01: For Blood or Justice
THE WORLD OF STORMKIND
- The meteorite Ghosa crashes into the Indian Ocean
Global tsunamis and flooding, hundreds of thousands die. Radiation from the meteorite spreads throughout the oceans and is vaporized into the atmosphere. A mini ice age results, affecting crops. Children born near the impact site display strange deformities, and later develop super-human abilities.
- Globally, one in ten thousand children is born with super-human abilities
Some cultures believe they are gods returned. As religious fundamentalism explodes in popularity, society polarizes for- and against- these altered humans
- Mini ice age brings famines and blight - millions die
Nationalism intensifies across the globe as a struggle for resources ensues. Religious groups blame coming of Stormkind as a sign of the end times.
- Nikola Tesla purchases a sample of the Ghosa meteorite
Within the next five years, Tesla invents the force wall, particle beam cannon, photovoltaic cell, and levitation generator. Other scientists speculate that Ghosa radiation increases mental capacity, and inspires inhuman powers or creates monstrous deformities depending on karma and other esoteric spiritualistic beliefs
‘Ghosa Spas’ become a trend among the wealthy. A cottage industry grows selling fake Ghosa shards as healing crystals
- Eugenics flourishes
Germany indoctrinates übermensch (Super Men) soldiers into their military, and euthanizes children born deformed, or ‘deficient.’
Russia, France, Britain, and countries of the fractured Ottoman Empire follow these same patterns to varying degrees
- Hero Worship
China, India, and Indonesia incorporate Super Human and slug children into their belief systems as nature spirits and deities. New shrines are erected to honor individuals resembling mythological heroes. Stormkind from these cultures inspire others to show to the world that gods exist
- The Wrack creates gods, monsters, and cripples
Out of fifteen percent of a generation of children: 75% emerge without any sign of altered biology or super-human powers; 20% are sufficiently malformed. Of this grouping, some exhibit super-normal powers. Most are euthanized as soon as they are revealed as deformed; 5% of Wrack survivors emerge with super-normal powers and no discernable malformations.
- Eurasian countries fight in The Great War
Wars erupt across Europe and Asia. Countries employing super-powered soldiers armed with atomic weapons and flying craft decimate many major cities including Paris, Luxembourg, Berlin, St. Petersburg, London, Glasgow, and Constantinople
The Russian Empire emerges as a superpower on the continent, absorbing all of Eastern Europe, Finland, and parts of Turkey
- The United States enters the war
Utilizing advanced technologies spearheaded by Tesla Labs, the US quickly dominates battlefields on land, sea, and in the air using high-atmosphere blimps, EMP cannons, railguns, jet pack troops, and particle beam rifles. Tesla emitters provide wireless transmission of power to soldiers and their equipment.
- Great War ends
With tentative treaty between Europe, Russia, China, and United States, these countries retreat into isolationist politics. Trade agreements are renegotiated.
Tesla’s energy weapons, including atomic bombs and all inventions created by Super Human-intellects are to be supervised and regulated by a global watch group, ATLAS
- Cauliffe Scale of Super Human Traits published
Dr. Henrik Cauliffe’s extensive notes assembled by his assistant, James L. Violetta. The terms Wrack and Stormkind are first coined.
- The cold war begins
China, Russia, United States, Japan, and India engage in a subversive arms race outside of the view of ATLAS regulations. Scientific developments based on Tesla technologies are secretly advanced by world governments.
Secret registry of Stormkind occurs in US, other countries enact similar protocols to monitor and control Stormkind
Paranoia and Fascism run rampant across the globe
The US employs psychics to track down and indoctrinate Stormkind into government agencies, or have them killed
- Golden Age of Stormkind officially begins
British Capes and Hoods newspaper comic strip is collected into magazine-sized publication by American publisher Cadence becoming the first comic book
A pro-Stormkind cultural movement is promoted by the US government. Designed to inspire Stormkind to come forward, they are quickly integrated into military forces, law enforcement, and other groups where their talents can be put to use either publicly or covertly
- China and Russia embrace Communism
These countries secretly build up weapons and share technologies, employing Stormkind psychics to blind ATLAS oversight
US and Europe impose sanctions on China and Russia. Japan suffers from sanctions, allies with Russia and China, but remains democratic.
- Conflicts in the Pacific islands increase tension
Russia annexes the Korean peninsula, threatening China and Japan. Both countries request covert assistance from US and allies, instigating skirmishes in the Pacific theater
- Television introduced to public
First TV broadcast is a stage performance of Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries
Educational programming runs during the day, entertainment at night
- America’s superhero, Ultus, is attacked by Russia with an atomic bomb
Ultus survives. After recovering on the Moon, Ultus retaliates. With the aid of Orbital and Golden Shield, Ultus destroys all of Russia’s nuclear facilities and rallies an international group of high-powered Stormkind into a group called The Pact. The group systematically eliminates all nuclear weapons and imposes sanctions on the world, threatening to retaliate against any country which violates ATLAS conditions, now to be overseen by The Pact
- Antiheroes thrive in entertainment
Dark Avenger TV show debuts with first antihero in entertainment
Anti-Stormkind violence reaches highest incident rate in US history
- The Ultus Act is signed by world governments
A strict code of ethics is agreed upon in coordination with world leaders and the powerful empath The Diplomat. All Stormkind must act under scrutiny of The Pact. World governments must agree to only develop technologies which improve life on Earth, no more new weapons are permitted to be engineered. All Tesla-era and Stormkind-designed weapons are collected and believed to have been destroyed by Ultus himself in the deep of space.
- The Cape Shop is founded
Cape Shop policies are designed to assure anonymity to all clients as their Stormkind skills are tested according to the Cauliffe Scale. The Stormkind have the option of registering their rated skills directly with the government, sharing their stats with commercial clients, or maintaining complete anonymity.
- Russia, China, India, and the United States race for supremacy in outer space
Only non-Super Human scientists are permitted to participate, per the rules of The Pact, however each of these countries secretly employ Super Human intellects to develop propulsion and guidance systems, accelerating technological developments quickly
China is first to orbit the Earth (1940)
India is the first to land unmanned probe on the Moon (1940)
United States is first to land a human on the moon and return safely (1942)
- The Gryn extraterrestrials attack Earth
Bombardment destroys infrastructure of all advanced countries as the aliens attempt to collect all traces of the Ghosa meteorite
World governments reveal they had kept technologies hidden from The Pact / ATLAS and use these weapons against the Gryn. The US uses prototype methamphetamine infused with Ghosa radiation on their soldiers. Global united forced fight the aliens to a stalemate.
The Pact deputizes all Stormkind capable of space flight and chase the aliens out of the Solar System with plans to follow them back to their home planet, with intent to negotiate peace - are not heard from again
Ultus and several other high-powered Stormkind stay behind to protect the Earth
- Post-War Dark Age in America
Factions of human militia defend territories from government and Stormkind incursion with xenophobic fervor.
Apocalyptic cults arise and gain power. Armed with illegal Tesla weapons and other Stormkind-designed tech, splinter groups of these cults form vigilante teams to hunt down and kill Stormkind. A common belief among religious fanatics is that the Stormkind lured the Gryn to Earth to thin out the human populations so Stormkind could rule over them.
- Tesla Labs helps rebuilding after the war
Communication satellites and internet improve communication between corporations and governments
Computers are introduced for home/personal use, although they are not very powerful and limited to bookkeeping and other simple applications (released Feb 12, 1944)
Teleportation system is designated safe for humans to use, but very expensive to maintain
Nikola Tesla dies in 1948 under mysterious circumstances
- Hatred of Stormkind builds
Anti-Stormkind Movement gains momentum / pro-Fascist groups target Stormkind and supporters. Slugs fear for their lives—hide in areas of cities zoned for garbage and debris after cleanup from the war
- Tech and manufacturing industries grow quickly
Tesla’s Legacy supplies Garamond personal computers to public schools throughout US and Europe. Thereafter, advancements in processing speeds of computers increase exponentially
- Gryn technology is retro-engineered by US, China, India, and Russia
Genetic engineering of humans commences as these countries attempt to create Stormkind with synthetic Ghosa radiation. Since technically, this industry falls outside of ATLAS restrictions, ReWrack facilities begin popping up across the world. The results are less than satisfactory. More often than not, subjects die within hours.
- World powers again begin to fight over territory for resources and power
Tensions build as Russia attempts to take more territory. The US sends weapons and helps train local militias to resist
- Super Humans as non-government agents begin to act outside of the law
Vigilantes hide their faces and identities, imitating the Dark Avenger TV show character
Crimes committed by Stormkind hit highest incident rate in US history
- The Gentleman publishes the book Prometheus Unbound
The book teaches techniques for emerging Stormkind how to maintain anonymity and puts forth a code of ethics to use their powers for good. The book is published by an independently funded press and is distributed to Stormkind through underground channels
- Space race continues
US establishes a base on the Moon
US and India establish a colony on Mars
Multi-national mining operations begin in asteroid belt, assorted moons of Jupiter, Saturn
Artificially enhanced, genetically modified humans more suited to space travel are used for long missions
- Ultus and The Pact vow to stay out of non-Stormkind politics
Stormkind choose to fight alongside governments, hired by private security agencies, and retained by governments
US develops technology which temporarily nullifies Stormkind powers, use as leverage over Ultus and The Pact
The Pact retreats to Moonbase to observe and intervene when needed
- Ongoing conflicts
Russia and US race to develop bio-engineered soldiers. In US, the methamphetamine stoke, suffused with synthetic Ghosa radiation, is prescribed to special operations soldiers, Navy SEALs, CIA agents, in defiance of Ultus and The Pact. These nations fight to gain supremacy in sea, space
- Wars in space over resource rights
Russia, China, Japan, India, US, Turkey establish colonies throughout solar system and begin deep space exploration
Traces of abandoned extraterrestrial civilization discovered on Mars as excavations and construction of Martian city begin
- Civil Rights for Slugs Movement begins
Protests and violent riots involve both Stormkind and the unenhanced, exacerbating non-Stormkind sentiments
- Pro-Stormkind movement elevates Stormkind to celebrity
Comics, cartoons, and TV shows bring positive trend for Stormkind
Team Code Red is founded, spin out comic books based on their fictionalized adventures, and gain popularity across the US.
Japan exports its cartoons and live-action Stormkind entertainment to hungry US audiences
- The Unnamed destroys Chicago
Estimated 3.1 million people die. Damages surpass $2.3 trillion
- Silver Age of Stormkind celebrity begins
Major cities sponsor teams of Stormkind to protect the streets from violence
Entertainment about Stormkind explodes in popularity with rise of the internet
Flying Colors sitcom becomes most popular TV show in history
Cosplay competitions gain prominence in media
- Internet becomes integral to personal life
Vast improvements to computer processing power increase bandwidth and potential to share enriched media and data quickly
Technology moves faster than regulations can keep up
Disinformation is quickly weaponized and used against governments, corporations
- Stormkind technologies emerge
Stormkind intellects are hired by governments to develop weapons, bioengineering human traits, microminiaturization
Robotics, nanotechnology, and cybernetics make way for the Artificial Intelligence boom
Regulations cannot keep up. Black markets emerge to sell these technologies to highest bidder
- Ghosa Radiation successfully synthesized
ReWrack Factories activate Stormkind qualities in all unenhanced, and increase powers in Stormkind
Criminal syndicates begin selling brainwashed ReWracked soldiers to foreign interests
- Russia makes another grasp for power
Ultus intervenes, giving renewed fuel to anti-Stormkind sentiments as the world teeters on the brink of another global war