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- Basic Information
- Early History
- Psychological Profile
- RP Roles
Catherine Lin? What's so special about her? There are lots of twenty-something girls like her all over the city. You see one, you've seen 'em all—the fast fashion clothes, the ridiculous lattes, the ever-present cell phone in a colorful case, and the always-in-a-hurry strut. Oh, and she's all over social media, and it's one millennial cliché after another—hashtag-squad, hashtag-relationship-goals, selfies, food porn, emojis all over the damn place. It's so cute, it's painful.
Or at least that's what she wants you to see. Keep your eyes open, and you'll see that there's something a little off about her, a hint that there's something sinister hidden beneath that cheery exterior. You know what they say. Beware the nice ones—they're the ones who surprise you.
Catherine Lin is the youngest child of Harold and Joan Lin, according to available records. Immigration records indicate that Harold Lin settled in the United States in December 1996, followed by the remainder of the family in August 1999. They established themselves in the town of West Nyack, NY, approximately 31 miles north of New York City.
The present whereabouts of Mr. and Mrs. Lin are unknown, and no reliable and/or detailed information exists regarding either of their backgrounds. It is possible that their names are merely aliases. Repeated interrogation of Ms. Lin has yielded little useful information about them. Her recollections tend to be traumatic to the point of incapacitating, suggesting a profoundly troubled childhood.
She has one sibling, an older sister named Elizabeth Lin Mendelsohn. Dr. Mendelsohn is a robotics and artificial intelligence researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Lin maintains a friendly, albeit distant relationship with her sister.
Academic records indicate that Ms. Lin was "bright, with extraordinary potential" but also "acted out frequently" and habitually showed up to class late or not at all. At best, she met minimum standards of academic performance, but just barely—except in computers, where she excelled. She had a 2.1 GPA when she left high school; she never received a diploma, something that she openly boasts about.
At the age of 17, she left home and moved to New York City with Katherine Macmillan, her girlfriend at that time and the daughter of deceased agent Jonathan Macmillan. In order to make ends meet, the two resorted to petty theft and cons. They enjoyed great initial success and notoriety. Though they crossed paths with law enforcement on a number of occasions, the two of them were not formally charged with any crimes, and they were usually released within 24 hours of arrest. However, in the wake of the Macmillan deaths, Ms. Lin's fortunes waned. She became the prime suspect in an ATM card skimming case, and with a warrant issued for her arrest, she went into hiding and switched her focus from street crime to internet crime.
She came to the Illuminati's attention following an investigation into repeated network breaches directed against Labyrinth systems. The agents investigating the breaches were reportedly impressed by her abilities and pushed for recruitment over punitive action, as long as she had not already pledged loyalty to another faction. Furthermore, it was decided that her criminal record would be expunged, with the understanding that it could be restored if she ever acted against the organization.
Following the investigation, and having successfully located Ms. Lin, recruiters were dispatched to offer her a position. She formally joined the Illuminati in June 2014.
Hardly anyone calls her by her given name. She's collected a number of alternate appellations, but the most popular is Cate. Like the young woman it belongs to, the name is short, charming, and subtly distinctive.
"Charm" is the key word here. She craves human connection and purposely developed a number of skills necessarily for cultivating it. Over time, and with a considerable amount of practice, she has all but mastered the art of gentle persuasion. She knows how to attract just the right amount of attention—not too much, not too little—and knows how to hold it. Even just a few minutes into a conversation, she can make a stranger feel like a beloved long-time friend. Given this, it's unsurprising how easily she can convince someone to give her whatever she needs or wants. Better yet, she often convinces others that it was their idea.
She accomplishes this in a number of ways, using her innate understanding of human psychology. First, she's adopted a relaxed and approachable demeanor. She's careful to use inviting and welcoming body language. Her face and gestures are highly expressive and animated, making her extremely easy to read and encouraging fast familiarity. She's also quick to share a smile, generous with compliments, easy with laughter, and constantly sharp-witted. As much as possible, she listens intently, taking a genuine interest in what others have to say. It's no wonder she's considered the life of the party, or at the very least, a prominent presence.
However, despite an easy affability that strongly suggests extroversion, she can sometimes revert to the introversion of her childhood and adolescent years. When necessary, for the sake of mental health and/or safety, she can close herself off completely. It can be a jarring transition to a witness caught unaware.
Certain topics of conversation or external stimuli will trigger this status shift immediately. Most of these triggers are common to others, but some of them are unique to her. For example, she's extremely reluctant to discuss details of her childhood and early education. Most mentions of her family are met with indifference or outright hostility. Discussions of money and/or gratuitous displays of wealth tend to elicit annoyance and derision.
Some individuals, especially those gifted with enhanced empathetic abilities, may sense profound rage buried underneath her pleasant façade. She goes to great lengths to hide it and keep it in check, but it's only a matter of time before something brings it to the surface.
As a Gaia-gifted individual (otherwise known as a "bee"), Cate possesses rapid healing, emergency dematerialization/rematerialization, and the ability to channel anima. However, due to unknown factors, the effects are diminished in her case. Therefore, compared to her peers, it can take up to twice as long to recover from illness, injuries, and chemically-induced effects (such as drugs and poisons).
She possesses a sharply honed mind, and most of her proficiencies stem from that. She often falls in the genius range on intelligence tests (150 on the Stanford–Binet scale, for example), but typically downplays this. In addition to her aforementioned persuasive abilities, she's widely regarded as a tech expert, highly skilled with computers and numerous other types of electronic devices. Though extremely knowledgeable in the field of information security and skilled at system intrusion, she tends to eschew the "hacker" label, as she's not fond of the negative connotations attached to it. If asked, she tends to refer to herself simply as a consultant or an enthusiast.
Thanks to a stint as a master thief, she's also capable of quiet movement, free running, scouting, forced entry techniques (such as lock picking), pickpocketing, detection evasion, and silent takedowns (both lethal and non-lethal). She has internalized these abilities to the extent that even her normal everyday walk goes undetected by all but the most alert. She also maintains a high level of situational awareness at all times.
Last but not least, she employs anima-assisted mental compartmentalization. She actively enforces strict divisions within her mind—for example, between her work and personal lives. Particularly tragic and/or uncomfortable memories are pushed to the far recesses of her subconscious mind and sealed off, minimizing short-term emotional trauma. However, from time to time, these barriers have been known to falter. This generally results in an incapacitating nervous breakdown that lasts for several days.
Her compartmentalization technique confers an intriguing side benefit—near-immunity to mind-reading and psionic attacks. Her robust mental defenses can injure or even kill an individual who insists on pressing too far.
Weapons and Combat Technique
Due to her lack of physical strength and robustness relative to her peers, she prefers to evade and flank her opponents, and she attempts to catch them unaware whenever possible. As part of this overall strategy, she has mastered a technique known as "blinking", a sudden burst of speed that moves her almost instantly between one point and another up to five yards away. This may confuse and disorient some opponents, as it grants the illusion of teleportation without the use of magic.
Whenever possible, she avoids the use of deadly weapons. If pressed, she's a decent shot with her suppressed Glock 19 pistol, though accuracy begins to drop at 25 yards and plummets significantly at distances exceeding 50 yards. Performance with higher-caliber sidearms, SMGs, and rifles is mixed at best due to her inability to compensate for high recoil.
She has dabbled with other weapon types and combat methods. Most notably, she trained in elemental magic for a time, though largely abandoned it due to its incompatibility with her preferred stealth approach. Nevertheless, on occasion, she's been known to toss a fireball or two. She's also received patchwork hand-to-hand combat training from a number of instructors, rarely progressing beyond the basics in any given school. The result is a fighting style that's uniquely hers, a greatest-hits mix of techniques from various martial arts.
- Her position within the Illuminati? Classified. Division? Classified. Handler? Classified. Service history? You guessed it, classified. Don't bother asking either, even if you're Team Blue. Even the higher-ups need special authorization to access this information, Kirsten Geary included.
- Most characters aren't going to ICly know most of the things written here, especially about her special abilities. Even her closest friends are privy to 10% of this information at most, and that's how she prefers it.
- She doesn't have a fixed call sign. It changes with every mission.
- Like most Illuminati agents, she possesses a company credit card. However, hers is a prestigious black card, whereas other agents of similar rank and seniority are typically issued platinum cards or below. This tends to raise eyebrows.
- She has no tracking implant (grafted to her spine or otherwise). It was removed for a deep-cover assignment and never replaced. However, she is actively monitored by other means at all times.
- English is the only language she speaks fluently. However, she knows a few key words and phrases in Spanish and French.
- Her sexuality may be accurately described as bisexual or pansexual. More often than not, she identifies herself simply as "out and proud queer".
- Her FC is the lovely Jessica Lu.
Looking to include Cate in your RP plot? Fantastic! Where does she fit in?
She's a rather versatile character, so you've got a few options. She's brilliant in situations requiring stealth, forced entry, technical skill, persuasive abilities, or all of the above. Put simply, she's a rogue crossed with a tech expert, giving her a fair amount of versatility.
Though she can work solo effectively in some cases, she's generally better as part of a duo, or serving in a support role on a team. Ideally, she should be paired with characters possessing higher resilience and more combat experience, to compensate for her shortcomings in those areas.
These are some examples of roles she could fill. You might come up with other possibilities!
SCOUT: Her ability to move quietly and evade detection, combined with her excellent recall, make her ideal for the role. If she runs into any computer-controlled security systems on the way, she can clear the path by taking care of them for the team. Worst-case scenario, if she hits any resistance and has no choice but to engage, she can handle it discreetly—as long as she gets the jump on them.
THIEF: She can get almost anything from almost anywhere, given enough time and planning. She can pick conventional locks and defeat electronic locks with nearly equal aplomb. As for alarms, she's familiar with a wide variety of makes and models, and knows their vulnerabilities. And cameras? When possible, she'll keep to their blind spots, or she can disable them entirely in some cases. If things go terribly wrong? She can run like the wind.
SPY: Sometimes, evading detection is about blending in, not stealth. Good news is, Cate's got the charm and the quick wit to pull it off. She's a natural actress who knows how to inhabit a role completely, and she can stick to the script—or improvise like a boss, if that's what the situation calls for. With her heightened situational awareness, she's good at spotting seemingly insignificant details that others may miss.
HACKER/TECH: Sometimes all you need is someone who's good with computers, and Cate certainly is. She's mastered both security tech and social engineering, so one way or the other, she'll find a way in. Need someone to keep an eye on the rest of the team, clear some obstacles for them remotely, feed them the right info at the right time, and/or warn them of impending danger? She's got your back.
ASSASSIN: She shouldn't be the first pick for the job, but she'll do in a pinch, as long as it can be done at short range. She's all but useless with a sniper rifle, so forget that. Thankfully, her stealth abilities allow her to get close to a target with minimal chance of detection. Once the job's done, generally speaking, she can get out just as quietly.
However, despite the impressive breadth of her abilities, there are some roles she shouldn't accept under normal circumstances.
TEAM LEADER: Though she's charismatic, she lacks practical experience in this area, so the stress of leadership and people management will inevitably break her. And even if that wasn't an issue, she's not particularly keen on it. Granted, if she must assume the mantle, she will and she'll do her best. Just don't expect her to be thrilled about it.
SOLDIER: Because she's physically weaker and not as robust as most of her peers, she's not as capable of enduring the rigors of the battlefield. She's also not proficient with anything more powerful than a 9mm semi-automatic pistol or a combat knife. Long story short, keep her off the front lines unless the situation is truly desperate.
SPELLCASTER: Although she knows a small amount of magic and can cast some basic spells, it's not a well-developed ability, and she shouldn't confront master spellcasters on her own. That will most certainly end badly for her and everyone else on her team.
Note that due to the nature of her involvement with the Illuminati (basically, the worst non-compete clause ever), she usually only takes jobs from fellow members of Team Blue. It's possible for a character of another faction to employ her, but only if there's a really good reason for it, such as a cross-faction joint task force with all the necessary approvals.
Work smarter, not harder. Although Catherine Lin was an average student (to put it generously), it wasn't from lack of brains. Skilled in technology, social engineering, and theft, she's managed to make a name for herself in the Illuminati without relying on brawn. Beyond that? Sorry -- it's classified.