- "Actually, Father, there is something that I would like to talk to you about. But...it’s something that I fear discussing about."
"How serious is this?"
"I fear something terrible could have happened. The Devil..."
"What? What is it?"
"He may walk amongst us, Father."
- — Rolf Schmidt and Kasper Schaefer
Dustin Schaefer does not know who his biological parents are. When he was born, his parents were apparently disgusted with his appearance and could not fathom how they had conceived a child that looked like him. When he was less than two months old, his father gave him to another, Rolf Schmidt, who claimed to be the man's servant. He was charged with killing the child and disposing of the body. Rolf was unsure of what to do, thinking that the devil or at least a demon had possessed the baby. Confused, he went to his town's church, to confer with one of the parish priests, Father Kasper Schaefer. Kasper saw no evil in the child, understanding things about mutations and deciding that even if the child had been possessed, the child itself was innocent. Taking the child from Rolf, Kasper adopted Dustin, and took him in. Despite the fact that medicine was not as advanced as it is today, Kasper and a doctor who was a friend of his were easily able to decipher that the boy was indeed not possessed, but was a mutant.
Growing up, Dustin was introduced to a wide variety of subjects by his father, who insisted that his son learn as much as he could. He wanted his son to be a renaissance man of sorts and when new priests would be transferred in, Kasper would have them share their knowledge with Dustin. In this way, Dustin learned a lot about a lot, and slowly grew into a very well rounded individual. When he finished with high school, Dustin enrolled in the seminary, wanting to be like his father. He had been raised to be a staunch Catholic and to help others when they needed help. Feeling the calling to the priesthood, Dustin was enrolled in the seminary and went through the years of study required in order to become a priest.
Kasper was deeply moved and touched that his son would want to become a priest. He had taught Dustin from as far back as Dustin could remember to be open and accepting of all people. Just as Jesus had loved everyone, so too should his people, no matter what they were. He had told Dustin of the fact that he was a mutant early on as well, though it had been obviously necessary with Dustin's outward appearance. He knew that Dustin wished for a time when it wouldn't be necessary for him to wear skin make up and contacts when he went out in public, and he knew that his son would fight for equal rights for all, no matter what was different about them.
The Changing World
- "Father Schaefer."
"Yes? Is there some way that I can help?"
"Father, we identified the two bodies. The burn damage wasn’t sufficient yet and we identified them."
"Who...who are they?"
"One is Mr. Mountbatten. The other...is your father, Dustin, Father Kasper."
- — Firefighter and Dustin Schaefer
Years later, Dustin was a priest in his hometown. Loved by the community, he worked hard, tending to his flock. He and his father worked hand in hand to be good priests to their community. When Dustin was in his late twenties, he was still in his hometown, having never really left Germany. After a particularly long night, he went home to his German Shepherd, Pfoetchen, to discover that his father was not home. While this was unusual, Dustin knew that his father often visited and spent the night at parishioners' homes and so he didn't think too much of it. The next morning, he went for one of his normal runs. However, when he returned, he found out startling news. Late into the night and early into the morning, there had been a fire at the house of one of the members of the community, Charles Mountbatten. Charles Mountbatten had been a researcher who had retired to their small little town, enjoying the rustic lifestyle that the people led.
A fire had broken out and had consumed his home. Unfortunately, Mr. Mountbatten had been killed in the blaze. The other unfortunate news was that Dustin's father had been at the home as well, having spent the night there and he had died in the blaze as well. Dustin was shocked by this and he went numb, getting a bit distant. Over the years, he had come to find refuge in the mountains near their town and it was one place that he didn't have to wear any of the cover that he usually used to hide his appearance amongst the townspeople. He went there to be alone, in order to start the grieving process himself. While the rest of the town tried to make sense of everything that had happened, and an outpouring of support for Dustin happened, he was detached from it, unsure of everything around him. While he was up there, he received a phone call from the police chief, asking him to come so that they could share some news with him.
When he got there, he found out that due to the fire, slash marks had been partially covered up on the bodies. The two men had been murdered before the fire had started, quenching any theories that the fire had been the cause of death. Shocked, Dustin went with the detectives to the town's hotel to see if there had been anyone of interest who had stayed there during that time. The hotel owner turned over everything that he had on the people who had been staying at the hotel at the time of the attack. Of the people who had stayed there, there was a Russian woman who he found interesting. Outside of that, Dustin's hopes were dashed, as other agencies and bureau's were not interested in a potentially sentient animal slasher theory. As they delved deeper into the mystery, they found that the slash marks were very precise, too precise for an animal.
Furthermore, everything seemed to have been planned to perfection, with the exception of Kasper Schaefer being there. So Dustin decided that he was going to do some digging. Gathering what information he had on the case, he started searching through Google. What he found astounded him. There had been a number of similar cases, but all had been ruled to be too inconclusive. Everyone had just assumed animal attack. Writing a letter to his bishop, he received permission to go on a sabbatical. Then he began to journey around to see firsthand the information about those cases. Going to Netherlands wasn't very helpful, though the detective there gave him everything that he had.
- "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was three weeks ago. In that time, I have killed two men."
- — Irina Zakharov
Information Coming Soon
- Teleportation: Ability to teleport himself, the clothes, he is wearing, and within limits a certain amount of additional mass which is in contact with him. He teleports by displacing himself into the Brimstone Dimension, traveling through it, and then returning to his own dimension at a certain distance from his point of departure. He consciously determines his point of return. The entire process occurs so quickly that Nightcrawler is unaware of being in the Brimstone Dimension at all. Nightcrawler guides himself through the brimstone dimension by an unconscious, natural direction-finding sense. Although Nightcrawler controls his teleportation ability with his conscious mind, his power to teleport is not psionic. Rather it is the result of an unknown biochemical/biophysical reaction which he triggers mentally.
When he disappears in teleporting, Nightcrawler leaves behind smoke with a stench reminiscent of burning brimstone. This is a small portion of the atmosphere of the Brimstone Dimension that escapes while the aperture is open. His teleportation is invariably accompanied by the muffled sound of imploding air rushing to fill the vacuum left where Nightcrawler's body was. Nightcrawler's powers automatically displace liquids and gases when he arrives in the course of a teleportation.
- Subconscious Spatial Awareness: Nightcrawler has a very limited subconscious extrasensory ability that prevents him from teleporting himself so that his feet, for example, would materialize below the surface of the local ground. Because this ability is so limited, however, Nightcrawler will not teleport into any place that he cannot see or has not seen in the past. If Nightcrawler teleported himself into an unfamiliar area, he would run the risk of materializing partially or entirely within a solid object. If too much of his body materialized within a solid object, he would probably be killed.
- Micro-Suction Discs: Nightcrawler can stick to objects with the surface of his hands and feet. This enables him to scale surfaces.
- Flexible Bone Structure: Nightcrawler's bone structure allows him great flexibility. He can remain in a crouched position for a long time and perform contortionist type feats without causing any damage to his spine.
- Camouflage: He has limited abilities to blend into shadows, both as a result of his indigo fur and his connection to the light-bending attributes of the dimension through which he teleports. This is also the explanation for why he constantly appears in shadow, even in direct light.
- Prehensile Tail: allowing him to grab onto objects with relative ease. His tail is strong enough to not only support his body weight but also lift an adult man completely off the ground. It is deft enough to fight with like a sword or blunt object.
- Infrared Vision: Nightcrawler's always glowing eyes grant him a marked degree of heightened night vision as well.
- Superhuman Agility: Nightcrawler's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Nightcrawler's natural reaction time is enhanced to a level beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Master Acrobat: Nightcrawler is an Olympic-class acrobat thanks to his flexible spine that allows him to perform contortionist-like feats and to go long periods in a semi-crouching position without injury.
- Master Combatant: He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master at fencing, which he can even perform with his tail, which is strong enough to support his entire body weight. His adopted father practiced martial arts, amongst other things and passed on that knowledge to Dustin. Dustin was also trained by a priest who had been SAS previously before receiving the calling to become a priest.