This is part of an arc about super-powered French characters, to be used in campaigns where credible European characters from outside the UK are needed.
Most of them are members or allies of a fictional military police unit, ESIGN. It’s the “French Gendarmerie” subcategory in the breadcrumbs near the beginning of the entry. You *do* use those to navigate writeups.org, right ?
The Gendarmerie characters were also all designed to be fairly creepy, complex and experimental concepts rather than run-of-the-mill supers.
While the other characters are field operatives, the Family Man is a support specialist and builder. A creator of strategic weapons of last recourse against major threats.
- Real Name: Roberto Mancy.
- Known Relatives: Yumiko (wife), Akiko (daughter), Alice (daughter), Myriam (mother), unnamed father (status unknown).
- Group Affiliation: Gendarmerie Nationale.
- Base Of Operations: Mont-de-Marsan (near Paris).
- Height: 5’7” (1.70m). Weight: 185 lbs. (84 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Brown.
Powers and Abilities
Roberto Mancy is a law enforcement officer. But 95%+ of his work is administration and he’s seldom if ever in danger.
He’s a smart guy with a surprising amount of stamina, and normally goes armed. But he otherwise appears to be unremarkable.
His small discretionary budget allows him to work with a recent MacBook laptop computer – his pride and joy.
School days, part 1
The Headschool is a tiny dimensionOther realms of existence that are not our universe which exists within Mancy’s pancreas.
He can physically enter it by dimensionally folding upon himself. When he does so, Mancy can take a few things with him — a few kilograms worth — or a single person who’s smaller than he is.
Mancy is lord and master within the Headschool. Therein, he can reshape its matter, time and energy at will as long as he’s inside himself. He seldom does so on a grand scale — except when he takes one of his daughters in there on an “adventure”, reshaping everything like a fairy tale or other fantasy theme.
The default state of the Headschool is based on a recurrent childhood dream. He has found that it’s the easiest reality to maintain. The dimension thus usually looks like a grey, humid, sprawling school complex of unclear origin. There are :
- Bad memories from a number of French schools.
- Lots of content from the cliché American movies about high school (including, since the late 1990s, numerous references to pop movie The Faculty).
- Completely imaginary versions of Venezuelan schools as dreamed up by a little French boy.
- A surprising amount about exaggerated versions of Victorian British boarding schools. This is obviously from some book, though Mancy never remembered which novel had so impressed him in his childhood.
- In more recent years, there have been elements added from the bad memories his wife told him about Japanese schools.
School days, part 2
The place is quite unpleasant. But Mancy has grown used to it. And he can will away anything he dislikes.
Still, everybody is anonymous (often to the point of literal facelessness), has better clothes than you do (beside you’re the only one with that uncomfortable, itchy uniform that keeps riding up), and is taller than you are.
Everybody completely ignores you, and everybody speaks some kind of foreign language you don’t understand. Yet they all seem to understand each other.
Getting lost is a certainty, and always lead to anxiety since you’re late for something you don’t remember. All the schedules are always wrong and incomprehensible. Rooms seem to move around and regularly get renumbered. Everything is old, humid, sinister, cheap and smells faintly of old socks and cheap industrial cleaning fluids.
It’s always dusk and you’ll never find your room. Or an available, intact toilet.
Mancy chiefly uses the Headschool to work on his “special weapons projects”. In particular, when within this dimension he can :
- Stop time, so he can deliver months of work within seconds in case of a severe emergency.
- Create biochemistry labs that would cost hundreds of millions in the real world.
- Store finished “projects” in time-frozen vaults. These are guarded by huge spongy dogs that smell of decaying mushroom and wear a mask of crucified seagulls.
New Power Generation
Mancy is an intuitive genius mastering a very specific kind of biology. This incomprehensible one-man science mixes general biology, genetics, several kinds of surgery, time manipulation, brainwashing and psychiatry, as well as transdimensional navigation.
Its main application is to build special-purpose, tailored living weapons (“Special Projects”). Given the necessity of manipulating time, matter, physical properties and dimensions, it is chiefly performed within the Headschool.
A “Special Project” of the Family Man is long, hard work. His science may be intuitive, but it’s particularly complex. Mancy must rely on dedication, effort and punctilious method rather than talent when he’s building a Special Project.
Born into a scene of angriness and greed
To start a “Special Project”, the Family Man needs an aborted embryo (usually frozen) and two DNA samples.
- One DNA sample must come from the person the “Special Project” is intended to counter.
- The other DNA sample must come from a person of the complementary sex who, in the local cluster of alternate timelinesUsed here in the sense of an alternate history, where events unfold differently, has a .3 or better chance to have an offspring with the other subject.
The embryo must present certain genetic particularities. These cannot be quite expressed using mainstream genetics, forcing the Family Man to review aborted embryos from major French hospitals weekly to determine which ones are good. There’s a huge, guarded freezer in the Headschool storing those. The freezer is much larger on the inside.
French intelligence is constantly scheming to acquire DNA from powerful superhumans, whether they be friends or foes. Some of the DNA always ends up in Mancy’s freezer. So that if things go wrong the French state will be able to unleash a nightmare weapon against the threatening powerhouse.
I was never meant to be
A “Special Project” means creating and raising a child within the Headschool.
The DNA samples are spliced into the embryo, whose genetics and biochemistry are 98% modified by the grafts. The altered embryo is then resurrected and deposited into an incubator to eventually become a baby.
This child will clearly look like a child of the two persons the Family Man is using DNA samples of. If one or both parents was super-powered, the child will be super-powered. If one or both parents had unusual gifts (say, for athletics and the martial arts), the child will have comparable gifts, though they might lie in a different area.
A “Special Project” is usually a bit more powerful than the most powerful of the two parents.
And now I spend my time looking all around
The children thus created are not stable. They age rapidly. Within 6 months they are physically 16, at which point they completely stop ageing.
However, this is also the point when they have but three to five days to live. Though they do not look ill or weakened, a terminal cancer appears on the second they turn 16. It heavily metastasises during the next few days then gets fatal within two to three hours.
Furthermore, their psyche is damaged. They are invariably psychopaths of some kind.
These children must be raised in some fashion if they are to function as persons and have some initiative. But the Family Man only has six months to do so. Mancy uses a series of what he calls “flash sequences”. These form a personalised montage about childhood that the Special Projects go through during the six months of their maturation.
To generate flash sequences, the Family Man imports slivers from alternate realities he can touch from the Headschool. To find the best sequences, he “leafs” through alternate worlds to find the realities where an actual child of the two DNA donors exists. He then copies information from those.
A re-enactment can then be organised within the Headschool, using “footage” from parallel futures and Mancy’s local reality control power.
This is meticulous work. The Family Man keeps track by writing specification documents, drafting critical paths between the key sequences, having fellow gendarmes with some artistic talent draw storyboards for him, etc.
’Cause I’m a wrathchild
At first, the Family Man was using normal life sequences in the hope of producing rational, cooperative subjects. This never worked. The “children” are intrinsically violent and messed up. Teaching them that they had an OK childhood just created massive dissonance.
The Family Man now concentrates on creating lifepaths that are sufficiently harrowing and dystopian to make the subject feel that their hatred is normal and justified.
As it turns out, what works best is to write specifications leading the subjects to focus their psychotic hatred on the parents. This results in subjects that are only interested in getting revenge and killing one or both parent. Which means focused operatives that will cooperate with people helping them to achieve that goal.
What the Family Man produces are thus highly specialised counter-measures. Special Projects are short-lived but powerful killers entirely tailored to bring down their potential parents. They will stop at nothing to do so.
I’m coming to get you, ooh yeah, yeah
To maintain secrecy, the Family Man makes it look like the “Special Projects” come from the future.
This is easy – the “flash sequences” are almost always from alternate futures. And making it look like the “Special Project” is a time traveller can be done with some pieces of information gleaned from high-probability alternate futures.
The Family Man will also have some clothing, equipment, etc. made that replicates designs observed in alternate futures.
That powerful metahumans attacking France have an odd tendency to be hounded by their psychopathic children from the future will eventually raise suspicion. But “Special Projects” are rarely deployed. And these are always killing missions, engineered to take place away from witnesses.
The big payback
The psychological impact of the “Special Project” on the target is usually strong. The teenager is clearly the target’s child, conceived with a potential or current romantic partner. The target’s instincts will react as they would to an actual progeny.
Given the way the flash sequences are constructed, the “Special Project” will be filled with anger about the parent. They habitually yell and rant about a litany of catastrophes, treason and abuse from their parents.
Since the flash sequences are built from carefully selected alternate Earths, they actually sound credible. These reproaches resemble actual shortcomings on the potential parents’s part – albeit in a world where everything went wrong.
Against the most powerful potential threats, the Family Man will often collaborate with the Tenth to make the most of what DNA can be procured. This is because such samples tend to be hard to obtain. The Tenth sees the creation of murderous, parenticide-obsessed youths from horrible synthetic alternate realities as a unique and powerful form of art.
Her fearsome flair for creation results in exceptionally powerful specimens, well-able to defeat even their alpha-class potential parents. The stories she made up are potent motivators.
Some of the Tenth’s best creation using the Family Man’s science may be the most powerful beings on the planet. But they have a very limited life span and a one-track, thoroughly damaged mind.
Some subsections quote from Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild” and now I’ve got it as an earworm, so if it’s your case too…
It’s a classic bit of early 1980s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal music.
Roberto Mancy, born of a Venezuelan father and a French mother, grew up in Southwestern France. He moved to Paris with his long-since-single mother at age 14.
During routine medical tests after a skateboard accident, he was determined to have superhuman powers.
However, despite four years of study none of the government doctors could make either heads or tails of what he could actually *do*. The good-natured Roberto often joked that his superhuman power was the ability to ward away tigers, as a reference to the old joke about a magical rock.
The Mancy case escalated to genius biologist Madeleine Moreau-Levy, the mother figure of the heroic French superhuman community.
Moreau-Levy unlocked the Mancy cypher. Together,they designed the first generations of protocols that allowed him to explore his strange abilities.
Extreme sanctioning counter-measures
Roberto was hired by the Gendarmerie as an administrative officer. He handled contracts and project procedures for the construction of new Gendarmerie buildings.
He eventually met and married a young Japanese woman over the Internet. They currently have two young daughters, aged 8 and 12.
Whenever a hateful descendant from some bleak future might be needed to face a threat, Roberto is detached to work along with ESIGN special agents. If the threat is high, it will usually be Marianne herself who works with him.
Ideally, the “Special Project” will not be deployed and can be kept on ice. It’s preferable, and father knows best.
Roberto is a good natured, very slightly overweight man in his mid-30s. He has a friendly manner and a congenial, rounded face.
Aside from his usual tan, he does not look particularly Hispanic, and his first name occasionally causes mild confusion.
Mancy is a hard worker, serious and dedicated. Although he frequently feels overwhelmed since his genuine perfectionism results in a large workload, he does his best.
He enjoys letting steam off whenever possible, though — indulging in good food (especially from Southwestern France) in expensive restaurants, good wine, night clubs, various high-tech gadgets, etc..
After a number of excesses in his youth and early career, he’s determined not to let his life get too complicated or involved. He prefers to make time for himself and his loved ones to enjoy themselves.
The financial strain on his mediocre civil servant pay, plus the costs of his family, bother him. He wishes he could come up with some honest way to earn more money to have the lifestyle he wants for himself and his wife and kids.
He generally comes across as a nice, smart, humorous person who enjoys a wide variety of interests. Mancy prefers not to talk about his work, except for the mundane construction and project management stuff.
“C’est pas facile tous les jours.”
(Trans): “Shit happens.”
“Je rappelle que mon grade ici, c’est chef des bateaux et des avions…”
(Trans): “Please remember that my official rank here is Grand Poobah Of All The Boats And Also The Planes Too”.
DC Heroes RPG
The Family Man
|Dex: 03||Str: 02||Bod: 04|
|Int: 03||Wil: 04||Min: 03|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 04||Spi: 03|
|Init: 009||HP: 010|
Continuum control: 14, Dimension Travel (Travel): 04
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Continuum control only within the Headschool.
- Dimension Travel only to enter the Headschool and return to Earth.
Detective (Police procedure): 05, Gadgetry: 18, Scientist (Computers): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03
Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is so a Powered Skill that it ain’t funny. It’s specific to his one-man-kind of Gadgetry, and cannot be used for other forms of tech.
Familiarity (ESIGN/GIGN tactics and procedures, Japanese Cultures, Architecture and Construction, Cinema, Project Management), Rank (Sergent-Chef).
ESIGN (High), Dr. Madeleine Moreau-Levy (Low).
Dependents (wife and kids).
- Beretta 92 [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#03].
- MacBook Pro.
“Gadgetry” for Special Projects
The Wealth APs used for this form of Gadgetry are, in the Family Man’s case, his APs of Continuum Control. Since he’ll use the resources he creates within the Headschool.
In DC Heroes RPG terms there is no Lab, per se. However the genetic material he has procured is assigned APs as if it were a Lab.
This is generally eyeballed based on the stats of the donors at their peak based on their chief abilities. Somebody with Energy blast: 12 as his key ability would tend to have DNA that is equivalent to a 12 APs Lab for the Family Man’s purposes.
Source of Character: Homemade.
Helper(s): Kal El and Adam for bouncing technical approaches around, Darci.