The Odd Squad: IAM

Written by Dennis Detwiller and illustrated by Todd Shearer, © 2007.

The Odd Squad is a group of four strange superhumans that emerged in the decades following World War II, when Talents emerged who were not limited by the seeming laws that had governed wartime superpowers during the era of GODLIKE. The Odd Squad wreak havoc in the postwar timeline of Wild Talents.

IAM

Name: IAM (pronounced “eye-EM”) AKA, possibly, Dr. Ian Michaels

DOB: Unknown

DOD:

Height: 4’9”

Weight: 220 lbs.

APPEARANCE: IAM is a squat humanoid with pale olive skin covered in downy fuzz. Its eyes are almond-shaped with four lids. Otherwise, it appears to be an imitation of a simplified human body. IAM is fascinated with Eastern cultures and prefers to wear loose-fitting Japanese clothing.

KNOWN SUPERHUMAN ABILITIES: IAM is an accomplished scientist, capable of building extremely advanced technology (mostly odd biological machines) decades ahead of the human norm. In addition, it can produce a single “biological duplicate,” a drone that drops off and is controlled by its main body like a robot. The biological duplicate is a much thinner and more delicate version of IAM’s own body, and appears exactly like the description of the classic “gray” from UFO mythology.

HISTORY: IAM appears to be an alien that crashed in Roswell in the summer of 1947 — but the government remains unsure of this assertion. While it did arrive in an “alien apacecraft,” appears inhuman and seems to speak an unknown tongue as its native language, government analysts noticed several peculiarities. Most now believe IAM is not an alien at all, but a Wild Talent whose power has completely rewritten his existence. There are several strong indications that IAM came from Decatur, Illinois, not Zeta Reticuli III.

A nuclear scientist named Ian Andrew Michaels, known to be obsessed with the possibility of extraterrestrial life, disappeared from the base at Roswell the day IAM was discovered by the 509th Army Air Force. Michaels’ wife and daughter had left him three weeks before, and the scientist was known to be depressed. Notes discovered at Michaels’ home speculated on a hypothetical situation startlingly similar to the crash near Roswell in July 1947, down to the smallest detail.

IAM has constructed several working prototypes of “biological machines” for the U.S. government to study, leading to several breakthroughs in life sciences. Its most significant contribution was a wonderfully compact and efficient “oxygen/nitrogen producer/scrubber” utilized extensively by the Air Force in the space race. IAM has rebuffed requests by the U.S. government to “reactivate” its “ship,” a 15-meter silver hubcap that sat in government storage in Nevada, gathering dust, until it was moved to the Smithsonian. Studies of the craft by Hyperbrains have revealed very little about it except that its technology is extremely advanced.

In 1966, after years in government custody, IAM began to deteriorate. Its research ground to a halt and its body began to die. Fearful of losing such an asset, the U.S. government tried several solutions. Psychologists recommended the “alien” be allowed to interact with other “disturbed” superhumans. Several American Wild Talents in U.S. custody were brought to Gafton Air Force Base in Georgia in the summer of 1967 and permitted to interact in a project codenamed JUNG.

The Talents known as the Red Scare, Old Glory, and S.A.M were placed in a carefully-constructed environment with IAM and monitored by dozens of scientists. IAM began to recover from its malaise and soon the group became inseparable. All in all, the experiment seemed to be a dramatic success.

On October 3, 1967, a visiting general from Washington, interested in utilizing the Talents as special agents in the quiet conflict boiling in Southeast Asia, was given a tour of the Gafton facility. When he was presented the group, he was stunned to find the entire camp operating under the delusion that four oil drums were the superhumans. None of the Talents at Gafton could be located, although personnel continued to insist they were present. Some sort of psychic power (most likely that of the Red Scare) had affected the entire staff of the camp, allowing the group to escape.

Over the next three years the Talents involved themselves in the turbulent 1960s. Old Glory and the Red Scare worked together to, as Old Glory put it, “stop the reduction of American freedoms and the influence of communism on the American state!” IAM and S.A.M. pursued their advanced science free from the prying eyes of the government.

At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the team confronted police and fought alongside the protestors. Their televised clash with the Army’s Talent “Team One” rode the headlines for months, and left four blocks of Chicago ruined. Nevertheless, the popularity of the rogue group grew as the actions of the American government in the Middle East became less and less popular.

Even the apolitical IAM seemed interested in the “human interaction” of the 1960s and consented to a taped interview on the Dick Cavett show in 1969. Its revelations, such as the “reality” of the UFO crash in Roswell, had an enormous public impact. Overnight the public began to rally around the “alien,” insisting on its recognition as a visiting emissary from a foreign power. The public dubbed the strange Talents “The Odd Squad,” and other less-famous Talents began to imitate their hit-and-run methods.

In a desperate attempt to increase his flagging approval rating, President John F. Kennedy officially recognized the “Odd Squad” as the first publicly-sanctioned, non-military U.S. super-team on October 5, 1972, and granted IAM diplomatic immunity as a “Visiting Emissary with All Attendant Privileges.” The group acknowledged Kennedy’s pronouncement by consenting to a single, uncomfortable-looking photo taken in 1972. Despite government offers of equipment and resources, the Odd Squad has kept its base of operations and its methods a secret.

The Odd Squad: IAM

IAM (‘The Odd Squad,’ circa 1969)

Point Total: 500 Points

Archetype (15 pts): Alien, or possibly Human+

Stats (180 pts)

Body 2d (10 pts)

Coordination 3d (15 pts)

Sense 3d (15 pts)

Mind 5d+2hd (45 pts)

Charm 2d (10 pts)

Command 4d+1wd (40 pts)

Secondary Stats

Base Will 21 (45 pts)

Willpower 21

Motivations: Loyalty to the Odd Squad 12; Passion for Invention 9.

Skills (76 pts)

Agility 2d (5d), Driving (Roswell saucer) 2d (5d), Knowledge (biology) 4d (9d+2hd), Knowledge (cryptology) 2d (7d+2hd), Knowledge (electronics) 3d (8d+2hd), Knowledge (engineering) 3d (8d+2hd), Knowledge (physics) 3d (8d+2hd), Knowledge (xenobiology) 2d (7d+2hd), Language (Chinese) 1d (6d+2hd), Language (English) 1d (6d+2hd), Language (German) 1d (6d+2hd), Language (Italian) 1d (6d+2hd), Language (Japanese) 1d (6d+2hd), Language (Russian) 1d (6d+2hd), Melee Weapon (katana) 2d (4d), Perception 3d (6d), Stability 4d (8d+1wd), Stealth 2d (5d).

Superpowers (229 pts)

Biological Duplicate 4d (A D U; 12 per die; 48 pts)

Attacks Extras and Flaws: Power Capacity (mass) +2. Capacities: Mass, range.

Defends Extras and Flaws: None. Capacities: Self.

Useful Extras and Flaws: Power Capacity (mass) +2, Duration +2. Capacities: Mass, range.

Effect: IAM can produce a drone, physically identical to his own body, that he can control like a robot, telepathically using its senses instead of his own. Once it manifests the drone can roll its Biological Duplicate dice pool to interact with the world, attack, or avoid harm, but it’s fragile; it has on each hit location only the two wound boxes from its attached Extra Tough power, below.

 Attached to Biological Duplicate: Extra Tough 2hd (U; 4 per die; 16 pts)

See page 145. This applies only to IAM’s biological duplicates.

Gadgeteering 7d+2hd (A D U U; 15 per die; 165 pts)

Extras, Flaws and Effect: See page 145.

Attacks

  • Katana 4d (width + 2 in Killing)

Defenses

  • None.

 Wild Talents

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Arc Dream Publishing creates roleplaying games and fiction including Delta Green, Godlike, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Better Angels, The Kerberos Club, The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man, and the award-winning magazine of Cthulhu Mythos gaming, The Unspeakable Oath.