Ain't no thing like me, except me!
Rocket is a mostly-bipedal raccoon with clothes and a giant gun. There's a lot more to him, but honestly? People notice the raccoon thing first, the gun second, and often don't stick around long enough to get through layers.
Rocket is a raccoon, and on top of that he's well-named. He's unpredictable, explosive, and difficult to control. He's prone to yelling, violence, and threat displays against people and things that are bigger than he is, and nearly everything is bigger than he is. He's sarcastic, given to profanity and insults, and enjoys playing tricks on people for the lulz. 'Abrasive' is what people say when they want to be kind, more often in his life the label has been 'psychotic little a-hole.'
Like most raccoons, Rocket is both a social and a solitary creature, contradictory as that sounds. He enjoys the company of others even when they piss him off, but generally prefers that those others be strangers or near-strangers so he doesn't have to pretend to care about them. He actually forms shallow emotional attachments quickly and easily, enabling him to work well in groups at need. On the rare occasions when the objects of those attachments have stuck around for longer periods, the attachments deepen to a genuine bond. (This, of course, rarely happens because Rocket's personality does not invite friendship.)
Rocket is more than intelligent enough to know that he really is the only one of his kind. (Members of other species in the same boat as he is, such as Lylla, do not count as being his kind, to him.) Externally his uniqueness appears to be a source of pride, internally he is almost desperately lonely. He is also deeply sensitive about his alterations, and comments about his species/status ('rodent', 'vermin', etc) are more hurtful than enraging, even if said hurt is generally expressed as anger. He wants to be taken seriously as a sentient individual, and is aware that being less than three feet tall, an animal, and freaking adorable works against that.
As a raccoon, being able to talk and reason like a human being is a significant power; it's entirely possible that Rocket is the smartest raccoon in the universe. (Which is actually saying something, considering that raccoons in general are already quite intelligent.) More importantly, he's extremely intelligent even by human standards, possibly near genius level when it comes to things like combat, strategy/tactics, engineering, and escapology.
Rocket is unusually strong for his height, capable of handling the recoil from heavy and otherwise large weapons as big as he is (or bigger) with no difficulty, and his manual dexterity is excellent. He's also unusually tough, able to withstand head-on collisions in spacecraft and being flung into walls by superstrong individuals (such as Kree) without major injury.
As a raccoon, he is nearly immune to most human (and alien) diseases, and as a career space traveler he's been immunized against the ones he's not naturally protected from. His senses are almost uniformly better than human senses - he has excellent low-light and night vision, can hear sounds outside of the human range, and possesses a sense of smell sensitive enough to allow him to track by scent if he wants to.
Rocket is an excellent marksman and pilot, a master of improvised weaponry and explosives, a skilled thief, and a surprisingly good hacker and general mechanic.
- Personal cannon
- pockets full of random junk
- Tiny and adorable
Rocket is vaguely aware that he was born somewhere. There were probably trees, maybe a river, who knows? He has no concrete memories of his extreme youth, because he was just a normal animal then.
At some point he was taken away from that initial home, possibly in a spaceship but possibly not, to a lab, and that time is when his actual memories start, and they are uniformly bad. He remembers being cut open and implanted over and over, having his limbs 'broken' and reshaped, having his jaw pried open for little machines to go down his throat to scrape and cut, being injected with unknown substances, having wires plugged into him to jolt him so his limbs twitched, having bright colors and motion flashed in his face. He remembers being kept in a cage when none of those things were happening. As his intelligence improved, the sensations sharpened (making everything worse) but so did his awareness of everything around him, along with seething rage and hate for the creatures doing all of this to him
His wasn't the only cage. There were others, but fewer and fewer as time went on. Some just gave up, some left for 'sessions' and never came back, some fought and earned themselves a gruesome death among the cages.
Eventually, his rage boiled over. Despite everything, Rocket has only vague memories of this event. At first, a lot of physical biting and tearing at his tormentors, blood everywhere, weapons fire and normal fire, a lot of running, creatures from the cages fighting not just the scientists but each other. He definitely had a gun at some point, he definitely enjoyed using it. He remembers getting to a ship, somehow, dragging one other creature (bigger than him but gentle and scared, with soft brown fur and warm pretty eyes, with clever hands like his) with him, and figuring out between them how to turn things on and make the ship go. The pretty one, scared though she was (and by him at least a bit), forgave him for just taking her with him almost instantly, informing him that she'd decided it was a rescue. (Rocket didn't care: rescue, kidnapping, whatever. At least they were away and free.)
More things started to make sense; it was easy to handle the ship once they'd figured it out. Their hands worked, their arms moved right, and the various readouts and lights made sense. The pretty female, once she'd calmed down, figured out the engines first, Rocket figured out the weapons. They spent a lot of time curled up together, reading whatever they could find while their ship floated in space. They decided on names, because being 'subject whatever' wasn't what either wanted. He of course decided to be 'Rocket' because he liked them, for her own reasons that she never shared, his companion chose to be 'Lylla'.
Ships needed fuel and parts, and they needed food, so an early order of business was working out how to do that. Thievery came first, largely because Rocket obviously wanted the fuel and food more than the ones who had it, so....
It earned Rocket his first official prison sentence, at a little on-planet facility for first time offenders. He hated being locked up, and deep inside was absolutely terrified of it, which made him hate it more. His escape was a simple one, the clichéd 'stowaway in the laundry' bit.
Lylla had waited for him on the outside, somehow finished refueling and restocking while she did so, and this time they ran together instead of one dragging the other.
After that, Rocket aimed himself at mercenary work and bounty hunting - it suited him, and he was good at it. Lylla wasn't, so much, but she stayed, taking odd jobs as a mechanic and tinker. She even built a special weapon for him - a heavy personal cannon that managed to somehow be both intimidatingly big but small enough to be handled by someone even smaller than she was.
After his third jailbreak, Rocket came 'home' to an empty place. The only thing Lylla left was a message explaining that she'd come to hate moving around as much as she hated all the fighting, that she could make a quiet living as a mechanic anywhere, that she knew he'd go genuinely insane trying to do 'quiet' anything, even for her. That she loved him.
Rocket - angry as per usual, sad and wounded as not so usual - deleted the message. After that, he kept even more to himself, declining work that would put him into groups and taking more risks because why the hell not, until he met Groot on a job. Partnering with the giant tree-guy was a whim, but keeping the partnership after that one job was... not.
Rocket liked trees when they didn't move or talk, and Groot was... soothing. Or something. Practically no one else could understand what he was actually saying, they only heard the 'I am Groot' stuff that could be ignored once you knew his name; he was almost as much of a freak as Rocket. And for some reason, Groot seemed to like him without having any problem with the violence and mayhem that Rocket invited everywhere he went.
He still missed Lylla, sure, all the time, but wherever she was, he let her be. If she wanted him, he wasn't hard to find. He was the crazy little monster-thing with the giant gun and the partner who was a giant talking tree, he wasn't hiding.
On Nova, he and Groot went after Peter Quill, for the forty thousand units some 'Yondu' guy was offering, which somehow led to working with Quill (and Gamora and some new idiot named Drax) to escape the Kyln (jailbreak number 23!) to sell some shiny thing to some other guy for a REALLY SICKENING amount of money.
Of course it didn't work out right, but even Rocket couldn't have predicted that the shiny thing held an Infinity Stone, basically a superweapon capable of destroying entire planets in one go. He also couldn't have predicted mounting a rescue effort for two people he'd practically just met, or letting them (and everyone else) rope him into a suicide mission to save Nova from the Infinity Stone and Ronan the Accuser.
The dumbass plan Quill came up with to save Nova almost worked. The Nova Corps actually listened, the Ravager fleet did what Rocket said the way they were supposed to (even when he told them to shoot the missiles bombarding the planet, protecting the civilians), and the team boarding the Dark Aster to shove a missile up Ronan's ass actually made it.
But the Nova Corps got decimated even if a lot of civilians on the ground survived thanks to the Ravagers, and Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Groot weren't able to take Ronan down. Even Rocket crashing Quill's ship (which would have been hilarious under other circumstances) directly into the guy didn't stop him.
Instead, the ship crashed to the ground, and the only reason the 'Guardians' survived was Groot literally wrapping himself around all of them over and over to shield them. For Rocket, it was Lylla all over again but worse, because Groot was leaving him while he watched, and no amount of crying or yelling at him stopped it.
Sure, Groot made sure everybody lived. And sure, it was kind of awesome to use the Stone against Ronan and live, avenging Groot. It would have been better if he hadn't had to do any avenging at all, though.
It was a sort of hopeless whim that made Rocket stand one of the Groot-sticks in a pot with dirt and water afterward, while everyone else talked about Quill not being 100% human (so what) or about how their criminal records in the Nova Empire were being wiped clean (like that wouldn't be temporary). Hopeless or not, though, the stick developed little arms, and a little face, with a little mouth that said, 'I am Groot,' in a tiny voice.
Rocket was overjoyed, and in typical fashion expressed that joy by offering to mangle or kill anyone who tried to take the pot away from him. (If no one tried, he just stayed in an obviously very good mood.)
Eventually the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' left Nova, with Rocket carrying his best friend in a pot and not even questioning his inclusion in the odd little... family.
Naturally, that's when fate struck, and he rolled out of his bunk into an Earth city he'd never heard of.
All things considered, that didn't end up going too bad. There was plenty to drink, frequent opportunities to shoot things... and, weirdly, a bunch of humies who were pretty OK. Even one who picked him up and forcibly snuggled him but was too flimsy to really get mad at.
So of course, right about the time he figured maybe being stuck on a primitive mudball was 1) a permanent thing and 2) not the worst permanent thing ever, it changed again. To a whole new primitive mudball, but SMALLER. Which is freaking terrific.