The Fourth Generation
L'Esprit (Vespertilio Lahcen)
A Beacon of light in the darkness... but, like, in a stealthy way. Shut up.
Eighteen-year-old Lio Lahcen is of Moroccan descent, dark-skinned and dark-eyed with wavy black hair. She’s built tall, broad in the shoulder and hips, with long muscular limbs. Her features are distinctive, pleasant in a somewhat androgynous kind of way. Freckles dust her face and shoulders. A fresh scar cuts across her left eyebrow.
She favors vintage styles, and usually takes the time to apply winged eyeliner and a warm lip tint. She always wears a necklace tucked under her shirt, a marquise-cut black opal pendant in a white-gold setting.
As L’Esprit she wears a closet-cosplay of The Spectre’s old getup: a classic trenchcoat, hat, and gloves, with a patterned scarf to hide her face.
In combat she makes liberal use of a stun gun flashlight and some basic self-defense. Only recently has she begun carrying anything more formidable — though she’s decided she prefers the stun gun. Electricity solves everything.
Abilities: Camouflage and stealth, Acrobatics, Technopathy
(Technopathy and Camo/Stealth combine to passively manifest as Electronic Sensory Disruption: electronics trying to focus on Lio experience glitches and corruption.)
- Straight. Up. Creepin’. Roll Mundane to assess person or place.
- Won’t let you down. Spend 2 Team to add +2 to teammate’s roll.
- Suck it, Domitian. Roll Savior instead of Danger to engage a threat while under fire.
- Never give up, never surrender. Roll Savior instead of taking blows from opponents of greater power.
- I know what I am. Once per scene, when defending a teammate, can up Savior and down another Label, and add 1 Team to the pool.
_ Get a new costume
_ Take down a threat all on your own
_ Outperform an adult hero
_ Drive a fantastical vehicle
- Backstory: The Broken Legacy
- What the heck kind of name is ‘Vespertilio’?
Sarah “Calavera” Mendez is Lio’s best friend, first person she calls in an emergency, and first priority in a crisis. Lio was happy to see that even in a universe where she doesn’t exist, Sarah thrived and became a hero. On the other hand, it hurts that she seems to have had so little impact on Sarah’s life that she could be written out of it entirely — that Sarah even seemed to be doing better without her, dystopia notwithstanding. She knows that’s a stupid and selfish way to feel but that doesn’t make it go away.
Joey “Officer” Carron seriously worries Lio. He doesn’t seem to have any middle ground, and when he’s being inspired by people like her, Spectre, Badger, and Ghost, that’s a recipe for disaster. Sitting him down for a talk is important, but she’s been avoiding it, afraid of doing even more harm.
Lio was almost happier to see Michael “Ugat” Pena than Sarah. He — she? — they may have been an enemy, temporarily, but Lio still trusts them implicitly. She’s more acutely aware than ever of how much better they are as a leader. The broken timeline would never have happened under Ugat’s leadership, she’s sure of that.
Pete Friendly is a cool dude. Lio admires his bravery for choosing to stand against his own family for Earth’s sake — AGAIN, even after she punched him in the face — but is worried about the effect it’ll have on him after. …She’s also 100% planning on at least beating up his brother, possibly worse, and isn’t sure how he’ll take that.
Robbie “Reflect” Rust is more of a friend now that they’ve had to share a living space for two weeks. He might be reckless and clownish, but he’s reliable in a pinch. And he has an honorable side — she was a bit surprised that he was so worried over the alternate universe, but entirely agreed and is only sorry she didn’t do everything she could have.
Bodyguard is a bit scary, but reliable and strong, and her willingness to put Cathy’s needs before her own is extremely admirable. That she seemed close to Sarah in the alternate universe was good to see.
Lady Night has done some stupid, aggravating things — but she’s family.
The Spectre is not Lio’s favorite person right now. Still, she’s glad he’s not dead.
Lio was never sure what to make of The Golden Master from The Spectre’s files. Meeting her in person hasn’t helped. She’s… sort of family? Kinda?
Everyone deserves a second chance. Frankie Forreal used his to destroy Lio’s family. She’s looking forward to demonstrating exactly what a spectacularly poor decision that was.
Cygnus made a bad first impression, but Lio now considers her annoying but harmless.
Sasha Blaze is apparently now terrified of Lio, and Lio could not be more pleased about that.
Lio’s stepped in twice now to save Blue Hydra’s life, and feels oddly protective over the ex-ex-villainess despite — well, several things now. She still thinks maybe she could get somewhere if they had a chance to talk. Where, exactly, she’s not sure, but somewhere.
The Badger is an ass and everything Lio learns about him just further cements that impression.
Though she hasn’t dealt directly with Ghost in awhile, she dislikes him on principle, while also feeling sorry for him.
According to everything she’s heard, Roy is a pretty stand-up guy. Yet Lio can’t quite shake the feeling that something is off about the golden boy — but maybe that’s just her being overprotective of Sarah.
Dr Rasima Nash is the therapist she started seeing last year when her aunt’s condition started deteriorating. Dr Nash doesn’t necessarily disapprove of superheroes in general, but in Lio’s case considers it reckless. It doesn’t help that she’s being treated for major depression and suicide ideation.
Adelaide Del Gardi, née Serero, is Lio’s grandmother and raised her after her parents’ death. She still lives in Michigan. One of The Spectre’s children, Ada and her brothers Erik and Johannes mutually agreed not to tell their families about him, and she would be extremely worried about Lio if she knew what her granddaughter was doing.
Marquis Meunier is her cousin — well, first cousin once removed. Their relationship is somewhat strained. Marq considers the whole superhero schtick ridiculous. He has powers of his own, but would rather use them for goofing off or getting ahead. He’s not aware of their family connection with The Spectre or of Lio’s activities as L’Esprit, at least as far as Lio knows. He’s moved back in with her since his girlfriend kicked him out — a ‘temporary’ arrangement.
Backstory: The Broken Legacy
Lio has always been active and people-oriented. Like any kid she dreamed once in awhile of being a superhero, but it was never a serious consideration — not for an unpowered, untrained middle-class kid stuck in the wilds of Michigan. Instead, she focused on things like studying psychology, learning first aid, and physical training. She had every intention of becoming a volunteer firefighter and a therapist.
While Lio’s family was close-knit through her childhood despite the distances that separated them, one by one they fell prey to accidents or illnesses, often without warning. By the time she was sixteen Lio’s only surviving family members were her grandmother, Ada — whom she was living with — and relatives in Halcyon, Lavinia Meunier and her son Marquis. (Lio refers to them as aunt and cousin for simplicity’s sake.) When Lavinia developed early-onset dementia, Marq was going to put her in a home, but Lio nixed that idea and moved to Halcyon to care for her personally.
For two years, Lio’s life consisted of little but school and taking care of her aunt. Then, only a few months ago, Lavinia passed, leaving Lio with a decent inheritance and most of her property. Lavinia’s townhome was too large for one person, so Lio started cleaning it out to put it on the market.
While cleaning, Lio discovered a large fireproof safe in what had once been a closet, now behind a hidden panel. The combination had long since been lost, but Lio devoted all her free time to cracking it and eventually succeeded, finding it filled with carefully-preserved files, books, and keepsakes. In reading a few of the files, Lio found that they were all handwritten, autobiographical accounts of a golden-age hero called The Spectre.
The Spectre was, for a period from the early 30s to mid-40s, a name that struck terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere. No-one was ever quite sure of anything when it came to The Spectre: whether he worked alone, with a single helper, or with a team of flunkies; whether he had powers or was simply so competent he could fake them; whether he was a merciless killer or only killed when necessary. Many would swear he wasn’t even human.
This much was certain: The Spectre dual-wielded powerful automatics, and he dealt swift justice to any who dared prey upon the innocent.
When The Spectre disappeared from the public eye in the 40s, theories abounded that he was actually Marlowe Maskelyne, a globe-trotting millionaire who died in [accident] around the same time.
Unfortunately, while his name is still recognized by a few and his iconic style co-opted to the point of cliche, The Spectre himself was soon overshadowed by the rise of superpowered vigilantes, and he has largely been forgotten in the modern day.
Lio quickly became fascinated with the files. After reading a few, she discovered a note tucked in among them. The note explained why The Spectre’s things had wound up in a secret room in Lavinia Meunier’s home:
The Spectre was Lio’s great-grandfather.
After his disappearance, The Spectre’s three children chose not to continue his hazardous lifestyle. They moved away from Halcyon and began families of their own. One son returned to Halcyon, years later, to rescue and preserve The Spectre’s files, only to hide them away again in what would become Lavinia’s and now Lio’s home.
At the time — recently graduated from Halcyon High, still dealing with her aunt’s death, and helpless to do anything for her best friend’s problems — Lio was contending with major depressive episodes. Inspired by The Spectre’s accounts, she turned her energy toward practicing some of the methods he explained — as well as some modern updates — and found she had a knack for escape artistry, information gathering, and stealth. She cobbled together an outfit out of her closet and dubbed herself L’Esprit.
Her original goal — and really, her only concrete idea — was to find and deal with the people who threatened Sarah and her family.
At first Lio tried going it alone, but quickly got in over her head and got hurt during an all-too-common misunderstanding with another vigilante. After that she confided in Sarah. Soon after, Lio encountered Officer and took him in, and later a fourth person called Dio joined them. Together they formed The Corps. The name was Dio’s idea, based on L’Esprit and Officer’s aliases. They followed Lio as their de facto leader.
The Corps largely stayed out of trouble until the unfortunate incident with Sharpton. Lio blames herself for getting her friends involved and getting Dio killed. She’s glad that they joined up with the Delinquents not long afterward and that Sarah and Joey have better people to rely on now.
As for herself… well, she’s still more useful alive than dead.
What the heck kind of name is ‘Vespertilio’?
Look, her mom worked in a bat sanctuary and had a thing for Latin. Her younger sister was named Pipistrelle. They were always just thankful they didn’t wind up ‘Pteralopex’ or ‘Rhogeessa’.