James Wallace grew up surfing in southern California. His other interests were limited to girls and cop shows in spite of his high intelligence. His parents worried that he would never amount to much. When he was fifteen, they were killed by a drunk driver and James was left in his older brother's care. Michael was seven years older than Jim and was working his way through medical school. This left Jim alone much of the time. He would find himself walking by himself along the beach, just thinking. He grew to like the solitude.
When Jim graduated high school, his brother had just finished medical school. Michael insisted that Jim go to University and find out what he wanted to do. Since he had a passing interest in science, Jim entered the Science Department at the University of California at San Diego. In order to pay for his education (Mike didn't have much money to spare), Jim was a part time student and applied to the police academy. He had always wanted to be a cop.
He soon found the work tedious and dull, unlike the cop shows of his youth. Still, it paid for his education even though Jim had great difficulty in selecting a major. Eventually he passed the detective's exam and got transferred to Vice. He figured on taking part in activities like those on Miami Vice. Sadly few drug deals came his way. Mostly he was involved in prostitution cases. His boss, Lt. Wanda Brooks, saw potential in the bright, young detective, and handed him some promising undercover cases.
Wallace excelled at these cases and successfully made three major drug busts. But Jim had become a bit of a loner over the years and disliked working on a team. He encountered a number of private investigators during his years on the force, and decided that he would be better suited in that roll (like Magnum!). Over the objections of Lt. Brooks, Wallace quit the force and applied for a PI license.
The pay wasn't all that good, but he was still able to go to UCSD part time and he loved the work. Being able to help people in all kinds of situations and see everything through to the end made him feel great. He hated divorce case work, but it paid the rent.
One day, a disheveled man came to him and asked for help. He claimed to be a scientist who had been forced to work on a project by a secret underworld group calling themselves the Future Trust. They were using the Power Brokers augmentation process in new and different ways. The idea was to create a group of super beings with which they could take over the world of organized crime and from there control everything. The man had barely escaped from their underground hideout alive. The police didn't believe him and he was desperate.
Wallace didn't believe the man either, but promised to look into it. Two days later the man was on the news, strangled in his apartment. The report said that the man was a prominent geneticist. Stunned by the news, Wallace followed the directions given to him by the scientist and secretly entered the headquarters of the Future Trust. There he saw hideous experiments being performed on humans, bums who had been picked up off the streets of San Diego. Wallace was outraged and, without thinking it through, tried to sabotage one of the mutation devices. He was caught in the act and was going to be shot when an earthquake occurred. The device he had been fiddling with exploded as he had accidentally set the power levels on maximum. The device couldn't handle the strain when hit with the quake.
The base was leveled. Only Wallace managed to pull himself from the wreckage. Strangely, he knew that no one else had survived; it was as if he could detect the bodies through the rock. Saddened that he had been unable to save any of the Future Trust's victims but satisfied that he had stopped them, Wallace returned to his office/apartment and went to bed. The next morning he awoke to a rather nasty aftershock of the quake that had destroyed the base. Wanting to sleep in, he canceled the aftershock and went back to sleep. It was only after he had eaten breakfast that he realized what he had done. Alarmed, Wallace began reading up on mutations and the X-factor gene. He soon realized that the seismic energy of the quake had altered the form of the energy given off by the exploding machine. This energy had been focused on him as he was closest. He now had the powers of a living earthquake. That was why he had survived. His powers had protected him from the cave in.
Intrigued by his new found power, Wallace at last chose his major: Geology. He used what he learned to increase his ability with geological forces and vibrations. Having long been a fan of super-heroes and the dramatic versions of cops and private detectives, James Wallace decided to become a super-hero. In order to protect himself and his brother from any bad press (like what Spider-Man or the X-Men get) and from the criminal element, he chose to keep his identity secret. Calling himself Faultline, he designed a costume and began saving people whenever he could. Mostly this consisted of pulling people who were trapped in rubble or other small places to safety. Unlike Card Shark, who dealt with the crime in the poorer quarters, Faultline tried to avoid dealing with criminals. It was much more important to him to save lives than stop crime. His heroics got him a lot of good press, especially from Karen Layten, a reporter with a local news program. She was using him to advance her career, and Faultline found he liked the spotlight. It was a mutually beneficial relationship, so she soon had almost every exclusive about San Diego's favorite super-hero.
It wasn't long after his debut that Faultline got drawn in with a group of heroes who decided to make San Diego their home. Although he still considers himself a loner, Faultline has become a solid team member and really enjoys being one of the Cavaliers. Faultline gets along well with most of his teammates, especially Midnight Express. Both are California surfer dudes and their powers (and costumes) compliment each other. It was the two of them who came up with the name "the Cavaliers" and all the silly nicknames for the groups stuff: the headquarters (The Cava-Lair), the jet (The Cava-Lear), etc. Express is his best friend. He gets along passably well with Flare, though they have developed a Love/Hate friendship. Faultline is on the receiving end of more "Quantum Pig" attacks than anyone else. He has said some stupid things and some hurtful things to her, all of which he regrets. He does not get along well with Champion for many reasons. He believes that a kid his age should be in school and not risking his life. He has conflicted with other members of the team more than once over this.
Geoforce: Faultline can detect and control geological forces. These include plate movement, stress, faults, and volcanism. He can only affect natural rock and semi-natural materials such as concrete, cement, and asphalt with this power. Faultline can detect all geological forces and materials within 50 miles. These include ground temperature, general mineral composition, specific minerals, caves, beings moving within the earth, and faultlines/stress points. He can also communicate to rock based life forms. He can control geological forces within 3 miles, accelerating them, slowing them, and/or altering their direction. Faultline can affect up to 500 tons of material in this manner. He can generate or eliminate seismic tremors of up to 4.5 on the Richter scale. He is also immune to most forms of damage received by geological activity and can wade in molten rock of temperatures like that of a blast furnace.
Faultline has learned to do a number of tricks with this power. He can open and close large pits, and can also fill them with magma should he see fit. He can create geysers and use them as cannons, propelling boulders (or anything he can get) at enormous velocity. He can generate a "land wave" which he uses with a granite/obsidian board to land surf at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Vibration: Faultline can generate vibrations capable of smashing granite with their intensity up to a half mile away. Although he can use this power as a weapon, he moderates this carefully as the vibrations are almost universally lethal. He has learned to generate sounds with this power, however, and can throw his voice up to his full range.
Vibration Control: Faultline has fine control over existing vibrations. These can be his own or others already in existence. This control allows him to intensify, decrease, or alter vibrations up to 3 miles away. This is a truly powerful ability which Faultline has only begun to tap it's potential. He has developed the ability to generate a shield about himself which has the protective power of one inch of osmium steel. It deflects physical and energy attacks by forcing air away from Faultline. He can also destabilize gyroscopes, crippling most mechanical devices. He has learned how to do this to the inner ear, crippling opponents with vertigo. He can detect vibration rates and can increase or decrease the volume of any sound. Eventually Faultline believes that he will be able to phase matter, turn his vibro-attacks into kinetic (non-lethal) strikes, and even disrupt matter (effectively disintegrating it)!
Faultline has a B.Sc. in geology. He is a skilled detective and has been involved in many undercover operations (Detective/Espionage). He is also a pilot.