A new life-form, composed of versatile, shapshifting nanobots.
High ranked shapeshifting power source with boost technique
high control, good might, intellect, and savvy
super “chemical-sense”, super wounds, regeneration, life-support(biochemical), inherent EM communications capability, inherent forensics capability.
Ilsa was created when a secret lab somewhere deep underground developing nanotechnology based weapons accidentally created and lost control of a “grey goo” strain of nanites. Final security measures were initiated and the lab and everything inside it were vaporized with a nuclear device. The scant few nanomachines that survived being destroyed outright were subjected to hard radiation that pushed their mutation rate high enough to destroy most of what remained. Those particles that survived the radiation were mutated beyond recognition by it.
Those machines that barely survived did so by developing a complex interdependency on one another, acquiring emergent properties of genetic error-checking and information storage, an evolutionary event parallel to the development of multicellular life. By the time the newly evolved life form reached the surface it was developing sentience.
Ilsa existed as a mobile grey slime, wandering more or less randomly and consuming dead organic matter for an indeterminate time. It’s mind was not fully developed for much of this and so it can’t clearly remember whether it was in that state for days or years. Eventually the thing was captured by the federal government and a team was assembled to study it and determine its nature.
This proved difficult. Ilsa had mutated and evolved so radically and so far beyond modern theories of nanotechnology that it wasn’t recognized as such. Instead the dominant theory became that it was a biological creature of alien origin. During the course of its study, Ilsa altered its shape constantly in an effort to find a way to escape captivity. One of the many forms it adopted in this effort was the rough shape of a human, which allowed Ilsa and its researchers to recognize one another as beings.
They developed something of a rapport with one another at this point, Ilsa developed the ability to communicate in English and was cooperative in attempting to determine its nature and origin, as this was a mystery to it as well. This is when it was named, the word “Ilsa” describing its color in some occult language, a concession to one of the weirder theories of its nature, that it was somehow mystical.
Unfortunately, while secrets and classification levels in official government prevented anyone official from determining Ilsa’s true nature, ARSENAL’s hands were note similarly tied. Through espionage they put the pieces together and discovered Ilsa was, in fact, an unexpected product of a nano-weapons project. They attacked the lab it was being studied at with the intention of stealing it and reverse-engineering the weapons Ilsa evolved from. The attackers were equipped with a wide a array of strange weapons, some of which were effective against Ilsa. A stranger to violence at the time, rather than fight Ilsa managed to flee. It resolved to return and defend the staff from ARSENAL, but by the time it arrived the battle had ended and ARSENAL had covered their tracks thoroughly enough that Ilsa couldn’t discover what had happened.
Since then Ilsa managed to determine that ARSENAL operates largely out of Gateway City and has been lurking around, looking for an opportunity to discover the fate of the lab and its attackers. It has since become involved in fighting other criminal organizations, but has made very little progress against ARSENAL.
Ilsa can alter both its shape and its coloration, mimicking specific individuals or simply adopting a human-seeming guise, but it only does then when deliberately attempting to be deceptive. When facing off against criminals in its “official” capacity as a “costumed” vigilante, or dealing with citizens or other heroes as itself, it remains monochrome grey and quite featureless.
Ilsa can arrange its body in such a way as to be significantly strong, as well as harden and even sharpen its surfaces. It can become a fairly dangerous combatant this way, but because of it’s enhanced chemical awareness of anything it comes into contact with, it can “taste” any creature it should happen to cut or pierce. This gives it an intense awareness of the damage it is doing as it happens and as a result Ilsa is reluctant to use a dangerous level of force against living things. In fact, Ilsa finds the notion of anyone being so fragile as a typical human to be moderately horrifying.
Rather than actually fight humans, Ilsa prefers to use its shape-changing abilities to trick or frighten them into compliance. It is potentially very effective at this, but doesn’t yet fully understand which sorts of appearances are compelling or frightening to humans and which are not.
Probably related to this, Ilsa is a vegatarian.