The Five were a group of 19th century scientists and paranormal researchers studying Abnormals, who were dedicated to expanding their knowledge of the physical world even by the most unconventional means.
Though it may not be their official symbol, The Five often seem to represent themselves with a five-point pentagram. This was used on the tablet in the Vampire city of Bhalasaam, and was also engraved on each of their personal keys. The keys were used to unlock a protected vial with the Source Blood.
The original members came together at Oxford University in the Victorian Era. One of the members, Dr. Helen Magnus, was able to procure a sample of blood from a species named sanguine vampiris, the pure, ancient form of vampires. The sample in question dated from before the time when Vampires were killed off or sterilized by the Roman Catholic Church. Magnus derived a serum from the Source Blood and discovered that, if injected, they could gain extraordinary powers. The group's members each chose to "evolve", and Magnus insisted on being the first to experiment in case the serum proved fatal. She survived the injection and together, each of the rest of The Five took the serum and received unique "gifts" as a result:
- Helen Magnus: Longevity
- John Druitt: Teleportation
- Nikola Tesla: Control over electricity & awakening of latent Vampire genes (including the ability to heal)
- Nigel Griffin: Invisibility
- James Watson: Enhanced intelligence
Additionally, each member received some form of longevity that allowed them to live longer than most humans (while Magnus' [and possibly Tesla]'s was permanent, the others' abilities merely slowed down their own aging process). Each of The Five members were connected by this shared secret, which they would protect for years to come.
Shortly after they acquired their gifts London was besieged by brutal murders, targeted against young women; the attacks eventually became known as the "Jack the Ripper" killings. Watson personally investigated the murders (and it is likely the other members of The Five also investigated as well) because of the possibility that an abnormal might have been involved, or behind, the killings.
The truth, however, was worse than any of them could imagine, as it was one of their own who was behind the murders. While Helen, Nikola, James and Nigel were able to master and adjust to their abilities, John's ability had the unforeseen side-effect of exposing him to an interdimensional parasite during his dematerializations. Every time John used his ability it drove him more insane, and filled him with a rage that could only be satisfied with murder, as it fed on the chemicals generated by his body from the heightened emotions. In the beginning he was able to hide this condition from the others, especially Watson who would consult with him regularly about the killings, and John (as his alter ego "the Ripper") would even change tactics in his kills to confuse and mock Watson. In the end, either John slipped up or the others became wise to what he was up to. After discovering that he was "The Ripper" and why, Helen tried one last time to offer him help. By that time Watson was disgusted and ashamed that his friend could do such terrible things. Nikola and Nigel apparently formed similar opinions about their former companion. John refused Helen's help and disappeared after she attempted to defend herself.
It is believed that the rest of The Five convinced Helen about what she should do with her unborn child after the discovery of John's secret, and may have helped her build a cryo chamber for the embryo to be stored in. James and Tesla may have also built the EM Shield (or rather its prototype) so that Helen would have some kind of defense if John ever came after her again.
At some point between the Jack the Ripper-killings and the turn of the 20th century, the rest of the Five split apart, with Tesla beginning his plots to restore the vampires and Griffin turning to crime. Magnus began working to bring about her father's vision of a Sanctuary for all.
Early 20th Century
After an undetermined amount of years The Five dropped out of the public eye. One by one they disappeared or faked their deaths in order to avoid suspicion about their powers. They each relocated to a different area and changed their appearances. Helen dyed her hair, John shaved his head, and Tesla got rid of his famous mustache so they could blend in to a new environment and a more modern age without arousing suspicions.
Despite this, four of The Five left a mark on the world, both good as bad. Tesla's science helped make strides for the modern world while Nigel's and James' exploits were immortalized in popular fiction, though changed slightly in order to protect their identities. The Invisible Man's insanity might have been Nigel's method of sending a message to John that he wished John had not become a monster and in some way he forgave him. John's mark on the world were his murders as the Ripper that remain unsolved to this day. Helen, however, preferred to remain in the background working with many famous people, helping them with their work, but remaining anonymous the entire time.
Some time during their shared history, The Five as a whole or individually had encounters with the Cabal, though they managed to stay off the Cabal's radar most of the time and were considered to be little more than a minor nuisance.
In the 1960s, the first of their number, Nigel Griffin, died (causes unknown). Though this might have been a problem if the remaining Source Blood was needed, Griffin confided in Helen that he had a daughter, who had inherited his power of invisibility, thereby securing his line. By this time the Five had drifted considerably apart but their friendship was still strong enough for them (possibly John in his own way as well) to attend their friend's funeral.
Later, when they were forced to come back together in order to retrieve the Source Blood, James Watson also died when the mechanical system he used to keep himself alive finally failed. His death had a deep effect on the surviving members of the Five; Helen was saddened because he was the closest of The Five she had been to after John's disappearance. John was affected similarly because he had only recently been able to make peace with James over the "Ripper" incidents. Even Tesla, who had gone off on his own for decades was noticeably distressed by the death of one of his friends. He would later tell Declan MacRae, who would replace Watson as the head of the UK Sanctuary, that he "had big shoes to fill". Griffin's heir, Clara, who had only just come to know James and the rest of The Five was also deeply saddened, possibly because she realized she was losing a member of her new-found "family".
Despite their differences over the years The Five appear to have a collective loyalty to one another that has managed to survive over the years and continues to unite them even to the present day.
The Five were first mentioned when a still psychotic John infiltrated the Sanctuary in order to acquire a fresh sample of Helen's blood to cure him of a disease that had threatened his life before which Helen treated before. Though Helen believed John was gone she was prepared for such an incident and instead of giving him a sample of her blood she gave him poison causing his powers to self-destruct. Before teleporting away John looked at Helen with grim determination and said "The Five... The others will come" before vanishing. At the time John because of his separation from the others and the imbalance in his mind most likely meant that the others would seek retribution against Helen for her actions. The look of fear on Helen's face though probably meant she feared that John would target Nikola and James next out of spite.
John also mentioned The Five early than that in the episode when he was fighting his daughter and Sylvio Rudd. The fight was ended when John was tazered from behind by Sylvio. Despite being tazered his Source Blood altered physiology meant he did not go down straight away, and with a demented grin he sung the line "Only the chosen left alive immortals all the Holy Five".
In the present, three of the original Five; Helen Magnus, Nikola Tesla and John Druitt are still alive and are currently living and working together to stop the threat of the Cabal. James Watson has recently died of natural causes (the system he used to keep himself alive finally gave in to age). The final member Nigel Griffin (The Invisible Man) died sometime in the 1960s (cause unknown), but his abilities and title as a member of the Five passed down to his granddaughter Clara Griffin, who took up residence at the UK Sanctuary, learning to control her powers and understand her heritage. Clara died defending the UK Sanctuary against the Super Abnormals.
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