Artwork by Kerry Connell
Name: Bernie Armstrong
Birth Date: March 27, 1983
Weight: 140 lbs.
Place of Birth: Providence, RI
You were born March 27, 1983 in Providence, Rhode Island. Your mother, Dianne, was just 17. The stress of the tough pregnancy plus the stress of your father (Mickey Hargrove, another high school senior) leaving her standing at the altar, triggered your superpowers (at least, your super-intelligence) while still in the womb.
With your grandparents' help, Dianne raised you herself. You learned remarkably fast and were talking in complete sentences at six months, walking at nine months, potty-trained at 11 months, running at high speed at 14 months, and reading at 18 months. By the time you were three, you were enrolled in grade one.
At age six, you and your mom moved to New York. Dianne had finished high school and college. Combining this with raising a super-smart, super-fast son had made her an expert organizer. She got a job as assistant to Ruth Hoskins, a VP at Kennedy Industries, where she met Stephen Kennedy, the original Challenger.
Stephen Kennedy was concerned about your speed powers. His teammate, Swift Justice, died of old age at 37 due to his speed powers. He told your mom that OASIS should check you out. When you stepped into the OASIS lab, you were awestruck. You asked more questions about their equipment than they did about your powers. They discovered your powers weren't killing you and you discovered a love for science.
But science wasn't your only love. Stephen's tales of the original Squad made you want to be a superhero. Your mom insisted though that you not begin your crime-fighting career until you were older. By age 10, you were beginning your first year as a Physics major at Princeton. Over the next four years, you completed both a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. while leading the chess team to a national championship and writing several groundbreaking papers on sub-atomic physics.
After Princeton, you became a research scientist at OASIS and when the new SuperSquad America was formed, you were asked to join. Your mom took the job as the team's administrative assistant so she could keep an eye on you. Over the next few years, your mom and David Kennedy fell in love and in 2001, they married. While you like David and were happy for your mom, you decided it was time to move into your own apartment.
On January 1, 2002, the Squad met Time Twister, a villainous time-traveling version of yourself from a possible future. You were shown the events that created him. This included your girlfriend's near death at the hands of EUREKA and your mom's death from breast cancer, possibly caused by a version of David's battlesuit you had built to keep her safe. After Time Twister's defeat, the Squad debated if and how to use his Time Room to change history. While many ideas were floated, Kelly was the most insistent in her desire to save her parents. As the only one who could operate the Time Room, you decided unilaterally to take the team back to 24 hours before her parents' murder. Once there, the team faked the murders and brought the Silver Archer and Finesse back to 2002 with you.
You also brought back the Black Squad, Time Twister's evil version of your team. While you wanted to depower the Black Squad and return them to their own time yourself, Challenger felt it best to turn the task over to EAGLES. This turned out to be a bad idea. Eighteen months later, EAGLES head Jeffrey Knox tried to use the Black Squad and the associated tech to overthrow the American government. Only Forethought's heroic actions saved the day -- but not without a price. Karen lost her powers, large chunks of her memory, and her boyfriend Jerry Curtis who killed himself when it appeared Karen wanted nothing more to do with him. Blaming themselves, David and Rick resigned as leader and deputy leader and asked Kelly to take over. She agreed and appointed Diva as her deputy.
When you turned 21 in 2004, you changed your hero name to the more adult Fast Track which, like Whiz Kid, emphasized both your speed and intelligence. In June of that year, the team defeated DeathTap who was stealing powers from dead superbeings, digitizing them, and transmitting them to chips inside people's heads, granting the use of those powers. The technology of his process fascinated both you and Rick as it involved both your areas of expertise. This encounter led to Crimson Fist's return from the dead. But with Jerry Curtis legally dead, you combined your computer skills with David's connections and bureaucratic know-how to create a whole new identity for him as Jackson Kirby.
In September 2005, the Squad went to the Ukraine to stop the villain Red Fury and his Soviet era dream machine which was bringing people's nightmares to life, including your own of becoming Time Twister. Powering the machine was Red Fury's comatose father, the great Soviet hero Champion. You learned Champion was also Nightingale's father, making Red Fury her half-brother. You freed Champion from his 24 year coma which was caused by Zyzzaxx, the first known alien, who had gotten stuck in the Soviet hero's mind when he was sent to determine if his planet should invade Earth. After the Squad talked him into not recommending a fate for Earth before learning more, all involved agreed to remain silent about his existence. For his silence, Red Fury got a pardon and joined the Squad as Impact. And when Zyzzaxx had to merge with a human body to survive, he too joined as the Mysterious Mr. Z.
On September 18 2006, the villain DeathGrip murdered your mother, Dianne Armstrong Kennedy in a feeble attempt to goad the Squad into killing him, because he was dying of cancer and was afraid to face death like a man. He almost succeeded as you came close to ripping him to pieces. But despite wanting to kill DeathGrip more than anything in the world, you just couldn't do it. You couldn't get your mother back but maybe Time Twister could.
Note: This background is written in a second person style as it is the background provided to the player playing the character in the SuperSquad America event.
Character Update: As Time Twister, Bernie, in March 2007, scattered SuperSquad America in the time stream and then, after absorbing the powers of the Guardian of Time, tried to rewrite the time stream so that his mother did not die. SuperSquad America, with the aid of the Council of Cosmic Guardians, stopped Time Twister and restored the time stream. After which, the Guardians removed Bernie's superpowers (including his super-intelligence). Now, just a very smart normal with no idea of how to achieve time travel, Bernie relocated to Seattle, where he works for that city's branch of OASIS.