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Aqueduct (Marvel Comics villain)

Aqueduct

(Peter van Zante profile #2)


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

Context

This profile is meant to be read right after the Water Wizard character profile.


Background

  • Real Name: Peter Van Zante.
  • Former Aliases: Water Wizard.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former US Army soldier, former Justin Hammer retainer, former member of the Force of Nature (both the eco-terrorist version and the Initiative version), former member of the Thunderbolt Army (specifically Omega Squad), former member of the Masters of Evil (Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer) version).
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Red


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Powers & Abilities

As Aqueduct, Van Zante likely retains the same abilities he had as Water Wizard. Well, as far as we can tell – his appearances in fights were quite brief during this era.

However, he never demonstrates what used to be his signature ability – his water animations. One gets the impression that he no longer does that, and it has been removed from our game stats. Water animations and things like arms-and-hands-extruded-from-water are not too visually fashionable anymore. So it seems unlikely he would use these dated-looking power in a comic book.

New tricks

On the other hand, Van Zante has developed a number of new tricks :

  • Drain water from a person. This is comic book dehydration, making people look like mummies yet allowing for a full recovery through rehydration. This ability is chiefly employed against ordinary people. Presumably, experienced fighters will react to the attack rather than panic as they don’t understand what is happening.
  • Have a jet of water propel him in the air over dozens of metres. In DC Heroes RPG terms, that’s Jumping).

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  • Form spheres of water around his fist to hit with great force. In DC Heroes RPG terms, that’s Force Manipulation set to BODY 02 EV 06).
  • Wreck vehicles and power armour  suits that use large quantities of liquids, usually as hydraulics and coolants. In DC Heroes RPG terms, that’s Water Control as an attack, usually ignoring Skin Armour and similar outside defenses.
  • Raise enormous waves from a sufficiently large body of water. These are quite larger than what he could do as the Water Wizard.

He also seems much more adept at condensing ambient humidity into actual water. This allows Van Zante to use his powers to their full extended provided he is operating in a highly humid milieu such as a tropical jungle. This is presumably the same mechanism that Iceman uses to draw impossible quantities of moisture from the air to form masses of ice.

Aqueduct seems to be more determined and disciplined than before. But he’s still not a major villain by any mean. He’s far less brittle and sloppy than he used to be, but he still has a low reserve of Hero Points  and mediocre durability.


History

By 1990, Van Zante stopped being a solo villain – it clearly wasn’t working. He became a joiner, usually being a part of groups of other very minor super-criminals. He was eventually recruited by a militant environmentalist organisation called Project: Earth, who assembled a team of four superhumans they called the Force of Nature.

The Force had a Classical elements theme, and of course Van Zante represented water. Project: Earth came up with new costumes and code names for their operatives, and Van Zante became Aqueduct. His colleagues were Firewall (Min Li Ng), Skybreaker (Aerio) and Terraformer.

Force of nature

Project: Earth was conducting violent actions against deforestation in Brazil. They wanted to save the Amazon. However, Force of Nature was defeated by the New Warriors, to prevent them from killing Brazilian workers.

In particular, Aqueduct attacked Namorita with a water blast, not knowing that she was an Atlantean. As a result, he was swiftly trounced. Force of Nature was handed over to the authorities, presumably in Belem (PA).

Aqueduct and the Force of Nature in the jungle

Within a year or so, Force of Nature escaped. Firewall left but was replaced by a person wearing a Firebrand power armour. During the 1992 civil war in Trans-Sabal, enormous oil refinery fires resulted in an environmental disaster, and Force of Nature involved themselves in the war to put an end to the fires.

They fought in this apocalyptic morass for weeks, and the accrued stress and fatigue visibly damaged them. The New Warriors were tasked with reclaiming the Force of Nature, and were successful. But Van Zante soldiered through and killed General Halladah. Halladah was the leader of Trans-Sabal’s rogue military and the man most responsible for the fires.

I predict a riot

The Warriors ended up allying with Force of Nature in an attempt to end the war. But they realised that they were in over their head and left. Force of Nature was left behind to continue their pro-environment fight. Apparently most members were eventually arrested and deported to the US, as the CIA was backing the military of the late General Halladah.

Several months later, in the Vault, the Force of Nature (Aqueduct, Skybreaker, Terraformer) revolted. That was because Terraformer was going insane due to lack of contact with plant life. The Wizard supported their struggle. He managed to disrupt their power dampeners, also recruiting Gargantua to join the riot.

Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), who was at that point a prisoner there, intervened. He convinced the warden and the Wizard to negotiate. After Astrovik demonstrated that letting Terraformer communicate with plants was safe, a deal was reached. Terraformer was allowed to keep vegetation in his cell. Force of Nature and their allies agreed to return to their cells.

Masters of Evil ; Thunderbolts Army

Van Zante, still using the Aqueduct name and costume, then dropped his cause and returned to life as a criminal. He again was for hire, but wanted to continue working alongside teams.

He was briefly spotted at the Boca Caliente A.I.M. weapons expo of 1993. But Aqueduct was not otherwise seen before his 1999 recruitment by the Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer).

The Cowl used weather manipulation technology to run a vast blackmail scheme. She assembled her version of the Masters of Evil – chiefly made of very minor villains like Aqueduct, but counting 25 members. However, this small army was defeated by the Thunderbolts, with Aqueduct being clobbered by Songbird.

In 2006, Aqueduct was either recruited from prison or captured in the field. He was then made to serve in the “Thunderbolts Army” – a large gathering of superhuman criminals that was forced to help with the Wellspring crisis.

Aqueduct was deployed in Sydney to help contain crazed civilians who had been suddenly turned into superhumans. His team, Omega Squad, apparently didn’t fare well. But Aqueduct seemed to be their most powerful operative. He raised enormous waves from the Pacific to crash upon their numerous opponents and wash them away.

Initiative

In 2009, Norman Osborn took over the security apparat of the US, including the Fifty States Initiative project. He started deploying supposedly reformed villain teams in states that didn’t have their assigned superhuman team.

A first wave of four teams was announced, and a new version of the Force of Nature was assigned to Oregon. Keeping the elemental theme, this version saw the reunion of Aqueduct, Skybreaker and Terraformer. They received a new member to represent fire – Sunstreak (Andrea Roarke).

Force of Nature was soon deployed when the Heavy Hitters — the Nevada team — rebelled against the Osborn regime. They were later joined by a much larger force to crush the Heavy Hitters.

The Force of Nature was present during the fall of the Osborn regime. They participated to the ill-advised assault against Asgard. What happened to its individual members is unrevealed.


Description

In Trans-Sabal Aqueduct seemed slightly different, with a darker costume and black strands in his hair. This may have been an effect of battle fatigue and controlling oil rather than water.

During his time with the Initiative, Van Zante switched his haircut to a tall mohawk over a fully shaved scalp. Alas, there isn’t a good picture of that. 🙁


Personality

Van Zante is more dynamic and confident, feeling better as a an agent and team player than he ever did as a loser solo super-villain. During his time with Force of Nature he apparently became committed to the cause of eco-terrorism, though he eventually moved on.

However, he generally remains a small fish.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Aqueduct

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 008 HP: 015

Powers:
Cell Rot: 05, Force manipulation: 08, Jumping: 03, Water control: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers save Cell Rot have a maximum Range of 6 APs, all Powers require a sufficient volume of liquid (not necessarily water) within Range, and all Powers manifest where the liquid is. Moisture in the air and nearby plants can also be tapped (being in a tropical forest was sufficient to fully power him).
  • All APs from Powers (excluding Cell Rot) assume that at least 4 APs of Volume of liquid are within Range. If the available Volume is lower, lower APs accordingly. Moisture in the air and nearby plants can also be tapped (being in a tropical forest was sufficient to fully power him).
  • All Powers manifestations made of water have a -2CS RV Partial Attack Vulnerability against heat- and cold-based attacks. Other liquids may have other Vulnerabilities – thus oil was vulnerable to energy attacks.
  • Cell Rot is its own AV (+0 or +1 depending on house rules).
  • Force manipulation cannot duplicate energy effects and is generally restricted to simple objects or imitating the human body (usually hands and arms).
  • Water Control can affect a Volume of liquids equal to twice its APs (e.g., 20 APs of water when using 10 APs of Water Control). This doesn’t change the effects of Water Control, but allows for affecting a much greater area.

Skills:
Accuracy (Force manipulation, Water control): 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages
Familiarity (Military protocols and equipment).

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Skybreaker (Low), Terraformer (Low).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Jackson.

Writeup completed on the 9th of May, 2013.

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