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Lamprey of the legion of Super-Heroes (DC Comics)

Lamprey

(Tayla Skott)


Context

Lamprey (Tayla Skott) is a very minor, but visually distinctive, Legion of Super-Heroes reservist. She appeared in 1981.


Background

  • Real Name: Tayla Skott.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None (unnamed uncle/father).
  • Group Affiliation: Legion Reserve, UP Militia Academy (later only).
  • Base Of Operations: Legion Academy, Montauk Point, Metropolis; later the UP Militia Academy on Xolnar.
  • Eyes: White (no visible pupil). Hair: Green


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Powers and Abilities

Lamprey is amphibious, able to function equally well on land or underwater. She also has electrical powers which function best underwater – though in the “Five Year Gap” timeline, she could use them equally well in open air. She was given a Legion Flight Ring as rejected but worthy applicant.

She’s familiar with basic air-and-space vehicles common on 30th century Earth. As a long time Legion Academy student, she’s taken Legion combat courses. By the time she becomes an instructor at the UP Militia Academy, she’s advanced her martial and military skills considerably.


History

Tayla Skott was an ordinary three-year-old girl. That lasted until her young scientist uncle performed an illegal and highly dangerous experiment on her to see if it would be possible to give humans gills with which to breathe underwater.

The experiment worked. But it also gave her the ability to absorb, store, and release ambient electrical charges from her environment. Moreover, at least some of the time she has green skin.

In October 2983 she tried out for the Legion of Super-Heroes. But she, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid were rejected in favor of Blok. Her inexperience and reticence in dangerous situations indicated she needed much more training before she could be considered more than a potential Legionnaire.


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Grabbing the brass ring

Wildfire took a special interest in Lamprey and Nightwind, and to a lesser extent Crystal Kid. During a second bid for Legion membership, Wildfire told the trio that they still needed more training. But he was sufficiently impressed to give them Legion Flight Rings of their own, consolation prizes given sometimes — not always — to worthy applicants who were nevertheless rejected for membership.

With his encouragement, they enrolled in the Legion Academy. Lamprey and Nightwind also became confidantes of sorts for Wildfire. They were the first people that he told the story of how he lost his humanity.

At the Academy, Lamprey and Nightwind became roommates and best friends. The pair also continued their friendship (almost flirtation) with Wildfire. This occasionally caused arguments with other students like Comet Queen and Laurel Kent, who did not like his abrasive personality.

Lamprey participated in many training missions, such as the cleanup of the Dominator base on Kathoon, and many regular training sessions, and as an Academy member was part of the Legion Reserve, but never actually achieved Legion membership.

After the Five Year Gap

In the wake of the Magic Wars and the Great Collapse of the UP economy, the Legion Academy was forced to close its doors. The LSH itself would disband shortly thereafter.

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Former Academy instructors Luornu Durgo Taine (formerly Duo Damsel) and Chuck Taine (formerly Bouncing Boy) became the Co-Instructor Generals of the United Planets Militia Academy on Xolnar, and invited Lamprey to join their staff.

Their charter was the training of officers and special forces (many of them possessed of superpowers) to fight off a new Khund invasion. Lamprey accepted, along with her roommate Berta (formerly Nightwind) and their ex-classmate Jed Rikane (formerly Power Boy).

War against the Khunds

She survived a Khund attack on March 14, 2995 which claimed the lives of Berta and Jed, and she has continued to serve and teach at the Academy.

During a period when the new LSH had been framed for betraying the UP to the Khunds, Lamprey was part of an Academy team. They fought in a 3-way brawl with both Khunds and Legionnaires, and she acquitted herself well.

She also demonstrated in this battle that she could now use her energy powers even out of the water. Shortly thereafter, Lamprey and her entire history were wiped out, along with the entire timeline, by the chronal manipulations of Glorith, Mordru, the Time Trapper, and DC Comics.


Description

She often has green skin, sometimes quite pronounced. But on other occasions so pale as to be nearly Caucasian skin tone. This may be a function of her powers – her electrical discharges, oddly enough, are green – or it may be cosmetics, or something else. She has long green hair and pointed, elfin ears.

Her current costume — a sleek light-green full body-suit — is a vast improvement over her first one, a dark-green bikini with buccaneer boots, bracelets, and cape, and a yellow belt. In the “Five Year Gap” timeline she wears the Academy uniform, a red military outfit with grey or black boots. See illos for details of all her looks.


Personality

Lamprey is fairly immature in her early appearances. She’s pretty much out to join the Legion for the thrill of it. She’s a nice girl, a little flighty, a little flirtatious, treating everything as a game. Which is much of the reason she’s not appropriate for the Legion, apart from her limited powers.

She also has a lot of compassion, which comes out when she meets Blok, even though he beats her out for Legion membership. This compassion is also why Wildfire has a maturing effect on her (mind-boggling, considering his brash attitude – and his rather inappropriate flirting with Legion applicants).

His life-story – the extent of his suffering, losing his very humanity in becoming a super-hero – helps her to see better the stakes she’s playing for.

As a student at the Academy she is earnest but still rather naïve. She expresses surprise that the Legion is not all about fighting bad guys, that Legionnaires would be involved in diplomacy and politics. Wildfire means a lot to her, to the point that she fights with classmates who don’t like him. She still needs a lot of tempering.

By the time of the Five Year Gap, she’s matured into a dedicated woman fearlessly devoting her life to the common good.


Quotes

“Sweet talk’s cheap, Legionnaire… always was.”

“Diplomatic (mission) ? That sounds weird. I didn’t know Legionnaires did stuff like that.”

Lamprey”: This is the best part of being at the Academy, Nightwind. Maybe we’re not Legionnaires – yet – but we do get to watch them so closely.”
Nightwind: “Only on monitors, Lamprey. And after the way Wildfire has treated us, I’d far rather be close to him personally.”
Lamprey: “Oh, absolutely – the story he told of how he lost his body, and is just living energy in that suit – God, I could have cried.”
Comet Queen: “Like, Wildfire really is a galactic pain, y‘know ?”
Lamprey: “He hasn’t said two words to you outside of training sessions, Comet Queen – how the blazes can you say what he is ?”
Comet Queen: “Mop up the tear patrol. He’s got a parsec-wide mouth, he treats us like space dust – “
Lamprey: “- and he’s a great teacher and a terrific Legionnaire !”
Comet Queen: “Yeah – and he makes Matter-Eater Lad look tough.”
Lamprey: “That’s it ! I’ve had it with you !” [fight ensues]


DC Universe History

She can be worked in just about anywhere. Her family history has never been followed up on, though it seems an obvious story hook. But she’d be more interesting if she were tied to Atlantis, in my opinion. Perhaps her homeworld is a post-20th century Atlantean colony.

Maybe she was already a water-breather, and her uncle’s experiments were intended to enhance her powers.

In the Five Year Gap timeline, it would have been interesting to see how Black Dawn (and Wildfire’s rumored death) affected her, and how her long friendship with Nightwind changed when Nightwind made the Legion but Lamprey did not.

In my own timelines I tend to have her die in the Khund attack on Xolnar and have Nightwind survive. No, I don’t *really* hate Aquapeople – but they’re tough to work into space opera.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Lamprey

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Upholding the Good/Thrill of Adventure
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Student, later Legionnaire
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 013
[014]
HP: 030

Powers:
Lightning: 11, Swimming: 04, Underwater Freedom: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Lightning can only be used Underwater.

Skills:
Martial Artist: 03, Vehicles (Air, Space): 02

Advantages:
Confined HQ (shares apartment at the Legion Academy).

Connections:
Legion of Super-Heroes (Low), Wildfire (Low), Legion Academy (High), UP Militia Academy (High).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity.

Equipment:
LSH Flight Ring (see the Legion Equipment writeup for details).


Late Lamprey

In the Five Year Gap timeline she has bought off the Limitation on her Lightning and has 45 HPs. She gains 1 AP in DEX, BOD, all Mental and Mystical Attributes, and an Initiative of 016 [017 underwater]. She uses these Skills and Advantages:

Martial Artist: 04, Military Science: 03, Vehicles (Air, Space): 03, Weaponry (Military): 04

Her confined HQ is now the barracks at the UP Militia Academy and she has Area Knowledge (Xolnar). She probably has at least a Low-level connection to the UP Militia and a Low Military Rank – presumably she’s a Sergeant at least.


Design Notes

Lamprey has very few appearances, and most of those are only for a few panels, so I’ve made some extrapolations in her Skills.


By Chris Cottingham.

Helper(s): Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #3 (July 1988), Chaim Mattis Keller’s Legion Help File, Mayfair’s Legion of Super-Heroes sourcebook vol. 1 and 2995 Legion of Super-Heroes sourcebook. 30th century dates are taken from the 2995 Legion of Super-Heroes sourcebook.

Source of Character: DCU (Pre-Zero Hour, Pre-Crisis Legion of Super-Heroes).

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