An Aussie military experiment turned American prize fighter, his incredible strength and regeneration make for an up-close and personal fighting style
Nanoberserker, unarmed combat made possible by nanotechnological enhancements
— Increased strength, constitution, and speed — Reinforced body, especially fists at the cost of dexterity — Rapid healing, rendering point-blank gunfire far less effective — Possibly vulnerable to robot weaknesses such as some electromagnetic fields — Can enter a rage in which higher thinking is sacrificed for nanobot efficiency — Can be overcome with rage and attack allies
I. Edmund Cathcart
Before becoming the world heavyweight champion known as John Washington, Edmund Cathcart was born into a loyal military family in the New Commonwealth. His family had a long line of soldiers and greatly idolized the crown and the Anglican church. Unfortunately, mild brittle bone disease kept him from the physically active lifestyle of his brothers and forefathers. Denied a military future, he longed to one day serve the crown as a politician and went to study political science at the Australian National University. A research professor learned of his disease and offered him a place in his military-funded medical nanotechnology research.
II. Drop Bear
Project Drop Bear was originally hidden under the guise of medical treatments. Nanobots were used to heal those whose bodies were structurally weakened by disease. The true purpose of stage one was proof of concept that nanobots could be used to strengthen the human body. Stage two brought the promise of increased physical capability to the patient granted they use it to serve the military. Edmund eagerly accepted the offer and became one of the first experimental “drop bear” shock troops. Nanobots were used to build massive muscles, increase reaction times, speed up healing, and hack adrenaline. Extreme nanobot use decreased higher-thinking, causing many of the drop bears to fly into destructive rages in which their power was only matched by their lack of control. During a particularly bad incident, drop bears killed many of their handlers and almost destroyed the facility. The program was aborted and the order given for all manipulated soldiers to be purged. Edmund, more in control though less powerful than the others, successfully escaped the base before the military resorted to totally annihilating the area. To his knowledge, he was the only drop bear to escape.
The aussie’s new found physical prowess kept him alive working in various brute labor jobs from moving freight to competing in underground fighting rings. Denying to give his real name for fear of being found by the military, his brutal beatdowns quickly earned him the title “the Slugger,” which eventually shrank to the nickname “Slug.” Despite the negative connotation, Slug enjoyed the name for the false impression it gave his opponents that he was, in any sense of the word, slow. He particularly enjoyed the look on their faces when he dashed across the room and broke them in moments (Or, alternatively, beat them in chess). Slug soon made enough money to flee the country for America, where he could better hide. He made a bigger splash than he intended when he competed in the legalized fighting rings of America and was soon adopted by a private defense contractor. Word of his ability in defense got him traded to successively bigger companies. Eventually, the Union took notice of Slug. Their vast resources unraveled his true identity at which point they gave him an offer: “Work for us and get paid handsomely or we capture you, sell you back to the Australians, and get paid handsomely ourselves.”
IV. John Washington
Sensing the man’s unique potential, the Union prepped Slug for undercover work. They performed facial reconstructive surgery and gave him a new name, “John Washington.” Then he was ready for the glitz and glamor of the Terran Boxing Federation. Drawing power from his enhancements, he rigged all his fights in his favor and shot through the ranks. The Union ran PR, including John’s new name and looks, to ensure he would become a star. When he won the World Heavyweight Championship, he was a shoe-in to be sent to Soviet Mars to compete against their champion in the televised boxing match of the century. While there, he would be able to run covert operations for the Union and bash in the skull of anyone who caught him in the act.
Appendix i. Psychology
Growing up, Edmund was a somewhat quiet idealist. He trusted the government like a parent and prayed every night that his two older brothers would get their wishes to see combat. Unable to play sports, Edmund spent much of his time studying political theory, becoming a great fan of Thomas Hobbes for his similar support of authority. After Project Drop Bear, Slug retained his quiet nature but considerably changed his views. He still saw men as near animals as Hobbes believed, but he began to see governments as little more than animals hunting in packs. Working amongst the seedy denizens of Australia’s less lawful areas, his morality still attempted to keep him out of mafia work, though he roughed up a few particularly bad scumbags for over-due loans or as favors. As a member of the Union’s task force, John sees America as a well-diffused system where power is accessible but earned. The Soviets are pawns of a government gone much too far, controlling far too much. He tries not to use his skills against innocents, but no one who serves the USSR is truly innocent.