Amethyst would often go to the roof of the Science Center of Platinum City University at night, crank up the tunes in her earbuds and sit by herself, overlooking the majestic campus. She had been accepted at a number of colleges throughout the country and the world, but she had been convinced to attend PCU – not because of their stellar academic programs, or their prime location, or the student body’s tendency to engage in sociopolitical discourse; it was because of the view from the top of the 27-story PCU Science Center.
Amethyst had been born in Southern California, but she had a long and complicated family tree. Her mother, Sapphire Diaz, was half Japanese and half Costa Rican, while her father was Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and White-American. But her plethora of nationalities was actually the more common part of her ancestry, for Amethyst’s maternal grandmother was a hyper being called Nozomi, and her aunt (Nozomi’s daughter) was a super-villain hyper being known as Chaos Kao Kwan. Additionally, her Costa Rican grandfather was a ghost orphan, and his daughter, whom he’d had with a wife previous to Nozomi, was a hyper being as well. Her name was Isabella Diaz, but upon her father’s death the ghost orphan he’d been living with transferred to her body.
Amethyst has no hyper abilities.
Isabella, (who would come to be known as the super-villain Diabla Diaz) however, was not an ordinary ghost orphan. During the phantom-fusion with the lost soul that had previously inhabited her father, Isabella’s spirit was infused with more than a dozen ghost orphans, which made her paranormal abilities more potent and expansive than others like her. Then, in an extraordinary turn of events, Diabla Diaz and Chaos Kao Kwan had a chance meeting, became friends, and eventually united with three other hyper-villains, (RC Allen, Slasher Vinnatori, Annihilator Anatoli) to form a team of evil senior-citizen super-villains known as the Blue Zone Killers.
Despite her incredible family tree, Amethyst herself had no powers. She was not a hyper-being; she was not a ghost orphan: she didn’t even have genius level intellect. She was simply a young lady who enjoyed the sight of city skylines, and felt the most at home when she was bumping her tunes, especially her favorite artists, the popular rapper AKA, and the rebel songstress, LaLa Sanaa. That’s not to say she was ignorant of her family’s history. If nothing else, Amethyst was extremely curious, and constantly badgered her parents with questions about her grandparents and her aunts. They were reluctant to tell her everything, but they told her enough that she was able to piece the rest together herself.
And so, growing up, Amethyst would often wonder who was and wasn’t a ghost orphan. Everyone she saw at the mall, or on the train; everyone she sat next to in class; every actor she saw on television or in the movies; no one was above suspicion. Then one day, she would finally encounter a ghost orphan.
It was during her a senior in high school that Amethyst found herself hiding under her desk in her morning calculus class, as it was reported that there was an active shooter on the campus. Mayhem had overtaken Redlands City High in Southern California, as not one, by nearly twenty members of a heavily armed militant group, called Stripes and Stars, had taken control of the school in an act of protest. Stripes and Stars were known throughout the country for taking stances against government policies and socio-political movements they felt were unfair, unconstitutional or immoral. In this case, the Redlands school district had been the first to admit students who belonged to a semi-alien race of people unaffectionately referred to as “pretenders”. These “pretenders” were the descendants of a group of people who’d left Earth decades before. And now, for a number of reasons, they had recently come back to the planet. Approximately a hundred of them had returned, and their presence had stirred a wide range of reactions from the public. One such reaction was that they shouldn’t be accepted back to Earth at all, as it was believed they voluntarily abandoned their home world. Other reactions were more welcoming. Either way, the issue of the pretenders was very polarizing.
The members of Stripes and Stars were very much against the re-integration of the pretenders; so when they heard Redlands City High had permitted two teenage pretenders to begin attending school, they decided to take action. Amethyst and her fellow classmates took cover at the sound of the first gunshots. Hundreds of more gunshots rang out, as the local police attempted to take down the aggressive protesters. Their attempts were futile, as the militant group was well armed, and even better organized. They demanded the school administration rescind their offer to admit the pretenders, and they threatened to detonate a particle bomb, if said demands were not met.
The door to Amethyst’s classroom burst open, and a half dozen members of Stripes and Stars poured in waving guns, and demanding that the students and teachers in the room not move a muscle. Amethyst held her breath and tried to stay as still as possible, as the Stripes and Stars crew set up the particle bomb. It was literally less than five feet away from her. The next thirty minutes were incredibly tense as she waited and listened, as the militant group vigorously negotiated over the phone with the authorities. Stripes and Stars were willing to give their lives for their beliefs, and were not willing to compromise on their stipulations. It was clear that this was going to end badly.
Amethyst was ready to accept her fate, when her two aunts, Chaos Kao Kwan and Diablo Diaz suddenly appeared out of a teleportation vortex, and began using their plethora of hyper abilities to slaughter the militants! And that was the first time Amethyst saw a ghost orphan, as Diabla unleashed an array of paranormal attacks on the gunmen and gunwomen. The mayhem outside was equally violent, as the other three members of the Blue Zone Killers took down the other members of the Stripes and Stars. Unfortunately, a number of police officers were also taken out, as they attempted to stop the hyper-team from exacting this twisted brand of vigilante justice.
A few minutes later, the ordeal was over. The Blue Zone Killers prepared to make their escape. However, before they did, Chaos and Diabla came over to Amethyst, and introduced themselves to her. The teenager was absolutely blown away by the revelation of who they were. They informed her that the only reason they had come was to make sure nothing happened to her, for despite their tendency to wear villain hats, they were very over-protective of their niece. Then, after a couple of awkward hugs, RC Allen produced another teleportation vortex, and the five Blue Zone Killers disappeared.
Amethyst had so many mixed emotions about meeting her ancestors. She was excited that they were so powerful, but she was disappointed they were super-villains. She was relieved they had come to save her, but she was saddened that they had murdered so many people, including police officers. She was confused and hurt that they’d chosen to travel the world, committing atrocious crimes, instead of coming to family gatherings. But at the end of the day, the thing that stuck with her the most was that they didn’t seem to have any opinion at all on the issue at hand, the pretenders. Her aunts hadn’t come to fight for the rights of the aliens OR the rights of the Stripes and Stars. They had simply arrived, taken extreme actions without considering any of the repercussions, and then left.
After being wooed to Platinum City University by the sight of the skylines she could see from the school’s rooftops, Amethyst was relieved to find that the student body was very socially conscious. Furthermore, she was surprised to discover the school’s secret link to ghost orphans: the fact that the Veil, a group of sword-wielding assassins, whose heavenly duty it is to hunt down ghost orphans and send the lost souls to heaven, operated a home base out of several PCU facilities. In hopes of finding out even more about the history of her aunt Isabella “Diabla” Diaz, Amethyst befriended many of the Veil students, including Terrance Smyrna, Nidia Sardis, Quintonice Philadelphia, and especially Mio Sardis, whom she actually ended up renting an apartment with.
Both Amethyst and Mio had finished their undergrad studies, but had stayed on campus for their own reasons: Amethyst was pursuing a Master’s degree, while Mio had remained in order to work as a security officer for PCU. During their third year of living together, a large group of ghost-orphan-possessed people entered the campus, and began silently marching around the Central Administration Complex. The vast majority of students and professors had no idea what ghost orphans were, and to the naked eye these people seemed like they were just protesting. But Amethyst and Mio knew exactly what was happening. In fact, a mysterious prophecy had been revealed to Disa Philadelphia, leader of the hunters, that after seven weeks of marching the walls of PCU would fall, and so would the Veil itself.
It was during the fourth week of the marching, that the peaceful protest turned into a riot, thanks to a large group of students who were loudly and drunkenly celebrating the championship win of the University’s football team. Amethyst watched from one of the rooftops as dozens of ghost orphans displayed their paranormal abilities against the terrified students. She also listened as gunshots rang out! And later, she despaired as she learned that her roommate and friend, Mio, had been badly injured by one of those bullets.
Within a week, Mio had healed – due to her hyper-healing ability – but Amethyst was still shaken up by what she’d seen. The sight of all of those ghost orphans was terrifying to her. But in a weird way, it was also comforting. And then, after listening to a lecture from one of her professors/advisors, Charles Smyrna, imploring students to stand up for what they believe in, Amethyst felt compelled to go join the marchers! She was the first non-ghost orphan student to join, but she wouldn’t be the last, as hundreds of PCU students began walking around the Central Administration Complex. Amethyst was sort of seen as a crusader, as many students and campus communities took the Seven Week March as an opportunity to fight for their own causes. And the march was no longer silent – well, the ghost orphans were, but the students were chanting, and holding signs. Tents were set up, as a number of students began to camp out.
After about a week, there were twenty thousand people marching, protesting, and sitting in. Amethyst couldn’t believe what she had started. And neither could her roommate, who came to see her. Mio asked Amethyst to diffuse the situation, and encourage students to leave the protest, warning her of the dangers of ghost orphans. Amethyst did not want to hear that. She didn’t want to believe that any people – whether they were ghost orphans or not – should be ostracized. The two of them angrily argued for several hours, before coming to the conclusion that they were not going to see eye-to-eye on this matter.
Later that night, Amethyst returned to their apartment to pack her things – she was moving out. Mio, again, implored her to think about her actions, but this time Amethyst was not alone, as she was accompanied by her aunt and powerful ghost orphan, Diabla Diaz. The two natural mortal enemies immediately prepared to fight, but Amethyst screamed for them to stand down. She expressed that if they wanted to fight each other, they would have to do it over her dead body.
Mio and Diabla locked eyes for several tense seconds, then both lowered their respective weapons. Amethyst exhaled, then continued to pack her things. It wasn’t long before she was ready to go. She went over to Mio and hugged her, told her she would always love her, and then left with her aunt.
Amethyst didn’t march that evening… instead, she went to an apartment her aunt had rented for her, and cried all night, for she had lost more than just a friend and a roommate…