The Dada Dozen…a collection of bizarre metas from alternate worlds. Banded together by their common ancestry and artistic powers they travel the multiverse searching for…what? Not even they know.
Name: Dorian Gray
Hair: Pale brown
Weight: 160 lbs.
Aliases: Junior, Counterfeit, Pv2.0, Salvator
Defining features: Unnatural good looks.
Trivia: Leader of the group
Powers: Dorian possesses paint and painting control, the traditional powerset of the Gray family.
Unique Backstory: Dorian's life mirrors that of his mother's…abandoned by her at birth (he has no idea who his father is) he was raised on the streets, and taken under the wing of his universe's Great Old Ones (or perhaps they are all the same…but that is a mystery they keep for themselves). He still reports back to the Great Old Ones…for better or for worse is left to be seen.
Name: Ashley "Ash" Gray
Codename: Still Life
Hair: Blond, close cropped
Weight: 130 lbs.
Aliases: Slo-Mo, Freeze Tag, Cezanne
Defining features: Ashley suffers from autism, and is thus often appears 'a little out of it'. She rarely expresses the correct emotion at the correct times.
Trivia: Best understands Alistair's disjointed speech
Powers: Ashley is able to manipulate the flow of time. She is then able to 'stylize' any objects within her time rift. This can harm or heal the occupants. She is also able to control photographs.
Unique Backstory: Ashley is an early cloning experiment of Portrait. The second X chromosome was slightly damaged in the process, leading to her autism. The cloning project was part of a resistance movement to overthrow an alien invasion…metahumans, Portrait included, donated their DNA so that there would be a new generation of trained metas to take back Earth. Ashley's training wouldn't take, and she was discharged.
Name: Rachel Gray
Weight: 110 lbs.
Aliases: Tattoo, Tat
Defining features: Ornate tattoos all over her body, except for parts of her face. Some piercings.
Trivia: Her tattoos are a complex map…only she knows to what.
Powers: Rachel Gray is able to control tattoos and body art. She can manipulate the tattoos of others, or insert ink under their skin out of thin air. If enough of one's body is covered she can control them like a puppet. She may posses other, darker powers, but she keeps them hidden from the others.
In Rachel's world, Portrait's mind had been destroyed by seeing the true form of the Great Old Ones. Her body was possessed by Shub-Niggurath. Rachel (not her true name…in human speech it would be closer translated as R'nthl'h) was the product of the Great Old One's ongoing experiment to create ever-stronger heralds. The experiment which had begun with the long-lived but weak Dorian, the powerful but uncontrollable Portrait, and now? Rachel Gray is the daughter of Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and the continuation of the Gray linage. Darkness is her domain, and ink her subject. But she did inherit her mother's mind…blasted into insanity she might have been, but the genes were still there. Rachel had no desire to be some pawn in an endgame that had been going on for thousands of years.
Name: Ambrose Gray
Codename: The Architect
Weight: 150 lbs.
Aliases: Frank Lloyd Right, Angleman
Defining features: Extremely good posture, pinched features…striking resemblance to his twin sister.
Trivia: Sometimes wonders if he was born in the wrong century.
Powers: Ambrose is able to control and build physical structures. He is able to 'talk' to cities in a very limited way. He has no control over non-geometric sculpture.
Unique Backstory: In Ambrose and Amber's world, Portrait had retired from the superhero/villain life…she had laid low for enough years for the public to forget her, and then she had married a man. An average guy, classical musician with no powers, no dormant gene, not even a radioactive animal bite to call his own. So life was (miraculously) normal. Until Ambrose and Amber were born. (Their original name was Verdigris, but once on their own they changed it to reflect their more abnormal parentage). As children they were drilled by their mother NEVER to use their powers…and if she caught them doing so there would be Hell to pay. They knew it too. Both had slipped up, and the painted horrors their mother conjured once their father was in another room rivaled the beasts of all children's nightmares. They learned quickly…be normal or face the consequences.
Name: Amber Gray
Codename: The Sculptor
Weight: 140 lbs.
Defining features: Good posture, pinched features…striking resemblance to her twin brother.
Trivia: Sometimes crossdresses so she can pretend to be identical twins with Ambrose
Powers: Amber is able to control and build sculpture (non-geometric only). She can convert certain materials into others.
In Ambrose and Amber's world, Portrait had retired from the superhero/villain life…she had laid low for enough years for the public to forget her, and then she had married a man. An average guy, classical musician with no powers, no dormant gene, not even a radioactive animal bite to call his own. So life was (miraculously) normal. Until Ambrose and Amber were born. (Their original name was Verdigris, but once on their own they changed it to reflect their more abnormal parentage). As children they were drilled by their mother NEVER to use their powers…and if she caught them doing so there would be Hell to pay. They knew it too. Both had slipped up, and the painted horrors their mother conjured once their father was in another room rivaled the beasts of all children's nightmares. They learned quickly…be normal or face the consequences.
Name: Howard Gray
Weight: 160 lbs.
Aliases: Square, Absurd, Polluck
Defining features: Not fully solid, often seems to be made of shapes. Always moving.
Trivia: Avid Sci-Fi reader.
Powers: Able to control the abstract, and turn himself or others into abstractionisms.
Unique Backstory: In Howard's world, the rightful heir to the Gray legacy is Gavroche Gray. He is Portrait. Persephone Gray is Counterfeit, and master of the abstract. In the Abstract, strange things happen. No one knows exactly where Howard came from, or if he's even related to Portrait. The most common theory is that he 'budded', was split off his mother the same way a single-cellular organism duplicates.
Name: John Gray
Weight: 190 lbs.
Aliases: Ballpoint, Shakespeare, Bookworm
Defining features: Large glasses, slightly overweight. Inkstained fingers.
Trivia: Hates electric lighting.
Powers: John is able to take text (in any form) and give it power. He can bring characters out of books, create beasts out of text, or enter books. He is also able to turn himself into an amalgamation of words.
Unique Backstory: John is a child of violence. His father is Anton Bierce, Mortality. His mother is, of course, Portrait. In John's universe, Mortality would not accept merely killing Portrait…he had to make her suffer. After a vicious fight in which they were both nearly dead, Anton raped Portrait. She was left comatose, and by the time she woke up it was much too late to get rid of the child. John was born. A bit of an outcast, he has a taste for struggle and strife.
Name: Coraline "Cory" Gray
Hair: Died red
Eyes: One blue, one brown
Weight: 115 lbs.
Defining features: Anyone with non-20/20 vision may see Cory double.
Trivia: Loves Ashley like a sister…they are much closer than any other two on the team.
Powers: Cory is able to duplicate images by 'printing' them. Similar to a child who folds a piece of paper to get symmetrical images. Cory is able to expand this power to finger-paints, or art made by children.
Unique Backstory: Cory's world is one at war. Children are taken and trained as soldiers from birth. As a result, Cory only knew of her mother through hearsay. And even then, it didn't matter. Parents were merely the source of genes, there was no familial role. It had been this way as far as anyone could remember, as far back as the Great War that still raged. All that mattered was one's ability to fight.
Name: Veronica Gray
Eyes: Light brown
Weight: 140 lbs.
Aliases: Sunny, Van Gogh
Defining features: Often hard to define unless in the middle ground.
Trivia: Horse aficionado.
Powers: Able to manipulate the land…as well as determine sunrise and sunset.
Unique Backstory: Veronica's world is one of rampant magic. She was taken by fairies and replaced by a changeling…leading to the decimation of much of the fairy community by Portrait. Veronica sided with her adoptive parents, and created a natural barrier that hid the fairy community. In recent times she's been preparing for all out war with Portrait and her anti-magic allies.
Name: Ray Gray
Eyes: Bright green
Weight: 140 lbs.
Aliases: Binary, Pix, VR
Defining features: Thin glasses, glowing eyes…he seems almost undefined when in shadow, fuzzy around the edges
Trivia: Sometimes feels inorganic.
Powers: Ray is able to manipulate computer imagery…and draw himself or others into the virtual world. He has taught himself programming, and is an accomplished hacker. His powers extend to video games, digital cameras, cellphones…anything with a screen. But he has to be careful…he has almost 'lost' himself in the virtual world more than once.
Unique Backstory: Ray's world is best defined as 'steampunk'. His father was an engineer who created devices beyond his time. Due to these technological restrictions, Ray was unable to practice his powers. But he dreamed of them. In the lands of Kadath he learned his art, glimmering monitors on all sides. He saw games and programs, and made them his own. At times his mother would take him to the Painted World where he could work on the science fiction drawings of behemoth devices.
Name: Iris Gray
Weight: 120 lbs.
Aliases: Weaver, Spider, Arachne, Penelope
Defining features: Tailor's Notch on teeth. Skin has a strange, almost stringlike, texture.
Trivia: HATES spiders.
Powers: Able to control woven or spun matter, able to enter the world of tapestries.
Unique Backstory: Iris' world never left the dark ages. Countries were based on a feudal society. Iris' father had died of plague before she was born, but Iris and her mother were well off. Portrait was the best known artist in the land, and royalty constantly sought her to paint their portraits. Iris was not much of a painter…but she had a knack for weaving tapestries that put all others to shame. And when no one was looking sometimes the tapestries would come to life.
Name: Alistair Gray
Hair: Dirty blonde
Eyes: Blue/green…no whites or pupil
Weight: 110 lbs.
Aliases: All-seer, Multiverse, Shift
Defining features: Solid eyes, gaunt, always in a trance state.
Trivia: Is afraid.
Powers: Alistair sees the woven tapestry of the multiverse. He is able to travel it at will, and may take others with him. His powers border on being out of control, with the result that he is very nearly comatose much of the time.
Unique Backstory: When meta-humans have children, the results are unpredictable. In most cases powers are unpredictable, and increased by exponential levels from that of the parents…in many cases, the powerset is completely different from the parents. In Alistair's world, Portrait married the Russain meta-human Io, also known as Nicholai Chekov. His mother had artistic powers, his father control over the Earth and sea. Alistair (originally Alistair Nicholaiivich Chekov, changed his name to Gray once he took up his Mission) was born with the ability to see the full extent of the multiverse…and traverse it. He also had a goal from the moment of his birth, a goal he will tell no one, but which he seeks to this day.
It began with Alistair. It always seems to begin with Alistair. In any case, it began with Alistair, and it began from the moment he was born. Only he knows exactly what happened, or what motivated him from that moment on. He won't tell. People know well enough not to ask. No one understands Alistair anyway…he's a strange man, always talking of the 'might have been' as if it really WAS. In his mind, it is…everything that might happen HAS happened, and it's only a matter of sorting through it. It began with Alistair. It began with an inn. It began in sleep, with a dream that visited them all...
In the Painted World, Dorian brooded. He stared out over the dark landscape of the starry night. Gradually the sky darkened, and Dorian slept.
On a street corner, shivering with cold, Ashly watched the people going by. They all looked the same to her…faceless drones going on esoteric tasks. Their steady movement made her eyelids droop. And Ashly slept.
In the cavern at the center of the Earth, Rachel listened to the perpetual fluting of Azazoth's entourage. The sound was cacophonous and strange, and her human blood rebelled against it. Her other half felt elated, vicious. But gradually the edge of the music was muted…Azazoth's mad flailing seemed almost rhythmic and Rachel slept.
In their rooms in the elegant old-fashioned house, Amber played the piano while Ambrose read…but they gradually lost focus, the words and notes swimming on the pages. Amber put her head down gently on the keys, Ambrose fell face forward into his book. And the twins slept.
Floating in the works of the modern artists, Howard shaped formless blobs to his will. He bounced around the endless white spaces with glee. But gradually the thrill wore off…he pulled a light blue cube towards himself and reclined on its soft surface. And Howard slept.
In his room, lit by candlelight, John scribbled quickly and methodically on a sheet of fine paper. The light glinted off his glasses, his stern face. He fought the fatigue when it came, but he could not win. He fell forwards, ink spreading around his prone face, and John slept.
Coraline was in the trench, on watch duty. She stared at the dark, pitted trees intently. The night air was chilly and bracing. She shivered slightly and considered pacing…but that might reveal her position. And despite all her efforts against it, the penultimate enemy, sleep found her. Coraline slept.
Veronica was in the Witches Circle, dancing around the fire. Tonight they would ask the Moon Goddess to lend her protection from the bands who wished to destroy magic once and for all. In her heart Veronica knew that they couldn't win. Magic was always an endangered art. In the middle of the spell she felt lightheaded, collapsed. And among the concerned group of witches, Veronica slept.
Ray was hunched over the computer his father had made for him. Its gears whirred loudly as it attempted feebly to keep working. It shut down, sending out a shower of sparks. Ray cursed, and in the sudden darkness caused by the extinguishing of the monitor, he imagined the dark coalescing into ones and zeros. And Ray slept.
It was dark in the castle. It always was. The guttering flames never could quite light it. But Iris couldn't sleep. She dreamed of horrible monsters from beyond the stars, lurking in the shadows (and she knew she was too old for such things…but still she feared). Under her heavy quilt (the one she had made) she shivered. But then the monsters seemed further away. And Iris slept.
And Alistair? Alistair did not sleep.
And now, each of them walked down streets they had never seen before, to a place they had only known from dreams. It was the Inn, and it drew them like moths from a flame. One by one they pushed open the warped wooden door, and quietly gathered around a large oaken table, masked by the shadows. There could have been any number of them...10 or 10,000, the offspring of the Might Have Been.