Who says heavy metal music will rot your brain? In the case of Andy Paulus it turned him into a superhuman genius.

Andronicus Paulus moved to the United States as an infant; his parents were scientists who defected from a Warsaw Pact nation in 1967. Young Andy wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer; an unfortunate birth defect left him with a low I.Q. He was also regarded as “different” by his high school classmates because of the heavily-accented English spoken by his parents. The youth spent much of his time alone, usually listening to hard rock and heavy metal music.

Andy heard a TV report about the alleged presence of satanic messages on his favorite records. Encouraged by these stories, he played several albums backwards one night and was startled (and delighted) to find that a spell for summoning demons was indeed present on one of the disks. Andy performed the spell and was, in due course, visited by one of Hell’s minor denizens. After the sacrifice of a neighbor’s cat, the demon promised to grant Andy his heart’s desire. The youth wished to be smarter and was granted his wish — in spades. His intelligence instantly skyrocketed to superhuman levels, which also granted him telepathic powers and heightened willpower; his augmented awareness also increased his agility and reflexes. The demon also presented Andy with an amulet of protection which increased Andy’s physical strength.

But all of these new abilities came with a cost. Andy was impelled to perform criminal acts as a result of the demon’s influence. He was also cursed with a vague aura of evil which caused others to distrust him. It didn’t require super-intelligence to see that there was no future in this kind of life; Andy turned against his demonic benefactor, defeated him, and devoted his own life to the causes of law and justice. Adopting the costumed identity of The Brain, Andy joined forces with Deep Freeze and Traveller to form The Paladins in 1982. Despite his youth (The Brain was just sixteen when the heroes first banded together) the other heroes often deferred to The Brain’s judgement (he was a bona fide superhuman genius after all).

After the Paladins disbanded in the mid-1980’s, The Brain joined the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, MD; his exact position and duties for the agency remain classified. Even though their old superhero group split up, Brain and Deep Freeze remained close friends; Brain kept his friend’s secret, even from his NSA employers, and Deep Freeze was able to enjoy a relatively normal life until 2008 when his own sons began to exhibit metahuman abilities. The Brain was instrumental in talking Deep Freeze out of retirement and into becoming the mentor for Silver City’s Junior Justice superhero group.

The friendship became strained in 2010 when a homicidal android captured by Junior Justice was revealed to be a creation of The Brain which had escaped from NSA headquarters. Deep Freeze confronted his old friend and asked for an accounting; he was greeted with a cold shoulder and a curt “Mind your own business”. It took several NSA agents to prevent a fight from breaking out (e.g. two dozen “black suits” pulled high energy hand weapons and leveled them at Deep Freeze and his sons). “This ain’t over, Andy — not by a long shot!” were the former Paladin’s parting words; the two have not crossed paths since, and their conflict remains unresolved.

THE BRAIN

IDENTITY: Andronicus Paulus
NAME: The Brain
SIDE: G
SEX: M
AGE: 16 (in 1982 – b. 1966)
EXPERIENCE: 1770
LEVEL: 1
TRAINING: Intelligence
POWERS

  1. Telepathy – 440″ range
  2. Heightened Intelligence B (x2) – +40 Intelligence
  3. Heightened Agility B – +15
  4. Willpower – acts as Heightened Strength B (+13)
  5. Adaptation device (13 charges) – acts as defense (see powers chart)
  6. Weakness – Prejudice (people are repelled by The Brain’s aura of evil)

WEIGHT: 200 lbs.
BASIC HITS: 4
AGILITY MOD:
STRENGTH: 11 (24)
ENDURANCE: 11
AGILITY: 14 (29)
INTELLIGENCE: 4 (44)
CHARISMA:REACTIONS FROM GOOD: -2  FROM EVIL: +2
HIT MOD.: 11.76
HIT POINTS: 48
DAMAGE MOD.: +8
HEALING RATE: 1
ACCURACY: +5
POWER POINTS: 108
CARRYING CAPACITY: 1492.4
BASIC HTH DAMAGE: 1d10
MOVEMENT RATES: 64″
DET. HIDDEN: 30%
DET. DANGER: 34%
INVENTING POINTS: 2.4
CASH: $2520
INVENTING %: 132%
LEGAL STATUS: Member of Paladins
OTHER INFORMATION: Armed with crossbow; quarrels have blunt heads which do HTH + 1d2 damage. Brain carries 24 quarrels, and must spend one action to reload after each shot. (Otherwise crossbow stats are as given in V&V rules)

The stats are for Andy in late 1982 (back before he became a jerk). It ain’t over, Andy — hope to see you soon, jackass.

Have fun! — Steve

Copyright 2010, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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