The following article is about the character of Candi "Ciem" Flippo-Levens-McArthur as portrayed in various Dozerfleet media. For her daughter, see Ciem (Dana McArthur). For other uses, see Ciem (disambiguation).
Candice "Candi" Marie Levens-McArthur (née Flippo) / Ciem is a Dozerfleet Comics superheroine, one who has been interpreted numerous times throughout the history of the Gerosha multiverse. This article pertains to general information about the character. More-detailed information about Ciem in various media is below, along with links to the various incarnations of this character.
Powers, weaknesses, and equipment
Powers and accessories
Ciem has had various powers throughout different versions of Gerosha mythos. Her initial appearance in the June 2005 version of Ciem introduced her as having a minor healing factor. This is comparable to the healing factor of Wolverine, but is not as absolute. It remains unknown if a Centhuen Prototype can re-attach a severed head without the aid of Remotach pills, which Ciem carries in her arsenal in the event of attempting a particularly dangerous mission where decapitation is a risk. Most other limbs can be reattached, with or without Remotach. However, it takes a very long time to regrow a lost limb. And re-attachment without Remotach is also inefficient.
Ciem's ability to heal depends somewhat on the severity of her injuries. If her throat is slit, the vital components will heal quickly. However, she may have a scar for several hours before that too disappears. While her bones are harder to break than an average woman's, crushing her can still put her out of commission for up to a week. She is not entirely invincible, and must still take care to avoid excessive injury.
As a Centhuen Prototype, she possesses powers modeled after a stone centipede, so her trademark weapons are her "centilegs." These have undergone numerous revisions both in their length and number on her body. They were originally 64 very long cords that could somehow hide inside her body. They enabled her to grab things, like whips. They also could be used to sting her opponents with a weak sort of centipede venom. They were described as "narcotic-strength tentacle cords" in early materials. By the 2006 version, Candi had been reduced to having only 32 of them. Her exact number remained somewhere around 32-16 for the 2007 webcomic.
By the 2010 novel premise, her centilegs were shortened to somewhat-thinner stingers, and they had more potent venom. A single sting would be comparable to a bee sting; and could sometimes cause temporary local paralysis. The new versions of centilegs are depicted as being between 1-1/2 and 2-1/4 inches in length, with a diameter not much thicker than a pen filament. Her count was reduced to only ten. To compensate, she was originally going to be given mechanical whips in the 2010 novel. When that novel was canceled in favor of the show Sodality, she was given dart shooters instead. "Dart shooters" are glorified staple guns, which launch small, staple-like projectiles at enemies. These "darts" are all marinating in a solution of venom manufactured by sampling some of her own from her stingers. A basic dart shooter can hold about 200 staples, giving her a base arsenal of 400 shots per mission before having to refill her cartridges. The mid-range dart shooter guns enable her to sting enemies from a short distance, thereby reducing her need to directly attack an adversary in hand-to-hand combat with her biological stingers.
Centuition gives her the ability to sense danger coming, similarly to spider sense. However, unlike spider sense, she doesn't "see" the attack coming. She hears a sort of "phantom scream" in the direction of whatever it is she is in danger from. Centuition works both ways, allowing her to stalk prey that leaves her immediate sight for a short time. If the prey gets too far out of reach, she loses the ability to track.
Almost all Centhuens and Centhuen Prototypes have increased superhuman speed, strength, and endurance. However, the degree depends on how well the experiment was done on the test subject parent (usually the father,) according to specifications. In Candi's case, the job done on Stan to enable one of his children to be born with the mutation was near-perfect. The degree of Candi's strength varies by mission and by ability to stay focused.
One application of Candi's strength is the ability to constrict her victims. She can take it as far as crushing ribs when dealing with particularly dangerous opponents. In the 2007 webcomic, she actually breaks a corrupt SWAT team member's ribs when interrogating him. This is in spite the riot gear he was wearing.
In addition to Remotach, dart shooters, and Zeran teleporters, Ciem has Zeran wardrobes. These allow quantum storage of her clothes inside a capsule, making it easier for her to switch outfits without losing anything. It also prevents her from having to wear her suit underneath her civilian clothing on a regular basis. However, she does have to find a hiding place to change clothes. In all versions, her suit has multiple backups. All her suits and accessories were made by her godfather, Imaki Izuki. The eyepieces allow her to see in full color inside her mask, while reflecting green light on the outside to obscure her appearance. Some variations of her mask come with a switch that turns the eyepieces into night vision goggles. She has some suits for warm weather and some for cold, so she doesn't freeze if forced to work in the winter time. Even so, she usually operates as a civilian during particularly cold weather.
Female Centhuen Prototypes have to be very careful about sexual relations. While their condition reduces the chance of pregnancy, they have a high probability of passing on their Centhuen Prototype condition to their children. Even so, their powers become dampened during pregnancy. Different versions of Ciem have have differing degrees of difficulty using centipede powers when pregnant. In Gerosha Prime, Candi was still able to battle L1 the Llama. However, she did so with considerable difficulty. In Despair Gerosha, pregnancy renders her almost completely helpless. Classic Candi was still able to battle Musaran, but only as she was about to enter labor. She was unable to fight Botan the Plant-Man. Being pregnant for a month and a half in Comprehensive Gerosha is the time limit for Candi to become completely powerless. Most female Phexos in general have an issue with their powers being affected by their fertility, not just Centhuen Prototypes. Cataclysmic Gerosha follows suit, having Candi forced into maternity leave while the Sodality battles Captain Aardwulf.
Birth control pills, by comparison, are a sort of kryptonite to Ciem. If her food is poisoned with birth control pills, she becomes powerless until the dose wears off. Since most such pills work by fooling the body into thinking it's pregnant, even her super-human levels of cellular regeneration are compromised. She reverts to an ordinary level of healing, and can even die more easily. She also becomes prone to infection, able to catch diseases that she'd normally be able to fight off effortlessly. This is another reason for the dart shooters. If she were to sting a victim who was HIV positive, she'd be at risk of transferring the disease to herself. If rendered powerless, she'd be susceptible to becoming HIV+. Dart shooters give her a less-personal way of stinging victims, so that she doesn't have to put her health at as much risk to get a job done.
In Ciem 3 and Ciem: Condemnation, Lloyd Kolumn's plan for Candi's beheading was to have her attached to a bracelet that would monitor and distribute to her a dose of birth control medication. He didn't want to take any chances that she could reattach her head without Remotach, and was quite fond of the idea of watching her headless body bleed out. He didn't count on Delusia being able to escape, and use her body as a substitute for Remotach.
Condoms are one type of artificial birth control method she doesn't have a problem with. Since it doesn't work by fooling her body into believing itself pregnant, she is able to use them with little trouble. However, she generally sees them as serving little purpose. The only men she regularly engages in sexual activity with are Denny Levens and Donte McArthur, and both are married to her at one point or another. At her near-peril, she ignored the dangers of intercourse with Denny. However, she is little concerned about a second Musaran making trouble by the time she decides she wants children with Donte.
Different versions of her have had different reproductive concerns, depending on the narrative. Prime Candi, for example, rarely engages in any sex at all. That is, until after marrying Donte. The other Candis have had more self-control issues. Cataclysmic Candi slips up with Donte once in Ameristan and once in Toklisana, but is otherwise generally able to control herself. Classic Candi is able to control herself, except around Donte. With him, she ends up having sex very frequently. Comprehensive Candi has the most issues, being stated in-narrative as a nymphomaniac with Denny, Donte, and Jack.
She is also susceptible to "Bezeetol," a Meethlite-manufactured chemical. It was described as a sort of rocket fuel that she's allergic to the fumes of, back in the 2007 webcomic. It was later revised as a type of drug used to subdue unruly Phexos and Meethexos, making it less uniquely a problem for her. It works as a sort of sedative, and can make her dizzy and confused.
About the only other concern Candi would have is that she get too close to a character whose power is to dampen the powers of others. Since few such characters exist in the Gerosha multiverse, they're not seen as a big issue.
All versions of Ciem mythos agree on a few details. Candi was born on September 9th of 1999. She was one of a set of triplets, with her sisters being Miriam and Marina. She was the only one, however, to gain centipede powers. Stan Flippo was experimented on by the Phaelites, resulting in him being a carrier for the abilities that were modeled after a centipede dubbed "Grandma Centipede" by Phaelite scientists. Shalia's knowledge of Stan being experimented on in this manner is a matter of contention.
Candi originally had a lot of siblings; which included Reily, Erin, Jason, Tanya, Vince, Mike, and Jeff. By Classic Gerosha, Vince was renamed Tom. Jason and Tanya were no longer canon. By Comprehensive Gerosha, Tom was no longer canon. Neither were Mike and Jeff. In Sodality, Reily and his family end up murdered along with most of the rest of Candi's family. This leaves Candi with just her sisters Miriam and Marina.
When Erin Flippo is murdered, Candi is forced to flee her home. Most versions have her marrying a man named Denny Levens after that, although Denny effectively doesn't exist in the same capacity in Sodality. After her name is changed to Candi Levens, she ends up marrying Donte McArthur. This is originally explained as her second marriage following Denny's murder. However, no Denny in Sodality means Donte becomes her first and only husband. Before that, "Levens" was her first married name. Afterward, it's a name she takes merely to make herself harder to track. She initially went by "Stevens" to disguise herself in both the 2007 webcomic and in Ciem: Vigilante Centipede.
She had several children, depending on continuity. Sodality was the first continuity to do away with Angie Levens being canon. In Classic and Comprehensive Gerosha, Candi adopts Charlie Wortell shortly after marrying Donte. The Cataclysmic Gerosha continuity also does away with Charlie as a plot point. Candi's first child with Donte is named Frank. In most versions, she also has children John and Dana. Sodality-onward admits that John and Dana are born, but does not pursue their adventures as the previous universes did with Ciem Tomorrow.
After initially escaping from the Hebbleskin Gang's attempts to kill her in Gerosha, Candi flees to start a new life over in a college town. While Sodality makes that town Houston, it was the fictional town of Viron before that. Viron was described as a suburb of Evansville, with Viron University being essentially the University of Southern Indiana. She was moved to the University of Houston for season 2 to get her general education credits figured out. However, she ends up having to transfer to Baylor in Waco by the fourth season in order to pursue her bachelor degree in forensic science. By that point, she is married to Donte, and able to make the transfer with him. She becomes less central to the story at that point, with Jackrabbit and Botan taking center-stage in the arms race to rescue other heroes before Judge Terry Beliah can destroy them all.
After graduation, Candi uses her degree - and utilities, to fight crime in the area as a CSI. She appears in the Ciem costume less and less often, eventually retiring from it to become a full-time CSI. Her life after that is left open-ended in Sodality, though the video game pitch Centipede + 49 hints at her having at least one more adventure in her 50s. Previous versions explored how she dies, so as to make way for Dana to take over the Ciem mantle. In Gerosha Prime and Despair Gerosha, she dies of cancer while in her 50s. In Classic and Comprehensive Geroshas, she is captured and beheaded by remnants of the Hebbleskin Gang, who are determined to fulfill Duke Arfaas' dying wishes even long after he's dead. She survives and leads a very fulfilling life in Cataclysmic Gerosha.
Candi's in-game avatar in The Sims 2 was described as a Virgo, which does not intentionally have anything to do with her September 9th, 1999 birthday. She is fairly well-organized and very athletic-built. While generally kindhearted, she tends to be very alert and somewhat paranoid. She can also become enraged if threatened enough. She does occasionally harbor desires for revenge against others, but is usually able to suppress the urge without much difficulty. She is fairly religious and philosophical. Unlike many other women in Viron, Candi has a very strong sense of morality, especially sexual morality. Unfortunately, she also struggles with hypersexual disorder. This is blamed in early versions on her family inheriting a curse from her ancestor Honeybee Samuel, which makes members of the Flippo family prone to it.
Sam Wrikon's supernatural curse is not a plot point in Sodality, where he never became a spectral bee-man. Instead, Candi's condition manifests as a milder form of itself than what was in prior continuities. While obsessed with Jack for a time, Cataclysmic Candi is able to keep herself (mostly) under control - even around Donte. Her sisters, Miriam and Marina, retain their Comprehensive Gerosha-level manifestations of the disorder. Since only Candi got the centipede genes, those are ruled out as a cause. Instead, the girls' tendencies towards nymphomania are blamed on the cultural environment at Gerosha Middle School and Gerosha High; where they were subjected to repeated rape attempts and various forms of harassment and abuse from other students for a period of several years. The faculty generally sided with troublemakers, leaving the girls feeling like they had nobody they could trust but each other.
Candi also struggles to set an example for others while simultaneously deriving pleasure from men who provide her with feelings of emotional security. Her insecurities stem from her unusual growth environment in her sister Erin's home, her own sense of inadequacy as "The Gifted Flippo," and her fear of losing loved ones through inability to protect them. Spending half her time in the custody of Imaki Izuki aids her in terms of emotional stability in Sodality, something she didn't get to enjoy in prior timelines. She is frequently rendered as paranoid, as she and her family have been at war with the Hebbleskin Gang ever since the Battle for Gerosha. Sodality depicts Candi as having only slightly more self-confidence, and needing to have a man in her life slightly less than she does in earlier versions. Due to her insecurities, Candi is rather clingy. Donte doesn't seem to mind, however; as she knows how to set boundaries for the two of them. She is somewhat reserved, as she realizes that displaying too much confidence and being too outgoing could draw the wrong attention from her enemies.
Main article: Ciem webcomic series.
The first attempt at creating Ciem was in June of 2005, after the completion in May 2005 of The Battle for Gerosha. The first Ciem story takes place 13 years after the events at the end of Battle for Gerosha.
Due to quality issues, both Ciem and The Battle for Gerosha have been re-envisioned several times, with Ciem wrapping up primary footage in October of 2007.
Due to having a similar title as Tom Six's The Human Centipede (First Sequence), as well as the Dozerfleet founder's desire to create an alternate continuity that was more film-worthy, the webcomic series was deemed "Classic Gerosha," and was discontinued.
A novel adaptation titled Ciem: Vigilante Centipede began a new version of Ciem. Unlike the webcomic, whose sequels were titled Ciem 2 and Ciem 3, Vigilante Centipede received sequels titled Nuclear Crisis and Condemnation. They followed similar plots, with noteworthy differences. The novels formed the backbone of what would have been called "Comprehensive Gerosha."
Main article: Sodality (series)
Keeping at least some of the Comprehensive Gerosha history of Candi canon, Sodality went to great lengths to re-imagine Candi's world after high school. Instead of massive novels that are intended as films, Candi's life was to be divided into novels that were seasons. Each season was to consist of episodes, rather than regular chapters. In this way, there would be TV serial logic to the story of her life. This was as opposed to film logic from before. There's enough happening in Candi's world to require a TV show (or similarly-structured set of books) to discuss all of it properly. In this manner, the series' format is modeled after that of Stationery Voyagers.
On July 29th of 2013, a proposal was made on the Dozerfleet founder's DeviantArt journal which allowed for a contest among DeviantArt users to propose an additional novel/film/video game pitch for Ciem. This would allow the character outside of Centipede + 49 to once again feature in a solo performance without her Sodality teammates. This is the first time in the history of Dozerfleet Comics that a major character's potential expanded media was officially crowdsourced.
Two games have been proposed based on Sodality, both of them bringing Ciem back and giving her something interesting to do. Sodality: Battle for Metheel brings her and the rest of the Sodality of Gerosha back to end the Phaelon-Metheel War once and for all.
Centipede + 49 features a mature Candi McArthur being rejuvenated to help a team of reconnaissance troops clear a path for invasion forces from Toklisana. This is so that they may reclaim Ameristan from the scourge of the Brotherhood of Evil Muslims; and allow the United States to rebuild itself following the death of Halal Affadidah. Ciem must also rescue Gray Champion Next, who has been taken prisoner by the regime that struggles to maintain a stranglehold of the northeastern American territory.
Percolation / MAA
For the Marvel: Avengers Alliance Fanfic Universe Wiki, a sprite of Ciem was envisioned as a Percolation Wave clone of her that gets sent to live in Earth-12131. This clone has all of Candi's memories up to the tail ending of the Vindication arc and right before the timeline of Swappernetters. She is relieved that the Percolated xeroxes of SCALLOP in that world are absorbed into SHIELD, and that SHIELD decides the clone will not have to face any future incarceration for anything the original was accused of. (By contrast, the clone of Candace "Lemon Witch" Mason from Camelorum Adventures is told to remain inside a Percolation Clone Camelorum Correctional when not on missions.)
Earth-G7.2.1 Ciem rarely gets Percolated, in temp or xerox, to any other universe besides Earth-12131. However, the Percolation Wave upon entering the Dromedeverse is altered; and it quickly abandons many of its rules of logic as they existed in the Gerosha Crossover Gaming Universe. Therefore, Percolations of the cast of Camelorum Adventures can be found almost anywhere. (With exception of most of the Gerosha multiverse, the universe of Stationery Voyagers, of Cherinob, and the Volkonir Universe. However, these universes may also occasionally see Percolation xeroxes of their characters entering Earth-12131 or other media.)
Others include Milp, Lloyd Kolumn, Jeff the Invisible, Poison Dart Eddie, Lobe, Botan the Plant-Man, Victor Nanale, Merle Hourvitz, Taterbug, Jawknee, Gunner Soorfelt, Skellig Soorfelt, Duke Arfaas, the Sapphire King, and Kelsea Linney.
As with Ciem, most villains among these listed who possess powers originate from scientific experiments on the part of irresponsible aliens. Most Ciem villains come in one of three flavors: cyborg, human-animal hybrid, or brainwashed Meethlite loyalist/sympathizer.
Many of her enemies from the 2007 continuity didn't carry over to the 2010 continuity, though the 2012 continuity in Sodality brought a few of them back. Botan was made an ally, albeit one with a chip on his shoulder. Kelsea Linney, however, remained exclusive to Classic Gerosha. Gunner Soorfelt and his brother Skellig became assassins with less of a role. By downplaying the rivalry between Candi and Gunner, more room was given to play up her rivalry with Don.
Main article: List of Ciem allies
Among the variations on how to interpret Candi, there are several major differences in the exact lineup of who her allies are and aren't. It is generally understood that Donte McArthur is her eventual husband, though some versions also include Denny Levens as her first husband. Tracy McAuley has been a more-or-less ally of Candi's at least initially since the beginning. She effectively doesn't exist in Sodality, however, since the Flippo family's lawyers were executed in Ameristani death camps along with many other victims. Miriam, Imaki, and Dolly have also proven to be multiversally constant as allies. Other characters come and go by interpretation. In Gerosha Prime, Candi's lesser allies were based largely on friends and associates of the Dozerfleet founder's from 1998-2005. Despair Gerosha had a smaller selection of these old friends, as old ties grew apart.
Many lesser allies of Candi's in Classic Gerosha were based on 2006-2007 school year friends and acquaintances of the Dozerfleet founder's at Ferris State University. Comprehensive Gerosha eliminated most of those, preferring entirely fictional protagonists that were placed in parts of Candi's life based on probability, as opposed to arbitrary likeness to someone real. That trend was continued for Cataclysmic Gerosha, in which the Sodality of Gerosha became an official league consisting of Candi and her allies.
Before the models used for Cataclysmic Candi, contributed by British artist Ardhana Galih Wicaksono (DeviantArt ID: "Maleica",) there were several attempts to find images of women who could be said to resemble Candi Levens in real life. The most regular model in Maleica's collection used for the Flippo triplets is Nanda Soebagio. Star Salcedo (DeviantArt ID: OnTheHorizon) was also a possible candidate for being a model who could portray Candi effectively.
Past candidates have included Christiana Chrissiana, Charo Ronquillo, Veronica Ybarra (for Classic Ciem,) British pop star Amerie, actress Vanessa Hudgens, actress Parminder Nagra, model Sameera Reddy, and model Lekha Washington. In 2015, Candi and her sisters started being portrayed on this wiki by DeviantArt artist Lee Loo La.
Traces of models have been done, and a long way has come for making Ciem a live-action-capable character. Everything from teen to young adult actresses, to machinima, to full CGI, to CEL animation has been considered, however, as possible media alternatives if live action film or television is simply not possible. While Sims software is the primary means of producing storyboards and concept art, non-Sims media is preferred when available. A few characters have managed to have models depict them on the wiki, courtesy of contributions by DeviantArt artists.
Revisions to Ciem resulted in changes to her Sim depiction, which also led to a facelift for The Dozerfleet Forum so that DzMD could support the changes made. These changes were also necessitated by the Dozerfleet founder ending a contract of carriage with to carry Dozerfleet Downloads on its service.
DzMD (at the time called "Utterly Sims") became its own category of the forum, with a Sims 1 & 2 board and a Sims 3 board that had appropriate sub-boards for hosting downloads. A Sims 3 download of Candi was made available the third week of July in 2010, without her Ciem suit in any version. Since then, The Dozerfleet Blog and later various social media outlets took over most of the forum's functions. Utterly Sims was moved to the wiki, and Candi's Sims downloads were moved to Ciem Interactivity Pack. Distribution of Candi as a Sim is currently not active, except by special request, due to the discontinuation of Utterly Sims in July of 2012. When it was revived in January of 2014, heavy revisions were made to the download offers. The common post for both Sims 2 and Sims 3 downloads emphasized Cataclysmic Ciem over the other versions. Her Sims 3 download was simplified to a single Teen that wore ragged clothes and required Supernatural to be installed on a user's machine. A version of Candi without her Ciem suit was created on September 2nd of 2014 for The Sims 4.
Significantly more altered than Candi herself between versions of her tale is the layout of her hometowns. Viron retains it's name, but became based on real-life Perry Township in Vanderburgh County as of 2010. Previous versions rendered it as entirely fictional. Farrenville is still called that in-story, but it's setting is the greater area around the Evansville campus of Ivy Tech Community College. Comprehensive Gerosha, rather than being made from scratch, was built on the ruins of real-life Boonville in Comprehensive Gerosha's alternate history. Various other fictional locations in Classic Gerosha were replaced with real-life geographical locations in southern Indiana. In 2012, Candi was moved to Houston from Evansville. This was to make way for a new timeline, one which explored the possibilities of what Candi would do if living in a post-American world.
One of the earliest models for Candi's appearance was the 1987 cartoon version of April O'Neil from Fred Wolf Films' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her skintone came from the fact that she is the daughter of Stan Flippo (a white male in The Sims 2) and Shalia Hood-Flippo (a black female in that same game.) Matching her ethnicity with her family's Indian influences, inspiration was drawn upon from Esmeralda of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the titular character of Disney's Pocahantas.
The single-largest inspiration behind her Prime-Classic Ciem body build, wardrobe, and hairstyle preference came from the ACME Agent character "Ivy" from Dic's 1994 animated series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?. By the time Comprehensive Ciem was thought up, her appearance was modified to more closely resemble an Indo-Persian face. The Comprehensive Gerosha design was then carried over into Cataclysmic Gerosha, with minimal alteration.
- Ciem webcomic original syndication release for Mod The Sims
- Ciem Webcomic Series at TVTropes
- Ciem download for Sims 2 and Sims 3 at DzMD
- 2D concept art collection at DeviantArt
- Scrapped Gerosha ideas gallery at DeviantArt
- Battle for Metheel art gallery at DeviantArt
- Centipede + 49 art gallery
- Ciem sprite proposal at Marvel: Avengers Alliance Fanfic Universe Wiki