Soubrette
"Hmm?"
"Hmm?"
Soubrette
Player: @Fox Lee
Origin: Mutation
Archetype: Corruptor
Threat Level: 37
Personal Data
Real Name: Unknown
Known Aliases: Too many to list
Species: Human (mutant)
Gender: Male
Age: Unknown
Height: Usually around 5'5"
Weight: Usually around 90lb
Hair Colour: Usually glossy black
Eye Colour: Usually warm brown
Biographical Data
Nationality: American, Etoile Islander, probably others
Occupation: ICON designer, contractor for Riot Gear
Place of Birth: Unknown
Base of Operations: Various places
Marital Status: Is faithful to Battlebriar
Known Relatives: None
Known Powers
Biological alteration of self and others; includes cosmetic changes, gross physical changes, and less obvious internal changes.
Known Abilities
Expert conman and disguise expert. Quite stealthy. Currently undergoing firearms training.
Equipment
Various weapons
Though he is actually male, Soubrette's alternate identities are practically all female, and he refers to himself in the feminine when he's in disguise.

Imagine the perfect artist and the perfect work of art as one; aesthetically exquisite and exquisitely opinionated, a virtuoso whose magnum opus is, in fact, himself. This is Soubrette, a mutant with the gift of bodyshaping. His catalogue of identities provides him a face and personality for any situation, while his ability to enhance others' physical attributes makes him a powerful ally.

Whether he's at work or play, life in this world is Soubrette's game, and he looks upon other "players" with smug superiority until they earn his respect. A sharp-tongued and sharp-witted individual, the boy is natively a lot more insightful than he lets on - but when he's in character, all bets are off. And as for his original identity, well, who knows?

Soubrette is an Assault Rifle/Kinetics Mutation Corruptor played by Fox Lee. His inspiration comes from two major sources; one, Talen Lee's character, Battlebriar, who seriously needed somebody to screw with his infantile fundamentalist worldview - preferably someone who was unashamedly sexual and had a major lifestyle quirk; and two, making fun of roleplayers who take things too seriously ("I am an artist!"), whilst at the same time exploring what kind of personality might evolve if an obsessive roleplayer had the power to not only be perfectly convincing, but to force other people to play along.

Personality

"Ah the evening leans forward
On the edge of its seat
Cause you're laughing with him
Yeah you're nearly in bed"

"He's better looking than he looks
His music is better than it sounds
All of this is true
When you're as pretty as you"

- The Whitlams, Pretty As You

Sou is an artist. He looks upon people he has altered - whether physically, through his mutant gifts, or psychologically, through his games - as human landscapes, testament to his skill and aesthetic sense. His identities are intricately-crafted personas with deep-seated motivations and backgrounds, and he will indeed go to lengths of putting himself in danger to "stay in character". In a lot of ways, Sou is like an elitist role-player who has been given the ability to perfectly become his characters.

The Game

Sou is a lover of games. To him, his disguises are a test for everybody he comes across - a challenge to separate interesting people from boring ones. Then the game begins - he starts using his identities to toy with the person's personal or professional life, to seduce or distract, to confuse and corrupt. If they play badly, he loses interest, and punishes them by causing pain or humiliation. If they play well, he pursues the game further, raising the stakes. Few people can keep him interested for long, of course - between his mutant gift and his practiced deception, he rarely finds a person who merits a rematch.

Ironically, these two facets are almost all that anybody knows of Sou's personality - the other confirmed fact is that he makes most of his income using one of his identities to work for ICON. But even the member of nation, who calls himself "Soubrette" and admits to his bodyshaping abilities, might be another affected persona. Who he was before he gained his mutant abilities, and who he truly is now, are both mysteries.

Or at least, that's how it was. Somehow, River has changed all this; he never asked for it, but the game lost its appeal to Sou, and he gradually slowed down to the point of being entirely disinterested. He also admitted to River that he had genuinely forgotten what he originally looked like, leading to him adopting a new "true" form - a male form, no less - imagined by River. Sou no longer maintains his "characters", either, though he still uses his shapeshifting ability to aid missions and subterfuge.

History

Battlebriar

"Sore demo iitte nandomo omotta (Again and again I thought I was okay with that)
Anata wo dareka to SHEA shite iru keredo (I'm sharing you with somebody else, but)
Sore ja iya datte nandomo naiteru (Again and again I cry knowing I don't want that)
Uso demo kiyasume demo atashi dakette itte (Even if it's a lie, even if it's just for my peace of mind, tell me I'm the only one)…"

"Baby, I wanna be your girl
Baby, all I need is you…"

- Kawabe Chieko, Be Your Girl1

As the first person to take an interest in River and try to tempt him from the "hero" path, Sou is actually rather jealous and possessive of the older man - much more so than even his outward behaviour would suggest. He essentially feels that he has "prior claim" after sinking so much effort into River's development. For all that Sou had a jovial, teasing attitude toward "the game", he began to play so hard in River's case not just because he wanted to win, but because he wanted to prevent River from being with somebody else, even if it was just for one night.

Essentially, River has - without the boy realising it - become the chink in Sou's armour. Sou has always considered himself above other people, looking upon them like playthings - even though he's outwardly submissive in his actions, he's used to manipulating and controlling people without contest. But River, somehow, has become the second "real person" in Sou's worldview, and as such, he's intensely jealous of the former hero. At first River was largely unaware of the seriousness of Sou's feelings - since the boy had gone to great lengths to conceal them - but in truth Soubrette craved a real relationship with River. Since another person had finally entered his world, Sou wished violently for River to be his alone - for the two of them to abandon all these "lesser people" - and as such harboured a constantly burning rage toward both River and his other "attachments".

In truth, Sou constantly felt inadequate next to River's other romantic interests; due to his obsession with maintaining his multiple identities, Soubrette simply couldn't see River as often as the others, and feared he was slipping into the "friend" zone. He privately felt that this was because he lacked crippling emotional issues and overwhelming co-dependency - that his "rivals" were determined to be victims in order to monopolise River. Although he turned out to be closer to "right" than might have been expected, it was also certain that Soubrette's attitude toward River's friends was the only thing which was really endangering their relationship.

Nation

Originally, Soubrette joined Nation mostly in order to torment Battlebriar, and because he thought it would be amusing. He had little to no respect for anybody in authority except River, and initially regarded the whole affair as fascist and - far worse - naive. The idea of Nation's acceptance of all mutants bothered him, on the principle that most mutants - like most other people, in his eyes - are worthless and petty. He also felt that Nation's laws were short-sighted and under-equipped to deal with real-life problems, instead only concerning themselves with idealism - which should be a personal philosophy, not one outlined in law. And then there's all this "suffer not the witch to live" crap…

Because of his feelings about Nation, Sou continually pushed the laws as far as he could. It was his feeling that Agony (in particular) was far too permissive of the actions of fellow mutants just because they are mutants, and he would constantly testing the waters to see just how much his genes enable him to get away with. Ironically, if Nation had finally decided to kick him out, he might have respected it enough to want back in.

After a period of upset in which the group's dictator, Black Agony, was thought to be dead, Soubrette's outlook changed somewhat. Approaching (of all people) Eisregen for training, Sou finally made the decision to act like a citizen of Nation, albeit mostly under Briar's authority. Unfortunately, this uncharacteristic maturity was stymied by Agony's return, and subsequently Briar's wholesale abandonment of Nation. Though Soubrette was relieved - and probably smugly pleased - when the split finally happened, he has acted in a relatively adult fashion about it, and has actually spent hours in philosophical discussion with Briar, regarding Nation's ideals and their place in the world.

Riot Gear

Since leaving Nation, Briar - and accordingly, Soubrette - has fallen in the the loosely-connected group of thugs, racketeers and legitimate businessmen known as [[Riot Gear]]. At present, Soubrette is in a sort of "contractor" position with the group, which in provides him with tips for jobs that suit his skills.

Affiliations

Soubrette is currently a loose affiliate of Riot Gear, a former member and political operative of the mutant-supremacist Supergroup Nation, and an employee of the tailoring establishment ICON, and the boyfriend of one Battlebriar, aka River Daleson.

River is the formative influence on Soubrette's recent past, just as Soubrette was on River. Indeed, it was Sou who first began to draw River out of his ill-fitting "hero" shell and lead him toward the rather more debauched lifestyle he came to enjoy in the Isles, and it was River who brought Soubrette to Nation. The two have been involved in a romantic relationship for quite some time, in which Soubrette was (bizarrely) monogamous but Briar was also involved with Darkest Mercy; after the pair left Nation, the relationship became exclusive.

Mercy

While Mercy was nothing but friendly to Sou, he couldn't help but be hostile toward her, given her closeness to River. He eventually become rather melancholy about it - he knew it was not fair to ask River to choose him over Mercy, so he never actually did ask. He made his feelings toward her clear, though.

Gradually, Sou began to grow accustomed to the idea of Mercy's presence, though it was mostly because he knew that Briar would be unhappy if Mercy were to leave. He wanted her to be out of the picture, but had essentially lost hope that it could ever happen. He also began to feel a little guilty about the way he treated her; he didn't really want to hurt her, but he simply couldn't bring himself to be nice to her yet.

This situation was brough to a rather abrupt end when Briar - and with him, Soubrette - left Nation, both the group and the satellite. At first Soubrette was unsure was to whether or not Briar was still having contact with Mercy - he hardly dared to hope that Briar might have "fallen out of love" with his other partner, but Briar didn't seem distressed or upset at her apparent absence. Although Sou is still not quite clear on the details - for the most part, he's still afraid to ask - but it seems that somewhere along the way Briar became content with the idea of monogamy. Soubrette is determined not to squander such an opportunity.

Auroral

Soubrette hates Auroral. Whilst River initially laughed off Sou's declaration that Auroral still wanted him romantically, Sou never believed for a moment that Auroral would honour her promise to never sleep with River, and later drunken kiss made him all the more certain that he was right. He has also made note of her frequent flirting with him, which - if she doesn't want him - are all the more cruel to River. Then there was the adoption - which both infuriates Soubrette by adding yet another person to take up River's thinly-spread time, and also seems to him like an obvious attempt by Auroral to force River into a relationship.

Sou's dislike of Auroral is actually far less superficial and jealous than his distaste for Mercy. From everything he could see, Auroral's relationship with River was dangerous; he had seen River burn himself out trying to help her more than once, never seeming to get anything in return. Soubrette was certain that Auroral would destroy River eventually, and was helplessly trying to protect his lover in the only way he knew how. After an honest plea for civility from Auroral, Soubrette toned down his attitude toward her for Briar's sake, but is no more fond of her than he ever has been. He is extremely glad that she has been out of their lives since they left Nation.

Powers and Abilities

"No change, I can change, I can change, I can change
But I'm here in my mold, I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no…"

"It's just sex and violence, melody and silence…"
- The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony

Soubrette has the mutant ability to make biological alterations to living things. This can take the form of something physically obvious - he frequently alters his own height and weight, his eye, hair and skin colours, and his body shape - or something that has a powerful impact in unseen ways - such as increasing an ally's strength by increasing their muscle tone, or crippling an opponent by causing their muscles to atrophy. It can also take a much more subtle form, of which even the recipient may not be aware - he can alter a person's hormones, for example, or boost their metabolism or adrenaline levels.

At his most crude, Sou can also twist or break parts of a person to cause injury, but his ability to do such a thing is quite limited - when he's too far away to touch a target (which he generally is, in combat) he has far less finesse. For this reason, he has begun to train in the use of firearms in addition to his mutant powers.

Sou's abilities do extend to non-animal life forms, such as plants and viruses, but he finds these annoying and difficult to work with, so he rarely tries it. Particularly in the case of plants, he says, they change so slowly that it's hardly worth the time (especially in combat). He does, however, keep a small garden of truly bizarre plants.

After an unspoken-of night which somehow resulted in him wearing a large bruise on his face - and not hiding it, despite the fact that by his mutant nature he could - an unusually serious Soubrette approached Nation's military leader, Eisregen, and asked to be trained with real weapons. Apparently, he has decided that his "gifts" are not enough to sustain him when actual combat does happen, and he has made an uncharacteristically mature decision to actually learn to use a weapon, and a serious approach to combat.

Career Paths

Since his life is almost entirely leisurely, Soubrette has the opportunity to rtake and leave work as he pleases. This has led to him indulging his creativity in several related career paths - he's had a job tailoring at Icon (in a different persona, of course) for years. He enjoys this position - and the related influence over superhero style - so much that he hasn't abandoned it, even though he doesn't really need to work any more.

His second noteworthy career was as Briar's assistant, when they were with Nation. He served as a sort of secretary and PA to Archon-Briar, managing his affairs and bossily making sure he took the time to do less important things, like eat and sleep. This also evolved into managing Briar's finances, which Briar himself barely noticed; since they weren't being used, Soubrette took it upon himself to invest them, resulting in much of the nest egg amassed by the time the pair left Nation.

Since moving in with Briar, Soubrette has also become a successful (but not particularly renowned) clothing designer, working in particular with new fabrics engineered by Briar and his organic talents, and also serves as the postyerboy/girl model for their clothing line. He's also the manager, and occasional performer, of a nightclub he bought Briar as a gift. He does not take either of these roles overly seriously, however; they are more like pastimes than careers.

Equipment

Soubrette was enraged when Eisregen saw fit to teach him a lesson by making him train with the dreaded "frankengun"2. However, he actually bit his tongue and dealt with it, and did indeed graduate to his "sexy cool-looking sniper rifle" before too long.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Sou's weaknesses should be fairly obvious by now; he's childish, jealous, arrogant, bratty and generally rude to everyone he doesn't consider to be on the same level as him (though he has recently made great strides in this area). He's physically frail and delicate, somewhat foolhardy and prone to overreacting, and while he's highly intelligent, he's also judgemental and often jumps to conclusion. In addition, his powers are not particularly useful in a strictly offensive fashion - it is tremendously easier for him to beneficially alter a willing creature than harm an enemy.

Other Notes

Trivia

  • Sou went through a number of names before settling, from "Morgana Fata" (a particular type of mirage) to "Manscape" (a tremendously gay-sounding pun on "landscape"). The name he chose in the end is defined by yourDictionary.com as "a saucy, coquettish, intriguing maidservant in comedies or comic opera", or "an actress or a singer taking such a part".
  • Sou was mostly rebooted from Ice Blast to Assault Rifle because of the promise of sniper rifles in i11. The fact that he had to start with the existing Assault Rifle weapon just happened to provide an amusing plot quirk.
  • The first time that Soubrette and Carceri undertook the Bat'Zul Strike Force, they unsurprisingly used the strategy of goading Infernal into fighting the demon. Towards the end of the fight, Soubrette took a shot at Bat'Zul - for the out-of-character reason of ensuring XP and rewards for the kill - which happened to be the killing blow. Thus, it's become a running joke for him to boast about the time he took down Bat'Zul with a single shot (well, whenever Carceri's not around).
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