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The News Forum is the place where the Refs and GMs will post news, clues, rumors, gossip, etc. from all around Freedom City.

Some of the things you may find here are:

1. Story starter ideas for characters.

2. Summaries of completed campaign threads that are newsworthy.

3. Newspaper headlines, stories, and interviews from all around Freedom City.

4. The latest gossip on Freedom's finest (and foulest).

Players may create one thread here for each of their characters to keep a record of all their doings. Please make the title of your thread the name of your character, and we also ask that you confine your posting to your own characters' news threads. This forum is just for news, not discussion.


Evil!Archeville/Reaping of the X-Vault

Dark Star's Baby Announcement

Ia! Ia! Archeville fhtagn!

Gorgon: First spotted headed towards Earth

Gorgon: Existence/Arrival Leaked to Public

Gorgon: Is Here!

Hot Zone: Day 1

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  • 4 weeks later...

September 19th, 2010

"... fire last night at a warehouse in Hanover has revealed four bodies, including one Admiral Mark Davies of the Royal Navy. Bizarrely, one set of remains were identified as Ashley Andrews, who was reported to have died in February of 2006. The other two bodies, one containing numerous obvious bionic enhancements and the other burned completely to the bone, remain as yet unidentified. Again, fire in the warehouse district of Hanover has claimed four lives..."

    Follow-Up Report: "... a fifth body was identified, initially mistaken for ash from the structure's wooden walls. FCPD has announced that Jane McField, the psychotic plant-woman known better as Dryad, was in the same warehouse fire..."

Evil!Dok lured Lullaby and Dryad (both of whom he's had dealings with) into a warehouse leased by a subsidiary of ArcheTech, and burninated them. Ashley, Kieran, and Mark were a case of wrong place, wrong time.

This act was slightly tricks for Evil!Dok, as Archeville was in NY for the German-American Steuben Parade on Sep 18th, and in Munich (with Fulcrum) for Oktoberfest Sep 19th-Oct 4th.

October 1st-31st, 2010

Chevalier joins the heroes of Freedom in protecting its citizens from the hordes of undead that infest the city.

And later he tracked them down and slaughtered them all -- even ones he happened across that weren't attacking -- taking far more pleasure than one ought to from doing so.

October 10th, 2010

Police Blotter, 1:30am: respond to call at Wintergreen Cafe, Lantern Hill, re: 'vampire attack.' Caller (student from FCU) reported seeing 'a stunning babe' take one of his friends behind the cafe; when he went to check on them, she was gone, and his friend was dead. Officers found body, drained of all color and unusually cold to the touch.

Police Blotter, 3:00am: respond to calls re: 'flashing lights and explosions' near St. Stephen's Church, Lantern Hill. Officers on scene found front doors smashed in, signs of a struggle, and scorch marks on floor.

Dark Vixen thought that

all the restless dead active during this time would allow her to easily sate her appetite for tasty, tasty souls. But she didn't count on 'Chevalier' hunting down supernatural evil. A chance encounter some days earlier while 'Chevalier' patrolled put her on his radar, and he later attacked, dragging her to St. Stephen's on the off chance the 'holy ground' thing vs demons worked. Evil!Dok thought her a perfect target to test one of his latest weapons, a 'Dimensional Grater,' which creates dozens of small transdimensional portals around a target, tearing them to pieces (like a cheese grater) and sending each piece to a random dimension.

Blast 20 (dimensional, tearing; PFs: Incurable, Indirect 3; Drawbacks: Lethal, Reduced Range 2 [two 200' increments]) [41PP].

Evil!Dok was later amused to learn that October 10th is the Feast day of St. Viktor of Xanten.

October 29th, 2010

Coroner's report: "Jane Doe, found in the Boardwalk near South River; presence of lesions on body and inflammation of mucosal membranes lead to quarantining of area. Victim is some manner of cat-person; markings most closely resemble a mountain lion. Identification pending cross-reference with dental records and genetic testing, though I fear this may be another vagrant kidnapped by some unscrupulous mad scientist. As if my hands aren't full enough with the dead rising..."

People can get leukemia. So can cats. And

Archeville once made a cancer-causing gun. But it needed testing....

November 10th, 2010

Missing Persons Report: Hirose Chie. Last seen Friday, November 5th, leaving Freedom Ledger offices at 5:00pm. Did not report in for work Monday the 8th or Tuesday the 9th, and coworkers have been unable to contact.

Doktor Archeville had heard of 'chi mastery' and thought it another expression of psionic potential, and had asked around for practitioners that he could investigate and study. He heard about the mysterious ninja Kunoichi, and after some work was able to establish a semi-set pattern for her patrols. Before he could contact her, though, his Other Side struck, and has been running her through several gauntlets in his (safeties-disabled) Hazard Hall.

December 13th, 2010

"... bizarre scene today, the bodies of the martial artist known as Lion and Dethalian Peace Officer Finder found on the roof of Freedom College's gymnasium. Forensics reports Lion was beaten and shot multiple times, while the Dethalian Peace Officer was apparently dessicated by some unknown agent. We now go live to-"

Lion was another 'chi master' Archeville sought out, but his brusque attitude towards superheroes rattled Evil!Dok's cage. So he went after him for pettier-than-usual reasons -- he carried Lion to the site of his former football career for a beating. Finder happened on the scene, and learned that not only was her Gravity Control useless against someone who's worked alongside/studied Dark Star, she was distressingly vulnerable to the Drain Energy effect he stunted.

January 4th, 2011

Police blotter

Found: One arm, left, severed above elbow by unknown energy blast. Found by vagrant in Fens, who brought it to Trinity Hospital in hopes of a reward; area where it was found peppered with energy blasts. Fingerprints and DNA test match it to the supervillainess Kakoku; traces at scene revealed a number of different types of energy weapons used.

    Update: Arm missing following last tests.

Dok had heard of the 'little god' Kakoku, and Evil!Dok decided to see just how godly she was. He tracked her, attacked; she escaped, and gave chase; during the fight he blasted her arm off. He captured her, and is slowly testing the limits of her Immunity to Nonlethal Physical Damage. And non-immunity to surgical lasers. Later, he retrieved the arm from the FCPD.

January 6th, 2011
"... firefighters responded to a fire alarm called in by a neighbor, but found they could not break through the locked doors or windows of the shoppe. Even some local superheroes tried but were unable to break in to the almost supernaturally tough store, and could only watch as everything within was engulfed in flames that seemed to burn despite the apparent lack of ventilation. "

Dok had heard of the Treive Magic Shoppe, and went to them to talk to 'real' magic users and their spellbooks. The shopkeeper,

Ferlyn, was uneasy around him (due to her True Sight). Evil!Dok returned and set the place on fire with her in it; the shoppe's Toughness 20 walls/doors/windows and DC 25 locks proved her undoing.

January 7th, 2011
Excerpt from Claremont Academy Internal Memo
From: Gabriel Marquez Head Counselor
To: Duncan Summers, Headmaster
"... these three girls -- Echi Hamura, Kusanagi Ichigo, alias Mahou Shoujo Ichigo, and Marie More -- are showing more and more troubling signs, and I fear there may be an incident with them. (Or they'll skip out, and get picked up by the Shadow Academy.) I could really use some..."

Dok had heard of the girl with an 'instant evolution' power and the 'power sink' girl (via reports by Grimalkin during her excursions onto Claremont), and the magic girl who could make weapons (via chatter Grimalkin overheard about potential future recruits for Claremont). He found their abilities rather fascinating.

So did Evil!Dok.
But when Archeville's Other went in to snatch them up, something stopped him: himself. His more heroic nature asserted itself, and he returned to his laboratory empty-handed (and unseen by the students). Evil!Dok hastily assembled some psychetech to silence that 'shoulder angel,' so he would not be interrupted by any more pangs of conscience.

January 9th, 2011
"... breaking news: hikers outside Edison, New Jersey stumbled across a chilling sight earlier today: dozens of bodies, all in unusual clothing, and all laid out neatly along the hiking trail. No sign of injury or struggle has been found..."

    "... we have just been told that three more bodies have been found near the hiking rail, one a... a little girl, encased in a block of ice, and a large man, covered in electrical burns."

Dok learned of the community of evil, murderous mages, and pegged them as something to keep an eye on. Evil!Dok decided they'd be a fine target for a bioweapon test, a (mostly) colorless and odorless gas that caused no immediate symptoms. Approximately 24 hours later, the bacteria (a gengineered form of

Treponema pallidum pallidum) that had been attacking their elastic arteries caused an aortic dissection, killing them.

Damage 6 (Extras: Alternate Save [Fortitude], Area [General, Cloud], Disease; PFs: Insidious, Subtle; Drawbacks: Lethal) [25PP].

Naxean and Berserker pursued after he showed back up to review his handiwork. He used cold blasts on her, electrical blasts on him; change of pace from the usual fire.

Was Thomas Edison really an evil wizard and a member of this community, so arrogant that he had the nearby 'muggle' township named after himself? Maaaybe...

January 10th, 2011

"... another chilling scene of mass death, this time in the Fens. Police responding to an anonymous tip concerning a Mob drug deal instead found a shot-up warehouse full of dead Crimson Martyrs. No signs of who did this have been found, but given the gang's known anti-Mob activities, there are many suspects..."

Weapons and targeting system calibration test, following damage suffered during fight with Naxean and Berserker. He did not choose these people at random, though: killing them would make the police think the Mob finally decided to strike back at them, which will lead to the police cracking down harder on the Mob, which will lead to temporarily reduced Mob activity.

January 11th, 2011

"... escape attempt at Blackstone has ended in death for the would-be escapee, the Black Priestess. Viewers may recall when Black Priestess first appeared some months ago, ripping apart experimental spacraft on Star Island with her bare hands, until she was apprehended by Freedom Leaguers Doktor Archeville and Star Knight..."

Star Knights' armor knew of the Gren-Ryiou, and recognized Miko as one of them. She warned Archeville of the danger, and both did eventually beat her and brought her to Blackstone.

Her alien nature, as well as her constant attempts to break free (aided by the fact their chemical-based deterrents had little affect on her), drew Archeville's attention. And Evil!Archeville's attention, who was always eager to have new experimental subjects. An overload (caused by Evil!Dok) in the electrical shock-fields along the floors and walls killed her during her recent escape attempt, and the League was called in to properly contain/dispose of the body. After she resurrected, Evil!Dok nabbed her; she's in the same secret lab as Kakoku.

January 13th, 2011

Coroner's report: John Doe, found in the Promenade near Wading River. Drowning was not cause of death, as the lungs were clear of fluid, a fact easily seen due the fact the lungs were outside the body. In addition to the cuts and breaks of the ribs at the back, there also appears to be extensive fire damage to the victim's back, as well as around the mouth and eyes... as if he had been punched by someone whose fists were on fire. Identification pending cross-reference with dental records.

Dok had met Hellbound

a few times, and while he found his physical mutations interesting, he found his personality left much to be desired.

Evil!Dok looked him up, and decided to give him the wings he had been so keen on.

Why so active in January? January 2nd is when Fulcrum agrees to move in with Archeville, and the 14th is the day she actually does so -- Evil!Dok's got a lot to do, and not much time to do it in!

February 13th, 2011

Providence Asylum Security Log, 2:55am

Interruption in feed to security cameras on northeast wing, 2nd floor. Guard sent to investigate.

Providence Asylum Security Log, 3:00am

Screams coming from room of Bowles, Barry Brewster [alias the (second) Bee-Keeper]. Guard rushed to investigate, found Bowles stabbing a woman in the throat. Guard separated them; Bowles claimed to be attempting a 'field tracheotomy' to allow her to breathe. Woman was in some sort of anaphylactic shock, and medics rushed to her aid, but were too late.

    Woman was identified as Emma "Honey Queen" Twill, the environmentalist and CEO of Clover Cosmetics. Despite the similar themes of their super identities, the two are never known to have met, and Bowles repeatedly claims that 'the man in dark armor' brought her to him. Scans for extranormal transport (intangibility, teleportation) using the new ArcheTech scanners proved negative.

This is largely a sick joke Evil!Dok's pulled on Bee-Keeper,

who he's faced once before; it's also partly a jab at Fleur. Bee-Man and Bee-Lady: a perfect match! So he kidnaps her (he met her a a party some years ago), 'ports in to Bowles' cell (After scrambling the security cameras), and presents her to him. Bowles refused, but the dark armored figure makes the argument that if he saved this woman from dying -- from the massive dose of bee venom he just injected into her -- she'd probably be very grateful. (Of course, even with his knowledge of bee venoms, his lack of anything in his cell with which to make an antidote meant there was little he could do.) Arch-Evil 'ported away before the guards got there.

March 9th, 2011

Missing Persons Report: Elizabeth "Liz" Mathews, aka Topaz. Last seen March 2nd, 2011, following a confrontation with the Thieve's Guild. Evidence of assault in home; blast patterns indicate sonic weaponry used.

Dok had

worked with Topaz before, and Evil!Dok thought of some more extreme tests he could run on her. So, exactly one year later, he abducted her. If the cops think Silencer is the one who went after her, that could lead to further Mob crackdowns, which is win/win as far as he's concerned.

March 14th, 2011

Missing Persons Report: Shotaru Yumi, last seen leaving a Claremont Academy pep rally on Saturday the 12th.

    Update: Subject found in Bayview Mall. Subject has no memory of past two days, but appears otherwise unharmed.

Archeville was called in to study the Grue/Legion hybrids of

the Conquering Mind, and was surprised at how they looked like starfish. Tangential thoughts lead him to revisit some of his limb regeneration projects, and his Other instantly saw that the best way to test them would be to kidnap people (some with fresh injuries, some with old ones) and experiment on them. He first went after Yumi (hearing of her and her torn ACL via Grimalkin's spying on the plethora of tiny gymnasts at Claremont), but was quite shocked to see the alien Omicron CORE armor fold out of her.
And that shock was just the extra boost Good!Dok needed to break through the barriers his Other had set up, and after much arguing (only half of which Scarlet Saber heard), Evil!Dok used a neural scrambler on her to wipe her memory of their encounter (and of the past day or so of memory).
Mind probes reveal more than just a mindwipe: an implanted set of memories showing an alien abduction and experimentation, a hasty scenario Evil!Dok threw together which he thought seemed plausible given the seemingly alien armor on her.

March 18th, 2011
Excerpt from Claremont Academy Internal Memo
From: Gabriel Marquez Head Counselor
To: Duncan Summers, Headmaster
"... repeatedly told Brown and Parker that their addictions will be the ruin of them, but that only seems to fuel their alcoholism and nymphomania. I think you need to step in here and-"

Another 'overlooked' pair of Metahumans, reported by Grimalkin. Brown's meta-intellect and Parker's cosmic energy manipulation were both of special interest to Archeville, and to his Other side. But, once again, his 'shoulder angel' interfered, resulting in a maddened rampage that destroyed sections of the secret laboratory Evil!Dok had set up.

March 22nd, 2011
"... fight today in Southside as the alien berserker Je'La began wrecking one of the dorms at Freedom College. Her rampage was opposed by the Gigantosaur-sized Alice and the elastic Rubbermaid, but -- as this amateur video shows -- Alice tripped over Rubbermaid, falling onto and finishing the demolition job Ja'La had started, and the alien berserker escaped. However, Doktor Archeville and Dynamo happened upon the scene; Dynamo pursued the threatening alien while Archeville helped Alice and Rubbermaid shore up the damaged buildings and get students to safety. Dynamo brought Je'La in to Blackstone, while Archeville took the two inexperienced heroines to Freedom Hall for some training in-"

    Unreported Follow-Up: Alice and Rubbermaid ditched Archeville before they reached Freedom Hall.

Follow-Up no.2: Dynamo was ambushed by Malice on his way to Blackstone, and while momentarily disoriented Ja'La escaped. Since Je'La was first found by Captain Knievel and Malice, there is concern that the trio are plotting something.

Rubbermaid kept hanging out with 'the cool kids' at Freedom College (and Alice frequently joins her, riding along in her pocket), which Archeville heard about from fellow Interceptor Dynamo (who's a student there). Their body-altering powers intrigued him; their inexperience and clumsiness concerned him. He also knew of Je'La from Arrowhawk's encounter with her.

Archeville's irritation at the two 'heroines' while he tried to take them to Freedom Hall for some combat training caused his Other side to manifest, but Good!Dok at last broke through enough to hold back the change and tell them to GTFO before he completely turned. Donning his bulky armor (and doing a swift digital palette swap and voice synthesizer tweak), he attacked Dynamo from partial concealment, leading him to believe it was Malice. He did take some care not to kill Dynamo (he could be useful later), but he did rough him up quite a bit, and took Je'La back to his laboratory.

April 1st, 2011

Missing Persons Report: Mary Sue Doe, last seen 3/26/2011 at Pier Two Shopping Center (Waterfront) with a young Asian/Middle Eastern man and a middle aged African-American male.

Missing Persons Report: Warren Guthrie, Jr., last seen 3/26/2011 at Pier Two Shopping Center (Waterfront) with a young Caucasian woman and a middle aged African-American male.

Missing Persons Report: Unidentified Africa-American male, mid-30s. Last seen 3/26/2011 at Pier Two Shopping Center (Waterfront) with a young Caucasian woman and a young Asian/Middle Eastern man.

    Update: Doe and Guthrie found, shopping in North Bay. Unidentified vagrant remains unaccounted.

People tend to notice when a superhumanly pretty & perky woman goes on a shopping spree, especially when she does so while leading along a young high school kid and a smelly hobo. They even made the news! News that Archeville saw.

Suspecting that this 'Mary Sue' has powers similar to the confounding abilities of Edge (and/or Daisy Gibbons), Evil!Archeville went after her, though he was surprised to see her entourage had remained with her. He attacked, but his 'shoulder angel' made his first blasts miss, giving Guthrie time to carry Doe away. But Big Man stayed to fight, and now his regenerative powers are getting quite the workout in Evil!Dok's secret laboratory.

April 21st, 2011

Police Blotter: Landlord of Atlantic Apartments (Allen St., Midtown) called in after investigating complaint from tenant re: stain on ceiling. Investigation of unit above revealed mutilated body, compressed (as if by a car crusher) into a tight sphere. What could be seen of the victim's clothing matched costume of American Patriot; further paraphernalia in apartment supports identification. Calling in forensics and the League to... untangle this.

Archeville was as welcoming of the super-solider as his fellow Leaguers were, but quickly grew as annoyed with him as his fellow Leaguers did. But Other!Dok took things further, and tracked him to his apartment following a night's patrol, and tested his improved Magnokinetic Grappler on him, and Silence Field on the area (to cancel any sound escaping the apartment, which is why no one else heard anything).

Move Object 15 (Str 75, Hvy load 400 tons; Extras: Damaging, Range [Perception]; Flaw: Distracting; PFs: Indirect, Subtle) [47PP]

Obscure Auditory 6 (250 feet; Extra: Independent, Selective Attack; PFs: Slow Fade 2 [1pp per 5 minutes]) [13PP]

The last words Spaight heard on that April 20th evening were "Archeville über alles," a mocking reference to a certain national anthem.

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  • 1 month later...

June 3rd, 2011

For several hours, many large ‘lines’ of a vibrant green color began to appear on the moon. They slowly stretched and increased in size, soon covering almost the entire visible surface of the moon. All told, the green writings take several hours to finish appearing. And when it was done, they spelled out a strange message.


Scientists around the world, anyone with any type of decent telescope were able to determine the intergalactic hero, Dark Star, was responsible for the writing. The ‘writings’ seems to be made of some massive green luminescent crystal. Unfortunately, within a month the same hero dismantled the sign and removed the crystals to wherever it was they came from before scientists could acquire any for study. The moon was returned to its original face a month later.

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June 17th, 2011 (Friday)

(continued from ArchEvil: Terrible Bosses)

[floatl][/floatl]Static fills every television monitor and radio broadcast on Earth. Moments later -- just long enough for the majority of people to notice -- a figure appears, standing before some sort of ultra-tech command center, with six figures in shadow and a hazy smoke behind him, one much taller than the others. The being's skin -- particularly his bare chest exposed under a tattered lab coat -- was covered in fine black scales, and his lips and gums were sea-green. His eyes bulged slightly, and the pupils are unnaturally wide and; his mouth, half again wider than usual, sported two rows of yellowed teeth, one needle-like and one triangular. His arms were slender, almost willowy, but his hands were broad and distended; green webbing sprouted between his fingers, which ended in nasty talons. Most eerily, he had a head full of long, vibrant crimson hair, which swirled about him like the trailing tentacles of some poisonous sea creature.

Computers Check

DC 40: This broadcast is coming from ArcheStern, the ArcheTech orbital research facility.

(Those who make the Notice checks, below, may also deduce that this is where it's coming from.)

Knowledge (Arcane) Checks

DC 15: This appears to be a Deep One. Deep Ones are Atlanteans corrupted by some evil preternatural force.

DC 20: They were corrupted by interbreeding with the Serpent People, as well as the influence of the Serpent Scepter (an artifact of the ancient Serpent People civilization of Lemuria that can control minds and turn humans into Serpent People).

Notice Checks

DC 20: The six figures in shadows appear to have the same outlines & stances as the Interceptors: Colt, Dynamo, Fulcrum, Grimalkin, Jack of all Blades, and Jill O'Cure.

DC 30: The speaker is Doktor Viktor Archeville, mutated into some manner of hideous fish-man (or, if you made the Know/Arcane check, somehow turned into a Deep One).

(Realizing that it's Dok may lead one to assume he's broadcasting from ArcheStern.)

"People of Earth, attend!," the transmission began, on all frequencies and in all languages. "I come not to frighten you, but to praise you! You have done much in the past hundred years, and more still in the past ten! You have done much you should take pride in. Communications, like the satellites I have usurped, which bring instant contact across the globe! Computers, like the ones I now control, that enhance and supplement your own inadequate brains! Medicines, like the ones that enhance my agents, doubling quantity and quality of life over only a few generations! But that is the marvelous thing about science, is it not? That it can be available to anyone with merely the dedication and will to take it!"

"But for too long you have allowed yourselves to be held back, shackled by outmoded thinking, by pointless superstitions and obstructive politics! You cower in fear of the reprisals from some invisible authority figure, or those with power who claim to be gods! You obsess over status and privilege, and fawn over those whose sole claim to fame is being a scion of wealth, or who've used medical science to enhance themselves in pedestrian, predictable ways! Faugh! Pathetic! You could do so much more, be so much more, if you got your priorities straight!"

"Some among you have thrown off these limits, freed yourselves from such petty concerns! But you label them criminals, supervillains, madmen! I say they are the true visionaries, the shining examples of all mankind can achieve! If there were more men and women like them, who ventured forth boldly, without fear, without regret, humanity could achieve its full potential! These pioneers have already created many upgrades, genetic and cybernetic, that could revolutionize the species -- upgrades such as the ones I myself have taken! -- but the so-called 'heroes', who claim to have our best interests a heart, withhold them from you, as surely as they stifle the freedoms of the geniuses who made them! You need but a chance to try these changes, to see how they could so improve your lives, to know that this is the way of the future!"

"I offer you that chance, to be transformed! Transform, and rise up! Stand with me, and we shall forge a shining new era for humanity, shaped purely by intellect and will and desire, with no barriers based on sex or class or color or creed! We shall remake the Earth and all its species to serve us, and remake ourselves in whatever image we choose! Under my guidance, we shall end hunger, abolish disease, and make first this world, and then the galaxies beyond, a technological utopia! Join me, and know a freedom that few have ever dared dream! Oppose me, and you shall be rendered down to your base components in my bio-vats, mortar for the great works that we shall build!"

[floatl][/floatl]The figure stepped back and removed his tattered lab coat as robotic arms reached out to him from all sides, bearing pieces of an advanced suit of armor, black as sin with blood-red highlights. He placed his webbed, taloned feet into a pair of boots that appeared from a recessed compartment in the floor as waldoes brought over leg coverings, ratcheting them together over the tattered khaki pants he was wearing and joining them to the odd metal belt already around his waist. More waldoes descended from above, sliding on gauntlets and affixing arm coverings to him, followed by a breastplate that also connected to the odd belt. Two pieces of a helmet were brought down and assembled around his head, a faceplate snapped down, then separate arms brought down a tall crown of tarnished silver and a blood-red cape; when the cape attached, a small electric current went through it from the armor, and the shape-memory fibers aligned into a semi-rigid form resembling a demon's wings.

"Resistance is fatal."

The transmission cut out.

Anyone going to ArcheStern will find the lights are all out (save for some emergency lights giving it an eerie dim red glow), and all the staff onboard will use whatever super-tech experiments and equipment they have on board to fight off intruders to their lord & master's stellar seat.

ArcheTech is a multinational chain of research laboratories, with branches in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia. In the United States alone, branches exist in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, and of course in New Jersey, in Freedom City. The company has grown quickly, thanks in large part to the teleportation technology, based on Doktor Archeville's own personal wormhole-generating Belt (though not as fine-tuned and requiring much more power), which it uses to move bulk items about.

And now, out of all these portals, across the globe, strode a grim sight indeed: Grue drones, marching forth in groups of three! But these were no simple Grue drones, though they had the red skin and featureless faces of those horrors: their simple functional uniforms, standard to all drones to emphasize their conformity and make them that much more homogeneous, bore a symbol, an upward-pointing triangle made of lightning bolts, blue on the bottom, red on the left and green on right. Over this was a blue overcoat, and dark brown boots gave their footfalls a terrible echo. Atop their head was something, too, a tight-fitting skullcap, covering the entire back of the head and reaching down almost to the eyes.

The drones shifted, each member of the trio taking a different form. Some morphed their hands into gun barrels, while others saw their hands crackle with energy; some had their entire bodies crackle with electricity, others became more fluid, while still others grew several feet.

"We are the Harvesters of Change," the member of each trio said in unison. "Surrender your flesh, and be reborn through us. We will enhance your biological and technological distinctiveness. Your culture will adapt. Resistance is fatal."

Attempts to track where these things are coming from (a DC 40 Computer check) will lead you to

Schloss Wissenschaft, Archeville's castle/ArcheTech's European HQ facility in Germany.

Anyone going to that castle will find that the lights are all out, and there are energy fields throughout that nullify Metahuman powers!

As the Super-Grues poured forth across so many cities across the globe, Freedom was besieged by yet another threat. From the great bay two large metallic tentacle burst through the water, followed by the massive body of some sort of gargantuan robotic squid! It ploughed through the Centery Narrows, and as it approached the Centery Bridge which linked Bayview and Port Regal to Kingston, weapon ports along the sides of the robot opened, unleashing a barrage of blue-green laser blasts at the bridge's supports! The middle of the bridge -- mercifully clear at the moment of any vehicles -- was blown to rubble, causing cars on either end to screech to a halt even as the remnant swayed and threatened to collapse at any moment! The mysterious attacker moved on, not even pausing in for a second in its attack, towards Riverside Park.

The thing beached itself on the shore of the park, not far from the 100-foot tall gold-tinted marble statue of the Centurion, and hangars along the front and sides opened. From the darkness within poured squads of hideous fish-men -- not unlike the one who had just made his global announcement -- which fanned out and charged into the city, grabbing women and children, assaulting men, and wrecking all around them in a frothing rush of violence. Many ran in with nothing but their claws and fangs, but a few wielded bizarre weapons, swords or blasting rods made of corral and bone, or were clad in battle-armor made from the shells of some manner of giant crab or lobster. As they ran through, the tentacles of the craft twined around the statue of the Centurion and began to crush and squeeze and pull, doing all it could to tear down the mighty monument! Perhaps most eerily of all, though, was that as these hideous creatures from beyond the seas ran amok through Freedom, their inhuman throats gurgled what sounded very much like religious hymns of praise to some dark and alien lord.

Knowledge (Technology) check

DC 15: The "robotic squid" is actually Fjölnirskraft, the ArcheTech super-submarine.

DC 20: Fjölnirskraft typically explores the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic.

Knowledge (Arcane) checks as above to realize these are Deep Ones pouring out and besieging the city.

Anyone encountering them who can understand the debased form of Atlantean spoken by Deep Ones knows they are singing praises to a the return of a prophesied god-savior, who shall usher in a new era of Deep One rule over their former human slaves. The canticles do not name this figure, but describe him in terms such as "The Black Squid of the Woods with a Thousand Eggs" and "The Dweller in the Lake" and "The Patchwork Chimera."

There are humans still within the sub, so they'll need to be rescued!

(Continues June 2011 Vignette and ArchEvil: Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit)

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July 17, 2011

Official Freedom League message to all League members, the Interceptors, the Parkhurst Hotel, the Laboratory, Young Freedom (c/o Midnight), Gabriel, the Knights of Freedom (former; c/o the Scarab):

Omega-class Disaster Alert (Potential)

A cosmic entity of tremendous power, the Gorgon, aka Cosmic Entity 31966, currently poses a potential Omega-class threat to the planet Earth. (Attached is a short piece describing the Gorgon's method of operation; i.e., the nanite apocalypse she unleashes upon inhabited worlds). She will likely arrive in the Solar System around September 15, 2011, +/- seven days. While the Freedom League and others are working to deal with this crisis, you are advised to begin disaster preparations:

A. Be prepared for potential panic/anarchy in your patrol areas both from civilians and established criminal and super-criminal threats. Contact Raven through the League for further assistance/information.

B. Begin making evacuation plans (for temporary removal of essential civilian personnel) to areas not on Earth-Prime. Contact Fleur de Joie and/or Dark Star through the League for further assistance/information.

Be advised that this situation should be kept out of the public eye unless otherwise necessary. A city-wide or global panic will be far more threatening to the safety and welfare of our citizens than a Gorgon defeated in interplanetary space. Stay in communication with each other and with trustworthy independent agents. Further updates will be forthcoming.

July 17, 2011

Communication to Claremont students:

A potential global disaster threatens the welfare of Earth. Faculty, staff, and students will need to band together in this crisis. Be on alert and stay in communication with the school at all times. Continue with all studies, projects, and authorized patrols until further notice. Further updates will be forthcoming from the school administration.

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August 2, 2011

GBN News Special Report

Joan faced the cameras with a clear eye and a steady heart. The switch to television news had been among the biggest career moves of her life, keeping her busy enough that she hadn't been in costume since the Deep One invasion. As nice as it would be to be in costume now, she was a journalist first. It was because she was a hero too that she'd hesitated to run this story, at least until it had been made clear to her that the opposition was going to run it anyway and be far more sensationalist about it. And if there was anything Joan Collier hated, it was media sensationalism making life too difficult for superheroes who were just doing their job. And they all had a job to do now. The red light clicked on, and so did she.

"Good evening. This is Joan Collier with a special report for GBN news. Recently, a former employee of the Freedom League came to our station to try and sell us classified Freedom League data. We turned them down and called the League, as that would be a violation of the code of journalistic ethics. Unfortunately," she added, her jaw tightening, "a competitor's station was not so ethical. So before the competition can try and abuse a threat to our entire planet for ratings, we're going to talk to you first. What you're about to see and hear are facts, not theories or wild speculation, approved by Freedom League representatives before press time. We're here to tell you the truth."

The image changes to a spacegoing _thing_ that's hard to make out, a grey nest of movement over something that looks like a humanoid head. After several moments, the camera pans back and the viewer realizes that what you're looking at is a nest of snakes atop a gigantic head, a head so large that...are those asteroids? My God that thing must be the size of Earth!

"This creature is called the Gorgon," said Joan, her square, tan features reappearing in a split-screen. "The Gorgon is a very old, very powerful monster from the depths of space. She's a planet-killer. She's done it before, and countless billions have lost their lives and freedom to her." The words came with great determination, as Joan tried to power past her own fear for her loved ones. "And right now, she's coming for Earth. She thinks we're easy prey. She thinks we're just going to lay down and die. Well, the heroes of Freedom City aren't going to do that. If she makes it this far, she'll be visible to the naked eye at the beginning of September, and overhead in the middle of the month. Personally, I think that's just going to give us a front-row seat to see the world getting saved. We beat Omega, we beat the Grue, and we beat the Archetect. We can handle this. Stay calm, stay vigilant, and listen for League announcements. This station will be covering the Gorgon crisis throughout. Good luck."


Of course, the distinguished competition over on Vulpine News wasn't nearly so confidence-building. The station, owned by the Herald, spoke in sharp terms about how the League had been lying to everyone for weeks. Thanks to their anonymous source, Vulpine News could assert that the Freedom League knew full well that the Gorgon was coming and had known for weeks! They'd busied themselves with theoretical evacuation plans to exotic alien worlds (depicted as lush gardens of Eden overrun by scantily-clad natives) and with dealing with one of their own gone rogue, leaving the citizens of Freedom City to suffer and risk who knew what from the giant alien space monster? Normally Leaguers would be on television to deal with this crisis and simmer it down, but they were notably absent from the airwaves at first. Was it just to deal with the crisis? Or was there more going on than there seemed?

Gather Info/Knowledge: History DC Tables: (Characters with experience in alien cultures should add +5 to their rolls)

DC 20: The Gorgon is, the Gorgon was, and ever shall the Gorgon be! It is very, very bad news that she is coming for Earth.

DC 30: The Gorgon is a planet-eater, an ancient living machine that consumes planets for fuel. She has taken countless thousands, perhaps more, in her time. She came to Earth in the 1960s but was persuaded to leave by the then-active Freedom League.

DC 35: The Gorgon does not actually eat planets. Rather, she injects them with a powerful nanite package (via her giant serpents) that transforms the surface into a uniform nanite soup. She has acted to defend the Galaxy before, most notably alongside the Curator, but she is no friend to the various humanities.

DC 40: The Gorgon is a creature of the Preservers and claims to be doing their work. She is not malevolent as such; she attacks enemies and preserves planets in nanite amber but does not target individuals or individual ships that are not a threat. She has been defeated in the past by very powerful entities or civilizations, but only driven off, never destroyed. The Gorgon really may be eternal...

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Gorgon Is Here!

"…So when the last and dreadful hour

This crumbling pageant shall devour,

The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,

And Music shall untune the sky"

-John Dryden

September 20, 2011

11:56 PM

The flash of light fills the entire sky over the Western Hemisphere, the glow of a nearly infinite number of neutrinos colliding with each other in a spectacular quantum cascade of tachyonic radiation the brightest quantum object in the Solar System for dozens of milliseconds. As the humans below look up, a _face_ appears in the sky, super-imposed on the warm, soothing glow of the half-visible Moon. A humanoid looks down on the Earth with a face as big as a planet; her eyes glowing green and her hair a visibly thrashing cascade of tremendous serpents. Those who know their lore of space will well remember that face: the Lor and their spatial traps have failed, the distraction of the Grue has been defeated: the Gorgon has come to their Solar System.

When it, no, she addresses the scuttling, crawling world below her, it is through every electronic device on the surface of the Earth, audible in every language simultaneously and despite all that with a singular, terrible clarity like the thundering chords of the Apocalypse itself. The signal is easy to trace to anyone with the proper equipment, even mundane scientists with nothing more than a radio telescope: an Earth-sized body as dense as a planet has just appeared in the Kuiper Belt and is on a collision course for Earth. Those with powerful enough telescopes can see that terrible face in the depths of space.


And then the face on the Moon fades. And the world screams.

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  • 1 month later...

September 27, 2011

Gorgon Endgame

(following/wrapping the Gorgon vignettes)

Coming from outbound in the solar system, the Gorgon comes first to the Eastern Hemisphere at night, looming in the sky like a terrifying figure from nightmare. Earth has faced a doom from space before, but never a singular, unstoppable entity like this, one who matches the planet itself in her mighty bulk. It’s an interconnected world these days as it never was before, and as soon as the first Chinese astronomer has a good view of the oncoming cosmic monster, soon the whole world does too. People in Freedom City who are inclined to stay up all night on the 26th can watch on webcams and the news as that hideous alien face swells impossibly bright and massive in the sky, glowing brighter than the Moon and first matching, then expanding in the sky to outmatch Earth’s lonely satellite. Brighter than the Moon and twice as large at her closest, she is a sight no one on Earth will ever forget seeing.

In the skies over Freedom City, the Sun rises on the morning of the 27th, and so does she. On the morning of the 27th of September, the Gorgon is a terrible grim face that seems to glare down into the souls of every man, woman and child on Earth. Her serpents rising large as continents on each side of her face, their eyes and fangs visible to any who dare look close enough with a telescope. Close enough to blot out the sun for part of the day, the grim darkness she casts on the world below is like the eclipse to end all eclipses. And it’s not just the natural process of the day that the Gorgon interferes with. She is a body as large as the Earth and as massive as a small planet in her own right; and what is on a planetary scale a minor disruption is a thousand disasters on Earth. There are earthquakes in California and volcanic eruptions in the Caribbean and tidal waves in the Mediterreanan and South Atlantic as her gravity pulls and tugs at our planet, making the oceans slop in their beds and ground vibrate like a plucked string. There are meteor showers as debris captured by her gravity as she went through the asteroid belt is caught by our own planet’s gravity and pulled to Earth; mostly pretty light shows here and here around the globe, but a Tunguska-sized event in West Africa kills hundreds, while an entire town in Nebraska is pounded by a bombardment of strange alien meteors that exposes thousands to strange alien radiation.

As her face fills the sky and the heroes of Earth busy themselves with saving it, suicides creep in here and there like a thousand pinpricks of pain against the billions looking up and waiting for salvation. But luckily the online suicide cults have been monitored and squashed by cyberkinetic heroes and villains alike, and those terrified few get to go on living after all. And everywhere else, there are heroes: Captain Thunder and SIren stop a tidal wave that would have devastated coastal Central America, while Lady Liberty and Daedalus break up an asteroid that would have destroyed suburban Paris. They can’t be everywhere, and people die. It’s a rough day, but it’s a day that ends in salvation, but no one’s quite sure who strikes the final blow. All that the world knows is what happens in space: the Gorgon stops well outside Lunar orbit, far beyond her usual attack range, her eyes gleaming a green visible from the surface of the Earth in the day with the naked eye. . Only a few super-scientists know she is bombarding the Earth with tachyon scans that sweep the planet down to the very bedrock. At what she finds, the cosmic space god suddenly howls in unspeakable agony, her massive snaky tentacles vomiting up an omnidirectional, mindless silvery cloud of nanites that will make the Van Allen Belt glow for days afterward as the inactive alien machines pass through the most radioacive parts of the atmosphere. Her pain and horror is visible not just from the surface; her mighty EM generators broadcast across the planet as surely as was her last message to humanity. And then, as the world watches in hope, the wailing Gorgon turns with impossible counter-relativistic speed, far faster than anything of her mass should be able to move. She then flees into the Solar System as quickly as she came, tunneling into an interstellar wormhole in between Mars and Earth within minutes.

Perhaps a hundred thousand people die, world-wide, on that last terrible day and the days after; and the slow descent of alien nanites into the atmosphere will have repercussions not yet known. But recovery and investigation will come tomorrow, and what matters is that there will _be_ a tomorrow for humanity and all the other races of Earth. But by the night of the 27th of September, 2011, the Earth is saved and the Gorgon is far away, deep in the depths of interstellar space. Things are going to be okay.

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  • 5 months later...

Wednesday, March 7th (Hot Zone)

Around 11:30 AM , the first call goes out. A first response team of paramedics, backed up by STAR, arrives at the McDuffie Street Station in Lincoln to investigate reports of an uncontrolled power eruption - not a regular occurrence, but something everyone in Freedom City is prepared to witness at some point. When they arrive, however, they find that it's not just one eruption; everyone in the station has suddenly manifested superpowers, and few of them have any control over their new abilities. And worse, as the paramedics spent prolonged periods treating the panicked citizens, they, too, began to develop powers as well, often with little to no control in the initial burst.

McDuffie Street Station is just the first incident. Pyramid Plaza, the casinos of the Boardwalk, Trainor Airport, FCU, the Freedom Public Library - nearly every major gathering place in Freedom, in addition to several municipalities, is hit with the same burst of power. Around 2 PM, water is shut off temporarily after reports flood in of people erupting in their own homes, simply after getting a drink or showering. Within a few hours, with the aid of the lab, it's determined the sudden empowerings stem from a mutagenic compound. It's water-soluble, capable of being rendered into nerve gas, and completely colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Worse, it's extremely resilient to breakdown in air, and only trace amounts are needed to be effective - meaning that a person who's infected can easily spread it within the first few hours via skin-to-skin contact. The mutagen affects only living humans - alien species and undead have little to fear - but it does affect superhumans with existing powers, in some rare cases causing powers to shift or shut down entirely. By the time this mutagen - nicknamed "Proteus" - is isolated, however, there's little that can be done. By 3 PM, 50% of Freedom City has undergone a sudden eruption of superpowers. By midnight, those numbers have climbed to 85%, and keep climbing in incremental amounts.

Response from the federal government, working with the Freedom League, is quick. To prevent further transmission of the mutagen, Freedom City is put under quarantine around 4 PM, with members of the League already working to secure supply lines for the citizens during the crisis. Though the League, and other heroes of Freedom, are taxed almost to the breaking point, as while most of the afflicted get their powers under control in time, there are some who have nearly no hold over their powers. And some of the ones who do have control are more than happy to use them to cause chaos.

At 10 PM, a video tape is delivered to local news affiliates, with a message from a party claiming responsibility. The tape shows a stern if somewhat handsome man in a three-piece pinstripe suit, which seems to be rippling at odd moments. He stands in a lab, surrounded by state-of-the-art equipment and flanked by lab assistants in NBC suits. He addresses the camera:

"Greetings, Freedom City, and welcome to a new stage of existence. For too long, we've admired from afar what we could have always claimed if we'd wanted it bad enough. The chance to be something more than meager flesh. Well... now you have it. This is power, and we've tasted it together. There will be pains - no true advance is all sunshine and roses - but we will overcome them together. This is the first day of a new dawn for mankind. A day where every man and woman has the power to change the world. You're welcome."

Gather Information Checks

DC20: The man in the video resembles Kenneth Malory, a mid-ranking member of the Ennis Family (an Irish mob outfit) who dealt in vice. He was arrested and brought to trial in July of 2010 on charges of kidnapping and possession with intent to distribute, and was sentenced to Blackstone for his crimes. He escaped from his cell in October of 2011 and went into hiding.

DC25: Malory was running an operation using neurotransmitters unique to a mutant with adaptive powers to produce street drugs that could temporarily grant a user powers. Unlike max or zoom, this new drug, Delta, resulted in nearly any power at random - though the results weren't always pleasant. Malory took his own product when confronted by a group of heroes, and seemed to be fighting off the shakes at his own trial.

DC30: Malory wasn't fighting off the shakes - the product had changed him on some fundamental level, and he was dealing with the backlash from the power nullifiers. Rumor on the streets for a few months was that there was a "Mister Motley" who could set you up with powers if you could pony up the cash.

Knowledge (streetwise) Checks

DC20: The guy looks like Kenneth Malory, a bagman for the Ennis Family who kept trying to climb the ranks and who kept screwing up. His last screw-up got him tossed in Blackstone, and really screwed with his head, apparently.

DC25: Malory got sent up the river for dealing Delta, a drug that gives you powers - problem is, your body sometimes doesn't adapt to the powers, meaning you could grow to the size of a skyscraper without the physiology to back it up. Better he got thrown in prison - killing your customers isn't a good business practice.

DC30: Malory recently reemerged in some of the darker corners of the underworld, calling himself "Mister Motley." Said he could set someone up with powers - all they had to do was a few favors, and understand that they were entering new and dangerous territory. Some folks'll do anything for a fix...

Notice Checks

DC25: The state-of-the-art equipment in the video seems to be housed in a similarly state-of-the-art lab. This isn't some case of knocking over ArcheTech and setting up shop in a warehouse, this man has some serious backing.

DC30: A glimpse of one of the faces under a NBC suit will reveal strikingly Aryan features - in fact, a good number of the scientists have similar features. Those with a history of encounters with SHADOW will recognize that these scientists look very much like the standard foot soldiers of the organization.

It seems, however, that the man's idea of a perfect utopia is running headlong into reality. At 9 AM on the 8th, after working all night, the heroes of the Lab make an announcement. Proteus does give a user powers, but at the cost of slowly retarding their immune system. Projections say that someone who remains affected by the substance will be dead within two months. The race for a cure is on...

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  • 1 year later...

The weeks after the Day of Wrath


Heavily bandaged over the heart, Congressman Aaron Walsh stands at a podium in City Center, his son David at his side. "And so I've learned something this week, as I'm sure we all have. People of Freedom City...I was wrong." The crowd goes silent as Walsh goes on. "I allowed myself, and we allowed ourselves, to be distracted by threats from the Terminus. We became so obsessed with Omega and invasions past that we lost sight of the danger of invasions to come. Heroes like Warp and the other entropically-powered heroes who rallied last week showed us that it doesn't matter who you are - it matters what you do. Terminus mutants aren't our enemies. They're our family." He put his hand on David's shoulder, smiled at him, then went on. "And that's why, given that we have faced both a serious, perhaps ongoing Grue infiltration in the last five years, as well as the recent robot crisis, I plan to begin hearings right here in Freedom City that will examine the extraterrestrial presence here on Earth to-" 



Nobody came for Jerry Craven's body. His family was too poor to afford a proper burial, and anyway the pretty-clearly undiagnosed Jerry had been something of the black sheep of his small clan (he'd lived with his brother and his wife, who supported the family from her salary as a lunch lady in the West End) even before he'd left home a week earlier for what he'd probably thought was going to be the happiest day of his life. Potter's Field in the West End lies along the river in a little scrap of land that's been a cemetery for nearly a hundred years. Jerry's grave is on a small hill near the water's edge, and if you stand on it and look straight out the water, shielding your eyes from the buildings and bridges across the way, you really are the biggest thing around. 



Dorothy wrung her hands for just a moment before she made introductions - her middle-aged, scholarly-looking parents were red-eyed still, and her mom couldn't quite seem to stop hugging her for more than a few minutes. "Anyway, so, we talked a lot, and I wanted to make sure they met you as soon as they could. Mom, Dad, this is my friend Erin..." Outside the house, amid several buildings knocked over as if by gale force winds, the burn scars left on the asphalt by a teleporter ripping open a gateway to a forest fire had only just begun to heal over, and that from the direct efforts of Dr. Metropolis. "She and the others all saved my life." 



"Dear Nephew," the letter to Baxter began, written in Uncle Barry's familiar erratic, wandering handwriting. He'd had his priest carry the message out to his family, the only way his letters could be read outside Providence without anyone reading them. "I recently received a very angry letter from a certain relative of yours, convinced that it was my doleful example that led you to don my armor and carry on the mighty Bee-Keeper legacy for justice instead of for petty crime. I could not be prouder of you, my boy, and I think you are a worthy successor to the legacy. I know you may feel poorly about the massacre done in your name. But let me assure you it is a high honor to be replaced by an evil clone, robot, fiend, or infiltrator from another dimension, one that goes to no common hero. Onto more productive matters - have you considered a queen?" 



"And so that was how they did it, Father." Nina raised her head just a fraction to look up at Typhoon, unable to stop herself from the guilty thought of just how much easier it was to talk to people back in Freedom City. She'd spoken to her father in other ways, of course, but in court she knelt like anyone else. "Once Mark exposed the Grue, there were only the mechanical infiltrators left, and the Freedom League disposed of them all. The Curator's threat has ended on Earth." 

"Your relationship with the Lucas boy has pleased Typhoon, daughter," replied Typhoon. The blue-masked armored despot steepled his fingers across his lap. "But the threats from space have come too often for my liking. Too long have blue skies blinded the heroes of Freedom City to enemies all around them. Perhaps they will learn more if they survive a TYPHOON..." 




One night after one of his patrols with Miss A, Citizen found Koshiro up late and approached his roomate. "Hey, uh, Koshiro..." said Sharl a little awkwardly, not quite sure how to phrase what he was about to say. "Miss A gave me something to give to you. It's a message from space?" He shrugged. "From VINCE, the cyberintelligence she left running the Curator's stuff. It's a message for you! He said he found it lying around the inside of the system with your name on it...I dunno, man." 

It was a line of all-capital letters and numbers - 24.4833333|S|46.6833333|W|. -TM. 




Steve went home with Gina and didn't go back to his own place for over a week. His first night there, he was sitting up late watching the news and flipping through jewelry catalogues when a figure he'd seen widely reported on made a surprise appearance. In a neck brace and badly contused still, Jonathan Grant looked pretty good for a man who'd had his neck broken. "So I think it's ridiculous, Lana," said Grant, sitting alongside the Freedom City editor on the late-night panel show. "Superheroes go crazy, murder dozens of people, nearly kill _me_, and what do we do? We cheer them on, and the man who is supposed to be _OUR_ mayor says he thinks we should trust the same suckers who let this happen! Freedom City loves its heroes, but we're not stupid - we're not going to reward people with our loyalty because of some ridiculous story of how they were kidnapped by aliens, or whatever the latest line is. Hey, maybe Viktor Archeville was just an alien the whole time!" Grant threw up his hands and winced. "I need to stop doing that," he said with a rueful laugh. "My wounds aren't healed yet. And neither are Freedom City's. That's why I'm taking this opportunity, right here on FreedomTalk, to announce my candidacy for the office of Mayor of Freedom City in 2014. Twenty-two years is enough. It's time we learned to embrace change." 

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