Teddy is generally polite, self-effacing, humble, gentle and kind. He respects authority – to a point – but values doing the morally correct thing over following arbitrary or harmful rules. His temper has a very long fuse, but when he has reached his limit, he becomes an unstoppable force.
Teddy is fiercely protective, particularly when it comes to his loved ones. He’s also self-conscious and anxious about being liked. Teddy is deeply aware that he only went from being the invisible boy to popular at his old school because of the way he used his powers; he’s equally sure that if people knew the real him, they wouldn’t be interested at all. Or worse, they’d turn on him the way his so-called friends did before. As a result he internalizes and represses his negative emotions, shoving them back down under a cheerful and friendly front – until the day when the pressure will become too much.
As far as he’s concerned, Teddy’s won the genetic lottery when it comes to powersets: he’s got shapeshifting, enhanced stamina, enhanced durability which provides some protection from blunt trauma, bullets and edged weapons, super-strength, and a reasonably potent healing factor.
His shapeshifting has a subconscious element to it, as his body will make minor adaptations to preserve itself under trauma (shifting organs out of the way of a blade, for instance). He cannot hold a deliberately shifted shape while unconscious however, his body automatically reverting back to his baseline form when he’s knocked out or otherwise incapacitated.
Teddy is tough, but not invulnerable. His strength tops out at the ability to lift somewhere close to 100 tonnes, and he remains susceptible to psychic attack. His healing factor makes him somewhat resistant to pheromone and chemical attacks.
Teddy likes to cook. His mother’s realtor job kept her out showing houses in the evenings a lot of the time, and he first learned to cook purely for necessity, then discovered that he enjoyed it.
He also stress-bakes.
He’s a half-decent artist, and has taken some life-drawing classes. It goes along with the people watching and figuring out anatomy, part of his attempts to refine his shapeshifting abilities.
Even before his powers emerged Teddy was a physically active kid, and he’s played a wide number of sports both through school and rec leagues. He took gymnastics for a while, and can still do a pretty credible standing back flip.
Teddy’s a sci-fi nerd at heart, though he keeps some of his more esoteric interests under wraps around newer friends in fears that he’ll be teased. He was a huge Pokemon fan as a kid, and still has some of his better decks shoved in the bottom of a box in his room. He enjoys video and board games, dabbles in online conspiracy theory websites – particularly UFO sightings and government cover-ups – and edits Wikipedia for fun. He has a series of piercings in both ears and is fascinated by body art. He has no idea if his healing factor will let him have tattoos, but he’s looking forward to when he turns eighteen and can find out.
He plays sports, particularly basketball, but isn’t huge on following more than one or two professional teams.
Basically he’s a gigantic dork in a jock package, and he still hasn’t quite figured out how to reconcile the two.
Teddy Altman grew up in Brooklyn, and all things considered his childhood was a pretty decent one. He never knew his father, an Army captain who had died in a car accident before Teddy was born. Still, he had his mother, a hard-working real estate agent who adored him, and they muddled along very well as a tight-knit family of two.
Teddy and his mom didn’t have a lot, growing up, but they got by. He was quiet, small, unassuming, polite – the kind of child any parent or teacher adored, but that other kids completely ignored. Overlooked, brushed aside, too inconsequential to even be picked on, Teddy yearned to be noticed. To stand out for some reason. To be <i>really good</i> at... well, anything.
His powers emerged when he was in his early teens, following the pattern of pretty much any mutant kid. And his mother, surprisingly, seemed not only to be incredibly understanding, but almost to have anticipated the entre thing. It helped, having someone on his side, even if he was able to talk to her about less and less of his life as time went by.
High school was better at first, especially after he started to get the hang of his new powers. Teddy crushed hard on Greg Norris, a senior boy, class president, captain of the basketball team... and he discovered that with a few tweaks of his shapeshifting, he could make himself tall enough for basketball, good looking enough to get noticed, and old enough to get away with a lot of things kids couldn’t.
And Greg did notice him, long enough to discover that the combination of Teddy’s powers and his crush made him a very useful tool. As Greg’s wingman, Teddy was convinced to use his powers to get them into places a couple of high school kids usually couldn’t go – he impersonated celebrities to get them into clubs and get access to high society events, boosting Greg’s social capital, and, not coincidentally, his own. But when Greg started escalating his demands, edging ever closer to real crime, Teddy began to dig in his heels. And when Greg tried to bully and blackmail him into breaking in to an empty mansion for a little light looting, Teddy flat-out refused. And Greg dropped him flat.
Going from the cool crowd to total social pariah in one day was pretty much one of the worst things ever, but Teddy’s moral core wouldn’t have let him do anything else. He’s proud of his decision to stand up for himself, but also deeply ashamed that it took him so long to say no.
Mrs. Altman had noticed some of the changes in Teddy’s behaviour but had chalked it up to regular teenage angst, at least until Teddy’s halting confession over late-night hot chocolate. After that, she made some careful and quiet inquiries about options other than the Episcopal school Teddy had been attending. She’s accepted Professor Xavier’s offer of a scholarship for Teddy to attend the Academy. She hopes that he’ll learn more about his powers than what she can guide him through and have a chance to grow into himself as a person, far away from the bad influences he’d fallen in with before.
Teddy, on the other hand, is looking forward to a fresh start. He’s a lot warier of people’s intentions now, but that longing to fit in has only gotten stronger. Maybe at Xavier’s, a school full of people just like him, he won’t feel like he has to hide everything he is in order to be accepted.