Smokescreen – Master of the Hidden Attack

Smokescreen Atlantica2200 steve coopsAfter working for many years for the Chinese equivalent of the White Guardian program, Fan Li Jing has made a successful transition to become a White Guardian when the Chinese program was taken over by CLEA and merged with its own. She is one of CLEA’s top agents and has one of the highest rates for apprehending criminals.


CLEA DATA FILE

Agent’s Job Speciality:

  • Freelance extraction and capture of suspects

Identity:

  • Fan Li Jing

CLEA Classification:

  • White Guardian

Special Skills and/or Abilities:

  • Alpha ability – Has the means to generate her own smoke cloud.
  • Mastered many combat techniques
  • Special googles allow her to “see” in her otherwise visually impenetrable smoke screen.

Limitation(s)/Weakness(s):

  • Abrasive attitude, often very abrupt with people.
  • Without googles she is effectively blinded by her own Alpha ability.
  • Criminals using IR scopes/googles can bypass her Alpha ability.

Notes/History

In a case of parallel but unrelated development, whilst CLEA initiated the White Guardian Program, a means to use Alpha Superiors to provide justice and enforce the law the Chinese authorities were creating a program of their own. The Chinese program differed from the CLEA program in that it had more specific military goals in mind. The country’s government believed that if they could train Alpha Superiors in combat tactics they would have a valuable strike force to deal with some of the outside threats that sought to destabilise China through military force.

The program was known as the Red and Gold Warriors and the first task was to find suitable volunteers and herein lay a significant problem since this could only be done by two methods identifying Alpha Superiors directly or by keeping watch on Alpha Inferiors and seek them out at the first signs of them becoming Alpha Superiors. The latter involved waiting for medical records to flag up when a person reported becoming sensitive to light and developing an itchy skin rash and herein lay a problem because outside of the built up areas of the country medical records tended to remain isolated.

Never afraid to put in the resources to achieve the goals the Chinese leaders decided to initiate their secret program by overhauling the entire medical system, by upgrading technology and adding lines of communication to all regions of China including the remote ones. The expense of the program was easily hidden in the costs of medical overhaul and the gamble worked as most citizens welcomed the means to access better medical facilities so nobody ever questioned why the upgrade was draining so much public money.

No sooner was the Red and Gold Warrior program operational than Black Shadow began its purge of all Alpha Superiors. With China having more open borders that it had historically the crime syndicate had managed to get into the country and infiltrate the corridors of powers. Eventually operatives gained access to the Red and Gold Warrior program and just as they had used CLEA’s own intelligence to hunt down and kill Alphas, Black Shadow found the Chinese intelligence equally useful.

Unlike the CLEA program, Black Shadow had not managed to gain a complete foothold so once it was identified that someone was using their intelligence against them the Chinese authorities shut down the Red and Gold Warrior program.

The quick actions no doubt save a good many lives since the records were sealed and became very difficult to access. The program was expected to only be halted briefly and expected to last a few months until the traitors could be found, but Black Shadow was too well organised to be taken down so easily. Consequently it took nearly two decades before the program could be initiated again after Black Shadow was exposed and finally stopped by CLEA and Team Zodiac.

Though CLEA had by now been allowed to operate in China and could bring its own White Guardians to deal with any of the country’s outside problems the leaders were still keen to operate a program of their own. The need for an all-out military strike force though had diminished over the passing years so by the time the Red and Gold Warrior program was restarted it had evolved to become an almost carbon copy of the White Guardian Program in that it was to deal with organised crime and terrorists. Control of the program still remained in military hands.
Along with several others, Li Jing was one of the first Alpha Superiors to be identified having triggered a key word on medical records when she had visited a doctor to report symptoms of being sensitive to light and an itchy rash. Having realised she was becoming an Alpha Superior, military agents were dispatched and intercepted Li Jing at her place of work. She was then whisked away to a secret facility.
Right from the start the truth was not hidden from her. She was told she was becoming an Alpha Superior and was destined to gain super human capabilities. The people interviewing her also explained that they wanted her to serve her country by becoming a “Red and Gold Warrior”.

Though she felt uncomfortable about the way she had been “kidnapped” and the pressure to accept the “job”, Li Jing understood the need for secrecy. Having come from a family whose men had been in the armed forces, she considered it her duty to continue the role of serving her country and so accepted.

The first stage of becoming an operative for the program was to wait until the transition to Alpha Superior was complete. Doctors and scientists then performed a battery of tests until the eventually managed to trigger her Alpha ability for the first time. It was then that Li Jing learned that she could generate her own “smoke cloud” as a form of defence not unlike a squid shooting ink to get away from a predator.

Having determined her “gift” she was then trained in a variety of unarmed and armed combat. Eventually she “graduated” and was assigned to a strike team. Her role on the team was to go into known trouble hotspots where criminals were known to operate and then use her Alpha ability to create a distraction whilst the others moved into make an arrest.

After a few years of working with a team her superiors realised she was just as effective on her own without the need for a team, since even if she went up against heavily armed mercenaries since they could not see her they could not kill her. That allowed her to infiltrate hideouts and snatch kingpins of crime without anyone being able to stop her. The one thing she did not like was the fact that she was not invulnerable to her own smoke so if she stood still for too long she became as blind as the people she had to fight.

Eventually the time came when the Red and Gold Warrior program would end up going into competition with CLEA and when that day came it nearly ended in disaster when armed CLEA agents mistook people working for the Chinese program and terrorists and a team of Red and Gold Warriors thought the same in return. Faulty intel and the fact the Red and Gold Warriors were still operating in secret led to the error which resulted in several deaths on both sides.

In the aftermath, with the Red and Gold Warrior program being exposed and CLEA wanting an explanation the Chinese authorities decided to come clean. By the time the dust settle and new Chinese Government decided that the Red and Gold Warrior program was too expensive to maintain and the duplicity of CLEA’s White Guardians was making the system no longer viable. To that end a compromise was reached between CLEA and the Chinese authorities. In return for shutting down the Red and Gold Warriors, CLEA was expected to offer each operative the means to join the White Guardians and train them accordingly.

Having worked exclusively for the Chinese authorities, Li Jing was unsure about moving to CLEA. Not only was the organisation bigger but it operated so differently that it seemed almost alien to her. Countering those thoughts was the fact she could not imagine returning to “civilian” life, so she chose to continue serving the people of her country via working for CLEA.

Just as she expected, Li Jing found the transition to the international agency “difficult”. Ever since she had been a part of the Red and Gold Warriors she had never left mainland China and yet as soon as she finished training as a White Guardian she was assigned to the New Tokyo area by the South Asia Chief, Huojin Sun. The city had been suffering in recent years by various groups involved in organised crime and rather than let the vigilantes be seen as the only ones doing something Chief Sun had decided to try and get some White Guardians involved. Having seen Li Jing’s records from working for the Chinese authorities he felt her means to think and act rationally made her ideal for that of a “freelance” agent. These were White Guardians who generally acted alone, investigating crimes and using their Alpha abilities to get out of tight situations. To be assigned such work meant she had shown that she had the means to act rationally when under pressure and be prepared to go into danger alone.

Having backup on call was something new to Li Jing for she was more used to going into situations with teams rather than calling for help afterwards. However just as she had done throughout her career Li Jing learned to adapt and soon found herself a vital cog in CLEA’s machine.

No sooner though had she got settled in to operations in New Tokyo, she was transferred to Pacifica and became the responsibility of Chief Naylor. Far from China, for the first time in her life she felt very alone. These feelings were heightened by the fact that unlike in New Tokyo none of her old Red and Gold Warriors were assigned with her. She tried her best to continue her work for the agency but the fact she did not mince her words meant she frequently became the source of friction with fellow workers who found her attitude rather abrupt. In truth Li Jing had been used to expressing her own weaknesses and was not afraid to tell others theirs. She believed in getting things out in the open it made for more efficient working and a better way in which everyone could improve themselves. Everyone else though thought she was a perfectionist and needlessly nit-picking.

Word eventually reached Chief Naylor and she asked for Li Jing to meet her. Chief Naylor was aware of the cultural background from where newly assigned White Guardian had come from and was equally not surprised why she was upsetting a lot of people. Naylor knew Li Jing was not trying to give everyone personal attacks and so wanted to find a way of smoothing over the working conflicts that was now flaring up between Li Jing and the other White Guardians under her command.

It was during their talk that Li Jing accidentally revealed some of the source of her abrasive attitude, namely the fact she felt she was underperforming because compared to the other White Guardians she had to contend with the fact that her own Alpha abilities tended to hinder herself. Whilst she had originally been assigned to infiltrate and grab suspects her work had shifted and she was now having to deal directly with armed suspects. Using smoke against them meant she could not see them to capture them and consequently a large proportion of her assignments were ending up in stalemate. Chief Naylor listened to those concerns and made notes and Li Jing was convinced her boss was assessing her and feared she was being seen as a failure and perhaps be transferred again.

These feelings remained with her for a few weeks, right until the moment came she was pulled of a case and sent to an area north of the city which appeared to be an abandoned warehouse. Inside she found a team of people waiting for her which piqued her curiosity. The people then explained that they worked for the Knight’s Forge and had been contacted by Chief Naylor in regards to her “vulnerability” to her own Alpha ability.
Li Jing was slightly embarrassed that Chief Naylor had revealed this to anyone else but the people did not seem to notice. Instead they led her to the centre of the warehouse where their appeared to be a cargo container. Inside that Li Jing found a couple more people dressed in white coats and they presented her with an outfit of light body armour. That did not really solve her “problem” but that changed when they handed her a pair of goggles and asked her to try them on. Li Jing did as asked and nothing happened, until the scientists turned out the lights and the goggles suddenly started displaying everything in IR.

After the lights were turned back on Li Jing was told that the goggles could visibly display a wide range of frequencies outside the normal visible light range in the EM spectrum, meaning for the first time since becoming an Alpha Superior she would be able to “see” through her own smoke. To properly ensure the goggles worked as intended meant they had to be calibrated to Li Jing’s visual cortex hence the need for all the scientists and the computers. By the time the afternoon was over the testing and tweaking was all done and Li Jing was free to return to her duties.

Able now to make full use of her combat training as a Red and Gold Warrior, Li Jing expressed her gratitude at those that helped her by making good use of the equipment. Within weeks she had started tackling armed suspects and causing significant damage in the criminal community. In time the criminals came up with a name for her which perfectly described her and she liked it so much she began using it as her CLEA call sign.

As Smokescreen, Li Jing has become one of CLEA’s most successful solo White Guardians and this has earned her the respect of the vigilante community who do not often choose to assist White Guardians.

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