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Stem Cell of the Livewires (Marvel Comics)

Stem Cell


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

Context

Livewires was a 2005 mini-series set in the Marvel Universe. The titular characters are advanced androids and gynoids , optimised for special intelligence and tactical operations.

The series was written and partially drawn by Adam Warren, an American artist who first became known for spin-off sequels of successful manga .


Background

  • Real Name: N.A..
  • Known Relatives: Other Livewires.
  • Group Affiliation: Project Livewire.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 4’11” Weight:  ?lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Red


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Powers and Abilities

Stem Cells stomach houses a limited function nano-factory. This allows her to produce technological devices and weapons. She can increase her production capacity by ingesting additional smartware, such as her skin-like exoshell. But the additional mass is spent as it occurs.

(“Smartware” is the substance of which the mechas flesh-like exoderm is composed. It is also used for other internal functions.)

She also possesses an extensive engineering database of all kinds of weapons and technology. Particularly those of other top-secret organizations they’ve targeted.

Shared design elements

All Project Livewire mecha have the same basic design. It:

  • Gives them a durable body, able to survive significant damage.
  • Brings their reflexes and physical abilities to superhuman, but not too superhuman, levels.
  • Allows them to alter their physical appearance (such as hair colour/style/length, facial features, etc.).
  • Allows them to run as fast as a Jeep.
  • Allows them to stick to walls.
  • Allows them to replay and share their memory files.

They also share a group intranet, which allows them to communicate by thought, and this is their main method of communication with each other.


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History

Stem Cell is a “semi-autonomous, artificially intelligent, limited-nanofunction, humanform mecha construct”, or mecha. The R-word [robot] is considered politically incorrect by the older Livewires.

She was created by the top-secret, quasi-governmental R&D program Project Livewire. Livewire was based on the technologies used to create the Mannites and SHIELD’s LMD’s .

It built ten mecha, six of which were trained and tested at the Project, the other four being left deactivated until they were needed to replace lost members of the team. When a new one is activated it is called Stem Cell. That lasts until their body’s smartware is fully differentiated and specialized, and they choose a name.

The mecha have all been programmed to be absolutely loyal to Project Livewire, and to follow the main goal of seeking out and destroying other top-secret, quasi-governmental R&D program. Livewires were provided with a list stating the priority they are to be given.

They want you as a new recruit

When the team tech specialist, Homebrew, is killed on a mission, Stem Cell is activated and joins the other four members of the team. these are Cornfed, Gothic Lolita, Hollowpoint Ninja, and Social Butterfly – the fate of the sixth original member and the other three back-up units is unrevealed.

She wakes while they’re on a mission against a project using technology derived from the original Human Torch. These researchers are trying to weaponize it to create Pyronanotech semi-sentient virus.

They infiltrate the project just as the experiment goes out of control, and they manage to shut it down with Stem Cell’s help. Throughout most of this Stem Cell believed that she was dreaming, a neuroform-filter designed to cushion the mind on activation.

Going Achab

She accompanied them on further, less hazardous, missions. The Livewires sabotaged the work of other projects without being detected.

Stem Cell character design model sheet

On one such mission they uncovered a link to the “White Whale”. It was the highest priority target on their list. They stowed away in a container of inert nanofluid that AIM was trading to the White Whale, and managed to get on board its rogue SHIELD helicarrier.

The White Whale turned out to be a hive mind. It was commanded by a couple of Nick Fury LMD’s infected with a Hydra nanoware attack virus.

Final girl

They were detected soon after arrival. The Lievwires found themselves overwhelmed, as, one by one, they’re destroyed. Eventually Stem Cell was left alone, hiding aboard the enemy vessel.

Using the neuroform override the others had told her about, she managed to override the human feelings she had been programmed with. That allowed her to control her panic. Then she reproduced the Pyronanotech technology they had encountered on her fist mission. These rampaged through the helicarrier, destroying the White Whale.

Stem Cell managed to hack into the helicarrier and control its descent enough to survive the landing. She then gathered up the remains of her team-mates, with the intention of repairing them.


Personality

Initially Stem Cell is overwhelmed by her circumstances. She seems quite shy and intimidated by everything, and generally just does what the others tell her to.

The Livewires are all created with a mental state defaulting to that of a normal human. But this can be overridden by customizing their neuroform configuration, a hidden feature from the project’s lead designer. It can be enabled by them removing their left eyeball, and fiddling with the connections behind it.

Once she did this, she managed to override her fears and anxieties, and becomes more confident in her abilities.

Like all the Livewires, she has been programmed to be completely loyal to the Project directives, and would even have to give up her life if it was required for the mission.


Quotes

“Um. Shouldn’t you be more scared ? I mean, I’m dreaming, aren’t I ? What’s you’re excuse ?”

[Thinking over the group intranet] “So that’s it ?! ’Well, she’s at the bottom of the sea now. Oh, darn, too bad. Luckily we’re way too detached to give a crap.‘ You guys really are robots, aren’t you ? That’s right, I thought the ’r-word‘… deal with it.”

“G-Great. I’m a cybernetic k-killing machine. With goosebumps.”

“Quite the heaping portion of difficult work on my plate, huh ? Good thing I’ve jacked my optimism up to near-delusional levels.”

“What should I choose for a new name ? I’m not a newbie ‘Stem Cell’ anymore, after all. I did eat my own smartware flesh. How about ‘Autocannibal’ ? Or ‘Nanobelly’ ? Edgier. ‘Technoslut’ ? Or maybe… ‘Debbie’ ?”


DC Universe History

The Livewires could be developed from the technologies of Professor Ivo, and the rest of their history could remain more or less intact.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Stem cell

A 1410 Point Character

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 07 Motivation: Follow Programming
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Saboteur
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 014 HP: 040

Powers:
Chameleon: 04, Cling: 06, Fabricate: 10, Interface: 08, Mind Over Matter: 07, Power Reserve (Fabricate): 06, Radio Communications: 12, Recall: 12, Running: 06, Self-Link (Gadgetry): 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Chameleon: User’s Clothing Does not Change to Match (-1).
  • Power Reserve: Requires source of Smartware (-1).

Skills:
Gadgetry: 10, Scientist: 10, Thief (Security Systems): 08, Vehicles (Land Vehicles): 04

Advantages:
None demonstrated.

Connections:
Livewires (High).

Drawbacks:
CIA (Follow Project Livewire directives).


Previous Statistics

Prior to customizing her neuroform configuration, Stem Cell has the Uncertainty Drawback.


Design Notes

Since all the Livewire mechas were created together I’m assuming that some powers, which have been exhibited by multiple members of the team, to be common to all of them (i.e. Running, Cling, Recall).

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Livewires (Marvel Comics) by Adam Warren .

Helper(s): KalEl el Vigilante, Sébastien Andrivet, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen.

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