Erich Geoppinger (formerly)
Transformation (Power Activation)
Illusions – Solid Energy (Fire)
Poison/Venom (causes a reduction in opponents’ reactions)
Natural Weaponry (stinger claws)
Weakness – Diminished Senses
Originally a juvenile delinquent, Firebug did not get the strong guiding hand that he needed from members of the Eclipse. During their encounter with the cultists of the Church of Divine Resurrection, he decided to join up with the opponents where he feels he will have freer rein to use his powers. Further investigation reveals that he has in fact defected to join FORCE
Asher was born into a troubled home. His parents fought bitterly – it seemed – about him. A little bit of a bully in school, Asher always found himself in trouble with his teachers and again with his parents at home. He relieved his stress by starting fires. As young as 8, Asher was already fascinated with fire. When he burned down the old shed in his back yard, his father was furious. While it wasn’t the first time Asher had ever been struck by his father, it was certainly the worst. His mother stood by helplessly and watched her son get beaten. A short hospital stay ended with the realization that he would not be going home to his parents – Asher was entering child protective services.
The foster care system in Southern California wasn’t the greatest to begin with, but for a troubled 8 year old pyromaniac, Asher found few homes welcoming and passed through more than his fair share. By age 14, Asher had bounced though more than 50 different homes and dozens of schools. Around his 15th birthday, Asher had come to the attention of a local thug who appreciated Asher’s brazenness and fearlessness. This thug, Pusher, was an up and coming gang banger building his following and Asher was just needy enough to fit in. Pusher made Asher feel powerful and encouraged him to burn more and more things in the name of fun. Unbeknownst to Asher, Pusher was targeting specific people to hurt in his bid for local control and he was using Asher to attack his targets. First, he burned an abandoned warehouse. What he thought was just a Friday night laugh was actually the burning of a rival drug dealer’s hydroponics and stash. Asher was none the wiser. A few weeks later, Asher set fire to an old motor home. Again, Asher was unaware that it was owned by a local gang enforcer whom Pusher had killed and used the fire to destroy the body.
On his 16th birthday, Asher celebrated with Pusher by going to an overgrown nature facility to burn the old ranger station. What Asher didn’t know was that this was where the local drug lord manufactured his designer drug using venom from the hornet nests along with his “normal” ingredients. This fire quickly burned out of Asher’s control due to the flammable chemicals in the station and Asher was caught in the blast. The hornets, aggravated by the smoke and fire swarmed and attacked. By the time the fire was extinguished, Asher was found severely burned and covered in hundreds of stings – barely alive.
Recovering in the burn ward under juvenile “house arrest”, Asher regained consciousness after a month long coma. He was assigned a juvenile case worker unlike any he had ever crossed paths with. Meredith Stinson took him head on and accepted no excuses. She accepted responsibility for him until his 18th birthday as a condition of his arrest for multiple arsons and arranged for him to recover in the hospital. His recovery was long and slow as the burns healed – apparently with aid from the venom he suffered. Though he was initially given only a 20% chance of survival from his injuries, he was able to leave the hospital after only 12 months.
Leaving the hospital meant going into juvenile detention, but Asher accepted this punishment and had come to regret his past. Meredith pushed him to see the future, but the future required him to straighten up and keep his nose clean. Asher exceeded all expectations and was a model prisoner for his year in detention. On his 18th birthday, he was released and celebrated with Meredith as a new man. Meredith maintained contact with him and became the closest thing Asher has ever had to a family since he was very young. In addition, Meredith saw to it that Asher’s juvenile record was sealed so that it would not haunt his future.
3 years were spent in uneventful happiness – the happiest 3 years of Asher’s life. He kept his promise to Meredith and cleaned up his act. He took a steady, if not so meaningful, job at the local grocery store. He dated on and off and saw Meredith on occasion for dinners. Shortly after his 21st birthday, he was enjoying one of these dinners with Meredith when they were mugged on their walk home. Held at knifepoint by a small group of teens that reminded him of Pusher’s old gang was enough to get him angry but when they threatened Meredith, Asher became a blur of motion as his body transformed into a large blacked winged form with small barbed stingers on his hands. A moment later, the form burst into flame as it quickly dispatched the gang. Unable to explain what happened, Asher was eventually able to reassume his normal body. Meredith was beyond shocked but knew she had nothing to be afraid of. With the recent press of Eclipse taking California by storm, Meredith convinced Asher to explore the limits of his new abilities and use them to help California. Together they chose the name Fire Bug both as a descriptor of his hero form and as a reminder of the past he came from.