News from Session Four 11-18-04
Dateline: Chicago: In a double assault on crime, local superheroes, the Untouchables, netted two major successes yesterday. In a daring raid they broke into a facility being used as a major underworld contact and meeting point, netting over a dozen criminals and closing out nearly fifty outstanding warrants in the process. Many of these operatives have been identified with such notable anarch groups as Synistry, the Foundry, and Ravage. With that situation in hand, the team took on the potent anarch super villain team, the Mad Dogs. Originally based in the United Kingdom, the Mad Dogs made their way to the US for both greater opportunities and apparent political motives. The Untouchables, led by the Syzmanski super, Shutdown and short one member, managed to take out all seven of the Mad Dogs, with two managing their escape using their powers when their backs were up against the wall. The Mad Dogs have been notorious for managing to evade capture through teleportation, but the team managed to put a stop to that. Notable among those captured is Gargantuan, who is wanted for nearly a dozen killings in the UK, including the deaths of four security forces operatives and three notable Bloodliners. Contacted for a comment, Justice team leader Patriarch praised the efforts of this fledgling team. “In the aftermath of the Zero Moment, it is inspiring to see heroes step up to take the place of the fallen, especially in a place like Chicago.” Citing the good work of the Untouchables, Mayor Richard Dankin today appointed Lieutenant Solis Montoya to serve as city liaison with the team. “Though they are a private group of citizens acting on their recognizance, it is important that the city be informed of their activities. Detective Montoya will assist in that role.”
Dateline: Washington: The Supreme Court this week agreed to hear arguments in a case with wide-ranging implications for the Bloodliner community. Two years ago a West Virginia county issued an ordinance prohibiting the presence of Bloodliners within the county lines. A group representing the Syzmanski family quick brought suit against the county, charging that such measures were discriminatory and the rule was overturned. The issues might have remained there but a coalition conservative church groups as far right organizations appealed the decision. Their appeal rests on several issues: freedom of religion, where certain faiths believe the Bloodliners to be anathema; questions of public safety and privacy; and finally the US agreement with the Zurich Accord, the UN resolution which stated that Bloodliners were human and deserving of equal protection under the law. In this case they claim that such an international treaty has no force on the law of the land and lacking other measures in force, that Bloodliners cannot be considered to be human or have legal rights. Normally one might expect this case to be easily dismissed, but the appointment of two recent Constitutional literalists by the Bush administration has made that questionable.
Dateline: Chicago: Police have only just begun to confirm the events of yesterday evening which left four local SWAT officers dead and one missing. It is also believed, but not confirmed, that at least two advanced power suits belonging to the Chicago’s A-SWAT remain missing as well. A-SWAT Commander Karl Rody has not been seen since he walked into the Secure Storage facility near the Third Precinct and apparently shot and killed the desk guard. Details are scarce, but electronics across the building, including the security system went haywire, locking officers into their various departments. By the tehcnicans managed to restore power, Rody and two suits had vanished. At the same time a carefully coordinated series of attacks killed four of Rody’s colleagues across Chicago. The use of Anarch powers has been confirmed in at least two of those killings. Police have kept statements to a minimum but sources within the investigation indicate that the police believe the Anarch Crasher may be involved. Crasher, a member of Anarch group the Enforcers, managed to escape several weeks ago after being captured by the Untouchables. Attorney Gilbert Sorrentino, representing the remaining members of the Enforcers currently in custody, stated that such speculation was prejudicial and counter-productive.
Dateline: Hong Kong: Explosions, fires and tremors shook the city last night as a Bloodliner battle ripped through the heart of downtown. Early reports suggest that sometime after midnight a group of Chinese agents, suspected to be members of the alleged “Nursery” Bloodliner organization arrived to conduct an operation. It is now believed that they were set upon by members of the radical Bloodliner group, the Prometheans. Damage is estimated at the millions. Witness to the carnage indicate that at least four members of the Nursery were killed and another two captured by the Prometheans. Thus far, the Chinese government has not released a statement on the specifics of the incident, but has generally condemned it as an act of aggression by agents of the West. The Prometheans, said to be connected in part with certain elements of the infamous Anarch Firstborn’s activities have pursued their agenda of Bloodliner supremacy quietly over the last several years. A broadcast that jammed television and cable signals in the region is reputed to be from the leader of the Prometheans, the Ashen Knight. In his broadcast he indicates that the battle was a deliberate ambush by the Prometheans of the Chinese Agents. “No longer will we tolerate these activities. No longer will we allow the destiny of our Bloodlines to rest in the hands of monkeys. We are the new evolution and in any place where you attempt to hold us back we will come. If you chain us and perform experiments upon us we will destroy you. If you censure us or try to steal what you call “rights” from us we will bury you. If you try to interfere with the destiny of any and all Bloodliners, we will crush you beneath our heel. We will do this to the monkeys, who look on us in fear, and we will do this to any of our kind who ally themselves with governments or law enforcement agencies and cage our brethren. We reject the findings of the Zurich Accord, we are not human, we are your superiors.”
Dateline: Chicago: While Chicago celebrates the victory of the White Sox in the World series ominous clouds have begun to form on the horizon. New accusations have been brought by a former floor manager for the team concerning the use of illicit steroids. While random drug screenings over the course of the season have shown no problems, the informant believes he knows why. “There are people in Chicago who can get you anything you want…in this case, they were able to provide a number of the lead players with new kinds of steroid, bigger and better than before and most of all undetectable by normal testing methods. Last year a Senate investigating committee took a long, hard look at baseball, fining several players and teams, none of them affiliated with the White Sox. However FBI and FDA investigators are said to be taking a hard look at the situation, suggesting that the steroids, if they do exist, may be part of a broader operation. Beyond the accusations of steroid use, the insider has also named three players he believes are Bloodliners. Current regulations prohibit super-powered athletes from competing alongside professional players, except in exhibition events. While the team is calling the statements sour grapes, several sources inside the Baseball Commission suggest that the accusations have some basis. The names of the accused players have not yet been revealed.
Dateline: Oslo: After lengthy debate today Norway agreed to permit Prince Haakon Magnus to ascend the throne upon his father’s death, despite being a confirmed Bloodliner. A constitutional monarchy, the King of Norway has a hand in day-to-day governance and confirms the appointment of the Prime Minister from the Houses of Parliament. Prince Magnus developed his Drammen based powers when he was a teenager, believing to have gained them from his Mother, Queen Christina’s line. The debate had lasted for several weeks and had covered a wide range of issues. Primarily it centered on Norway’s existing legislation which heavily curtails the use of certain Bloodliner powers except in a professional capacity.
Dateline: Chicago: Brookfield Zoo suffered a major break in yesterday evening that left dozens of animal dead or injured and a number of dangerous animal missing. The Zoo remained closed today while investigators looked into the situation. The motive in the theft does not seem to be robbery, given that a number of rarer and more expensive animals were not removed from the site. According to police the thieves seem to have been targeting specific creatures, including some whose removal would have posed significant problems. Police are searching for the security team on site at the time. While they do not suspect their involvement, they are seriously concerned for the safety of the officers. One Park official, speaking under the condition of anonymity stated, “If you could see the damage that was done, you’d be worried too. Whoever did this brought other predators into the zoo and left them loose.” The Chicago Police and Parks Department plan to make a joint statement within the next forty-eight hours.
Dateline: Houston: The US Government, the US Air Force and NASA today issued a joint statement confirming recent internet rumors. Beginning with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request a little over a year ago, investigative reporter Ben Hecht uncovered a project to recruit Bloodliner supers with a set of very narrow and specific abilities. “It became clear they they had major funding and were targeting a specific group, those supers able to survive and work in incredibly hostile environments, namely, the vacuum of space.”In their conference the federal agencies confirmed the existence of the program, codenamed Solar Bastion. Kent Weems, interim director for NASA stated, “…the project has been underway for some time. There’s nothing clandestine about it. We’re trying to bring together resources to give these people an opportunity that is beyond most people’s imagination.” Asked about the apparent security, Weems stated that any concealment had purely been for strategic purposes considering that other groups and agencies might also want to recruit from this pool. No further details were forthcoming concerning the project and the number and names of those recruited remains unknown.
Dateline: Chicago: As oddly as it started, the widespread problem with some garage doors northern Illinois region had disappeared by Friday. An apparent powerful radio signal causing the problem stopped transmitting on Thursday afternoon. The DOD categorically denies that it had anything to do with it. The signal was being transmitted at 390 megahertz, a U.S. military frequency used by the Pentagon's new Land Mobile Radio System. The same frequency is used by garage doors openers, which started to malfunction around the area about almost a week ago. The world's biggest garage door manufacturer, the Chamberlain group, took the problem seriously enough to fly design engineer Rob Keller from Ottawa to its Chicago headquarters, with machinery to try to track the signal. But by the time he got here, the signal was gone. "Well, as you can see there, we're not picking up anything there, which is the way it's been since I got in last night," said Keller Friday. "But there must be something out there, so I'll keep on it the rest of the day." OSHA also sent its inspectors out with a sophisticated direction finder, says FCC Midwest spectrum manager John Baggio. "By the time they actually got out there to investigate the source, it had ceased to operate. So it's not possible to direction-find the source unless it's actually active," he said. And people, such as Judy Dougherty, suddenly found their doors, which had been jamming for 7 days, were working just fine Thursday. "Finally, [Thursday] night, ta-da, it worked. So there was no logical explanation. We said, 'Well that doesn't make sense.'"
Dateline: Midwest: The FBI’s Midwestern Gang Taskforce today issued a special warning to law enforcement officials across the area. Citing a rise in Level One Gang activity, they suggested departments take extra steps to monitor and control those groups on the FBI Watch list. Level One gangs are those with an organized hierarchy, previous strong connections to other crime groups, and/or a significant Anarch membership. Speaking at a press conference, Taskforce Director Stanley Clemmons stated, “Certain Anarch groups and their affiliated sub-organizations had strong ties to many of these gangs. The events of the Zero Moment have created a power vacuum in the region. A number of the independent Anarchs killed had been in positions of influence in these gangs. We believe that certain groups and/or individuals have been acting in an attempt to seize this power and use the gangs. Even without that movement, the absence of those forces has allowed these street level thugs to begin to act with impunity.” Pressed for further details, he declined to comment except to say that the shift had been notable among certain ethnic gangs.
Dateline: Chicago: Police are baffled by the apparent murder of Tate “Zapper” Morgan, longtime sidekick of the late hero Durandal and the one-time unofficial mascot of the superteam, the Sentrymen. Morgan was found shot to death in a midtown hotel where he had checked in under an assumed name. It is believed that his killer was interrupted in the process of disposing of the body by a group of revelers celebrating the White Sox victory in the World Series. Morgan, a one-time noted cameraman and photographer, had had a long career working alongside heroes. Rescued at a young age by the first incarnation of the Sentrymen, he made it his life’s work to chronicle their adventures. In the late 1980’s he was instrumental in the reformation of the Sentrymen after a hiatus of several years. In the late 1990’s he began to work closely with the rising superstar Durandal, following him to Seattle when he joined Vision. Durandal was among the most prominent supers killed in the Zero Moment several weeks ago. No motive in the killing has yet been uncovered.
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