Group: CCCP

Server: Pinnacle

Rank: Tovarich

Security Level: 50

Online Name: Seraphym

Country of Origin: none

Origin of Powers: Magic

Archetype: Tanker

Powers: Fire / Fire

Battle Cry: I bring you Fire and the Sword

Movement: Fly

Favored Attack: Fire Sword Circle

Favored Defense: Auras

Hated Nemesis: CoT

This is what she was:

\"A seraphim in the service of the Archangel Michael, I am the sword in his hand, the cleansing Flame of Justice. I do not judge; I am the dispeser of Justice. I care not in whose Name I am summoned, for all Names are the Name of the Light. My body is the instrument of Justice, and the strong bulwark standing between the innocent and harm. Death is but a doorway. Fear not.\"

Flame had been studying mankind for a very, very long time; the incarnate fascinated her and she found herself drawn to them. Not long ago, the Infinite noted a disturbing trend among the spirits that had never been incarnate: a lack of true compassion for those who were mortal. A call went out for volunteers to become partly-incarnate, bring aid and comfort to certain key mortals, and share their experiences with their siblings. Flame volunteered to be placed at Paragon City.

Once she had set incarnate foot on Altas Plaza she set herelf on the path of several possible futures. Her first friend and helper in the city was Belladonna Aura, in whom she recognized a latent, weak telempathy like her own. From there she was introduced to those she had come to help; the members of the CCCP.

One of those was the hero John Murdock. And she knew from the moment she began speaking to him that most of his futures ended in his early death, destroyed from within by his own powers. She knew what she must do; to help him reconcile his past with what he had become, to learn that forgiveness is always possible, and to know something of the nature of the Infinite. As she counseled him, the futures narrowed still further. Only one thing she had not forseen, for that had been witheld from her: that she would fall in mortal love with him and he with her.

And then came the time when he knew he was dying, and she knew only two things, in combination, would save him: a Kheldian meld, and a miracle. The cost of the miracle: her own angelic powers. She became fully mortal. The cost of the fusion: he forgot everything that happened to him from the point just before he entered the Super Soldier program five years ago. Including her.

As his illness had been his time of trial, so this was hers. She was alone. No longer did she hear the voices of her siblings. No longer could she connect to the Infinite. And the man for whom she sacrificed everything did not know her; was, in fact, an entirely different person. Using the callsign Blaze Phoenyx, he wore the face of her beloved, but his personality was not the same. She struggled to lean how to be a mortal, She struggled to keep from despair and Falling. She watched as John Murdock--the same strong, good, kind man she fell in love with---looked at her with nothing special in his eyes. And she could not use what she had sacrificed to bring him to her through guilt. In fact, she could not use anything of the past to bring him to her, or she risked becoming one of the Fallen. She had to let him make his choice again, without interference, And more than once she bitterly regretted she did not allow the rite to take her memories too.

Others, however, most notably Victoria Vicrrix, took it upon themselves to inform Blaze Phoenyx of what had happened. And quite by accident, Flame discovered how to unlock those memories--though the experience nearly killed her.

Blaze said he wanted the memories back. Flame feared he was only being pressured by a sense of obligation. She strongly blocked her telempathy in his presence to avoid influencing him or \"knowing too much.\" And the procedure to unlock these memories was dangerous to her; she very nearly died the first time touching them, and only the intervention of New Adam and New Eve saved her.

As time passed, and Blaze found excuse after excuse to put off the retrieval, she lost her diffidence and became angry enough to confront him on it. He relented; on impulse, then and there, without preparation or forethought, they began the retrieval. Flame intended for the two to merge.

Instead, it was John alone who emerged from the retrieval, as Blaze took his place in deep archival memory, knowing it was \"John\" that Flame adored, and wanting to give her that gift even at the cost to himself of going into a kind of limbo.

On completion of a task for Stephanie Peebles, John proposed and Flame accepted. They were wedded on top of the Arena in Galaxy City where they first met.

Eventually, together, John and Flame sought out the buried \"personality\" of Blaze Phoenyx, brought him out of his self-imposed darkness, and persuaded him to re-integrate with John.

They then officially adopted the young hero that John had rescued from Praetorian Earth before his illness, Right Hand Ratt. They also \"unofficially\" adopted the CCCP gravitron, Sister Shuma.

But they wanted children of their own--even though those children would inherit the powers that were killing their father before his fusion.

John was adamantly against the options that they had--Kheld fusions essentially forced by circumstance, the removal of potential powers via gene therapy, or living Underhill forever in the hands of elven Healers and mages. After much heartache and soul-searching, research and bargaining, via Victoria Victrix, a way was found via magic to divide John\'s Kheldian essence between himself and an embryonic child. John Michael Murdock was concieved and infused with the energy, although this potentially halved his father\'s life expectancy.

The cost of this--for nothing is free--was that one of the three would become a Knight-Guardian, standing between the realms of the world of Paragon City and Underhill, to protect the latter from the former. This choice was put off until JJ was old enough to make it himself. Sera and John began a dual life, while JJ grew up in a pocket dimension Underhill where time passed more swiftly than in the World Above, so that they could continue their duties while JJ had as much of a normal and protected childhood as was possible there.

But then Sera found herself pregnant again. Despite all precautions. And this time with twins. Something had magically interfered, \"forcing\" them to have these children. But by then, John had become reconciled to the idea of Kheld fusions, having learned how much joy and fulfillment JJ brought to the family.

The twins, Astra and Aedan, only increased that--troublesome and mischevious and precocious as they were. Astra was the most precocious in one area; she decided very early, after meeting Sunstorm on a \"day trip\" to the world above, that she wanted a \"forever friend\" of her own. And she proceeded to sneak away from home one day to find one, a Kheldian named Kyne, who was in perfect agreement that John and Sera not \"lose\" their little girl to a full meld. So once Astra was old enough--since she would essentially become physically frozen at the moment of the fusion--they became two in one body. Sera finds this comforting, as the worldly-wise Kyne, who had been melded to a former burleque queen named \"Kandy Kane\"--was able to guide and protect Astra in ways her mother could not.

Meanwhile, JJ had already made the choice, happily, to become a Knight Guardian. Taking on the hero name of Unity Knight, he joined his parents and adopted siblings in the world above, guarding the Gate in Paragon City from those who lusted for the power Underhill had in such abundance.

As for Aedan--

Stay tuned.

Comments: Flame\'s actions as a Seraphim were guided by the Law of Free Will and the certain knowledge of what was and was not permitted to her to reveal. Mortals must always be allowed to choose their own path; she could urge a choice. When someone she had counseled iwas faced with a choice, it was incumbent upon her to reveal all the information so that the choice could truly be made freely, whether it was in her interest or not.

When she became incarnate she was nothing more than another hero. She heard the song of the Seraphim and the voice of the Infinite only as any human mystic can, in deep trance. She cannot see the futures, and her telempathic ability is severely reduced to around 10 feet. So she could not see what would happen past the moment when she gives up her powers---

Giving up her powers is dictacted by the Law of Equivalent Exchange: to obtain a miracle, something equally miraculous must be sacrificed. This is the only way in which miracles can be compatible with Free Will.

But having passed her time of trial, thought not without some rocky spots, she has earned new aid. Now a mortal, she is entitled to the guidance any mortal can ask of the Infinite, and Michael Azir (one aspect of the Archangel Michael) has taken it upon himself to be her guide and sometimes intervene to give other mortals a glimpse of the Infinte at her request. Through John Murdoch---though at great cost and with great effort---she can again touch the edges of the Heart of All Time, the home of the Seraphim and the center of the Infinite.

Her siblings experience mortality through her still, though she can no longer hear them. The Song of the Seraphim is colored now with emotion and compassion....nothing will ever be the same.