A tattered flag
A tattered flag
Player: Talen Lee
Origin: Mutation
Archetype: Corruptor
Threat Level: 22
Personal Data
Real Name: Jessica Cole
Known Aliases: Ms Liberty
Species: Homo Sapiens Superior
Gender: Female
Age: 27
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 97lbs
Hair Colour: Copper red
Eye Colour: Blue
Biographical Data
Nationality: American Citizen
Occupation: Former hero
Place of Birth: Confidential
Base of Operations: Confidential
Marital Status: Complicated
Known Relatives: Statesman, Dominatrix, Ms Liberty, Miss Liberty, and others
Known Powers
Manipulation of life energy
Known Abilities
Remarkable knowledge of science fiction
None of note.
No additional notes available.

Who could have known the side-effects of Recluse's Victory? A simple little mishap, a few temporal anchors mislaid, and for a brief time, universes were created and collapsed. A thousand worlds from there to nowhere in the space of an aftenroon. Few noticed, fewer still cared - after all, it's not happening here.

Except for young Jessica Cole, the granddaughter of a Statesman who never was, in a world that isn't any more. Connected to the gods of the world as the entire universe collapsed in on itself, she was flug from the wreckage of her universe like a passenger from a car wreck, tossed into the aether of Recluse's Victory. It left her broken physically and mentally, and it wasn't for a good while, under the care of Revanta, D-38, and the gruff mentoring of Red Barren that she was fit for combat once more.

Eyes opened to the way the world works, no longer blurred by propoganda, Jessica took up a name to mock her old life, and her erstwhile 'good twin' in Paragon - Ms. Liberty.

When I started playing City of Villains/Heroes, I made a conscious effort to play one of every archetype and origin up to level 15 before I got cute and started branching out. This led to a few deleted characters along the way, characters I wound up re-using later (such as Dragon 5, who started out as a Dark/Dark defender, and Connor McCannaugh, another attempt at the Dark/Dark Defender, who I wound up deleting because nobody found him hot - true story). The original crop is surprisingly light compared to what's survived: Wander, Cataplex, and Shortbow are the only instances of characters I have who came from this original brainstorm who survived. My original blaster was rebooted as a tanker and the blaster who replaced him became a defender. My original tanker was very quickly deleted and actually reimagined as my first controller; my first controller stuck - Cataplex - and my first defender was Aymie, who was deleted to make way for the much-more-interesting Shamat.

Shortbow, however, stuck, despite my rebooting her three times for mechanical reasons. The character was the same, and at no point did I want to delete her. She started out life as an Assault Rifle/Devices corruptor, which quickly got the chop; she then became a ice/dark, until Jason pointed out that, thematically, that's really weakly connected to what she was. I honest-to-god regret that decision; Ice/Dark looks like one of the most awesome types of Corruptors around, with a whopping three holds, an area affect fear, an area affect slow… it's just amazing. Then she became Fire/Dark, as - despite my rebooting her following Jason's advice, - I had just seen Shamat team with Flamewar for the first time. Realising that a corruptor could combine both Rain of Fire and Tar Patch in the same place without the need for an assist was hugely interesting to me, so Shortbow found her home.

Besides, chicks who play with fire are sexy. I'm not going to pretend I think otherwise.


Shortbow is an established lieutenant of Riot Gear. She's one of D-38's more trusted workers. Unlike D-38, who is highly reactive, however, Shortbow is more proactive. She concocts plans that involve claiming more territory, seeking out targets to direct her attentions against, rather than waiting for someone to annoy her directly, like D does.


Shortbow is feminine, commanding, and quite sexual, overtly so. She revels in her unrestrained, chaotic life, now freed of her former 'enforced' status. Unlike Dominatrix, who simply followed Tyrant's lead, Shortbow made a single individual step away from Statesman's rule in her prior life.

Shortbow is a classic rebel; she went from a paternal life where her family dictated her morality, and her own morality was standardised by those around her. D-38 and Cerna, her primary influences, instead introduced her to a more relativist perspective. Seeing the Isles in their reality was a truly startling experience for her, and it helped shake her up into her now, much harder and perhaps crueller, but more realistic, perspective she has today.


Shortbow is not a true analogue of Miss Liberty; While Miss Liberty's powers stem magically from her mother's magical girdle, in Shortbow's home universe, Statesman was altered at a genetic level, his entire genome transformed into the New Adam for a New Era. This travelled down his line, leaving Shortbow as a mutant, rather than a magically-empowered individual.

Shortbow's powers are energy manipulation; specifically, biokinetic energy. She can draw this energy off others, then use it to ignite the air in a fairly fundamental aspect. This power incarnates itself in powers that attack the psyche and drain a person's strength and morale. She can then use this stored energy in a simple, fiery conflagration.

Character History

Shortbow has herself undergone a tumultuous time; she started out as timid and easily afraid, before becoming a pawn in a sexual game between D-38 and Cerna Wormwood. After a steady evolution, she finally retaliated when she found her submission wasn't getting her anywhere, and it was with great surprise that she tore Cerna out of her position as queen bee of D's love life and asserted herself quite thoroughly. Shortbow has since asserted herself as something of a lieutenant in the gear; she doesn't presume much on those who follow her, but she has earned the loyalty - in one way or another - of Alexis Payne and Cerna Wormwood, as well as having conspired to corrupt a few heroes.


Shortbow started her existence in this realm as a figment of an imagination in Recluse's Victory. Some great and cataclysmic event - a universe being forced into existence and collapsed just as swiftly by the recapturing of various resources in that place-that-is-not - ejected herself and a quantity of temporal flotsam. Most likely more than a few heroes and villains have had a chance to sift through the wreckage of this utter annihilation - all that's left of a world that never was.

D-38 and Cerna found her form, still wearing her Longbow uniform, and, motivated on one part by pique, and the other by curiosity, rescued her, bringing her back to the Riot Gear's underground base.


It was since revealed after she came to, and was given the opportunity to explain herself, that Shortbow was a alternate universe's Miss Liberty. This universe - and apparently many like it - were created and collapsed in a few short moments after Recluse's Victory was created, and many chunks of flotsam - some of it perhaps people unlikely strong enough to survive - have been found since.


It was a short time since that point that Shortbow took up arms and fought and worked for the Gear. Initially she fought out of a kind of bewildered endebtedness, then, as she saw the realities of the Isles, out of a sense of territory and a desire to own a part of this world that she could call her own. Shortbow now stands proud amongst Riot Gear as one of its most influential members, and has been known to command 'her girls' to action.

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