Stephanie Ashe

 

Full Name: Stephanie Gayle Ashe    Age: 17    Height: 5′ 8″   Weight: 145 lbs.   Eyes: Sky Blue   Hair: Blonde

Stephanie Ashe

Stephanie is Katie’s little sister, who is bigger than she is. Even though the sisters are six years apart, Steph is Katie’s best friend, and arch supporter. Despite her strong body, Steph feels like a weakling compared to Katie. She has always admired the way her sister endured twelve surgeries and lengthy stays in the hospital without complaint. Katie is Steph’s heroine, although she is becoming fond of the new purple vixen, Valkyria.

Steph is the classic “girl next door.” A senior at Gifford Pinchot High School, she is a cheerleader and has won state competition trophies for the air split. Steph was also voted Most Popular and Homecoming Queen. She is no dummy, and appears set to be her graduating class’ valedictorian. She floats from cool kids to nerds to geeks to jocks and back with ease.

Steph is brash and impulsive. She is also highly protective of Katie. Those two facts combined lead her to stay in trouble with her abusive step-father, Frank. She gets away with mouthing off to Katie and her mother mostly because she’s usually right. Perhaps more than even Katie, Steph wants to protect others. She was suspended once for punching a bully (she knocked him cold). She wants to be a psychiatrist, to help protect people from themselves. Steph may have a closet kinky side. Every now and then, she drops a comment to Katie and Jessica about handcuffs and spankings that leave them stunned.

Steph bloomed late, but bloomed well. Even though highly athletic, she is extremely voluptuous, having enough body for both Ashe sisters. That does present a problem, though. Frank has started eyeing her with ulterior motives.

 

 

Jessica Ashe

 

Full Name: Jessica Teal Ashe   Age: 21     Height: 5′ 6″   Weight: 135 lbs.   Eyes: China Blue   Hair: Brown

Jessica Ashe

The third Ashe Girl is Katie and Stephanie’s first cousin, the eldest child of their Uncle Bob. The trio are extremely close. Katie and Steph see Jessica as their middle sister, and Jessie returns the sentiment.

Jessie’s parents divorced when she was twelve. She took it hard. By 17, she was an alcoholic. At 18, she chain smoked, and was addicted to codeine at 19. Rumor has it she has had two abortions, something she neither denies nor confirms. Jessie doesn’t care what people think of her and often does things for shock value. She has a short temper, a foul mouth, and a sarcastic wit.

Even with her flaws, Jessie is fiercely loyal to her cousins, has a good relationship with her once distant father, and still sees Gayle as her aunt. She is a genius mechanic. There seems to be no engine or transmission she doesn’t know like an old friend. Jessie can turn a pile of junk into a fine machine, or reduce a quality automobile into scrap just as fast. Jessie’s hobby is hotrodding Stephanie’s beater of a car behind her back.

Her full name at birth was Corduroy Teal. Her mother was odd. Bob finally convinced her mother to give the poor girl a normal and legal first name just before she started kindergarten. Jessie still has not forgiven her mother for that original first name. It didn’t help that her mother ran off with a gangster and never contacted her again.

 

 

Gayle Mason

 

Full Name: Gayle Anne Mason    Age: 49   Height: 5′ 4″    Weight: 125 lbs.    Eyes: Blue     Hair: Silver

Gayle Ashe

Gayle is Katie and Stephanie’s mother. The daughter of a cop, she wanted to be Wonder Woman when she grew up. She settled on high school guidance counselor as the closest possible alternative.

Gayle met Stephen Ashe in high school, when he was the first baseman for the baseball team and she was a cheerleader. They married upon graduation. For six years, she was the dutiful Marine Wife, then the dutiful Cop’s Wife. She loved it. When Stephen was killed in the line of duty, her heart was crushed, even if she was proud of him.

Her second marriage to Frank Mason is one of convenience. He needed a family for social status, and she needed money to pay for her daughters’ education and Katie’s astronomical medical bills. As he descended into tyranny and abuse, she descended into the world of romance novels.

As far as the rest of the Ashe family is concerned, Gayle is still one of them. Bob thinks of her as his own sister, not a former in-law. Jessie still calls her Aunt Gayle. That sticks in Frank’s craw.

Gayle is the only one who knows her sickly, diminutive daughter Katie is also the powerful Protector of Parthenon, Valkyria. She learned the day after it happened, forcing Katie’s hand. Instead of scolding her child for putting herself in harm’s way, she encouraged her, going so far as to loan Katie her old Halloween costume as a suit. She is Katie’s staunch confidante. Katie draws strength from her mother, and that has become reciprocal. Gayle’s spirit is being revived as she watches her now healthy and whole eldest tackle the problems of her city. She may just yet tell Frank to sit down and shut up.

Gayle has a sardonic wit. She coined Katie’s nickname “the Electric Grape,” which, unfortunately for Valkyria, became popular with the press. It’s probably a good thing. Gayle’s other suggestions for her daughter were “Captain Cleavage” and “Superboobs.”

 

 

Frank Mason

 

Full Name: Franklin Oliver Mason    Age: 52     Height: 5′ 11″    Weight: 175 lbs.   Eyes: Brown    Hair: What hair?

Frank Mason

When Frank Mason married the widow Gayle Ashe, he was a decent man. A successful commercial contractor, he worked hard, and provided well for his two step-daughters. Then, he hit paydirt with the contract for a highrise office building downtown. The money, fame, and power went to his head. With each successive contract, he became more and more tyrannical. He demanded perfection and financial savvy from his family, and none of the three Ashe women shared his goals. He felt they embarrassed him in the social circles he needed to win.

Frank verbally, emotionally, and physically abuses Gayle for what he sees as her shortcomings. He has developed indecent interest in Stephanie. Katie especially embarrasses him. Her college major of art was a waste. He saw her career as a comics artist as merely “doodling fairy tales.” When she took a job as a short order cook, he threw her out of the house — on Thanksgiving Day.

The only thing that keeps Frank from going too far with Gayle and Katie, and especially Stephanie, is he is terrified of the formidable Bob Ashe. Every now and then, Bob rattles his badge, threatening to see to it that Frank gets a speeding ticket on every block in town for the rest of the year. Frank is aware that his status affords him a level of power that he feels he should be able to leverage against Bob Ashe. However, Bob’s immediate superiors, the Chief of Police and the Mayor, cannot be bought or threatened. The notorious gangster Zachariah Kane failed to do that very thing, so what chance does a mere contractor have?

Now that Katie can do something about it, she is keeping a close eye on her step-father. One of these days, he may overstep his boundaries. When he does, he has a date with the fist of Valkyria.

 

 

Bob Ashe

 

Full Name: Robert Arlen Ashe, Jr.    Age: 47      Height: 6′ 0″      Weight: 195 lbs.        Eyes: Blue      Hair: Brown

Bob Ashe

Bob is Katie and Stephanie’s uncle, and Jessica’s father. He followed his father and older brother’s footsteps. He became a US Marine out of high school, served eight years, then became an officer for Parthenon Police Department. Through hard work, and uncanny detective skills, Bob rose to the rank of Lieutenant, specializing in organized crime.

Bob is a good cop and a better detective. He is the classic straight arrow. He cannot be bribed or threatened. He has been known to bend the law, however, especially against those who try to bribe or threaten him. Bob is one of the few law enforcement agents in Parthenon to earn the status “Untouchable.” That isn’t because he can’t be bought. It’s because the Mob has a standing order to leave Lt. Ashe alone and not attract his attention. He has a badge and a .44 magnum and he isn’t afraid to use them. He is perhaps the last cop remaining in the city that has the respect of organized crime.

Until now. Bob had just about given up, disgusted over the revolving door that permitted the criminals he arrested to go free on technicalities. Then, she appeared. Valkyria. This purple miracle. Sure, she’s destructive, and clumsy, and insurance rates are spiraling upward, but she catches criminals that Bob can’t reach. And she knows how to preserve evidence. Is she related to a cop, he wonders. For some reason, Valkyria likes Lt. Ashe. She always calls him to make an arrest, and it’s never a petty thief, either. She leaves envelopes of evidence on his desk. Her affidavits are thorough. Who is she! Whoever this Valkyira is, she’s good enough for him to call in favors, and rap a few knuckles, to have her property damage swept under the city’s collective carpet.

Bob may be a good cop, but he was a terrible father. When his wife Barbara left him for a gangster, his self-esteem collapsed. He threw himself into his work, and became an alcoholic. He ignored Jessie and Bobby. While his son found himself through sports, Jessie turned to drugs, booze, and sex. When she stood at the threshold of becoming a heroin dealer, Bob sobered up. He reconciled with Jessie and they now have a fairly good father-daughter relationship, although the damage has been done. He is grateful to his eldest niece for holding his daughter together through her teen years.

 

 

Family Members Who Won’t Be Seen Much

 

Stephen Ashe

 

Katie’s late father, and Bob’s older brother. He became a cop in Parthenon after six years as a Marine. He rose to the rank of detective sergeant. On November 10, 2007, he was killed while negotiating a hostage release with some thieves in a bank robbery gone wrong. His death saved the lives of the fourteen hostages, and two of the robbers. He is still celebrated in Parthenon as a hero, and is Katie’s primary source of inspiration. Stephen was the only one who could call Katie “Kitten.” She becomes hostile if anyone else does. Stephanie is named for him. Stephen will be referred to by Katie, Gayle, and Stephanie, and may appear in flashbacks.

 

 

Bobby Ashe (Robert Ashe, III)

 

Uncle Bob’s son and Jessica’s younger brother. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation from high school. He’s away from home, and won’t be seen much in the comic. The Ashe Girls will talk about him from time to time.

 

 

Cathy and Robert Ashe, Sr.

 

Katie’s grandparents. Robert Senior was a lifetime beat cop for Parthenon PD. Although still alive, they won’t appear in the comic often. Katie is named for them.