Agent Helen Helligan
-Special Agent Dale Cooper
Agent Helligan appears in Grant Morrison’s excellent Seven Soldiers metaseries, published in 2005.
This profile has S P O I L E R S about it. And having Seven Soldiers spoiled is a thing most heinous.
Helligan is a sharp, experienced detective. She can fill this useful niche in many stories.
- Real Name: Helen “Sky-High” Helligan.
- Known Relatives: Brian (brother), Rose (sister), unnamed mother.
- Group Affiliation: FBI.
- Base Of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 5’3” (1.60m). Weight: 110 lbs. (50 Kg.).
- Eyes: Blue. Hair: Black.
Powers and Abilities
Agent Helligan is a particularly smart and efficient detective. She can quickly sift through large volumes of data and draw solid conclusions. She has a strong intuition and willpower.
So she’s not the sort of detective that plays second-fiddle to the heroes.
She does not have elite combat or physical skills.
On the other hand, she can function for several days with very little sleep.
It’s all connected
Her angle is to take a very high-level view of her cases. From this 100,000 feet-high perspective she gains a global understanding of what is going on, and the details usually fall into place.
Agent Helligan has no problem letting her investigation wander into 50 years-old or otherwise distant events. This information allows her to build her big picture of what is going on.
Her reasonings and intuitions evoke laws of magic (such as the law of sympathy), and Morissonian ideas about storytelling and magic being closely related. Perhaps, in-universe, she has some slight homo magi ancestry, attuning her to magically and narratively significant connections.
Given how her colleagues make fun of her way of reasoning, there are also odds that she’s neurodivergent. Yes, you can be both ND and homo magi, that happens, it’s okay.
If I had to put a 2005 tune there for chronologically correct ambiance, one choice would be obvious.
When the LAPD detained the Shining Knight (Ystina), Agent Helligan was called in to handle the case. She was to figure out what was going on, whom the Knight was and how to process “him”.
Agent Helligan received the support of a specialist in pre-Atlantean antiquities. The expert knew enough about the numerous Camelots to communicate with Sir Justin. Within hours, Helligan could thus make sense of this horribly complex mess.
Make it make sense
During the interrogation, the agent also drew Ystina’s sword from its sheath. But did not yet realise the significance of this.
However, the antiquities expert actually was the Queen of Terror in disguise. She had come to toy with Ystina then kidnap her.
As the Queen unveiled, a Sheeda strike force assaulted the precinct house. They killed a number of officers and captured Ystina.
In the fray, the Queen bit Helligan on her wrist, vampire style. After seeing her draw the sword, the Queen could not resist corrupting her.
No time for red string and a board
Pumped full of antibiotics and drugs to cure the venom, Helligan did not stop. She had promised her mum that she’d prevent her sister’s marriage to a shady brute from the Lupelino family who occasionally beat her.
She took a red-eye to New York City and hit the ground running.
Agent Helligan had also been investigating the death of the Vigilante (Greg Saunders) and five others in Arizona. A possible witness, the Bulletteer (Alix Harrower), was in New York. Helligan intuited that there was a link between this and the Lupelinos.
The agent recovered tapes from the Arizonan incident, then grilled Harrower about what little she knew. From there she established a link between :
- Neh-Buh-Loh, who appeared on the tapes of the death of the Vigilante’s posse.
- The Nebula Man, who had scattered the original Seven Soldiers through time back in the days.
This is the hand, the hand that takes
Researching the origin of the Nebula Man, she discovered he had been summoned by a Silver AgeSuper-hero comics from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. villain called the Hand.
The Hand’s special artificial hand was kept at the Hero Museum in New York. When she got there, the place was in complete disarray. Helligan basically stole the artificial hand in the confusion.
Enlisting the help of the Bulleteer, who was too nice to say no to a policewoman, Helligan confronted the Hand at the prison. She had Alix “accidentally” destroy the artificial hand finger by finger in front of his eyes to force him to talk.
Werewolves of New York
Helligan also discovered a dark secret of the Vigilante. He had been bitten by werewolves early during his career. Although he kept his condition under medical control for his entire life, he was infected.
This reframed a discussion between the Vigilante and a Lupelino family member. It had taken place in presence of the Hand, who mentioned it during the interrogation.
The Hand had thought that the Vigilante was prejudiced against Latinx . But Helligan now understood that “the kin” Saunders had mentioned back then was werewolves. Which both he and the Lupelinos were.
From there, Helen realised that her sister Rose was about to marry a werewolf. Though utterly exhausted, Helligan asked the Bulleteer to carry her to the church. She arrived in the nick of time to object to the marriage.
Agent Helligan passed out after saving her bone-headed sister from a terrible fate.
More Helligan ?
The odds that she will gain super-powers from the Sheeda venom are pretty high.
- She’s smart and dedicated.
- She’s got a cool-sounding family name, and identical initials.
- She already has a solid Hero PointsDC Heroes RPG concept expressing narrative importance/immunity. total.
- She didn’t receive critical medical follow-up, since she went to New York instead of staying at the hospital.
- She’s pure of heart.
Helligan is a petite, curly brunette. She’s usually wearing business attire.
Despite her slightly conservative clothes and being a Fed, she has a small piercing to the right of her nose.
After she was bitten and before she could be treated, she had the “Sheeda look” – alabaster skin and completely black eyes.
Helen talks quickly, in complex sentences delivered without hesitation.
Helligan is fast, smart and dedicated. Most people have a tough time keeping pace with her.
She will tackle huge streams of information head-on and turn it into the whole story. This agent has little problem juggling several distinct lines of investigation at the same time.
She comes across as authoritative and with extraordinary willpower, continuing urgent work even after an awful case of poisoning.
A veteran Federal agent working the metahuman scene, she is used to handling harrowing stress and carnage.
Helligan is also fluent with the likes of sorcery, ghosts, otherdimensionalLocated in another reality. entities and time travel.
As she told Alix Harrower, super-criminals are *not* normal people. Therefore, she will not hesitate to employ tough, probably-not-legal tactics to interrogate and otherwise thwart them.
She knows she has to hit hard or become roadkill. And how badly outmatched she and other normal police are against metahumans.
Only the pure of heart
Helligan has a thoroughly pure heart.
Even when her actions seem unethical (like having the Bulleteer destroy the Hand’s iron prosthesis in front of the aged criminal), she has an uncanny instinct to only brush with the limits in desperate cases. Most people only *think* they can do that.
The least morally justifiable thing she ever did in her life was putting some fish oil in her big brother’s milkshake when she was a little kid. After she confessed about this insignificant sin, she became pure enough to draw Caliburn Ex Calibur. But she was too humble to realise what it meant.
Gotta go fast
When reviewing her cases Helligan has a cynical black humor cast to her speech. This is probably in order to better handle the strain from the often incredibly violent and warped events she deals with.
While she know that most people can’t handle her infodumps, she still has a hard time padding up or slowing down when she reviews a case.
Helligan has an odd ability to state things as they exactly are. Even if she doesn’t realize it, and think it’s just a figure of speech. Such as saying “somebody up there loves you” to Alix Harrower, the Spear of Aurakles.
“Me, I’m a qualified specialist in metahuman retrieval, but I think this guy has more to do with your speciality than mine.”
“Nobody’s sure how to put the guy through the system, which is where I get called in. But, and here’s what I’m hoping, if he’s from the past, he doesn’t count as ‘unregistered metahuman’. And the sooner you can prove he’s from the past, the sooner I can make it to my sister’s wedding in New York tomorrow. My mother *warned* me not to miss that flight.”
“Miz Friday, I have a nickname at the Bureau. I like to pretend it’s because they love me for my quirky point of view, but my partner says it’s a drugs reference. ‘Sky-High’ Helligan. I don’t do drugs. I see things from a high altitude, metaphorically speaking. I make structured cognitive leaps based on long-range pattern recognition. I’ve studied every case file. It’s not so much the details I deal with. I’m looking at the satellite picture. And I suspect a potential time travel incident I want you to verify.”
“Magic mirrors, evil sorcerers, potions. Anything you ever heard of, it’s there in the files. Could be he slept in a cave or got preserved in ice, awaiting some future hour of greatest need. There’s a lot of weird stuff on disc at Langley. I’ve read things you wouldn’t believe.”
“Metahuman engagement !! Backup !!” (Draws her pistol)
“Stay with me. I know it’s a lot of information, but that’s the way I work. Everything at once. Next slide, please.”
“They all set out on a big adventure and never came back. Welcome to the grimy, violent world of DIY superheroics.”
“If you’d joined the ‘seven soldiers’ we’d have [an obituary] slide for you too. Somebody up there loves you, Mrs. Harrower.”
Helligan: “You seem like a nice lady under the chrome. *uchh* I don’t think it’s good for you to get wrapped up in any of this creepy cape stuff… *urrchh*“
Bulleteer: “Is everything okay ?”
Helligan: “Guess I’m reacting to the antibiotics and tetanus shots they gave me last night after I got bitten by a fucking vampire.”
“See, in less than two hours, my sister gets married to a scary guy who beats her up. My mom made me promise I’d find a good reason to stop her. So I had to be here, sick or not.”
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 03||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 05||Wil: 07||Min: 05|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 04|
|Init: 012||HP: 020|
Recall: 06, Superspeed: 01
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Recall and Superspeed are Skilled Powers.
- Superspeed only for mental tasks — chiefly processing and analysing information.
Detective (All saves Law)*: 05, Scientist (Research): 07, Vehicles (land): 03, Weaponry (firearms): 03
Credentials (FBI, Medium), Expertise (Super-heroes and super-villains).
Dependants (her sister and family).
.40 S&W SIG P229 Pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 12, R#02].
DC Adventures RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
Agent Helen “Sky-High” Helligan — Averaged PL4
She’s a brainiac, brainiac on the floor ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Skill
Quickness 1 and Enhanced Advantage (Luck) (both Limited 2 to deductive reasoning and information perusal).
Close Attack 2, Defensive attack, Defensive Roll 1, Ranged attack 1.
Benefit 2 (Reputed FBI agent), Connected, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 2, Well-Informed.
Athletics 1 (+1), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise (Metahuman activity) 7 (+10), Insight 4 (+5), Investigation 5 (+8), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Firearms) 2 (+4), Vehicles 4 (+5) (Limited 2 to common land vehicles).
Light pistol Ranged ballistic Damage 3 ● 6 points
|Unarmed +3, Close, Damage 0|
|Light pistol +4, Close, Damage 3|
* Without Defensive Roll.
- Atypical thinker Helligan has unusual deductive heuristicsMethods to solve problems or explore data.. These do not make her a good fit anywhere.
- Dependants Her sister and mother, and perhaps other family members.
- Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 4, Dodge/Toughness PL 3, Parry/Toughness PL 3, Fort/Will PL 5.
- Points total 57. Abilities 18, Defences 11, Skills 14, Powers 1, Devices 0, Advantages 12. Equiv. PL 4.
As usual, this isn’t scaled with the very high stats for stock NPCs in the DCA rulesbook.
Source of Character: Seven Soldiers metaseries.
Helper(s): Roy Cowan.