|Markings||Tapered ears, fangs, retractable claws.|
|Previous Affiliation||X-Factor Solutions|
|PC | OC|
Arturo Ridley is a podcaster and producer. His show tends to critique the portrayal of mutants in popular culture. He sometimes gets more political. He has a feral mutation that he can cover up with an illusion - but he usually doesn't bother.
Somewhat prickly, passionate. Can be pretty darned awkward when he doesn't have the ability to edit himself.
He has the ability to appear to be whatever people expect him to be in any given situation. For instance, if he walked into a biker bar, he would appear to the people to be another biker. If he walked into a banker's convention, he would appear to be a well-dressed, middle-aged man. His ability cloaks him in whatever form would allow him to pass unnoticed in any situation. If he is in a group of diverse people with no real unifying expectation, he simply appears human. The ability also tricks himself. He will feel as if he's shapeshifted, even though he hasn't. He can't control how he's perceived, but he can decide not to activate his ability at all, and in some situations, can choose between a few possibilities. When his ability is activated, it isn't particularly taxing. As he can be caught off-guard in how he appears, he often chooses not to activate it. It is possible that if he is startled or scared that the ability will activate in an attempt to protect him. It is also possible that he will change as he moves between groups of people. He can try to hold on to a particular appearance, but the further he gets from the group that triggered the illusion, the more difficult it becomes. If he tries to hold on to an out-of-range illusion for too long, he's liable to get a migraine. This illusion-based power works on all five senses. It can be blocked by telepaths (they can either see through it, or if they are powerful,block others from perceiving it.) His illusions can be very strong though, because the power works off the collective expectations of a whole group of people. In fact, the illusion is actually stronger the larger the crowd he's in. It would be much harder for a telepath to see through an illusion he's projecting in Times Square than with two other people in the room. Peoples' expectations (even if it's only the expectation that what they'll see is a human) end up reinforcing each other's. He is the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing.
Ridley's mutation is a physical one. His muscles are more compact, his skeletal structure is more dense and he is overall more physically sturdy and agile than normal humans. He also has superhuman strength on the low end of the spectrum (approximately ten percent greater than the strongest human) and speed (about equivalent to an Olympic sprinter.) He also has inch-long animal-like nails that he can retract. Although he would never bite someone unless it was necessary, he has sharp canine teeth. His vision is closer to a canine's than a human's and he has excellent night vision. He also has a very sharp nose, which makes him an excellent tracker. Arturo is for the most part, quiet, even-tempered and soft-spoken. He is best described as a domesticated canine who came from a loving home. Most of the time, he has no urge to hurt anyone. But, if he's cornered, threatened, or angered to the point of rage, he can lose that civility and become something much more primal. So far, he's managed to pull himself back before he's killed anyone or really done anything vicious, but the potential is there.
Arturo is wry, laid-back and prone to self-depreciation. He is well-aware that his mutation affects his behavior, though he doesn't use it as an excuse. He also doesn't fight against it as some might, as he's learned to accept his canine side as just part of who he is.
Arturo was one of those mutants whose mutation was obvious from the moment he was born. His eyes looked more animal than human, his ears were tapered and he made strange vocalizations instead of crying. He was extremely fortunate - his parents accepted him, even without knowing what they had given birth to. He was homeschooled for the first ten years of his life. His parents never made anything of his oddities and so he didn't think much of them. When his parents did finally enrol him in school, there was a surprising lack of fallout. His parents had bought him contacts to cover up his eyes and his hair had grown enough to cover his pointed ears. Turns out it was all unnecessary. For some reason, none of the students reacted to him as if he was anything strange. What was even odder, when he looked in the mirror, /he/ saw nothing strange. The second he walked through the door at home, he looked like his feral self again.
It took awhile for Arturo and his parents to figure out that he had a kind of instinctual illusion power. When he thought intently about fitting in, his power projected an illusion to suit the situation. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't cloak himself in an illusion purely of his own choosing. What he did eventually learn to control was the degree he wanted to blend in. At its lowest, it just made Arturo look human. Still, triggering the power even for that could be risky. If the situation changed to where his normal human self was no longer "common," he might find himself shifting without wanting to. That caused a few near-exposures through the course of high school. As a result, he learned that wearing a hat and glasses was easier than going around with his power triggered. Arturo was fortunate enough to have supportive parents who didn't consider their son to be a freak. Strange, yes, but not a freak. For the most part, his life was fairly normal. He was unusually good in sports due to his feral mutations. Despite the fact that doing so tapped into his more animalistic instincts, his parents encouraged him to learn how to fight. He joined the school wrestling team. He also took up drawing and gained a keen interest in art.
Despite the fact that his illusion could theoretically allow him to live a normal life, it was simply too risky to try and pretend he was ordinary. Given there were few opportunities for mutants - and even fewer for visible ones, he had to get creative. He had always been interested in sound engineering, so he turned his energies towards podcasting. That allowed him to work for himself, with no one seeing his face except in controlled situations. His own podcast focused on entertainment reviews. He soon got the occasional contract to produce other shows. In order to keep up his privacy, he also learned to maintain his audio equipment himself. He also picked up basic bookkeeping and promotion . Still, even with a limited public face, it was a precarious position. One of his clients dropped in unannounced and he wasn't able to trigger his ability in time. The news spread quickly and he lost both listeners and clients. After that, he got bitter and stopped using his abilities to cloak himself wherever he went. That led to a few altercations when someone noticed his feral mutations. He had to defend himself. The more he fought, the more he felt something pushing up deep within him. Thanks to loving parents, he had been a domesticated canine up until that point. But an animal is still an animal. He nearly tore the throat out of a man who harassed him outside a bar. Only the terrified expressions of the people nearby stayed his hand.
It was then that Arturo realized he wouldn't be able to pretend to live in the human world. His podcast changed from one discussing entertainment to one with a slant on mutant issues. He also started working for X-Factor Solutions to pick up odd jobs to make up the shortfall of lost clients.