The Wayward Spiral

Out of control, or just out of his mind? Expatriate German super-soldier Sturmfront is being taken for a spin.


Group: CCCP

Server: Pinnacle

Rank: Tovarich

Security Level: 30

Online Name: Sturmfront

Country of Origin: Formerly the GDR

Origin of Powers: Mutant

Archetype: Defender

Powers: Storm Summoning / Electrical Blast

Battle Cry: Voelker, hoert die Signale...

Movement: Flight

Favored Attack: Freezing Rain

Favored Defense: Hurricane

Hated Nemesis: The 5th Column, well, what's left of it

Born Wolfgang´(Wolf to his friends) Degendhardt in 1959 in the former Hanse city Rostock by the North Sea, he was raised and groomed within the Socialist system. He also realized that it wasn't perfect at an early age, but on the other hand had to agree with his teachers that there was no better political system. What good is personal gain when it is built on the suffering of the many? Is it not much better that all share what they have so that all may prosper together? He of course was a Young Pioneer when he'd reached the proper age, joined the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands -- Socialist Unified Party of Germany, effectively the only party that actually existed in the pseudodemocratic political makeup of the GDR; other parties did exist but were subjugated by the SED) and once he finished school, enrolled with the East German Navy. Coming from the sea, and political opinions aside, he'd always harboured a deep love for the ocean. The soft smell of salt in the air, the cooling spray against his cheeks or his now scraggly beard in summer. The untamed beauty and wildness of it. Though men sailed it, the sea was still its own master, and slave to none.

His party membership was going to make promotions come soon, even though he started out as a simply crewman on the destroyer Brandenburg, but fate seemingly had different plans for him. During a routine maneuver in 1977, the Brandenburg came into a severe storm. Hurricanes do not usually happen in the North Sea, but this storm was surely close enough and a danger to every ship in the region. It was then that Wolf's latent mutant gene manifested itself (though Mutation had been a topic since the early 60s, there had been no regular screenings for the gene at this point in time). Carried by a gentle updraft, he was lifted from the ship into the air, where he simply... transferred his own sense of calm and contentness onto the winds, which surprisingly enough reacted by calming down markedly. After all, growing up by the sea, Wolf had probably seen worse before, and knew that there was no need to panic. If the sea wanted to, she would swallow them all, and there was nothing anybody could do... though he would have to revise that latter part.

When the Brandenburg returned to its harbour, the ship was already awaited by two men in plain grey suits who immediately boarded and forbade anybody to leave. They took testimonies from everyone on board, swore them all to silence and eventually escorted Wolf off the ship. While Mutation was still a relatively new phenomenon, superpowered individuals were of course immediately recognized for what they were. Wolf, himself more confused about what exactly happened during the storm than anybody else, was taken to Berlin.

"Wolf," the man said, "You have been gifted with something that is above and beyond the scope of regular people. While we are all equal, we are of course not. Some of us were meant to be the farmers that grow the crops that feed us, and it is their responsibility that the people of the German Democratic Republic do not starve. And some were meant to be policemen, whose responsibility is to keep the Republic safe by protecting it from ist enemies. And then, some -it would seem- were given an even greater amount of responsibility. People like you, Wolf. You are special, in that you have... Powers that we do not have. But I don't envy you, Wolf, because these powers also mean that you share that much more responsibility."

Several weeks of tests had passed before. They'd prodded at him and poked, screened his bodily functions, even flew in specialists from Moscow, one a doctor it would seem, and the man he was talking to right now. The Russian was tall and lean, almost haggard, his hair already beginning to grey. Sergei Chevchenko was his name and he was treated with an odd amount of reverence around the compound. Seemingly, he was an expert on superhuman psychology, or something. A rather odd field, Wolf thought, because why would people like him, even though he only slowly learned to ride the winds and shift them according to his will rather than his emotions, think differently than the farmer, or the policeman?

But as Chevchenko spoke, it dawned on Wolf. Yes, of course, he thought. If I can hold the wind in my grasp, then I am responsible for the wind. If I ever learn to do that, of course. But I'll try. Damn it, I will try and succeed because...

"Dreaming? Lost in thought?" The Russian's voice shook him from his thoughts. Wolf shook his head once, signalled understanding with a gaze and then he simply asked, "What should I do?"

AS stood for Aussergeoehnlicher Soldat -Extraordinary Soldier- for the simple fact that the East German brass couldn't really think of anywhere else to file superheroes than as soldiers. Obviously, AS Degenhardt did not care. Now, in 1981, he had the best job in the world. Over time, he had manifested further control over winds and other weather phenomena, including rain and lightning, and due to his abilities had been tasked with safeguarding the East German shore. It was heaven to him. He got to serve his country, even though the NATO invasion never came and most of the time he was fighting smugglers or saving a fish trawler from bad weather, and he was out at sea, with the smell of salt in his nose. And he was not alone. Actually, he had never been alone. Though the GDR was small, there had been other AS before him, and more joined the ranks as time passed.

In 1984, in the middle of NATO-Soviet Bloc peace talks, the East German government decided to go public with its superpowered heroes, which had been acting under wraps and layers of military protocol before and announced the formation of its own patriotic superteam, named Helden der Arbeit ('Working Man's Heroes', actually literally 'Heroes of Work' -- Held der Arbeit -Hero of Work- was an actual title awarded to GDR citizens who had done exemplary work in their country's name), and Wolf, code-named Sturmfront, would be a part of it. Ironically enough, the formation of the team and the public presence of superheroes in the GDR seemed to be what was starting to attract the odd supervillain, from the harmless but thoroughly capitalist rogue and 'action painter' Feindbild (a German idiom I fear, literally 'image (or picture) of the enemy', often meaning a generalized and stylized idea of who the enemy is -- eg. Muslim radicals have become a 'Feindbild' in the western world of today) to more dangerous foes such as the musical terrorist Valerius Vogue (remember, it was the 80s) or the monstrous Ruebezahl (an Ogre of German myth).

Five years later, however, the world came crashing down around the Helden der Arbeit and Wolf in particular. With the people spilling out into the streets and demanding open borders, civilians fleeing the Soviet Bloc in herds through Hungary and other countries and finally with the opening of the Berlin Wall, the 'Anti-Imperialist Rampart' of the GDR, his world stopped making sense to him. Some of his team members were more pragmatical, but Wolf had been a firm believer in the system that now crumbled all around him. He held out until the last possible moment, serving the GDR until the day it ceased to exist. On October 3rd 1990, however, he simply vanished. The summons to testify in court, as a witness to potential super-powered crimes committed by members of the AS program never reached him.