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World of Freedom 3.2 - Setting Detail

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  • World of Freedom 3.2 - Setting Detail

    The setting for my Character Thread. This post reserved for an index when one becomes necessary.
    Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

  • #2
    A Slightly Altered Timeline

    2005
    June: Project Freedom is inaugurated. Thunder and Lightning, Panda and Raccoon, and Rant and Rave are some of the first of its "clients".

    October: Andrea Atom is rescued from the Terminus, and joins her children in their adventures.

    2006
    May: The Honor Day Brawl. The Sentry Statue is briefly animated by the Centurion's spirit, recalled from the afterlife. The Crime League begins its reorganization.

    June: Project Freedom's inmates assist Dr. Metropolis in fighting against Hiroshima Shadow. Soon after, the Commander joins the team.

    July: The new Beacon and the new Scarab debut.

    August: Toxic is released from Prison and joins the Ex-Cons, as they're now called, just in time for Wainwright's discovery about what Rant and Rave get up to when nobody's watching. Soon after this, the Alterniteens arrive on Earth-Prime.

    September: The Freedom League go on an adventure in time, leading to their journey to the Vampire Earth and resulting in the Old Man being stranded in the present. He eventually becomes the first voluntary member of the Ex-Cons.

    November: Shortly after a falling out with her grandmother, Seven graduates from the Claremont Academy and forms the Seven Shadows.


    2007
    February: Lady Tarot is apparently killed in a bombing orchestrated by the Silencer. Foreshadow begins considering forming a team of Freedom Knights, which comes into being over the next few months.

    March: Panda and Raccoon are sent back to jail after it's revealed that they're continuing their criminal activities while acting as members of the Ex-Cons. (In fact they were framed by Thunder and Lightning.)

    May: Fredrik Zane presents an assassination attempt against Changeling of the Alterniteens, and is exposed as a psychic. Swiftly arrested and convicted of financial malfeasance, he spends months in a cold white room.

    July: Aquaos joins the Ex-Cons.

    September: Completing his sentence, Aquaos is hired by the Silber Agency. Savant joins the Ex-Cons and within a week has annoyed Wainwright enough that she's forced to reveal her secret to him.

    October: Final battles of The Seven Shadows; death and damnation of Lucius Cabot and beginning of a civil war among his former partners and their retainers.

    November: The Gathering, leading into the start of the Crime League's attempt to steal the power of the Olympian gods. Soon after this begins, the original Next Gen disband in the wake of the events called Graduation Day.

    2008

    January: Olympus Falls, but rises again. Dr. Stratos and Medea are both missing and presumed dead.

    February: A new Next Gen team forms, numbering Glasya Lebolas among its members. Around the same time, Robin Greyfaulk is arrested for her part in a series of tech robberies.

    March: The Time of Vengeance.

    April: A second team of Ex-Cons, sometimes called "You Guys", forms, numbering among its members Zalman and Charlie Graham.

    May: Fredrik Zane and Donnie Benis join Project Freedom's B-Team.

    June: Robin Greyfaulk and Wu Tuo-Fa join Project Freedom's B-Team.

    July: A group of Average Joes in Freedom City are empowered and begin having wacky adventures. Shortly after this, the Ex-Cons are sent on a mission to Belarus and thence to a parallel world where they fight Omega and win. Yes really.

    August: AEGIS Director Horatio Powers is transformed into a paperweight, and he is temporarily replaced by Senior Agent Edward Ritter. Also, the tensions between the various factions of the Freedom City mob finally boil over, and outright war is declared between the Oliverti and Driogano families. Big Al Driogano is assassinated by the Silencer, the Silencer is exposed as Don Oliverti's brother, and Don Tonnifanni becomes the leader of Freedom City's mob with assistance from the mysterious Capoyabun, though he is challenged by the returned Tarot. The Freedom Knights part company from Foreshadow.

    September: Project Freedom's Team B is disbanded due to a mission gone wrong, and its paroled personnel are transported to be imprisoned in Buckner Ridge. However, this is all part of a secret operation conducted by AEGIS. The members of Team B are able to uncover the criminal activities committed by the prison's staff and defeat their agents, as well as exposing the cartel behind the prison. They are reinstated after this success.

    October: Project Freedom comes under attack from a variety of individuals who have grudges against them collectively and individually, who have all gained superpowers from an unknown source. While they are dealing with this, one branch of the Meek launch an all-out assault against Project Freedom's headquarters. In the process, everyone on both of Project Freedom's teams learns about the Terminus portal in the basement. Later, Team B is caught up in a sequence of terrifying events at Providence Asylum that result in the apparent death of Dr. Ashley Ellis, the destruction of most of the asylum and escape of many of its prisoners, and the summoning of an Elder Evil known as the Lord of Bitter Laughter. Their failure to prevent any of this is spun as a failure on the part of other heroes, such as the Freedom League, to inform the city administration of the possibility of these events.

    November: On election night, as it becomes apparent that Jonathan Grant will be the next mayor of Freedom City, Wainwright asks her people to accompany her on an invasion of the Terminus. She has acquired a powered armor suit from Japan, made friends with it, and will be using it in the invasion, whether anyone come with her or not. The fate of Project Freedom is decided. Ultimately, Wainwright sacrifices her life to send the survivors of her invasion force back through the gate. Some of those survivors receive pardons as a result of their participation in these events, others continue to serve as members of the Project in the grim years ahead.
    Last edited by Davies; 10-28-2017, 09:16 PM.
    Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

    Comment


    • #3
      The (New) Olympians

      As mentioned here, many of the "original" Olympian gods fought and fell in the battle known as Gotterdammerung (fought largely in the Pacific, c. 535 CE, and marked by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in that year) only to be replaced by younger gods who took their names and roles in the Olympian hierarchy. This 'new' Dodekatheon ("twelve gods") has remained stable since then, despite occasional squabbles that have been largely undocumented by Earthly chroniclers.

      Zeus: The original Zeus was apparently slain in the final instants of Gotterdammerung, though there is no living witness to his demise, which has led to speculation that he might have faked his own death. This seems unlikely as much of his divine power settled on his heir, formerly known as Dionysus, immediately after the battle's conclusion. The new Father of Gods and Men has largely settled into his role as King of the Universe, and is a calmer, more measured ruler than even his father was. On the other hand, he still has moments of great pettiness and is perhaps overly fond of ambrosia, the wine of the gods. Zeus is a PL16 deity known for his Dimensional Perception Damage attack, "the Thunderbolt".

      Hera: The original Hera led the hosts of the Amazons during Gotterdammerung, and was slain with them in the battle's early stages. Her role as Queen of Heaven was promptly assumed by her daughter Hebe, formerly the wife of Heracles. (The two amicably separated sometime in the last century before the common era, and remain friends, though as Hera she is happy to cause trouble for him when she believes he's being an ass.) Hera is a PL15 deity with many Perception Range mental powers.

      Poseidon: The original Poseidon was killed leading an army of Atlanteans during Gotterdammerung, and was succeeded by his son Triton. The new Lord of the Seas is much like his father, but lacks his interests in earthquakes and horses. He is probably the most active of the gods on Earth-Prime, as he still receives worship from the Atlanteans, many of whose rulers and heroes claim descent from him. Poseidon is a PL15 deity with Perception Range Move Object Limited to Water and related powers.

      Demeter: Demeter, one of the two goddesses trusted with guarding the gates to the Olympian realms during Gotterdammerung, was overcome during the enemy assault on those gates. She was succeeded by one of the elder anthousai (nymphs related to flowers) whose original proper name is not recorded. The new Demeter has something of an inferiority complex concerning her humble origins, and a poor relationship with the original Demeter's daughter Kore, whose role as Queen of the Underworld kept her from assuming her mother's station. Demeter is a PL13 deity with plant control powers.

      Hestia: The other goddess trusted with guarding the gates, Hestia survived the battle and is now the eldest of the Olympian deities. Unlike most of them, she shows her age and seems like a crone among the elder adults and youths of the panttheon. However, she is also known for her wisdom, and has become one of Zeus' chief counselors, especially in the long absences of Athena/Minerva. Hestia is a PL X deity who is connected to the Secret Fire; she cannot be permanently harmed while Olympus itself exists.

      Hades: Hades initially refused to take part in Gotterdammerung, but in what is now officially considered a complicated feint, attacked the enemy at the last moment and ensured victory. He was outraged that, as the eldest surviving son of Cronus, he did not receive the power of Zeus, and returned to his kingdom to brood. Ever since he has sought to seize that power for himself. Hades is a PL15 deity who is described in Freedom City 3e. He can be used as a model for most of the other deities. Ah me so clever!

      Apollo: A survivor of Gotterdammerung, the loss of his sister and the advancement of his old rival Dionysus have embittered Apollo, as has the more recent gradual turning away of civilization from 'classical' (read Greco-Roman) influence. He has become a schemer seeking to diminish the influence of 'foreign' cultures (particularly African and Asian) on that civilization, and thus something of a sponsor of white supremacy and misogyny as well. Apollo is a PL14 deity whose "arrows" are Dimensional Perception Range effects.

      Artemis: The original Artemis was killed in Gotterdammerung, and succeeded by one of her hamadryad followers. She has done her best to live up to the example of her mistress, but has no interest in friendly relations with her mistress' brother, whom she has lately come to view as a mad god whom she opposes to the best of her abilities. She has often lent her assistance to the mortal Minerva in dealing with Apollo's schemes. Artemis is a PL13 deity with a very high Ranged Attack.

      Athena: The exact fate of the original Athena is unclear, as she was with Zeus in his final fight. Someone who appeared to be Athena returned to Olympus a few years after the end of Gotterdammerung, satisfying every test of her identity, but claiming amnesia concerning the battle and preferring to go by the name Minerva. Lately she has abandoned godhood to become a mortal on Earth, causing some chaos on Olympus. As a deity, Athena was PL15.

      Ares: Ares survived Gotterdammerung, but his absorption of the energies of his sons Phobos and Deimos, who did not, made him something of an outcast afterwards. The lack of any war facing the Olympian gods left him with nothing to do, and he reportedly found the wars of humanity over the next millennia 'tedious repetitions'. The attack of supervillains on Mount Olympus recently energized him, however, and he has been paying close attention to the battles of heroes and villains every since. Ares is a PL15 deity with a focus on personal combat.

      Aphrodite: The lone member of the original Dodekatheon who took no part in Gotterdammerung, she left Olympus for an extended period after Hebe's ascension, leading to rumors that she had expected to become the new Queen of Heaven. Her behavior since returning has certainly contributed to such rumors, as she acts as a critic of every choice made by either Zeus or Hera. The recent invasion of Olympus has lent her criticism some weight ... Aphrodite is a PL16 deity who hides her full power.

      Hephaestus: The original Hephaestus perished in Gotterdammerung on one of his few journeys out of his workshop. He was succeeded by one of his sons, the Norse god Volundr or Wayland, who continues to act as a forge god for the Asgardians as well as the Olympians ... and anyone else who can afford to pay him his fees. Rumor has it that he contracts out work to the Foundry ... Hephaestus is a PL15 deity who has plenty of PL15 minion robots.

      Hermes: The original Hermes was with Athena and Zeus in their last fight, and is likewise believed to have perished there. His power descended to one of his undocumented children by the goddess Hecate, who has since acted as the 'wizard' of the Olympian gods, behaving more like the Egyptian Tahuti or Thoth than the god of messengers and thieves. Hermes is a PL15 deity who possesses magical ability much like a Master Mage, with effects resembling The Wizard of Speed and Time.
      Last edited by Davies; 10-11-2017, 07:33 PM.
      Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

      Comment


      • #4
        Vampire Demographics

        The exact number of vampires on Earth, according to the best estimates of ARCADE, is somewhere between "too many" and "just enough to keep people mindful of what stakes and garlic are for". More serious scientific estimates generally focus on individual communities and the number of vampires resident within, with the numbers typically ranging between 1 vampire per million living residents for a region such as Freedom City, generally viewed as relatively untainted by this supernatural predator, up to 1 vampire per hundred thousand living residents for the Chicago area, known for decades to have a serious problem. The matter is somewhat complicated by ongoing academic debate as to what sort of monsters qualify under the header 'vampire', with many not resembling the stereotype created by film and derivative media.

        The overwhelming majority of vampires, especially of those fitting that stereotype, are PL6 threats -- a serious danger to an innocent bystander, a dangerous opponent to an individual novice monster hunter, but more or less a non-factor to an experienced monster hunter or a typical superhero. These creatures often have many more dangerous vulnerabilities and complications than powers -- the documented tendency of vampire flesh and blood to ignite and be reduced to ashes with seconds of exposure to direct sunlight is near universal among these creatures, for example.

        On the other hand, one of the most frequent limitations of more powerful vampires is rarely found among them. They are typically able to limit their consumption of blood to that of animals other than humans. Most do not, but even they are able to 'feed' on blood to a much lesser degree than more powerful vampires, such that they can meet their needs without killing a human being. Again, many vampires on this level do kill their victims, but the existence of vampires who (for example) obtain their blood supply through consensual exchanges with knowing partners has led some theoreticians to view them as a more tolerable evil than others.

        Experience and a willingness to experiment with the vampire condition can give rise to PL7 or PL8 vampires who still retain this level of humanity, but it is more common for aged vampires to lose it with time. PL9 or PL10 vampires are typically elder vampires who have existed for centuries and no longer bother to feel any sympathy or compassion for humans. Carmilla is an ideal example of the type. More rarely such levels of power are found among relatively young vampires who possess unusual strength of will or supernatural affinities -- but even so, it is rare for them to be able to feed without killing. Some of these, such as Nightrage, develop codes of honor that permit feeding on certain "acceptable" targets, such as criminals.

        Given how easily it is to trespass against such codes, it should come as no surprise that more powerful vampires almost never have any such compunctions. PL 11 vampires are typically "master vampires", often able to exert direct psychic or supernatural influence over less powerful examples, especially those who descend from them. They are quite rare, each representing a combination of experience, intelligence, willpower and magical aptitude that is seldom encountered in humanity. There may be no more than one such creature for every hundred million living human beings, or even fewer. Dracula is exceptionally powerful even among this level of creatures, and may be the most powerful vampire active at this time.

        But there are far more powerful vampires than Dracula, entities of the category of monsters dubbed Elder Evils which are, thankfully for human civilization, not active in the world today. Understandably, little if anything is conclusively known about their whereabouts or numbers, which are thought to be less than one in a billion living human beings. Perhaps the only hopeful thing that can be said about them is that they would no longer be able to subsist on human blood, but most likely require that of other vampires or other supernatural or superhuman entities. On the other hand, they might require "life energy" from thousands or even millions of humans, drained without any contact. The notion of such a being going to and fro in the world, walking up and down in it, or perhaps driving a cab, haunts the nightmares of those aware of the possibility of their existence.

        'Perhaps driving a cab'? Why did I just type that?
        Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The (New) Olympians

          Originally posted by Davies View Post
          As mentioned here, many of the "original" Olympian gods fought and fell in the battle known as Gotterdammerung (fought largely in the Pacific, c. 535 CE, and marked by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in that year) only to be replaced by younger gods who took their names and roles in the Olympian hierarchy. This 'new' Dodekatheon ("twelve gods") has remained stable since then, despite occasional squabbles that have been largely undocumented by Earthly chroniclers.
          Apollo and Aphrodite taking a darker turn, and Ares being one of the least bellicose (and most potentially hero-inspiring or hero-empowering) survivors of the old generation is a neat twist on expectations.

          Hestia as the oldest and most powerful of the remaining gods is totally cool! I've long thought she'd make an interesting patron for a super-hero, being the goddess of hearth and home, which thematically lends itself to the ability to raise walls to defend herself and others, and to generate fire. (Plus I like the idea that Hestia, goddess of the home, might have been the source of the vampiric restriction on entering a home uninvited.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The (New) Olympians

            Originally posted by Setothes View Post
            Apollo and Aphrodite taking a darker turn, and Ares being one of the least bellicose (and most potentially hero-inspiring or hero-empowering) survivors of the old generation is a neat twist on expectations.

            Hestia as the oldest and most powerful of the remaining gods is totally cool!
            Thanks! I'm stuck with Hades as a bad guy, so I wanted to switch up the usual 'bad guy' gods. Apollo as the god of the sides of civilization that we really need to get away from, Aphrodite as an ersatz-Desire, and Ares as the guy who looks at video game war and thinks, "No, thanks," all come from that.

            (Hestia as a patron ... hmmmmm.)
            Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The (New) Olympians

              Originally posted by Davies View Post
              Apollo as the god of the sides of civilization that we really need to get away from,
              I prefer Barbarism Disguised as Civilization or "industrial age methods in service for stone age ideals" or however that quote went.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: World of Freedom 3.2 - Setting Detail

                Author's Note: The central thesis of this article is not my invention. It's derived from an essay entitled "China Without Tears", by Professor Arthur Waldron, which can be found in the book What If?, in which a number of military historians engage in the by-now marginally acceptible pastime of speculating about alternate histories. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a trained historian of any type, and am utterly ill-equipped to critique Professor Waldron's theories. So I have made no attempt to do so; instead, I have stolen it whole and put a mild spin on it, just as I have done with the works of others throughout this thread. However, those others are free, as Professor Waldron is not, to tell me to shut my yob. Hence my acknowledgement. Thank you, Professor Waldron. Where I am at best a pretender to scholarship, you are the real deal.

                Throughout the continuum, the one great enemy of all parachronic explorers, the one foe which has united forces from Alpha and Prime and from other, less well-known worlds, is the species known as the Ygadthhh in their own language. To speakers of modern English, they are better known as "alien space bats". These perverse entities apparently possess the ability to cross omniversal barriers at will, visiting worlds and employing mind control powers to twist their histories to their own design. Whether there is any rhyme or reason to their actions is known only to them. Dr. Tomorrow once speculated, perhaps seriously, that they regard it as an artform.

                In the opinion of those who visited the worldline known (to the Time-Keepers) as Earth-552 prior to its destruction, only the presence of these creatures could possibly explain the historical divergence in its history from that of Control. They were clearly present here, on at least one occasion sixty years ago, though they seem to have been unusually mild in their meddling. Still, to those familiar with the career of Chiang Kai-Shek, it seems clear that nothing else other than the intervention of the alien space bats could have made him make the decision that he made in Earth-552's history, in 1945.

                With World War II ended, the struggle for control of China that had been interrupted by the Japanese invasion began once again. Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists, who had seized control of the nation in the 1920s, were recognized as the legitimate government of the nation, even by those powers -- such as the Soviet Union -- whom one would have expected to have preferred Mao Tse-Tung's Communists. In discussions about the fate of East Asia at the Yalta conference, Stalin had made arrangements to strengthen Russian influence in the Manchurian region, without any reference to the local Communists.

                Of course, that made very little difference. Chiang's Nationalists had fought the Japanese to prevent them from conquering Manchuria, and they were hardly likely to back away from a fight with the Russians over the same territory. This became even more critical when the Chinese Communists sought to shelter under Russian protection in Manchuria. For the Nationalists not to engage the Communists would have been seen as a sign of weakness which they could ill-afford. But they were counseled to do just that by the Americans, who had no wish to see another war break out in the region, particularly one that could escalate into a conflict with the Russians.

                In Control's history, the Nationalists responded to this counsel by using diplomacy to persuade the Russians to withdraw their protection from Manchuria, and then launched an invasion patterned on the one which had swept them to power twenty years before. It worked just as well this time, but before the Communists could be crushed, good-intentioned Americans once again intervened to persuade Chiang that pressing on would be a mistake. So he held back ... which proved a far more terrible mistake. The Communists were able to strike back, eventually driving the Nationalists off the continent and onto the island of Formosa, later known as Taiwan.

                In the history of Earth-552, Chiang, influenced by the alien space bats, responded to American pressure far more favorably. Rather than persuade the Soviets to withdraw, the Nationalists encouraged them to remain, permitting the establishment of a pair of Soviet satellites on the northern borders of their nation. It was an insane decision; control of Manchuria was the key to an invasion of southern China, as the Japanese and the Manchurians before them had demonstrated. Tolerating such a potentially unfriendly presence as the People's Republics of Manchuria and Mongolia, as they came to be known, would have been beyond the imagination of a Chiang Kai-Shek uninfluenced by alien space bats.

                Instead of an external war, the Nationalists turned to an attempt to clean up the endemic corruption that could be found within their own borders. Their success in this attempt was mixed, but they were overall assisted by American aid and by the fact that, contrary to expectations, the end of the war did not bring about a return to the Great Depression. Instead, the world economy continued to prosper. Prosperity brought its own risks, of course, but overall it was generally to the benefit of the Chinese people that Hong Kong and Shanghai both became centers of world trade.

                The brief, inglorious Korean conflict might also be attributed to the influence of the alien space bats. Without the example of a victorious Chinese revolution, it's not clear why the leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, believed that his attack against the South could possibly succeed. While Stalin authorized the attack, he didn't do much of anything to support the Koreans when the United Nations intervened. And without the support of the Communist Chinese, the counterattack that drove Kim's followers into exile in Manchuria was bound to be a success. The lesson that the Communists took from this was that the time was not ripe for the final confrontation between them and the Capitalists; better, far better, to wait until they became weak, as it was historically inevitable for them to do.

                Without a Communist victory in China or a quagmire in Korea, it might seem strange that there was still a "red scare" in the United States. Perhaps the junior senator from Wisconsin was also being directed by the alien space bats, or perhaps (as some genuine conservatives believe on Control, and more do on Earth-552) he was being controlled by more mundane forces, which wished to make anti-Communism as unfashionable as possible. Or perhaps he was simply a bully seizing an opportunity.

                Be that as it may, the HUAC hearings had the effect of driving most of the remaining members of the Liberty League into retirement. But new heroes would rise over the next decade to replace them. One of them, the Raven, would draw attention to a true threat to the world's safety which had taken root in Asia, as Communism had not.

                French Indochina was not bordered by a Communist state, and its largely Communist insurgency against French colonial rule was not supported by the Nationalist Chinese government. In desperation, the leaders of the Vietminh made a bargain that they would come to regret -- but generally only very briefly -- in accepting aid from Doctor Sin. While his brilliant strategies and strange devices turned the tide against the French, the revelation of the Vietminh's new master robbed them of what little credit they might have had with the rest of the world. And while American heroes were reluctant to fight another war against mere human opponents, it was another matter entirely to contend with the greatest villainous mastermind of all time.

                As such, the war in Vietnam wasn't the unpopular war that it became in Control's history. Far fewer troops were dispatched, and there was no draft to be dodged. American military and civilian advisors (including many from AEGIS) provided assistance to a people fighting against a genuine threat to all of humanity, rather than attempting to interfere in a civil war. Superheroes participated on a limited basis, generally at the request of the government when confronted with a particularly serious threat concocted by Dr. Sin.

                It helped that there were fewer supervillains on the homefront. This could very well be because of the lack of a Terminus invasion in 1965, and the resultant absence of strange energies that could empower and transform. Of course, that also could be the reason why there were fewer superheroes. But those whom there were endured longer.

                Lady Liberty never underwent the power diminishment that she did in the mainline World of Freedom. The Raven, with assistance from Daedelus, managed to develop a version of Dr. Sin's immortality serum that did not require the abominable ingredients of the original, and distributed it to his colleagues, including Dr. Atom and Jack Simmons. Daedelus himself never felt the need to explore the universe. The Star Knight returned promptly to Earth after taking Blackstar in. (Either Mentor detected the activity of the alien space bats, or he was influenced by them himself.) The Scarab never fell to the Scions of Sobek.

                Nor were these the only survivors. AEGIS agents, supplementing President Kennedy's secret service protection, discovered Lee Harvey Oswald's sniper nest minutes before the president's limousine arrived at Daley Plaza. (Either there was no second shooter, or he fled when it became apparent that Oswald had failed.) Kennedy's two term presidency was followed by that of his younger brother, who continued the civil rights reforms begun in the second term.

                The space race was the source of some tension between the two super-powers, but overall it served to demonstrate American technological superiority. Sadly for some utopian theorists, the lack of wars did not result in more resources being provided for the space programs, which achieved only the same milestones that they would have in Control's history. On the other hand, computer technology progressed every bit as rapidly, despite the lack of a pressing need for a computer network that could survive thermonuclear war.

                Outside of Asia, the lack of a genuine panic about the spread of Communism had some additional benefits. The United States never felt the need to preserve and support regimes whose sole virtue was that they were fervently anti-Communist, nor remove those who appeared tempted towards that ideology. Iran's left-leaning secular government was never overthrown in favor of the domination of the Shah, for example, leading to benefits that could never have been anticipated. That said, there was more will to fight Communism when it really did appear, as it did in Cuba.

                While some muttered about a dynasty when the third Kennedy brother (having never gone near a place called Chappaquidick) was elected in 1976, his term would prove to be the most trying. The Communist Chinese republics collapsed in 1978, despite Russian support, and were quickly annexed by the stable Nationalist republic. Panicking, the Russians invaded Afghanistan. Without the history of Korea and Vietnam behind them, however, the United States had more than enough will to fight to defend this region. On the other hand, having not spent a great deal of effort to support those wars, the Russians appeared to be in better shape as well.

                The war lasted until 1984. Fortunately, it never went nuclear, nor were the supers of either sides asked to intervene. (Officially, at least.) It ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Iron Curtain. Learning from the example of China, the United States remained in Afghanistan to assist in the reconstruction, ensuring that neither the dangerously fanatical mujahedeen nor the amoral warlords had too much influence in the post-war government of the region. Teddy Kennedy's vice president, a Georgia peanut farmer and pacifist, presided over the breakup of the remains of the Soviet empire, declaring that a new world order had begun to emerge.

                The Freedom League, now composed largely of immortals (or at least the very long-lived), never broke up. Despite some tense moments in the 1980s, there was never an "Iron Age" when heroes were outlawed or unpopular. Archer came under the Raven's influence, moderating his temper and never needing to engage in deadly combat. Again, there was no Terminus Invasion in 1993. The Labyrinth's attempts to make superhumans were less effective, possibly as a consequence. Although Doctor Metropolis did eventually appear in Freedom City, Johnny Wade and Ray Gardener never developed superpowers.

                This was the homeworld of Centuria, where the Silver Age lasted forever. Heroes were heroes, and villains were villains. She was born in 1994, after the science of genetics was finally advanced enough to identify and correct the problems that Mark Leeds and his equally immortal wife, Laurie Leeds, were having in bringing a child to term. Tragically, the much smaller number of heroes who existed on this world were unable to save it when the Terminus did invade, in 2010, with Katie Leeds being the only known survivor of this world's destruction ...
                Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

                Comment


                • #9
                  History Marches On

                  2009
                  April: Robin Greyfaulk is forced to take over the running of Grey Capital when her father goes to prison for eight years.
                  June: The second team of Next Gen disbands. A third team, led by Crater and including Bank Shot, forms by the end of the month.
                  September: Still reeling from his exposure to Pretty Princess Loli-chan's Love Magic the year before, and occasional attempts to duplicate the experience with chemicals, Doc Otaku takes advantage of his 18th birthday to make a clean break from his juvenile delinquency ... for now, anyway.

                  2010
                  June: Centuria arrives on Earth Prime. Debut of SuperHD.
                  July: Robin Greyfaulk and Hercules have a brief romance.
                  August: Larry Smalls, aka Gravity Master makes his debut as a superhero.

                  2011
                  March: Bert Roland, the Scarab, becomes the single father of a boy named Benjamin.
                  April: Robin Greyfaulk gives birth to a daughter, Caroline.
                  September: Minerva returns to Earth-Prime and meets Yuuki Yukimura, who soon learns her secret identity.

                  2012
                  March: Minerva becomes active as a superhero in Olympia, Washington.
                  April: Project Freedom expands to establish a new B-Team. Duncan Summers passes away after a brief illness. The third Next-Gen team disbands.
                  May: Nick 'Nero' Rourke becomes a member of Project Freedom's A-Team.
                  June: The Silver Storm occurs in Emerald City. The Sentinels form.
                  July: Veterans of the original Project Freedom work with Project Freedom's B-Team on a case that results in the resurrection of Zalman.
                  September: Destruction of Magna-Lor. Fourth Next-Gen team is established.
                  October: Providence Asylum reopens its doors.

                  2013
                  January: Stratos (no longer referring to himself as "Dr. Stratos") escapes from Tartarus and takes control of the Crime League's East coast operations away from Conundrum. The current Crime League team (as described in Freedom City) forms around him.
                  February: First wave of alien refugees arrive on Earth. Not long after, Captain Thunder is depowered and his son transformed into Thunderbolt.
                  April: Ray Gardner Sr. becomes the new Bolt and helps to form the Old Guard with the help of Caliburn, Grandmother Raven, and Slipstream.
                  May: Murder of Sarah Grant.
                  June: Murder of Jonathan Grant. Soon after, Gravity Master retires from superheroics after getting stabbed through the hand when his force field is down.
                  July: Exposure to dumped mutagenic chemicals creates the Stray Patrol.
                  August: Seven becomes the Master Mage, but is soon trapped as the Dark Lord of the Netherworld. The position of Master Mage becomes vacant. Zalman begins questing to regain his magic.
                  November: Dr. Silverback joins the Old Guard, and soon discovers Slipstream's condition.

                  2014
                  February: The Steel City Angels make their debut in Ferroburg.
                  May: Ethan Keller is cleared of the most serious charges against him, and begins a four year sentence of public service, operating once again as Arrow and as a member of the Old Guard.
                  September: Elite becomes the third Raven with Callie Summer's blessing. Around the same time, Michelle Darling is installed as the new headmaster of Claremont Academy.
                  November: Callie Summers becomes Mayor of Freedom City, defeating Jonathan Grant's deputy mayor (also a pawn of the Labyrinth) and a third party candidate sponsored by the Rhodes Foundation.

                  2015

                  April: The fourth Next-Gen team disbands.
                  June: Actor and former secret agent Sir Christopher Lee passes away. Oddly, soon afterwards, rumors of an 'unredacted' version of the novel Dracula begin to circulate, and the Raven discovers that the very real Dracula is active in New York. Around the same time, the Sentinels raid the headquarters of the Vanguard. Also, Hieronymous King announces his intention to become the Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2016.
                  July: Toxic gives birth to her and Zane's child, Billie.
                  August: Aeron Gwynn, better known as Druid, is murdered by Blackthorn.
                  September: The fifth Next-Gen team (described in Hero High, Revised) is established.
                  October: Project Freedom is called in to act as security for an attempt to exorcise the Silver Scream which predictably gets completely out of hand.
                  November: Destruction of Collapsar by the Freedom League, the Sentinels, and a group of starfaring adventurers known as the Star Raiders.
                  Last edited by Davies; 05-29-2018, 05:48 PM.
                  Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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                  • #10
                    Denizens of Anti-Earth

                    These are only some of the alternate versions of characters from Earth-Prime who reside on Anti-Earth.

                    Crina, Daughter of Eurybia: One of the many lesser known daughters of Zeus, by the titaness Eurybia, she was raised in the image of her late half-brother Pallas and eventually condemned to Tartarus for various misdeeds. However, she recently escaped during a dimensional cataclysm and has settled on the east coast of Anti-Earth's North Columbian continent, far from Empire City, where she has built a small empire for herself in the shadow of the chaos of Viridian City. She is often accompanied by her pet mortal, Kikuyu Kimura. [As Minerva and Yuuki Yukimura, respectively.]

                    Doctor Video: The Tyranny Syndicate's resident mad doctor, a sadistic medical savant who is often given free reign to experiment on those members of the Syndicate who fail in their operations. [As the TV Doctor.)

                    The Enforcers: A group of super-villains who rule over the city of San Francisco (named, in this case, after Saint Francis Prelati) and have a non-aggression pact with the Tyranny Syndicate. Their leader, Zenith, is also the Gatekeeper of this world.[As the various members of the Champions, though use the Gatekeeper's stats from Atlas of Earth-Prime instead of Solitaire's.]

                    Yelena Adamov: ... yeah, no, I suspect that Ares would heavily edit this post if I went into any sort of detail about how this mad scientist and femme fatale keeps control over her four wild children. Let's just say Toxic's mom would be appalled. [As Andrea Atom, but add Attractive and increase Deception to 12 ranks.]

                    Raquel Bauduin: Heir to the Bauduin fortune and notorious party girl in Empire City, secretly driven by memories of having been spared when her entire family was murdered after a falling out between the Adamov Family and her father, Protiuz in the early 80s. She has managed to keep her matter manipulating powers a secret, and is plotting to overthrow the Synidcate. [As Toxic.]

                    Dwimmerlaik: Brother and sister team of dark generating villains, lesser known members of the Tyranny Syndicate. [As the Beacon, but substitute Ranged Weaken Stamina for Healing and drop Morph.]

                    Freddy Zahn: Ostensibly one of Daedelus' most loyal lackeys, he hides his telepathic abilities as well as his plotting against the Syndicate, which has recently led him to ally with Raquel Bauduin. [As Zane, but replace all telekinetic abilities and force field with a low powered battlesuit.]

                    Kathy Malis: Extremely powerful kinetic manipulator studying at -- really imprisoned in -- the Academy. Utterly unaware of her heritage as the only daughter of one of Johnny Speed's enemies, long dead. [As Donnie Benis.]

                    Jasper Solomon: A mad cyborg scientist trapped on Verecia, briefly encountered by Project Freedom on their journey there.

                    Graham Carls: Recently installed puppet ruler of the isolationist nation of Ultima Thule, dependant on support from the Tyranny Syndicate to enforce his will on the powerful but cowardly people of the city state.

                    Gigantea: Recently installed head of the Academy after she stepped on Beaumont Fletcher II. [As Titaness.]
                    Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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                    • #11
                      Timeline Update

                      Okay, it's been a bit more than half a year since Freedom City came out and I first posted the new timeline, and we have yet to see any information about the Preserver Stones and Collapsar, so I've decided that I'm just going to say "the good guys won, and nobody died". I'm going to be advancing the timeline from November 2015 to June 2016 over the next week or so.


                      2015 (Cont'd)
                      December: The Raven makes a devil's bargain with the Capoyabun, brokered by Johnny Janosz, to combine their forces against the threat of Dracula. They are able to prevent the king vampire from seizing control of the United Nations, but fail to stop him from dominating certain UNISON agents and fleeing with them to Kaiju Island. The Raven and his heroic allies pursue him there. On Christmas Day, a great battle is fought on the island, and Dracula is believed destroyed ... but this is hardly the first time that has happened.

                      2016
                      January: The Freedom League team dispatched in pursuit of the Preserver Stones finally return to Earth, with the exception of Daedelus, officially stated to be busy with other matters elsewhere in the galaxy. Johnny Rocket is appointed the new leader of the team, and it is announced that Victor, formerly of Emerald City's Sentinels, will be joining the Freedom League. At the same time, the Sentinels announce that the Rook has amicably left their team as well.
                      February: The White Rooks (Alice, Janus, Mister Matthews, and Kreuzritter), in preparation for their intended conflict with the Old Guard, work with Kreuzritter's house guest Sophia Kellerman to kidnap Toxic's child. This works out about as well as you'd expect. Kellerman is arrested and the assembled villains barely escape the overwhelming force of the combined Project Freedom teams, past and present.
                      Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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                      • #12
                        Timeline Update

                        2016 (Cont'd)
                        March: Swan finally meets Charlie Graham, and after some considerable confusion and an impromptu eating contest, they become friends. Later, after receiving a Presidential pardon in consideration of her years of work alongside AEGIS, Rachel Baldwin announces her retirement as Toxic. (She promptly messes up by trying to apologize for voting for the other guy. Both times.) Frederic Zane politely declines the position of technical director for Project Freedom when it is offered to him again, but recommends his associate Dr. Paul Fujitani, who gratefully accepts.
                        April: Emerald City's resident magical girl, Herald Phineus, is publicly confronted by a trio of heretofore unknown magical girls, who demand her assistance in some matter. The brawl that ensues draws in a number of the Sentinels, who are soundly beaten by the Japanese heroes, who depart with Herald Phineus in tow.
                        May: Rumors in the occult underground claim that Dracula, accompanied by several of his allies, has resurfaced in Denver, Colorado. However, no clear picture of his activities will emerge for quite some time.
                        Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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                        • #13
                          Now It Can Be Told: The Secret Origin of Minerva

                          Long ago ... and yet, from a cosmic perspective, fairly recently ... there was a goddess known as Athena, and a god known as Zeus. They were cousins, and they were married. And theirs was a fairly happy marriage, despite the wandering eye of Zeus, except for one problem. Sometime before this, when Zeus had thrown down his father, who had been known as Zeus before he became Cronus, that latter had prophesied that, just as he had thrown down his own father, so too would the current Zeus be thrown down by his own son, mightier than he. And this word was confirmed by the great mother of all the gods, who was no better pleased with the current Zeus than she had been with his father or grandfather. So that prophecy warned them that they could never have children ... and yet they very much wanted children.

                          And this is the point in the story where a modern reader might ask 'why'? That question is the invisible gulf that separates the modern mind from the minds of those who first told these stories. Just as a skeptical reader looking at the first few chapters of the book of Genesis wonders where the wives of the children of Adam came from, so too do even older stories hang on even older assumptions that we no longer share. We wonder, why would an immortal want children, if they have no need for heirs -- and in this case, a decided fear of the possibility of heirs!

                          Another part of the problem is that we have the idea of gods as eternal beings, eternal presences -- even though the very story above indicates that they can rise and fall. The truth of the Olympian gods is that while they are immortal and undying, they are also driven by the same biological urges that most animals are. And one of those urges is the urge to have offspring, even if the mind might know that it is a bad idea.

                          The goddess, known for her wise counsel, determined that there was a way to ensure that the prophecy could be defied. But it would require a great sacrifice from her. Her husband balked at it when she told him what was necessary, and yet in the end, moved by her counsel, he did what she told him to do -- and consumed her mind and energy into himself. (Hesiod, told this story by the muses, couldn't quite understand what he was being told, and so made up the tale of the shapeshifting contest where the goddess of wise counsel, Metis, is swallowed in But tfly form by Zeus.)

                          Within him, not digested or incorporated as one might expect, the goddess was able to guide Zeus more directly. If it is true that he became a better ruler as time passed, where his forefathers had grown more tyrannical, then it is likely because he had wise counsel within him as well as without. But that had not been the point of the exercise, from the goddess' perspective. Within him, she was able to study his essence more directly, and change it in subtle ways, so that his male children would not, in fact, become mightier than he. And she was also able to combine her essence with his in intriguing ways.

                          The result of that was the birth of a daughter, born from Zeus' mind (imagined as emerging from his head) and given her mother's name, Athena. She did many great things, and inspired many other great things, and yet she was never to have children of her own. Thus, the Greeks envisioned her as a perpetual virgin. She found that funny, but that is not part of the story we are telling, for her mother was not yet done with her plan to undo prophecy.

                          Her mother could be said to be a goddess of wise counsel. The younger Athena was a goddess of battle wisdom and keen judgement. These were the whole of wisdom in the times they existed, and yet they were both dimly aware that there was another kind of wisdom, though they didn't truly understand what it could be. It would not be until after the gods had begun to simply watch the world, rather than interfere with it, that the goddess within Zeus began to hear the first arguments of the philosophers, trying to decide how best to live one's life, that she understood what that other wisdom might be.

                          She began to combine her essence with Zeus' again, even more slowly and deliberately, taking nearly a millenium, recording in the child-goddess' mind all the discussions and theorizing of the philosophers, and giving her the tools to go beyond them. She took almost too long, for Gotterdammerung was upon the bods by the time she was ready, and Zeus was fighting the final battle of his life, aided by Hermes and Athena. Athena fell in that battle, and with no time to mourn, the elder goddess copied all her first daughter's memories into the mind of her second daughter. Then, at the last possible moment, as Zeus and the monster god of the Xothics destroyed each other, the goddess released her daughter into the world, making her materialize at the edge of the explosion.

                          Her daughter believed that she was Athena, and why not, for she had all of Athena's memories, didn't she? Yet something felt just a bit off about all of it, and so she took the name Minerva, one of Athena's aliases. Among the other Olympians, this secret is known only to Aphrodite, who learned by reading a stolen page of the Source Book she found in the halls of a demon king, and to Hestia, who learned it from the Sacred Fire ... and who was also told by Hermes, who survived this final battle but abandoned his name to go wandering through the cosmos.

                          And not even they know if Minerva's recent mortality is another part of her mother's plan, or if she has succeeded in making the gods free of prophecy, even her own.
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                          • #14
                            Lor Repubic/Stellar Imperium Trivia

                            * Lor-Van's year is about 1.1 times as long as Earth's year. This is the standard year throughout the Lor Republic and the Stellar Imperium. (Magna-Lor's revolutionary period was deliberately altered to match Lor-Van's in order to make the year work out. Zultas' year is about twice the length of Earth's year.) All references to years in what follows are Lor years.

                            * A Lor citizen's education began when they're around 5 years old and continued for 10 years. This was what's referred to grammar school in these writings. It was free for all citizens, publicly supported, and there was no such thing as a private school. (On the other hand, there were and are plenty of tutors that cater to the families of the wealthy to supplement their childrens' education.) Grammar school was very much about education, not socialization -- there were no recesses, lunch breaks wre very brief.

                            * The biggest downside to the grammar school system was that it was designed for the Lor, by the Lor, and didn't care whether a given citizen is mature enough to begin schooling at age 5 or will be considered a young adult at age 15. Plenty of species within the republic age more slowly or more quickly than that.

                            * After completing grammar school, Lor young adults could either enter the work force -- and find low-paying, low-respect jobs that are maybe one step up from debt-slavery, and probably lead directly to that if one doesn't live within one's means -- or continue on to an academy, if they could afford it. The concept of the "scholarship student" doesn't exist in Lor culture. If someone aces their admissions tests but can't afford an academy's, they are just out of luck.

                            * Enlisting in the military is probably the least bad option for Lor who can't afford an academy education. The pay is awful, work conditions are worse, and your life is always on the line. But there is a chance -- roughly a billion to one shot -- that you might get recognized for your work and promoted to a somewhat better standard of living. However, the concept of "battlefield commissions" doesn't exist in Lor culture. If you're an enlisted, you're never going to be an officer.

                            * Academy training lasts four to six years, and inevitably results in someone entering the work force at a reasonable standard of living, with a good chance to rise even higher. (Or almost inevitably; it is easier to get killed in an academy than to fail to find employment, as the reputation of the academy is on the line.) There are military academies, security academies, technological academies, and even entertainment academies. (Outside of history, which is treated as a technological discipline, there is no concept of "the liberal arts". Language education is handled entirely in grammar school.)

                            * So how have things changed since the start of the Stellar Imperium? First big change -- the Stellar Imperium no longer supports grammar schools. Some of the richer planetary governments have managed to keep some of their schools going, but other worlds have been left more or less in the dirt. This is causing all sorts of problems, the worst of which is rising crime rates. This is answered by harsher punishments for criminals, most notably enslavement. This may be the point.

                            * Over the past three years, some academies have established 'associated grammar schools' where children basically get trained for ten years with all they need to know in order to pass the admission test for the academy. The fees for this education are generally much less than what the academy requires, so it may become a substitute for the old system depending on how well the students of these schools do when they're ready to graduate. Private tutors are doing even better business than they used to.

                            * On the other hand, the concept of an enlistee earning a military commission has long been part of Zultasian culture, and most of the Zultasian leaders of the Stellar Imperium's military have absorbed the Star-Khan's meritocratic attitude (or, more accurately, indifference to the identity of the one serving him as long as they're doing it well). Lor who rise under the patronage of the conquerors are viewed as quislings by Lor who resent the conquest, and with simple envy by those who've accepted it.
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                            • #15
                              Timeline Update

                              From here on, I'm going to update only one month per posting, in the vague hope that the real world 'story event' that began in 'our' November 2016 will have 'resolved itself' before I have to post what happens in Earth-Prime's November 2016.

                              June: As described in Rogues Gallery, a dimensional incursion affects much of southern Ontario and northern New York state. It is responded to by UNISON, particularly its Vanguard teams, with AEGIS assisting in the affected American regions. Before the matter resolves itself, Luminary, the leader of Vanguard Team A, is apparently lost in action, and a new supervillain, the Oblivion Knight, makes her first appearance. (See Paragons for information about this Vanguard, unconnected to the West Coast-based organization, and Luminary.)
                              Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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