|“||The Emperor has been a fool to ignore my brilliance, and SHE... she... has been swayed by his opinion of me. But now, I will show her... I will show HIM... I WILL SHOW YOU... what I can do!||„|
Reymond Keyes, also known as Anti-Matter, and formerly known as Praetor Keyes, is one of the main antagonists of the Praetoria in the superhero/villain M.M.O. City of Heroes. Praetoria is the signature alternate reality to the game's main reality, the Praetorians have nick-named Primal Earth. Anti-Matter is this alternate reality's version of Positron - signature science hero of the main game. Anti-Matter is a scientist living as a pariah among his own people yet still dedicated to keeping his world running but becoming more and more desperate to earn back his respect and thus willing to do nearly anything for Emperor Cole to regain his clout as Praetoria's leading scientific mind.
Reymond Keyes was a scientist working for Crey Industries in Paragon City. Crey was a pharmaceutical-giant but after the owner and C.E.O. Alphonse "Count" Crey married his lovely wife Clarissa Van Dorn (becoming "Countess Crey" after marriage), Countess Crey started taking the company in new directions to a variety of new fields outside of pharmaceuticals, one being technology. Dr. Raymond Keyes put together a project having to do with a set of power-armor, while military applications had been suggested by the Countess, Keyes was more concerned with using the armor to operate in hazardous environments and intended to use it as a flying nuclear suit to handle radiated areas. Dr. Keyes' research took a sharp turn after his friend Steven Berry was abducted and turned out was being held captive in Crey labs as a test-subject for a set of gene-spicing experiments, when Keyes found his friend, half-alive and just barely escaped from the lab, Keyes saw the company he was working for was corrupt if not wholly evil, he destroyed his notes then took his power armor and flew Steven out to safety never to return to the company. The scientist responsible for the experiments on Steven was never found, his very record expunged from the company even though both men had seen him on site; Both Steven and Raymond took this as proof it was more than one bad apple and Countess Crey, herself, had sanctioned the project to have the sort of pull required make all evidence disappear. Steven took up the name "Synapse" and Raymond the name "Positron" and both started plying their powers to prevent science and technology from ever being used for such nefarious deeds again. Unfortunately due to a blast during the war with the extra-terrestrial invaders the Rikti, Positron's suit was damaged and he was irradiated by the power core, making him radioactive and the suit a requirement to keep others from being harmed by his very presence. This would eventually be cured but for several years Keyes could not remove his suit for fear of destroying everything around him.
In Praetoria Keyes' life took a different turn. The details are slim on how Anti-Matter gained his powers but presumably he had a similar experiment with his suit, though not working for Crey, and thus with his friend Steven Berry never being experimented on and causing him to run off with his own suit. In Praetoria however, Steven Berry was envious of his friend and wanted to be a great scientist like him. Though Berry had a keen mind he had no degrees, he however was able to sift through Keyes' notes as well as the notes of other scientists Keyes worked with and put them all together to create a harness that would accelerate his brain-synapses so he could think at super-speeds - the device worked better than expected and in addition to granting his thought process massive speeds, he was granted super-physical-speed as well - soon earning the nick-name "Neuron" for the light-fast speeds he seemed to work at. From that moment on, Berry was a constant thorn in Keyes' side - his enthusiasm to be a great scientist turning into a desire to out-do his former idol. In his fervor to out do Berry, Dr. Keyes rushed his open projects before his super-fast rival could get wind of their base outlines and thus complete in minutes what might take Keyes months. As a result of this rush to complete his coveted "Anti-Matter" armor, Keyes accidentally irradiated himself due to an over-active core and similar to his Primal Earth counter-part, Keyes needed to start wearing the armor constantly to prevent himself from nuking everyone around him, though unlike the Primal-Earth Raymond Keyes, Anti-Matter would never run into the same set of circumstances to cure his radioactive condition.
Anti-Matter and Neuron's rivalry came to something of a pause during the Hamidon Wars. A scientist called Hamidon was doing genetic research experiments in favor of saving the environment - in the process mutating himself to a giant amoeba with ecological influence. Hamidon expelled spores that infected others, transforming them into elemental based monsters, who, once mutated, were neurologically controlled by the spores and part of a hive-mind of Hamidon's consciousness. Society collapsed in the war. Though Hamidon exists in both Primal Earth and Praetorian Earth the Rikti that invaded Primal Earth did so from their own reality, as a result there is no Praetorian version of them and without the Rikti invasion to keep Hamidon waiting out the invaders to strike (and eventually being discovered while he was still in hiding) Praetoria's Hamidon simply attacked en-mass with no reason to hold-back. Governments fell, leaders were infected or killed by the infected and entire chains-of-command ceased to function. Marcus Cole (Praetorian version of the Primal Earth Marcus Cole who would become "Statesman" and lead Positron and others against the Rikti) lead Anti-Matter and the others against Hamidon. Hamidon used a mind-meld to try to destroy Cole but was repulsed after touching Cole's mind and turned away with it's infected. Cole quickly drove back Hamidon, but he could only go so far - with nearly everything outside major cites a massive hostile forest grown by Hamidon's spores.
Cole had a fondness for the Roman-Empire and culture and thought to make a new "Praetorian" government, after the Praetorian Guard - military units who would seize control of the city during times of emergency. The time of emergency was obviously on-going and thus Cole became "Emperor Cole" of the new Praetorian society - the only society left after Hamidon's raid. Cole flew around the world rescuing as many people as he could find to populate his last few massive cities as hold-outs for humanity, while searching middle America he found a large convoy of survivors lead by a hero of the wastes, Michael White - or as his massive convoy called him by then "Marauder". Though Marrauder had not helped Cole fight Hamidon as Raymond Keyes, Steven Berry, Shalice Tilman, Justin Sinclair and his grand-daughter Megan did, he had saved a high-number of Americans. Cole offered Shalice, Megan, Sinclair, White, Berry and Keyes places by his side as "Praetors" meta-humans/those on the level of meta-humans who would use their gifts and skills to keep humanity safe from the things that now went "bump" outside the city walls.
With Hamidon at arm's length and Cole the new Emperor of society, Raymond Keyes got to know his new partners. He was all too familiar with Berry and their rivalry would increase exponentially while working for society's new emperor. Sinclair was a wet-works specialist who went by the code-name "Chimera" prior to meeting Cole in the war. White genuinely cared about two things, the common-man and finding new challenges and as a result was constantly looking for a fight with those who disturbed the peace. Tilman fancied herself "Mother" to the people of Praetoria, she was a psychic whose empathetic link had created a delusion of mother-hood for all the people of Praetoria. Lastly there was Megan, Cole's grand-daughter, who in an act of rebellion to her grand-father's puritanical image fancied herself "Dominatrix" - a whip-wielding warrior with a magical girdle passed down as a gift her grandfather had given to his wife, then daughter and finally Megan herself. Berry gravitated towards getting along with Sinclair while Keyes got on better with Mother and White, but the one he had high-hopes for was Megan.
In his capacity as one of Cole's two new science officers, Praetor Keyes worked to create a better Praetoria. He built a nuclear power-plant just outside the city on it's own island, however Praetor Berry created numerous clean-burning generators for private facilities that did not need to rely on the nuclear power. Keyes invented a water purification plant that would make water safe to drink by killing the Hamidon spores saturating it, Berry added drugs to the water supply which promoted complacency in the masses making them more agreeable to the Praetorian government then bottled Keyes' water and sold it for a profit to the masses - making the people both figurative sheep and economically stimulating the government where Keyes was merely supplying a basic human resource. Everything Keyes did, Berry got wind of and made a more profitable version of. Keyes complained to Emperor Cole but Berry had endeared himself too much to the Emperor to be second-guessed at that point. In his greatest attempt to outdo Berry, Keyes started a program to create a massive work-force for Praetoria and the answer was robots - though far from traditional robots.
Keyes heard of a computer genius named Russell Brandt who was working on theoretical designs for robots that ran entirely as clockwork devices, essentially with their internal operating systems run by the technological Philosopher's Stone that was a perpetual motion machine. Keyes said he was hiring Brandt privately for his project to be used for Keyes's mass labor-force. As Brandt reached his break-through Berry began snooping around Keyes' project departments. Keyes knew Berry would take Brandt from him and muscle him out of his own project yet again, and as Keyes was neither the inventor of the perpetual motion device and the mass-production would end up being handled by Berry by the time, resources and money he had invested would go up in smoke, so there was only one thing for Keyes to do - he could not get rid of Berry... Brandt died in a "lab accident", no one knew Brandt's level of involvement, he was just a name on an invoice - on paper just one of many technicians hired by Keyes for research. To make things easier, Brandt did not like making public appearances and only responded to questions in coded emails or hacked computer messages. With Brandt's death, Keyes took credit for the invention of the operating system and integrated the design into his first "Clockwork" laborers.
Sure enough, Berry found cheaper ways to produce Clockwork in high numbers but with Keyes as "the inventor" of a whole new type of operating system kept secret til zero hour, Keyes' name was forever tied to the robots regardless of what Berry did to augment them or their assembly. There are two types of Clockwork, Neuron's Clockwork and Anti-Matter's Clockwork; The Anti-Matter Clockwork are stronger and sturdier but more expensive and time consuming to make, Neuron can mass-produce his Clockwork quickly and with all manor of applications but they tend to be more fragile for the most part. The death of Brandt though has been a weight on Keyes conscience for years yet one he has kept secret to preserve the one gift to Praetoria Berry could never completely steal. His personal sin would eventually come back to haunt him with a being known as Metronome though. The prestige Praetor Keyes had carved out for himself with the Clockwork would be his most promising tool for getting to know Megan better.
Fall From Favor
Megan had spotted Keyes' affections for her and seemed to reciprocate. Before long the two were romantically involved, though Megan insisted they meet in secret as her grandfather was so old-fashioned he would never approve of his little girl dating. Keyes met in secret to flirt with Megan but eventually Emperor Cole got wind of the romance thanks to Berry and confronted Megan and Keyes. While having the good-form to play coy during courtship, when put-on-the-spot Anti-Matter proudly proclaimed his desires for Megan, however Megan denied it - thus appearing the relationship was one-way and Keyes had been stalking the Emperor's grand-daughter. Keyes had also been trying to expose Berry's attempts to steal his work and the seeming attempt to sexually harass his grand-daughter was the last straw for Emperor Cole. Keyes was robbed of his title as "Praetor", statues and plaques to him were taken down, and the Emperor assigned him to the Keyes Island Reactors. Officially this was because "the only man the Emperor trusted to look after Praetoria's power-source was the great scientist Raymond Keyes whose constant attention was needed to keep the plants safe, and of-course since his attention there would be constant he could no-longer provide his services as a Praetor, and had selflessly given up the position for the good of the Praetorian people" - in reality of-course it was an exile. Cole has sanctioned many oppressive actions and Keyes, ever in an attempt to earn back both his clout and Megan's affections, is keen to jump through whatever hoops the Emperor needs him to, or, as Anti-Matter believes, even many endeavors Emperor Cole does not know he needs him for yet.
Invading Primal Earth
Doctor Keyes frantically worked to regain some level of respect and he found it while doing research into dimension travel. While he began work on being able to create massive portals to other worlds, he came across a signal, the signal was from Portal Corp., an entire company in an alternate reality that was already a working version of what Keyes had in mind. Portal Corp. was running various experiments to explore the alternate worlds - this is the Tina Macintyre arc - the original story arc for City of Heroes prior to Going Rogue where Praetoria was fleshed-out. Tina Macintyre's arc consisted of high-level heroes going to strange alternate worlds and eventually coming upon a world where alternate reality members of the the "Freedom Phalanx" heroes had used their powers to rule the world rather than protect it - Praetoria, the first incarnation of the world Going Rogue would round out.
The massive number of portals Portal Corp. used to let the Paragon Players go exploring gave off signals Anti-Matter was able to track after a while. Eventually Anti-Matter back-traced the signal and high-jacked one of the Portals to open directly into his lab. He reported to Emperor Cole, who saw an opportunity to bring the order of Praetoria to an Earth free of Hamidon's infection and create a better version of both worlds. Naturally the Marcus Cole "Statesman", Reymond Keyes "Positron", Shalice Tilman "Sister Psyche", Michael White "Back Alley Brawler", Steven Berry "Synapse", Justin Sinclair "Manticore" and Megan Duncan "Ms. Liberty" were more than a little opposed to a fascist military government run by an alternate reality version of themselves taking over. The previous Player Characters, as the explorers who accidentally got Anti-Matter's attention, tip the scales in the fight and the Praetorians are defeated in their initial invasion and sent back to their own world, but now with full knowledge of them and Cole intent to renew the invasion plan. Unfortunately for Praetoria and Anti-Matter in particular, Primal Earth knew Emperor Cole or "Tyrant" as they called him, would be back and so Primal Earth started to go to Praetoria to fight Cole, partially to prevent him from ever trying to invade again but also to free the masses from their corrupt government. As a result of the events, what should have been Anti-Matter's redemption became a fiasco and Cole began to rely almost exclusively on Praetor Berry for technology and science needs - Anti-Matter at that point on Cole's personal black-list.
Keyes Reactor Trial
In response to the Primals counter-attack to Praetoria, Cole decides he has to make his right-hand men and women much stronger. Cole summons the source of his power - the multiversal/divine nexus point The Well of the Furies. The Well is the embodiment of power as a concept in the multiverse - it is said to be the resting place for the powers of Gods when not in direct use (What became of the gods who once wielded these stations or even if they are gods or just avatars of power itself is never stated), but drinking from the Well had empowered Cole as demi-god. The Well has sentience and wishes to drive mortals to be the most powerful they can be so it and they act as one being, While the Primal version of Cole had rejected full god status after drinking of the Well in order to not simply be a puppet of the Well, the Praetorian Cole had not - hence leading to his extremist attitudes. With access o Cole's manifestation of the Well, Anti-Matter, and most of Cole's other Praetors, are turned into Incarnates like Cole, their judgments compromised, like Cole's from the exposure. The Primals, both heroes and villains (as well as disillusioned former Praetorian Players who see their mad government for what it was after spending time on assignment on Primal Earth) are sent to dismantle the Praetorian government in stages, each trial both disrupting Praetoria's resource that cloister's Cole's power and allowing the players (by then exposed to the well but unable to channel it and remain influence free) to absorbed the Incarnate energy of the Praetorians to steadily break the limits of their own mortality (i.e. getting + levels for the top level of 50). The trial against Keyes is to shut-down his Reactors to prevent Cole from powering his war-machines and defenses. Keyes refuses to let his beloved reactors be shut down and comes out to protect them and eradicate the Primal Strike-Force. Keyes also justifies under the Well's influence that if he destroys the Primals Emperor Cole will welcome him back and Megan will finally notice him. Drunk on the power of the Well, Keyes forgets to account for the many people living just outside his compound who will be burned up by his use of the Reactors. Keyes uses the Well's power to sustain a connection to all of his Power Plants at once. He is hooked up to the Reactors and the Players will need to destroy the reactors, including security, while an angry, emotionally unstable walking demi-god composed of four nuclear reactors chases them down, and the area is continually burning away at them due to radiation, radiation that increases the more damage Anti-Matter takes. Anti-Matter is the last keeper of physical resources, the following trials afterward being about dismantling Cole's propagandic hold on the people.
The Hamidon secret
After Anti-Matter is beaten there is a trial to fight Hamidon as it stirs beneath Praetoria. The sorceress Desdemona, goes to save the psychic who had been protecting the minds of the Resistance, Vanessa DeVore, and the Players need to support her as they make their way through Hamidon's Devouring Earth infected tunnels outside the walls. Vanessa will die holding off Hamidon but the magical mask she wore to accentuated her powers acts as a psychic-beacon for Desdemona, who in putting it on merges with what is left of Vanessa's mind and lets her look into Hamidon's as it's avatar lays defeated by the Players. In this a revelation is had having to do with Cole and all his Praetors, including Anti-Matter when it occurred - Cole and his Praetors did not defeat Hamidon, they made a bargain with it. When it was clear they were more evenly matched than either Hamidon or Cole wanted to admit as Hamidon's psychic attack hit Cole, they telepathically struck an accord - Hamidon would leave the humans to their cities as long as Cole let him rule the wilds that now made up the rest of the planet; Hamidon acting as a motivation for humans never to leave their walls, which would ensure Hamidon did not need to worry about them disrupting the "purity" of nature and Cole had an "enemy" that kept the Praetorian citizens ever grateful to him for keeping them safe. With this knowledge the Primal Earthlings make a recording and go to reveal it to the citizens, leading to two more trials before fighting Cole himself, one to make their way to the broad-cast station to show the footage, and the other to Mother Mayhem to prevent her from psychically possessing the population to prevent a rebellion with the truth revealed. As the Hamidon connection indicates, Anti-Matter knew full-well Hamidon was a resource, even before being exposed to the Well. In lying to the public, it is unclear if this was to avoid further carnage from a drawn-out war humanity might not win, for the power Anti-Matter stood to gain from being a Praetor of a new society, or some combination of the two.
Powers and Abilities
Anti-Matter is a walking nuclear isotope without his suit, as such the suit less fires radiation than unleashes Keyes's now involuntary radiation in targeted bursts. Keyes can give off radiation waves that boost metabolisms, immune-systems and generally mutated the molecular structures of those he considers allies for temporary boosts in strength, stamina, speed and endurance. The Anti-Matter suit itself flies, provides remote communication, computer-access to Keyes' many other inventions - including full operating systems for the plants themselves and most importantly keeps Keyes from accidentally nuking Praetoria. After Cole gives Keyes access to his power source, the multiversal/divine nexus point The Well of the Furies, Keyes is boosted to the level of the emperor, Incarnate - basically a demi-god. In his Incarnate state, Keyes can actually handle being made a channeling point for all his reactors at once, and Keyes goes from being a walking nuclear-isotope to a walking set of nuclear power-plants!
Keyes was always an outcast due to his intellect but began to be pillaried after Berry became a peer in intellect. His need for recognition drives him to validate any action he has to take to win himself the respect he so desperately craves. Players starting off as Praetorians have access to two main factions, each faction with branching paths. While one can join The Resistance, that opposes Emperor Cole's rule it has two sides to it, one is for those seeking freedom while the other is for those seeking anarchy, neither able to exist without the other and violence and liberty are linked for the Resistance, though players can try to focus on one over the other. Praetorian Loyalists, working for Emperor Cole's government, will follow inverse paths of either Responsibility or Power while being passed along from contact to contact. Keyes is the final contact for the Responsibility path, introduced by Mother. Fittingly Berry is part of the Power path so even on a meta-level the two compete with each other. Keyes can, will and has done morally reprehensible things but validates every last one of them as being necessary for the good of Praetoria. His strong sense of justice in-combination with his misfortunes has given him a massive martyr-complex, allowing him to justify anything he needs to do. After sipping from the Well, Anti-Matter cannot think clearly anymore and forgets to account for the lives of those just beyond his power-plant if he makes it go nuclear to destroy the invading Primals. Though he does recover his reasoning somewhat in beta-releases for a future arch of the game (which thanks to NC Soft will now never be released), while high on The Well of the Furies, he turned into a neurotic, obsessive.
- Due to the sudden cancellation of the game by NC Soft (which even the game devs did not find-out about until the last second) Anti-Matter's final appearance never made it to the main game before City of Heroes was closed. However it was being released in Beta to a select few players for trouble-shooting and former game devs have released the content which would have been a week or so away at time of the shut-down; As such the following character development was never officially released, but is considered by the former developers to be canon and has been re-released by the game's rebirth servers.
After Tyrant is defeated in the final Incarnate trial the Player would get to play a mission shot from Anti-Matter's point of view. He awakens, recovered from his near death experience at the Keyes Reactor Trial. Anti-Matter is still neurotic and agitated. His exposure to The Well allows him to retain his Incarnate level radiation powers as if he was still hooked up to the reactors, but without the physical reactors hooked up to him, he is no longer semi-indestructible, in-fact his suit is badly damaged and he realizes he needs to repair it before his Incarnate radiation turns him into a nuclear bomb. Keyes is headed to his personal space shuttle to head to his orbiting space station to siphon the power there to reseal his suit. On his way he notices two things, Metronome and The Devouring Earth of Hamidon. With the defeat of Emperor Cole, Hamidon considers the accord between him and Cole at an end. Hamidon is rallying his forces beneath Praetoria's surface, moving towards the city's sewer system through underground caverns. Metronome has possessed a Clockwork in the shuttle and is heading up to the space-station to use it as a giant weapon to destroy Hamidon before it can strike Praetoria. By the time Keyes finds out about Hamidon's activity and pieces together his itinerary, he will be able to make it into the Neuropolis sewer system in less than a day. Anti-Matter does not care about Neuropolis, it is Praetor Berry's monument to his own ego, but he neither wishes for his precious reactors just outside of it, or the rest of Praetoria to be devoured by the Devouring Earth. Though Keyes could blow up the shuttle there would be no time to stop Hamidon if Anti-Matter flew up to the space-station before Hamidon arrived. Anti-Matter is left with a choice, fly up in his alternate shuttle and repair his armor before he blows up, or let Metronome go and stop Hamidon before he gets to Praetoria. Keyes elects the later choice.
It is revealed that Metronome's death was not due to sabotage but a random mechanical accident as Keyes inner thoughts indicate Brandt died on his watch and he considers the confused betrayed apparition's malice one of his greatest failures. Keyes rationalizes that if he dies at least his legacy will live on with the Space Station and Reactors as both his legacy to Praetoria, and both would keep Praetoria safe long after whatever his natural life-span would have been. The Personal Story arc, has the Player, playing as Anti-Matter, with full Incarnate powers, making his way through the underground. Anti-Matter's powers (all of the moves that he had in the Keyes Reactor Incarnate Trial) are all Incarnate and can be used as easily as regular moves, as such while playing as Keyes, the Player is tossing around powers meant for near wipe-outs of Players, and thus completely destroys nearly everything in-front of him as he burns through waves of the Devouring Earth towards Hamidon.
By the time Anti-Matter and Hamidon are closing in on each other his suit is breaking down. As the automated systems give warning of the suit's disintegration Keyes is pondering where it all went wrong, he realizes it was Duncan. Keyes sees if he had rejected Duncan's seductions, he would still be a respected scientist and Praetor, and he might never have made as many rash decisions as he had to try to win her affections or his Praetor status back. As the end seems near, Keyes just wishes he had been recognized for his work. Anti-Matter is trying to make sure he holds out long enough for Metronome to break orbit, once he has, Anti-Matter has the remaining Reactor's powers re-routed to his suit to spill out directly on Hamidon with each blast and all at once once he explodes. As his suit is at 30% integrity Metronome has reached the station, Hamidon is right onto of him and he gives the confirmation for the reactors - his final regrets that no one will ever know what he did for them in his last act. As Anti-Matter is swallowed by regret and Hamidon is feet away Metronome radios in. Telling Anti-Matter not to throw his life away. His only response before the suit reaches 0% and the personal-story-arc ends are -
|“||Hah... finally... recognition...!||„|