Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Somber Quinn

Somber Quinn was one of the most decorated and well respected agents to ever serve in the Majestic20 division. But before that he was one of the Thrillseekers from Outer Space. And before that he was just Squinn, a chameleon skinned defector of the alien race known as the Grue Unity. Squinn never fit in with his scheming Gruen brothers and sisters and was considered a reject and traitor as a result. Somber Quinn has been a resident of Emerald City for sixty year now and has loved every minute of his time on this planet. Well, almost every minute. Lately he has been consumed with uncovering the truth behind the conspiracy of the Chamber. Since his early retirement after the unfortunate death of the New Thrillseekers member Hiro Hosato he has dedicated his life to uncovering the truth behind the memory gaps, the mind control field, the lack of heroes and the unnatural peace that predominates this city. All of his research is leading up to one startling truth... the Chamber is planning something terrible to coincide with Victory Day. It is not too late to stop it.

The Artifact

Presented to you is a ceramic plate that is clearly ancient in origin. Etched into it in a rough scrawl are clear marking that are impossible in nature. On this disk that predates the paleolithic era are scratched the words:


followed underneath by today's date, and the current time.

It is at that moment that the disk begins to crack in a fractal spiral radiating out from the center of the plate. Hundreds upon hundreds of tiny interlocking ceramic gears spin and thousand of minuscule panels unfold revealing a perfect spherical lens held within a lattice work of delicate entwining golden wires. A glow builds at the center of the lens and a faint holographic image appears hovering translucent in the air above the awaken disk. The wavering rainbow colored visage is of Adela standing in what appears to be a jungle hillside. The web of golden wires begins to vibrate in conjunction with the hologram of Adela as it begins to speak in a tinny metallic approximation of her voice. This is what it says:

"Okay, here goes. Hopefully you are seeing this. The last time you saw me was two hundred thousand years ago. No, wait... from now. Two hundred thousand years from now. Ringo, Shota and I were teleporting to the sarcophagus thing down on the ocean floor. It was a trap. Obviously. Maybe you know that, maybe you don't. There was a bright flash. Ringo and I... we were, well, we were sent back in time. Way back. Ringo tells me this is our world's middle to late Pleistocene era. Really early homosapiens. They are not friendly. Shota didn't appear with us. We can only assume that he was sent to another time or escaped the blast somehow. It's been, what, a few months now. We've tried to figure out a way home. Back to Emerald City then, in the future. No luck. But we, well, Ringo has a plan. But before we try it I have some things to tell you. First..."

The figure bends down out of the edges of the hologram and when Adele stands back up she is holding a distinctly human looking toddler. 

"Say hello to little Shakyamuni Junior. So, long story short. We met some aliens. Ancient outer space multi-dimensional ones. They are raising this little guy here. Don't worry, I am just babysitting. Shota, if you are watching and alive... we are both pretty sure this is you. So you are like, at least two hundred thousand years old. The aliens guys, they are evolving the cavemen to help protect him. So, how is that for an origin myth. Anyway, yeah... it has been a weird couple of months. Second, the sarcophagus this... it is a weapon of last resort. It needs to be taken away from those SCALE whackjobs. It is meant to 'weaponize' the evolved human population when the time comes. I get the feeling that we would not like whatever that means. All the doomsday, Monkey King stuff Ringo and her friends were saying. All real. This is going to be where it all goes down. Trust me, prehistoric aliens told me so."

Adela sets down the boy Shota and he disappears from view.

"Okay, so this is the crazy plan part. So the aliens are extremely resistant with us coming with them. And I get the distinct feeling that teleporting invisible onto their spaceship is a good way to get me killed. Ringo says seeking out the Battle Nexus could drastically affect the time line so that is also out. Obviously we can't time travel back to the present the way we came... so Ringo has an idea. She is going to reconfigure herself into a cocoon and, using some technology we liberated from our alien friends, a message... this message actually. We are currently standing on what will one day be Mount Forge. Ringo assures me her physiology will allow her to keep me in suspended animation until you eventually get this message. Once you do, this message disk should act as a homing beacon that will lead you to us. I assume you will need to bring some shovels. Or a backhoe. Well, so. That is it. I will see you in a few minutes or a few hundred thousand years, depending on which end of this message you are on."

The image wavers for a second and then resumes,

"Oh yeah, one last thing. Apparently the aliens say I am not harmonically consistent with this universal frequency. In other words, I am from another universe. Ain't that some shit? See you on the flip side."

And then the image fades and the lens begins to pulse faintly along one edge glass surface, as if pointing toward a distant something.

Benji Carver

Forty years after becoming a counter-cultural icon, Benji Carver’s hair has grayed and dwindled to little more than his ponytail, and his tie-dye shirts now cover far more waistline. However, his ability to spellbind tourists with pleasingly chilling tall tales of the Undercity is undiminished, and he remains a city fixture.

Carver’s notorious Pack Rat Maze Tours provide him a comfortable living, allowing Carver to spend time on his charity work and political activism, focusing on the environment, social justice, and marijuana legalization. For an activist, Carver has remarkably few enemies, thanks mainly to his overriding good-natured charm. For any hero in need of information about Emerald City, the affable Carver is by far the most knowledgeable and approachable person available. In addition, Carver has made a lot of friends in all walks of life, from politics to entertainment, in the course of his activism. Benji Carver is always willing to help.

Unfortunately Benji Carver is also clearly insane...

...or is he.

Majestic 20

Majestic-20 is a covert organization that originated as a clandestine tool of the United States to safeguard the country against alien invasionafter the Red Scare in 1947. USAF Captain John Parker Lincoln was tapped to lead the new organization and prepare them for the task of defending the United States (and the Earth) from extraterrestrial invasions.

Early in the organization’s existence, key members began spreading disinformation to fringe elements and other easily-dismissible parties regarding Majestic-20 itself. Within a matter of years, people who attempted to disclose valid information about Majestic-20 were routinely ignored, discredited, or otherwise deemed unreliable as everyone knew the nonsense they were presenting was the stuff
of irrational conspiracy theorists and UFO-chasing kooks. Which was exactly the way Majestic-20 wanted it.

Acting from the shadows, Majestic-20 had its share of successes and failures over its first few decades of existence. Only select members of other intelligence agencies (such as AEGIS and the original Chessmen) were made aware of its existence, usually only to facilitate using those agencies as cover for its own actions in the field. As the years passed, the times changed. Lincoln and his peers grew troubled with the growing number of extraterrestrial incursions stopped by metahuman “heroes” over the years. The politicians who did know of Majestic-20’s existence, and who were responsible for paying its bills, began to see Lincoln and his people as relics of bygone age.

Then came the Moore Act in 1983 and overnight the heroes that had replaced Majestic-20 in the eyes of certain politicians became enemies of the state themselves. With this came a heightened period of alien activity not felt since the Red Scare in the 1950s. Majestic-20 was forced to abandon its shadowy existence. Unmarked helicopters, men in black and alien abductions became common sights in 1980s America. The headquarters of Majestic-20 was revealed to be a transdimensional facility beneath Council Island in the middle of Malory Bay conspiracy theorists took to calling the Isolation Chamber.

Two of it's most seasoned field operatives, Wendy Foaly and Somber Quinn became media darlings after them stopped an assassination attempt on the president by Farsiders from the Moon. The sudden attention did not sit well with Director Lincoln. He did everything in his power to keep an air of mystery around Majestic-20 even after its existence was revealed to the world.

With the return of true 'heroes' in the 1990s public attention moved away from Majestic-20, but by then the damage had been done. After a decade operating in the daylight John Parker Lincoln retired as soon as he was given the opportunity. Officially, Majestic-20 still operates within the intelligence network of the United States government although its scope and mission have been drastically diminished over the past ten years. Now Majestic-20 operates out of a small federal building in Bridgepoint across the Bay from Emerald City.  The modern Majestic-20 is run by now Director Wendy Foaly who oversees a small division of astronomers, medical specialists and data miners tasked primarily with monitoring alien traffic and communication for potential threats. The days of ray gun slinging men in black piloting stealth helicopters are long over.