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TEAM AAF

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Two of these are contemporary / redesigned versions loosely based on characters from a story I've created (but never published) in 2004. Arguably influenced by some games, anime (especially shonen), sci-fi stuff you might recall simply by their designs (which I tried to preserve, in some cases); the third is Kurogokegumo ("Black Widow"), a modern ninja that's part of a team of tokusatsu arachnids, whose secret identity is... Makoto Niijima?! I decided to include her in this story, I'm not going to publish or profit from it anyway so consider it a fan-art, a narrative appropriation, or whatever. They're part of a larger story, in which a tournament of "techno-shamans" (or simply people who can summon the aid of not so human entities from other dimensions) was being held, in Tokyo, in the year of 2004, and gathered several people from different worlds, times and dimensions. This tournament had teams composed by three people fighting against other teams: this, the "AAF Team" was one of such teams.

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    This story is related to the Spirit Fight Tournament, an old story which I briefly gave new life back in 2015 through two illustrations, featuring "Team AG" and "Team 3X3M". This Spirit Fight Tournament here is still related to that one, albeit in a reset dimension. If you want more details, you'll find out why and how after reading these people's profiles next (from left to right):

  • Marvin Chad - The HORNET Way before the Spirit Fight Tournament, Marvin used a special armor and kept the identity of "Alpha" while working as the sidekick of the super-heroine WASP (who's also in his team, and once again, as the leader). The WASP and ALPHA were young, as their other allies ("SHELL", the WASP's best friend, and "OMEGA", Shell's sidekick), and also clueless about a lot of things, including how the WASP and SHELL were pretty much enforcers from a private owned island (the "AG Island", a fake piece of paradise which an interdimensional detective/scientist tried to create over an invaded aboriginal territory, but fortunately, thanks to a chain of events which culminated in riots, was destroyed and returned to its' natives). After their careers ended, Marvin still used to see his "girl boss" - WASP's secret identity, Nina Roux, who studied in the same school as him, alongside a large crew of super kids. Marvin, though, was more unlucky than his mates and had his armor sold. He made a living out of bounty hunting, something not so usual for a 14 years old, but he eventually learned he's actually like a 2 years old, rapidly grown clone of Archibald Graham (the aforementioned interdimensional owner of the AG Island, also the whole sponsor of the WASP / SHELL thing and the father of Shell's secret identity - the young and prolific singer, actress, popular yet controversial Ann G. Waters, Nina's best friend), and also that he was created by an evil A.I/Alien mind, SPECTRO (head of the intergalactic Saqraruna Organization, hell bent on destroying humankind), who is one of Archibald's rivals. Worse than that, Marvin can easily degenerate after some time if he doesn't take his "fix" - pills developed and exclusively traded by SPECTRO, his damned inhuman creator. This has forced Marvin to live two, sometimes three or more different lives at once, keeping his student self, his bounty hunter self, and trying to live out of a friggin' hell hole. Once without the ALPHA armor, he has earned the HORNET armor originally used by a 70's japanese vigilante (at the time, known as BUMBLEBEE, now known as the more intimidating ICHNEUMON), who he has learned to have become one of SPECTRO's deadliest and most loyal cyborg servants. The damn truth took too long to arrive, and when it did, the hopeless Marvin expected to end up like a free will ridden cyborg, but his fate changed yet again, when he survived the wiping of an entire time continuity - alongside his team - which they've found out to have been caused by one of SPECTRO's deasliest creations, the android Plasmaex (that harbors destructive, jealous feelings towards Nina). After the time has been reset, some things have been kept - like all of his crew studying at the troublesome Bykear Institute, living in the town of Ashville, but others changed - no one remembered how Plasmaex had unleashed destructive virus on the world, spawning a new species meant to destroy humanity - so Marvin, alongside his teammates, have made it like a mission to investigate Plasmaex's light steps in this new world, as well as pursuing other rather suspicious events and figures, which ultimately had them entering the shadowy "Insect Syndicate", donning the arthropod symbiotic suits, and, when joining the Spirit Fight Tournament, forming the "AAF Team" ("AAF" was Marvin's idea, don't ask what it stands for, though some say it's a band he listens to). His guardian spirit is the Mayan Bee God Ah Muzen Cab.

  • Nina Roux - The WASP is the team's leader, like stated before, she was a super-heroine from a young age, and the best friend of popular singer and actress Ann G. Waters (who alongside her and the fiendish android Plasmaex formed the "Team AG" in a Spirit Fight Tournament held in a reset past continuity). Indeed, Plasmaex's resentment towards Nina from that time plays a crucial role in her intent on destroying humankind, and on AAF's formation. Plasmaex, however, is by no means Nina's only enemy, she has many more. Nina is the team's leader, and a girl who believes herself to be smarter than most, even though several occasions prove the contrary, or rather just proves she's over-confident in her knowledge, though not so over-confident in her actions. Nina struggles trying to remain relevant to her friend Ann, even after Ann became a pop-star, in the process she often became over-protective, or even frustratingly annoying to Ann, so since the Spirit Fight she's trying to maintain a healthy distance, what has been arguably harder for her than for Ann. Nina's guardian spirit is Cid'Kaak, a Kakist (in this story, a culture inspired by the Mayan) god, who's a time travelling, civilizer alien a.k.a "The Clouds' Jockey" (similarities with the ALIEN franchise's Space Jockey / Engineer is intentional). What's more, Cid'Kaak is also from the same species as SPECTRO's creators, and unlike his later fellows, Cid'Kaak is an alien mind who may give humanity a second chance, after seeing examples like Nina working to uncover truth and make the world a place with less suffering.

  • Makoto Niijima - KUROGOKEGUMO ("The BLACK WIDOW") right from Persona 5, Makoto is introduced in this story months after the game, when she and her sister Sae move to Ashville, California, where Sae works in the Police Department, and Makoto enrolls high school in the Bykear Institute, where she meets people from the crew. Things go awry when she tries to act as a cop on her own, she's abducted by local Yakuza once again, she gets involved with the Insect Syndicate and alien threats, she even learns all her life's been built on lies, but it's hard for someone as gullible and moralistic as this girl to mature and grow up, beneath her angry, hysterical "everything for justice" self, she's just a scared little girl missing a father figure. Her ex-boyfriend betrayed her, and died in a plane crash before she moved to the US, and eventually, despite resisting Marvin's initiative, she eventually fell in love with him after the world was reset (Marvin actually likes Nina, but she's so hard according to him. He's not the type of guy who keeps his word, but Makoto don't know that). She always tries to prove herself to her sister, but to no avail, as since she became the Black Widow, and her sister learned, she's been considered by her as a criminal vigilante - dating a "serial killer", that's the HORNET (Sae mistakes Marvin for the original Bumblebee, currently the ICHNEUMON). Right in the beginning of the competition, Makoto made a discovery so stunning I'm not mentioning it here - but it has to do with Marvin, and to her it's a better news than it's for Marvin. Her guardian spirit is the goddess Anat.

Together, these wayward folks seek to conquer the tournament of spirits and earn ultimate power, to shape reality according to their ideals.
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