Progeny was a word used early in John's life to describe his musical talents. His first display of his talents was as a talented soprano in the boy's choir of his family's Anglican church, where his voice was often described as "angelic". His family supported his talent, and it was not long before he had an agent and a demo tape circulating through the record companies.
As luck would have it, Virgin Records had decided to form a "boy band" to try and seize a market segment held by American labels. Auditions were conducted in 1995, and John was one of five young men selected for
Britain's latest music wonder, Bob's Your Uncle. Thanks to savvy marketing, Bob's Your Uncle became a huge hit with the Female 12-21 market, and, at the age of 15, John was launched into mega-stardom.
During the first year, the band got along famously, most likely because it was all new to them, and they each had much to learn about the business. But, as they each became more comfortable with their new roles, egos started to swell, with John's swelling the most. Originally cast as the "sweet innocent one", John quickly became known within the organization as "the bastard". No amount of arrogance and rudeness was too great for John to exhibit, and he made his handlers' lives a living hell. Many a time the record executives had thought they would gladly fire John, were it not for all the money he was bringing into the organization through record sales.
Bob's Your Uncle lasted for three years, with each member vying for lead status, but in the end it was John who rose to the top and in their fifth (and final) album, he headlined the group, singing lead vocal on all but two of the songs. Many did not think John's ego could get any bigger, but they were wrong. During what was to become the bands final world tour, John was intolerable at best. Nothing seemed to satisfy him, and no one seemed to be able to escape his scalding tongue.
It was during a stadium concert in Amsterdam that "the incident" occurred that would end Bob's Your Uncle, and send John's life down a different path. John was his normal prima-donna self, driving everyone around him crazy with his arrogance. The band had spent the afternoon drinking backstage, and was pretty snookered by the time the concert started. One of the other members of the band made a joking comment about John's appearance, which resulted in a scuffle between the young men, which was quickly broken up by a few members of the crew. John was still furious when the band went onstage, and his anger continued to grow throughout the first set. It was during the fifth song, an upbeat tune that deviated from the normal pop sound into a more punk feel that strange things began to happen. Reverb sounded through the sound equipment, causing a large squelch, equipment shorted out, electricity danced across platforms and crossbeams, fuse boxes exploded, the stadium went dark, and the crowd panicked.
After the chaos, it was determined that two people died, and 74 injured during the stampede. Several sound board operators were injured from the power surge that fed back through their equipment. John was in a coma, and the band member he argued with was permanently deaf. The official investigation blamed the event on a power surge. After the investigation, Virgin Records apologized for the tragic event and announced that Bob's Your Uncle was breaking up, the members too distraught over the tragedy to continue.
John stayed in a coma for two months. The doctor's could not find a reason for the coma, although they did detect increased brain activity. They were just as surprised as everyone else when John woke up and demanded breakfast from a shocked nurse.
John was relocated home, and was recovering nicely when he received the first of two visits that set his future course. The first was from his Manager, who told John that Virgin Records had done a quiet investigation of the Amsterdam concert, and determined that the surge originated as a burst of sound waves from John. They don't know how that happened, but John must understand that it was bad business to blow up concert halls and drive band members deaf. Not to mention killing off fans. Nothing personal, old chap, but they decided to cancel your contract. They will keep your secret safe, since it would affect them also, but they think you should just move on and get help for your...condition.
The second visit, not long after the first, was from a representative of
Knightwatch, although John did not know that at the time. Her Majesty's government had seen a copy of the secret investigation, no need to ask how, and they were convinced it was the manifestation of John's
ubergene. They would like him to allow them to conduct some tests, for his own good, to see what was what.
John went along after it was made clear to him that it was not a request he could turn down, and was taken to a hospital facility near Credenhill, the home base for the SAS. Hidden in a sublevel of this otherwise inconspicuous hospital was the latest medical technology used to analyze and treat
uberhumans. John spent three weeks at the facility undergoing a variety of tests, learning amazing things about his new condition. At the end, the
Knightwatch representative briefed him on their findings, and made him an offer.
If John would accept a commission in the Royal Navy, he would receive training in his powers, and, depending on how he completed training, would be considered for a position in
Knightwatch. Even if he did not qualify for Knightwatch, he would learn how to control his powers, so that something like Amsterdam would not happen again.
John returned home to think over the offer. His first inclination was to decline, he was a singer, not a soldier. He was young, rich, and famous. The idea of going the military held no appeal to him. He discussed his options with his Manager, and was all but ready to turn down the offer, when he received a call from a reporter of The Sun. The reporter had received some information about a secret report concerning Amsterdam, and wanted John’s thoughts. John left him with no comments and hung up.
That short phone call put John’s precarious position into perspective. He realized he was a thread away from being painted a mutant monster, his career ruined, his prospects gone. Over his Manager’s objections, he called the
Knightwatch representative and took the offer.
He was inducted within a few days, and preceded through basic officer training. Upon completion, he was assigned an aide de camp position with an admiral based at Credenhill, where his public persona was a member of the Royal Navy’s Public Affairs office. Secretly though, he received training on how to use his powers, as well as how to operate as an intelligence agent. The belief being that his fame would gain him entrance to places most interesting and beneficial.
He found this lifestyle so different than his previous life, and so much more interesting. He still had his music, and often conducted concerts for different venues, always as a representative of the Navy. He also, on occasion, conducted secret operations as his metahuman persona, Sound Barrier. At the end of his term, he applied for, and received a position with
Knightwatch, where he has served since, filling something of the same role. Publicly, he is a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy with an interesting background, secretly, he is Sound Barrier, newest member of