CORD: Cord is one of Tiamat's children, born in her last wake period before the Sinister origin, back in say 1640 or so. He's a life-energy absorber, with a bodily attachment, rather like an umbilical cord with a mini-harpoon or something at the end of it, that shoots out from his belly button. This cord phases, thus it can nail pretty much anyone but a powerful teek, someone who dodges out of the way or someone who also phases. Once it hits a person he draws life force through it, rapidly aging and killing the victim. Cord then uses the life force as a healing factor. He doesn't *require* it to live, but he can use it to substitute for food or to keep him eternally young and strong.

Tiamat was quite impressed with him, as he was the youngest in his age cohort, but successfully managed to kill off all his older siblings. (Tiamat ensures that the fittest of her children survive by producing, say, ten children in 5-10 years, and getting them to compete with each other in groups where the children are no more than 5 years apart in age; whoever survives from the age cohort is accepted as her worthy child, and trained.) However, he hated his mother with a violent passion. Although she had intended her children to take her harshness the way she took Baal's, as a challenge to overcome, she does acknowledge that sometimes they're too stupid to see it that way, and generally then kicks their asses to prove she's still tougher. If this convinces them that Mom is always right, fine; if not, oh well, and she kills them. She got into a battle with Cord, whereupon he severely drained her before she managed to bash his head in and throw his corpse into a ravine. She was forced to go into one of her healing sleeps to recuperate, and came out for Sinister's origin.

Well, Cord didn't die. If you have just drained life force from *Tiamat* in sufficient quantity that it *weakened* her, getting your head bashed in and being flung off a cliff is only a minor setback. :-) After he healed, he went gunning for Mommie Dearest again, but of course she was asleep, and he couldn't find her. Thus, he went on a campaign to wipe out her bloodline instead. At that time, there were a few thousand people, both human and mutant, that Tiamat had been keeping track of as children of her bloodline, ranging from eight generations removed to the immediately previous generation to Cord's. Cord has enhanced senses, relating to his healing factor, and could smell those who are related to him. For two hundred fifty years or so he tracked down and slaughtered most of Tiamat's children, grandchildren and so forth. Since most of these people had been raised in the kind of harsh competitive environment Tiamat favors, they didn't think to work together or to go try to find Tiamat and get her help, and so Cord was able to take out the great majority of them. Only a scattered handful of survivors remain, and some of the survivors survived by faking their deaths, so that Tiamat is no longer tracking them (she thinks they're dead too.)

Well, after Tiamat was defeated by Sinister the first time, she went checking up on her kids and found this. And it pissed her off. Survival of the fittest is all very well, but this was centuries of breeding down the drain! She tracked Cord down, but this time she didn't kill him. He'd proven himself to be one of the strong, the best of her children, and she could hardly fault him for doing what she raised him to do too well, even if she was personally enraged at him. So she stuck him in stasis. Her plan was to wait until she'd bred an entire new cohort of strong children-- after all, according to Sinister, the race that she is the first harbinger of was about to burst onto the scene any day, and surely they would provide *many* strong men for her to mate with and get powerful children. Then, once she'd got all those powerful children, she'd unleash Cord on them. He would either get killed, but in dying, test her new, more powerful children, or he'd recognize that strong as he is, there would be some things he simply couldn't stand against, and he'd wise up and join Tiamat instead of opposing her, and then he would be her favored heir and second.

If Cord gets loose before Tiamat is ready, however, he'll figure out that this is her plan-- he knows her pretty well-- and so he'll decide to head her off at the pass, by slaughtering the strong people she'd use as mates for herself and her children (that is, Cord will kill both the males and the females, as while Tiamat doesn't mate with females herself, her sons do, and powerful grandchildren are just as bad as powerful children.) Cord looks human, is from Britain and looks half-Egyptian half-British, with no elements of his mother's freakish appearance, and may very likely involve himself in some sort of anti-mutant campaign in Britain or America to try to come up with a way to wipe out most of the mutant species at once. (Preserving himself, of course.) This would create the always entertaining spectacle of Tiamat possibly assisting Our Heroes in stopping him, as something that wipes out most of the strong on Earth would be very bad from her perspective.

Cord's very intelligent, but monomaniacal and driven. His hatred of his mother has warped his life completely, so much that there isn't room for much else in his range of interests. He's 350 years old or so and has spent all that time awake, so he's quite knowledgeable. He stole a lot of tech from his mother's citadel while she was asleep (who was going to stop him, Ozymandias?) He'd happily work with Sinister if it would give him a shot at destroying Tiamat, but Sinister won't be a fan of Cord's plan to wreck Tiamat's life work by destroying mutantkind. He'd also work with Our Heroes against Tiamat, but not only won't they be happy with his master scheme once they find it out, but his habit of slaughtering innocent people just because they happen to have Tiamat as an ancestress is ugly. (And, because of his ability to sense Tiamat's bloodline, if any of Our Heroes get retconned into children of Tiamat, he'll try to kill them.) He can probably use the stolen life force to give himself super-speed or strength as well.

WHY HE'S HERE: I need to explain why there aren't eight zillion relatives of Tiamat running around. When you consider that she'd track who her children mate with (and try to get *them* to mate with those who are strong, etc.), and that she's been doing this for 5,000 years, the fact that she probably only gets one or two survivors per ten kids and she produces her ten on an average of every 200 years or so (factoring in sleep cycles) *still* means there should be eight zillion of her *descendants* about the place. But, I don't want to go retconning everyone into a relative of Tiamat's. :-) So, Cord killed most of the bloodline (which still leaves enough that anytime someone really *wants* to invoke the "related to Tiamat" card they can, but explains why Tiamat's children haven't already overrun the planet.) Creator: Alara Rogers