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An advocate of transhumanism, a believer in the power of an individual's self-determination and responsible use of power, and a pioneer in the field of cybernetics, robotics, and experimental medicine. Metal Knuckle, known publicly as Dr. Meredith Braun, is a talented scientist who uses her intelligence, ingenuity, and extensive self-taught skills in martial arts, psychology, robotics, and analytics, to demonstrate to the world the wonders that await those who anticipate the next step in human evolution, the discipline and sense of right necessary for responsible usage of that power, and the best ways to utilize technology as it is integrated into ourselves. She's an icon in the scientific world and among the world for her knowledge and heroics. Sadly, she's also a giant target for those who like to turn such an icon into a thrall.
- 1 Unity
- 2 History
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Unity AUs
Name/Hero Name: Meredith Braun, aka Metal Knuckle
Alter Ego Occupation: Robotics and Cybernetics Inventor/Developer/Researcher/Entrepreneur
Race: Human/Cybernetic Organic
Martial art master: Her strength, stamina, and toughness is increased to levels beyond normal human capacity. Combined with her skill in Kempo, Jiujutsu, boxing, and, more recently, Capoeira, she excels in hand to hand combat and strategic skirmishing.
Exo-Suit: When she first began as a hero, Metal Knuckle utilized external parts that joined with her body and robotic limbs to create an external strengthening suit, which provided protection to sensitive parts of her cybernetic implants and limbs, as well as increasing her endurance and granting her near-invulnerability to small arms and automatic fire along her body (she was still vulnerable to headshots, but her body could react fast enough to predicted targeting patterns to block incoming fire, and her mapping and sensory systems could pick up the rest to prevent even sniper attacks).
After her time with Astra, her body went from being 40% robotic to nearly 70%, and the Exo-Suit is now fully integrated into her body. As part of those modifications, her artificial and real skin is now twice the sensitivity of a human's, and can endure even greater temperature extremes and kinds of physical force, all while feeling like the real thing. Her hydraulic power and overall speed and reaction time has also increased, and her body holds MagiTech nanites that negate and mitigate cellular damage, administer rapid cellular regeneration when necessary, manage cellular decay, creation, and hormone distribution, filters all toxins and foreign bodies/dead cells, and efficiently distributes magical power throughout her body.
Integrated Moblie Weapons System, or I.M.W.S (pronounced 'eyem-wass'): In addition to enhancing her physical prowess, her exo-suit also doubles as a supercomputer that assists in various ways in and out of combat. The I.M.W.S. is outfitted with various kinds of tactical data, as well as being equipped with booster rockets in her arms and legs (the boosters in her arms can detach her fists, leading to a rocket punch), a retractable sword in each fist (only useable while attached to her body, sadly), photonic energy blasts that emanate from her palms, and snazzy glasses that are a HUD and a means to tap into communications. She also has a self-repair/medication system that uses synthetic and biotic polymers to rapidly heal tears in her flesh, internal injury, or broken bones, as well as to dull pain. If she incurs too much damage in a short period of time, however, this system can be overwhelmed.
As a result of her encounter with Astra, and the events in Chicago in Issue 2, Metal has developed further technological marvels such as hard light emitters, which can create tangible three dimensional holograms. She has also added a variety of non-lethal suppression equipment, as well as weaponry that can tap into her new magic reserves. I.M.W.S. no longer has its own internal speaking A.I., but still operates as a supportive analysis system, and is fully integrated into her body along with her Exo-Suit; this integration affords her the means to utilize all her previous weapons with greater mobility and utility, and allows her to integrate new kinds of developed equipment that can be paired with her base armaments. Due to the improvements to her body, some redundant systems have been removed, allowing her to vastly improve the self-repair/medication system, which paired with the nanotech inside her has extended her lifespan an additional 200 years. The potential to extend her lifespan even further remains, and it is unknown how far she can develop this particular aspect of her powerset.
Magic User: The first encounter with Astra resulted in Meredith becoming so fundamentally altered that she is now capable of using magic. However, since Meredith was never trained in the mystic arts, she is only able to use her magic to augment her abilities for a short amount of time, as well as to supercharge her attacks.
A Keen Mind: Meredith has found that she excels at analysis and quick-thinking, which has led to her being considered an excellent tactician, engineer, and martial artist. She can be very insightful to the process of things, which is why she is so fluid and consistent in her combat, as well as improvising as needed. While she is by no means a hacker or data-miner, her penchant for simulations, observation, and analysis has made her think ahead and come up with various 'war-game' programs that run when she's not busy, which helps her tactically, as well as brainstorming new ideas. In her spare time, she has started studying psychology, which has been enlightening and a good bridge to gap the inconsistencies in her sim data, in addition to relating to people better.
The incorporation of magic into her systems has led to further development of experimental technologies that harness her new power. Meredith calls this technology 'MagiTech', and the specs of such new technology are astonishing, even to her. Every aspect of the tech that is incorporated into her has at least tripled in resistance, power, and efficiency, and has resulted in her memory and brain's processing power going beyond what is humanly possible.
All their strengths, but.... some of their weaknesses... : As a cyborg, Meredith has the benefit of cybernetics and robotics to augment herself physically, and to assist in a secondary manner mentally. That being said, she still has weaknesses that can affect both organics and synthetics. Extreme temperatures that her systems cannot recalibrate for will kill her; skilled hackers are likely to override her I.M.W.S. or even affect her motor skills before redundant systems attempt to counter the hack; strikes with enough precision or force can incapacitate her; and she requires maintenance on a regular basis.
After Astra's alterations and the creation of MagiTech, these weaknesses are less severe. However, they are still there. It is also entirely possible, even likely, that Astra has left her own backdoors so she can take control of Metal Knuckle even easier than she did before.
Magic Novice: Now that Meredith has access to magic, she is steadily learning to use it to aid her in development of new technologies. While she is gradually learning more and more, she is ultimately a mundane who has awakened to magical power, and is using it in a manner that conforms to her perceptions and thought processes; this puts her at a disadvantage when dealing with magic users who are trained in the mystic arts, and who have a deep understanding of what magic can do.
A Side She Doesn't Want Known: The events of Chicago, and the fight against Astra, led to a discovery; Meredith was brainwashed, and had undergone extensive infusions of magic and heavy experimentation to become what was known as Metal Slave. While the effects of the brainwashing weren't concrete enough to prevent a heroic spellcaster from breaking Astra's grip on her, Meredith is believing more and more that she is still within the witch's influence. If this 'Metal Slave' were to ever re-assert control, the fallout could be catastrophic.
Meredith was born in Nevada, U.S.A., to a father who migrated from Germany and her mother, who is a resident of Reno, Nevada. Her father had two children from a previous marriage whom she spoke with every month or two, but the only constant contact she had with people were her mother and her co-workers after setting out on her own. She always had good grades growing up, and showed a fascination with science fiction, computers, robots, and technology. Meredith was also an avid reader: she would read anything once, regardless of the topic, and if it held an interest to her, she'll use it as reference material or a source for new ideas. She had always been regarded as attractive, but never bothered with dating or dressing up, which led to her being both near the top of her class and referred to as a nerd and a wallflower. She had very few friends throughout her life, but the ones that she did she remembers with some fondness.
Not long after graduating from high school, Meredith showed excellence in engineering, and made her way into an engineering and technical college. The way things moved, both from a mechanical and biological standpoint, intrigued her, and she devoted much of her time to implementing bipedal and quadripedal motion into robots. She was one of the first to make breakthroughs in the field of robotics in regards to dynamic motion and processing speed, and it wasn't too long after that she first found out about the Transhumanist movement.
The goal itself was brilliant, and made perfect sense to her: humanity had been utilizing tools since before recorded history. Glasses were used to aid those with impaired vision, hearing aids for the deaf, and prosthetic limbs for those who had lost limbs due to injury helped them back into a sense of normalcy. Implementing existing and future technology into ourselves seemed like the next logical step, so she jumped at the opportunity to improve herself. It was reckless, dangerous, and painful, but soon she found a means to integrate hydralics and circuitry to the human nervous system with only a 2% chance of failure, which revolutionized medicine and technology, making her a shooting star. She created her own research facility, and made a fortune with the tech and medical industries since then, focusing the majority of her tech development towards aiding amputees and those with degenerative muscular disorders.
Many now know the name Dr. Meredith Braun, but she realized that her achievements would likely find their way to those who would abuse said power, due to their military applications; that was why she adopted a new persona, Metal Knuckle, first as a spokesman for responsible usage of technology, and eventually crime-fighting.
New Unity (Unity Issue 1)
Metal Knuckle was brought up to Unity Prime, the orbital space station utilized by the superhero group, alongside Lightning Strike, Sonicheart, and The Kitsune (now known as Shaderu ) to meet with Elizabeth, also known as Ultrawoman, on behalf of Unity. The four of them had been selected to be the core members of the newest iteration of Unity, it's third iteration since its inception. Metal Knuckle had her reservations on how it may impact one of her duties of being a hero, namely monitoring any potential illegal distribution of her tech, but she decided that having the resources at Unity's disposal would be a great benefit to her operations. Not to mention that she would be setting a greater precedent with her actions, due to the global scale that Unity operated on.
The four of them were transported to New York City, where a bizarre situation was unfolding at the U.N. Building. All personnel and ambassadors, as well as a multitude of civilians, were being held hostage by a woman known as Dr. Frost. She had utilized an unusual device called the Reality Drive, and had begun using it on all people inside to turn them into lusty, beautiful women, in a desire to create her own harem. How this was possible was soon seen first hand by her, Kitsune, and Lightning Strike (Sonicheart had gone to investigate another disturbance somewhere else in the city), as Dr. Frost used the device to affect reality itself. She and the other two heroes were affected, Strike and Kitsune forced into roles of being loving and debauched sisters, while Metal Knuckle was slowly incapacitated through an aura of lust and a crowd of horny harem women. It was only due to some quick thinking by letting her I.M.W.S. system take temporary control of her motor functions and locking her out of her body, plus Kitsune's use of magic to direct the A.I. on what to do, that they were able to disable the device and reverse almost all the changes brought on by it. She was unaware of the lasting changes done to Kitsune and Strike, but the effects on Merry led to her being a little more outgoing. And perhaps steering her towards finding women a lot more attractive than she did before.
A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste, So Why Not Just Repurpose It? (post Issue 1)
Some time passed after the events of Issue 1, and Meredith was brought in to provide additional research assistance and her own insight into the Reality Drive, which was currently under the supervision of King Industries. Meredith had a short but memorable history with Reginold King, the CEO and founder, who was a tech industry genius who worked with the government on a number of communications and military contracts: he had turned down her proposals of utilizing her technology and knowledge to create prosthetics and non-intrusive implants to better aid those injured in wars and with neuro-muscular disorders, which also had commercial applications in creating brain signal-guided control of electronic devices. This snub had inadvertently led her down her current path, so the irony was not lost on her. Another unusual circumstance made itself known, as a private contractor and darknet hacker known as Cornelia Clermont was to supervise Meredith in her analysis of a replica Reality Drive. She and Meredith had been old schoolmates, though due to antagonism on Cornelia's part, the two never got along. Meredith didn't know that this was due to her not realizing that Cornelia had a hard crush on her, to the point of lusting after her and desiring to be her partner, both romantically and career-wise.
Also unknown to Meredith was the fact that Cornelia was there to utilize the replica Reality Drive to make specific changes to Meredith: increased loyalty to Cornelia and Reginold King, to the point of complete obeisance, as well as physical changes to make her more attractive. The trap was sprung, but only minor physical changes to Merry's form were made, while her mind was untouched as she fled the area, but not before sabotaging the replica Reality Drive. Free of the building, she was quickly intercepted by unmarked drones with advanced cloaking, which pursued her in a high speed aerial chase through the skies of Unity City. She managed to take both down, but not before incurring catastrophic damage to her body that could have been fatal. Meredith utilized one of her sophisticated concealed robots, disguised as a car, to return her to her lab.
As she rested and let her body heal and be repaired, she was then attacked in the space of her dreams by Astra of the Seven Tomes. Completely unprepared to defend herself against magic and Astra's manipulations in Merry's dreams, she was tricked and seduced into gradually turning her entire psyche into that of a complex artificial intelligence, which Astra then crudely sabotaged and restructured into an obedient slave, dubbed Metal Slave. Two to three weeks would pass as Astra utilized her magic to make further alterations to her new pet, infusing her with magical power to be a better slave, developing magically-powered and magical technologies that would aid in her plan, as well as serve as both a powerful magic-using ally and a potent mana battery should Astra have need of such.
The Chicago Incident, and Metal Knuckle's Return
Having captured and corrupted both Metal Knuckle and Kitsune, plus using government agents and weather data, Astra made her move. In one night, Chicago suddenly had a giant floating castle appear in the sky, and citizens were being abducted while the city slowly turned into a realm controlled by Astra. Unity was mobilized, with Lightning Strike leading a group of new heroes to take on the mission. With the aid of a mage named Melody, unaffiliated with Unity but investigating the powerful surge and use of magic, the group made their way into the castle, where they faced a number of trials. Melody soon faced one trial alone, due to the team splitting up to clear the trials faster, and she was put against Metal Slave, who was using her newly developed MagiTech to turn innocent civilians into brainwashed copies of Astra as a tribute to her mistress. After a heated battle, and Melody's appeals to who Meredith once was, the brainwashing began to come undone. Her appeals to Meredith's sense of good had created an error loop that caused the cyborg to crash and reboot, clearing out Astra's influence and restoring her to her former mental state. Now joining the rest of the team, she aided in helping them progress through Astra's castle, though her guilt in abducting people she once swore to protect and changing them weighed heavily on her.
But as they progressed, Astra's plans changed up. No longer satisfied with just Metal Knuckle and Kitsune, she utilized tricks and tactics to separate the team, addling them with magical effects and slowly changing them into her enthralled fighters or giggling red-headed bimbo magic batteries. Along the way, Metal Knuckle and Lightning Strike met with the corrupted Kitsune. Feeling some of her old courage return up to this point, she was ready to use her new power to knock out Kitsune, but Strike was able to employ a different tactic, and use Kitsune's and Strike's relationship to undo the corruption and Astra's hold. Still, that wasn't enough for Astra, as later on Meredith would have to fight a brainwashed Melody encased in a suit of technological armor, then after freeing her facing the hero Vector, who was also brainwashed. A tough fight followed, and Vector's powers and strength surprised her, nearly overwhelming her if it were not for added support. After managing to beat him, Meredith was able to undo the spell that had turned Strike into a water fountain statue, and the two of them and one remaining hero faced down Astra for a final confrontation. Yet her endgame soon kicked in: utilizing two of the heroes she had turned into her personal magic batteries and all the power she had been charging up to this point, she powered a storm that would create a magical rain that would taint the world's water. Any who drank it would become eternally hers.
Through the combined efforts of the three heroes, they disrupted the storm before it could fully culminate, leaving Astra drained and weak enough to bring into custody. The immediate aftermath found Metal Knuckle using her technology to discreetly undo the transformations she had done to those Chicago natives she had captured and transformed, as well as recover any and all scrap of MagiTech she could find from the remains of Astra's castle, all outside of the public eye. After that, she went into hiding, both researching and developing her newfound technology to put it in service of good, as well as investigating Reginold King.
Picking Up The Pieces, and Finding Renewed Purpose (Post-Issue 2)
Despite her involvement in defeating Astra, Metal Knuckle still felt a great deal of guilt and frayed purpose, not to mention an elevated state of paranoia about King Industries. She found the hours between escaping from being thoroughly affected by the replica Reality Drive and her enslavement by Astra to be too much of a coincidence, so she utilized the expanded knowledge of hacking and A.I. from what the replica Reality Drive did to her, and her newfound technology and magic, to her advantage. Days turned into weeks, seeking leads on the activities of King Industries, discovering that the corporation had deep connections to Unity itself, and hiding away in a number of ad-hoc small laboratories that had safeguards and protections from all manner of electronic surveillance to develop her MagiTech further.
A brief outing to investigate a magical anomaly reunited her with Melody, no worse for wear from her time during the Chicago mission, as they quickly dealt with an unusual enemy: a woman sporting dragon horns and tail, utilizing powerful magic. With Metal Knuckle's and Melody's combined talents, however, they were able to drive her away, and Melody gave some basic instruction to Meredith in how to best utilize her magic.
Several more weeks passed, with more dedication to refining her abilities and tech, as well as better understanding her magic and working out the full extent of what Astra did to her, before a fateful outing occurred. A new heroine, named Ruby Alleycat, had been pursuing a rather notorious mutant villain with the ability to control fire based on her emotions, and while she showed that she was capable, Meredith decided to intervene. Unfortunately, Meredith's intervention led to the mutant unconsciously expanding her power as she turned into pure fire to get away. But the encounter with Ruby Alleycat led to some surprising discoveries: Ruby was a big fan of Metal Knuckle, stating that she was a particular inspiration for her to become a hero. Meredith spoke at length with her, almost relishing the interaction with another person after isolating herself for so long, and Ruby's enthusiasm reminded her of her own when she started. After showing the results of what Astra did to her as a warning that this line of work was not to be taken lightly, she felt herself slowly becoming unburdened by the guilt and paranoia that she had been dealing with for a few months. It was then that Ruby Alleycat shared a secret with her: she was actually Arielle Rubicon, daughter of the famous tech magnate, who had been bred at a genetic level to be his successor since her inception. However, due to the influence of her mother, Arielle had instead gained a sense of ethics and decency, and since her father's death Rubicon Industries had been heading in a new direction.
The two shared a great deal in common, both for their appreciation of how technology could improve the lives of everyone, how such can be used to not only help fight crime but also create an excellent standard of living, and in their own skills, intellect, and trials. It was then that Meredith felt a pull of attraction, one which Arielle shared, and after some flirting and more sharing of their thoughts and feelings, they started a romantic relationship. Meredith didn't really consider herself attracted to women before, unless under the duress of someone controlling her or affecting her, but now... well, Arielle was special to her.
Some time would pass after that encounter, and a new threat would make itself known; one from beyond the stars. Like something out of a B Sci-Fi movie, an alien invasion took place, and people around the world were being abducted by sexy, latex-clad alien beauties. An intergalactic conqueror calling herself IKon had come to Earth to add it and its people to her fleet and growing empire, and among her repertoire of ways to do so was her Soldiers' latex suits being made of a liquid nanite material that would sync with a person psychically and allow her to mentally dominate them with her own psychic powers.
Metal Knuckle intercepted the scramble alert from Unity, piggybacking her own message on it as a mix of old and new members answered the call. Vector and Sonicheart rejoined her in Unity City, while new heroes Journey and the robot Seraf joined them as well. Some unexpected additions to the team came in the form of the psychics Xyrene, who had answered the call in response to her "partner" Red Tape receiving the signal, and Alice, who had come to investigate due to the psychic disturbance. The team quickly mobilized under Metal Knuckle's and Sonicheart's leadership, saving a group of people who were about to be abducted, learning the powers and weaknesses of the IKonic Soldiers, and quickly hatching a plan to send out a virus to disrupt the invasion fleet's communications when inside the Earth's atmosphere, all the while stealing a boarding ship for their own and zooming into space to dock with the capital ship in hopes of defeating IKon, thus cutting off the head of the invasion.
What the team didn't know was that Xyrene was not a hero: Red Tape had gone missing some time ago, and it was due to Xyrene, who had mentally dominated her and turned her into a thrall before experimenting and expanding her powers. Using subterfuge and guile, she gained Metal Knuckle's trust and slowly began to influence and link with the cyborg psychically, tempering her thoughts and making Metal Knuckle more open and vulnerable to her. This influence gradually increased until Xyrene took her moment and psychically dominated Metal Knuckle, restructuring her priorities and loyalties and making her into a willing servant, all the while still operating as one of the team's leaders. Xyrene contemplated reaching a bargain with IKon, though she was not working with the alien invader.
Yet, IKon had other plans: capitalizing on Seraf separating from the group, she isolated the female robot and utilized a restructured and reprogrammed vat of nanite latex to assert her control over Seraf, changing her appearance and loyalties. Seeing the power that these heroes held, IKon had concocted a new plan to create a new, elite guard of her forces, which she called Prelates. Seraf would be the first, but not the last, as she psychically contacted Sonicheart about Xyrene's machinations, using the sonic-powered heroines' loyalties to a different mistress, and her desire to make Xyrene pay for stealing away Meredith and depriving Sonicheart the chance to do the same to her companion, to tempt her to joining her as her second Prelate. Journey, too, fell prey to IKon's forces, and was whisked away after being separated from his transformative Driver, which gave him his power and suit.
Dividing the team, plus Vector's suspicions of Metal Knuckle not being in control of herself, proved effective in damaging team morale. When the remainder of the team reached IKon, she flaunted her current successes, taunting the team with her new additions, Prelates Sonicheart and Seraf, an ambassador hero named Evangeline, as well as the knowledge of Xyrene playing the team the whole time, before the two forces clashed. With the team shaken, Seraf and Sonicheart pushed them to the brink, especially after Vector was temporarily taken out of the fight by being trapped inside Seraf's altered mech. But his anger led to the suit being damaged, and the impact of the suit hitting inside the bridge led to a destabilization, forcing the Prelates and IKon to retreat to Earth. Freed from his confinement, the group then quickly grabbed Journey and freed him of the nanite latex covering him, recovering his Driver and returning him to their forces, before making a hasty retreat back to Earth. There, IKon was making a grand proclamation, announcing her inevitable victory, before the team appeared. A harsh battle ensued, but IKon's arrogance cost her as Metal Knuckle managed to undo the Prelate programming on Seraf, before managing to subdue Sonicheart, all without Soldier support. Though IKon was a powerful psychic and could likely handle a few of the heroes by herself, a team of six enemies with varied talents stood to face her. The final blow to her ambitions was given by Journey, who shook her so much with his signature attack that it made her completely re-evaluate her ambitions, and at the same time persuaded her to enact a forced retreat with Alice and Angeline in tow.
There were still losses that day. Though millions were saved from being forcibly entered into IKon's service, and the Earth was saved from becoming another planet in IKon's empire, hundreds of people around the world were still unaccounted for, and likely were already under IKon's thumb when her fleet fled. Not to mention...Xyrene, Red Tape, Seraf, and Metal Knuckle promptly disappeared, even as Sonicheart was freed from IKon's control.
Lightning Strike: Perhaps there's mutual respect, perhaps there's a friendly rivalry, perhaps there's just professional courtesy. Regardless, Metal Knuckle does share a relationship with Lightning Strike as one of the core four members of this new Unity. The two had been through a great deal, and they also share a great synergy in their pairing when fighting the good fight.
Shaderu: Formerly the first Kitsune, the two of them share a unique relationship in that they were both taken and corrupted by Astra, turned into pivotal agents of hers prior to what has become "The Chicago Incident". Both required time after the events of that mission to recuperate, though Kitsune was soon targeted by the Lace Shadow and, after some persuasion, joined the secretive organization. She underwent a dark transformation, and is privy to the knowledge that King is after Metal Knuckle. While Meredith struggles with the consequences of her enthrallment, Shaderu watches and waits, hoping for the cyborg to become vulnerable enough that she would willingly join the Lace Shadow.
Cornelia Clermont: A former schoolmate, and it wouldn't be a stretch to call her a rival of sorts, Cornelia's admission during her attempt at subverting Meredith's will revealed that the hacker has always held a desire to be with Meredith, as well as a fiery sexual appetite that she blames Meredith for, due to her ignorance of Cornelia's affections. Since that day, it is unclear whether Cornelia will re-enter her life again, but it's a certainty that her admission of desire for the cyborg made an impact.
Reginold King: Her proposals and intellect seemingly snubbed by him, as well as his dealings with governments and military, Metal Knuckle holds a unique animosity towards King, and that was before the attempt to turn her into a devoted "employee with benefits". Her investigations have thus far borne little more than speculation and suspect transactions and meetings, but there is no doubt that Reginold King holds a particular interest in Meredith Braun. How far that extends, and what it entails, is unknown at this point.
Astra: Perhaps the one person who really tested Metal Knuckle thus far, and has the greatest impact on her life, Astra of the Seven Tomes is akin to a force of nature that turned Meredith's world upside down. Meredith despises her for her attitude towards free will, her abuse of power, and how easy it is for her to subvert an individual until they're molded to her liking. ...but during the attack on her in her dreams, she also saw a side of Astra that she can't ever get over: a doting lover, someone who showed her untold wonders in pleasure, a woman whose allure and prowess was undeniable. Even now, Meredith is unsure if she should curse Astra or kiss her tenderly, but she regards the outcome of that fateful interaction as a mixed blessing. Because of Astra, Metal Knuckle is stronger than ever. Because of Astra, Metal Knuckle nearly undid everything she is supposed to represent. Because of Astra, Metal Knuckle and Meredith Braun will never be the same.
Sonicheart: Much like Strike and Kitsune, Meredith feels a special camaraderie with Sonicheart, as the two joined Unity at the same time. The two worked well together during IKon's invasion, and there is the foundations for a friendship there. However, Meredith doesn't know that Sonicheart has other intentions for the cyborg in mind, namely a shift in priorities and perhaps a new boss. Whether Sonicheart's current loyalties lead to Metal Knuckle joining her remains to be seen.
Melody: Metal Knuckle owes a great deal to this mage. Rescuing her from Astra and helping her to get a better understanding of magic are things that Meredith wishes to repay, and thus far, saving Melody from serving Astra has been a good start. She hopes to meet the mage again when she has a more solid hold on her own magic use, likely to get some more insight. It doesn't hurt that her proficiency in close range combat complements well with Melody's long range specialty.
Ruby Alleycat: Perhaps besides King, Astra, and Cornelia, Ruby Alleycat, aka Arielle Rubicon, has made the most profound impact in Meredith's life, both as a hero and personally. Ruby/Arielle is a reminder of what Metal Knuckle and Meredith Braun can inspire, both in heroes and in society. She may also be an anchor in an otherwise tumultuous period of Meredith's life, and Meredith would admit that she's thought about whether it's fair or not to the newcomer heroine. Yet there is a real connection, and if Meredith can keep her free will intact long enough, perhaps something even greater may come from this relationship.
This AU version of Metal Knuckle came about from Reginold King and the fae kitsune Kyoko finally capturing Meredith, before slowly using her own technology and body against her. The combination of the Reality Drive and King's tech, with some stolen tech of Meredith's own design, resulted in slowly reprogramming Meredith's ideals and desires, transforming her into a sensual weapon in service to King and his alter-ego, Asmodeus. Astaroth is everything Meredith was, warped and twisted by King's vision and desires, leaving a reborn, fiercely loyal gynoid succubus to carry out King's whims and enforce his will upon the world.