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Dec 23 2017, 11:20 AM
Celebrity Claim- Chris O’neal
20Date of Birth-
Unaffiliated for the moment but he needs help and a group to belong toOccupation-
He did help his parents with their work at the Lake Nakuru National Park and was working on his degree, but as he isn’t there anymore...yeah, no job
Bongani is a kind and quiet soul who has become, due to the past half a year, a bit more timid and shy than he was back in Africa. He doesn’t speak loudly and would nearly always prefer to solve a problem with words rather than violence. Although nervous around strangers due to the circumstances of the past few months, he ultimately enjoys the company of others and is always happy to help, be the shoulder to cry on, or be the one others rely on. However, his confidence in approaching and speaking to others has lessened so he is often times more likely to watch a person from afar than go up to talk to them. If spoken to, he will, of course, respond. Despite his shyness, Bongani is still quick to smile although joking around is reserved more for those he really knows.
Promises are something the young shifter holds dearly now, especially after the disaster that followed the broken promise he made to his parents. If he gives you his word, it is gold and torture couldn’t convince him to give up a secret entrusted to him. Rules, as well, are something he abides by for the same reason that he won’t break a promise; the last time he broke the rules he was captured by poachers. The fact that he has to steal to survive eats at his conscience daily and makes him very nervous. Once he is safe and somewhere where such actions are no longer necessary he will almost obsessively follow the rules, because he doesnt want to cause further troubles for himself. He will not drink because he is not 21. He will not jaywalk because it is illegal. This makes it easy for others to see him as being a bit of a square, but what they often don’t realize is it is fear that drives this need to stay in line.
Due to his inability to shift his clothing when he transforms, Bongani is not body shy. He will change his clothing in front of those that he knows (not strangers because that is against the law) and completely strip without finding a quiet corner somewhere if he feels that shifting right then is necessary. The only exception to this is if his present company is somebody he is attracted to. At those moments he will become self-conscious and attempt to slink off somewhere private. He will not explain this change because he is in denial of his homosexuality, a punishable offense that can result in large fines and many years in prison back in his home country of Kenya. Bongani is horribly naive when it comes to anything physical as he has never explored anything even with a woman. His urges toward men are too strong for him to experiment with women and even though he is in the States where homosexuality is legal, he still fears embracing that part of himself. He wont talk about it, won’t acknowledge it, and does his best to just shove it down and hide it away.Likes-
- Snow- he doesn’t appreciate the cold part of it but thinks it is beautiful and amazing the way it can compact to form structures
- Everything nature- You want to see him animated and excited, bring up something nature related and listen to him go
- Reading, usually science books
- Chili- he never had any back in Kenya and it is amazing!
- Those colorful red birds that look so pretty against the snow. What are they called?
- Long, very hot showers
- Dogs- yes he’s a cat who likes dogs
- Being outside
- Dark chocolate
- The cold- he’s just not used to it and he’s begun to wonder if New York ever gets warm
- Stealing and breaking rules
- Really sweet things- Bongani didn’t grow up with a lot of sweets and as a result doesn’t have the pallet for it
- People who litter or harm animals and plants needlessly
- Being cooped up inside for too long- he’ll risk the cold just to get some fresh air and be back in nature
- Inquisitive nature- Bongani has a boundless curiosity toward anything related to nature and loves to hunt down information on anything he doesn’t know. He could research for hours and be perfectly content.
- Bongani is very good with animals. Back in Africa, he helped the rangers with injured or snared animals on a regular basis and his soothing nature and calm personality always helped the animal to calm at least a little. They seem to sense that he means them no harm...when he actually does and isn’t trying to hunt one for his dinner.
- To his surprise, Bongani has recently discovered a skill in training animals. He’d never done so before Rafiki but he has managed to teach his friend many things during their travels.
- Bongani grows very uncomfortable, even fearful, in small spaces or anywhere where he feels he might be trapped.
- Although normally calm, Bongani’s temper flares whenever he sees anybody being cruel to an animal. The only time he’s ever struck another person was when he rescued Rafiki and the rage that had flooded through him scared him.
- Bongani can’t cook to save his life; he just doesn’t know how.
Animal (feline) Shape-shiftingDescription-
Bongani has the ability to shift into the form of any species of feline he has encountered. The transformation either to cat or back to human involves a fair amount of concentration (so he will not be doing so when very sick, dizzy, gravely injured, etc) and a sort of imagining of his body changing. Although remaining in either form (he is unable to do any sort of partial transition so he is always either himself or a feline) doesn’t cost him in additional energy, shifting does. When he first started practicing his abilities, Bongani could only only change back and forth the one time. Now, he can change as many as 8 times a day between human and feline.
When transformed, Bongani’s age and physicality transfer over with him which is one of the reasons he keeps himself in good shape. As long as he is in peak form so will be his feline counterparts. This does not mean that he or his cat forms gain any sort of strength or speed from the other. In those forms he is simply as strong, fast, or agile as a healthy wild one would be. Currently, his lion form is his strongest form and the cheetah the quickest. While his strength and speed remain the same, some heightened senses have transferred from his feline forms over to him. Although not to the level of an animal, Bongani has enhanced hearing, smell (not to the point of tracking someone by their scent but enough to smell the lingering scent of the breakfast somebody had earlier that day), and night vision.Limits-
Bongani, likely due to the concentration needed to shift, can only change into feline species that he knows and has seen. His current list includes: lions, leopards, cheetahs, servals, domestic cats, and bobcats. Cougars, tigers, jaguars, and any other feline he has never encountered remain beyond his reach. Bongani cannot transform from one feline species to another but must change back to his human form and then to the next cat. Injuries or illnesses obtained in any form transfer proportionately with the shift so if he is wounded in any form that injury will follow him to the next.
Quite unfortunately, Bongani is only able to shift his body; everything else on his person, including clothing, stays as it is. As a result, whenever he changes from a cat back into a human he is as naked as the day he was born. On the flip side, whenever he plans to change into a cat it is better for him to strip out of his clothing first to avoid tearing them or getting caught up in them.
Whenever he is in his feline forms, Bongani struggles a bit to control certain natural instincts. For example, fast movements will always catch his eye and if he’s hungry the desire to hunt- even sometimes humans- becomes strong (the exception is his dog, Rafiki, who is concerned part of his pride and, therefore, never on the menu). His control has greatly increased over the years- especially during his time as a pet when he fought daily not to lose himself to the leopard- so he rarely acts without meaning to, but he must focus to maintain that control. Approach cautiously if he is in feline form and highly injured or groggy.Skills & Abilities-
From his parents and his own studies, Bongani has learned a great deal about both botany and zoology. He also learned how to track, use telemetry, conduct scientific studies, drive vehicles in all types of terrain, shoot guns, camp, and all manner of skills one needs to know when working on a nature preserve in Africa. Bongani had begun his degree in Zoology but it was interrupted by his unplanned trip to the United States.
He is a little taller than average height at 6ft.Weight-
dark brownHair Colour-
Bongani is naturally lean and had always lived a healthy, active lifestyle that kept him trim and fit. Since traveling across the state, where he has had to fend for himself, he has built up more muscle and burned away a good portion of the fat he once had on him. At the moment, he is not exactly healthy as his knowledge of edible wild plants in America is nonexistent and surviving off of a diet of nearly straight meat is difficult on the human body (as a result he often fed as a feline and waited until he’d digested to transform back in the hopes it would help). It would not be bad for him to gain a bit of body fat back nor to get some veggies in him.
Whenever Bongani finds himself around other people, he tends to try to make himself as invisible as possible while failing to realize that most of what he does actually draws more attention to him. He nearly always has a hood on some part of his clothing due to his dislike of the cold and will wear it up and as far over his face as possible to hide himself. Logically, this makes little sense as nobody is looking for him and there is nobody in the country who would recognize him, but with his capture, escape, and flight across the state he feels as if he is running and with that feeling comes the need to not stand out. He will hunch his shoulders, keep his gaze down, and stuff his hands into his pockets to appear smaller and unassuming, never realizing that those combined with the hood often makes him appear up to something.
Because he is unable to transform his clothing with him, Bongani prefers simple clothing that is easy to remove. He avoids the decorative layering that is popular right now, preferring instead such things as sweats and loose T-shirts that he can quickly get off or at least not get too terribly trapped in if he has to transform before stripping. He tends to prefer darker, more muted colors but is not against wearing something bright now and again, especially if somebody encouraged him to. Bongani has a tattoo of the African species of cats he can transform into on his right shoulder going half of the way down to his elbow. The mark can be seen very faintly through his fur whenever he transforms...something he did not think about when he got it.Gear-
Bongani stole a backpack early on and has messed with it so that it fits around his form whenever he transforms into a cat larger than himself (he has places on the straps marked to tell him how loose to make it before he shifts with the backpack already on him). He takes this with him most places despite its quite tattered appearance, because it can hold his clothing (and anything else he needs) should he need to shift.Additional Information-
Bongani is uncertain how he feels about being in the United States. It is so different from home yet he knows it is also more accepting of the two sides of himself that he has had to keep secret. Part of him misses his family, particularly his sisters, dearly yet he wonders how long he would stay out of jail if he went back. Eventually, somebody besides poachers would be bound to catch him.
Although he is fluent in English, Bongani has a very strong accent that is sometimes difficult to understand, especially when he is excited and speaking quickly. Thankfully, most of the time he naturally speaks slowly.
Bongani has a dog. Yup, the cat man has a dog. It wasn’t planned (see more details in the history) but it happened and he’s thrilled to have Rafiki (“friend” in his native Swahili) by his side. The dog is a medium sized, short furred, and long legged mutt with nearly as calm a personality as his owner.
Nakuru, KenyaImmediate Family-
Younger sister by two years- Eidi
Older sister by one year- NyanjeraOthers-
Chege- park ranger and friend History-
Bongani was born to Alhaadi and Mandere Irungu, two biologists in Nakuru, Kenya. Both attended Kabarak University where Alhaadi earned a degree in Botany and Mandere earned a degree in Zoology, but they did not meet until Mandere began her work at Lake Nakuru National Park three years after Alhaadi. The two worked for the park alongside rangers to conduct countless scientific studies, protect the animals from the constant threat of poaching and manage their numbers, and help the ecotourism in their area thrive. They both made a decent living that allowed their family to live comfortably.
The Irungus raised their three children- Bongani and his two sisters Nyanjera and Eidi- to love nature just like them. They brought them into the field and taught them about the world around them, fully hoping and intending all three to follow in their footsteps later in life. Bongani took to it like a fish to water, always preferring to be outside and exploring over working on his school work (which he did, like the science nerd he is, still enjoy). He learned all that he could about the plants and animals in the park and even began joining some of the tours (as he’d learned English as well as Swahili at school) much to the delight of the visitors. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that he would follow his parents’ example, attend university to get a science degree, and eventually care for the park he so loved.
Things changed, mostly for the worse but partially for the better, when Bongani turned 14 and he manifested his powers. He was out with one of the rangers, a man he’d befriended named Chege, when it happened and likely only their friendship (and the man’s friendship with his father) saved him from being outed as a mutant and arrested. They were observing a pride of lions they’d tracked with telemetry when Bongani- his thoughts full of the common, childlike desire to be
one of them- suddenly found himself in the form of a lion struggling in the clothes of a boy. Understandably, both he and Chege panicked. It took over an hour for them both to calm and approach the other and for Bongani to figure out how to change back. Bongani tried to convince Chege to keep it a secret between them, but the man refused to lie to the boy’s parents. The conversation at their home that night was...not pleasant, but Bongani knew it could have been far worse. Both his parents, despite being scientists, were old fashioned thinkers when it came to mutants. Their strong love for him kept them from throwing him out, but they swore him to secrecy, they made him promise not to use his powers (a promise he broke), and although they didn’t grow cold toward him Bongani felt some definite distance that never went away. The latter broke his heart and that grief played a large part in him breaking his promise never to use his powers as he first dove into them as a distraction.
Bongani’s sisters, both of a more open minded generation, did not change their attitudes toward him and he, in fact, eventually confided in both of them that he was learning how to control his powers behind their parents’ backs. The three were already close and the secret brought them closer.
What affected the young man just as much as his powers was the realization he gradually came to during his teenaged years; he was attracted to his own sex. It was a double wammy as homosexuality, like being a mutant, was illegal across Kenya. This
secret he kept fully to himself, not trusting even the sisters that he loved simply because he felt he couldn’t risk it; if his parents heard about that he would
be thrown out. So he shoved it down and did his best to focus on anything else, particularly the use of his powers.
Bongani discovered that he could turn into any species of feline that he knew and snuck out often to run through the park. Although he was spotted as a cat by a few people, he was never caught transforming and his confidence in himself grew as the years passed. After graduating from high school, Bongani enrolled in the same university his parents attended and began his own degree in Zoology. He continued to help out at the park and things were going wonderfully (even though he was still fighting against the side of him that wanted more from his male peers) until the day a group of poachers found him. Bongani was relaxing in a tree in the form of a leopard, contentedly watching a herd of waterbuck graze nearby, when the dart hit him. The tranquilizer took a few minutes to kick in, long enough for Bongani to realize what was happening and attempt to escape but not long enough for him to be successful.
When he woke, Bongani found himself in a cage just large enough for him to turn around in what he came to find out was a cargo plane. He considered changing back to himself and begging the men around him to let him go for all of one second before realizing that although they clearly had a reason for taking him alive as a leopard they’d kill him in a heartbeat if they realized he was a man. So he stayed as he was, terrified and confused, and waited to see what was in store for him. He soon discovered that he’d been sold to a rich man who owned a large estate- where he kept other illegally obtained animals- in the northern part of New York state.
It took him three months of being kept as a rich man’s pet and trophy before he managed to escape.
Since then, Bongani has been traveling south where he’d heard from his master (who had entertained company near his enclosure often) speak of a few mutant groups at work. Sometimes he travels as a man, but other times he travels as a large cat with a backpack he stole and fashioned to stay (not terribly comfortably) onto his feline forms. Parts of the journey have been exciting (such as his first experience with snow), but most has been frightening and confusing, especially whenever he is forced to change back into himself and travel through a city. He must steal food, clothing, and other items to live which eats at his conscience as well as his nerves. He also doesn’t know how this country works and doesn’t know what the police (who he has run from twice) could arrest him for or what would happen if they caught him without any sort of ID or green card.
One of the positive thing that has come out of his forced travels is his new canine companion Rafiki. Getting a dog was not part of his plan, but when he was passing through a small farming community and caught sight of a man beating the poor creature, outrage swept through the young man and he found himself beating the man off and then releasing the abused canine. Bongani had hoped that the dog would run away and find a better life on its own but the medium sized mutt ended up following him. Bongani even transformed into one of his larger cats in the hopes of scaring the dog off, but call it animal instinct or perhaps some ability to smell the man beneath the beast, the dog seemed to recognize him and didn’t appear to care much after the initial surprise. The two have become a sort of pack (or pride, if you will) and Rafiki has been traveling with him since. Hopefully soon, they will find others like Bongani near New York City who can help them.
30How Can We Contact-
PMs pleaseTime Zone-
U.S. Central TimezoneHow did you find us?
I know all about you… O_OOther Characters-
SpeedRole Play Sample-
Right then, Bongani would have given anything to be back in Kenya despite all the many threats of arrest and incarceration. The air here was just so much colder and whenever he was in his human form it ate away at him in different yet equally miserable ways. Sometimes the wind bit at him like a thousand sharp needles of ice until he seemed no longer able to feel his skin and other times the still air around him seeped down into him until it felt like his very bones ached with the cold. When he could, he sought shelter in the countless nooks and crannies of the cities or, if he were lucky, in the home of a kind stranger in the guise of a stray cat, but he once again found himself between areas of civilization and on his own.
And it was so very cold.
Hissing at the way the chill instantly attacked every bit of exposed skin, Bongani quickly shed the clothing he’d stolen and stuffed them into the backpack he had with him, too frozen to care much about them or anything in the bag he might have accidentally crushed. With his shaky breath puffing in front of him and his body trembling, the young African closed his eyes and focused on an image of a small cat with wide paws, thick fur, and tiny tuffs at the tips of its ears. He thought of its stocky build and the short nub of a tail and imagined himself becoming that beast. Within moments, Bongani shifted into the bobcat he’d only first seen a week ago and the respite from the cold now that he was in a form built for it was nearly immediate.
Huffing in relief, the bobcat moved to grip one of the backpack’s straps in its teeth and then dragged it under the shelter of a half collapsed tree’s roots. Bongani had planned to follow it and get a little shut eye when his eye caught sudden movement on his left. Head jerking, he turned and froze as it proved to be, not a threat or prey (although he would not have minded the latter), but little flecks of white drifting down through the trees around him. His paws landed silently on the ground as he walked further away from the root shelter and gazed up at the night sky gone grey with clouds. One of the flecks settled down on the tip of his nose and despite knowing what it was he jerked in startled surprise at the quick burst of cold.
Snow. It was snowing.
Amazement swept through the shifted mutant. He’d never seen snow before! He knew what it was, of course, but Nakuru didn’t get nearly cold enough for it. It was so much lovelier than he would have thought, and despite his initial intent to curl up under the roots and sleep, Bongani continued to stand at the edge of his little shelter and watched the snow fall for hours, gathering on the ground and along the branches. The sight lifted the fear, frustration, and sense of loss that always seemed a part of him these days, and, inside, he smiled.
Jul 7 2017, 11:04 PM
Celebrity Claim- Lucky Blue Smith
17Date of Birth-
If Tommy had to use one word to describe his current goal in life it would be “fun.” Really, that’s pretty much all he looks for in his day: to always be moving, to always be doing something new and exciting no matter how dangerous or crazy it may be (honestly, the worse it sounds the more he’ll probably want to do it). Even before his powers manifested, he’d been an easily distracted, restless child and their arrival only made things worse. Unless he is putting his all into focusing on something- and sometimes even then- it’s difficult for anything to hold Tommy’s attention for long and as a result boredom has a tendency to hit him hard and fast. Next to rules, it’s the thing Tommy hates most in the world. Being bored, or being still for too long, leaves him feeling itchy and irritable, and if he doesn’t find an outlet his mind starts to come up with ideas on what he could
be doing or should totally go out and try.
It’s really in everyone’s best interest if he finds something to do before he truly starts considering any of those ideas.
Although cocky and totally sure of himself, Tommy can be a pretty friendly, fun (again, that’s his goal) guy. He prefers to be around other people when he isn’t running around the world and has a tendency to make friends in the strangest of places. Just like he enjoys variety in his life, he enjoys variety in his friends and tends to go with the ‘to each their own’ philosophy so long as they aren’t trying to tell him what to do. Lighten up, be cool, and you’ve got a friend who will always keep things interesting, be happy to share in a good laugh, and probably help you moved because, hey, it would take him like all of five seconds. Be bossy or try to put him in his place, however, and there will be problems. Tommy has little respect for rules or the people who try to enforce them and he often becomes quite juvenile in the face of either. He’ll taunt, ignore, or intentionally annoy someone trying to lay down the law and there is no faster way to get him to do something than to tell him not to. Breaking rules, in his opinion, is fun
Although he isn’t stupid, Tommy isn’t going to impress anyone with intelligent insights either. And you know what, that’s okay with him. He likes the way he tends to act without over-thinking. In his opinion, people who think too hard about what they are going to do are just cowards who are too scared to bite the bullet and get things done. He’s a doer. The bad side of that is that he tends to do stupid things because he doesnt bother to think them through. The good side is if he decides to do something, he gets it done no matter how challenging it may be. If he says he’s going to do something, he’ll do it.Likes-
- Food- seriously, he loves food. Eats all the time. Hey, he’s a growing speedster. who burns about a bajillion calories a day. Sue him...or better yet, enjoy a couple dozen ice creams with him. You know you want to.
- Trying anything new- really, anything. He should probably have a full time babysitter.
- Running- it is more freeing than he could possibly describe and he just feels...right when he’s running
- The ladies- oh he’s a flirt, a big flirt
- Action movies
- Boredom/Sitting still
- Reading- he can do it quickly so it’s not horrible but it’s not really his thing
- History...and well most school topics actually
- Mushrooms- they’re slimy and gross and yes he tries everyone so he has tried them
- Chick flicks- just kill him now
- Perseverance - Tommy loves a good challenge and isn’t one to give up on anything without a fight even when he should
- Good friend- oh sure, he might get you into trouble (although, to be fair, he’s usually right beside you when it happens) but if you need him for anything he’ll be there and if someone messes with you they are going to regret it. Just...don’t expect him to be good about talking about feelings and all that junk
- Standing up for the small fry- While Tommy isn’t against violence at all (fights were fun even before his new speed and strength) but he doesn’t put up with bullying or hurting innocent people and will put a stop to it if he sees it
- Sense of invincibility- like many teen boys, Tommy sees himself as invincible and it shows in his complete disregard of common sense. “What could happen?” was practically his motto even before he became faster and stronger than most everyone else on the planet.
- Not using his powers/sitting still- he’ll use his powers all the time and often without caring who sees. He hasn’t let his parents or friends know he’s a mutant yet, but if he’s in another city/state/country he will use his powers whenever he wants, however he wants
- Being respectful- he really just doesnt know how anymore
- Sticky fingers- stealing things, big or small, is something he’s done for many years, usually more for the thrill of taking it than for the actual desire to own the object
- Understanding consequences- because he feels he can do anything, Tommy sometimes has a difficult time understanding the concept of consequences so as a result he does many…uh…questionable things. As far as he is concerned, if things get sticky he can just zip right out of there so why worry?
- Uncertain future- Besides having fun, Tommy has absolutely no goals in life. He doesn’t know what to do with himself and every now and then that loss of purpose pushes through all the fun he’s having
Tommy has been gifted with the ability to run at speeds up to and exceeding the speed of sound with his max speed falling around Mach 8. He can maintain his top speed for at most 30 minutes but can run for hours at lower speeds depending on how fast he is going and whether or not he is eating while running to replace the calories he is burning. Tommy gleefully uses his speed to give the finger to the laws of physics and run up buildings and across water. To keep up with it, his mind is also able to move at speeds far exceeding that of a normal human. This enables him to see and understand the world around him even at his top speeds. He can also use this to read quickly.
SUPERHUMAN AGILITY/RELFEXES- Along with his speed comes the agility and reflexes needed to maintain them without hurting himself. He is more flexible, has better balance and coordination, and has faster flexes than a normal human. These allow him to run without tripping easily or running into anything that may appear in his path.Limits-
SUPERHUMAN DURABILITY/STRENGTH- Running at speeds greater than sound would take their toll on a normal human body within moments, leaving joints battered and skin raw from friction (and that’s assuming he didn’t fall while running). Tommy’s physiology protects him from such harm by making him more durable. His joints don’t feel the strain and although a fall while running will still hurt like a bitch, it will not shatter every bone in his body like it should. Tommy’s muscles are also much stronger than a normal human’s. His arms can lift over 800 lbs and his legs can easily bench press over a ton.
MOLECULAR DESTABILIZATION- Tommy is able to use hyper-kinetic vibrations to affect the movement of molecules in an object. If he speeds them up enough, he can cause the item to explode or crumble.
INTANGIBILITY- Tommy is able to use his molecular destabilization to walk through solid objects. However, this ability takes far more finesse than simply blowing the object up and is harder for him to control. He cannot move someone else through an object.
Although he can handle a bad fall without coming out of it with bones made of jello, Tommy is by no means immune to other things that would hurt the human body. Knives, guns, electrocution, fire, anything that could be used as a weapon can do him harm just as easily as they could to someone else. His body is also in constant demand for energy to replace what he is rapidly burning. His metabolism is crazy fast which is why he is always hungry and always eating. Without fuel for the fire, he can and will tire.
Tommy is still learning how to control both his molecular destabilization and intangibility as altering molecules in such a way takes way more focus than just running around, no matter how fast that running may be. As a result those powers kick in unexpectedly and dont always work when he wants them to. He might accidentally create a door in a wall by simply touching it when emotional (or, you know, destroy his school) or run into an actual door when trying to move through it.Skills & Abilities-
Before his powers manifested, Tommy was already a pretty skilled track runner...but now that doesn’t really count which would frustrate him after how much work he put into it were it not for the sheer freakin’ awesomeness of being a speedster. His skills with the drums, however, cannot be denied. He’s been playing since he was 9 and he dares anyone to tell him he’s not amazeballs. Due to his passion of breaking rules and getting into things he shouldn’t, Tommy taught himself how to pick locks years ago, including handcuffs not because he’s needed it but, you know, shit could happen.
161 lbs (I guess? I don’t know much about men’s weights)Eye Colour-
Due to his powers (and, to be fair, the training he did before them), Tommy has the body of a- wait for it- runner! He is lean and wiry with very little body fat to be found, and his muscles, especially those in his legs, are, if not bulky, well defined and strong. With all the time he spends outside, the teen has developed a healthy tan that makes his steely gray eyes- that are always blazing with emotion, whether that be mischief, joy, love, or rebellion- and unusual silver-white hair stand out all the more. Tommy keeps his grandpa hair (as he affectionately calls it) cut a few inches long and it always has a wind-blown, carefree look to it thanks to his preferred method of travel. Personally, he thinks he looks good that way and has been known to tousle his hair a little to make sure it is properly aloft if he thinks a hot girl is looking his way.
Tommy walks with a confident swagger to his steps, and although people might not notice him for the quality
of his clothing, what he wears still does much to attract attention. The young speedster rarely bothers with real clothing these days, preferring sports gear that is easy for him to move in. Sometimes it is loose but just as often he goes for things that are tight and less likely to snag on things he may pass while speeding down the street. What draws the eye the most, however, are their blinding colors and patterns. Nothing too gaudy unless he’s really in a mood, but it’s rare to catch the impish speedster wearing all black unless he’s trying to go unnoticed which is rare.Gear-
Tommy carries a pair of orange tinted goggles with him wherever he goes to protect his eyes from the wind and flying debris while running. You can also usually find food hidden somewhere on his person as he needs to constantly eat to keep up his energy.Additional Information-
Nothing I can think of
Springfield, NJImmediate Family-
Frank and Mary ShepherdOthers-
Had it been up to him, Springfield, New Jersey would not have been high on Tommy’s list of places to be raised. Unfortunately, like most children, especially adopted ones like himself, that choice was completely out of his control. He could
have grown up in way more interesting New York City where he’d first been entered into the system, but when Frank and Mary brought him into their lives they also brought him to the oh so completely uninteresting, never had more than 16,000 residents at any one time township of Springfield. It was a place he usually found to be boring (a little at the first, hella as he got older), but given that his need to entertain himself made him the adventure seeker and trouble maker that he is, Tommy figures he should in some way be thankful to it.
Right from the get go, it was clear that Tommy was going to be a rascal. As soon as he could crawl, he was getting into anything and everything he possibly could with a boundless curiosity that didn’t often let rules hold it back, and if he never won awards for book smarts once he started school, he quickly showed a tenacity and cleverness that allowed him to puzzle his way through anything in his path whether it be child locks he encountered as a toddler or the endless rules a child faces as they age. These qualities half drove his parents (and any other adult in his life) mad but made the impish child quite popular with others his age. He made friends easily as he grew up despite getting every single one of them in trouble at least a dozen times and had his first ‘girlfriend’ at the age of 6...and another one at 7 and 8 and 9...
When he entered middle school, Tommy found two outlets for his boundless energy and need to move that actually gave the adults around him some relief: track and playing the drums. He was somewhat forced to try the former by his desperate teachers, but once he started to run Tommy never looked back. It was easy to lose himself in the rhythmic pounding of his feet on the ground and it gave him a strange feeling of freedom that. The drums also helped to burn some of his energy and was one of the few things he was able to truly focus on, and the two combined were able to keep him relatively out of trouble...for a few years at least.
Then he became a teenager and, like most teens, he fell back into bad habits, folding against the pressures to be considered ‘cool’ and find something fun to do. Tommy continued with track and he was never the sort to harm someone or bully (in fact, he enjoyed punching bullies in the face given half a chance), but his grades undulated on a constant rollercoaster, he often skipped school when he felt he could get away with it, and his antics grew less childish. Petty theft, fights, alcohol snuck into parties, cars taken on joyrides long before he could legally drive, and many others. Sometimes he got caught, many times he didn’t, but the tension grew between him and his parents. They tried therapy, they tried various punishments, they even considered drugs as nobody really doubted the likelihood that he had ADHD (but Tommy quickly nixed that idea). It wasn’t that Tommy wanted to cause his parents trouble, he loved them, really, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself from doing stupid crap whenever the mood struck him. The arrival of his powers didn’t help, even though it was the best thing to ever happen to him...once he learned how to stop running into things on accident.
His powers hit Tommy when he turned 16 and thankfully not while he was at a track meet but instead was simply running on his own. They opened up a whole new world for him but they also made him more confused about what to do with himself than ever. School became harder to focus on with the open world ahead of him and when he was out he found himself caught between criminal and hero. One moment he might be stealing from a store just to see if he could do it without the security cameras catching him, the next he was stopping a mugger from robbing a couple out on the town. He felt that the world was at his fingertips and that he could do anything with his newfound powers...and yet he didn’t know what
Things, unfortunately, escalated when, in frustration, Tommy accidentally destroyed half of his school…
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There weren’t too terribly many good things about small cities like Springfield, but being able to see the stars was definitely one of them. Even though he didn’t know more than a handful of the constellations sparkling above him and nothing was moving (which usually was quick to bore him), Tommy found that he could focus his thoughts better when he was gazing at the night sky than at any other time besides when he was running or playing the drums. Maybe it was knowing that there was a whole universe out, waiting to be explored, or maybe it was the feeling of being alone without plans or responsibilities that made it so surprisingly calming. Tommy wasn’t sure, but it usually worked.
Not so tonight.
As he lay spread-eagle on his school’s roof- having run up the wall a few minutes earlier- Tommy found his problems sneaking stealthily back to the forefront of his mind as his eyes connected the dots of the Big Dipper. He just felt...lost. The future hadn’t been something he’d thought about too much until he started breaking the sound barrier, but now that he could he felt this nagging need to do something
with his gifts. What the hell that something was, he didn’t have a damn clue.
With a groan, the teen snaked his fingers roughly through his silver hair, gripped his head in frustration, and drummed the heels of his sneakers childishly against the roof. The moment he closed his eyes, his mom’s disappointed face and his dad’s furious one flashed across his vision. They’d fought, again, and he’d run out (at a normal, human speed until he was out of sight) again. He hated
it and yet he didn’t see a way out. Why was it so important that he go to school? Sure, he needed a job, but he could do anything now! And the stolen stuff they found in his room...well it wasn’t like he took it all from one place or got caught or anything…
Guilt warred with anger and another strong dose of frustration and without thinking Tommy slammed one fist into the concrete roof beside him as he opened his eyes and stared longingly up at the stars as though hoping Mufasa might manifest from them and tell him what to do with his life and--
The roof began to shake.
Startled, Tommy sat up in a flash of movement and glanced around him. Yup, the roof was definitely
shaking- or maybe vibrating was a more accurate word. Some instinct made the teen shift his gaze from the roof to the fist he’d hit it with and grey eyes widened comically at what he saw. His fist was...a blur, vibrating so quickly even his eyes- which could keep up with the world around him when he was running- couldn’t follow. It stopped a fraction of a second later but to his confused dismay and growing alarm, the building did not. Tommy didn’t waste any more time wondering what was happening. Tapping into his speed, he fled from the roof and down the wall to the ground two stories below.
“Nonononono,” he exclaimed as he darted back and forth, helplessly watching as the vibrations traveled down the school nearly as fast as he had. “Oh god, oh shit
, that’s not good, that’s bad…” Unable to think of anything he could do to stop it, Tommy watched with his jaw falling down to his chest as nearly a third of his school just...collapsed.