[TOP SECRET: PROTEUS FILE]

TOP SECRET: FOR AUTHORIZED VIEWING ONLY

Subject Name: Unknown
Known Aliases: Weaver, David (Primary); Spade, Maxwell (FBI); Bishop, Mark (USSF); Blake, Jonathan (Project Wildcard); Zero (Bowden Island Movement)
Known Codenames: Proteus (The Protectors, Active); Blackjack (Vigilante, Active); Siphon (Project Wildcard, Inactive); Jack of Spades (Project Wildcard, Inactive)

Overview:

Firm details regarding the man known variously as Proteus or Blackjack (or Siphon or Jack of Spades) are hard to pin down. Considering the number of names and titles he has occupied, this is perhaps to be expected. He has demonstrated a remarkable talent for shedding and adopting identities as necessary. It is unknown if those listed above are even the extent of those he has used. Thus, this dossier is compiled from what details we can glean from primary sources, and the gaps filled with reasonable interpolation. We have attempted to keep baseless conjecture to a minimum.

Early Life:

This is the period of which we have by far the fewest firm details. Both the government and Weaver himself have gone to considerable lengths to obscure his birth name and early history, so our sources are limited to second-hand references and substantial speculation.

We believe there is a strong case for Mr. Weaver’s birth in the Bowen Island district of Pacifica City sometime in the mid-1980s. The area today is a hotbed for crime and gang activity, but the levels of chaos and violence now are significantly lower than they were through the late 20th century. The drop can largely be attributed to the supremacy of the Bowden Island Movement in that area.

Oblique references in the documents obtained from the Project Wildcard leak, and a sealed juvenile record suggest involvement in the Bowden Island’s criminal element. Further research in the police records from the time turns up a mid-level enforcer and quickly rising lieutenant known as Zero. Zero was arrested on assault charges, but there is no record of where the case went from there.

One reference is found in the personal journal of Alan Parsons, councillor at the Russel Point Youth Detention Facility to an inmate that could very likely be Weaver:

“I told him: ‘You’re not stuck here—even with the trouble you’ve had, this isn’t it. Join the military for example— get out of Bowden Island, go to school. Hell, kid, the army might suit you. You could go from Zero to hero!’ I think he took to the idea; he asked for recruitment info this morning.”

It may not be a solid connection, but the reference to “Zero” (capitalization his) seems an odd coincidence. Regardless of whether the trouble Zero is, in fact, a teenaged Weaver, details of Weaver’s military record are more concrete, if not easier to find.

Military Career:

The United States Army records indicate a Mark Bishop enlisted June 16, 2001, at the age of 18. Bishop later admitted to lying about his age upon entry, saying in a psychological examination:

“I wanted in, or out depending on your perspective. Life where I was…I didn’t want to wait the two years until I was 18.”

If we take his real age to be 16 at the time of enlistment, Bishop’s age lines up perfectly with the presumed birth year of 1985 for Zero. Evidence further supported by the fact that we can find no record of Mark Bishop before enlistment. It is unlikely this was his birth name, but if not, it is his earliest true alias.

Bishop’s military career is exemplary. Within two years of service he was recruited for the US Special Forces (the “Green Berets”). While serving with the Green Berets’ 10th Special Forces group, Bishop served in operations in both Europe (the primary AO of the 10th) and the Middle East. He was promoted several times until, in 2005, we find record that he was approached by the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Of note in the CIA profile on Bishop is the observation of personality, and perhaps some awareness of unusual capabilities:

“…shows aptitude for covert operations and suitable psychology for deep cover… potential aberrant—remarkable endurance and strength.”

Following the CIA offer, Mark Bishop disappears. We can find no evidence of further activity in the Special Forces or a listing among SAD personnel. It is at this juncture that we suspect the involvement of Project Wildcard.

Project Wildcard:

After the disastrous leak which led to the eventual exposure and dissolution of Project Wildcard, the official roster was released—along with many other, heavily redacted documents. Agents in the “The Project” operated under codenames designating their rank and operational group. And anonymous source gave us the word Siphon in response to our inquiries; not helpful by itself. However in the Wildcard personnel records we find this entry:

Name: Designation: Codename: Status:
Blake, Jonathan Jack of Spades Siphon Deceased

From other documents in the Wildcard leak, we have some idea of the organizational structure of the project. Operators were assigned to an operational group based on their speciality. The four cells were named for the four suits of playing cards, each “suit” operating as an independent unit, with no knowledge of the makeup or capabilities of the other cells. Each suit was made up of four operatives ranked and named after the “face cards”. According to his designation, Jonathan Blake, as “Jack”, handled infiltration, reconnaissance and first contact with threats and assets (the “face” of the cell as it were). Per our anonymous source:

“…no need for a complex hierarchy. Those with the King designation acted as commanders and liaisons, handling logistics and tactics. Queen was designated 2nd in command to the King, but their job mostly included communications, and technical expertise.

Jack acted as point-man—their job involved infiltration, execution or extraction and such. Finally Ace… Aces were scary, all of them. Their role was officially fire support, demolitions and, if it came to it, a contingency. In practice though, they were chosen for their highly lethal or destructive abilities—and a complete lack of compunction in their use. They were to clean up a mission went sideways, whether to ensure that the team got out, or that they didn’t.

The Spades cell is said to have operated throughout not only the Middle East, but Europe as well; evidence that operations were carried out in allied countries is sparse, of course—even in the leaked documents—but enough oblique references remain that reasonable conclusions could be drawn to that effect.

The documents made public included details on several operations carried out by the Spades cell, but we have deemed only one significant to this compilation: the ongoing hunt for the mysterious figure that styled himself Alwahsh aldhy yaqif fi zill Allah (Insert Arabic Text Here) which translates roughly to “The Monster who stands in the shadow of God”. “The Monster, as he was more often called, was an extremely violent insurgent leader who catapulted to international infamy in early 2006 with a series of brutal and highly organised attacks on both American Forces and the nascent Iraqi government. He was unique among insurgents in the area for operating largely alone—a cult of fanatics grew around him, but Al Wahsh made no effort to recruit them. They worshiped him as an avenging messiah figure, as opposed to a military leader. Attempts to capture or kill the radical leader proved wholly unsuccessful and often disastrous. Any time The Monster was at risk of capture or death, fortune seemed to twist in his favour. The Spades engaged Al Wahsh at several junctures, and mission reports indicate that they began to view him as a personal adversary.

This ongoing cat and mouse with the inscrutable terrorist came to a head in late 2009. The Spades were assigned to a series of seemingly unconnected missions (the details of which remain redacted) in Europe and North Africa. Without knowing the details and targets of these missions, it is difficult to speculate a connection, but King of Spades, field commander of the cell clearly noticed a pattern, noting in a mission report:

“This pattern of attacks is highly suspect—the obvious conclusion is the existence of a mole within the Project, who can funnel intel on our operations to The Monster, or someone connected to him. I am concerned that whoever in the organization has betrayed us is using Spades squad as a tool to aid the activities of Al Wahsh.”

If the events following this report are any indication, King’s suspicions were entirely correct. It is likely even that the mole was placed closer to the cell than he suspected, being privy to his reports and thus his suspicions. The Spades cell was sent on what would be its final mission soon after, woefully unprepared and apparently set up to fail.

Here again, details beyond the broadest strokes are unclear. In an unusually public announcement, Al Wahsh declared his possession of a tactical nuclear device, and his intent to use it to “cleanse Kabul in holy fire, to rebuild a great kingdom from the ashes.” The Spades cell was chosen to interdict and take out The Monster once and for all.

It is likely the team knew going in that this was a clear ambush, but that foreknowledge didn’t prove enough to save them. A debriefing report by analysts after the debacle indicates that the mission went off the rails almost immediately, and resulted in the loss of the entire cell: Queen of Spades was gunned down by Al Wahsh fanatics, releasing a psychic shockwave upon death which rendered everyone in a city-block radius comatose, some permanently. King of Spades, who was nearby and projecting at the time, remains in a coma at an unknown facility. Ace of Spades disappeared during the chaos, and is presumed dead. Jack of Spades was confirmed killed by the detonation of the nuclear device, which the cell failed to prevent. It is only by Siphon’s direct intervention (confirmed by surveillance drones nearby) that the city was not completely annihilated. He appeared to step directly up to the bomb, moment before detonation and attempted to use his absorption powers to mitigate the blast. He was quickly overloaded, but managed to direct the output into the sky, as a massive pillar of nuclear fire. The Monster was presumed consumed by the detonation along with Jack of Spades.

Hero and Vigilante:

Under normal circumstances, picking up the trail of a covert intelligence operative, especially one presumed dead, would be a laughably impossible task. In this case, we have the advantage of working backwards from a known identity. Uncovering the fate of the Jack of Spades simply becomes a matter of connecting the dots (presuming, of course, that we correctly identified David Weaver as Siphon’s eventual alias).

Given his skills and experience, it is likely that the “deceased” Jonathan Blake would have gone to ground somewhere in Europe, making his way from Afghanistan using the various “off the books” resources developed by those on the ground in a covert capacity. Europe had been his primary AO in the Green Berets; between caches and knowledge retained from his time there, Germany would likely be his best option. Not however that this is entirely speculation—we have no solid records or sources for Weaver’s activities prior to his arrival in Pacifica City.

Note: Weaver could be a suspect in the matter Wildcard’s exposure; the rest of his cell is missing or confirmed Killed in Action. That said, save for this investigation, so is Jonathan Blake. Blake’s electronic intrusion skills, while hardly genius level, were certainly adequate; when combined with prior knowledge of the CIA’s systems, such a hack would be theoretically within his abilities.

David Weaver arrived in Pacifica City in the fall of 2011. Bearing an impressive military Service Record, Weaver established himself as a freelance security consultant. It appears he established an excellent, if exclusive reputation.

It is unlikely that anyone, save Weaver himself, knows what prompted him to step out of a comfortable (and lucrative) retirement, to take on yet another persona and pursue a course of aggressive vigilantism. One could speculate that the relatively tame life of a high-paid consultant couldn’t hold his attention, or perhaps he tired of protecting the rich (and often corrupt) high society of the city while their money fueled gang violence and crime on the street. Regardless of his motivations, Blackjack is almost certainly the alter-ego of David Weaver; what little is known about the vigilante’s powers is easily within Weaver’s capabilities, and he clearly displays similar training and tactics to those used in The Project.

The first reports of a mysterious “Man in Black” interfering, often violently, in the operations of the Bowden Island Movement began circulating in the summer of 2012. Rumours spoke of a vengeful figure in a black suit and coat that had no face. At this time he was generally called “The Man in Black”; the first reference coining the name Blackjack is in the November 19, 2012 issue of the Bowden Island Gazette:

“…Pacifica City law enforcement remains perpetually disinterested in the issue beleaguering Bowden Island—small street gangs are only held in check by the Movement, the “Mutant Mafia’s” own crimes are tolerated because organized crime is at least organized. In fact, this neglect has led to the birth of our very own vigilante; the mysterious Man in Black who has taken it upon himself to violently intercede in the Bowden Island Movement’s depredations with nothing more than his fist and a blackjack. Bad enough that the police see no reason to enforce law in any real way her, but now they see fit to leave our defence in the hands of a potentially unstable self-appointed zealot! What happens when the gangs no longer satisfy him? How long until this Blackjack starts breaking bones for jaywalking?”

It was the avid interest of the Gazette, and later Pacifica’s other media, that finally brought Blackjack to the attention of the law. Unable to ignore the impact the vigilante was having on crime in the projects, not to mention on the reputation of city law enforcement, Pacifica police officially declared Blackjack a fugitive, wanted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering and—ironically—obstruction of justice. At the same time, the city declared their intent to crack down on crime and gang activity on Bowden Island. Both measures have thus far seen little effect (and, many say, little effort).

Alexander Sukis began assembling his sanctioned superhero experiment in spring on 2014. By this time Weaver was well established in the city, rubbing shoulders with the elite. How Sukis uncovered Weaver’s history with Project Wildcard is unknown. Weaver was among the first that Sukis recruited, on the strength of his tactical experience and leadership potential, but it appears that he had no knowledge of Weaver’s covert foray into crime fighting. Sukis’ own records contain a transcript of their first conversation, which we have acquired and included here:

Sukis: Good evening Mr. Weaver. Thank you for meeting me.

Weaver: Of course, Mr. Sukis—

Sukis: —please, call me Alexander.

Weaver: Mr. Sukis. Your invitation was a bit vague—it stoked my curiosity.

Sukis: I’m glad to hear it!

Weaver: I understand you have a job for me?

Sukis: Indeed I do.

Weaver: You’ll forgive my skepticism. Mr. Sukis—

Sukis: —Alexander.

Weaver: —but I struggle to see how I would be of any service to you. Any man of you position and resources already has a competent security team in house. Besides which, I’m not interested in a permanent position.

Sukis: That’s not what I had in mind Mr. Weaver. You’re entirely right—I don’t need your expertise in protecting myself. I’m interested in employing your talents in a broader sense. Tell me, have you heard of the Angel Corps?

Weaver: Of course I have—bunch of vigilantes down in LA. Got one of themselves killed a while back.

Sukis: Ah…yes, that would be them. I am working to form a team along similar lines—with governmental approval though; an experiment of sorts, in sanctioned superheroism.

Weaver: Once again Mr. Sukis, I don’t see what interest you have in me; I’m hardly a candidate for—

Sukis: —I know about Wildcard, Mr. Weaver. I know that David Weaver isn’t your real name, though I suspect Jonathan Blake wasn’t either. Please Mr. Weaver, the gun under the table is unnecessary. I’m not here to blackmail you or reveal your secrets; as I said, I am here to offer you a job. One that I suspect you will find more fulfilling that consultancy.

Weaver: How did you find me? If you know about The Project, then you know I’m supposed to be dead.

Sukis: Don’t worry, it was difficult information to uncover—I have far more resources than most, and cause to go looking.

Weaver: So do my enemies. What exactly do you want from me?

Sukis: I’m recruiting a team of people with…unusual capabilities to act as an auxiliary response unit to the regular police in cases involving similarly gifted criminals.

Weaver: You want government sponsored superheroes. The Wildcards all over again—you said you knew more about The Project than what was in the leaks; are you insane?!

Sukis: Rebuilding Wildcard is not my intention Mr. Weaver, nor was I involved in its original iteration. “The Project” as you call it was a perversion. In fact, I contacted you precisely because I suspected you would agree with me on that. The Protectors will be different.

Weaver: Nice idea. But the government will want their fingers in this. A coordinated group of Gifted operators would be too powerful not to. First, it’s regulation—make sure we don’t cause trouble. Then they ask us to step in and resolve a situation they can’t, for public good. From there it’s not long until they’re picking targets and talking about “preventative justice”.

Sukis: I will not allow that to happen. I can be an intractable man, when the need arises. You said “we”—are you considering my proposal?

Weaver: Say I agree. I would have conditions.

Sukis: …Go on.

Weaver: We don’t kill targets. Unless in defence of our own lives or given no alternative—I won’t be anyone’s weapon again.

Sukis: Done.

Weaver: Two: The missions I take will be at my discretion. If something feels wrong, I get right of refusal.

Sukis: I don’t think that will be a problem. I hope the Protectors won’t be called upon to act unethically.

Weaver: You hope. Third: In the field, final say on tactics is mine. I don’t want you or some government rep dictating how we complete our objectives.

Sukis: Certainly.

Weaver: In that case, I will consider your offer. No promises.

Sukis: Given your experience and conditions, I think it appropriate that you be made Squad Leader. You’ll call the shots in the field, and be responsible for the training and performance of the Protectors.

Weaver: That’s not what I—I wasn’t a commander, I—

Sukis: You have by far the most experience of any potential candidate, excellent tactical abilities and charisma enough, I think. You’ll prove an excellent fit.

Weaver: If I accept.

Sukis: If you accept.

Weaver: I’ll be in touch.

Sukis: Welcome to the Protectors, Mr. Weaver.

Psychology:

Although a detailed psychological analysis is impossible without interviewing the subject directly, the profile compiled above can give us some insights into the subject’s mental state. Firstly, there are some behavioural indications of Antisocial Personality Disorder such as:

  • A failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours.
  • Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.
  • Irritability or aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others.

That said, it is important to note that this diagnosis is not conclusive; Weaver only partially exhibits some of the key criteria and shows no sign of others (such as impulsivity, lack of planning and irresponsibility) so the possibility remains high that those symptoms he does show are unrelated to psychopathy.

Of less debate is the likelihood that Weaver suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition which commonly afflicts soldiers—especially those having experienced events as disastrous as the Spade Cell’s final mission. Such a disorder is almost inevitable, given Weaver’s history. He clearly displays paranoid tendencies and hypervigilance, which could go some way towards explaining his obsession with obscuring any details regarding his “true” identity behind layers of aliases (though it appears this tendency was present long before his involvement in Project Wildcard). It has also been suggested (though the theory it remains unverifiable) that the Blackjack persona is an outlet and manifestation of Weaver’s inability to let go of his past trauma.

Conclusion:

The preceding profile is, we believe, the most complete ever constructed on the subject currently known as David Weaver (and operating under the codenames Proteus and Blackjack). While we have repeatedly emphasized the wide margin of error possible in regards to many of the details included here, we firmly believe that no unfounded assumptions were made; this file remains as accurate as possible given the constraints of the subject matter.

The portrait painted by this compilation is that of an exceptionally talented and dangerous man. In the face of his skills and experience it is easy to forget that Weaver is also possessed of an unusually strong (and artificially enhanced) mutant power. Not to be discounted either is his apparently strict adherence to a personal code of ethics, which does not necessarily align with, and takes precedence over, officially established laws.

There are likely people living as potentially dangerous as David Weaver. Any approach must be made with extreme caution; he is equally capable of proving a powerful ally or deadly enemy.

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