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Guardsman Kyuzo (Red Star comics) firing his shotgun

Guardsman Kyuzo


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

“Damn, this is one tough son of a bitch.”


Context

Kyuzo is one of the core characters in the particularly cool comic books series The Red Star, which started in 2000. This profile includes S P O I L E R S.

We strongly recommend that you first read the Maya Antares character profile for the context, vocabulary, etc..


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Background

  • Real Name: Guardsman Kyuzo (first name unrevealed).
  • Other Aliases: “The human fortress”, “Old man”, K312 (ID plate).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Crew of the RSS Konstantinov, former member of the Red Fleet (specifically Hailers and Guardsmen).
  • Base Of Operations: Skyfurnace Konstantinov.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Bald


Powers and Abilities

Guardsman Kyuzo is a nigh-unstoppable Red trooper. He is quite possibly the deadliest soldier the Red Fleet has to offer. He’s not just a powerful physical specimen – he also has strongly-developed telekinesis, refined as a Hailer.

Hailers are also selected for size and brawn, and trained for strength.


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This force of nature can both ghost his way through enemy forces and pick them out one by one, or fight through overwhelming forces using heavy weapons. He is like a ninja crossed with a main battle tank.

Kyuzo’s telekinesis is potent enough to once have allowed him to wield a Dragunov 60mm autocannon.

Like a rock

One of Kyuzo’s key assets is his robustness. He can survive astonishing amounts of punishment. In DC Heroes RPG terms, his BODY is so high that, with body armour on, he can ignore some sources of gunfire. Even though other persons wearing comparable armour would be wounded or killed under the same circumstances.

Kyuzo fires his hailer

This durability may stem in part from his telekinesis reinforcing the plates of his body armour. At two points, when taking fire, Kyuzo seems surrounded by a tight force field (in DC Heroes RPG terms, it’s just visuals for his huge BODY). It would seem that ordinary soldiers can only hope to bring down an armoured Kyuzo with focused, massed small arms fire.

Kyuzo is calm, steady and professional under essentially any circumstance. He is good at assessing risks and gauging situations. He’s very perceptive – Kyuzo can spot dangers such as snipers in a manner that less experienced soldiers will find preternatural.

Mystical machinegun, part 1

The Red Fleet’s hailer gun is a unique multifunction man-portable machinegun. Perhaps it was designed to exploit hailer-type telekinesis to its fullest, or perhaps it’s hailers who are specially trained to interface with the gun.

A hailer’s gun is not just a matter of telekinesis. Hailers also have their brains enchanted to interface with their weapons. Like many advanced pieces of equipment, hailers have a magical operating system.

A hailer gun is large and heavy, and would be difficult to carry and point without telekinesis. The barrel is surprisingly short – projectiles are telekinetically boosted to fly further than they should, making a long barrel a luxury. And the weapon seems built using a bullpup  design.

Mystical machinegun, part 2

A hailer is belt-fed. The belts are stored in magazines called ’drums’ due to their resemblance to old-school oil drums. Drums are heavy and bulky. Being a beefy, muscular athlete helps a lot with carrying this ordnance on one’s back.

Kyuzo with a shotgun and a long knife

Drums are nearly always protocol-enhanced. Like in a protoclip, the space inside is warped to carry much more ammunition than should be possible. Likewise, nearly all drums are enchanted to allow for supply kasters to reload them on the fly. The kasters will teleport ammo from a nearby base or vehicle right into the drum. They can do that even if the hailer is currently firing.

Hailer guns include different firing mechanisms for different payloads. Based, on the description of an experimental weapon, the switch between firing mechanisms, ammo sources and barrels is done telekinetically. There is no mechanism to effectuate this switch through mundane means. Though I supposed you could disassemble then reassemble a hailer in the proper configuration, using tools.

Likewise, hooking up a drum to a hailer is best done through telekinesis. The alternative is to put the drum and the hailer on a table then manually screw in all the cables, belts and tubes, make sure that nothing is tangled, check the safeties, etc.. This would take a good five minutes. For a Character with Telekinesis (Hailer), switching to a new drum takes three Phases.

Mystical machinegun, part 3

Veteran, well-trained hailers can use their hailer one-handed thanks to their telekinetic brawn. There apparently exists heavier hailers which are used more like a rifle, but those are not commonly issued. The compact size of hailers facilitates their use in close quarters combat.

Kyuzo usually carries a Close Assault Drum for his hailer. Such a drum can feed the gun with bullets, flamethrower fuel (“immolation setting”) or grenades.

Hailers include a gun shield, but in game terms this is considered to be part of a Hailer or Guardsman’s armour.


For those about to rock – we salute you

Hailers are an elite corps within the Red Fleet. They must be physically and telekinetically brawny. Traditionally, hailers are unusually large and muscular men. Since the Red Fleet is gender-integrated, this is likely a result of women being much less likely to have this mix of telekinetic heft and raw muscle mass. Women tend to be better at sorcery than at psionics .

Hailers

“Hailer” denotes a tactical role and training (like, say, “machinegunner”). Formally, hailers are called “Guards”, and are the equivalent of a Junior Sergeant or higher.

Hailers are equipped with specific body armour and wield a special firearm, also called a hailer. These guns are built with a telekinetic operator in mind, and would be difficult to use by non-telekineticists. Even the post-Al’istaan Red Fleet, with its many shortcomings, does not skimp on hailer training and equipment.

Apparently, Guards units are disseminated among other infantry units to reinforce them with heavy weapons. A boarding party of 50 men from the RSS Taktarov included 15 hailers, and the men fighting closest to Marcus Antares at Kar Dathra’s Gate were hailers. The role of attached hailers is likely to :

  1. Boost morale by being there.
  2. Provide a high-performance base of fire to infantry. Meaning covering fire, suppression fire, light anti-armour and anti-fortification fire, main fire unit during ambushes, etc..
  3. Be just as mobile as other infantrymen while being much harder to kill.
  4. Having enemy fire focus on them, leaving the rest of the troops freer to move in and kill.

Guardsmen

The best hailers are promoted to the rank of Guardsman. Kyuzo received this rank before he even graduated hailer training. Guardsmen have full hailer training and equipment, but their role is to serve as bodyguard for senior Red Fleet sorceresses. Guardsmen are sometimes called “meat puppets”, but rarely to their face.

From context, Sorcery Corps commissioned officers (Sorceress, Sorceress-Lieutenant, Sorceress-Captain, etc.) are the ones eligible to be assigned a Guardsman. One also gets the impression that only warkasters (combat sorceresses) are eligible for Guardsman attribution. Witches in a support role (infokasters, supply kasters, medikasters, etc.) presumably do not need a bodyguard.

Zero troopers

Kyuzo was originally selected to become a Zero. But the Antares brothers managed to convince him to drop out, then arranged for his reassignment as a hailer.

Kyuzo in a rail-fighting suit

Zero troopers are the hardcore elite of the Red Fleet’s special forces. When asked what made a Zero so special, Maya pointed out that one such soldier could bring a whole Skyfurnace crashing. Zeroes do this by boarding, then zipping along the technical access rails. They are trained to quickly kill any resistance, and deploy specialised demolition charges.

Beyond their role as elite special forces, Zero troopers perform as political commissars. Each Skyfurnace (and, presumably unit of a similar size) has a Zero assigned to it. Yet nobody, including the commander, knows which soldier is the Zero. In case of insubordination or mutiny, the Zero activates. He will destroy the unit or assassinate the insurgent leaders.

How the RSS Konstantinov dispatched its Zero when it mutinied is unchronicled. One assumes that Urik Antares and his most trusted officers had long planned for it. They likely had been able to determine which crewmen were most likely to be “their” Zero.

Zero are unquestioningly loyal to the State no matter what the cost. They are apparently brainwashed into this. The Antares brothers prevented Kyuzo from joining so he wouldn’t lose his free will to the State.


History

Kyuzo was transferred to the Citadel Military Academy, and assigned straight to the First Training Company. This was the cream of the crop, commanded by Cadet Marcus Antares. As he tried to orient himself in the sprawling Citadel Academy, he met Maya Vlasova. She nicely helped him find his way and babbled about this and that. Kyuzo immediately fell in love with her.

Kyuzo prepares his gun

Kyuzo became part of a tightly-knit group of friends – including Marcus, Maya, Alexandra Goncharova, and Renko. He was close to Marcus, who dated Maya and eventually married her.

At that point, Urik Antares was already an officer on the fast track of the Red Fleet. Yet he visited his little brother and his clique at the Academy whenever he could. Urik schemed to have them all transferred under his command, since they were all top students and had superb chemistry.

Brothers in arms

While not as strong as the records-setting Marcus, Kyuzo was a powerful telekine  and athlete. As such, he was tapped for recruitment among the very elite of the Red Fleet – to become a Zero. However, Marcus convinced Kyuzo to leave the program, and Urik presumably exerted his influence behind the scenes.

One of Marcus’s key arguments was that they would arrange for Kyuzo to become Maya’s bodyguard. And indeed, a man qualifying for Zero selection aced Hailer training. Kyuzo was swiftly transferred to the elite within the Hailers – Guardsmen. Before he even left the Academy Kyuzo had been assigned to become Maya’s Guardsman.

This may have been the result of further manipulations by Urik, or a simple result of both Kyuzo and Maya being top-ranked trainees. Both were quite possibly valedictorians in their respective specialities.

Surgical strike

Urik succeeded in his ploy to have Marcus, Maya, Kyuzo and the rest transferred under his command. His own chain of command had agreed to overturn regulations, but challenged him to prove that it was worth the hassle. Thus, the Antares gang was tasked with a delicate, deniable mission.

At this point Urik was already comfortable with sending Kyuzo alone to do the work of an entire special forces team. The rest of the gang ran an elaborate diversion while the Guardsman did the heavy lifting.

Guided by Urik, Kyuzo repossessed a stolen experimental Red man-portable cannon. He then used it to destroy the opposition and the objective before Alexandra Goncharova and Renko flew everybody to safety. During this mission, at Urik’s insistence, Marcus served as Maya’s Guardsman instead of Kyuzo.

For recovering the prototype and destroying three enemy stratospheric cannons, Guardsman Kyuzo was awarded the Star of Imbohl. This is presumably the equivalent of a Distinguished Service Cross in the US Army.

The trooper

Guardsman Kyuzo continued to serve under Urik, and with Maya as his principal. They fought in Al’istaan, including the catastrophic Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate. At Kar Dathra’s, Marcus was declared dead. The shocked Maya briefly slipped away, but was stopped by Alexandra before her grief would get her killed whilst trying to find Marcus’s body.

Kyuzo shooting his hailer from a dramatic angle

Nine years later, Cpt. Goncharova and Lt. Renko died in action in Nokgorka. Maya Antares once again went groundside alone in find her friend’s bodies. This time Kyuzo, not quite following orders, was on her heels.

Shadowing the sorceress as she worked through her grief, Kyuzo took out a number of Nokgorka Resistance snipers. He also finished off whatever was left of forces that crossed Maya Antares’s path. But Maya had realised that the faithful Kyuzo was present, and ordered him to hold his fire when she was attacked by Nokgorka Resistance passionaria and war heroine Makita.

Makita

During the epochal events that followed the contact between Makita Gallilei and Maya Antares, Kyuzo proved an invaluable asset. He took the young Makita under his wing. They formed a deadly gunfighting duo that greatly helped with the defence of the mutinying RSS Konstantinov.

Kyuzo later proved able to take on a fully-trained and experienced Zero. In doing so he single-handedly saving the Skyfurnace and thus, perhaps, the Motherland.


Description

Though Makita keeps calling Kyuzo “old man”, he doesn’t seem that much older than the rest of the gang. But his bald head and stony face do make him look older than he is. Of course, from Makita’s point of view, her Red friends are all old, being at least twice her age.

Kyuzo’s eyes glow white-hot when he’s using his telekinesis. The luminosity seems proportional with the effort.


Personality

Kyuzo is dour, stony-faced, rigidly disciplined. He doesn’t speak much unless spoken to. This is more a matter of professionalism as a bodyguard and soldier than a matter of personality, though. When he does talk, Kyuzo comes across as eloquent, wise and quietly cynical. He has obvious charisma.

Like the rest of the gang, Kyuzo is huge on friendship. In his case, this is complicated by the fact that he’s in love with the wife of his best friend. Yet the Guardsman’s rock-like, stoic strength of character means that he has always remain very close to Marcus and Maya despite this. He apparently never spoke a word about it.

Both Marcus and Maya realise that Kyuzo is in love with Maya. They obviously respect the fact that he has never acted on it or even mentioned it so as not to endanger their friendship.

When he sensed he was about to die, Marcus asked the Guardsman to “protect Maya one last time, protect her from your love”. What he meant is unclear. Perhaps Kyuzo has issues. But it seems more likely that Maya’s big-time romantic dreams and eternal love for Marcus are incompatible with Kyuzo’s dour strength and down-to-Earth personality.

Warrior

Kyuzo is quietly confident and very experienced. He knows what he can do and is clear about it, but never brags. He follows orders to the letter, but if he thinks the orders can be improved he will request the permission to speak freely then suggest his preferred alternative.

Kyuzo in his graduation uniform

The latter is of course facilitated since he knows that Skymarshall Antares completely trusts him. But Kyuzo still requests permissions and follows procedures.

Kyuzo quickly bonded with Makita. He seems to at once think she’s a cute and scrappy kid – and a fierce, competent warrior he can respect and treat as a sort of equal. He soon adopted a somewhat fatherly role toward her, or at least that of a mentor and coach, and they swiftly became a redoubtable fighting duo.

This is a sort of Batman and Robin relationship, with Makita admiring Kyuzo. She also gets to see more of him as a person than the vast majority does.


Quotes

“You must understand. We are all criminals now. Everyone of us on this ship. Our own countrymen have been ordered to shoot us out of the sky. We’re under attack from all sides. I know you want to go home. But that is impossible for any of us now. There is one way for us to go. Forward. Only forward. Into what we cannot know.”

“Kyuzo here, sir ! I’ll handle the boarding party on block three-nine.”

“Hailer’s out of ammo. Back to basics. Shotgun and longknife.”

Kyuzo: “The Zero’s demolitions could take the ship down. I want to cut him off from his priority targets. Close us in, sir. The Zero and I. I’ll pursue him into the lower tunnels. When I do, I request you close the access vaults behind us.”
Urik: “You want to go out of contact ? What if you need backup ?”
Kyuzo: “It would be a waste to send anyone. They wouldn’t last long against a Zero.”

Urik: “Hang tough, Guardsman.”
Kyuzo: “Hanging tough, sir.”

(As they ready for combat, Marcus and Kyuzo gently head-butt each other and let their helmets rest against each other for a few seconds, breathing in and keeping their eyes closed)
Marcus: “Kill ’em all.”
Kyuzo: “Kill ’em all.”



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Guardsman Kyuzo

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 06 Occupation: Guardsman
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 021 HP: 030

Powers:
Invulnerability: 06, Telekinesis (Hailer): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:
Invulnerability takes two days to work, and can only be used in presence of Maya Antares.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 05, Martial artist: 05, Medicine (First aid): 04, Military science (Camouflage, Cartography, Danger recognition, Demolition): 06, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 04, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Military science (Danger recognition) can also be applied to spot dangers to his principal (Srss.-Maj. Antares).

Advantages:
Expertise (Military equipment and procedures, Personal security), Familiarity (Railfighting), Iron nerves, Lightning reflexes, Rank (Guardsman), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Urik Antares (High), Maya Antares (High), Makita (High), formerly Alexandra Goncharova, Lt. Renko and Marcus Antares (all High), RSS Konstantinov crewpersons (Low).

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Maya, 0 pts).

Equipment:

  • GUARDSMAN ARMOUR [BODY 06, Cold immunity: 01, Radio comms: 05, Skin armour: 02, Rec. STR 03, Drawback: Real armour, Partial coverage (Long coat level), Note: not meeting the Rec. STR lowers the movement rate].
    These heavy suits of body armour are based on Hailer armour, which are built to be worn by very large and muscular men with telekinetic powers. However, Guardsman armours are lighter than the standard Hailer model — to allow Guardsmen to remain fully mobile and to move stealthily when needed.
  • Hailer [BODY 05, Bomb: 07, Flame project: 06, Projectile weapon: 07, Range: 03, Ammo: 30, Note: Ammo can feed all three Powers (but Bomb counts for two shots), Limitation: none of the three Powers has Range – use the listed Range instead, Advantage: Both Flame Project and Projectile weapon have Autofire, Drawback: Very long reload time, Rec. STR 04, R#02].
  • Hailer’s Longknife [BODY 06, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing]. A big fighting knife that is one of the traditional weapons of Hailers for last-resort close combat.
  • Backup Molot Riot Gun [BODY 04, Shotgun Blast (Range: 03): 06, Ammo: 12, Drawback: Very long reload time].
    A pistol-grip, shortened shotgun that seems to be a semi-automatic weapon with a backup pump action. From context, Kyuzo’s Molot seems to have a double prototube – an enchantment that doubles the ammunition capacity of the weapon (this is figured into the score above). Kyuzo carries two dozens extra shells. This is a backup weapon for when Kyuzo cannot use anything else than the basics – shotgun and knife.

Free your mind

Telekinesis in the The Red Star universe is different from typical comic-book telekinesis à la Jean Grey. And there seems to be several kinds of it depending on training. Those are different Powers than the Telekinesis in the rulesbook. Kyuzo is trained to use his telekinesis as a Hailer, which is described below.

Like the Rituals setup for Maya, the telekinesis system for The Red Star characters on writeups.org diverges from the one used by Green Ronin and Chris Gossett in the Red Star Campain Setting. The games are too different, and in the case of telekinesis it seems that the vision may have changed. Core elements presented in the game are never apparent in the comics.

An important concept for telekineticists is that of “telekinetically neutral” objects. Those are specially built items (usually weapons) that present little resistance to telekinesis. These can be moved with one’s mind much more easily. This is usually the case of weapons (such as the Hook of Red troopers) or ammunition (such as most ammunition fired by a hailer gun).

Telekinesis (Hailer)

Mental power
Link:
BODY
Range: Special.
Type: Auto.
Base cost: 10
Factor cost: 03

Telekinesis in the The Red Star universe isn’t the ability to lift and energetically manoeuvre large objects at a range. It is much closer to “tactile telekinesis” occasionally seen in comic books.

The following applications have been noted in the stories. These are not mutually exclusive and can all be active concurrently :

  • Telekinesis (Hailer) can be used as the STR used to wield heavy weapons with a Recommended Strength.
  • Telekinesis (Hailer) can be used as the Range when firing telekinetically neutral ammunition.
  • Telekinesis (Hailer) can be used as the AV when using a telekinetic firearm (such as a hailer), as if using the Interface Power.
  • Some weapons (such as hailer guns) have functions that can only be used by a telekineticist with the proper specialisation.
  • Telekinesis (Hailer) can be used as the STR when bodily moving a heavy object. But the Character must fully prepare and concentrate for about a minute.
  • *If* hailers can remotely lift and displace objects with their mind (so far, there is little hint of this in the primary sources) a possible approach is to treat their maximum range as Telekinesis (Hailer) with a -4 APs Special Range Penalty, and the maximum mass and EV as Telekinesis with a -5 APs Special Mass Penalty.
    If the mass is telekinetically neutral, the Special Mass Penalty is lowered from -5 to -3.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: The Red Star.

Helper(s): Beyond the comics, the The Red Star entries on writeups.org use data from the official The Red Star website and Green Ronin’s The Red Star Campaign Setting RPG supplement. Checking with GR confirms that the new info in the later was based on the notes from The Red Star author Chris Gossett, who also checked and okayed the final version of the book — so it’s about as canon as it gets. Also, Darci.

Writeup completed on the 21st of December, 2010.

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