Barbara was always one of those kids who needed to be in control. At playgroups, she had to pick the games played; during high school group projects, she was the one who assigned everyone’s roles; and in college, she was the head of numerous student organizations. To her credit, though, Barbara was a great leader. Her brain was wired to organize and lead people through the execution of projects. She also became an expert in whatever area or field she was operating in. And it was for all of these reasons that Barbara decided to major in Economics at Platinum City University, before gaining a graduate degree from Wharton Business School. This led her to great jobs over the years, finally culminating in becoming Chief Operating Officer at Universal Intelligence.
Barbara York has no hyper-abilities. She does, however, have the entirety of Universal Intelligence’s technology and resources at her disposal – and they are considerable.
During the fall of Edgar Lockhart‘s legitimate business empire, Universal Intelligence was under heavy fire. They were one of the largest companies in the world, and Edgar owned it outright. However, even though much of the technology they produced derived from experimenting on telepaths procured through kidnapping across the globe, and despite the fact that much of the that technology was used for nefarious reasons, UI was able to cleanly cover their tracks and hide any and all illegal doings. As a result, since Edgar was now a known global criminal and public enemy number one, all evidence and blame was shifted to him. UI had no financial ties to Edgar’s other bank accounts, either. No outside money was used to fund UI. Therefore, after an investigation by the US government, CEO Reina Valencia was able to absolve Universal Intelligence. This allowed the company to continue operating as it always had, which meant it was able to be tapped by Knox Hyde to handle the production of intellicaps for the controversial INTEL project.
After mapping the brains of super geniuses “Patient Zero“, Myron Holden and Vita Arencibia in the scientific, liberal arts/humanities and mathematics fields, respectively, Knox Hyde had perfected the intellicap technology, and now the final product was ready for mass production. Funding had already been secured via the financial wizardry of Patty Banks, and now the production deal needed to be solidified in order to move forward, once approval came from Congress and the United Nations.
Knox met with Barbara, who was to oversee the entire project from the UI side. She had carefully planned out each step of the process. In addition, she also resourced all the materials needed to make the intellicaps. Next, they began producing the tiny chip devices in one of their factories. After that, they tested the UI produced intellicaps on Patient Zero, Myron and Vita. The results were even better than before, as the higher quality chip devices made for better communication with the INTEL program servers, as well as having a shelf life of 100 years, as opposed to the in-house government produced chips, which needed to be replaced every year. UI had fixed every single glitch Knox had experienced, and improved the intellicaps across the board. However, the deal was far from done on the UI side.
In return for giving the US government access to the advanced production resources available to UI for the INTEL program, Barbara had a few things she needed to receive in return from Knox Hyde and his associates. One was immunity for all of the UI staff from having to enroll in the INTEL program once it was passed. Neither Reina, nor Barbara were going to be subjected to having their brains tampered with, and they also refused to have any of their scientists or key employees be subjected to having their intelligence capped. It was non-negotiable and Knox had no clear angle to coerce Barb, as he had done with others in the recent past, so Knox had no choice but to oblige.
Also, Barbara angled for UI to begin receiving preferential advantages when it came to government contracts. Even though UI was exonerated of all wrongdoing after the reveal of Edgar’s criminal conglomerate, many of their partnerships and long-standing agreements were dissolved and voided, respectively. It was nearly impossible for them to win RFPs as well, despite being one of the most advanced tech companies in the entire world. So, they figured if they completed the INTEL project for Knox, he should throw some bones their way and offer them numerous lucrative government contracts. Ultimately, UI did not get all the contracts they wanted, but they negotiated and won many, restoring the company’s financial outlook and bridging the gap between their projected quarterly and annual losses. Consequently, UI’s revenue skyrocketed back into the black.
Barbara had effectively negotiated a deal that saved UI lots and lots of operational and financial trouble. Barbara and Knox did not stop there, though. Now, that the two were partners with mutual, deeply entrenched interests, Barbara began asking Knox about his plans for after INTEL became a globally adopted initiative. He did not know how to answer, however, as all of his thoughts and efforts had been dedicated to simply getting INTEL off the ground, in order to provide President Remington with an undeniable case to present to Congress and the United Nations. That was when Barbara began hinting at not only having intellicaps that were able to work on the human brain, but also creating a sister project, which used the same technology, to allow the government to cap special powers in hyper-humans.
Barbara’s idea was to sell the technology to prison systems, in order to facilitate the incarceration of hyper-villains. At the time, the only place able to effectively hold convicts with powers was an isolated facility called The Enclosure, through the use of Ebb-cells. However, Ebb-cells were extremely expensive, and the vast majority of State and Federal operated prison systems simply could not afford them. The intellicap technology was not cheap, but it was a lot more cost effective than Ebb-cells, and easier to implement, as no additional structures would have to be built, prisoners would simply have the power-prohibitor chips implanted into their brains.
The idea was intriguing to Knox, even though he knew it presented a somewhat slippery slope. Regardless of the potential obstacles the idea faced, though, Knox could clearly see that the money-making potential was boundless. As this first (of many) meetings drew to an end, Knox and Barb toasted a bottle of champagne in honor of their newly formed partnership, which was getting off to a magnificent start.