Section 2 - Apotheosis
Solo Operative, Grade 3, Directorate of Operations
- Name: Ryan Grotke
- Nationality: United States
- Political Affiliation: Republican
- Education: High School
- DOB: 4/12/1969
- DOD: -
- Known Parahuman Abilities: In his mortal form, Ryan Grotke is a slightly overweight man of declining years, and limited formal education. When he picks up Aegis, an indestructible sledgehammer whose head is made of red-veined marble, Ryan transforms. Growing to a height of nearly seven feet, his stature broadens to Herculean proportions, and whatever he is wearing is transformed into a stylized archaic armor. He becomes the Odinson, a Talent whose immense strength and resilience combine analogues of several common mythological figures.
Odinson is immeasurably strong, able to easily lift several dozen tons overhead without regard for leverage or inertia. He is capable of flying at speeds approaching 60mph, had is resilient enough to withstand gunfire at point-blank range; whether this is a result of the armor that appears as part of the transformation or not is unknown. When he is wounded, he heals at a rapid rate, his skin knitting together with small crackles of electricity.
His hammer is utterly impervious to damage, and when Odinson strikes with it, it lands with a thunderclap loud enough to set off car alarms and rattle nearby windows. Though the Odinson’s strength and resilience would make him a formidable combatant, in line with many “brute” talents, his skills with his focus set him apart. In the Odinson’s hands, the hammer rarely misses, and strikes with pinpoint accuracy, ignoring armor, resilience, or even intangibility.
The Odinson has two primary weaknesses. The first is a paradigmic susceptibility to “evil magic.” The second is a decided mental instability wherein the Odinson’s delusion of divine origin, mandate, and approval make it a difficult Talent to manage in the field.
The Odinson’s precise paradigm is difficult to define due to Ryan Grotke’s limited and occasionally erroneous understanding of common mythologies. Elements of Norse, Greek, Roman, and Biblical elements are all apparent in the Odinson’s milieu, and they occasionally shift as Ryan adopts new notions, or abandons old ones.
One thing is absolutely consistent: the Odinson sees himself as a hero sent to Earth to combat evil.
Ryan Grotke was a simple man, working as a mid-level foreman at a construction site in Southern California. All that changed during Yama’s Apocalypse. Though the blast that hit Los Angeles was far enough away to leave Ryan’s small city standing, the resulting aftershocks hit like a massive wave of earthquakes, and the concussive blast shattered tottering support structures.
When Ryan picked himself up off the ground, all he could hear was ringing. Then, slowly, sound returned; sirens, the roar of lit gas-lines, and in a high treble over the din, the cries of children. An over-pass across from the construction site had collapsed, and buried under the tangle of concrete and rebar, the over-turned bulk of a school-bus was barely visible.
The fires were spreading, and everyone was mad with panic and reaction. Ryan shouted for help, but no one could hear him over their own shouts for help. He looked desperately about for anything he could use to free the children, but the only thing that had survived the construction site’s own collapse was a simple industrial sledge-hammer.
It had been years since Ryan swung a hammer that weighed more than two pounds, and the 20lb tool dragged heavily at his arms as he circles the wreckage to find the best spot to break through. The fearful cries of the children were a goad as he swung again and again, each impact jarring his frame to the core.
After thirty seconds, he felt like he couldn’t lift the hammer again. After two minutes, his arms burned, and his hands had begun to bleed. After five minutes the concrete slap was cracked and chipped, and Ryan’s head throbbed. His body was agony, and all he could hear were the children.
On the sixth minute, the hammer fell with a sound like a thunder-clap, and the paved segment under it shattered. On the seventh Ryan reached towards the exposed tangle of rebar, and tore it loose with a grinding wrench. On the eight minute, Ryan lifted the hammer high, brought it down once more, and the earth moved.
After ten minutes, the children felt the bus shift and shutter. It lurched first to one side, then to another, then suddenly swung upright, as if on a pivot. Even those who had been badly hurt fell into shocked silence as a pair of thick, capable fingers broke through the emergency door like tin foil, and tore it loose.
Ryan Grotke was gone. In his place stood a man whose proportions were those of the Biblical Samson. The red-veined marble hammer in his hand was like the weapon of a god. Electricity lit his gaze, and as he smiled, the children knew they were saved.
Odinson, the God of Hammering, had come.
After a number of highly visible “superhero” incidents in the subsequent years, Section 2 recruited “The Odinson” as an eccentric Operative. Scientists in the Directorate of Research
were perplexed at the Odinson’s fluctuating power levels, and seeming utter lack of Talent power when not in “Odinson” form. It wasn’t until he was sent against mad Talent John “Jesus” McGrath in the Battle of Jerusalem where the truth of the Odinson’s capabilities came out. Ryan Grotke isn’t a Talent at all, not in any conventional sense. The manifestation of the Odinson was, instead, the work of one of the children in the bus that day, William “Billy” Smith. The trauma of Yama’s Apocalypse and his own imminent demise resulted in Billy’s desperate desire to be saved by a superhero. In that moment, Billy manifested “mad” Talent level power, but externalized it all into Grotke, who was valiantly (if ineffectually) trying to save him. The Odinson’s power was dependent entirely on Billy’s perceptions, and Billy could make the Odinson as powerful as necessary to counter any foe.
Recognizing the instability of this situation, Section 2 has relegated the Odinson to solo operative status. On those occasions when they require his services, they make sure that young Billy has access to a direct video feed.