Powersurge is a student at Halcyon Academy and a mutant hero with the innate ability to absorb electrical energy and redirect it into lightning.
Romi was born to a large extended family who all lived within a few blocks of one another. Her cousins, aunts, and uncles were part of her daily life. Unfortunately, her mother died young and her father never re-married, leaving her as an only child. Her father had seven siblings, all of which had had more then two children. As an only child, Romi spent lots of her time out at her cousins.
She was also expected to follow in her Dad's footsteps. Her father, Brian O'Byrne, had led the Real Irish Republican Army. While more or less defunct after some activity in the late 90's, her Dad was still thought of as a hero and leader despite the terrorist bent to it all.
Along with her older cousins, twelve year old Romi would harass British living in the city with them. It wasn't ever anything too serious other than pub brawls and the occasional broken limb. Throughout it all, she just never felt right but didn't want to be secluded from the family. When she turned fifteen, her powers manifested and everything changed.
She began to shortout electrical appliances and lights while walking around the house. At first, it wasn't a big deal and no one seemed to make the connections. However, soon the entire house or entire streets would suffer momentary brownouts. Romi could feel the electricity pouring into her. It made her feel like she was on a sugar high, or had had way too much caffeine. She would get jittery and uncomfortable with just sitting around.
While she was worried about this, it wasn't really anything too significant until the itching began. The energy she built up seemed to be crawling beneath her skin causing a painful itching sensation. She had been out walking when it first happened. The sensation of something building up occurred all at once and the nearby street collapsed into a blackout. A bright, shining light began to pour out of her eyes and tendrils of electricity blasted out around her, tearing open brick walls and asphalt streets. She passed out just as the electricity went off like a small bomb.
Several buildings were demolished and a few people hurt. It also happened to be next to a British owned grocery store. Her family thought she had set off some kind of bomb next to the place when she wandered back home in a daze. When they found out the truth, her cousins began plans to make use of it. They claimed that she could bring about a new reckoning for the Real IRA.
She explained her concerns to her Dad, that she didn't want to help and that she didn't know what to do. After a bit of research, he found out about Halcyon Academy. A few days later, and some awkward goodbyes, and Romi left for the States.
During the beginning of the new year (2010), Romi returned home to Ireland for an extended vacation. She planned to go and visit her family and escape from the chaos of being a hero and a student. While in Belfast, Romi began to hear odd rumours. A few of her cousins would talk about strange, arcane graffiti they had seen around the city's darker alleyways. There was a rumor that some strange from America had been making the symbols. Romi began to investigate it, dreading that she already knew the answer. While in America, her and HADES had taken been hunting down a minor demon lord who had been summoned by a group of now dead DEMON cultists. HADES had taken out his minions and closed down the summoning circles he had established but could not track down here he was hiding. Surge left America hoping that her friends would have the situation in hand.
She asked around about this stranger and found someone who had seen him coming to and from an old abandoned campground outside the city. Surge considered her options, but didn't have much choice. She was a whole world away from her friends and anyone with powers whom she trusted. She didn't know much magic, but the symbols had all been painted on in a specific pattern through the city. Romi couldn't figure out what it was for, but was sure that it was for something bad. She sat down in front of her video camera and took several videos for her friends, storing them on her computer before leaving. She didn't know how dangerous confronting the demon lord alone would be but knew she couldn't stay out of it.
Romi headed out to the campground and stormed inside. She didn't find anything. The entire campground was abandoned, covered in small bits of garbage here and there. Surge was about to leave when the ground started to glow. She had walked straight into a trap. The circle around her was a large, pointed shape inscribed with a glowing blue colour. Demons poured out of rifts in the air all around and started to fight with Romi. When the demon lord appeared, he seemed smug and confident. That night was a blur. Surge ended up blasting apart the spell with stored energy, causing some kind of explosive rift. The rift left nothing but a gaping hole in the ground.
The authorities presumed Powersurge had died in the explosion. The videos she made were sent to her friends back home. Her father as distraught over the loss of his only daughter. The funeral was huge in Belfast with all of her cousins attending. Back at Halcyon, a small bench and garden were dedicated to Romi. Some of her friends refused to believe and searched everywhere they could for her. Some even searched in the right places, but they didn't find her.
Throughout all of this, for three long months, Romi was in hell. Literally. The rift opened up the gates between worlds and dragged her straight into one of the Qliphotic dimensions. She spent three months there fighting and running from demons. She hid out where ever she could and perfected ways to take down different kinds of demons. While there, she made a deal with a bleak demon prince nicknamed Carrion. In exchange for her help on a few matters, he agreed to help her get out of Hell. Together they searched for a way to return Surge to her home planet.
Finally, they figured out that one of the other demon lord's had an access circle that allowed him to send followers through to the mortal planes. However, the circle required cosmic power to work and had been defunct for a long time. Fortunately, Powersurge managed to contact her friend Rune who had been looking for her and had not given up. The adult hero had tremendous power and helped her and Carrion tear through the armies of demons between them and the way out. Rune and Powersurge stepped through the portal, getting rushed back to Earth. She opened the portal directly on top of Fayrechilde and fell on top of her.
Since then, it's been back to business.
While out stopping a robbery in West Side, a pair of thugs surprised Powersurge and yanked her gauntlets off. They had thought that the gauntlets were how she managed to fire electricity. What they didn't know was that removing her gloves was near suicide for them. Powersurge immediately began to drain all of the electricity in the nearby area and ended up blacking out an entire block. Everything that had an electric charge from cell phones to batteries to cars was killed. Luckily, the hero knocked both of her aggressors out and instantly headed out to run around the city and get rid of the drained energy. She blasted lightning into the sky to get rid of the huge surge of power she had acquired. For a few hours afterward she was irritable and energetic. Since then, Surge has been trying to find someone to make locks and bondage-like buckles on the gauntlets in order to keep them on during combat. However..she doesn't know the full story yet.
Romi was concerned about the accident after she found out about the accidental death. She was afraid that she would be arrested, convicted and put in jail. The teenager didn't want to feel any responsibility for what had happened and saw it simply as an accident that wasn't her fault. She detested that anyone thought she could be to blame in any way. However, after numerous lectures by both friends and teachers alike she reluctantly accepted a small bit. She felt that, even though it was an accident, she had a responsibility to the family to let them know what had happened. Luckily the school's lawyer, Su-Lin went with her and nothing legal occurred. Romi gave her statements to the police and then went to talk to the family by herself. They saw her side of it, and were sorry for what had happened. Fortunately, they did not blame her for the accident. They even dedicated a small grant to Halcyon Academy in order to help future accidents like this by helping young metas.
Powersurge's biological makeup is peculiar. A normal human body's central nervous system produces electricity. The system produces this whether sleeping or awake. If an electroencephalogram shows no electric activity, then a person is legally dead. Electricity is produced when a negative charge, or electron, flows from one atom to another. Cell membranes produce electricity through sodium-potassium gates. However, Romi's body does not naturally produce these gates. Her cells are in a constant state of rest. The potassium ions do not move freely back and forth within the cell membrane.
What this means, is that Powersurge has no electrical activity in her cells. Instead, her cells have a high concentration of sodium ions. These sodium ions carry a positive charge that attracts negative electrons. This attraction results in nearby electrical impulses being drawn towards her and absorbed. When these electrical impulses are absorbed, Romi's sodium-potassium gates begin to act, and they act faster than a typical human's. The speed of the gates causes more electrons to be absorbed and a stronger and more energetic spin of electrons to be produced. This causes a buildup of electrical energy in her body.
Romi has little control over how many electrons are absorbed by her body. She has improved control using her hands by focusing on them and using them as a foci for controlling the flow. She can not, and would not want to completely shut the gate or she would cease to be alive. However, without the use of her gloves she has almost no ability to halt the absorption of high amounts of nearby electricity.
From research that has been done on Romi's DNA makeup, she may not have a limit in the amount of electrons that are absorbed. Her atomic makeup allows for an incredibly high absorption and use of electrons. However, she does not produce this effect naturally. As such, Romi's body is constantly depending on the static energy around her or the electrical devices around her for survival. Without it, they would cease to function and her brain and heart would stop working.
A side-effect to being filled with electric energy is a near constant strong sugar rush like feeling. Recently, Powersurge has found that she can go without sleep or food for long periods of time and subsisting only on electricity. However, after she releases all of the energy her body crashes from the lack of nutrients and sleep. Excess amounts of electricity have the same effect on Romi that excesses of oxygen have on the human body. It produces a type of euphoria.
This buildup causes cells to be able to respond more quickly. Her brain, heart, and muscles react faster. The electrical pulses that go through her body allow her to react at inhuman speeds and allow her to move faster than a normal human can. The more electrons she absorbs, the faster she can move and the faster she can think and react.
This electrical buildup also allows for Powersurge to produce blasts of electricity. She has limited control over how much she lets out at a time. Without her gauntlets, her body will spontaneously push electrical discharges out of exposed skin. The high voltage electricity blasts out in random directions until the buildup in her cells returns to a state that is closer to that of a typical human beings.
The Gauntlets: “Floodgates”
Powersurge's gauntlets work as a type of electrical floodgate. They allow her to sense how much she is drawing from the surrounding area and how much she has built up. They enable her to more easily control the flood of electrical energy into her cells along with allowing her to focus the electrical bursts to get rid of built up and excess energy within her body, allowing her to return her cells to a resting state of high sodium and low potassium.
The name Powersurge was used by her cousins as the name for their "battleplan." They wanted to wait for another time while Romi absorbed more electricity then they were going to have her walk into a British owned bank to blow out both its electrical systems and the people within. They began to refer to her as Powersurge, or P.S., in reference to the plan and her abilities. While she didn't agree with what they wanted to do, she still loves her family and decided to keep the name.
Powersurge's gauntlets weren't a part of her original costume design. However, she knew that she couldn't prevent another explosive outburst of power from occurring. She needed something that could help her regulate and control the amount of electricity she drew out from around her and funneled back out. Fortunately, the school had connections with local scientists at Tanaka Industries. The resulting gauntlets were a large, metallic affairs that at first drew a hiss of distaste from the girl. However, she can't complain too much since they've also gotten her plenty of positive comments at the club. She doesn't like to go anywhere without wearing them for fear that something will break but at the same time loathes the bulky metal gloves.
Student at Halcyon Academy since 2009.
Powersurge was named the first Welcoming Queen at the Halcyon Academy Welcoming Dance hosted by the Host Club.
HADES--Powersurge holds the tarot for Justice within the HADES secret club. She joined primarily to learn more about banishing and eliminating demon threats.
Student Government: Romi is the unofficial, unelected, and unexpected Vice President.
Romi is the leader of Outreach. This club is aimed at reaching out to the meta-human community. They host events for teenage-aged superheroes and also control the 'Outreach' IC coalition channel currently made up of the supergroups: Halcyon Academy, Beacon & Ravenswood.
Halcyon Academy Rave
As part of Outreach, Romi has taken it upon herself to make Halcyon Yearbooks
Practical Application of Powers; Instructor: Force
Music; Instructor: Aeterna
Extroadinary Beings; Instructor: Aeterna
Defense against the Dark Arts; Instructor: Hanlon
Combat Tactics 101; Instructor: Roulette
African Cultures; Instructor: Kalisha
Life Sciences; Instructor: Ms. Tanya Thompson
The High Road; Instructor: Dr. Jack Harris
The Gray Line: Ethical Considerations; Instructor: Ms. Melanie Worthington
Formerly dated Electrick, fellow Halcyon Academy student