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Personality[]

Peter is gentle and poetic, though he would say he isn’t good enough with words to deserve that description. He tends to be quiet and introspective, the sort who almost always considers what he’s about to say before he says it. He is open and honest and able to see the hidden beauty in some of the most unlikely places.

He believes in hard work, the satisfaction of a job well done, and good manners. At times he can seem a bit old fashioned, but he’s curious and accepting and unselfconsciously awed by the modern world.

He is loyal to a fault, which can be exploited by those canny enough to take advantage of it. When he’s overwhelmed he tends to just go along with whatever he’s told to do. He is quick to rise to a challenge when confronted and eager for a rematch with anyone who defeats him.

Powers[]

Peter can transform his body into ‘organic steel,’ which grants him incredible strength, speed and near invulnerability. He’s able to lift things as heavy as a tank and can survive crushing blows, extreme temperatures, and high-velocity impacts. He does not need to eat or breathe while in his metal form, but any harm he does suffer will transfer to his flesh when he changes back. His size increases by nearly a foot and doubles in weight. While this does present an imposing figure, it usually comes at the expense of his shirt and anything else he happens to be wearing which are unable to contain the sudden jump in mass.

Talents[]

Childhood on the farm has made Peter a decent mechanic, an efficient laborer and given him a practical knowledge of agriculture. His great passion is art, and he can produce beautiful images with a brush, a pencil or a stick of charcoal.

Interests[]

Nature, simple comforts, classical music, the Renaissance, baseball, roofing (aka tower climbing), folk tales, The Walking Dead.

History[]

Peter was raised on a simple collective farm in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia. By the time he was old enough for school he was helping his parents in every way he could, first around the house, then around the farm once he was old enough.

When Peter was thirteen, his brother left to take part in a secret military exploration project. Peter did not understand why Mikhail had to leave for so long when he couldn’t even tell them what he was doing, but his brother promised him that it was for a better Russia and a better world and he would be back soon.

Three months later Mikhail’s best friend, Alexander, arrived. Peter rushed out, thinking he’d find his brother as well, only to see his parents somberly presented with a medal. In the space of that single glance, joy turned to despair. As his parents clung to each other in grief, Peter fled into the snowy fields. There he dropped to his knees, weeping and beating the ground itself in rage. At that moment his entire body transformed into living steel, the earth exploding beneath his fists as he cried out for his brother.

The strain of the change, combined with his loss and confusion, was too much. Peter shifted back to flesh and blood and collapsed onto the snow. There he would have frozen to death if Alexander had not followed and witnessed what had happened.

He returned Peter home and when he reported to his superiors at the Federal Security Service, he attempted to hide what he had found. Unfortunately, they already had enough information to suspect Peter might be a mutant and a potential subject of their renewed Soviet Super Soldier program. They assigned an agent under deep cover to keep an eye on Peter and a black-on-black team to monitor Alexander as well.

Peter was careful to hide his power from everyone but his parents, but that ended a year later. While he was working the fields he spotted a girl being chased by some local bullies. She lost her footing on a small ridge and rolled helplessly toward a runaway tractor. Knowing there was no time for her to get out of the way, Peter charged forward to save her. His metal body crushed the front end of the tractor in the process.

The girl was Nora Valkyrie, an orphan from the nation of Asgard whose parents and younger sister were killed while visiting Russia, leaving her homeless and alone in a country she barely knew. Hungry and afraid, she’d been scavenging to survive ever since.

Taking her back home with the offer of a warm meal, the Rasputins discussed what they should do to ensure Nora’s care. They also had concerns for Peter, now that everyone knew his secret. Before they could reach a decision, the phone rang. It was Alexander, warning them that the FSS was on its way and they needed to flee.

By then it was too late. Two helicopters full of agents arrived and stormed the farm. Driven to protect his family, Peter transformed and fought. Nora was also caught up in the fight, and her own mutant powers were revealed when an agent tried to taze her. In spite of their power and determination, however, they were still only children, and were eventually overwhelmed by the agents’ superior training, experience and numbers.

The two of them were taken to a hidden facility deep in Siberia where they were subjected to batteries of tests, experiments and training. That was what their handlers called it at least. Clean sounding words to describe a regiment of torture and conditioning. The rest of the time they were put in stasis pods, often for months.

Peter resisted as much as possible, and had it not been for Nora, he might have broken on more than one occasion. The bond they formed cut both ways, however. Often, when he refused to cooperate, it was Nora they chose to punish. They did manage an escape attempt once, and even managed to break out of the facility, only to find a barren landscape bombarded by furious winter winds and snow. They were trapped by the land itself, and Nora would have quickly fallen to the elements if they tried to go any further. Knowing it was hopeless, they were quickly recaptured and brought back inside.

This, it turned out, was a deliberate security measure. Peter and Nora were only taken out of stasis during the harshest storms to ensure escape was impossible. They remained like this for four years, during which they only aged two.

The facility managed to execute three operations during that time. For each mission they injected the two of them with drugs designed to induce a berserker rage and released them in a target area. In the ensuing blind rampage the two destroyed everything in their path. These operations were filed under the code name “Hammer and Sickle,” a reference to the weapon they had designed for Nora and for Peter’s background on the farm. Afterward, their handlers would force them to watch recordings of the destruction, believing it would wear away at their resistance. The conclusion was that after two more missions they would finally break and be susceptible to full brainwashing.

Then one day he and Nora were released from stasis early. They awoke to a familiar face, but one Peter had not seen in eleven years. Alexander had managed to locate them and sneak into the facility to break them out. Alarms went off almost as soon as the pods were deactivated, and they were forced to fight their way out of the facility. During the escape Alexander suffered a fatal wound, but he was able to fly them to a safe location before dying. With his final words he told them about the one place he knew the FSS would not be able to reach them and urged them to go there as soon as possible. That place, of course, was a certain school located in New York.

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