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Found 12 results

  1. April 30, 2016 It had started small - a hemokinetic terrorist attacking Ocean Heights Amusement Park one day, a strange Deep One migration in New England. Then the situation had seemed to grow more serious - a misguided fly monster in Nuevo Laredo who spoke of a day of vengeance and a divine appointment, followed by a diseased specter in the West End bearing horrific diseases where she went. By the time a shambling monster in Sicily had come bringing boils and pain wherever he went, followed by flaming thunderstorms in Washington - the heroes of Earth knew the crisis they faced. By the time locusts blotted out the skies over London, and darkness did the same over Claremont Academy the very next day, they knew who was behind it - August Roman, the once-Emperor of Crime, infused with the powers of the Devil. But where would he strike? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Freedom City Port Regal Fast-Forward was doing magic in the backyard. World-ending threats were one thing to Richard Cline but the idea of something happening, something targeting Freedom City and probably the world, that targeted first-born sons, was his little boy in his arms, spinning him around so fast that they tunneled through the earth was something that he needed to do everything in his power to prevent. The first time Will had tripped and fallen, holding his bloody knees and crying inconsolably. The broken bodies of the victims of the Terminus Invasion, scattered at his feet. Outside in the yard, Richard ran faster and faster, tracing out the patterns of the stars at his feet, trying to find the unholy disturbance in the starry patterns that would mean a fallen angel come to Earth. Across the world, others were watching too, and waiting - ready to defend it.
  2. Wednesday April 27, 2016 Washington, DC AEGIS Headquarters The AEGIS headquarters in Washington, DC is not where most of the field agents are posted - the single largest AEGIS facility is located in Freedom City. This building, one of dozens of other square glass boxtowers built along the Anacostia River, is a place of bureaucrats; payroll clerks and human resources types, archivists and pension planners, the thousands of other workers whose unglamorous jobs keep the glamorous agents of AEGIS fed, happy, and well-paid. The MAX Armor agents kept on staff here are there mostly to deal with supervillains whose research for major super-battles consists of Googling "AEGIS Headquarters." With a heavy BOOM, the last of the MAX agents hit the parking lot asphalt, the sound of impact soon drowned out by the cataclysmic storm overhead. As millions of fist-sized hailstones rain down on AEGIS, tough windows cracking but not shattering, as lightning splits the sky overhead, a voice breaks the heavens, carried by the thunder itself. Although it seems to crack the air above AEGIS headquarters, it echoes across the city, reflected by nearly every surface in an intimidating feat of acoustics. "LADIES. GENTLEMEN. HERE WE ARE, AT THE HEART OF THE CANCER THAT CALLS ITSELF 'POLITICS.' FOR TOO LONG, YOU HAVE DEFIED THE WILL OF THE EARTH! YOU HAVE CRAFTED LAWS THAT ENABLE AND SHELTER THOSE WHO SPILL POISON UPON THE LAND AND THE SEA! YOU HAVE SHELTERED THOSE WHO IMPRISON AND TORTURE THEIR FELLOW CREATURES, DOING NOTHING AS THESE BUTCHERS CONDUCT A BLOOD-STAINED CAMPAIGN ENDING IN THE DEVOURING OF FLESH! YOU WASTE YOUR TIME WITH SENTIMENT AS PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO WASTE THE SEED AND THE EGG, DENYING THE CREATION OF NEW LIFE! THE STORM WILL COME TO SWEEP AWAY ALL YOU PERVERTS, POLLUTERS, AND OTHER FILTH - AND I AM THE STORM! WHEN THE HARD RAIN FALLS UPON YOU, YOU WILL KNOW YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE. REPENT YOUR SINS... OR BE WASHED AWAY."
  3. Bayview, Freedom City, New Jersey Friday, April 29, 2016 3:24 PM local time Even if the news had not been full of stories covering the several incidents around the world that appeared inspired by the Plagues of Egypt, the rumor mill at Claremont Academy was currently talking about little else. Several Claremont students had already been involved in dealing with some of the incidents. Frostbyte and Ardent had been there for the very first of the "plagues," over at Ocean Heights Amusement Park. Reagemt had then been at the incident with several Deep Ones in Providence, Rhodes Island. El Huracan and Sparkler had even been present at another during their ride along with the veteran hero Asad in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. And that did not even count the incidents at which Claremont alumni had been present. Thus far one of the biblical plagues had struck somewhere in the world each day for the past week. There were at least two plagues left (if one went by the order they were supposed to fall), and if the timing held true, one should be occurring on this Friday. But even with the anxiety that was hanging over much of Freedom City and other major cities, life had gone on at Claremont Academy, with the students attending their classes and training as normal. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon in Freedom City when classes ended for the week at the school. The weather was warm and the sun was out. But even as several students made their way outside onto the grounds to take in the warm weather and sun, the sky began to dim. It started faintly, almost as if a large cloud had passed over the sun. But there were no clouds big enough in the sky. But it did not stop there, the day began to dark even more, as an unexplainable darkness began to spread through the sky over Bayview.
  4. Saturday April 23, 2016 9AM "This is Franklin Martinez at Waterplace Park in Providence, Rhode Island..." From behind the newscaster came the deafening chorus of voices raised in song - a bellowing, eerie song that could come from no human throats. He moved aside, letting the camera see the thousands of green and white-bodied creatures occupying the park, squatting in the river and the streets, hopping and singing their songs even as more came out of the water behind him. Deep Ones! Some were naked and weaponless, looking like the giant frog-fish humanoids they were, others wore black armor that looked like wrought iron and carried long, lethal-looking tridents. "Beginning early this morning, the Deep Ones began emerging from the Woonasquatucket River and occupying the heart of the city! So far the police and military have established a perimeter to keep back the invaders, but with their numbers increasing - " Suddenly, the Deep One nearest the newscaster (some thirty feet away, and behind barricades) leaped over and licked him, slapping him across the cheek with an arm-length green, bumpy tongue. The man shouted in surprise and staggered, nearly falling down, but kept his feet. He looked up at the camera, obviously rattled, and began to speak. "I, uh..." He wavered for a moment, then suddenly began stripping off his shirt. "Te veo a Jesús ! ¡Te veo!" he declared, his eyes wide and staring, a moment before the camera cut off entirely, returning to the news broadcast about the Deep One invasion of Providence, Rhode Island. At Aquaria and Jessie's apartment, Aquaria rose from her bacon-wrapped kippers and croaked, her voice warbling with the hiss that spoke of holding back a shout, "Jesssie, we need to go. We need to go there right now."
  5. Tuesday April 26, 2016 3PM Palermo Time - 9AM Freedom City time There's an English-language newscrew in Palermo this afternoon, the BBC crew's report on Italian tourism having been transformed into a worldwide spectacle by means of the Internet. "Some sort of hideous monster moving its way through the city-" A hazy image of a warped parody of a man, some eight or nine feet tall and nearly nude, dressed only in rags and covered in hideous, pustulating boils. "seemingly emerged from the bay and is now making its way through the heart of this beachside community-" It becomes abundantly clear as it, he, passes, that whatever he is is infectious - a wave of that giant fist, and a barricade of the city's Carabinieri, military police posted here for anti-Mafia duty, are on the ground, screaming and writhing as boils erupt from their own flesh. "rampaging through this historic city like nothing we've ever seen before-" He doesn't even bother to knock down the house at the end of the seaside street, instead simply powering through it as he heads into the older, more built-up, more populated parts of this city over half a million. It's abundantly clear that there is no power on Earth - or at least no power in Palermo, that can stop him. "With the current Papal crisis occupying Italy's defenders, we may be alone. This is-" The newscaster screams, his handsome face writhing in agony as the boils erupts from his flesh, and the camerawoman drops her camera and screams as well, catching one last image of the monster leering at them as he passes by. - This is the fourth day of the crisis. By the time the Freedom League arrives in Palermo, everyone knows what they're dealing with. This is Shkhin - this is the Plague of Boils.
  6. Friday April 22, 2016 It's an ordinary Friday afternoon - if you count news of a terrorist attack on Ocean Heights Amusement Park as ordinary. No one on the police scanner is entirely sure what's going on - there are reports of multiple officers down, some sort of massacre, "blood, blood everywhere," but whatever it is, it's very bad! If Nina was honest with herself, the main reason she was at mosque today was because she was in costume. The little Kingston storefront mosque wasn't the sort of place she'd go to worship even if she was feeling so inclined - too humble and unadorned, with the sort of simplicity that bespoke the sort of temporal poverty she still wasn't accustomed to. But speaking to the handful of young women at the mosque, most of them black Americans, well, that was a satisfying experience for the princess of Socotra. "From Nusayba to Queen Arwa, women have led, women have ruled, women of the Faith have fought from the very beginning. Never let anyone tell you you cannot be what you are because you are a Muslim." She looked around and struck one hand against another, her voice rising. "And never let anyone tell you that you can only ever be a Muslim - our faith is a finger on the hand that we raise to fight against injustice." When her police beeper went off, she reluctantly made her excuses, leaving behind her card before she headed outside to don her shoes and gather up her sword. Looking back as the glass door closed behind her, she waved to the excited young women inside, many of whom were taking pictures on their phones, before she began leaping from rooftop to rooftop, propelling herself towards the Amusement Park that was evidently the scene of some serious crisis.
  7. Monday April 25 Trinity Hospital After the events in Ocean Heights, Rhode Island, and Mexico, the heroes of Freedom City (and indeed the world) are aware of the global threat of the Makot Mitzrayim - the Plagues of Egypt. The threat isn't just the Plagues, of course, but the people driven to hysteria (one way or another) by an apocalypse that seems ("but only seems" Seven stressed in her briefing sent to the major superteams) to correspond to that of the three largest religions on Earth. The Interceptors in particular, thanks to Harrier and Echo's report from down in Mexico, have gotten a strong picture of what's going on. But with only one attack in Freedom City proper, it's easy for most people to let life go on. In the West End in the last few days there's been a freakishly rare flu epidemic, one of those bizarre moments that can happen in a city full of people and exposed to all sorts of exotic chemicals, viruses, and other ailments over the years. Things are bad enough that the hospital is nearly full, getting them to send non-emergency cases home, and they've called out volunteer doctors from other hospitals to help deal with the crisis. The flu can be a scary disease for parents, the elderly, the unlucky - especially when it turns to pneumonia. So if the hospital chapel is particularly packed with people praying for their families and themselves, well, maybe it has nothing to do with the Plagues of Egypt. At least until you turn on the news - and catch the continued cleanup elsewhere in the city, the nation, the world. But the heroes of Freedom have dealt with worse than this...right?
  8. London, England Thursday April 28, 2016 1:42 PM local time The Ministry of Powers Foreshadow and Ms. Britannia sat in the conference room with Dame Pennington, the current head of the Ministry and one of her analysts. A hologram of Synapse filled one of the conference room chairs, as Synapse was teleconferencing in from the Haven, where she had been in the middle of some projects with VERA. A large screen on one wall of the conference room showed video images from six different incidents over the previous six days, mostly from different parts of the world. "As you can see, there have been multiple incidents in the past six days, all related to the biblical plagues that God is supposed to have visited on Egypt when Moses was freeing the Israelites. Twice in Freedom City, one in Rhodes Island, Washington DC, northern Mexico, and Palermo, Sicily." Dame Pennington stated as the security camera or news footage showed the scenes of the various plagues and the assorted superheroes that appeared to deal with them. "While each of the attacks are clearly connected given their themes, no one has yet been able to determine how the particular locations were chosen as targets. If whomever is behind this continues to follow the theme set out in Exodus, then there could be four more plagues to come. The only question is where they will strike." Department for International Development, 22 Whitehall London Prince Tau Abioye-Imari made his way out of one of the large conferences rooms in the Department for International Development in downtown London, chatting with ministers from Kenya and Tanzania. The meeting had been to discuss some of the DfiD's current projects in some of the poorer countries along the African Horn, projects that involved support by several of the more stable nations in the region. "Will you be returning home to Bangallan soon Prince Tau?" Asked the Kenyan minister as the three made their way down the hallway toward the elevators. Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Hotel, Westminster A butler led Mark Lucas through the lavish entryway of the Cinema Suite of the expensive London hotel. Inspired by the era of the 40's and 50's, the suite was a blend of elements inspired by both Hollywood and Indian cinema. Just off the entry was a large study, filled with priceless antique furniture and other collectibles. Seated on one of the sofas, was Thane al-Darsah, one of Nina's exiled older brothers. Trafalgar Square Jennifer Owens emerged from the Charing Cross Underground Station right to the edge of Trafalgar Square. The young woman had spent the morning at a business meeting at 30 St. Mary Axe or the Gherkin, in the City of London. With that done, she had the afternoon to spend some time taking in some of the city's many sights.
  9. Sunday April 24, 2016 Nuevo Laredo, Mexico There have been some interesting reports from Freedom City for the last few days - but honestly the news from Freedom City is usually full of something interesting or another. Nuevo Laredo was a dangerous city - its status as the busiest inland port in Mexico made it a hotbed of cartel activity, crime and violence such serious problems that even families separated by the border only met on the American side to avoid the risk of street violence. And yet even so, the people that lived there lived better than any prole in the Terminus - better than those people could have dreamed. In the trainyards, as the local security monitored the loading of Dragonfly's new electronic decompilers into the cars of the Southern Pacific, Steve Murdock brooded on these thoughts, and more besides, his dark mood a strange contrast to the "Pixar-blue" sky overhead complete with perfect white puffy clouds dotted here and there. "Thank you for coming, Echo," he said in a moment when his speedy teammate joined him on top of the train where he crouched, watching the work. Of all the Interceptors, Echo was the one with the simplest passport card - no wonder, for a woman who could cross borders when it suited her fancy. "The men appreciate seeing an American superhero - and I appreciate a comrade here. I apologize I am not a better companion." And with that, as he had been doing so often since they arrived, he fell silent. - Getting assigned as a superhero 'ridealong' to the famous Asad had proven to be a real coup for Sparkler and El Huracan - the wealthy playboy had had no real superbattles to fight during a week when business had taken him down to south Texas to supervise the acquisition of Multimedios Radio, one of the largest Norteño stations in the region, a gateway towards making a real financial push into the relatively untapped media market that was northern Mexico. Now he'd crossed the border to actually sign the papers that would make this territory part of his business empire, bringing with him his business staff and the two teenage heroes who hadn't had very much to do this week. The Crowne Plaza Hotel might not have been very big at 12 stories high - but it was the largest building in Nuevo Laredo. From the penthouse suite that Asad's party had rented for the occasion, the group could see out over the struggling city. From this high up, and behind glass, it was impossible to see the city's troubles, or hear them; just to see a nice, sunny day and a thriving commercial metropolis below them. The streets all around here were crowded with semitrucks, thicker than any the teens had seen even back in major cities in the States, making things far easier for those who could fly.
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