Matthew Blackfoot
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Matthew (Matt) Blackfoot
Race: Human
Age: 33
Birthplace: Snake River Reservation, Idaho
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160 pounds
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Complexion: Native American

History:

Matthew Blackfoot was born into a family redolent with failure. Both his parents were alcoholics and his mother drank herself to death by the time he was eleven. Living on the diminishing lands of the Snake River Reservation in upper Idaho, poverty had been the common denominator of Blackfoot family life for 350 years. Of his two siblings, only one survived to adulthood. His older brother Kearchak died in the great Boise forest fire of 2359 that claimed half a million acres of timber in less than an hour. His younger sister Ann was taken into foster care when she was born.

To add injury to insult, Matt was born deaf. This could have been remedied in infancy, but Matt’s grandparents forbade anything of the sort being performed. Followers of the nameless faith the Blackfoot tribe ascribed to since before written history, they saw the boy’s deafness as a sign Matt should be cultivated as a Shaman. If the boy couldn’t hear the world around him, he could be taught to know the world beyond. Fortunately for Matt much of this cultivation added favorable traits to his character. While all his uncles, aunts, and extended family sunk deeper into depression and poverty, young Matt discovered a knack for learning, and an aversion to strong liquor. The subtle influence of his Ancestors paving the way out of the rut his family had dug for itself.

He was the first member of his family to attend secondary education, and he graduated in the middle of his class from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Education. He moved to Santa Fe where he began teaching third grade. He met and married Sarah Mendez shortly after arriving in New Mexico. He adored her, and she bore him three children Marc, Hannah, and Sasha.

It was Sasha’s birth that signaled hard times for Matt. She was born blind. Following the tradition that had set him on a different path from the rest of his family, he forbade fixing the infant girl’s sight in favor of cultivating her abilities as a Shaman. His wife Sarah vehemently disagreed with this decision, and demanded Matt take the girl to a specialist on the planet Galo. Matt took all three of his children for the trip. Unfortunately their ship arrived in the Galo system during the last Borg Incursion. Matt, his son Marc, and his daughter Hannah were assimilated. The Borg ignored Sasha, but a passing fanatic named Narmiha saved the girl from starving to death. He would later raise the child in his image.

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Matt was recovered from the Borg days after he was assimilated. He immediately set to work recovering his children. He was amazed and dismayed to discover Starfleet had no plans to do so. In rapid succession he was dismissed by Starfleet, the local government, Federation officials, and every “expert” in the Alfa Quadrant, and told to forget about his children. His recovery was a chance event. Finding three children among thousands of Drones was damn nigh impossible and suicidal he was told. That didn’t deter him. With his teacher’s disposition for learning and skill for mastering any subject he set his mind to, he spent the next two years aggressively hunting down his kids. In short order he became an expert on the Borg. One of the things that helped him accomplish this was his decision to move to the Romulan Empire for a time.

It was not well regarded at the time just how much of the Romulan Empire was (and still is) threatened by the Borg. The Romulans share a long, uninterrupted border with the Delta Quadrant which is overrun by the Borg. When the deaf Blackfoot came to the Romulan Neutral Zone asking for entrance into the Empire to study the Borg, no fewer than six Romulan fleets were mobilized to drive off a new wave of Cubes and Spheres. It is a measure of just how well the Romulans were fending them off by the continued oblivious regard the rest of the Alfa and Beta Quadrants consider the problem. The appearance of a deaf teacher on the Neutral Zone was a small concern for the Romulans and so they let him cross the border. They would soon live to appreciate Matt’s presence.

Blackfoot introduced something new into the Romulan perspective where Borg were concerned. Formerly the Romulan policy treated Borg much like an infectious disease. When a Cube or Sphere was discovered, it was wiped out down to the last Drone. Blackfoot was able to point out all the Drones would rebel against the Hive if allowed free will. Furthermore assimilated Romulans could be recovered and return to society once all the junk was cleared out of their systems. For all their aloofness, the Romulans have a deep sense of attachment to one another, and the notion of finding and recovering their loved ones found aggressive proponents. The shift in strategy worked, but Matt put himself in the front lines by advocating it. He was assimilated again in a confrontation over Romulus only to be recovered hours later by somewhat chagrined Tal’Shiar. He was sent back to the Federation. The Romulans were sympathetic to his cause, but so far as they were concerned he’d served his purpose.

Blackfoot returned to Earth. When he started working on another ploy to recover his children, his wife divorced him. She wanted to move on. Matt couldn’t bring himself to do so. He’d already exhausted what resources there were in the Federation in regards to the Borg, and he spent the next two years frantically trying to find his kids. All official avenues were dead ends. Blunted by conventional thinking, Matt made his way to Bajor out of desperation. He appealed to the Prophets to find a way to recover his kids.

While he was praying in a temple, the overworked, desperate, and despondent man suffered a massive stroke. The ability to drive himself to death for the sake of others struck a chord of curiosity in the Prophets and one appeared. No sooner had this happened than a Q, roused by the rare intervention of the aloof Prophets, appeared as well.

Bridging Runners:

The Continuum and the Prophets have a relationship that predates history and it isn’t a congenial one. The Continuum is constantly frustrated by their inability to assert dominance over the Prophets and their Temple. It was decided that Matt would be a perfect object lesson in this argument. The Continuum contends that corporeal life is too primitive to be trusted with power or even knowledge. The Prophets claim that cultivating life can produce exceptional results. The Prophets gave Matt two things: they placed a map of the Cosmos in his mind, and they granted him the knowledge of how to cross it unaided. Not to be outdone the Q granted Matt the Songs of Creation knowing full well he could never used them effectively with his deafness. And thus they created another Bridging Runner.

The Q and the Prophets have created several Bridging Runners over time. Matt Blackfoot is the fourth human to embody the argument. The Runners are selected at random for their emotional drive more than anything else. They tend to have a personal goal that can’t be reached. In human history it is rumored that the first Bridging Runner of the race caused the Flood of Biblical (indeed all human mythologies in one way or another) note. The next in the line lived in the Incan empire and directed the construction of the enormous glyphs that can be seen from the air. She later buried the workers alive in a volcanic eruption. The third Runner left Earth during the Third World War and never returned. He made his way to the Sombrero Galaxy where he lived out his days on a planet of female humanoids. So far the human Runners have discredited the Prophets.

Matt is different. He’s channeled his abilities into his search for his children. The ability to Bridge has helped him cover all three galaxies where the Borg have a presence. Still the whereabouts of Marc and Hannah are unknown. The Borg don’t keep detailed records on their drones, so Matt has resorted to face recognition to find them. He’s made frequent trips to Borg Prime and Borg Ominous and returned unharmed. He’s also cased the Dominion just in case the Borg have created inroads in that sector. So far his destructive abilities have been used in self-defense and little else. Despite his animosity to the Borg, he can’t bring himself to destroy them wholesale since he might inadvertently kill his children. He still keeps close ties with his Romulan contacts. In recent years he’s recovered hundreds of specific Drones and restored them to their families in the Romulan Empire.

The Void isn’t something Blackfoot was even aware of until he stumbled into Project Infinite. Despite having a map of the Cosmos in his mind, he can’t see the Void. He can only Bridge across it. The Void alarms him. As a Bridging Runner he has an intimate understanding of the Cosmos few can match. The notion this cancer is hollowing out Creation isn’t something he can ignore easily, not even for the sake of his children.

Bridging Runners aren’t created alone. Since the Continuum also makes the same argument with the Pah Raiths as it does with the Prophets, every Bridging Runner is created in tandem with a Fallen Raith. The Pah Raiths twist on the argument is that given unbridled power, even a primitive being can seize control of the Galaxy. The Continuum contends that there is no power they can’t stand against. The Fallen Raiths so far haven’t given any Q much trouble. Most have found a pleasant little fief to rule and have sequestered themselves away until they die in the lap of luxury. Almost all the Fallen Raiths have died at the hands of their most trusted friends. The Chinese Emperor Qin was rumored to be a Fallen Raith, as was Alexander the Great. Most likely these are not the case insofar as they don’t coincide with the presence of a Bridging Runner on Earth. Rarely do the Fallen Raiths and the Bridging Runners come into conflict since the Runners are always mobile and the Raiths debauched. In the present incarnation of the Fallen Raiths the Continuum has tried to remedy this oversight by selecting Sasha Blackfoot for the duty thus insuring a strong tie to the Bridging Runner.

In appearance Blackfoot is an unassuming man. Short, slender and wiry, he has the dusky red complexion of his Native American heritage and long black hair. He has large, expressive brown eyes that he’s learned through a lifetime of struggling to be understood in a speaking world, to convey his innermost thoughts. His body is heavily scarred from his assimilation since the technology to remove the Borg implants is imperfect at best. He’s gentle by nature and it served him exceptionally well when he taught children. Even though he can’t hear a sound, he tends to give the impression he’s listening intently to those around him in part because he has to concentrate so fully on their facial expressions and lips in order to comprehend them. Since becoming a Bridging Runner his character has hardened a bit, but given time his true nature comes out. He is largely impatient with questions about his abilities since he couldn’t explain how he does what he does even if he had the language to do so.

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