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GIGN operative with Manhurin MR73 revolver

La Louve (the She-Wolf)


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

Context

This character is part of a set of original, fairly credible French superhumans. The track record with French super-heroes in US comics isn’t necessarily the best, so the idea was to create some for those we need ’em.

The flagship character in the set is Marianne, which you might want to read about first for context about the Gendarmerie Nationale and the ESIGN super-gendarmes.


Background

  • Real Name: Kim de Baquardie.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Marie (unborn sister), Maryse (mother), André (father), Satch (younger brother).
  • Group Affiliation: ESIGN.
  • Base Of Operations: Mont-de-Marsan (near Paris).
  • Height: 5’7“ Weight: 258 lbs (looks 129 lbs).
  • Eyes: Grey-green (occasionally jet black). Hair: Blonde


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Mosaic babies

Chimerism may occur naturally during pregnancy. It takes place when two non-identical twins combine in the womb at a very early stage of development, such as that of the blastocyst, to form a single organism. Such a rare organism is called a tetragametic chimera as it is formed from four gametes – two eggs and two sperm.

As the organism develops, the resulting chimera can end up with organs that have different sets of chromosomes. For example, the chimera may have a liver composed of cells with one set of chromosomes and have a kidney composed of cells with a second set of chromosomes.

This can occur even if the two are of different sexes. This is in fact the best-known case since it is much easier to detect. If the blastocysts are of the same sex, it can only be detected through DNA testing. DNA testing still being rare, it is possible that M/M or F/F chimeras are more common than currently believed.

Natural chimeras are not detected unless the offspring has unusual features. Such as hermaphroditic characteristics or skin discoloring. The most noticeable tetragametic chimeras in nature are some tortoiseshell male cats , and animals with ambiguous sex organs or intergendered behaviour. The latter tends to occur as female cells made the brain but male cells made the gonads or vice versa.

Studies of such cats suggest that natural chimerism is far more common than previously realised and that it frequently goes undetected.

Chimerism can sometimes be detected in DNA testing. The Lydia Fairchild case , for example, was brought to court after DNA testing asserted that her children were not hers. Lydia was a chimera, with the DNA matching her kids’ found in her cervical tissue.


Powers and Abilities

She-Wolf is basically two women compacted into one. Her muscle and bone density are nearly twice normal, although she’s not large enough to rate an AP in Density Increase in DC Heroes terms.

Most of her internal organs are redundant. Parts that aren’t doubled are backed by clouds of stem cells. These might eventually express as the replacement organ if physical trauma left them with some room to grow. E.g., losing an eye.

Overall, this gives her more than twice the physical abilities – especially strength, durability and endurance – one would expect from an athletic woman of her age, level of training and built. Though she looks like she weighs about 130 lbs., La Louve can bench-press more than 900 lbs.. Her strength/bulk ratio lets her move about as quickly as Bruce Lee at his height.

Her dense muscles and bones are superhumanly resilient. Street weaponry is unlikely to hurt her – she once caught a switchblade with her bare hand to disarm a suspect, and her skin wasn’t cut. Punches and kicks by strong, heavy men generally leave her unfazed. Most handgun rounds do not have the power to punch through her musculature.

Beware what stalks you into the night

De Baquardie also harbours in her near-subconscious the unrealised consciousness of her twin sister. This primitive, scared, amorphous entity can be empathically made to cooperate. For instance, while Kim is watching right, she can let her unborn sister muster the necessary resources, such as an eye and some audial bandwidth, to watch left.

This ability to multitask is both invaluable and disconcerting. A common example is She-Wolf letting her sister run her body as she makes a tactical sweep through a building. Meanwhile the main consciousness – Kim’s – provides detailed reports and assessments to the commanding officer since she doesn’t have to concentrate on what she’s physically doing.

These are only interrupted by encouragement in mommy-speak to her unborn sister to help her stay focused.

She-Wolf also has little difficulty with tracking and engaging two or more completely distinct targets (often wielding paired handguns for that purpose). She once demonstrated the ability to apply first aid to a colleague with her left hand and teeth while gunning down several hostiles with her right hand.

A common one-liner during operations where La Louve is deployed is to add an absurd, joke pseudo-order to her assignment. “She-Wolf will engage the rear security element and keep them pinned under fire while playing the accordion and knitting a Christmas jumper.”

Unborn

Being a proto-baby, the unborn De Baquardie sister has a highly developed imitative reflex. She can intuitively mimic the gestures and expressions of people around her. Her “big sister” can thus show her moves that “the baby” will imitate.

If these gestures are sufficiently etched into muscle memory, Marie’s movements using Kim’s body will be exactly what Kim would have done. Since intensive training has created automatisms.

There are three categories of movements where the She-Wolf feels confident in letting her sister play at imitating her :

Martial arts kata

Along with GIGN hand-to-hand combat instructors, La Louve developed specific defensive modular kata. Her body and left arm go through a defensive routine able to hold most opponents at bay while she is free to use her head and right arm, often to operate a handgun.

This looks particularly weird and opponents often have no idea of how to react and of what is going on.

Tactical drills

The extensive répertoire of movements taught as drills by the ESIGN/GIGN training program. These serve to make complex movements (such as sweeping through a building) almost entirely reflexive. Drills include dynamic entry, dropping prone, rolling, reloading weapons, turning a corner (“pie-slicing”), entering a room as a cross entry, etc.

Kim can just say to her sister “reload my guns, honey” and pay attention to something else entirely. Meanwhile, Marie imitates gestures Kim has done so many times that she could reload in her sleep. This could include sprinting through cramped quarters and jumping over low walls while her hands and arms, operated by Marie, concentrate on reloading.

Instinctive shooting

Specifically-designed instinctive shooting techniques developed along with GIGN close-quarters combat instructors. Those routines, which the She-Wolf calls gun kata due to the similarity with the first category, only necessitate her to act as a fire direction officer, to make sure her unborn sister doesn’t open fire on a friendly.

De Baquardie has burned – and keeps burning – through so much ammo in markswomanship training that a simple “do a Moz on the man in blue, love” to her sister will have Marie precisely delivering those shots. Meanwhile Kim is doing something else, such as shooting another target.

Having her sister mimic her movements is sufficient in routine situations. If the situation is more complicated or risky, La Louve will retain direct control and relegate the secondary consciousness to simpler tasks. The communication with Kim’s unborn sister takes place at the speed of thought, though outside of fast-paced situations Kim prefers to verbalise.

Other assets

De Baquardie is a fully-trained military SWAT operator, commando and law enforcement officer. She cross-trained as an EMT.

She also has some creative, artistic talents as well as a markedly above-average intelligence.


History

Maryse de Baquardie’s pregnancy didn’t go the usual way.

She carried twin daughters – monozygotes. But within six months of term one of the babies’s organism started cannibalizing the other’s. While extremely rare this complication was not unheard of. Doctors prepared the family for the possibility of having to do surgical corrections on the surviving baby. For instance to get rid of extra teeth or fingers.

Something even more unusual then happened. The baby was carried to full term and born healthy and without visibly unusual characterics. However, she was abnormally dense — 15.2 lbs at birth was well off the charts, yet the baby’s size was about average.

Medical examination revealed an impossible organism resembling two female babies compressed together in a working, often medically clever way.

Growin’ up

Little Kim grew up in Corbeil-Essonnes  – a hard-edged, ill-reputed city at the outer periphery of Paris.

Her father, a Communist politician, provided a stabilising and nurturing influence despite rarely being home. He helped her overcome the feeling that she was a physical freak – and deal with the presence of an amorphous, weeping consciousness morbidly lodged below her own, which she always knew was her unborn sister.

Her mother, a schoolteacher, saw her sanity steadily degrading since Kim’s birth. However, when her parents divorced, a poor decision by the courts meant Maryse de Baquardie won custody of Kim.

During her teenage years, Kim hung around with a close-knit gang of friends, mostly boys. The girls forming a sub-community, with a childish initiation ritual making them “she-wolves”.

The bunch’s charismatic leader became a martial arts enthusiast by 12, and soon the whole band was enrolling at the dojo. After three years of tæ kwon do, they switched en masse to hapkido after meeting a gifted teacher of the form. The band also dabbled in amateur rock music and a tangled web of crushes.

When she was 17, de Baquardie drifted out of her home as her mother was becoming impossible to handle. She then developed a minor drug habit when two former boyfriends from the bunch started dealing coke. Although she kicked the burgeoning addiction, de Baquardie watched helplessly as both young men rapidly got sucked deeper into the underworld.

Eventually, one of them started threatening her, damage from street drugs use having made him murderous and abusive.

Beware the she-wolf and her bite

Fearing for her life, Kim went to her father. André de Baquardie made a few phone calls, and his daughter left for Paris. The security staff of the French Communist Party broke out a cot for her to stay with them at the Party’s HQ, place du Colonel-Fabien.

Most were off-duty policemen, but some “young militants” (meaning redskins ) frequently dropped by. Semi-famous superhuman redskin activist Frédéric “Red Fred” Haddad noticed that de Baquardie was staying with the security staff.

Having had a crush on her since glimpsing her a few years before, when she was helping her father with May Day organisation, Haddad tried to chat her up. As Haddad tried to break the ice, they found a common passion in the martial arts. Haddad offered to spar with her. Being superhumanly tough, he told her not to hold back, hoping to show off his physical power and impress her.

Growing annoyed at the macho Haddad, de Baquardie went all-out for the first time in her life. That came after years restraining herself due to her shame about her freak nature and creepy birth. As the sparring went on, two dozens Communist Party members piled in the security rec room to cheer one or the other. The sound of the blows had been carrying over several rooms.

Recognising a superhuman when they saw one, several of the off-duty cops suggested that Kim check with the Gendarmerie for an ESIGN recruitment. Heady with physical power and wanting to bust criminal heads as a revenge, she impulsively decided to apply and leave her old life behind.

Her hidden will to kill in disguise

In quick succession, Kim got to shake hands with national heroine Marianne and to meet the elderly Dr. Madeleine Moreau-Levy. The doc was the head medical researcher of ESIGN and one of the best European experts on metahuman physiology.

Intrigued, Moreau-Levy invited de Baquardie to her house for the week-end. The doc eventually taught her how to actually communicate with the consciousness of her sister, how to come to term with such nigh-supernatural contacts, and what her actual physical potential was.

Seeing in Moreau-Levy the mother her mother never was and in the charismatic Marianne the woman she wanted to become, de Baquardie enlisted.

Using the callsign “La Louve” (“She-wolf”), she managed solid scores during her training. De Baquardie was deemed fit to join the ranks of the super-gendarmes by age 22.

She went on several missions in Ivory Coast during the 2000s, mostly difficult weapon confiscation ops with a potential for degenerating into armed conflict. She liked that country so much that she volunteered for any further ops along Operation Unicorn  troops, and developed something of a reputation among Ivoirien factions.

With the workload in Ivory Coast diminishing, de Baquardie later volunteered for further OPEX (Foreign Operations) deployments in and around Africa. She has reinforced :

  • Opération Atalante  troops, leading two anti-piracy tactical response operations and an undisclosed number of raids to repossess World Food Program shipments.
  • Monuc-UE-Eusec-Eupol  details, participating to secret French Special Operations in the Congolese boondocks.
  • Covert deployments in Mali, Centrafrique and Niger.

Description

Kim is an attractive young woman with wavy blonde hair worn to the shoulders (often worn in a bun while in uniform) and an athletic yet noticeably buxom body. She has a regular face not unlike that of actress Charlize Theron. Her eyes are of an unusual grey-green colour, but will shift to a creepy jet black when she “talks” with her sister.

She occasionally wears horn-rimmed glasses, but those are purely decorative. The skin of her hands is slightly darker than the rest, and she often wears gloves to cover this. Yet it would take incredible power of observation to notice the trivial difference in tone.

De Baquardie commonly enters tactical situations with a handgun in each hand. Seeing the right eye and arm operating independently from the left eye and arm is creepy and unnatural, as if she were half-possessed by a paranormal entity. Which is, well, the case. The rapid shifts in eyes colour do not help.

In combat, la Louve’s moves are a bit reminiscent of “gun opera” Hong Kong movie protagonists such as Chow Yun Fat characters. She has no reason to stay still while fighting, as dodging and leaping do not degrade her accuracy.


Personality

A bright, bubbly and charming young woman. She is a people person, with a warm and curious streak, and likes to be nice and popular.

Her queen bee tendencies largely stem from overcompensation. She’s living with the wailing proto-consciousness of her unborn sister trapped within her is harrowing, and she has issues reconciling the fact that she’s attractive yet a physical freak. This is further compounded by years spent living with a borderline  mother.

De Baquardie thus prefers not to dwell on herself and live instead in her friendships, her romantic adventures (always ill-fated due to her baggage and her job) and her work. She enjoys any opportunity for OPEX (operations outside of mainland France), likes going to new places and/or meeting new people, and is falling in love with those African countries she has worked in so far.

Kim is on friendly terms with nearly all of the Mont-de-Marsan personnel. She also is a close friend of Dr. Moreau-Levy, who doubles as her psychologist. An occasional amateur artist, she is fascinated by the Tenth – in some ways, she wishes she were her.

Other traits

In order to fit in, de Baquardie overplays both being one of the boys (as a martial arts enthusiast and close-quarters combat specialist), and her feminine, attractive, stylish appearance (she has waisted most of her uniform vests herself, and refitted several of her uniform pants as well. The ESIGN command cell just rolled their eyes and pretended not to notice).

This can send confusing messages and make her seem slightly neurotic.

Having once read that mosaic babies looked weird under UV illumination due to having two skins, Kim has never set foot in any club or dance hall where she may run into such illumination.

Moreau-Levy has offered to run tests to help de Baquardie get rid of this phobia, but the gendarme has refused any attempt at clarifying the situation, being irrationally afraid that she would never think of herself as attractive again if the tests were to turn positive.

De Baquardie has been known to experience serious depressive episodes when she lets the fact that there is no way for her to know whether she is actually Kim or Marie get to her. Due to her high-readiness status of her unit, such mood swings are usually treated via medication and/or hypnosis.


Quotes

(Elle incline la tête de côté, les yeux deviennent noirs et vitreux) “Ma frangine… elle dit qu‘il ne faut pas qu‘on soit ensemble et que tu vas me rendre malheureuse… comme… de la pluie dans un endroit très froid et… il y a des rats et du… verre… vert… souple….” (le regard redevient normal) “Heu, je pense pas que ce soit une bonne idée qu‘on sorte ensemble.”
[Trans.] (Cocks head to the side, eyes become jet black and glassy) “My sis… she says you’re not right for me and you will make me unhappy like rain in some place very cold. With rats and…. soft, green glass….” (gaze becomes normal again) “Look, I don’t think this date was a good idea.”

“Secteur C OK, et aucune trace dans la poussière… même pas de courant d’air…. (c‘est bien ma puce, continue)…. hmmm, contact, trois hostiles. Pas besoin de soutien a priori, je les rabat vers le secteur B… correction, deux hostiles, le troisième blessé à l‘épaule, (attention chérie), évasan SVP …”
[Trans.] “Area C is clear, no footsteps in the dust… not even traces of a breeze… (it’s nice honey, go ahead)…. hmmm, contact, three hostiles, no back-up necessary as far as I can tell, I’m boxing them in toward Area B… correction, make that two hostiles, third is now wounded at the shoulder, (careful, sugar), medevac please…”

“Celui qui chasse le loup doit se garder de la louve.”
[Trans.] “To he who hunts the wolf, beware the she-wolf.”


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La Louve

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 07 Motivation: Upholding good
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: ESIGN operative
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 022 HP: 050

Powers:
Invulnerability*: 07, Mind field: 04, Regeneration: 01, Split: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Mind field is Self Only.
  • Split is only for mental and perception purposes.
  • One of the Splits can only handle simple tasks (see Powers & Abilities).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Artist (Artist, writer, dancer, tailor): 02, Martial artist*: 07, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Danger rec): 08, Military science (All others): 05, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06

Advantages:
Ambidextrous, Familiarity (Art), Iron nerves, Schtick (Paired pistols, Speed-shooting), Expertise (ESIGN/GIGN procedures and tactics).

Connections:
ESIGN (Gendarmerie superhuman squad, High), the Tenth (Low), Dr. Madeleine Moreau-Levy (High).

Drawbacks:
None in game terms.

Equipment:

  • MOTOROLA MX-330 TACTICAL RADIO [BODY 04, Radio communications: 06 – a small, black mike-and-earring piece of equipment].
  • TACTICAL VEST AND VISORED HELMET [BODY 04, Flame immunity: 02, Invulnerability: 05, Shade: 01, Skin Armor: 02, Limitations: Invulnerability and Skin armor are only effective vs attacks by slashing and piercing weapons (-2FC each), Invulnerability cannot be used to counter *continuing* loss of Current BODY due to Killing Damage (-1FC), Partial Coverage (Can bypass Powers with a +3CS OV Trick Shot); Real Armour] plus optional GAS MASK [BODY 03, Sealed systems (respiratory): 05].
  • Manhurin MR73 .357 magnum revolver (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#02, Recommended STR: 03, Drawback: Long reload time].
  • Extended mag Sig-Sauer P226 9mm pistol (x2) [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 17, R#02].
  • H&K MP5 submachinegun [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire]. De Baquardie usually prefers a loadout with two revolvers and two semi-automatics, but has been known to go for two revolvers and a MP5 in some cases.
  • Flash-bang grenades (x5) [BODY 03, EV 02 (Area of effect 1 AP), Flash: 07 (Area of effect 2 APs), Sensory block (earring): 09, Note : all Powers are Combined, Grenade drawback, R#03].
  • Tear gas grenade (x1) [BODY 03, Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 04, Grenade drawback, Bonus : Chemical attack and Fog are Combined (Chemical attack is active thorough the Fog), R#03].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Homemade.

Helper(s): Jay Myers, Roy Cowan, Niles Calder, Darci. The description of mosaic babies quotes from Wikipedia.

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