Five Minutes To Midnight
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
A Roleplay Supergroup. Founded in October 2008.
Motto: Knowledge is Power!
When two Russian academics and an Italian, Oxford-educated mage, decide to found an organization, the result looks like a cross between an extended family, think tank and mafia.
Five Minutes To Midnight is a little of all three. As an organization, it is not precisely secret, though it prefers to quietly remain in the shadows of obscure obviousness, rather than seek spotlights and cameras. It is certainly global; a great deal of its interests are to be found outside the perimeter of Paragon City, the US or some islets in the Caribbean, though it maintains a constant presence in both locations, as a recipe to prevent disasters. It is even trans-dimensional, with allies in – and representatives from – several worlds, some quite different from this one. But, unlike the Illuminati, whose scope it emulates (with, one must note, very few members) its purpose is the exact opposite of world domination. All the leadership has at one point either actually tried it, or at least figured out that it could… and that it wouldn’t, for various reasons, be worth their while. They don’t want the world, but they have a responsibility to the world. In a universe where gods are a fact, and supernatural entities walk the streets, these people decided that it would be – and must be – a human task to fight for mankind’s future.
The supergroup put as its motto the fate of the multiverse as a whole; the preservation of mankind. To that end, it seeks people who are not, by any measure, standard. And what counts is not powers, but mindset. The important factors are the ability to think and act independently, assimilate knowledge, shoulder responsibility and come up with practical, common-sense solutions. The group seeks out scientists, scholars, magicians who are not too power crazed to realize magic has its won set of drawbacks, and field agents who don’t suffer from inferiority complexes around a great deal of intelligent people.
Sometime in the near future, the world ends.
Yes, we know you haven’t seen it. In fact, nobody has. Ouroborous missed it entirely; Midnight Squad began to get an inkling, but dawdled too much; Vanguard didn’t even blink at it. Even most of the inhabitants rather missed the end of the world – or at least its advent – but, nonetheless, it happened.
The problem with this particular Doomsday, insofar as the general populace is concerned, is twofold. There was no rain of fish, no skies spewing fire, no massive deaths. The Earth did not groan and shudder, and the heavens had not opened to admit an angel with trumpets. This end of the world, even in our vision – which is slightly ahead of everybody else’s – was only beginning to happen, and even so, it was a quiet one. Proclaiming that the world had slid past a point of no return as surely as if a meteorite were to hit it would have been imprudent and panic-inducing at best, and laughable at worst. That these proclamations were also true was completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.
The second problem, as you will find if you ever try it yourselves, is that as soon as temporal mechanics comes into play, the ability to discuss something becomes even more limited. Time travel, by its very nature, is rife with paradoxes to the point of absurdity, and among the paradoxes is any and all type of time-stream contamination. This issue is doubly relevant when an event about which so few people know in the first place has not yet occurred.
For, you see, the decision to travel back in time and attempt to deal with the problem before we – humanity as a whole – hit that very point of no return is a natural course for those who do not wish to spend what remains of their lives in sitting about and regretting the past. As such we three decided to attempt this sort of action.
Being as, as previously stated, time travel is subject to several significant paradoxes, we could not simply return to a different point in time within the confines of the same universe that we have previously been in. the simple fact is that people cannot be in two places at once, and since we were already there, unknowing, until a certain pint, we could not return to that period of time, critical though it ay be. So we have decided to go back in time, to a universe sufficiently close to our own that anything done with it will have the chance to affect the multiverse in the manner we seek, and at the same time we required a universe with the single peculiarity of not having the three of us in it.
This is that universe.
-Unpublished Chronicles, Vol. I, Sofia Rabinovich
This is not publicly known. What is known, is that te three leaders appeared in the Virtue dimension together, arriving via a portal that bore no connection with Portal Corp. On arrival, they have immediately met with some people - those more knowledgeable know this was the Midnight Squad - which helped them settle down into a routine not dissimilar from their previous lives.
The Rabinoviches took positions as junior professors of Physics and Linguisticcs in PCU, and Mondavi opened a bookstore in a duplex in Port Oakes. The other side of the duplex was purchased by an unknown party shortly afterwards. A few months later, the group was established, and opened a small, official office in Founder's Falls.
The group was formally registered in Paragon and in the Isles on the same day. It quickly gained a contingent of mosly young, new heroes and villains. The leaders developed a reputation for almost unending pragmatism and deep cynicism while managing at the same time to uphold a rigid ethics. The goals of the group were publically stated to be the preservation of mankind without loss of its freedom, and the continuation of the multiverse as a whole. It is rumoured that the group has inter-dimensional travel and time travel capabilities, whichit utilizes to achieve its ends as necessary.
Lorenzo Mondavi – born in Sicily in 1868, spent most of his life furthering his knowledge of philosophy, both natural and metaphysical. With the death of his wife of tuberculosis, this focused almost entirely on the spiritualism of Victorian England. What he learned disturbed him, and it became a goal in his life to eliminate all supernatural forces, freeing mankind from possible enslavement. In 1938, all his plans culminated in such an attempt, only to be thwarted by heroes and trap him in the spirit world until present day. He returned to discover that the world was now full of magic, heroes and other odd things, rendering his plans not only unsavoury, but also impractical.
Alexander Rabinovich – born in Russia, in 1967, he studied physics and was lucky – or, in hindsight, unlucky – to earn himself and his young wife an internship to the Nuclear plant in Chernobyl only three months before it exploded. Having somehow miraculously not died of radiation sickness like nature said he should, he discovered that his body could generate massive amounts of energy, and his mind could direct it. After the collapse of the Soviet Union he and his wife moved to the U.S. where they fought in the 1st Rikti war and afterwards settled in Paragon as professors at PCU.
Sofia Rabinovich – In the best of Victorian tradition, his wife.
'Cicle * Abyssal Flare * Accretion Disk * Adam Kincaid * Alpha Burst * Andrew McConnel * Astral Peace * Betsuni * Dari Akela * David Carter * Delta Crush * Dickensian Aspect * Doctor Pongo * Dr. Ava Valentino * Dukkha the Awakened * Future Mind * Grungy Saul * Guardian-Knight * Hostile Witness * Hreb * Imazarya * Indrazya * James Barfield * Kephra * Kirin * Krasny Oktyabr * Kyle Foster * La Guera Canela * Maria Thetamar * Mesmerizing Flame * Nocturne Defiant * Operative West * Professor Thraxis * Ronnie Milstar * Sentinel Blaze * Shifting Star * Shining Path * Soft Child * SolarSister * Swift Fury * The Arcanian * Thunderstanding * Zachary Briggs
Really, we don’t have any. The leadership – in this case, the administrators – are there to give advice, deal with paperwork and work through problems. The group was founded by three Free Will and Equality freaks, so the members are assumed to be able to carry their own responsibility. There is no uniform; in fact, most of our members do not have heroic identities or costumes at all. There is no command except in dire emergencies, in which case it is a matter of good sense. The organization is a close-knit one, and the leaders are, frankly, meddlers, so they will get involved with their people’s problems, and do their best to guard the other people’s backs and help them out.
The Ivory Tower is located... sommewhere with a cool climate where it rains a lot. Ascertaining its location has been immensely difficult as it fails to appear on any map. Certainly it is not located on the premises of Paragon City or the Rogue Isles.
The base is accessible via an office in Founder's Falls, and a side door in a duplex in Port Oakes, which leads to the very same office in Founder's. Assuming that one passed the scrutiny of the receptionist one is allowed access to the back, and to wherever the base itself is. At present, the base is still in its raw form - the residents are only now moving in. Nonetheless, it has several points of access to Paragon City, via teleporters, and someone'd brought in a lot of plants...
At the moment, the base is under construction, and so can best be described as 'a mess'. Someone's been moving furniture in there.
We are fairly active, but we are an SG populated mostly by adults who have lives and obligations outside of game. Insofar as you do not abandon us completely, activity levels are not a set requirement, which is good for the casual adult player, though it is not the optimum for the hard-core gamers who expect a large number of people and activities online every night. Much of the interaction happens through our site and we strongly encourage people to participate in the discussion boards, as well as write fiction for their characters.
We have a site dedicated to the two super groups - one Pinnacle and one Virtue - we run. The site has over thirty members, and is generally actively used as a place to post both character fiction and general OOC information such as event planning, TF/SF coordination, game mechanics questions and non-CoH related miscellanious.
We encourage people to apply by posting a short biography of their character on our website (see above). The SG does not have level requirements, AT requirements or activity requirements aside from asking players to notify the group as a whole of long-term absences. Thematically, we are looking not only for characters who have been specifically created for the SG, but also for people who would mesh plausibly with the theme, including such that mmay have fallen in with the group in more oddball ways. The group is closely associated with the Midnight Squad and has a strong scholarly and scientific bend, but none of these themes is a direct requirement for the character submission.
The group meets, at present, every second Thursday (skip a week, in the Midnighter Club to meet new members, and discuss various issues. The general public is welcome. It is also possible to leave a note in the discussion section with your globals, and one of the leaders will return to you as soon as possible.