Application for Xander Lambert, Mr. Creepy-Crawly. (Feedback Appreciated)

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Application for Xander Lambert, Mr. Creepy-Crawly. (Feedback Appreciated)

Post by Amakiir on Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:49 am

:Name: Xander Lambert
:Age: 24
:DOB: August 3rd

:Appearance:

This young man has a gruff, angular face that could almost be hiding a smile if not for the weary half-lidded gaze in his brown eyes. Looming over six foot with a solid build borne of a youth spent in manual labor, Xander is neither muscular nor heavy. His short brown hair is a veritable bird's nest of curls stretching just past the base of his skull, the faint grey of stubble beginning to regrow across his jawline. While several of the scars along his hands and arms came from work and a less than smooth childhood, the vast majority of them have come from his unhealthy habit of picking at his skin, especially scabbed areas where insect chitin has begun to appear.

Working outdoors more often that not, he favors sleeveless muscle shirts and sturdy jeans along with a pair of tan Army boots left to him by his father. He is rarely without a too-big weathered leather belt he considers to be lucky, or the cheap black watch whose face he keeps turned to his inner wrist.

:Race:
Conduit

:Powers:
Biological Manipulation, Self (Insect/Arachnid), aka Matter Ingestion/You are What you Eat: Ingesting sufficient amounts of live insect or arachnid organic matter will metabolise over time into biological augmentations in Julian's mind and body.

-Living Hive: Xander's pores along his back, chest, legs and arms have enlarged over time, appearing similar to a bee's honeycomb to house larval swarms in a form of suspended animation until called upon. Can currently only 'swarm' black ants, as he needs to ingest an insect queen to utilize a particular swarm, and can only house one swarming species at one time. This has also resulted in a drastically elevated appetite, especially sugars. Due to the Hive Mind, an emphatic connection links Xander's mind to his current swarm, and lets him utilize the ingested queen's natural ability to command the insects to a degree using heterogenous (differing/diverse) pheromones. Requires focus to actively guide the swarm, and significant effort at this time to exert will over insects not linked to himself.

-Good Reception: While not as sophisticated as an ant's antennae with scent, Xander can project a pair antennas from within his hairline, which are sensory arrays used mostly to detect smells but also movement and air-pressure. Aides in communicating with an active swarm or controlled insect, may be able to pick up radio or electronic signals at higher levels.

Power Level: 2

:Power Abilities:
-Grasshopper Jump: During Xander's time in prison, he resisted the guards' attempts at starvation by eating anything that could be caught out in the exercise yard. After eating enough grasshoppers over a period of time, the tissue and tendons in his legs have since become more compact and resistant to the shock of hard landings. This has granted Xander an elevated jumping ability which, after practicing in secret and much crashing, allowed him to crest the cement walls and razor wire to freedom. This ability has allowed him to flee from capture on several occasions, whether from bounding away at all speed or by delivering vicious kicks in scuffles with his attackers. An offset to this ability appears to be chitin growing on his feet and calves, as well as small chitinous 'spines' along the back of each calf which make sitting difficult.

-Tiny Ant, Big Heart: After experimenting with his budding abilities, he decided to test them by doing a bit of grocery shopping at a small camping store that sold live bait and tackle supplies. Barely enduring the horrendous taste of ant's eggs gave him an individual insect's comparative strength, scaled roughly to grant him an increase in physical ability as well speed to a far lesser degree thanks to the new strength in his legs. Can only be called upon in short bursts at this time, as his body has not yet adapted to using this strength for extended periods and may (painfully) tear muscle and chitin alike.

-Bite out of Crime: The ants granted Xander with an enhanced bite thanks to a pair of mandibles that rest along his jaw, matching the color of his skin. These are hinged to his jawbone and may be extended by clenching his teeth, utilized for a tight grip or quick snapping bite in a fight.

-Open Wide (Swarm Breath): Xander expels his current swarm from his mouth, in a wide cone-burst, a steady stream, a twisting sphere or as a cloud-like mist. This carries the risk of using up his entire swarm 'stock' quickly, leaving him without his insects until he can generate more.

-Scattering (Swarm Form): Discovered by accident during one of Xander's more reckless leaping runs, in which his landing coincided with that of a passing semi. This defensive ability allows him to disperse his body into smaller bits, taking the form of any swarm of which he has ingested a queen (ant/termite/hornet, in a similar manner to the Vampiric ability to swarm as a cloud of bats). This swarm can scatter across a large area while retaining control over the individual 'fragments' instead of just staying in relatively close form and reforming into his solid humanoid body. Damage of part of this shifting form may result in pain or disorientation, but only complete destruction of the 'swarm' will result in death (At least until resolidified, then he can be harmed as usual). With practice, this ability would aid with spying on targets or general scouting.

-Twinkle Twinkle: Experimentation with ingesting fireflies has granted Xander the ability to shed a moderate light using the pigment of the skin of his forehead, casting sickly-green light with the brightness of a common glow-stick in his immediate area when called upon or upset. With effort this glow can be brightened to a localized flash to temporarily blind or confuse targets.

:Skills:
-Sharp mind, if more common sense than brains.
-Some investigative training and study, briefly wanted to be a detective.
-Capable artist, particularly with pencil sketches.
-Hyper alert from time in prison, self-sufficient.
-Can make a restaurant rethink the 'all-you-can-eat' concept.

:Equipment:
-Sketchpad and pencils
-Cellphone, mostly for the game apps
-Cheap watch
-Bag of Swedish Fish candy
-Roll of duct tape
-Zippo lighter
-Old photograph
-Dog's chain leash, melee weapon

:Personality:
Once a sure, confident individual, Xander has since become withdrawn and wary of others following his incarceration and emergence as a Conduit. While he sometimes smiles, it is only a ghost of the appreciation for life he once had. He has come to take the noise of the city, moreso its 'people', as congestive and something to be avoided whenever possible. He has become steadily more detached from the world and frequently retreats into his own, sometimes causing him to zone out completely and wander into a hazardous situation. Having had all semblence of loyalty and honor stripped from his life he is extremely suspicious of others taking time to speak to him. For the few who have shown themselves to be true, Xander would prove to be steadfast and even cruel towards those who would raise a hand to them. The only time the old pre-Conduit young man shines through is when he is alone, often up on the rooftops and just listening to the wind. Since the emergence of his Grasshopper Jump ability he has steadily adopted a new pasttime, leaping through the city as high as he could and feeling the wind rush past as he landed. Though his mind is still sharp and has helped keep him from an overly-rough landing, he is finding it harder to care whether or not his next landing is also his last.

:Faction:
None

:Biography:
With a father cut down in action and a mother in a stupor more often than not, Xander's childhood was especially short. He dropped out of school in his Junior year to take a job with a local landscaping company, allowing him to eek out a meager existance for himself and his couch-bound parent. During the 'baby boom' of Conduit appearances and the associated prejudice the company was shut down, in part due to the foreman possessing the gene herself. A passerby had captured her on film stopping a tree from falling onto a crewmember, by directing another tree to catch it with its limbs.

She wasn't seen again following the confusion and it was assumed that she had taken off for another city, and leaving Xander wondering if that tree had actually landed and knocked him into a delusional coma. He was able to pick up work at a junkyard, even if he was tempted daily to run his supervisor's face through the chain fence surrounding it. When he caught wind of a police training drive coming within a few months he knew he just had to bide his time, put up with the situation long enough and he'd have a shot at his childhood dream of becoming a respected detective.

This too fell through one night when he was stuck with the late shift, and heard one of the dogs barking like mad near the back fence. Shining a flashlight over the scrap of what had once been a blue corvette, Xander spotted a kid atop its roof attempting to throw soda cans and bed springs down at the snarling doberman. In trying to get the kid down, who could not have been more than sixteen or seventeen, Xander could only watch as he was bitten on the leg for trying to kick the dog in the face. They were separated and an ambulance called before any serious damage was done but it did not end here. It turned out the kid, who had sneaked into the junkyard on a dare, was the son of a local judge notorious for his sadistic mentality. He could only watch as backs were turned and fingers pointed, the blame cast entirely on Xander for 'letting it happen'.

Receiving a stint in prison for the supposed malicious negligence of the safety of a minor, Xander could all but kiss his dream goodbye. With only a public defender on his side it was not long before he was shuffled into an orange jumpsuit, and thrown onto the metal trashcan on wheels bound for a facility designed to forget about people. The prison was another animal entirely from the rough life he had had up to that point, and it only got worse when the judge came to visit. Word spread quickly through the guards that Xander was meant to receive 'special' treatment, which began with the standard random beatings and sleep-deprivation found in such facilities controlled by the Militia.

After it became apparent that the scheduled 'accidents' were not getting the job done, they moved on to withholding food. Receiving only what water he could get from the sink in his cell, he steadily began to physically and mentally wither and grow dull, listless. One day when he had become dangerously ill and vomited throughout his cell, he was pushed out into the exercise yard while several prisoners were forced to clean it up. The guards made sure to give them Xander's name. It was there in a shadowed corner he sat on the brink of collapse, vision growing bleary and thoughts little more than strained figments. A small grasshopper hopped passed him and clung to the cement wall, just long enough for Xander's hunger to return in force.

With a satisfying crunch that threatened to shatter teeth against teeth he feasted, and searched frantically for more in the crushed grass of the yard. He managed to hunt down four more before he was dragged back inside for digging up the ground, and he slowly began to realize what he had just done. He lurched towards his cell's toilet with the intent to vomit again when he was intercepted by the 'volunteer' cleaners who took the time to make their displeasure known. The cycle continued, days of gnawing stomach subsisting on water and crumbs taken from the cafeteria floor, only to reach that boiling point and hunt within the yard. This continued for almost two weeks before Xander noticed a change in his body, the emaciated frame steadily firming and becoming almost cord-like. This seemed to be focused around his feet and legs, as well as a pale brown layer of...something, hardening over his skin in these areas.

Fate dealt her hand when the guards decided that playtime was over, and arranged for one final 'accident' to top off their fun. Several of the prisoners were given license to begin a fight out in the yard with one stipulation: whomever took out the judge's favorite plaything would walk from the yard punishment-free. During the scuffle Xander reacted out of desperate self-preservation and kicked as hard as he could at the prisoner charging at him, planting his foot squarely into his large stomach. There was a sickening crack as the rotund criminal was thrown back with a line of blood trailing from his coughing mouth, the silence that followed was nearly deafening while he clutched at his broken ribs and glared with hate towards Xander. It was passed off as a lucky move, but he was largely left alone by the criminal element after that. The warden however, made a call to transfer the 'freak' from his prison and left the young man with less than five days to contemplate what had just happened.

Experimenting in his cell found that the strength in his legs had somehow grown hand in hand with the hardened brown 'skin' layer, and gazed out the tiny square of a window at the top of the outer wall with something that had all but fled for him: hope. The days passed slowly in which he secretly trained himself himself in any manner he could think of, from taking the heavier assignments to work legs up and down the metal stairs to hopping about his cell at night like an orange-garbed rabbit to mentally prepare himself for what was to come. On the fifth day he was led from his cell and placed within a holding room in chains amid whispers of 'Conduit', and waited for the moment to act.

:Roleplay Sample:
Prisoner #03942 leaned to and fro on the hard metal bench, the rocking movements almost soothing if not for the pair of shotguns almost casually aimed in his general direction. It was funny, how something so small seemed to bother people, at least from the way the guard glared at him whenever he smiled at them both. "So," he said, almost casually. "What do you guys have planned for after this? I wouldn't mind getting something to eat, maybe a burger and fries or something." The guard currently levelling his weapon only sat and glared daggers at the Conduit, appearing as though he were attempting to curdle milk by staring at it. The young man only smiled again in return and turned to the other uniformed person in the room with them, leaning back against the wall and tapping their knuckles impatiently. "Why don't you just shut up before you lose those teeth," He growled.

"More of a taco person, I take it?" Xander continued despite the almost audible gritting of teeth. "Go take a walk, it's not going anywhere." The first guard said to the second, who took the time to kick Xander's foot as he passed to exit the room. "Guessing he needs more fiber in his di--" his retort was cut short by a backhanded fist across his cheek, knocking him from the bench and flecking blood onto the wall. Xander squirmed to rise onto his knees and tried to force the air back into his lungs, licking the inside of his cheek where he had bitten. "Bet you can't do that again," he said, spitting red onto the floor. The guard grabbed the front of his orange jumpsuit and reared his other hand back to deliver another backhand, at least until Xander tucked his head and kicked off as hard as he could. His newly emerging jumping ability sprang him straight upward, and his head straight into the guard's chin and knocking him back in a daze.

Several headbutts later had Xander severely second-guessing this plan, even as he sat and fumbled for the unconscious guard's key ring. After a minute or so of awkward grabbing he managed to get the chains off of him, and set for the next step. A few minutes later a uniformed figure exited the room, patrol cap pulled low and making their way through the door to the exercise yard. By the time the alarm sounded the uniform had found a new home in an Arby's dumpster, minus the pants and duty belt. A rotund man exited the holding cell amid the ringing alarm bell holding the growing lumps on his jaw and forehead, garbed in naught but a pair of rubber-duck boxer-briefs.

:Other: (I apologize for the extended rambling)
-I realize the ending of the sample was a bit lazily written, I wanted to finish the app while I still had my muse going and it'd been a couple hours already.
-The ant strength ability is relative and somewhat minor enhancement, at least until he can get his hands on a rhinoceros beetle or some other natural powerhouse. If it makes Xander OP, I can bump it to a future ability goal instead.
-Before it comes up since I did put Arachnid as well, Xander will NOT being going Spiderman whatsoever and any spider silk will come from a spinneret sprouting from the base of his spine, that must be pulled and threaded with his hands like an actual spider tailoring their web. This is also why I only gave him common, safe-to-eat-by-humans bugs so far: ants, fireflies, grasshoppers.
-I read some of the other entries had references to Deadpool, so I want to point out that the smartassery Xander showed here is not typical and was for the sole purpose of getting one of the guards to make a mistake.
-There will be a limit balance, since each bug type taken in affects not only physically but mentally as well (Eat a spider, fidget with rubber bands between fingers to make webs). Wasn't sure if a modified 'form' would work better for a specific kind of bug or what (Felt too ben tenish), alot of this is new to me. Maybe he needs a Blast Core each time before he can add another type of insect to his genetic arsenal?
-I don't really have anything in mind for the Karmic Bomb ability or the Missile/Grenade/Projectile option, but am open to input or suggestions. Trust and believe, I have plenty to learn. Obviously you guys understand how this site works better than I do and most importantly--
-Thank you for putting up with me thus far.
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Amakiir

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Location : Lost in Thought, send a search party.

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Re: Application for Xander Lambert, Mr. Creepy-Crawly. (Feedback Appreciated)

Post by Ex249 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:12 pm

Accepted 100%

Sorry it took so long, I've been out a lot but I love the concept so much!

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