** Note that when uploaded to full site, its location will read /dragonsites/theendings/BMDR/2ndGen/bmdr-2g-gary.htm
Name: Gary Cross-Green "geeceegee"
Gender: Male, bi
Age/DOB: 20ish, 2021
Origin: Repurposed Earth AAEC to BMRC; currently residing in Rookery
Other: charming and fun to work with, he will certainly be sought after as a donor or dad
Weight: 120* Icarus treatments lower his overall weight and strengthened his muscles and bones significantly
Hair: dark orange-red, full and straight, kept short and almost always dangling in eyes
Eyes: medium foresty green, large, friendly
Appearance: light skin, freckles aplenty but usually only visible when he's been out in the sun a lot, has light facial hair; he's pretty strong looking with developed upper torso and arms; likes the black and red theme with collected armor bits assembled from parts around the facilities, and combined with a football player inspired look
Genetic Abilities: he has a considerably stronger set of the psychic-suite powers than his sister does, actively able to telepathically speak to virtually any intelligent mind within 500 meters easily, and can push it to 2 km for a 'ping' to those who can receive. He and Cici have a bond, and can speak or just feel for one another at virtually any distance, though not on different worlds or dimensions. He is a strong empath as well, using his sense of moods he can pick out people with issues or facing trouble easily, even among a group of over 20. Individually he can nudge moods a bit, though not outright control them, mainly in single people or pairs, rather than groups. He is however easily swayed by other emotion controllers. His mental voice is rich and smooth, more like honey than machine oil. Gary is able to communicate with numerous people at once, and has a specific power that allows him to telepathically 'leapfrog' through those connections. So if one person is near him, they Vortally connect to someone at their moderate range, he can reach through that person, and so on, for up to 200 miles. Those who he taps into also may affect the distance he can sense and communicate as well, so sometimes he's worked with those who have wider ranges, or 'out of body' abilities that can radically increase the area covered. Doing this does tire him out a little, so he generally keeps himself in a safe place so he can rest up when he's done sending messages.
Image Credits: Rinmaru Post-Apoc
Icarus Processing: yes, while he and his sister were being spliced and then with a 'confirmation' processing at age 2. This markedly improved his strength, durability, and healing factor - he's around 4 times stronger than a normal man, and can heal nearly 3x as quickly from even grievous injuries. He resists most bacteria and viruses, and even if he is exposed to something deadly it will fade as though a simple quick flu. Notably he doesn't 'carry' diseases, that same horrible disease that made him cough a bit won't be spreading to anyone else. Gary is able to keep up a brisk jog for hours, though he doesn't have much in the way of burst speed. The process improved his Vortal abilities as well.Skills or Profession: known as a messenger, he can get information to specific people without blurting it out in public, even after going through 3 or 4 different minds to get to the intended destination. Confidentiality is key after all, so he's reliably a good secret-keeper, if he even listens to the messages himself. He and Tina have a bit in common in that regard. She has helped him sort through cluttered Vortal noise, in fact. He's not shy around machinery or heavy work, however, because his body is quite strong he likes to be showing off as well as being functional around the Rookery or wherever he winds up. Though he doesn't have any specific science or engineering focus, he knows his way around tools and devices, and helps move delicate equipment as easily as he does secrets, and without breaking a single test tube. He has a very strong navigational skill, reads maps and follows even the most vague instructions to get where he's going safely. Because he does head outside frequently, he has been given weaponry training, and prefers the unusual crossbow found in Black Mesa's testing labs ... you know, the kind with the replaceable explosive tips, grappling hook extension, and other such 'toys'? He does this mainly to keep himself distanced from heavy emotional outbursts if he hits something that might trigger his empathy.Personality: he is quite the charmer, and not just because he has a Vortal power for it. He carries himself with an ease and almost without care, but he definitely remembers that while he might survive a bad fall or a bunch of Combine gunfire, others around him will not. Conscientious and courteous, he likes working with refugees, kids, and even busy scientists alike.
Events or History: (( Shared with Cici ))
In late 2020, with the looming threat of the Combine still very present, and with Paxton gearing up to leave to go find his mother in the multiverse, Melissa had decided that she was going to reproduce the children that the Enrichment Center had lost during the Synchronicity Cascade. She'd been itching to do this ever since that fateful day in 2006, when she and some few others explored the Enrichment Center's childcare and nursery facility. So many tiny bodies, dead because of the neurotoxin spread by GLADOS - children and adults alike. But with the notes each of those children had, they were going to be spectacular indeed.
Before she did that, though, with so much at stake, she decided to try out simpler splicing techniques. She took a broad view of the people that she'd come to trust as valued allies and friends, the scientists and refugees of Black Mesa as well as those who still resided in the Alabama facility where she'd grown up. A few people seemed to come back into her sights again and again, and she finally narrowed it down to two.
The pair of women who had survived the Resonance Cascade over in Black Mesa at ground zero, who had traveled to Xen and back numerous times during their job at the facility, and been working together for years before all of this - Collette Green and Gina Cross - they would do very well indeed. She knew this because Collette at least had family among the Pantheon already: she was Eden and Chet's aunt. Her sister Rose had perished in the Events, like so many others. But the fact that she was part of the Origin program in the first place meant that her own sister Collette would be valuable too.
Plus they were always together, not just 'gal pals having brunch' but... they were certainly a couple, even when both of them would spend time with whoever else among the people living in the Refugee City at Black Mesa. Melissa cornered the pair, with help from Carmen who would absolutely be assisting her in this venture. Would they like to see what their children would be like? Melissa already had a clear image in her mind of those potential combinations. Her mind never stopped pairing people up after all, it was what she had been designed to do.
They did take a day or two of serious talking, before it was decided that yes, they would volunteer for this, and yes - they'd both be willing to carry these potential children. Why not share the burden, why not double their trouble. (It was with that said that nearby scientist Rosenberg got a good chuckle out of all of this, they were already trouble, he had interjected happily...) Melissa made sure to include them in the process of selecting for traits, running down the dangers and benefits of any changes to be made to the base DNA she had to work with. She also showed Collette the similarities of her genes with her sister Rose's, what hidden gems might be boosted when Icarus was used on them.
Gina was the one who suggested trying out a gender gene swap, otherwise they would just be an all-girl clan. Melissa took that and ran with it, once everything had been settled. Thus a few months later the pair of scientists were implanted with their own - their own - partially developed children, they went through all the aches and pains and having-to-pee. And within days of each other, both of them gave birth to those children. In the relative safety of the Black Mesa Refugee City, and with a number of other children of similar ages to grow up around, Gary and Cici thrived.
Gina and Collette made admirable parents, as well. When one of them was required in the labs, the other would have a fun day with the kids. They would both contribute to the education of those children and many others, in this era. They were both also on hand to comfort their toddlers when the Icarus processing was done - though they also both refused to actually watch that processing while it occurred. They'd heard stories. They heeded warnings.
Their children came out of it stronger, speedier, more like the Pantheon than not. The women decided not to allow Melissa to artificially age them, at that point in their lives - they would want to adjust, themselves, to having kids that were special like this. Melissa reminded them that it was a luxury that most Origin parents never got to indulge, thanks to Armacham's insistence on anonymity, and made sure that any checkups or testing were done right on time. Also Melissa and others made sure that Gina and Collette never felt 'left out' when their children exceeded all possible expectations. While they had grown up, Mel went ahead and processed the Reborn groups, though many of those children would go on to be aged during their own Icarus treatments. But for a couple years, there was a massive herd of children being cared for in both facilities.
The kids grew up to be beautiful fusions of their mothers. It was true that a few 'normal' people were a bit put off about all of it, but those were few and far between. Who were they to judge? Melissa had impressed upon the women: she had three mothers and two fathers, most of the Pantheon had a variety of splices and hardly any had 'parents' in the conventional sense. These two, Gary and Cici, they were family, they were thoi. Not merely shuu, kinfolk, but truly their own. Smart and canny, inquisitive and confident, durable and strong. Everything that was expected, and more.
Cici reached out and tap her brother's mind, with news from her hidey-hole. Acting on that news, quietly of course, Gary sent it on to those who could relay it in full. Tina helped teach Gary in that regard, and she was often his first contact if they were in the same facility. She was the contact this time, he could sense her giggle when she passed the information on. Of course it was more of a test than anything, of both the kids' abilities, but it definitely made a good one, and passed the time in the way that the Pantheon were used to: being tested, always. Though this pair grew up primarily in Black Mesa, all their elders in the Pantheon had thrived - somehow - in the incredibly antagonistic environment provided by both pre- and post-Event GLADOS, or just plain Armacham, they were always poking at the kids in the hopes they'd get one that would be groomed to work directly for them.
The surprise party for one of the scientists went off without a hitch, of course they didn't realize that everyone was in on it, and of course they could hardly have predicted how well it had been hidden from them. Everyone with an ability put something into it, fireworks, iced drinks, tasty fruit, remarkably clean surfaces. Gary and Cici had played their parts even at their young age, something to be proud of. Cici had followed the grey-haired scientist from the vents as he went about his day, tracking him and making sure that his path to the conference room they set up in was as 'normal' as possible. He'd hardly known to expect that anyone remembered!
While pranks and fun were certainly part and parcel for the kids childhood, as the Combine had been cornered and finally shattered by the efforts of Vort and Human alike, things did start to change. They had to take care of the spare Combine troops, had to collect their wits and assess the full extent of the damage that the Combine - and Portal Storms and Alma herself - had wrought. Their teenage years were in a golden era of Pantheon expansion - the Reborn group were aged up, a dozen or more regular kids as well as those born to the Pantheon were now scurrying around.
And then the Rookery started. While it was a... divergent world? Was that what Mr Lane had called it? He was the one who summoned folks to the alternate dimension, and almost everyone decided to go. Were they bored? Probably. But this other much more ruined world needed them. And so did the dragons. When two very brightly colored four-winged dragons - Draks, they corrected - came to Gina and Collette, everyone wondered... why not to their kids?
Well that was about to change. Because those draks informed the mothers that there were still places with eggs ready to hatch or hatchlings ready to connect with their life-partners back on Planet Icarus. Rare, with few and far between Castles hosting these nests, Draks would find their friends in these siblings for sure.
Origin: Acicade https://lantessama.com/Icarus/Acicade/ , Dawn Castle https://lantessama.com/Icarus/Dawn/index.htm, or DesCas https://lantessama.com/Icarus/DesCas/index.htm