Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nightstar in Color!


nightstarcolor
Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
Nightstar (c) 2005 by Jon B. Knutson

Linda Robinson had long been interested in the stars, even as a child. Her two favorite gifts from her parents were a telescope through which she used to scan the night skies (often staying up past her bedtime), and a star pendant necklace she recieved for her birthday the following year. Her father used to call her "My little night-star," due to her propensity for sneaking out of bed to look at the stars.

This interest continued into her college years, pursing a degree in astronomy. She had originally hoped for a career at NASA, or perhaps working on the Hubble Telescope project, but instead settled for a job at the Puyallup Observatory in Washington State. She found the relaxed atmosphere there and the ability to focus her attentions where she wanted very enjoyable, and didn't regret her decision once she started. She would often stay at the observatory all night, scanning the night skies.

One night, during the annual meteor showers, she saw one meteor landed not too far away from the observatory. Since it was rare for any meteors to survive re-entry in this area, she immediately ran to her car and drove to where she saw it land.

It took a little time, but she found the impact spot... the meteor was no larger than a baseball, but she knew it could have caused quite a bit of damage if it had hit in a populated area. It was also glowing strangely, although no radioactivity was registering on her geiger counter. She reached for it to take it back to the observatory, and upon touching it, she felt an amazing amount of energy transfer from the meteor to her body, after which she blacked out.

Her prone form was discovered by two men who had been up very late drinking, who thought they had it made finding an attractive woman unconscious in the woods. Before they could do anything to her, Linda regained consciousness, and realizing these men's intentions, she only wanted to get away...

...and away she did! She took off into the air, glowing like a star. This, naturally, freaked out the men who were about to attack her, and they ran away screaming. Linda landed, shaken by the entire experience. The meteor was no longer glowing, and she assumed the energy it contained had been transferred to her. She returned to the observatory with the meteor, and talked to her supervisor, Dr. James Rade, about what happened. She trusted Dr. Rade, and he agreed with her hypothesis, although neither of them could determine what kind of energy could be stored in a meteor and be transferred into a human form.

Dr. Rade sent Linda home to rest, and told her the following night they would try to determine the extent of her new-found abilities. Dr. Rade's nephew was a comic book fan, and the following day, he asked his nephew some questions about how superheroes figured out what powers they had (he claimed the conversation at the observatory had been a bit odd the night before, and he figured his nephew would know the answers to their comic-book questions). Rade's nephew told him about how in the Miracleman comic, they used old comics to try out different powers, but he said they would've been smarter to use use a superhero role playing game book to accomplish the same thing.

Dr. Rade hit the local gaming shop to purchase that book, and the following night, Rade and Linda went through the list of powers. Through trial and error, they discovered Linda now had a full range of star-based powers, including flight, the ability to fire energy blasts of various forms of energy (from a straightforward heat blast, to pure stellar energy, and beyond), generate a protective glowing force field, and... most surprising of all... Nighstar was also able to generate an atmosphere around her, to a radius of about 30 feet. This atmosphere could even be generated underwater, creating a bubble of air around her. Her flight power could also be used to alter the effects of gravity on other things, such as increasing it or decreasing it.

Naturally, Linda realized that she had a responsibility to use these powers for good, and that she would get even more excitement out of using her powers than she could have experienced working for NASA or any other agency of that kind.

Taking on the identity of Nightstar, Linda began her heroic activities. When the super-heroes of the Puget Sound area formed the Guardians of Justice, she was one of the first new recruits to the team.

Linda can be impulsive at times, having a great confidence in her abilities, and not always completely thinking through her plans... but she does learn from her mistakes. As Nightstar, she is very serious, and it's rare when she cracks a joke. She is never taken for any less than an equal by her teammates, and in many ways, she is one of the most powerful members of the team.

Like her team leader LaserAvenger, Nightstar often uses some of her spare time to help out charitable institutions, and makes herself available to visit hospitals or do other activities just to help people, whether adults or children, feel better.

Jon

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