Douglas Bennett is a chemist who came into contact with an unknown material in a laboratory explosion. When the dust cleared, he discovered a malevolent entity was sharing his mind...an entity that called itself Nox.
Douglas Bennett was born in upstate New York, near the Catskill Mountains, to Brian and Theresa Bennett. His parents were very poor, and they struggled to get by. Douglas grew up pretty normally too, going to school like other kids his age. From an early age, however, he seemed to find an interest in chemistry. His parents encouraged him as much as possible, but their restricted income dictated a rather passive encouragement.
Douglas was ten when his grandmother gave him a chemistry set. Nothing dangerous was in it, of course, but he quickly used up the chemical contents of it. He grew to love that chemistry set, and began to read as many books on the subject as he possibly could, even if they were beyond his scope to understand. This translated to lots of trips to the school library, and a great deal of spending his free time there.
Douglas entered college as soon as he left high school and majored in chemistry and other such sciences. His grades remained high, mostly due to his desire to prosper for his parents' sake. He went for a doctorate, and finally managed to attain it, though for a long time it didn't seem that it had been worth it, as none of the companies he'd applied to seemed interested.
Finally a company called Cortex Research found his application. After a series of interviews, they placed him as a low-ranked researcher and lab technician. He didn't mind; it paid decently. His superiors noted his willingness to help and his capacity to learn new chemical theorems, and put him up for promotion quickly. He soon became one of the senior chemists of the company.
Cortex Research often did testing for criminal cases, and one day a small sample of some unknown black material was brought in for Douglas to test. He did so, in all the usual ways. It didn't react with anything else, and wouldn't break down. After several frustrating attempts with small samples of the stuff, he put a chemical re-agent in the largest mass of the stuff and exposed it to an unknown frequency of light. That caused a reaction in the stuff, but not the one he expected.
It started to grow exponentially, and Douglas hit the "panic" button. The stuff actually grabbed him, growing up around his feet and holding them as it hit the floor. In his flailing to get free from the stuff, he knocked over some chemicals that shouldn't have been knocked over, and...an explosion occured.
When the dust cleared, neither he nor the black substance could be found. Thus he was declared dead, killed in the freak explosion in the lab. On the bright side, he wasn't blamed for it, and his assets were given to his parents, and there was enough there that they could live comfortably.
But Douglas wasn't dead. He wokeup several miles away from the labs, with no memory of how he'd gotten there. He intended to inform authorities that he wasn't dead...but on the way home, he was accosted by muggers. Nox manifested during the situation; it beat one attacker within an inch of his life and scared the other so badly the man lost control of his bodily functions!
Later Douglas learned the name of this entity. After realizing that this THING shared his mind, he didn't think it was a good idea to announce that the accounts of his death had been greatly exaggerated. So instead he went underground, forming aliases for himself, trying to remain away from the general populus in case Nox appeared again....
Douglas has a rather morose and morbid sense of humor, and doesn't smile a whole lot. He could easily pass for a Goth if he were to dress like one. Perhaps "emo" could describe him rather well. Then again, between him being legally dead, and then having a malevolent entity inhabiting his mind...perhaps it's not so strange that he's like that, after all.
After losing everything and everyone that he has ever cared about, Douglas is intensely loyal to those who earn his trust. This does, however, mean that he takes it harder than a normal man when his trust is betrayed. Once betrayed, he never forgives, and he never forgets.
Due to the fear of Nox spontaneously gaining control and causing mayhem, Douglas tries to stay out of public view as much as possible, trying to call the least amount of attention to himself. This way, should he lose control of Nox, he could easily slip away into an alley or other such place before it happened.
Nox is a whole other story, however. Nox feels that if he or Douglas wants something, there's no reason why he or Douglas shouldn't just take it, especially if it's something one needs. Food? Why not just take it? Clothing? Take it! He doesn't seem to understand that there are ways that things need to be done, that certain wants and needs have to be obtained through channels...and that certain desires cannot be had at all.
For whatever reason, Nox feels the need to protect Douglas from physical injury. Perhaps it's something as simple as the fact that if Douglas gets hurt, Nox feels it...or Nox's very existence may depend on Douglas's continued existence. While Douglas suspects the latter may be the case, thus far it is unproven. Regardless, if Douglas finds himself in serious trouble, Nox may spontaneously take control and 'deal with the problem'...which, if it involves thugs, may result in the perpetrators' deaths....
However, there's one thing they both share. Douglas is aware of everything that Nox does, and a great deal of it is much to Douglas's chagrin. In return, Nox is often frustrated by the seeming complacence with which Douglas allows that which was his former life -- those things he wants back so desperately =- to slip through his fingers again and again.
- Alter Ego - As a human, Douglas has no powers. It's only when Nox takes over that his listed powers are able to be used. Douglas has no way to 'access' Nox or Nox's powers himself, as the entity manifests when it wishes, normally to protect him from severe injury and/or death. Currently, the powers that the alter ego has manifested are as follows:
- Darkforce Manipulation - Nox's shadowy body is made of this extradimensional energy. Emits 'blasts' of darkforce from his mouth that strike as blunt force damage, with up to roughly 1,000 pounds of force. He can also cover an area about twenty feet on either side of him in darkness.
- Enhanced Senses - Nox's senses are linked to the darkforce dimension. Thus, in areas of shadow, his senses relay information to his brain about six times faster than a human's brain. thus he can react faster.
- Enhanced Body - Possesses strength and agility roughly 4x average human, and endurance roughly 3x average human. Nox also sports claws roughly equal to steel in toughness as well as a tail that can grip with twice normal human strength.
- Wall Climbing - Through the use of chemical bonds, Nox is able to cling to surfaces with its hands and feet, and climb up them, even across ceilings. Coating a surface in or making the surface out of non-reactive materials negate this ability.
- Regeneration - Being made of Darkforce, Nox can heal damage done to its body, even to regrow limbs. However, the healing/regrowing must happen while Nox is in control, and it only functions in complete or near-complete darkness.
- Chemistry - Douglas's time in school and working with Cortex Research has given him an extensive knowledge of chemistry. He knows the periodic table of elements by heart. He also knows what chemicals produce explosive results. Also in his sphere of knowledge is a slight knowledge of biological impacts of chemicals on various animal and human systems.
- Laboratory Procedure - Douglas's time at Cortex Research has given him a very good understanding of these procedures and how they work.
- Stealth - Nox is naturally good at blending in shadows and darkness. So long as he remains still, he may go unseen by casual observers. In addition, he has the skill to creep along walls and walk along floors virtually silent. Douglas is beginning to pick up this skill. Currently, he has learned to sit relatively still in a hiding place, and how to step so that his feet don't make a lot of noise. However, he does possess a scent, like every other human, and can be tracked himself...and followed without his knowledge.
- Brawling - Nox and Douglas both have some measure of knowledge about where to hit, and how to throw punches. It's not nearly on the level of a martial artist, but Douglas definitely knows how to hold his own in, say, a bar fight. Nox usually does not need to use much training, as he's so strong, however....
- Subterfuge - Not all of the sneakiness is physical sneaking around in the dark some of it is beaurocratic sneakery. Through his not-so-legal contacts, Douglas has learned to duck authorities, and how to obscure paper trails connecting him to his aliases. He can still be found through these means...but it would take cutting a great deal of red tape....
- Disguise - Since all his aliases look different, Douglas has had to learn very quickly how to disguise his features. He is not a professional by any sense of the word; about the only thing he can disguise is hair/eye color, and perhaps skin tone. He uses moustaches and other such things to obscure his features. But an astute detective or perceptive individual may see the resemblance. And he cannot fool the more sophisticated facial recognition software, since it uses placement of features rather than simple visual comparison to make indentification.
- Ph.D. - Douglas Bennett spent eight years in college and various interships to be granted his doctorate degree in the chemical/biochemical field.
- Knowledge - Douglas's eight years in college have afforded him all the education and knowledge due to someone who so relentlessly pursued such a goal for so long. In addition, he has knowledge of laboratory procedures, both from classes he took in school and from his time working at Cortex Research.
- Aliases - Dennis Clark. Steve Harris. Michael Bryant. All these people are one man - Douglas Bennett. Since he's legally dead, Douglas can't just go around and use his old name; it would arouse too much suspicion. So with the help of people from the grittier side of life (and crime), Douglas has been set up with a number of identities from which he may conduct business. He also has different faces to go with each of these names. Douglas is smart enough to change his appearance as needed.
- Disguise Kits - To aid in his keeping of his numerous aliases, Douglas has procured a number of professional disguise kits that he constantly keeps well-stocked with the cosmetics and the like that he would need to realistically and believably accomplish the look of any of his numerous aliases.
- Access and Control - Because Nox and Douglas are two seperate minds, and two seperate personalities, Douglas is unable to access any of Nox's powers. Adding to that, there are times whe Nox simply "wants out"...and will not take no for an answer.
- Psychosomatic Link - The damage one of them takes carries over to the other proportionately. Example: Nox would not get injured much by a normal bullet, thus Douglas would only take as much damage as Nox did. However, if Douglas were shot, Nox would take the same injury as Douglas received.
- Split Personalities - While Nox is in control, Douglas has no control over its activities, though he is often aware of them. However, while he is in control, Douglas can reason with it, and often uses that method to keep Nox under control. Unfortunately he can't mentally communicate with Nox, and so when speaking to it, he often seems as though he's talking to himself.
- Shady Activities - Douglas's aliases were probably obtained through not-so-legal means. And that probably means he owes some not-so-nice people favors in return for obtaining them. Douglas still has family, even if they do think he's dead....
- Aliases - Having to pretend to be several different people is hard enough. Mannerisms from the original personality will always carry over. The astute observer will be able to spot this. Someone with an acute sense of smell will be able to sniff him out if they've met another of his aliases. And the persistent detective will eventually be able to trace the paper trails back to him, though it may take some time.