Snake in the Grass
Ophidia - AKA Samantha Sheridan - is a humanoid mutant with reptilian and especially serpentine characteristics. In the relatively brief amount of time she's been kicking around, the snake-woman has managed to make a small name for herself as a street-fighter, thief, and eventually self-made hero.
Samantha is a bit squirrely about her past, and while she'll relate the occasional exploit or amusing anecdote, she rarely if ever gives anyone the full story. What she does admit to and which can be confirmed is that she was born in the blighted city of Saginaw, was either kicked out of her house or ran away at 14, and spent several years thereafter as a traveling performer. Presumably it was then and there that she picked up her acrobatic abilities and considerable skill with a blade.
Sam's Footnotes: That's right. I literally ran away and joined the goddamn circus. I mean fuck, my Dad told me to often enough, pff. Seriously though, it was a logical choice. I'm a snake-woman who can walk a tightrope and eat fire, I'm like P.T. Barnum's wet dream. Pretty simple to adopt the stuff I learned to more practical purposes outside a huge freakin' tent. Had a little help there..
The next several years of her life were a bit of a nomadic phase, criss-crossing the country doing god-knows-what for god-knows-who. What motivated her to turn her talents and natural abilities to 'hero-work', vigilantism and occasional theft, she doesn't say. She claims there was no real triggering event, just a strong sense of social justice and a deep empathy for the impoverished and down-and-out. Who knows, it may even be true. She is after all a self-admitted adrenaline junky, and actively enjoys pitting fancy foot-and-knife-work against guns, superpowers, and lasers.
Petty street crime didn't and still doesn't concern her. What earned her ire and the bite of her knives were those who profited and got rich off the suffering and misery of others: the hitman silencing witnesses, the racketeer, the human trafficker, the exploiter by any other name. typical modus operandi usually involved theft and redistribution of ill-gotten gains, some to victims, enough to herself to keep her operating. She was at it for about a year and a half before getting more serious and linking up with the rest of the superheroic community.
Sam's Footnotes: With great snakiness comes great responsibility. Or something.
Personality and habits
Sam is gregarious, talkative, and a bit of a loudmouth. If she has an internal censor, it's usually switched off or frequently ignored. Though extremely friendly and sociable she's known to have a bit of a temper, and if properly offended rarely hesitates to let the other party know exactly how she feels about it. A string of profanities if they're lucky; sucker punches and paralytic bites if they're not.
Sam's Footnotes: I get along pretty well with most people. Except the ones I don't.
Samantha frequents the bar scene, and while she doesn't drink constantly or every day, when she does it's frequently to excess. She has a minor cannabis habit and smokes cigarettes, though neither at this point seem to interfere with her athletic performance.
Notably she seems to almost always wear something on her neck; a wrap, a scarf, or frequently a ubiquitous black choker. Her tail is very expressive, twitching when she's nervous, swaying slowly and evenly when contented.
Traits and Powers
Reptilian Characteristics: Samantha is a mutant whose powers mirror those of one particular branch of the animal kingdom - the reptile, and especially the serpent. She is covered head to toe in scales, larger around the midsection and belly, finer along the neck and face. Her eyes are narrow and slitted like a snake's as well.
She is not a reptile, strictly speaking. One look at her is enough to figure she's probably a mammal.
Sam's Footnotes: ....
And she's not cold blooded either. Her temperature regulates normally, for the most part. Her scales actually hold in heat fairly well, so she rarely suffers during winter months. However their prescence prevents her from sweating normally in order to lower her body temperature, so paradoxically her semi-reptilian nature puts her at greater danger in hot weather than in cold.
Also she molts-
Sam's Footnotes: The less they know about this the better, MOVING RIGHT ALONG.
Serpentine muscle: Sam has very tight, compacted muscle tissue and a high degree of control over the same. Stronger than the average person of her size without really having to work for it. She can take quite a bit more trauma without succumbing than even another strong, athletic human.
Lizard-like Agility: Amazing feats of acrobatics come almost naturally to Samantha. She can leap several times her height vertically into the air, and her balance is naturally superb. Fighting techniques more common to kung-fu films than real life are easily with her reach and capability to perform. She can move in almost complete silence, and stand, sit or crouch in a single position for hours with minimal discomfort.
Poison: She has a pair of snake-like fangs that can unfold into striking positions on her upper jaw. These are loaded with a nasty paralytic poison, exposure to which causes an opponent's muscles to seize and lock up as if in rigor mortis. It's rarely fatal unless she goes out of her way to dose her enemy with as much poison as she's got. Her knives are usually coated with the stuff, and often a single nick is enough to take someone out of a fight or severely reduce their effectiveness.
A power she usually doesn't admit to relates to a series of spines running along her back. In a situation of extreme stress or threat, these spines can release an aerosolized version of her toxin in a nasty miasmic cloud. She is loathe to ever do this, as -breathing- her poison as opposed to simply being bit or knicked can and often is deadly, preventing a person from breathing properly. It can also be as dangerous to her allies as to her enemies.
Knife-Fighting/Martial Arts: Samantha fights with a pair of sharp, well-made, but otherwise unremarkable katar punching knives. Her usual technique tends to mix lighting fast, poison dosing strikes with flying kicks, knees, and leg sweeps. Though her training doesn't compare to that of other martial-arts based heros, her natural agility and raw talent tends to compensate.
Heightened senses: Sam can see in the dark, 'smell' with her forked tongue, and detect heat as a sort of 'sixth sense' through a pair of pit organs just under her nostrils. She is however, partly color-blind.
Sam's Footnotes: The tongue thing is actually kind of a pain in the ass. You know how much speech therapy I had to go to just so I didn't draw out every S like sssss? God I even annoyed -myself-.
Quotes and Random Ophidia-isms
"I'll bite you. Don't think I won't." - Common threat. Mostly empty.
"OK assclowns, let's get this done fast, I am -not- missing Justified for your bullshit." -Tangling with a pair of warring gangs in Westside.
"*Chewbacca noise*" - At Lycan in his half-transformed state.
"That's a stupid place for a wall."
"'Manimal?' Sexy Badass Ninja Snake is the PC term, thank you."
"Something tells me one of these days, I'll end up finding out whether or not this grows back." - On her tail.
"I'd rather not tangle with VIPER. They'd probably black-bag me and try to turn me into some kind of fucked up mascot or something."
"Oh suure, blame it all on the snake, how fucking convenient." - On the Book of Genesis.