From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Top 10 Signs You Are A Lazy-Ass Hero
- Lack of creativity in costume, name or both Over the years I can't count how many "Incredible Bulks" I've run into over the years.
- Power spamming Please, run your main power 24/7.
- Power spamming in high traffic areas No one appreciates your sound and visual pollution.
- Skimpy costumes that protect NOTHING Unless you've got impervious skin.
- Leading teams with no strategy, plan or timing
- Others having to save your sorry ass CONSTANTLY!
- You let the bad guy monologue. Again!
- Brooding anti-heroes are so 2001
- If you spend most your time in Pocket D, not only do you have a drinking problem, but you also aren't spending much time being a hero.
- Walk around and act like you own the damned dimension
It's been a few weeks now since the recent resurgence of metas here in Pocket D. I've held back my writing until now for several reasons. Some of my closer followers will know the main one. The other is my hesitation to bring attention to myself again. I know Freedom Corps and I have this detente, but who's to say how tenuous it is, or how quickly attitudes will change. In the current political climate where fact is apparently stranger than fiction, all bets are off.
Pocket D is livelier, more upbeat, despite the uptick of dark themes I see many metas sporting currently. I've seen some old faces, but mostly new ones - all trying to figure out the new state of things. I get the vibe that folks aren't as willing to open up as they once were, but it is just that. A vibe. I haven't really put myself out there yet, which will surprise most of my readers. See Reason 1.
Do not fear. I'll be posting more to Paragon Unmasked. You, my friends and readers, deserve it. Paragon City deserves it. Anyone thinking this new "world order" would bring with it a clearer, black-and-white reality where heroes are truly heroes and villains are just out for cash and death will be sorely disappointed.
There's not a thin, defined line in the sand. There never was. And the truth needs to be reported now more than ever.
There is one thing I greatly dislike about this new popularity of Pocket D.It's increasingly harder to find my favorite spot open and available.
I'll be posting soon, but I just wanted to wish everyone in the U.S. a Happy Fourth of July. And to all my friends and readers across the pond, Happy Traitor's Day!
I wonder what it was like when writing didn't involve electronics and bytes. The smell of ink. The feel of type as you load it into galleys. Now we deal with FTP and HTML. It's amazing how much you forget about this stuff when you've been away. It's been too long. My fingers are rusty as is my writer's mind, so please bear with me as I get back in the swing of things.
Sitting in Pocket D again is nostalgic, to say the least. Zero is as hospitable as ever, and I thank him every chance I get. I owe the man too much. It seems busier these days, but still with the same parade of wannabes and trolls (unfortunately not actual trolls) that try their best to ruin the prime relaxation spot and watering hole for many of our metas. The names have changed, but the vibe is mostly the same. People just trying to connect.Stay tuned. More to come once I remember how to transfer that file again.
And so, to those brave people. I thank DJ Zero for the courage he has shown considering and granting me asylum. I thank Marcus Solomon, for his vigilance and demand that Freedom Corps justify their actions. I thank everyone, from close friends to colleagues to acquaintances for their support and well-wishes.
To the supporters and sources of Paragon Unmasked, whose courage and commitment and loyalty have seen no equal. I also have a debt of gratitude to the staff of Pocket D, who have shown me hospitality and kindness despite the threats we all received.
Last Wednesday, there was an emergency meeting of government officials in Paragon City to address this very situation. Freedom Corps sent a team of metas into the D, intending to take me into custody. DJ Zero and many a meta here that night stood up to their illegal act, forcing them to acknowledge the legal amnesty I claimed. While several of them remain, waiting for me to step foot into their jurisdiction, Zero has strictly set forth the rules by which they must abide to surveil me in the Pocket dimension.
As Paragon Unmasked is under attack, so is the freedom of expression and exposure of corruption in all societies. We must use this moment to clarify the choice that is before Freedom Corps and the United States of America.
Will they return to and reaffirm the values and truths they were founded on, or will they fling themselves off that cliff, dragging all of us into an oppressive, dictatorial world, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark?
I say they must turn back. I ask Miss Liberty to do the right thing. Freedom Corps must renounce its witch-hunt against myself and Paragon Unmasked. The United States must close its Justice Department investigation against me and turn its attention to where the spotlight must truly fall, verifying the video posted by Paragon Unmasked and investigating Manticore and his dealings with the Rogue Isles.
Freedom Corps must vow that it will not seek to prosecute myself or my supporters. They must pledge before the world that they will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.
There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organization; be it Paragon Unmasked, or any publication or broadcast. The war against journalists and their exposure of crimes and misdeeds must end. What will be your next move? The world is waiting, Freedom Corps.Thank you.
The Justice Department, in considering whether and how it might indict August Welles, is now looking beyond the Espionage Act of 1917 to other possible offenses, including conspiracy or trafficking in stolen property, according to officials familiar with the investigation.
Attorney General Evan Hinders acknowledged this week that there were other statutes with regard to Mr. Welles, the founder and writer behind Paragon Unmasked.
A government official familiar with the investigation said that charging Mr. Welles and Paragon Unmasked might be facilitated if investigators found any evidence that Mr. Welles aided the person responsible for taking the video, who is believed to be the same meta who helped Welles during the Wyvern expose back in 2008 - for example, by directing him to look for certain things and providing technological assistance.
If Mr. Welles did collaborate in the original disclosure, then prosecutors could charge him with conspiracy in the underlying leak, skirting the question of whether the publication of the video constituted a separate criminal offense. But while investigators have looked for such evidence, there is no public sign suggesting that they have found any. The main reason for this could be the identity of Mr. Welles’ “Deep Throat” is still unknown.
Paragon Unmasked founder August Welles posted a video Monday alleging Freedom Phalanx member Manticore of sharing U.S. secrets with Arachnos operative Black Scorpion. Since that time Freedom Corps has wanted Welles for questioning and his whereabouts are unknown. Paragon Unmasked has been in tight spots with law enforcement in the past, most notably in 2008 when the blog made claims that Manticore was secretly funding Wyvern.
When Paragon Unmasked founder August Welles posted a video alleging Freedom Phalanx member Manticore of sharing U.S. secrets with Arachnos operative Black Scorpion, he intentionally harmed the U.S. government, Freedom Corps, the Freedom Phalanx, and several other meta organizations sworn to protect the United States, officials from Freedom Corps claimed in a statement released today.
“The law Mr. Welles violates is the Espionage Act of 1917. That law makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit ‘information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”
The video in question, posted on the Paragon Unmasked website Monday morning by Mr. Welles, who writes articles for the meta-centric blog under the pseudonym Kermit, is a low-quality handheld recording, allegedly recording a conversation between Manticore and Black Scorpion in an enclosed room. In it, Manticore appears to be informing Black Scorpion that his information on defensive positions in Peregrine Island is incorrect, and proceeds to show him those strategic locations are, as well as offering to provide schedules for the repositioning of mobile defenses.
Rhode Island law enforcement is also investigating whether any of the state’s laws were broken by the release of the video, officials said.
“From our point of view we think there are potentially a number of criminal laws that could have been breached by … the release of this information,” Phillip Listerman, Rhode Island’s attorney-general, said on Monday.
“The Rhode Island State Police are looking at that. Clearly, I don’t want to make any guesses as to the outcome of that advice.”
The video is potentially embarrassing for the Freedom Phalanx, who has been under strained relations as of late with the recent demise of Statesman and Sister Psyche.
“Obviously, we are providing every assistance to federal authorities and they are aware we could be expected to provide every assistance,” Listerman stated. Rhode Island would also support any legal action taken by the US as a result of its inquiries.
Efforts to take down the video or the Paragon Unmasked website entirely have so far been unsuccessful. Welles has created an elaborate web of protection - with servers in several countries, which have strong laws protecting whistleblowers like Welles.The FBSA has declined to comment on the grounds that what is in the video is classified.
The investigation centers around a video posted yesterday on Paragon Unmasked, which appears to show Manticore discussing defensive locations in Paragon City with Black Scorpion. Below is a transcript from that video:
Manticore: “...defensive locations are all wrong.”
Black Scorpion: "Those locations were given to me just yesterday from Silver Mantis herself! And you're telling me her intel is incorrect?!"
M: "Yes. And I can tell you exactly where she got them. Freedom Phalanx runs several fake data servers with breakable encryption. They're honeypots, used to draw in hackers and track them back to the source. They're filled with authentic-looking data and info to keep hackers in the system long enough get a lock on them and capture them. A hacker breaks in, thinks they've hit the mother-lode, and downloads everything they can. Silver must have hired someone to do the job, got the intel, and provided it to you. I guarantee those defense locations are fake."
BS: "Maybe...maybe not."
M: "Look! Ask her where it came from. She'll tell you they got it from server 27B6! Peregrine Island's main defense outposts are here, here, here and here. These two are mobile, and shift position every 5 days, and that -- has the future locations for the next six months."
BS: "I will verify ALL of this. If you are lying, so help me Manticore, you can throw every single Paragon hero at me and I'll still find a way to rip you limb from limb!"
M: "Do it. You'll see I'm telling the truth. Then maybe we can get this over with."
Freedom Corps and Longbow declined to comment on the investigation at this time, saying more information will be forthcoming. Attempts to contact Kermit have been unsuccessful.Paragon Unmasked has been in tight spots with law enforcement in the past, most notably in 2008 when the blog made claims that Manticore was secretly funding Wyvern, a private security organization owned by Delia Huntley. Those claims were never proven.
The video was posted by Kermit, the founder and writer of Paragon Unmasked, a blog-style news site which focuses on meta news and events. Within hours, links to the video had been posted on several social media sites and was called to the attention of Freedom Corps.None of the meta groups contacted were available for comment.
My partner in justice, who you know always remains nameless, has provided me with compelling evidence that … well, it’s better if you just watch the video and see for yourself.
As for disclosure, due to the sensitive nature of the video and its content, I felt unsafe approaching, well, any meta or governmental agency while this video was still unpublished for fear that, should the wrong people learn about it, my life would be in danger. Now that it’s out in the world, focus can turn to verifying its truthfulness. I have taken steps to verify the validity as far as I could. I can guarantee there has been no video manipulation, editing, or modification. This is the raw, unadulterated video stream I received.
And there you have it. Manticore is working with Arachnos, detailing Peregrine Island defenses with Black Scorpion.
I urge any and all meta and government agencies to move quickly on this. Validate this yourselves as quickly as possible and determine what Manticore is up to and what allegiances he might have.Don’t shoot the messenger.
Just don’t look too close.
If you do, you may see something different, about me. For want of a better meme, I’m changing my status to “In A Relationship.” In an effort to cool the rumor mill and derail any miscommunication, I’m letting everyone know here, in my blog that I’ve got a girl. Yes you heard me, Flaming Ninja, a girl, so you can finally stop spreading those rumors about me once and for all.
“Annie” is one of those rare finds in this jaded city - someone who is fresh and positive and sincere. She is the Spring I have so looked forward to in a never-ending Winter. She brings the warmth and the rain to melt the cynicism and hardened shell I’ve encased myself in.
Although my private life has been the topic of many entries, this relationship will most certainly not be. Sorry folks, you won’t be getting any salacious details from me. However, I know many of you (Grover) are insanely curious and Need To Know Stuff About Me, so I will share these salient facts.
- What are her superpowers?
If I told you that, she'd have to kill you.
This will come as a shock to many of you. She is not a meta. She is deliciously and unabashedly not meta. She’s a phenomenal gal with her own natural talents. No mutation required. And no assembly required, nor is she inflatable. Yes, MechaPinocchio, she’s a real girl.
- How did you meet?
We met through a friend of mine. Annie delivered a message to me and I was intrigued. Then she was gone with just a single clue to track her down. We ran into each other again by chance in King’s Row, where I was able to get her number. It wasn’t long after that I eventually asked her out on a date.
- Is it serious?
Would I be posting about her if I didn’t think it was serious? While my readers know that my mythical infrequency of relationships indicates an inability to commit to anything long-term, this one is different. So, yes, I’d like to think so. It sure seems that way. Time will tell.
I’ll just let this news churn around the blogs, forums, and chats for a bit. Oh, and one more status update I can leave you with.Kermit: Happy.
They held torches on the steps, the unfortunate effect being the gathering looking more like an angry mob.While the Unity Rally certainly showed solidarity, the metas are missing the point. All this rally does is give validity to the “prophecy”. Don’t draw attention to it, guys. The best thing everyone can do is just get things back to normal. Let the rest of us know it’s “business as usual.” That’s what Paragon needs right now. Normalcy. Or at least something close to that.
What’s so important about that date, August 31, 2012? That’s the day I saw metas first show fear.
Everyone knows the ominous prophecy delivered to both Paragon City and the Isles on that day and the immediate dismissing and naysaying by every major meta organization which followed. On that day, our cities and inhabitants were frozen. Unlike any other moment in meta history, everyone seemed to be unable to act. There were no doors to bust through, no bombs to defuse, no final arch-foe to defeat to win the day. Everyone seemed lost. Citizens turned to the metas, only to find them casting about, confused, almost deranged, acting quite atypical.
When a meta needs someone to slap some sense into them, who do they turn to?Now, more than ever, the citizens need your courage and strength. They need to see you standing tall, prepared to fight. Why is this prediction of doomsday any more valid than the last? Have we been shaking in fear because the Mayan calendar ends on December 21? Prophecies come, prophecies go. There’s no reason to believe this one more than any other.