Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Wave: Series Two: Session Two News

The news briefings I gave out for this week's session of our Mutants & Masterminds 2e campaign (wiki here). 

Governor ------ announced the formation of a new prosecutorial taskforce dealing with super-powered crime and criminals. “We’ve moved to a more intelligent and prepared approach on the enforcement side of things: better training, clear procedures, advanced equipment supplied by Homeland Security. But at the same time we need to be able to handle the special challenges to actually convicting these lawbreakers once they’ve been captured.” He announced the selection of noted Attorney Matthew Murdock to the newly created role. Murdock, a veteran of numerous high-profile prosecutions of organized crime figures, was widely expected to be the Governor’s top pick. As the new Special Prosecutor for Heightened Crimes he will have both investigative and prosecutorial authority in cases throughout New York State, but especially in NYC itself. Various agencies and groups supporting equal treatment for those with disabilities praised the decision. Despite being blind since a childhood accident, Murdock graduated top of his class.

In a quickly called press conference, First Wave confirmed that they managed to rescue several hostages from the clutches of the Occult Crime network known as The Circle of Thorns. In recent weeks the Circle had unleashed a crime wave which left at least a dozen dead and many more injured. Though their ultimate purpose remains a mystery, the group assured reporters that they and their ceremonies had been brought to a halt. Mr. Freeze then stunned reporters when he announced the return of the Mighty Thor, presumed lost in during the Starro incident. He brought the Norse superhero forth to a standing ovation from the gathered press corps. Thor took questions for nearly an hour, assuring the public that his return signaled the continued safety of NYC and “all the those who dwell in Midgard.”

Authorities are warning a new wave of dangerous designer drugs which seems to be sweeping clubs and campuses across the Eastern Seaboard. DEA Special officer Hunter Cash warned that at least two new and distinctive drugs have been responsible for several deaths and multiple collapses leading to coma. “The power vacuum in the wake of the Starro incident allowed a number of smaller and more creative producers access higher end and boutique markets. These aren’t ordinary street drugs, but expensive and potent experiences which deadly side effects. Pigment aka Blacklight is a powerful and subtle hallucinogenic which seems to remain in users bloodstreams for many days, leading to recurring and uncontrollable flashbacks even more intense than the original experience. On the other hand, provided little hard information on the other drug they’d issued a bulletin on X-Static aka Broadcast. Pressed on the matter, Cash would only say that work and investigation into the nature and source of that drug was ongoing.

NYPD announced the capture of several members of a strange underground street gang which has been involved in petty theft, property damage, trespassing, and other crimes. Though authorities would not release details, they confirmed that members of the gang seemed to be linked by being self-described “mutants,” dwelling in the city’s subways and other underground networks. One inside source indicated that these Subterrans may be connected to a break-ins across the city which resulted in tagging and minor damage, but no other real effects. Targets have ranged from shopping malls to galleries to high-tech firms. “We believe that such break-ins using their Mutant powers have been used as a ‘rite-of-passage’ for these gang members,” the source said.

Flashman Productions announced the lineup for the upcoming two-day Take Back the Star(ros) Benefit Concert. Featuring the vocal stylings of Nicky Minaj, Nickelback, Flo Rida, and many others the concert series promises to be a spectacle concert-goers will remember for years to come. Older enthusiasts will be treated to a special separate concert featuring the cast of the film Les Mis performing selections from the musical on stage. Asked which cast members had confirmed, Flashman said, “That will be a special surprise. I can tell you that my partners at TicketMaster and I have cooked up an amazing set of programs which charitably minded fans of music can easily purchase tickets for on stage.” Flashman indicated that some of New York’s most famous superheroes would also be making a special appearance at some of the shows, though for reasons of security he could not say which at this time.

NYC Homicide confirmed that they believe latest brutal slashing murder in the Candle Heights is connected to two others in the area. The crimes in the most Hispanic neighborhood have attracted attention for their brutality and apparent speed. Until recently they’d believe the crimes might be connected to the Circle of Thorns cult-style slayings and kidnappings. However First Wave’s capture of the organization and forensic evidence seems to rule that out. The rash of crimes has put many on edge and exacerbated tensions between the police and local residents.

Hammer Industries and OsCorp announced a new series of defense contracts for the Department of Homeland security today. While several of the projects remain classified, most clearly relate to dealing with superhuman and alien threats. “We have long-term plans for dealing with these kinds of assaults on our liberties in the future,” Hammer CEO Justin Hammer said at a brief but flashy press conference. It remains unclear what percentage of the projects are aimed at domestic security versus more military applications. Sources within both companies indicated that they’d been provided with a broad mandate. In particular, Homeland Security has reauthorized development of the STALKER robotic security initiative that had been cancelled five years ago at OsCorp.

A series of daring robberies appears to have been committed by the supervillain known as Dr. Simian. The criminal appeared in the first weeks of the appearance of superbeings, but vanished from headlines after that. It remains unclear whether Dr. Simian is a gorilla who gained the power of super-intelligence or a human mastermind transformed into beast. Regardless, he is a dangerous foe who combines enhanced brutal strength with a cunning intellect. His personal team of super-villains, The Safari, has had a remarkable success rate. In fact, he might have a greater success rate if if weren't for his great weakness-- a desire to outwit, trick and trap superheroes. More than most current villains he falls into the classic mode and revels in it. As he said in one brief interview after capture, "I have replaced by bestial bloodthirsty instincts with another instinct, the desire to humiliate my opponents-- which would be better I remain unsure." Simian popped up during the Starro incident in several actions to rescue trapped animals from zoos and parks in the path of the hurricane.

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