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Third Rail of the Blood Syndicate (Milestone Comics) with the blue costume

Third Rail


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

Context

Third Rail was a major character in Milestone Comics’ Blood Syndicate. This book was part of the Milestone launch in 1993.

Part of the Milestone brand was to have more super-heroes who aren’t wealthy White men. Thus, Blood Syndicate members gained their abilities due to an experimental gas used in the streets of a minorities-majority American city, Dakota. This type of superhuman is colloquially called “Bang Babies”.


Background

  • Real Name: Po (Last name unrevealed).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Blood Syndicate.
  • Base Of Operations: Paris Island, Dakota City, Midwestern US.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Third Rail has the ability to absorb kinetic or radiant energy he came in contact with (electricity, lasers, punches, etc.). He can then channel it into increased bodily mass.

This process will work even when the damage is severe enough to overload Third Rail’s absorption abilities. For example, when Icon struck him hard enough to knock him out, the unconscious Third Rail still gained significant mass from the energy of the punch.


History

Third Rail is a Bang Baby, a gang member who received superhuman powers in the wake of the Big Bang. The Big Bang was supposed to be a rumble between all of the major gangs of Paris Island to settle their turf wars, once and for all. The Dakota City Police Department learned of the impending showdown and developed a special tear gas that also contained a radioactive marker.

Their plan was to use the gas to break up the Big Bang. The cops would then trace the gang members down the next day by tracing the radioactive “tags.” Instead, most of those exposed to the tear gas died. And the handful of surviving gang members that lived had all developed superhuman abilities.

Third Rail’s father tried to stop him from attending the Big Bang. Unfortunately, not only did his father fail in this task, but was himself killed during the fighting.

Third Rail retreated to an underground warren in the abandoned Paris Island section of the Dakota City Subway System after the Big Bang. He was befriended by Dogg, who introduced him to Rolando Texador.


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Hail hail

One of the Bang Babies, Rolando Texador, took the name Tech-9 after his favorite type of pistol. Texador gathered his fellow survivors together with a proposal. Tech-9 wanted to form a new gang, the Blood Syndicate, with the aim of achieving substantive positive social change. They took over an abandoned door factory, which they simply dubbed The Factory.

Operating from The Factory, the Blood Syndicate smashed crack houses throughout Paris Island. They tried to rid the neighborhood of the dealers while taking the money captured in these operations to fund their activities. In the course of their work they would acquire new members, and put an end to many threats in Paris Island.

During his time with the Blood Syndicate Third Rail began a romantic relationship with Brickhouse. The two even left the gang for a while during a dispute over Wise Son’s leadership. But they returned not too much later.

One of the Blood Syndicate’s greatest enemies was the Demon Fox. After numerous battles, the Blood Syndicate finally defeated the Demon Fox at the cost of Syndicate member Kwai’s life. After this final battle, the Blood Syndicate disbanded and went back to their separate lives. Third Rail and Brickhouse opened a restaurant together.

After the split

In the wake of the original Syndicate’s disbanding, former Syndicate member-turned-criminal Holocaust began forming a new Blood Syndicate. This version was more sympathetic to his schemes. He recruited several villainous Bang Babies as well as some former members of the first Syndicate.

Holocaust then arranged a confrontation with Icon to remove that hero as an obstacle to his plans.

This became Holocaust’s ultimate undoing. Icon had brought Hardware, Static, and Rocket as backup. One of Holocaust’s new recruits was an undercover Federal agent. And all of the members of the previous Syndicate who had joined had only done so to uncover Holocaust’s plots and partners.

With the rest of the original Blood Syndicate also arriving to support their friends, Holocaust’s crew was quickly subdued and taken into custody.

In a last ditch dominance play, Holocaust challenged Wise Son to a one-on-one duel for leadership of the Blood Syndicate. Wise Son agreed and capably battered Holocaust. Frustrated, Holocaust grappled Wise Son and pushed his powers to the limit.

The conflagration consumed Holocaust, leaving naught but a skeleton behind, while leaving Wise Son unharmed. Having earned the Blood Syndicate’s respect anew, Wise Son took leadership of the reformed team. He made a promise to focus on fighting for justice.

Milestone Forever

One result of the Final Crisis series was the integration of the Milestone Universe into the mainstream DCU. The cataclysmic events therein destroyed the universe in which Milestone took place. But the powerful psychic Dharma was able to harness the power of Rift, the powerful being behind the original Milestone/DC crossover, to save his universe’s inhabitants.

The two realities have been merged as if they were always one, with Dharma altering “histories and memories of both, but only enough to smooth out any inconsistencies.”

The only people currently aware of the transition are Icon, Superman, and Dharma. Icon and Superman have agreed to keep the secret and help Dharma when necessary to complete the interweaving of realities.

This process was hindered by Starbreaker’s attempt to steal Dharma’s powers and is thus on-going — Dharma stated that it would be months, if not years, before it was complete (this was likely also a metatextual statement on the incorporation of the Milestone characters into DC Comics’ mainstream titles).

As of this writing (February 2010) it is unclear what alterations to the Blood Syndicate’s history may have occurred as a result of the merging.


Description

Third Rail is a Korean male of average size but well-defined build. When he has absorbed some energy, he begins to tower over most people and becomes more thickly built to boot.

He wears his hair in a flattop.

The shot with spandex pants, boots, wristbands and wide spandex suspenders, all in red is his original look. The others are the subsequent costume.


Personality

Third Rail is a natural counselor, keeping the peace and encouraging his fellow team members.

He acts as a center of calm in the storm of his friends’ turbulent emotions, particularly with his lover Brickhouse.


Quotes

Fade, you’re out of line. He’s just scared.”

“Did you know I absorb energy ? Guess not, or you wouldn’t have hit me.”


DC Universe History

The Big Bang and the Blood Syndicate can dropped into any urban area where gang activity plays a major role, in which case Third Rail will likely have Brickhouse by his side.

Third Rail could also be used as a medium-level metahuman whenever the GM needs a “brick”.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Third Rail

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Gang Member
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 014 HP: 060

Powers:
Energy Absorption: 08, Growth: 00, Kinetic Absorption: 06, Power Reserve (Growth): 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Absorbed Energy and Kinetics add to Power Reserve (+3FC).
  • Power Reserve must be fueled by Energy and/or Kinetic Absorption (-50BC, -4FC).
  • Whenever Power Reserve is fueled it is immediately channeled into STR and Growth, the latter of which automatically activates at full APs (-1FC).
  • Power Reserve distribution between Growth and STR is always 3 to 1 with any remainder going to Growth; for example, if Third Rail currently has 5 APs in his Power Reserve, 4 go to Growth and 1 to STR (-1FC).
  • Even if Third Rail’s Absorption Powers are overloaded, thus causing them to fail and him to suffer all the RAPs of damage, he is still considered to have absorbed the maximum possible RAPs for purposes of fueling Power Reserve (+2FC to both Absorption Powers).

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Paris Island), Expansive headquarters (The Factory, though the Blood Syndicate may have a new base of operations after its disbanding and subsequent reformation), Language (Korean).

Connections:
Brickhouse (High), Blood Syndicate (High).

Drawbacks:
Guilt (Father’s Death), Mistrust.

By Kynn Bartlett, edited by JD and Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Milestone Imprint, DC Comics.

Helper(s): David J Oakes, The Milestone Rave .

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