The Daring Little David - Defender of Primal Earth
 
 
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Tower of Animus Mailbox

May 13th, 2013 [Public Access]

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Box 2286

THE DARING
LITTLE DAVID
DEFENDER OF PRIMAL EARTH


(David Puskás, 5-08)


Now that Little David has a mailbox assigned to him from the mailing room, this post can be used to send him handwritten letters, packages, and physical objects.


Current Location: Tower of Animus, Floor 78
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Tower of Animus Information

May 12th, 2013 [Public Access]

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GENERAL RESIDENCY


Dormitory Room: 5-08

1-06

Roommate List: Gangrel ([personal profile] killadeadman)
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold ([personal profile] trulybecomedust)
Frederick ([personal profile] milord)

Kidou Yuuto ([personal profile] pengeen)
Sora ([personal profile] derping)
Jade Curtiss ([personal profile] sarcasmancer)

Collar Color: Orange

Orange-collared residents usually report to the infirmary on Mondays during a collar checkup week.


INVENTORY - TRUNK ITEMS


If you're curious just what some of these items can do (barring any restrictions in place on their usage), refer to Little David's Known Powers and Abilities.

• Power Armor Suit (with all built-in components)
• Helmet (with all built-in components)
In the Tower, the helmet's comms gear is inoperable.

• Vanguard "Redding" Assault Rifle
Arrived with David completely disassembled. He has since reassembled it.

• Wallet
  • Paragon City Hero Registration ID card
  • A few loyalty cards for Paragon City restaurant franchises
  • Assorted US Dollar bills and coins—$37.92 in total
  • Several wallet-sized photos of various points in David's life
• Medical Reconstruction Device
In the Tower, the device can only heal minor to moderate wounds. It may occasionally fail.

• Travel cigar case containing three cigars

Little David entered the tower with no ammunition for any of his weapons.


INVENTORY - ADDITIONAL REGAINED ITEMS


• Targeting Drone
Regained in December 2013 after "Into an Abyss."


INVENTORY - ITEMS FROM WITHIN THE TOWER


• Orc's Sword
Scavenged in June 2013 during "Idealism."

• Cursed Calendar
Given by an unknown recipient in August 2013.

• Hand-Carved Good Luck Charm
Colette gave Tower residents these during Christmas 2013.


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Character Relations (Tower of Animus)

May 12th, 2013 [Public Access]

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What kind of people has Little David run into within the Tower, and what does he think of them? You'll find out here! If you'd like to be included on the list, be sure to comment. This list will (hopefully) be regularly updated with everyone that David's had significant contact with. That also means the data here is subject to change as events develop.


HOW IT WORKS


The chart here is based on the system used for contacts and mission handlers in City of Heroes, with some differences to reflect levels of like and dislike. In City of Heroes, how much a contact liked and trusted a hero was measured by a progress meter with several demarcations: Acquaintance, Colleague, Friend, and Confidant.

The meter is used here, but instead reflects Little David's feelings on the person in question, not the other way around. It also has negative values—Rival, Adversary, and Archenemy. For a basic idea of what to expect:

Acquaintance is for those Little David has barely met. This is the "neutral" setting on the meter.

Colleague is for those with whom Little David feels he has a working relationship. They might not see eye to eye or even like each other, but they can work together to get jobs done.
Friend means what it says on the tin. Little David is on good terms with this person.
Confidant denotes the really close, trustworthy friends. People that Little David feels he can share secrets or discuss private matters and problems.

Rival is the opposite of Colleague—rather than working together, these people have a dispute or competition with Little David. He may not necessarily dislike them, however.
Adversary is for those people with whom Little David is in open conflict and does not like.
Archenemy is reserved for those people with whom Little David would love to throw into the Zig if he could. He'll treat them with the same friendliness and trust he'd give any supervillain (that is, none).


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Outtagging (Tower of Animus)

May 10th, 2013 [Public Access]

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Please note that, in order to maintain a cohesive order of events, this list is (mostly) organized by the date provided by prompts and not the date by which posts were made. Prompts which were back-or-forward dated will be organized accordingly.

May 08, 2013:
[personal profile] animusmods : Application (OOC)

May 10, 2013:
[community profile] animus_ooc : Greeting Party! (OOC)


EVENT: RUMOR HAS IT


May 30, 2013:
[personal profile] eighteen_winters : David's exploring Floor 73 while Illyasviel is there.


EVENT: IDEALISM; START


June 01, 2013:
[personal profile] animusmods : David happened to be awake when the glamour failed.
[personal profile] true_noir : Chloe's lost a few marbles to this reveal.
[personal profile] idkworldruler : Mitchell's looking for people to manipulate.


EVENT: IDEALISM; COUNTDOWN


EVENT: IDEALISM; GAME START


EVENT: IDEALISM; UPDATE


PLAYER PLOT: HAVE A NICE DAY


PLAYER PLOT: AND I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO APART FROM YOU


PLAYER PLOT: HACKING


PLAYER PLOT: HACKING; PUNISHMENT


PLAYER PLOT: COLLAR CHECKUP BOYCOTT


July 22, 2013:
[personal profile] pinnaculum : Young Sephiroth is trying to figure out what's up with the monsters.


EVENT: COGNIZANCE


PLAYER PLOT: INFILTRATION FOR EQUIPMENT


August 06, 2013:
[personal profile] animusnpcs : Jason anonymously inquires who would stay in the Tower if it were made safe.

[personal profile] irreverence : Asagi would rather be a lab rat again.

August 08, 2013:
[personal profile] stalemates : It's International Cat Day?


EVENT: INDIVIDUATION, PRE-EVENT


EVENT: INDIVIDUATION


EVENT: INDIVIDUATION; END


PLAYER PLOT: INFILTRATION DISCUSSION


August 28, 2013:
[personal profile] acceptedoblivion : Repliku posts a setch of Jason's true form.


September 19, 2013:
[personal profile] absentapothecary : Annika's cooking up some trouble ...


September 22, 2013:
[personal profile] gloryseizing : A Power-Suppressed Van Grants needs help!


EVENT: QUARANTNE; PART 1


EVENT: QUARANTNE; PART 2


September 24, 2013:
[personal profile] withani : David was caught belowdecks when the explosions hit.


EVENT: QUARANTNE; PART 3


EVENT: QUARANTNE; PART 4


EVENT: QUARANTNE; END


October 04, 2013:
[personal profile] wegotlucky : Neal Cassidy went home for a bit. Now he's majorly depressed.


EVENT: IF YOU DON'T; SIGNUPS


EVENT: IF YOU DON'T; PART ONE


EVENT: IF YOU DON'T; PART TWO


EVENT: IF YOU DON'T; END


EVENT: 1369


EVENT: IF YOU DON'T; WRAP-UP


COLLAR FLUID RESEARCH UPDATE


EVENT: INTO AN ABYSS; PART ONE


EVENT: INTO AN ABYSS; PART TWO


EVENT: INTO AN ABYSS; PART THREE


December 25, 2013:
[personal profile] fionnuisce : David meets Lord El-Melloi II in the mail room.


December 28, 2013:
[personal profile] clumsyjesus : Colette gives David a good-luck charm!


January 01, 2014:
[personal profile] withani : Danielle's Ecto-Dejecto probably isn't a Hi-C drink.


EVENT: RECHARGE?; PART ONE


EVENT: RECHARGE?; PART TWO


January 28, 2014:
[personal profile] attheclocktower : David waits to volunteer for Riki's emergency measures.
[personal profile] undroppedeaves : Samwise Gamgee gets to meet another short-statured man.


EVENT: RECHARGE?; PART THREE


January 31, 2014:
[personal profile] fionnuisce : David and Waver haven't had pleasant dreams.
[personal profile] no_longer_a_king : Arturia takes charge, and David follows her lead.


EVENT: RECHARGE?; END


February 01, 2014:
[personal profile] idkworldruler : Mitchell asks what happened to those who volunteered for the Recharge.


February 08, 2014:
[personal profile] doasisay : Lelouch doesn't think an afterlife is waiting for him.


February 09, 2014:
[personal profile] nordic_dovahkiin : Brunwulf wants booze. David wants sleep. They get neither.


EVENT: HEEL;


EVENT: HEEL; INTERMISSION - A HEART FOR A HEART


EVENT: HEEL; PART ONE


February 16, 2014:
[personal profile] justabignobody : David is not happy about Ruana's game.
[personal profile] sageprincess : Just how oblivious is David to Tower happenings? Answer: A lot.


February 17, 2014:
[personal profile] undroppedeaves : Samwise, Enoch, and David discuss rescue plans.


EVENT: HEEL; PART TWO


EVENT: HEEL; PART THREE


February 21, 2014:
[personal profile] warriorscribe : Enoch, Arturia, and David do some S&R in the Labrynth.


EVENT: HEEL; END


February 23, 2014:
[personal profile] animusnpcs : Ruana is quite the maneater.
[personal profile] undroppedeaves : Sam's taking inventory post-evacuation of the Labrynth.


PLAYER PLOT: TOWER OF JENOVA; PHASE 1


March 17, 2014:
[personal profile] evokingfool : Minato's not acting like himself ...


March 20, 2014:
[personal profile] evokingfool : ... and Romeo's looking even worse for the wear.


PLAYER PLOT: TOWER OF JENOVA; PHASE 2


EVENT: FOR THINE IS; PART ONE


EVENT: FOR THINE IS; THE CITY


EVENT: FOR THINE IS; PART TWO


EVENT: FOR THINE IS; END


April 01, 2014:
[personal profile] childhero : The Child Hero of Time has returned to the Tower. Meanwhile, David chugs water.


April 10, 2014:
[personal profile] deloreandriver : Marty McFly's looking for Doc Brown in the lab. He finds David instead.


EVENT: EX MACHINA; PART ONE


April 16, 2014:
[personal profile] fionnuisce : Waver's got some bad, bad news for everyone.
[personal profile] fionnuisce : David reviews Reno's notes in preparation for the mission.
[personal profile] warriorscribe : Enoch's not doing so well after news of Riki's scheming.


EVENT: EX MACHINA; PART TWO


April 27, 2014:
[personal profile] animusmods : David accompanies the rest of the infiltration team to the admin levels.
[personal profile] animusmods : Xion makes a suggestion on information gathering. David asks her a question.
[personal profile] animusmods : David goes to shut down Terminal 4. Turns out Garviel is also going for it.
[personal profile] animusmods : David joins the fray after the meeting with Riki turns sour.


EVENT: EX MACHINA; END


May 18, 2014:
[personal profile] sageprincess : David celebrates the Infiltration Team's victory over Riki.
[personal profile] sageprincess : Samus walks off her injuries.
[personal profile] sageprincess : David runs into Edgeworth on his way to Floor 100.


ENDGAME: IN THIS LAST MEETING OF PLACES


ENDGAME: GATHERED ON THE BEACH OF THE TUMID RIVER


June 1, 2014:
[personal profile] animusmods : David missed out on Aria and Zo's escape to safety.
[personal profile] animusmods : Xion asks around if anyone got a letter. David didn't.
[personal profile] animusmods : The admins have found the hidden floor. Things are about to hit the fan.


ENDGAME: EYES I DARE NOT MEET IN DREAMS


June 2, 2014:
[personal profile] animusmods : As Riki shows his true form, David jumps into the fight.


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Evaluation and OOC Contact

May 10th, 2013 [Public Access]

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OOC CONTACT



E-Mail: irishlightningstudios@gmail.com
AIM: Aragan the Acolyte

Because I keep my screen name stealthed to people who aren't on my buddy list, I need to know your AIM name in advance if you wish to IM me. Shoot me an e-mail or a private message here on Dreamwidth with your username!


HOW'S MY DRIVING?


Any input, including constructive criticism, words of wisdom, tips (pro or otherwise) are welcome in this post! Comments are screened—let me know if Dreamwidth ever messes with that. Anonymous posts are A-OK, too, so if you're a passerby or you don't want to make it known who you are, don't be afraid to comment!


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OOC / IC Permissions and Opt-Out

May 10th, 2013 [Public Access]

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Character Name: David "Little David" Puskás
Character Series: Original (City of Heroes)


OUT OF CHARACTER


Backtagging:YESPlease, do so! I have no problem at all with people tagging or continuing a thread, even if it's been a month (or more) after it started.
Threadhopping:YESSo long as it's not private, go for it! Try and make sure anyone else in the thread is cool with it, though.
Fourthwalling:YESIf it's in your character's nature to mess with the fourth wall, go ahead!
Offensive Subjects:YESI can handle it if it's in-character. On the other hand, don't expect David to take it well if you punch his buttons.


IN CHARACTER


Flirting:YESHe'll be surprised, but sure.
Hugging:YESDon't squeeze too hard if you've got Super Strength!
Kissing:YESThis will leave him very surprised.
Fighting:YESBlasters gonna blast, yo.
Injuring:YESIf he didn't want to risk getting hurt, he'd never have become a superhero.
Killing:YESDebt is just another badge. That being said, Little David is a superhero. He doesn't die easy despite what you may have heard about Blasters, and I'd like to discuss and plan this out ahead of time. You can discuss it with me in this entry if you can't get a hold of me elsewhere.
Mind Reading:YESDavid might try to use his Elusive Mind training if he doesn't want someone snooping, but he's pretty much defenseless to this.


OPT-OUT


If for any reason you'd pefer that Little David does not tag your characters, please reply here with the journal of the character you don't want tagged. If you don't want David tagging more than one of your characters, or any of them at all, reply here with the account of one of those characters, and list the others as well as your mun name. Please do not heitate to request this if you think it necessary; I'll do my best to honor it!


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Application (Tower of Animus)

May 8th, 2013 [Public Access]

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PLAYER INFORMATION
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries



Name:Trev-MUN
Personal Journal:[identity profile] ils-trevmun.livejournal.com
Age:29
Contact Info:Mail: irishlightningstudios@gmail.com
AIM: Aragan the Acolyte
Other Characters Played:Nobody here!


CHARACTER INFORMATION
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries

Character Name:David "The Daring Little David" Puskás
Character Series:City of Heroes (MMORPG - Little David is an Original Character)
Character Age:55 (As of November 2012)
Character Gender:Male
World Description:See the World Description entry. It's way too big to fit here.
Canon Point:November 30, 2012—final day before NCSoft shut it down.


BACKGROUND
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries

Superheroes can be born of Cinderella-style rags-to-riches stories. Just ask David Puskás. He's lived in Paragon City all his life. When he was born back on November 22, 1957, he didn't exhibit any amazing gifts or talents beyond the baseline. He didn't suddenly develop mutations as he reached puberty or into his adulthood. He didn't have a superhero's physique, being relatively short and squat standing at 5'3" as he did. He was like the millions of others in America's biggest metropolis—just an average human living his life amid the watchful eyes of colorfully costumed caped crusaders.

David wasn't a book smart kind of guy. When he graduated from high school, neither he nor his family had the money or the scholarships to attend college. He wound up landing a job in municipal refuse collection. Hardly a glamorous job, but it payed well enough for him to lead an average middle-class life in the apartments of Kings Row. He married at the age of 27 to Glenda Parker, steadily working his way up to line management positions of Paragon City's sanitation department. Though David was hardly a brilliant scientist or engineer, he enjoyed tinkering and experimenting and would work on various mechanics projects in a rented garage, whether it was fixing up an old car or devising some novelty gadget.

David was 44 when the Rikti War broke upon Primal Earth. The six months that followed were spent moving from one shelter to another, as human forces desperately tried to keep the Rikti from savaging the populace. With the regular military and police dying in droves, there was absolutely no way David could expect to get out there and fight for humanity. Still, using a scavenged assault weapon he found during the chaos, he did volunteer to help provide a citizen's defense for shelters. He recieved some training on how to properly handle and maintain firearms during that time. Luckily for David and Glenda, they both survived that terrifying time. Many of their family, friends, and acquaintances did not.

For David, the years following the war's end were his worst. The city had lost so much, but there was little time to grieve—humanity had to pick up the pieces and carry on. Although he aided reconstruction efforts where he could and continued his work in refuse collection, the job had become far more dangerous as gangs and crime organizations took advantage of the lack of heroes and police to stop them. David filed for a permit to own the assault weapon he'd found during the Rikti War for home defense—even though he knew it wouldn't be much help against the villains exerting their influence on the City of Heroes. For her part, Glenda couldn't take it anymore—every day on her way to work she'd witness gang members openly vandalizing others' vehicles or mercilessly beating and stealing from hapless citizens. She wanted to leave Paragon City, to some other town that wasn't plagued by superpowered criminals. David thought it was pointless—the Rikti War affected the entire world. Paragon couldn't be the only city suffering a crime wave. His arguments with Glenda grew more heated. The breaking point came one day when Glenda was nearly captured by a group of Circle of Thorns mages seeking to take her body as a new vessel. Were it not a fledgling hero's intervention, they would have succeeded. Furious and blaming David's stubbornness for endangering her life, Glenda moved out of the city to upstate New York. After the post-war chaos died down a year or two later, she filed for divorce.

Now living out his mid-life as a lonely bachelor, David tried in vain to bury his feelings of despair over the loss of his loved ones and the state of his beloved city in his work and his hobbies. Life in Paragon City got somewhat better, as more and more heroes stepped up to bat ... but in spite of it all, every day David would see the citizens of the City of Heroes victimized by criminals undeterred by the resurgence of the hero population. What good the new heroes were doing was mitigated when Arachnos began its raids on Zigursky Penitentiary, worsening the rate at which superpowered criminals escaped to menace society once again.

David found himself longing to serve the city in a more direct capacity than just taking out its trash. Every time he saw open and blatant crimes committed on the streets, he'd wish that he had the power to intervene and save the victims. Many times, he considered his options ... but what could he do? He had no particular talent for anything, no natural gifts. He wasn't physically fit—and even if he was, the PPD, Longbow, and the military would not recruit a man his age. David was sure they wouldn't make an exception just because the Rikti left them critically short on manpower.

That's the funny thing—when you live in the City of Heroes, the chance to become a superhero can befall anyone, no matter who you are.

On the 6th of July, 2008, on a routine garbage pickup in Brickstown, David happened across the bodies of Crisis Unit agents from Crey Industries. Their corpses were left to rot in dumpsters. What exactly happened to them, David couldn't discern—Crisis Unit agents wear extremely durable suits of powered armor designed by Crey Industries, such that the suits can easily outlast their wearers, as was the case with these men. Crey had not yet sent a recovery team to retrieve the bodies—perhaps they did not even know the Crisis Unit agents had been killed. He was about to put in a call to the PPD to notify them about the bodies he'd discovered, when he realized that a golden opportunity lay before him. He carefully removed the agents from their suits of armor, took some of their ammunition, then called the PPD to report their bodies.

David used his built-up sick leave and vacation time to spend the next two weeks tinkering with what he'd recovered. Although the "hard" armor layers were uncompromised, the multiple underlayers designed to insulate the wearer from thermal-based attacks and to cushion their bodies from bruising and hydrostatic shock were rendered useless. The motor-assist systems and power supply were also damaged. With minor modifications, the main torso and upper thigh portions of the armor could fit him, as would the helmet if partially disassembled. What he couldn't repair or modify, David replaced with surplus military gear. He bought an assortment of ammunition for his licensed assault weapon—mostly less-lethal ammunition. Figuring that wouldn't be enough, he also came up with a way to mount a taser gun on the back of one of the gauntlets.

David finally had the means to make a difference, but he didn't yet have the image of a superhero to go with it. Most superheroes in recent decades eschewed using their costume and superhero name to conceal their real identities, and David didn't see much point in hiding who he really was. David chose to name himself after one of the largest caliber guns ever built during World War II—the 36-inch American mortar Little David. A relatively short guy taking the name of a massive supergun, itself named for a small young Biblical hero. To complete the image, David repainted his hodgepodge set of equipment to glossy shades of green commonly associated with (but not, as David thought, genuine) military olive drab, accented with dull gold, and with white stars and stripes reminiscent of U.S. Army vehicles from WWII.

Little David officially started his superhero career on July 22, 2008. At first, operating on his own and not yet registered as a superhero by municipal officials, he tested his equipment in confrontations with street thugs in some of the more isolated parts of the city. Then he caught word of a riot in progress in one of the smaller zones of the city—once again, the Rikti had smuggled their mutagenic serums into the black market as part of ongoing efforts to disrupt human society. Crooks and addicts were misled to believe they were a new designer drug, but the mutagen drove those who injected it rabidly insane. PPD officers on the scene requested the help of any nearby heroes, and Little David answered the call. It was his first real test to find out if he truly had what it took to become a hero—and not only did he end up personally containing the riot, he was able to do so without killing any of the rioters.

Little David's career was starting on a high note, and he charged into it with zeal, thrilled that he no longer had to stand as a mute witness to the wanton crime plaguing Paragon City. Becoming a formally licensed and registered superhero by the Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs, as a Technology-origin superhero Little David was assigned to work with the FBSA's Department of Advanced Technology Application. Its liaison, the retired superhero Rick "Horatio" Davies, helped Little David cut his teeth with ongoing issues like superpowered street gangs and the Clockwork. His wife, Caitlin Murray-Davies, was also a DATA liaison in the Freedom Corps office in Galaxy City and, as an expert in man-machine interfaces and cybernetic hardware from her career in Exarch Industries, advised Little David on how to refine and upgrade his armor and his gadgets.

As the months went by, Little David moved up from taking on superpowered gangs to more dangerous organizations—but he never forgot about the common citizen's plight. No matter what his mission, whenever he saw criminals harassing, vandalizing,or attempting to steal from Paragon City's citizens, he would always intervene long enough to stop them. Most heroes, once they started getting into the "big time," left the street scene to new heroes coming up through the ranks—but this often meant that a lot of wrongs were being unanswered, and after spending so many years being helpless to stop it, Little David was not about to let any more criminals in his sights escape justice.

This willingness to fight for the common man even when greater crises threatened the city and the world did much to grow Little David's reputation. With reputation came influence—David found himself getting approached for sponsorships and public appearances. The public started using a title in addition to his superhero name, calling him "The Daring Little David." The income he started receiving was more than he'd been paid as a refuse collection supervisor, and David soon made the decision to quit his old job to become a full-time superhero. With his new funds, resources, and connections, by November 2008 Little David was able to replace much of the second-hand military surplus gear with new pieces of armor that interfaced flawlessly with the Crey Crisis Unit armor, built from the same materials. The ruined insulating layers of the Crisis Unit armor pieces were replaced with something marginally better, but the real benefit was the addition of new systems that expanded the breadth and strength of powers that Little David could bring to bear. Once he'd become experienced enough to join Vanguard's ongoing efforts in containing the Rikti (and later the Praetorians), he swapped out the assault rifle he'd been using for a customized Vanguard "Redding" Rifle.

Nearly half a year after his career began, on December 14 2008, Little David's efforts in stopping a time traveling operation from the Fifth Column made him "Entrusted with the Secret" by Ouroboros. This would be the start of Little David's work with the Memders, helping them try and delay or stop the Coming Storm by fighting a shadowy temporal war.

Life as a superhero wasn't what Little David thought it would be, however. Oh, he had no illusions that the life of a superhero would be dangerous, that he could very easily die putting his life on the line for others—and that he'd never be able to save everyone. The Rikti War made those facts absolutely clear. No, Little David's naiveté was his expectation that he would be openly welcomed by other superheroes. Instead, he was met with mixed reactions. While he'd met all kinds of heroes and befriended a good amount of them, an even larger part of the superhero community held a belief that a superhero who used guns was not a superhero.

The reasons were varied; a common one was the belief that superheroes should never kill unless absolutely necessary. These people looked down on anyone who fought with a weapon, but guns drew the bulk of their scorn. To them, a hero with a gun was just a costumed vigilante enjoying a license to kill—an opinion exacerbated by Longbow's almost exclusive use of lethal force to fight crime ... often excessively lethal, as most Longbow squads had at least one flamethrower-toting member whenever news agencies weren't following them. Others saw nothing special about a gun-wielding hero. Those types would ask, "What's so super about guns?"

Little David had to fight an uphill battle to gain the respect of his peers. It helped that, despite his penchant for cocky "action movie hero" theatrics (complete with cigar chomping no less), Little David actually tried to not kill most criminals. He'd used his resources and connections to receive all kinds of bleeding-edge ammunition that gave him more options than just to kill indiscriminately. On the other hand, Little David didn't try to avoid killing at all costs—certain villains (for example, the Clockwork, the Devouring Earth, the Rikti, Malta Group forces, and the Circle of Thorns' summoned spirits, demons, and horrors) just could not be dealt with any other way.

Yet Little David had to deal with more problems than just the opinion of his fellow superheroes. Once he become a name known throughout the entire city, Crey Industries finally realized just what had happened to the powered armor worn by those Crisis Unit agents not so long ago. Little David found himself sued by Crey for theft of corporate property. Although he had enough money to hire a defendant, the judge ruled that Little David had to pay Crey in damages for atealing and modifying the Crey Crisis Unit armor that now served as the core for his costume. This, too, was something Little David was able to pay off thanks to the influence his superhero career brought, but it dashed any hopes David had for moving out of the Kings Row apartment he'd had for decades. Crey Industries wasn't satisfied with this outcome; multiple times over the years, "rogue" Crey agents would ambush and attack Little David whenever he was "on patrol." Even though Countess Crey repeatedly disavowed these attacks as being the work of rogue elements in the company, they spurred Little David into focusing his efforts on helping to expose the company's dark secrets.

By 2010, Little David met up with other up and coming superheroes, mostly of a Science or Technology origin who were coming up through the ranks and were making a name for themselves. Having already established himself by this point, Little David pitched the idea of pooling resources to get themselves registered as a supergroup. They agreed, forming "Little David's Dauntless Division." Outside of fighting crime and villainy, their primary goal was getting a supergroup base established.

When the Primal-Praetorian War erupted in 2011, Little David was there on the front lines. He helped fight off the Imperial Defense Force during the Praetorian Surge, and was one of many heroes awarded the "Defender of Primal Earth" medal for his actions during those battles. He also assisted the U.S. military in holding back the Imperial Defense Force on multiple fronts. While he'd only just begun his journey on the "slow path" to becoming an Incarnate, after Primal Earth's Incarnates took the fight to Praetoria's soil, Little David decided to focus his efforts on working with Portal Corp. Throughout 2012, Little David scouted new dimensions, reported possible threats, and helped to contain known ones. He was, in fact, finishing an assignment in a remote dimension when he was taken to Tower of Animus on November 30, 2012—the Tower stole him away just as he was stepping through the portal to Primal Earth.


PERSONALITY
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries

Little David has a gruff Northeasterner's working-class air about him. He has a strong Rhode Islander's accent and speaks plainly and bluntly, without a whole lot of tact when he doesn't think it necessary.

Little David also displays a trait common among Blasters—he's defiant and highly aggressive in a fight. Some of it is theatrics brought on by trying to emulate the bravado of action movie heroes (see below), but a lot of it comes from that natural Rhode Islander's trait to be irritable. Whenever Little David gets taken down by villains and teleported to a hospital in Paragon City (and it does happen, even if he won't readily admit to it) he's liable to come storming back to the fiends' last known location really, really pissed. "Seeing red" is almost a literal thing for him in those cases.

The tendency for Rhode Islanders to be not very agreeable or conscientiousness, however, is tempered by Little David's upbringing in Paragon City. The high-minded ideals of being an ally of justice don't appeal or inspire everyone who lives in Paragon, but they did for David. As a superhero Little David tries to curb that natural inclination to be easily irritated, and put on a friendly, approachable face for both his fellow heroes and the public. He wants people to think of him as being like the cool uncle they never had—adventurous and just a little crazy, but a good and trustworthy guy who does the right thing. Of course, what he wants other people to see of him isn't the same as what he actually gets.

When he's talking with people who aren't criminal scum, Little David likes to talk. He will gladly share stories of his superhero career, the kind of villains he's faced, crises he's averted, and other tales of derring-doo. When in a conversation with others, if there's someone that's stepping on his toes or actively trying to get a rise out of him, Little David will try to be patient with them—but someone who goads him enough will get him angry and cause him to verbally lash out. With villains, though, he generally does not hold his tongue.

Speaking of confronting villains, when on patrol Little David tries to act like a typical action movie hero: wise-crackin', one-liner spewin', cigar chompin' badass. Emphasis on the "act." Even though he never goes out on patrol without having a lit stogie clenched in his mouth, he never really smokes it. His choice of weapons, appearance, and theatrics harkens back to darker times for Paragon City, but he actually means well and isn't an indiscriminate killer. He will kill if he has to, but as a superhero with the ability to take much more punishment than a PPD beat cop, the bar for that personal standard is set pretty high. Certain types of villains don't get a pass (for example, the Rikti, the Clockwork, Malta, Devouring Earth, or the spectral and magical abominations summoned by the Circle of Thorns). Others, specifically gang members, small-time crooks, and people who have been led astray (like the Lost), Little David tries to subdue and apprehend.

This isn't to say that Little David's behavior as a superhero is insincere—he really does want to help people, and he really does want to be a force of righteousness in the world. He is perfectly willing to lay his life on the line to bear any burden, protect innocents, or to bring justice to a villain. He is self-sacrificing, and does not easily believe that sacrifices are senseless or in vain. After all, where would Primal Earth be if all those superheroes and soldiers who died in the Rikti War decided it'd be better to try and save their own skin? No, if he believes there is a chance that putting himself at risk will protect or help others, he will accept the risk.

In fact, Little David has a neurotic streak in him. Rhode Islanders tend to be an anxious and impulsive people, but in David's case it's built up from spending years watching the people of Paragon City suffer from injustice that never saw an answer. He does not want to ignore people in need of help even if he has a more important or time-urgent task.

Starting out as a superhero, David had a problem with being naive about his new line of work. This is even in spite of the horrors of the Rikti War that made it clear that no superhero, not even Statesman himself, can possibly save everyone—and that superheroes can and will die trying to protect people. It wasn't so much that which David was naive about, but rather other aspects of superherodom—how most people regard superheroes, how superheroes regard each other. Over the years as Little David gained more hands-on experience in superherodom, he's grown more accustomed to the kind of things he has to deal with, so his naiveté isn't as bad as it used to be. It's still there, though—he may be more inclined to assume that a person who looks stereotypically villainous is villainous, which has led to some problems between him and certain kinds of heroes (and former villains) who have a vicious or dark slant. It goes the other way, too—an unassuming or even friendly person who isn't overtly villainous might be completely overlooked by Little David until they actually do something that tips him off to their true nature—or when a contact or ally thwacks Little David on the head and points out anything obvious (to them) that he might have missed.

ABILITIES
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries


With the exception of one or two things, technically Little David doesn't have any abilities. As a Technology-origin superhero, the vast majority of Little David's powers come from his equipment. Strip him of his armor, devices, and weapons, and he's just another average, powerless human. The Known Powers and Abilities entry covers all of the major equipment and abilities Little David had at the time he would be taken by the Tower.

What actually comes with him will have to be sorted out; not all of it will fit in the trunk. Assuming his app is approved, here is a proposal for trunk items:

• His power armor suit and helmet (which includes all built-in components),
• His Vanguard "Redding" Assault Rifle, disassembled (he'll have to put it back together),
• His wallet, which contains:
  • His Paragon City Hero Registration ID card, which lists his statistics at the time it was issued,
  • A few loyalty cards for Paragon City restaurant franchises,
  • Assorted US Dollar bills and coins—$37.92 in total,
  • Several wallet-sized photos from various times in his life.
• His medical reconstruction device,
• His restocking device,
• A travel cigar case containing three cigars.

The helmet will be rendered incapable of sending or recieving data. He will not have any ammunition for his equipment, starting out.


SAMPLE ENTRIES
Player Information | Character Information | Background | Personality | Abilities | Sample Entries

     #1

Little David strides across the rooftop of the Southern United Manufacturing Company building, his boots thudding heavily against its tile and steel. As one of the tallest skyscrapers in the Steel Canyon district, the old corporate headquarters offers an excellent view of the entire zone and even some of what lies beyond the War Walls. Night had already fallen over Paragon City, the myriad city lights amid the shimmering blue glow of the War Walls taking the appearance of jewels floating in the ocean.

Or maybe that's how a poet or painter would describe it. Little David isn't so eloquent in his thoughts; to him, the view up here is just beautiful. He'd never get tired of seeing it.

Little David props a foot against the concrete railing cresting the edge on his side of the roof. Fiddling with his utility belt, he takes a fresh cigar out of a pocket case, placing it in his mouth and lighting it. By this point he's gotten used to the taste and smell of cigars—enough that he'd developed a latent urge to go ahead and take a drag on the stogie—but it was easily ignored. He didn't want to get into the habit of actually smoking these things. Health care for superheroes was everything a person could want, especially in the post-Rikti War era, but he'd rather not have to try and kick this habit if it starts.

He leans forward, resting an arm on his propped-up leg as he examines the city streets below. His personal radar and targeting systems aren't good enough to pick up any sign of criminal activity from all the way up here, but Little David knows that somewhere, someone is in trouble. It doesn't take someone like Sister Psyche to figure it out—big cities like Paragon never sleep, and neither do their criminals. How many times had he'd crossed Steel Canyon alone, only to see the Outcasts attempting to snatch purses, mug victims, or breaking public and private property? As much as he wanted to take some time to admire the view, his conscience wouldn't let him.

Yet ... there's nothing saying he couldn't have a little fun getting back into the action.

Standing up, Little David approaches the edge of the rooftop facing Blyde Square and the massive statue of that saluting hero, lit up by spotlights on the ground. Little David's almost sure that statue is actually bigger than Paragon City's most famous one of Atlas in the eponymous Atlas Park ... and he could never really figure out who was commemorated by this one. It looked too much like the one of Matthew "M1" Barnes over in Galaxy City. One of these days he'd have to talk to a historian about it.

Little David turns his eyes to the ground directly below. It's a long way down. If this had been any earlier point in his life, Little David would be shaking in his boots, too afraid to even go near the edge of the skyscraper. Things are different these days, though. He's had quite a bit of time to get acquainted with the power of flight. Enough to feel fairly confident in the stunt he's about to pull.

And if it doesn't work out or if (God forbid) his suit's flight systems glitched out, well—the worst he'll have to suffer is a really sore awakening from the MediCom teleporter at Steel Canyon Hospital and the public embarrassment that would be sure to follow. Still worth the risk even then.

After taking a moment to psyche himself up, Little David kicks off the edge of the rooftop, tumbling forward to the ground below before spreading his arms and legs as if he were skydiving. Which, in a sense, he is—just without a parachute. He spends the first few seconds of his plunge admiring the sensation of feeling weightless. Even with all the superpowers he's seen (and to which he's been subjected), the closest he usually comes to this feeling is on a really fast elevator. The wind whipping at his face makes it quite a job to keep the cigar firmly anchored in his mouth, and he's pretty sure that rushing air has snuffed it out. No matter.

The heads-up display in his helmet constantly feeds him data on his fall as the seconds pass. Halfway down he'll be close to hitting terminal velocity. If he doesn't act by then he'll most certainly eat pavement, if not leave a shallow crater. Just a few seconds more ...

Details in the city streets below become clearer to Little David's eyes—it looks like his stunt has attracted the attention of pedestrians down below. A few stop in their tracks, others appear to be pointing up at him. His helmet can't resolve images well enough from this height to figure out if they're watching in awe or terror, but he doesn't have time to think about it—

There!

An eyeblink after he drops halfway past the building's height, Little David kicks in the flight system. The thrusters on his back and boots flare to life, bright blue plumes of hot plasma gushing out. Little David throws his legs underneath him to bleed off his airspeed, rapidly pouring more juice into the thrusters rather than going "balls to the wall." A sudden deceleration like that wouldn't have been much more fun than eating the pavement instead.

Little David briefly wonders what this must look like to an observer on the ground—his descent is still rapid. Maybe he still looks like he's falling like a rock. Maybe igniting his thrusters as he did is giving people on the ground a sense that he's trying to correct his freefall in vain. They'll see the truth soon enough—

Once he's a couple of stories from the ground, Little David finally kicks in the "afterburner" mode on the thrusters. Even with the airspeed he'd bled off, the resulting "kick" feels much like he'd taken a full body blow. Uncomfortable, but not too bad. With the thrusters going all-out, he gracefully rolls over and turns his descent into a forward, even flight, speeding over downtown traffic by a dozen feet.

That was fun.

As he speeds past a few blocks, though, his targeting system picks up a pair of Vahzilok thugs in the corner of an upcoming alley. Someone else is with them—someone who's still alive, but very likely a soon-to-be victim of their wanton butchering and organ harvesting.

Little David cuts back on the power output of his flight system as he unclips his assault rifle from the holster attachment on his thigh.

Time to go to work.

     #2

It's been a slow day for Peregrine Island's Aquarius Medical Center. Most heroes that fall in battle tend to do so in other dimensions like the Shadow Shard, where they either have teammates on hand that can revive them, or where Portal Corp has its own medical facilities for bringing back the nearly-dead.

Now, though, Aquarius is getting a customer. In the emergency room, one of the MediCom teleporters activates, bringing forth Little David in a flood of sparkling green light. Once the medical reconstruction system releases him, Little David stumbles out of the machine with a groan.

Little David waves off some of the doctors approaching him, holding his other hand to the side of his head as he lumbers over to the emergency room's exit. "Don't mind me, guys, just got in a bad way with da Freakshow. Takin' a tank shell to da head point-blank ... Dat ain't my finest hour for sure—"

He catches himself. The floor feels oddly cold.

... but only to one of his feet.

Little David looks down—only to discover that one of his rocket boots is missing.

"Why dose ... rotten—lil'—punks!" Little David shouts furiously. Not paying attention to the commotion his outburst just caused, Little David burusquely charges out of the emergency room. He's already taking flight with his remaining boot and back-mounted flight systems before he's out of the lobby.

"YOU HEAR ME, YA SERUM-SUCKIN' SCUMBAGS?! YOU AIN'T GONNA BE SAFE NOWHERE!"

Little David is calling in his debt, and somebody's about to pay plenty of interest.



Current Location: Paragon City, Rhode Island
Current Music: OminousVoice - Rise of the Heroes
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Known Powers and Abilities

May 8th, 2013 [Public Access]

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When visiting (or forcibly taken to) other worlds, Little David may not have the full scope of his equipment or powers available to him. He could wind up with nothing at all, or only a few things on hand. For those reasons, this entry documents all of Little David's significant powers and abilities as of November 30, 2012, and provides some explanation as to what exactly they do for him and some of the technology behind them.

Power Armor Suit: This suit is what gives Little David his superhuman abilities. It's built around scavenged torso and thigh parts of Crey Crisis Unit armor. The rest of the suit is custom-made for Little David's body using the same materials. The internal systems of these custom-fitted parts interface seamlessly with the core Crisis Unit pieces. Donning the suit involves putting the components on piece by piece, similar to a knight's suit of armor.

In the torso the suit features an internal power plant for powering multiple suit functions. Aside from its defensive strength, the suit also has a Portacio Ind nanite-based autodoc system that diagnoses and gradually heals Little David of any injuries he's sustained. He'll heal much faster if keeps still and diverts most of the suit's available power to the autodoc.

The suit also includes motor assistance to boost Little David's physical strength, running speed, and the height of his jumps. While wearing the suit, Little David can jog almost indefinitely at speeds of 21 miles per hour without tiring and easily jump as high as 14 feet. If he breaks into a full run, Little David can reach speeds of 39 miles per hour.

Of course, being a Blaster archetype, Little David is comparatively "squishy" among superheroes even with the armor. Certainly, wearing the armor lets Little David take punishment that no normal human could hope to survive: volleys of missiles detonating point blank, Rikti plasma weapons that strip flesh from bone instantly, physical blows with enough force to send somebody flying through a brick wall, enchanted weapons and magic spells, and so on. However, that doesn't mean he can easily go toe-to-toe with most supervillains. While the armor itself is nigh-indestructible, Little David is still vulnerable to bruising and hydrostatic shock from kinetic blows. What's more, heat transfer from thermal-based attacks can eventually cook or freeze him alive inside his armor.

Helmet: Little David's helmet contains a sophisticated computer, short-range personal radar, and heads-up display (HUD). These systems locate persons and objects of interest, discern whether they are friendly or hostile, and gauge their relative combat strength and overall health. The system will alert Little David if a target originally marked as "friendly" makes a hostile move. The helmet is also capable of analyzing a target with intense scrutiny to discern its defensive strengths and any weaknesses, letting Little David know just where to hit—and what to hit with—to reduce the effectiveness of the target's defense and resistance to damage.

Psionic Defense: Little David is almost completely defenseless against psychic powers—but only "almost." During his work with Vanguard, operatives trained Little David in the Elusive Mind technique. This technique aids the user in defending and resisting against psionic assaults. Little David can only keep it up for a minute, and if he's already gripped by a psionic attack he can't break out of it with this technique.

Flight System: One of the suit's later modifications included a flight system comprised of plasma thrusters on the back and maneuvering jets on the boots. The only fuel the system uses is electricity, so the jets run off of the armor's internal power plant. Little David's normal cruising speed is 59 miles per hour, but if he dumps more power into the thrusters he can hit speeds of 85 miles per hour. For reasonably close-range combat, Little David's armor can assume a defensive mode that gives him precise control and keeps him from being blown out of the air by a hard-hitting attack, but he can only fly around 26 miles per hour this way.

Cloaking Device: One of Little David's later modifications to his armor involved upgrading the paint job. The suit now has a cutting-edge optoelectronic layer consisting of colloidal nanocrystal quantum dots, protected by an additional layer of transparent armor. The default state of this "smart paint job" resembles the armor's earlier faux-olive drab color and gold accents. When active, however, the armor changes color to actively mimic Little David's surroundings. This "active camouflage" is effective enough to render him almost invisible to the naked eye. The QD-LED layer can even emit light in the infrared, capable of fooling anything or anyone that detects heat signatures.

Taser Gauntlets: Little David has a cartridge-based taser dart launcher built into each of his gauntlets. This is one of several less-lethal methods Little David has on hand for taking foes down. The specially-designed darts home in on places where a target is vulnerable to electric shock. The two taser gauntlets have differing affects. The left gauntlet's taser shocks the target for half a second to cause involuntary muscle spasming—or analogues thereof—but recharges much faster. The right hand gauntlet has a much nastier shock that zaps the target for three seconds and leaves them disoriented for 17 seconds and takes 20 seconds to recharge.

Vanguard "Redding" Assault Rifle: When Little David started working with Vanguard, he received access to their equipment. The "Redding" Assault Rifle is one of Vanguard's signature weapons. Little David modified his rifle to accept ammunition belts in addition to magazines. He tends to fire his rifle from the hip, in single shots and short controlled bursts. Little David also has a habit of holding down the trigger in an extended spray of gunfire, particularly if he's facing a large group of foes. He does know how to properly line up a shot with iron sights, however, and will usually do so at a distance or as an "opener." Yet most of the fights Little David gets into happen in an urban or indoor environment within a hundred yards or so. Therefore, shooting from the hip is much more expedient, especially with powered armor to manage recoil and muzzle rise.

The rifle also has a second barrel that fires shotgun shells. Little David carries an assortment of lethal and less-lethal buckshot shells for dealing with groups of targets. In addition, he has shotgun-fired FRAG-12-style grenades for an explosive punch. Like his shotgun shells, Little David usually carries lethal and less-lethal variants of the grenades. Both kinds have "smart" systems that work with his helmet's targeting computer to focus explosive force on hostile targets. This means Little David can fire a grenade into a crowd and not hurt a single innocent, bystander, or ally. In fact, Little David is best known for his "drive-by crimefighting." If he discovers a group of criminals on the way to another crisis elsewhere in the city, he'll fire a non-lethal grenade into their midst. As Little David leaves the grenade to do its work, he'll notify the PPD or Longbow of the criminals' location for pickup.

Little David also uses specialized incendiary shotgun shells that produce a gout of flame, effectively functioning as a flamethrower. The shells lack the long-range, persistent flames of napalm-based flamethrowers, but they'll torch things all the same. Little David also has incendiary grenade-style shotgun shells that work a bit like British SIP grenades for igniting patches of ground as a method of area denial.

Restocking Device: Little David's power armor suit lets him carry ample munitions. Once ammunition runs out, however, resupplying in other realities can be hard or next to impossible. After volunteering to assist Portal Corp in their dimensional operations, Little David received a Portacio Ind Munitions Nanofactory. The Nanofactory is a satchel-sized device that fits on his utility belt. With the right amount of materials, it can reassemble ingredients into several different licensed brands of ammunition: rifle cartridges, shotgun shells, taser cartridges, grenades, caltrops, and even LRM Rockets. The Nanofactory ensures that Little David won't be stuck in another dimension without resupply, even if the process is tedious. It can recharge wirelessly when attached to Little David's power armor or plugged into an appropriate power source.

Reconstruction Device: Later in his career, Little David acquired this smartphone-sized reconstruction device based on reverse-engineered Rikti technology. The device can analyze a target, determine its makeup and any wounds or abnormalities, then do its best to repair them. While this device can work on just about anything—from humans to mutants to aliens to spiritual or magical entities to robots—it can't instantly return something to pristine condition. It can heal serious wounds or damage to stabilize a target's condition, however. Little David can also use the device on himself. Used this way, the device leaves Little David feeling awake, refreshed, and temporarily resistant to stunning attacks. The device recharges wirelessly when attached to Little David's power armor or plugged into an appropriate power source.

Caltrops: Little David carries a satchel full of these tiny spikes for area denial purposes. He also uses the caltrops to slow down foes that would otherwise flee, take cover, or charge at him. After acquiring the Portacio Ind Munitions Nanofactory, Little David switched from plain metal caltrops to something more high-tech. These new, Nanofactory-manufactured caltrops utilize artificial diamond and nanite colonies. The nanites break down the caltrops after a set period of time so as to not leave an area hazardous once the fight is over. Little David needs materials with carbon in them to make more caltrops once he's used up his satchel's reserve.

Web Grenades: These small hand-tossed grenades, once they detonate, launch a mass of sticky threads like a spider's web. The threads ensnare the intended target, preventing any sort of locomotion. The grenades can even bring down enemies in flight. The "webs" are non-lethal and biodegradable; in fact, they'll degrade by themselves after half a minute. The Munitions Nanofactory is capable of producing more of these grenades.

Smoke Grenades: Another type of small hand-tossed grenade Little David carries on his person. Upon "detonation," these grenades expel a thick smokescreen. The smoke makes it much harder for those afflicted to see beyond melee range, or accurately hit targets. What's more, the cloud is cloying and persists for a period of time: it will "stick" to those caught in the initial "detonation," following them wherever they move while resisting attempts to disperse it. That's because the smoke is actually a self-replicating colony of Portacio Ind Nanovirii. Little David can replenish these grenades with his Munitions Nanofactory.

Targeting Drone: This car wax can-sized drone fits on Little David's utility belt when not in use. Once activated, the drone hovers out of harm's way, using its suite of instruments to feed targeting data to Little David's helmet. The drone helps locate enemies in hiding or somehow cloaked, no matter the means, though it's not foolproof. The drone also has Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control built into it. This means the drone can sometimes highlight specific weak points on a target for massive damage.

Shield Drone: Vanguard awarded this experimental drone to Little David for his service. It's almost identical in size and appearance to his targeting drone. However, this drone uses an aggressive defense system to intercept incoming attacks with laser beams. The type of laser and method of use depends on the nature of the threat. For example, it uses laser propulsion to deflect physical attacks, destructive interference to disrupt electromagnetic radiation attacks, and laser cooling to quench fire, plasma, or other heat-based attacks. While it might sound impressive, the shield drone isn't actually all that effective. At best the drone "takes the edge off" of incoming attacks, but hey—it's better than nothing.

Trip Mine: These mines look a lot like Little David's targeting and shield drones, but don't be fooled—they pack a punch! When Little David deploys and activates them, the mines emit beams which detect nearby targets. The mines wirelessly communicate with Little David's own targeting systems. If a verified hostile target trips the beams, they explode with the force of a powerful grenade. The mines also disarm themselves after a set time limit to prevent unwanted casualties. Little David doesn't have a way to build these on the fly.

Gun Drone: These are flying autonomous gun platforms are commonly used by the shadowy Malta Group's Operation Engineers. Whenever Little David clashes with the Malta Group, he'll typically confiscate a few of these drones for himself. Once they've been reprogrammed, he can then call one of them to his position for some additional fire support. These drones use the same plasma thruster technology as Little David's own flight systems, so they can keep up with him and are about as nimble as he is. Their best features, however, are their dual gatling gun barrels. The drones have limited ammunition however, and though they are armored they can be destroyed. Little David can't build gun drones on the fly.

LRM Rocket: One of the most recent additions to Little David's armor involves a launch system for these small finger-sized missiles. In order to use these missiles, Little David has to acquire a "lock" on a foe with the targeting systems in his helmet. Once fired, these rockets are very accurate, hard to shake off, and have a rather large explosion radius. They're the heaviest hitting weapon Little David has in his arsenal. The rockets come in several different flavors, such as for dealing with foes that are heavily armored or magical/spectral in nature. Like his other explosives, the rockets have "smart" warheads that direct explosive force only at verified hostiles. The Munitions Nanofactory is capable of building more of these rockets.



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World Description

May 7th, 2013 [Public Access]

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The setting of the City of Heroes multiverse is very complex. What follows is a summary of the most important and relevant events—especially those that took place after the launch.

David hails from Primal Earth. It's close in appearance to modern-day Earth, as much of its geopolitical history and culture is similar. However, Primal Earth is a world where superpowered beings are not only abundant, but operate openly as heroes, villains, and everything in between.

Although the modern ideal of the costumed superhero and supervillain came about in the early 20th century—starting famously with the all-American Statesman in the 1930s—superpowered beings have helped to shape human history throughout the ages. Many of the well-known legends involve such great folk, but behind the scenes of known history lie more. For example, fourteen thousand years ago during the Paleolithic era, there already existed sophisticated civilizations founded on the practice of magic. Two of the most powerful of these nations, Oranbega and Mu, waged a bitter war with each other that resulted in Oranbegan mages sinking their city deep underground in a bid to protect it from the wrath of Mu's skyships, and eventually the near-complete destruction of both nations.

Thousands of years later, the land where Oranbega once stood became the foundation for another city: Paragon City, Rhode Island. "The Birthplace of Tomorrow." The City of Heroes. What started as a collection of colonial villages became, by the American Civil War, a vital port city for the United States, and by the early 20th century fully lived up to its name as a center for industry, science, and commerce. At the conclusion of World War I, two of its citizens, Marcus Cole and Stefan Richter, would make a discovery that would usher in a new age of superpowered beings.

Marcus and Stefan fought together as soldiers in the U.S. Army during World War I. Both survived it, but Marcus was caught in a German mustard gas attack that badly damaged his lungs and left him terminally ill. After the war, the two friends became mercenaries in search of a cure for Marcus—an adventure that led to them stealing an early version of the Herodotus' "Histories" from a London museum and using it to discover the location of Praxidae, a long-forgotten Greek island. There, they discovered the Fountain of Zeus, the waters of which flowed from the Well of Furies. Drinking from this fountain not only cured Marcus of his ailment, but transformed both of them into Incarnates--beings empowered with powers of the gods themselves. Before leaving, the two discovered another artifact—Pandora's Box. Opening it did not let loose all the evils of humanity as it did with Pandora herself, but instead all the creativity it had collected over the course of a thousand years, leading to the rise of many more superpowered beings in the decades to come.

Marcus and Stefan parted ways afterward. When Marcus returned to Paragon City in 1931, the Great Depression was in full swing, and what was once the shining jewel of America was now a festering hive where every cop was on the take, and organized crime operated openly and freely thanks to corrupt politicians. Marcus resolved to save the city from itself with his newfound powers. To protect his identity from the police while leaving behind an unmistakable image for the public, Marcus fashioned the identity of Statesman, a personification of all the values and ideals that his beloved city currently lacked.

Statesman waged a public one-man war on crime and corruption, aided by his inhuman strength and an imperviousness to just about anything. Within a few short months he'd already made a difference, but in the process united the city's seedy elements against him. Statesman was starting to lose the ground he'd gained when suddenly other costumed crusaders joined the fight—the Dark Watcher. Elementar. Team Vambrace. Maiden Justice. All of them extraordinary people inspired by Statesman's example. On July 4th, 1932, under Statesman's leadership these heroes assembled into America's first supergroup—the Freedom Phalanx. Throughout the 30's the Freedom Phalanx continued to clean up Paragon City, their successes leading to the Crime Fighting Act of 1937, which made the supergroup a legally recognized crime fighting organization.

World War II saw the widespread use of superpowered beings as soldiers. Nazi Germany's Storm Korps. The British Empire's Dawn Patrol. The Japanese Empire's Imperial Wind. The Soviet Defenders of the Motherland. The United States' 1st Hero Brigade. Instead of only the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor as the impetus for America's entry into the war, it was coupled with an even more devastating raid by Nazi Germany's Storm Korps and 5th Column, who utterly destroyed a massive lend/lease convoy as it prepared to leave Paragon City's harbor. Ultimately, however, the widespread superpowered warfare did not divert the general course of history. The Allies triumphed over the Axis, and the stage was set for the ideological (and nuclear) standoff between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

The Cold War brought with it the rise of the modern supervillain. Some were former superheroes who, after the war's end, fell on hard times. Others, like Lord Nemesis ("The Prussian Prince of Automations" who had aided the Confederate Army during the American Civil War), tried to use the denouement as a springboard for very public displays of villainy. In Nemesis' case, he tried to take over the United States as its emperor, setting off nerve gas bombs in the twenty most populated cities when superheroes returning from the war in Europe sought to intervene. That tragedy was averted thanks to Shalice "Sister Psyche" Tilman and Dr. Mnemonic—the former, a powerful psychic, was able to pluck the location of an antidote from Nemesis' mind, and the latter was able to quickly synthesize an airborne version that both the Army Air Corps and flight-capable superheroes were able to distribute. Nemesis was defeated in a counterattack by hundreds of America's superheroes, though it was not truly Nemesis himself who had been present all along—only a robot duplicate.

In 1952, Paragon City expanded its Citizen Crime Fighting Act to grant officially licensed hero organizations limited police powers, allowing them to deputize their members. The Freedom Phalanx was the first group to take advantage of this new law, followed by the Dawn Patrol and then the secretive magic association, the Midnight Squad. Despite the growth in crime, especially superpowered crime, Paragon City could count on its brave and selfless heroes to keep the city a relatively safe (if interesting) place to live.

Yet on the world stage, the Cold War boiled underneath its icy facade. In 1956, the United States Congress passed the Might for Right Act, defining super-powered individuals as a valuable national resource subject to draft without notice. For the next decade government agencies including the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation drafted heroes for missions both at home and abroad. Most draftees eagerly answered the call, wanting to serve their country in any capacity, but not all did so willingly; heroes with unpopular political views were a common source of draftees. Minority heroes found themselves discriminated against the most. While America's high profile heroes were battling costumed supervillains and criminals at home, the lesser-known heroes as well as those actively enlisted in the military fought a bloody shadow war with the Soviet Union's own conscripted superpowered beings.

The Might for Right Act came to an end in 1967 when three African-American superheroes brought the issue to trial, culminating in decision by the Supreme Court ruling the law as unconstitutional, and ordering the recall of all heroes drafted under the act. This took three years, as some of these heroes were deep undercover. Yet the United States still had superpowered beings enlisted in the military, and so the unsung war raged further—though the Soviets now had a clear edge, as they did not end their own (and far more abusive) conscription program.

By the 70's, both NATO and the Warsaw Pact saw superpowered involvement in covert affairs as a matter of course, and hardly worth an international incident ... at least for the low-key, small name heroes. America and Russia's star players in the Freedom Phalanx and Soviet Defenders of the Motherland, however, were a different story. That much was proven true when the Soviet Defenders of the Motherland brought down a U.S. spy plane. The crew included one superpowered officer—the psionicist and codebreaker Captain Gerald Mynor, who managed to hold off a scouting Soviet hero attempting to capture them, buying just enough time to send out a distress call. The U.S. Air Force turned to Statesman himself, who agreed to help and used technology owned by the Freedom Phalanx to teleport into the Soviet Union to find the crew before they could be captured. Statesman succeeded, knocking out a squad of Soviet heroes in the process, but when trying to escape to friendly airspace, the Soviets fired a tactical nuclear missile in revenge for embarrassing their premiere superhero group. The missile caught up with Statesman as he was over Finland, detonating point-blank. All of the spy plane's crew, including Captain Mynor, were immediately vaporized, though Statesman survived.

Never in Primal Earth's history had global nuclear war come so close to reality. All of NATO put its nuclear forces on standby in preparation for an immediate counterstrike. The Warsaw Pact did likewise. The United States prepared to launch a space-based anti-ballistic missile defense station to counter the Warsaw Pact's nukes. Soviet clairvoyants discovered the location of its launch facility, prompting the Kremlin to order a limited nuclear strike to destroy the station before it could launch. Witnessing the nuclear apocalypse about to unfold, the heroes of the world could no longer stand idly by. The Freedom Phalanx and Dawn Patrol organized a group of two dozen international heroes to both disable the Soviet preemptive strike as well as the launch of the American anti-missile station. Jointly, they issued a message to the world—this self-destructive madness would not be tolerated. Hero One, Great Britain's foremost hero, stepped forward to mediate a resolution and end the crisis. This event was a watershed for the history of superheroes, as it signaled an end of close cooperation between heroes and governments. Yet the world public adored its superheroes more than ever before.

At the closing of the Seventies, the United States was plagued by a major economic recession. Another wave of crime hit, fueled by a surge in the use of crack cocaine during the 80's. Paragon City's heroes joined in the War on Drugs, spearheaded by the Regulators, a supergroup headed by former PPD officer Michael "Back Alley Brawler" White—but no matter how many drug cartels or street gangs heroes apprehended and brought to justice, nothing seemed to stem the tide of drugs and drug-related crime. The Regulators, working with the Dawn Patrol, took drastic measures and attempted to go after ctop fields in South America and Central Asia that were used primarily for drug production. This only made things worse—not only did it anger the afflicted countries, causing a dozen nations to forbid members of both groups from ever flying through their airspace, but the temporary vacuum left by the drug cartels was quickly filled by chemical engineers brewing designer drugs at home. The worst of all of these was Superadine or "Supes," a modified and highly addictive version of an old American soldier enhancement serum developed during WWII.

Supes quickly cemented its hold over the drug culture of Paragon City, and nothing its resident heroes did stopped the flow of the drugs into the black markets. Driven to desperation, many heroes started to lose their way—becoming more brutal than they needed to be, even using the same methods as the criminals themselves. The most famous exemplars among heroes resisted this trend, but for most of the community it was a dark period. A break in this malaise came when the Midnight Squad and Regulators finally discovered just where Superadine was being manufactured. Back Alley Brawler raided the facility single-handedly. Seeing that he'd happened upon something far more than a drug cartel's base of operations, he requested and received the aid of researchers from the Freedom Phalanx. They discovered that the facility was actually a research laboratory using Paragon City's people as its lab rats. The personnel at the facility were monitoring the use of Supes among addicts, documenting their effects. Their goal was to reproduce a very rare effect among Supes users—1% of those changed by the serum developed the ability to see and travel to other dimensions.

Although the Regulators and Freedom Phalanx swore to take knowledge of this hideous, secretive research to their grave, not all of those who bore witness felt that the knowledge of worlds beyond Primal Earth should be buried. Dr. Brian Webb, who was part of the investigation, resigned from the Freedom Phalanx and founded his own company, Portal Corp. Dr. Webb did not seek to follow in the footsteps of the Supes researchers—though his eidetic memory let him perfectly recall all of the data he'd uncovered, he found their methods abhorrent and impractical. Instead, he reasoned the rare ability to travel dimensions was part of a cosmic law that had yet to be tapped into by science—so he sought it through technology, not through drugs.

In 1988, Portal Corp succeeded in creating technology that allowed easy travel between Primal Earth and other dimensions. Dr. Webb called a public press conference to break the news to the world, providing a demonstration by taking a group of reporters and cameramen to an alternate Earth where the Europeans had yet to discover the Americas, where Paragon City never existed. Dr. Webb described other worlds which were almost identical to Primal Earth but for minor details—sometimes something as slight as green stop signs. Others followed very different courses of history, where the Axis won World War II. Further evidence was supplied in videotapes of fifty other dimensions explore from just the previous day. Though Statesman was deeply disappointed that Dr. Webb had used the studies by the Supes researchers as his impetus for Portal Corp, curiosity could not help but get the better of him and the rest of Paragon City's greatest heroes. To help protect Portal corp employees from possible dangers—and to keep anything potentially dangerous from finding its way to Primal Earth—heroes from the Freedom Phalanx began escorting the research teams on their assignments.

Yet even with heroic support, tragedy struck. During one expedition to a contemporary Earth in which the Axis defeated the Allies during World War II, Webb's team was caught by that world's version of Marcus Cole—the tyrranic champion of Nazism, Reichsman. He tortured Webb and his team to death to discover their origin and means for traveling to "Axis America"—then took his supergroup, the Amerika Korps, through the still-active portal to Primal Earth. They were met by the Freedom Phalanx, resulting in a titanic clash between the two supergroups as well as Statesman and Reichsman. Though both Coles were equal in might, the Amerika Korps was inferior to that of the Freedom Phalanx, and the tide turned in favor of Primal Earth's defenders. Reichsman was imprisoned in the Freedom Phalanx headquarters, left in suspended animation.

The 90's saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, bringing an end to the superpowered arms race of the Cold War. For former Soviet heroes, they were no longer in the thrall of the superhero program that conscripted them, and found themselves free to do as they wished. Most remained patriotic to their now independent states to fight corruption and organized crime, but some fell in with these unsavory crowds. In 1993, the first independent Russian superhero organization, the Valiant Defenders of the Motherland (or Otvazhnyye Zashchitniki Rodiny), with Statesman as an advisor. They proceeded to show the world that Paragon City's model for organizing superheroes was just as effective anywhere else.

The spirit of globalism that swept the last decade of the 20th century also brought with it the rise of corporate and mercenary supergroups. One of the largest is Hero Corps, which was born out of inspiration by British entrepreneur Rebecca Foss upon seing the marketing success of the Valiant Defenders of the Motherland. Hero Corps and its like-minded organizations draw ire from the "pro bono" community of superheroes, especially since some some of these organizations gladly performed less than savory work for the right price. When Hero Corps attempted to open an American branch office in Paragon City, it resulted in a three-year battle involving debates between Hero Corps spokesman and retired Freedom Phalanx member Kit "Luminary" Rafter versus his former colleagues, protests, and multiple (successful) attempts to sabotage the construction of the branch office itself. Eventually Paragon City revoked the Hero Corps' permit to build an office in Paragon City, though the superpowered corporation saw comeuppance when the United Nations formed the Special Council on Super Human Activities, and became its most favored agent to act upon its recommendations.

By the dawn of the 21st century, Paragon City was America's largest metropolis, and home to more superheroes than any other city on the planet. This was thanks in part to the municipal government's efforts to support its resident heroes. So long as they kept a good public reputation and minded the local authorities, heroes in Paragon City could make a name for themselves. With so many heroes making their home in Paragon City, by the 90's it was one of the safest places to live in the whole world. More than a decade passed since Portal Corp first breached the dimensions between universes and the disastrous rampage of the Reichsman. The global public had all but forgotten about the threat of other dimensions—until the Rikti invasion.

In May 23rd, 2002, at 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, tens of thousands of red, glowing, flat circles, ranging in diameter from nine feet to a hundred yards, appeared all throughout Paragon City and in twenty-seven other major population centers throughout the world. These lights devoured anything they touched, be it buildings, errant vehicles or passerby, or the brave heroes that tried to ascertain what they were by entering them. Three hours later, alien forces surged through these disk-like lights. It was a full-scale invasion—infantry outfitted with powered armor and hovering tanks on the ground, flight-capable infantry, robotic attack drones, and huge assault craft in the air. Their initial targets were infrastructure—targeting the power grid, communication towers, and water lines. They used electronic countermeasures to jam all forms of radio, radar, and GPS signals. They also assaulted any military or police facilities. Within minutes Paragon City and each of the 27 cities around the world were all but neutered, but they underestimated Primal Earth's superheroes.

Paragon City was home to the fiercest fighting. Even though the alien forces outnumbered them a hundred to one, within six hours all airborne alien forces were either destroyed or forced to retreat over the ocean or into space, though none ever attempted to return through their portals. The streets and neighborhoods of Paragon City, however, were still bloody battlegrounds, a melange of human and alien-controlled zones. The aliens consolidated their footholds, fortifying them with walls. Human forces did the same. Many of these walls would later serve as the foundation for the War Walls that have characterized Paragon City ever since. A full day after the invasion began, the portals winked out of existence. No reinforcements ever arrived through the portals before then.

Outside Paragon City, things were far bleaker. The first few minutes of the alien invasion saw over a third of the world's armed forces decimated. The survivors rallied and put up the fiercest fight they could manage against the invasion, but no military was able to match the invaders in combat. Not even the United States, possessing the most advanced non-powered military in the world, could manage a combat loss ratio of five men to one alien. Even the Joint Command Special Threat Response Battalion (AKA Vigilance), the United States' most elite unit formed in 1995 to deal with superpowered threats, had lost 85% of its forces and all of its superpowered members. Only when the regular military fought alongside superheroes did humanity win any victories. Realizing this, Great Britain and France spearheaded a United Nations Security Council emergency resolution authorizing the creation of Vanguard—a agency with the purpose of coordinating superhero efforts across the globe through a decentralized command network, comprised of the best the world had to offer. Vanguard allowed human forces around the world to affect the same kind of stalemate that had been achieved in Paragon City ... but even then, trying to reclaim territory from the aliens seemed impossible.

As the war for survival stabilized somewhat, the search for an identity to Primal Earth's attackers also made progress. Portal Corp's archives, files left untouched since the legal battle that ensued in the wake of Dr. Webb's death, revealed that the company had contact with these "aliens" before—they were not invaders from outer space, but from an alternate Earth in another dimension. They were known as the Rikti, from the report of the first and only mission to their dimension. The report did not describe the Rikti as hostile or warlike, and even hinted at the possibility of negotiating trade agreements, leaving their sudden genocidal motivations a mystery.

The fighting continued for six months. Despite the stalemate, the Rikti extracted a death toll in the hundreds of thousands. Over the course of these months it became clear that the Rikti had prepared for their invasion well in advance; human forces and heroes sometimes discovered hidden underground bases and armories, fully stocked and prepared. The Rikti's teleportation technology allowed them to strike anywhere, anytime, preventing humanity from mounting any kind of meaningful counteroffensive. Worse yet, during these six months the Rikti came to understand just how crucial superheroes were to the human forces, and concentrated their efforts on them instead. Over the course of one week, Rikti forces in Paragon City mounted a series of assaults on every supergroup headquarters. By the end of it, they lost 10,000 soldiers but killed almost 200 heroes and almost completely wiped out Paragon City's supergroups. Only a small number of the toughest and most power heroes in the city remained. Vanguard, on the other hand, was able to keep up the fight even after the Rikti decimated United Nations buildings in New York and Geneva, thanks to its decentralized command structure and ability to swiftly train and deploy new superpowered teams.

Steven "Dr. Science" Sheridan, a superhuman with a PhD in most almost every field of science, studied what data Portal Corp had on the Rikti with present reports from the field. By then, human forces had discovered that the Rikti were indeed receiving reinforcements from their Earth, in portals located within their underground bases. Dr. Science determined the most strategically important staging area, with the largest and most active portal, was located right underneath Paragon City. Deducing that the Rikti must be powering the portals from a central location on their own Earth, as the power to maintain all of them locally would be too taxing. With this in mind, Dr. Science proposed getting a team of heroes through the main portal and destroying that power source would cut off the Rikti from their Earth and finally give the humans an upper hand.

The past six months proved that humanity could not win a war of attrition. In November 2002, Vanguard agreed to Dr. Sheridan's plan, assembling the best heroes the world had to offer, leaving only a minimal rear guard. The plan called for two teams—Statesman led Alpha Team, consisting of a thousand heroes whose mission was to engage the Rikti's largest troop concentrations directly in order to pin them down and draw attention away from the real strike. Hero 1, the son of the famous Hero One and an Incarnate himself, led Omega Team. Omega Team consisted of only fifty heroes, but most of them had magic-derived powers and artifacts, as the Rikti proved to be ill-equipped to defend against the arcane. Even Hero 1's archnemesis, the villain known as Ruin, joined Omega Team—he wasn't about to let the Rikti destroy a world he wanted to take over for himself. Calvin "Ill Wind" Jefferson, a former gang banger turned small-time vigilante, was recruited for the ancient Charm of Invisibility that gave him his powers over light and air. With it, he would cloak all of Omega Team, hopefully sneaking them past the Rikti's forces and into their homeworld.

Knowing that the task before them would be almost certainly suicidal, many members of Omega Team wrote letters to the future or to their families and loved ones, to be sealed in a time capsule along with personal items to help the world remember who they were. Hero 1, who was chosen by the Lady of the Lake to wield Excalibur in the present day, decided that the fabled holy sword must not fall to the hands of the Rikti, and so chose to leave it in the care of Statesman's granddaughter, sidekick, and present leader of the Vindicators—Megan "Ms. Liberty" Duncan. The time capsule would not be opened for seven years.

On November 27, Alpha Team struck hard and drew as many of the Rikti forces the fight as it could. Eight hundred of the thousand heroes in its ranks died, but by the end of the operation they had slain 50,000 Rikti soldiers. Omega Team managed to pass unseen through the Rikti defenses until the last moment. Despite having to fight their way to the portal, most of Omega Team managed to cross over. Five were held captive in the Primal Earth staging area, but only one of these would survive what happened next. Reinforcements that had just arrived from the Rikti's Earth to engage Alpha Team were rerouted back through the portal to intercept Omega Team. Fifteen minutes passed—and then a massive explosion erupted from the portal, vaporizing the Rikti base and its surroundings for a whole square mile. Only Ralph "The Invulnerable Ajax" Valetti survived this blast on the Primal Earth side of the portal, thanks to his powers.

Omega Team had succeeded. The Rikti in Primal Earth were now cut off from their Earth's lines of supply and reinforcements. When surviving Rikti alerted the rest of the invasion forces deployed around the world, they immediately disengaged from their battle with Alpha Team, switching tactics from acting as a standing army to a guerilla force. Over the course of a few days, Rikti units fought a scorched-earth rear guard action while pulling back into their underground strongholds. Even in this act they were genocidal, claiming thousands more lives in the process.

Thus ended the Rikti War. Primal Earth was left in shambles; trillions of dollars in damage was done to cities around the globe. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers had died in the fighting. The Rikti had nearly eradicated all of Primal Earth's greatest heroes, leaving only a small number of its famed supergroups extant—and those that survived had scant few members. Paragon City, of all the major population centers during the war, was the hardest hit. Although what were now termed the "War Walls" had turned the city into a series of protected enclaves surrounded by nigh-impenetrable force fields and thick concrete walls as large as multi-story buildings, entire neighborhoods were left in ruins—Baumton and White Plains were utterly depopulated and leveled by the course of the war, and most other parts of the city were also left in shambles. The desperation that surrounded the Rikti War would linger for decades.

Where the Paragon Police Department was once confident in its ability to "serve and protect" the city, the Rikti War left it chronically suffering from severe lack of funding, unable to train or equip enough officers to replace the many that died. The PPD no longer had the ability to make safe the areas of the city that were completely ruined by one disaster or another, and was instead forced to seal them off as Hazard and Trial Zones, accessible only to personnel with the right security clearance. Even then, there were so few officers remaining that the PPD could barely contain even the most brazen acts of crime. Combined with the vacuum left by the death of so many heroes, criminals and villains were quick to take advantage of this fact.

Superpowered street gangs like the Satanic Hellions, the death cult of the Skulls, the Supes-addicted super-strong Trolls, and the elemental mutant Outcasts terrorized civilians with robbery, murder, arson and vandalism. Meanwhile, the Tsoo, an organized crime group drawn from the ranks of Paragon City's Hmong neighborhoods, led by Tub Ci Tang and backed by mystic powers bestowed upon them by their ancestors, competed with the Mafia-like Family in racketeering and "protection services" for citizens and small businesses.

As efforts to clearing the wreckage and ruin to rebuild the neighborhoods of Paragon City went underway, they were met with "assistance" by strange clockwork robots. These robots would help clear rubble and recover useful scrap metal or salvageable pieces of technology and parts, but they did not turn it over for use in reconstruction efforts. Instead, they used it to build more of themselves, who in turn would take whatever they could find to repeat the process. The people of Paragon City had encountered these robots before the war—and like before, these robots would react aggressively and kill with extreme prejudice to anyone who tried to prevent their wanton harvesting.

Demetrios Vasilikos, M.D., driven mad by the death of his father, continued to search for a way to conquer death itself through transplant surgery. Having gone beyond the fringe of medical society and ethical research before the Rikti War, he had assembled other surgeons to his cause. Collectively known as the Vahzilok, the doctor and his followers all shared the same wanton disregard for innocent lives, whom they saw as fresh supplies of blood, organs, and flesh. Taking advantage of the Rikti War's complete dismantling of society, Vahzilok minions eagerly murdered Paragon City denizens and dismantled them for use in building their grotesque medical analogues of zombies.

Paragon City was left with upwards of 20% of its population homeless. With little help from the government due to the ongoing effort to rebuild and restore infrastructure, the remaining heroes did their best to provide shelter, but there was only so much they could do. Many homeless sought shelter in caves and abandoned portions of the subway and sewer network. A good portion of these "mole people" would vanish into the depths—sometimes because they fell to prey to the Vahzilok or other criminal groups. Others, however, would return later on as part of a tight-knit group who became active criminals themselves. These people, when arrested and interrogated, identified themselves a members of "The Lost" and were discovered to have a mutagenic chemical in their bloodstream. It wasn't long before this organized crime group of homeless included hulking, mutated beasts. In some parts of the city, members of the Lost would preach to passerby of coming change, of an end to humanity's hold on the planet. The truth behind the Lost would not be uncovered for some time.

Meanwhile, an anarchistic group known as the Freakshow also made a display of force, preaching a philosophy of rage unleashed. Like many of Paragon City's criminal elements, they had superpowers granted from "Excelsior," an experimental drug first stolen from Crey Industries early in the 90's, which granted superhuman physiques, pain tolerance, lowered resistance to augmentation, outright regenerative properties and a powerful narcotic buzz. The disaffected twenty-somethings of Paragon City, struggling with feelings of impotence and unable to find meaning in a world devastated by genocidal aliens, flocked to "President Dreck's" banner.

Speaking of Crey Industries, while the company itself has long been considered the most influential and respected corporation in Paragon City—even if their controversial drug testing techniques have sparked several government investigations in the past—horrific rumors spread of Crey employees stealing the bodies of over a hundred fallen heroes during the Rikti War. Crey denied these allegations and blamed the Rikti instead, but the sudden appearance of helmeted and uniformed superhumans guarding Crey facilities—some using abilities in ways that reminded heroes of their dead comrades—left many troubled. In December of 2003, Dawn Patrol members discovered a Crey facility in the heart of Paragon City did indeed have two bodies of dead Rikti War heroes. When the owner of Crey Industries, Countess Crey, was presented with evidence of this foul play, she in turn provided ample evidence that the laboratory was run by rogue Crey agents. Other incidents like these—including cases of Crey agents openly harassing civilians—also became a mounting issue in the wake of the Rikti War, leading skeptical minds to question whether the Countess and her corporation is truly on the straight and narrow.

The ancient denizens of Oranbega, who had waged their own bitter war with the Rikti when the latter stumbled upon the ruined city of the former, now acted openly. The Circle of Thorns regularly stole the bodies of innocents for use as a new host for their own souls. They sought out and killed those who still had the blood of their ancient Mu adversaries in their veins. To bolster their ranks, they summoned demons and eldritch horrors into Primal Earth. The Circle of Thorns would continue to wreak terror across the city for years to come.

The 5th Column, which had remained dormant and hidden after Nazi Germany's defeat in WWII, resurfaced under the leadership of the war criminal Requiem—using safe houses and underground facilities in Paragon City to strike fear into Americans and disrupt attempts to rebuild.

Demoralized by the events of the war, the remaining soldiers of Vigilance went rogue when its country needed them the most—becoming the very thing they were trained to fight. Leading his unit AWOL when they were supposed to transfer to a new duty station, JCSTRB commander Colonel Virgil Duray then took his men to Paragon City, where they led a short but brutal campaign to control the city's airspace. What public statements he did make were full of bitter, paranoid hatred for the city's superheroes. Their hold over Paragon City didn't last long, however, as a large group of flight-capable heroes counterattacked in force, capturing those who were not killed and confiscating their government-issued hardware. Duray and his men seemed destined for the slammer, an anonymous benefactor arranged for their bail. With his freed comrades and logistics support from their new backer, Duray formed the criminal organization Sky Raiders, recruiting other disaffected special forces soldiers from around the globe.

One of the few sections of Paragon City to completely survive the ravages of the Rikti War unscathed was Astoria, a bustling commercial center also noted for having the largest and idyllic cemetery of the metropolis. Despite the dire straits that plagued the rest of Paragon City and the sharp increase in crime everywhere, Astoria remained mostly untouched, providing an important commercial bootstrap in the dark days following the war's end and allowing what remained of the PPD and the superhero community to focus on rebuilding the rest of the city while keeping the peace as best they could. Unfortunately, that all came to an end abruptly when the Banished Pantheon, a cabal of shamans and spirits serving a pantheon of misanthropic deities who were banished from the physical plane. The trickster god among them discovered that Astoria's cemetery was host to Mot, a Carthaginian god of death and sterility far older and more powerful than the whole of the Pantheon put together, who could be used to free his entire pantheon from the deific prison imposed on them by other gods. Thus, the Banished Pantheon sent all of its minions into Astoria, completely overwhelming it. The city officials had no choice but to seal Astoria off from the rest of the city, as neither the PPD nor any of the heroes remaining were able to concentrate on both Astoria and the runaway crime problems elsewhere while trying to rebuild. Astoria became a ghost town—those who did not flee the initial invasion of the Banished Pantheon were caught and sacrificed by its shamans as part of an ultimately futile attempt to awake the slumbering god. With Astoria utterly depopulated except for themselves, the Banished Pantheon continued their efforts to awaken Mot. For years the ghosts of the innocent wandered streets now covered in a thick fog that led to the new name for the zone—Dark Astoria.

Yet despite all of these troubles plaguing Paragon City as it struggled to recover, the advances made possible by scavenged Rikti technology have greatly aided efforts to rebuild. Development of unmanned police drones that could immediately teleport criminals to Paragon City's jail for superpowered criminals, Zigursky Penitentiary, provided some relief for the undermanned PPD. MediCom Teleporter Patches provided the few remaining heroes added insurance against death in the line of duty—they monitored the health of the wearer, and the moment the wearer's life signs entered a critical state, would initiate a teleport to the nearest hospital, where Rikti-derived machines would revitalize the would-be fallen hero to almost perfect health.

Yet even with such advancements, the post-war period of 2002 and 2003 showed just how dire the need for new heroes was. The call was answered loud and clear—aspiring superheroes from all walks of life made Paragon City the focus of their new careers, seeking to fill the vacuum left by the death of so many in the Rikti War. Statesman and Ms. Liberty's mother, Alexis "Miss Liberty" Cole, worked together to found a new hero organization to provide communication and coordination for Paragon City's new generation of heroes. Freedom Corps set up its headquarters in Paragon Heights—then-recently renamed to Galaxy City in honor of Kelly "Galaxy Girl" Graham, a famous heroine of the 50's and 60's who came out of retirement one last time to aid in the Rikti War, and died while helping a team of heroes escape the clutches of the Rikti. Freedom Corps set up offices throughout Paragon City to help fledgling heroes train and develop their powers, and also dispatched field trainers to select locations for the same purpose.

In response to the ecological destruction caused by the Rikti War, radical environmentalist and molecular biologist Hamidon Pasalima led a raid on Paragon City University, using the resources there to create what he called "the Will of the Earth," a colony of sentient bacteria with the ability to alter material on the molecular level. Hamidon escaped when heroes arrived to stop the raid. He retreated to a cave in the heart of the Woodvale suburbs, using the Will of the Earth to grow loyal, sentient beasts with bodies of plants, fungi, rocks and crystal. Later, Hamidon combined the Will of the Earth with dakr magics and his own knowledge of biology to (unknowingly) tap into the Well of Furies and transform himself into a massive amoeboid, rivaling the size of a cargo ship. No longer human but a force of nature, the Hamidon's minions poured out of its lair, overrunning Woodvale entirely, including the primary Portal Corp facility located there. Thankfully the War Walls left over from the Rikti War halted the Devouring Earth's advances beyond what came to be known as Eden and the Hive, but the Hamidon's minions found their way to other zones of Paragon City, tirelessly furthering their master's desires.

By June 29, 2004, Portal Corporation opened its doors of its Peregrine Island facility to the new generation of post-Rikti War heroes, now actively sending them out on missions to investigate and deal with potential extradimensional threats, in addition to keeping the Rikti contained and preventing Primal Earth's villaims from finding a foothold in some other dimension. Almost immediately, Paragon City's heroes had skirmishes with a group of villains from a mirror universe in which Primal Earth's most beloved heroes were its worst tyrants.

Around this time the Carnival of Shadows was born. To Paragon City's high society, they were a form of exotic entertainment similar to the Cirque du Soleil. In truth, it exists solely to feed souls to its leader, Vanessa DeVore—a former art student who happened upon a porcelain mask containing the spirit of 17th century duchess Giovanna Scaldi. This mask also conferred Giovanna's incredible psychic powers to its wearer, which Vanessa had used during the Rikti War to command henchmen with perfect coordination. It was also then she developed the hunger for souls to fuel her powers, leading to the founding of the Carnival after the war.

As the new generation of superheroes became veterans of these troubled times, they became aware of agencies lurking in the shadows, trying to rein in the chaos of post-Rikti world by going after both heroes and villains alike. After a number of heroes worked with U.S. government agents in fighting against this shadow force, news and information on them spread through the superhero community at large—they were the Malta Group—not at all related to the Knights of Malta or the Maltese government, but an illegal intelligence organization founded by members of various NATO intelligence agencies as a response to the Supreme Court striking down the Might for Right Act. While Malta may have been the only thing that kept the Soviet Union's superpowered covert forces in check, they did not disband when the Soviet Union fell. Instead, they focused on a new mission—to control world politics and the superpowered forces of the world. To that end they employed frightening technology capable of temporarily nullifying the powers of almost any superhuman, employed military-grade walking war machines (which they called Titans), and worked closely with an elite mercenary sorority group, the Knives of Artemis.

By September 16, Paragon City suffered a minor dimensional invasion from an old "friend" ... Rularuu the Ravager. This dimension-absorbing entity once threatened Primal Earth, but had been defeated and imprisoned in his own dimension, the Shadow Shard, by the mages of the Midnight Squad. Rularuu's minions made a brief but fevered attempt to break out of the Shadow Shard and into Primal Earth, but failed. The breakout prompted an international military and heroic response, setting up a military base within the Shadow Shard from which the best veterans of the Rikti War, both normal and superpowered, struck back at Rularuu and his armies.

By January 2005, the 5th Column faced a revolt from within by elements of another milita group—the Council, born from Facist Italy. Those 5th Council members who refused to join either went into hiding or were killed in the ensuing battles taking place across Paragon City. May of that year saw a true alien race come before the world stage—the Kheldians, energy beings who merge with a living host and form a gestalt personality for the duration of the host's natural lifespan. Having already lived among human civilization for thousands of years, a war between the Kheldians had reached a crucial point for Earth. Heroes helped two of the benevolent factions, Peacebringers and Warshades, fight against a third faction that sought domination, not fusion, with their hosts and the transformation of Earth into a new homeworld for their race—the Nictus. Despite lingering xenophobic attitudes from the Rikti War, the Kheldians were welcomed by Earth's populace—especially, as the Peacebringers and Warshades would point out, since they were fusion between a Kheldian and a willing host, Earth was just as much of a homeworld for them.

By August 31, 2005, the Paragon Transit Authority finished repairs to outbound tram lines caused by the Rikti War, allowing citizens to visit the resort town of Salamanca, three hours upstate from Paragon City. However, as the Autumn Equinox approached, the town was overrun by strange supernatural and magic phenomena. Creatures from the legends and lore of the British Isles were appearing in droves, forcing most of Salamanca's residents into hiding or out to leave town. Heroes found themselves in the middle of a war between two factions of very old supernatural enemies, with little choice but to wade in the middle of it in hopes of returning peace to the resort town.

Meanwhile, Stefan Richter had spent the past century consolidating his power over a secret society called Arachnos. In the 1950's he had used decades of political maneuvering and influence to stage a military coup that left Arachnos the ruling power of a small archipelago off the coast of the United States, commonly called the Rogue Isles. Now calling himself "Lord Recluse," Arachnos used the chaos of the post-war period to set his own villainous plans in motion throughout Paragon City and the world. In May of 2005, Arachnos started making serious forays into Paragon City, as Lord Recluse enacted Project DESTINY—his personal quest to defeat Statesman. To do this, his Fortunata Seers used their power of foresight to determine that Recluse needed someone who had access to a wide amount of possible futures, "destined to rise up from nothing" to become one of the world's most powerful villains.

Arachnos' actions spurred a response in Paragon City. Ms. Liberty, dissatisfied with Statesman's beliefs on where Freedom Corps' place lay in the superhero community, founded and organized an active military division of the Freedom Corps, which she dubbed Longbow. Although Longbow did have actual (if relatively weak) superpowered members in its more elite units, the rank and file were comprised of mundane humans with military training and equipment courtesy of NATO. In the field, these costume-clad infantry had only their convictions and kevlar-lined spandex to aid them. Most of these men and women would not survive their first encounter with a superpowered villain, but overall Longbow provided a bulwark to hold the line against common and powered criminals when heroes were not available, and to act as a military support network when heroes were on the scene.

The PPD also resolved to counter this new threat; under Chief Conrad Bochco's direction and with assistance by the powered armor-wielding Freedom Phalanx super-scientist Raymond "Positron" Keyes, the PPD founded experimental divisions devoted specifically to combating superpowered threats—the Powered Armor Corps, officers strapped into powerful exoskeletons outfitted with heavy firepower and vastly improved strength and reflexes—the Psi-Division, a highly controversial unit comprised of psychic police officers who are rigorously trained in not only the ethics of their psychic gifts, but also in using their psionic powers offensively—and the Awakened Divsion, comprised entirely of officers who volunteered to merge with Kheldians to become Peacebringers. The men and women in these experimental units were few in number compared to the beat cops and members of PPD's SWAT, but they provided a means for the police to level the playing field against truly dangerous supervillains.

On October 26, 2005, Statesman decided that Lord Recluse and the criminal elements of the Rogue Isles needed a show of force by the heroic elements of Paragon City. Marshaling both the Freedom Phalanx and Longbow, they staged an all-out assault on the Isles from the port of Siren's Call. Ultimately they were beaten back by Arachnos, who in response began regularly raiding "the Zig" for potential "destined ones" as determined by the Fortunatas, starting with the first massive raid on October 27, 2005.

In 2006, Paragon City made a concerted effort to rebuild one of its long-ruined trial zone of Faultline—formerly the neighborhood of Overbook, host to Overbrook Dam. By November, a fourth of the neighborhood had been rebuilt into New Overbrook, and Overbrook Dam was restored to operational status. The municipal government downgraded the Faultline into a regular City Zone. However, on November 28, unexplained seismic activity on the moon caused a break on the dam. flooding Faultline's still-ruined areas. Attempts to assess the damage and repair it were stymied by Arachnos operations in the area, as Recluse's minions picked through old supergroup base wreckage for technology to salvage. The Clockwork also arrived to interfere with construction efforts in New Overbrook, as did the Lost and Vahzilok, who warred over who would claim victims in the area for their nefarious purposes. They were all met by units from the PPD and Longbow, in addition to independent heroes answering the city's call for aid.

2007 saw several breakthroughs of different kinds. On May 1st, Dr. Reichart Von Gehirnsturm announced the invention of the Hypothetical Framework, a system that allowed the superpowered community to combine magic and technological components to develop new equipment for themselves to enhance their powers. It was also around this time that the Hamidon made inroads to Rogue Isles, appearing in the collection of islands known as the Abyss. The villains of the Rogue Isles would from that point on great sport of fighting the Devouring Earth.

Then the Rikti made a comeback in a big way.

Despite Omega Team's destruction of the Rikti portal network and Portal Corp's efforts in monitoring and keeping the Rikti isolated in their own dimension, the extradimensional invaders found a way to bridge the gap between their universe and Primal Earth's. On June 27, Rikti invasion forces sporadically attacked various parts of the world, disabling Paragon City's War Wall forcefields wherever they struck. Compared to their previous assaults, the Rikti focused almost singly on trying to kill Primal Earth's superpowered beings. Meanwhile, White Plains had erupted into a war zone, as Rikti invasion forces used the remains of the crashed invasion craft there as a staging facility. Vanguard quickly set up a number of forward bases in White Plains. This second invasion was far less damaging to the world than the Rikti War itself, but now that the Rikti had figured out how to return to Primal Earth, they were able to maintain a steady pressure for years hence.

Wars between dimensions were not the only problem for the superpowered community—they also had to contend with time traveling crises as well. Starting on November 27, 2007, the extratemporal organization Ouroboros reached out to Primal Earth's heroes and villains, especially those who had already been exposed to a plot involving time travel and were thus "entrusted with the secret." The Menders of Ouroboros enlisted their help in fighting what they called the "Coming Storm," an event that would precipitate not only the destruction of Earth, but the premature end of the universe as well. They sought to do this by changing the course of history subtly and scientifically. Through their haven outside the stream of time, Ouroboros was able to monitor changes in the possibilities of Primal Earth's timeline, and decide the next course of action—and then send heroes and villains back in time to "mend" events where necessary, or to combat the changes made by other, unknown extratemporal agents.

The year 2008 saw several major developments of its own. In May, Arachnos' own soldiers grew envious of the treatment afforded to those sheltered by Operation: DESTINY. The "destined ones" had long been reviled by Arachnos' rank and file, but some within the organization wanted to have the same benefits. A number of Arachnos' soldiers and the Blood Widows, brutal female assassins, managed to forge their names into the list kept by the Fortunatas, and in so doing bega their journey on the same path as many of the other villains under Operation: DESTINY.

On May 20, a member of the Midnight Squad, Montague Castanella, reached out to the heroes of Paragon City and requested their aid. Where once the Midnight Squad was one of Paragon City's most prominent supergroups—and certainly the largest one that catered specifically to Magic-origin heroes—the Rikti War had left only a scant few members remaining, a devastating blow from which they never recovered. Montague and the rest of the Club hoped to change that, by redefining the purpose of their organization. Rather than a supergroup devoted strictly to Magic-origin heroes, the Midnighters now opted to act instead as an arcane support network that welcomed membership from heroes of all Origins. This would be necessary, they believed, in order to properly answer the Rikti for the slaughter they wrought upon Primal Earth—as well as troubling developments in the timeline.

By now, Steven "Dr. Science" Sheridan had worked with other heroes to uncover a startling truth over the years—the Rikti were not only from an alternate Earth, but they were also completely human. Their alien appearance was the result of a mutagen willingly used by the Rikti to transform themselves into what they are now. That mutagen also happened to be the same substance used to transform the Lost, who often turned into something that looked very much like the Rikti. These revelations came about when the Rikti attempted to steal medical supplies and stores of donated organs to replace failing ones. Further evidence was provided when heroes also discovered that the Rikti were contracting human diseases, and were attempting to prevent children they'd been raising in underground bases from succumbing to them.

Armed with the knowledge that the Lost were the cause of a Rikti mutagen, Montague and the heroes working with him collaborated with a Rikti defector, Argot'BurWot, to devise a cure for the mutagen and administer it. With aid from the Magic-origin government agency M.A.G.I, the Vanguard leader Lady Grey, and the Midnighters, heroes were able to construct magical wands that restored Lost members to their original human forms.

Meanwhile in the Rogue Isles, Midnighter member Ashley McKnight was also recruiting Villains for the Midnight Squad—clear proof of how much the organization was willing to change to meet its goal in stopping the Rikti and other threats. With newly minted Midnighters joining the fold, Montague enlisted them for help with another issue—agents other than Ouroboros at work changing the events of Antiquity. Heroes and Villains used technology taken from Ouroboros to travel back to the Classical Era to the city-state Cimemora, helping its disposed leader Imperious and the people of that time deal with the usurper Romulus Augustus and those using him to alter the flow of history. Later that year on December 2, two Cimemorans, the armsmith Daedalus and prophet Sister Airlia, would actively seek contact with heroes and villains for further developments in the ancient world.

By April 8, 2009, Lord Recluse's chief scientist Dr. Aeon founded the company Architect Entertainment, opening branch offices all throughout the Rogue Isles and Paragon City. Mad scientist though he was, Dr. Aeon's goals for Architect Entertainment were not themselves malicious. Architect Entertainment allowed patrons a new way to craft stories and share them with the masses—by allowing the audience to experience it as if it were really happening, all through the power of the Arc Server—which transforms the entire body and consciousness of a user into a data stream that is integrated into the story in which they choose to participate. Because of the unique way in which the Arc Server works—allowing for a completely virtual yet completely realistic recreation of reality—Heroes and villains often used the Mission Architect as a way to train themselves.

Later on June 29 of that year, the Reichsman was rediscovered still in cryostasis within the ruins of the old Freedom Phalanx headquarters in Baumton. He was freed, and immediately set to work on furthering the cause of Axis America and the 5th Column within Primal Earth. Reichman attempted to make himself utterly invincible with a plan to siphon dimensional energies, but he was ultimately defeated by strike forces of heroes and villains in turn.

On November 27, seven years after Omega Team bravely sacrificed themselves during the Rikti War, the time capsule they left behind was finally opened. The letters many of them wrote in hopes that there would still be an audience for them in the future offered a number of surprises—the biggest one being that "The Invincible Ajax" was not the real Ajax everyone had known and loved in decades past ... but a street thug that inexplicably killed him and became the recipient of his powers. Following the opening of the time capsule the PPD filed a warrant for "Ajax II's" arrest, who fled to the Rogue Isles—but not to become a villain. Rather, perhaps out of added guilt for all he'd done, "Ajax II" proceeded to try his best to at cleaning the isles up alone. He got rather far, until villains working with a former PPD cop named Dean MacArthur figured out a way to bypass Ajax's legendary vulnerability. They would have killed him, were it not for a timely rescue by extratemporal agents ...

Starting in 2010, Primal Earth found itself fighting in earnest against yet another extradimensional foe&mash;the alternate universe known by the superpowered community and Portal Corp as "Praetorian Earth." A dark mirror of Primal Earth, in which the Hamidon and its minions awakened much earlier, nearly rendering humanity extinct were it not for that world's Marcus Cole. This Marcus, who had killed Stefan Richter shortly after the two drank from the Fountain of Zeus, had both the powers of Primal Earth's Statesman and Lord Recluse. When the Devouring Earth threatened to exterminate mankind, Cole led the charge taking the fight to the Hamidon. Once the Hamidon Wars were over, with little of the old world order remaining, Cole was made emperor of humanity by an adoring public. Emperor Cole christened the new world state as Praetoria, and on the surface sought to create rebuild human society is the ultimate utopian meritocracy ... but in truth, the Emperor's regime was built upon public deception and butchered innocents. Those who resisted his rule in the shadows where Cole's Praetorian Police and Seer Network could not find them came to know him by another name: "Tyrant."

Over the years, Tyrant and his Praetors interfered with Primal Earth and its heroes. Several times, Longbow aggressively raided Praetorian Earth, believing the whole dimension to be a perverse, evil reflection of Primal Earth. Tyrant resolved to put an end to the threat he believed Primal Earth posed to Praetoria. From the self-destructive madness he saw in the Hamidon Wars, Tyrant adamanrly believed that the common man was incapable of making the right choices, and so must be protected from themselves. To Tyrant, Primal Earth was a dangerous breeding ground where the dark impulses of mankind ran unchecked—and required the same treatment he had applied to Praetorian Earth.

Around November 30, 2010, Praetoria made its first move in the Primal-Praetorian War, sending forays into Kings Row, Steel canyon, and Peregrine Island of Paragon City and Grandville and the Nerva Archipelago of Rogue Isles, but was repulsed by task forces organized by the Vanguard heroes Apex and Tin Mage Mark II—the reborn Omega Team member, a robot and magician who left a copy of his blue prints in the Omega Team time capsule so that another iteration of him might continue to fight for justice after his demise.

In April 5, 2011, Ouroboros had a new patron—the titan Prometheus, one of humanity's greatest benefactors from ancient times, had returned to provide assistance to all superpowered members of the extratemporal organization. As he explained, the Well of Furies—which had given Statesman, Lord Recluse, Reichsman, and many others across the dimensions the godlike powers they now wield—sought out a champion to become its embodiment. It found the most favor with Tyrant, who (unlike all other candidates) freely surrendered himself to the will of the Well. As Tyrant consolidated his power over Praetoria and expanded it, so too did the favor of the Well increase. Nearing the end of 2010, the Well's favor spread to Tyrant's Praetors, Praetorian versions of many of Paragon City's most famous heroes. Primal Earth's heroes and villains struck back, with the aid of Prometheus, who helped level the playing field between Tyrant's Well-infused minions by showing them an alternate way to draw energies from the Well of Furies. A slower path, but a safer one that would keep the Well from taking control of those partaking in its power.

The first counter-offensive by Primal Earth's fledgling Incarnates and Incarnates-to-be began immediately, with near-simultaneous strikes at Behavioral Adjustment Facility in the Imperial City district of Praetoria City, and Lambda Complex in the Neutropolis district. Prometheus briefed the Incarnates on what the Resistance and other dissenters of Praetoria already knew—that while Emperor Cole outwardly proclaimed that the Behavioral Adjustment Facility was a benevolent institution that had the dual purpose of providing comfortable quarantine for those afflicted by the Hamidon's mind-bending Tellurian Plague and the rehabilitation of criminals by correcting mental imbalances, it was actually used by Sister Psyche's Praetorian counterpart—the Praetor of Health, Shalice "Mother Mayhem" Tilman—to psychically transform prisoners into unthinking supporters of Cole's regime.

This alone was not enough of a reason to assault the BAF, however—what made it a priority was that the Praetors planned to stage a "breakout" from the facility. The "mindwashed" prisoners who escaped would be programmed to terrorize populace or become sleeper agents within Praetoria's resistance groups—and the Praetors would place the blame on Emperor Cole's detractors. This reprogramming was also designed to cause confusion in other nearby minds, creating something of a contagion. Although the Praetorian versions of the androids Citadel and Luminary the Second, Siege and Nightstar, acted as wardens for the facility, Primal Earth's Incarnates prevented the staged breakout from succeeding and defeated both androids.

Meanwhile, the sizable fortress that dominated much of Neutropolis' acreage, Lambda Complex, served as both the primary facility for Praetoria's advanced military research projects as well as one of the largest Imperial Defense Force armories. Prometheus hoped that by assaulting the complex, not only would it be a crippling blow to the IDF's ability to wage war on Primal Earth, but it would also damage the confidence that Praetoria's people had for Emperor Cole. Michael "Marauder" White, Praetor of Security and the Praetorian version of Back Alley Brawler, saw to defense of Lambda Sector personally—but was repeatedly humiliated by the Primal Earth Incarnates despite the boost in power he'd received.

In May of 2011, after the repeated failures of staged mindwipe contagion breakouts and the raids on Lambda Sector destroyed chunks of the IDF's standing forces, Tyrant finally let loose the bulk of his armies in what became known as the Praetorian Surge. Unlike the Rikti, Tyrant's forces attempted to minimalize collateral damage and civilian casualties, focusing the bulk of their assault on Primal Earth's superheroes. That's not to say the IDF and its resident superheroes in the Powers Division did not wreak grievous amounts of collateral damage during the course of the war, however. As the Rikti before them, the Praetorian Surge failed in the titanic battles that clashed across Paragon City, the Rogue Isles, and the rest of the world.

On June 28, Prometheus directed Primal Earth's Incarnates into assaulting the Keyes Island antimatter reactors in Neutropolis. Rather than destroy or sabotage them, the Incarnates were to take control of the reactors. These reactors powered almost everything in Praetoria, from powering the portals the IDF had been using to stage their invasion to the sonic fence systems that kept the hordes of Devouring Earth monsters from overrunning the city. Therefore the Incarnates needed to seize the reactors to shut off power to the portals and select systems benefiting Cole's regime, while keeping the civilians protected. Former Praetor of Science, Raymond "Anti-Matter" Keyes (the Praetorian Earth version of Positron), viciously tried to defend his reactors from the Incarnate assault, but failed.

On September 13, Primal Earth Incarnates recieved a tip from the Praetorian version of Vanessa DeVore—who, instead of leading the villainous Carnival of Shadows as she does in Primal Earth, instead was the leader of the Carnival of Light: a group comprised of her own followers as well as remnants of Praetorian Earth's heroic arcane organizations, the Legacy Chain and Midnight Squad. Vanessa was the Resistance's foremost psychic defense against Emperor Cole's Seer Network and Mother Mayhem herself. While investigating matters in the ruins of First Ward—the city that would have been Praetorian Earth's capital, were it not destroyed by a Devouring Earth assault from below—she had discovered a terrible secret about the Hamidon. Primal Earth's Incarnates worked with Desdemona, a demon-summoning former villain turned hero, to investigate the lead. In the abandoned tunnel systems underneath First Ward, she and her companions encountered the Avatar of Hamidon, one of the Devouring Earth's mightiest creatures—and it had just killed Vanessa DeVore. After the Incarnates brought the mighty creature down, Desdemona examined the mask that gave Vanessa her psychic powers, and discovered the secret for herself ...

... Tyrant never defeated the Hamidon. At the conclusion of his titanic battle with the former madman, Tyrant psychically negotiated with it, striking a deal—if Tyrant could show the Hamidon that humans had worth and could coexist with the environment, the Devouring Earth would spare those few that remained. This, combined with urging by the Well of Furies to broaden his control, was the reason for all the cruelties Emperor Cole practiced beneath the shining golden facade, as well as his determination to bring Primal Earth to heel. However, in attempting to conquer and control Primal Earth, he had only allowed chaos to take hold in Praetoria itself. The Hamidon saw this as a clear failure. Cole's "peace treaty" with the Devouring Earth was now null and void.

The respective universes of the two embattled Earths did not pause out of courtesy for their interdimensional war, however. On September 27, meteors rained down on the Galaxy City. The destruction they caused was terrible enough, but it soon became apparent that these meteors were actually part of an assault by an old extraterrestrial nuisance—radiation-controlling sentient amorphous blobs known as the Shivans. The Freedom Phalanx, with full military support by Longbow, made a fevered attempt to contain the situation. They received help from some of Galaxy City's latent superpowered citizens, who started on the path to herodom as a result of the tragedy. Arachnos invaded during the chaos for their own purposes, and wound up collecting many new aspiring villains. Meanwhile, Longbow's years-long campaign on Mercy Island, one of the many islands in the Rogue Isles archipelago, finally won a major foothold when Longbow forces routed Arachnos from Fort Darwin, one of two of its bases there.

On December 6, 2011, Primal Earth's forces raided the Total Praetorian Network Campus, the global news station situated in Imperial City. Fighting off the Imperial Defense Force and Maelstrom, heroes and villains worked with a TPN employee, H.D., to broadcast the truth about Tyrant's supposed victory over the Devouring Earth in the Hamidon Wars. Eddie "Maelstrom" Polstra, a former U.S. Marine who had received live-saving augmentation but chose to betray Primal Earth and swear fealty to Praetoria, tried to prevent broadcast with backup from the IDF and Seer Network—but to no avail. The Praetorian public now knew the depth of Tyrant's locker full of bloody skeletons. Praetorian Earth descended into chaos as its people rose up against the man they once revered as their savior.

In response, Praetor Tilman decided to take more direct, iron-fisted approach to placating Praeotria's citizenry—controlling their minds directly, rather than through propaganda, surveillance, and behavioral modification. Primal Earth's Incarnates were briefed on a well-known fact among Praetoria—the Praetor of Health was actually a fusion of two women, Shalice Tilman and Aurora Borealis. In Primal Earth, the two women had once shared a body when Shalice was left in a coma by the course of the Rikti War. Aurora offered to play host to Shalice's psychic projection until her body could be revived. Instead of this temporary rapport, the Praetorian Shalice had been killed during an accident, upon which Aurora took Shalice's consciousness into herself, becoming a permanent fusion in which Aurora's body was a prison for her mind, and Shalice was the dominant personality. Separating Shalice's consciousness from Aurora Borealis would put an end to the Praetor of Health.

To that end, the Incarnates assaulted Mother of Mercy Psychiatric Hospital, situated on a cliff outside of the ruins of First Ward. Mother Mayhem sent her "childen" into the fray first before fighting the Incarnates herself. Incarnates had to defend Aurora's own consciousness while attacking Shalice. Eventually, the Incarnates were able to sever her from her Seer Network, and defeat her in body—but even evicted from Aurora Borealis' body, Shalice fought to the bitter end. She attempted to trap the Incarnates in her dying mind—but by then, disembodied and losing cohesion of herself, Shalice was unable to contain the Incarnates. Mother Mayhem was no more.

Terrible happenings followed the closing of 2011. Starting in January 11, 2012, the fog of Dark Astoria started to lift. The War Walls surrounding the zone took on the appearance of blood. By March 6 it was clear that the Banished Pantheon had finally succeeded their nearly decade-long attempt to awaken and free Mot. The Carthage god of death was free once more, and he hungered to feast upon all life on Primal Earth. Other groups flocked to Astoria. The Circle of Thorns, who (despite their utterly evil actions elsewhere) sought for years to counter the Banished Pantheon's actions, continued in vain to contain Mot once more. The only thing that could stop him was Primal Earth's Incarnates ... with the help of the still-living founder of the Midnight Squad, the Dream Doctor.

Tammy "Diabolique" Arcanus, the Praetorian version of Numina, captured the heroes of the Freedom Phalanx and Vindicators, as well as the Praetorian version of Ms. Liberty, Megan "Dominatrix" Duncan, who had been trying to track down Diabolique with the aid of Primal Earth's heroes. With her powers over death, Diabolique sought to serve Mot as its avatar, hoping that it would become an entity like the Well of Furies if she helped it consume Primal Earth as it wanted to do. Ultimately, however, she failed when Primal Earth's Incarnates freed her captives, permanently destroyed her, and sealed Mot with the power of the Dagger of Jocas, a Midnight Squad artifact that the Dream Doctor used for imprisoning Rularuu in the Shadow Shard. The Dream Doctor mused that this dagger could also work in defeating Emperor Cole himself.

The Freedom Phalanx was under high stress during this period. Its members were still reeling from the death of Miss Liberty back in November. Statesman sought solitude, needing time alone to think and cope with the death of his daughter. Even as the threat of Mot grew alarmingly clear, he did not return, perhaps trusting that Primal Earth now had many powerful heroes and a growing number of "slow-path" Incarnates to keep the god of death and sterility at bay.

Worse yet were a series of incidents that targeted Freedom Phalanx members—such as the trap a heretical enclave of magic-wielding Lost had set up for the famous super-speeding scientist Steven "Synapse" Berry, which nearly drained him of his powers. Sister Psyche's temporarily-reformed-villain and ex-sidekick, Jean-Pierre "Malaise" Lourdin, who was involved in the plot to kill Miss Liberty, used his capture to further sow chaos. Thanks to Malaise, Sister Psyche found herself battling an aggressive aspect of Aurora Borealis within her own mind, left over from when the two were joined in one body. No one had yet realized that the tensions between Freedom Phalanx members was playing right into the hands of former Midnighter-turned-Villain who'd taken great pains to stay off everyone's radar—Darrin Wade.

Darrin Wade leaked just enough evidence in the plot to kill Miss Liberty to allow Statesman and the heroes of Paragon City to trace the plot back to him. On January 17, Darrin Wade tricked Statesman into coming alone to apprehend him ...

... and then used an ancient magic ritual from the days of Cimemora to kill Statesman and absorb his powers.

The world was stunned. Even if Statesman had taken a step back from the world stage now that the superhero community had recovered and surged to even greater strength than before, he was still a living legend and symbol for what all heroes believed in. He seemed utterly invincible and destined to live for much longer than any normal human in spite of all the danger he'd faced over the past century.

The Freedom Phalanx was shortly afterward hit with another devastating blow—Darrin Wade set up another trap, predicting that the Freedom Phalanx would seek out a certain Circle of Thorns ritual that would allow Sister Psyche the ability to reassert control of her mind. The trap sabotaged this ritual, causing Sister Psyche's psychic powers to go out of control, threatening to painfully kill every person in Paragon City. While she could still speak, she begged her husband, wealthy playboy and Rikti War veteran Justin "Manticore" Sinclair, to kill her. Manticore had no choice ... but in so doing, Darrin Wade managed to absorb Sister Psyche's powers, especially her ability to "mind ride" to others' bodies.

By now the Freedom Phalanx gathered enough evidence to discover just why Darrin Wade had spent so much effort to kill two of Paragon City's greatest heroes. All along, his goal was to take over the body of Rularuu the Ravager, whom he planned to summon into Primal Earth. Aside from his desire for power beyond that of any being in Primal Earth, he believed that by taking the body of the dimension-eating abomination, he would render Rularuu's threat to Primal Earth meaningless, for he would instead use Rularuu's powers to protect his home dimension. Doing this required Statesman's strength and willpower, as well as Sister Psyche's mind-riding abilities. Investigating whether or not Darrin could succeed in his goals, heroes spoke to Faathim the Kind, one of the seven Aspects of Rularuu, fragments of the dimensional ravager's sentience. Faathim conceded that Darrin's plan was clever, but it would fail—Rularuu's very nature is chaotic and corrosive, and Darrin's mind would be consumed by Rularuu in short order.

Despite Darrin's attempt to keep pressure off of him by summoning Rularuu's forces all around the globe, an unlikely alliance formed to stop Darrin's plans. Vanguard, the United States Navy, and Freedom Phalanx were joined by Arachnos. Angered at not having the pleasure of killing Statesman himself (and alarmed that Statesman's powers were in someone else's hands other than his own), Lord Recluse and several of his lieutenants aided in the assault on the island base Darrin was using for his base of operations. In the ensuing battle, most of the U.S. Navy fleet sent to attack the island was destroyed. Darrin erected a powerful force field and began levitating the island into outer space. In response, Arachnos and Vanguard used the powerful experimental missiles stockpiled on the Rogue Isles island of Warburg to crack the shield open, allowing the unlikely alliance to confront Darrin personally. By that point, Darrin had already started merging with Rularuu, becoming Rula-Wade. Yet even with the powers of Rularuu coming into his grasp, he could not overcome the combined might of Primal Earth's mightiest heroes and villains. Rula-Wade was destroyed, with Darrin's shattered mind returning to his body ... now imprisoned by the Vanguard.

Though the Primal-Praetorian War lasted longer than that of the Rikti War, the Incarnate-powered Heroes and Villains of Primal Earth had systematically dismantled the Praetorian empire. On May 31, Primal Earth's Incarnates liberated the district of Imperial City from Praetor Justin "Chimera" Sinclair, Praetoria's version of Manticore. Following this, Arachnos attempted a full-scale invasion of the last remaining neighborhood of Praetoria City still in Emperor Cole's control—Nova Praetoria. Lord Recluse personally led all of his superpowered lieutenants and personal advisors in a direct assault involving hundreds of soldiers ... but even then, Tyrant personally humiliated Arachnos, forcing a defeated Recluse to retreat.

Yet Praetoria's days were clearly over. Following the Arachnos invasion, Primal Earth's Incarnates stepped in to press their assault. The Imperial Defense Force dispatched units to protect the Magisterium alongside Praetor Sinclair; Black Sawn, the Praetorian version of Lena "Sawn" Elliot; Nega-Pendragon, a corrupted Pratorian version of Hero 1; and Shadowhunter, the Praetorian version of the Woodsman. Black Swan brandished Praetorian Earth's counterpart to the Dagger of Jocas, known as the Quills of Jocas there. The Dream Doctor's theory about them was proven true on the Incarnates themselves, as the Quills would temporarily sever an Incarnate's connection to the Well if they were struck. Seeing that his empire was fully lost, Tyrant did the one thing he swore he'd never do—nuke his own people.

The nuclear blast did not stop Primal Earth's Incarnates. Cole was forced into battle himself, along with his Olympian Guards—clones made in his image, that share a considerable fraction of his power. With the Quills of Jocas recovered from Black Swan, the Incarnates systematically severed Tyrant's connection to the Well, and finally defeated the emperor of Praetoria.

With Tyrant's defeat and the complete destruction of Praetoria City, Praetoria had utterly lost the war it started. With Tyrant's final act, however, he sealed the fate of all his people. Hamidon saw Tyrant's inability to contain Primal Earth's Incarnates, and his willingness to use nuclear weapons on his own city, as a complete betrayal of the truce the two had negotiated. Thus, its horde was free to devour what remained of the human race on Praetorian Earth.

That, however, was a story just beginning to unfold by November 2012 ...

For further information, see the Paragon Wiki and its articles on Paragon City's history, Rogue Isles' history, and the timeline of events.


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