Vigilance

Volume 5, Issue 4

Changes Both Savage and Awesome

The return of the Avengers to their rightful place in the time stream triggered a cascade of small changes to the layout to history. A summary of the changes is at the end of this Adventure Log.

The hero group, now named the Defenders, secured the release of Nightingale and returned, via Quinjet, to Defender Mansion, where they were greeted by Awesome Man. Nightingale consulted with the Stand about her private matter. The Stand worked to create a device to assist in tracking “similar anomolies,” although without satellite scanning capabilities, the range would be effective only within a few miles.

Steam and Doc Holly Day and responded to a possible biological threat; the crew of a tank truck was attempting to administer a chemical into the New York City’s water supply. The heroes quickly took control of the situation, and identified the chemical was the property of VSI Technologies. One of the men apprehended in the situation admitted that he had been instructed by the head of security, Raymond Hollister, to pump the tank into the water supply.

The fluid that was going to be dumped into the water supply was analyzed by Awesome Man, and found to be containing a variant of the flu virus, but one which had Palatasian DNA signitures; effectively, a Palatasian flu. While it did not appear to be a particularly dangerous virus, it would have appeared to be a flu that originally was transmitted from contact with the alien race. Awesome Man shared his findings with the Stand, but the lead Defender was mostly occupied assisting Nightingale. Defenders Nu, Doc and Steam went to the headquarters of VSI Technologies to meet with Security Chief Hollister, and Hollister said that he received his orders in a very unusual manner – through Marilynn MacKenzie, the assistant to Chief Operating Officer Vandal Savage. Shortly after this admission, the Defenders were summoned upstairs to meet Ms. MacKenzie. Ms. MacKenzie provided information that the vial of chemicals they Defenders recovered had been stolen, thanked them for their assistance, and denied any involvement. When the Defenders made it clear that Ms. MacKenzie’s answers were insufficient, they were invited to meet with Vandal Savage himself.

In Savage’s opulent office, he denied any involvement, but his recognition of Nu was apparent. Nu informed Savage that his activities were unacceptable, and that he would be held accoutable for any criminal activity with which his company involved itself, before leaving his office and ignoring his attempt to get her attention. After Nu left, Vandal Savage presented Doc Holly Day and Steam with a pair of vials, something which he referred to as an ’insurance policy." The vials were taken back to Defenders Mansion and analyzed. One vial was a water sample of the Island of Amazonia, which had an inert chemical in it. The second vial contained a non-toxic chemical. However, the nature of the second chemcial was such that, were it introduced to the inert chemical from the Amazonian water supply, it would catalyze a chemical change which would result in a poison lethal to the Palatasian race. It became clear that Vandal Savage not only knew how to kill the entirety of the alien species on Earth, but that he had already laid the groundwork for the extermination.

Vessel awoke in a morgue in Rio de Janeiro, now in the body of a middle aged Brazilian woman, and after escaping the hospital, arranged for a pickup via Quinjet.

The following is a summary of the historical changes which resulted from the Avengers adventure in the past.

The First Change

Bruce Campbell overheard a couple of Comic-Con attendees make a disparaging remark about some of the “regular” guests at these conventions. Mr. Campbell, exhausted at the time from a long day of meet-and-greets, photo ops and a Q/A Panel for the final season of Burn Notice, decided that he would limit the number of conventions he attended to two per year. As such, Doc Holly Day will not have as many opportunities to see and/or interact with him at the conventions she attends as an artist.

The Second Change

is insignificant and unnoticeable to the Avengers, but considered “neutral” with respect to one or more of them. This change is that that the current President of Zambia only had seven children instead of eight. It had no impact on his politics or his election to office.

The Third Change

The chief architect of the Biology Wing of Empire State University decided to give an extra two feet of space in the refrigeration room for the DNA samples. Storage was increased by 3%, but the space had too be taken out of two of the staff offices. The width of Dr. Gail Greyson’s office at ESU is one foot more narrow than before, resulting in it feeling a bit more cramped.

The Fourth Change

A chemist for Ace Chemical came home from work early to find her husband in the midst of an affair. She took her children to her parent’s house to stay, and when at work the next day, was distracted enough that she over-diluted a batch of reagent. The error was discovered months later when the majority of it was found to be ineffective to create fertilizer by a mid-Atlantic agriculture plant, and all the barrels on hand were returned for a full refund. One drum had vanished, however, stolen from the loading dock. It was this barrel of reagent that the Joker used to create his plastic explosive on his first “appearance,” and as a result, the explosives were of insufficient power to convert the clown statues into bombs. No-one was injured or killed, and the Joker was quickly taken into custody. The Avengers were publicly credited with stopping an act of domestic terrorism.

The Fifth Change

Herman Schultz, a small-time hood tired of being nothing more than a purse snatcher, learned of a weapons manufacturer called “The Tinkerer.” For $50,000, the Tinkerer agreed to equip Schultz with enough power that he could rob a bank and escape unharmed. Desperate for the money, Schultz began robbing people shortly after they left an ATM or a bank, following them a few hundred yards before confronting them with a gun. Schultz saw a mark, but something felt wrong about it. Rather than going for the easy score, he passed his mark by, and thus avoided getting arrested by an undercover police officer. A few blocks later, he saw Mary McPherson leaving a bank, stuffing a envelope thick with cash into her purse. Schultz attacked her, dragging her into an alley and robbed her of her life’s savings. Now with all the money he needed, Herman Schultz would go on to become The Shocker. Mary, without the $20,000 she needed for the Power Broker, never obtained super powers, and thus never became the criminal Titania. Nu and Mary continued on as a couple, and so Nu never pursued a relationship with the Palatasian Saralayne. While Nu’s relationship with Mary is good, it’s nowhere near as emotionally satisfying as Nu’s same-species relationship.

The Sixth Change

The Stand decided not to kill the Palatasian-Human hybrids on Dr. Malus’s island. As a result of this decision, the hybrids were taken into custody by SHIELD. Without the death of the hybrids to cloud his judgment, Awesome Man chooses not to kill Bruce Wayne, and instead arrests Joe Chill. Without that death weighing on his conscience, he reveals the location of sufficient titanium to create the conduit used to drive off Galactus, and therefore Awesome Man is still alive and part of the Avengers.

The Seventh Change

After the defeat of Galactus, a small yet international xenophobic movement went came into existence, gaining notoriety with the accusation that instead of serving as warning about the Devourer of Worlds, the Palatasians had led him to Earth. While marginalized, the xenophobia served to tip the political scales enough that, instead of being given an island with a valuable mineral resources, they were given a sustainable, but non-valuable, island in the Carribean, Saba. The damaged Palatasian refugee ship was likewise not allowed to be returned to the Palatasians. As the wreckage crashed in the Queen Maud Land territory of Antarctica, a territory claimed by Norway, the Norwegian government has claimed ownership. The United Nations is currently leveling sanctions against Norway for failure to open the wreckage up to the International community for study. Norway, not having the resources to properly assess the nature of the wreckage, contracted out to a private company Jorden Forst (Earth First), a subsidiary of VSI Technologies.

As the crashed ship was never returned to the Palatasians, it was not in turn given to the Avengers, and so the Vigilance does not exist. The Avengers still live in the Mansion in New York City; because without the Vigilance, Thinker did not have a particle cannon to destroy it. Instead, his plot to destroy the Avengers involved large bombs in the Mansion and at the SHIELD Headquarters in New York. The Avengers managed to disable the bomb in the mansion, but the bomb at SHIELD Headquarters was detonated, killing Nick Fury and over three hundred other employees and operatives. Maria Hill is now the director of SHIELD, and she is less well disposed toward the Avengers than Fury.

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