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Marianne - French super-hero - Gendarmerie

Category :

Homemade characters

Subcategory :

Others

Type :

Hero

Game System :

Dual-stats (MnM / DCH)

Notes :

French gendarmerie

Marianne v1.3

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: Homemade

Helper(s): John Colagioia, William Peterson, David Johnston, Kal El, Eric Langendorff, Ultimate Powers Book (Marvel classic supplement), rpg.net’s Tangency forum for their Canadian skiing experience. Photo model - Jenna de Rosnay.

Reasons (1): A number of American listmembers having occasional need of European supers and feeling that the “official” characters in the MU and DCU such as Le Peregrine (sic) are somewhat campy, I took the liberty of creating a few French supers from an French point of view. Marianne is intended to occupy the niche of the most powerful, JLA-class national champion whereas the rest have more common power levels. She has a fair bit in common with Superman, only more French.

Reasons (2): The universe for the Gendarmerie characters is kept purposefully vague - there are hints of Wildstorm (post-human operatives being activated, superhuman (para)military units) and DC (the Kryptonian-ish power suite), but it’s meant to be vague. It could easily be Marvel-ified by replacing powers activation by Xavier-style training to teach mutants to properly use their superhuman abilities.

Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend The Cambridge Illustrated History of France.

Quotes

Marianne

RAID Commander - “Group A and B have gotten the kids clear. Group C, execute the hostile.”
Marianne - “Marianne to all points, that’s a negative for Group C. We don’t even know if it’s a real bomb. Fall back C, I’m going in.”
RAID Commander - “Totally unnecessary risk.”
Marianne - “I’ll scoop him up and fly straight up before he wakes. If it’s not a real bomb harness he’ll live. If he detonates in my arms, then all the damage done will be fuzzy shots of me flying naked. Exiting site with suspect in three, two, one.”

“Is it OK if I speak French ? I don’t speak Dioula. Look, guys, the whole weapons confiscation thing… well, first, you know me and it’s pretty useless to point them at me. Second, I’m not here to take them by force, I know your situation is complicated. Look, is it OK if I come into the village so we can talk ?”

“Jah love, moça. Jah love.”

“Oh fatche de con, il impressione degun ton flingue. Laisse tomber, va, personne va t‘en vouloir.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Marianne
Dex: 06 Str: 18 Bod: 13 Motivation: Upholding Good
Int: 07 Wil: 05 Min: 10 Occupation: National heroine, gendarme
Inf: 08 Aur: 07 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 034 HP: 100

Powers: Adaptation: 07, Analytical smell/tracking scent: 08, Continuum control: 10, Directional hearing: 06, Extended hearing: 06, Flight: 12, Invulnerability: 13, Sealed systems: 08, Super-hearing: 06, Superspeed: 09, Systemic antidote: 06, Telescopic vision: 04, Telepathy: 12, Ultra-vision: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adaptation only works on Skills, and can only Adapt Skills from the ancestry line
  • Adaptation allows for Adapting Familiarities (each is considered the equivalent of 3 APs in a Skill) and Expertises (each ’weighs’ 6 APs)
  • Adaptation represents spoken instructions, and is thus often useless in situations where the ancestry line person doesn’t have the time to describe what to do
  • Continuum control must avoid the Observer Effect (see below)
  • Continuum control is limited to the plausible actions from her ancestry lines
  • Continuum control requires oft-lengthy preparation work to locate and communicate with the ancestor
  • Telepathy extends in time as well as in space and has a +40 Special Temporal Range Bonus
  • Telepathy can only be used to contact peoples on her ancestry line

Skills: Acrobatics*: 06, Animal handling (Dogs): 05, Charisma (Persuasion): 09, Martial artist*: 06, Medicine (First aid): 04, Military science: 06, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06

Advantages: Expertise (Boardsports, ESIGN/GIGN tactics, Mountain guide), Languages (French, Portuguese, Jamaican English), Local Hero (France), Credentials (French government, police and military - Medium), Rank (equivalent to Captain)

Connections: ESIGN (Gendarmerie superhuman squad, High), the ancestry line (High)

Drawbacks: None

Equipment:

  • TACTICAL RADIO HEADSET [BODY 04, Radio communications (Encrypted): 07]
  • Manhurin MR73 .357 magnum revolver [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#02, Recommended STR: 03, Drawback: Long reload time]

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

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Marianne — Averaged PL 15

STRSTAAGLDEXFGTINTAWEPRE
15 12 04 04 06 03 02 03
Powers

Invulnerable and super-strong ● 24 points
- Impervious Fortitude 4, Impervious Toughness 10
- Enhanced Advantage (Diehard)
- Immunity 4 (Disease, environmental cold, environmental heat, radiation)
- Immunity 2 (All suffocation, pressure, vacuum - all Limited 1 to Half Effect)
- Enhanced Strength 3 (Limited 1 to Lifting)

Super-senses ● 13 points
Senses 13 (Acute Extended Tracking Olfactory, Extended Tracking Rapid Auditory, Distance Sense (Auditory), Ultra-Hearing, Extended 2 Rapid Visual, Darkvision)

Flight and superspeed ● 66 points
- Superfast fighter — Enhanced Dodge 3, Enhanced Parry 3, Close Attack 5, Defensive Roll 2, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 5, Instant Up, Move-by Action, Ranged Attack 4, Takedown
- Supersonic — Flight 11, Speed 8
- Superfast actions — Quickness 9

Ancestry Line ● 7 points
- Ancestral Mentoring — Variable 1 (Flaws: Limited: Only to use skills from her ancestry line, Quirk: Ancestor must be able to explain to Marianne what to do, Slow)
- Retrogressive Telepathy — Comprehend 1 (Spirits along her ancestry line), Feature 2 (Mind link with ancestry line)

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 5, Defensive Roll 2, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 5, Improved smash, Improved trip, Instant Up, Move-by Action, Ranged Attack 4, Takedown

Other Advantages

Benefit 2 (ESIGN officer), Benefit 1 (Popular in France and beyond), Connected, Contacts, Diehard, Equipment 2, Languages 3 (English, Portuguese, Jamaican English), Leadership

Skills

Athletics 3 (+18), Acrobatics 4 (+8), Deception 3 (+6), Expertise (GIGN operator) 10 (+13), Expertise (Mountain guide and board sports) 6 (+9), Insight 6 (+8), Perception 6 (+8), Persuasion 6 (+9), Ranged combat (Firearms) 1 (+9), Treatment 4 (+7) (Limited 2 to Stabilise and Revive), Vehicles 4 (+8) (Limited 2 to common land vehicles)

Equipment

Heavy Pistol, Radio headset

Offense
Initiative +24
Unarmed +15, Close, Damage 15
Revolver +9, Ranged, Damage 4
Defense
Dodge13/10* Fortitude15
Parry13/10* Toughness14/12*
Will10
* Without Superspeed
Complications

Responsibility Marianne is a symbol of her country (almost literally) and leader of its premier superhuman defense force.

Relationships Her family (mother, father, brother and son)

Secret Identity Marianne's real name is Sophie Robais.

Old Debts Individuals on her ancestry line may call upon Marianne to perform certain tasks.

Power levels

Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 15, Dodge/Toughness PL 14, Parry/Toughness PL 14, Fort/Will PL 14

Point total 267 Abilities 98, Defences 23, Skills 23, Powers 110, Devices 0, Advantages 13. Equiv. PL 10.

Uncapped !

On the uncapped scale (see the OMACS II document), her Strength becomes 18 (drop the Limited to Lifting Strength), her Stamina becomes 13, and she gains 2 further Ranks of Enhanced Impervious Fortitude.
 

Background

Real name: Formerly Adjudant-Chef Sophie Robais, now Marianne Nemo
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: Charlotte (mother, deceased), Fabio Robais (now Roger Guillemot, father), Antoine Dessaillères (former husband), Nicolas (now Alexandre Nemo, son)
Group affiliation: Operative for the French government
Base Of Operations: Mont-de-Marsan (near Paris)
Height: 5’8” Weight: 130 lbs Age: 31
Eyes: Gray with blue shades Hair: Dirty blonde

Powers and Abilities

Marianne’s power is a bond with something called an “ancestry line”. Most of those are not actually ancestors of hers, but they form a long series of persons sharing a link, which goes uninterrupted all the way back to the first form of complex life on Earth. At any given moment, there was exactly one person with a connection to the ancestry line living on Earth.

Marianne is imbued with the accrued physical power of every single person along the ancestry line. Though how the math works is unclear, this adds up to colossal strength, speed, durability and sensory acuity. Many members of the ancestry line are not human - for instance Marianne’s strength includes the might of many dinosaurs, some of whom were pretty big. The ancestry line holds a number of surprises - for instance the flying is chiefly derived from a dozen generations of human-like beings with huge gossamer wings who lived in the Causses area during the Permian era. 

Marianne can bench-press a modern naval cruiser, fly faster than any jet fighter, run at supersonic speeds, move quickly enough to catch 5.56mm bullets at close range, or hold her breathe for hours. She has roughly 500/40 eyesight and equally keen hearing, can see in pitch darkness, and has survived a direct hit by a 120mm anti-tank shell with little more than localised burns and mean bruises. Marianne’s powers are not unlike Superman’s, though she operates at the tier just below Kryptonian-class.

Retrogressive telepathy

People down the ancestry line can be contacted via retrogressive telepathy. It is always possible to communicate with them (though the simplest forms of life all the way down the line have such minimal brains that communication is worthless even for scientific purposes), and they are generally agreeable to requests for help. Receiving help from the past is usually a complex proposition (except for advice and intelligence, which can be extremely useful in their own right), and the laws of chronophysics have to be respected. The main one is the Observer Effect, described below. Marianne has worked with chronophysicists to establish safe policies about using her power, so as to avoid creating negative side effects such as paradoxes.

Communicating takes place at the speed of a normal conversation, so setting things up with an ancestry line person can take minutes or even hours. There’s never any linguistic issue, though - it’s always possible to communicate fluently with anybody on the ancestry line, even animals, though as noted the intelligence of the subject can severely limit communication. There exists a handful of persons who can initiate communication *up* the ancestry line - all of them have some form of magical or psychic powers, and all of them insist that Marianne must never use similar powers she might have inherited from them. This would apparently create some sort of temporal paradox.

Marianne’s ability to communicate with the ancestry line is not an action-oriented ability, but can be quite powerful (if complex) given sufficient planning and strategic acumen. A Presidential-level group of historians (nicknamed the “Bloch block” in homage to a famous French historian) works on plans for Marianne to implement through the ancestry line. Though it’s a long, slow process of exploration, these subtle and scholarly plans have brought various benefits to France - retconning the nation into being more prosperous and socially harmonious. The work of the Bloch Block became bogged down in virulent political disagreements and huffy departures during the Sarkozy years, however.

Training

Marianne is a trained military policewoman and tactical operator. She has extensive training and experience with superhuman combat, and regularly trains with krav maga instructors - with an emphasis on less-than-lethal techniques to stop armed and ready (or superhuman) opponents with a minimum of collateral damage.

She has extensive training in keeping her strength and speed under very fine control, and generally pace herself to have the strength and speed she would display had she no superhuman powers. She is also an excellent athlete.

Nature of the ancestry line

The working hypothesis of Dr. Madeleine Moreau-Levy (which has yet to be falsified) is that the ancestry line is essentially the product of reincarnation, and that something along the lines of a soul travels from a dying subject to one being born. What it is, and whether it says anything about persons other than Marianne, remains unknown.

Guided interviews with persons down the ancestry line have revealed that every fully-sapient person remembers having Marianne-like powers but is unable to place them at all in their own biography. Moreau-Levy thinks that the Marianne power is a sort of token that floats down the ancestry line - only one person can have the token at any given point. This means that Marianne Nemo/Sophie Robais can expect to live her life twice - once with the Marianne powers, and then having it rebooted and lived without the Marianne “token”. Furthermore, during this second life Robais will likely receive communications from people further up the ancestry line - in the future - who have the Marianne “token” she once held and can communicate down the ancestry line.

The notion that she’ll live twice has been welcomed with the usual relaxed attitude by Marianne, whose interest in chronophysics is chiefly about what she can do rather than the innumerable questions that having somebody live their life twice triggers (does it take place in a parallel dimension ? Does it create such a dimension ? Since the actions of the ancestry line take place in the ’real‘ past and not a parallel timeline, could it be that the time of the entire universe stutters every time an ancestry line person dies so they can live their second life ?).

Based on the diffuse memories of people down the ancestry line, Moreau-Levy suspects that the powers “token” might have been activated during the wrong life - that the powers are available during the second life rather than the first, and that detecting and activating Sophie Robais’s powers during her first life pre-empted the normal emergence of the Marianne powers during her second life. In this hypothesis, what the previous ancestry line persons remember for their powered life is actually memory leakage from the person before them, which matches some of the less logical interviews. If that is the case, what will happen when Marianne dies is unknown, but Moreau-Levy has said that she’s reasonably confident that it will not destroy the universe as a result of a paradox - and that it’s too late anyway.

Moreau-Levy also suspects the existence of a “balancing token” that flows the other way but skips most persons on the ancestry line, as an hypothesis to explain the telepathic communications from the past toward the future.

The Observer Effect

A simple formulation of the Observer Effect is that an observed event cannot be changed. One cannot tamper with a scene that has been witnessed by individuals who are still alive, or contradict something that is documented, proven history. The observer effect has many subtleties and effects for time travellers, but this is the gist of it.

If Marianne wants an ancestry line person to sabotage the Antique Fiendish Device, but a bad guy examined the Device ten minutes ago, the ancestor cannot make changes to the Device that contradict what the bad guy just saw - and of course the ancestor has to reach the Device in their own time period, bring the tools to execute on the plan, etc. Furthermore the vast majority of the ancestry line is located in an area approximating modern France.

Both Marianne and the ancestry line contact can gauge chronal resistance as they consider options - if something would conflict with the Observer Effect, one or both will intuitively sense an almost physical resistance to the idea on the universe’s part as the plan is being talked about. It is common for one or both to start rapidly listing ideas or associations to sense in which general directions the resistance lies.

Cheating with the observations of witnesses is difficult - though almost nobody clearly remembers things they have seen, the information exists accurately within the person’s mind and could be obtained through, say, hypnosis-aided recollection. This is the type of information the Observer Effect is based on. However, there usually exist blind angles, details so trivial as to be beneath the threshold, etc. - and the possibility of engineering the scene exists. For instance, the ancestry line person could prevent a random passer-by from reaching the scene and take his place wearing similar clothing so there isn’t an extra person in the picture, and the differences are too small to be noticed by a witness.

Another practice is to physically explore an area with hands extended to feel any ’soft‘ place that is unwitnessed and undocumented during the targeted time span.

The simplest trick is to have an object buried in a specific spot, though it will have to survive the entire span of time between the ancestry line person and Marianne. Manipulations are generally more complex, and often involve letters from the past handed over to attorneys, to be opened at a certain date.

History

Sophie Robais was born in Aix-and-Provence, but grew up in Marseille, where her parents moved when she was two. She was a lively teenager, blooming in the rich street and club scenes of Marseille in the 1970s and enjoying a very free lifestyle - to the consternation of her father, an old-fashioned member of the French Gendarmerie.

When Sophie was 16 her mother died from cancer, and her more aged father took an early retirement, moving to a creek house close to Marseille. Sophie grew closer to the roots reggae subculture in Marseille, and was among the very first people in France who discovered Jamaican dancehall music. Adopting the dreadlocks-and-backpack lifestyle she started travelling around the world with a rag-tag band of friends, living as cheaply as possible. They angled to live as close as possible to reputed skiing and surfing spots, practising these sports as often as possible. The group spent several months in Cabo Verde, where Sophie learned Portuguese and greatly cut down on her consumption of cannabis as a consequence of a minor respiratory allergy.

From 1983 to 1987, Robais lived in the Canadian skiing resort of Whistler, earning money as a freelance French language teacher and later as a guide and mountain sports instructor. She trained as a mountain guide certified by the ACMG, qualifying as a ski guide, alpine guide and rock guide and getting her IFMGA badge. She lived for years as a ski bum, practising backcountry skiing, heliskiing and Alpine-style ski mountaineering on her own or with paying clients.

During a trip to Blackcomb, she stumbled upon another French tourist - a gendarme who knew her father. Himself a confirmed mountain infantryman, he was impressed by Robais’s Alpine skills, and told her that the Gendarmerie would probably be interested in recruiting her. As a Canadian guide, she was also qualified in first aid, crevasse rescue, avalanche response, transceiver search, operating from an helicopter and other skills of obvious interest to French gendarmes working in the Alps and other mountain ranges.

After checking with her father, Robais returned to France. While she didn’t have any diploma, she applied on the recruitment track for high-level sportsmen, making a diploma irrelevant. While undergoing a medical examination, military doctors determined that she was a potential superhuman - and that her potential power level was off any scale they had.

La tactique du gendarme

Sophie was offered the usual deal - full activation of her powers and full training with those in exchange for volunteering for the Gendarmerie’s superhuman squad, the ESIGN (popularly called “the ninjas” due to their features-concealing hood protecting them from payback attempts). She took it, and given her tremendous power level was handled by France’s most senior researcher on metahuman medicine and powers, Dr. Madeleine Moreau-Levy. The activation of Robais’s ability went fine, and was followed by a special regimen to allow her to keep her colossal strength and speed under fine control. As often, her physical ageing dramatically slowed down over the following years.

Scoring very high on just about everything, Robais joined the one-year training program run by GIGN veterans. She volunteered for additional training in diving, close-circuit diving, K9, parachuting and others, and served as a rock-climbing and skiing instructor for her fellow trainees. She earned the nickname “Miss Dynamite” as a consequence of this physical regimen.

 

Notes about organizations
The French Gendarmerie Nationale is not unlike the Gendarmerie Royale du Canada, known in English as the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Those are military units tasked with law-enforcement duties. Law enforcement in France is separated between the Gendarmerie Nationale (for rural areas and small towns) and the Police Nationale (civilian police, operating in large towns). Some towns, especially Paris, also have municipal police.

The military nature of Gendarmerie is generally downplayed - it has a debonaire, old school and provincial image, and makes sure to have friendly relationships with the locals. Many Frenchmen are not even aware that the gendarmes are military, and have at their disposal means including assault rifles, close-quarter battle weaponry, armored vehicles, special airborne sections and the like.

The GIGN (Groupement d‘Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) is a special, elite unit tasked with special operations - particularly high-risks hostage crises and anti-terrorist ops. Although the unit remains generally discreet, operations average between 50 and 100 per year - several hundred hostages have been freed and many more arrests have been made ; the GIGN is believed to be the most active anti-terrorist law enforcement unit in the world.

The GIGN was heavily covered by international news during such operations as the 1976 Djibouti hostage crisis or the 1989 Marseille hijacking, both of which are considered brilliant anti-terrorist operations in very difficult circumstances. Highly controversial orders have also been followed, including an assault in New Caledonia in the 1980s that left a number of hardline independence activists dead in unclear circumstances.

Since the 1990s, focus has shifted away from the military gendarmes to an equivalent civilian unit in the Police National called RAID. RAID personnel trains very closely with GIGN gendarmes, uses the same techniques and weapons, etc. but are civilian policemen.

Although the GIGN is a cross between the British SAS and the American FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams, it professes a policy of keeping deadly violence to a minimum and will take considerable risks to arrest perpetrators instead of killing them. Training emphasizes bullet placement to shock and wound with a one shot, one hostile neutralized philosophy. The most common sidearm is thus a powerful, accurate revolver with only six bullets. Hand to hand combat techniques (based on an extensive krav maga cursus) are also stressed for non-lethal assaults, as well as K9 tactics - dogs are for instance taught to neutralise the driver of a moving car or to immobilize handguns using their jaws.


Sophie went on to become a top ESIGN operator - over ten years she participated to more than 300 tactical operations to stop superhuman threats against France, French citizens and French interests. Since she could fly faster than any jet fighter and had the power and flexibility to engage almost anything on her own - if only to concentrate enemy action on her and away from civilians and ordinary cops - she was frequently the first responder to emergencies. Robais was often glimpsed on television and famously defeated major superhuman threats, but always as a faceless tactical operator wearing the anonymous black, hooded military uniform of ESIGN. At best one could guess her gender, though a firm guess would only be possible if the uniform was damaged enough.

Sophie married and later divorced a colleague during that era. She had a son, Nicolas, whom she mostly raised as a single mother on Gendarmerie bases. She remains in amiable if somewhat distant terms with her ex-husband, who has since become a private security consultant in the UAE area.

Comme la montre a son tic-tac

On the 16th of January, 1997, Robais was in Chamonix, helping the local gendarmes set up a high-altitude rescue training exercise. Nearby agents of the SPHP (a sort of Secret Service) reported two officers down during an attack on former Minister of Justice Robert Badinter, who had been receiving death threats.

The powerful, insane superhuman Thierry Saint-Jean had attacked the vacationing Badinters as a terror attack inspired by his reactionary ideals - Badinter was chiefly known for the abrogation of death penalty 16 years before, and his wife Elizabeth was a famous intellectual and feminist writer. Hearing impacts and a screaming woman when she came on site seconds later, Adjudant-chef Robais immediately made entry and body-blocked Saint-Jean through a concrete wall. After 25 minutes of brutal fighting, Saint-Jean was taken down ; the worst of the damage was a crushed forearm for Mrs. Badinter, whose life had been saved by seconds. However Robais had intervened while wearing running pants and a tank top - Saint-Jean had seen her face and it was assumed that there existed footage of the fight featuring Sophie’s unmasked face.

At that time, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin had been considering making a PR move by having one of the “ninjas” take on a more American-style code-name and public presence, to serve as a sort of national hero. Government spokeswoman Catherine Trautman suggested Adjudant-Chef Robais, since her face had already been exposed. Robais being an attractive female officer, the choice of the Marianne symbolism essentially wrote itself. After meeting the Adjudant-Chef, Jospin was receptive to Robais’s informal behaviour as a way to relate with French urban youths, and Sophie’s distinctive Marseille accent was still sufficiently audible to deflect criticisms of Parisian elitism. Her personal charisma and poise were also considered ideal for the mission.

Sous un petit air bonasse

A DST (Direction de Sûreté du Territoire - National Security Executive, a counter-intelligence agency) team made Sophie Robais and her relatives disappear, and forged new IDs for them. Sophie was now Ms. Nemo (“No one”), her son Nicolas became Alexandre Nemo and her aged father received a completely new identity unrelated to his daughter’s. Though skin-tight costumes were considered and worked well with Nemo’s striking physique, it was finally decided to have fashion designer Thierry Mugler draw an uniform inspired by the Gendarmerie Nationale’s tactical uniforms, with a slim tricolour sash.

 

Notes about the Marianne symbolism
In 1792, shortly after the French Revolution, the Republic came up with symbol for itself and its key values - the famous Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood).

The emblem was the depiction of a young woman, wearing a Phrygian cap (a type of headgear popular among revolutionaries) and a Classical Greek dress. Marianne has been used as a symbol of every French Republic since - on coins, stamps, sculpted busts in city halls, etc. - and is often used to personify the Republic, for instance in satirical drawings.

The name “Marianne” was common among the lower classes back in the late 1700s, making it clear that this woman wasn’t some fancy noble.


As “Marianne”, the former Sophie Robais made her debut during the Summer of 1997. Though as an official announcement it was met with scepticism, memories of the Chamonix takedown were still fresh enough to make it clear that Marianne was an alpha-class superhuman. Several televised interviews of Marianne telling about older, declassified ESIGN operations in an informal style with lots of gesturing and occasional mild profanity were big hits and illustrated the fact that the newly-minted official heroine was a powerful, very experienced tactical professional with a genuine concern for proper usage of force.

Marianne was regularly deployed for PR and diplomatic events, the later often being a subtle show of force. However, ESIGN scheduling constraints soon necessitated cutting down on those ; the cruising speed became 2-3 PR/diplomatic events a month. Marketing studies demonstrated that youths-oriented, feel-good events were the most efficient (particularly after a well-known TV sequence showing Marianne rebuilding a children’s playground and two basketball courts in Marseille’s impoverished quartiers nords within less than a minute, at the request of a local youths association) and about half the PR work concentrated on those from about 2000 onward.

Marianne has also been deployed abroad, particularly in 2003 to reinforce the Operation Unicorn forces in Ivory Coast, and on several occasions to provide “tactical assistance” to the superhuman forces of other EU and allied countries.

Description

Marianne looks about 31. She’s vital, attractive, well-muscled and obviously physically active, with warm eyes and an open smile. Her tanned skin and the tiny lines on her face are typical of an outdoors lifestyle in sunny climates. Her dirty blonde hair is usually kept in a plain queue with a cheap, brightly-coloured scrunchie. In her civvies she usually wears sporting clothes or light summer dresses.

The Marianne uniform is a fitted, more elegant version of the plain Gendarmerie tactical uniform - black leather light combat boots, very dark blue (almost black) and tight-fitting fatigues, sports-style jacket of the same colour. Unlike the usual uniform jacket, hers stop at belly button level and is tight and fitted. This variant jacket is worn over a white or light blue shirt or T-shirt. The most colourful part is a slim sash in blue, white and red in a tricolour pattern, the extremities trailing off her right hip. Marianne has occasionally whimsically added an old version of the female Gendarmerie officer hat, a campy-looking bit of headgear that has been retired from service years ago.

Marianne’s regulation magnum revolver is kept in a shoulder holster under her jacket and is seldom seen.

The grained-up illustrations are photos of windsurfing champ and fashion designer Jenna de Rosnay - who back when the character was created was the iconic female surfer, and looks like a super-heroine anyway.

Personality

Marianne is a simple, active, relaxed woman with a powerful mixture of vitality and aplomb. She has an informal, straightforward approach to most things and is remarkably warm and good-natured, often laughing. Even as a law-enforcement officer and a mother she maintains a distinctly raggamuffin lifestyle. Unless one has also served in the French armed forces and can spot telltale locutions and habits, one would never guess that’s she’s a senior NCO with les médailles de chez médailles.

Having lived as a dreadlocked backpacker and beach/ski bum for years, she has a very spare lifestyle and prefers to do most things (such as cooking and home improvement) by herself. Most of her free time is spent raising her son, a quiet teenager who prefers academic pursuits and wants to become an historian.

Marianne is at heart a protector, especially since she became a mother. Her normal M.O. is to try to defuse violent situations by talking with the opposition. Nemo is charismatic, sincere and kind, and her preference for talking has allowed for the peaceful resolution of many potentially deadly situations, especially since she doesn’t come across as a conventional authority at all. She has extensive experience with this sort of situation and is a trained police negotiator with experience ranging up to negotiation during French Foreign Legion peacekeeping ops.

If the situation has to go tactical, Marianne doesn’t fight like a super-heroine but like an elite military SWAT operator who obviously has a krav maga background.

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