Esmond Anthony--The Story Up to Now




((Part One--Aspirations))

Esmond Anthony was always a little different, something his family realized ever since he was old enough to walk. Born in 1984, Esmond was very athletic, climbing out of his own crib, and even his playpen, on a regular basis. As he got older, he became very interested in martial arts, having seen the kung fu movies his father obsessively collected. He never wanted to be an astronaut or a fireman. Esmond Anthony wanted to be a super hero since he was five years old. And considering the city he lived in, that was a very serious aspiration. His parents had already raised one child to the age of 11 when he was born, and they were always afraid that their next child might be born with the ‘super gene’ that seemed to be found in more and more children as the years passed. So, after hearing their little boy’s life dream, they decided to take him to a doctor in downtown Paragon City and find out if he was a 'meta-human', with the less than honorable intentions of dashing their son’s hopes of becoming one of the city’s, the world’s, and perhaps the universe's elite.

The results were just as expected; Esmond was nothing more than a normal boy with the normal power of an over-active imagination. His parents never let him forget that day, either. In fact, they reminded him all through his childhood, saying things like,
“Did you hear about that accident in the news? Three heroes killed in an explosion! Just think, Esmond, if you had turned out to be a mutant you might have been out there too!”
But they forgot one important thing that Esmond remembered. The heroes in his father’s kung-fu movies weren’t mutants, or aliens, or wizards. They were normal people who had a burning desire to aspire to the ranks of legend; who had no radiation to change them, just their own strength of will. So, when Esmond turned eight he decided to take karate classes. His parents had no objections; after all, what harm could it do to let their boy learn a little self-defense?

Well, weeks of classes became months of training, and months of training became years of mastery. Before his parents’ eyes, he was transforming into walking, talking weapon. At least that’s the way they saw it. His trainers all told them that Esmond was progressing at an unbelievably accelerated rate, grasping new ideas and learning new skills with amazing speed and preciseness. He began to outgrow his classmates, constantly being switched over to higher level classes. Soon he was just 15, training with people sometimes twice his age, and he was always searching for a new challenge. He found it, too. A very famous super group known as the Freedom Phalanx was looking for new recruits to help fight the increasing crime percentage in Paragon. They had been monitoring him for months, and were frankly amazed that this young man with no super-human abilities was outfighting people ten years older than him, who had trained all their lives. They were so amazed, in fact, that they sent their own Star Strider, one of the older members of the group, to the Anthony house to personally request his presence at their training facilities in Galaxy City. Esmond was ecstatic, but his parents were flat out horrified. They thought they had heard the last of this seven years ago. They completely forbid Esmond from ever becoming a super hero while he ‘lived under their roof.’

Star Strider was surprised to say the least, but he didn’t consider anything final just yet. Two weeks later he reappeared at Esmond’s home, but his parents weren’t aware. With the permission of a delighted Esmond, Star snuck in through a window to talk. The legendary hero offered to take the boy in and train him personally. Not in the martial arts, though. In fact, Star Strider made Esmond promise to continue his studies in both the martial arts and in school if he were to join the ranks of the greatest heroes the city had ever known. Esmond eagerly agreed, and Star began visiting the boy weekly, giving him secret lessons in the delicate craft of saving the world every day. Being a bit of a technology whiz, Star would teach the boy how to use different gadgets, one by one, in dangerous situations. By the time Esmond was sixteen, he had extensive knowledge of technological science, and could operate almost any kind of modern weapon with at least basic familiarity. This knowledge, combined with his formidable and constantly growing fighting prowess made him one of the most dangerous teenagers the crime world would ever know.

(/OOC: This is just the beginning of the backstory; I should have more up tomorrow...erm...later today, I guess. Please don't post until I've finished. Once I have, though, I would very much like some feedback.)



((Part 2--Ends and Beginnings))

Esmond Anthony was far from ready to be out on the streets fighting crime, and Star Strider knew it. He also knew there was little hope of swaying his stubborn parents, who of course had only the best interests at heart. So after another year of training the boy in the procedures of being a hero, and the art of using technology to the fullest advantage, Star said farewell to Esmond, leaving him with an indefinite invitation to the Freedom Phalanx, and the advise to live out his dream, no matter who or what got in his way. Esmond took that to heart, and trained harder than ever, as his parents watched on helplessly. When he turned 18, he graduated from high school, and said to his parents the one thing they had hoped to never hear.
“Mom, Dad, I’m moving to the city and becoming a super hero.”
It devastated them, and they begged him to stay. Guilt took over, and he said that he would wait a year, and if anything popped up, he would give up his dreams of being a hero, at least for the time being. Well, something popped up, and it was something big.

On May 23rd, 2002, thousands of red lights appeared in the Paragon City skyline. They remained mysterious to the population for hours before anything else happened. But during that time period the news did focus on one event in particular, one that would forever change Esmond Anthony, and whether he knew it or not, the world. The news reporter, in a helicopter high above the city, narrated as the camera focused on a small group of heroes on a rooftop home to one of the larger portals. The heroes were none other than members of the Freedom Phalanx. The news caster went on to explain that one of the team’s oldest members was preparing to enter, and investigate, the strange gateway. Esmond’s heart skipped a beat, and he sat on the edge of his seat, quietly urging the reporter to name the hero. He eventually did, and Esmond was no longer sure he wanted to hear it. Star Strider, the man who told Esmond to hang onto his dreams no matter what happened, disappeared into the fiery portal and was never heard from again.

Esmond dropped into a sudden depression, to his parents’ bewilderment. Of course, they didn’t know of the importance of the missing super hero on TV. There was little time for mourning, though, as the world was suddenly hit and forever changed by a mysterious force from another dimension. At approximately 7:30 PM tens of thousands of soldiers from a race never before seen by 99.9% of the world emerged from the strange portals, attacking hard and fast. In the chaos that ensued, the foreign creatures crippled most of the Earth’s major cities in the first fifteen minutes. The Anthony family watched on in horror as their television screen turned to static, and the sounds of an epic war built up around them. People everywhere began packing their things and evacuating their homes in a panic. But it didn’t take long for Esmond’s family to realize that all their neighbors were committing suicide by even leaving their homes. The Anthony’s took to the basement of their home, the parents armed with an old hunting rifle and a kitchen knife. Fortunately, the battle never hit their neighborhood, although it came frighteningly close. For the next six months they scarcely left the house, only once in fact, and that was a mad dash by their father to get to the liquor store across the street and back. When the war finally subsided, thousands of the inhabitants of Paragon were dead, and according to the newly recovered news stations, most of the Earth’s valiant defenders, super-powered and otherwise, were gone. Only a handful of Paragon’s heroes, the famous Statesman included, survived, and almost all that had been built was destroyed, including all of the prominent super group headquarters.

Esmond Anthony’s parents were against the idea of his becoming a hero now more than ever before. But there was one major difference; they knew as well as anyone that their son was unique, and that his participation in the revitalization of the city could save countless lives. So, after another few months of training on his own, and preparing both mentally and emotionally, Esmond left his home with his family’s blessing, headed for Galaxy City with a tattered piece of paper baring an old mentor’s signature in hand. His arrival at the new, temporary headquarters of the Freedom Phalanx was received quite warmly, and Esmond was especially welcomed by the Statesman, who was one of Star Strider’s closest friends. He agreed to let Esmond into the group, but only for training. Anthony, confused and a little angry, asked why he could not join full time. The Statesman explained softly that the Phalanx was going through its hardest times, and he would not risk the death of even one more hero. Instead, he gave Esmond a keycard the secret training facilities of the Freedom Phalanx, and a sheet of phone numbers belonging to people willing to help up-and-coming heroes. Along with all that he gave the young man one other thing. Statesman lead Esmond into a back room of the run down office building the Phalanx was inhabiting, and showed him one of the most amazing collections of gadgets and gizmos he had ever seen. It was all that was left of Star Strider’s impressive array of inventions, salvaged from the ruins of the old Freedom Phalanx base. Statesman smiled warmly, and gave Esmond the choice of any one thing sitting in the room. After about half an hour of poking at different bits of technology, he finally found what he was looking for.



((Part 3--The End of the Beginning))

A faint white glow from the back of the room caught his attention. Esmond cautiously picked up the source, and immediately the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. It was a shining metallic glove that went all the way up to just below the elbow, and seemed to be containing some sort of extra machinery inside. Along the top of the hand, a set of white lights shone brightly, each one seeming to signify a different function or state of repair. Statesman quickly dug out the other piece in the set, but would not explain the gloves’ purposes, saying that he knew very little about many of the things in that room. Esmond accepted the explanation, and thanked The Statesman again and again. The great hero was more than happy to help the next generation of saviors of the human race, and after a little more chatting sent the young man on his way. Esmond soon found out that the gloves, when worn, did two very important things. One was the generation of a protective force field that reasonably improved Anthony’s resistance to almost any type of damage. Although it did not make him invincible, he felt that with research he could continually improve this feature. But it was the other function of the gloves that stood out the most. When placed on his hands, three small buttons could be felt at the tips of three of the fingers. When pressed, three sharp blades, probably a foot long each, snapped out of each hand. Esmond began studying ways of using this in combat, taking full advantage of the facilities the Phalanx had to offer, and the experience that the members possessed. He trained long and hard, honing his skills and learning to use his force field and claws fluently in combat, along with his martial arts. All in all, this process took about a year. Now it is 2004, and 20-year-old Esmond has completed his training. He finally feels prepared to enter a new realm of experience, and walk out onto the streets of Paragon as a savior, a beacon of light to the masses, rather than a simple pedestrian. What will become of him is a mystery, but all he cares about is fulfilling his dreams. No matter who or what gets in his way.

Additional Info:
Esmond Anthony is born of a man and woman both native to England, who moved to America after finishing college together. They are both quite cerebral, although the wife has always had an athletic flare. Esmond grew up being taught to avoid conflict rather than face it, and although he has certainly chosen a walk of life that makes that impossible, his methods are based around completing the task at hand while keeping all injuries at a minimum, whether it be enemy, civilian, or otherwise. He will gladly run from a fight rather than carry through with it if he knows it’s not necessary, and although he does kill foes when he has no choice, it’s not something he likes doing in excess. Esmond is a very confident person, even a tad arrogant at times, and has an abundance of stereotypical British sarcasm at his disposal. He tries to avoid such stereotypes, though, and can be quite modest when meeting new people or doing anything in front of an audience (aside from fighting.) Esmond is not the most intelligent person in the world, he’s certainly no rocket scientist, and he only barely managed through high school math. But it is science (more specifically, technology) that he excels in, making him able to crack most security systems, take full advantage of enemy technology, and improve upon his own. He was never extremely popular in school, but he wasn’t what one would consider a ‘dork’. Esmond was mostly unnoticed throughout school, only when friends discovered his unbelievable talents would he get a small taste of the limelight. Only very few times did this happen though. Most of the time Esmond was happily anonymous, keeping to a small group of friends all the way through high school. He has yet to begin college, but he plans to take time off in a few years to get a master’s degree. He has not decided on a major yet.

(/OOC: Well, I hope you all enjoyed this. I don't expect it to receive raving reviews, as I did the whole thing late at night in one sitting. I would like any constructive criticisms you might have, though. I can always use a few good tips. Catch you all later. )