Inkling 

Name: Nelson (Nels) Rookfeather
Nickname/Alias: Inkling 
Age: 15 [when entered XI, birthday soon after] 
Ht: 6’ 1” [human form]
Wt: 176 lbs. 


Appearance: Nels has a somewhat unique appearance; his body is violet-purple, but translucent. He has no observable internal organs or skeleton, but is composed of a liquid mass which gets darker as one looks toward his thicker areas, held in by an equally translucent “skin.” The inner parts appear to be swirling particle wisps or strands being carried inside the liquid. Light can and does pass/bend through him, except for his eyes. When holding his “human” shape, Nels looks somewhat like a silhouette, though surface details can be made out; his eyes in this form look solid black.


Powers: 


Primary: Energy Absorption: Nels literally eats energy for sustenance; he cannot process nutrition from regular food. At this point, Nels drains the equivalent of just over an average car battery worth of electricity per week (12.6 V). However, he has taken a direct strike from a downed Electrical line (>/= 110 kV) while rescuing his mother in a thunderstorm, and since that incident, his hunger for “raw” energy has grown by ~+2-5%/month. His uncle Gerald has surmised Nels might in the future either need a greater amount of electricity, or that he would mutate again, needing different forms of energy with greater potency. Note: Nels' ability can manifest unconsciously when he gets nervous, frightened, or angry. His body starts draining ambient electricity (and perhaps other energy as well) out of his immediate area. His parents have experienced "sudden attacks of weakness" when he was dealing with particularly difficult personal issues (i.e. lifeforce drain), but these were rare. The range as yet has not been more than 15-20 feet, but may be normally seen as sparks from wall sockets, lamps and appliances getting momentary surges, previously full batteries in electronic devices drained without ever being used, etc.


Secondary: Fluid structure: Nels’ resting form resembles a very large water balloon. He can form other shapes, but requires constant concentration to hold them. So far, the only forms he has managed to maintain for any substantial time are [a] pressing himself outward to a consistent thickness of ~2-3 cm, covering around a 12 ft. sq. area, and [b] a “residual self-image,” which looks vaguely human. He has attempted to form other objects, without much luck so far; the closest appears to be a “snake/tentacle,” which is his simply his mass extended in a single direction. He cannot change his density, so his weight and other conditions remain constant, even if his form does not. He does generate his own body heat, but it is approximately room temperature +5 deg. F, and can only deal with temperatures down to ~20 deg. F before he starts to crystalize (i.e. like water freezing).


Background: Nels was born a normal-looking child, with no apparent abnormalities. He grew up, went to school, developed friendships, etc. until he turned 12. Very soon after, his mutation began to rapidly rework his physiology; within 2 months, he was as he is now. The panicked parents, Helen and Ned, took their son to several doctors. The latter of these doctors had, unknown to them, been in contact with certain a nefarious, but secretive organization that was very interested in examining and experimenting on Nels. This organization, using the doctor as a front, attempted to secure legal custody of Nels, but were luckily thwarted by his parents getting a court protective order. However, Nels had undergone several rounds of testing by the time of his rescue, and his uncle Gerald, a physician, had to come help heal the wounds.


Nels retreated from all outside contact after that. Except for his very insistent best friend, David Turnbaum, Nels has had no friends. David’s resolution not to abandon his friend is fully supported by both sets of parents. It was originally David’s idea for Nels to try forming other shapes, so he is primarily responsible for Nels’ initial training in concentration. David also nicknamed him “Inkling,” as a private joke between them. Psychology: Prior to coming to the Institute, Nels has been a self-imposed shut-in for almost 4 years. The very few attempts he’s made to venture outside have instilled a complex fear/fascination of public and open spaces, crowds, and generally, being outside in any way, nearing simultaneous agoraphobia and obsession. He also has an intense fear of rejection, supported by his accidental run-ins with people, and subsequent violent reaction to his physical appearance on two such “outings.” With the exception of


those who prove otherwise, he wholeheartedly believes the world outside uniformly considers him “ugly,” though he doesn’t feel that way about himself. He is a genuinely caring individual, but being separated as he has, is largely lacking in social skills. He has no natural compunction toward violence, but will seek to protect anyone he knows who appears to need it, to the extent that he may put himself in harm’s way. Nels’ mental attitude is summed by “all or nothing,” lacking the comparative experiences which might allow him to distinguish the occasional need for subtlety in life. Nels is friendly but extremely cautious, neither wanting to offend those he meets, nor become the object of ridicule.

 

Inkling