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Cinnamon - DC Comics - El Ciclo - Jen Van Meter

Category :

Comic Books

Subcategory :

DC universe

Type :

Hero

Game System :

DC Heroes (Blood of Heroes S.E.)

Notes :

Cinnamon II v1.1

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: Cinnamon: El Ciclo miniseries (2003, DC Universe) written by Jen Van Meter - and later DCU appearances.

Helper(s): Darci, Capita_Senyera

Reasons (1): As a complement to the Cinnamon I writeup, here is the inheritor to the name - a character pretty much straight from a Tarantino or a Rodriguez movie. The history has been kept short to avoid the worst spoilers about the nice El Ciclo limited series and the end of the Checkmate story. However, the section about Checkmate’s Rooks does include big S P O I L E R S about the balls-to-the-walls end of a Checkmate story arc.

Reasons (2): While it’s never mentioned in the story, there is a possibility Cinnamon II has a sliver of the soul of Chay-Ara (who was reincarnated as the first Cinnamon), given the fairly chaotic way the soul of Chay-Ara made its way into the mind of Kendra Saunders. That would in fact make a certain sense in the context of the stories.

Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend Cinnamon: El Ciclo.

Quotes

Cinnamon II

“Caton says you need a ride-along as far as Mexicali. Says you can pay three hundred.”

Little girl: “They’re already calling you their guardian angel.”
Cinnamon: “Don’t. That’s not what I am.”

“I’m not a bounty hunter. I’m an orphan.” (kills one of the murderers)

Mace: “You fleeing the jurisdiction ?”
Cinnamon: “More like moving on.”

Special operations co-pilot: “Ma’am, I’m…”
Cinnamon (curtly): “Name.”
Co-pilot: “Blackhawk Ensign Neal Bailey, ma’am.”
Cinnamon (coldly): “My horse is here when I get back, Neal Bailey… or you answer to me.” (boards the helicopter ; Bailey stays behind holding the reins)

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Cinnamon
Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 021 HP: 025

Skills: Acrobatics (Hard Target): 06, Animals Handling (Horses): 05, Martial artist: 04, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, throwing stars): 06

Advantages: Area Knowledge (Northern Mexico and frontier area), Language (Spanish), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Paired pistols, Fast draw, Lightning Reload)

Connections: Street (High in northern Mexico, Low elsewhere), Doc Reyas (Low), Maurice (High)

Drawbacks: Guilt (having killed the seven murderers), Mistrust, Misc.: Cinnamon has nightmares about the death of her father

Equipment (baseline):

  • Renovated .45 M1873 Army Model with 5” barrel (x2) [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 06, R#02]
  • Sharpened Marshall Badge (x4) [BODY 04, EV 04, Note: Thrown weapon]. As usual, while Cinnamon can only use four in any given scene, she ’recovers’ those items between scenes.

Equipment (Checkmate):

  • .50 BMG Windrunner M98 Tactical Takedown Rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 08, Range: 09, Telescopic vision: 05, Ammo: 05, R#02, Recommended STR: 05 (03 when using a bipod and the Bracing Bonus), Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range, use the Range given next].
  • .454 Casull Taurus Raging Bull [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 05, Sharpness (Projectile weapon): 04, Ammo: 05]

Effects of the apocritic:

  • All the AVs and OVs of the Rooks are boosted by 2CSes while they share the alien DNA teep link, provided at least one of them can perceive the target of the action or the source of the attack.
  • All Rooks act at the highest Initiative rank among them, plus ten APs of Enhanced Initiative.
  • The mental link itself is presumably around 20 APs of Telepathy (Communication Only) given the puissance of Starro, plus full Leadership between the members.
  • It is possible that the Rooks can share the post-LDD RAPS of damage of any type among themselves.

Background

Real name: Cinnamon (last name unrevealed)
Other Aliases: Checkmate Rook Beta
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Known Relatives: Father (name unknown, deceased), Jeannie (mother, deceased)
Group affiliation: None
Base Of Operations: Mobile
Height: 5’9” Weight: 140 lbs. Age: Early thirties
Eyes: Light green Hair: Very red

Powers and Abilities

Cinnamon II, like the historical Cinnamon, is a dead shot and a superior gunfighter, able to engage half-a-dozen armed men and prevail. She even has adopted the signature weapon of the original - a sharpened sheriff’s star used as a heavy shuriken.

Cinnamon has very sharp reflexes, is steady under pressure and has a superior pain tolerance and physical constitution. She is also a competent brawler, and seems to have some level of martial arts training.

An experienced and capable mercenary and pistolera, she has extensive street contacts in northern Mexico (throughout the border area) and an excellent reputation among the persons exposed to her world. She is very streetwise in both Spanish and English, and deals especially well with other women in illegal professions, such as prostitutes.

Her guns do not seem to be replicas, and may have been rebuilt and rechambered for a more modern caliber (such as .45 ACP) - her friend Maurice, who is knowledgeable about guns, referred to them as ’antiques’, though it may have been a figure of speech. Those are her basic weapons, but she will switch to the sharpened badges if gunshots are likely to have dangerous consequences, such as attracting cops.

Cinnamon is a fast draw champ - she can reliably get the drop on most opponents while her pistol is holstered and her enemy has a gun already pointed toward her. Her Checkmate appearances imply that she’s just as fast when it comes to reloading.

In their Majesties’ secret service

(The following section includes big S P O I L E R S)
Cinnamon is one of the four Rooks - one of Checkmate’s last-resort weapons, used in cases where it is necessary to gamble on the survival of the planet. The Rooks have only been deployed once so far, and Checkmate work is thus a small percentage of Cinnamon’s adventures.

The Rooks follow Checkmate’s all-important Rule of Two, where each superhuman operative is matched by a human person. In this specific case, Rook Alpha (Tyson Sykes a.k.a. Gravedigger) and Rook Beta (Cinnamon) are the humans, and Gamma (Sebastian Faust, a mage) and Delta (an upgraded J.A.K.E., a.k.a. the G.I. Robot) are the superhumans.

As a Checkmate agent, Cinnamon is provided with much more powerful firearms, presumably from Checkmate’s arsenal :

  • .50 BMG Windrunner M98 Tactical Takedown Rifle. A 34 lbs. anti-materiel rifle ; Cinnamon uses it to support the other Rooks, usually by firing from a helicopter a short distance behind the others. Apparently there’s a large store of pre-loaded magazines for her to go through (and perhaps even spare barrels - she was chain-shooting like crazy.) Cinnamon kept carrying the rifle just in case after moving indoors, though at that point she can only bring one mag.
  • .454 Casull Taurus Raging Bull. This four pounds revolver has a blued finish (meaning it’s black - don’t ask) and fires an enormously potent cartridge. She is issued with custom-made, high-end armour-piercing bullets that can remain lethal after punching through a thick stone wall, as long as the range is short enough. Cinnamon carries a lot of ammo for this hand cannon - maybe five speed-loaders and a pair of bandoliers under her duster.
  • One would hope she’s also equipped with selective in-ear noise filters to deal with the report of her own weapons and that of her colleagues.

A big part of what makes the Rooks special is that they are issued on deployment a dose of apocritic, a solution containing engineered alien D.N.A. from Starro the Conqueror. If all goes well, and after inducing the vomiting of some alien goo, the apocritic creates a very powerful telepathic network between the Rooks, allowing them to share all their perceptions, thoughts and reflexes in real-time. This makes the operative extraordinarily efficient in the field.

Cinnamon - DC Comics - El Ciclo - Jen Van Meter

The G.I. Robot is not a full part of the apocritic-induced teep network, since obviously it’s not organic. It uses the brain nacelle that used to carry Max Lord’s encephalon, though, and that is sufficient for it to use some apocritic fluid to join the network as a passive participant - but not for a DNA infection to go very far. The G.I. Robot can share its perceptions over the network, but still must communicate verbally (and receive its orders verbally).

J.A.K.E. monitors the teep network, and has special sensors constantly scanning the progress of the DNA infection within the body of the other Rooks. Past a certain threshold, the mental link gets too strong and starts summoning Starro, who presumably immediately takes over the infected person. J.A.K.E. will terminate the Rook before such a level is reached - meaning that the Rooks’s life expectancy is counted in minutes after they inject the apocritic. An antidote is available for detox if the mission is completed before the infection gets too severe.

Apparently, despite all the precautions, there is a clear risk that Starro will be contacted whenever somebody is under the apocritic’s effects.

All perceptions and thoughts are shared over the network.&emspThe gestalt gains a composite view of the situation through six pair of eyes, making things much crisper and with a much better sense of depth that is available through human perceptions. Thanks to the increased mental bandwidth and scale efficiencies, reactions are much, much faster than normal and far more precise. Apparently the Rooks under the effects of the apocritic enjoy a much-extended working memory (perhaps in imitation of the space aliens whom DNA they use), and are able to retain and share a perfectly clear perception of something for about 10 to 15 seconds, whereas a normal human brain will encode it into abstract patterns within 2-3 seconds. Apparently pain is shared among the members - for instance the organics on the team winced when the G.I. Robot took some solid hits, but how it works is unknown.

History

Cinnamon was raised by a mother with a deep interest in the legends of the American Old West, who told her many such stories while she was a little girl. Cinnamon’s mother would have named her child Wyatt had he been a boy, and hesitated between two famous women of the Old West if she turned out to be a girl - Annie Oakley or the avenger Cinnamon. She died before Cinnamon was eight.

Cinnamon’s father was a US Marshall who was shot during a bank heist by a group of masked criminals, a few years after the death of his wife. From then on Cinnamon was wracked by nightmares about the brutal incident, and dedicated herself to vengeance, honing her markswomanship and eventually starting to hound the criminals who were at the heist.

At one point she found one of the seven killers, a now somewhat aged man and father of one, Jason Samuels. Bidding farewell to his daughter Marisol, Samuels accepted Cinnamon’s silent challenge and the pistol she handed to him, and fatally lost the duel. Eventually, Cinnamon killed all seven murderers.

Cinnamon then became quite reputed as a “freelance peacekeeper”, with various employers hiring her services as a one-woman private police force to protect a bar, to ride shotgun along shipments of goods of questionable legality, etc. These employers in turn tended to recommend her to their own contacts, allowing Cinnamon to get a pretty much constant stream of odd jobs.

El ciclo

At one point, Cinnamon heard that a Black girl was looking for her, and soon deduced that it was Marisol “Mace” Samuels, the daughter of Jason Samuels. Accepting her destiny as always, she travelled to LA to confront her. Preferring to travel with her revolvers and out of sight of the law, she got a free ride from a coyote in exchange for preventing any trouble from his clients.

The coyote intended to double-cross her, and was in the habit of selling his customers to slavers, but Cinnamon foiled the plot and saved the immigrants. This earned her a free ride to LA from an American cousin of one of the men. Once there, using local contacts (chiefly Maurice, a former heavy who had reinvested his illegal gains into a strip club), she located Samuels - now a hardcore, illegally armed young woman running a squat serving as a less-than-legal shelter for street kids. Cinnamon just started waiting for her outside the building.

One of Mace’s protégés, a runaway named Helen, was the daughter of a very rich man. Desperate to find her, Helen’s father eventually hired criminals, hoping their knowledge of the streets would enable them to find his daughter. They made their way toward Mace and the incident started degenerating until Cinnamon drew her guns and chased the thugs away. She then challenged Mace to a duel at midnight, and things we won’t spoil you about happened.

El viaje extraño de la pistolera

During the Infinite Crisis, in 2006, massive prison breakouts were orchestrated worldwide to overwhelm any heroic opposition. At that point Cinnamon was in Honduras, not far from Tegucigalpa, and responded to the breakout at the San Pedro Sula penitentiary. She was eventually overwhelmed and knocked out with a rock to the head. When happened next remains unknown, though it wasn’t looking very good.

During the Infinite Crisis, those opposing the onslaught of criminals and super-villains were connected via a mental network woven by the Martian Manhunter. The strange experience of being put in psychic contact with a global army of heroes via a space alien’s mind likely was what led Cinnamon to be noticed by Checkmate.

Cinnamon was contacted to become one of the last-resort weapons used by Checkmate - one of the four Rooks. Cinnamon, with her muted death wish, likely accepted since she considered that the nearly suicidal role of a Rook would be a great way to go.

Given the tremendous danger involved, the Rooks were activated but once, during Operation : Grassbeater, to foil a global Kobra plot. All Checkmate and even vaguely allied forces were engaged in other hot spots when the heart of the Kobra operation was discovered. Since Checkmate was clawing at the bottom of the barrel for any personnel they could deploy, those agents who identified the core of the conspiracy were but analysts and other desk jockeys, and got overwhelmed and killed by Kobra security.

Not having any other option and with speed being of the essence, Checkmate’s Royals reluctantly authorised Rook activation. The extremely risky strike was a success, and Checkmate dealt with the mystically-mutated newborns that were to herald the Kali-Yuga.

Description

Cinnamon styles herself very much like a cowgirl - hat, duster, boots, embroidered jeans, etc. - and like an archetypal cowboy travels with but her bedroll and one saddlebag. She has an unusually pale skin - despite her Old West clothing she looks very much like the classic Irish beauty.

Personality

Cinnamon is a calm, smart, resourceful professional. She is generally in control and reserved, though she becomes friendly and laid-back with the people she trusts. She is a drifter, in an almost zen-like fashion, with no direction or special plan, letting the universe lead her where it will. Due to her guilt, she accepts whatever fate throws at her, perhaps with a faint hope that she’s going to die. She is attached to nothing, and has less than a half-dozen genuine friends.

Cinnamon is an outlaw (not that the police are a good thing in her world, of course) with a reputation as a killer. This reputation is not very accurate - she will unhesitatingly kill in self-defense, especially against numerically superior opponents, but she prefers not to and has been known to let live even people who had shot her and inflicted a grazing wound. Still, she is a wanted murderer with a huge list of suspected crimes and felonies, and she actively avoids the authorities and generally sticks to the peculiar, very violent Northern Mexico frontier area.

Cinnamon’s Motivation is strong, and she will never explain it, stating that it’s ’just something [she does]‘ when embarking on a mission to save innocent people. She sticks to the ’bounty hunter with a heart of gold‘ Old West archetype, though she refuses to discuss it or to be considered a heroine or even a good person, due to her guilt over the bodies she left behind her. She generally has patterned herself thoroughly after the historical Cinnamon, perhaps to honour her deceased mother - wearing a fairly close approximation of her usual clothes, wielding the exact same weapons, etc.

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