Roulette (Wild Cards)

Roulette is a fictional character from the Wild Cards "mosaic novel" Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild. She was created by Melinda M. Snodgrass.

Roulette Brown-Roxbury did not know that she carried the Wild Card virus until she gave birth to a horribly deformed, stillborn Joker. Her upper-class husband Josiah refused to believe that he too carried the Wild Card, insisting that Roulette must have had an affair, and finally divorced her. Spiralling into depression, Roulette eventually became a prostitute to support herself. She then discovered the other effect of the Wild Card; she sometimes produced a deadly neurotoxin during sex, and in time earned the nickname "Russian Roulette" among those patrons who knew of her ability. Sex with her became a risky status symbol, like that of eating Fugu fish in Japan. Eventually, she learned to produce this poison at will by concentrating on the horrific memories of giving birth.

It was then that she was discovered by The Astronomer, who (as he had with Demise), offered to erase her painful memories if she worked for him. And, just as with Demise, he had no intention of doing so as long as she proved useful.

First, on September 15, 1986, Wild Card Day (the anniversary of Jetboy's death) the Astronomer had Roulette kill an Ace hero named "The Howler", who had taken part in one of the Astronomer's previous defeats. The Howler's death was merely the first of many tragic stories to make the news that fateful day.

Next Roulette was told to seduce and kill Dr. Tachyon, the alien inventor of the Wild Card virus. At first she was quite determined to get her revenge on the man ultimately responsible for the suffering of herself and many others. But after spending time with Tachyon, seeing how "human" he actually was, how guilt-stricken and how dedicated to helping the virus' victims, she came to gradually care for him. When the Astronomer was finally killed, Roulette chose to leave Tachyon alive, and to leave town to try to live with her own memories.

In the fifth book of the series, Down and Dirty, Roulette returns to New York and becomes infected with Typhoid Croyd's mutated strain of Wild Card virus, resulting in her death. Her infection is what convinces Tachyon that the virus can now reinfect Jokers and Aces.

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