Game start is June 2000.
There are superheroes. There is no known definitive reason for their being, but they’ve been among us for decades. During the war years, the Allies and Axis powers deployed their own superbeings in the armed struggle and the US continued to use superbeings in all of their conflicts for the next 50 years. There are some of these teams and individuals still active. The most famous in the US was “The American Dream” – a team of patriotic superbeings who contributed widely to the Allied cause, as well as being the main strike force in Vietnam.
The US (where our game is set) is divided on the issue of superbeings. Many feel there has to be some sort of licensing of superbeings as there are some who can literally flatten cities with their powers and it is perhaps only luck which has prevented this thus far.
The Watch Tower:
The US Government has taken the initiative of starting a federated system for superbeing protection of cities and states: The Watch Tower. Each state has a minimum of 1 Watchtower installation with at least one superbeing stationed there. Some locations are luckier than others and the resources available to the WatchTower in San Francisco would be very different to the resources provided to a WatchTower in Idaho or Montana. Upkeep of the WatchTower is an accounting nightmare due to the necessity to ensure that the WatchTower makes money through licensing of trademarks, images, intellectual property and technology. The WatchTowers may also “sell” additional protections beyond the necessary to cities, regions, corporations and private individuals.
The realisation that state prisons and penitentiaries are utterly insufficient for the incarceration of superbeings came early but it wasn’t until the mid-80s that anyone could do anything about it. Technology could, in some cases, suppress the abilities of superbeings but in the mid-90s, a task force focussed on solving this problem came up with Fortress. Some of their restraints have been described as inhumane, but we are reminded that humane solutions are for human beings. FORTRESS is incorporated as a public-held company under the watchful reign of the CEO, President and major shareholder, Jorden Grainger.
BloodRage – multiple serial killer and US-based terrorist. After a series of very public displays including the 1998 bombing of the Orange County Womens Correctional Facility in which 120 people died and an unknown number of superhuman felons escaped, BloodRage disappeared and has not been seen in public since.
Atomic I: One of the heroes of the Vietnam-era American Dream, badly injured by BloodRage, but returned to active duty as an independent in 1999. His power, manipulation of nuclear radiation, has resulted in his being contracted over the years out to other nations in order to clear up nuclear spills in Chernobyl, Hamm-Uentrop, Hessen, Tomsk and Tokai-mura. He is a senior member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Atomic III: Though born unpowered, the son of Atomic I developed advanced technology which permitted him to manipulate intense magnetic fields. This technology was subsequently licensed to nations and corporations in order to better control their nuclear reactors and high-energy colliders. In early 1999, Atomic III was missing, presumed dead and his magnetic-impluse gauntlets were used in a crime wave which resulted in the death of the superbeing Lifeline.
Lifeline: Born with the ability to heal others of almost any injury or affliction, Lifeline craved a peaceful life. His powers, though potent, worked best on superbeings and he felt real guilt that they were not more effective on normal humans. in many cases, his healing abilities were only temporary when applied to normal humans. Lifeline was assassinated by persons unknown in 1999. it is known that superbeings from around the globe, heroic and criminal, attended his funeral.
Vitesse: the national hero of France, known for his television and movie appearances, excessive use of stimulants and liberal attitudes to clothing, porn and sex in the media.
Prodigy: major shareholder of the UK-based Prodigy Corporation, Prodigy is now in his mid-20s and still the major supplier of advanced technology to the highest bidder. Prodigy has collaborated with others to build some of the advanced technology we see in use and his company provides the IP protection and licensing for all parties.
The Protectors: based on the west coast of the USA, the Protectors provide a non-governmental alternative to the WatchTower. Their roster: Inferno, Sparkle, Warhead
Moon Boy: the only active member of the original WWII-era American Dream. The scope of his abilities are unknown.
Malice: one of the known escapees of the Orange county Penitentiary bombing in 1998. Malice was captured in late 1999 and placed within Fortress.
The Zombie Squad: mostly inactive “team” of superbeings based in Miami who were partially active during the early 90s. Some of their number still respond but most have simply disappeared.
Hemlock: international assassin.
WatchTower New York: possibly the best funded WatchTower in the country. Roster: The Enigma, White Lightning, Minddancer, Shatter, Scorch, Sentinel, Metalon, SkyWarrior, Dominic Drake. The current team has just lost the extremely lucrative franchise to the WatchTower in New York after a series of costly mishaps and poor public opinion.