The Big Villains Thread

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Villain of the Day:  October 22 (The Street Sweeper)

Little Jimmy Holland rose before dawn.  Mom had already been in twice, gently urging him to wake up.  These days when pre-school was still on break, Grace Holland had to wake up a full hour earlier, so that she could drop Jimmy off at her mom's before heading off to work.

Jimmy wolfed down his toast and juice fast enough to give him the 'belchies', as Mom packed up his day pack.  Gramma's house wasn't particularly fun, but Grandpa was always ready to play action figures with Jimmy, as the two clashed together their plastic figures of Legacy, Bunker, and Baron Blade.  Mom zipped up Jimmy's coat, then her own, and the pair headed down the stairs of their townhouse to get in their car.

The Rook City streets seemed louder than usual that morning.  The orange sodium streetlights cast an unhealthsome glow upon the parked cars along McGillis Avenue as the sounds of traffic seemed to snowball into a cacaphony of city sounds.  As Mom slid her briefcase into the back seat and started setting up the car-seat, Jimmy stared absently down the street.  

The headlights of the massive Street Sweeper were already bearing down on them.

Jimmy's eyes gaped, his mouth hung upon wordlessly, as the massive contraption slowly inched its way up McGillis Avenue.  The rumbling whir of its thrashing, spinning wheels slammed into the back of a sedan, pulling the bumper into the sweeper's voracious maw, followed by the trunk, then the whole of the car itself.  Within seconds, the car was gone, and the brushes sprayed out fluids of black and blue behind it as the street sweeper trudged on.

"Mom....mom....mom...."  Jimmy mumbled, dumbfounded.

On the steps down the street, slept Mister Billy.  Mom often warned Jimmy of talking Mister Billy on her own, but he was always kind to Jimmy and Mom would occasionally hand Mister Billy a $20 bill, telling him to go grab something hot to eat.  Mister Billy was oblivious to the noise, as the street sweeper rumbled up onto the sidewalk, mowing down a tree as it went, the autumn leaves spraying out from the back of the terrible machine in an orange-yellow mist.

Mister Billy didn't wake up until the sweeper was nearly on him, his left leg sucked into the whirling brushes.  He had time to scream once--just another noise in the Rook City morning--before the spray of red emerged from the rear of the street sweeper.

Jimmy shook, trembling like the last leaf on a frost-covered tree.  "Mom, go!  Wanna go!  Go now!"  Jimmy started crawling up into the car, even as Grace fumbled with the seatbelt clasp.

"Jimmy, wait!  I need to finish getting it ready."  As Mom lifted him up and buckled him in, Jimmy arched his neck, watching the massive machine bear slowly down the street.  Mister Billy was nowhere to be seen. 

"Go, Mom!  Wanna go!"

"Okay, Jimmy, okay...give me one minute.  You stay here; I left my cell phone in the kitchen.  I'll be right back.

Jimmy's face grew red with tears and screaming as he howled his protest, "No, Mom!  Go!   Wanna go!"

But Mom jogged swiftly up the stairs, keyed in the lock, and disappeared behind the front door.  Strapped into his car seat, little Jimmy couldn't see how close the street sweeper had come.  He could only hear the sounds of the city, growing louder and cacaphonous around him...

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Villain of the Day:  October 23 (Blast Shadows)

Any welder could tell you; don't look into the light.  

Blast Shadows are what happens when people don't heed that advice.

Originally referring to the shadows left burned into the ground following a nuclear explosion, the term blast shadows were first applied to creatures that arose in Mexico City following the detonation of Borr the Unstable, one of the numerous cions of OblivAeon.  Borr's explosion devastated the city proper, though without the intervention of several heroes, the whole of the region may have been immolated.  Despite this, the explosion of Borr resulted in the deaths of at least 35 individuals, with hundreds of others injured.

Fernanda Oliveira was one of those 35.  Attempting to flee home from her office, she was caught in Borr's blast radius when the creature detonated, presumably vaporizing her near-instantly.  However, in the long days of recovery following the OblivAeon event, something strange began to occur.  

Something had started to relive Fernanda's life.

Each day, individuals familiar with her daily routines started to note a fleeting, human-shaped shadow following the same paths that Fernanda herself would follow.  Her daily jog, her stop for coffee and breakfast, her commute to her office job--this strange being seemed to be following the basic impressions of Fernanda's life, step by step.  

As it turned out, those individuals who were within a certain radius of Borr's explosion were subject to overwhelming exposure to cosmic energy.  However, those who happened to be staring directly at Borr as he exploded felt that cosmic power radiate up their optic nerves, directly into their brain, even as their eyes melted under the intense heat.  That cosmic power reacted with the individuals' natural biochemistry, resulting in a residual energy-based being, imprinted with the vague memories of that individual.  As such the newly formed 'blast shadow' was left believing that it was, in fact, the long-dead individual, following their routines and acting out some semblance of the life they left behind.

While blast shadows can be frightening, they truly only become dangerous when kept from their routines or if confronted with the fact that they are, in fact, not the individual they believe themselves to be.  If arrested in such a manner, blast shadows can prove to be particularly menacing foes, as their incorporeal nature makes them impervious to most attacks.  Blast shadows most often retaliate with blasts of cosmic energy released from where their eyes would have been.  To date, the preferred method to deal with blast shadows has simply been to let them roam and avoid interference at all cost...

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Villain of the Day:  October 24 (The Lord of the Bees)

Dr. Brent Kernan was always fascinated by the lowliest creatures of the Earth.  Now, he stands on the verge of becoming one of them.

An entomologist specializing in apiary science, Kernan was stripped of his doctoral degrees and any sort of respect in the scientific community, following the reveal of the controversial Acarapis project.  While working for one MoniGen, of the Big Six agribusiness firms, Kernan spearheaded Acarapis as a method to systematically elminate the world's native populations of honeybees, with the intent to replace them with a proprietary, company-owned species.  Kernan took the fall for his employer, who proceeded to rebrand and remarket their "super-bees" to America's farmers, implying that a yearly contract with them would result in increased pollenation rates and much stronger crop production rates.

However, what MoniGen did not realize was the depth and breath of Kernan's fascination.  And, for that matter, how much research Kernan held in his own, private servers.  

Once a member of TALOS, before that organization cut him loose on account of his psychotic nature, Kernan seeded his 'super-bees' with a number of self-replicating nanites, allowing him to utilize a specially-designed helmet to telekinetically control the swarm.  However, Kernan's ambitions have not stopped there:  rather, he has begun working to splice his own DNA with that of his own bees, utilizing their own perfected genetics to enhance his own.  That genetic tampering has come with a number of massive drawbacks, of course.  Not the least of these has been the hideous transmutations Kernan has undergone:  his eyes crystallizing and compounding, the slow sprouting of gossamer wings from Kernan's back, and more.

Even as Kernan slowly transforms into a Cronenberg-esque horror, the self-styled Lord of the Bees continues his designs in secret, utilizing a remote family haunt deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia to breed and develop his ants.  Utilizing some TALOS-proprietary growth tech, Kernan secures his compound with giant-sized drones linked directly to his own neural network.  To a casual observer, Kernan even seems to 'dance' across his laboratory, often preferring gesture and intonation to even words. Though, truth be told, anyone who dares try to converse with Kernan at this point may only result in sorrow.

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Thin veils are thin. :V

But does he have a briefcase full of bees?

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If not, he should.  Bees everywhere. 

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TakeWalker wrote:

But does he have a briefcase full of bees?

I don't remember...


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Unicode U+24BD gets us Ⓗ. (Thanks, Godai!)

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Also, Bees.

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Villain of the Day: October 25 (The Stairwell Man)

 

Wait for day; turn on the light 

The Stairwell Man can wait tonight.

He stands a-waiting, shadow-still 

Upon the landing with his kill.

 

The body drips upon the stair 

The Stairwell Man is waiting there.

Bloody shears glint in his hand:

A snik-snak blade at his command.

 

Light drifts in from window cracked /

The Stairwell Man is dressed in black.

Caked in gore with gloves of red, 

If he grabs you, you'll be dead.

 

A broken lightbulb slowly swings 

The Stairwell Man in silence brings 

a grisly fate for any daring

climb the stair where he is staring.

 

Light the candle, fire the torch.

The Stairwell Man is on the watch.

In darkness black does evil dwell

Bodies lying where they fell.

 

He waits for you upon the landing,

The Stairwell Man with crimson banding.

Pray he stays upon the flight 

and will not descend tonight...

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Bravo! Though I got the feeling you were looking down at him the whole time, so wouldn't that be 'ascend' at the end?

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Urban legend, so it's likely been sung both ways...

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Villain of the Day:  October 26 (Yateveo)

Edmund Spenser once mentioned the Yateveo, in a version of The Faerie Queene known only to the most learned occult scholars.  That once-mentioned horror, however, has been the downfall of so many explorers in the hidden parts of the world.

A form of massive plant known to be native to legendary Thule, the Yateveo tree has gone by many names over the years.  Within modern record, it has been known as the kulamtu, vampire vine, the Madagascar tree, the Judas tree, and the devil's snare.  One of Spenser's sorcerous contemporaries, the German phisosopher Karl Liche, described the being's attack as vicious, "The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey."  Another occult biologist noted that the Yateveo almost appeared as "many huge serpents in an angry discussion, occasionally darting from side to side as if striking at an imaginary foe" which seize and pierce any creature coming within reach."

Yateveo seem to gravitate to the forbidden, forgotten areas of the world.  They tend to thrive in tropical island climes, so they are most often found on Madagascar (hence the name), Indonesia, and Insula Primalis.  While they are capable of eating any sort of mammalian prey, yateveo seem to decidely prefer intelligent prey, actively seeking out sentient life forms for consumption.  Being plants, yateveo do not move particularly quickly, but unwary explorers have been known to rest in areas frequented by yateveo, never arising again as the plant creature devoured them as they slept.

Most distressing, however, may well be the introduction of yateveo into the Northm American continent.  Agribusiness firm XyloFrond has made a concerted effort to study and cultivate yateveo at its California-based farming compounds, with their botany specialists often accompanied by armed guards as they make their way through the grounds.  If those sprouts were to spread, the devastation unleashed upon California would be catastrophic.

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Villain of the Day:  October 27 (The Russian Remnant)

Alexander Tsarev steeled himself.  

He knew the ritual would make him into a soldier capable of taking on the corruption of the decadent West, but this?  The use of strange sorceries culled from Nazi bunkers?  Discordian rites stolen from ancient Thule?  This was over his head.  But, to preserve the glorious Soviet state, he was ready to try anything.  He had put his trust in his superiors--Major General Piotr Staurakios seemed to understand this much more than Alexander himself did--and he knew that trust would be rewarded.

Initially, the results were a success beyond measure.  Tsarev found that he could create clones of himself with but a thought.  He had become a one-man-army, a single man capable of taking on an entire regiment of trained troops.  

That was before The Russian Remnant began to appear.

Tsarev knew that there was no way for him to recover each of the arcanely-created clones that he had left across the battlefields of Southeast Asia, of South America, of Eastern Europe.  He was sure that he had left countless bodies, all identical copies of himself, in bunkers and in military bases the world over.  Both he and his superiors were sure that these were just bodies; just meat and bone and sinew left to rot in the wake of the expansion of the Soviet state.  They surely weren't anything more.  They surely weren't true people.  They had no consciousness, no self-awareness, no true personality beyond Tsarev himself.

They couldn't have a soul, could they?

As World War III raged on, as Tsarev brought his talents to battlefields the world over, spectral forms of his fallen bodies began to rise, haunting the places where they fell.  Ghastly forms, bearing the ragged wounds of their deathblows, floated spectrally through the blasted No Man's Land, terrifying any who dared gaze upon them.  With each mission Tsarev was assigned, more and more of the Russian Remnant began to appear, forever fighting a battle that none would ever win. 

And, of course, as the OblivAen crisis raged on, the legends of Alexander Tsarev, the 'super-soldier' reached the ears of the ever-wandering Haka, who brought Tsarev through to our realm.  And, while Tsarev himself managed to return to his war-torn world, a part of the Russian Remnant remains...

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Villain of the Day: October 28 (The Devil's Own Herd)

There's a legend out in the southwest.  As the storm rolls in across the Texas plains, the devil himself rides out to take his herd to pasture.  A herd of red eyed steers thunder across the dusty prairie, their hooves burning like molten steel and brimstone streaming from their maws.

As it turns out, there might just be some truth to that tall tale. Just not in the way an old cattle-puncher might have you believe. 

The first sighting of The Devil's Own Herd was actually made by a series of volcanologists, indicating a fissure in the earth near the Balcones Fault in southern Texas.  Finding that the fissure led to deepest Magmaria was a shock unto itself, but what the researchers found within defied sanity. 

There, in the heart of the Earth, was a twisted mockery of a fully operational cattle ranch, south the bodies of both humans and Magmarians staked out as if to ward away any interlopers.  Within, a series of the most vicious Crystalloid Behemoths that any of the researchers had come across.  Worse, their natural claws and teeth had been filed to razor shards, their maws still stained with the blood and ichor of the recently devoured. 

However, the most dire horror there beneath the earth was surely the figure in black.  A mockery of some American cowboy, he strode out, shouting in a language none of the researchers could recognize.  Shouting threats and weaving lava through his fingers, he commanded the Behemoths to charge...

Only three of those researchers managed to return to the surface; surely the remainder was slain and eaten by the mysterious rancher.  But since that day, when the storm is about to roll in, that herd of behemoths, led by the dark ranchhand, can still be seen thundering across the surface world.  Woe betide any who cross their trail...

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Villain of the Day:  October 28 (Ol' Stitch)

They say 'the clothes make the man'.  The being known as Ol' Stitch would be just as happy pursing the man to make the clothes.

Often masquerading as human, Ol' Stitch is expert in the art of anthropodermic bibliopegy--the art of utilizing human skin  in the binding of books.  However, its true passion was not for bookbinding, but rather than the art of shaping flesh and skin into articles of clothing and armor.  For decades, Ol' Stitch has stalked the darker corners of this world, collecting the indigent and forgotten to craft masterpieces of horror, all the while thwarting the numerous efforts of intrepid investigators to capture it.  In all actuality, however, Ol' Stitch is a demonic being with teeth resembling rotten needles and lengthy fingers and nails that 

Only two known villainous groups have ever managed to make contact with Ol' Stitch on any sort of 'friendly' basis:  the now-destroyed Kingsport sect of the Cult of Gloom, and that enigmatic madman known as Biomancer.

In documents recovered by the occult huinter known as The Redblade, there seemed to be a long-standing relationship between one of the cult leaders in Kingsport and Ol' Stitch.  Ol' Stitch had apparently provided the cultists there with a large number of ensorcelled armor and bracers, all made from the flesh of those sacrificed by the cult themselves.  The cult leader, one Merritt Olney, noted a single reference in his journal, insinuating that Ol' Stitch may have, in fact, been the creature who bound the Grimoire of Curses and affixed the head of the Drum of Despair.  In both cases, occult scholars have posited, this would insinuate that Ol' Stitch seems to not only be centuries (not decades) old, and that it may have been among the ancient forbearers of Gloomweaver's cult.  What Ol' Stitch had been doing in the meanwhile, however, is anyone's guess.

Somewhat strangely, where Ol' Stitch has proved to be an ally to Gloomweaver and the Cult of Gloom, the demon seems to be friends with Biomancer.  While Ol' Stitch has not actually been seen with Biomancer--really, who has?--comparisons between Biomancer's flesh-children and Ol' Stitche techniques abound.  Further, Ol' Stitch has often been encountered with numerous flesh-children, who defend it to the last.  Whether Biomancer gave Ol' Stitch these creatures or if Ol' Stitch created these on its own remains to be seen, though Ol' Stitch has shown no indications of creating flesh-children on any occasion. 

Most recently, Ol' Stitch has been sighted around some of the ruins of San Alonzo, picking over the remains of the devastated city.  One could only imagine what the vile creature may make from the bodies collected in such a disaster.

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It strangely warms my heart to think that even a gross weirdo like Biomancer has friends. That he didn't make himself. Who are also gross and weird. :B What can ya do?

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Between Ol' Stitch and Madame Mittermeier, Zosimos sure does make the rounds.  Wonder if he has a FleshBook account?

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Villain of the Day:  October 30 (The Melting Man)

Don't ever pick up hitchhikers, friends and neighbors.  Especially if they start dripping their way through your passenger seat.

A long-time urban legend, The Melting Man most often features in stories of long-haul truckers and those who do a lot of highway traveling.  In near all cases, the story goes the same.  The lone driver picks up a non-descript man on the side of the road late at night.  The man is dressed in a rumpled suit, and claims to be able to pay for a trip to the next closest city.  If invited in, he takes a seat, introduces himself, and engages his host in thankful, polite conversation.

That's when the weirdness starts.  As the trip continues, the hitchhiker slowly becomes less and less cogent.  As conversation continues, His grip on language and cogent thought begins breaking down.  He grows increasingly frustrated at seemingly random items--"No, that's not right!  That exit isn't there!  You're in the wrong lane!"--sweating profusely all the while.  However, an astute driver, who takes their eyes off the road for just a second, will surely notice that the passenger isn't sweating.  Rather, he is liquifying.  As the trip continues, the hitchhiker slumps down in his seat, as his spine loses cohesion, eventually becoming a dripping horror of molten skin and flapping sinew.

Inevitably, the story ends with the driver's car being found on the side of the road.  The driver there sits bolt upright, dead from drowning.

While the story of The Melting Man has gone down in urban legend, there is a kernal of truth behind it.  Jason Markham, once a hired hand and occasional vagrant in the Rockies, took a job as a human test subject for a government health project.  Little did he know that he had actually signed up for testing as part of Black Site 515-Tango's ongoing efforts to decode Grand Warlord Voss's gene-binding technology.  Splicing Jason's DNA with an alien creature with a fluid form made him into an ideal blend of human and Gene Bound Pursalian...for about fifteen minutes, before his body discorporated and was swept up into a biohazard tank.

However, awash with biohazard waste and chemicals, Jason's consciousness began to pull together his form.  He can hold his human form for approximately half an hour, though the longer he stays in his human form, the more his mental state degrades.  As he slowly liquifies, he descends into a confused madness, often ending up in violent argument.  By the time that Jason totally liquifies, he becomes no more than an enraged, homocidal glop of humanoid water, leaving anyone in the vicinity seemingly "drowned".  

To date, Jason has wandered throughout the American West, giving rise to the legend of The Melting Man...

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Now that's a horrifyingly original take on the phantom hitchhiker...

PlatinumWarlock wrote:

Between Ol' Stitch and Madame Mittermeier, Zosimos sure does make the rounds.  Wonder if he has a FleshBook account?

@ZosWithThaMos wrote:
hey @MadameMitt herd u like gettin freaky w/flesh hmu #fleshisthebesh #allaccordingtokeikaku
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Villain of the Day:  October 31 (Typhon)

It was only a fish.  A seahorse, to be more specific.  Now, it's so much more.

That enigmatic chemical, Isoflux Alpha, has left an indelible impact upon the universe, with hundreds (if not thousands) of Omegas emerging across the world, bearing untold powers derived from that strange, cosmic radiation.  Overwhelmingly, those Omegas have been humans, resulting in the emergence of the wholly new biomedical field of metabiology.  However, astute biologists have noted that, on rare occasions, animals have been subject to the Isoflux Alpha particle, most notably the man-sized Komodo that serves as a bodyguard to Dr. Emershan Laurent.

The creature designated Typhon is the first known "naturally-occuring" animal Omega.  And, if not checked, it certainly will not be the last.

Scientists currently believe that the titanic Typhon was once merely a Severn's pygmy seahorse:  a creature no bigger than an inch.  However, after exposure to an Isoflux Alpha particle, the seahorse grew to titanic size, sprouting additional snouts and tails until it resembled nothing so much as a massive tentacular splay with a gigantic sea-horse head sprouting from the central trunk.  Typhon has been particularly destructive, having made landfall in Sri Lanka and nearly crushing the city entire as it smashed and devoured its way across the island.  The greatest damage, however, came from expulsions of irradiated sea slime which Typhon was capable of spitting to a distance of half a mile.

Some have questioned, however, how could such a thing come to be?  In the case of Komodo, the Isoflux Alpha particle came from the creature devouring a portion of an already-identified Omega.  However, for a coral-dwelling, plankton-eating seahorse, this could simply not possibly be the case for Typhon.  Some have noted that larger seahorses are capable of eating small crustaceans, implying a carnivorous diet; these researchers have concluded that even amongst its diminuitive species, Typhon may have already been a mutant of some sort, which may have made it suceptible to the Isoflux Alpha radiation.

It was during that Sri Lanka event that Typhon was first named and identified, and whereupon its true terror comes from.  You see, Typhon appears to have mutated from a male seahorse....meaning that it currently bears a whole brood of giant-sized young.  Typhon is, if nothing else, the father of monsters.  If not found and destroyed, it may mean that an entire legion of Omega-powered sea monsters await the world's seas, to say nothing of the tremendous Typhon itself.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

As Halloween falls, we've reached the end of our Monster Mash October.  Starting tomorrow, we begin No-Powers November:  a legion of foes who rely on their wits and cunning rather than superhuman abilities, occult sorceries, or strange devices.  

Just two months to go!

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That is so cool, what a way to end this month. :D

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Glad you like it!

I really wanted to end the month with something that could go toe to toe with Invirodan from October 1.  Plus, who can resist the alliterative appeal of The Titanic Typhon versus The Insidious Invirodan?!

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Ohh, I see your game now! :V

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As we put away the jack-o-lanterns and delve into our full sacks of candy, we bid a fond farewell to Monster Mash October.

Now, we welcome to No-Powers November:  a whole month of adversaries who don't rely on fabulous mystic powers or phenomenal technology.  Rather, they use their wits, their cunning, and a few tricks to make life aggravating for our heroes.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Villain of the Day:  November 1 (Riposte)

You might say that Donald Marozzo has something of a fixation.

Even as a teenager, Donald--"Donnie" to his friends--was an active member of his area's medieval reenactment scene, as his parents frequented the Renaissance Faire circuit.  Donnie swiftly immersed himself in fencing and heavy combat training, which he took to like a fish to water.  Within a few years, he had made a name for himself on the jousting and heavy combat circuit, winning numerous championships.

Luckily for Donnie, he was savvy enough to turn his passion into a career.  Hiring an agent, he began auditioning for stunt double and other minor roles in various action movies, which quickly evolved into roles as fight choreographer for the "Legends of the Blade" trilogy of films and its subsequent spin-off TV series:  "The Axeheart Legends".  Marozzo swiftly became known for striking a firm balance between authenticity and 'flash', as well as his easy-going nature behind the scenes and his ability to work with even the most tempermental actors.  When pop diva Bellatrix was cast as Red Mariah in "Legends of the Blade II", Donnie quickly became one of her closest confidantes, with director Hugo Mattings often making requests for Bellatrix through Donnie.

However, Donnie's interest in swordplay was no mere career or personal hobby.  As he grew in age, his carefully cultivated sword collection--all hand-forged, all as 'authentic' as possible--grew exponentially, with the walls of his Megalopolis loft covered in blades of all shape and sizes.  That, in fact, is when the trouble began; when Donnie began to descend into mania.

The discovery of a Viking era sword in a Scandinavian lake made headlines the world around, as a ten-year-old girl discovered the blade while on a family day trip.   While the family donated the sword to the national museum, Donnie knew that this artifact must join his collection.  Disguising himself as the rakish Riposte and arming himself with all manner of blades, Donnie traveled to Norway to relieve the museum of the newfound prize.  The theft, of course, made international headlines, as Riposte eluded authorities and the sword seemingly vanished.

Since that day, Donnie has sought blades across the world, using his unique skills in combat to elude and humiliate any who might stand in his way.  As Riposte, he has stolen the 2000-year old Sword of Goujian, an authentic Aztec Macuahuitl, and a sword believed to be owned by Salah ad-Din which was lost during the Battle of Jaffa in 1192.  However, his greatest prize still lays before him:  the rune-carved blade of Absolution...

 

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Villain of the Day:  November 2 (Clevon Washington)

Whatever happened to Clevon Washington?

Once one of the baddest mutha- ("Shut yo mouth!) to strut down Rook City's south side, Clevon Washington was best known as the guy who always had whatever you need.  Need someone to watch the street while you have a chat with a store-owner?  Clevon was out front, eyeing up the street for you.  Need to bust some heads in a back alley?  Clevon was there with his big .357 and a tire iron, ready to whup upside some heads.  Need a way into that nightclub?  Clevon's got a VIP ticket.  

Then, he vanished.

It was no surprise that a bunch of bad muthas had Clevon Washington on their hit list.  Clevon walked on the lean side of the law, with the NCPD itching to find something they could take him downtown on.  However, Clevon also managed to interfere with The Chairman's operations enough to make more than a few enemies amongst The Organization.  Not the least of these was the late Contract, whose hired guns took a hefty beating from Clevon down at the South Street Laundry.  The Contract had personally planned to take on Clevon, but that was before an encounter with a crocodile-shifted Naturalist had left The Contract broken in the Rook City sewers.

One would figure that Mister Fixer might have kept tabs on Clevon, especially given that they'd worked together on a few rare occasions, but after Slim's brush with death and resurrection, the zombified Fixer never cared to make contact with Clevon.  The one person who may have an idea of where Clevon has gone might be Black Fist's old squeeze, Sweet Miss Coffee Brown, but she herself has all but disappeared from the Rook City streets.  If nothing else, any would-be vigilante on the Rook City streets may find themselves asking the question, "Whatever happened to Clevon Washington?"

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Villain of the Day:  November 3 ('Deetz' Lorenzo)

If being a witness was a professional lifestyle, Tolito 'Deetz' Lorenzo would be a millionaire by now.

Born to a mixed race family in a less-than-savory portion of Megalopolis--his father was from the Dominican Republic, while his mother was African-American--Tolito practically grew up hustling.  In elementary schools, the proximity of his name to a certain deep-fried snack product--"Hey, homes!  He's the crunchiest!"--caused Tolito to take on the nickname of 'Deetz' to avoid merciless mockery and chip references.  In high school, 'Deetz' did just enough to pass his coursework, while simultaneously selling cigarettes, stolen test keys, and any number of minor things that could earn him a fast buck.

Unfortunately, as Deetz graduated and was unable to find steady work, he found that there was always cash to be had moving illicit product, acting as a lookout, or otherwise aiding in some of the low-key crimes that tend to be overlooked by the costumed heroes of Megalopolis.  Never managing to get rich, Deetz continued taking jobs for whoever needed a trustworthy set of eyes,

However, for some strange reason, Deetz always seems to be front and center for the most climactic events that confront Megalopolis.  The 'Rat Plague' epidemic?  Deetz watched those Revocorp guys hauling a way a giant mutant rat in one of their security trucks.  When Baron Blade brought his goon squad through town, Deetz drove right under one of those giant Mobile Defense Platforms, as he went to pick up a few crates of stolen guns to sell from the pawn shop he was working in.  As Progeny ravaged the city, Deetz had a front row seat from his apartment's fire-escape, watching all the carnage go down with some popcorn and a stiff drink.

While Deetz is strictly small-time in terms of crime, his propensity to be at the right place at the right time can potentially make him a useful informant to any would-be hero needing the low-down on what's going on in Megalopolis' underside.  Getting Deetz to talk, though, is totally its own challenge; Deetz would much rather beat feet than talk to any "underpants-on-the-outside narc", especially if he's actively carrying stolen goods, selling drugs, or on the job for one of the gangers in Megalopolis.  However, if pressed in the right way, Deetz might just provide the clue an investigator might need to crack open a case..

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Villain of the Day:  November 4 (Mai Rou Zhe)

Amid the chaotic markets of China, you can find almost anything.  Bootleg DVDs of the latest Night Hunter movie (even before it's released!), exotic bits of animals roasted or fried before your eyes, and all manner of medicinal remedies to cure everything from anemia to yellow fever. 

Mai Rou Zhe, however, specializes in something much more morbid.

The individual known collectively as "The Butcher" focuses their efforts on providing riffs on traditional home-recipies, made from the dismembered body parts from various alien species.  Everything from an jerky made from Gene Bound Ruoenf Guards to Maerynian fin soup is available within Mai Rou Zhe's pop-up shops, which travel throught the whole of mainland China.  For anyone who can pay The Butcher's exorbitant prices, Mai Rou Zhe claims phenomenal health and spiritual benefits willing to take his medication as prescribed.

The question, though, is *how* Mai Rou Zhe manages to acquire such esoteric components.  The answer, while relatively mundane, is no less horrifying.

Mai Rou Zhe has a number of contacts throughout Asia and Oceana which actively hunt down alien or other esoteric creatures.  Whenever they find such a creature--or sentient being, for that matter--they keep it on dry ice before delivering it to Mai Rou Zhe for butchery and preparation.  Within a matter of hours, Mai Rou Zhe has those creatures up for sale to any who might be in need of their special medicines.

The Chinese Peoples' Armed Forces have been on the hunt for Mai Rou Zhe for numerous years, though Mai Rou Zhe has managed to stay ahead of them at every turn.  Some have suggested that the Chinese PAF may be on the verge of reaching out to the superhuman community to help track down Mai Rou Zhe, though if past experience with China is any indication, it's not likely that the Chinese authorities will brook any outside interference, even if it does bring The Butcher to justice.

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And I thought your October stuff was creepy. XD

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Villain of the Day:  November 5 (ArtBomb)

Liverpool hosts the single-largest fireworks display in the United Kingdom.  Each Guy Fawkes Day, Merseyside alights with the sights of phenomenal pyrotechnics launched from a barge just off of the Royal Albert Dock.  The thunderous cavalcade is accompanied by pulse-pounding music and a carnivalesque atmostphere.  

This past year, Guy Fawkes Day brought a much more somber tone, as the terrorist called ArtBomb struck once more.

As the rockets detonated across the November sky, the Liverpool installation of the famous Tate Gallery exploded into so much shattered mortar and brick.  The ensuing fires and smoke damage left countless pieces of art and sculpture in shambles; art historians and appraisers have estimated that over $180 million in art was lost, including countless one-of-a-kind pieces from throughout British History.

However, at the Tate explosion, investigators noted something was awry.  Within the explosion, a single art piece could not be accounted for, either destroyed or intact.  That piece, a 400-year-old painting titled An Allegory of Man, managed to survive the Protestant Reformation, though its original artist was lost.  As investigators started delving deeper, however, they soon found that at each of the other ArtBomb attacks, a single piece of art--all by anonymous artists--could not be accounted for.  What ArtBomb does with this pieces, though, remains to be seen.  The art never seems to appear on the black market, nor does any known collector seem to have possession of the pieces.

In light of ArtBomb's attacks, security has been stepped up for the opening of the 'Ancient World' wing at the Wagner Museum of the Fine Arts in Megalopolis.  The new wing boasts over 800 unique pieces ranging from ancient Sumerian tablets to Etruscan statuary.  While the museum staff is determined to go ahead with the planned opening, trusting security to their own staff and the Megalopolis PD, it remains to be seen whether ArtBomb will make an incindiary opening.

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Villain of the Day:  November 6 (The Chauffeur)

Getting from Point A to Point B is hard enough.  Getting from Point A to Point B while eluding the police, Interpol, GLOBAL, and any number of superheroes with a load of illicit cargo is another degree of difficulty altogether.

That is, unless you're riding with The Chauffeur.  Simply put, her skills behind the wheel are undeniable and she outright refuses to be caught.

None really know where she came from.  She speaks English with just the slightest slight accent, as if she had lived in Greece or somewhere in the Levant, but spent most of her time in an English-speaking country.  She has, on occasion, referenced spending some time on the racing circuit, but the nature of those races and where she might have raced still remains a mystery.  The Chauffeur prides herself on being tight-lipped and focused on the job at hand, rarely sparing time for small talk.

Boasting a stable of technologically-augmented cars, trucks, and other vehicles, The Chauffeur offers her services to criminal cabals in need of transportation.  Whether moving goods across borders, serving as a getaway driver, or any number of other roles, The Chauffeur provides her services at a premium price to whomever can afford her exorbitant fees. 

Those that do pay for her services, however?  They can't speak more highly of her.  The Chauffeur managed to outrun a convoy of fifteen Megalopolis SWAT cruisers, themselves backed up by three police helicopters and a full blockade along Interstate 14.  She managed to cross the full United States in 24 straight hours, ensuring that mob boss Enzo de la Porre was outside the country before he could be extradited.  SWAT drivers and field agents tell of her car dropping EMP grenades that shut off their engines, her tires sprouting spines that enabled her to drive up  vertical rises, and a hood-mounted ion cannon cable of taking out an armored military helicopter.

One clue, though, remains as to The Chauffer's true identity.  One of her most recent jobs, working for a think-tank group affiliated with TALOS, was apparently done 'gratis'.  The only payment The Chauffer asked for was the purchase of a vacant lot in eastern Colorado.  That lot is now registered to one Josephine Weekes, a woman who was rumored to have been killed during the Deadline event.  Josephine's father, Francis, was a noted racer on the French Grand Prix circuit...

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Villain of the Day:  November 7 (Martin Chakin, and similarly situated persons)

Martin Chakin lost everything.  

His home was annihilated in the first attacks on Megalopolis during the OblivAeon event.  His wife and middle-school-aged son, Jason, were both inside as cosmic energy ripped their split-level from its foundations.  His daughter, a student at Overbrook University, was one of any number of students slain as scions rampaged through the streets of Rook City.  Their timeshare condo in San Alonzo?  Vaporized.  His workplace?  Demolished.  

All that Martin Chakin had left were the clothes on his back, the $15.75 left in his wallet, and his cat, Tibby, who somehow survived the destruction of their home, meowing plaintively as rescue crews tried to extract the bodies of Miranda and Jason.

The photo of Martin holding Tibby, sitting on the curb of a Megalopolis street, won photographer Salvador Eckert a Pulitzer Prize.  The headline in the Megalopolis Examiner in the days following the devastation--bold text hovering over Martin's head, reading "Now What?"--stands alongside some of the most recognizable, most historic newspaper headlines of all time.

Of course, Martin was not alone.  Few and far between are the people who could not claim at least one casualty within their family or friends during the whole OblivAeon affair.  However, Martin's accidental noteriety began a curious occurance.  Grief counseling groups, community shelters and support groups, and relief stations suddenly started to become hotbeds of rage, of frustration, and of wretched loss.

That's when Martin was approached by one Kristoph Adams, J.D., LLP.  A partner in the Adams, Brekker, and Coldwell law firm, Adams reached out to Martin at a Megalopolis-area shelter, eager to hear Martin's 'true story'.  It was there, over a cup of reheated coffee and military-issue MREs that the first seeds of Martin's suit was planted.

In May of the following year, Martin Chakin was in the headlines once more.  "OblivAeon Survivor Sues Supers" read the Examiner's top headline, with an image of a Martin with Kristoph Adams at their press conference on the steps of the US Circuit Courthouse.  Listed as primary plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, Martin and his team of lawyers have effectively taken a three-pronged approach:  1) insinuating the the overall OblivAeon attacks were instigated due to the involvement of the Freedom Five and their allies; 2) establishing that the destruction of property and lives were caused by the negligence of said superheroes, and 3) establishing that no restitution has yet been made for those affected by said negligence.

As of this date, over 12,500 signatories have added their names to "Martin Chakin, et. al. vs. Sentinels of Freedom"  Adams and his law firm have expanded massively, bringing in some of the most notable, keenest minds within the legal field.  Investigations have been launched into approximately 3,000 of signatories' individual circumstances, all funded by a series of angel investors and 'donors', eager to see Martin's suit succeed.  Even the formidable Brianna Hawke, longtime lawyer to the Freedom Five, has noted that the situation seems to grow more dire by the day.

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Villain of the Day:  November 8 (Gravedigger)

Rumor abounds surrounding the Gravedigger, with little verified.  But, rest assured that none rest easy when Gravedigger is involved.

A mysterious figure, Gravedigger is behind the kidnapping and premature burial of no less than eight known associates of various heroes.  The first known victim of Gravedigger was Jerry Carlson, the long-time neighbor of the Parsons family.  Jerry was rescued, luckily enough, by the Freedom Five, but he was found unconscious in a shallow grave, dug hastily in the Pleasant Rest Cemetary and Mausoleum.  Carlson claimed to have been confronted by a man dressed in the cassock and hood of a medieval monk, before being slammed in the head with a spade-shovel.  Carlson remembered nothing more of the incident or why he might have been targeted.

This pattern continued in the midwest, where Setback's sister, Sarah, was kidnapped under similar circumstances.  She, however, claimed that beneath the hood, the man was wearing a cowled mask, inlaid with a series of skulls.  It was Sarah that first coined the figure as Gravedigger.  Luckily for her, a pocket of air in the grave-earth above her allowed her to breathe just long enough for her brother and the rest of Dark Watch to extract her.

Other near-victims of Gravedigger have been Tyler Vance's sister, Randall Butler's mother, and Hugh Lowsley's cousin.  In all cases, Gravedigger specifically targets the family and friends of known heroes, attacking them from stealth, knocking them out, and attempting to bury them alive.  Only one fatality, however, has come from Gravedigger's attacks:  Gareth Huntley, the nephew of Paige Huntley.  While KNYFE was most distraught by this death, Gareth's assassination did reveal a single clue:  a hastily snapped cell-phone photo during the attack shows a distinctive metallic tattoo along Gravedigger's left arm.  Needless to say, KNYFE and her allies are eager to find this individual and bring him to justice.

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Villain of the Day: November 9  (Sjambok)

Some villains are out for wealth.  Others, for glory or vengeance.  Still others for power or dominance. 

Sjambok is none of those.  Sjambok is after one thing and one thing only: a thrill. 

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sjambok takes her name from a traditional weapon still used by riot police in many African countries.  However, Sjambok is an expert warrior with all manner of whips, flails, and chains, eager to take on all comers.  While often acting as a mercenary for hire, Sjambok often aids other metahumans as a hired infiltrator and skirmisher capable of holding her own against even the most seasoned superhuman.

Lately, Sjambok has taken up with Riposte in forming something of a mercenary union.  Acting out of a one time Catholic school in Rook City, Sjambok and Riposte keep the peace in a common ground where Rook City's most nefarious can make trades, hire muscle, or negotiate contracts for assassinations, thefts and more.  None dare cross Sjambok as she keeps the peace; Heartbreaker did it once and still has the scar to prove it. 

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Villain of the Day:  November 10 (Maneater)

Watch out boy, she'll chew you up...

Alexis Hall has always had strange tastes.  As a child, she was institutionalized by her parents after numerous self harm attempts.  However, as it came out during numerous counseling sessions, Alexis' modus operandi wasn't for harm itself, not for catharsis or the ability to feel, or for any number of reasons within the self-harm paradigm.

Rather, it was for the taste.  She wanted to taste blood. 

Alexis' sociopathic tendencies were believed to be under treatment for years, following a two year stint in Overbrook Sanitarium and a regular mental health medication regimen.  However, after her coworker, Jon Balsom, went missing, few could hardly believe the truth. Jon and Alexis had been flirty at work, but even their closest coworkers didn't realize that Jon had accepted a dinner date at Alexis' suburban home.  Jon himself didn't realize that he himself was in Alexis' dinner plans. 

Jon was only one of 5 known victims to be slaughtered by the Maneater, as Alexis was billed by the press.  But, within the three deep freezes in her basement, police found portions of no less than 12 separate bodies, all butchered impeccably and portioned for any number of meals. The bodies often bear few discerning wounds beyond Alexis' butchery; investigators surmise that she resorted to stealth or other subtle means to incapacitate her victims. 

At court, Alexis was deemed unfit to stand trial, and was remanded back to Overbrook for mandatory treatment.  But, with the carnage and cataclysm of recent events, Alexis has simply gone missing.  A manhunt ensues for the Maneater, in the hopes that she goes hungry before a return to treatment and rehabilitation. 

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Villain of the Day:   November 11 (G. Perry Ellsworth)

The Megalopolis Examiner has always been a bastion of truth in investigated journalism.  Their editors-in-chief, dating back to the late-1800s, had set the proverbial bar for journalistic ethics and diligence.  So many corrupt trusts, organized crime rings, and politicians on the take were exposed through the Examiner's pages.  And, when he took the post of editor-in-chief, G. Perry Ellsworth swore that he would uphold the standards that his forebearers had set down before him.  And, in his twenty years behind the editor's desk, he broke story after story exposing governmental and corporate corruption at every level.

Now?  His sights are set clearly upon the Sentinels of Freedom.

Ellsworth received an anonymous tip through the Examiner's social media feed, claiming that the Sentinels of Freedom program was illegally holding untried, dangerous metahumans in a set of holding cells deep beneath Freedom Plaza.  While Ellsworth himself responded to the message, the account had already been deactivated, with the message unable to be sent.  Ellsworth, however, was not willing to let such a lead go unturned.  Choosing a handful of his most trustworthy investigative reporters, Ellsworth has begun assembling a lengthy case file regarding the construction of Freedom Plaza, the numerous metahumans faced down by the Sentinels of Freedom, and any inconsistencies or testimony from former Freedom Plaza employees.

Ellsworth's Sunday editorial this past week marked a sea change in the Megalopolis Examiner's treatment of the world's superhuman.  Often the first to celebrate the heroics of Legacy, the ingenuity of Tachyon, the resourcefulness of The Wraith, and all the rest.  His editorial headline, "Questioning our Heroes" was the buzz of Megalopolis for the full news cycle, with major cable news venues expounding upon Ellsworth's editorial, with talking heads debating Ellworth's points as if they were they were incontrivertible truth.

While Ellsworth has few true details, he does have a name: a young man named James Keller.  To date, the Sentinels of Freedom have refused to acknowledge any of Ellsworth's allegations and their press coordinator has not issued any statement regarding Ellsworth's editorial.  However, radio silence has not deterred the truth:  Ellsworth and his reporters continue their digging...

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NPC of the Day:  November 12 (Martin Liebowicz)

Either Martin Liebowicz is either the luckiest man on Earth, or perhaps the man with the best timing to have ever have lived.  In either case, the universe may well have revolved around Martin.

When Baron Blade first menaced Megalopolis, Martin was there with his camera, providing the first pictures of Blade and his Battalions marching down Central Avenue.  When Grand Warlord Voss offered peace in exchange for the life of the inhuman Tempest, Martin was comfortably seated in an adjoining Dad's Cafe, enjoying a patty melt and skinny fries.  When Citizen Dawn and her legions held the mayor of Megalopolis hostage, Martin was stuck in traffic, just behind the armored cars filled with the ill-fated gold for the mayor's ransom.  In every case, Martin managed to make it through with the help of a hero's timely intervention:  Tachyon sweeping him up before Martin could be squashed by a walking tank, a well-timed ice wall from Absolute Zero to shield the adjacent buildings, and a quick extraction from Expatriette before the gold shipment was destroyed.

However, never let it be said that Martin was ungrateful.  No matter how many times he managed to be in life-threatening peril, no matter how many times death stared Martin in the face, he never blinked.  He knew that the heroes of the world were there for him, and for everyone.  And what's more, no matter how dire the circumstance, Martin was always there to offer a few words of inspiration and strength.  Tyler Vance still tells of the day he found Martin, trapped under his flipped car during a phenomenal windstorm caused by the Deadline event.  His Bunker suit shredded by flying debris and hailstones, Tyler felt broken and helpless as he tried to shield the two of them with the remains of his suit.  Martin laid a hand on Tyler's shoulder and told him, "You've always been a hero, Bunker.  Suit or no, you're as tough as nails and you're one of the best this world has to offer.  Let's get back out there and get the job done..."

When Martin was hospitalized three years ago with a degenerative heart condition, the Freedom Five and their allies were there in an instant, offering their condolences and any aid they could offer.  If nothing else, Martin was someone who had shared their stories and had become nothing short of family.

(All our best to the family of the father of our heroes, Stan Lee.  Valhalla awaits...)

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Villain of the Day:  November 13 (Little Udon)

When most people think of powerful martial artists, they think of the reaping blows of kung fu, the slow meditative strikes of tai chi, or the sudden, brutal strikes of krav maga.  And, while few would deny that sumo are among the most powerful of athletes, only a scant handful would put choose a sumo wrestler as a champion over a mixed martial artist.  The hired goon known as Little Udon would prove them all wrong.

Born Jinmaku Tanogoro, Little Udon was a classically trained sujmo wrestler, who reached the jonokuchi status of wrestler at age 19.  He earned his nickname due to his voluminous size--even for a sumo, Tanogoro was massive, easily towering over both compatriot and competitor.  By 22, he was ranked as a maegashira, and by 24, he had risen to become an ozeki, second only to the champion yokozuna, and had won the Grand Honbasho at Osaka. As an ozeki, Udon received special commendation for his efforts in promoting the art of sumo.  

However, as his fame rose, so did the supposed needs of his lifestyle.  Tanogoro had begun to make friends in all manner of low places, especially amongst the yakuza.  While he stopped short of actively aiding the yakuza, Little Udon was sure to take every possible route to ensure his own winnings and that his opponents took the fall.  Sakai-san is allergic to a certain type of shellfish?  It just so happened that one or two slipped into the chanko for the group meal on the day of that sumo's match.

At first, these efforts went unnoticed; both Little Udon and his yakuza contacts profitted greatly from Tanogoro's actions and Little Udon rose through the ranks.  However, the owners of Tanogoro's favored gym were having none of this.  After logging a massive amount of Tanogoro's transgressions, they went before Japan Sumo Association and presented their findings.  Little Udon was stripped of his title, his honoraries, and a phenomenal amount of cash--he was shamed beyond shame...and now, he was angry.

Rather than putting him on the straight and narrow, Little Udon delved even deeper into his role as a yakuza underboss.  Both a physical threat and the possessor of a keen strategic mind, Little Udon began working his way east, overseeing operations from Polynesia all the way to the West Coast of the United States.  Even now, his contacts scour the ruins of San Alonzo for lost technologies, art objects, and other artifacts believed destroyed, only for them to reappear on the black market.  In recent months, this had led Tanogoro to spend more and more time in the United States, overseeing efforts and selling off his underlings' findings to the highest bidder.  And surely, there's no room for any in the ring but him.

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Villain of the Day: November 14 (Tangle)

Most times, taking down a supervillain is the most difficult part of an investigation.  When dealing with Tangleholding onto said supervillain is much more difficult than catching them in the first place.

Going by the name Reyn Magnimund, Tangle gained fame as a performer with the Cirque d'Lune on the Las Vegas strip.  Reyn's greatest talent was as a contortionist; they were able to bend with phenomenal flexibility, performing stunts that few normal humans could even conceive of.  Coupled with intensive training in gymnastics and acrobatics, Reyn became the toast of the strip, eventually performing on their own with a number of Las Vegas' most glittering headliners.

But, as it often turns out, a taste of fame was simply not enough for Reyn.  Time in Cirque d'Lune was traded for duo acts.  Duo acts were scrapped in favor of a solo feature program.  And when Reyn couldn't fill the seats, they started turning to high-risk televised stunt events, such as leaping off of buildings while straightjacketed or escaping manacles while in a descending car crusher.  But, even these were not enough.  Reyn wanted more.

And, of course, that's when Tangle first emerged.  Completing daring heist after daring heist, Tangle targeted the highest profile items on display from museums, art galleries, and private collections.  Tangle actively targeted the most populous, most notorious areas, specifically so that they could show off their talents in new and unique ways.  While captured no less than 15 times, Tangle eluded police, SWAT agents, FBI and GLOBAL operatives, and any number of superhuman heroes.  No manner of handcuffs seem to hold them, no manner of manacles seem to keep Tangle in custody.  Within mere seconds, Tangle manages to elude their bonds and escape within mere seconds of their capture.

Strangely enough, Tangle rarely ever takes any of the items they steal.  Most times, the object of Tangle's heists are found blocks away, often in the hands of a bewildered bystander, eager to hand the item off to the proper authorities.  For Tangle, it's all about the exposure and the thrill of the stunt.  

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Villain of the Day:  November 15 (Peeping Tom)

Villains always seem to show up at the worst possible times.  Celebrations, weddings, funerals, personal events--it always seems like someone's nemesis manages to show up just in time to cause a ruckus.  How they manage to do this, of course, has always been up for debate.  The answer, though, seems to revolve around a fellow named Thomas Nagy.  Or, as he's known within more nefarious circles, Peeping Tom.

A private investigator with a penchant for his non-descript looks and attitude, Tom Nagy started his career for none other than Revocorp, as the corporation's underbelly attempted to locate the missing asset known as Setback.  Tom trailed Pete Riske for over three weeks, learning his routines inside and out, learning about his relationship with the gun-toting vigilante Expatriette and his affiliations with several other heroes, all the way down to his favorite pizza toppings (pepperoni and black olives with extra cheese on thin crust, though he also likes the Supremo from Genoveses' Chicago-Style).  It was through Tom's thorough reporting that Revenant and several other Revocorp-affiliated villains managed to corner Setback and Expatriette, nearly capturing the duo and severely injuring the hapless hero.  Only through the barest of chances did the pair manage to escape the ambush alive.

However, with the fall of Revocorp and their corrupt CEO, Tom found himself out of his most lucrative employer.  Lucky for him, however, his work for Revocorp has earned him a number of glowing recommendations over the years and, since that day, has had any number of would-be villains and crooks hiring him for background research, for access codes and floor plans, and for thorough dossiers on upcoming targets.  Tom's knack for organization and categorization make him a favorite among several successful villain organizations, and the formatting of his profiles on heroes has become the gold standard for even those within the legitimate intelligence industry.

In recent days, though, Tom has gone somewhat quiet.  One of his acquaintances at the Wrecthed Hive noted that Tom had gotten a plain manila envelope recently, apparently with a strange job offer.  Could it be that the Peeping Tom has added his talents to the mysterious intelligence organization known as Scrutiny?

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Villain of the Day:  November 16 (Jadwiga Cirilov, aka Jadwiga Madman)

The battlefields of Eastern Europe have seen their share of strife over the years.  From the urban warfare in the former Yugoslavia to Apostate's attack on the Vatican to the Sanctioning of Mordengrad, bloodshed has filled the streets and gutters of cities across Europe's eastern half.  

The mercenary known as Jadwiga Madman has turned this strife into a profitable business model.

First identified as a Mordengradian-expatriate living in the Czech Republic, Jadwiga Cirilov served as a hired gun with a number of companies working for both the Serbs and the Croats during the Bosnian conflcts in the 1990s.  However, company after company cut Jadwiga loose, as he regularly flaunted the so-called "rules of engagement", unafraid to destroy civilian buildings and to take non-combatant hostages as human shields in order to make his way through occupied territory.  After doing this with a company known as Morgan's Fall, his company commander angrily confronted Jadwiga, only for the Madman to snap the commander's knee with a well-placed kick, then nearly behead him with a vicious throat-slashing.

Stealing as much cash and as many arms as possible, Jadwiga and some of his closest followers fled the field for Georgia, where they took on jobs for Russian black ops operatives along the borders of Georgia and the Ukraine.  Jadwiga's legend grew significantly over this time, with refugees telling of the horrors Jadwiga and his men had wrought over the whole of the region. This also included a vicious takedown of the Sentinels of Freedom-affiliated hero known as Ki-Rin, which was later televised and broadcast over sevral Russian tv stations.  

Jadwiga Madman has gone off the grid for a number of months, though some sources cite him as being active along the India/Pakistan border.  What international carnage he might wreak there, however, remains to be seen.

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Villain of the Day:  November 17 (Pastor Michael Ehrenreich)

Some people actively decry metahumans out of fear.  Others, anxiety or loss.  Still others from jealousy.  Pastor Michael Ehrenreich of the First United Church of Mankind follows a very different path: one of outright religious hatred. 

A student of the long-controversial St. Gabriel Seminary, Ehrenreich made his first major appearance while speaking at a charity event following the Oblivaeon crisis.  When asked to give a benediction before a meal for refugees and survivors, Ehrenreich elected rp use the time to launch into a diatribe against al things "unnatural and ungodly", particularly the metahumans of the world.  Ehrenreich seems to believe that metahumans are nothing short of a biblical trial, wrought from God, as a challenge to the faithful.  

Ehrenreich operates out of what is swiftly becoming the largest megachurch in the Megalopolis area, the True Faith Chapel and Sanctuary.   While the church does perform a number of charity outreach events in the area, it has also quickly become the most outspoken in religious pillars to actively decry superhymans and their affiliated organizations.  And, as Ehrenreich's flock grows, it seems that more and more of his followers begin to seek extreme measures against known metahumans in their area. 

Some have wondered whether Ehrenreich's sermons have some occult or arcane power behind them.  Unfortunately, this seems to not be the case.  Rather, it's only good old fashioned bigotry and paranoia that fuel his inflammatory speeches and, with them, the crowds clamoring at his doorstep. 

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Villain of the Day: November 18  (Stopwatch)

Jeri MacAlistair used to joke with her friends that her superpower was knowing exactly when the microwave was about to 'ding'.  As it turned out, while she didn't have any true superpowera, she wasn't that far off from the truth. 

Gifted from birth with an impeccable sense of time and timing, Jeri always able to walk right into the kitchen just as the microwave ticked off its final seconds.  She always arrived just in tume to any engagement, and could accomodate for traffic, weather, and countless other delays on the fly.  Friends joked that she was a Human Stopwatch , able to chart down to the millisecond by hand. 

In reality, time was simply something that fascinated Jeri.  While an analytics major in college, she went into event planning and logistics, working at a major convention center planning events. For years, she planned everything from major political rallies to gaming conventions, ensuring that everything went off without a hitch. 

Imagine then, her surprise when she was contacted by Sjambok, offering her a 6 figure sum to set up and arrange a gathering for mercenaries and hired assassins from around the world. Rather than be shocked, Jeri was thrilled at the opportunity (and the cash).  Summit Zero went off flawlessly and the assorted ne'er-do-wells couldn't speak more highly of Jeri's professionalism and precision. 

Within a matter of weeks, Jeri found her inbox jammed with new offers from villains the world around, seeking her aid as a consultant, planning heists, assaults, and other infiltrations. Submitting her resignation to the convention center, Jeri took up an office in Sjambok's building and took up a new role as logistics partner to the villainous community. 

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Villain of the Day:  November 19 (Luke 'The Pi-Yao Cyclone' Huang)

With MMA cage-fighting and its ilk rising to prominence throughout the years, the idea of metahuman fighting leagues has been bandied about more than once.  While only the mafia-affiliated Spartacus has managed to actually make supers-cage fighting a reality, at least one individual is chomping at the bit for their first opportunity to take down a known metahuman.

Luke Huang, a long-time mixed martial artist with a 28-1-3 record, has made his intentions known quite loudly in recent months, challenging any and all members of Dark Watch, the Sentinels of Freedom, and any known 'freelance' heroes to meet him in the steel octogon and test their might.  Known as the Pi-Yao Cyclone--so named for a devastating tornado that struck Huang's hometown in mainland China--Huang's style incorporates elements of Brazilian capoeria, traditional Wing Chun-style kung fu, Israeli krav maga, and Korean kickboxing techniques.  His signature move, a reaping series of roundhouse kicks delivered in quick succession, has resulted in five of his numerous victories, with few combatants able to stand behind such an intense assault.

What many have wondered, however, is why Huang is so dead-set on taking on metahuman challengers.  When questioned on this point, both Huang and his agent--Sonny Carlson--have merely resorted to restating Huang's desires, issuing challenge after challenge to any takers.  While numerous press personalities have attempted to get Huang to expand on these challenges, the reason behind Huang's bravado remains a mystery.

Most concerning, however, has been the fact that Huang does not seem to be limiting his challenges to press conferences and MMA weigh-ins.  Recently, both Mister Fixer and The Wraith have been visited by Huang, who gave each of the heroes an elegantly-bound scroll.  Within the bundle was nothing short of an invitation to a small island in the Indian Ocean.  There, a kumite is brewing...

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It's about to get 80's martial arts B-movie in here. :D

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Villain of the Day:  November 20 (The Index)

Edgar Levi is no arcanist.  He is no magician, though he knows that magic exists.  He is no sorcerer, though he is as well-researched and well-read as any would-be mage.  He is, simply put, fixated.

The man known as The Index maintains the single largest independent, privately-owned occult library in the world.  Born to an old money family from Germany, Levi owns a massive mansion just outside of Rook City, which has served as his family's home for four generations.  Within its walls are shelves upon shelves, with books covering every conceivable surface.  These mouldering tomes range, of course, from New Age drivel to the ravings of dabblers to tomes laden with eldritch power and incantations.  Strewn across the mansion's numerous rooms are tomes and scrolls dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years, in some order that only Edgar himself seems to be able to navigate.  His books ranging from Ludovic Bouland's flesh-bound Des Destinees l'Ame to the 1834 transcription of the Eltdown Shards to the original sheet music from Stravinski's 1948 Firebird Suite, stolen from the estate of Warren Zevon following his death. 

Eschewing all manner of social interaction beyond his own walls, Levi's whole life has been fixated upon curating this collection of esoterica.  Within the occult community, though, Levi is something of an enigma.  He has never cast a spell, he has never used any incantation, though his estate is rife with them.  When asked why Levi collects these books, he merely provides a wistful smile, claiming that it's "his calling".  His vast wealth, prudently invested, has allowed him to pursue new tomes from across the world, offering up a massive ransom for a new entry to his archive.

While many would see Levi as a resource is fairly easy--Levi opens his doors to all practitioners of the arcane arts--the truth is something more complex.  As Levi himself will tell you, he is utterly impartial in who peruses his stacks.  While he gladly opens his doors to heroes seeking some hard-to-find counterspell, he just as easily opens his doors to the most vile of cultists and villains seeking occult power.  He warns all, however, that his books are not to leave the grounds of the Levi Estate.  While no one seems to know what would happen if one of his tomes were taken, even the most foolhardy and selfish of villains have not dared test the limits of Levi's generosity.

To date, only one person has been barred from entry into The Index's estate:  the fanatic ex-librarian known as Archive.

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Villain of the Day:  November 21 ('Blackball' Barry Church)

As the 21st Century marches on, it becomes easier and easier for anyone and everyone to get their opinion out into the public circle.  Web-based streaming video, hundreds of cable channels, and all manner of social media have made making one's opinion known easier than ever.  Barry Church, known on his cable 'news commentary' show as Blackball Barry banks on just that.

Born Bernard Lipinski, Barry was a standout journalism and political science student at Overbrook University who interned on a number of conservative political campaigns before taking up an increasingly critical set of appointed positions within Congress.  Serving as press spokesman for Senator Daniel Ellison for four years brought Barry into the most critical political circles.  However, Barry chose to move on towards his true passion:  editorializing.  Barry had a Tweeter following of over 150,000 followers, which burgeoned into the millions as he announced the debut of his premiere news commentary show:  The Truth with Barry Church.

The Truth served as a vessel for all manner of conspiracy theories, political fringe actors, and establishment conservatives to vent their opinions.  Typically, once a week, Barry would engage someone on the opposite side of the aisle, often under the headline of "Wrong-Way Wednesday".  No matter how well-reasoned or how vociforous, no matter how impassioned or understanding, these political rivals rarely got a word in, as Barry used them as the week's political whipping boy.  Barry would excoriate the poor sap, insinuating that they were at fault for everything from high gas prices to a national shortage of dill pickles.  For whatever reason, though, Barry's accusations always seemed to stick with a certain segment of the populace, who started to earn his nickname 'Blackball Barry' from his demoralized political foes.

Barry's show ran for 3 seasons before an unscheduled hiatus; rumors swirled that Barry had been sighted in a San Alonzo area rehab facility, though no one could confirm Barry's attendance at such a facility.  However, 9 months to the day after The Truth shut down, Barry launched his first online streaming show:  Blackball.  Fully embracing his persona of Blackball Barry, he began to turn his attention on larger targets:  worldwide political operatives, groups that he referred to as "domestic insurrectionists" and the metahuman community.  Of particular ire for Barry was The Naturalist, whom he continues to lambast as a "tool of a foreign industrial arm, set to encroach on the American economy under the guise of environmentalism" and Tachyon, whom he decries as an "Immoral and indecent role model, corrupting America's youth with a heinous lifestyle."

Much of the news and metahuman communities have been flummoxed on how to deal with Blackball Barry, who hides behind a shield of 'free speech' even as he incites followers to political extremism.  Until there is some solution, however, Blackball Barry continues his tirade against anything reasonable and compassionate...

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Villain of the Day: November 22 (The Gourmet)

When Megalopolis' first five star restaurant--Indulgence--announced their special Thanksgiving day menu, individuals citywide were up in arms.

Indulgence, owned and operated by former celebrity chef David Gray, had revealed a 9 course, invite-only menu featuring some of their most decadent items: Broiled anglerfish, caught by fishermen in the Ruins of Atlantis; beef Wellington made from finest wagyu beef and black truffles, and handmade chocolates served with Turkish coffee.

However,  the piece de resistance and the reason for so much outcry, was the appetizer course:  ortolan.

Banned in many countries, ortolan is a small game bird that would be slain just prior to preparation by causing the bird to breathe in cognac vapors.  Traditionally, the bird world be roasted and eaten whole, as the eater covered their face with their napkin to hide the affair from the eyes of God. Many animal rights groups took issue with ortolan and, while not banned in the States, it had long been considered distasteful. 

Imagine, then, the outcry when Indulgence's entire shipment of the birds was stolen,  apparently by a tuxedo-clad masked thief carrying himself The Gourmet. 

While animal rights groups took this as a victory, they were swiftly taken aback as The Gourmet struck the Megalopolis Farmers Market, stealing an entire truckload of durian.  Then again, at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse, an entire case of the rarest mushrooms, never having even seen daylight. 

None know why The Gourmet seems to be taking the items, but to be sure... he's eating like a king.  

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Ortolans! XD I was under the impression they were drowned in wine or spirits or something.

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Anthony Bourdain's description is honestly terrifying.

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Villain of the Day:  November 23 (Brigadier General Grant Makin)

The numerous enemies of the world's metahumans are numerous and varied.  Threats range from genocidal maniacs to alien threats from beyond the stars.  One man knows he can stand against the tide of madness:  Brigadier General Grant Makin, the new head of the U.S. Military's Bunker program.

Following the events of Termi-Nation, the Bunker program languished for several years as government inquests and military court-martials worked their way through the bureaucracy.  With General Armstrong having died, few individuals knew the truth of what had transpired at Fort Adamant.  Makin, though, was among those asking the questions  determined to get to the bottom of things.  A staunch ally of Senator Daniel Ellison, Makin brought formal military charges against nearly every commanding officer who survived the Termi-Nation event.  His reward for such diligence?  Being named head of the newly reformed Bunker program, of course. 

However, unbeknownst to any, Makin es already damaged goods.  Just the event, Highbrow actually confronted Makin at his Dallas-area apartment.  She proceeded to plant something of a psychic seed in Makin's mind, turning the devoted soldier into her very own inroad to the United States military's most delicate projects.  It was one thing entirely to be experimented upon by a rogue scientists.  It will be an entirely different scenario when Highbrow, through Makin, takes on the other side if the scalpel...

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