen-active geek to capture the Gen13 girls.
  • Gen13 #37-39, Alex Fairchild is found by Cordelia. She had sent a mercenary team on his tracks because he owed her a favor for getting him out of IO’s grasp. Apparently, she was not yet satisfied with the duration of his term under her service. She sent some Coda to take him and whatever collateral they could get (in this case it was Freefall and Rainmaker) in custody.
    The day is saved by the arrival of Tindalos and his new breed of IO’s black Razors, killing the Coda.
  • Grifter series : a former lover of Zealot, Dakor of Cambria, cannot sustain the rigor of the Coda training, and went on to create, during the 3rd Crusades, a male equivalent called “the Quiet Men”. He abducted Zealot. Grifter teamed with Soldier and freed her.
  • Gen 12 : Grifter first meets Zealot. She trains him in the Coda’s ways to join her in her war against the Daemonite.
  • Team 1, Blaize is Zealot with a dye job.
  • Wildcore, since this is where Zealot ends after quitting the WildCATs.

By Nicolas Lemaçon and Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Organisation: Images Comics (Wildstorm Universe).

Helper(s): Dixon Phil, Jackson.

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