OOC Inspiration: Roy Redding, the Binary Man is my homage to the Silver Age of comics and the transformed, troubled, wise-cracking and kind-hearted toughguys like Robotman and Ben Grimm who despite their loss of humanity remained loyal to their friends and to the good fight---and could always toss an amusing taunt while dealing out a clobbering. Roy is also an exploration of the duality of superheroes and the human psyche. On one side he is a fearsome weapon of cold metal, vast artificial intelligence, incredible strength and invulnerability, but utterly without drive, heart, or compassion. On the other side he is the quintessential blue collar galoot, 100% human; frail in comparison to his metal half, barely able to graduate High School, but possessed of such bravery and heart that many would say these are his strongest qualities as a hero.
Roy Redding was a New York City dockworker and US army vet who referred to computers as "the best way to make an honest man fat an' lazy". Any machine without wheels or a lever was a curse on mankind, and old fashioned elbow grease was his solution to any problem. His hatred of new technology kept him from ever succeeding in the modern world, and despite a sterling military record that saw him reach the rank of Staff Sergeant, Roy eventually found himself one of countless middle aged laborers struggling to get by.
On the day Roy shoved an old army buddy and co-worker out of the path of a falling cargo container, he would soon find that ignorance of technology was no longer an option. Waking up on life support, half his body crushed, he was given two choices by a US military robotics expert: live for a few months on life support, or be among the first to participate in a cutting edge new project to restore function and combat effectiveness to soldiers disabled in the line of duty.
Roy chose the latter, though his disgust and self-loathing at the prospect of being made half machine cost him an already rocky marriage and his relationship with a precocious daughter who considered him a hero long before he could bench press a humvee.
Agreeing to the dicey procedure, Roy was bonded with advanced military cybernetics. The Half-Trak Arms Model 001 Prosthetic Powerframe gave him the ability to walk again, and far more---boasting advanced alloys, armor, armaments and hydraulics controlled by an integral artificial intelligence unit, the Half-Trak prototype turned Roy into a walking weapon. Able to lift up to 60 tons and withstand direct hits from heavy artillery rounds (so long as they don't strike his organic half), Roy began his testing of the hardware as a New York City superhero, and in time relocated to Millennium City after failing to reconcile with his ex-wife and daughter.
Though Roy deeply resents the fact that more than half of his bio functions are now managed by a machine, he grudgingly admits that the technoloy has made him far more than a man and has enabled him to save countless lives---a fact that the snobby, onboard AI won't let him forget.
Roy is a walking contradiction, a pair of vastly different minds (one human, one computer) with distinct personalities. Though Roy remains in control of the AI via voice commands and a manual keypad, the computer has been known to verbally abuse, belittle and humiliate Roy at every turn, leaving the question of who's really in charge somewhat up for debate.
Roy is a classic blue collar toughguy with a heart of gold, uncultured and uncouth but meeting every new face with a ready smile and a self-deprecating joke. Garrulous, outgoing and social (sometimes to a fault, as the victims of his tin-eared pickup lines can attest), Roy has a certain indefinable charm that stems more from his big heart, his loyalty and his bravery than his looks or his words. Despite his poor upbringing, disinterest in the superhero lifestyle and lack of education he is utterly unbiased in his acceptance of other people, meeting anything from interstellar aliens to hellish demons to extra-dimensional lizard men with the same crooked grin and clap on the back. Generous and trusting almost to his own ruin, Roy helps first and asks questions later, no matter the situation.
Though Roy is outwardly jocular, laid-back and easygoing, he nurses a deep loathing of what he has become. His missing humanity grieves him deeply in quiet moments.
By comparison, the artificial intelligence 'driving' the Half-Trak Model 001 is coldly clinical, droll, ostentatious in tone, compared by Roy to "C-3PO on the rag" or "the love child of Mister Belvedere and a refrigerator". The computer is incapable of compassion or friendship, and views all situations through the lens of tactical awareness and superiority. Though it seems to possess a personality program designed to allow meaningful interface, that personality is almost wholly unlikeable except to a select few who find its dignified disdain amusing. It misses no opportunity to insult Roy's intelligence and "peer bonding expertise", though in a dire emergency it's all business, executing commands without complaint.
Recent events have taken a toll on Roy's confidence. After a mistaken battle with the demon Razakel the Infernal his left jet intake was slightly dented, causing him to experience loss of flight mobility and nearly drown in the river after a crash landing. Not long afterwards, while responding to a police emergency at Harmon Labs, Roy's AI half was infected with an advanced virus from an unknown enemy---the resulting cascade failure activated all weapons in lethal mode and classified any nearby moving objects as hostile targets, including other responding heroes. Before Roy could implement a hard shutdown of his computer, he nearly killed both himself and the hero Hunter with a barrage of depleted uranium rounds. Though the shutdown and subsequent re-boot in backup mode allowed Roy's AI to purge the virus, Roy's already strong distrust of technology has deepened to an abiding fear of his own capabilities and an increasing view that he's no longer the mind in control.
As part of his agreement with the U.S. military, Roy has become a costumed hero to test the Half-Trak Model 001's combat capabilities. Though Roy claims to have little interest in the hero lifestyle, he clearly takes great pride in the good deeds he does and frequently goes out of his way to help the public in ways that have little to do with combat. When asked what delivering donated toys to low income housing at Christmas has to do with testing military robotics, Roy will wink and smile and insist that he's likely to absorb more armor-piercing rounds in those neighborhoods than on patrol for supervillains.
The Half-Trak Prosthetic
The Model 001 is a formidable weapon, a fusion-powered Impervium alloy chassis layered with a variety of reactive and passive armor and capable of withstanding direct hits from exploding artillery shells with minimal structural damage. Repeated blows from mega-strong superhumans as well as extremely powerful explosives have shown effective in damaging the frame or even severing the bionic limbs, though frequent repairs and upgrades improve the model with each such maintenance and make repeat incidents of the same injuries less likely. Capable of exerting enough strength to lift around 60 tons, the Half-trak allows Roy to use almost anything as a weapon, or to brace incredible weights in the interest of saving lives.
Integral to Roy's bionic half are a number of weapons and defensive systems. A micro mini-gun can deploy from his left shoulder and fire a variety of rounds including rubber ordnance and depleted uranium ammunition. Similarly, his robotic left arm contains a retractable 25mm launcher fed by a six round magazine which must be preloaded with either flash-bang, concussion or high explosive micro grenades depending on mission type. A deflector array mounted in the chest proximal to his fusion reactor can generate defensive energy screens as well as a devasting particle beam capable of melting high-tensile steel in seconds (or simply providing a concussive blast for less-lethal purposes).
Roy is capable of flight at speeds below Mach-1 via a pair of jet thrusters integrated into his spinal bionics. Should the fuel be depleted or the thrusters suffer damage, Roy can rely instead on a guided 'rocket jump' via a booster in his bionic heel.
The Half-Trak's artificial intelligence is capable of storing and accessing more than a hundred terabytes of data, and possesses a vast library of information on a wide range of subjects accessible to Roy upon verbal command. In addition, his bionic eye allows him to quickly scan any situation for life signs, thermal signatures or other abnormalities, as well as allowing him to see reasonably well in darkness and project X-Rays through solid objects at limited range and interpret the visual data gathered from those rays. A broadband antennae incorporated into his bionic ear keeps Roy in touch with UNTIL, the research team at Half-Trak arms, and local police.
Though Roy remains almost wholly organic on his right half, most of his bones have been reinforced or replaced with a matching Impervium alloy designed to balance the uneven weight of his mismatched frame. This makes his bones very difficult to break, but does little to prevent the tissue of his muscles from being injured by normal means.
Aside from his occasional poor judgment, gullibility and temper, Roy suffers one major weakness: Though the Half-Trak prosthetic is capable of standing toe to toe with most superhuman threats, his human half remains almost as vulnerable to harm as any other person. Though mitigated somewhat by a kevlar weave bodysuit and mask, Roy's organic components are still highly susceptibile to injury from armor-piercing rounds, massive impact, slashing wounds, environmental hazards and most anything that can harm a normal man. Roy usually leads with his bionic half in a fight for this reason, and is careful to try and lean into any dire blows with his armor to lessen the impact on his organics.
Added to this, Roy's disgust and loathing for his mechanical 'ball and chain' can sometimes be used against him by more cunning adversaries, allowing them to get inside his head and force him to make mistakes.
Associates & Nicknames
Roy is well known for making friends quickly, even in the eclectic world of superheroes. He often refers to his fellow caped crusaders with a variety of colorful nicknames.
Subatomic: Nickname "Shrinkydink." When reclusive microbiologist Dr. Brentner died trying to prevent his miniaturization technology from falling into government hands, Roy's first mission as a military cyborg was to find what little remained of his research. Discovering that it had been secretly left in the care of Dr. Brentner's daughter Jo, Roy scrubbed the mission after learning that she intended to follow in her father's research and use the technology to help mankind rather than as a weapon. He helps to keep her identity secret, train her in hand to hand combat, and is highly protective of her, even though he maintains she could take him out in two seconds flat with her cleverness and shrinking powers.
Nightwave: One of the first big-name heroes Roy encountered after coming to Millennium City, Roy respects Nightwave greatly and looks on her as a kindred spirit. They share the same rough-around-the-edges mentality, practical approach to justice and sometimes tactless humor. It was through her recommendation and invitation that Roy was inducted into the Defenders of the Earth
Proud Patriot: Nickname "Five Star." A fellow ex-soldier and battered cyborg, Roy and the Patriot share a great deal in common. However, a recent falling out between the two over whether Roy should continue in the hero business or go back to his wife and daughter in NY created a rift that has yet to be mended.
Lightwave: Nickname "High Beams." Roy has twice teamed up with this cunning and witty young woman, on both occasions deeply impressed not only by the clever use of her powers but by her ability to keep her head under fire. Her quick-thinking tactics, biting humor and upbeat persona are held in lofty regard by Roy, and he believes she might one day be among the most formidable heroes in Millennium City.
Blue Bruiser: Nickname "Blue Cheese," or "Mustache a' Doom." Roy knows little about his new leader on the Defenders of the Earth, but holds the bulky frontliner of freedom in high respect. Roy's first encounter with this pillar of justice happened when his jets failed and plunged him into the river, only for the Bruiser to show up a short while later and haul him to safety before his metal chassis could drag him to the bottom. He still owes the Bruiser an orange soda.
The Emissary: Roy has only briefly shared words with this massively powerful woman, and knows of her only by reputation. However, she is one of the few sentient beings he's encountered who seems to prefer the cutting personality of his bionic half to his human one.
Chivalry: Nickname "Romeo," or "Lancelot." One of Roy's better known teammates on the Defenders of the Earth and a hero Roy's daughter idolizes. Though Roy doesn't know what to make of the idealistic hero's antiquated dialect, he often jokes that he likes having him around because people start making fun of Chivalry's speech instead of Roy's crude Redhook accent.
Raggedy Ann: A troubled young woman with the facade of a doll, Roy first met Ann in New York while thwarting one of her misguided attempts to 'liberate' children from school and parents. He pities her, and wishes he knew how to reach the girl behind the doll's face, though he acknowledges that she is a very dangerous woman and not to be taken lightly. He's unsure whether she really intends to be a hero or if her appearance in Millennium City is just another prelude to a violent 'game.'
Contralto: Nickname "Miss C," or "Pipes." One of the few human beings on the planet Roy seems to be tongue-tied around, he often turns bright red and sticks his foot in his mouth when in close contact with the high class hero.
Ace: A brassy young spitfire of a hero, Ace teamed up with Roy to defeat the vigilante Fleetfoot who had taken a dangerously violent turn in his crimefighting methods. Ace reminds Roy a great deal of his own daughter, and her professionality and gung-ho enthusiasm make Roy more likely to choose her over any of a dozen older and more seasoned heroes to have his back in a scrap.
Hunter: Another fellow army veteran turned costumed hero, Hunter and Roy have occasionally traded crude jokes over candy bars. Roy considers him a true example of comraderie and heroism, as he tackles threats without the benefit of invulnerability or world-shattering power and always seems to put his comrades' safety first.
- Was your character in the military? Roy loves to chat with a fellow vet.
- Does your character know anything about bionics, robotics or cybernetics? If so they may have done some work for Half-Trak arms or be qualified to help Roy with repairs to his chassis.
- Is your character from New York? Roy has deep roots in the city and you may have bumped into each other there.
- Is your character a blue collar laborer or in the shipping business? Much of Roy's adult life has been spent working cranes on the docks in both NY and Millennium City. Perhaps you've worked together before... heck, you may even be one of his bosses.
- Does your character do community outreach? Roy is well known for playing 'Cyborg Santa' during Christmas and delivering donated gifts to low income families. He visits sick kids, signs autographs for the few fans he has, and never fails to answer a call for help.