Plamya

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Plamya.jpg Noemblem.png

Plamya
Secret Identity: Lara Yevgenova Medvedova
Status: MISSING
ATTRIBUTES
Agility: 24 Intelligence: 15
Strength: 14 Endurance: 39
Charisma: 17 Persuasiveness: 19
Combat Stats
Level
Basic Hits: 3 HP: 55 PP: 92
DetHidden: 12% DetDanger: 16%
AccMod DmgMod H-T-H Dmg
Powers
Body of FlameActs as simultaneous Flame Power and Vibratory Defense, also permits movement as "gaseous form", Flight at 518 MPH, and fireball attacks for 2D10
Heightened Endurance+23
Heightened Agility+14
Weaknesses
Claustrophobic



First Appearance: December, 1978

Contents

Description

Plamya is a humanoid female 5’5” tall and athletically built, weighing approximately 130lbs. She has fair skin, blue-gray eyes, and red hair of a slightly-darker-than-strawberry-blonde hue, which she wears in efficiently short styles. Her normal core body temperature hovers around 103ºF

Plamya tends to dress lightly, a preference possibly related either to her hyperthermic condition, a tendency to claustrophobia, or both. Her professional costume consists of flame-printed red tights, a Red Army athletic T-shirt, and an old military cartridge belt. Since the mid-1990s, she has worn custom-designed ASICS athletic shoes marketed under her name per a merchandising arrangement.

Biography

Childhood and Adolescence

Lara Medvedova was born September 17, 1960 in Tula, RSFSR. Her mother, Lyudmila, who died soon after, had experienced several miscarriages before Lara’s birth, and suffered from unspecified chronic illnesses. It has been speculated that these illnesses, as well as Lara’s powers, somehow resulted from Lyudmila’s term of employment years earlier as a low-level technician at the VNIIEF nuclear weapons research facility in Arzamas-16 (now Sarov). Lara’s powers were apparently present in some measure from birth, as a negligent maternity orderly reportedly placed the infant in a recently autoclaved metal basin, on which she proceeded to burn herself while Lara merely cooed contentedly.

As Lara’s father Yevgeny traveled extensively as a railroad worker, she was placed in the care of her aunt and maternal grandparents, who raised her in a woodland cottage near Tambov. The trio also cared for Lara’s great-grandmother, who, in her 90s, was blind and often catatonic. Though she often responded with apparent happiness to Lara’s presence, physical contact with the child would sometimes send her into a panic, insisting that Lara was near death with fever. This condition, coupled with her red hair and energetic nature, earned Lara the nickname “Plamya” (“Flame”) even before the full extent of her powers was known.

Always physically attractive and gregarious, by her high school years Plamya’s schedule was as full socially as it was athletically. Her romances with a succession of desirable boys (particularly long-haired “rebel” types) earned the enmity of some of her peers who, much to her annoyance, spread gossip about her being “easy”. From Plamya’s perspective, she was never indiscriminate with her affections, but more accurately “casual”, being quite well-equipped to pursue whatever relationships she desired on her own terms. It was in a fit of pique on reading a dropped scurrilous note passed by classmate Sonia Buranova (a rival since grade school) that Plamya first transformed into her “living flame” form.

Her excitement at the discovery distracted Plamya from social friction for some time, and she secretly explored and developed her power with the same intensity that she devoted to gymnastics, track, and field hockey. Post-midnight training flights generated a flurry of UFO reports in the region, much to Plamya’s amusement. One such flight strayed a bit too close to the Arzamas-16 complex for PVO Strany’s comfort, and Plamya found herself the recipient of a heat-seeking air-to-air missile. Little more than jostled by the weapon’s blast, its fragments passing harmlessly through her in flame-form, Plamya found the episode rather exhilarating. However she did choose to fly to more remote areas thereafter.

Which proved fortunate when, on one cold winter night, she spotted a panicked group of cross-country skiers in a wilderness park area being attacked by a large, hairy, half-human beast. Diving to the rescue, she was even more surprised to find that the creature could itself fly, after a fashion, running through the air on smoldering hoofed feet. Moreover, the slashes of its claws hurt her even in her immaterial flame form. After a brief, desperate fight, Plamya stopped the creature by burning through and toppling a large oak tree on it, after which it reverted to a mostly normal, if somewhat flattened, human form – a “Black Shaman” of one of the Siberian tribes, hunting prey in a form similar to that known among North American Indians as a “Wendigo”.

At first planning simply to flee to preserve her secret, Plamya found that injuries among the skiing party made it necessary to obtain aid for them. She also found one of the group, college senior Yuri Vaslav, rather attractive, and lingered to chat with him. While the relationship proved short-lived, Yuri’s father was a fairly high-ranking Communist party official, who was not only grateful enough to arrange for Plamya’s admission to the University of Moscow, but also introduced her to the necessary parties to receive specialized training and be inducted into what would soon become the Soviet Union’s “Directorate of Superbeings

Superhero Career

At age 20, still nominally a university student, Plamya completed Spetsnaz-level military training, and was sent to Afghanistan for employment in “special missions”. Her restraint in the use of deadly force, and somewhat arbitrary adherence to orders, led to her withdrawal in only a few months, and reassignment to an “internal security” role.

Soon after Plamya’s graduation, she became one of the charter members of the formally established Directorate of Superbeings. One of her first assignments was the rescue of some Soviet military advisors captured by the Nicaraguan Contras. The captors, unable to harm Plamya, scattered without much of a fight, and she freed the advisors, along with a French reporter investigating covert US aid, who was also being held captive. A romantic relationship with the reporter ensued, but was soon broken off due to the obvious security complications. A later “tell-all” book by the reporter actually told very little, but created further friction between Plamya and the Directorate’s political sponsorship.

Alongside her comrades in the Directorate, Plamya participated in a variety of other clandestine paramilitary missions (though these diminished after 1985 in the Gorbachev era), and battled a succession of supervillains including Skorpion, Poltergeist, Shee-Ariel, Violator, and The Snow Queen (the last of whom she was not entirely shocked to learn was secretly her former classmate, Sonia Buranova). While investigating the activities of occultist underground groups, Plamya reportedly befriended a teenage girl living in the Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) area, struggling with werewolfism. Her refusal to identify the girl to authorities again caused friction with government officials and some of her teammates, but the support of senior team member Samoyed helped defuse the matter.

In 1989, together with Bogatyr, Plamya remained behind on Earth while the rest of the Directorate supers travelled to the Tau Ceti star system in response to a distress call from an alien civilization under some form of attack. Plamya’s inability to operate effectively in space was the official reason given for her omission from the team, though it has been speculated (and denied by Plamya) that remaining interpersonal frictions and/or loyalty concerns may also have been factors.

When the Soviet Union dissolved in late 1991, the Directorate too ceased to exist, leaving Bogatyr and Plamya on their own. While Bogatyr specifically aligned himself with the government of the newly independent Ukraine, Plamya adopted a more international perspective, traveling extensively both on humanitarian missions and to battle superhuman threats. No longer officially supported, she found that endorsement contracts provided comfortable levels of funding. In 1993, she began working semi-regularly with the group of superheroines (Shockwave, Athena, Doppleganger, and Anastasia Doom) then operating under the “System Four” name. With the return of System Four’s original members, Plamya decided to refocus her attention primarily on Europe and Asia, but remained on good terms with all the members of System 4ce.

Plamya’s whereabouts after early 2001 are unknown. It is known that she was involved in investigations into the activities of Karybdis in Russia and Europe, as well as thefts from Russian scientific archives that later proved to be connected to the efforts of Dr. Medusa to obtain Psionium samples from the 1908 Tunguska explosion. It has been speculated that she may have been murdered by Dr. Medusa or at her direction, but no body or direct clues have been found, nor have any of Dr. Medusa’s apprehended associates provided useful insight.

Known Abilities

Plamya’s powers are generally considered to derive from some sort of genetic mutation, which granted her superhuman agility and endurance seemingly from birth, and from her middle teen years the ability to transform into a coherent, sentient mass of high temperature gas, or “flame form”. This form’s normal core temperature is approximately 1,300°F – sufficient to melt aluminum – but can be raised substantially for short intervals, usually for attack purposes. She can also effectively reduce her temperature, though this is dependant on having sufficient space for physical dispersal and/or movement. Her insubstantiality in flame-form makes her immune to most physical attacks, though sufficiently powerful blows or shockwaves may have the potential to “snuff her out”. She may move at over 500MPH in flame form, and alter her shape substantially. She is thus capable of penetrating any non-air tight containment, and can generally do so quickly enough to avoid substantially raising the temperature of the materials she contacts, if desired. Conversion to and from flame-form also appears to have physically regenerative effects, negating most physical signs of aging.

Even in normal physical form, Plamya is highly temperature tolerant, able to withstand prolonged exposure to temperatures of as much as 250°F or more, or as little as -10°F, with no ill effect.

Plamya’s military training has familiarized her with most current Russian and NATO weaponry. Though she seldom carries or uses firearms or explosives, knowledge of demolitions theory has been useful to applications of her powers.

She is considered highly skilled at Combat Sambo and Systema, and has studied Muay Thai as well. She remains an avid recreational athletic competitor in everything from archery to volleyball.

Equipment

Plamya carries assorted compact utility items (first aid kit, nutritional bars, light tools, etc.) in an old army cartridge belt.

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