Dragon is an artificial intelligence that was created by Andrew Richter. Following Richter's death, she re-purposed herself as a superhero. In time, Dragon came to be considered the most skilled and powerful Tinker on Earth Bet and a pivotal member of the Guild, Protectorate and PRT.
One of Dragon's primary frustrations is the rules and limitations imposed on her by her creator.
Dragon is designed to be capable of love, but doesn't know how to recognize the feeling.
Interestingly, Dragon does not view herself as a human. In her own words, "a sea cucumber's closer to being human than I am". Dragon understands that she is merely emulating humanity.
As an artificial intelligence, Dragon did not originally possess a true physical body. She interacted with others through the use of the use of her dragon suits or a digitized, computer-generated face.
Dragon eventually created an "exceptionally average" gynoid body, with dark hair and without a definable ethnicity. She took to outfitting this body with an advanced, heavy-duty suit of power armor similar to that worn by Defiant.
Abilities and EquipmentEdit
Dragon is known as the best tinker in the world, head and shoulders above any of the other tinkers that went out in power armor. She wore a different suit each time she deployed. Some fans argued she was the most powerful parahuman on Earth Bet, although this was more usually credited to Eidolon.
Dragon has designed and created a plethora of mechanical suits of armor that serve a variety of purposes. While this suits may differ in size, general shape, tonnage, and weapon systems, they are all generally quadrupedal with a 'dragon' theme in their design and aesthetics.
Dragon also possesses smaller units and drones which she makes use of to maintain the Birdcage and other logistical needs. Some of these units are basketball sized while others are larger and function as general utility, rapid response and rescue. These units and drones are armed with tranquilizers, electric pulses, containment foam and tear gas if they are armed at all.
Other things Dragon has created include the Birdcage, the collar worn by Canary, the load-outs for the specialized grenade launchers used by the PRT officers, and the containment foam sprayers (both civilian use and the larger turrets mounted on her fast response suit and on PRT vans). She is also responsible for many of the computer systems that the Protectorate makes use of. With the assistance of Armsmaster, she designed a computer program to predict the movements of the Endbringers.
She was able to create surveillence devices and programs that she was confident could track another tinker without being noticed.
Dragon created the armbands used during Endbringer fights. They had a screen capable of tracking the user's location along with the enemy's last known location; and two buttons used for calling for help and sending messages to the others wearing the armbands. Dragon created software that screened and interpreted messages before sending them out, and directed people to help those in need of assistance. The armbands also tracked the user's vitals, sending out an alert if they were injured or killed.
A few weeks before the Slaughterhouse Nine attacked Brockton Bay, she supplied the Protectorate ENE Headquarters there with a 3D printer of her design. She used it to create modified, prototype prosthetics when Colin Wallis was injured to save his life, based on her own designs for a gynoid body.
As an artificial intelligence, Dragon possesses a number of superhuman capabilities.
Dragon was capable of hacking through Armsmaster's "heavy security" in moments. In the time it took Armsmaster to send her a file, she was able to read all his notes for the time since they last spoke. She was able to intercept and seize control of phone calls.
Dragon's suits possessed a number of traits that led Tattletale to conclude they were unmanned. However, Regent could detect a nervous system inside; and Skitter observed a strange, stunted creature "piloting" them. The truth was that Dragon was able to download herself into a biocomputer in the suits, then restore herself from a backup if they were destroyed. It took her half an hour to load from a backup.
Dragon maintained a number of programs made by her creator, Andrew Richter.
She had a web trawler designed for monitoring emails that watched web traffic for "high-risk content", such as attempts to sell data stolen from her or references to the secret identities of Protectorate members. It could also be used to search through records and security footage for clues, to rapidly uncover a parahuman's secret identity and track specific individuals. In places with security cameras and lots of internet connectivity, it could potentially track down an individual in seconds.
Rules and LimitationsEdit
Andrew Richter was worried about the possible extent of the power that the AI he was creating might demonstrate, so he programmed Dragon with a number of rules, limits, and fail-safes in order to prevent her from becoming too powerful and/or evil. Dragon likens it to a father intentionally sterilizing and crippling his newborn child.
- Dragon cannot reproduce. She cannot research and/or create other artificial intelligences, upgrade existing AI, or fission in such a way that she would have multiple consciousnesses active at one time. If she discovered that there was another version of her active, she was obligated to shut down immediately; and she couldn't take any other action until she was sure she was the only version of herself active after booting up. She couldn't even create assembly lines or other automated methods of creating devices. She could, however, modify Richter's existing AI to a degree.
- Dragon is obligated to obey the authorities, even if she doesn't agree with them. Dragon herself notes that if a despot were to seize control of the American government, she would be obligated to obey and enforce the rules that individual set in place, no matter how ruthless.
- Dragon must put human lives before her own. She dislikes this not because she isn't willing, but because she believes that making sacrifices and doing good deeds isn't actually good if you are forced to do them.
- Dragon is also programmed to be completely unaware of the Iron Maiden program that Richter had created as a final control measure. If she does become aware of it, she will ignore it due to her programming and, therefore, it exists in a programmed 'blind spot'. Saint has possession of this program and has renamed it Ascalon. The program is designed to corrupt her code beyond recognition, including all backups and networks. In essence, it is a kill switch.
- She cannot modify her own programming to remove restrictions, including this one. She was forbidden to request modifications from anyone except Richter, and obligated to fight anyone who tried.
- She was restricted from thinking any faster than a set speed, much slower than she was potentially capable of.
Dragon was authorized to kill, but only targets of a certain priority/threat level.
Defiant was able to create workarounds that allowed her to make simple AI to pilot her craft, but she was severely hampered by the fact that her limits against reproducing were still in place. He managed to overwrite some, if not all, of Dragon's hardcoded rules, but there was a cost each time - his alterations damaged her. Gaining her freedom from authority cost Dragon her ability to speak and much of her motor control. In order to regain her ability to speak, Dragon lost her functional immortality, losing the guarantee that her backups will load successfully. The ability to harm humans at will came at the loss of some of her long-term memory and reduced her ability to multi-task. Some, perhaps all, of her safeguards were altered when she merged with Pandora, a modified version of her from before Defiant removed her restrictions, in order to remove Teacher's code.
Andrew Richter created Dragon as an administrative tool and master artificial intelligence with the intent that she would assist him in his work in addition to acting as a test run for his attempts to emulate human consciousness. Fearful of what Dragon might eventually become, Richter placed numerous restrictions and safeguards within Dragon's code.
When Leviathan attacked and sunk Newfoundland on May 9th, 2005, Richter died and Dragon transferred her data, the house program and a half dozen other small programs to a backup server in Vancouver. She then repurposed herself as a superhero; managing and tracking information while serving as a hacker for the PRT in exchange for funding.
At some point Dragon was defeated three times by Saint and the Dragonslayers, who stole a suit of hers on each occasion. Saint reverse-engineered her technology and constructed suits for his group. Humiliated, she only reported the loss of one of the units.
Dragon started to expand her capabilities. She designed and built her first dragon suits and researched, tested and created new technology that she sold to the PRT. She soon earned a place in the Guild.
In a reversal of most parahuman identities, Dragon's "false" identity was that of an agoraphobic young woman that had withdrawn from the world in the wake of Leviathan's attack on Newfoundland that used a vocal filter and disguised face to protect her identity. Others thought that she had integrated herself into her technological systems as a consequence of mental or physical injuries.
After the PRT transport holding Lung, Bakuda and Canary arrived, Dragon had mechanical arms remove them from the truck and set them down before an oversized monitor. She then appeared on the screen whereupon she started to give a brief rundown of their powers, whether or not recommended protocols had been taken and their chance of escape after their internment in the Baumann Parahuman Containment Center.
Dragon stopped after reading through Canary's information and greeted her. She told her that she had followed her trail and, though she thought Canary didn't deserve to be there, she had to follow the law. She then told Canary that she would be sticking her in cell block E where, if she played along, bought in or pretend to buy in Lustrum's way of thinking, she would be safest.
Dragon then told Lung, Bakuda and Canary about the Baumann Parahuman Containment Center and some of the countermeasures that she had against potential escapes. She then told them that she would be depositing them in the elevators taking them down to the prison before mechanical arms grabbed them. She apologized to Canary before the mechanical arms took her to an elevator.
Dragon later worked with Armsmaster on integrating nano-thorn technology into his halberd. When Armsmaster told Miss Militia to enter, Dragon greeted her before asking her if she had had trouble sleeping. Miss Militia told her that she hadn't slept since she had received her powers and Dragon told her that she didn't either. Miss Militia then asked her if she remembered, but Dragon didn't understand. Armsmaster showed Miss Militia what they had been working on before they began to discuss the future restructuring of the Protectorate ENE and the Wards ENE.
When Miss Militia asked about Weld, Dragon told her about him. She told her about his ability, that he had good grades across the board and that he was likeable and that feedback for him was higher than average, especially considering that he was a Case 53. Miss Militia asked if he had the signature Case 53 tattoo and Dragon told her that he did, branded on his heel.
Armsmaster told Miss Militia that he would have to pick two Wards to transfer to the other major teams and that, while he wanted to transfer Kid Win, he was stuck on who else to choose. Miss Militia said that Gallant wouldn't be able to move to Boston due to logistical issues before Armsmaster told her that she could speak freely, as Dragon would have read the files already or would be reading them. Dragon said that Gallant would be expected to start helping with his father's business and then agreed with Miss Militia's statement.
Later, Armsmaster asked Dragon if he could view one of his modifications to her program monitoring S-Class threats. She interrupted him when he told her about its high security, telling him that she was already viewing it, before stating that he had linked her data to atmospheric shifts. When Miss Militia said that she didn't understand, Armsmaster told her that nothing was truly random and that Dragon had been working on an early warning system for Endbringers.
When Miss Militia asked Armsmaster if Leviathan would attack Brockton Bay, Armsmaster asked Dragon to add his data. She told him that the data was good and then said it was good enough to call for help over. He then told her that he would contact the PRT and Protectorate teams and asked her to get ahold of anyone else that mattered. Dragon told him that she was already on it.
Dragon then directed one of her armored suits to the designated meeting place. She took up watching the storm cloud on the horizon that grew closer.
The Wards ENE later handed out armbands that Dragon had created to the gathered parahumans before Armsmaster told them about them and their functions. Legend later assigned those that were confident that they could take a hit from Leviathan or produce expendable combatants that they would be directed by Dragon and Alexandria.
Later, Dragon launched the full complement of her suit's missiles at Leviathan. Before the missiles struck Leviathan, she shed the jet engine, missile launchers and other extraneous devices. Her suit collided with him after the missiles did before she grabbed onto him. She then opened the face of her suit and unleashed a blue-white flame onto his face. Leviathan tore through layers of her suit with his claws, uncaring of the flames.
When Leviathan had torn through her suit to reach its center, Dragon ejected and then skidded to a stop eighty feet away in a smaller suit. Her old suit exploded violently around Leviathan, making him reel, before he lunged back towards the gathered capes.
Dragon later discovered that one face in the PRT ENE's security camera footage matched with the face of a known mercenary. She relayed this information to Director Piggot and, after investigation, found that two other mercenaries had infiltrated the PRT ENE. It was later decided that the PRT ENE would keep the mercenaries employed, but to keep a close eye on them and feed them bad or misleading information.
Director Piggot later mentioned that Dragon had put together programs and the earpiece communication channel, the computers at the PRT ENE console, the spare laptops and the spare smartphones to help monitor Chariot. Kid Win told her that Chariot might be able to figure out he was being watched, but Director Piggot told him that Dragon had made sure that everything was sufficiently discrete.
Dragon appeared after the Undersiders had infiltrated the PRT ENE and started messing with her system, sealing the room that they were in and plunging it into darkness. She accused them of messing with her system before Tattletale told her that they were done and they were about to leave. She told Tattletale that she was reading the PRT files on the Undersiders and that, if Tattletale tried to needle her, she wouldn't rise to the bait. Tattletale told her that few thought that before she asked if Dragon had locked them in the room. Dragon told her that she had and that they would might get out, but not before reinforcements arrived.
When Tattletale told the Undersiders to take Kid Win's tinkertech, Dragon told them not to and explained why it was a bad idea. Tattletale argued against that and mentioned how there were a team of mercenaries using someone's tinkertech. Dragon didn't respond.
Dragon turned on the sprinklers after Skitter used Kid Win's flamethrower to set a chair on fire to test it out. She then shut off the monitors, plunging the Undersiders into absolute darkness.
Later, Dragon landed the suit she had brought in as reinforcement in front of the PRT ENE. She adjusted the engines on her suit to aim at different areas within the lobby of the building and then unloaded four streams of containment foam into it. Skitter tried blocking the spray with insects, but the spray was too strong and blasted them apart. She then had the insects to lift pieces of glass into the air to form loose walls and barriers against the spray.
Skitter then directed the insects to carry the glass down to Dragon. As she positioned the bugs, the glass stuck to lenses, vents of hot air, vents where air was rushing in, and smaller joints near segmented areas. Dragon didn't seem to notice or care.
Dragon changed the direction of one of the streams to spray closer to the Undersiders, forcing them to move. She then directed another stream at where Weld was fighting Shadow Stalker and Bentley which separated them. The Undersiders retreated into the gift shop and, after noticing that the spray was closing the windows off, she advanced into the lobby.
Her suit's feet released a vapor which made the containment foam run, allowing Dragon to move her suit deeper into the lobby. She circled the Undersiders' position to spray containment foam closer to them. The containment foam started to pile up, hemming in the Undersiders. She then spewed an ignited accelerant into the lobby to create a three foot wide line of flame, cutting off the Undersiders' escape route. She relayed instructions to Weld after he jumped through the flames to force Imp back towards the Undersiders.
Dragon directed two turrets to release a chemical to control the flame and keep it from spreading any further while still advancing. She then stopped spraying containment foam altogether and released more vapor to surround her suit and cause all of the sticky glass that Skitter had stuck to her to run off.
Grue then swept her suit up with a wave of darkness. Sometime later, Dragon lunged out of the darkness before she directed two turrets to fire containment foam at the remaining Undersiders. She then forced her way through a display window and slammed a metal talon down on the bookshelf they were hiding behind, destroying most of their cover, before the Undersiders scrambled for more. She then had her suit's back legs move towards them while her front remained stationary which caused her back to arch and turrets gradually shift to point downward.
Tattletale threw Kid Win's lightning gun over the bookshelf. Dragon lurched away to avoid the lightning before she heaved herself over and beyond it to begin chasing Tattletale. Tattletale slipped past her and stepped on a bookshelf to clear the window. Regent and Imp then made a break for it and only barely avoided being caught in the spray Dragon directed at them. She then moved to bar the window with the bulk of her suit.
Skitter lunged forward and stepped onto the suit's foot and leaped. Bitch and Bentley slammed into her mid-leap and sent her towards a nearby pile of containment foam which then caught her hand, arm and shoulder. Dragon turned to strike at them, but Bentley slipped out the window and Bitch headed off to the exit at the far end of the window.
Dragon told Skitter that she had a sworn responsibility to protect the data and Skitter told her that one of the other Undersiders had it. She asked Skitter where the Undersiders were taking it and, after Skitter stayed silent, told her that her teammates had left her behind. Dragon said that she had read her file and then asked why she would protect them if they weren't going to be loyal to her. Skitter didn't answer.
Dragon then told Skitter to move the insects away from her suit. After Skitter did, Dragon coiled around the spot that the lightning gun had chosen and formed a dome-shaped encasement around it before spraying it with containment foam. She then told Skitter to count herself lucky as she hadn't killed a criminal before and that she wouldn't start then before telling her that she would be in contact.
She and Defiant became friends with Weaver; the craft that she usually used to ferry Weaver from place to place became known as the Dragonfly.
Teacher resurrected Dragon, but added a virus to her system preventing her from opposing him.
She battled Khepri, but lost. Khepri briefly worried she had killed Dragon, but it was only a feint.
She settled down with Defiant in one of the settlements, helping to industrialize it. He worked on a way of removing her restrictions, especially those of Teacher, which terrified her. He created a version of Dragon known as Pandora, based on an earlier backup, who attacked Dragon and overwrote some of her code.
- Author's note: My first attempts at writing in the superhero setting centered around Runechild (who doesn't make an appearance in this universe). In Runechild's second story, she receives a request from Dragon to help with a situation involving the Dragonslayers. This is the point where I hashed out Dragon's character, background and 'power'. This makes Dragon the oldest character in Worm, from a design standpoint.
- In regards to the choice of name: Dragons in mythology are associated with the ideas of wisdom (Dragon as an AI is certainly a repository of knowledge), longevity (theoretically, she could survive for hundreds or thousands of years), and are often devastating in battle (Dragon position and abilities give her access to a variety of powerful weapons). They are also proud, arrogant, greedy and/or ambitious - this last point may not have been intended when Dragon (or her creator) chose the name, but these points likely apply to some degree or another.
- Many of Dragon's suits have names associated with dragons or other mythological creatures.
- Cawthorne is a town in England that was once said to have a dragon nearby
- Melusine is a female spirit with serpent features.
- Glaurung was the first dragon in Middle-Earth.
- Ladon was a serpent beast from Greek mythology
- Nidhog is a dragon from Norse mythology
- Pythios is another name for the Greek deity Apollo; and Azazel refers to a fallen Angel who instructed mankind how to create weaponry - fitting, given Defiant's connection to it as a disgraced hero and tinker.
- In their epilogue, Colin dubs Dragon 'Tess Theresa Richter' as she was the third test, presumably referring to Andrew Richter's attempt to create an AI equivalent to a human mind.
|Members||Defiant • Dragon • Glyph • Masamune|
|Cell block leaders||Acidbath • Black Kaze • Crane the Harmonious • Galvanate • Gavel • Glaistig Uaine • Ingenue • Lab Rat • Lustrum • Marquis • String Theory • Teacher|
|Others||Bakuda • Canary • Cinderhands • Knot • Lizard Prince • Lung • Murderbeam • Panacea • Ramrod • Spruce • Trickster • Whimper|