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A vigilante-type supervillainess who pursues supercriminals and transports them against their will to an alternate dimension called Duress. Their “sentences” vary depending on their crimes, but are always quite long... often for life.


A five-year investigation was finally coming to an end. Five years of high-speed pursuits, endless stakeouts, boring labwork, and countless interviews with snitches and lowlifes. It was all about to pay off. Tayina Mathet u-Vareeta Hoki activated her Force-Shield and smashed in the door. “Freeze, Shamareeth!” she yelled, her Thrombalic Blasts at the ready. “I arrest you in the name of the Republic!” Shamareeth was across the room, standing in front of some... portal. That was the only word she could think of for it. It was an asymmetrical arch, filled with corruscating purplish energies. Banks of equipment stood nearby; the technicians monitoring them quickly raised their arms. Shamareeth, looking blurred as usual, laughed. “Not this time, I think, Mathet. I have found a way to escape you and your foolish comrades forever. My only sadness is that I shall never again know the joy of tormenting you with your inability to stop me. Farewell!” With that he turned and headed straight for the archway. “No!” Hoki shouted, swooping toward him with her Force-Flight. She grabbed him, intending to pull him back from the brink, but as he struggled, he slipped, and suddenly they both plunged through the purple veil. Colors, thousands of them, colliding in her brain. Sounds, a cacophony of them, shrieking in her ears. Dizziness, disorientation, nausea, pain. Then a tremendous impact, and nothing. She awoke a few minutes later... or it seemed like a few minutes, she couldn’t really tell. Shamareeth was nowhere to be seen — but that wasn’t surprising, he’d been prepared for this trip and had no doubt recovered quicker. She became aware that some... people... were staring at her. They looked very odd, nothing like any Republic species she had ever seen or heard of. Some were very short; children, perhaps? One of the children took a step toward her. “Are you a superhero?” he asked, with what she assumed was his face contorting oddly. She was amazed she understood him; somehow the passage through the portal had changed her mind so she could speak the language of this place. “No, child, I am but a humble crimefighter,” she said, staggering to her feet to look around. She saw stone-and-glass buildings, moving metal things belching smoke, humanoids wearing what appeared to be organic clothings. Clearly, she was far away from home. “A superhero!” the child said, obviously pleased and not understanding what she’d said. Maybe she didn’t speak this garish language as well as she thought. Just then an alarm when off at the bank across the street. With a mad cackle, a red-and-black garbed figure smashed his way out through a transparent wall, with a bag in each of his hands. “Blackfire!” someone shouted, and the crowd began to run away, screaming for help. Even on this strange world, it took no special intuition for Tayina Mathet Hoki to know when duty called. “Halt, evildoer!” she shouted. “Surrender, and your time in Duress shall be short. Fight, and you shall never again be seen in this reality.” Only a fool would choose the second option, knowing (as did everyone in the Republic) the powers of the Tel’narian Guard. “Stuff it, sister!” the man in the black and red clothing replied. “No one stops Blackfire!” Dropping the bags, he pointed his arms at her and shot a bolt of fire. She stepped to the side, avoiding the brunt of it, her Force-Shield absorbing the rest. “So be it. By the power of Republic and the authority of the Tel’narian Guard, I sentence you to Duress for eternity.” With fist clenched, she pointed her gauntlet at him. Strange energies began to shimmer around it, then around him. “Hey, what... no, wait... Noooooooooo!!” he shouted, as he suddenly flashed like a photographic negative... and then vanished. The few wisps of smoke that marked his passing were quickly blown apart by the breeze. She flew away, eager to find the nearest Guard station and resume the hunt for Shamareeth. It didn’t take long for her to realize she wasn’t on Debrel IV anymore. In fact, she wasn’t even sure if she was in the right galaxy anymore. This just didn’t feel like “home.” It only took a little while longer for one of this world’s champions to approach her. Garbed as gaudily as the criminal she’d sentenced, he asked to speak with her. Word of her confrontation with the criminal had apparently spread — by newsnet, no doubt — and he wanted to know what had happened. As she gave her report, the funny look on his face became more and more extreme. Perhaps he was not feeling well. “You... sent him to... another dimension?” he finally stammered when she’d finished. “Yes, to Duress, pursuant to my powers as a member of the Tel’narian Guard.” “And when does he... return?” “Never. The penalty for attacking a member of the Guard is eternal exile.” “And in this “Duress” place, what happens to him?” “The Keepers inflict pain upon him, in accordance with the Republic’s Code of Supreme Justice.” “So you sentenced him to eternal torment... for a bank robbery?” “No, the robbery only entails a penalty of 50 years. He received the maximum sentence for attacking a member of the Guard, as I said.” The discussion only went downhill from there. He was apparently offended by something she’d said or done, and he tried to apprehend her — “for her own good,” he said. Another attack. She confined him to Duress as well. A few more days in this strange place, studying the local customs and conditions, convinced her Shamareeth had journeyed to some barbarian backwater and brought her along. These people were primitive in the extreme; they certainly didn’t understand the Supreme Code, or the need for it, at all — which was all the more odd because crime seemed rampant here. There were more costumed people, some of whom seemed similar to the Guard, though much less disciplined or effective. She soon learned these people were called “superheroes.” Lacking any means to get home on her own, Hoki decided to become one of these “superheroes” as she looked for Shamareeth, who might know how to create another portal and return to Debrel. But it soon became apparent the costumed heroes didn’t understand police work. They kept getting upset when she sentenced criminals to Duress; many of them even tried to stop her! That’s when she realized it was going to take a long time to enlighten these barbarians....


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