Japeth Isaiah ShabanguAlias:
157 lbs / 450 lbs.Hair
White, braided into a mohawk and shaved bald on the sidesEyes
Brown/Gloss red with no pupils or irisesNotes
Japeth dresses in a mix of second hand clothing, usually in very bright colors and patterns that have at least part of an element of his South African upbringing and Zulu heritage. He has pierced ears, but he doesn’t always wear rings in them. A necklace with ajoite in a cut quartz crystal shaped like a cross on a leather thong always hangs on his neck. His figure is long and gaunt, and his digestive system is of course made of two quasi sentient metallic slugs known as Eenie and Meanie. When receiving energy from the slugs, his skin turns a light blue in color and his eyes turn the same color as Eenie and Meanie's, and he becomes much, much bigger.Contacts:Relatives:
Njele Shabangu (mother), Melchizedek Shabangu (father, miner), Lot Shabangu (older brother, deceased), Ezekiel Shabangu (younger brother), Job Shabangu (younger brother), Daniel Shabangu (youngest brother)Allies:
The Xavier SchoolEnemies:
Magneto, should they ever meet againPersonality:
Bold and brash, Japeth’s behavior is a far cry from his days of youth as a very sickly and quiet child. He tends to be very outgoing and flashy, as well as a bit of a spendthrift. Never having had much money of his own, he’s constantly astounded by the standards of living that the United States offers, and despite his worries for his family back home, he knows that they’re better off without him and the troubles he caused. Even though he can be cocky and a braggart, at the core of his being he is a very kind and generous person who strives to do the right thing, even if it’s difficult, and he has a strong religious streak as well; it’s just hard to see, especially the more that he talks! His speech is peppered by Afrikaans slang, some of it very difficult for non speakers to understand.Talents:Independent Digestive System
Japeth’s otherwise empty stomach contains two semi aware metallic slugs that he’s named Eenie and Meanie, both of which act as his digestive system by detaching from his body, eating biomass and then returning to give him nourishment. Though the act of detachment is relatively painless, when they burrow back under the skin flap of his stomach that falls flat against his body, they have to chew at it’s bottom and this causes him a great deal of pain. Each of the slugs is about a foot long and can move as fast as a running human by undulating rapidly. They appear to be covered in an unknown, shining metallic alloy that is obviously partly ferrous due to their reaction to magnetism, and each has three ruby colored eyespots on the front of their bodies that allow them to see, perched over circular maws which constantly exude powerful enzymes that can digest almost any sort of matter with frightening speed. They can eat fast enough to allow them to burrow through solid matter at a rate of about twenty five miles per hour. When they’ve finished gorging themselves, they will return to him and begin the painful process of reuniting with Japeth to sustain his life.Bio Energy Transmission from Eenie and Meanie
By absorbing energy transmitted from Eenie and Meanie after they’ve consumed any sort of matter from up to a thousand feet away, Maggot becomes “supercharged”, growing in height and weight into a huge, blue skinned and red eyed version of himself. In this state, his physical endurance and strength are enhanced to the point that he’s capable of resisting powerful blows and medium level gunfire and can lift up to 3.6 tons over his head and walk with it without causing himself severe physical strain, as well as shatter concrete and bend steel with a punch.Postcognitive and Precognitive Abilities
In addition to his slugs and bio absorption, Japeth possesses a peculiar psionic ability that allows him to see not only what has transpired in an area over a length of time, but to also occasionally glimpse visions of events that could (but won’t necessarily) take place. Though he has limited control over the postcognitive abilities, enough that he can usually utilize them on demand by standing in an area and concentrating, he cannot control his precognitive abilities at all, and the occurrences of the precognitive sort are quite rare. He cannot read sense impressions from objects or people, just areas (he does not have psychometry).Languages and Other Talents
Living in relatively cosmopolitan South Africa, Japeth was exposed to a number of different languages, and although he grew up as a native Setswana speaker, he prefers Afrikaans and has a decent enough grasp of the English language to speak like a non native. He is a decent driver for being too young to get a license and very well versed in manual labor. Also, he’s an incredibly flash dresser and a hit with the ladies!Weaknesses:Eenie and Meanie
As the slugs make up his digestive system, any damage that they suffer can prevent Japeth from gaining nourishment, and if either or both were killed, he would likely starve to death. Being metallic, they are also susceptible to magnetic attacks or powers. When they re-enter his body, it is a very painful and embarrassing process as they have to chew through his skin, which then heals over. They can also be a little willful and don’t always respond immediately to his mental commands.History:
The second oldest of five children, Japeth Shabangu was born in a very small and very poor village in northwest Transvaal, near the former mining town of Ottoshoop (“Otto’s Hope”) in South Africa. His family was very religious, with his father serving as a part time minister to some of the tribal regions in the area, as well as working as a dive instructor and working mining for gold in the north, while his older brother Lot and his mother spent a good deal of time recovering old bottles and other relics that could sell for a few rand to tourists and cornershops in Johannesburg, or more once the Internet became more widely available and the family could trek out to the cafes that had computers in the city. It was a rough life, and became rougher the older Japeth got.
As their second son grew out of infancy, he started to become sickly and had difficulty holding down solid meals. The Shabangus, as a religious family, didn’t practice strict birth control and over the next few years, had found themselves with three additional mouths to feed in the form of Japeth’s younger brothers. The nutrient solution that Japeth was eventually forced to sustain himself on was expensive, and his stomach began to distend. The doctors were baffled at first, but as Japeth got older, he was stunted by malnutrition, his younger brothers easily exceeding him in size. Eventually, after his brother Daniel was beginning to surpass him in size despite being several years younger, a doctor came through with a portable x-ray machine and was able to treat the boy despite the family being virtually broke. Seeing large masses in the boy’s now very distended stomach, the doctor said it was cancerous and that the treatments would be incredibly expensive, leaving the Shabangus devastated shortly after Japeth’s twelfth birthday.
Sound traveled easily in the two room home that he shared with his brothers and parents, and one night, Japeth heard the sounds of weeping as his mother prayed for God to be merciful, to Japeth and to the family as well, and to take his life soon. Shocked and horrified, but realizing what a burden he really was being to the family, he decided that he would help his mother and God, and despite his age, stole his father’s battered old Jeep and drove it off into the desert, hoping to find the death that would set everyone free out there. He hadn’t realized that his youngest brother Daniel, who idolized him, had snuck along with him, and when the Jeep ran out of gas, he realized that he would be going to Hell for killing his innocent brother, along with himself.
After a few hours trying to trek back in the desert heat, Daniel collapsed and Japeth wasn’t far behind. Looking up into the blinding sky, he saw a figure in red that he knew was either the Angel of Death or the Devil himself, and he prayed, hoping to somehow save his soul. To his great surprise, the figure knelt over him and gestured, and as he did, his stomach exploded in a painful and horrifying fashion, and he knew he was truly dead and about to be tortured in the lowest of pits. When the pain subsided and his vision cleared, the man standing over him showed two monstrous slugs milling about and eating dirt, and Japeth felt stronger than he’d ever done before. Looking down as he picked his brother up, the figure handed him water and told him his name was Magneto, and that he was a mutant, and as the two weak boys sought shelter with the man, the mysterious stranger told him all about a war brewing between humans and mutants and many other things. The stranger’s words seemed harsh, but in his gratitude, Japeth listened, and the man helped to lead him, carrying his brother the whole way, home.
The scene in the hamlet was a horrible one; some rich Afrikaaner boys, hopped up on drugs and feeling a little more racist than usual, had driven into town in their fancy SUVs and started picking fights. When things got violent, they’d pulled weapons, and by the time that Japeth and his brother returned, several of the townspeople, including his older brother Lot, had been killed. Taking it as an opportune time for a lesson, Magneto told Japeth to watch, and used his powers to turn the killers’ weapons back on them, riddling them with bullets from guns suspended in air and even beating one of the boys to death with the rifles they’d had. Horrified at the violence and sickened by how the townspeople cheered the man on, Japeth rebuked Magneto, howling curses at him and screaming for the man to leave, and Magneto coldly replied that someday, he’d see things without the folly and innocence of youth before flying away.
In a way, the man’s words proved to be right. After Magneto left, Japeth became something of a pariah in the town, and though his newfound ability to work and eat eased the burden on his family, his new abilities frightened them, as did the pain he went through after “eating”. After a year or so, he’d been more or less forced into an indentured servitude as a miner, able to haul huge carts of ore once Eenie and Meanie excavated it by eating away the worthless rock surrounding it. Even the miners, especially the ones jealous of how well he could do the job, hated him, and many of them called him a name that he eventually identified as a nickname, “Maggot”. Shortly after turning fifteen, a strange parcel came in to the village, and Japeth and his family were both equally shocked (although Japeth was also delighted) when they saw he’d been offered acceptance to a luxurious private school in the United States at the behest of one Professor Xavier. After a little research online, the decision was made, and his few things were packed. He left as soon as the plane ticket came in the mail, and hasn’t looked back since then.