- Name: Katherine Kurtz-Halberstadt
- Birthplace: Ethusalia, California
- Identity: Secret
- Height: 5'4"
- Weight: 124 lbs
- Hair: Blonde
- Eyes: Blue
A resident of Ethusalia, California who both discovered her powers and lost her father when the city was invaded and attacked by the Imperium. Upon awakening, she was found to have developed a host of spider-like abilities, including superhuman physical attributes and the ability to synthesize and project organic webs from her body. With the help of an associate, her mother was able to enroll and relocate Katie in the Academy in order to shape her mind and learn to use her abilities.
|Enhanced Physical Ability|
Among the first of Katie’s abilities to manifest was the enhanced development of body, brain and muscle well beyond anything capable by humans even at the highest peak of conventional achievement. Coinciding with what is presumably the activation of an X-gene, mutations in other genes include both copies of her MSTN gene. This gene provides instructions for synthesis of the myostatin protein, which helps control the growth and development of tissue in the body, primarily in muscles used for movement. Typically, myostatin controls in order to restrain growth to prevent muscles from growing too large. Katie’s mutation causes her body to produce much less myostatin than a normal person; so little, thus allowing her muscles to develop much more, to the actual effect of developing greatly enhanced strength – such that during the attack she was able to tear the hands off of a robot made entirely from steel and circuitry.
A secondary mutation, in conjunction with that in her MSTN gene, maintains simultaneous production of lactate for extremely strenuous muscle activity, whilst keeping acidity in the muscles low, and preventing disruptions of other metabolites to allow her to maintain levels of physical exertion for extended periods of time, in addition to preventing Katie’s muscles from growing too large at all. This in turn allows her to effortlessly maintain a lean athletic build further facilitating her superhuman speed, agility, flexibility, and reflexes for danger avoidance.
Aside from development of strength to superhuman levels, Katie’s entire skeletal and muscular structure has been fortified. Increased muscle and bone density enables her to withstand exertions without injuring herself under the power of her own strength when striking or performing push/pull movements. This also means increased durability when under pressure or attack from external forces.
|Enhanced Visual Acuity|
|Mutation in her eyes grants Katie superior depth perception and ocular-based spatial awareness. It has also led to the development of a retroreflective crystalline layer called a tapetum behind her retina. By reflecting visible light back through the retina, more light becomes available to photoreceptors, allowing her to see in extremely low-light conditions.|
|However, Katie also possesses a level of perception not restricted by sight alone. Increased tactile sensitivity let’s her sense the presence of objects and individuals in a 360-degree radius around her body along surfaces with which she is in contact, as well as adjacent surfaces in contact with those, depending on presence and amount of movement on those adjacent contact points (more movement = easier to detect from farther away). Passive perception range is 60 feet in all directions.|
|A biological extrasensory ability that effectively enhances her already impressive reflexes, this vaguely precognitive sense triggers as an early warning system in the presence of virtually any conceivable threat. The trigger may not be pure physical harm, and the sense does not grant her exact knowledge of what the danger is, although the intensity of the feeling varies with threat level and proximity. However, despite this acting in conjunction with her fast reflexes and agility, they aren’t exactly the equivalent of sharp combat instincts.|
|Minor electrostatic force manipulation|
|Enables some mental control of the forces of attraction between her body and objects with which she comes into contact. Its primary purpose is in allowing Katie to adhere to virtually any surface near-effortlessly, and more easily freeing herself in the event silk gets stuck to her.|
Produced by silk glands and extruded through several pairs of spinnerets, the webbing is composed of a mixture of protein crystals in a matrix of amino acids. She possesses multiple silk glands, capable of producing and combining multiple different kinds of silk. The strength and elasticity of the silk depends on the way Katie arranges the silk proteins.
However, this is difficult. There are multiple spinnerets at each excretion point, and they are not simple structures with a single orifice producing a single thread, but instead highly complex structures of many tiny spigots (somewhat enlarged from the microscopic structures found in spiders), each producing one filament. This could potentially allow Katie to combine multiple filaments in different ways to produce many kinds of silk for different purposes. But because the biological tools involved are so small and there are so many of them for her to consciously control, to properly make use of this ability requires beyond-surgical precision which has not been trained.
Webs may be composed of sticky and non-sticky silk threads. Sticky threads are the result of a water-resistant, glue-like hydrogel produced from another gland within her body. It may be deposited along the strands of a web, forming the properties commonly thought of in association with spider webs. The material is both extremely viscous and highly elastic which, along with the [potential] strength of the webs themselves, makes for an effective tool in combating and restraining even superhuman foes.
Maintaining effective production and strength in her webs requires Katie maintain a high-protein diet; otherwise webbing may lose its strength, or she may not be able to produce any at all.