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Melanie Grunier of Stormwatch Team Achilles (Wildstorm Comics)

Melanie Grunier


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

Context

Lt.-Col. Grunier is an elite military physician. That’s certainly a useful MOS , but one that is oddly under-represented in stories.

She appeared in 2002 in the Wildstorm Universe. She was in StormWatch: Team Achilles, an intriguing (if self-indulgent) book that met a ridiculous demise.

Grunier’s rank is an educated guess on my part – it’s not mentioned in the books.


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Background

  • Real Name: Lieutenant-Colonel Mélanie Yvonne Grunier.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Base Of Operations: UN building, Manhattan, New York City.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blueish gray Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Lt.-Col. Grunier is a top-flight support specialist from the most active SWAT/counter-terrorism military unit in the world, the French GIGN. She is chiefly a doctor of remarkable skill. She can operate advanced medical equipment, and seems to be a world-class neurosurgeon.

Avi Barak also mentions that Grunier installed mindblocks in his brain, to prevent accidental use of his telepathy. How Grunier did this is unrevealed.

Her other speciality is negotiation, mostly during hostage crises. Her command of psychology seems uncanny. She could assess Cisco’s mental state much better than the perceptive Santini, Cisco’s comrade-in-arms for a decade. She also unerringly manipulated a dangerous psychopath with reality alteration powers by verbally hacking his world view.

Although she is not supposed to be in the field, Grunier has displayed considerable hand-to-hand combat skills. For instance she effortlessly broke a man’s neck with her bare hands. She is presumably fully trained in krav maga, and with the GIGN extensive small arms cursus.


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History

Grunier was selected for the UN’s new StormWatch program from the French Gendarmerie Nationale as a medical support specialist and crisis negotiator. She patches the team’s bodies and ensures that they remain psychologically fit.

Lt.-Col. Grunier also performs surgical operations on targets when necessary. For instance she operated on a broadcast empath blanketing the Balkans with diffuse hatred. She rewired his brain so he would project his positive thoughts instead.

When a small American town was taken over by a psychopath with reality-alteration powers, Grunier came in and took command of the field team. She manipulated the subject by derailing his storyline and imposing her narrative over his delirium. This convinced him to surrender harmlessly.

However, she had to kill him a few minutes later. US authorities tried to take over the operation. Grunier was concerned that they would try to capture the man for their own use despite having no means of controlling him. That would undo all of her work and unleash this menace once again.

Grunier later started a romantic relationship with Jukko Hämäläinen. The Finn didn’t object.

Coup d’État

During the Authority’s coup d‘etat, Santini had to take Team Achilles undercover to continue his mission without UN support.

He told his two main support specialists, Lt.-Col. Grunier and Lt. Barak, that they arguably played a civilian role and would presumably not be hunted down by the Authority. yet both chose to stay with the team.

After several years spent in exile on an alternate Earth where the entire human population had been murdered, Team Achilles came back to Wildstorm Earth. Lt.-Col. Grunier was not among their ranks, though. What happened is unrevealed.


Description

According to one account, Grunier looks somewhat like Audrey Hepburn  in her youth.

In later Team Achilles issues Grunier is blonde. It is possible she felt like dying her hair. But since there were colouring continuity issues between the first and second half of the series (Giant also goes from brown to blond) it is probably just a mistake.


Personality

Grunier is extremely competent and sure of herself. Although she isn’t arrogant, she hates having her judgement overridden. With good reason, if experience is to be believed.

A woman of sophisticated concepts and perceptions, she is nonetheless decisive. Like the rest of the team she acts like a competent military operative and officer.


Quotes

“You put Cisco in the field, Santini. I’m not taking any responsibility for his actions. He has a lot of anger about what happened at the UN.” (as Santini tells her everything will be fine, Cisco flips out and kill a helpless opponent).

“I’m performing brain surgery in a muddy field while under fire. It’s not something I’ve practiced for speed.”

Tefibi : “This guy is a rejected writer. That’s bad.”
Grunier, teleporting in : “No. That’s good.”
Coleman : “How do you mean, Dr. Grunier ?”
Grunier : “It gives me a way to get inside his head. I have a plan.”

(Carrying the corpse of the man she just killed over her shoulder, answering Jukko’s offer for help). ”Thanks, Finn, but I carry my own garbage.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Lieutenant-Colonel Mélanie Grunier

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Elite soldier, doctor
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 017 HP: 025

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 05, Artist (Actress): 04, Charisma (Persuasion, interrogation): 07, Martial artist: 05, Medicine: 07, Military science: 05, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, heavy): 05

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Credentials (UN, Medium), Iron Nerves, Language (French), Rank (Captain), Expertise (Military and counter-terrorism tactics), Scholar (Neurology, psychology, psychiatry).

Note:
StormWatch personnel are placed outside their normal chain of command ; while on StormWatch duty their Rank Advantage becomes a 0-pts flavour advantage. Rank more or less applies *within* Team Achilles, but this is quite looser than in most military units.

Connections:
StormWatch : Team Achilles (High), Jukko Hämäläinen (High), French Gendarmerie Nationale (Low).

Drawbacks:
None.

Equipment:

  • Lt-Col. Grunier is not normally involved in field missions, and was never seen armed. Probable weapons if she were to take up arms are :
    • Manhurin MR73 .357 magnum revolver [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06].
    • SIG-551 SWAT assault rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, Advantage : Autofire].
  • When she went into the field to perform corrective brain surgery on Mladic, she brought the following :
    • STORMWATCH BODY ARMOUR [BODY 07, Skin armor: 02, Limitations : Skin armour only vs. bullets and blades, Skin armour is Partial (long coat level), Real Armour].
    • PSI SHIELD [BODY 02, Mind blank: 10, Mind field: 06, R#04, Limitation : Mind field is Self Only, Drawback: the shields are very heavy and hot, and even highly-trained personnel find them difficult to wear for more than a few hours.].
    • Bleeding edge MOBILE SURGERY EQUIPMENT allowing her to operate by herself with great speed [BODY 03 STR 02, Medicine: 08, Running: 01, Superspeed: 05, Limitations : Medicine only to “absorb” CSes of penalty due to operating conditions – it eats up to 4CSes of penalties ; Superspeed only for lowering tasks duration, only for Medicine tasks. Note : includes all the drugs, medical tools, reference databases, medical scanning/imaging hardware and software, etc. you’d find in a fully equipped operating room].

Design Notes

The stats block still treats Achilles member as an UN team, since that’s their most likely use in a campaign.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: StormWatch : Team Achilles comic books.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Peter Piispanen.

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