Martha stands in at an average 5 feet 7 inches and has an athletic body. She weighs 140 pounds of mostly muscle. Beneath the mask, her face is rounded with wide, lidless eyes, and a broad nose. Her skin is a dusky brown and her hair is black that tends toward blue highlights. Along her back and left shoulder are a series of green tattoo like marks that appear to be circular "ripples". These are almost always hidden by her working costume.
The majority of the time, Martha wears a predominately black leather suit a red and blue stripe pattern covering her stomach. At her waist is a tattered American Flag, this flag is the only white she allows herself to wear. Her feet are protected by brown leather boots with split soles because the tread under her toes and heels are made of steel and otherwise she would have trouble walking. She has a back pack and a leg pouch that she carries everywhere when on the surface of her designated patrol area. These contains the basic supplies needed to survive in the still poisonous atmosphere as well as give aid to those she comes across that need it. Like the majority of those still trying to eke out a living in the ruins of the coasts, she wears a gas mask to filter out the air when not in a pre-filtered environment.
It was obvious Martha was super-powered when American Spirit rescued her and adopted her at the age of – roughly - two years. She had classic Chinese features softened by the African-American blood of her mother, but she also had markings on her back and left arm that were not the creation of some depraved tattoo artist. Odd swirls, green in color, that looked like ripples formed by rain in a pool of water. These ripples of green moved and spread out from their centers, fading away at some unseen edge in reaction to the sounds around her.
American Spirit hadn't seen his good friend Felicity Reynolds (Catastrophe) for a good seven years when he got a distress call from her, pleading for help because the Capekillers had finally found her. He and the other Freedom Force members arrived too late to save Catastrophe, who fought the Capekillers to the point of death, but they were able to take out the armored threats and rescue the child poorly hidden in a nearby room where Felicity had placed her daughter to keep her safe during the fight. Her last words were to American Spirit, asking him to teach her daughter well. She died before he could learn the child's name and chose to call her Martha, adopting her then and there.
Martha joined a large adoptive family as American Spirit and the Freedom Force had taken many children under their wings and raised them to believe in and fight for the civil liberties and principles America was founded on. With the constant war, everyone was considered family even if it was not by blood.
She grew up along side American Spirits's other adopted daughter, Shelly Carson (Dreamslide). Shelly is roughly four years older than Martha. The two daughters of American Spirit grew up in Canada for a good eight years of their childhood before being taken back to the States to help more directly in the continued efforts against Defender Five and the Capekillers.
Martha, much like the other superhuman's brought up under the tutelage of the Freedom Force, was trained in hand to hand combat and stealth tactics that would keep her alive as long as possible if she found herself on the wrong side of a Capekiller gun. Prior to puberty, because of her near blindness, she always had the most trouble with visual cues and self defense. After her powers manifested, Martha began training intensively with Basic Bat, because of his similar enhanced hearing abilities.
Basic Bat died when Martha was 20. He had been captured by the Capekillers, and instead of allowing himself to be reprogrammed and fight his friends and family for the side of a cause he didn't believe in, he bit into a cyanide capsule and killed himself. She was close to him, having had a crush on him since before she could remember, and despite the age difference had held hope for a marriage at some point in their future. His death hit her hard and she became more focused and serious in her work for the Freedom Force, causing her other relationships to be strained.
It has been four years since then and she has only just started to loosen up and let others in. Unfortunately, the continued war of attrition has led American Spirit to seek alternate means of ending it. Using a highly unstable portal generator, he asked Liberty Belle to go back in time to before she was born to try and stop the Civil War before it could really begin. Dreamslide was only able to alter the portal's normal functions for a few seconds and instead of going back in time with three other people, Liberty Belle was the only one to make it through, landing in current day Philadelphia.
Personality in Short:
Liberty Belle, despite the personal pain she's experienced, is not a loner. She relies heavily on her friends and family, both in her personal needs and her professional ones as a member in good standing with the Freedom Force (of her timeline). While she is perfectly able to handle a combat on her own (most of the time), she prefers to have a partner by her side to cover her weaknesses.
She is overly reliant on her powers and will panic if ever 'depowered'. The panic might not last terribly long if she has someone with her who can talk her down and remind her she's been well trained for those sorts of situations. But if left to her own devices she will convince herself she can't do anything to fight or help herself out of fear born from true blindness.
Martha tends to be overly idealistic. Her earliest memories being of life in rural Canada and her father and the Freedom Force constantly telling her and the other young members how great America was, she has an overly idealized view of how the USA used to be. She thinks that if American Spirit could just talk with Defender Five, face to face, he could convince his former friend to stop the injustices of the new regime and disband the Capekillers, bringing peace to the war torn country. She had blinders on when it comes to her father and does not realize the continued infighting is as much his fault as it is Defender Five's. Neither side is totally without blame
Skills:Martha is a suburb hand to hand and close combat fighter, but excels in the use of polearms. Her preferred weapon is a flag pole spear custom made from reinforced titanium and given to her on her 18th birthday her adopted father, American Spirit.
She is an excellent physical spy and stealth agent. Able to keep herself from being heard and trained to prevent herself from being seen when she doesn't want to be, Martha is best used in a recon role when attempting to get pictures, the layout of an area or a recording of a conversation. She is most useful on a small team of two to three people as she can keep them from being heard as well as detect the sound of an approaching guard and the like while they do their part of the job.
She is fluent in Braille, English, French, and Cantonese. And is passable (just enough to ask directions and get basic yes/no questions across) in Spanish, Japanese, Wu Chinese, Russian and German.
Liberty Belle's Powers are all sound based.Martha is very sensitive to sound, her body reacting physically to the sounds around her. T
here are green tattoo like markings on her back and left arm that look like water ripples which move in a similar manner, the intensity and speed based on the volume and type of sound much like an electronic noise level gauge. Her current uniform hides this from view, but it does not stop it from occurring. This is not just for show, it is an outward marking of her body literally feeling sound. She is not so sensitive that she can feel radio waves, but her ability to pick up on noise has a much larger frequency range than a normal human, and even that of most animals noted for their sensitive hearing.
She can choose to absorb the noise or alter their frequency as they pass through her.
Should she alter the frequency, she can make normally inaudible sound able to be heard by those around her or make the sound around her inaudible. This grants her the ability to 'muffle' noise or 'amplify' it to a degree, so long as it stays in her personal frequency range. This only extends to about a 15 to 20 foot diameter around her person.
Should she choose to absorb a noise, she can store it in her body and release it later in a variety of manners:
>> Creating a Sonic Boom – Exactly as stated. Sonic Boom's are not necessarily very powerful (the signature crack of a whip is actually a small, localized sonic boom), so she can release small or large ones depending on how much sound she has absorbed. A sonic boom of sufficient strength can knock down everyone and everything around her for up to half a mile. A moderate strength sonic boom is used in her favorite combat maneuver ("Ringing the Bell") to deafen her opponents and knock them down.
>> Replay – Perhaps the most useful of her abilities, as far as others are concerned, Martha can release a sound exactly as it was absorbed, allowing for a one time replay that others can choose to record for themselves. This is most often used when intercepting enemy messages and relaying recon reports to her fellow protectors of America.
>> Echo location – Martha is legally blind and navigates in much the same manner as a bat or dolphin. She doesn't normally have to release a sound and wait for a bounce back because most environments she travels are plenty noisy and she can hear the echos from that which is already around her, but she can do so when needed.
Potentially, she can push her body to travel at the speed of sound (including allowing her to 'fly') as she releases the stored noise. This would be the precursor to her actually transforming into sound waves, the ultimate realization of her powers. (She is not able to do this at this time)
Sound is rather prevalent in most environments, so by default she tends to absorb and store minor amounts at a constant rate for her use should she need them.
Power Weaknesses/FlawsBecause Martha is so attuned to noise, the majority of her other senses are dulled:
This leaves her legally blind and if she is ever cut off from sound, would make it difficult for her to get around properly. She can see things, shapes and such, but it is all black and white, and usually very dark gray where objects and people (when not moving) tend to blend in with each other.
Her sense of taste is poor enough that most food, unless it is overly spicy or overly sweet, all taste the same to her.
Her sense of touch is bad enough that she can't tell if she's been injured unless the pain is really, really intense. Third degree burn intense. While this means she won't stop fighting when injured because the pain isn't a distraction, this also means she had no idea when she should stop and get help. Cold and heat don't bother her leading to problems with burning herself or freezing near to death without realizing it. While she retains tactile sensation (she knows when she's touching something) she doesn't perceive much difference between soft and hard or wet and dry beyond her ability to push something down easier than another, or how easy it is to slide her fingers over an object. She does tend to enjoy being in water and shows a preference for it regardless of temperature because it conducts sound better than most environments.
Her sense of smell is that of a normal human, though because of her dulled sense of taste, it does not pick up on nearly the level of subtlety normal people can. (Taste and smell are closely related. Oftentimes when people think they are smelling something, they are actually tasting it.)
Due to her sensitivity to sounds, sudden and loud noises that she has little to no warning of, including her own abilities, can disorientate her. When fighting, after creating a large Sonic Boom, she needs a few moments to get her bearings, approximately 3 to 10 seconds depending on the environment that the sound is traveling through. This short period of time leaves her vulnerable to attacks should her opponent be able to deflect, avoid or otherwise not be affected by the discharge of sound.Martha is no good with long distance fighting. Her immediate area of sound detection is approximately 15 to 20 feet with between 30 and 100 when using her echo location to 'scout' an area and that is entirely dependent on the environment around her. In a fight, she doesn't have the time to determine how far an object is if it isn't within her area of reach so throwing knives or sand or her flagpole are only helpful if the target isn't more than 15 or so feet away from her. And at that point, she's probably better off closing the distance than tossing something at them.
While she makes an excellent physical stealth recon agent, she is unable to do anything that requires rewiring or technological hacking and manipulation. Not only is her eyesight too poor for that, but she has no ability to see colors so wires all tend to look 'gray' to her. And that's a big problem if she ever needs to cut the 'blue' wire.
Martha can only read if there is a strong contrast between the colors of the printed words and the surface it is on. Bolded black on white or bolded white on black for example.