This article or section contains major spoilers for the plot of Blood is Mine Chapter 2: Blood on Mars and onward. New readers are advised to proceed with caution.
"My friend... he was like, nah, man, I don't want any of whatever this is, and I dropped him off at a train station. I could have gone with him. I could have bailed. He's probably leaving the city as we speak. I'm still here, though. Guys, I think I might be stupid. What's the plan?" ― Fuse [[source]]
Fuse is a 19-year-old pyrokinetic mutant from the lower tiers. He was the fourth person to join Jane Doe's party. He did not appear in the first chapter, but has appeared in all consecutive chapters. Fuse is currently the only other character that readers have been able to play through, albeit briefly.
His knowledge of criminal activities in the lower tiers has proven to be an valuable asset to Jane Doe and her group on numerous occasions. He has been able to find everything from drugs, to electronics, to a place to covertly dispose of several bodies. He is also an expert hacker, which has come in handy several times as well. He has an uncanny knack for finding his way around various computer systems and can even bypass high-grade military locks.
Fuse's outward appearance has not changed overly much since his introduction. He stands as probably the most easily recognizable member of the group, sporting green hair and a matching visor, both of which are very unique characteristics.
Not much is known about Fuse's early life or family situation. He was born into a poor family in the lower tiers of the city and lived there for most of his life. When he was a child, he was friends with Howler Ferrings, and the two used to play video games and smoke Level together. At some point before the story, he dropped out of school and took up a more criminal lifestyle, partaking in illegal activities such as dealing drugs and breaking and entering, among other things. He worked hard to become good at what he does in order to be seen as useful by his criminal accomplices and minimize the possibility of getting stabbed in the back by them (possibly literally).
At some point before he met Jane, he dealt Save the Queen. He also tried Queen once, and after the trip, woke up naked in a park, swearing off the drug.
Meeting Jane Doe
After the Tobu CyberBrains Hack, Fuse felt that something wasn't right about his childhood friend being named the perpetrator, and headed to his apartment to investigate. It was here that he first met Michelle and Jane. Their meeting did not go quite without a hitch. Due to the Save the Queen in his system, Fuse was almost forced to shoot Jane. He was freed from Queen's control when Jane injected him with her own blood before he was able to pull the trigger and before Michelle almost snapped his neck. This was also the first time Save the Queen was revealed to be anything more than just a drug.
Joining the Group
After discovering Howler's true intentions and hearing what had happened to Jane, Fuse realized that the whole situation was something far, far bigger than any of them and made a firm decision to help Jane and Michelle. He also sees helping to fix the problems caused by Save the Queen and those responsible for it as a way to make up for his own involvement in pushing Queen. He helped Jane and Michelle get rid of the bodies of a pair of dirty cops, who had tried to attack them while they were at Jane's house, injuring himself in the process when he set fire to a car that was chasing him and ended up also burning his arm.
After Blood is Mine
Fuse has been shown to be quite critical and cynical, traits likely owing to his early life and the environment in which he lives. He does, however, have a sense of humor and can be quite a joker when it suits him. Most of the time, he maintains a very stoic and cool outward appearance. He very rarely loses his temper or his composure, at least externally. He keeps his emotions well-guarded, but both Jane and Michelle have been able to get him to lighten up on rare occasions. He rarely smiles, and when he does, he is usually quick to hide it.
Despite his criminal background, Fuse has been shown to be quite noble, with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. He originally joins Jane's group because he feels partly responsible for the mess they were in, as he used to sell Save the Queen to people before he met them. He realizes that the whole situation is much bigger than him, but decides that he no longer wants to be part of the problem, instead electing to become part of the force fighting for a solution.
Fuse also has been shown to struggle a bit with his self-worth. He is very acutely aware of his social status, and the fact that being both from the lower tiers and a mutant severely limit what he would be able to accomplish in his life.
Fuse is very intelligent and has an uncanny understanding of how computers work. He is an expert hacker and has yet to be confronted with a computer or security system that he hasn't been able to find a way into or around. He also has some understanding of how basic electrical systems work and how to repair burned-out wires and build things such as electronic lock bypasses.
Fuse also has a great deal of knowledge concerning the criminal workings of the lower tiers. If the party needs something, Fuse generally knows where to find it on the cheap. He also has knowledge of and experience with various drugs, and knows where to find those as well.
Though he lacks a driver's licence, he is technically capable of driving a car. He is just not particularly good at it.
Fuse is also a mutant, specifically a pyrokinetic. He has the ability to create, manipulate, and control fire. His level of control is tied directly to his mental state. If he is calm, he has very tight control of his ability and the fires he creates. However, when angry or stressed, his control deteriorates. Trying to start fires while he is not calm can lead to the fire quickly getting out of his control. It may also lead to him setting himself on fire, and he has injured himself numerous times in the past while trying to learn to control his abilities. This is why he tends to smoke level before setting things on fire, though in situations where this is required, the side-effects of level do not always agree (see Drugs).
This skill cannot be imitated by Jane's blood without brain damaging consequences (see Mutations), so for all intents and purposes, this is a skill only Fuse can use. Once Fuse sets something on fire, he cannot 'unburn' it, but he can put the fire out with his mind. Line of sight is almost always necessary, as controlling fire without looking at it is extremely difficult. The furthest Fuse has ever set something on fire was about twenty feet away, but he hasn't practised it over a range much. If it doesn't start at its destination, it starts somewhere else, and that makes practice hard.
Fuse and Howler were friends when they were younger. The two would hang out rather often, smoking Level and playing video games. However, at some point before the events of the comic, the two drifted apart and had not spoken in several years.
Fuse and Jane have grown somewhat closer since they met in Howler's apartment. Jane is one of the only people that has been able to get Fuse's guard down, and he often confides in her. He values Jane as a friend and is very thankful that she didn't let their first meeting affect her opinion of him, and also that she didn't let Michelle snap his neck or throw him out a window. They went into the warehouse and also the elementary school where Jury was dismantled together, as well as synced together into Macland's mind. When Nil chose a memory of Fuse's to latch onto, it chose the memory he met Jane and Michelle for the first time, implying that this is a precious memory for Fuse.
Fuse and Michelle have been shown to get along very well despite the circumstances of their meeting, often joking with each other. Their sense of humour is similar and they will often react the same way to situations. Michelle occasionally makes fun of Fuse in a good-natured manner, usually for his style of dress, his visor being her favourite target. Fuse himself relaxes a lot around Michelle, even laughing out loud at times while joking around with her, which is rare from Fuse with anyone else.
Fuse and Dr. Finch have similarly rational approaches to situations, and given that they both have high intellect when it comes to science/technology, tend to work together well. Fuse doesn't hold back on occasionally making fun of Dr. Finch's old-man mannerisms, and expressed mild exasperation when Dr. Finch proclaimed to be a genius to Caius. He is quite respectful of Dr. Finch's intelligence, however, and even waited for Dr. Finch to be around before he asked about Lasker's remains, so he could hear his opinion.
Fuse and Caius both have similar backgrounds in avoiding law enforcement, but their approaches tend to be different; Fuse is more cautious and an over-thinker, while Caius is more of an improviser, and blunt. They may not have as much in common as Fuse and Michelle (and once, Fuse has responded very dryly to Caius telling him to maybe not set himself on fire so much) but their interactions have led to an explosive moment in the Mars bunker, when Caius told Fuse off for acting too tough. While Fuse was furious, he also admitted that Caius was right. The two of them visited the Lower Tiers together in order to pick up some equipment, and had a moment of bonding by smoking Level against the paranoia-inducing environment. When Caius was dying after the raid at the magic mushroom producing abandoned power plant, Fuse did not outwardly express emotions, but disregarded his shot leg in order to immediately look into 'magic' as a possibility to save Caius, and later on while Fuse was on watch in the hummer outside the hospital, it was revealed he was frustrated at his helplessness and lack of direct involvement when Caius's life is at stake.
- Fuse is his real first name, and not a nickname.
- His eyes are green.
- Morgenstern has refused to reveal whether or not green is his natural hair colour.
- He wears his visor mostly because he likes the look of it.
- Is also apparently very attached to his jacket, despite the fact that it is now partly burned and missing a sleeve.
- His lack of proper driving experience doesn't stop him from driving in wildly dangerous car chases.
- He is a bit challenged at cooking.
- To date, his is the person Jane has synced with the most. Because of this, he is able to see Red when she appears to Jane.
- His greatest fear is completely losing control of his pyrokinesis, and he occasionally has nightmares of spontaneously combusting.
- In an early draft of the story, Fuse was meant to be some sort of an experiment, and not a mutant.