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|Stonewater is a hero created by Scott Eiler.|
|Alter Ego:||Jill Stern|
|Team Affiliations:||G.I. Gov (1983-1987), Red Adair (1991), Total Conversion (1992-present)|
|Location:||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Earth-SW10 ("Superhuman World 10")|
|Favorite Music:||Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute) classical meditation music|
This article refers to the modern-day Stonewater. For a similarly-named hero of the 1940s through 1970s, see Stonewater Smith.
Jill Stern (born 1966) spent her early youth in California, with her parents as their only daughter. When Jill was five years old, her family's house was destroyed by a mudslide; her parents died there. Jill was at first shuffled among relatives; the closest were her aunt and uncle in Michigan. But Jill was difficult to handle due to her newly-acquired temper and nightmares. Plus, unexplained earthquakes happened around Jill; people jeered that she'd brought California with her.
Jill was finally raised by the Okinawan karate teacher Li Ho Ni, He had been a friend of her parents, and had taught Sam Johanssen also. Under Li's tutelage, Jill became extremely proficient in armed and unarmed hand-to-hand combat, and achieved a relative calmness and control due to meditation. As she matured, her physical strength grew exponentially. Jill had become the world's strongest martial artist. She even discovered, she could control the earth and water. Her motto phrase was "Grace of Water, Strength of Stones".
Jill had studied scholastic topics under Li Ho Ni, but not obtained a high school degree. Upon her eighteenth birthday in 1984, her natural career choice (and practically her only one) was the U.S. Army. Due to Li's professional connections, the Army knew exactly what they were getting. Jill was placed into an elite force code-named "G.I. Gov". There she and her teammates took the field against numerous high-level opponents, including even the Doom Bear and the Powernaut of that era.
After four years with the Army, Jill got her honorable discharge. She had spent most of her time in study, getting the equivalent of an associate's degree. She finished her college education at Caltech as a business major in 1990, then interned for IBM. But then she realized a unique business opportunity... The Persian Gulf War had come. In the war's aftermath, Kuwait was ablaze with oil fires estimated to burn for five years. Jill had been reluctant to use her elemental powers, but she realized those would be ideal for stopping those fires. Through her military contacts she connected to Red Adair, joined his organization, and went straight to Kuwait. Jill was almost singlehandedly responsible for putting out the fires in three months. It was there she acquired the codename "Stonewater".
After Kuwait, Jill had become wealthy enough to live modestly off the interest from her earnings. But other superhumans had begun to arise. She determined to seek them out, simply to maintain her fighting edge. This led her to the Total Conversion Foundation in 1992. There she became a natural partner to Julie Wolcott, the Foundation's business leader. Under her "Stonewater" codename, Jill was involved in Total Conversion's adventures well into the 2000s. When Julie separated from her husband Stephen (a.k.a. Ellipsis) in 2004, the Foundation dissolved. But two years later, Jill brought back Total Conversion as a superhero collective. She was briefly imprisoned in Iran, but released in a diplomatic deal during an alien incursion in 2009. She returned to lead the team. She leads it still, with a collection of the world's mightiest heroes.
Jill Stern grew up moody and undersocialized, to say the least. But through her various team memberships, she became a functioning and important member of her world's superhuman society. Her association with Julie Wolcott was pivotal to this; Jill relates to Julie like the little sister she never had. Today Jill exhibits strong business and leadership skills.
Powers and Abilities
Jill Stern has mid-level superhuman strength plus enhanced reflexes. She also has a lifetime of martial arts training tailored to her bodily powers. There are few better fighters than her, and none stronger; there are some stronger fighters, and none better. She may fight either bare-handed or using melee weapons, but she has to use the highest-quality weapons; if it's less than the best, it crumbles in her hands. She prefers a museum-quality samurai sword and always carries it in combat, but now usually avoids its use.
Jill also has elemental control powers over earth and water. Due to the trauma she experienced from those elements at an early age, she is reluctant to use those powers. But with them she has been known to move hills and damp down giant waves.
Aside from a long nose, Jill Stern is very attractive in an athletic way. Out of costume, Jill wears well-tailored business clothes, usually with loose-legged pants which resemble a skirt but clasp around the ankles. In costume she goes barefoot and wears a leotard, cut-off t-shirt, and nylon mask. Her hair is long and she braids it for combat; she can do this quickly.
Stonewater is one of the senior characters of my fiction; only the Balance and their opponents came before her, and retroactively they now come after. I created her using a random number generator, as a supporting character for the original Total Conversion campaign game. She became so important to her universe, she was an early and frequent guest star in its web-based fiction. Out of story, her predecessor-character Stonewater Smith was even inspired by her. Stonewater Smith became important to Powernaut Comics, and soon Jill Stern will join that storyline. The random number generator seems to have done its job quite well for this one.
In retrospect, I could have even put Jill Stern in the Powernaut 1969 series. It would have made for magnificent Stonewater vs. Stonewater action. But (1) I didn't think of it; (2) the series was busy enough already; and (3) the Hyper-Piper of Hypergaard probably had to put Julie Wolcott ahead of Jill Stern on a list he never finished abducting. Yay, Our Heroes!
(signed) Scott Eiler, 8 August 2015.
This entry and all characters within it are copyright © 2015 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.