Wednesday, July 20, 2016

[Writing] Luna, The Bow-Wielding Healer-Killer

Luna on the prowl. Image by Lindsay Cibos.

Luna sprung up thanks to my book club's discussion of Philip Dick's Ubik in 2015. We were required by our moderator to make up a character that would "enroll" in his "School of Psionics". Of course, the school only accepted students with psionic powers, so all the participants of the discussion had to make up a character with a code name, a unique psi talent, and a special weapon.

You can still check out our online discussion for the book (pretty interesting stories and shenanigans over there), although the thread has long been archived.

Below you will see the character sheet I made for Luna, as well as one of the stories I penned while staying in the TFG School of Psionics. Yes, quite a few references made from my favorite MMOFPS, but hey, it was fun reworking it into a healer-killer character. Oh, and apparently, Overwatch has a character with rather similar mechanics, go figure.

Code name: Luna

Psi Talent: Energy Medicine
Backstory: Many people think that Luna's masterful manipulation of herbs is the source of her healing power. Little do they know that she paid half of her lifespan to get the power of energy medicine, which she uses on her helpful concoctions. Thanks to that, she also has the ability to self-regenerate. (You should see her grow back her limbs.)

But, she doesn't have much friends. After all, she sometimes playfully chooses to disperse her energy in lethal doses, enough to kill a grown human in mere seconds.

"In high enough doses, that which cures can kill." ―Leonardo da Vinci, Assassin's Creed 2

Having the power to heal or kill people is fun and all, but using her power drains her physically. Also, rumor has it that she also has the power to reanimate the dead, but that it would take 10 years off her life if she chooses to. They say she has used this power once before.

Weapon: Bow and arrows

Luna is ambidextrous with the bow. After all, one hand holds the power to heal, and the other, to kill. Hence, she can concentrate her healing/killing power in her arrows to heal/kill someone from a distance. (Does this sound familiar?) Even without her power, she's a pretty good shot, though.

She tries to avoid close combat if she can. A physical touch from her would heal/kill a person, but each minute of the physical connection also takes away a minute of her life. That being said, she always wears gloves.

Week 1 Psixercise: Paige vs Luna

Luna placed a basket on the table. It was filled with cookies and other baked goods that had the supposed healing effects she was famous for. "Those who took a hit, or a poison spell, or blood loss, or... whatever may want to have one. Or two, or three, really. I made them especially for today."

Then, she heard the headmaster call her name. She proceeded to the entrance of the room, but slammed herself into some kind of invisible wall. "One weapon only, Luna," echoed Mirage's voice. She sighed, and took off her bag and utility belt. Various herbs, smokebombs, and other things littered the floor. "Now, you may proceed."

Luna entered the room and strung her bow. She did a quick look-over the room, and saw only the dummy right in the center of it. Cautiously, she walked towards it. Just as she was about to touch it, it suddenly changed into the appearance of Paige, the sixteen-year-old emo-looking kid with weird eyes. She was holding on to Melba, that lucky-shot shotgun Paige was so proud of.

Backstory on Paige here.

While this Paige took a look at its new surroundings, Luna made a quick jump to the other side of the room. She knew that the teen had superior telekinetic abilities, but that she was also young and cocky. Would this Paige also have those character traits? She fitted an arrow to her string and posed to strike. Just as she let her first arrow fly, Paige smiled that terrible smile of hers, and shot the gun towards Luna.

Luna made a quick jump to supposedly avoid the gunfire, but the bullet - and her arrow - suddenly made their way towards her. Surprised, she ran towards a wall, but the bullet was too fast. Melba's bullet pierced through her arm, and the bullet and arrow hit the wall, making a huge crack in the center.

Luna turned to Paige, who was laughing at the outcome. She then reached out behind her for another arrow, but instead saw that her arrows were on the other side of the room. Apparently, Paige moved them there telekinetically while she was dodging fire. "Luna, healers aren't supposed to go into combat, you know. Your power sucks."

Luna looked calmly at Paige and dropped her bow on the ground. Drops of blood fell from her arm's gunshot wound. "Well then, let's go practice medicine," she said, while walking carefully towards her opponent and making a move to remove her gloves.

Paige took a step back. Luna wondered whether this Paige would have access to the memories of the actual Paige, especially the one of seeing her in the Battle of the Blue Sea? (Paige saw Luna with a wicked grin in her face amidst 2,400 corpses of battlemages. She was just putting back her gloves on, and when she saw Paige, Luna gave her a friendly smile and waved her way.) That would help, she supposed. She ran towards Paige.

In a panic, Paige attempted to move Luna with her mind, but her opponent was running in a hurried, erratic manner while strafing from side to side. She shot another round from Melba, and made Luna's other arrows go for their mistress. As fast as Luna can go, surely she can't dodge a bullet?

Paige watched as the bullet swept past Luna's hair, and quickly made it arc back towards the healer. She made the rest of the ammunition follow the bowswoman as best as she can, and an arrow lodged itself in Luna's flesh. However, the healer only ran faster, and faster, until...

Paige felt Luna's arms embrace her tight. Melba's bullets never miss their mark, and this one shot past Luna's heart into Paige's own. "I added a little energy into the bullet so it wouldn't hurt when you die. It's the least I can do."

Paige stiffened. Luna's arrows fell to her side. She saw Luna's gloved hands gently push her to the floor, where she fell, dead. It turned back into a dummy with a puff of smoke.

Luna, in the meantime, was examining her wounds. "Two millimeters," she murmured, while gingerly removing the arrow stuck on her arm. The bullet wound on her other arm had already closed. She then touched her chest, where the skin was slowly covering her bleeding heart. "Probably two days or so," she whispered, while walking towards her bow, hand still clutched near her heart. "Yeah, two days."


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