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Mindmeld (X-Force enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Mindmeld


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

Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Unrevealed
  • Group Affiliation: Bodyguard to Shinobi Shaw
  • Base Of Operations: Shinobi’s lab
  • Height: Unrevealed Weight: Unrevealed
  • Eyes: Pale blue Hair: Blonde
  • Other Distinguishing Features: Silver skin


Powers & Abilities

Mindmeld was a mutant with the psychic ability to displace the minds of others and herself into other bodies; the original occupant of the body is not shoved out, but forced to share with the newcomer.

For instance, she put the mind of the X-Force member Meltdown into the body of Sunspot, forcing the two of them to share Sunspot’s body while Meltdown’s body was left comatose. She also put herself into the body of a man named Clear-cut, leaving her own body behind unconscious.

When she abandoned her own body and put her mind into Clear-cut, the previous switches of others that she had made reversed themselves, indicating that (even though she claimed otherwise) any use of her power she has made will reverse itself when she herself travels to another body.

When her victims are sharing a body, they also seem to become privy to the innermost thoughts of the other as well.

For instance, when Domino is trapped in Caliban’s body with him, she complains to him about how he has a song stuck in his head, while Meltdown, stuck in Sunspot’s body with him, exclaims “Bobby, your mind—what did Cable do to you?!” referring to an incident that happened in previous issues.

Each person in the body can also speak through it; for instance, Meltdown and Sunspot both talk to Shinobi when they are sharing Sunspot’s body, and Domino taunts Mindmeld from Caliban’s mouth.


History

Mindmeld’s history prior to her first and only appearance is unknown, though it seems there is something in her past that contributed to her belief that ideals such as peace and harmony are mere dreams that are outdated, impossible, foolish, and/or contemptible.

Mindmeld claims that she’s heard about Domino, though it is not stated how. Given that Domino worked as a mercenary and Mindmeld is currently the bodyguard of a super-criminal, it is likely they run or have run in the same circles and heard of one another through that, though the players are welcome to make up other explanations.

Mindmeld’s only appearance is in X-Force (1st series) #62, in which she and a man named Clear-cut are working as bodyguards for Shinobi Shaw of the Hellfire Club while he oversees a project in his lab concerning the creation a machine meant to de-power mutants.

It is currently being tested on a young girl named Nga Coy Mahn, the younger sibling of the New Mutant called Karma, while Shinobi talks with his bodyguards, Clear-cut and Mindmeld, about the trustworthiness (or lack thereof) of the other guards. Mindmeld suggests that she could displace the minds of the guards and then use their comatose bodies as pin cushions, but Shinobi silences her.

Mindmeld captured by Boom Boom

An alert comes in that the security of the laboratory has been breached, and Shinobi tells Clear-cut and Mindmeld to go make their “visitors…feel welcome”. The pair of them, along with four other guards, confront the X-Force team of Domino, Caliban, Shatterstar, Sunspot, and Meltdown.

While Clear-cut crosses swords with Shatterstar, Mindmeld moves the minds of Domino and Meltdown into, respectively, Caliban and Sunspot, so that the bodies of the two X-Force women drop to the ground, empty and comatose, whereupon guards place power-inhibiting collars on them.

As she does this, Mindmeld taunts them for believing in ideals like peace and harmony even though they have abilities that make them more than human, adding that she never thought Domino would, from what she’s heard about her, ever buy into that kind of thing. She adds that the switch can also never be reversed unless she wants it too (though later she’s proven wrong in this claim).

Speaking though Caliban, Domino calls Mindmeld a “mind-witch” and demands to scrap with her. Clear-cut intervenes, threatening Domino’s helpless body, causing her and Shatterstar to surrender. Shinobi, however, calls out Clear-cut as a double-agent who is secretly working against him, asking if Clear-cut really thought he could deceive him.

Shinobi’s guards are easily dispatched by Clear-cut, but Mindmeld jumps into his body, demanding to know how he could betray them as she does, and puts his body to sleep. The guards take him prisoner, and Shinobi decides to use him as the next experimental subject.

Meanwhile, Domino and Meltdown find themselves back in their proper bodies, and Domino explains that “When Mindmeld went into Clear-cut’s body, she must have lost her power over us. Apparently there’s a limit to how long she can maintain the transference.”

Clear-cut is put into the machine, but when Mindmeld tries to leave him to his fate, she finds herself trapped within him. It seems that Clear-cut is deliberately restraining her somehow, as she demands to be let out and asks how he’s doing this, while he simply says that if he’s going down, he’s taking her with him.

She calls through Clear-cut to Shinobi, saying that she’s still in his body and to hold the countdown, but Shinobi tells her that sacrifices have to be made in the name of progress, and notes her life is a “very small one” anyway.

Luckily for Mindmeld, X-Force intervenes to save Clear-cut, and Meltdown destroys the machine. Moments later, Mindmeld is back in her own body, only to find that X-Force has placed an inhibitor collar around it. Meltdown taunts her about her gender ambiguity, asking her if she’s a Mr. or Mrs and what her real name is, before knocking her unconscious with a punch.

After X-Force and the freed Clear-cut battle Shinobi and the remaining guards, Meltdown blows up the base. It is unknown if Mindmeld survived or not, but she has not been seen or heard from since.


Additional Context: Mindmeld’s Gender

Mindmeld is consistently referred to by other characters and by the exposition boxes as “she” but appears to have a body that would be deemed “male” by most of society. There are two possible explanations for this:

  1. Mindmeld is transgender, and identifies as female, or at least with feminine pronouns
  2. The body we see her using is in fact not her own, and is in fact the body of a man that she has hijacked for unknown reasons.

It should be noted that there are a few reasons (B) is less likely and (A) is more likely. When she moves the minds of two X-Force members into the bodies of their teammates so they have to share, leaving their bodies comatose.

When she herself later jumps into someone else’s mind, leaving her body behind, the process reverses itself and the X-Force members wake up back in their original bodies, and one of them comments that “when Mindmeld went into Clear-cut’s body, she must have lost her power over us.

Apparently there’s a limit to how long she can maintain the transference.” This could refer to a time limit on the switches, but given the sentence it came immediately after, it’s more likely that what is being said is that whatever mind-switches she’s done will reverse themselves when she herself moves bodies, meaning that the body we see her using is indeed her own true body.

The exposition boxes also support this, stating explicitly that this body is hers: “Mindmeld has finally managed to break free from Clear-cut’s body to return to her own” However, since (B) is still technically possible, it can be an option, especially if the player feels they do not have the sensitivity or knowledge concerning transgender issues to play a transgender character.


Description

Mindmeld seems to have a male-assigned body, and she is very physically fit, sporting defined abs and arm muscles. Her blonde hair is long, reaching her upper back, and a little on the wavy side in an ’artfully unruly‘ sort of way.

Her eyes are pale blue, and her skin, likely owing to her mutation, is literally white, and shaded in such a way that could indicate a silvery aspect to it. Judging by the way her facial features are drawn, she is most likely meant to be of white European/Caucasian descent.

She is drawn with long black eyelashes, and looks in some panels as if she might be wearing black lipstick (or, being a mutant, her lips could be naturally black, like Domino is sometimes depicted with).

She wears a tight black crop-top with a high neck and no sleeves, a brass slave collar, army green jodhpurs-style trousers, and short brown boots with a low heel and a brass or copper metal plate on their tops, either as a decoration or protection purposes.

She wears fingerless gauntlet gloves on both hands made of either golden fabric (though they are black or transparent in some panels) or metal, multiple golden bracelets and rings, a brass sunflower-shaped brooch on the front of her top, and her left ear sports two lobe piercings and a cuff, each in a pale metal that looks like it might be platinum, silver, or white gold.

Her overall outfit is interesting because it’s one that would look feminine on a man, with the tight crop top, yet masculine on a woman with the baggy army-green pants and brass’n’leather boots. She seems to be very deliberately putting together a very androgynous image here, and one that merges toughness with glamor to boot.

It could best be describe as “army surplus chic” or “military glam” in fashionista terms.


Personality

As she only appears in one issue, much of what makes Mindmeld tick is a mystery, with only a few actions and remarks to draw possible conclusions from; this profile will do its best to offer various likely interpretations for her, but ultimately the player will have to make the decisions of just what kind of person she really is.

In fact, the exact capacity she in which she works for Shinobi, and her reasons why, are not actually known at all. Mindmeld is in fact never explicitly referred to as Shinobi’s bodyguard, nor does she give her reason for working for him.

Mindmeld using their power

General fan interpretation is generally that she’s a bodyguard and presumably paid for it, so that’s what this profile goes with, but if the players wish to make up another reason she might be working for Shinobi—-a personal ideology, a reason to wish to see the machine perfect, a relationship with someone involved in the project, anything the player can think of—then they are welcome to go with their own ideas instead.

The assumption that she is hired muscle in it for the money is simply the application of Occam’s Razor and the usual fan interpretation, hence why this profile works under that assumption, but it is by no means canon at all.

She seems like she has a pessimistic and jaded view of the world, since she sneers at X-Force believing in dreams such as peace and harmony, viewing these ideals as “shackles”. She also specifically notes that they’re pathetic in particular for this because they are “more than human”, which could suggest she believes in some form of mutant supremacy.

She’s also quite willing to stand by and watch while a painful experiment is being performed on a child, meaning she either has no problem with such cruelty or is simply willing to tolerate it if she is paid enough. However, she does seem to have some sense of camaraderie with those she’s been hired to work with, as she seemed to take personal offense at Clear-cut revealing himself as a double-agent, demanding “How could you betray us?” while projecting herself into his mind.

She shows further cruelty in that she seems to like taunting others, since she tells her victims Domino and Meltdown that their placement into the bodies of Caliban and Sunspot will never be reversed unless she wants it too. She is later proven wrong in this, so either she is mistaken concerning the limits of her power, or she simply wanted them to believe this lie for the sake of causing further distress to them.

In a less cruel but more curious case of causing harm to others, she’s gleefully considering the idea of displacing the minds of gossiping guards so that she can stick pins into the empty bodies. This suggests that while she wants to do physical harm to others for fun, she doesn’t want to cause pain when she does it, since they wouldn’t feel it if their minds aren’t in their bodies when it happens.

It’s a very curious desire, and could be interpreted in a number of ways— perhaps she wants to take some kind of anger out on them (fitting for her apparently pessimistic personality) but not have them actually suffer for it because she understands they’re not whatever or whoever it is she’s raging against, perhaps it’s some kind of sexual kink, or anything else a player can imagine for why someone would want do that.

She addresses Shinobi by his first name rather than “Mr. Shaw” or other ways one would typically refer to their boss. It could be that Shinobi prefers to be referred to in a more casual way by all his employees, or it could be that he has a more personal relationship with Mindmeld beyond her being his bodyguard.

The latter seems more likely, since his other bodyguard, Clear-cut, refers to him as “Shaw” and “Mr. Shaw” and she also seemed to think that Shinobi would stop the machine countdown once he knew she was in Clear-cut’s body, hence why she begged him in the first place.

She also may have had some personal relationship with Clear-cut, given how surprised and upset she appeared by his betrayal, or it could simply be that, despite her disdain of ideals like peace and harmony, she does believe in “honor among thieves” so to speak, which also could explain why she’d think Shinobi would halt the countdown for her.

If Mindmeld is to be interpreted as transgender, her manner of dress and lack of concealing her physical sex, as described in her Appearance section, could indicate one of two things: Either she is so confident and comfortable in her gender identity that she feels no pressure to try to “pass” as a cisgender woman [Editorial note: “cisgendered” meaning essentially “not trangendered”, e.g. the person’s gender identity matches the body they were born with], or that, in this one specific instance, she simply felt that way in this one particular place with these particular people for some reason (being bisexual himself, it’s not inconceivable that, evil or not, Shinobi Shaw might promote an LGBT-friendly workplace in his super-villainous activities).


Quotes

“You children are pathetic ! Given special abilities that make you more than human, but still shackled by the same old dreams. Peace, harmony… Never thought you’d buy into all that, Domino, from what I’ve heard.”

“Let your psyches be transferred to another’s physical being… and know that it can never be reversed unless I wish it !”

Mindmeld: “I could take their minds and place them into rats and we could use their comatose bodies as pin cushions…”
Shinobi Shaw: “Enough, Mindmeld.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Mindmeld

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 009 HP: 010

Powers:
Flash: 10, Personality transfer: 11

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Personality Transfer is Usable on Others (+2)
  • Personality Transfer leaves the body behind (-1 penalty, since Personality Transfer is often used on others)
  • Personality Transfer lasts as long as Mindmeld doesn’t use her Power again. A person can fight off the possession only if Mindmeld used straight Personality Transfer (her consciousness into their body) ; if she’s used Usable on Others Personality Transference (the consciousness of the target riding shotgun in a third party’s body) there’s no normal way to fight back
  • Both Flash and Personality Transfer have Multi-Attack 1 (+1) and are their own AV (+1 or +0 depending on house rules)
  • Flash is Combined with Personality Transfer, and affects both the person who is transferred and the person who receives their consciousness
  • Flash cannot be used without using Personality Transfer
  • Flash is a Mental Effect – resisted by INT/MIN, with Shade offering no defenses

Skills:
None demonstrated

Advantages
None demonstrated

Connections:
None demonstrated

Drawbacks:
Mistrust (Mutant), Creepy Appearance (Mindmeld presents as male but identifies as female)


Design notes

The poorly named Creepy Appearance rear its head again… it really should have been “Distinct”, since the Drawback is having an appearance that people notice and remember about. Anyway…

There’s very little material about Mindmeld so the stats are cookie-cutter – though Meltdown (Tabitha Smith) knocked her out in one blow when she was depowered so she cannot be physically tough despite her muscular appearance.

The AP levels assume that she burned some HPs on her first Personality Transfer attack, since Domino is mentally resilient (and Mindmeld knew from her rep that she had a high MIN) — which makes her even more of a one-shot attacker unless the opposition doesn’t have high Mental Attributes.

That mentalities Transferred into another body can teep with the person whose body they’re co-occupying is considered a normal effect of Personality Transfer. If people fight for control of the body use normal Personality Transfer combat.

The Flash represents the mental stun and disorientation from the Personality Transfer – either being shot out of one’s body and ending up in another, or suddenly hosting another’s person consciousness. Shade doesn’t work, but the GM might allow OV/RV bonuses for people who are experienced with consciousness switches and cohabitation.


By M. Mauney (most everything) and Sébastien Andrivet (game stats section)

Source of Character: X-Force vol. 1 #62 (Marvel Universe)

Writeup completed on the 19th of April, 2014.

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