Silver Age Seattle

Death, War and Hope

The only thing more powerful than death is life...

Drawn by reports of a mysterious island off the coast of India that matches the coordinates of an island given to the JCD by Wonder Woman, Diana Prince of an alternate dimension, Hippolyta leads the Amazons and the JCD to trials to regain her birthright as the Amazon Queen.

Prior to the trip, Hippolyta shared a moment of tenderness with Stars – Commander Roger Brinks, and had a vision of the goddess Hera who told of the coming of their child and the soul of that child that dwelt within the Well of Souls on the island she was to soon find. With sadness, Hippolyta and Stars parted, he to join the Stars and Stripes team in a fight against a possible scouting force from the Ka’Hadan Empire. Stars was not told of his impending fatherhood.

Through a glass, darkly – The Hadian Universe

Earlier, the death and evacuation of a dying universe had gone badly when Hippolyta had broken the magic circle of Milo Farley, resulting in them both being shunted to the Stygian Underworld, where Milo was enslaved by Hades, and Hippolyta was split into an enslaved, undead version of herself called Dark Hippolyta and a spiritual echo of her former self, living on borrowed time. This spiritual echo, ‘a soul given form’ was, after a bargain proposed by Content Not Found: persephone left free to seek her heritage on the Isle of the Amazons. Persephone perhaps knew that her husband Hades had terrible plans for the power unleashed by the heat death of another universe. With the help of Aries, God of War, he used his own divine power to taint a mirrored universe with death and war, creating a zombie-filled version of earth, with it’s epicenter in Seattle.

In this alternate world, new heroes arrived to stem the tide of Hades’ undead, a former Special Forces soldier called Flashbang, an assassin called (???) a ‘ghost buster’ named Dana Barrett, and a hacker capable of becoming pure electricity, Gremlin. These newcomers worked with the surviving JCD to collect survivors and get to the bottom of the undead apocalypse. None of these heroes were initially aware of the true nature of their universe.

Several events defined the time of the JCD in the Hadian Universe:

Jenny Crowley discovered she could control the undead for a time, but it took a toll on her appearance, making her appear pale and gothic.

Soul Shadow – Nathan Geo was killed when he was infected by the necrotic virus that was turning the population into zombies.

Flashbang found his sister and daughter amidst the rubble of Seattle. His sister was infected by the Hadian Virus and was killed before she could do harm to the rest of the group. His daughter survived, and had been carrying the Gate Key of Seattle within her dolly.

(NINJAGIRL???) was killed when a zombie leapt from a helicopter cockpit and infected her. Before she fully turned, she requested that Flashbang kill her. He did.

Mastermind discovered a cure for the Hadian Virus, and innoculated the team. He tested it on Binary, who was bitten, and another survivor. It successfully reversed the necrosis of the virus. Throughout the course of his investigation he discovered that divine magic corresponded to a type of energy called Omega Radiation and arcane magic corresponded to a type of energy called Alpha Radiation. Later he would also discover that divine magic inherently caused increased decay and ossification of normal matter and energy, while arcane magic had a natural renewing effect.

Eve Donahue made her first appearance when she hid from the zombie apocalypse. Eve is the only remaining original resident of the Hadian Universe. A copy of her was sent to Earth Prime, and due to an interaction with the goddess Memnosyne, she ‘remembered’ both universes simultaneously until the eventual destruction of the Hadian Universe.

As before, most of the events that occured in this alternate universe were not known by most of those in the ‘real’ world, though the JCD had no way for most of the time to know which was which, or even that the other existed.

Enemies of the Hadian Universe

General Undead:

Hadian Virus Zombie (Common)
Hadian Virus Zombie (Cerberus)
Hadian Virus Zombie (Slasher)
Hadian Virus Zombie (Brute)
Hadian Virus Zombie (Infant Crawler)
Hadian Virus Zombie (brainwhip)
Hadian Virus Zombie (Tentacle)
Hadian Blade Maiden (Poltergeist)
Hadian General (Acheron)

Hadian Parahuman Undead:

Dark Alistair
Dark Hippolyta
Dark Memnosyne
Dark Mistral
Dark Lazlo
Dark Peregrine

Trials on the Isle of the Amazons

The volitile electromagnetic nature of the island of the Amazon’s caused the JCD’s plane to crash on the island, though due to some heroic quick actions by the JCD, most of the Amazons survived, and though the plane was damaged many of the supplies they had brought to the island were salvagable. Within moments of their arrival they heard noises in the jungles of the island indicating there were giant creatures on it.

Enemies on the Isle of the Amazons

Athenian Raptors
Dogs of War
The Drakon
Heketonhecteres
Bronze Minotaurs
Medusa
Scylla
Sons of Aries

As Hippolyta and the Amazons landed, conflict brewed among the JCD. The Amazon high-priestess, Nesathra of Ur (now going by the name Antiope) disagreed with the direction that Hippolyta had chosen for the Amazon nation. The group split, some exploring the island, others staying on the beach. Many conflicts would sprout up between the leader of the JCD, Inferno – Jeremy Stroum and Hippolyta while on the island.

Important events while on the island.

An Indian naval ship was seen fighting off pirates off the coast of the island. The JCD rushed to assist, saving the vessel. Survivors from a previously attacked marine archeology vessel, The Oddessy included a classically studied historian and archeologist named Henry Chase.

The remains of another flight was found on the island, a small commuter plane from the 1930’s carrying the father of the historian/archeologist, indicating that planes were likely to crash if they travelled too close to the island.

At first it was common for the JCD to temporarily lose their powers. For Jeremy Swift / Slipstream this meant losing the loss of his legs. Over time he regained some use and feeling in them and was able to stand on his own.

Several ruined temples dotted the island. Many contained ‘trials’ for Hippolyta and the Amazons to complete. Some of the trials contained traps that appeared to have been tampered with after their construction. The trials often offered more mysteries or led to other trials, or contained iconic artifacts meant for Hippolyta or the JCD.

Artifacts found on the Island of the Amazons

Black Ambrosia
The Armor of Demeter
The Bow of Artemis
Golden Apples
The Gorget of Hestia
The Helm of Hera
The Aegis
The Sword of Peleus
The Veil of Nox

Statuary dotted the island as well. These were victims of Medusa’s glare. Medusa was defeated by the JCD when Hippolyta took her head in combat. The head was later used to turn the island titan Heketonhectares to stone.

The Temple of Nox: A temple containing a balance trial on beams above a pit based on a chart of the stars seen only when wrapping The Veil of Nox around ones eyes. After successfully traversing the difficult balance trial, the opposing side of the pit held a pool of black ambrosia, and a symbol indicating that there was more beyond. The symbol was only activated when the statuary (of the Historian) was placed on it’s pedestal. The wall behind it opened and led to the Scylla.

A group calling themselves the Sons of Aries was maintaining a mostly prefabricated modular military presence on the island, looking to capture the Amazonian artifacts for themselves. Throughout their investgation of the island, the JCD encountered and defeated many of them. They had found The Aegis, a shield which led them to the lair of The Drakon. Mastermind snuck into the Aries camp and stole the shield.

A tree that grew Golden Apples lay at the center of a deep impression guarded by Athenian Raptors and The Drakon, a creature of myth, said to have been fought (or snuck around) by Heracles. Mastermind and Inferno fought the raptors and the Drakon, and upon realizing they were largely outgunned by the mythig beast, Inferno ‘went nova’ to destroy the Drakon as a last resort. Wounded, Mastermind discovered the golden apples had healing properties, and ate some to sheal himself, gathering Inferno’s ashes for his eventual ressurection. The Bow of Artemis lay beneath the apple tree. (The caldera in the earth was later revealed to been formed by a single strike of the titan Heketonhectares’s fist.

An arena filled with Bronze Minotaurs fought to protect the Gorget of Hestia

Alchemy appeared on the island via submarine and appeared to be supporting a group of militant cultists known as the Sons of Aries who were clearly worshiping the Greek God of War. They were possessed of modern military equipment and training provided by the young Blackstones.

Four Icon Tiles were hidden within a vertically stacked set of temples, defended by traps. Those tiles would later be used by Alchemy to activate the titan heketonhecteres. The Icons bore the symbols of Zeus, (a ligtening bolt) Hades, (a skull) Posidon (a trident) and Aries (a ram).

The three Gorgon sisters Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale stalked the JCD through a ruin of statuary and columns. Each was eventually defeated, though the historian Henry Chase was turned to stone by Medusa after he killed one of her sisters. The statuary of the historian was then used to open the way to Scylla’s grove. Five Amazons gave their lives to distract the Gorgons, posing as silent stone guardians before they turned fully to stone. Hippolyta and the other Amazons swore to care for the statues and venerate them as heroes. Smyrna, Ephesua, Sinope, Androktones and Paphosia were the names these women chose when they had joined the Amazon nation. With the statue of Henry Chase in tow, the JCD and Amazons opened the way to Scylla.

Scylla lay at the base of a cliff and defended the Helm of Hera. Without the augmentation of the gods, the JCD would have been easily defeated by the multi-headed hydra, (a contest that was witnessed in the reflecting pool on Mount Olympus.) Fortunately the gods decreed that at that time it was acceptable to intervene in mortal affairs. The JCD dreamed of the debate between the gods, each taking on the part of one of them in their dreams. The JCD learned of a schism between the gods, led by Hades and Aries, with opposition by Hera and several other goddesses including Athena, Artemis and Persephone, with Zeus and Posidon presiding over the conflict. At the close of the debate, the terms of the gods ability to augment and ‘choose champions’ were set by Zeus.

The JCD investigated the Sons of Aries base again to find they had more equipment and expanded armaments, and had built train-tracks the went deep underground. Eve Donahue made her first appearance on Earth Prime, her hybrid landing on the train tracks and being chased by the Alchemy supply train until she was saved by Jeremy Swift / Slipstream Alchemy defended the train, and the Icon Tiles they had stolen and raced to activate the titan!

The island moved. It ceased to be in the Indian ocean and ended up somewhere in the Eastern Pacific. There is evidence for the JCD to suspect that the island moves often enough to remain hidden from normal navigation.

With the titan active, the JCD set about revovering the Icon Tiles, defeating members of Alchemy, undead spilling out of the Hadian Universe, Minotaurs and other dangers. Hippolyta, Soulshadow and Slipstream recovered the Armor of Demeter almost completing the Artifacts of the Amazons, needing only the pearl containing her unboarn child’s soul.

As the endgame approached, each had visions of the gods and goddesses that had championed them in order to help prepare them for the battle beyond with the titan’s hundred heads, the sons of Aries, the leader of Alchemy Plasma and Dark Hippolyta. From atop Pegasas with the head of Medusa, Hippolyta turned Heketonhecteres to stone.

When the storm of war was over, Soul Shadow – Nathan Geo was dead crushed to death by the powerful jaws of the titan. Plasma surrendered. Dark Hippolyta was no more, leaving behind the True Soul, the soul that lay hidden within the Well of Souls in the Stygian-Underworld that would give fated life to the daughter of Hippolyta and Stars.

The goddesses Hera, Athena, Artemis and the god Hermes spoke to the Queen of the Amazons, telling her that she had a choice – give up her unborn child’s soul to give the newborn universe life instead of death and war, or give her soul to the child while the Content Not Found: the-hadian-universe grew in power. Hippolyta chose a third option, giving her own soul to fuel the rebirth of the fledgeling universe – named ‘Hope’.

As a reward for her sacrifice, Hermes showed Hippolyta how to use the Black Ambrosia, the ‘blood of the titan’ to reform the titan into the temples of the Amazon nation. The temples and trials are as good as new, and are no longer in ruins.

The rebirth of ‘Hope’
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Immediate Aftermath

The Hope Universe contains no gods or gates. It is therefore cut off from the multiverse. Within it is a decidedly earthlike world unaware of it’s true origins, or the sacrifices made for its existence (shown below in the finale video)

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The events of The Hadian Universe were pulled backward through the singularity the dying universe that had spawned it had left behind, essentially ‘rewinding time’. Those that were killed in those events supposedly live on, though due to the nature of the Hope Universe, they would have no Parahuman powers or abilities, and no memory of the events that had occured before the Content Not Found: hadian-virus was released.

Jeremy Swift / Slipstream collected Soul Shadow – Nathan Geo’s locket and he and Eve Donahue sped off to China.

Mastermind – Martin Tenbrooke went to the beach of the Isle of the Amazons to watch the dawn.

Soul Shadow – Nathan Geo’s lover finds out that she is pregnant with his child, implying that the legacy of the Nephilim may live on.

Antiope becomes the leader of the Amazon Nation.

It is implied that the Amazons on the island will become immortal upon the birth of Diana, daughter of Hippolyta, formed from the clay of the island itself and given life by the True Soul.

Alternate Ending

Had Hippolyta chosen to leave the alternate universe to Hades and Aries, they’d have gotten their universe full of war and death. The remainder of the JCD in that would would have fought wave after wave of enemies neverending until the inevitable nuclear strike promised by the army to FlashBang earlier.

I had this clip planned for after a long protracted fight with the surviving heroes being overcome by wave after wave of undead, snatching any victory from an eventual ‘sole survivor’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb7TJAyJJ0M

The Hadian Universe would have eventually tried to conquer their own Earth.

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