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Spitfire of MI13 (Marvel Comics) (Jacqueline Falsworth)

Spitfire

(Profile #5 - 2008-2011)


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

Context

Spitfire is one of the foremost British heroines in the Marvel Universe. She keeps appearing in weird corners of the MU rather than in the spotlight, but she’s an elder stateswoman for the British super-folks and adventurers. Her career started during World War Two and is still ongoing.

To facilitate reading, this lengthy career is covered in a series of 5 profiles. Those should be read in order, namely:

  1. Spitfire (1942-43) – start here.
  2. Spitfire (1944-1949).
  3. Spitfire (pre-rejuvenation).
  4. .
  5. Spitfire (vampire) (2008-2011) – this here writeup.

Yeah, we were surprised by the amount of material, too.

This profile has a bunch of S P O I L E R S about a very good, very suspenseful and very cancelled series — Captain Britain and MI13 (2008-2009).


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Background

  • Real Name: Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton (Lady Crichton), née Lady Jacqueline Falsworth.
  • Other Aliases: “Jac”, “Jackie”, “Lady J.”, “Duchess”.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Lord William Falsworth (grandfather, deceased), Lord Montgomery Falsworth (aka Union Jack, father, deceased), Lady Falsworth (mother, deceased), Lord John Falsworth (aka Baron Blood, uncle, deceased, destroyed), Lord Brian Falsworth (aka Union Jack, aka the Mighty Destroyer, brother, deceased), Lord Crichton (husband, deceased), Lord Kenneth Crichton (son, deceased, turned into Baron Blood, twice destroyed), Katherine Ainsley-Jones (distant cousin, deceased, destroyed), Lord John Crichton (vampire grandson).
  • Group Affiliation: MI13 agent. Former member of the Invaders, former member of the V-Battalion, former member of the New Invaders.
    The Falsworths are also traditionally members of the Hellfire Club. Spitfire might be a member of the 22 Regiment SAS.
  • Base Of Operations: London. The traditional estate, Falsworth Manor, is in the Home Counties.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde.


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Powers and Abilities

Jacqueline is a speedster  with extensive experience and significant training. She has a few new tricks :

  • She can jump much further.
  • She can force locks open by vibrating her hand in front of them.
  • She can run further along vertical surfaces.

But the main change is that she reveals at that point her quasi-vampiric nature.

The Falsworth bloodline

When she discovered their existence is unclear – probably during the mid-2000s. But she apparently never used them before the desperate circumstances of the Skrull invasion.

She saw having vampire traits as disturbing, gross and unladylike. However, using them against the Skrulls did not have any particular consequences. She slowly grew to accept her abilities, particularly after she received training from Blade.

Said vampiric powers include :

  • Superhuman strength.
  • Ripping the throat out of opponents with a vampire’s bite.
  • Morphing  her fingers into claws. These aren’t large, so in game terms they’re cosmetic.
  • Operating on the surface of the Moon without any specialised gear.

Blade is also training her to use her supernatural senses, such as smelling the presence of other vampires.

Vampiric durability

Blade also seems certain that Jac will never age, and is immortal unless destroyed

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) during the Secret Invasion

As a vampire, Jackie is very hard to destroy. She is able to ignore massive tissue loss (in DC Heroes terms Invulnerability, Stabilisation). For instance, she could still use her arm and hand even with that hand, wrist and forearm stripped of their meat. However, having her actual joints and her spine shattered immobilised her.

Blade showed her that she could, at the cost of considerable effort and pain, reconstruct destroyed tissues from nowhere (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Wound Rejection). Muscle, skin, cartilage, marrow, bone, etc. can all regrow within seconds. Likewise she could restore a broken neck with similar alacrity… and at similar cost.

There will be blood

Jac’s nature, and the timing of the appearance of her vampire abilities, are both unclear at the time of this writing. It is possible to make some educated guesses, but as usual we’ll insist that those are just guesses on our part.

  • The infection starts in 1942, with a series of bites from Baron Blood. Normally, vampiric ichor  replaces the blood over three days of death. In Falsworth’s case, she did not die and ichor did not replace her blood – even with 1940s technology and during wartime, doctors would have noticed.
    The Torch’s synthetic “blood” reacted to the vampiric compounds in her blood (which may not have been standard, since Baron Blood is an altered vampire) and gave her super-speed, but apparently the ichor was still there.
  • Either she was turned in 1942 in a unique, aberrant way (without dying, without ichor colonisation, etc.). Or the ichor gradually turned her into a sort of vampire over an unclear period of time. It may have taken the usual three days, or it may have taken 60+ years.
    The process might have restarted after the second transfusion, restoring her body right as it was hours after having been fatally bitten. There’s no way to tell.
    Given her unusual nature she may have been a vampire for six decades and half without noticing it. For instance her fangs are fully retractile, and may have remained in retracted position despite being there all along.
  • The guess that feels the most correct is that exposure to the bite of Baroness Blood is what finally activated Jac’s dormant vampiric nature. But it’s no more supported than the rest. Perhaps the insufficient quantities of vampiric ichor remained in her body, undying and fighting her altered blood all along. Until they were given a push by the Baroness to turn her into an abnormal vampire.
  • Spitfire is an unique creature. In some ways she vaguely resembles Dr. Morbius – the Living Vampire. But Dr. Hussain established that she’s a magical creature, unlike Morbius. In some other ways, she’s loosely comparable to a Daywalker such as Blade. But really, she’s one of a kind.
  • This is particularly evident in the fact that Jac doesn’t present the traditional vampiric issues (crucifixes, running water, invitation, soil, etc. etc.). There is but one exception – being properly staked in the heart.
    Her regenerative properties do not apply against this specific kind of wound (she would have been destroyed without Dr. Hussain’s intervention). A mystical disruption was obviously at work as her flesh started disintegrating when she was staked.
  • Most interestingly, she wasn’t subject to Count Dracula’s mesmerism, which normally gives him dominion over all vampires.

There will be blood, part deux

While running into this issue for Spitfire’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe  profile, Marvel and Marvunapp  researcher Stuart Vandal asked writer Paul Cornell  for clarification. Here are the notes he kindly sent us :

Jacquie is a latent mutant, which is the source of her speed powers. The first blood transfusion from the Torch saved her from dying and turning into a vampire “but the combination of ichor and artificial blood triggered latent mutant powers.”

However, the transfusion hadn’t eliminated the vampiric infection completely: “Jackie soon realized she could feel the vampire taint deep within her, an inactive but ever constant presence she learned to control.”

That taint lay dormant for decades. What finally triggered it ? “A short while later the vampire hunter Blade (Eric Brooks) inadvertently magically revived every slain vampire; this also awoke Jackie’s latent vampirism, though she was unaware of the cause and found herself able to control the hunger.”

So, ironically considering it then caused him to target her for slaying and then become her lover, Blade’s to blame. The same spell that revived her slain son also finally made her a vampire.

(Paul’s answers to Stuart were confirmed and included in the OHOTMU. They’re thus the official, correct version. I’ve only kept our previous guesses above because they’re a fun read — Ed.)

On her Majesty’s special air service

Jacqueline Falsworth appears to be a SAS  trooper. Her membership might even date way back to the creation of the unit in 1942. During the operation on the Moon against Dracula’s vampire pirates, she seemed to lead a vacuum-capable 22 Regiment SAS Sabre Squadron.

She also has a membership to the SAS Social Club near Hyde Park, normally reserved to Air Service troopers and former troopers. She seem very popular here and it might be her favourite pub.

However she could be an honour member as a former Invader. Membership doesn’t necessarily indicate that she’s SAS.


History

After the New Invaders fell apart and she and Joey Chapman amicably ended their romance, the Lady Crichton presumably resumed her activities as a special agent for the Crown. She almost certainly worked for “thirteen” (Military Intelligence, Service 13 – paranormal intelligence) whereas Union Jack worked for “five” (MI5 – counterintelligence).

Being something of an elder stateswoman of British superhumans and a senior MI13 agent, Spitfire was on excellent terms with almost all other British super-heroes.

Her vampiric nature was apparently revealed during that time, in unchronicled circumstances. Only Peter Wisdom and Joey Chapman knew of it. Both considered Jacqueline Falsworth to be very unlikely to ever lose control of her condition.

Secret Invasion, part 1

In 2008, the British Isles were hit hard by the worldwide Skrull invasion. The Skrulls wanted to pillage mystic resources there, and in particular the connections with the mystical dimension of Avalon.

As conventional forces engaged the aliens with mixed success, superhuman combat resources were placed under the authority of MI13’s Peter Wisdom. When Wisdom realised that the Skrulls were angling to storm the Siege Perilous, he formed a special commando.

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) and Blade fighting Mindless Ones

Captain Britain, Peter Wisdom and “John Lennon” of the Skrull Beatles were flown to the site. Spitfire, then busy fighting Skrulls on several fronts, was requested to join them. As it became obvious that the UK was soon be overwhelmed and conquered, Spitfire overcame her reluctance and started using her vampire-like abilities to fight

After the apparent demise of Captain Britain, the rest of the team entered Avalon. Their job was to honour the mutual defence treaty between the UK and the Otherworld by helping repel the Skrull invaders there. The commando found the mythical Excalibur sword. But with Captain Britain gone none could draw it, and Jacqueline refused to even touch it for obvious reasons.

Secret Invasion, part 2

Spitfire continued to fight in the defence of Avalon past the stage where the war was lost. Meanwhile, John the Skrull perished while fighting in a delaying action. The time Jacqueline and John thus bought allowed Captain Britain to return. From there he made it to London with Excalibur in hand.

Spitfire and Wisdom remained behind in Otherworld as captives of the Skrulls. But back on Earth, Captain Britain destroyed the Skrull equipment holding the pilfered paranormal puissance. The magic flowed back to Avalon, suddenly re-arming the forces there. This turned the tide of the war and saved Falsworth and Wisdom.

Wisdom then finished sealing a pact with evil mystical forces. This destroyed all Skrulls within the UK. But it also freed a number of menaces imprisoned through centuries of heroic efforts.

Anarchy in the UK

In the aftermath of those catastrophic events, Wisdom took steps against the dangers he had been forced to unleash. Captain Britain suggested that MI13 organise a main team – not of businesslike intelligence officers, but of real heroes banding for a good cause and because they were friends.

Wisdom agreed and assembled such a team, with Spitfire as one of the core members.

Peter Wisdom also recruited British international adventurer Blade (Eric Brooks) as a supernatural warfare expert. As they flew to the site of their first mission, Blade sensed Spitfire’s nature and staked her.

Dr. Hussain narrowly saved the Lady Crichton. Wisdom ordered Blade hunted down and captured. Though Wisdom wanted Falsworth to hold back and recover, she entered the mission site since she was the most able to save civilians trapped there by an infernal incursion.

Blade

While intervening, Spitfire again ran into Blade. They started fighting. However, the two came to realise that they were both in full control of their vampiric condition, and declared a truce. Brooks and Falsworth then worked on stemming the invasion of Mindless Ones that was coming through infernal gates.

Crichton learned that the Daywalker had recently and accidentally brought vampires back to Earth. To her, this meant that her son Kenneth might have been restored to unlife. Since having Kenneth back was her fondest desire and their Hell-cursed environment was feeding off exactly that, Spitfire briefly lost consciousness. She fell to the bottom of an elevator shaft.

Though her body was shattered, Blade showed her how to push her vampiric abilities to supernaturally reconstruct her bones and organs.

Blood sensei

Spitfire and Blade did not just make peace. Spitfire asked Wisdom to forget about the whole staking thing and have Blade back on the team. She and Brooks also impulsively started a relationship.

Blade proved to be valuable beyond being a team-mate and lover. He taught Spitfire a lot about her quasi-vampiric abilities. He also helped her to better come to term with the Falsworths’s tragic history with vampires. In particular, Jacqueline gained some closure about Kenneth and John.

This knowledge and sense of closure would prove a significant asset for the survival of Great Britain mere days later. They played an important role in what may have been, remarkably enough, Peter Wisdom’s most dastardly plan ever.

Vampire state, part 1

From the Moon and with a number of potent allies, Dracula prepared to conquer Great Britain. The earliest stages of his plan involved destroying Britain’s superhuman defenders, which chiefly meant MI13 agents.

Spitfire was an important objective. Dracula was aware that she was a vampire, and wished to make her one of his agents.

Not only was she a super-powered vampire, but she was also a noble. And Dracula’s antiquated values meant that he wanted nobles to rule over the UK once it had been conquered.

The Lord of Vampires sent Baron Blood (Kenneth Crichton), who had indeed been recreated due to Blade’s mistake, to convince Spitfire to come to him. Dracula was confident that he could then mesmerise the Lady Crichton into serving him, given his dominion over Earth’s vampires.

Dracula’s plan seemed to work perfectly. But it was a trap. After long discussions with Blade, Spitfire had come to terms with the necessity of destroying the vampire that had once been her son.

Her intelligence training, the fact that she wasn’t a normal vampire and the Lord of Vampires’s confidence that she loved her son above anything else, allowed her to dupe Baron Blood. She also faked falling under the domination of Dracula.

Vampire state, part 2

Dracula was thrilled with how well his plot seemed to go, and Spitfire kept gaining importance in his plans. This allowed the Lady Crichton to gather much intelligence. Unfortunately, to maintain cover, she had to kill and drain a human being for the first (and hopefully last) time.

British forces then executed a successful strike against Dracula’s flying ship. During this raid, they exfiltrated Spitfire. However, Captain Britain had to drag her out of the ship as she wanted to attack Dracula right now.

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) at a SAS pub

Falsworth-Crichton was debriefed by Wisdom. Albeit seeing her son return, murdering an innocent, and drinking blood had been harrowing for her, she maintained an admirable measure of stiff upper lip. After Wisdom’s trap-within-a-trap-within-a-trap-within-a-trap destroyed Dracula’s forces, Spitfire resumed her role as a MI13 superhuman combat agent.

A counter-attack was launched on Dracula’s castle on the Moon. Spitfire and a cadre of MI13 heavies (Dark Angel, Tangerine, Digitek and Death’s Head) spearheaded for a Sabre Squadron of the Special Air Service. Meanwhile, other units struck at the castle’s key installations, based on the intelligence previously gathered by Spitfire.

Vampire state, part 3

One such strike team was made up of Union Jack (Joey Chapman) and Blade. As planned, they encountered Baron Blood. Kenneth Crichton surrendered, and Union Jack was welcoming this opportunity to save his old friend. Blade then staked Blood from behind, dusting him.

To Union Jack’s shock, Blade then confirmed the kill to Spitfire over the radio. Jacqueline had resolved to see “Kenneth” destroyed, but asked Blade to as she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

Union Jack, shocked by this development, stopped associating with Spitfire for a while. Jacqueline herself, even with Blade’s support, took a while to accept what had been done. But the most painful episode of her life was over at last.

On Her Majesty’s secret service

The Lady Crichton continued to work for MI13, often with her lover Blade.

One documented mission took place in New York City. There they tracked down and destroyed a British vampire who had sold British secrets to hostile powers since at least World War Two, and was currently working for Mys-tech.

Jackie also rejoined the Invaders when the team was reassembled through magical manipulation. Practically the whole roster was still alive or back among the living at that point — Steve Rogers, James Buchanan Barnes, Jim Hammond, Thomas Raymond, Prince Namor of Atlantis — and Joey Chapman volunteered to represent Union Jack at Spitfire’s side.

The reunited Invaders prevented an incursion by the elder god Shuma-Gorath. They also put to rest the memories of an horrible case they had been involved with in Netherlands in 1945.


Description

Late during the New Invaders run, Spitfire stated that her ageing was now progressing at a faster-than-normal rate and catching up with her. That issue seems to have been solved, presumably thanks to her vampire-like qualities, as she looks to be at most in her late teens or early 20s.


Personality

Jacqueline comes across as being more professional, collected and determined than before. There is now a military cast to her demeanour and discipline. It would seem she has chiefly worked with the military and special agencies for the last few years, influencing her approaches and mannerisms.

Though the past seems to hinder her much less than it used to do, Jac still likes to tell anecdotes and make references to things that happened decades ago. When she tells about something Churchill  did in 1955, it seems she’s referring to something that happened last week. Nevertheless, she does not feel old anymore, except in specific situations.

She still behaves as a noble and is proud of it (in an understated way, of course). But when she says dated and very old school things, it’s usually intended as a joke or as a flirt.

She’s playful, vital, not quite interested in staying single, likes to party, and is definitely a part of the English pub culture.

Ladylike

Spitfire has remarkable willpower and determination, and is now every bit as tough, resourceful and determined as her legendary dad was. She’s a Falsworth – she will not be dominated, intimidated or ruled by anything other than her own sense of familial honour and patriotic duty.

This commitment may be linked to her realisation that she’s the last Falsworth who will ever exist, and perhaps the last Crichton. She always maintains appearances and good manners, even if she’s furious or distraught. However, she will allow close friends to see her expressing anger and other emotions.

Jackie enjoys making old-fashioned remarks and using deliciously dated Britishisms. While she was making one of those “in character” jokes, Blade compared her accent to “something out of a 1960s horror movie”. On another occasion he described her as playing Mary Poppins.

It may be a way for her to make fun of her own Britishness. But at the same time she seems genuinely attached to these old mores and manners of speaking. Telling whether any given use of a quaint turn of phrase is done in jest or seriously can be difficult for foreigners.

Furthermore, the areas in which she’s the most likely to use old-fashioned terms and turns of phrase are the ones about which she’s deathly serious – honour and patriotism.

Other traits

Her ladyship is a staunch patriot, even by 1940s standards. This is not about boisterous words and flag-waving, but about actions and values.

She’s fiery about it when it comes up (usually because of a matter of treason). That can occasionally brings out a typical old person tirade about “the yoofs of today holding nothing sacred”, which is amusing given her fresh-faced appearance.

Being a sort of vampire, Jackie is haunted by a desire to drink blood. This is presumably akin to some deep-seated addictions. She is consistently able to resist this to the point people won’t notice anything, and of course she will never complain about it. At worse she’ll describe it as a bit of a bother.

Training with Blade seems to have made these urges go away.


Quotes

(Tearing the throat out of a Skrull with her fangs) “This is your fault. It’s not who I am. It’s just who I have to be sometimes.”

Wisdom: “Now Jac — don’t call me ‘sir’. It’s… weirdly horny.”
Spitfire: “Wilco, sir.”

(To Wisdom) “I’m going back to save John [the Skrull]. Or take as many of them with me as I can. I say — if you have a last card, play it now.” (short beat) “Cheerio.” (zooms away).

“However, a firing squad is such a dull way to die.” (beat) “And in my own case, possibly rather drawn out and complicated.”

(Raiding a terrorist den with Union Jack and MI5 operatives) “Gosh, Joe. You take me to the nicest places.”

(Fighting Blade who is trying to kill her) “Why, Mr. Blade. You dance divinely. If only you had better manners.”

(After demonstrating her ability not to vamp Blade) “This is where you learn, Mr. Blade… That I’m a *Falsworth*. *I’m* in charge of who I am.”

“Nazism makes her such a celebrity ! And she’s still betraying her country, and it’s all so entertaining ! The little buggers like that ! Forget what *my* generation [did] !”


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Spitfire (quasi-vampire)

Dex: 06 Str: 08 Bod: 06 Motivation: Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 06 Occupation: Special agent
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 029 HP: 050

Powers:
Air control: 05, Cold immunity: 03, Detect (Vampires) (ML): 10, Gravity decrease: 02, Invisibility: 02, Invulnerability (ML): 10, Jumping: 05, Superspeed: 10, Vampirism: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Air Control is Contingent Upon Superspeed and is performed via moving (usually running).
  • Air Control does no allow for flight.
  • Detect is expressed as an olfactory sensation. It also requires concentrating for an AP of time for each two APs of range. So that’s one second for somebody within zero APs, two minutes for the full range.
  • Gravity Decrease is Contingent Upon Air Control. It consists in forming a strong updraft under the target object. Spitfire can also use it on herself through rapid legs movements heating the air below her.
  • Invisibility is limited to blurring/obscuring her facial and body image. It also requires Superspeed to be active (one AP of Invisibility at 5+ APs, the second at ten) (BC 5 FC 2).
  • Invulnerability does not work against being staked in the heart.
  • Invulnerability allows her to continue animating her body even in a skeletal, muscles-free state.
  • Jumping is Contingent Upon Superspeed. It also requires running at high speed, plus some kind of ramp or elevated item to spring from.
  • Spitfire can only use up to 5 APs of Superspeed to reduce the time for tasks.
  • When subbing for EV, Superspeed can have the Slashing Descriptor by vibrating her hand at high speeds.
  • Vampirism is Regretful.
  • Vampirism cannot be used against targets with No Vital Areas.

Note:
When receiving a full transfusion of the blood of the original Human Torch (or vamping it), Spitfire’s unique physiology grant her Invulnerability: 12 and Regeneration: 12 as long as it lasts. Invulnerability counteracts ageing effects, and both Powers will work to erase ageing and wounds suffered since the last time she was physically 16 or so.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 08, Artist (Actress): 04, Artist (Artist): 02, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques): 05, Occultist (Occult knowledge): 03, Thief (Locks and Safes): 06, Vehicles (Land, Air): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 04, Weaponry (Knives)*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics and Thief are both Contingent Upon Superspeed.

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Credentials (MI13, Medium), Familiarity (British nobility customs, Business management, Financial engineering, Vampire lore), Immortal, Iron Nerves, Language (German), Life Support (No Need To Breathe), Schticks (Fists of Fury, Wound Rejection (Low)), Stabilisation, Misc.: Jacqueline is a fairly senior English noble and enjoys some social privileges due to her rank.

Connections:
Former Invaders (Low), Mortigan Goth (Low), British business world (Low), British nobility (Low), Human Torch I (Jim Hammond, High — currently deceased), Roger Aubrey (Low), Scotland Yard (Low), Namorita (Low), Dr. Strange (Low), Union Jack (Joey Chapman) (High), Peter Wisdom (High), Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) (High), Blade (Eric Brooks) (High), Black Knight (Dane Withman) (Low), Excalibur (Dr. Faiza Hussain) (Low), Meggan Puceanu (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public ID, Traumatic Flashback (seeing Kenneth or John), MIA toward Familial Honour, MIA toward British Patriotism.

Equipment:

  • Spitfire rarely uses equipment at this stage. But her mask includes as MI13 tactical radio headset.
  • She occasionally uses a bastard sword from the Falsworth ancestral armoury, which seems to date back to Arthurian times. It has a BODY of at least 10, since it can withstand Spitfire using it to strike with superhuman strength and speed. From context it likely has anti-demons properties (a few APs of Sharpness ?).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (chiefly Captain Britain and MI-13).

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera, Darci, Frank Murdock, Stuart Vandal, Ethan Roe.

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