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The Engineer of the Authority (Wildstorm Comics)

Engineer

(Peter's profile)


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

Context

The Engineer is one of the core characters of the version of the Stormwatch super-team that was revitalised in 1997 by Warren Ellis, and would become The Authority in 1999. These books were quite successful and influential with their “widescreen comics” approach emphasising action, visuals and energy.

The Engineer is perhaps the most interesting member of the Authority. A gadgeteer , scientist and hero with superb technology and a rough way paved with good intentions.

Writeups.org also has an older writeup for the Engineer.


Background

  • Real Name: Angela “Angie” Spica
  • Other Aliases: The Maker, Professor Spica
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed father, unnamed mother, five unnamed sisters
  • Group Affiliation: The Authority
  • Base Of Operations: The Carrier, mobile
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

All of the Engineer’s powers are derived from nine pints of liquid nano-technological robots that have replaced her blood. This mentally controlled technology allows her to create nearly anything she can imagine, although she uses the technology mainly to create weapons in combat.

She wears the nanotechnology on her skin when in battle. It has been shown to be capable of taking direct hits from atomic weapons without much sustained damage. The armor and nanobots are vulnerable towards electro-magnetic pulses, which can temporarily short-circuit them, and thus all of her powers.

The nanobots also allow her:

  • to fly
  • to connect to machines
  • to make life-like duplicates of herself (the current limit being 82 fully workable bodies before her personality starts to dissociate)
  • to create energy shields
  • to create electrical storms
  • to spread biological and technological viruses
  • to grow organs (such as growing replacement lungs to survive in space)

The Engineer (Angela Spica) fighting over the city

Other applications and assets

The nanobots are natural scanning devices and she has an invisible web of atom-sized machine sensors around her at all times that are sensible to environmental changes.

The nanobots contain memory and are capable of storing data equivalent to every book on Earth in one drop of her blood (the complete Internet is supposed to be recorded in her blood as well).

The most impressive feat has probably been using the nanobots for time travel at least once.

While not a trained combatant she expertly handles her created weapons and nanobots cannons. She also employs her flight abilities to simulate great acrobatic feats. During her non-powered era she relied on regular firearms to good effect.

Naturally, Angie is also a technological genius, and relatively fast mastered piloting the Carrier. Even without her powers she would be a great asset to any team.

The Carrier

The Authority’s base of operations is the Carrier. It is a gigantic interdimensional “shiftship” existing everywhere on Earth at the same time and capable of moving through every imaginable plane of existence. The Carrier is an inorganic lifeform. It has restorative systems that take care of any damage and it is powered by a caged baby universe.

The Carrier has many sensors for detecting energies, trajectories, distant objects and life forms. It has extremely high security systems.

Whenever a member of the Authority clearly says the word “Door” and thinks about a location, the ship will open up the desired door for the member anywhere on Earth; this communication and function works through a microchip that all the Authority members have surgically implanted in their neck.

Doors can also be used offensively – throwing an opponent halfway through a door and then closing it will cut him in half. The Carrier has its own personality, but can be controlled by use of the Space Vehicles Subskill.

The Engineer recently fused with the Carrier, thus gaining complete control over the ship and knowledge of all its functions, including hull battery and dimensional cargo warping.

Although no longer part of the ship, she now retains a radiotelepathic connection to it at all times and can feel whatever the ship feels and order it to perform any action within its capabilities. That makes for a most excellent ship captain and engineer.

It is 50 miles (80 km) long, 35 miles (56 km) high and two miles (3 km) wide.


History

Angie was born in Queens, the youngest child of six. Her family wasn’t rich but they were happy, her father drove a bus and her mother worked in a laundrette.

From a young age Angie was obsessed with superheroes. Throughout school all she read were comics of Creeper, Green Lantern and Batman. While dreaming of becoming a superhero, Angie became the smartest child in her school, she was building circuit-boards while other children in her class were still playing with toys.

Graduating college the top her class, Angie was surprised to learn that one of her associates was in the anti-hero group called “The Changers”. Angie went to Princeton and when her friend was killed he transferred all of his work on nano-technology to Angie’s home computer.

She then started drawing comparisons between the nano-technological research he had been doing and her own research on man-machine fusion.

Nanoswarm

Distilling billions and billions of intelligent nano-technological robots into a liquid machine form, Angie finally saw her dream become realized when she injected it into herself. She replaced her blood with nine pints of the liquid machinery.

The Engineer (Angela Spica) with gun-arms

The liquid metal is now a living extension of her. It can cover her entire body at will and allow her to fly, create anything she can imagine including weapons such as knives and swords through to complicated automatic machine guns and phase rifles.

It is also capable of growing replacement lungs for her to survive in hostile environments and currently holds the entire information reserves on the internet in its memory banks for Angie to access at her whim.

Respect the Authority

Angie was one of the founding members of The Authority. She has been friends with Jenny Sparks since 1919. This is when she saved Jenny Sparks from a gunshot wound using nano-utensils to operate on her body at the molecular level. That was a technique she pioneered in the year 2000.

This was all made possible by The Carrier door mechanism and time travel research. The research was done in a future timeline  where Jenny Sparks died and left Angie her diary asking her to come back in time and save her. If she hadn’t saved her it would have been a Extinction Level Paradox and destroyed the world.

Another time travel event of import to Angie was to happen to her when she was in high school. She was sexually assaulted or harassed by the school doctor. She later found out that this man was the Renegade Doctor whom they fought in the series Earth Inferno. He had traveled back in time to assault her and cause her to freeze in combat.

Whether this was the intentional cause is unclear as The Renegade Doctor could easily have killed her then. It is assumed he did this just to humiliate her and show his ’superiority‘.

Steal the blood, steal the power

During the series ’Transfer of Power‘, Angie’s liquid metal blood was taken from her and replaced with that of a HIV Positive Heroin addict. Her memory was altered and she was given a low paid job at a shopping market, an abusive husband and six children. Her replacement, a Japanese woman, was renamed Machine and received the nanotechnology.

Eventually Swift freed her and Machine was killed by Apollo. Angie promptly transferred her liquid metal blood back to herself and launched an assault on the rest of the team ’copies’. After this the Authority regained control of the Carrier.

The Engineer (Angela Spica) turns her arms into machineguns

She later had a deep, if somewhat short, relation with Captain Atom. The Captain was a universe-traveling hero hailing from the main DC Universe of New Earth. Angie had originally been tasked by Jack Hawksmoor to keep an eye over Captain Atom. She was to keep him close and devise a plan to send him back home – or kill him should he become a menace for the Wildstorm Universe.

Spica, unable to find his proper universe, used her nanotechnology to apparently disable the fragment of the Void lodged in Captain Atom’s body. She thus defused the threat posed by his survival in the Wildstorm Universe. She started a relationship with him, sharing some intimate moments and trying to mold him into the proactive hero needed by her world.

Up and Atom

The Engineer later discovered that the Mark of Void was never purged by his system. She also caught Captain Atom embracing Nikola Hansenn, the current host for the Void entity. Angela turned against him. Out of jealousy, anger and self-righteousness, attempted to slay him.

Captain Atom, still deeply in love with her, disabled her powers until Void was able to reboot the universe. This left Angela with no memories of the events surrounding the destruction and recreation of her world. It may also have deleted her memories about Nathaniel Adam.

She, and the rest of the Authority, would later be visited by others (Kyle Rayner, Donna Troy and Jason Todd) from New Earth, not taking kindly to the intrusion.

World’s End

Due to the cataclysm of World’s End, Spica lost her powers. She became a small-e engineer, trying to fix the Carrier and help the refugees living in it. However, she was able to use her machine blood to reactivate it – partially – and this in turn awoke her powers. She could use her superhuman powers for brief periods.

However, this never lasted long, so she was wearing normal clothes over her metallic skin.

Angela later was captured by Sliding Albion prince Lorenzo Slzfi. He forced her to work on a miniature caged baby universe to power a Shift-Door to his dimension. Spica established communication with the caged baby universe and found that it had a similar origin to the Carrier. It had been captured by the Establishment in the 1950’s.

Angela agreed to allow the caged baby universe to restart and upgrade her abilities. Soon after, the Carrier self-repaired. It suddenly launched into space with an unknown destination and thousands of refugees and some metahumans who’d become the new Authority under the leadership of Jack Hawksmoor.

The Authority followed the ship until its final destination with the hope that something could be found that would help restore the Earth.

A space odyssey, part 1

In addition to Jack, the other members were Deathblow, Flint, Freefall, Grifter, Rainmaker, Swift, Synergy, the High and River (a new 10-years old century baby of information).

After several lethal encounters – including the threats of nightwalkers, the Aegian and Mondregon – they finally arrived at the slaughter moon of the Karibna. These had exercised an intergalactic reign of terror for millions of years.

The Karibna had been an advanced race that had succumbed into barbarism over their long existence. After a visitation from a friendly, technologically superior race, they sent out shiftships all over the universe. Their intent was to procure shiploads of lifeforms to be used as slaves, food and other horrific purposes.

A space odyssey, part 2

At first being overtaken, with huge loss in human lives, an Authority strikeforce eventually took out the living command center. River then opened doors liberating all the races on the moon, resulting in a grand scale escape and revolt.

In the end, Jack Hawksmoor destroyed the moon’s interior power plant. He used Mayumi, a living, cybernetic weapon created by Kaizen Gamorra and capable of destroying the Carrier. Hawksmoor made it crash into its planet just as all the shiftships were leaving it.

Jack, desperately jumping towards the Carrier, was saved by the Engineer, who stretched out to catch him, after which they kissed. Although with nothing new to fix Earth, the Carrier is now on its way back to Earth. Its crew put an end to an unimaginable horror that preyed on the galaxy for a million years, and saved over a billion lives.

The Engineer remains the Carrier’s captain and friend.


Description

The Engineer is an attractive woman whose costume consists only of her nanorobots. This makes her appear silver-clad with a silvery helmet, thick wire-like hair and some pointy protrusions from her lower arms and legs. The costume is mentally commanded into place over her nude form.

During her leisure time she sometimes drops the extra skin, thus choosing ordinary clothing instead. The Engineer has fairly confident manners, appearing level-headed and focused.


Personality

The Engineer has always wanted to be a superhero and is dedicated to the bettering of mankind and the human condition. Like the other members of the Authority she will kill for the greater good. She could be characterized as a stern and authoritive humanitarian with a kind interior. But make no mistake, she is no softie and belongs in the Authority.

Still, her rough ways are paved with good intentions. She is perhaps the most sociable of the Authority members.

Among the Authority, she, like the others, followed Jenny Sparks’ lead. She is a good friend with fellow teammate Swift, and the two often joke with the Midnighter and Apollo. She is friendly with the Doctor, and can be considered to be in an open relationship with Jack Hawksmoor.

The Carrier is considered a close friend, something others have difficulty grasping.


Quotes

“We came in and changed things to the way we thought they should be.”

“You’ve trusted us to save your lives from countless super-powered threats and extra-dimensional menaces, now trust us to change them in ways that make a lasting difference. Despite our powers and abilities, we’re still human. We share the same hopes and dreams as every one of you. All we want is to build a finer world in which to raise our children.”

“I’m happy because one of my multiples just resuscitated a little drowned boy on the roof of the Chrysler Building. God, this is just the best job in the world, isn’t it ?”

“How can you expect us to save people from extra-terrestrial threats, but turn a blind eye when genocide is being perpetrated by earth-bound dictators ?”

“Now, you have to understand, I’m pro-choice, and I do not deny the imperative of childbirth – but if you think I’m giving you the chance to squat out more beasties hellbent on smacking me to death, then you’re weirder than you look.”

“They are slaughtering my multiples faster than I can create them ! Any of you know what it feels like to watch yourself die over and over again ?”

“Jesus, how did the future of the entire world end up hinging on the half-baked plan of a Dutch junkie ?”


DC Universe History

The Engineer resides on Earth-50 (the Wildstorm Universe), but has no clear counterpart on New Earth. Some similarities can be seen, for example, with gadgeteers such as Steel, as well as other makers, such as Green Lantern.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Engineer II

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 09 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Engineer
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 017 HP: 050

Powers:
Awareness: 02, Data Storage: 35, Fabricate: 15, Flight: 13, Force Shield: 06, Interface: 08, Lightning: 08, Projectile Weapons: 09, Sealed Systems: 09, Split: 06, Stretching: 05, Telescopic Vision: 08

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Gadgetry: 09, Medicine (Surgery): 04, Scientist: 10, Thief (Security Systems): 08, Weaponry (Fabricated Weapons, Firearms, Projectile Weapons): 07, Vehicles (Space): 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Derived From Fabricate (-1)
  • Projectile Weapons has no AV and has to be aimed through Weaponry (-1)
  • Split is a Serious Marginal Power (-2)
  • Split actually linear doubles the number of splits created with each AP (+3); at 6 APs she consists of a total of 82 splits with reduced stats. The Split power is not reduced even if splits die, although it will have to be Recovered by the usual rules (+1)
  • Misc. any RAPs of Electro-Magnetic Pulse attacks also function as the Neutralize power against the Engineer’s Fabricate Power and thus render her powerless (-1)(note that she also has an Attack Vulnerability against such attacks)

Advantages:
Attractive (only in human form), Expertise (Dimensional Navigation, The Carrier), Genius, Headquarters (Expansive, the Carrier), Insta-Change, Life Support (No need to eat or drink), Scholar (Computers, Nanotechnology)

Connections:
Captain Atom (Low supposedly), Jack Hawksmoor (High), The Authority (High), The Carrier (High)

Drawbacks:
Attack Vulnerability (EMPs, -2 CS OV/RV)

Equipment:

  • NANO-TECH SUIT [/BODY/ 10, Skin Armor 04, Hardened Defenses, Notes: the suit has been noted as capable of withstanding even nuclear detonations without much visible effect. It has more limited defense against directly energy-based weapons, and is rather vulnerable against EMPs.]
  • RADIOTELEPATHY NANOBOTS [BODY 01, INT 01, Shrinking (Always On) 20, Recall 04, Telepathy (Communication only) 20, Gadgetry (Identify Gadget) 05, Thief (Security Systems) 05, Note: All Authority members have these nanobots inside of them allowing them to contact any other Authority member by telepathy at any time. These also allow communication with the Carrier and saying the word “Door” while thinking of a location will make it create a door to said location.
    The nanobots are intelligent enough to escape from a captured Authority member to later broadcast their position to the other members from a secure location – further, during such emergency protocols, they will hack into nearby computers and stream back any useful data to the Authority.]

The Carrier

THE CARRIER [BODY 28 DEX 00 STR 28 INT 02 WILL 02 MIND 02 INFL 02 AURA 01 SPI 03, Data Storage: 15, Dimension Travel: 06, Fabricate (interior): 16, Flight: 36, Projectile Weapons (Area Effect): 20, Radar Sense: 30, Radio Communications: 28, Warp (only useable on others): 28, Security Systems at 18 APs]

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: The Authority v1-v5, The Authority one-shots and related miniseries (appearances in approximately 150 books up to date)

Helper(s): comicvine.com , Darci

Writeup completed on the 29th of December, 2010.

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