|Civilian name||Helena Bathurst|
|Affiliation||Hounds of Annwn (Devilfish)|
|PRT Classification||Blaster, Mover|
April 23, 1993|
Corsage has been a relatively new, nomadic mercenary on the scene, moving across the Midwest seemingly without a clear goal or location to settle down. She’s mostly avoided conflict with other capes so far, breaking up small time crimes. She’s most well known for a (mildly popular, like 3000 views) video of her getting into a shouting match with Protectorate hero Wallpaper King in the aftermath of a foiled drug store robbery. A Blaster/Mover, she's recently moved into Devilfish. Shortly after arriving in Devilfish, she started the Hounds of Annwn mercenary group with Ambush.
Helena is short young woman, caucasian, with very dark brown hair and green eyes (though in the right light - which generally involves the light being shone right in Helena’s face which makes her squint and makes it harder to tell - they’re sort of golden-green, ‘like a frog’s back’). She has a large mole on her left cheek that she occasionally scratches at. She normally dresses fairly traditionally feminine, with longer dresses and skirts and hair down or in a plait, but almost always wears a slightly-too-large for her waterproof jacket, regardless of weather.
In costume, her hair is kept in a loose ponytail away from her face. Her mask is a half-face red mask lined with gold and pieces of jagged metal stuck to it, protruding like thorns. She keeps her mouth free and applies heavy red lipstick. Initially she wore a long ‘victorian’-esque dark red and black dress with long sleeves, corset, and a ruffled skirt, but quickly found this was impossibly impractical for moving very fast in and cut off the skirt of the dress, replacing it with dark leggings. She has long, elbow-length gloves.
Equipment and Resources
- Her phone. It’s a little old, but it’s technically a smartphone. Not one with a touchscreen though.
- A pistol with four rounds in it she’s never going to touch but will occasionally stare at then sit in her car and cry.
- Her iPod and a lot of CDs covering a wide variety of music
- Half empty pepper spray
Skills and Specializations
- If drunk enough or comfortable enough with someone, can talk their ear off about various favourite music genres, artists, and themes
- Very very basic self defence techniques (making a fist, going for weak points, running away)
- Pretty good at cooking and cleaning, though will generally avoid doing them
- Has done enough shitty customer service jobs to get okay at putting on the ‘customer service’ persona
- Can maybe speak a bit of French, if you really pressed her, and remembers maybe three words of Mandarin Chinese.
- If pushed, can shrink into a traumatised ball of avoiding further attention on her
- Very good at ACAB diatribes, complete with yelling and arm movements
- Being a bit of a gay mess
Helena is, fundamentally, quite shy, though it can come across as standoffishness or aggression depending on her mood and the context of the social situation. They’ve been struggling with increased anxiety and stress since they got their power, but she wants to work back towards those first stirrings of self-confidence in who she was and what she wanted (girls) before that happened, and are trying to use their caped persona to express that.
Given everything, she’s pretty unfond of LEOs of most stripes, which makes her heroing work a little challenging at times. Most of the time she manages to restrict herself to catty remarks, diatribes, or glares, but occasionally she’s worked out her frustrations by going a little too far with criminals, or even outright fighting police or Protectorate heroes when they arrived to assist her.
Corsage can generate two ‘buds’ approx. 10 cm away from any body part (though she generally uses her hands or wrists); over the next few seconds the buds ‘blossom’ into flowers of red energy, which then shoot in roughly diametrically opposite directions at approx. 40mph scattering a large number of petals in their wake which decay over about a second, going further the longer they take to blossom (directions and time to blossom determined when buds are created). Petals cut living matter in their path delivering a mild to nasty cut per petal (they are stopped/reduced by thick clothing or armour). As long as the streams of petals exist, she can step into them and be carried to the end of the stream at a relatively high speed (approx. 30mph) - she is unable to stop this motion until she reaches the end of the petalstream, the petals decay, or she is stopped by an outside force.
Corsage can only ever have two buds generating at once, and can’t create new buds while buds are still blossoming or petalstreams still exist. Her power also occasionally seems to trigger by itself, especially when she does something clumsy or otherwise undexterous. She has mild clairvoyance of her petalstreams while they exist, being aware of (roughly) what’s inside them and where they are relative to her. While distance a petalstream travels is proportional to time to blossom, increases are relatively minimal below a second of 'blossoming' (generally only 10-20m distance), then level off again above five seconds of blossoming (distance is not normally much further than 0.5km, no matter how much more is charged).
Helena grew up in a normal, white middle class family. She broke her arm falling off a swingset when she was younger. She wanted to learn the harp but settled for learning piano. She had a crush on Scarlet Saviour of the Red White and Blue super Protectorate team out of New York. Things changed a little when she went to high school and met Alisha Jones and Theo Horner. Alisha (“you better call me Ali, Alisha sounds like a drunk person slurring Alicia.”) and Helena quickly became best friends, despite their very different world experiences and views - Alisha’s family had emigrated from the Indian subcontinent and Ali had very strong views on the rise of authoritarianism within the mainland US. And Theo was, well, the stereotypical all-American high school student with a heart of gold. He gave her roses and smiled at her, and was what she expected from a boyfriend, what society expected. No-one was really that surprised when Helena and Theo started dating, and moved in together after school.
And then Theo started training to become a police officer.
Slowly, their relationship changed. Theo came home late and expected food on the table and a clean apartment - he didn’t have time to do that himself. No, she couldn’t go out - he’d gotten so worried the last time, there were so many dangers out there. Getting a job as a music teacher? Did she really think she’d have the time? And it wasn’t like she was really good at the piano anyway, was she? Helena herself was also struggling with living with Theo; they’d never had the most… physical relationship but it wasn’t wrong for Theo to want more. It wasn’t her fault she wasn’t enjoying it, that was just - how women were. Right? He still brought her flowers.
Most of those years are a blur. Things just getting worse, and worse, and worse, flower after flower placed in a jar and saying that it was okay. Sinking deeper and deeper and not even being aware of it, thrusting the awareness away from herself so she didn’t think about it. She’s not even entirely sure what started to lift her out enough to notice Ali when she bumped into her while out shopping, allowed her to with shaking fingers call her one night and just go.
Life with Ali was hard. They didn’t really have jobs, and every single shadow seemed to hide Theo. But, slowly, she started to be okay again. She told her parents about Theo and they didn’t hate her, they understood and held her close. She got a terrible, low-paying job in a store. Alisha cooked food that made her mouth hurt. And, one night, she finally felt able to tell Ali that she thought… maybe she didn’t like guys at all. Maybe she liked girls instead.
A few weeks after that, she and Ali were in their shitty little car when the heard the blast of sirens behind them, asking them to pull over. Helena looked in the rearview mirror.
It didn’t feel entirely real, seeing him again. Seeing him step out of the police cruiser, hand on the gun at his hip, and stepping towards the car. What did feel real was the sudden, overwhelming terror. She couldn’t get away. Trapped. And he was going to kill Ali for being brown - she’d been treated to enough rants from both of them about how the police treated people of colour - and then use it as an excuse to kill her. She was going to die.
She triggered. She ran. She hasn’t really stopped running for the past six months, only pausing to develop a caped persona and costume. But maybe, in Devilfish… maybe she can start recovering again.