Meet the Cast!

(What there is of it, so far...)

Tetsuko Breckenridge


Tetsuko Breckenridge was born in Japan, to American parents. Her father, James, had been sent to Japan to head the Asian branch of his company. James and his wife, Patricia, soon fell in love with the people and culture of Japan, and when their daughter was born, they gave her a Japanese first name.

According to the Japanese-English Character Dictionary by Andrew Nelson, there are 13 kanji (the Chinese characters the Japanese adopted for their written language) that can be read "tetsu". The one her parents chose to write "Tetsuko" (Nelson #931, defined as "clear") was used in words that carried a "philosophical" meaning, as in tetsugaku "philosophy" and tetsugakusha "philosopher". But since Tetsuko was somewhat of a tomboy as a child, people tried writing her name with the kanji for "iron"(Nelson #4844), and her parents were sometimes exasperated enough at having to correct this "misspelling" that they toyed with changing her name to something in American English. Ironically, after her "transformation" Tetsuko began adopting the "incorrect" kanjiherself, so that "tetsu-ko" indeed wound up meaning "Iron Girl". ("-ko" [Nelson #1264] as the third syllable in three-syllable female names such as Rumiko and Etsuko is more correctly translated "child", but since this is a female name, the translation of "-ko" as "girl" is not unreasonable.)

The family lived in Japan for the first ten years of Tetsuko's life; but when her parents were killed in a tragic accident she was sent to America to live with her maternal grandparents.

As a college student, Tetsuko saw a notice on the student union bulletin board from a Dr. Sonya Gannon, who was seeking a "girl Friday" to handle secretarial duties for her as well as being a lab assistant. Although advised against it by her friends (who characterized Dr. Gannon as "gorgeous but strange"), Tetsuko answered the ad. She found herself liking the doctor, whom she knew only from the fact that Sonya was a professor at one of the classes she took. Sonya and Tetsuko became fast friends, and Tetsuko soon found out that Sonya's true work went much deeper (and much more secret) than being a "mere" college professor. It was from an incident that happened as a result of her association with Sonya, in fact, that Tetsuko was to gain her amazing strength and muscularity.

Powers & Abilities

Tetsuko possesses superhuman strength, about at the level of Marvel Comics' "Incredible Hulk". She also has a quirky form of invulnerability: she can withstand almost any force (bullets, explosions, falls, etc.) without injury IF she has time to "brace" herself for it. Visually, this will look like Tetsuko is tightening all her muscles at once, although Sonya theorizes the effect is as much mental as physiological. In any event, Tetsuko has quickly learned to react almost instinctively to any threatening sound or movement, and the sound of a gun being cocked will be enough time for her to brace herself for the shot. Needless to say, she and Sonya take great pains to hide the fact that Tetsuko's invulnerability isn't "full-time": she'd have no defense against, say, a sniper with a telescopic sight if she can't hear the gun being cocked (or maybe see the flash of light off the scope's lenses, etc.)

Tetsuko cannot fly (although she can jump great distances, but she usually hates traveling that way). She does not possess any sight or hearing enhancements (telescopic, heat, or X-ray vision, or superhearing).

Dr. Sonya Gannon

Dr. Sonya Gannon

SonyaSonya One of the most influential scientists who have ever lived; although you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who can name one of her accomplishments, so secret is most of her work. Sonya has no one specialty, having graduated from four universities with four doctorates in four disciplines: medicine, physics, biology, and (just to p--s people off) liberal arts. (She actually graduated with her doctorate in medicine at the age of 17, but was prevented from fulfilling her internship and getting her license because of minimum age requirements.) Now, at the age of 37, she has accomplished what most of her more elderly colleagues could only imagine.

And as if possessing the world's most brilliant mind wasn't enough, Sonya is also one of the world's most beautiful women. She has the look of a woman in her early 20's; her enticing figure is, shall we say, "lushly endowed"; even her glasses seem to somehow enhance rather than detract from her sexy good looks. (She's been featured almost as many times in Playboy as in Scientific American, and isn't shy about displaying her considerable sex appeal.)

One day, a stunningly beautiful blonde student enters her office, bearing a "help wanted" notice Sonya had posted. Tetsuko has come to apply for the position advertised; she proves to be an efficient clerk and an intelligent and quick-witted lab assistant. Sonya and Tetsuko would quickly become friends, despite the sixteen-year age difference. (This friendship would stand them both in good stead when a near-disaster looms...)

Sonya and Tetsuko

One reason why Sonya is able to accomplish so many seeming miracles is her HyperLab: a capacious laboratory that exists in a different dimension, where time passes differently than in "our" dimension. She uses the HyperLab to work on her most secret, security-sensitive projects, where she is safe (for the moment, anyway) from detection by those who'd pervert her work for evil purposes.

And if you're curious about the inspiration behind the creation of Dr. Sonya Gannon... well, here's the shameful truth.

Speaking of evil purposes...

Hamilton Slade

Though he vehemently denies it, it is general knowledge that Slade is the power behind the underworld, the top crime boss. Elderly and wheelchair-bound, Slade looks as though he'll kick off at any second, and indeed his doctors only give him a few more months to live, though he suffers from nothing more serious than advanced age (some speculate he's pushing 95 years old). But Slade has learned of Dr. Sonya Gannon and the research she's done into halting and possibly reversing the aging process; he decides he'll have that serum no matter what he has to do to get it. Even if testing the serum means the death of Sonya's pretty assistant...

Tetsuko's Home Page

David C. Matthews /"DCM Studios" Home Page

©1998 David C. Matthews