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(WIP Notes: Page reuploaded from the old Primus site, but as of this post the image uploader isn't working correctly. All files are saved locally, so the gallery section is filled with dead links until I can get that to work again. Work's been taking me away from the leisure time I'd once enjoyed, so the chances of me rewriting this page soon are slim. Sneak peek on some almost-finished lineart (by me!) here.)
"Well, uh... hello, there. Everyone calls me Slick. My apologies if I'm being too quiet, or something - I'm definitely not here to judge anyone by their cover, regardless of how weird they are.
...Erm, no offense. I'm weird, too. Weird's certainly not a bad thing."
Slick's social skills have expanded since he first settled down in Millennium City after his initial accident. Some of his inherent naivety and inexperience have worn off, though he tends to be shy and occasionally uncomfortable around new faces when approached. He will politely refuse to take off his helmet if asked, claiming that his "lucky helmet" has kept him safe in the past and will continue to do so. To new friends and strangers he decides to approach or ones in need of assistance, Slick is a well meaning soul who treats others with politeness and utmost respect to the degree that he may noticeably worry himself about saying something "wrong" or impolite to new faces. When around his closest friends, he tends to be less nervous about his speech.
Slick is extremely difficult to anger. He views the world with an optimistic "everyone deserves another chance" mentality and strives to find the inherent good in others. He is very open-minded and cares little about one's appearance or previous history. Slick dislikes violence of any sort in all but the most dire circumstances. If prompted, however, Slick can treat serious situations with a determined resolve of his own, doing all he can to diplomatically (or, rarely, physically) to defuse a tense situation.
(Slight spoilers ahead. Certain redacted sections may be posted to a separate "important spoilers" page in the future. Bio is still very WIP and most categories are placeholders.)
Slick's early childhood was spent moving around the country. His father was a traveling businessman, and his family often relocated to accommodate new opportunities in various places around the Southern U.S. As an only child, and with little time to meet new friends in schools or communities he passed through, Slick's social skills were relatively undeveloped. As time passed, feeling that finding some long-term friends in the world was an uphill battle, he turned his attention to his favorite hobby: motorcycles.
Slick's life literally revolved around motorcycles. From Hot Wheels to posters, scooters to the real deal, learning about bikes and how they worked was the one thing he was certain he could take with him during whatever travels he and his family were yet to endure. He was an introverted student, and worked entry-level jobs wherever he could in order to fuel his ambition. At the age of 16, he was able to obtain his license and pour his passion into building his pride and joy.
One 2006 Ducati 999R. Every penny he had saved from gifts and odd jobs over the years had paid off for Slick. The bike was his to call his own, and every waking moment he could spare was spent with his motorcycle. The bike was extensively modified: at first by professional shopwork, though it wasn't long before he put his personal knowledge and elbow grease towards tuning the mechanics of his ride. Slick can still list off the exact specifications of his motorcycle to the present day: engine borings, high-flow exhaust piping, carbon fiber paneling/swingarm, tire softness, you name it. At one point, a dyno reading proved that the bike could provide more horsepower to its rear wheel than most small automobiles could. It was around this time that he first assembled his now-familiar attire: a crash helmet and jumpsuit, colored red and white to precisely match the paint colors of his Ducati.
And he rode that Ducati into the ground. The constant re-engineering that Slick provided his bike made it into an extremely powerful machine, but his riding skills did not develop at the same pace. Slick proved to be a clumsy rider: his enthusiasm for speed and wild driving tactics led to frequent spills and even more frequent property damage. His street racing career lasted for all of 15 minutes, ending with a spectacular crash through a cattle ranch that earned him the derogatory nickname that he uses to the present day. Fortunately, his riding helmet was highly effective at preventing him from serious or fatal injury during any of his stints on his motorcycle, leading him to don it "the lucky helmet."
Slick's passion for his motorcycles landed him in hot water with his immediate family. The frequent upgrades and repair costs sapped him of any savings he had left, and over time his parents (logically) decided that it would be in everyone's best interest and safety if they stopped fronting him money to fund his repair bills. At this point in time, Slick's family was residing in Millennium City. When it came time for his parents to move again, they told him that he either had to "clean up his own messes" or leave the bike in stasis until they deemed him ready to use it again. Slick chose the bike, deciding to stay in the city as his parents moved on to other pastures. Slick had convinced his family that he was mature enough to make the decision; the family split shortly after on terms deemed "less than horrible."
Slick was unable to find a job that could pay enough to fund his hobbies (or keep a roof over his head). For once, his optimism did not pay off. It wasn't long before he ended up homeless.
On June 11, 2011, Slick crashed his motorcycle for the final time. His point of impact was the back end of a fully loaded tanker truck, the contents of which were labelled as simple "propane." His exact memory of the subsequent events is fuzzy: all Slick can recall is that a black liquid leaked out of the truck, spilling on top of him as he lay on the ground. He turned his head in time to see the totaled wreckage of his bike, falling unconscious shortly after.
A handful of days passed before Slick awakened, finding himself at rest in a roadside ditch. The wrecked truck and his motorcycle were both gone without a trace, and an excruciatingly painful, sickening feeling squeezed a tight hold into his torso. Wounded from the effects of the crash and the "black stuff", he managed to limp his way to behind a local nightclub before nearly falling unconscious once more. The stresses on his body were too much for the unprepared kid to handle, as his powers forcibly manifested themselves for the first time. Slick's limb extremities were the first to go, shattering bones and tissue as his arms and legs lost their human shape. The gravity of the situation was too much for him to handle: the initial spike of pain and psychological shock of seeing his arms grow uncontrollably in front of him rendered Slick unconscious once more for a period of a few hours. By the time he woke up, the "damage" had been done: he was unable to regulate his body. Dragging his shiny, twin-clawed feet into the concrete, staring in speechless horror as black spines rapidly began to burst and protrude out of his shoulders, he panicked and dashed into the nightclub with the intention of finding a paramedic immediately.
In his self-admitted "scariest moment of [his] life", Slick began to mutate. Onlookers came over to offer their aid, but nothing could be done to prevent the onset of his newfound powers. His body began to bulge, heave, and rapidly pack on additional mass, pounds upon pounds at a time, before tearing through his clothing in a biological menagerie. The top of his helmet was cracked apart by spines protruding from the back of his skull, his legs snapping into a double-jointed position before extending his new body to a total height of nearly seven feet tall. Insect-like wings erupted from his skin, bringing along a long, spined tail and a multitude of ridges that covered his body in exoskeletal fashion.
A bit more insight was uncovered after the initial shock value of the unintentional transformation. Slick's body had been altered beyond recognition, but his mind and sanity remained completely unchanged.
The Grace Period
Understanding what had happened to him was initially a slow and clumsy process for Slick. Hysteria aside, he could only describe the feelings of his new body as neither good or bad, just inexplicably "weird." Bouts of nausea and dizziness were frequent. Simple things like relearning how to sit down or walk upright on his heavy frame required helping hands and intense concentration. An impromptu biopsy at Club Caprice by an in-town doctor merely resulted in the extraction needle shattering against Slick's arm. He did not and could not feel hungry, thirsty, or tired, and soon realized that he could lift a substantial amount of weight with relatively minor effort.
His first actions were to try and find some answers. Not knowing the source or location of the truck, most immediate events after the initial accident or what he was turning into basically meant that he didn't get too far in his search. Willingly putting parts of himself under the microscopes of a variety of doctors, scientists, mad-doctor-scientists and even a local mystic proved unable to come up with a proper diagnosis. Biological scans of his internal functions came back with "weird" results, as he would say.
His futile attempts to find medical attention led him back to one of the few things he knew how to cope with well - isolation.
New Beginnings, Part 1
Settling Into The Routine
New Beginnings, Part 2
Though motorcycles and their users are a rather rare sight in Millennium City, Slick boasts a lifelong dedication to studying the inner workings of a variety of two-wheeled internal combustion machines. He knows everything from where to find the best deals on parts to the proper torque values on each frame mounted nut and bolt. He holds a distaste and general lack of knowledge on digital computers, preferring to use older-fashioned equipment or hand/power tools when at all possible. Slick's engineering prowess is a rarely-seen feat, and a talent that he tends not to bring up in idle conversation.
"The Black Stuff"
Slick's main superhuman abilities stem from the result of large parts of his bodily structure being composed out of the liquid compound he was first exposed to during his incident with the rear end of a tanker truck. Over time, he has developed the ability to control his body's interaction with the "black stuff" at will and without long-term side effects. The black stuff itself is not alive, sentient, or intelligent, and appears to behave organically when in Slick's system. Any poisonous attributes it had prior to being incorporated into Slick's body have been rendered inert since. Regardless of his physical appearance, his personality and mindset remain constant: as does his unwillingness to remove the helmet.
Slick is capable of altering his size and mass to an impressive degree. His figure changes drastically as he does: his skin rapidly rebuilds itself out of glossy jet-black organic material, hands and feet reforming into large clawed digits. Further increases in mass lead to further appearance changes: refer to the gallery for a more visual description. Slick has the capability to exponentially increase his strength and height in this fashion: though commonly stopping at a range of 12 to 30 feet, recorded sizes of over 120ft. are possible with (relative) ease. There is nothing physically preventing him from maintaining this size indefinitely: some reasons for him not doing so include unintentional collateral damage to roads and walkways and a degree of social awkwardness related to conversing with others at such an exaggerated size. His maximum size is limited by the amount of oxygen he can take in: at heights over 200 feet, Slick is unable to biologically sustain himself and has a high potential to fall unconscious. Slick's claws can slash with seriously damaging force and velocity if he chooses to use them as an offensive weapon.
As Slick's organs are virtually unrecognizable after his mutation had kicked in, they behave significantly different compared to a normal human's. While breathing is still a necessity, Slick no longer requires any food, hydration, or sleep to maintain himself and his perpetually high energy level. His body cannot physically exhaust itself, provided he is supplied with ample oxygen. The amount of air intake needed to sustain himself is relative to his size and how strenuous his current activity is: ranging from unremarkable breathing at his regular height and appearance to gale-force inhalations as he surpasses the dozens-of-feet-high barrier.
Slick's external defenses revolve around his sheer strength and sturdiness. Blunt-force trauma is virtually a non-issue when he's readily prepared, and his skin is thick and dense enough to mitigate heavy firepower and cutting forces. Slick does not bleed if his skin is punctured: any flesh wounds will glaze over and regenerate fully over a given period of time. The absence of nerves inside his altered flesh renders him immune to pain and extreme heat: extreme cold only becomes an issue when his helmet visor begins to frost over.
Slick's most common altered form comes equipped with a pair of large insect-like wings, more than capable of propelling his weight around in powered flight. Combined with an increase in size, this gives him the capability to act as a shuttle for other beings by simply holding them in his hands. In other cases, Slick can take on a leaner and more aerodynamic shape, letting him use the strength in his legs to propel himself across the ground or underwater at high speeds.
Flying with wings isn't a natural experience for most humans, and Slick is no exception: months of practice with flight have helped him move straight through the air with grace, but his in-flight agility is fairly limited. A natural-born flyer will have no trouble flying circles around him.
Slick has little understanding of magic, telepathy, or other metaphysical arts. The helmet and his strong-willed personality may pose a challenge for low-level telepaths attempting to read his thoughts. For highly experienced magic users or mentalists, Slick is virtually defenseless if they can aim for the head.
Blocking Slick's visor effectively renders him blind. Similarly, sealing his helmet or attacking his throat can affect his breathing.
Slick dislikes violence and is reluctant to engage in a conflict to begin with. He is vulnerable to surprise attacks if caught completely unprepared. (You'd have to stoop pretty low to want to punch him out, however.)
Re-settling in Millennium City has given Slick a different outlook on social life, meeting many new people in the process. These are a select handful, who happen to have their own character pages here.
Heillder - Despite the two of them often disagreeing with eachother on trivial and occasionally major issues, Slick holds a heartfelt respect for Heill, who tends to treat him back as a friend and well-intentioned protégé. Heillder is often the first person Slick turns toward to look for advice or assistance... with rarely predictable results.
Kahi and Seth - Talking to this pair wasn't always an easy task for Slick. He holds them in high regards but tends to get overwhelmed after long bouts of conversation, taking into account his knowledge of their histories and complex ideology. Slick's more relaxed around them now then he once was, and the two of them always welcome his company with open arms.
Divael - Another close ally and someone that Slick really looks up to. "Nat" shares a similar distaste of violence, has been the one to introduce Slick to quite a few crowds of people, and knows how to rescue people out of a social slump. When Nat's in a good mood, everyone benefits. Natasha knows a good deal more about Slick's history than most.
Cold Shoulder - Slick's personal private investigator, courtesy of a labor-for-hire deal he'd made with UNTIL in late 2011. Gerard's main relationship with Slick is to dig through corporate paper trails and report back on any "black stuff" related information periodically. As such, the two are more business partners then friends, though Gerard often finds amusement in perplexing his relatively inexperienced new employer.
Trouble Maker - The occasionally enigmatic Marina has warmed up to be a close friend of Slick's. Meeting eachother through their friendship with Divael, Slick and Marina often share sage words of advice with themselves and are often able to talk on a personal level without issue.
Xaphan - Slick's first meeting with Kenna was when he'd intervened in a fight and nearly took a molten obsidian claw through the throat for his effort. Many apologies and many heart-pounding moments have occurred between the two since then. He carries an extreme level of trust in the ifrit, and the two know how to cool eachother down if things get too heated.
Particle Man - Slick's the guy who walks PM home if he gets carried away with piña coladas. In any group of people, Tiny's the most likely person Slick would high-five.
█████ "████████" ██████████ - Cunning, violent, sadistic, and wants Slick dead on a personal and a business level. Involved with the ████████ ██████. Nearly choked a close friend of Slick's to death in broad daylight. Oh, and she thinks she's the victim. How's that for cognitive dissonance?
Mars Morand - Though Mars is a face Slick has seen a handful of times in Club Caprice (often confusing the daylights out of bystanders), a moderate mental breakdown on Mars' end led to severe injury and noticeable damage in Mercy Hospital's lower level. Slick had managed to intercept the fleeing perpetrator shortly after the incident, but was unsuccessful in keeping him restrained and under control. Now on the lam, and with no obvious solution to restoring that tiny chunk of sanity that keeps him in place, Mars is emerging as a real threat in Slick's books due to his present condition.
Comments N' Stuff
Feel free to edit this section with IC or OOC comments/declarations of love/pouring your built up liquid hate about Slick. :D
Heillder: That Kid. I swear, he's the most unviolent person I've met... with a certain busty elf. Still, he has the power to topple a city to the ground and cries after poking a tree. That tells you a lot, doesn't it. Still, he CAN sometimes become pretty serious. Rare occurence but, when he does, it's pretty awesome. Go kid! You'll go far! ....Literally, heehee.
"B--... I mean, Slick, is someone I care for. A lot. He's shown to be more than just a good friend, and... I'm glad to have met him. He does think in a manner alike to me, in the way that even with the ability to become huge, which could cause a lot of destruction in the wrong hands, he still beleives in peace. Giving others a second chance too, is part of both his, and my views of the world. Slick can be shy, but, uhm... I guess it just adds to his charm. I think. He deserves great friends, and many other things, and I'm not sure if always fit the "great friend" bill... So, yeah, go say hi to him. He's a great guy." -Natasha Roy (Divael)
Slick..When I met him, he was in trouble. Lady trouble if I remember correctly. He strook me as a very nice person but very closed. After that I've seen him around here and there, always wearing that helmet. I'm always wondering how he looks like, but that's none of my business. I hope he's doing well now, and I should definitely walk up to him again to have a chat. -Equilibrium
"Forgoing my dislike of dogs, I'd say Slick reminds me of a puppy. From what I've seen and experienced, he seems to get attached rather quickly to anyone who's nice enough to him. He's also worried a lot, which... makes a lot of the people he knows worry. But, he's a really nice guy. Scared me a bit, at first, since he always wears that helmet, but... You know, I wonder what he looks like under that. I can barely make out his face with it on, but... I can't make out any features. If anything, I think that's what makes him "weird", as he puts it." - Trouble Maker
"Though I prooobably won't forgive myself for once launching myself through his window --...Hey, I swear it was an accident...-- Slick is the man I go to when I need some support. Slick might look frightening at a glance, but hell, he's the kind of guy I'm drawn to. One of the few people on this planet I could properly call a friend. He deserves that much." - Snowtalon
"He keeps popping out of nowhere. He's like Candlejack...or something. Nice guy though." - Persephone
"Weird, he knows. He's a great guy if not a little too vulnerable sometimes to his own mishaps. He's also /really/ good for making snow forts, or at least a something fort." -Impale
His regular attire.
Computers are like a foreign language.
Perched in his most common "weird" form.
He can get quite big. For occasions.
Quite a few elements of Slick are inspired by the ever classy Marc Cohn's above-mentioned theme song. Put him behind the bars of his old bike, however, and things tend to devolve into something like this. More gung-ho than anything malicious, but old habits do die hard.
Slick's helmet visor is not completely opaque. Someone looking directly into it from the outside can make out expressions and a general sense of body language without much difficulty. However, it's not clear or well-lit enough to display Slick's exact facial details.
Unless you count being polite and ready to offer help in a heartbeat as flirting, Slick is not much of a womanizer. Talk of romance tends to make him act shy, to say the least.
Attempting to convince him to take off his helmet or attempting to take it off yourself probably won't pan out. Slick feels like he has no reason to take it off.
If his speech pattern was boiled down to a game of Mad Libs, he'd replace every blank with the word "weird." He says it very often.
Slick's birthday is August 29th.
Counting the earliest versions, the character first came to light around January 2011 under a radically different name and background. Initially made as a proof-of-concept in order to make his intended powerset work within the confines of the game's costume creator, the design sat in stasis until June of that year, until it was reworked into a more playable format. Some minor elements of the long-obsolete original design eventually made it into Cold Shoulder's personality.