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Soldier of the human ants of the 6th continent vs. Luc Orient

Human Ants of the Sixth Continent


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

Context

Luc Orient was one of the classics of the thriving Franco-Belgian comic books scene, by Eddy Paape and Greg. It was published in kids’ magazine Le Journal de Tintin starting in 1967. Luc Orient took place in modern days, but tangled with all sorts of strange sci-fi menaces and strange (but scientifically possible) happenings.

The titular Luc Orient is, along with Ms. Lora, the assistant of the genius Professor Hugo Kala at Eurocrystal One, a cutting edge multi-discipline research institution. They are soon joined by the turban-sporting guide Toba in their amazing adventures.

Le Sixième Continent (The Sixth Continent) was the tenth Luc Orient collected hardback, published during the mid-1970s.

This profile has S P O I L E R S about the plot but, well…


History

Hymenopteria (nicknamed “the sixth continent” by Hugo Kala, Luc Orient and their friends) is the last home of the Rugoth tribe. The Rugoth are a small civilisations whose hazy origins disappear into Classical times. They developed an extraordinary technology by the standards of their day, easily outpacing their ally the Roman Empire.

However, when the Hun tribes started dominating Europe, the Rugoths found themselves in a dire situation. Their sophisticated and pacifist culture made them ill-suited to life without a protective alliance with the Romans. They had possible allies in Scandinavia and Eastern China, but nothing as solid as the Roman Empire had been.

Human Ant soldiers emerged from the snow around Luc Orient

The Rugoths had a very strict organisation and were led by five Guides. These knew everything there was to know about advanced Rugoth science and may have been inspired by Plato. Among the last generation of Guides was Axthan.

During the turmoil of the 400s, the hapless and peaceful Rugoths clashed with Hunnic tribes on the warpath. Hundreds died. All the Guides but Axthan were killed and most of their technology destroyed.

The last Guide led the remains of his people throughout Europe (apparently from modern Hungary unto the German, Austrian or Swiss Alps). The endemic war, however, gave them the impression that the whole world was descending into blood and madness.

Rome has fallen

One evening, the desperate Axthan watched a kid playing with a piece of twig and an ant. This gave him a half-demented notion. Ants were better than people, as they could survive seemingly forever without individual feelings or carnage among themselves.

Locating an underground network of cave under an extinct volcano, he had the Rugoth people find refuge from the wars underground. But he did not stop there.

Using Rugoth knowledge, he built banks of computers. He also ordered his people to build and develop a truly vast, highly advanced underground complex with solid industrial and agricultural facilities. His plan was that after his death the computers would run everything down to the smallest possible detail, entirely suppressing free will and emulating an ant society in an almost perfect way.

They would be invulnerable to war, strife and misery, forever.

Deeper underground

Axthan died in 445, though the ant-like structure of Hymenopteria was apparently fully running. Entirely conditioned, the thriving human ants soon lost all free will and sense of individuality. All had been assigned to a caste such as worker or warrior by the computers and living an entire pre-ordained, productive and peaceful life under the guidance of the Central Alveolus.

The size of Hymenopteria by the XXth century was not estimated, but it seemed gigantic.

The underground city of the Human Ants

Click for a larger version.

The sixth continent was discovered by Luc Orient and his friends circa 1974. By the end of the story Hymenopteria was self-destructing, but the courageous adventurers managed to organise the evacuation of the utterly confused and lost human ants to the surface.

There, the authorities found themselves confronted with the issue of at least thousands (and more like tens or hundreds of thousands) of refugees. These had to learn absolutely everything, starting with human feelings, languages and independence.


Powers and Abilities

This profile applies to the warrior caste of the human ants of the sixth continent.

The secutor-style armour worn by those soldiers seems to magnify their strength. It is also tough enough to protect against medium-caliber handguns even at close range. The insect-like talons can secrete formic acid, which can be used as a knockout drug to capture people – or as a potent toxin and corrosive. Of course, there is a radio unit to transmit instructions from the computers.

The odd ant-like motif on their helm can project a weird telekinetic beam. This beam has been used to crush and/or disintegrate a light snow vehicle, and to manipulate masses of snow. Luc Orient theorised it might have been some sort of magnetic beam.

The soldiers themselves are in formidable physical condition. They are very resilient to pain, cold, heat, hunger, etc.. They were also very good at ambushes and at moving silently even in the snow. They often their telekinetic beam to cover themselves with a layer of snow while laying face against the ground and waiting for further instructions.

It is entirely possible that their great strength was not actually a product of the armour, but of their own muscles ! Eugenics via caste had been practised by the computers for 1,500 years, and their food was scientifically optimised and entirely artificial.


Description

The soldiers are tall, blond, muscular specimen (about 6’2” and 200 lbs.). They look very young – like baby-faced athletes in their very early 20s.


Personality

The ’human ants’ have no personality and no initiative whatsoever.


DC Universe History

The adventures of Luc Orient and his friends can easily take place in Europe in a super-hero universe during the early, “low activity” era.

With some small tweaks they can, for instance, easily occur during the 1950s and 1960s. That’s back when the ’scene‘ is dominated by groups such as the original Suicide Squad, the Sea Devils, the original Secret Six, “Cave” Carson and his friends, etc.. Luc Orient would fit just fine with that lot.

Eurocrystal — the scientific research complex Luc Orient works for — would likely have a close working relationship with the Dome. For more details about the Dome in the DCU, see for instance the Fleur-de-Lys profile.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Human Ant Soldier

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: None
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 01 Aur: 01 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: None
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Cold immunity: 01

Skills:
Military science (Camouflage): 03, Thief (Stealth): 04

Advantages:
None

Connections:
None

Drawbacks:
Misc.: If they lose radio contact and thus instructions, they become inert (the antennas on the helms of the ARMOUR have BODY 02) ; Misc: the soldiers do not speak any human language

Equipment:
ARMOUR [/STR/ 05 BODY 06, Claws: 06, Poison touch: 05, Radio communication: 06, Shade: 01, Skin armour: 02, Telekinesis: 05, Bonus: Poison Touch can be Combined with Claws, Limitation: Skin armour is Partial (Vest)]


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Human ant soldiers of the sixth continent — Averaged PL 4.8

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 (04) 02 01 00 02 00 00 -1

Powers

Ignore temperatures ● 1 points ● Descriptor: Physiology
– Immunity 2 (Environmental cold, environmental heat, both Limited to half-effect)

Devices

Ant armour ● 11 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology
– Exoskeleton — Enhanced Strength 1, Protection 4
– Formic acid claws — Strength-based Slashing Damage 1, Secondary Effect (Descriptor becomes corrosive toxin)
– Helmet — Second chance (Attacks based on bright light), Feature 1 (basic radio link, nothing special)
– Magnetic telekinesis ray — Move Object 4, Concentration

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack, Close Atack 3

Other Advantages

None demonstrated

Skills

Athletics 2 (+5), Stealth 4 (+5)

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 3 (4 w/armour)
Formic acid claws +5, Close, Damage 5 (Liked with Damage 4 from the acid)

Defence

Dodge 04 Fortitude 06
Parry 06 Toughness 02*/04/08**
Will 00

* Without Defensive Roll
** With Defensive Roll and Ant Armour

Complications

  • Near-automatons The soldiers completely lack initiative if they aren’t given instructions
  • Roman-style armour Their body armour leaves flesh exposed, and a lucky hit could ignore their Protection. Doing that deliberately means a -4 circumstances penalty for that attack, but it bypasses the Protection entirely.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 5, Dodge/Toughness PL 6, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 3
  • Points total 43 Abilities 14, Defences 11, Skills 3, Powers 1, Devices 11, Advantages 4. Equiv. PL 3.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Luc Orient tome 10 – Le sixième continent (the sixth continent) (1974)

Helper(s): Pawsplay

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