Adam Mustain, known publicly as Skidmark, is the leader of the Archer's Bridge Merchants.
Short sighted yet intelligent, hedonistic but willful. Rather foul mouthed.
He has some leadership ability and natural showmanship.
Skidmark wears a mask that covers the top half of his face, and later added a cape to his costume. The lower half of his face is dark skinned, with badly chapped lips and teeth that look like "shelled pistachio nuts". His health was visibly affected by his methamphetamine addiction.
Abilities and Powers
Skidmark has the ability to create a deflector effect, a type of force field that push things with about as much force as a gusty wind. In fact, it can exponentially increase any force put into it. His power caused the affected area to glow with a blue to violet color effect.
He can apply this effect on any surface, up to a large but finite limit, roughly that of a soccer field. He could even coat his equipment and living things with the glow, causing anything that touched them to be pushed away with enough force to smash through metal pipes. He could not move an effect after it has been applied, but could dismiss it at will in a flash of light.
Skidmark has shown that the effects can be layered up through multiple uses of his power increasing the severity of the effect. With enough applications of his power layered on a surface he could theoretically deflect bullets, or even topple Endbringers. Still he ran up against limits such as, a steady stream of material could knock him down, especially when he did not have time to set things up. It could be applied to a surface causing all objects on that surface to be immediately affected. As long as he has eyes on his creations they stay functional.
He did not effectively explore the use of his power, limiting his effectiveness, and lowering his PRT rating. Technically his power is more of a Mover then Shaker but this is not reflected in his official classification.
Given his choice of name and choice of swearwords Skidmark may have been British. His trigger was likely more of a natural Mover trigger then a Shaker one.
Following Bakuda's bombing spree, Skidmark went to Somer's Rock to discuss how they would deal with the Azn Bad Boys. He was denied a seat at the table with the other leaders and then stormed off to a booth with his teammates after failing to convince them that he deserved one.
He did not fight when the endbringer came to Brockton Bay.
Skidmark gained a lot of power with the devastation to Brockton Bay. At some point, his group discovered a case containing vials and documentation claiming that they granted superpowers.
He held what as essentially a gladiatorial match among members of the merchants. Explicitly for some to win 'powers from a can' as a prize, implicitly as a means to cause triggers among the participants. Faultline and her Crew attacked and absconded with the most of the contents of the case, severely damaging his reputation.
Post Game Show
Skidmark later traveled to the island in the middle of the lake Leviathan had created on one of Squealer's vehicles. There, Hookwolf asked him if he knew what keeping a low profile meant. Skidmark told him that he did and then told Hookwolf that Squealer had created a box that that canceled out light and noise at a certain distance. Spotting Faultline, he then asked her why she had messed with his party. He asked her who had hired them, telling her that the Merchants wouldn't come after her group, and said that they would be even if she paid him back for the product they stole. Faultline refused and then went on to ask Hookwolf why Skidmark had been invited.
Skidmark listened as Hookwolf explained what the Undersiders and the Travelers had been doing. When Trickster told them that they didn't want to take over their territories, Skidmark swore under his breathe. His team was able to take part in the strategy negotiations with the local Protectorate team.
Later, Skidmark addressed his underlings from an aircraft Squealer had made. He told them that a green armband meant poison before telling them that he was going to make it the worst of the bad trips. He then explained how they would take a handful of pills and then fall into a coffin where something bad would happen to them. He then told them that those who survived getting buried alive would earn the green armband and that, for those with the armband, everything that they bought from him would be ten percent off.
Skidmark stopped and then dropped his microphone. His hands went to his stomach where Jack Slash had hit him before he turned to run. He was cut on his arms, his butt, his back, and the back of his neck. He stumbled and fell whereupon he tried to crawl away only for his reaching fingers to be cut off. The aircraft lurched and Skidmark slid backwards. He used his power to right himself, but ended up dropping into the propeller blades.
- ↑ Skidmark: Adam Mustain - Private conversation with Wildbow, archived on Spacebattles
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Weld took the folders and opened the one for the Wards, glanced through it to memorize the faces of his new team. Then he went to the next file, “Then the top priority as far as opposition goes is… the Archer’s Bridge Merchants? Superpowered drug dealers. A Shaker 2, Tinker 2/Mover 3 and a Shifter 4. These aren’t big numbers. Am I missing something?”
“Context. They’ve become a rallying point, representatives and leaders for those on the lowest rungs of society. Too many civilians who were the have-nots think allying with the Merchants is a way to become the haves. People that were angry, disenfranchised or both have gravitated towards the group, are seeking to overturn the social order.”
“So they’ve got, what, a following of homeless?”
“Brockton Bay doesn’t, or didn’t, have many that you could strictly call homeless, as there were so many abandoned buildings to squat in. When the Endbringer attacked, he chose the area with many of these buildings.”
“I think I remember, yeah. The area where the fight started didn’t exactly look upscale.”
“The sad irony of this is that the defending parahumans protected that area, while other locations were leveled by the tidal waves. That area, known to locals as the Docks, was not under the control of any organized crime or villain organization even before the attack. After the battle’s conclusion, it was swiftly occupied by the Merchants and growing numbers of their followers, and is now one of the areas with reliable shelter. Not entirely, but more than many. By the time our local heroes were finished with search, rescue and minimizing damage, their number of followers had reached a critical mass. In the past several days, they’ve begun attacking the city infrastructure, the airport, grocery stores, malls and they’ve repeatedly seized medical supplies and food as they come in.”
“So a big priority will be safeguarding incoming supplies from relief efforts, protecting key areas of the city so it can recuperate from the disaster.”
“Yes, for the time being.” - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The actual number rating depends on the impact/strength of the power, obviously. It’s perhaps an oversight, perhaps a deliberate action (or some combination of the two) that versatility of a power isn’t counted unless it’s explicit – and Taylor’s isn’t. An example on how this could be deliberate: a PRT squad that moves in on a situation with notice to expect a, say, Shaker-3 that was rated a three only because he’s too much of a dumbass to use his powers to their full potential? They could be really screwed if said Shaker-3 had a fit of inspiration or some guidance/orders from someone that knew what they were doing. So dumbass gets rated a Shaker-5. - Comment on Extermination 8.5
- ↑ Skidmark – Leader of the Merchants, a foul-mouthed individual with the ability to create a deflector field, a force field that pushes things through itself or pushes them away. - Cast (spoiler free)
- ↑ Skidmark wore a mask that covered the top half of his face. The lower half was dark skinned, with badly chapped lips and teeth that looked more like shelled pistachio nuts than anything else. - Excerpt from Hive 5.1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Skidmark (Deceased) – Leader of the Merchants, Skidmark was a meth addict in a serious state of physical decline and ill health. Capable of creating an effect that coated an area and pushed things in one direction. Killed by the Nine. - Cast (in depth)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 His power wasn’t strong, it didn’t have much more push to it than a strong wind. Any attempt to get it as effective as it had been at the edge of the arena took time and multiple layers of the effect. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.7
- ↑ Wildbow: The repulsion effect of [Skidmark’s] field outputs more energy than is put into it.
Wildbow: Multiple walls can effectively build up terminal velocity as an object is bounced between them.
Panda: Roll a rock onto it, it shoots away type deal?
Wildbow: He's not smart enough to figure this out, but others can find uses for him. - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
- ↑ Skidmark raised his hands, and then swept them in a downward motion. Twin shimmers not dissimilar to the heated air you saw above a hot road blasted towards the crowd. Where the shimmers touched the ground, they changed the color of the flooring, creating bands of glowing ground six or seven feet wide. After swirling for a moment, the colors settled into a gradient, stretching from violet on one side of the line to a pale blue on the other side.
The people who found themselves in the middle of the effect were dragged towards the blue side, as if they were standing on a steep slope. The crowd roared, and began pushing people towards the effect. Anyone who touched the purple side was caught with a greater force, dragged through to the blue side and cast towards the bulk of the crowd, sliding on the ground with enough force to stagger anyone they ran into. The blue side seemed weaker, with anyone stepping on it finding strong resistance, as if they were trying to move against a strong headwind on oil-slick ground. Only a handful of people made it out without being pushed back by the effects of Skidmark’s power or by the crowd that ringed the area.
Skidmark repeated the process to draw what I realized was a crude square in the middle of the mall, the ‘blue’ sides facing inward. As he layered his power over the same area, the colors of the effect became darker, the ground below less visible and the effects on the people were all the more violent. The blue sides had become dark blue, and instead of simply pushing against those who touched them, they threw people back towards the center of the ring. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.5
- ↑ Panda: What's his range?
Panda: ....he's an idiot.
Panda: He creates barriers that can repel things in a given direction that's only limited by how far he can see, which can have the intensity increased over a given amount of time, and he only managed to make circles for fiends to mosh inside of?
Wildbow: Repulsion/pushy walls take time to layer, with increasing effect over multiple layers, so he's used to just devoting his attention to a few good walls.
Wildbow: Theoretically, he could set one flat over a soccer field sized area. - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
- ↑ In reaction, Skidmark used his power to coat his cape in a layer of his power. He raised it between himself and Newter. Newter was already airborne, unable to change course, but he had the presence of mind to hock a loogie into Squealer’s face. He bounced off of the cape, knocking Skidmark back, and fell to the ground.
Skidmark used his power to saturate Newter and the ground around him. As his power took hold, Newter was launched through the rungs of the metal railing and down into the midst of the crowd at the base of the stage. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.7
- ↑ His power streaked from his hand to the ground where the canisters and metal case sat. I could see Faultline’s expression change behind her mask, saw her set her feet and start sprinting for the case before Skidmark’s power even took hold.
The metalf box and canisters launched out over the edge of the platform and into the air above the crowd. Only a few papers escaped the case at first, but his power had saturated the insides of the box. Just after reaching the apex of its flight, his power seized the contents and the case expelled everything from within. Papers slid off one another and into the air, forming a small cloud.
I drew clouds of my bugs from the ceiling, catching the papers that weren’t saturated with Skidmark’s power, collecting my bugs on them. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.7
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Deflecting bullets would take him time to set up. He had to layer the fields over top of one another, and they weren’t mobile. -
Wildbow comment on Cast page
- ↑ “Boy,” Skidmark pointed, “Approach the stage!”
The ring flashed and disappeared. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.6
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Infestation 11.5
- ↑ Gregor was keeping up his steady pressure, alternating between blasting Trainwreck and blasting Mush with one hand and aiming at Skidmark with the other. Skidmark used his power to push away the worst of the slime, but it was clear he was losing. His power wasn’t strong, it didn’t have much more push to it than a strong wind. Any attempt to get it as effective as it had been at the edge of the arena took time and multiple layers of the effect. In short, Gregor could make the slime more easily than Skidmark could get rid of it. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.7
- ↑ Labyrinth created a short pillar below the metal case and canisters, and began to extend it towards the gap in the roof. Skidmark used his power to force the things off the top of the pillar and onto the platform, where they rolled. A few stray papers fluttered from the case. - Excerpt from Infestation 11.7
- ↑ Panda: How long can they stay up?
Wildbow: 20 seconds after he stops looking. [...] After which point they start degrading
Wildbow: Blinking won't break them, but yeah
Panda: If he spends hours layering a massive field, like an entire day, then he goes to sleep for an hour or two, will he still have some protection there?
Wildbow: That'd be reasonable.
Wildbow: But I doubt he'd do that. - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Gate/Gate: Skidmark - Detail Generator - Mover, spreadsheet by Wildbow.
- ↑ Yep.
Also means a mark left on the road by spinning tires with insufficient traction.
Whether the double meaning is an intentional crudity on Skidmark’s part (as with Squealer) or if it was just a case of him being bad at picking cape names? I leave it to you guys to decide. - Comment by Wildbow on Infestation 11.6
- ↑ Infestation 11.6
- ↑ Infestation 11.7
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Interlude 12