Approved Phoenix; Samantha Walsh

Samantha Walsh
Aka, “Phoenix”

Name: Samantha Caireach Walsh
Age: 25 (D.O.B 3/21/1998)
Gender: Female
Hair: Orange-red
Eyes: Amber gold
Height: 5'3" (barely)
Weight: 95 lbs
Occupation: Owner of Infinity Fitness Gym
Ethnicity: Irish, Scottish, and mixed Northern European
Residence: Pittsburgh, PA (formerly Columbus, OH)
Family: Amelia Walsh (mother, 53), Terry Walsh (father, 56), Joshua Walsh (brother, 29)

Heat Manipulation - Due to an internal process, Sam’s body converts all unnecessary energy into heat. She naturally runs a temperature of about 101 Fahrenheit. Her body can withstand extreme temperatures (she’s handled molten glass with her bare hands before) without any issue, although if she gets too cold, her heat output is drastically lowered. She can generate temperatures of up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit on command. She can build heat over time, and her highest recorded and maintained temperature was inside a controlled heat retaining room over the course of three hours and reached 632 degrees Fahrenheit. She promptly passed out shortly after leaving the room. Her heat is tied strongly to her emotions, and thus she burns hotter when angry and grows cold when sad.

She uses this ability in a multitude of ways, but her two favorites are superheating her hammer and creating hot air vortexes to “fly” inside. She can use heat waves to create mirages, and she can create quick walls of heat that deflect things moving below a certain velocity. This does not deflect bullets. It can slow them, but she can still be shot.

Accelerated Metabolic Rate - Sam has a heightened metabolism, which forces her to eat two to three times the amount of food a normal person needs to survive. While she could survive on the amount of food a normal person eats, she would be unable to use the majority of her abilities. In addition, she sleeps half the time a normal person would and heals at a slightly faster rate. It's not instant, and she can still be injured just as easily as a normal person.

On the flip side, these abilities have left Sam rail thin. She is constantly on the edge of collapse at the end of the day, because she never quite eats enough. Her soft face is graced with heavy under-eye shadows from her pushing her already limited required sleeping to the edge, and her refusal to care for herself properly.

Durability - Through training, and helped by her enhanced body, she is faster and stronger than anyone her size should be. She can take bigger punches than people twice her size, but she suffers just as much damage as they would regardless. She’s more durable than the average human, and can fall as much as four stories without sustaining life-threatening damage. She might break her arm, but she’ll get up and walk away. She heals faster than a normal human, but it's not instant. She can heal fractures in a week, and fully broken bones in the span of a month or two, depending on the break. In the case of some breaks, she still requires medical attention, though she has been lucky to not have that level of damage as of yet.

Martial Combat - After a decade of enrollment in various self-defense and martial arts courses, Sam is not a master of any one particular fighting style, but rather a jack of all. A little memory of Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, and Krav Maga with a lot of kickboxing and Judo make the primary structure of her style.

Enhanced Senses - Although it is to a much lesser extent than her fellow metas, Sam has two enhanced senses. She has what equates to tremor-sense of up to twenty meters. She can sense direction and speed, and it's muffled by the addition of boots. She also has what she refers to as "bird vision". She has telescopic vision and can pick people out for as far as four street blocks.

Vibe Checker - While not a thing she can really prove, Sam has what has been jokingly called the "Vibe Checker 9000". Sam is very good with vibes, and can easily tell when people are lying to her or hiding things. She has "clicks" where she can tell when things have fallen into place the way they're meant to.

A large, solid steel hammer in the form of a meat tenderizer with a half-length handle wrapped in black and red tape. the head weighs thirty-four pounds, and on one side is smooth and flat, while the other side is spiked with quarter-inch diamond-shaped studs. It has a red wristband that Phoenix usually keeps wrapped around her wrist. The hammer has a basic flame print carved into the side. Some other items on her include a police scanner, zip ties, duct tape, and a first aid kit, all neatly contained in the small backpack she carries with her everywhere she goes.

Her vigilante outfit consists of a hoodie to hide her hair, a simple domino mask (painted with reflective black paint to distort cameras) to obscure her eyes, and a black leather and Gore-tex jacket. She wears black Gore-tex pants with armored elbow and knee guards, gathered by her mother from the army manufacturer she works for. Underneath this, she wears a suit crafted with materials from her mother by her father, the tailor. It's simple, red and black, and shows at the edge of her sleeves and when she raises her arms. Her suit and boots are made of Gore-tex Crosstech and Kevlar materials and are made to her exact specifications. The suit is full body and covers all but feet, hands, and head. They took a pretty penny to acquire, but Sam takes safety very seriously.

Sam is serious. During her daily life, she can come off quite aloof and distant. She’s generally polite and gentle, despite the distance she willingly puts between herself and others. She lets very few people in under the shield she’s built around herself, but when she does, she becomes fiercely protective of them. She can be quite caring toward these people, giving her all to take care of them and ensure their safety. Instead of letting people inside, however, Sam has a tendency toward forcing herself to be lonely. She feels it better if normal people aren’t close to her, and tends to think the same thing about other… more-than-humans.

If Sam is serious, Phoenix is severe. Phoenix is the hard and cold mask that Sam wears brought to its final conclusion. She gets brash and quiet and violent. She’d rather break your kneecaps than let you run away from her. While she’s against killing people, she’s all but ready to do so, if the situation calls for it. She is the pent-up rage that Sam carefully conceals beneath her soft and polite smile. Her temper flares easily, and she has to reel herself in to avoid permanently injuring crooks and villains.

Sam tends to find the easiest solution to a problem and follow that logic all the way through, even if the situation starts to get complicated. She’s got enough of a one-track mind to be called “obsessive”. And certainly, she considers herself obsessive, almost compulsive in her goals. Everything she does is done with passion, despite the way she distances herself from others. She works with passion, conviction, and determination.

Underneath all of the bluster and the serious face, Sam is a bit of a softie. She loves hard and fast and forever, and she cares deeply for friends and those she adopts as family. She can be just as gentle and caring as she can be angry and rash. She is more than willing to put her life on the line for others, and god help you if you come for her people. There's nothing more important to her than protecting those she does let in beneath her safeguards and walls. Not even her self-imposed missions take precedence over this fact.​
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Sam’s head was spinning when she woke. She felt like a train had hit her head on, her body as achy as if she’d fallen off a building. And she had done that before, so she knew what that felt like. There were hushed voices off somewhere in the distance, but she didn’t care about that. She didn’t care about the bone-deep chill that was suppressing her heat either. Instead, she started tossing her head back and forth as she looked for her friend.

Alice wasn’t immediately within sight. That wasn’t necessarily a red flag, although she would look back on it later and realize it had been intentional. She thought nothing of it and assumed the older girl had simply managed to make it without getting injured this time. She let her eyes close for a moment and fell back unconscious.

Memories swirled through her head, interlaced with dreams. Memories of meeting Alice for the first time, and their first patrol together. Dreams of a hand reaching out to her and a scream. Memories of Alice bringing her meals during finals, of them celebrating her eighteenth birthday. Dreams of Alice’s body lying lifeless on the ground barely out of reach. Memories of the man consumed by shadow as he reached out and touched her, sucking the life and heat from her body.

She bolted awake, jolting upright. It hurt her entire body and she groaned. Hushed voices stopped and then hands were on her face and in her hair.

“Sammie? Oh my god, Sammie, baby, are you okay?” Her mother’s hands pushed her curls back from her face.

“We thought we were going to lose you, darling.” Her father’s hands tucked her hair back and held it there.

Sam coughed and felt her insides practically crack with the cold that was permeating her body. “Mom, Dad… where’s Alice? Is she okay? What happened to me?”

She saw her mother look over her head at her father, the two exchanging a look. Her mother swallowed, and her rough hands cupped Sam’s face. She had a sad smile on her face. “Your wristband’s automatic monitor sent out an SOS when your body temperature dropped to 80 degrees. We came as quickly as we could. You were so cold when we arrived that we thought you were dead. It wasn’t until we brought you home that you started to warm up. We didn’t know if you were going to make it.”

“Mom, where’s Alice? She was with me.” Her voice had a bit of edge to it, and she grabbed her mother’s hands, moving them away so she could look around their basement that had served as her base of operation for the last few years. The second cot had a body in it, and she saw long raven hair. She breathed out, and she reached her hand out to touch Alice’s shoulder.

“Wait, Sammie, don’t–”

Her fingers met Alice’s shoulder and cold radiated outward and into her fingertips. A deep cold, a frostbiting cold. A dead cold. She felt her heart stop and she jerked her hand away before reaching back out and shaking the older girl’s shoulder. “Alice? Alice, wake up.”

Her father reached out and took her hand, pulling it back. She struggled against him, trying to reach for the girl as tears filled her eyes. “No, no, Alice, wake up! Alice, please, I know you can hear me, wake up!”

Her parents began to restrain her, and her father eventually slung her over his shoulder and started to carry her up the stairs. Tears fell from Sam’s eyes, warm, but not as warm as they should have been. She pounded weakly against her father’s shoulders. “No, let me go! Why isn’t she waking up? Why isn’t she waking up?

“Sammie… Alice is dead.”

The words froze her and she stopped moving as they left the basement, Alice’s body finally disappearing from view. Her father gently deposited her on the couch and her mother quickly came in to wrap a blanket around her shoulders, curling the edges in under each other to make sure it was secure.

“I’m so sorry, Sammie. I’m so sorry. She was already gone by the time we got there. We couldn’t save her.” Her mother gently rubbed her shoulders through the blanket and shot her father a concerned look. “She’s still cold, Terry. What do we do about this?”

“We just wait. There’s nothing else we can do. We don’t even know what they were fighting.”

Sam’s eyes flashed up and she whispered, her voice hoarse, “It was like he was made of shadow. All the lights went out when he came in, and all the warmth disappeared. He was fast, faster than me. He side stepped me and then reached out and touched me. I felt all the warmth in my body leave me, Mom. I got dizzy and I fell down. I think Alice tried to bend reality and he got to her first.”

Her voice broke when she said her friend’s name. Not her friend, her soul mate, her better half, the truest match for her in the whole world. She was in love with Alice, she loved Alice like the moon. She was the softness to Sam’s angles, the calm to her fury, and the deep night sky to her midday heat. Sam was the sun, and Alice was the moon, perfectly in balance with each other. Her perfect. Other. Half.

Gone now. Gone now, and leaving Sam all alone again.

“Her mother is going to be here soon, Sammie. We called Ms. Shaw.”

“Camilla is coming?” Before the words were even out of her mouth, there was a knock at the door. Sam felt her blood run even colder than it already was. She pushed the blankets aside as her father went to answer the door. Something stuck in her throat and she gasped in softly as the door opened. Camilla Shaw was a tall and regal version of her daughter, the same raven black hair and green eyes as the girl. Right then, those green eyes were sadder than Sam could ever remember them being.

She stepped inside the door, and even at that distance, she heard her softly say, “Where’s Samantha?”

“She’s over on the couch with Amelia. She only just woke up.” Camilla looked up and directly into the sitting room and into Sam’s soul, it seemed. Her eyes weren’t accusatory like Sam had been expecting. No, they were just sad. The woman stepped into the house and slowly walked to the sitting room, and Sam stood, unstable and clutching her stomach. She closed the distance between them.

“Camilla. I’m so sorry. This is all my fault. I should have- I should have–”

The woman entered Sam’s space and wrapped her arms around her shoulders, pulling her close. Sam felt tears hitting her shoulder, and the woman’s soft voice rang out in her ear. “This isn’t your fault, Samantha. Alice knew the risks. And she loved you dearly. She would be so happy you survived. Please don’t blame yourself.”

Sam immediately burst into tears and held the woman bone-crushingly tight, before letting up so she didn’t hurt her. She heard Camilla gasp slightly before sighing. She was still silently crying into Sam’s shoulder while Sam now bawled openly.

They held each other and cried for a while, and then they all went downstairs. Sam’s father and mother help Camilla carry the cot out to her van. Sam stayed in the room. As soon as they were past the doorway, she walked up to it and went to close it. She made eye contact with her father as he rounded the corner on his way out. He nodded sadly to her.

She shut the door and engaged the lock. A long time ago, they had rebuilt their basement, adding panels of industrial radiant heat transferring panels as the walls. They had exchanged the door for something heatproof and made sure it was a perfect seal.

Sam walked to the middle of the room and sat down. Her breathing, which had finally come under control, hitched and caught in her throat. She let it out. A blast of heat erupted out from her, lifting her hair into wild tangles in the air and blowing her clothing away from her. The cotton clothing caught fire, blazing up around her and falling away into ash. She screamed, her throat tearing and tasting of iron. She screamed and she screamed as the room got hotter and hotter. The plates of the room creaked as they started to radiate the heat into the earth, but not fast enough. The temperature of the room burned hotter than Sam had ever burned before as she screamed and cried out her despair.

Alice was gone.

Alice was gone.

Alice was GONE.

Sam screamed until she couldn’t scream anymore. Then she curled up on the floor, her vision blurry. She closed her eyes, and they stayed shut. She felt the last bit of strength in her body leave her, and then there was nothing.

Sam was alone again.​
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