I'm having more trouble fully capturing a mental vision of Maelstrom than I have the others in his team. He is definitely open for suggestion if anyone has anything to offer.
Also, for the wrestling aficionados out there, if you want to suggest a different (more devastating) finishing move for Brad's wrestling persona I'm listening. Hopefully I described his current on so that it makes sense.
Anyway, here is what I have at this point:
The man called Maelstrom was born Brad Samson in Alabama. A child given little discipline at home, Brad struggled academically and often found himself in trouble.
He was naturally strong and large and took to using his greater physical presence to bully other children. Sports, both football and wrestling, helped him find healthier outlets but he remained rather aimless through his school years.
Brad graduated high school with passable grades, hoping for a chance to play college football. He was not accepted however.
He wandered for a short time doing odd jobs. He soon became involved with a local professional wrestling circuit that recruited for the major promotion, World Force Wrestling.
Starting in the local circuit he went by the name of Samson because it worked for his long hair, muscled physique, and surname. But he didn’t wish to dye his naturally blonde hair and, as he entered the WFW, a Nordic Viking gimmick was adopted instead.
Brad was given the name Bjorn Runestone. His Viking gimmick was further assisted with the accompaniment of his blonde girlfriend, Jordan Dawes. Formerly a women’s wrestler in the small circuit under the ring name “The Living Doll”, Jordan Dawes, she adopted the Norse gimmick for the WFW.
Bjorn Runestone has been one of the most recognizable professional wrestlers in recent years. A powerful, muscled combatant from Norway, Runestone has held the Trans-Continental Title on three occasions.
Runestone has consistently wrestled as a “heel”, a wrestler designed to gain the enmity of the crowd. He is accompanied to the ring by his valet, Ilsa the Valkyrie (his girlfriend, Jordan).
His gimmick is that he is one of the Einherjar, the greatest of the deceased warriors who have been taken by the Valkyrie to Valhalla. Supposedly, having defeated the best of his brethren time and again in Valhalla, Bjorn Runestone has been allowed to come to Midgard (Earth) to test the remaining humans in combat so as to prepare for Ragnarok (the prophesied Armageddon of Norse mythology).
His finishing move is also called Ragnarok. It is a combination gorilla press slam/modified slingshot suplex.
It involves squatting with the opponent face down over Runestone’s shoulders. Then Runestone quickly stands and military presses the opponent but allows him to launch into the air.
This move is done near the ring ropes so that, as the opponent falls face-first toward the mat, Runestone catches him around the waist from a side-standing position and uses the ropes to slingshot the opponent into a side-standing suplex. As the opponent hits back-first onto the mat, Runestone typically locks the near leg under his arm and places his foot on the opponent’s chest, raising his other arm high in a victory cry to engage the crowd.
Recently Bjorn Runestone took a sudden absence from wrestling. The official story saw him lose the Trans-Continental Title to archrival, “The Thai Legend”, Tiger Kung-Pai. Supposedly Runestone’s back was injured in the title match and he took a leave of absence.
In reality Brad Samson had been suffering from severe and unexplained spinal pain for several weeks prior to his leave of absence. Although he consulted with top physicians there seemed to be nothing wrong with him physically.
Nonetheless, Samson was not cleared to wrestle, as he would periodically experience spinal pain that would leave him crumpled in pain to the point of tears. Angered but having no recourse, Samson left wrestling along with his girlfriend to try and find a treatment for his mysterious condition.
Brad came to the institute after he experienced an event far more unsettling than his spinal pain. One day, during a heated argument with Jordan, Brad forcibly grabbed the weight rack in his home gym. To his surprise he found himself effortlessly jerking the entire rack, near a ton of weight, from the floor and over his head.
Surprised, he dropped the weights as he suffered his most severe spinal pain yet. He then noticed that his skin took on the consistency of reddish stone.
Further, multiple sharp protrusions appeared all over his body, running in long arcs across his limbs and along his shoulders and scalp. Jordan, horrified at this transformation, called 9-1-1.
Brad, also panicked but not desiring any assistance from authorities, reflexively reached toward her from across the room. As he did so, several of the six-inch protrusions on that arm launched themselves in Jordan’s direction.
These stone shards flew across the room, destroying the phone. Quite a few also hit Jordan.
All of them sliced the skin, imbedding deep into her flesh and muscle. One of them sliced particularly deep along an artery of her forearm while another has left a permanent scar along her cheek.
Brad managed to stop the bleeding and took Jordan to the emergency room. Both her and Jordan were terrified by this event and have not discussed it with anyone.
Although it has put a tremendous strain on their relationship, Brad and Jordan are still together. Finding the institute through one of his physicians, Brad contacted them for the sort of assistance he felt regular doctors could not provide.
The institute is paying Brad to be one of their patients. This has appeased Jordan as their collective financial resources were depleted from Brad’s many medical exams.
Through testing Brad Samson has shown amazing strength. The upper limits of his strength have not yet been measured and he seems to be getting stronger over time.
He currently can press about two tons with effort. He seems to be equally as strong in either his normal human or stone form, suggesting his muscles and bone structure have somehow been permanently altered regardless of his skin condition.
Brad can, now at will, cause his skin to instantly transform into a reddish stone-like substance. The source of this material is unknown but is apparently excreted by his epidermal cellular tissue. It has also not been determined if his skin becomes rocky or simply becomes covered in the shell.
It is not true stone however. The exact composition of this shell is still undetermined.
The fine detail of this epidermis is different with each transformation. But typically Brad’s entire body will transform into the stone-like material. He has tried to turn only part of his body into stone but so far it appears to be an all-or-nothing effect.
He has developed a greater control over the shards however. On their own, his body will produce approximately a dozen shards on each limb, generally spiraling around each arm and leg while his shoulders and head also produce up to a dozen more.
Each shard is usually six inches in height, shaped somewhat like arrowheads, and razor sharp on its edges. He has learned to control the launching of the shards. They rarely release without him consciously doing so but it does happen if he is very emotional and fails to pay attention to them.
He practices often with his shards, learning to aim better at targets. He also practices as to when and how many he will release. Brad continues to find different ways to launch his shards, most generally using a forward flinging motion of his arm.
His favorite attack though is one that sacrifices precision for probability: Summoning as many shards as he wishes along the lengths of both arms, while crossed, Maelstrom will spin 180 degrees while extending both arms.
This creates a volley of shards that arc out from his body in every direction on his vertical plane. While it gives him almost a certainty of striking at least one target it, of course, carries the risk of impaling his own comrades, innocent bystanders, and destroying property.
It is this “maelstrom” of shards, when first launched in this manner by Brad, that prompted Summer to use the term. Brad liked the name Maelstrom and chose it for his nom de guerre.
Brad, as he has all his life, frequently exhibits severe anger management issues. His temper can be explosive and violent.
The institute has made proper management of this anger part of Brad Samson’s treatment. More specifically, the institute is helping him deal with the underlying causes of that anger.
In the field as Maelstrom his anger is an asset when parlayed into his tremendous strength, protective skin, and piercing shards. The extent to which he is an asset however, generally depends on how well Maelstrom aims with both his shards and his anger.
Perception is Reality