More of the background for my NOLA: Nightwatch superhero campaign. You can find the first post and more explanation here. The history of the Second Sunder War is here. This is a collection of real world-esque snippets I wrote to give the players a sense of the population's reaction to superheroes.
Fragments from a Weary World
From HR 1191—(Passed 403-13)
The Congress finds the following:
(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.
(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
(4) The Internet has aided in the spread of dangerous paranormal technologies and sciences in the United States. It has served as a clearing house for the propagation of the techniques to criminals and criminal organizations.
FROM PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY ONLINE 11/13/07
DC today announced the cancellation of the last of its superhero titles, following significant drops in sales over the last year. In September Marvel announced it would put all super titles on hiatus to, "make room for new creative developments." Bookscan sales figures for November show 14 out of the top twenty graphic titles are manga, a new record. Sales tracking over the last two years has shown a dramatic decline in the popularity of both superhero and fantasy graphic fiction. Of the six non-manga titles in the top twenty, two are crime fiction, one is sci-fi, one is historical fiction, one is young adult oriented and one is autobiographical. DC says it is pleased with the success of its new flagship titles: Jonah Hex, Mystery in Space, and The 87th Precinct. Other smaller publishers have announced new initiatives aimed at expanding the existing market—notably Image's new Sequel Series which will produce graphic fiction side stories and sequels to notable fiction in the public domain. They're pleased with the reception to d'Artagnan, which chronicles the adventures of the title character as spy in the years between The Three Musketeers and Twenty-Years After. An informal poll of comic bloggers suggest that the next big genres will be Mystery Stories, Near Future Science Fiction, Steampunk, and supplemental comics to existing properties like The Matrix and Star Trek.
FROM LARRY KING LIVE 10/13/07
Larry King: I want to go back to New Orleans—why wasn't the government advised about the location of this magical artifact?
Carter Niomis (former sidekick, advocate for parahuman rights): Larry—I think that's a misstatement—we don't have any evidence that the government wasn't informed.
LK: But we don't have any that they were…
CN: Listen, this administration has consistently placed any information under the cover of state security secrets—we don't—and can't know exactly what went on. I honestly can't believe that these honorable people wouldn't have told someone…but they had to be extremely careful, look we know that certain branches of the armed forces were infiltrated by Sunder's people beforehand. I mean, look at what happened at Annapolis.
LK: So you think they concealed this as a security measure?
CN: That's not what I said. What I'm saying is that you can't ignore the track record of good these people did and the sacrifice they made. We can't question them because they're dead. They can't be here to defend themselves.
LK: What do you say to the people, the people who lost their homes and their families and their livelihoods, when they ask—why didn't you just hand it over to Sunder in the first place?
CN: I think that's an insult to everyone who fought at New Orleans and everywhere else…
LK: We'll be back with more from Carter Niomis and then later, how the new exclusion of super-powers from the WWL is impacting the Mexican Luchadore Leagues…
FROM THE FALL OF NEW ORLEANS : AN ORAL HISTORY
"We tried to contain the damage as best we could. I mean Boston was a mess but at least we had the government hitting on all cylinders to get people out of there. In New Orleans, we still had the mess from Katrina and a half-assed job of getting things in place by FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers. So much of what we did was to get people out of there—from all the areas. We couldn't get everyone, we didn't get everyone…I have regrets…but I'll say this: we lost a lot of heroes because we spent the effort to do that when they could have been helping to prepare for the battle against Sunder."
"When it came time to fight, we had to choose our ground. We didn't have much leeway—we could only distract Sunder so much, and the cost for doing that…I mean, I don't want to think about how many lost their lives. We ended up battling in warehouse districts, shopping areas, parks, and in some residential areas—but I mean the areas where the damage wouldn't be as costly. We lost part of the French Quarter, part of the downtown…so to those people who said we went for the poorer neighborhoods, we lost nicer places as well but we had to make hard choices and choices on the fly."
"It was after that when we started hearing the rumbling, all the conspiracy theories, all the talk about supers having causes the problem. It wasn't just us. We didn't ask for this. I think about everyone who died and it makes me sick to my stomach. I mean I don't blame them—it was overwhelming and I'm not just talking about the people of New Orleans or Louisiana. No, everywhere you go people are looking at you differently. Scared, worried, not trusting. I mean no one trusts the government anymore and they've certainly lived up to that, but we're not tapping people's phones or torturing them…it isn't about supers. No one trusts a hero, or the idea of a hero. No one believes in them."
"That's why I quit."
--Ranger X, Veteran of New Orleans
GALLUP POLL 11/1/07
The government deliberately sacrificed New Orleans
Supers could have done more to protect the U.S.
The government is spying on U.S. Citizens.
The President is doing a good job of protecting us from terrorists.
Superheroes are role models.
The Congress is doing a good job.
The next President will make positive changes.
The government can be trusted.
Superheroes can be trusted.