Monday, September 29, 2014

Bloodlines: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part Seven)

This series draws from supers campaign I put together almost ten years ago, "Bloodlines." That focused on inherited super-powers limited to certain bloodlines around the globe. This material sets up some of the groups in the setting. You can see the first post here which lays out the general concept. Once again you'll see a combination of new material and published ideas, primarily used to add color to the background. This has some of the set-up bits I used in the campaign. You might find some useful ideas for plots or how to present certain things. This is news I used for a session.

Dateline: Pierre, SD: In the news, government officials are still trying to determine what occur last week in an explosion that cost the lives of dozens of superheroes and their Anarch foes. Three days ago media and other observers were removed from the area, citing security concerns due to Lockdown nearby. Warden Tomas Fischer spoke to the press recently, confirming that all systems were stable within the superpowered facility. While they had experienced a small power fluctuation, the reserve systems had caught up nearly immediately. A thorough head count, conducted in cooperation with the DPHD confirmed that all prisoners had been accounted for. The DPHD also announced that they would be handling investigation of the Zero Moment site, in cooperation with the FBI in order to better ascertain precisely what happened. Despite the EMP which took recording devices offline with the explosion and the subsequent energy burst, witnesses on scene have confirmed the basic details reported earlier. While some have expressed concerns, readings on site have shown no appreciable fallout radiation or other energies.

Dateline: Chicago: Police are warning pet owners in Northern Chicago to keep their animals indoors following a series of assaults. At least a dozen animals have been killed in the area. Animal Control officers believe that a pack of animals possibly infected with rabies may be on the loose. A number of local parks have also been closed following the discovery of animal tracks and damage to facilities.

Dateline: Seattle: Following services held in Redmond, Washington, Bill Gates announced an aggressive campaign for recruitment to the Microsoft superhero organization Vision. “We believe that Vision has an important role to play, in bringing light to the world and being available 24/7 to deal with disasters and help the weary to rise to their feet after them.” Pressed further as to how he planned to conduct the recruitment, Gates declined to answer, stating only that the campaign was being worked on and would be rolled out within the next several weeks.

Dateline: Chicago: Chicago city officials confirmed negotiations and general acceptance of a new superteam today after several days of sustained questioning. Mayor Richard Dankin stated that following the Zero Moment incident they had been contacted by an independent group offering to assist the city with its notorious Anarch situation. “We have tentatively accepted the offer and hope for the best,” was the limited statement the mayor would make on the record. Representatives of the new group, to be known as the Untouchables, gave a small press conference without the members present. “We have spoken with a number of city officials and worked out most of the details for our operations here in Chicago. They’ve given us tremendous cooperation and we looked forward to living up to their expectations.” Pressed as to the identities of the members of the group, the representative avoided answering. “Right now, we’re getting our operations in order, once everyone has had a chance to settle in, we’ll let them speak for themselves. I can tell you, they all have tremendous talents with a devotion to doing what is right.” A-SWAT commander, Karl Rhody, spoke briefly to the press following an Anarch related incident in which the Untouchables were involved (see below). “We’re curious about how long these Untouchables will last. They almost didn’t last the day, since our department wasn’t informed until just before go time that they were not Anarchs. With so many of these freaks on the streets you can never tell, and especially not in Chicago.” Asked to elaborate on his remarks, the commander declined.

Dateline: Boston: The DHPD shut down a scientific conference at MIT this weekend, citing security risks directly related to the publication of several technical papers. Specific details regarding the scientists taken into custody remain thin. David Myers Syzmanski, representative for the Syzmanski family and one of the co-sponsors of the conference, New Research in Energy Field Studies, protested the closure, joining together with protests from the ACLU and the American Council of Academics. The DHPD refused to answer any questions regarding the seizure as has the Secretary of State.

Dateline: Chicago: Witnesses and officials have confirmed the first known action involving the new local independent superhero group known as The Untouchable. The team-- only hours after the Zero Moment-- managed to foil a bank robbery and dispatch the Aanarch group known as The Enforcers. Shortly before closing a well-armed gang entered into the 4th National Bank on Rosemont, taking dozens of patrons and workers hostage. Within minutes, the Untouchables arrived, shattering the bulletproof front windows and taking the robbers by surprised. Within seconds, all had been dispatched easily. However, the Anarch group The Enforcers, apparently intending to rob the robbers arrived soon after and were engaged by the Untouchables who took them down quickly. Property damage was minimal and apparently only one of the superhero team suffer any significant injuries. A-SWAT arrived on the scene soon after and took the Anarchs into custody. Details are sketchy about the identities of the Untouchables, but witnesses confirmed the presence of the veteran hero Cruel Butterfly. This hero has not been seen in public since his mysterious collapse on the floor of the Tokyo Game Show several month ago. Fan sites across Japan buzzed with the news of his return. In a related story the law firm of Sorrentino, Church and Laquedem agreed to take on the case of the Enforcers. This firm is well known for representing accused “Anarchs” in court. Lead attorney Gilbert Sorrentino gave a brief statement outlining his defense. “Our clients admittedly have some warrant out for their arrest, though in several cases we can show that those warrants are in bad faith or stem from mistaken identities. Following the Zero Moment, my clients realized the errors of their ways and were determined to keep the situation from becoming chaotic. Accordingly, when they saw a group which they believed were Anarchs outside the site of a bank robbery they took action.” District Attorney Jacob Weisphaut’s response to Sorrentino’s stated defense was unpublishable.

Dateline: Boulder: Trial begins today in Bainbridge, Colorado in the case of Helena and Randy Colewell. The Colewells, members of the Church of Scientology, are accused of attempting to kill their six-month-old son, Colvin. The state will present a case that upon learning that their child carried the Rakepaw gene the Colewells attempted to smother their child and then left him exposed to the elements. The Colewells will attempt to show how their religious faith, which condemns Bloodliners, drove them to the murder. So far the Colewells have issued no statement, and their Church sponsored lawyer has avoided and media contact. Colvin Colewell himself was the subject of a brief battle over custody with him eventually being placed with the family of international singing sensation Ace Braddock (cousin to the noted Cruel Butterfly).

Dateline: Chicago: A series of mysterious explosions rocked several scattered an apparently abandoned sites across the city last night. Preliminary reports indicate a lack of explosive residue, but rather a strange energy signal in the area. Homeland security agents, originally scrambled to look into the situation has returned to Washington after determining the case to be one of Anarch Vandalism. Police still have no leads on the vandals.

Dateline: Chicago: Police were called to a division of Wescosa Pharmaceuticals late yesterday to investigate the vanishing of an entire research department. In the late afternoon, a fire alarm cleared the building. However in a brief follow up check revealed an entire department missing. Firefighters called to the scene made their way into the lab to find it deserted. Police continue to investigate.
Dateline: Seoul: Scientists from dozens of countries today decried China’s entry into the group of countries working in cooperation with South Korea’s World Stem Cell Hub. The Hub was founded by Chosun University professor Song Chang-hun when he uncovered a way to artificially created custom-made human embryonic stem-cell lines. Soon after they created a consortium aimed at giving researchers wider access to these lines. The Hub has been praised but at the same time there have been questions about the distribution of scientific techniques and proprietary genetic information.. China, who has long had an aggressively proprietary stance towards any and all genetic information, is viewed with suspicion by many of the current partners of the Hub. One high ranking member stated, “We know that China’s genetics program involves forced labor, torturous experimentation and the assassination of those who cross “The Nursery” as it is called. By allowing them access to this work, we make ourselves party to their horrors.” It has been suggested that the US’s isolation from the project has given China room to invest more heavily. Because the World Stem Cell Hub conflicts with U.S. policies that have limited scientists' access to stem cells only a few US private firms have been able to do business with them.

Dateline: Chicago: Breaking local news, a little over 72 hours after the capture of the Anarch group, the Enforcers, the city of Chicago had arranged a transfer, supervised by the Chicago PD and A-SWAT team. During a transfer of the prisoners from local holding to site for Lockdown management, three of the prisoners managed to escape. In the brief melee which followed, two of the three, Zero Point and Praetor were killed by A-SWAT members standing by. Though details are sketchy right now, it is believed that the third, Crasher, a known mentalist Anarch managed to escape and is still at large.

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