7/15/2004 Two reporters from the Chicago Sun-Herald break an amazing story of a White House cover-up concerning reports detailing the state of WMD’s in Iraq prior to the war. The reports indicate that the intelligence community and the White House deliberately overstated the threat Iraq posed in order to launch military action and knew that Iraq had, in fact, destroyed its WMD’s. The Bush administration flatly denies the charges, but the evidence is damning. In 2005, the two reporters win Pulitzer prizes. International reaction to the incident ranges from condemnation to threats of economic embargo. The value of the dollar plunges relative to other currencies. American companies with branches and assets abroad find their sales plummeting in ever-increasing Anti-American markets.
7/21/2004 In a joint operation, the ESA and NASA launch the Galatea research satellite. The satellite will allow scientists to look further into the universe than ever before. The Galatea satellite is actually the first reactor of its type to be able to generate power from powerful quantum reactions, though the general public is told that conventional isotope batteries power the satellite. It was designed as a test for the next generation propulsion systems that will allow the West to retain complete dominance of space.
7/28/2004 The General Assembly of the United Nations passes a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of US forces in Iraq. The resolution is blocked in the Security Council by the United States and its (dwindling) allies.
8/3/2004 After the third unexplained crash of a Boeing 747 in as many months, and without adequate response from the Boeing Corporation, the director of the FAA requests the FBI and the DOJ to investigate. Boeing’s stocks begin to plummet.
8/10/2004 The Chinese launch their third manned mission into space. This time their module contains a full crew of four ‘taikonauts’. Many consider the launch a massive propaganda campaign, especially with the summer Olympics only days away.
8/13/2004 The Athens Olympics open without incident. When the United States team takes the field in the opening ceremonies, the majority of the crowd stands and turns away from the athletes. Throughout the games, US athletes and fans are subjected to substantial anti-US sentiment.
9/01/2004 After a month long debate in the UN Security Council over the situation in Iraq results in an impasse, 213 members of the General Assembly leave in protest of the Council’s inability to reach a settlement. This move threatens to destroy the institution and all that it has worked to achieve.
11/9/2004 John Kerry wins the election for President of the United States of America by a sound margin. Among his campaign promises are vows to insure the increased cooperation of the US in the international community and to comply with UN resolutions.
1/1/2005 The Boeing Corporation, crippled by low stock prices and poor public perception accepts a merger offer with Adams Aviation, a former subcontractor. Adams Aviation became a major force in the aerospace industry after the introduction of revolutionary automation systems and instrumentation for airliners in late 2003. The new company is now called Adams Aviation and Aerospace.
1/14/2005 After months of debate, the Charter of the United Nations is revised to eliminate the single vote veto power of the Cold War powers in the Security Council, and to provide for an increased role for the General Assembly.
2/14/2005 The United Nations begins bringing in its own peacekeepers into Iraq as the United States forces stage a massive pullout. A hastily put together Iraqi government, rife with corruption, is handed the reigns of power.
2/24/2005 The Baghdad headquarters of the United Nations peacekeepers comes under massive terrorist attack. 430 peacekeepers are killed in the attack, shocking the world.
2/28/2005 Reports begin to circulate that Interpol was aware of the Baghdad plot but were unable to communicate the danger to the UN forces in time because of their multinational command structure.
5/15/2005 The United Nations, with the cooperation of Interpol, forms UNTIL: The United Nations Tribunal on International Law. The Tribunal is charged with establishing, maintaining and commanding its own military/police force for dealing with matters of global, regional or national security. The proposed force would have the right to enter the territory of any UN member nation who signs the treaty establishing it. It would have to receive permission from non-signing nations to operate on their soil. The United States, Russia, Israel, Britain, and China do not sign the treaty, as well as a few smaller nations with histories of human rights abuses. UNTIL begins recruiting and almost immediately it ranks swell to over 400,000 personnel.
7/30/2005 The ESA, NASA and the Russian space agency launch a hastily put-together mission aboard a Russian Soyuz craft. The purpose of the mission is to replace several faulty gyroscopes in the Galatea satellite. It is feared that if the gyros continue to malfunction the satellite might accidentally plunge into the atmosphere, causing an ecological disaster (not to mention the PR nightmare which would inevitably happen).
8/1/2005 The research satellite, Galatea undergoes a massive reactor core failure and explodes. Massive amounts of radiation spill out into the jet stream. Almost immediately, increasing radiation levels are recorded worldwide at extreme high altitudes. Unexpectedly, the radiation levels begin to level off and eventually decrease reaching near normal levels within two weeks. Scientists across the world are baffled by this phenomenon and are unable to provide a consistent explanation. The two cosmonauts and one astronaut present at the satellite are killed instantly in the explosion.
8/3/2005 Sentinel makes his first appearance in Boston, saving a crowd of people from a falling crane. His only words as he flies away from the scene are, “My name is Sentinel, I’m here to help.” Media speculation is rampant about him, and almost immediately theories about a link between the Galatea explosion and Sentinel abound.
8/5/2005 News leaks out about the true purpose of the Galatea satellite and the space mission now thought to be the cause of the explosion. Tensions between the ESA, NASA and the Russian Space Agency escalate rapidly as each tries to blame the others for the cover-up and the accident.
8/6/2005 Sentinel saves a German town from a flood caused by a broken dam. Again, his only words are “My name is Sentinel, I’m here to help.”
8/10/2005 Sentinel diverts a lava flow threatening an African town in Zaire. As before, his now well-known line is all he says.
8/14/2005 A downtown Denver mall catches fire and begins to burn rapidly and out of control. A picture of Sentinel carrying a young girl out of the fire, graces the cover of TIME magazine. The caption on the picture reads. “His name is Sentinel. He’s here to help.” The picture later wins TIME’s Picture of the Year Award.
8/22/2005 An airliner traveling from London to America is struck by severe lightning as it begins it’s final approach to LaGuardia Airport. As the plane begins to plummet from the rainy sky, Sentinel saves it. After assisting all of the passengers and crew of the plane, he departs with only his standard phrase.
8/23/2005 A massive fire breaks out at the Bank One Building in Phoenix, AZ, trapping over 100 people on its upper floors. As fire crews scramble to put out the blaze, a fiery figure emerges from the sky. The spectators are stunned as the figure absorbs the entire conflagration. The mystery figure flies away before any questions can be asked. It is initially thought that the savior was Sentinel, but when news crews comb through the footage, they are able to tell that the hero was female.
8/24/2005 At an outdoor press conference, Phoenix Mayor Warren Gillespie talks about the incident of the previous day. Interrupting the conference, the mystery woman of the previous day lands nearby and answers media questions. It is at this interview that one of the reporters mentions that she looked like a giant firebird in the sky. The media adopts the name and the mystery woman becomes Firebird.
8/27/2005 A major Hollywood agent, Stockton Elliot, holds a press conference in which he announces to the world the existence of the newest meta-human, Serena LaSalle, now going by the name Superstar. After a brief exhibition of her powers, which include the ability to generate force fields made of “solid light”, project concussive blasts of light, and generate dazzling displays, the two leave in a rented limo.
8/29/2005 During a tense hostage situation involving a wanted gang leader and a classroom of elementary school children in Chicago, a statue like being going by the name of Granite manages to capture the gang leader and deliver him to the police. After being surrounded by the media, he explains that he “just wanted to make the bad men stop hurting people.” After that he simply melts into the ground and disappears.
8/30/2005 Sentinel is spotted flying above Phoenix along with Firebird. The two apparently have a lengthy conversation before he flies off.
8/31/2005 Sentinel walks into the talent agency of Stockton Elliot and asks a startled receptionist for a meeting. Soon after, Superstar shows up at the agency and the three have a private conversation.
9/1/2005 Sentinel and Granite are spotted talking to each other on the top of the Sears Building.
9/13/2005 President Gordon Bambote of Zaire asks to address the General Assembly of the United Nations. When he gets to the podium, he calls for a special guest speaker. Sentinel walks into the general assembly chambers and gives his famous address. During the speech Firebird, Granite and Superstar join him on the podium.
9/14/2005 President Kerry addresses the nation. In his address he tells the nation that the emergence of metahumans, though a definite concern because of the power they seem to possess and the potential or abuse, that the United States will honor the individual rights of metahumans provided they respect the laws of the United States.
11/1/2005 The UN overwhelmingly passes the Zurich Accord, a document declaring metahumans to be human beings, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. A few fundamentalist Islamic nations and a few dictatorial regimes, all countries with poor humans-rights records, protest the resolution. UN scientists also present a brief synopsis on the emergence of metahumans and the theory behind metahuman abilities. Interestingly, the incident of the Galatea spacecraft is not explicitly cited in the theory.
11/11/2005 Adams Aerospace division announces the finalization of designs for the new generation of Surface to Space Transport systems. Adams estimates that the first vehicle could be completed and ready to fly by the end of 2009. Though the new program costs less than, and is inherently safer than the shuttle, NASA rejects the design in favor of it’s new generation of space shuttles, staring with the Intrepid.
2/3/2006 The 1st Bank of Chicago comes under attack from an unidentified man with the ability to shoot beams of destructive energy from his hands. Before he can make off with the money from the vault, Granite appears out of the stone floor in the bank. The two have a battle which, after lasting several minutes, causes major damage to the bank and some of the surrounding buildings. During the battle, Ravager (as the press later names him) suddenly disappears. After Granite helps people get out of several of the now badly damaged buildings, he uses his powers to “heal” the damage to the buildings, eliminating much of the destruction caused by the battle.
This incident sets off a series of debates in the Congress about the legal consequences of meta-human activity. Unfortunately partisan bickering prevents any meaningful solution from being achieved.
2/10/2006 The 2006 Olympic Winter Games open in Turino, Italy. China, never a major competitor at the winter games (with the exception of skating), wins an unprecedented 25 gold medals and numerous silver and bronze medals, an almost 25 fold increase of their previous medal totals. Rumors of some new undetectable steroid run rampant, while other rumors of meta-athletes begin to circulate as well. China allows extensive testing of their athletes – all results are negative – all the while denying any steroid use at all.
3/31/2006 The recently assembled space shuttle Intrepid is launched on it’s maiden voyage from Cape Canaveral. In addition to a rigorous testing of the new vehicle and its systems, its primary mission is to retrieve the Hubble Space telescope.
4/12/2006 In an accident mirroring the loss of the shuttle Columbia, the shuttle Intrepid explodes as it begins to enter the atmosphere. Only a small amount of debris falls onto dry land due to the re-entry corridor and the higher altitude of the accident. As with the Columbia, there is no hope that any of the crew survived the explosion. Initial reports of a collision with an unknown object are flatly denied.
6/9/2006 Unexplained riots break out in New York causing millions of dollars in damage and theft. Many of the people involved in the incidents, after incarceration, have no memory of the events and cannot explain their actions.
6/14/2006 Firebird assists fire jumpers in putting out one of the largest brushfire blazes in New Mexico history.
7/4/2006 Surveillance cameras capture an image of an unknown man apparently inciting a new crowd to riot. The crowd ravages several downtown jewelry stores and make off with over a million dollars in jewelry. Most, but not all, of the goods are recovered when the police intervene and capture most of the rioters. The mystery leader of the riot is not found.
9/13/2006 The National Guard is called in to enforce a strict curfew and crowd limits in the city of New York after a particularly devastating series of riots. UNTIL offers assistance but the Governor of New York, and the President, decline.
9/20/2006 A state of panic is reached in New York after a riot with National Guard personnel leave 24 civilians dead.The governor declares a state of emergency and asks for federal assistance.
9/21/2006 People around New York begin report sightings of a strange armored figure mounted on a winged black steed flying above the city.
9/22/2006 Russia announces the presence of their first metahuman, a former army research scientist now going by the name of Molnya (Lightning).
9/23/2006 A large crowd gathers in Times Square around the same unidentified man as sighted before. The world watches remote news feeds as the man orders the crowd to level the city to the ground. Before the crowd can act, a black armored figure swoops down from the sky and snatches the man from his podium and carries him off into the clouds. After a few moments, the almost-rioters gain control of themselves and begin to disperse. Those near the podium at the time describe the armored figure as a “skeletal figure” in almost dark ages armor, riding a black winged steed. The press dubs him “The Dead Knight”.
12/22/2006 The Crippen-Ride Accident review Board releases its findings on the destruction of the Intrepid. The cause of the accident is determined to be premature ignition of explosive bolts inside the leading wheel well, caused an explosion of nearby oxygen tanks. They fault lax and rushed assembly procedures, budget induced shortcuts, and incorrect testing procedures.
1/14/2007 NASA announces that it is divesting itself of all manned space flight ventures. Adams Aviation and Aerospace acquires the resources of the manned space program.
5/3/2007 Fighting breaks out between forces of Libya and the Sudan. Though the United Nations votes for sanctions and calls for a diplomatic solution, the fighting continues. The UN does issue a statement decrying MERC – Military Enterprises and Research Corporation – who supplies weapons to both sides in the conflict. Unfortunately, neither nation signed the UNTIL treaty, so UN forces are unable to intervene.
5/12/2007 While shooting a commercial for GE Light bulbs, Superstar comes under attack from a massive being calling himself Megaton. Able to project a previously unknown type of energy, the two battle for almost an hour before Superstar manages to subdue the radioactive behemoth. The Department of Energy shows up with a hastily constructed containment vessel and ships Megaton off to an unknown location.
6/2/2007 Chad is brought into the African conflict when Libyan forces attack a military outpost on the border. The Libyans claim that the base was housing Sudanese forces preparing to attack from another front. Because Chad is a member of the UNTIL treaty, UN forces reinforce the Chad border and repel several small attacks from Libyan forces.
7/12/2007 Radiation monitors in the Colombia River begin to detect traces of radioactive waste leaking into the river from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. Environmental groups, Native American tribes, and the populace living along the river appeal to the government for assistance. The government’s position is that until some new technology is developed, digging up the broken waste containers would cause more environmental damage than doing nothing at this time.
7/23/2007 A bank holdup in Atlanta is foiled by a masked man who utilizes electrical energy to subdue and restrain the would-be crooks until the police arrive. The masked man later gives the name Blackout to the media.
8/3/2007 The African county of Niger, launches an attack into Libya further escalating the African conflict.
8/11/2007 An oil pipeline running between San Diego and a Phoenix area refinery ruptures where it crosses the Colorado River. Over 10,000 barrels of crude are dumped into the river, and eventually make their way into the Gulf of California.
9/21/2007 UN Secretary General Kofi-Anan falls into an unexplained coma. He recovers several days later. His doctors indicate that the Secretary General suffers from diabetes and went into a diabetic coma.
9/22/2007 A kidnapping of Texas Governor Blake is thwarted by the appearance of a spectral gunman wearing the badge of a Texas Ranger from the 1800’s. The press dubs him Lone Star.
10/2/2007 Chechnyan rebels, in possession of advanced high tech weaponry, not conforming to any known arms manufacturer launch a massive assault on a nearby Russian military base. The Russian military mobilizes, including the Russian metahuman Molnya. After a fierce battle, the rebels are driven back to an abandoned bunker complex. Before the Russian military could apprehend the rebels, the entire bunker complex explodes in a massive conflagration, killing all of the rebels, and destroying much of their new weaponry before it could be examined.
10/3/2007 A tanker carrying barrels of nuclear waste crashes of the cost of Spain. The tanker, which records show has been at sea for over 5 years, was apparently a repository for Russian nuclear waste. The UN imposes heavy reprimands on Russia and orders that they pay for the cleanup effort. Russia responds by claiming that the cleanup would bankrupt their country and would leave much of their citizenry, who rely on state welfare, without any assistance.
11/5/2007 Neo-Gen announces the first successful gene therapy treatment for breast cancer. They estimate that by 2013, this treatment, combined with childhood genetic screening, will make breast cancer a thing of the past.
12/2/2007 A high-tech mercenary who leaves a calling card identifying herself as Artemis breaks into the Texas A&M high-energy physics building. During her escape in which her strange and highly effective devices leave the police helpless, she comes into conflict with the ghostly Texas defender, Lone Star. Though she manages an escape, the device she stole was recovered.
12/5/2007 The nuclear powered Ohio class ballistic missile submarine Wyoming experiences a unexplained hull failure and sinks off of the coast of Japan, in one of the deepest parts of the ocean. The US Navy is able to survey the wreckage with unmanned ROV’s but the extreme depth of the ocean makes any kind recovery or salvage impossible.
12/13/2007 Blackout, Atlanta’s self appointed protector battles a Confederate flag t-shirt and ‘Daisy Duke’ pants wearing woman who calls herself Rebel Yell. Her sonic attack causes a great deal of damage before she escapes by flying away.
12/15/2007 The controversial Euro punk band Third Generation announces that it will be touring the United States within several months, as soon as the venues are booked. The band, which has drawn harsh criticism from politicians and religious figures for their Anti-Establishment message and ideology harkening back to the Third Reich, is growing in popularity with the rebellious youth of today who, after seeing scandal after scandal are becoming even more increasingly disaffected with the status quo.
12/26/2007 Firebird comes into conflict with a being only known as Burn. After killing several people at a mall, Burn battles with Firebird above Phoenix. During the battle, Firebird uses her ability to siphon heat energy away from Burn, but Burn manages to overload Firebird and cooks her alive, from the inside out. Burn disappears as Firebird’s charred body falls the ground.
Sentinel begins to patrol the skies above Phoenix in a desperate effort to locate Burn. He is unable to locate any sign of the murderer. The world begins to mourn the loss of one it its first metahuman protectors. Because of the damage done to the body, identification is impossible.
12/31/2007 By the end of the year, many Protestant sects and Jewish leaders have released statements of support for metahumans, with wording in line with that of the Zurich Accord. Fundamentalist Islamic sects have decried metahumans as the Devil’s children, but increasingly come into conflict with Sunni philosophy exalting metahumans as the chosen of Allah.
1/4/2008 The funeral for Firebird, a nationally televised event, is interrupted by the presence of Burn. Burn tries to sneak into the service to mourn for Firebird and to turn himself in to Sentinel, Superstar and Granite, all of whom are in attendance. Burn begs for forgiveness claiming that he was not in full control of his actions. Reluctantly, the three turn Burn over to the police. National TV captures the whole event live.
1/12/2008 A man, only going by the name The Baron, assists police in the capture of a dangerous gang of drug smugglers. He claims to be able to channel the power of voodoo loa, but disappears before more questions can be asked of him.
1/14/2008 Russia displays its second metahuman to the international press. The woman, Tundra, is able to lift tanks as if they weighed nothing, and is able to deflect even high powered artillery.
1/15/2008 Seven jewelry stores are robbed in one day by a strange looking girl who calls herself Miss6. Her powers seem to be some sort of hex based magic. The Toronto police are unable to stop her.
1/16/2008 A previously unknown mercenary organization, the Shadow Army, makes its presence known by taking over a shopping mall in Seattle. Using unknown technology, they erect an energy barrier around the mall. The police are unable to do anything to the barrier and are forced to sit and watch the situation unfold. The media are then stunned by the appearance of a ‘team’ of metahumans: Spur, Cosmos, Spirit Walker, Dr Arcane and Steel. This is the first time (the appearance of Sentinel, Firebird, Superstar and Granite at the United Nations not withstanding) multiple metahumans have worked together in public. Using their abilities, the five penetrate the barrier and combat the Shadow Army. It is revealed that the Shadow Army was attempting to excavate an Indian burial site that was situated underneath the mall. All of the members of the force were captured by the new heroes, who called themselves the Seattle Shield. The Shadow Army vandalizes several other sites of Native American importance across America. However, the remote locations of the other sites insure the success in these areas.
1/17/2008 The Kerry administration calls the actions of the Shadow Army “terrorist in nature” and decides to use the powers and authority of the Patriot Act to deal with the captured members of the Shadow Army. The prisoners are to be transferred to the Fort Clark Army base, south of Seattle, to face questioning and possibly a military tribunal. Native Americans throughout America call for harsh punishment to the Shadow Army personnel in retribution for the desecration of some of their most revered sites.
1/18/2008 In the early morning hours, the convoy carrying the Shadow Army prisoners comes under attack. The Warmachine, the Shadow Army’s elite strike team, has been sent to rescue as many of the prisoners as possible. Warmachine consists of Warbird, Warhead, Warcry, Warpath, and Warmonger. The Seattle Shield arrives and engages the Warmachine – however, many of the prisoners are able to escape. In a brutal display of power, the Warmachine and the liberated Shadow Army operatives kill those prisoners who can’t escape.The Shield’s actions after the battle (helping to rescue trapped police and MP’s and heal them) garner the group a significantly positive reputation among the media and the population at large.
1/19/2008 Sentinel and the members of the Shield are spotted talking together atop the Bank of America Tower.
The Seattle area is shocked by the disappearance of 3 children that night. All of the children seemingly have mysteriously vanished without a trace from their bedrooms while sleeping. This brings the total number of such disappearances to 5. One girl disappeared early in the month and another just the previous night. Early reports begin to circulate about two “Goth” looking girls that have been seen in the area of a couple of the disappearances.
1/21/2008 Evidence is released that shows all of the children who have disappeared were all part of a sleep research project. All of the children were taking a new drug, developed by Neo-Gen called Noctournix. The drug allows children who suffer from debilitating nightmares to get a restful night sleep. The head of the project, a WSU doctor, Margaret Blankenship goes missing.
1/22/2008 The Seattle Shield, with the aid of wealthy industrialist Desmond Knight (who’s own son was part of the dream research program), gather all of the children in the area who were part of the program at the Knight estate. There the Shield and a contingent of MARS security specialists begin a watchful vigil over the children. During the night, the two “goth” girls appear. After an initial confrontation with the Shield, the two reveal themselves to be searching for who is perpetrating the abductions with the intent of stopping them. Reports begin to come in about children all over the greater Seattle area, having dreams about a malevolent being known only as Bloody Mary.
1/23/2008 The Seattle shield report that Bloody Mary has been dealt with and is no longer a threat, thanks to the assistance of the Goth girls, Nightshade and Shadow Weaver. Further details are not released to the public.
1/24/2008 A Detroit policeman, Damon Barkley, rushes into a burning building to save several children. When he emerges with the children, he is swathed in flames, unhurt, and is dubbed Officer Prometheus. This incident marks the first metahuman officially belonging to a law enforcement organization.
1/26/2008 A mysterious man suddenly appears floating above the Pike Street Market in Downtown Chicago. His only words are “first, you must know the meaning of fear”. He disappears, only to be replaced with a horde of what can only be described as demons. The “demons” go on a rampage, killing many people before finally being dispatched by local law enforcement, the National Guard, and Granite. The CDC arrives on scene quickly and takes the bodies of the creatures for research in an undisclosed location.
2/2/2008 The high tech thief Artemis breaks into the offices of the Department of Energy. She is confronted by Sentinel who is unable to deal with her high tech arsenal. At one point during the battle it even appeared that a strange grenade she used had killed him.
2/5/2008 The Shadow Army makes its first appearance in combat in Africa; first working for Libya and then for The Sudan, and sometimes working for both sides at the same time, (though never involved in combat against each other). The only information that can be gathered from the few that are captured is that they are the soldiers of the man going by the name Warlord.
2/7/2008 A group of tourists in Iceland are saved from being buried under an avalanche by the timely arrival of a woman going by the name of Ice Maiden. Strangely, even though she makes no attempt to hide her face, no clue as to her identity can be found.
2/13/2008 A series of bright flashes are reported over the Olympic Mountains, west of Seattle. It is later reported by the military that there was an “incident” in the mountains between the Shield and unknown assailants. A park ranger who was in the area at the time, Alex Bannister, was killed during the incident, though the military indicated that the casualty happened before the arrival of the Shield.
2/15/2008 The mysterious stranger who summoned a horde of demons last month, appears again, this time in the Seattle area. This time his words are “Second, you must be made to feel pain”. The time when he disappears, he is replaced by some form of portal, from which demons pour forth. The Shield appears, without Steel, and with a new member, a teenage girl, Terra. The Shield battles the demons for some time and eventually manage to close the portal. After the battle, Cosmos informs the media gathered that both Spirit Walker and Nightshade (Nightshade having arrived at the scene independently) had sacrificed themselves to close the portal.
2/21/2008 A Brazilian, Beatriz DeCosta, displays the ability of being able to breathe a strange green flame by using her abilities to prevent terrorists from destroying the airport in Rio De Janeiro.
2/27/2008 The Warmachine attacks a research facility owned by Quadradyne labs, outside of Denver. Several scientists are killed and several others, including a student touring the facility at the time, are injured. Sentinel responds to the incident, and is able to get some of the more badly injured survivors to hospitals, but the Warmachine escapes.
3/23/2008 The mysterious stranger, described by some as a “tall, gaunt man”, appears in Los Angeles, in the middle of morning rush hour. Several car accidents, caused when drivers attempted to avoid the stranger, collide and tie up traffic for hours. Local law enforcement responds, and the Army and Air National Guards are mobilized. Superstar and Sentinel arrive on the scene, as well as dozens of previously unknown metahumans from the surrounding area. The “Gaunt Man”, as he is dubbed, rises into the air, his only words are “Third, you must suffer a great loss.”
At 2:17pm, Pacific Time, a massive wave of energy emanating from the Gaunt Man rocks Los Angeles. One news reporter described it as “a ball of immense light, thrown at the ground, erupting with death and destruction.” Over 6,000 people are killed, and tens of thousands are injured. The crater from the explosion is a quarter of a mile wide, and the blast wave damages and destroys structures for another two miles in every direction. Sentinel is thrown over four miles away, crashing through and into several buildings before stopping. Superstar, along with several others on the ground, are gone.
A state of emergency is declared throughout California, and all branches of the Armed Forces are brought to their highest alert. Bruised and battered, Sentinel begins searching for survivors. The Seattle Shield also joins the effort, arriving in their team’s aircraft. Even Granite eventually makes his way to the scene. Two days after the attack, a critically injured Superstar and seventeen others are located in the rubble – alive. Superstar used her powers to throw up a shield, but the blast proved too great – she burns out her powers saving the lives of those near her.
3/26/2008 The United Nations offers UNTIL assistance to the United States. President Kerry graciously declines, and reveals the existence of the Federal Directorate of Security and Intelligence.