Created by: Lawrenz Lano
The Unconventionals #1
Art done by: John Ridley
© 2013 Gaia Force by Lawrenz Lano
|Real Name: Zackariah Nolan |
Height: 5 foot 10 inches
Country of Origin: Canada
Occupation: Resident savant
Base of operations: Pointe-Claire, Canada
Ethical alliance: Good
At an early age, Zack was diagnosed as being autistic and suffering from Tourette Syndrome. His mother who enjoyed her wild life, found the task of raising such a child too daunting, so Zack was left in the care of his aged grandmother.
For the most part, Zack was a quiet child, but he sometimes went through bouts of screams and rage. His grandmother did her best to care for him but by the time Zack was 16, she passed away.
Child Services tried to find his mother, but were unable to. Rumours said that she had left the country, so Zack was placed in a city-run orphanage. It was there that he met Alex.
Alex was severely disabled. His neural network was crossed and fused and responded chaotically when Alex tried to do the simplest of tasks. Unable to even walk on his own, Alex spent most of his time in bed but enjoyed talking to his new roommate.
Oddly enough, Alex could understand Zack perfectly. What others heard as screams and grunts, became words as they travelled Alex's modified neural system.
Zack's screams of frustration lessened now that someone could understand him. When he was upset, Alex became his interpreter and the nursing staff was impressed that he could calm him with a word. None, however, believed that Alex was any special because of this. They attributed his skill in dealing with Zack to the friendship the two seemed to have developed.
It was on Christmas Eve that Alex first learned of Zack's uncanny intelligence. Zack became agitated and started grunting that the orphanage had been sold and that they were going to be moved to a bad place. He said he had extrapolated the information through a series of algorithmic permutations.
Alex had never heard Zack express himself in such a manner. It was like he was speaking to someone else entirely. Zack explained that he viewed the world differently and that Alex should do the same when it came to his own disability.
Zack told him that by understanding himself Alex could overcome his disability. He needed to learn to bypass the disabled neural network of his body by focussing on the results he needed to achieve rather than the actions he needed to perform.
Alex wanted to understand more, but Zack retreated back into himself and became silent for days.
A few weeks later, Zack became agitated once more. New doctors came to visit the orphanage. They made many tests on the patients, took blood samples, and they spoke with no reservation. They didn't care that the orphans could hear them. All were severely handicapped, and their words would not go beyond these doors.
That's when Alex heard the truth that Zack had warned him about; the doctors were going to take the patients' organs for transplant into rich children.
That night, Zack spoke up again. He instructed Alex on how to overcome his disability and with his help, the two managed to escape the orphanage.
Zack knew where to go. His grandmother's house was quite a distance, but he knew the way. He returned there with his friend, Alex, who promised he would watch over him.
Now that Alex had overcome his disability, he learned that he could do things no one else could. He could hit a target from virtually any angle or vantage point. All he needed to do was focus on what he intended to hit and his body calculated the necessary speed and trajectory the object needed to achieve in order to reach the target. Alex became a marksman in every sense of the word.
Having found out from first-hand experience that a disabled body or mind could still achieve great things, Alex decided to seek out other special people and give them a chance to shine. Soon, Zack's spacious home became the residence and work place of many disabled people, many of which were volunteers who just wanted to feel useful and make friends.
Zack had inherited a sizable inheritance, and it had helped in setting up the place, but when city inspectors showed up and found the place managed by a 16-year-old and a barely functioning autistic adult, they attempted to close it down.
Alex argued that he was not doing anything wrong and that the people working with him were glad to do so, but the inspectors cited many violations that needed to be remedied and the case was sent to the courts.
Alex and Zack were not about to let the city win. They rallied their friends for support and made quite a stir in the community. The media got word of their cause and when it made the local news, a young paraplegic lawyer, Susan Jenkins, decided to take their case.
Susan was well known in the community. She had been involved in many similar causes and soon managed to rally support for the two young men. She started a fundraiser to amass the funds necessary to bring the place up to the required standards and attracted many celebrities as well as some rather famous disabled people. The fundraiser was a success and the centre was allowed to remain operational.
Susan became a permanent employee of the centre which also turned out to be something more. The centre was to become the base of operations for a unique crime fighting team. Going by the name, The Unconventionals, the two young men, Alex now going by the name Ricochet and his friend Zack (who would not take a new name) worked in unison to find other gifted disabled people to join their ranks and make a difference.
Enhanced intelligence: Zack's intelligence is hard to calculate. Most of the time, he is non-responsive but his mind is always active. During his lucid moments, he can come up with innovative concepts and create objects of remarkable complexity.
Weaknesses: Zack cannot speak and only communicates through screams and grunts.
Curiosities: Zack devised a harness that enables Ricochet to function in quasi independence. The harness helps to regulate normal functions like walking and even running, thus allowing him to concentrate on other factors while in battle.