Nathan Malus - Demons amidst the dreamscape




(( Please note that this thread will cover Nathan's backstory but i would like to openly encourage anyone who wants to jump in and add something of their own to do so. Please try to keep it strictly in character though, ooc in parentheses if need be ))

"We're all going to die!!" a terrified voice yelled into the smokey air, somehow managing to carry over the frightened buzz of the crowd rushing through the streets.
Nathan Malus was just another face in that crowd, just another frightened office worker who had managed to get clear of the building he had been employed in for the past two years seconds before it began to collapse in on itself, killing those unfortunate souls still trapped inside. Now, as he rushed blindly through the throng milling about in the streets of what would soon be known only as The Faultline, Nathan tried to ignore the small voice in the back of his mind that kept telling him to find someplace safe to hide until the explosions stopped.
The crowd was frenzied at that point, trampling those that fell underfoot as thousands tried to find some way out of the hell happening around them. Nathan managed to avoid being crushed by a large granite gargoyle, which must have been dislodged from a building nearby, as it crashed down a few feet away, silencing a few voices in the process.

"What the hell is going on..." Nathan muttered, looking up at the sky. There was nothing to be seen but smoke and the occasional flash of something metallic streaking by overhead. He returned his attention to the crowd at the same moment that the building beside him exploded in a flash of green light, and he knew no more.


Fevered dreams that seemed to last an eternity were all that Nathan could see. Faces drifting in and out of his unconcious thoughts, some very familiar and some not, but he eventually woke, to a smiling old man looking down at him.

"Ah, good, optical implants seem to be working" the man said, nodding slowly.

Nathan tried instinctively to sit up, but failed. It was as if his mind and body were no longer attached. "Am i paralyzed?" he thought to himself before his eyes shut again and he fell into his dreams once more.
When he came to a second time, he found the same gnarled old face looking down at him. "You remember anything about what happened to you boy?" it asked, raising a fuzzy white eyebrow.

"Wh... Who are you old man?" Nathan said, looking around as best he could. It was apparent that he couldnt move his head, only his eyes and his voice sounded very different from what he remembered of it. "My voice, what the hell happened to my voice? Where am i?"

"Ah yes" the old man said, grinning. "Well, to answer your questions... Youre in my laboratory, my name is Donovan Trask and your voice is different because half of your vocal cords were damaged in the explosion with the rest of your body, i replaced them."

"Replaced them?!" Nathan said incredulously. "What the hell happened?! What explosion?"

"You wouldnt remember it of course, but awhile back a bunch of aliens who call themselves the Rikti destroyed a few areas of Paragon City, you had the misfortune to be in one of them at the time... Im afraid you were caught in a rather nasty explosion my young friend, most of your body was damaged so severely that the people at the hospital beleived you would be dead in a matter of hours." Trask said, scratching his balding scalp with a long wrinkled finger. "Surprised all of em is what you did lad, kept hanging on in a coma for weeks. They were going to pull the plug on you when you showed no signs of improvement but i managed to convince them to let me try my hand at saving you, and it looks like i succeeded."

" What have you done to me?" Nathan said, his mind trying to process the incredible things he had just been told.

"Well lad, to put it very simply, im rebuilding what was left. Ever see the six million dollar man?" the old man asked, grinning. "We can rebuild him, we have the technology! Make him faster, stronger, better than before!"

For a moment, Trask seemed caught up in the hilarity of his own joke, laughing hysterically while Nathan watched, still trying to wrap his mind around what he had been told.

"Heheh, but anyways, thats what im doing kid, im making you more than you were before. I guess you can be called a cyborg now, even though im not near being finished. Still have lots to do you know, only just completed the optical and neural implants and lemme tell ya, those are bloody hard to tune properly." the scientist said, furrowing his wrinkled brow. "Anyways, ill just put you back to sleep while i finish the rest, next time you wake you'll be a brand new man, i assure you."

Nathan blinked a few times, watching as the old man leaned over, reaching for a small keyboard attached to a large LCD monitor.

"Oh! Before i forget..." he said, turning back to look down at Nathan. "Whats your name? Remember that at all?"

"Nathan... Nathan Malus. Thats my name..."

"Well Nate, have a good rest, youve been through more than anyone should have to endure in one lifetime. Ill wake you up soon."

And with that, the old man tapped a few keys, sending Nathan back into his dreams.



"Allright lad, aim more carefully this time, remember the burst comes out of your palm." Trask said, adjusting a few settings on Nathan's wrist panel.

With a nod, Nathan adjusted his hand's position slightly, trying to utilize his optical implants like the professor had told him to. "Aim from the palm" he muttered to himself a second before he keyed the mental connection that controlled his weapons systems, sending a white hot blast of energy straight through the center of the bullseye a few hundred feet away.

"Excellent shot!" the scientist said, slapping Nathan's armored shoulder with a broad grin. "Yer doin fine lad, and its good to see that those muscle enhancements are working properly."

"Yea..." Nathan replied, looking down at his brand new armored hands. "...the neural and optical implants help alot, im not quite sure if id be able to hit that target from here without them."

"Thats enough for now Nate, your targetting systems seem to be well calibrated. Ive got a few errands i need you to run for me allright?" Trask said, handing Nathan a large bag full of used robot parts and a peice of paper with an address written on it. "Deliver those to this address, ive got a bunch of systems i need to tune before i install them into your body armor. Youre pretty much operational at this point but you lack the finer things."

With a nod, Nathan walked out the door into the daylight.

"Maybe this wont be so bad after all." He thought to himself, looking down at the weapons ports on his palms before running off in the direction of the address the professor had given him.


"Hey Prof! Im back, delivered those things you asked me to..." Nathan said, trailing off as he entered the lab. "Oh no... Professor Trask?!" He shouted, looking around at the destroyed equipment around him. "What in the hell happened? Professor?!"

The laboratory he had begun to see as his new home was in shambles, tables overturned, equipment smashed, screens shattered, papers scattered everywhere...
As Nathan searched through the wreckage a faint moan reached his newly enhanced ears.

"Professor? Is that you?" Nathan said, running over to a large pile of wrecked equipment. It took a few minutes but Nathan finally managed to pull Trask's crushed body from underneath the mess. "Prof, what happened? Who did this?" He asked.

"Skulls... they... everything broken except..." Trask managed to wheeze. "...except the... new enhancements, in the safe... heres the key"

With the last of his strength, Donovan Trask held up a small silver key, placing it in Nathan's large plastisteel hand before closing his eyes for the last time.

After Nathan finished cleaning up the lab and the coroners had arrived, dutifully taking the professor's body to the morgue, he walked over to the wall safe and used the small key Trask had given him before dying. In the safe he found all the specialized systems that Trask had not yet installed into his body, including the teleportation, shielding and healing enhancements.

"Thanks Donovan..." Nathan said, bowing his head. "Ill put these to good use, count on it."



It was a dreary moonless night with dark clouds hanging menacingly overhead as the rain came down in torrents, washing the filthy streets of Galaxy City's industrial district clean.
Outside of one particular warehouse a lone figure stood in the shadows cast by a large stack of storage bins, listening to the faint sounds seeping out from the thin metal walls. He had no words to express the rage he was feeling, he didnt need to say anything. In the abandoned warehouse a few feet away were the punks who had stolen his last friend, the last connection between his old life and the new one he had been given. In the building in front of him were the people who had taken the life of his savior...
Clenching and unclenching his large plastisteel fists, Nathan slowly walked up to the shoddy wooden door a few feet away, placing his palm against it as he listened to the conversation going on between the gang members inside.

"So this old guy was there in some weird labcoat yellin things about how the equipment was delicate an stuff!" one voice said between bouts of laughter. "We beat that old man so bad! And look! I got a new labcoat outta him too... pity about the bloodstains."

At that, the gang members burst into laughter, the sound of their voices was nearly drowned out by the constant slapping of raindrops on the warehouse roof but Nathan could hear them perfectly and it was only making him angrier.

" bastards took my friend." he whispered, gritting his teeth as a single tear pooled at the corner of his right eye, lost in the raindrops falling onto his face. "...took my last friend..."

With a gutteral roar, Nathan keyed the mental connections needed to activate his weapons systems, sending a huge blast of energy screaming out of his palm into the center of the door leading into the warehouse. He didnt wait for them to regroup, leaping through the splintered shards of charred wood still falling to the ground, as he closed with the first gangbanger.
The skulls were too confused to react, too slow to even reach for their weapons. Nathan's cybernetically augmented muscles pounded his plastisteel feet down against the floor as he moved around the room at a speed so fast he was almost a blur, sending bolts of deadly energy searing through the air towards each target. It was over moments after it had begun. Silence and the stench of charred flesh were all that remained in a space that, a few seconds before, had been filled with laughter.
Nathan was still caught in the moment, his fists clenching and unclenching as he looked around at the dead bodies of the punks who had killed his mentor, killed the man who had saved his life.

"For you Donovan... im sorry" he whispered to himself before turning to walk back out into the night.



He sat alone, staring out at the rising sun from the roof of the highest building in Galaxy City. He didnt sleep anymore, but the dreams still came. They were never clear, since his mind refused to shut down he viewed them without the clearcut lucidity that came only with healthy natural sleep.
Everything was gone, his family was dead, his wife, his son. He still saw their faces in the back of his mind. His body had been nearly destroyed by the rikti and he was now more machine than man, existing only thanks to the professor's excellent self sufficient cybernetic technology.
Even his savior, the one person who had thought him worth the effort, the man who had taught him to walk again, to use his new body...

"Its all gone..." Nathan said softly to himself, looking off into the early morning sky.

The dawn was as beautiful as ever, shades of orange and yellow tinting the spent rainclouds still hanging over the city as the streets began to fill with life. Here and there, Nathan could see groups of heroes going about their daily rounds down below.
With a sigh, he looked down at himself, examining his armored hands. The craftsmanship was incredible, every molded finger joint perfectly sized to fit with the others, every single peice of plastisteel plating expertly cut to be a part of the armored whole.

"What am i going to do without you Donovan? Theres still so much i need to learn about this body, i dont have the slightest clue how to repair myself..." Nathan muttered.

Suddenly he remembered the stacks of manuals he had often seen the professor leafing through while he was practicing his motor skills.

"Maybe if i went back to his lab..." he thought aloud, getting to his feet.

It was a long jump down, but he easily absorbed it with his enhanced legs before sprinting off in the direction of Donovan Trask's laboratory. He was sure there would be some answers there, some kind of clues to help in understanding his new body... there had to be...