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The FIREFLY is an original character from my current story project - the time-consuming IN LAK'ECH Mythos, still in initial stages of development.
As you can tell by his armor's design, it's inspired on some science fiction and tokusatsu backgrounds. But it's also directly derived from another design, that of the original "OMICRON" armor, one of the 12+ armors from the Alpha-Omega series that I've designed last year. Each of them has an unique power and also play a major role in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos. The Firefly's customized OMICRON armor allows him to teleport.

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In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, the FIREFLY is a member of the Insect Syndicate, a semi-official enforcement/security group headquertered in Chinchaysuyu (equivalent to the northern Peruvian Coast), a State/district of Tahuantinsuyu (named after the original Inca Empire, in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos a larger modern State which spans from Colombia in the North to the northern regions of Chile and Argentina in the South, encompassing areas from Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. It's divided into four "suyus" or regions, and the capital, Moche, is located in Chinchaysuyu). The Syndicate's leader and founding member, the ICHNEUMON, is himself the major military authority of the Chinchaysuyu region, and an official "MALLKI" Cyborg General (named after the Inca royal mummies, the Mallki are the main military authorities of Tahuantinsuyu, each one is assigned to each suyu) from Tahuantinsuyu.
    The FIREFLY himself is a founding member, and like all other members use a customized Alpha-Omega armor (in his case, the OMICRON) with a special power (in his case, teleportation). The Insect Syndicate was officially founded in September 2009, when riots had just resumed in the metropolitan area of Chinchaysuyu after Tupaq Amaru III, a popular, yet controversial figure who was a guerrilla leader, revolutionary indigenous socialist during the era of the Peruvian Empire (that was replaced by the Socialist Republic of Tahuantinsuyu in 1969, following the victory of Tupaq's fellows and the capture & execution of the Peruvian emperor, Urcon Verbo, a dictator who was more like a CIA puppet) and the eventual President of Tahuantinsuyu from 1979 to 2000, when he went missing (and reports of his supposed death began to rise). He returned on March 2009, and on April 1st was appointed by Tahuantinsuyu's current president, Herrera Humala (from the traditional Communist Party of Tahuantinsuyu, Humala took the position in 2006, shortly after Julio Huanca, the current president since 2005's elections, from the left, social-democratic opposition party PSP has resigned), as Prime Minister. This move was poorly received by several sectors of the international community as a threat to democracy, but the Tahuantinsuyuan government, like all others, really didn't let its own population take charge of any effective measure over the decisions that concerned their own living (can democracy even exist, if in the end most of the people that compose a mass society are rather obliged to live in these conditions than they do it willingly?), and through its security forces often committed human rights violations, supported by its own corrupt law system. For some time, the FIREFLY was the only member of the IS besides ICHNEUMON, what did give him the feeling of a sidekick, but regarding where he came from, he could take it without major issues. Starting in 2012, however, the Insect Syndicate would rapidly grow.

During the time the IS was founded, the Alpha-Omega armors were officially owned by other institutions - the AXIS Military Academy, a private academy for military, mercenary, bounty hunters, that had its own hierarchies, direction and even mythology (its clients often included inhuman threats classified and hid either from public or even some governments), and was sponsored by corporations such as the Catholic Church, the american weapons industry ABEL Inc and the suspicious Teutonic (German) Ulhaden Corporation, the supposed developers of the Alpha-Omega armors. These armors have been separately brought to existence by these groups since the 70s, however their union into AXIS, a military academy, has only come by during 2000 (suspiciously following Tupaq's disappearance, eh? Needless to say, the US spent a lot of effort trying to destabilize Tahuantinsuyu or prevent its expansion, but failed. In the 90s, Tupaq, who was regarded as an irreconcilable enemy to the US, finally restored diplomacy, which lasted for less than a decade before the Tahuantinsuyu had to concede even more of its own policies).
    The truth is, these armors weren't developed by ABEL or Ulhaden, they were rather modified by those corporations, and their source material was brought from another planet by a secret supplier (who's simply called "Archimedes", and possibly isn't even human, but an android). Since the 70s, when "Archimedes" first contacted ABEL's CEO, Joseph Bridges, these armors were actually being tested by ABEL and Ulhaden, but Joseph's and Jorgen's (Jorgen Zimm is Ulhaden's CEO, and was the user of the DELTA armor for a while) employees didn't know of these secrets. That means, therefore, that all the agents that used these armors between 1971-2000 and AXIS' students from that time onwards, were actually human subjects to their tests, all while the armors made these corporations even more rich, as its special abilities could add certain victory to the arsenal of a State's military against another (even though one of ABEL's first missions including an Alpha-Omega team, in a conflict on Chile during 1981, failed miserably. They were hired to suppress and kill organized groups of indigenous Mapuche people, and also socialist party members in Chile's northern regions, but were surprised and destroyed by the intervention of some of Tahuantinsuyu's own military forces, including the Mallki and Ichneumon, who himself owns a "stolen" Alpha-Omega armor, the Beta).

    Since 2004, Douglas Ryder, the man behind the secret identity of FIREFLY, has been a member of AXIS. In the same year, following the death of a student/agent who used to wear the OMICRON (but not to own it, AXIS' agents who are allowed by the institution to use some armors do it under controlled occasions, such as missions, and only acquire such allowance if they excel on specific psychological, physical and knowledge exams), he competed with others for the allowance of becoming it's new user, and managed to earn it. Like the other students and agents, Ryder didn't know the secret identity of the other Alpha-Omega agents (besides the Alpha-Omega, AXIS counts with other agents that use numerically identified, conventional hi-tech military equipment), who are forbid to reveal their identities, especially on missions (despite some instructors do know their identities, as some of them are indeed Alpha-Omega armor users themselves). That said, the very fact that the students are led to compete between each other for an Alpha-Omega armor, or when an Alpha-Omega armor becomes available for usage is hid from the competitors - all their tests and exams are regarded as "part of a schedule in military formation".
    Most of Ryder's missions as OMICRON included fighting inhuman hybrids sometimes called in the mission briefings as "demons", usually on remote or peripheral communities scattered across the globe, and the origins of such beasts were never explained. Some of them were even bred in controlled underground stations within AXIS' headquarters, on Avignon, Gallia (France). Ryder started to distrust the institution in his own search for answers, that only got worse after several of the agents that started in the same year as him started to disappear, and later, in 2006, when his mentor and an AXIS scientist, Dr. Howard Fang, has been fired. Indeed, it was Fang who told Ryder some secrets (and also half-truths) about the Alpha-Omega armors - including the fact that these armors were being tested, and some side-effects happened to long-time users, including Ryder's fellows, several who died from these effects. Fang promised, however, to keep contact and inform him whenever he found a way to fix that, following his departure. According to Fang, there was another highly advanced technological development institution working on a way to enhance and repair the Alpha-Omega units on the other side of the world (that would be Tahuantinsuyu), and it was going to be Fang's next employer, but it was secret in nature. From 2006 to 2009, Ryder has leaked information from AXIS to Fang via a comm-link, what meant he leaked information from AXIS to the Saqraruna Organization, an intergalactic company originary from the K Pacha Solar System that has secretly existed on Earth for some time ago, hid beneath the Tahuantinsuyuan government's organ for technological, scientifical, energy and industrial development. He didn't know it, but he wasn't the first spy on AXIS, a colleague of his, Dylan Garrett, the user of the (DI)GAMMA armor, wasn't merely a spy, but a synthoid, a shape-shifting android developed by the Saqraruna to acquire the Digamma armor, that's actually a symbiotic synthoid. More than that, the Saqraruna is more involved in the development of these armors than ABEL and Ulhaden's forces are aware of. On June 2009, after a failed mission to retrieve the IOTA armor, that resulted in the death of an instructor, Yao Wu, Ryder found the opportunity to betray and leave AXIS, carrying with him the OMICRON armor and step into his new life - a secret agent of Tahuantinsuyu.

    The OMICRON armor was modified by the Saqraruna, and, as Fang promised, Ryder was allowed to use it, albeit still following orders from yet another military institution - the military of Tahuantinsuyu's latest division, the Insect Syndicate. Ryder severed his ties with AXIS and his former life, even his family, based in Canada (Ryder is a Mohawk/Iroquois from Akwesasne, a community located in the border between the Canadian States of Ontario and Quebec, and between Canada and the US. He joined AXIS as some of his wealthier relatives offered him the chance, but since then has only scarcely been able to regain contact with his family), and was given a place to stay with certain stability in Moche, Tahuantinsuyu's capital, as long as he followed his service as an IS agent.
    His first mission in the Insect Syndicate involved attacking protesters and stopping a riot in the capital, where he found the Cuetzpalin Paynal (from the nahuatl "Fast Lizard"), a super-fast, inhuman lizardman who's an "eco-terrorist" (self-proclaimed "centuries-old Anarcho-Primitivist, Vegan, Anti-speciesist, anti-mass society, anti-industrial civilization liberator and warrior") known for his international actions of murder, arson, property destruction and genocide, that have worsened the situation of economical crisis in third world countries and on Latin America, especially in Brazil, that at the time was a major producer of food in the international economy. Alongside him, Ryder also fought against other CUETZPALIN (from the nahuatl "lizard", a race of reptiles natives from Aztlán that have inhabited earth alongside human communities, in the American Continent, centuries ago. Erased from history and human knowledge shortly following the spanish colonization of the Americas, they weren't extinct at all, but their last members were hunt down or held captive by groups associated to the Saqraruna), including Montezuma, whose secret, human identity is a childhood friend of his, Paul Powhatan. Unknown to most, Paynal is also a human able to transform into a Cuetzpalin - he's 15 years old Brazilian student William Mattoni. Other than the Cuetzpalin and the very people of Tahuantinsuyu, Ryder was sent to fight a cell of renegade INTERPOL agents led by Belarusian ex-KGB Vadim Valtheran that had infiltrated Tahuantinsuyu during the September riots and also ended up identifying and fighting AXIS' agents DELTA, ALPHA and YPSILON, some of his former colleagues, that confirmed his betrayal - and that of Dylan Garrett.

The following contain SPOILERS from my original story, the IN LAK'ECH Mythos!

    As the Insect Syndicate evolved, it kept working for the nefarious interests of the Tahuantinsuyuan government and its puppeteers - the Saqraruna Organization, albeit on an international scale. It's leader, SPECTRO, decided that two Alpha-Omega armors weren't enough, just following AXIS' dissolution in June 2010, which led the official ownership of the Alpha-Omega armor to be split among some of its current users. Saqraruna agents PACASNA and CORAXO (who are deadly alien artificial intelligences) were activated alongside Insect Syndicate members to persecute some Alpha Omega armor users starting in 2010, in some cases retrieving the armors, in others kidnapping the users. According to SPECTRO, the armors are symbiotes, and they have certain genetic affinities that should be taken into consideration while searching for fit users. His intention through the Insect Syndicate was "to build a group of secret agents of international action", to "advance the interests of Tahuantinsuyu and its military intelligence". Once again, Ryder would fall into the same bureaucracies, and the claws of a not-so human madman. But did that make any difference, by then? Save for ICHNEUMON, the other members of the Insect Syndicate didn't know the FIREFLY was Ryder, and despite any kind of life outside the front lines could sound tempting, Ryder was already adapted into a lifeform where there was simply nothing else than fight for an invisible leader. He couldn't even consider leaving - the Saqraruna were powerful and smart enough to find out if they had anyone in their ranks willing to leave the job. That work was an accursed contract for a lifetime, and if anyone was ready to leave, they would promptly execute them and hide their existence, not too different from AXIS' way of dealing with past agents.

    In June 2013, starting with the return of "anti-Tahuantinsuyuan, Ecuadorian nationalist protests" backed by foreigners in Tahuantinsuyu's Antisuyu province, the splitting of the sovereign "fourfold, plurinational State of Tahuantinsuyu" was put in question as much as has been the stability of Tupaq Amaru III's political life (Tupaq's controversial naming as the Prime Minister lasted from April 2009 up to June 2010, when his daughter, Kusi Amaru, took his place, and he entered in a relative exile from political life, that was to last until June 2013, when he was identified by private agencies as a member of the secret Tahuantinsuyuan State Council of advanced scientific, technological, industrial, energy development. This revelation has strengthened the spreading of the narrative that even decades after the revolution, Tahuantinsuyu was still controlled by a "communist mafia" - it wasn't really different, in substance, to any other nation-State or "democracy" of the "western world"). It wouldn't make any difference it these protests were merely backed by think-tanks, but as the retaliation of protesters naturally started through the Tahuantinsuyuan police and military, the figure of foreigner bounty hunters and agitators once again returned to the board. The CIA and its backers, some of the wealthiest bourgeois out there, really wanted to crack the Tahuantinsuyu into smaller nations subject to foreigner private corporations that promoted neoliberalism, as it has tried for years, even though in the last three decades the Tahuantinsuyu has pretty much entered the board as a wealthy, multi-billionnaire enterprise that dealt with Washington and the Wall Street while still promoted a "socialist, pan-indigenous, Tahuantinsuyuan-nationalist/Latin American identitary", arguably "anti-american imperialism" (not anti-imperialist at all, as an indigenous face on some political puppets doesn't change the fact that its industrial projects damage first and most the aboriginal communities) propaganda over its own people (right-wing conspirers feared it would take over more south american governments through an intricate network of infiltration and deception, but that was just a delirium of some kids that don't know a State can economically control another without the need of radically reforming any of its people/slaves' own "culture". Indeed, the tool by which these States controls so many people is still capitalism).
    But Tupaq Amaru III, who has been collaborating with what would become the Tahuantinsuyuan Council of Advanced Scientific, Technologic, Industrial and Energy Development even before the Revolution (what means, before 1965), knew the reveal of his role to the public shouldn't mean anything, and only did because someone inside it has been dealing with enemies of the Tahuantinsuyuan State and sponsoring a neoliberal policy as a background to his own downfall, and worse, the dismantling of his plan. Tupaq knew clearly who was it - Dr. Howard Fang, member of the council since 2006, he only failed to immediatly find out Fang had many more supporters in key positions. In no time, more CIA-backed bounty hunters resumed the 20th century campaigns to hunt down this "popular leader" (a.k.a populist usurper), but all kept failing, as Fang orchestrated his own "restructure of Tahuantinsuyu", starting with the planned backstabbing of Tahuantinsuyuan authorities on some of its borders. During this crisis starting in June, a secret Cuetzpalin mercenary historically associated and hired by Tahuantinsuyu went missing. Without the council (and it's actual hidden face, the Saqraruna Organization) noticing, in the following name someone has took this mercenary's identity, who hid this fact claiming he had to take a new human host (some Cuetzpalin exchange human host bodies to preserve their lives. It means this mercenary's previous host, the Brazilian journalist Ian Ribeiro, may have been lost or killed). The Insect Syndicate itself has took part in the hunting of protesters and bounty hunters alike, and the Firefly's suit has been found badly damaged during a conflict with a remote controlled mech (later identified, or at least labeled as a creation of the private military company ABEL Inc, in association with the Pentagon's demands) in the Antisuyuan/Brazilian border. With the loss of an agent, the Saqraruna leader rapidly arranged the admission of Choque Illa (a Saqraruna cyborg and the former public relations manager of Tahuantinsuyu's tech council, in other words the most public figure from Saqraruna anyone could try to reach) into the IS as the FIREFLY, of course without the other members noticing - for they are forbid to find out their fellows' identities behind the mask. Their public faces are those of the Insects. As for Ryder (the secret identity behind the FIREFLY), with some last support of his long-time mentor Fang, he found a way to alleviate his relation to the Saqraruna, even if not in an ideal manner (he still had to hide his identity, albeit this time underneath that of the Cuetzpalin mercenary, Axayacatl, known among the intergalactic bounty-hunting community as "Iguantus").
    Ryder, as the FIREFLY, used to cooperate with Axayacatl and other bounty hunters as part of a larger, intergalactic association of mercenaries between 2010 and 2011, a time when the Saqraruna was overseeing the development of a mass destruction weapon set to destroy the earth. Ryder wasn't informed of the weapon's existence, neither that it was developed with resources gathered by the State of Tahuantinsuyu from its own working class people, but facts would point to that two years later, and instigate him, his mentor Howard Fang, among others, to rise against Tupaq's secret supporters - the Saqraruna.

    Back in October 2011, while still acting as the FIREFLY, Ryder had been activated by the Saqraruna to persecute and capture two Cuetzpalin who were foiling some of their supporters' trade of Duskoplasm-enhancing drugs on US. After two encounters and fights, his helmet was damaged, and one of the Cuetzpalin, Montezuma, whose actual identity is a human named Paul Powhatan, would identify Ryder as his childhood friend from Akwesasne. It took some time for Ryder to identify Paul, and while he was neutralized, the other Cuetzpalin, Paynal/William M; argued with Paul whether or not it was a good idea to keep Ryder alive. Paul and William were at their lives' edge at the time, aware none of them could still use their Cuetzpalin powers for long before they lost their ability to return to their original human forms (as a result of their constant usage of such power since October 2008 and February 2009), and from the need to have someone else continue the fight for indigenous autonomy, Paul has planned, away from William, a truce with Ryder, that also concerned Ryder's own liberation from that contract of slaughter and replacement. Ryder knew that Fang's promises were losing materialism at the same rate the Saqraruna were concentrating power internationally, and their influence threatened humanity as a whole (the Human Automation, a "species' enhancement program" which intends to centralize human consciousness into a network to be operated by some of the Saqraruna personnel, is an ongoing process which most definitive steps are already at hand by 2011), and eventually, he tried to conciliate Powhatan's plea - to use his Tonalcoatl (a parasitic organism that's the Cuetzpalin's latest stage of life, it can allow a human host to transform into a Cuetzpalin and also communicate with it telepathically, before taking control of the host after some years), that possess the consciousness of the ancient Cuetzpalin Macoel and become himself a Cuetzpalin - with the capture of Axayacatl in Antinsuyu, orchestrated by the CIA under Fang's demands. That opened the way for Ryder, in July 2013, to take Axayacatl's identity and leave a closer supervision by the Saqraruna, while Choque Illa replaced him.
    The Saqraruna wouldn't see any connection to both cases because at the time several of their agents, including the Mallki, were being targeted by international forces, but a setback threatened the entire operation: Ian Ribeiro, Axayacatl's actual host, was captured and sent to the Guantanamo prison, where the authorities hoped to extract information from his time "supporting the international group of anti-capitalist terrorists known as Necoc Yaotl", whose "identities hadn't been found yet", and Axayacatl, as a Tonalcoatl, has been inserted in a government program of creating a new squad of super soldiers. Using former FBI agent William Ford Jr as a temporary host, they took advantage of Axayacatl's powers and controlled him for some time during missions, turning William into a Cuetzpalin known as "Agent Saurus".

The existence of yet another Cuetzpalin besides Axayacatl and the cryptic Nagual has warned the Saqraruna, who believed Montezuma (either Powhatan or Macoel) "had been neutralized earlier" (in October 2011). Tupaq's own investigations, infiltration and fight for survival in the months following the Tahuantinsuyuan crisis would lead him to find out Axayacatl was actually held captive by the CIA and put on "Agent Saurus", what put the actual identity of the so-called "Iguantus" into question. By the time, in December 2013, this Iguantus had already worked for the Saqraruna, and gathered valuable intelligence from them. If he was up to use it against them, he would likely collaborate with another common enemy of the organization: Powhatan. Undoubtly, it would put Ryder against the current FIREFLY, Choque Illa, and shockingly reveal Nagual and another related individual - Nina, the secret identity of IS' member the WASP, that Ryder hasn't been the man behind the FIREFLY suit for months.
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