The Fourth Generation
They're spoken of in whispers. The usual story: a powerful group that runs the city from behind the curtain. Anyone might be a member, especially the rich and powerful. Their eyes and ears are everywhere. Their resources are limitless. Their motives unknown.
The same old conspiracy.
Only this time, it's real.
A secret organization operating primarily in Halcyon City, founded in the early '40s by The Spectre and run by his descendants, the Serero family.
Every member of the Serero family tree is protected by The Troika, although not all are actively involved in the 'family business'. Recruitment of those outside of the family is primarily based on loyalty. Many in Halcyon have worked for The Troika without ever knowing it.
Leadership is three-part, hence 'Troika', one from each family line. While each has their specialties, they work in tandem to ensure the success of the Troika and the safety of the family.
Senka Serero can be considered The Boss since her mother Ada retired from the position. The eldest Spectre grandchild, Senka is an imposing woman in her sixties. Inherited her father's shadow powers and bore the Spectre name for a time in the '70s and '80s, though she is no longer active in the field. While she oversees all Troika activity, her primary purview is in family matters.
Sebastian "The Spider" Ibañez: It's an open secret that Halcyon's underworld is dominated by the seemingly omniscient, omnipresent crime boss The Spider. What's not so well-known is that his resources are The Troika's. One of Johannes' children, and second-in-command to Senka, Sebastian monitors potential problems and oversees non-family Troika associates.
Nirav Valdez, usually only called Valdez, is The Curator. The Troika's stock in trade is in secrets and information, and Valdez oversees the flow of information to ensure it gets where it needs to be. He's also in charge of protecting the physical records, including The Spectre's original files. One of Erik's children, a half-brother of Lavinia Meunier.
The following are field operatives with public personas.
The Spectre: Starting in the 70s, 1-3 of the most skilled family members have been allowed to operate in the field under the old name and uniform. There being more than one is purposely confusing. Right now there are two: Senka's son Nasir, who shares Senka's shadow abilities; and an unpowered cousin, Esther Valiant. Spectres are always independent operatives and do not join groups like the Exemplars or Rangers.
The Jersey Devil: Protector of the New Jersey R&D facility. Actually a suit based on Martian technology, currently worn by highly electrokinetic cousin Sindri Iliev, the daughter of the facility's primary researcher. Originally intended to scare off civilians, unfortunately it's backfired in recent years and attracted a crop of cryptid-hunters, so it's now only brought out to deal with active threats.
Lady Night, the youngest of the Exemplars before they split apart. Current assignment unknown, but probably involved in overseeing the New Exemplars.
L'Esprit: Lio, assigned to keep an eye on the Wildcards/Delinquents. Believed dead, which makes the presence of another L'Esprit a problem.
Twilight: Ellie Lahcen, newest and youngest field agent, currently assigned to the New Exemplars.
Children of the Troika are trained from a young age in a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on puzzle-solving, critical thinking, and both physical and mental defense. A unique conlang and associated sign language are taught to Troika members for purposes of communication and identification.
Unusual skills and outside interests are encouraged. Athleticism, hacking, stealth, or code-breaking are obviously useful, but so is fashion, medicine, architecture, chemistry, even literature or fine art. If you need something or need to know something, there's probably someone in the Troika who can help.
The power level varies from entirely mundane to Nova. Lower-level technopathy, luck, and super-senses tend to run in the family, while a few higher-powered supers have been recruited or married in. Most of them, with or without powers, have at least been trained in small arms.
Three founders: The Spectre, David Jasper Serero, and Evelyn Rose Serero.
Three children: Ada, Erik, and Johannes.
Three opals: a ring, a pendant, and a bracelet.
Even The Spectre's own birth was reportedly the result of a triad relationship.
The Sereros have a fondness for threes.