"Very good story so far; it'll be interesting to see how it develops. ... The story and characterizations are excellent, and you've given him an interesting twist on air control that actually seems to have some scientific validity. ... he's original enough that it doesn't make him feel derivative. Let me know when the next chapter is done." [Deskanar] "Have never been much for superhero fiction, but you make yours a fair deal more compelling." [Lamia Domina] "Excellent ... you managed to combine the best parts of Splinter Cell, James Bond, and Star Wars." [elessar2371] "I will admit that beforehand I was a little skeptical, it's not usually my cup of tea, but I found myself liking it." [ChrisSailinWM] "Oooh, it's getting rather interesting! you and your cliffhangers!! rawr!" [Chiagirl] "Frankly, the entire world is very realistic and thought-out, the characters are human (as far as emotions and characteristics go); just very, very impressive on the whole. The best is all that you can do, and in your case it's extraordinary. I'd say to push for a book, because it's easy to see this in print, to be honest. I can't say I see many works that deserve print (and I do see a lot that are in print that shouldn't be) but this is one that matches what I see as being book quality." [Akujiki] "You are a much better writer than 51% of the guys that get published. It's so good, you might just want to tattoo it to the back of your eyelids..." [OriDrKultra] "Wahai! This kicks so much ass." [0verture] "fwheee!" [AzukiWeasel] "*teh drools* ... <3" [Oatway] "Thanks. I like these." [starocean2nd] "Classic." [Tortuga]
Frequently Asked Questions:
What's Aeolus and Echo's relationship?
Echo and Aeolus are friends, nothing less and never anything more. Their relationship is more like an older sister and her little brother than anything else. They were both introduced to Project Olympus at around the same time, and they grew close.
I'm confused, what's this character's name again?
Before asking, reread - it might solve your question. Almost every character who appears in this serial has at least one alias, for various reasons, usually to protect their identity from the public at large.
How often do you update?
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday every week.
How good is _____ in a fight?
With a few exceptions, almost all of the main characters who engage in fights are equally battle-ready and dangerous as a whole, some having situational advantages or disadvantages that vary based on what's going on. Except for Alexis Decker and Helena, I would put each one somewhere between 'Batman' and 'Spider-Man' in terms of threat level. Alexis is at 'Spider-man' level, and Helena's just out there.
What are the five projects/Arcanum Division?
Olympus, Athor, Asgard, Tartarus, and Canaan are the names of the five projects, all subdivisions of a branch of the government known as the Arcanum Division that deals with the fantastic. Olympus, Athor, and Asgard revolve around the balance of power in the world; namely, giving as much of it as humanly possible to the United States. Olympus does so through management and control of magical beings. Athor focuses on gene-splicing and some cyborg technology to create perfect soldiers that are generally much less dangerous on a one-on-one basis compared to Olympus and Asgard, but are much easier to make and control. Asgard is the robotics arm, although it is viewed as inefficient and dangerous because of how easy it would be for one man to make a private army. Project Tartarus is basically damage control for the other four projects; they track and gather information on anyone or anything considered a superhuman-level threat. Project Canaan is the peaceful one of the five, focused on applying advancements in technology from the other four to civil projects.
How did Aeolus/Echo/Nemean/Helena/Alexis get their powers?
As Aeolus says in the intro, he's just always had them. Magic has always existed in this fictional world, it's just that it is at various times covered up. You'll find out more about the cover-up of magic when I finally can introduce Ted and Marisa.
Who are Ted and Marisa?
How did Alexis get his original alias?
It was a joke from his last girlfriend. I'd explain more, but it's complicated. Alexis Decker and Helena are both borrowed characters from a novel I was writing about three years ago (and intend to finish) called Bathrobe Ninja: Human Evolution. Agent Aeolus references events in that book as though I had finished writing it. The events in Bathrobe Ninja occur approximately three years before the start of Agent Aeolus. I try to explain myself along the way so no one gets confused since, except for people who know me well, just about no one has read Bathrobe Ninja. More than anything, it's a useful jumping off point for me in making the world feel more real; not everything is starting with the story of Aeolus, some people are already in the middle of their lives.
What is the Prime Nexus?
This will be explained in the storyline. I don't mind handing out spoilers, but I don't want to do so before the thing they're spoiling exists in canon.
Project Olympus Tartarus: Aeolus factsheet
Real Name: [Error. No Data Entry found.] Age: 19 Height: 5'8" Ethnicity: Mixed (Caucasoid/Negroid) Eyes: Brown Hair: Black Data: Agent Aeolus has the preternatural ability to control oxygen kinetically through an arcane energy distributed through his hands. The primary result of this ability is a close approximation of psychokinesis, although he has also demonstrated the ability to mimic thermokinesis. He is capable of using these powers to disable and defeat most people rather quickly. With virtually no preparation time, he can send a flurry of aerial bursts each the strength of a weak punch through the air; with considerable time spent focusing and concentrating (approximately ten minutes) he can generate an explosive attack capable of destroying several inches of reinforced steel walls through a combination of direct pressure and extreme heat. Avoid using electrical attacks such as tasers except at extremely close range. Aeolus has been trained to polarize the air in order to force electricity to pass in the way he wishes it to. He cannot generate electrically based attacks, but he can turn such attacks back on you.
He has also demonstrated the ability to use these powers to create simple physical constructs constructed of oxygen as long as he maintains concentration; he primarily uses this ability to create a large semisolid disc which he rides in order to fly at slower speeds (95 MPH or less). At higher speeds, this mode of transport is inefficient compared to using direct wind power to propel himself provided he is wearing a large, loose cloak or coat. When not actively using his powers, he is capable of sensing general motion of oxygen in a 1,000 foot radius. (Approximate; varying levels of concentration or power use can expand or decrease this range.) Notes: Agent Aeolus is considered moderately dangerous; he is equipped with state-of-the-art technology in addition to his formidable array of powers and possesses high levels of unarmed and armed combat experience. However, he has not demonstrated a willingness to kill except in dire situations. (Do not place him in a life or death situation without direct, case by case, permission from HQ.) He wears ablative bulletproof armor over most of his body, excepting his head; avoid shooting vitals. We need him alive. Agent Aeolus has gone completely rogue, and is a strong liability. Orders have changed, and he must be stopped at any means necessary. Preferably, bring him alive rather than dead, but if no other option is available, kill him. Important: Aeolus' constructs, by virtue of being compressed oxygen, are paramagnetic, similar to iron; they are strongly attracted to magnetics and conduct electricity.
He has a key weakness. He must have a line of effect from his hands to whatever he wishes to affect. In a vacuum situation or should his hands be directly encased in an airless substance, he is around the approximate danger level of a well-trained infantry soldier (but not special forces.) Additionally, his gloves are built of a material which amplifies his arcane energy output; if he is without them, he will still be a danger, but his energy output is more than halved. It is also worth noting that he needs the ability to concentrate to use his powers, and wrestling with him provides a much higher chance of success than attempting to stand-off against him.
Above all, he must not be fatally wounded. Bring him by any means necessary.
Project Canaan Tartarus: Helena factsheet
Real Name: Gertrude Ekstein Age: 28 Height: 5'1" Ethnicity: Eastern European Eyes: Yellow Hair: Pink Data: Helena is the rare possessor of a Class 4 combined Psychoelectric and Telekinetic ability and is extremely skilled with the uses of this power. Said uses extend almost entirely of maiming, killing, torturing, and destroying. At full power, Helena is capable of virtually disintegrating a tank when standing right next to it. Additionally, she has learned to use her powers defensively, creating a very strong magnetic field around her body. Bullets are severely slowed within this field, allowing her to avoid them in most circumstances.
Helena possesses the ability to fly at speeds of between 40 MPH and 200 MPH by shooting her energies downwards. She cannot fly very high or very precisely, but in most circumstances she does not need to. And while she cannot fly precisely, she certainly can fire precisely, often snaking her electricity around corners to strike someone. Notes: Helena is considered supremely lethal and dangerous in all circumstances. Should you encounter her, attempt to get help, no matter how large or well trained your group is. She will not hesitate to kill or torture. Helena's powers, like Aeolus', originate from her hands. Unlike Aeolus' powers, they are not dependent upon being in any one medium, though it is possible to entrap her hands in insulating material and temporarily weaken her slightly. If Helena has a weakness, it is in close combat - she has almost no training in close combat. However, because her powers are not concentration based, this is risky at best - one cannot disrupt her from using her abilities in most circumstances.
If forced to face Helena and it appears that you may lose with no chance of escape, it is advisable that you commit suicide by any means necessary. Helena is not beyond using pain and psychological torture to bend all whom she encounters to her will. Many who have encountered her have ended up in a mental institution, possibly for the rest of their lives. She will often turn you against your allies.
Never confuse a potentially kind or seductive act she does for real interest or caring. These are only tools to help break you. Do not, under any circumstances, fall for them. If you are captured by her, simply attempt to anger her and force her into killing you sooner.
Project Olympus: Echo factsheet
Real Name: Leslie Adams Stone Age: 26 Height: 5'8" Ethnicity: Mixed European, partial American Indian. Eyes: Ice Blue Hair: Blonde (Dyed Strawberry Blonde) Data: [Higher security level required. Access denied.] Notes: [Higher security level required. Access denied.]
Project Olympus: Nemean factsheet
Real Name: Melanie Shapiro Age: 53 Height: 6'10" Ethnicity: Mixed European. Eyes: Hazel Hair: Dark Brown Data: [Higher security level required. Access denied.] Notes: [Higher security level required. Access denied.]
Project Olympus: Dionysus factsheet
Real Name: Alexis Robert Decker Former Alias: 'Bathrobe Ninja' Age: 20 Height: 6'1" Ethnicity: Mixed European. Eyes: Green Hair: Blonde Data: [Higher security level required. Access denied.] Notes: [Higher security level required. Access denied.]
Prologue: The first lesson of my life is this: don't ever underestimate a national government. Especially not a really powerful modern country. Sure, they're often inefficient, overly complicated, really stupid things. But they have their share of intelligent people, like anything else does. And when those intelligent people get ahold of those amazing resources, those people can bring a nation's worth of companies, people, technology, and money to bear on whatever they want. Like me for example.
The second lesson of my life is that magic is very, very real. Call it psychic power, call it divine intervention, call it a curse, call it a genetic mishap, call it the 'women going into bathrooms at the same time' effect. Call it whatever you want but the bottom line is, there's stuff out there that's far beyond the purview of science, stuff that is so complicated that Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein would barely scratch the surface of it. Am I proof? Maybe. Depends on your definition of a lot of things.
My name is Gus. Gustave Halen. Or maybe it's Michael Day. Or perhaps Edward Rainer. My name changes on circumstance - I can't keep it the same each time. I have to thank the government for teaching me that skill - the ability to lose my identity and adopt a new one whenever I need it. I've switched names so many times, I don't remember what it was originally... That's not to say that I can't remember. If I tried, I could recall it. But it's a life that happened long ago and wasn't what I'd call constant. As far as I'm concerned, the only name that is a real constant - the only name I should always remember - is Agent Aeolus.
Before I go any farther, I guess I should clear something up. The government didn't abduct me or take me away from my parents. I was living in foster care - my parents were dead. I don't know from what, they died when I was very young. It wasn't my powers, because they didn't manifest themselves until years later. And when they did manifest themselves - I was about eight, I think - it was just weak sauce. I shoved another kid from a few feet away. Big deal, right? Well, the government thought so. Asked me if I wanted to come with them. I don't know what they would have done if I said 'no' but I didn't. And if I had it to do all over again, I guess I'd probably say 'yes' anyway.
I have to admit, they're probably the best thing to ever happen to me. If it hadn't been for them, I might have turned into another product of the wonderful social services system in this country. But that's another diatribe, eh? They fed me. Clothed me. They treated me like a decent human being, outfitted me well, educated me. I made friends there. And I learned how to use my powers. But...
I hit a brick wall, eventually. No matter how sincere, how caring a system tries to be, it can never take the place of a real life. I think their greatest mistake was trying to make up for what they couldn't give me. I heard about the outside world. I heard about love, I heard about tears. I heard about slumber parties, and I heard about holidays. I'm a magical being, but I've never experienced magic.
So I ran away. Took a bunch of their shiny toys with me. It wasn't enough for me to try to opt out of the system. To do that would have required losing my powers, and a requirement to keep my life as hush-hush as possible. I'd always have armed guards around me just in case I might be abducted by foreign nationals and tortured for information on the program, or if they knew enough they might try to dissect me and find out at least the rudimentaries of what makes me tick. Getting a safe release would have been best for national interest, and had the best for me at heart. But I don't want to lose what I've got. I'm a selfish bastard. I'm going to keep running until they quit or I'm caught. Neither's ever, ever going to happen. This is because I don't make the mistake of underestimating the government. I was the government. I know them as well as they know me.