Sentinels of the Multiverse: Tachyon
Cards that previously required you to take damage to keep them in play (Such as Ra Solar Flare or Tachyon Pushing the Limits) are now clarified to be destroyed if this damage is not taken. Cards officially reprinted are:
The text of these all these cards now reads "If [He/She/They] take no damage this way, destroy this card"
This Ruling is not limited to these cards, simply these were the ones that were reprinted. Any other card that requires its user to take damage to keep it in play is affected as well
(Known as Rule 15 because it was the 15'th point on a list of rules questions posted on the forums that were posed to Christopher during KantCon)
Incapacitated - Tachyon's feet frozen to the ground with a stop sign behind her.
- Hypersonic Assault (x3)
- Tachyon deals each non-Hero Target 1 Sonic Damage. Targets dealt Damage this way cannot deal Damage until the start of your next turn.
- Art: Tachyon breaking the sound barrier going through enemies;
- Flavor-text: "Staydownstaydownstaydownstaydownstaydownstaydownstaydown!" - Tachyon, Freedom Five Annual #11
- Lightning Reflexes (x2)
- You may play up to 2 cards now.
- Art: Tachyon dodging a blast from the Treacherous Ape;
- Flavor-text: "We're under attack! Suit up!" - Tachyon, Freedom Five Annual #4
- Lightspeed Barrage (x3)
- Tachyon deals 1 Target X Melee Damage, where X = the number of Burst cards in your trash.
- Art: Tachyon punching a Homunculus multiple times very swiftly;
- Flavor-text: "10 seconds ago, I was in a different time zone. Guess how many times I'm going to hit you in the next 10 seconds." - Tachyon, Lightspeed #8
- Sonic Vortex (x2)
- Tachyon deals up to X Targets 3 Sonic Damage, where X = the number of Burst cards in your trash.
- Art: Tachyon creating a tornado by running in circles;
- Flavor-text: "Gottakeepmovingnotimetowaste!" - Tachyon, Freedom Five #336
- Accelerated Assault (x3)
- Tachyon deals each non-Hero Target 1 Melee Damage.
- Art: Tachyon swiftly hitting multiple Blade Batalion members;
- Flavor-text: "And you! And you! And you! And you! And you! Whew! Did I forget anyone?" - Tachyon, Freedom Five #112
- Blinding Speed (x3)
- Destroy 1 Environment card or 1 Ongoing card.
- Art: Tachyon running through flames;
- Flavor-text: "Did you know that localized winds of over 300 knots will pretty much instantly put out any flame?" - Tachyon, Freedom Five #91
- Fleet of Foot (x3)
- Each player may draw a card. You may play a card.
- Art: Tachyon running with Friction running beside her;
- Flavor-text: "Dude, you are not my nemesis!" - Tachyon, Lightspeed #2
- Nimble Strike (x3)
- Tachyon deals 1 Target 1 Melee Damage. You may draw a card.
- Art: Tachyon punching Glamour in what looks like a Mirror Maze;
- Flavor-text: "Hah!Takethatdon'tworrythere'smore!" - Tachyon, Freedom Five #271
- Quick Insight (x2)
- Draw 3 cards, discard 2 cards.
- Art: Tachyon running on water avoiding fire from a jet;
- Flavor-text: "Goodness, look at my wrist! I gotta go!" - Tachyon, Freedom Five #479
- Sucker Punch (x3)
- Destroy 1 Target with 2 or fewer HP.
- Art: Tachyon leaving an after image that Biomancer is trying to grab while she prepares to hit him from behind;
- Flavor-text: "Thought you had me, didn't you?" - Tachyon, Mystery Comics #206
- Supersonic Response (x2)
- Tachyon deals 1 Target 2 Melee Damage. If that Target dealt Tachyon Damage since your last turn, she deals that Target 2 Sonic Damage.
- Art: Tachyon hitting Writhe in the stomach;
- Flavor-text: "Seriously, I've got fairly decent reaction time." - Tachyon, Freedom Five #626
- Research Grant (x2)
- Power: Draw 2 cards. Discard a card.
- Art: Tachyon working on an experiment wearing her HUD Goggles and a lab coat;
- Flavor-text: "So close! Just a few weeks from a real tangible conclusion." - Tachyon, Science & Progress One-Shot
- Synaptic Interruption (x3)
- If Tachyon would be dealt 3 or more Damage from a single source, you may redirect that Damage to a Target of your choice and destroy this card.
- Art: Tachyon leaving an afterimage after dashing off;
- Flavor-text: "Whenever I feel like slowing down, I speed up instead. True Story." - Tachyon, Freedom Five #490
- Pushing the Limits (x3)
- You may play an additional card during your play phase and draw an additional card during your draw phase. At the start of your turn, Tachyon may deal herself 2 Sonic Damage. If she takes no Damage this way, this card is destroyed.
- Art: Tachyon running across the world multiple times;
- Flavor-text: "Yeah, she can run at legendary speeds, but its not easy." - Unity, Science & Progress One-Shot
- HUD Goggles (x3)
- You may play an additional card during your play phase.
- Art: Closeup of the HUD Goggles displaying information to Tachyon;
- Flavor-text: "Diagnostic info, streaming updates from the team, plus it keeps the bugs out of my eyes at mach 8." - Tachyon, Science & Progress One-Shot
|Aliases:||Dr. Meredith Stinson
|Birthplace:||Albuquerque, New Mexico
|First Appearance:||The Freedom Four Annual #1
|Group:||The Freedom Four
|Group:||The Freedom Five|
|Group:||The Freedom Six
Sentinel Tactics: Tachyon
Ongoing Ability - All of Tachyon's actions are Unlimited.
Whenever Tachyon Sprints, she may then make one of her active attacks for free.
- Hypersonic Assault
- Action: Tachyon moves up to her full move value in one of the six cardinal hex directions, ignoring hazard spaces. Then, activate one of her active attacks without paying its costs, targeting each enemy she moved through and ignoring range. Each target damaged this way gains one Attack-1 token.
- Flavor text: "ExcusemecomingthroughpardontheintrusionjustonmywaythroughheyMaiagoodtoseeyouOKbye!" - Tachyon, The Wraith #18
- Lightspeed Barrage
- Health Action: Tachyon's next attack this turn rolls dice equal to her move value instead of the printed attack dice.
- Flavor text: "You're a big one! Well, you know what they say! The bigger you are, the faster I hit you!" -Tachyon, Freedom Five #24
- Push The Limits
- Health Action: Tachyon takes an extra turn after this turn. This ability can only be used once each round.
- Flavor text: "Gotta go faster!!" - Tachyon, Sentinel Sagas #19
- Sucker Punch
- Action: Whenever this attack resolves, if the target has exactly one health, incapacitate it.
- Flavor text: "Too slow, brute! Maybe you'll learn something from this. Once you wake up, that is." - Tachyon, Dark Watch #4
- Synaptic Interruption
- Ongoing: Surge: Gain one Defense+1 token.
- Ongoing: Whenever Tachyon blocks attack dice for the first time each turn, you may reassign the blocked attack dice as an attack from Tachyon, measuring Range from Tachyon.
- Flavor text: "Zut alors! The hunter, it cannot follow her! Oh non..." - Ambuscade, For Profit #14
- The World Stands Still
- Ongoing: Move Value +1
- Ongoing: Tachyon has Mobility.
- Flavor text: "Uh, Baron. Sir. There's a white and red blurry streak coming at us. Up the side of a building." - Blade Battalion Soldier, Freedom Five #19
- Unrelenting Momentum
- Ongoing: When Tachyon takes an action for the second time in a turn, she may take that action a third time for free.
- Flavor text: "Guh... too fast... this one is entirely without rhythm, but still - too fast!" - The Muscle, Uprising #5
Sentinel Comics RPG: Tachyon
|Tachyon||Dr. Meredith Stinson|
|Costume/Equipement||White form-fitting outfit with blue sides. red glowing circles on her thighs. Stabilizing device on her left forarm. High-tech running shoes.|
|During Roleplaying||During Roleplaying|
|You're fast, but you don't like to waste time. You like to be on your way to your destinations as quickly as possible.||You are up to date on and understand most modern scientific theories and research and can quote from them during conversations.|
|Minor Twist||Minor Twist|
|What physica drawbacks do you suffer from going to fast?||What were the surprising effects of leveraging that scientific principle in this situation?|
|Major Twist||Major Twist|
|What critical detail did you speed by earlier that is now coming back to haunt you?||Oh heck! What just blew up?|
|Powers||Die Type||Qualities||Die Type|
|Speed||Mind over Matter|
|Pushing the Limits||I||You have no limit on the number of reactions you can take. Each time you use a reaction after the first one each turn, take 1 eirreducible damage or take a minor twist.|
|Speed Limit||I||When taking an basic action using Lightning Calculator, you may reroll your Min die before determining effects.|
On the next hero's turn, they may take 1 irreducible damage to reroll the dice they just rolled.
Main Episode: Episode 14
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- The shadowy character that Tachyon is punching on "Supersonic Response" is Writhe, one of the Sentinels. Why she is punching a fellow hero has not been revealed. It is possible that Tachyon fought Writhe during his short-lived criminal career.
- Tachyon uses "Lightning Reflexes" to dodge a blast from the Treacherous Ape from The Dreamer's deck.
- "Sucker Punch" shows Tachyon about to bludgeon Biomancer as he attempts to form a Tachyon fleshchild.
- Friction is racing side by side with Tachyon on "Fleet of Foot".
- Glamour takes a punch to the face in "Nimble Strike".
- A Homunculus from Biomancer's deck is subjected to a "Lightspeed Barrage".
- Tachyon is one of two confirmed LGBT heroes in the Sentinels universe, the other being Dr. Medico.
- Spouse: Tachyon's wife is named Dana Bertrand. Dana's only official appearance is in the Freedom Four Annual #1 comic. Source - 
- There is a specific Tachyon comic that takes place over 5 seconds (She runs off to eat, have a bunch of adventures, and get a pipe, all to come back and hit a guy who was trying to hit her before he finishes.) Adam, >G Forums
- The Super Scientific Tachyon: This is not her origin story, but it is related to her origin Christopher, official Forums
- Her relationship with Absolute Zero is the closest friendship within the Freedom Five (Letters Page Episode 1).
- Tachyon’s birthday is listed as June 15th which is also the birthday of Neil Patrick Harris whom she has many references to his roles. In addition to the date she has the same birthplace of Albuquerque, New Mexico
- The Incapacitated side of Tachyon has two shadowy figures in the background. One appears to be riding an ice bridge (and may be responsible for the ice holding her in place) and the other appears to be spinning rapidly. These could be references to Flash Villains of Captain Cold and The Top as Tachyon is obviously based on Flash. Who they are yet is unknown.
To Other Works
- As a speedster-type superhero, Tachyon is a clear homage to DC Comics' Flash character.
- Many of the villains featured on Tachyon's card artworks are homages to the Flash's rogues gallery:
- The patchwork-esq. villain on "Sucker Punch" resembles the Trickster.
- The ape villain on "Lightning Reflexes" (which is actually the Dreamer's Treacherous Ape projection) is an homage to Gorilla Grodd.
- The villain Friction (who first appeared on the card "Fleet of Foot") is an inverted version of Tachyon, making her similar to the Reverse Flash.
- The large zombie on "Lightspeed Barrage" may be a reference to Solomon Grundy.
- The female villain on "Nimble Strike" greatly resembles Mirror Master. The shattered mirrors in the background further the comparison.
- As a hyperactive super-learner, Tachyon is very similar to the DC Comics character Bart Allen, who is best known as the hero Impulse.
- Several of Tachyon's cards reference Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog
- "Dude, you are not my nemesis." - "Fleet of Foot"
- "Goodness, look at my wrist! I gotta go!" - "Quick Insight"
- "So close! Just a few weeks from a real tangible conclusion." - "Research Grant"
Questions Answered on The Letters Page
- Notes from Letters Page Episode 14
- How fast can she go? Without injuring herself? How to villains even hit her? How do her powers work (time manipulation or something else)? She doesn't really have an upper limit for how fast she can go. However, pretty much anybody else who got her powers the way she did wouldn't last long as they're not as meticulous, scientifically-rigorous as she is and probably would have blown past the "safe limit" immediately without testing things. This allowed her to build her speed suit and goggles to help protect herself. The "safe limit" is at least a few multiples of the speed of sound [mach 3 or mach 8 are thrown out there as speeds that they've mentioned she can go in various pieces of text but these sounded like ballpark figures to me rather than things they looked up specifically to have on hand for this podcast]. The "Pushing the Limits" art of her circling the Earth several times is pre-Progeny and was in a time when the writers didn't really see any defined downsides to her power (she was "kind of a Mary Sue" for a long time). Post-Progeny was a reaction to that to instill some actual limits on the character. How does her power work? "Look, she was hit with a stream of tachyons, which are these theoretical particles that can arrive before they leave and that's why she can move so fast." She's able to more completely transfer kinetic energy into other things, so if she gets a good run-up to hitting somebody, all of that energy from movement can get transferred. It's not a time-manipulation effect, she's genuinely operating faster than what is normally possible.
- Does she have particular opinions on misuses of science (like Baron Blade or Graham Pike)? Does she have trouble relating to the "magic" characters like Gloomweaver or Argent Adept? What's her non-hero working relationship with Unity like? She uses her scientific acumen to better society, but she sees the scientific villains as selfish and as wasting their talent. She's aware of magic and acknowledges that it exists, but it's nonsense to her. Everything she does is A+B=C whereas Argent Adept is more like A+Fish=Turning the Universe Upside-Down. She doesn't particularly like fighting magic people, she's glad to have allies who can do it, she has no interest in being involved with magic. Relationship with Unity relatively positive. Unity seems more on board with the demanding nature of Tachyon's expectations re: lab procedure and doesn't take it as a personal slight. By OblivAeon they work really well together and are good friends. Unity has a more freeform/art approach to it which is a nice complement to Tachyon's approach.
- What's the deal between Tachyon and Glamour? One of Tachyon's hobbies is going to magic shows (stage magic as opposed to the "real" kind) and she likes trying to figure out how they did it (she's bad at it if the magician is any good). They're nemeses because they've fought a bunch (Glamour robs a bank and Tachyon fights her) and the story just kind of works out that way, but Tachyon looooves to fight her because this kind of trickery is all she does and Tachyon likes dealing with this illusion stuff. This irritates Glamour (just beyond the always losing the fight reasons).
- On a scale of 1-10, how annoyed is Tachyon at the prospect of having to ride on public transit? "Is there a number higher than 10 in existence?" What kinds of things does she, as a person with super-speed, find annoying that normal people would take for granted? Tachyon is actually pretty patient with the world around her. She was pretty comfortable with being the fastest thinker in the room well before she got powers (she was already in her 30s by that point). She's also got stuff to do (mentally if necessary) if she is delayed by something. One exception is sleeping - she still needs 6-8 hours a night just like anybody else and the time spent doing "nothing" annoys her.
- There are implications that she eats a lot (possibly to maintain a suped-up metabolism); does she ever run out of energy mid-battle? She doesn't run out of energy through lack of food. She's invented a bunch of methods of offsetting her need for caloric intake (energy bars, protein pills, etc.). She still loves food, though. She brings a crate along and stops off for a snack during a fight.
- Since getting her speed powers has she ever been late for anything? Not really. But she wasn't really the type to ever be late for things even before that (see: the whole efficiency runner through this whole thing).
- What's Tachyon's relationship with her own sexuality, does she identify as a lesbian or something else, when did she know that she was LGBT+, did she struggle with it, and is she an icon within the world of Sentinels Comics or the "real" world they're published in? Going in reverse: Yes, she's an icon within that world: she came out in the mid-80s and got married before it was legal in our world. This was a big deal in a positive way. She identifies as lesbian. It's always been important to her (since that story in the 80s), but not the most important part - the guys stress that they don't want any of their characters to be that one-note.
- How did she and Dana meet? How do they manage marriage at two different speeds? They met in college, both were moving to Megalopolis for different reasons afterwards and moved there together, they started dating after that. Dana was a successful model, started managing herself after a while, and now helps other younger models get started. She does a lot of humanitarian events and whatnot. Also just really busy. It's convenient that Tachyon can zip across the country, if necessary, to still have lunch or something with her.
- Children? No. Pets? No. They're both rarely in the house since they're both so busy. They do well with each other, but wouldn't do well with other living things that they're responsible for.
- Dana in a lot of danger given her spouse's public identity as hero? Well, first Dana is a very high-profile person in her own right and so has been a target. MMFFCC card involves her (Glamour captured people in the Shooting Gallery). It's not frequent (her role isn't to be the damsel in distress), but has happened.
- Does Tachyon actually like the hero business or just a means to the end of research funding? How does she find the time for this plus finding a wife? She found the person who became her wife before the powers. At first she didn't particularly like it and it was pretty mercenary. She's come to like working with the Freedom Five and Unity and everybody, though.
- Why was Tachyon against Omnitron-X being rebuilt and did she ever accept him? She doesn't view Omnitron-X as having personhood. It's a programmed AI, not a complete person (it's like a toaster). This really upset Unity considering her friendship with it. She doesn't ever really get to the point of accepting it either. Whether this is true or not, this is treated as a negative aspect of her personality in the comics.
- Who are the the ice and whirlwind characters in her incap art? Maerynians. One is named Leviathan (seen before, but not by name) the other is a disciple of the cult that Leviathan works to start.
- On "Quick Insight" she's being attacked by a fighter jet; what's happening there? Jet is piloted by Ambuscade doing his action hero evil thing.
- What happened to Freedom Six Tachyon after her run-in with Ambuscade [I assume referring to that card's incap where she's been kneecapped]? In Iron Legacy timeline she is, initially, on-board with the efficiency that comes with Legacy's vision of "heroics" as a more authoritarian pursuit. When this brings him into conflict with their friends, she quickly reverses on this position and goes into hiding. She recruits some former allies and leads a covert resistance. Meanwhile, Iron Legacy gives some foes that he captures a chance to work for him and Ambuscade takes him up on this - becoming The Iron Hand. Ambuscade gets the drop on her, disables her (incap art), and then kills her. The Iron Legacy timeline is the worst timeline that the guys have shown.
- How fast is she compared to Friction? Way faster. Friction has an upper limit capped by the suit, which isn't even up to what it was designed to do.
- After Vengeance, did she and Friction settle their differences? Krystal burns herself out - see the Friction incap art. "Krystal Lee does not survive Friction."
- Why does she try to invent a speed suit? It's a great thing to have! Imagine if every firefighter or surgeon had one, or whole soccer teams. Tachyon's more of a scientist than a hero and if she could reproduce her powers in a useful, safe way why wouldn't she do so?
- "Supersonic Response" shows her attacking Writhe; we know that he started as a criminal, but what's the event shown here? Mainstay, Dr. Medio, and Idealist were fighting him, as he was an early foe for them. There was a small break in the action and suddenly just keels over. Tachyon had noticed what was going on during a trip across the country and just knocked him out and kept going. The Southwest Sentinels didn't even know what happened.
- On "Infecting an Heir" we see the Countess feeding on her (presumably infecting her with vampirism). Who cured her and how? Did vampire-speed augment her own speed? Did the Countess target her specifically and, if so, why? This was a story from Absolution, Fanatic's solo book. Fanatic is fighting her way through the vampires in the Court of Blood. She bursts through a door and finds that the Countess already has Tachyon chained up (this was a surprise as it hadn't happened "on screen" in any prior book). While Fanatic is fighting the other vampires, Bathory mocks Fanatic and eventually infects Tachyon with her blood magic. Vampires in-setting are creatures of blood magic (more on this in the Fanatic episode, probably at least a few months away, and maybe an Interlude). Fanatic dispatches the other vampires, but now has to fight both the Countess and Tachyon (who's not as fast due to the disorientation of becoming a thrall to another). Things aren't going well for Fanatic, but Tachyon eventually manages to overcome the Countess's control somewhat because her fast metabolism is able to fight against the blood magic. That's a turning point as they are able to take down the Countess and escape. The metabolism also sped up the transformation process, though, which is bad. Fanatic used her faith power to "cleanse" her system and save her.
- If The Super Scientific Tachyon chooses a deck with one card in it, the card is discarded.
- The Super Scientific Tachyon gets to decide the order in which the two cards she reveals are played or discarded.
- When a card enters play, the following order of things occurs.
- Ongoing effects on the card become applicable.
- Cards that react to other cards entering play now act.
- One-time effects on the card happen.
- ...Another example: Supercooled Trisolvent Vat and Synaptic Interruption. Suppose damage dealt to Tachyon is increased by 2. When Tachyon plays Synaptic Interruption, the Vat does 3 cold damage to Tachyon. Tachyon may redirect the damage and destroy Synaptic Interruption.
- When using The Super Scientific Tachyon’s incapacitated ability that reads: “Move the bottom card of a deck to the top of that deck now,” you get to see what the card is.
- Tachyon a Synaptic Interruption in play. She plays Lightspeed Barrage to deal damage to herself, then redirects it to another target so that Synaptic Interruption is destroyed. The Synaptic Interruption now in the trash counts towards the damage dealt by Lightspeed Barrage (effectively increasing it by 1).
- The Crowd’s Favor card says “When a hero target destroys a non-hero target” (gain a token). If Tachyon uses Sucker Punch to destroy a target, the heroes get a token. Death Caller also counts.
- Suppose “Wrong Time and Place” is out, and Tachyon is about to deal herself damage to keep Pushing the Limits. That damage can be redirected to Setback, or he can remove 2 tokens from his unlucky pool to redirect it. He is not allowed to redirect it back to Tachyon so she can keep Pushing the Limits. You’re EITHER redirecting to Setback OR redirecting from Target A to somewhere else - you cannot redirect from Target A to Target A, so you cannot redirect from Tachyon to Tachyon. Follow-up: If you have the tokens, you must redirect damage that would be dealt to Setback that meets these qualifications.
- The Operative’s text is adjusted to say “When The Operative would be destroyed, her character card flips instead.” This clarifies that she behaves like Baron Blade, and Sucker Punch does not lead to shenanigans.
- There is an exception to the order of operations ruling relating to reacting to damage being dealt. A card (or cards belonging to a hero/villain) that reacts to damage being dealt to it reacts before other cards do. The card dealing the damage and other interested cards happen afterwards and can be ordered by player choice.
- Example: Suppose Mr. Fixer has Dual Crowbars and Bloody Knuckles in play. Omnitron has Adaptive Plating Subroutine but is not immune to anything yet. Mr. Fixer uses Strike to hit Omnitron for 3 melee damage. Omnitron's HP goes down by 3. Then, by this ruling, the text on Adaptive Plating Subroutine must react first and make Omnitron immune to melee damage. Then, the text on Dual Crowbars reacts and Mr. Fixer can deal damage to another target. Without this ruling, you could use Synaptic Interruption and careful ordering to hit Omnitron twice before it becomes immune to melee damage.
- If Unity plays Hasty Augmentation to let Freedom FiveTachyon use Blitz, the +2 damage applies only to the first usage, not to the subsequent uses of Blitz.
- Supersonic Response does no extra damage on Tachyon's first turn, since she hasn't had a "last turn." The same applies to Coolant Blast.
- This card deals each non-hero target 1 sonic damage. Any target dealt damage this way cannot deal damage until the start of your next turn. Some cards deal damage in response to having been damaged (Ambuscade’s “Sonic Mines” for example), and because the two sentences on “Hypersonic Assault” are separated, it may seem like the order of operations would go like this – Tachyon deals damage, the target card deals its damage back, and then the second sentence kicks in saying that the targeted card can’t deal any damage (now that it’s too late). However, that second sentence is just meant to modify the damage being done by the first sentence and there isn’t any separation between the two operations. so the correct order would be - Tachyon deals damage, which causes any target damaged to not be able to deal their damage, then when the targeted card tries to deal its response damage, it can’t. Answers to Debated Questions
Lightspeed Barrage damage
- This card reads, “Tachyon deals 1 target X melee damage, where X = the number of Burst cards in your Trash.” if she has 9 Burst cards in her trash and there is a +1 bonus to damage, she will deal the target 10 damage instead. She doesn’t receive the bonus damage for every card in her trash.
Super-Scientific Tachyon’s “Experiment” power
- This alternate tachyon character card’s innate power says, “reveal the bottom two cards of a deck. if they share a keyword, put them into play. if not, discard them.” If Tachyon has just one card in her deck, you could still use this power, though it would just result in discarding that remaining card. remember, revealing cards does not force a reshuffle, so you would just reveal the last card in the deck, try to compare two revealed cards but be unable to do so because you only revealed one card, so since you couldn’t have found a match, you would just discard the card. Experimenting on a single-card deck Tachyon’s player gets to decide the order in which the two cards she reveals are played or discarded. Fireside Chats
Comic Books: Tachyon
Small note: Items that are in bullets are from the Podcasts, so their form may not make sense, or feel like they are missing a part - its probably on another tab
Spoilers May Be Ahead - SCU and Miststorm Universe Tabs may contain spoilers for future products.
Have you ever taken the time to wonder who is responsible for most of the innovations in our world? Who made it possible to get your car’s gas mileage over 60 miles to the gallon by changing the way the world uses fuel? Who finally found the key that would lead to the cure for cancer? Whose unrelenting expertise resulted in the first mission to send humans to Mars? You may be surprised to find out that there is just one answer to these questions: Dr. Meredith Stinson.
You may have heard that name before. Most of her accomplishments have gone largely unheralded in the public sphere; however, Dr. Stinson has had a hand in research across the entire scientific spectrum. She’s dabbled in everything from military technology to cheaper methods of ore processing, from learning patterns in rodents to the dietary habits of school children, and from more environmentally friendly waste management to developing a system for indefinite water renewal. That said, for all of the fields she’s made an influence in, her greatest achievements have been in the field of particle physics.
Dr. Meredith Stinson was the driving force behind the creation of the Particle Yield Enhancing Wavelength at the Eaken-Rubendall Laboratory, a technology meant to revolutionize travel and transportation. Its purpose would be to use light to transport objects. In theory, it would transport objects at the speed of light without the normal dangers of high-speed travel. It was this device that would finally bring her into the public eye, but not for any reason which Dr. Stinson could have anticipated. While calibrating the device, a safety mechanism failed, sealing Dr. Stinson within the testing chamber as the machine began to boot up. Springing to action, her team struggled to free her from the chamber, but they were unable to open the doors before the device finished its startup sequence. Dr. Stinson was thrown to the floor as the chamber was flooded with tachyons, but to everyone’s surprise, she emerged apparently unscathed.
Shaken but returning to work, she began to notice an unusual increase in her efficiency. Tasks that would have taken hours were done in half the time, and she found herself unconsciously picking up speed as she moved about the lab. Steadying herself, she carefully drew a blood sample from herself for further examination. To her surprise, she discovered that the cells within her body had been accelerated. Securing a wind tunnel within the facility for herself, she began to test the extent of her changes and found that she could move at superhuman speed.
News of her findings quickly spread, resulting in the government recruiting her for a new initiative. Dr. Stinson was offered nigh-unlimited research funds in exchange for her services. If you still have yet to figure out why her name sounds so familiar to you, then we’ll finally cut to the chase: Dr. Meredith Stinson is most commonly known as Tachyon, the quickest woman on Earth, and the third member of the Freedom Five.
- Dr. Meredith Stinson was around long before "Tachyon" was, primarily in Justice Comics and the original run of Freedom Five books. She was Legacy's go-to scientist contact (I'm reminded of staff at S.T.A.R. Labs in Superman comics, but my memory might be conflating them with some other group). She started out as a generalist (whatever weird sciency thing was happening in any given issue she could help with), but later this is refined into specifically being a particle physicist.
- The FF book wasn't doing great, so the editorial team decided to shake things up - the popular characters were Legacy, Wraith, and Bunker, so they were the ones kept on the team (although passing the torch of "Bunker" to a new, younger character). They decided to include Dr. Stinson on the team (with new powers) because she was a popular character too - the books she appeared in generally sold better. She still wanted to be doing science stuff instead of crime-fighting, but was convinced to join up with the promise of research funding in compensation.
- Spoiler? They mention that Tachyon was then part of the "Freedom Four" for a few years until "the new Absolute Zero" joined - implying that one of the mystery members of the original team was also "Absolute Zero".
- "She's around for a lot of things, but she's not central to anything." Much like how she was originally a supporting cast member, she never really has any solo work or story arcs really about her. She had a solo comic title, but it lasted less than a year.
- Her role in the team dynamic wasn't just "go fast, punch people" or the scientist who knows everything, but was to be the voice wanting to resolve situations without violence. Not a pacifist, but speaking in terms of efficiency. "She's about solutions."
- The reorganization into the Freedom Four was in the mid '70s. A decade later, it was revealed that her roommate/college friend/supporting cast character, Dana Bertrand, was her girlfriend (a topical retcon, but still an actual "coming out" event as it was Tachyon revealing this to the team rather than it being an attempt to imply that it had "always been this way" - this was made a bit easier since the writers had never bothered putting her in any relationships before this point). In the late '90s they had a big wedding event issue (in grand comic book tradition). This was about 5 years before gay marriage was actually legal in any State in the US, but it was in the Sentinels Comics world. This was a controversial move at the time.
- The Matriarch fight was a relatively early fight she took part in, but was a good example of the non-violent-solutions style of conflict resolution - she talked Lillian down/convinced her to put down the mask and turn herself in.
- Since most "big event" stories involve the Freedom Five, they involve Tachyon. She's an important part of those fights, but today they're focusing more on stuff that impacted her specifically.
Variant: Originally revealed during Shattered Timelines Kickstarter as the $40k stretch reward.
Alternate Future from main timeline; Iron Legacy Variant
After Legacy's fall, and the rise of the Iron Legacy global domain, Tachyon went deep into hiding. With her speed and smarts, she was able to avoid Legacy and his Iron Guard, but it took years before she was ready to rebuild a team.
Dr. Stinson scoured the globe for her former teammates and found those who had surived. Most were worse for wear, but, with the addition of an old foe in the hollowed-out shell of an experimental Bunker suit, and a mechanical golem that believes it is actually the long-dead Unity, a new team was formed. Will they be strong enough to withstand the great challenge they face? Only time will tell…
- Krystal Lee and Devra Caspit weren't Tachyon's only interns, but the earlier ones had just been background characters. Krystal was kind of an airhead (still could do the science stuff, or she wouldn't have gotten the job), but inattentive and lazy in the "takes shortcuts" way. Outside the lab, Tachyon is lighthearted and easy-going, but is all business in the lab and Krystal's personality is not a good fit and gets fired (thus laying the seeds for her becoming Friction later). Unity becomes the longest-running intern character (and a popular Sentinels Comics character in her own right).
- After Vengeance, the next big thing for her was the incursion of Kaargra Warfang near Megalopolis. She winds up in a 2 vs. 2 fight (teamed up with Tempest). She determines that the way to win this isn't just to beat up the gladiators, but to win the crowd's favor - instead of doing her "most efficient" thing and just trying to end the fight she's doing a lot of flashy moves to impress the audience, which sometimes requires her to slow herself down just so that the spectators can actually follow what she's doing. As part of this "show" she turns heel and attacks Tempest - turning this into a long-drawn-out battle. Tempest eventually manages to tag her with some lightning and takes her down. Kaargra awards her the title of Chaos Lord anyway, partly for the "might attack anybody" reputation she gets for betraying Tempest. The relationship between her and Tempest becomes strained after this, though (gee, I wonder why Tempest might have issues with betrayal).
Variant: Originally revealed during the OblivAeon Kickstarter as the $1 Million stretch reward.
- First Appearance : Freedom Five #800
The Freedom Five stand together against the onslaught of OblivAeon and it’s Scions. They were seemingly defeated early on in the OblivAeon conflict, but they reappeared in Megaopolis to bring the fight to OblivAeon itself.
When Dr. Meredith Stinson originally joined the Freedom Four, she did so to help fund research at her lab. She was initially much more interested in science and research. She would not have hypothesized that time with a team of heroes would change her as much as it did.
Now, Tachyon is even more well known for her heroism than she is for her brilliant mind. No matter - she still gets plenty of time in the lab, and her role with the Freedom Five has given her unique opportunities to study all manner of seemingly impossible phenomena throughout the Multiverse.
- Next is the Progeny fight. The guys talk about how Tachyon's character doesn't really have any negatives - she's faster (mentally and physically) than everyone, smart scientist type, etc. but it's not like her powers had a weakness/drawback. Progeny makes her push herself to her limits, which she's never really had to do before, and still doesn't manage to do anything to it. She collapses in exhaustion in front of it, leaving herself wide open to a strike from it. This attack (knocks her a good distance, hitting a tree at the end) winds up breaking a lot of bones - it's the worst injury she's received. She recovers over time (annoying for a speedster who can't move) - but she's not 100% afterwards, she could literally shake herself to pieces. She develops a new speed suit for herself to help control this, but she's not as fast or as durable as she had been. She's apparently the one to finally defeat Scion!Progeny, though, so she's got that going for her (we're apparently eventually getting a Scion episode prior to the main OblivAeon episode).
This information is from the Miststorm Universe, one of two branching timelines. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Tactics (and expansions). Prime War (and expansions)
Dr. Stinson and former-Lt. Vance worked together to build a new Bunker suit - this one no longer benefiting from military R&D and ordnance, but still something that would allow Tyler Vance to bring his tactical genius to bear on the battlefield. And, of course, it would also provide an impressive amount of firepower. Though still a massive metal suit, this new Bunker was smaller and more efficient than previous versions and could be launched considerable distances from Freedom Tower.
- Card game leaves off with her having created a new suit for herself to try to stabilize her body. During the intervening years she's still doing the hero thing and it takes a toll (at one point she shatters some vertebrae and leaves her in even worse shape overall). She needs a series of new gadgets to protect her speed and otherwise help control her powers. She's still pushing herself, to her own detriment, and just is relying on gizmos to keep her going.
This information is from the Sentinel Comics Universe, one of two branching universes. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Comics RPG.
- RPG - As part of the Sentinels of Freedom she has a bit more time to slow down and take an administrative/training role (particularly with science-minded heroes). She can also focus more on her recovery and is in better shape than in Tactics, but, still, her precision when it comes to controlling her power is a bit off - often going faster or slower than she intended.