|Real Name||Ellen Allworth|
|Wild Card Traits||Psychometric tactile medium|
|Place of Birth||Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States, deceased|
|Base of Operations||New York City|
|Affiliations||Bowery Wild Card Dime Museum, the Committee|
|Allies||The Jokertown Boys, Jonathan Hive, Simoon|
|First Appearance||Dealer’s Choice|
|Final Appearance||Suicide Kings|
|Creator||Kevin Andrew Murphy|
Cameo is a fictional character from the Wild Cards series of books.
Cameo came from an upper class upbringing in Massachusetts. When her mother died she left Cameo a family heirloom brooch that had been passed from mother to daughter for generations. In her grief her wild card turned and she drew an ace, and she quickly discovered that the brooch allowed her to channel several generations of female ancestors. With further experimentation, and other treasured possessions, she discovered other people whom she could channel, and even found that she could channel any mentally controlled ace powers they had in life.
Cameo was contacted by George G. Battle to join his group of aces in the war against the Rox. As a requirement for participation she demanded possession of Black Eagle's jacket. Battle's infiltration of the Rox depended on Cameo's ability to channel Blockhead's ability to be undetected by telepaths. When Battle's team reached Bloat, Battle produced a jacket for Cameo, allowing her to assume that it was Black Eagle's. Instead the jacket was one owned by the late ace psychopath, Mackie Messer. When Cameo put on Messer's jacket, he overwhelmed Cameo's control. This was Battle's intention all along; to get Messer's personality to take over Cameo's body and then kill Bloat. Cameo was restored by Carnifex who destroyed Messer's jacket.
When John Fortune's card turned and put him in the public spotlight he came to the attention of the Allumbrados, a powerful religious sect determined to win the war between Heaven and Hell. Cameo was drawn into the their plot to channel Jesus of Nazareth for them. Instead she inadvertently accessed the spirit of the late Cole Porter, whose chair she was sitting on at the time. The Allumbrados then threw her into a cell in the basement level of St. Dympna's Home for the Mentally Deficient and Criminally Inclined, where the accumulated years of torment and misery began to overwhelm her. She was broken out this prison by the combined efforts of Jerry Strauss, who was there to rescue John Fortune, and rogue Allumbrado John Nighthawk, who wanted Cameo herself. In return she agreed to channel an old friend of Nighthawk's for him, after which he gratefully sent her to safety before presenting faked evidence that he'd killed her to the Allumbrados.
Fearing for her life, Cameo remained in hiding for a long time until she was found by Isis and given a pair of earrings and a tee-shirt that had once belonged to Isis's daughter Simoon. Using these to channel the deceased ace, Cameo soon found herself in an awkward situation when after establishing contact with the Committee she allowed herself to become a physical vehicle for Simoon in an intimate relationship with Jonathan Hive. What made matters worse was the love that she personally felt for Nick, the long dead detective who had been her primary channel for much of her ace career. Jonathan eventually ended this complicated arrangement and threw away Simoon's remaining earring.
Cameo opted to continue helping the Committee despite the loss of Simoon, and agreed to help with confronting the Radical in Africa. She was disappointed to learn about the loss of the earring that could have offered substantial protection against the Radical's power, but persevered with Nick's hat and his lightning. Unfortunately the Radical burned her horribly, prompting Noel Matthews to retrieve a medal worn by the late Dolores Michel, an ace with a regenerative power. Instead of triggering her healing however, the healer reversed the flow of pain back at the avatar that had taken the Radical's place, the Monster. The attempt to save Cameo had instead sealed her fate, yet she died heroically in the act of removing a dangerous threat from the world.
Wild Card Traits
Cameo is a "psychometric trance channeler", in other words, an ace with the ability to summon deceased individuals as long as she possesses an item strongly attached to the deceased. If the deceased had a mentally wild card ability, Cameo is able to access that ability. She is unable to access physically derived abilities, such as the superhuman strength of the ace Harlem Hammer (if he were deceased).
The people known to have been channeled by Cameo include:
- Blockhead, via his ring, to get to the Rox.
- Lafayette Blackwood, Topper's magician grandfather, via his old top hat.
- Lizard King, via stage jacket.
- Mackie Messer, via his jacket, under the mistaken assumption that it was Black Eagle's jacket.
- Our Lady of Pain, via her medal.
- Simoon, via her earring.
- Will-o'-the-Wisp, via his fedora.
- Wyungare, via his opal pendant.
- Cole Porter, via his chair.
Cameo is a beautiful woman, slim and lithe, with long blond hair. She often wears vintage replica clothing, and always wears an antique cameo in a gold setting worn on a ribbon choker.
Cameo is an empathic, caring person at heart, although she often demonstrates greater concern for damaged antique or precious garments than for the bruises and scrapes of the wearer.
Channeling others, she can outwardly demonstrate a variety of personalities, some quite adept in useful skills, although mentally her own persona will be submerged during these moments. She is present at all times however, and the channeled personality may pause in verbal conversation while having brief internal debates with her. She is still the dominant personality and can resume control at any time.
- Cameo was originally a character from the GURPS supplement Aces Abroad, and was later adapted for the novels.