Vivian Valenzuela wears a lot of hats – she’s a wife, a mother, a PTA member, a volunteer at a local church in Prince George’s County, a foster parent, a black belt in a dozen martial arts forms, a consultant for the United States Department of Hyper-villain Detainment, and a two-time winner of CupCake Wars.
She had always been a competitive fighter, joining her high school wrestling team, then parlaying that into a short but successful MMA career. And although she married and settled down with a family, she continued to train with a number of masters for several years. Needless to say, her six children tried their hardest to stay on her good side.
Vivian “Ebb” Valenzuela has the ability to mute the powers of other hyper-humans. She is also trained in a multitude of hand-to-hand combat techniques.
Apparently, she’d been a hyper-human her whole life, but had absolutely no clue until the day of her youngest daughter, Consuella’s college graduation. It was during the commencement ceremony, when a crew of hyper-human firestarters, known as the Kindle Kids, appeared, and proceeded to wreak havoc. They would have burned the place to the ground if not for Vivian who, in that moment, discovered she could mute the hyper-abilities of other super-powered beings. In her presence the Kindle Kids could kindle no more, which left them very susceptible to her collection of fighting techniques.
She easily thrashed the villains, lectured them for a few moments about how rude and inconsiderate it was of them to disrupt the graduation, then left them for the authorities to apprehend. Speaking of the authorities, after seeing her powers on display, the US government contacted her, and offered her a chance to help develop detainment units for hyper-villains. She agreed.
The technology produced through the synthetism of her powers created the basis for what would become the central location for housing criminals with hyper-abilities. Meanwhile, with all of her kids grown up and moved out, she and her husband, Carlos, decided to become foster parents. At any given time, they’d have three or four kids living with them, and every once in a while some of those kids would have hyper-abilities.
And that’s when things got a little crazy, as Vivian and Carlos would take it upon themselves to secretly train several of these young people. They transformed their basement into a dojo, and repurposed several of the now empty bedrooms on the second floor of their house for training exercises. Because Vivian could mute the powers of the children, she forced her students to learn fighting techniques that did not depend on their hyper-abilities. To that end, she put them through rigorous martial arts regimens. Vivian was a brutal and uncompromising sensei.
On the other hand, Carlos, who ironically enough, had the metaphysical ability to enhance the powers of any hyper-human in his proximity, trained the children to tap into the full potential of their powers. His style centered around meditation, concentration and hyper-stretching (the practice of gradually and incrementally increasing the power level of your hyper-ability until it reaches its max).
Together, the couple, who eventually took on the monikers “Ebb and Flow,” trained dozens of hyper-humans. Some went on to be great heroes, while others, of course, took a heroes, while others took a not so heroic path – a burden Vivian often struggled with. However, she was convinced her and her husband’s work did more good than bad, and so they kept training.
Their most extraordinary students were a pair of teenage sisters named Charlotte and Francine Fray. They had been in the foster care system for several years, and had a habit of running away; which is exactly what they were planning to do when Vivian caught them sneaking out of the house. The girls were determined to leave, but when they attempted to use their powers (Charlotte had the ability to create force fields and Francine was a telepath), they found themselves shooting blanks.
She sent them to their rooms, and the next day, Charlotte and Francine became students of Ebb and Flow. Charlotte was more reluctant at first, but Francine took to the training with aplomb. She was relentless in her physical exercises, and her telepathy, which was already formidable, seemed like it had no limits. Eventually, Charlotte also became an exceptional student.
After two years, when Charlotte was 19, she told Vivian that she was going to take on the name “Magnifica” and branch out on her own. Ebb and Flow gave their blessing, and the powerful young lady went on to become a valiant superhero and the leader of the intergalactic hero squad, The Diamond Alliance.
Meanwhile, Francine, who was a couple of years younger, stayed at the Valenzuela dojo where her powers and abilities continued to increase. Carlos actually became concerned that she was growing too powerful, and suggested they curb her training. Vivian was determined to find Francine’s maximum level, but after three more years of working with her, they still had not discovered it.
Francine, who was now calling herself “Placebo,” had actually become so powerful that Ebb’s ability to mute other hyper-abilities was no longer effective against her. Carlos refused to train her anymore, and he finally convinced Vivian to pull back as well. When they sat down to discuss this decision with Francine, however, things did not go well. Placebo screamed, and unleashed powerful psionic waves that caused the first earthquake in Virginia in over 100 years. This resulted in blackouts across most of the East Coast.
When the lights came back on, Placebo was gone.
Ebb continued to work for the government, and despite her experience with Placebo, she continued to train kids with hyper-abilities. She also won Cupcake Wars for a third time.