Heroes of Freedom City
Greek God of War, just reawakening after living his life as a mortal.
Ares, God of War
aka Milton Enyo
Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 150/150
STR: +5 (20), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +5 (20), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +0 (10), CHA: +4 (18)
Tough: +9, Fort: +5 Ref: +5, Will: +5
Skills: Computers 2 (15), Knowledge (history) 12 (12), Notice 7 (4)
Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Defensive Attack, Fearless, Fearsome Presence 2, Inspire (+1), Leadership, Luck 2, Power Attack, Takedown Attack 2
Gods Never Die (Regeneration 12) (recovery rate (bruised) 2 (recover 1 / action), recovery rate (injured) 4 (recover 1 / round), recovery rate (staggered) 4 (recover 1 / round), resurrection 2 (1 day))
Imortality (Immunity 10) (aging, life support)
Shield of Ares (Shield 4) (15 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 4.2k lbs; 4 Toughness; Impervious)
The Language of War (Comprehend 2) (languages – speak all, languages – understand all)
Weapons of War (Array 6) (default power: damage)
. . Melee Weapons (Damage 5) (Default; DC 25; Mighty 5 (+5 to damage), Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group – Any Melee Weapon))
. . Ranged Weapon (Damage 5) (Array; DC 20; Range (ranged); Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group – Any Ranged Weapon))
Attack Bonus: 16)
Attacks: Melee Weapons (Damage 5), +8 (DC Staged/Tou ), Ranged Weapon (Damage 5), +8 (DC Staged/Tou ), Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 20)
Defense: 18 (Flat-footed: 12), Knockback: -6
Totals: Abilities 40 + Skills 12 (48 ranks) + Feats 13 + Powers 55 + Combat 22 + Saves 8 + Drawbacks 0 = 150
Milton awoke with a scream dying on his lips. Shakily, he scrubbed the sweat from his face and slipped out of bed. A quick glance behind him at the still form of his wife gave him some relief; he hadn’t disturbed her. That was a small blessing, he guessed. Jenny needed her sleep; pregnancy was never easy. This one was easier than when she had the twins, sure, but she needed all the sleep she could get. He gave a sad smile at the thought of becoming a father, again, and moved the blankets over her shoulder before heading down towards the kitchen. He could do with a beer. On his way, he peeked in on his twins. Alex and Jason were snug in their bunks, Jason had a fierce hold on his stuffed dragon. He couldn’t see Alex, but he was sure the boy had an equally tight grip on his gryphon.
He gripped his beer tightly and walked about the house, his fingers tracing over family photos of treasured moments: He and Jenny hugging each other underneath a flowered canopy at their wedding. Another picture showed him smiling in astonished wonder (even he could see that) as he held Alex and Jason in his arms for the first time. The four of them at the beach one Fourth of July. The boys latest Christmas photo: Jenny had insisted on having a party, and Milton had dressed like Santa and posed with both boys on his knees. His mouth worked in mute horror as the photo transformed: his easy-chair became a throne of skulls; dogs and vultures devoured corpses at his feet.
He spun around, and once more he was dressed in armor like some Roman movie. He caught sight of himself in a mirror and recoiled at the sight. He stood nearly 7 feet tall, and he fairly exploded with muscle, like he’d spent his life in a the gym drinking steroids by the gallon. He reeked of smoke and sweat and blood. Oh god, the blood He wanted to puke. He had weapons, too. A giant axe and spear were on his back, and he had a quiver full of arrows at his side. They changed, though. Sometimes, he’d have a machine gun, other times a rock. Once, he held a chair. Everything was a weapon, if used properly.
Why did he think that? He hated thinking like that.
He closed his eyes, trying to get a grip on his fracturing sanity. He was going insane, that was the only explanation. He dreamed of killing people. Thousands. Millions. Sometimes, he thought he could hear them when he was awake. If he gave it a moment’s thought, he swore he could hear men dying in battle, feel the bullets rip their skin. He could feel the grim satisfaction of the man pulling the trigger.
When he opened them, he stood in a grand colonnade staring up at an older man with a thick beard and powerful body. He sat on a throne of lighting and held a staff in one powerful arm. “You disgust me, Dog! I call you so, for you are no son of mine! No child of Olympus glories in destruction as much as you. You would destroy everything humanity builds, you drive their passions to overflowing! You dismantle all hopes of peace!”
“I kill them, yes. But, at least they know the face of their slayer!” His mouth moved, and it was like he was in a movie, repeating lines on some giant screen. He felt outrage at how little his father cared for him. He’d saved them! Saved everyone! And, still his family despised him! “You torment them with storms and earthquakes, starve them, curse them. And, all they can say is that is the whim of the gods, or fate,” He sneered at a woman in a helmet standing to the side. “Or strategy. I give them a name to curse, a face to hate. I inspire them to do their best, better! I turn men into heroes!” He pointed at a bearded man even more muscular than him. “What would your favored son be without me! You say I detroy?! I bring peace! Is not my own daughter peace? I tear down the corrupt and the decrepit and pave the way for greatness!”
“Greatness! Ha! You burned the greatest library in the world just to watch it burn! You inspired a madman to conquer a world!” The helmeted woman laughed.
“And your strategies, and my brother’s inventions inspired that man to exterminate millions! But, I am hated! I am blamed! I am war, so it must be my fault! The man that drops the bomb is the criminal, not the one that ordered the strike. Not the one that built it. You play your games and mortals suffer. You insolent…”
“ENOUGH!” The bearded man roared and stood, thunder boomed behind him. “If you love mortals so, then you shall live among them. Begone from Olympus! Live and die a thousand lives, as a mortal! When you have you learned your place, then you may return!” Lightning struck Milton and he fell to his knees screaming in pain. He felt his body weakening, shrinking. He…
… stumbled back and held and tipped over the radio in the kitchen. He was insane. He… heard them. Every fight, every battle, everywhere. The wars in Africa and the Middle East, boxing matches, mma bouts, soldiers training in a base near Freedom City, he saw them. He heard them. He was them. He was Oballa T’komu, creeping up the stairs to kill the wife and children of the leader of an opposing faction. He was General Lee, fighting for a cause he believed in; MacArthur defending the world against tyranny. He was Oda Nobunaga, unifying Japan.
He was gripping a butcher knife. He could do it. It’d be easy. So, so easy. He knew exactly where to cut. They wouldn’t even scream. No one would know, and then the regime would topple. His side would win
He dropped the knife in horror and stared at his hands in horror. They were clean. He was in his kitchen. It was just a vision. He grabbed his keys and ran for the van. He’d leave. Yes, that was it. He’d run. He’d run so far away that he couldn’t possibly hurt them. He would die before he let his craziness hurt his family! He would just find some quiet place and end it. They’d find his body a few days later. Jenny would cry, but she’d get over it. With time. The boys would barely remember him. It was better this way. He parked the van at the edge of a cliff and pulled out the pistol. Where had that come from?
“If you’re going to shoot yourself, you should do it outside. That way your wife can reuse the van.”
“Jesus!” Milton dropped the gun and whipped around. A man stood at the head of the car, his bronze armor was brilliant in the headlights. Where had he come from? More importantly, why could he hear him in his van?
“No. I’m not him. Older, though. Making a deal with Hades does that to a man.” Milton could hear the smugness in the armored man’s voice. “You’re probably wondering why we can hear each other. I hijacked the Bluetooth in your van, I have a knack for technology.” Oh ya, the guy was smug. “It’d probably be easier if we talked in person. Why don’t you come out, big guy?”
Milton stepped out of the van. “OK. I’m out. What’s going on?”
“You get visions, don’t you? Nightmares that seem more like memories, but it’s all jumbled up and confusing, so you’re not really sure what you’re seeing.” Milton stared at the armored man in shock. “Ya, Apollo said it’d be like that for a god waking up.”
“God? Now I know I’m insane! I’m not God!”
“No, but you’re a god. Ares, to be exact.” There was that smugness, again. Just who was this guy?
“Most people who think they’re a god are insane.”
“Most people aren’t you. You hear them, don’t you? The bullets? The boom of missile fire. The screams of the dying and victorious? Those are psalms to your name. The fallen are your sacrifice.” Milton backed away from the armored figure; his stomach curdled. He was going to throw up. The armored figure pressed on. “Every city liberated, a blessing from your. Every year of peace, a miracle. They have forgotten your name, but they worship you, still.”
Forget it, he did throw up. The beer, the curried lentils Jenny had made for dinner, fruit he had at his desk for lunch, all of it came up in a torrent. “You’re crazy! You’re…” Right. How could this guy know what he’d been hearing? What he still could hear if he tried. “What’s wrong with me? I thought about killing my family tonight, because I thought I was someone else, and they were someone else. I came here to end it all. To keep them safe. And, you’re answer is that I’m Ares? You’re insane!”
“What language are we speaking right now?”
Milton thought for a moment, and listened to the words he’d said, the words he’d heard. It was Greek. Only, it was Greek that hadn’t been spoken in thousands of years. “Oh god!”
He fell to the ground, head in his hands. He barely felt the armored man’s hand on his shoulder. “It’s hard to accept, I know. But, you are.. You’re…”
“A monster! A butcher! I’ve read the stories! Everyone hates Ares and his gifts.”
“War is cruel. Gods can be cruel. So can men. But, they can be heroes, too. I need a hero. The world needs a hero.”
“The world needs the god of war? I’m sure there are a ton of greek legends who could help you. Hell, this is Freedom City. You should look up Daedalus.”
“I would, but I get sick of seeing myself in the mirror.” Milton stared at the armored figure in shock. He had just insulted a hero! “Sorry, I thought you knew. I thought the armor would be a dead giveaway. Point is, a war is coming. It’s going to be bigger, badder, and far worse than anything else we’ve ever seen before. I need someone who is up to that task. The gods think this isn’t their concern, and Hercules is not up to the task. But, of the Olympians, you’ve spent the most time with mortals. You’ve fought them, and with them. You like mortals. You’re perfect.”
Milton sighed and slumped back against his van. “I don’t know the first thing about being a god, or hero. I’m just a book-dealer.”
Daedalus grinned “I’ll teach you.”
That was a year ago, and Milton has learned a lot. He built machines for Milton to fight as Ares, and taught him to control the bloodlust and rage that came with his name. He introduced Milton to Eldritch who helped him master his powers. Now….
Ares crashed through the skylight, landing in a crouch in the middle of the bank, robbers all around him. Deadalus followed close by. The hero held back, like always, letting Ares take the lead in the battle. Like a sergeant watching a recruit in a training exercise. The robbers opened fire. They were fools. He dodged the bullets, easily, and assailed them with fists. He preferred pankration, but krav maga was just as useful. All but one was left, he moved to follow, summoning an axe to his hand for a killing throw. A cough from Daedalus reminded him that he wasn’t supposed to kill. He’d aim for a knockout blow with a club.
The last robber closed for some hand-to hand and Ares let the club melt into the air. Fair was fair, after all.
But, his phone rang. Ares sighed and answered, holding up a finger to tell the crook to pause. “Hi honey! Oh that? That’s just the TV. Ya, I’m at Yes, I’m getting the.. Chia? What’s chia? Like the pet? That sounds disgusting. People eat this? Why… “ The crook took a swing, which Ares blocked with his arm, and then sent the thug flying with a kick. “Oh.. no I’m sure it’ll be delicious. Yes, I know I said the same thing about the avocado chocolate pudding. Yes… I’ll get it. OK. Love you. Bye.”
He hung up with a shrug, and slipped the iPhone back into his pocket. “I said pause.”
Milton is a family man. That defines him more than anything else: his wife and kids come first. He will stop fighting a thug so he can answer a call from his wife, Jenny. His greatest pleasure in life is reading Harry Potter to his twin 4 year old boys, or singing (badly) to his little 1 year old daughter.
To him, Ares is an act, a mask he puts on. He likes the pageantry of it all, the bronze armor, the gleaming weapons, the raw masculinity. And, he tries to play up the booming voice, and the grim words of War. But, really, he’s just a guy who really likes books, and looks forward to playing tea time with his daughter, or throwing a football around with his sons. But, for all of that, he is actually Ares. His blood pounds when he’s fighting, he feels more alive at that moment, than at any other. He hates that. He hates that he doesn’t want the fight to end, he just wants to leap into another conflict. He has to consciously pull himself back from that edge. Sometimes, he finds himself looking around for someone he can provoke into a fight, just to prove that he’s better than the other guy. The more time he spends dressed like Ares, the harder it is to fight off that voice.
He’s an implacable foe of evil, but he believes anyone can change, if you give them enough chances and a good reason. He abhors violence of all sorts (he often jokes his family eats granola and has Meatless Mondays, like that explains his pacifist tendencies), and prefers to keep those unpleasant things from touching his family life. But, if anything were to happen to his family…