Many meta-humans with magnetic abilities have done amazing and terrifying things. But a young Charlotte Cho spent most of her days sticking knives to her hands and chomping on a breadstick or French frie while mumbling in a gruff voice to the amusement of her school friends. Sure, Charlie had the ability to manipulate one of the fundamental forces of the universe but that sounded like work and she just wanted to be a regular kid like everyone else out there. Her father was an accountant and her mother taught self-defense classes at the YMCA. She had no shoes to fill, no shadow to grow out of. She just wanted to be a veterinarian.
So despite her powers her life went by as normal as it could. She went to school and often spent time with her mother after work at the YMCA, even joining in on some of the classes when she got old enough. She made friends, went on dates, got in trouble. Every bit the regular everyday normal person. She just happened to have this really neat trick when a soda can got stuck in the machine. Some of her friends knew and they made a big deal out of it, pushing her to use her powers more and more often, but Charlie always brushed them off. She had skin like teflon, it would seem, and usually could redirect the conversation with some dumb trick or joke. She was determined to not be anything more than normal. The only real compromise she made on this was when she took advantage of a "Meta-Human Scholarship" to get herself a free ride to a college in Rhode Island called Steel Canyon University. She wasn't a huge fan of the idea, but a full scholarship, including housing, was too good to turn down. So when she graduated she packed her bags, said goodbye to her parents, and skipped off to this so-called "City of Heroes".
Her school life, and by extension personal life, in Paragon went pretty much the same as it did back in Portland. She went to class, hit up the local burger joint with her new classmates, and generally just kept on living a normal life. She made an attempt to downplay her mutant abilities, since this was a chance at a fresh start and she knew from her younger years how insistent some could be. The only real change was she had to be a bit more careful when heading off campus at night. Apparently the "City of Heroes" had a problem with less heroic types, as well. The papers and internet news articles usually had at least one report of a mugging by some guy throwing around fireballs or some crazy Asian mystics. And that was just the campus paper. Some days Charlie could hardly believe how many reports came in of crazed meta-humans and crime. Even the regular street-gangs tended to have someone like herself backing them.
It was around this time she started to get the suspicious feeling that her "Free Ride" was a ploy by the government types to recruit impressionable people into helping out but she wasn't quite that gullible. She had a plan and she was going to keep to it. She had learned plenty in her scholarship mandated "Meta-Human Ethics" course that went on about the responsibility of having powers and covering the history of those with them over the years. Mostly it yapped on about callings and how heroes had helped over the years, and a big section on some Might Makes Right act back in the '60s. The professor was nice enough, some retired hero from the second World War who apparently had aged a bit slower because of his powers, and went on about how it was his duty to serve and help others but Charlie wasn't quite drinking that cup of Kool-Aid.
Things kept going on for her first two years of the college-life unchanged. Charlie's classes were going well enough, her scholarship had been renewed, and she had managed to make several close friends during her time at SCU. It would all seem that her plan was right on track and in two more years she'd be able to start her more specialized schooling for veterinarian work and leave Paragon behind her. She'd miss her friends, of course, but she was tired of having to dodge superpowered purse-snatchers and worse if she wanted a late night taco. So far she had managed to keep herself completely separate from all of Paragon's hero troubles but on a cold night in November that changed. It was well past midnight when Charlie received a dreadful call. One of her friends and classmates had been rushed to the ICU for third degree burns after being assaulted by a bunch of thugs of the gang calling themselves The Outcasts. Charlie rushed to the hospital as quickly as she could and her friend's family explained the story to her. Their daughter had been out late to finish some gift shopping for the upcoming holiday when a trio of the criminals jumped her, demanding she hand over all her money and the packages she was carrying. She had complied, of course, having no way of resisting the thugs, but apparently one of them didn't care. The meta-human grabbed her hand, sending a bolt of electricity coursing up her arm and left the poor girl twitching on the sidewalk until a passerby called emergency services. The doctors didn't thing the injuries would be life-threatening, but they wouldn't know the extent of the damage until she woke up. Charlie was mortified until her friend's mother, in a choking sob, muttered, "You'd think in this city there'd have been some hero around to help her," before curling in on herself in worry for her only daughter. Charlie's dread and concern turned to anger as small sparks snapped from her clenched fists.
Setting off from the hospital Charlie tucked the hood of her jacket above her head and took off at a sprint from where they had found her friend. It didn't take her long to find the spot and even less to find the trio that had assaulted her friend now lying in ICU. The big Christmas themed shopping bag one was a few feet away was a dead giveaway. But apparently playing the Grinch wasn't enough for these three as one was currently wrestling with the purse of yet another poor woman. Charlie didn't even think and leapt into action, using her powers in earnest for the first time in years. Lucky for her the only one with any meta-human abilities was the trigger happy electrician and her own mutation did a fine job of canceling that out. The other two drew their own weapons, but with a sloppy rake of her hand Charlie was able to tear them from their hands with her magnetism and whip them back at the two. Either they weren't up to the task of fighting someone able to defend herself or a steel pipe to the face was an excellent deterrent, but that left just Charlie and the man who had hurt her friend. The scuffle was quick and luckily for her she hadn't quite forgotten the lessons she learned back in Portland's YMCA and the last man was soon turning to flee. Charlie began to chase after him but a whimper from their would be victim tore her attention from the thug. She let out a snarl of frustration as the man fled and turned back to the woman who was currently convulsing on the ground. The meta-human quickly dropped to one knee to do what she could for the woman while calling for help as the woman continued to moan in pain.
There wasn't much more she could do but stay with the woman until EMTs arrived on the scene and if she hadn't she likely would have put this night behind her and went back to her regular normal life. But the scene and the words of the woman made an impression on Charlie that even after she had been carted off in an ambulance she couldn't seem to shake. The heartfelt thank you and her smiling if weary face from the back of the vehicle floated around in the young meta-human's mind for days after the event. A visit to the hospital to check on her friend just piled more and more conflicting emotions on her heart when she saw that her friend had lost a good deal of function of her arm from the current that passed through it. Charlie had vowed to leave the world of superpowers alone, but it had come barging into her regular, normal, everyday life and now she wasn't sure she could. With a heavy heart and a head full of questions she called her Meta-Human Ethics professor and scheduled a student-teacher meeting.
Fast forward to spring and Charlotte Cho is still a mild-mannered and relatively normal student of Steel Canyon University studying to become a vet and making her friends laugh with dumb jokes in between hearty bites of greasy fast food. On the other hand the crime rates around the campus seem to have taken a slight downgrade and Charlie is showing up to class with a few scrapes and bruises on an alarming frequency. She's brushed it off every time, stating that she's been doing some rather robust self-defense classes after what happened to her friend with some instructor off campus, and then making a joke about how she apparently still needs them if she's looking that rough. Almost as frequent are the strange purple and blue flashes outside their dormitory windows at night and the campus newspaper reporting signs of some new hero on the scene that they've since dubbed Arc, based on the lightning like patterns that seem to flow around her. None of the photos are in very good focus and some of the AV club has stated that it's likely due to electromagnetic interference from the hero's powers. After a few weeks the rogue heroine became quite the topic of discussion in Charlie's Meta-Human Ethics class and all the professor would respond with was a knowing smile and the comment that hopefully someone had finally started paying attention in his class.
Due to her mutation Charlie possesses Bio-Electricity Manipulation, or the ability to produce electric currents from within her body and then manipulate said currents in various ways, most notably along the magnetic spectrum. Her mutation is limited to only manipulating those currents she produces herself or comes in direct contact with, usually by intercepting or interposing her own currents through them. The range of said electrical currents is limited, only capable of reaching a few feet out from her own body at any given time and the further they reach the less control and weaker they become. The exception to this is if she is able to "link" the current through several conductive elements, keeping it intact and maintaining contact and artificially boosting its range. Even then it is rather taxing and not something she can consistently achieve.
'Ride the Lightning'
- "Who needs a tram pass when you can just grind!"
By generating a electrical current at the base of her feet and adjusting the polarity Charlie is able to effectively "surf' or "grind" her own bio-electrical currents, allowing her to move at exceptional speeds for long periods of time. This doesn't allow her any form of locomotion other than terrestrial and does not extend to vertical surface, as the magnetic charge needed for such would render her unable to move at anything more than a crawl and require a larger surface area of coverage than just her feet.
- "Whoa, personal space, man! Get outta here!"
By adjusting her own polarity, Charlie is capable of demagnetizing metallic objects around her, causing them to lose any magnetic properties and be unaffected by her own powers. This is especially useful in ensuring that incoming metallic projectiles or other weaponry are not automatically drawn to her.
- "Didn't your mother ever teach you that guns are dangeous? So jus' gimme that!"
On the other side of the above Charlie is also capable of magnetizing normally nonmagnetic metals and alloys. She most commonly uses this to shape metallic shavings around her hands to augment her own physical combat abilities but can also be used for defensive means, as well. Causing a metal weapon to "stick" to it's wielder or be repelled by her own opposite charge. A handy use of this she has found is repelling her own weaponry over short distances for short range based attacks and then reforming them a round her body.