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Dr. Tachyon

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Dr. Tachyon
Tach
Biographical Information
Real NamePrince Tisianne brant Ts’ara sek Halima sek Ragnar sek Omian of House Ilkazam
AliasesDr. Tachyon, Dancer, Tis
GenderMale
ClassAlien, Latent
Alien SpeciesTakisian
Alien TraitsTelepathy, mind control, longevity
Social Information
Place of BirthTakis
CitizenshipNaturalized Citizen of the United States
OccupationMonarch, physician, geneticist
Event Participant1987 WHO Tour
Base of OperationsTakis, Jokertown clinic
AffiliationsHouse Ilkazam, Jokertown clinic
RelativesShaklan (father; decased), Ts'ara (mother; deceased), Taj (uncle), Sabina (aunt), Roxalana (sister), Melant (sister), Tri'ava (sister), Pandasala (sister), Shi'tha (sister), Cillka (sister), Jadlan (sister; deceased), Zabb (cousin; deceased), Rabdan (cousin; deceased), Talli (cousin; deceased), Gisele Bacourt (daughter; deceased), Blaise Andrieux (grandson; deceased), Illyana (great-granddaughter)
AlliesBrain Trust, Captain Trips, Dr. Bradley Latour Finn, Dr. Cody Havero, Jube the Walrus, Kelly Ann Jenkins, Popinjay, The Turtle
Origin
First AppearanceWild Cards
CreatorMelinda Snodgrass

Dr. Tachyon is an alien prince, scientist, physician, and telepath. He came to Earth in 1946, trying to stop the release of the the Wild Card virus, created by his own family, House Ilkazam. He failed to prevent it, and pledged to spend the rest of his life on Earth, treating the victims of the virus, aces and jokers alike. For decades, he worked out of his Jokertown clinic, where he served as Chief of Staff. He is also something of a figurehead for the wild card community. Like all Takisian lords, Tachyon is a powerful telepath, able to read and control minds. On Earth, Tachyon dresses in colorful clothes reminiscent of 1800s courtly outfits. Takisians age very slowly, and Tachyon still looks youthful despite living for more than seven decades. His nickname was given to him due to the faster-than-light propulsion of the spaceship he came to Earth with.

HistoryEdit

Tisianne was born on planet Takis, circa 1900. He is a prince of House Ilkazam, one of the aristocratic families that rule that planet. Tisianne is also a gifted biochemist and geneticist that aided his House in developing the Wild Card virus. However, when it was decided to test the virus on Earth, Tisianne rebelled and tried to stop the experiment on his own. Aboard his personal spaceship, Baby, he intercepted his family's vessel and in the ensuing battle caused the enemy ship to crash, killing all on board. Tisianne's own ship was damaged, forcing him to seek asylum on Earth. Tisianne landed on the military base of White Sands in August 23, 1946. He tried to get the military's help in locating the crashed spaceship with the alien virus, but failed to convince the authorities of the danger.

When the virus was released in New York City, killing and mutating thousands, Tachyon's guilt was enormous. He pledged to dedicate his life to treating the victims of the virus. He worked as a doctor in Mount Sinai hospital during the 1940s. It was there that he met Blythe Stanhope van Renssaeler, the ace Brain Trust. He taught her how to control her memory absorption powers and helped construct crude psychic shields to keep the minds she absorbed at bay. The two fell in love, and Blythe (who had already been kicked out by her husband) went to go live and work with Dr. Tachyon. She even used her powers to absorb Tachyon's memories and knowledge. Those were the happiest years of Tachyon's life, even though he worried about Blythe's deteriorating sanity, threatened by all the minds she had absorbed.

In 1950, the nation was swept by anti-wild card hysteria, and Blythe was summoned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and intimidated into revealing all the names of the aces Tachyon had treated. Before she could reveal the names, Tachyon grabbed her mind with his telepathic powers. The shock fragmented Blythe's fragile psyche and she went completely insane. Tachyon's guilt was unbearable. He was deported to Europe and spent more than a decade as a drunken derelict. Tachyon finally returned to the US in 1961, when the political climate became more favorable to wild carders, but his personal situation was little changed; he was still a drunk living in deplorable conditions in Jokertown.

In November of 1963, Doctor Tachyon regained his confidence when he helped the Turtle rescue the lovely Angelface and capture a ring of corrupt policemen preying on Jokertown. He started to rebuild his life and renewed his mission to help the wild cards. In 1966, he founded the Blythe van Renssaeler Memorial Clinic, to once again help the victims of the virus. Tachyon served as Chief of Staff of the clinic. With the passing years, Tachyon assumed a sort of leadership role in the wild card community, a patron saint of both jokers and aces, forging personal relationships with almost all major wild card celebrities. In this capacity Dr. Tachyon helped defeat menaces such as the alien Swarm, the Astronomer, and the corrupt ace Gregg Hartmann.

In 1987, he was one of the leaders of the WHO delegation that toured the globe investigating the living conditions of wild card victims worldwide. In France, Tachyon discovered that he had a grandson, the young Blaise Andrieux, result of a liaison he had with a French woman during his exile in the 1950s. After eliminating the terrorists that were Blaise's guardians with the help of Golden Boy, Tachyon brought Blaise to live with him in America. Blaise had partly inherited Tachyon's powers in the form of an awesomely potent mind control ability, which soon became a problem. The boy also had sadistic tendencies, enjoying the use of his powers to humiliate others. As Tachyon's grandson grew, he became more powerful and more unbalanced. Distracted by a violent gang war consuming Jokertown, Tachyon was a terrible father, sometimes spoiling Blaise, other times treating him severely. Unhinged by jealousy and his unrequited feelings for Dr. Cody Havero, the woman in Tachyon's life, Blaise finally ran away from home in 1988.

Now a major threat, Blaise acquired mind-switching powers after joining the jumper gang. In a twisted revenge plan against his grandfather, Blaise jumped Tachyon's mind into the body of Kelly Jenkins, a 16-year old girl that had wanted to be Blaise's girlfriend. Blaise then beat and raped Tachyon multiple times, keeping "her" a prisoner on the Rox for months. With the help of Bloat and Black Shadow Tachyon eventually managed to escape the island, but not before her new body was several months pregnant with Blaise's child. In 1989, Blaise stole Tachyon's spaceship Baby and fled to Takis, taking Kelly and Tachyon's original body with him. Dr. Tachyon was left stranded on Earth to reestablish her identity and explain what had happened after being presumed dead. Depressed, alone, and viewing her heavily pregnant body as deformed (something abhorrent to the beauty obsessed Takisians) Tachyon attempted suicide, but came to her senses and called Cody for help. Shortly thereafter she sought out the assistance of Fortunato in contacting her homeworld only to endure his mockery of her embarrassing predicament. Undeterred, Tachyon eventually managed to secure passage to Takis with the help of Jube the Walrus, an alien spy secretly living on Earth for decades.

Accompanied by Mark Meadows and Popinjay, both powerful aces, Dr. Tachyon returned to Takis after more than four decades of exile on Earth. In an epic struggle that involved all-out war among the Houses of Takis, some of them supporting the psychopathic Blaise, Tachyon defeated his insane grandson and regained his male body, but not before he was forced to give birth to Illyana, a beautiful baby girl. Also, due to Blaise's political machinations while Kelly occupied Tachyon's body, he is technically married to Mona'ella, the royal princess of a rival House, though the legality/permanence of this arrangement is currently unknown. Now leader of House Ilkazam, Tachyon decided to remain on Takis, to reconstruct society after the ravages of the war and to introduce progressive social change to Takisian society.

Alien Traits Edit

As a Takisian Lord, Doctor Tachyon has several superhuman attributes. He is a powerful telepath, capable of reading and sending thoughts. He is very skilled at penetrating mind shields, and it's very difficult to keep Tachyon out of your mind if he wants in. Doctor Tachyon also has a powerful mind control ability; with effort, he can control three or four persons simultaneously. He is also capable of a direct mind-to-mind attack, causing pain or forcing his victims to sleep. Tachyon is also able to make a person forget recent events. His telepathic range has never been definitely established, but it's apparently at least a few miles.

Tachyon also has a powerful mind shield, making him nigh-immune to telepathic attacks. However, his shield can be surpassed if his concentration is broken by pain or stress. Tachyon is capable of using a special shielding technique known as the Deathlock, where "all he is" resists mental intrusion. The Deathlock can only be broken by completely destroying Tachyon's mind.

Finally, Tachyon is gifted with precognition. However this power is weak and very erratic. Once in a long while Tachyon experiences vaguely premonitory dreams. He dreamed of assassins the night before JFK's assassination, for instance. This precognition sometimes also manifests as a vague feeling of foreboding, such as when Blythe appeared before HUAC.

Possibly as a side effect of his telepathic powers, Tachyon has a extremely good memory. It's been remarked more than once that he lives in the past as much as in the present.

Besides his arsenal of mentat abilities, Tachyon has a vastly expanded lifespan. Takisian lords can live for two thousand years or more. Being born in 1900, Tachyon was still considered very young by Takisian standards in the 1980s. A few stories have also remarked that Takisians possess rapid-firing neurons, giving them a somewhat quicker reaction time than humans. Though Tachyon has never exhibited superhuman quickness, he is certainly agile and dextrous.

Appearance Edit

Tach2

Tachyon is a small man, measuring 5' 3" and weighing only 115 lbs. He is slender, but surprisingly strong for his size. His shoulder-length hair is metallic red, like fine copper wire. His eyes are an alien lilac color. His narrow, chiseled face is rather plain with a generous mouth, long nose, and small, pointed chin. His hands have long, slender fingers. During an encounter with Mackie Messer at the Democratic National Convention, Tachyon's right hand was cut off, necessitating the use of a prosthetic and ending his career as a surgeon. Tachyon's voice is surprisingly deep, and he speaks English with a peculiar accent that is seemingly Central European.

Tachyon is a dandy who persists in dressing in the outlandish colors and styles of Takis, neither of which fit human norms. On Earth he favors what can regarded as modified early 19th-century dress: cutaway coat with tails, embroidered waistcoats, leg-hugging pants, and knee-high soft boots. All of it in outrageous colors. Tachyon never wears black, since it's a color used by common laborers back in his home planet. He's also partial to knee breeches worn with white stock-shoulderings. His shirts are usually white silk with big sleeves and he likes lace at the wrist and throat. He likes hats of all kinds, favoring ones with feathers. Outdoors he often wears a cloak or cape rather than an overcoat.

Personality Edit

Dr. Tachyon has an aristocratic soul. He can be very arrogant and overbearing, sometimes treating people as if they were his subjects. But unlike most Takisians, Doctor Tachyon genuinely cares for people and can be very warm with those he considers his friends. The alien doctor's most famous trait is his tendency to feel guilty, sometimes even for imagined sins, endlessly dwelling on past mistakes. He considers himself responsible for the release of the Wild Card virus, and is pledged to help the victims of the virus in any way he can. Tachyon is also a womanizer, always pursuing a beautiful woman, most times successfully, since he can be very charming indeed. His other vice is alcohol. Tachyon is no longer an alcoholic, but he still drinks too much, and is partial to brandy.

Even though he left Takis and adopted Earth as his home for several decades, Tachyon still exhibits many typically Takisian traits. He abhors deformity and physical imperfection, but tries to hide his disgust of jokers when dealing with them. He doesn't try to hide his feelings, and cries openly when he is in emotional pain. That and his flamboyant way of dress make some people think Tachyon is gay, or at least a wimp. Lineage and family also are very important to him, and that is why he puts up with his grandson Blaise for so long, despite the boy's sociopathic behaviour. He is also prone to using Takisian terms, such as "Burning Sky" and "By the Ideal." Due to his stay on Earth, he can speak several different languages: English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish.

Quotes Edit

"I'm delighted to have Baby returned to me, but I have no intention of leaving Earth. This planet is my home now, and those touched by the wild card are my children."

"Have you no conception of the dangers inherent in this virus?"

"Power calls to power, and sorrow to sorrow." He gave Fortunato the barest of smiles. "We have all lost something precious to us in this battle against horror. But still we must go on, go on and turn back the darkness. If we can."

"So what do you suggest? To whom do I abdicate this responsibility? Whom do I condemn to bear the guilt and the hate! My people, yes, and at base everyone of them hates my guts!"

Trivia Edit

  • Doctor Tachyon is arguably the most central of all the protagonists in the series. He has a very prominent role in the first ten books of the series (with the possible exception of the seventh book, Dead Man's Hand). He appears not only in his own stories, but guest-stars in many other characters' stories.
  • Tachyon has not appeared since 1992's Wild Cards Volume X: Double Solitaire, but has a few unresolved storylines. Chiefly among them is his wild card infection (Tachyon was infected by Typhoid Croyd in Down and Dirty). To this day, the virus remains dormant on his body.
  • Though he is created and mostly written by Melinda M. Snodgrass, a few key Tachyon stories were also written by George R. R. Martin and Victor Milán.
  • Dr. Tachyon is one of the characters that originated in the legendary roleplaying game played by the Wild Card writers prior to the publishing of the series.
  • Tachyon also appears in the comic books published by Marvel Comics under the Epic imprint. Tachyon's character sheet appears in the roleplaying manuals in both the GURPS and Mutants and Masterminds incarnations of the Wild Cards RPG.

Selected Reading Edit

  • Wild Cards Volume I: Wild Cards
    • "Prologue" (Tachyon's arrival on Earth)
    • "Degradation Rites" (Tachyon's first years on Earth; meets Blythe Stanhope van Renssaeler, the love of his life)
    • "Shell Games" (In the 1960s, Tachyon makes a comeback with the help of the Turtle)
  • Wild Cards Volume II: Aces High
    • "Relative Difficulties" (Tachyon's relatives come to Earth to take him back to his home planet)
    • "With a Little Help From His Friends" (Tachyon and Captain Trips investigate an unusual murder)
  • Wild Cards Volume III: Jokers Wild (Tachyon and the New York aces must confront the Astronomer)
  • Wild Cards Volume IV: Aces Abroad "Mirrors of the Soul" (In France, Tachyon and Golden Boy uncover hidden secrets of Tach's past)
  • Wild Cards Volume V: Down and Dirty "Blood Ties" (Tachyon's routine among the chaos of Jokertown in 1987)
  • Wild Cards Volume VI: Ace in the Hole (Tachyon in the Democratic Convention of 1988)
  • Wild Cards Volume VIII: One-Eyed Jacks "The Devil's Triangle" (Blaise and Tachyon's rivalry escalates into bloody confrontation)
  • Wild Cards Volume IX: Jokertown Shuffle "Lovers" (Tachyon suffers in the hands of his demented grandson)
  • Wild Cards Volume X: Double Solitaire (Tachyon returns to Takis in search of his original body)

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