- 1 Personality
- 2 Appearance
- 3 History
- 4 Current Events
- 5 Powers
- 6 Gossipmongering
- 7 Metadata
An easy smile, a cheerful concern for her fellows, and a tendency to leave others guessing mark Mercy's strongest character traits. She's not often found engaged in arguments, and for all she's a tactile individual by nature, the boundaries she crosses physically are rarely broached on a deeper level. She's quick to make friends, but easy to hurt, which means she tends to let people close to a point, and no farther. Although she holds her cards close to the chest, her heart is all but worn on her sleeve in the sensitive way she responds to any negative energy or attitudes around her.
Mercy is a tall, curvy woman who carries herself with an easy understanding of her own appeal. Her features are a blend of various ethnicities, making her a unique package to the discerning eye: her eyes are almond-shaped and slightly tilted up at the outer corners, her mouth lush and full, too wide for casual pretty and expressive enough with a smile. Her nose is long, narrow, and her high cheekbones defined in smooth lines. The full sclera of her eyes are solid black, not a single shred of color anywhere inside. Not one line or wrinkle gives any indication of age or history. She has no scars, no marks at all. The star tattoos that had once been inked into her skin are gone, as is the color of her hair. It's white, and much longer than it had been. The band of feathers at her arm are gone, but wide, sweeping wings spring from her back in colored feathers: dusky rose to black on the backside, and shimmering white feathers flat and sleek on the underside.
A self-admitted fashionista, Mercy takes great pleasure in selecting her outfits with care and panache. Though some are simply beyond her help, such as scrubs for the hospital, she manages to wear her apparel with the innate grace of a catwalk model who enjoys herself in wardrobe.
Most are aware that she tended to the injured and dying behind the Qularr containment field during the invasion, but there's much more to Mercy than she shares. Or that anyone can find in a database. According to comments compiled from others, she's been a nurse at Mercy Hospital for almost ten years. Aside from this fact, she's an unusual study of obviously rich history and nowhere to learn about it.
An Angel of Mercy
There are schools of thought that say Elysium is comprised of all the good that humans have come to believe. The heavens dreamed by the faithful, the righteous, the good, are all to be found in the realm. Others feel that it is truly a realm of angels and gods, and it is them that have sowed the seeds of religion on Earth. Whatever the truth of it is, none have said for certain, and it's possible even the denizens of that realm don't know. If they do, they aren't telling.
Whatever the answers are, the angels sent to Earth serve various purposes. Some are clearly laid out in lines of religious territory, others are more malleable, a fluid concept that fits within many religions and older than even Elysium, if such a thing could be considered. The woman named Mercy is one of these latter angels, an angel, an entity, whose purpose is to serve as a psychopomp for the righteous and the innocent on planet Earth. When a soul is ready to cross over into the afterlife that awaits it, it's she that guides them in whatever guise that person needs to see; whatever face that the person needs to trust.
The way she tells it, she's been on this planet since the first thinking native looked up at the stars and was afraid to die. If this is true, she's literally millennia old, but the truth of the matter is more complicated. Invoking Santa Claus physics, it's speculated that such entities employ a kind of quantum ability that lets them be where they need to be, as they're needed. This is true, although going off about quantum and time-bending in Mercy's presence is a quick way to make her eyes glaze over. It's also speculated that the amount of physical time spent on Earth is much less than the amount of time spent waiting, but this could be coffeehouse theorist prattle.
The end result is that Mercy has seen entire lifetimes pass, eras of humanity that ebbed and flowed; cycles of Earth. She has only really manifested a physical form during times of great crisis, when the souls of innocent are reaped in miserable droves. Plagues, famines, wars; these are times when she takes an appropriate physical form, walks among the people. Learns about them, and every time, falls a little bit more in love with the people whose spirit still soars after even the worst of odds. Maybe this slow build of affection for the people of this planet is the reason why she broke the first of the laws that guide her kind.
The laws are many and varied, but the important ones are these: Do the job that is your purview. Do not meddle. Do not reveal yourself to any but those whose souls are slated to be passed. Do not interfere.
As fluid as time appears to be, as ageless as she is, it's no wonder there's such a threat of broken laws.
When Destroyer brought such suffering to Detroit, she was present. When the buildings collapsed into rubble and the heroes fell, she was there to tend wounds and hold the hands of those whose lives ebbed in the chaos. And when the city rebuilt, she didn't leave. For seventeen years, she stayed in one physical form, one body, one identity. Though she didn't neglect her duties as an Angel of Mercy, she was able to help those who could be helped. Balance the taking of lives with the saving of lives.
Which is not in her purview. With every year that passed, with every day of pride and affection, of sheer adoration of humankind welling in her heart, Mercy bent laws. Until one day, when she made the decision to take part in the shape of the world. When she looked at the Qliphothic energy pouring into the world and knew she couldn't stand by and watch it gather; she couldn't sit still while DEMON gathered in number. The day she revealed herself to Zarp Draken, the laws shattered at her feet.
work in progress...
First Zarp. Then Hunter, who single-mindedly pursued her with an intensity so unique to human passions. First the hospital, then Meta-S.W.A.T. One by one, after millennia of silence, Mercy shattered the laws of meddling, of non-interference. Of watching. It didn't take long for them to find her.
Angels of Mercy's particular origins cannot be killed. To be killed suggests that there is a soul to travel to the afterlife. Angels of her type are ended. When laws are broken, Judgment is called down upon the offender's head, and this time, they sent Uriel. Known by many epithets, the face he shows now is the one as pitiless as any demon. He is the Angel of Repentance, and as he serves as the Face of God, he has cast his Judgment; now he brings the fiery sword of God to bear upon the convicted.
Knowing it was coming, determined to seize the small time she knew she had, Mercy wasn't quite prepared for the speed at which they moved. Hoping that she had even a few Earth weeks to enjoy her newfound sensation, her feeling and measure of freedom, Uriel caught her off-guard. With the effort of his Chosen, each equipped with bullets blessed for divine assault, he traced her to the museum, surprised her. Ever the showman, he forced her to kneel before the terrified museum tourists and began his speech; his Judgment spoke aloud, sealed to her fate. For she had gone against the Laws of God, broken the faith that bound her to the service of their Father, their Lord. She had betrayed them all, and her punishment was to be the example for all the angels who walk among the humans as protectors and shepherds. Separate, apart, and watchful.
To her shame, to her shock, Mercy said nothing, and only knelt to await the final blow. And why not? Millennia of tradition, of simple fact, cause and effect, cannot be undone by one lone angel -- an angel who isn't even among those who register on the heavenly hierarchy as anything but a servant. She knowingly broke the rules, offering what help and advice and warnings she could before her time came up. When it did, sooner than she wanted, all she could do was accept it.
An angel's pride will forever be a downfall.
Uriel hadn't planned for interruption of any real capability, secure in his belief that he, an archangel of Elysium, would be far more important, far more commanding, than any pitiful child this world would have to offer. When a team that included Hunter and Striker broke through his angelic guard, halting her execution, he retreated. Furious, unharmed, but nevertheless surprised, and Uriel does not take to surprises. Mercy knows that he'll wait, watch, and arrange for much more favorable conditions.
Mercy had been jumpy, uncertain, and half-expecting a flaming sword to come out of the dark at any moment. But Uriel doesn't play cloak and dagger games. She knew that when he came, he'd come looking to win. While waiting for that other shoe to drop, it was difficult to separate the fact from the fretting. She investigated incidents involving irradiated gold, Qularr technology, human hostages. Piecing together what little she managed to learn, already having escaped injury and capture by Uriel's Chosen, Mercy battled time itself for the right, the capability, to help her city, her friends and her team.
The way she saw it, if the archangel didn't get her, the nerves would.
With the love and support of those around her, Mercy slowly came to the conclusion that even if she was ended at the hands of the Angel of Repentance, she was going to go down fighting. For her friends, for her life, for the planet and the people she's come to love so much. It was unfortunate that she was secretly sure she wouldn't survive this tiny, willful rebellion.
And there has never been record of an angel escaping Judgment.
When Uriel made his move, he waited until Mercy was all but exhausted with the arcane efforts she'd been pouring into every day for almost a week. Gone home to shower, half-dead on her feet, she barely had the presence of mind to turn on her comm unit and let the conversation filter into the Meta-S.W.A.T channel. As Uriel declared her Judged and convicted, as they exchanged words of censure, he called her Sraosha and committed her to be ended for her sins.
Except there was something wrong with Uriel. Something no one has been able to really place a finger on, not yet. He was something else, something different. While still the avatar of the archangel, still carrying the flaming sword, something had changed within him. The Meta-S.W.A.T strike team followed him to a warehouse, traced him through the clues seeded in the conversation Mercy tried to maintain until he overwhelmed and bound her with unusual gold alloy chains. Striker placed an A.P.B out on both of them, and nearly all of the hero community rolled out to save the woman they only knew as Nurse Mercy.
Inside the warehouse, bound by chains that should not have held her, Mercy defied every sin thrown in her face, every sentence, every assault. The chains scored deeply into her skin, but she fought. Struggled. Swore that she would not be ended because of the choice she made to love her world. As Uriel ranted about the world filled with mud and animals, as he raged against the favorite humans who destroyed all that God so worked for, a strike team comprised of Zarp, The Cobalt Streak, Wade, and Brazen Bull broke through the archangel's Chosen.
As they wrestled down the angel who seemed oddly less powerful yet so difficult to hurt, Zarp unchained Mercy. Held her back when she would have given in to fury and wrath. As she leapt for the bound Uriel, with every intention of ripping out his feathers with her bare hands, Zarp caught her. Held her until her struggles ceased. Until she could see again without red clouding her vision. Defender arrived, and Uriel was taken to jail, a pit stop before Stronghold.
When she stepped out of that jail to face the curious, concerned and worried faces of her community, Mercy nearly fell to her knees in terrible gratitude.
Knowing there was nothing else for it, Mercy explained what she was to them all. Apologized for her role in the deceit, for bringing Uriel to their doorstep, and was only made the more tearfully grateful as they welcomed her again. Still.
It was a hardwon peace, but it couldn't last. In the space of a week, everything came crashing to a shrieking halt. Takofanes swarmed the city, swamped it with crypts and undead hordes of rotting hunters. A shadow loomed out of Zarp's past to wreak havoc in the city jail, and Uriel made his move.
There was no time. No opportunity to investigate, even to think. Pushed to the very brink of exhaustion, Mercy struggled to fill the lapse of judgment that kept her from preparing for any other eventuality but magical necromantic raising. Switching shifts between manning the garage and prepping medical kits and sweeping the streets, she fought her fair share of zombies, swept them away from the civilians she could help and couldn't do anything but grieve for the ones she couldn't. She fell ill, a high fever and symptoms that mirrored many of the zombie bite infections the community struggled against, and she didn't know that Zarp's dark enemy had released Uriel from the prison before they'd been able to stransfer him out to Stronghold.
Takofanes' hubris touched everything, smeared it with the putrified stench of ill omen and bad luck.
With every stressful situation, every night of lacking sleep, she got worse and worse; her temperature ignited during a patrol. In a fury of heat and light, wings tore free of the inter-dimensional pocket that kept them "here but not", and her Earthly shell was seared away as she tumbled end over end to the harbor. Fortunately, her teammates were there to fish her out of the water, and they adapted quickly to what is her new... old... new form.
If anyone had any doubt as to Mercy's origins, they have been put to rest: an angel, avatar or otherwise, walks among the chaos of a crisis.
A Lost Love
to be continued...
The archangel Uriel -- or something like him, no one is quite sure -- has been freed from the jail that a strange draconian man busted wide. He has vanished into the chaos of the streets.
Mercy doesn't know what will become of the Face of God, but she's certain that what walks beside her on this world is not the Face that the Lord would care to show.
While finding her human feet—which is to say, really learning what it was to be a member of the world—she made some missteps, learned about her needs and the hearts of others, and fell in love with more than the world at large. However, before she could reveal her heart to Zarp, she was invited to a facility in England that maintains connections with other fallen divine. When she returned, he was gone.
Mercy left again to find him, knowing full well that it wouldn't be easy. Zarp travels interdimensionally when it suits him, and she'll be damn--well, she won't let a little thing like dimensions stop her from being by his side.
Mercy's meta capabilities seem to straddle a line between the Earthly and the divine.
An accomplished arcanist, any witch worth her salt would recognize the formula, ritual and spells she uses as learned witchcraft. The end result tends to be the same, exactly as expected, but those with a nose for such things might realize that her magic carries a vivid undercurrent of celestial, a divine foundation that Earthly arcane doesn't. Even those spells of spiritual sorcery seem to pale in comparison. It doesn't appear to give her any sort of leg up on more common magic; but it simmers. Like a signature, or a wellspring.
Once the Earthly guise she wears now is burned away, Mercy's powers take on much more of a celestial nature. Able to heal, to channel the raw power of Elysium, to bind the Gates of the Dead and more. Pure, radiant holy energy fills her, pours through her, overflows; it's impossible to mistake her for anything other than what she is. She can still work the spells that she knows, but there's nothing uncertain about them as she does: she is shaping celestial power.
They say it takes a lot more than Earthly means to kill an angel. Either this is true, or Mercy has the very luck of the gods on her side. She has survived plagues, wars, time, even direct assaults by things otherwise likely to kill your average sort. She has walked away from bullets to the back (and chest, and whatever exposed bits she may have failed to cover adequately). There are rumors that angels wearing Earthly shells may actually fall if their bodies take more damage than they can hold, but the Gates of Death don't open for them. So the body stands, regroups and mends. A self-sufficient carrier for the angel within. This may be more of that coffee-house theorist tripe.
All things must have a counter: all things must have an equal and opposite reaction. The few times Mercy has been truly injured, demons were involved. While it takes more than a lesser demon to truly hurt her, there is entirely too much demonic energy about to avoid entirely. The power of the Netherworld sears through whatever protection otherwise keeps her safe, providing a much higher risk of injury, even a kind of shell-death. If she is ever killed, if her Earthly shell is ever destroyed by a demon powerful enough, her angelic consciousness must build a new host.
When in her full angelic form, demons pose even a greater threat. It takes more than a lesser demon to truly put her at risk, but she runs the risk of being put out of commission, of sustaining terrible injury. If the demon is powerful enough, the equivalent of the celestial archangels in hierarchy and ability, it could end her just as easily.
Have something to say about Mercy? Leave it here:
- "She sets my soul at ease." - Zarp Draken
- "Mercy? Hands-down, best person I've ever met. She's Mary Poppins. She answers every call fer help, from Magical tears, to bloody noses. Practically perfect in every way. Changed my life. Whole buncha mushy stuff, that's fer her ears only. Jes' remember, she's Mary Poppins... With better curves." - Hunter
- "I literally owe her my life." - Keioseth
- "Mercy? She's a damned saint if you ask me. If every medic could cook like her? Well, I'd be more inclined to get myself shot." - Blacktide
- "She's m'favorite nurse. Only gal that will not only patch my sorry ass up day in an' day out. I owe 'er m'life, an' she gives me somethin' t'look forward to when I'm bein' carted off fer injuries." - Flynn
- "I think she reminds us that faith is not a waste of time." - Psionistar
- "She's really nice and always tries to make sure that I don't miss dinner. She kinda reminds me of my aunt Verna, only like /way/ hotter." - Phalanxer Yellowjacket X
- "I don't know much about her, but she's here to help people so that's really all that matters. She's got a good heart." - Giga Gal
- "Mercy is like that awesome first grade teacher who was the nicest sweetest most awesome lady ever (with the patience of bedrock mind you), she'd feed you the honey coated cheerios and stuff, but when you got a lil rowdy and punched that other kid in the face, would sit there and explain to you why you shouldn't do that, and make you feel like a 'tard for it.' - Silver Eagle
Rumor has it that...
- ...she and her boyfriend, Hunter, had a terrible falling out about infidelity... or work... or his gang... or was it a movie for movie night?
- ...she's a workaholic.
- ...she has a mysterious palatial suite in the nicest part of the city.
- ...she's an angel. An honest to, uh, yeah: totally an angel.
- ...she once broke into a demonic bookstore with a handsome hero and came out with her hair messier than when she went in, knowwhatImean.
- ...she has a terrible weakness for animals.
- ...she prefers to work skyclad.
- ...she can't possibly be as nice as she lets on to.
- ...she knows way too much about all kinds of terrible dark things -- ever wonder why?
- ...she is carrying on an affair with Zarp.
- ...she is carrying on an affair with Seroyio.
- ...she had a fling with Keioseth and wore his clothes around.
- ...she is carrying on an affair with just about everyone.
- ...she really is that nice, and expresses it in ways easily mistaken for something less sincere.
- ...she cries blood, like those urban legends about statues that cry red.
Main Theme: Charlotte Martin - Everytime It Rains
Personality: Sarah McLachlan - Into the Fire
Motivation: Ana Johnsson - We Are
Current Status: 3 Doors Down - Your Arms Feel Like Home
Character Actress: Anne Hathaway