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The New Crime League


In a restored castle near Samobar, Croatia, on a hill a few miles outside the city, Basil Fatherton is the cunning conductor of a symphony of crime that stretches across the globe. With >August Roman too old (having now passed his hundredth year) and >Sebastian Stratos still too erratic after the time he spent on the Curator's Ringworld, and all the other veterans too old, too mad, or too uninterested in the position, Fatherton made his move and after decades of membership, finally gained the power and prestige he has always dreamed - he has become the Conductor of Crime!


In the old days, which he still thinks about wistfully, this might have ended with him marching on Freedom City during some rap band's concert inside a giant robot so he could beat some real music into those miserable punks and show their fans what real art and real culture are all about - but as much as he hates to admit it, Fatherton is getting old, and those struggles are frankly behind him. He hasn't aged much since that wish he made to an infamous stranger over seventy years ago "to be as eternal and unforgettable as my music!"; but he feels the weight of years and dreams of conquest and the crushing of his enemies are dreams of younger men.


Instead, like the skilled conductor he is (and indeed Basil Fatherton would be remembered today as one of the world's greatest conductors if he had never turned to crime - like his hero Toscanni his performances were remembered for their 'legendary precision and drive, thrilling at their best, and remarkable for their tight-reined technical control.'), Fatherton has become an arranger, a planner, a go-between, but rarely one who goes out into the limelight. He has been in the business since the Second World War, longer than almost anyone still cognizant, after all, and he has friends and allies almost everywhere (and where he doesn't, there are plenty of League members with "proletarian friends", as he puts it). The League's grasp is wide, and its fingers sink deep. The Crime League might not be behind a particular caper, but they might have introduced the criminals to each other, or provided a specialist, or accepted a fee for a crime committed on a League member's territory.


Internally, the League's membership looks more than a little like the union bylaws of the American Guild of Musical Artists (Basil Fatherton still has his membership card for the old Freedom City local). All members pay a fee every year for their membership; a fee that goes to pay for their lawyers (through cut-outs), for medical care if they get hurt on the job, and to their families if they're killed in action. Acutely aware of the problems of the villains of his generation, Basil has set up an old-age pension program for veterans of "the trade" and something to pay for the education, upkeep, and care of children, especially of single villains. Members are expected to help each other out in a crisis, whether it's providing an alibi or assisting with a breakout.


Fatherton will be glad to assist a villain fight a heroic nemesis of theirs, and will even send out a veteran villain or two to give advice to promising new people. The League does not generally condone murder (Fatherton has artistic objections to the act); but League members like Orion are welcome to sign assasination contracts on their own time - Fatherton is not one to tell a fellow artist how to do their work. (Contemporary musicians, with their whorish clothing and atonal music, are obviously an exception). 


Acutely aware of just how many times he's been beaten in recent years by men and women young enough to be his great-grandchildren (and oh yes, he has plans for them), the Maestro has over the last year or so changed the way he deals with young people. Rather than the stern condemner of youth, he has begun working with a hand-picking group of promising criminal youth to build a new generation of supervillain. He is their mentor, their friend, opening their eyes and minds to culture, art, music, and the craft of supervillainy. They aren't simply lawbreakers or hooligans; they are the human mind, the sheer power of human creativity, unbound by law, order, and justice. The New Crime League represent the future of humanity.


If caught in his headquarters by superheroes (an unlikely proposition), the Maestro will remind his would-be antagonists that Croatia has no extradition treaty with the United States and that he is a legal resident of the nation - if they press him, he will summon aid first from a handpicked group of his allies (who will arrive and depart via stealthy teleportation) and then the local constabulary.  To defuse a confrontation, he will point out that his home, the refurbished Samobar castle, was rebuilt recently using the tax dollars of the citizens of Zagreb and that "there is no Dr. Metropolis here" - on the same note, the musical treasures that fill the castle, ranging from three Stradivari to symphonies written, but never performed, by the likes of Lizst and Brahms, are all geniune, and all very fragile. He is old, and cagey, and very careful.

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Earlier this year, Jack Wolf killed Parker Psion in front of hundreds of witnesses. There was an intense investigation, one that mobilized everyone from the FCPD through the Freedom League. Wolf turned himself in and was held in police custody for several weeks while his brain was scrutinized by psychics on loan from AEGIS and the Freedom League. After that, he was released. Mind control has been an affirmative defense in criminal courts for over four decades in New Jersey, and the evidence that Parker Psion had mind-controlled Wolf to shoot him through the head was clear. Wolf could potentially have been prosecuted if the state had been feeling ambitious; but no one was seriously interested in prosecuting the foster father of the beloved Atom Family for murdering a mad old eugenicist terrorist like Parker Psion, a man who had menaced Freedom City's heroes for decades and gone out of this world with one last blow struck against his mortal enemies.

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Frances and Carolyn Psion are both in the custody of law enforcement as of the summer of 2014. Frances, aka Ember Psion, is a notorious metahuman terrorist - a suspect in a wide variety of arson cases and a suspicious number of deaths. Carolyn, however, has largely been cleared despite her own involvement in the Psion family's various criminal activities. Frances has specifically singled Carolyn out in her testimony as an innocent; as someone the rest of the family bullied and brainwashed into committing what crimes she had. Carolyn has provided the authorities with the full details of her grandfather's involvement with metahuman terrorism, which has allowed Carolyn has been put into witness protection, taking little Gimel Psion (who turned out to have no metahuman powers at all) with her.

For her part, Frances has taken full responsibility for herself. While she's allowed her lawyer to enter a plea of diminished capacity on her behalf, Frances Psion has otherwise not been interested in pleading innocent or downplaying the severity of her crimes - she is a proud warrior in the service of the metahuman nation, and while she's admitted her grandfather's crimes (and abandoned much of her hatred for her aunt's family), in her mind it doesn't change the reality of the world in which they live. The metahumans are the coming race, even if her grandfather was a false prophet of that revolution. Privately, she knows she has no place in the outside...

As for the rest of the Psions, they've largely gone to ground - while a teleporter matching Jump's signature has been seen working for the Crime League, neither Empath nor Aura have made any public appearances within the sight of superheroes. The Psions maintain lairs in northern Maine, northwestern Nebraska, and other remote locations, and with Jump's powers they can move back and forth at will. One thing is known, however - people who go looking among villains will find that Julie and Josh have both been making inquiries among the younger generation of villain. The Psion Family, for the first time in many years, is recruiting.

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