"In great silence, lies great arrogance"
Real Name: Santiago "Santi" Porthos
Aliases: Espada, Black Viper, Martial Madridista, Black Lotus
Alignment: Ideal Hero
Age: 31 (Ageless)
Weight: 226 lbs
Hair Color: Raven
Eye Color: Sapphire Blue
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Interim CEO of Avalon, President of Knightfall Aeronautics, Caliburn, Dain Industries & Magitek (Subsidiaries of Avalon), Majority Owner/Chairman/CEO of the MFL
Relationship Status: Single
Family: Yana Porthos (Daughter with Lea Drago), Gabriel Porthos (Brother), Tassiana Porthos (Sister), Amilcar Alfonso Porthos (Father), Fernanda Yara Pedro Porthos (Mother)
The Martial Madridista - Martial Arts Mastery
Armed Fighting Style: Spear Fighting
'Baile de La Vibora' or 'Dance of The Viper' is Santiago's primary spear-fighting system, one that combines the weapon's considerable reach, penetrating ability, with the Black Viper's dexterous footwork and blistering speed to forge an armed fighting style of unparalleled martial brilliance. An effective system of intricate principles that dictate that offense and defense are one in the same and fundamental to the style's technical emphasis and martial philosophy.
Thrusts, sweeps, slashing maneuvers etc. comprise the style's offensive techniques while incorporating nimble footwork and flowing agility during the execution of attacks. Integral to the fighting style is the development of one's flexibility, internal and external strength, speed, and stamina, with an equal emphasis on balance and coordination. Though the style itself is characterized by smooth and fluid transitions between it's vast array of techniques, Baile de La Vibora does not adhere to the tendency of certain martial arts to go beyond combat application and into cinematic artistry. The necessary body mobility required for the proper employment of this fighting art in a bout requires the conditioning of one's tendons, muscles, and joints in order to appropriately execute the circular, spinning aerial movements of the style.
The intensive acrobatic movements and rigorous athletic demands of the fighting style are embraced by Santiago's superhuman attributes and extraordinary explosiveness. And though clearly a fighting style of significant physical demands, Baile de La Vibora imparts an equal degree of importance on the mental aspect of combat. It is imperative that Santiago remain aware of the fact that there is no one method of commencing and ending a bout with a spear, or any other weapon for that matter. However, he remains equally aware that openings left by his adversaries may be deceptive lures, and thus he too employs feinting and deception as an art. A primary staple of Baile de La Vibora is that it does not value counter-attacking.
Instead, it insists that Santiago not wait to be attacked, but seize and hold the initiative in order to force his adversary into a purely defensive, reactive position, rendering them unable to form a strategy of attack. The Black Viper argues that if the opponent has the initiative, one should work to seize it from them as it is both a physical and psychological tool in that the adversary may be overwhelmed by one's attack and lose the will to resume the bout, prompting a flight response. The following are the most prominent aspects of the fighting style:
When compared to the heavier forms of bladed weaponry, the spear's advantages are clear. It is light, possesses a longer reach, and it's techniques are simple but highly efficient. Integral to spear fighting is the ability to use a spear to amass power by applying the necessary body movements to dynamically stretch the tendons and open up the joints. Stiff joints and a lack of flexibility only result in the impairment and limitation of the range of a fighter's movements. Wrist and waist movements are used to emit powerful circular movements. Full body coordination is fundamental to the style's philosophy that a spear in constant, flowing movement with unrelenting pace is the most difficult weapon to defeat.
Twirling, swinging, thrusting, figure-eight spinning etc. rank among the various elements found in Baile de La Vibora. Perfection of one's technical ability is required in order to make use of lethal combinations such as the upward slash and the jab-thrust.
The spear's most dangerous part is it's bladed tip or point. As a result, the undisputed king of its attacks is the thrust. Learning to thrust the tip of the spear quickly and with perfect accuracy in any direction is among the most important fundamentals of Baile de La Vibra. Movements must be agile and precise, as well as speedy and ferocious. The spear is held with the front hand to balance the weapon while the back hand is used to control and guide. The basic principle of Baile de La Vibra is that according to Santiago, "One must begin like a soaring eagle, then dart towards the target like an attacking viper, a Black Viper". In essence, the tassel should be moving as one unit with the spear. When one learns to thrust with unimpaired straightness, the thrusting movement has been perfected.
However, movement is not the sole constituent of what makes a thrust successful. Certain thrusting techniques require the rotation of the spear's head to be as small as the circumference of an orange. Achieving this effect with consistency exhibits one's mastery of the striking portion of spear-fighting. Why the thrust is prized as the greatest of spear strikes is that it delivers the full force and weight of a blow into a very small area. Simply put, it squeezes all the PSI of one's attack. The thrust however, is a precise attack, therefore, Baile de La Vibra dictates that it should be used to target vulnerable areas such as the neck, the armpit, the joints, the groin, the ribs, the eyes etc. The ability to identify sensitive areas in armored or highly durable foes is an important quality in competent spear-fighting.
Sensitive areas are often targeted because they are not spongy enough to absorb the majority of the impact's force. Quick thrusts at opportune targets can be performed without changing sides or as part of a change in one's stance. The basic principle of wielding a spear is that it does not use blunt force trauma, but penetration. Softer areas should be targeted by the thrust, areas that will not be protected by thick layers of bone.
--Shifting Sides & Additional Strikes--
During combat, the desire or requirement for one to change sides while fighting with a spear can be accomplished from many of the available guards of traditional spear-fighting. In order to complete a change however, either by moving forward to thrust or by moving rearward to create space, it is imperative that one loosen their grip with the forward hand so that the spear's pole may pass through it easily. With the rear hand, pushing the spear through the front hand until the two hands meet is necessary, so that the fully extent arms exercise extra reach. Immediately letting go with the rear hand while simultaneously pulling sharply backwards with the front hand is the following step.
One that is proceeded by using the free hand to catch the spear and take it's place as the front when the practitioner steps forward or backward. The footwork employed should allow the practitioner to conclude the change in a proper guard. Changing sides is used to gain an advantage over the opponent, or at least to match their stance. Though the thrust was previously discussed as the most important strike once can execute with the spear, it is not the only one. Santiago believes that several strikes that one can perform with a sword can be replicated with a spear. For example, by sliding the forward hand toward the forward the tip of the spear while pulling to the rear with the rear hand, one can (while maintaining a firm hold with the forward hand) slide the spear's pole through the rear hand while swinging the weapon in whichever arc one wishes to strike from. The power of one's body weight is added should a step be taken when striking.
The option to attack from the top, bottom, middle or by angling up or downwards are one of the many possibilities of a spear-fighter's arsenal. From a half-guard, the Black Viper is capable of striking or thrusting with immense speed and ferocity towards any of the striking directions with a variety of available options. Using the power of the hips with this guard is important, as well cocking the body somewhat when striking because it generates more power than striking only with the arms would. In order to maximize the speed and force of a strike, Santiago strikes with the few inches close to the tips for maximum force and damage, and not closer to the center.
Firstly, it is important that the combatant not position themselves in such a way that the adversary can grab their spear. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, therefore, methods have been developed to prevent the practitioner from having their spear grabbed or to defend against such a situation. Should an opponent grab the practitioner's spear, first and foremost, balance and mental clarity must be retained. What Baile de La Vibra instructs is that in such a situation, the practitioner (Santiago) must instead make their opponent lose their balance, hopefully forcing the opponent to relinquish their hold over the spear with one hand at least. Following this, sharply pulling the spear to the rear while stepping backwards can help regain control.
Or winding the staff in a large circle against the adversary's thumb. Another alternative is that one can thrust sharply forward accompanied by a sharp rearward step, or throwing the spear across their body. Should the opponent manage to trap the spear under their arm, Santiago argues that the practitioner should abandon it and instead attempt to close quickly to grapple.
Mixed Martial Arts System: Wrestle-Strike
Simply put, Santiago's innovative mixed martial arts system incorporates a variety of elements that effectively revolutionize how one can employ what is primarily wrestling (freestyle wrestling) to viciously maul an adversary. The majority of fighters find wrestling's fighting utility to be positional and preparatory. He however, makes use of the grappling art to exercise total command over where a bout takes place. In essence, should he want the battle to transition to the ground and maintain it there, he will drive the opponent to the ground and keep them there, or should his desire be to engage in a stand-up contest, it will. This illustrates a single point that is the foundation for his fighting style, that should he have an objective, nearly nothing can force him to do otherwise.
This is not to imply that the Black Viper does not enjoy the classical benefits of a wrestling background, he has simply uncovered a new and unforeseen use for his grappling prowess. And now he stands front and center in a pioneering movement which utilizes wrestling to set up punishing strikes from the standing position. This emerges from two distinct and very important wrestling skills, hand-fighting and leg attacks. With regards to hand-fighting, Santiago has transformed a skill once only useful in grappling exchanges into a means to viciously bombard an adversary with devastating strikes. Hand-fighting is the process by which two wrestlers jockey for position from the standing position in what to the novice spectator appears to be no more than grabbing and tugging. Hand-fighting however, encompasses a gargantuan realm of technical skill and strategy.
An elite wrestler is not an elite wrestler unless they possess a profound expertise in hand-fighting. During hand-fighting, wrestlers pummel for under-hooks, club each others' heads, yank collar ties, feint and circle. The end goal is to create defensive openings to permit a successful takedown attempt. When engaged against an adversary, Santiago hand-fights constantly, always grabbing collar ties, clamping over-hooks and keeping his opponent at bay with posts to the head. Though most common is the Black Viper's control of the adversary's arms with wrist ties. During bouts, time and time again, the Black Viper reaches out and grabs one or both of his opponent's wrists in order to subsequently tailor succeeding strikes on the adversary's reactions to the ties. For example, should he be at an appropriate distance away, Santiago generally reaches forward with both hands to grab both of his opponent's wrists.
Should the opponent attempt to reach toward his head with their hands in an attempted collar tie, the Black Viper instead refuses them the opportunity, pulling his adversary's right arm down with his left hand while pronating his right hand, twisting the adversary's left hand away from their body. This action prompts an instinctive reaction from the opponent, the sharp pulling away of the arm from his grasp, exposing the opponent to a takedown as their hand is pulled back too sharply and unable to defend the leg. Santiago however, does not always follow with a takedown shoot. For example, upon noticing that his adversary's right hand has vacated it's defensive post, he could capitalize by throwing a crushing elbow tight into the opponent's face while neutralizing the adversary's other hand with a wrist tie.
An unparalleled wrestle-striking revolutionary, Santiago has cultivated a reputation of a martial intellectual capable of using wrestling maneuvers to create striking opportunities like no other. By combining his inborn skill, inventiveness, and scientific methodology, he has devised an entire combat system revolving around his wrestle-striking innovation. One portion of this system addresses how he makes use of hand-fighting to set up strikes, however, the system's second portion employs the threat of potent takedowns to open his adversaries up to pulverizing punches and lacerating elbows. Santiagol accomplishes this by demonstrating his ability to ground his opponent from a neutral position.
This enables him to illustrate (to the opponent) the dominance with which he can rag-doll them his takedowns. Often employing a more cerebral approach, he tends to rely on misdirection double leg takedowns. Generally, he stands straight up and back-pedals, baiting his adversary into coming forward and attempting to control the distance by reaching with a jab. Once his opponent steps into him and throws the jab or any punch however, he quickly shoots underneath the punch while exploiting his opponent's forward momentum for exceptional, deep penetration on the shot. Whether or not the takedown is successful is of little to no importance as the objective is to plant a seed of wariness in his opponent's mind, forcing them to fight more cautiously due to the inevitable threat of another takedown.
Following the announcement of the ever-present danger of his takedowns, the Black Viper cleverly commences the implementation of fake takedown attempts to lower the adversary's guard in order to throw and land critical strikes. For example, by establishing himself the appropriate distance from the opponent, he reaches for their left leg as if intent on securing a single leg, this however, is no more than a deceptive feint, one that is immediately followed by a thundering straight left that is timed to land just as the opponent lowers their hands to defend against the feinted takedown. Though perhaps the most frequently employed, and most vicious of the Black Viper's wrestle-striking is his repeated lowering of his level to create the appearance of a coming double leg takedown shot, only to explode upwards with a roaring elbow.
This particular tactic is used by the Black Viper with exceptional adeptness. By relying on his intuitive, brilliant sense of space management, Santiago stands an appropriate distance away from the adversary. Lowering his level and gathering himself for an ebullient motion, Santiago causes his opponent to anticipate a takedown shot, prompting them to lower their hands below their waist to defend this apparent shot. The Spaniard however, instead uncoils with an unforgiving upward elbow that smashes into his adversary's face just as they drop into a defensive posture.
Ground Fighting: Sambo
A combination of Combat and Sport Sambo, the Black VIper's hybrid rendition of Sambo is his most extensively employed ground fighting art, favored over Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the difference between the styles' respective approaches to the concept of striking. Even at an elementary level, striking remains an aspect of Sambo (Combat Sambo). BJJ however, tends to adhere to an approach that the opponent above the practitioner striking is only a temporary dilemma that will dissolve once the next technique is performed. Sambo however, adopts a different philosophy that maintains a perpetual awareness of the opponent's ability to do damage with their fists.
Both Combat and Sport Sambo are largely throwing sports, the intended objective is not unlike that of Judo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is to secure a takedown and force the adversary to the ground. Trip takedowns, double-leg takedowns for example, are two of the multitude of tools used to transport a bout to the ground. Due to it's emphasis on takedowns, Santiago, an expertly-versed specialist of the martial art, is superlative in taking others down as well as preventing himself from being taken down. Because of Sambo's tendency to demand that the practitioner stay right and upright to avoid knees when searching for takedowns, upper body throws such as hip tosses, suplexes, laterals etc. are expertly implemented tools for securing takedowns.
Additionally, another reason for the Black Viper's selection of Sambo over BJJ is it's coupling of striking and grappling which enable fluid synchronization of striking and wrestling while adjusting to the foundations of virtually all martial arts; balance, head movement, stance, footwork, strategy, instinct, and more. In essence, Santiago's rendition of Sambo combines striking with a leglock and takedown-oriented approach.
Exotic Unarmed Style: Madridista Blood-Bending
A master of the hydrokinetic ability to seize the biological fluids within a living organism's body and manipulate them for control of the target's physical movements (and more), Santiago adheres to gestures not unlike how a puppeteer controls a marionette, in particular the hand shape and movements, usually relying on rigid and abrupt movements to fortify the strength of the technique.
While generically employed to violently contort and control the body of an opponent not unlike a puppet-master, Santiago has further developed and mastered the art of blood-bending, enabling him to use an opponent's internal bodily fluids for a variety of purposes such as crushing their organs, and boiling, pressurizing, or cooling these fluids inside an opponent's body. Perhaps its most gruesome component is the complete extraction of water and moisture from an opponent's body, imparting immediate dehydration and death. Harboring an unparalleled understanding of the human body, the Spaniard has managed to cultivate a succession of healing abilities as well, allowing him to prevent blood loss, maintain gashes and wounds, alleviate blood clots and internal wounds, prevent cardiac arrest by pumping blood in and out of the body, and otherwise accelerate other healing processes. Primarily geared as an offensive combat art, the esoteric art has been coupled with his superb intellect to further his mastery of blood-bending, enabling him to induce cardiac arrest, and strokes by disturbing the blood supply to the heart and the brain respectively.
Opponents of particular physical strength, bodily fortitude or similarly skilled blood-bending masters can resist the effects of this technique. An elite blood-bender nearly without peer, he is further capable of achieving effects which the majority of the globe's scarce blood-benders cannot e.g antagonizing the red blood cells allowing him to cause hemolytic anemia, jaundice, oxygen decrease in the blood etc. It is also within his ability to solidify the fluids in an adversary's body. While famous for its hydrokinetic command over blood, blood-bending itself grants the user the ability to manipulate any of the fluids in an individual's body, as a result, Santiago's skill transends to cerebrospinal fluid, extracellular fluid, intracellular fluid, gastric acid etc.
The Black Viper - Powers & Abilities
-Quantum-Mechanical Nervous System & Telepathy-
In place of what would have been an ordinary brain, Santiago instead possesses, an organic quantum computer. As a system, his mind (and nervous system) is comprised of photons arranged in arrays of superconducting qubits in relation to a powerful quantum model that overcomes modern computing obstacles with attaining scalable, quantum computation. The model which the Spaniard himself has described as being 'Universal computation by multi-particle quantum walk' uses the quantum mechanical analog of the mathematical 'random walk' formalization, wherein the path taken by a molecule consists of a succession of seemingly random steps, though in reality, the path is not random.
While blessed with a mind clearly more powerful than even the world's most advanced modern supercomputer, The Black Viper's quantum mind is in fact even more powerful than a quantum supercomputer. This is because the quantum walk model his mind uses allows it to not depend on the active control of qubits (the informational unit of quantum computers made of an actual quantum particle, which in Santiago's case, is a photon in a superposition state, rendering it far more powerful than the standard bit used in modern computing). Because of this, any computational error can, by him, be made arbitrarily small, and because of his mind's quantum model, it can accommodate any quantum algorithm, and even unveil new, undiscovered ones. In addition to granting him the power to lay waste to modern computing and interface with certain technologies, Santiago's mind is capable of cracking codes infinitely faster than any ordinary computer, as well as allowing him to think an infinite amount of thoughts without delay.
This renders it well within his abilities to break modern encryption standards like the encryption algorithm protecting communication and electronic banking on the internet. Additionally, his ability to unveil new algorithms renders his mind a threat to the security of even other quantum computers. He is able to perform highly complex calculations at an incredible rate, as well as new types of calculations that modern, binary bit-based computers simply cannot perform. Santiago's mind uses qubits as informational units, photons in superposition states (a combination of two basis states), that is one whose polarization state is both vertical and horizontal simultaneously. To better illustrate, normal digital computing has bit values that are either 0 or 1, whereas the value of a qubit can be both 0 and 1 simultaneously. Because qubits exist in multiple simultaneous states, the Black Viper has several states dedicated to a variety of tasks.
For example, he has groups of qubits dedicated to calculating every possible outcome of hypothetical scenarios, granting him a degree of precognition and insight into the future. And because his thoughts are ridiculously complex quantum matrices and vast arrays of mathematical expressions being processed at an infinite rate, they are incomprehensible to anything lacking the computing power to process all of that information, as a result, even high-level telepaths find their minds violently overloaded when trying to peek into his mind, why? Because their brains are still ordinary as far as their computing and processing power are concerned. Strangely, the Spaniard is in possession of the ability to encode the information in his mind inside quantum particles e.g. electrons. Essentially, this allows him to hide bits of his mind such as treasured memories or secrets he does not want known in any quantum particle, like in the photons that comprise the light generated from an unassuming light bulb.
Among his most fearsome abilities however, is the power to manipulate the quantum/physical information that comprises the consciousness of others, awarding him a kind of quantum telepathy. It enables him to rearrange and even remove this information from the mind of his targets and scatter it across space-time geometry. With this power, he can correctly interpret the physical information in the minds of others as thoughts etc. allowing him to read minds, as well as alter personalities, and essentially achieve the same effects that any high-level telepath can. Additionally, he possesses the power to transfer the quantum information that constitutes his consciousness from his mind to space-time geometry where he can exist as a quantum soul (an ability he can use against others), implying that even should his body somehow be destroyed, he can never truly die.
-Superluminal Time Perception & Instantaneous Reflexes-
To his powerful quantum mind, Santiago is gifted with the power to think and perceive reality at exactly the speed of light (and beyond should need be). In an ordinary individual, light requires several steps in the human eye and brain before it can actually be seen. When one stares at a computer screen for example, photons hit the back of the eyes and touch off complex chemical signals that are translated into electrical signals sent along neurons to the back of the brain and then eventually translated into what people 'see'. The process however, is not instant. As subtle as the period of time may be for those who are ordinary, there is still some amount of time passed, meaning that there are in fact portions of life that those with ordinary perceptions of time, do not see.
And it is because of this that most do not actually 'see' the present, they do in fact see what life was some milliseconds ago, which may seem insignificant, but to one with as remarkable a perception of time as Santiago, it is simply too much time. Ordinary individuals view life in frames, sixty frames per second to be exact. Whereas Santiago is at the pinnacle of time perception, he can process information infinitely fast but for conservation of his energy reserves, usually do so at the speed of light, which still brings him closer to reality than anyone else. His ability to process information this fast grants him a wealth of abilities such as the ability to pick out any frame of a video simply by watching it or seeing, with perfect clarity, every individual flap of a hummingbird's wings. By comparison to the speed of his information processing, most of the world processes information like the laggiest YouTube video in history.
Even the likes of Thee Champion, who possesses remarkable time perception and is able to think and process information at 99.9% the speed of light, pales in comparison to Santiago's time perception, because he can think exactly at the speed of light. 99.9% the speed of light is 299,492,666 meters per second, whereas the speed of light itself is 299,792,458 meters per second. And what does this imply? There is a 299,792 meters per second difference in the speed at which the Black Viper processes information and perceives time and Thee Champion's. For a being who thinks and experiences life in nanoseconds, even a second is far too much time. Why? Because the difference between a nanosecond and a second is equivalent to the difference between a second and 31.7 years. This perception of time coupled with his nervous system which is an entangled array of superconducting qubits is the primary reason for why Santiago possesses instant reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulus without delay.
And it is this ability to process information at superluminal speeds that, aside from his quantum mind, is the foundation for his remarkable intellect and scientific insight. This is because his time perception allows him to view events in the quantum world, things that pop in and out of existence faster than modern instruments can detect. It is for this reason that the Black Viper's understanding of the universe at a fundamental level is nearly unparalleled.
A marvel of superhuman efficiency, Santiago's body is a hub of genetic boons. One of which are his muscle synergies. A combination of movements stemming from the kinematic and kinetic parameters that initiate physical actions which are achieved when interrelated components of the same movement (or movement of several body parts) are coupled in a precisely timed, smooth manner to reach an intended goal, muscle synergies are fundamental to the Spaniard's athleticism. By combining the positional necessities and movement of his musculoskeletal system with the quantum processes of his unique qubit-based nervous system to incite and regulate motor commands, Santiago's body has developed a superb form of motor coordination, control, balance, and equilibrium. When combined with his attributes of strength, speed etc. this form of motor coordination creates the conditions for a degree of agility and explosiveness that is rare, even among superhumans.
Also rare is the Black Viper's mutation which is the reason behind his superhuman strength. In the body there are two proteins, myostatin and activin A, that are responsible for the suppression of an organ's excessive growth. They are generally found in the muscles and their usual task is to maintain the size and number of the body's muscle cells, and thus keeping an individual's overall strength within a specified range. Because these factors work to negatively impact muscle cell growth, the removal of these factors would logically permit muscle cells to grow in both size and number. And the removal of such is what Santiago's genes are instructed (by his DNA) to accomplish. And though both myostatin and activin A are the 'guards' so to speak, there is a tertiary biological components, the guard that guards the guards; follistatin. The implication is that in most individuals, there is a genetic switch that controls muscle growth and by extension, strength. It is a switch however, that Santiago's genes have turned off. How? By using follistatin to block the action of myostatin, allowing his muscle cells to develop without restriction, granting him an impressive degree of superhuman strength, enough to lift a maximum of 30 tons. His genes have also rewritten what would have otherwise been an ordinary muscle protein structure into one that facilitates his remarkable strength.
And as a result, his body produces more of the contractile proteins of muscles. And because speed is directly related to the strength of a muscle, Santiago is also capable of sprinting well into the territory of superhuman speed. In order to accomplish all of this however, lifting several tons etc., his bones must be adapted to the tremendous forces he subjects them to when for example, moving tremendous amounts of weight. Because of this, his bones contain a greater percentage of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, and other minerals, rendering them stronger and structurally superior to ordinary bones. Coupled with his resilient tissues, he is additionally granted superhuman durability, enough to absorb a great deal of shock, withstand high-caliber gunshots, and harsh temperatures. And while enough high-caliber rounds can penetrate his tissue, they cannot dent his bones. Additionally, his stamina is also a thing of the extraordinary. Because of a mutation in his body's erythropoietin receptor (EPOR) gene, the Black Viper has primary familial and congenital polycthemia (PFCP) which causes an exponential increase in his red blood cell mass and hemoglobin, dramatically augmenting the oxygen carrying capacity of his blood and ultimately granting him remarkable endurance and stamina. And finally, unlike many of the world's living creatures, the telomerase enzymes at the end of his DNA strands do not unravel during cell division, rendering him immune to the effects of aging after his prime.
-Regeneration & Immune System-
Responsible for his unique regenerative abilities are neoblast stem cells. Cells at the location of any wound on his body proliferate to form a blastema (a mass of cells with the ability to grow and regenerate into organs etc.) that differentiates into new tissues and regenerates the damaged tissue. A principle of his regeneration is that so long as a molecule remains, he will eventually regenerate. New tissue growth takes because of pluripotent stem cells (neoblast stem cells) that possess the ability to create all of the various cell types. These cells make up a large portion of the cells in Santiago's body and as a result, injury is of no concern to him. Missing limbs, damaged organs, so long as one cell remains, he will regenerate, eventually. It may take days, weeks, months, even years, but he will regenerate. In addition to this regeneration, the Spaniard's body holds an incredibly powerful immune system.
One that renders him immune to virtually all diseases, toxins and poisons. While there is an obvious diversification in how toxins etc. affect their victims, affects ranging from the erosion of organic matter to the termination of important cellular functions, Santiago's immune system accounts for all of this. For the most part, the Spaniard's immune system incorporates hyper-mitosis, rapidly multiplying his cells until the antigen is consumed by the counteraction, and once the antigen has vanished, his immune system's activity level diminishes. However, when faced with antigens that block cellular functions, his immune system responds differently. In order to work properly, the body needs the correct protein to unlock a necessary mechanism. Similar to how one needs a certain key to open a specific lock. And if the lock is jammed with a false key (in this case, the blocking antigen), then the body will no longer work properly. This kind of antigen does not destroy replaceable cellular structures, but instead blocks them. The Spaniard's body responds to this scenario by developing antibodies that can degrade and destroy these blockers.
A clear illustration is if one were to attempt to block Santiago's mouth with a cloth. An instinctive response could be to tear at the cloth until it is sufficiently destroyed. Similar to that, his immune system uses a fast-acting counter-agent for every kind of harmful antigen in existence. And because his immune system is incredibly fast-acting while also possessing an extremely efficient capacity for cell reproduction, as well as being capable of circulating antibodies through his body abnormally fast, he is left immune to all diseases etc.
-Technology, Other Weaponry etc.-
Named 'Venenoso' (Spanish for 'Venomous' or 'Poisonous'), Santiago's eight foot long spear is a direct homage to his 'Black Viper' alias. Along the front end of its shaft and the bottom of the spearhead, there is a coiling, black snake. The spear's additional adornments include a tassel made from python skin just below the spearhead, and though aesthetic in its value as an ornament, its true purpose is actually practical because it assists in blurring the vision of the Spaniard's adversaries while also rendering it more difficult for them to grab the spear's shaft behind the spearhead. The tassel is also there to prevent the flow of blood from the blade from getting to the wooden shaft as the blood would render it slippery, and if dried, sticky, both of which would compromise Santiago's grip.
Venenoso's spearhead, constructed from a steel-obsidian alloy, is extraordinarily durable, not only due to its composition but the quantum shields that lock its subatomic structure in place, granting it significant structural strength and thermal stability. As for the wooden shaft, while also aggrandized by quantum shields, it is to a lesser degree so as not to compromise the flexibility of the wood. Its bladed component, the spearhead, is remarkably sharp. Sharpness it owes to its cubic-boron nitride-dispersed edges and tip which enable it to cut and pierce through nearly anything. At the spearhead's edges are micro-capsules containing a variety of harmful substances, one of them, atracotoxin, a neurotoxin. Unlike most neurotoxins that traditionally work by shutting down the nervous system in some way, atracotoxin instead hyper-stimulates the nervous system to the point of overload, dramatically increasing the body's pain response, altering pressure, and gradually causing pulmonary edema by forcing the millions of air sacs in the lungs to burst, causing the victim to, peculiarly, drown on dry land.
Strangely, the neurotoxin is harmless to nearly every type of mammal with the exception of primates like humans, mutants etc. Among the neurotoxin's effects is an immediate and sharp rise in pain, hypertension (the elevation of blood pressure in the arteries) followed by hypotension (the lowering of blood pressure), both of which lead to painful circulatory failure. Additionally, it causes dyspnea (shortness of breath), eventual respiratory failure, skeletal muscle fasciculation (involuntary contractions and relaxation of muscles), salivation, lachrymation (tearing), sweating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Another substance carried by the spear's micro-capsules is a psychoactive substance not unlike psilocybin and mescaline. Called 5-MeO-DMT, its effects are not traditionally harmful. It however, is incredibly useful in leaving Santiago's opponents highly vulnerable for an extended period of time. It induces a variety of effects in its victims including shifts in perspective, the sensation of being sat on by an elephant to even, and most comically, wondering 'Why?' at the vagaries of the universe while the sky folds into itself and a cactus explains the virtues of sock ironing.
Its purpose is simple; to leave its victims in an extremely vulnerable state for Santiago to confirm the kill with a second strike. The final substance in the spear's micro-capsules is hydrofluoric acid, which is corrosive to human tissue and because it contains an anion of fluorine which enjoys bonding with calcium, it burns the bones as well, in addition to interfering with nerve function and reacting with blood calcium, and causing cardiac arrest. When large enough in quantity, the acid can cause severe systematic toxicity in the victim's body due to interference with blood and tissue calcium levels, leading to excruciating pain and a drop in serum calcium levels.