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Ashley Stillons,[1] known publicly as Damsel of Distress III, is the counterpoint of Swansong, her clone-sister.

Personality

Still was not willing to mend her ways and place trust in people. She was much closer to the Damsel persona of old, haughty, regal,[4] and standoffish, convinced of her superiority.[5]

Still wears black.[6]

Relationships

Swansong

Got along with her sister fine, though she questioned her life choices. Helped her with the prison investigation.

People who know swansong can easily distinguish the two,[7] even without the physical differences.

Kenzie Martin

Seemed jealous of her sisters connection with Kenzie.[8] Luckily the girl took to Damsel similarly as she had taken to Swansong.[9]

Appearance

Similar enough to her predecessor, a slim build with stark white hair from her power usage. Usually dresses in dark clothing. She maintains the original upgrades made by Bonesaw.

Abilities and Powers

Main article: Damsel of Distress

Presumably her powers are largely unchanged,[3] though her tinker modified arms give complete control of her blasts.[10]

This lets her create things like suspended spheres of destructive energy.[11][12]

She is immune to her sister's power, just as she is immune to her own.[13]

Equipment

Her arms count as weapon by themselves, since they are exceptionally sharp;[10] however, they interfere with her dexterity; even damaging the objects she handles.[14]

History

Background

Main article: Damsel of Distress

It is unknown how much Ashley retains of her past.[15]

Post-Echidna

When Defiant killed the original DoD her DNA was already preserved by Bonesaw, this was used to create several clones for The Slaughterhouse Nine-Thousand.[16]

Post-Timeskip

She and her clone sisters were awakened with the rest of The Slaughterhouse Nine-Thousand and was used in the rampage, killing several people over the course of the event.[17]

She was forced to surrender through Bonesaw's remote.[18]

Gold Morning

She was one of the instances of the cloned Damsel that survived the initial deployment. She formed a family unit with her fellow clone afterward. Then a goddess stepped in and Ashley was used along with other surviving parahumans to end Gold Morning.[19]

Post-Gold Morning

Regained her voice, but decided to keep monstrous hands and old habits. Soon was arrested again and put into new prison for parahumans.[18]

Post-Fallen fall

Met with her sister again, they cleared some questions.[18]

Fell into something of a routine with her sister but wasn't able to meet her sisters' friends and teammates.[20]

Post-Goddess' Takeover

Was free after the prison break.[21] Showcasing her villainous nature they opted to stay in their warm apartment while their teammates were braving the cold for a team bonding activity.[22]

She joins her sister on a stroll to Earth N and claims at least two victims. Not feeling respected enough, she eventually decided to break away.[23]

Post-Attack on Teacher

Damsel resurfaced again leading her own group of aggressive misfits with plundering habits. It quickly brought on her the attention of Breakthrough.[24]

Breakthrough accidentally pulled her into the dream room of Rain's Cluster, where she assisted them in defeating Cradle and his guardian. Afterwards, they left the room and entered shard realm, where she proved to be an experienced traveler.[25] She bartered her services as a guide for a guarantee that Breakthrough will not attempt to replace her personality with Swansong's ghost.

She rushed Teacher's setup alongside Antares.[26]

Unlike Breakthrough and Tattletale, Damsel declines an ultimatum from The Wardens.[27]

Fanart Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Group Text (@ Ashley Stillons, Chris Elman, Kenzie Martin, Rain Frazier, Sveta Karelia, Tristan Vera) - Excerpt from Glare 3.6
  2. “I did that for Ashley Black, and I thought I’d do it for you too. I just wanted to see- I’m going to take your hands…” - Excerpt from Polarize 10.2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Damsel of Distress High recoil 'shotgun' bursts of warped space, disintegration and gravity shearing destroy virtually anything, fling her back. Can be used as mover power Independent/Slaughterhouse 9 Mover Shaker - Parahuman List; bolded edit by Wildbow
  4. “You’re here,” the long-haired Ashley said. “After leaving us standing around in the cold for as long as you did, you really should buy us something. Tribute.”

    Okay, that was Damsel then. Hair length matched. Easy. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.1
  5. I looked at her, and I saw a reflection of Ashley, but one that casually wore the glares and haughty expressions that had been rarer or which had only emerged in times of stress. She stalked, eyes wide.

    I was reminded of the Siberian, seeing her, what with the long pale hair across her face, the natural arrogance, and the dangerous look in her eyes. I didn’t see it in the Ashley that was hugging Lookout right now. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.3
  6. Gleaming 9.10
  7. Everything in her micro-expressions was different. The degree to which she fractionally widened and narrowed her eyes in the course of a single sentence, the slight movements of her bladed hands, as if to create implications as she said ‘hands’, the intonations. All of it was keyed in a way that suggested an implicit threat or imminent action, like she was coiled up and ready to… blast with her power or lash out.

    This wasn’t the Ashley I’d come to know. This was the Ashley I could imagine working with the Slaughterhouse Nine. - Excerpt from Gleaming 9.10
  8. She bounded to Ashley, and stopped short of giving Ashley a hug. Ashley adjusted her grip on Sveta, and pulled Lookout into a one-armed hug, arm at Lookout’s head.

    Interesting, to see how Damsel observed that, the fidgeting with claw-fingers, eye contact not leaving that scene. I wasn’t sure if it was a terrifying interesting or a positive one. Figuring that out required resources I didn’t have. - Excerpt from Gleaming 9.14
  9. “And I’ve got the best two people to keep me company,” Kenzie said. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.1
  10. 10.0 10.1 Her fingers were blades, long enough that she could stand up and have her fingertips touch the ground. Her power was wholly under her control and yet she still couldn’t reach out to touch anything.
    [...]
    Bladed fingers settled on either side of her face, enough pressure applied that a strong wind might have been enough to push the threshold and see blood drawn.

    Her other self had the long hair, had wanted to keep the bladed fingers. The girl wore a long black dress and Ashley wore clothes that, while predominantly black, were more fit for the tribunal.

    She had a voice, the claw-hands gave her the ability to master her power, with no misfires. - Excerpt from Eclipse x.8
  11. Damsel’s power crackled, then flared out, the noise deafening in the close confines of the tunnel. Blindside shrank against one side of the tunnel, which meant I could turn my head to see three-quarters of the scene. Damsel had backed off a bit, and now held her claws out. The distortion of her warped space was being held within the confines of her claws, a roughly spherical shape of what looked like slices of space seen through very tinted glass, Vista’s warped space, slices and curls of total blackness, and crackles of black lightning.

    I heard a gun cock.

    “Shoot me, and this stuff I’m holding fills the tunnel,” Damsel intoned the words. - Excerpt from Gleaming 9.13
  12. I saw a smile on her face before she started swiping out, tearing into the ground and creating a ditch in a matter of a single blast. People backed away as she widened it into a hole.

    She did have control. It wasn’t just holding the blast as a localized storm of energy.
    [...]
    Damsel put a claw against the wall of stone, claw-tips reaching for purchase and finding none. She lifted a foot so covered in mud that the footwear was impossible to see, placing it on a spike, and then used a blast of her power to ascend to the top of the hole.

    More control there too. - Excerpt from Gleaming 9.13
  13. It was reassuring to see the only other person left in existence that understood, that she couldn’t hurt with her power, should a freak accident happen. It was terrifying. - Excerpt from Eclipse x.8
  14. “In her cup,” Swansong said. “She pierced the bag she was placing in her cup and then she gave it to me while taking my cup.”

    “Scandalous,” Lookout said.

    “Do you know how I know it was my cup? Because hers is chipped and scratched from top to bottom. I thought she forgot and gave her the benefit of a doubt, that cow abused that graciousness, and she did it with a smile.” - Excerpt from Polarize 10.12
  15. Greendoor65: And Damsel snaps because she lost a training exercise. Honestly, it seems kinda really bad idea to have a former S9 member on your team, Amnesty or not for exactly this reason.

    Also, huh, are they saying that the Clones retain some memories through the Shards (If distant and faded)? If so, that's interesting as hell.
    ughzubat: In Riley's interlude she talks about the first batches of clones having some memory bleed over, she theorizes it's because of their shards
    Wildbow: Good recall, yep. 15 points to Cauldryn. - Conversation with Wildbow on Reddit
  16. Glow-worm P.3
  17. Ashley clenched one hand into a fist. “You realize if I hadn’t been holding back, I could have annihilated each and every one of you?”

    Woah,” Tristan said, with emphasis. “Ashley-”

    She whirled on him, pointing, and he flinched, going silent. I stood from my seat.

    “Ashley,” I said, because I wanted her attention off of Tristan.

    “I’m not Ashley,” she said, her voice hard. “Nobody has called me that in a long, long time. I’m only Ashley because the therapists insisted and the others needed an actual name to put on the paperwork. I’m Damsel of Distress!”

    “Okay,” I said. “Can we-”

    I was spoken over. “I was a member of the Slaughterhouse Nine. They selected me. They had me kill and maim people. I didn’t mind doing it then, and I could do it here without blinking.”

    “I don’t believe you,” Sveta said.

    “I’ve died and I came back with only the vicious parts of me intact! All of the warmth, the good memories, the family, they’re just a fuzzy, indistinct dream. Those memories have no hold on me. The killing? Taking people’s arms and legs and watching them bleed out? That’s clear as anything. I could do the same to any of you.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.3
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 - Excerpt from Eclipse x.8
  19. I found members of Bonesaw’s Slaughterhouse Nine. Clones who’d fled, or who’d been left behind, lurking in dark corners, or simply hiding. A Mannequin, two Damsels that were keeping each other company, a Night Hag-Nyx hybrid, and a Crawler-Breed hybrid. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4
  20. Rain leaned forward, touching the intercom at the middle of the wide table. “Can the other Ashley Stillons join us?”

    “Checking,” came the reply.
    [...]
    The intercom buzzed, but no voice came through. It took three or four seconds, and then there was only a “Permission refused.”

    Too bad. It had been a long shot, to bring Swansong’s sister in. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.3
  21. Gleaming 9.15
  22. Polarize 10.1
  23. Heavens 12.x
  24. From Within 16.3
  25. “I’ve been here before,” Damsel said, as she headed over toward Tattletale. “Spent a while here when I was dead. You learn your way around.” - Excerpt from From Within 16.10.
  26. From Within 16.12
  27. Sundown 17.1

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Slaughterhouse Nine
Leaders King Jack Slash
Members Bonesaw Breed Burnscar Cherish Chuckles Crawler Crimson Damsel of Distress Gray Boy Harbinger Hatchet Face Hookwolf Mannequin Miasma Murder Rat Nice Guy Night Hag Nyx Psychosoma Screamer Shatterbird The Siberian Skinslip Winter 
Bonesaw's Hybrids Hack Job Laughjob *Murder Rat Nighty Night *Pagoda Snowmann Spawner Tyrant 
Clones Damsel of Distress II Damsel of Distress III Harbinger Clones 
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