| Skill: Crossbow Marksman (7)|
While learning martial arts, one of her instructors gave her a chance to try shooting a crossbow. She proved to have an uncanny knack with the weapon, and focused a good portion of her training on perfecting her skills. She is about 95 accurate with a crossbow on a snapshot. When she has the time to aim properly, she can hit targets with an accuracy to rival the best rifle sharpshooters in the US military.
Skill: Hand to Hand (5)
Helena also learned more generic melee combat fighting styles including down home dirty street fighting. So when the martial arts fail (which is unlikely), she can toss in some unventional moves and set her adversaries off guard.
Skill: Italian Language (4)
Having spent a good ten years of her childhood in the 'old country', Helena quickly learned and became fluent in the Italian language -- particularly the Sicilian dialect.
Skill: Latin Language (3)
Having been raised a devout Catholic by her Sicilian family, Helena learned to read, write, and speak church-Latin. It may not help her, though, in conversational situations. Latin is, after all, a dead language.
Skill: Martial Arts (6)
After her parents' murder, Helena went to live with relatives in Sicily and they permitted her to enroll in martial arts classes. One noteworthy discipline she's known to have learned is Dragon style Kung Fu. Included in her martial arts training is proficiency with the staff and with small throwing knives. Since donning the Huntress costume her martial arts skills have seen consistent use, making them even more automatic and unconscious on her part.
Vehicle: Motorcycle (N/A)
Since Huntress has to use a vehicle to get from place to place (often in a hurry), her 'weapon' of choice is a jet black 2009 Ducati Streetfighter S. The motorcycle appears to be unmodified from the showroom floor except for the lack of a license plate -- all the better to stay anonymous, yes? The motorcycle, per standard technical specifications, can accelerate from a standstill and cross a 1/4 mile line in just under 11 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 159.6 miles per hour. It normally has a specially-made bag strapped to the back to carry extra ammo, and while the bike appears to be ill-suited to carrying a passenger, it can be done in a pinch. For obvious reasons, Helena Bertinelli never rides the Ducati -- it's kept in well-secured and concealed storage when not in use.
Skill: Motorcycle Riding (7)
With her upbringing in Sicily, Helena learned to ride a motorcycle before she learned to drive a car as more compact modes of transportation are standard there. Her motorcycles of choice on any given day are the Italian-made Ducati line, and she is proficient enough to ride in the track motorcycle racing circuit if she chose.
Gear: Pistol Crossbow (2)
Huntress's primary weapon of choice is a small but efficient and deadly pistol-sized crossbow. It's a unique design, with the limbs set on sturdy, spring-loaded hinges so that they can be stored against the sides of the main stock and reduce the holstered carrying size of the entire unit to something resembling a taser or bulky handgun. When drawn, the limbs are designed to snap open and fire a bolt in about the same amount of time as a police officer or old west gunslinger would take to draw and fire a holstered pistol.
The crossbow has an ingenious (and illegal in the US) mechanism that pulls the bowstring back, allows internally stored bolts to be rapidly placed against the string, and then the readied weapon fired multiple times with a single squeeze of the trigger. This modern take on the ancient Chinese Chu Ko Nu repeating crossbow allows projectiles to be fired at the rate of about three bolts or two quivers per second.
The stock of the crossbow is hollow, designed to hold a bundle of either nine cap-tipped bolts or four dart-like quarrels. For the more unusual ammunition in her arsenal, she pulls the string and loads the crossbow by hand as they're not usually used in fast-paced combat situations.
To accompany the crossbow, Huntress has three basic types of ammunition for her crossbow: wooden bolts, metal quarrels, and assored 'trick' bolts.
The feather-fletched, five-inch wooden bolts are fairly generic fare, the kind of ammunition that can be purchased from any hunting or sporting goods retailer. Each bolt weighs about 2 ounces each and deal a moderate amount of damage. Because of their relatively light weight, the range of her wooden bolts is about 50 yards before they start losing momentum and accuracy. At close range (less than 10 yards), the bolts are not strong enough to completely penetrate a wooden door, though will likely get at least partway through depending on how solidly built the door is.
The four-inch long quarrels are made from four ounces of nickel-plated brass and more closely resemble throwing darts than arrows, their forge-hardened and sharpened points molded as a single piece with the body of each quarrel. Because these projectiles are significantly heavier than the wooden bolts, their range is at best about 25 yards before they lose momentum and accuracy. At close range, the quarrels are capable of dealing significant amounts of damage -- enough to punch through a hollow cinder block wall or securely embed a full inch into a solid brick or concrete wall.
Accompanying the crossbow is a necessary quiver, designed and packed to carry ammunition both individually and in ready to load rapid-fire bundles. Huntress's standard leg-quiver can hold one spare bundle of bolts, two bundles of quivers, and three assorted individual projectiles -- usually her 'trick' bolts including the ones made to carry zip lines and very occasionally one with a tiny built-in flashbomb or smoke cannister. She also infrequently carries a second, larger quiver on the back of her belt concealed by her cape. This secondary quiver has triple the capacity of the other, though she usually opts to travel without it because the added weight in the small of her back sets her off balance when forced into up close melee combat.