The Fourth Generation
L'Esprit (Vespertilio Lahcen)
A Legacy of fear and darkness
Left Halcyon under questionable circumstances after dealing with Golden Master and The Troika. Last Known Status: Biking cross-country under assumed names.
Nineteen-year-old Lio Lahcen is of mixed Moroccan descent, dark-skinned and dark-eyed with wavy black hair in a shortish undercut. She’s built tall, broad in the shoulder and hips, with long muscular limbs. Her features are distinctive, pleasant in an androgynous kind of way. Freckles and numerous pale scars mark her skin.
She’s stylish, favoring a dark hard-femme look, and usually wears at least a winged eyeliner and warm lip tint. She constantly wears a black opal pendant tucked under her shirts; sometimes she wears a matched gold ring on her left ring finger, other times she hangs it on the same long chain.
As L’Esprit she wears a classic trenchcoat, hat, and gloves, with a patterned scarf to hide her face. The quality of her costume has improved recently, though the design hasn’t fundamentally changed.
In combat she makes liberal use of a stun baton, some self-defense, and some DIY gadgets. While she has a basic understanding of small arms and will use a gun with little hesitation, she’s made a decision not to actively carry anything more formidable than the stun gun — precisely because she’s so quick to use lethal force when it’s available.
When she overextends her powers, her eyes take on the appearance of the black opals — smooth black, but glittering from within with ever-changing sparks of red and blue and purple. So far she’s only done this once.
Abilities: Holmesian deduction, gadgetry (technopathy), intimidation,
fearsome reputation, athletic perfection
Her technopathy passively manifests as Electronic Sensory Disruption: electronics trying to focus on Lio experience glitches and corruption.
- Won’t let you down. Spend 2 Team to add +2 to teammate’s roll. (Beacon)
- Never give up, never surrender. Roll Savior instead of taking blows from opponents of greater power. (Legacy)
- Before we get started. Roll Savior before battle to hold 1-3 against the opposition. (Soldier)
- Always prepared. Hold 2 Gadgets. Spend 1 Gadget to Unleash with Superior. (Brain)
- Stand Up For Something. Roll Savior to force people to listen when she yells at them.
Vanessa “Shield” Signet: They had some ups and downs. Lio asked Vanna to come on the run with her. Vanna may or may not have accepted.
Sarah “Calavera” Mendez: Keeps in contact, would still drop everything if Sarah needed her.
Joey “Buzzer” Carron: Never quite reconciled with Buzzer.
Mika “Branch” Pena, Robbie “Reflect” Rust, Pete Friendly: Might have thrown them under the bus at some point in her quest to deal with Golden Master and the Troika. Might still be on good terms. Hard to say. Towards the end she only really confided in Sarah and Vanna.
The Serero Family: Splintered. The corruption had spread too far, and in taking it out Lio essentially destroyed the Troika. Major players were taken out, others went into hiding. Those who remain have had to rebuild on their own. Some of them probably have a grudge against Lio — and anyone who helped her. There’s a reason Lio, Ellie, and their mother Dawn all thought it was a good idea to get out of town.
Backstory: Movers and Shakers
Like any kid, Lio dreamed once in awhile of being a superhero, but it was never a serious consideration.
In another world, Vespertilio Lahcen was a normal kid born and raised in rural Michigan, facing death too young and never wholly coming to terms with it. She moved to Halcyon at 16 to care for one of her last remaining relatives. Two years later, when cleaning out her late aunt’s home, Lio discovered a hidden safe full of files from her vigilante great-grandfather, and her life changed. She donned a uniform and dubbed herself L’Esprit, and she sought out wrongs to right.
That world’s gone now, and selfish as it is, Lio wouldn’t go back to it for anything.
Seventy-eight years ago, with war heating up in Europe, millionaire Marlowe Maskelyne and three friends went up in his personal plane. The craft went down, killing all four passengers and burning their bodies beyond identification. Officials ruled it as mechanical failure. They were not present to see lurkers emerge and check the wreckage, taking only an opal ring from one of the bodies. The ring was delivered to a hidden room in Halcyon City, to the Golden Master, who laughed and began the next phase of her plans.
Maskelyne’s fortune was willed to the adopted daughter of the friends who had died with him. Claimed by other relatives, the child quickly fell off the radar. Even The Golden Master was unable to track her. Frustratingly, the death of her greatest enemy did not seem to make her world domination bid any easier, either.
Seventy-nine years ago, Lio told The Spectre everything she knew from the two timelines she had experienced. He was prepared.
The Spectre removed his loved ones — not only his two partners and (eventually) three children, but his friend Maskelyne and a number of identity-compromised agents — from danger, but they never stopped their work. In addition to overseas work during the war, and continual quiet sabotage of The Golden Master’s efforts, they also dealt with other miscarriages of justice and prepared for future threats.
By the time the Golden Master was (theoretically) finally defeated in 1973, the family had extended its influence deep into Halcyon’s inner workings. Certain family members took up traditional heroic mantles, especially those with superpowers. Others infiltrated particular industries or social circles, political movements and crime syndicates. Still others worked as Spymasters, curating their information and seeing it got to where it needed to be. All had a place, depending on their skills. All were supported by the family network, which had somewhere along the way gained a name: The Troika.
It was into that environment that this Vespertilio Lahcen was born. An extensive family with love, support, and resources to spare, but one with powerful expectations and dangerous secrets.
In this world, Lio always knew that she was going to be a hero, in some form. She’s been training for it her whole life.
Becoming L’Esprit was a minor act of rebellion. Sick of training and drills, Lio set out to deal with crime firsthand. Her family pretended not to notice her attempted double-life — as long as she kept her grades up and didn’t cause too much damage, it was good practice. Teenagers gotta rebel.
She still became friends with Sarah and tries her best to protect her. She still met Joey and gave him a place to stay with her perfectly normal, everyday civilian family.
She still formed the Corps, and still accidentally got Dio killed. Her family stepped in, then, and she hasn’t operated outside of Troika influence since.
She still joined with the Delinquents, but at Troika urging, to keep an eye on this upstart youth group that the Exemplars were showing such an interest in. They don’t know that she’s here basically as a spy, and this version of Lio would never have told them.
She still sincerely believes in justice, in helping innocents, righting wrongs, and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves, and believes that her family’s methods are the best way.
She still participated in the sabotage of Frankie’s wedding — but she was killed in the destruction of the Dreadnought. Her family held a funeral and recovered her necklace.
And now, she’s back.
Lio’s family is extensive. Here’s a brief look at the established ones.
The Spectre (Elazar Serero), David Jasper Serero, and Evelyn Rose Serero: Great-grandparents. Probably dead by now. Probably.
Adelaide “Ada” Lahcen: The eldest of The Spectre’s three children, and Lio’s grandmother. Ran the Troika for most of her life, mostly in a managerial position but occasionally in the field in her younger days. Nearly ninety, retired, but still respected as the matriarch. Always seemed to favor Lio and have high expectations for her, despite her being relatively unremarkable. There was quite a stir when Ada gifted Lio their family heirloom.
Erik and Johannes Serero: The Spectre’s sons. The Sereros fostered a number of children smuggled out of Nazi Germany, Erik and Johannes were the two that remained with them.
Senka Serero: Current leader of the Troika, Ada’s first child by her first husband.
Nasir Serero: Senka’s son, current Spectre.
Lavinia Meunier: Erik’s daughter. Dealing with early-onset dementia, but the family’s connections ensure her the best possible care.
Marcus Meunier: Lavinia’s only child. Mid-twenties.
Isaiah “Ike” Lahcen: Lio’s dad, Ada’s youngest child by her second husband.
Dawn Lahcen: Lio’s mom. Animal behaviorist and bat specialist
Pipistrelle ‘Ellie’ Lahcen: Lio’s little sister.
Lady Night: Most likely one of Johannes’ descendants, making her a second cousin like Marcus.
What the heck kind of name is ‘Vespertilio’?
It’s the scientific name of a genus of bat. So is Pipistrelle. Look, their mom works in a bat sanctuary and has a thing for Latin. They were always just thankful they didn’t wind up ‘Pteralopex’ or ‘Rhogeessa’. Or ‘Mormoops’.