Shawnee Kohler discovered she was a talented artist from a very early age. Her parents, however, very much wanted her to be a doctor, scientist, lawyer or computer engineer. They never encouraged her artistic capabilities, and grounded her whenever she brought home anything other than an A from her posh northern Platinum City high school, which was quite often. She also had to deal with being compared to her sister, Sayle, who excelled in math and science, and all the other subjects that were esteemed in the academic world. Dinner table discussions usually centered around Sayle’s achievements, and Shawnee’s underachievements.
Graphica can create elaborate optical illusions.
Realizing she would never be what her parents wanted her to be, she dropped out of high school, and began working at a coffee shop. She also began doing freelance graphic design for small companies and independent entrepreneurs, and was soon making enough money under the internet tag “Graphica” to move out of her parents’ home and into her own apartment. She also hooked up with a crew of graffiti artists called the Master Blasters, and would spend her free time traveling around the city, and throwing up burners on abandoned buildings and other walls. The Master Blasters became targets of the Platinum City Police Force, and soon Graphica and her homies were being chased by the likes of supercop Ox.
Things went to a whole new level, when Graphica one day suddenly woke up with the hyper-ability to create optical illusions! A power she ended up using to hide the Master Blaster crew, as they threw their burners up. The PCPF eventually stopped looking for the impossible-to-find crew of artists, and decided to either just deal with cleaning up and painting over the aftermath of their work, or leaving some of the more beautiful and elaborate pieces up as decorative additions to the City, which many citizens did not mind at all.
It was an unspoken and uneasy truce between the police and the Master Blasters, but for the most part it was worth it. Graphica, however was not satisfied with simply tagging walls that had pretty much been sanctioned by the city for them to use; she wanted a greater challenge. She wanted to go “All City,” which meant she wanted her name to be seen all throughout Platinum City. And the only way to do that was to do it like the legendary New York City graffiti artists of the 20th century – put up burners on the trains that would be seen by the most people. In Platinum City that train was the phantom-rail.
Developed by Mariah Granger and Bernadette Brothers, the phantom-rail was able to phase-shift through solid matter, making it the fastest and most efficient way to travel between the northern and southern parts of the city. Graphica had a plan to not only tag the train with a beautiful burner, but to use her hyper-abilities to infuse the paint with a three-dimensional element that would cause the image to appear to people, even as the train phase-shifted in and out.
She and her crew spent a few weeks learning the train yard schedule of the phantom-rail, and developing a plan to bypass the yard’s security system. Then on a warm summer Wednesday night, they struck. Their detailed reconnaissance, along with Graphica’s mirage-creating abilities made it easy for them to get through and start working. With Graphica taking care of the central and most prominent part of the piece, and six other Master Blasters filling in the backgrounds, shadowing, and other complementary parts of the piece, it took about ten hours to complete. As the Sun came up and the maintenance and conductors began to activate the train for its run, Graphica and her crew were discovered, and had to haul ass in order to not get caught.
About an hour later they got back to the 32-story apartment building she lived in, and went up to the roof to watch. Within minutes the phantom-rail left the station and began its run to southern Platinum City, and just as she had planned, the beautiful Graphica burner was seen by everyone who saw the train, AND by people who didn’t even see the train. Within hours, social media throughout Platinum City was trending with the hashtag #graphicaburner, and before the end of the day it was trending worldwide. It was the most epic day of Shawnee’s life.
A few months later, Graphica was sought out and hired by the host of an upstart talk show by name of Laquacia Nightingale. She was tasked with taking the low-budget show, and using her illusionary abilities to make it look amazing. With Graphica’s abilities, Laquacia’s talents, and the rest of the creative team’s hard work, Laquacia’s show, Nightingale at Night, in which the topic of hyper-beings and superheroes was the most talked about topic, became the number one talk show on TV and the Web.
Graphica was now making ten times as much money as her sister, Sayle, who was working as a paralegal. She also began receiving job offers from other shows and production companies, in which she was paid to create illusions for scenes and backgrounds. And then the biggest film production studio in the United States, Platinum City Productions hired her to work on their latest tentpole project, “Zombie Apocalypse: The Rise of Sarcophagus”, which centered around the true story of the hyper-powered mummy, Sarcophagus, who attacked Platinum City, and was eventually stopped by a team of superheroes, including Captain Noble.
Her illusion skills were incredible, and the movie was a huge smash hit, going on to earn over 700 million dollars at the worldwide box office. But while the movie was praised and lauded as a technical and visual marvel, it was also reamed by hundreds of film production workers, who had been put out of work. Graphica’s hyper-ability had made all of the special effects and digital effects employees superfluous, so they were let go.
It was an epidemic that was becoming more and more troublesome all around the world – the fact that a single hyper-being could do a job, which would take dozens, or even hundreds of others to do. Graphica was beginning to get hate mail, and see protests outside of her house and place of work, in the same manner of other gifted individuals like SubZeera and Rosa Petál.
Despite the protests and the clear economic and social toll it was taking on society, Graphica’s agent continued to be inundated with calls and job offers. Graphica decided it wasn’t her job or responsibility to “fix” society, and kept accepting offers. Consequently, she continued making scads of money. She still never fully achieved the approval of her parents, and after a few years, she would stop seeking it.