Setting

“As far as I can understand, a man is more than his might.”

The last fifteen years of human history has been dominated by the Post, or Super, humans. In late 2001 the first documented Superhuman, codename Alfa, attempted to intervene in the September 11th attacks on the United States of America. While his efforts failed to stop the attacks his appearance alone changed the course of history.

The second documented Superhuman, codename Bravo, appeared two months later and successfully prevented American Airlines Flight 587 from crashing, saving the lives of all 260 passengers. More Superhumans quickly followed; Delta preventing an attack on the Indian Parliament, Echo putting out a fire at the Mesa Redonda shopping center in Peru, Kilo capturing the most prolific serial killer in Canadian history, and Tango locating two missing school girls in the United Kingdom.

While recognizing these acts of heroics as inspirational there were still concerns about international security which led to the United Nations Security Council passing the Code of Posthuman Ethics and Standards resolution. This reactionary resolution aimed to prevent “any and all undue Superhuman involvement in global politics”, by restricting the conflicts Superhumans could involve themselves in. In layman’s terms the code regulated Superhumans to either international disaster relief or government registration for military or law enforcement positions.

After the CPES Resolution the Superhuman activity was like something out of a Golden Age comic book. Scores of uniquely gifted or inhumanly powerful beings took to the skies and streets to act as a become of hope in a frightened post-9/11 world. However, it didn’t take long for some Superhumans to realize their powers could be used to control, intimidate, or frighten the populations. The CPES Resolution was amended in 2005 to give Superhumans permission to “interfere with criminal activities perpetrated by any Posthuman individual operating in disguise, costume, or mask.”

The loosened regulations brought an upswell of Superhuman appearances that would only hasten the demise of the CPES Resolution. While small breaches of the CPES Resolution were common, especially in non-UN member states, it wasn’t until 2015 that a real open challenge was issued. A group of costumed Superhumans intervened in a terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, saving the lives of over 250 non-superhumans. Members of the group would later appear in news reports saying that they simply refused to stand by any longer and watch the world they protected die.

Since then breaches in the CPES Resolution became more common, and larger scaled, until the 193 UN member states repealed the CPES Resolution on January 17th, 2017, ending fifteen years of strict international regulation. Humanity stands on the verge of a new world. One with unrestricted Posthuman involvement. The question on everyone’s mind is if this new world will mean the demise or the old one, or it’s transcendance.

Why “Grim Heroic”?

It’s a response to the Grimdark subgenre that has grown in popularity since the 1990s. In most Grimdark settings it’s not just the world that is markedly dystopian, amoral, and violent. The characters, even the Heroes, of those settings tend to favor the brooding, violent psychopaths. Grim Heroic takes the idea of a Grimdark world but assumes the best in people. The Heroes in Grim Heroic believe humanity can, and should, be saved. The Heroes of Grim Heroic are the best of us, the brave few who would gladly sacrifice themselves for even a glimmer of light in a truly dark world.

Characters

Freeman – Lucian Trask

Theme: Broken Bones by Kaleo

Born in Iowa in 1985, currently 32 years old. Was arrested in Texas at age 17, tried as an adult, and sentenced for 6 years. Two years later his sentence was extended by 20 years, shortly afterwhich Lucian escaped. A pact with the Devil later and Freeman was born. Freeman first appeared during Hurricane Katrina as part of the massive Post-Human relief effort. Was later part of the Posthuman intervention in the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Bandida  – Cristina Sofía Lorenza

Theme: Bandida by Audra Mae

Born in Philadelphia in 1990, currently 27 years old. Married Baltimore Police Officer, Michael Kianoush, at age 21 and became a member of the BPD in her own rights at age 23. Michael Kianoush was killed in the line of duty after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 by Clark Simonson and Cristina resigned from the police force shortly after. Bandida was first reported shortly after. She has, since, taken on numerous gangs and organized crime bosses around Baltimore and DC, always hunting for the man who killed her husband.

Iceheart – Konrad Tor

Theme: Stone is Very, Very Cold by Rob Coffinshaker

Born in Kristiansand, Norway in 1951, currently 66 years old but aged only 37 years. Worked as a cryogenic engineer at Shun Cryotechnics from 1979 until 1988 when Konrad and his wife Ylva were involved in a lab accident. Shun Cryotechnics kept Konrad and Ylva locked down until their escape in 2007. Konrad turned to a life of crime, at first, to pay for his wife’s treatments, and eventually for revenge on Shun Cryotechnics. When Ylva was killed by Badr Min Shun in 2016, Konrad had a change of heart and became a hero.

Hell Rider – Alwin & Leona Schäfer

Theme: I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meatloaf

Both born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927, currently 90 years old but aged only 17 years. Officially died in the December 9th, 1944 bombing of Stuttgart but returned to life in 1983. Nothing is known about their lives prior to their death. According to Alwin, he and his wife were claimed by the devil during the commotion and he fought his way through hell to find her. Upon embracing they were raptured, spoke with a heavenly choir, and sent back to earth along with Raguel (the Angel of Justice.) They now find people who have lost loved ones unfairly to hell, drive through the gates of hell, and rescue unfairly damned souls.

The Traveler- Annette Westerberg

Theme: Part IV: Morning in May by Ludo

Born in St. Louis, MO in 1964, currently 25 years old. Annette’s husband, Andrew, died on May 1st, 1989 and Annette spend 15 years building a time machine in order to save her husband from a fatal car accident. In 2005 she traveled through time having various adventures, until she sacrificed herself to save the future. She determined, at some point, that it would be impossible to save Andrew (or alter the past in anyway) and relegated herself to living in the timestream.

Agent Babylon – Cascade – Maria Robbins

Theme: “Heads Explode” by Monster Magnet

American female with hydrokinesis-based powers, still Enlisted in R7.

Maria enlisted at 17 with dreams of saving her country. Kept her mutation a secret for 3 years before being outed and transferred to R7. Has been part of R7 for six years now and has excelled since the leadership change in 2014. Now 26 Years old.

Agent Freestyle – Bulletmancer – Antonina Bukoski

Theme: “Gun in my Hand” by Dorothy

eastern European female who was specialized as a sniper and markswoman using probability control / manipulation / prediction, Discharged from R7.

Antonina’s family fled to the US following Russia’s invasion into Georgia in 2008 when Antonina was 14 years old. Antonina enlisted in the air force after high school to help pay for college. During basic training her marksmanship was outstanding and she was quickly offered a shot in the Rangers. At age 20 she was drafted into R7, one of Timothy Barnes’s first drafts after taking command. After refusing an order she was court martialed and imprisoned in a secret R7 facility. Now 23 years old.

Operative Comet – Apex – Peter Clarkson

Theme: “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who

American male with super-intelligence and superhuman reflexes (but not super-strength or super-speed), Discharged from R7.

Peter is the third generation child of the Stehlen Eugenics experiment born in 1984.

  • David Johnson (to be born 2034)
  • John Peterson (born 2009)
  • Peter Clarkson (born 1984)
  • Clark Simonson (born 1959)
  • Simon (born 1934)

Operative Jakarta – Bèt – Gavin Bartoš

Theme: “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace

Caribbean male with animalistic qualities (super-human senses, super-human durability, enhanced strength, and extendable claws from his fingertips), Enlisted in R7 – 2 Deployments.

Operative Trident – Schadowen – Délia Vives

Theme: “Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies)” by Fear Factory

Brazilian woman with shadow-based powers and abilities, a stealth and intrusion specialist, Enlisted in R7 – 1 Deployment.

Operative Lonestar – Zephon

Theme: “No Place to Hide” by Jace Everett

white female who never spoke and never displayed any supernatural abilities in Elijah’s presence (he was told to only call her to action as a last resort, but otherwise given no details), Enlisted in R7 – ∞ Deployments.

Operative Springboard – Aṉangu – Patrik Bayer

Theme: “Creep” by Radiohead

Australian male with a typical super-speed suite of powers, Pardoned from R7.

Born in Oodnadatta, Australia in 1995, Patrik was arrested in 2011 for being Post-Human. The US Government purchased his incarceration from Australia and transferred him to R7. After several deployments he was deemed too volatile and a termination order was released. After the termination failed R7 issued a full Pardon and returned Bayer to Australia. Currently 22 years old.

David Sky

Founder of R7

Enlisted in 1667 at age 18, served in the Vietnam War from 1969 until 1971, deployed to Laos in 1971 at age 22. Injured in combat and returned stateside. Worked in various non-combat posts until founding R7 in 1983 after Zephon was discovered living at the Chesapeake Bay impact site. David Sky maintained R7 until 2014 when, at age 65, he was forced into retirement.

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