Had to make this a three-parter because of the character limit.
Nobody in MercServ is as proud to be an American native as Jesse H. Pierce, aka Phantom. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Jesse primarily occupied his time in detention or the principal’s office. Considered by many to be delinquent, considered by others to be misunderstood, Jesse simply considered himself to be an adventurer. Inspired by his favorite stories of superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and his personal favorite Deadpool, as well as classic stories like Robinson Crusoe and Tom Sawyer, Jesse just wanted to do his own thing. Rules and regulation were foreign concepts to him, but his parents believed they were what he needed to get into shape. One summer, they sent him to a Marine Boot Camp to get his act together, but all it did was make Jesse find instruction and orders more annoying. However, the allure of combat and weaponry did catch his eye. As a surprise to his parents, Jesse enlisted into the Marines shortly after graduating high school with a C average. Despite being an annoyance to his commanding officers, Jesse’s natural athleticism and charisma made it hard for them to discharge him. Disrespectful and abrasive, Jesse never let himself move too far up in the ranks, but he made sure that everyone knew his name. He just wanted to find a way to make himself into those heroes that he read about when he was a kid, and with enough effort he got his chance. After finding out about an experimental technology that could bend and refract light around a material to the point of nigh-invisibility, Jesse kept pushing and applying to be a test subject for the tech. His commanding officer was hesitant until Jesse showed him a picture of a certain late night hookup that his commanding officer did NOT want to get out. Threatening to release the picture to the public (including his commanding officer’s wife), Jesse was eventually accepted into the experimental program. After the experiment proved to be a success, to Jesse’s delight, he proceeded to steal the armor that he was tested on, and promptly released the picture of his commanding officer, anyways. Jesse spent the next few years staying off the grid to keep away from the FBI hunting him down, as well as becoming a hitman-for-hire on the underground market, using his invisibility to get in and out of places that most hitmen couldn’t. The Dirty Bomb incident helped get the FBI off of Jesse’s back, or at least alleviate the pressure a bit, as well as gain his attention. A land full of radiation and anarchy, and plenty of stories to be told and not be blown out of proportion at all? Sign “Phantom” up.
Calling Jonathan Ropa resilient would be an understatement. Born in Granada, Spain, Jonathan had already attended 4 funerals before he was 4 years old. His father was killed in a car crash, his aunt drowned, his older brother died of an infection, and his younger sister was stillborn, leaving only himself, his mother, and his mentally disabled older sister to the Ropa name. These harsh first 10 years of his childhood taught Jonathan two things: One; life will never stop knocking you on your ass, and two; Ropa’s never stop getting back up. Jonathan decided he would go into medicine, hoping he could at least stop others from dying the way his brother did. However, Jonathan had one major problem: respect. He only cared about his family and saving lives, he didn’t care how he did it. He never failed a test or exam in med school, but he always clashed when it came to hands-on exercises. Personal safety? Meaningless. A Hippocratic oath? Pointless. But, rules are rules, and he knew he had to accept them to be accepted into the medical community. Eventually, Jonathan obtained his medical license, making his sister and mother proud. But before he could move into becoming surgeon, a certain Turkish engineer that he had met on a trip to Istanbul called him up about a new experimental technology that needed a medical expert to evaluate. Always one to make saving lives easier and more reliable, Jonathan made his way to Turkey. The experiments may or may not have caused Jonathan to need his leg amputated and be rebuilt by that Turkish engineer, Jonathan doesn’t really like to talk about it, but it did leave Jonathan with millions of regenerative nanites flowing through his bloodstream. A few months later, Jonathan returned to Spain, ready to save some lives. However, he decided it was probably smarter to use an experimental technology on a procedure that wasn’t someone in need of emergency surgery. Jonathan’s first ever surgery was a facelift, and after trying to use the nanites during it, he had his medical license promptly removed. Disappointed, but not surprised or phased, Jonathan called up his Turkish friend once again, now in need of work. He returned to Turkey, taking on more grueling and excruciatingly painful experiments, all to perfect the nanites. The experiments reached to the point where Jonathan was getting shot in limbs, major arteries, and eventually vital organs. Painful, yes, but worth it. It was all about saving lives to Jonathan, no matter how much he had to go through to make the science perfect. The Dirty Bomb incident gave Jonathan a brand new opportunity to test his nanites where they would be most useful. on the field, bullet wounds fresh and flowing blood. Now the hardest person to kill on Earth, Jonathan applied to the MercServ database under the appropriate codename “Phoenix”. Now Jonathan is right where he wants to be. Saving lives, taking names, and proving just how hard it is to keep a Ropa down.
The infamous combat engineer from London was not always as competitive and impulsive as she is known to be today. Elisabeth Wells was the middle child of two other sisters. Her older sister was a swimming prodigy, winning championships since she was old enough to compete, but was proud and arrogant to the core. Her younger sister was nice, respectful, and beautiful, and was entered into beauty pageants by her mother. But Elisabeth was simply… “Lisa.” Not unattractive or untalented, but she was unimpressive. She rarely entered into competitions for anything, because she never saw herself as exemplary or competitive. She kept to herself, rarely ever expressed her feeling to anyone, except for her father. An electrician, Mr. Wells had a brilliant mechanical mind and tinkered in his free time. While her mother was out with her sisters at competitions, Lisa would spend time with her father in his workshop, watching him disassemble and reassemble radios, car batteries, and whatever else he get his hands on. She was a quick learner, too, aiding her father in his little experiments and she even began inventing in her free time. After high school, Lisa attended the University of London, majoring in Electrical Engineering. While most of her four years spent at university were generally tame, a night of drinking at a party and a game of beer pong gave her a sudden surge of competitivity that lasted through her hangover. It felt good to win, no- to dominate. She wanted to be the best at everything she did. Why was this night the sudden push that Lisa needed to overcome her mediocrity? She doesn’t really know. Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was the boys. Maybe it was the sex. She tries not to think about it too hard, because she doesn’t like to think about that “p*ssy ss wnker” she used to be, according to herself anyways. Upon returning home after graduating with her bachelor, Lisa planned to become an electrician like her father, and maybe even become an inventor like she always wanted to be. Her new impulsive and quick-witted personality shocked her entire family, but she was immediately welcomed back into the family. A new member of the household, her grandmother, surprised Lisa until she heard the news of her grandfather’s passing. Some of her favorite childhood memories were with her grandfather, a WWII combat sapper veteran, on his boat, listening to his stories of how they used to prime explosives just minutes before Nazis would step on them. Lisa decided to start inventing in her grandfather’s image, developing multiple different explosive devices, much to the dismay of her family, but her father was impressed and proud. However, the Dirty Bomb incident made everyone appreciate Lisa’s on-the-spot engineering. Near the epicenter of the bombings, Lisa managed to save her entire family, including her older sister who was visiting from New York, by creating a makeshift filtration system. Impressed with her own work, Lisa saw a new, bright future through the haze and radiation. Mercenary work felt like a perfect home for her. Blood-pumping, dangerous, and in need of a combat engineer. MercServ didn’t ask for a foul-mouthed, quick-witted, immature brat as an engineer, but Lisa didn’t care. To her, “Lisa” didn’t exist anymore, at least not on the battlefield. The streets of London are home to “Proxy” now, a nickname given to her by her father for how often she would stay in “close proximity” to him in his workshop. Lisa denies this, saying that she took the name after her signature Proximity Mines, but her father took a lie detector test and Lisa did not… so, we have reason not to trust her word.
Hailing from the land down under, William “Billy” Edwards was always covered in smoke… cigarette smoke. Both of his parents were chronic smokers, but loving and caring. Despite this, Billy still had a naturally hot temper, often exploding into rages that only cigarettes could quell. By the time he was sixteen, he was just another smoker, puffing clouds into the Edwards’ household along with his parents. Yet, Billy was still a good hearted kid. He made good grades, had friends, and even had a long-time girlfriend throughout high school. It broke his heart that he broke hers by his smoking habits, and she broke up with him on the last day of senior year. For the next month and a half, Billy sat in his room smoking, drinking, and crying. He was lost, he was angry, angrier than he had ever been before. But the anger wasn’t quelled by the smoke; it was caused by it. Billy needed a new purpose, a new calming agent, and that came in the form of physical challenge. And there was no greater challenge, than that of the military. He quickly moved up in the ranks because of his bravery and determination to break old habits and was even considered and accepted into the Australian SAS. However, Billy began running into issues. Despite his bravery and skills, he was starting to drop ranks as quickly as he would gain them. And it was all because of his resurfacing anger, but it wasn’t coming from just his naturally short temper, now it was coming from the horrors of war. He hated being seen as the good guys, when they would do things just as horrible as the bad guys, just with the “pursuit of justice” written alongside their name. He disobeyed what he felt was wrong, and made sure everyone knew it. An altercation with his commanding officer led Billy to begin researching the pasts of the SAS’s members, should he need to use them as dirt against them in the future. By this time, Billy had already accepted that he actually had no problem doing what he did with SAS, he just didn’t like getting praise for it where he felt wasn’t deserved. As a surprise to no one, Billy was eventually discharged from the SAS, returning to his home in Geraldton. Both of his parents had already died by his return home, his father of lung cancer and his mother of a stroke, and on the day of his return he visited both of their graves. He thanked them for all they had done for him, for being loving and caring, and forgiving of his rage-fueled outbursts. He lit one cigarette, smoked it and put it out on his father’s gravestone. Then he did the same, putting out on his mother’s gravestone. He made an apology for what he was about to become, and left the graveyard. Billy had accepted that he had a good heart, but wasn’t a good person. He had no problem killing anymore, no problem gunning down an unarmed man, and no problem shooting someone in the back. He just had a problem hurting people he cared about. But by his 50th birthday, Billy was spending it sitting alone in a bar on his phone, drinking and accepting hit jobs just for fun. He had nothing to lose, anyways, so why not? But his didn’t turn Billy into a depressed alcoholic with a dark past. He was cynical, sarcastic, arrogant, but still lovable and kind, if you get close with him. However, he didn’t really have anyone close to him. And with the Dirty Bomb incident happening not too long before his 50th birthday, Billy made a choice that he relishes in to this day. He moved to London, infrared goggles and concealing smoke at hand, and entered the MercServ database. The thrill of the SAS had returned to him, and the grueling and dangerous work of being a mercenary in London gave Billy purpose and drive again. People may say that everything in Australia can kill you, but as Billy, now known as Redeye, has proven, you don’t have to be there to meet your end by the Land Down Under.
Nobody expected a 15 pound newborn to become the smartest person in their town, but Oswallt Poyner proved them wrong from a young age. His parents were both professors at universities, and they decided to home school him, out of fear of the other kids bullying him for his weight. But Oswallt had little fear or resentment towards the other “healthy” kids. Oswallt knew that his weight didn’t define him, even from a young age. So he began working out along with his studying, and it wasn’t long before he was usually the strongest and smartest person in the room. Other kids still tried to bully Oswallt, but they usually ended up with broken bones as well as an on-the-spot medical report as to exactly what bones were broken and how much pressure he applied to break them. Oswallt was accepted into Cardiff University on a full ride, majoring in Business Administration. His intimidating intelligence was matched by his arrogance along with his imposing stature. When he walked into a room, people took notice, Oswallt made sure of it. He had no problem being the center of attention, in fact, he relished in it. His other classmates, however, didn’t like to see a big, fat, unattractive asshole running the class. One night, while Oswallt was returning to his dorm room after a working out at the gym, a group of students confronted him. They explained that they didn’t appreciate how he set a level of expectation for the class that they couldn’t reach. They wanted him to dial it back, let some of the other students have some input; make their lives a little easier. Oswallt refused, saying that they simply aren’t intelligent or brave enough to make an impact in the class, and if they wanted to make one, they’d have to start making an effort. The group tried to “make an effort” that night, but they all just ended up in the hospital. Some had minor injuries, like cuts and fractures, while others had multiple broken bones, and one even spent the night in ICU with a ruptured lung. During the court hearing, Oswallt defended himself, and won the case. Although he had gained respect throughout the school for kicking a group of jealous students’ asses, he didn’t feel comfortable around his own age anymore. Not because he feared them or felt outcast, but he was bored with being stronger and smarter than everyone else. He didn’t feel above them anymore, he felt like he was just… accepted. Everyone accepted that he was better than them, and the ones that didn’t worked too hard to try and get on his level. Oswallt no longer laughed at these people… he pitied them. Oswallt decided to move on to a group of people closer to his level of intelligence, and began pursuing his MBA, planning to move on to a doctorate afterwards. However, the Dirty Bomb incident changed Oswallt’s mind. Even while pursuing his MBA, Oswallt still felt like he was simply better than all the other students. There was no challenge to besting them on a consistent basis anymore. So, Oswallt dropped out of college in the middle of the semester, and moved to London. Using his imposing stature, genius level intelligence, and inhuman level of strength, Oswallt accepted the only moniker that made sense for him: Rhino. One giant minigun later, and Oswallt was on his way to the contaminated zone, a MercServ mercenary of the highest caliber. It is often debated between MercServ members who is more arrogant between Fletcher and Rhino. Some say that Rhino’s credentials make his arrogance have more weight behind it (no pun intended), while others say that not being able to back up arrogance makes it even stronger. Either way, no one can argue the results that Rhino puts up every time he signs up for a mission. After all, it’s pretty hard to argue when your lungs have been punctured by dozens of bullets.
The tough and gruff combat medic known as Sawbonez was not always like this. Born in the slums of Brooklyn, New York, Dashon (pronounced “day-shawn”) Grey was the last hope for his family. His father was imprisoned for murder, and his two older brothers were always one wrong step from ending up in the same position. His mother, a hairdresser, just wanted to get one of her kids right. Dashon was pampered and showered in love. He was smart and kind, and his mother wanted to keep it that way. When he would get bullied in school, it was mandatory that Dashon report to his mother so she can report it to the school. He wasn’t allowed to walk home alone, ever, out of fear of getting attacked by gangs and bullies. He wasn’t allowed to participate in contact sports, and was only allowed to join the baseball team after hitting 10 home runs in a row. Indeed, Dashon was naturally athletic and physical, and excelled in every sport he played. Out of respect for his mother’s wishes, he didn’t push football or basketball as an agenda, even if all of his friends wanted him to join in on pick-up games. He stayed out of trouble, got good grades, and made sure he could get into a good college. Dashon planned to go to Princeton University, until he had a conversation with one of his older brothers. When discussing the idea of joining the military, his brother believed that protecting a country that didn’t want to protect him was counter-productive and pointless, while Dashon saw serving one’s country a high honor that gains respect through race and ethnicity. To prove his point, he abandoned his idea of a Business degree, and joined the US Army as a medic, to his mother’s dismay. Dashon knew it was going to be tough, tedious, grueling and dangerous, but he never knew it would be like this. After completing his medical training, he was deployed to Iraq after 9/11. During his tours, he found himself covered in his own teammates blood as often as his enemies. But, this didn’t disturb Dashon nor did it make him resent the country he fought for. It just made him stronger… and angrier. Despite feeling respect and drive from serving his country, the disrespect that his lower squadmates would receive made him begin to see what his brother was saying. One fateful night, he would do something that he had been longing to do. Before being deployed on a search and rescue mission, Dashon learned that the brother that he had joined the military for had just been shot and killed that day. He wasn’t drawn to tears, but he was deeply saddened. However, he refused to let it get to him… but it still did. A sudden ambush left multiple American soldiers injured, including his commanding officer. Despite having respect for him, the disrespect he showed his lower ranked squadmates led Dashon to do the unthinkable. Since he wasn’t in as severe a condition, Dashon surgically removed his commanding officer’s kidney on the battlefield and implanted it into a severely injured squadmate. Neither of them died, because Dashon was just that good, but Dashon did end up getting discharged after the mission. By this time, though, Dashon had lost his natural kindness. He just wanted to save lives, and take the ones that tried to make that job harder. The Dirty Bomb incident gave him this opportunity and much more. An irradiated London was full of lives on the battlefield that needed to be saved, and many more to be taken. All Dashon, now known as Sawbonez, needed was a knife and some cash to make it happen.