NOTE TO READERS: Different parts of the total story told on this website are told by different people. People’s opinions differ, and when they differ, it is up to the bystander (you) to decide which you believe (or if you believe any). Information contained in the biographies and “The Story” is authoritative.
This story was originally written by Frank Tona (the man to whose memory this site is dedicated). I have edited it some for grammar and agreement with the overall story as it appears here (keeping in mind that the person in this story is an individual with his own perceptions…).
Personal diary of Gordon James, Police Commissioner of New York City
When did the world turn itself on its head? It has been almost a year since they first appeared from seemingly nowhere, bursting on the scene. First was the Grey Hulk, rampaging and creating a path of destruction where ever he would go, a primal mindless force. He was contained by a group of equally amazing individuals. Pyro, a man that seemed abolished wet whose fires did not consume him. American Pryde, a woman of strength and agility, clad in red, white, and blue, made a striking figure. Then there was Cobalt (who has now taken to call himself Hardware) the man in seemingly invincible armor, an iron-man if you will. Lastly joining this Team Liberty, as they have been named, was a monster nearly as fearful in appearance as the Grey Hulk but thankfully not as mindless. This living rock, Cobblestone, proved to be Grey Hulk’s equal and with his teammates brought the beast under control.
While these individuals appear to have stemmed from genetic experiments done by the government and the Clarkes and spatial displacement experiments by renown scientist Von Domovitch, any more than that is still classified with a security rating that is beyond mine (even though the NY Meta Containment Unit falls under my jurisdiction).
Pyro, the flaming man, went rouge and was replaced by a mere snip of a girl. This “young lady” is about 16 and lacks, I fear, the maturity to deal with her growing powers and the situations they cause her to in. Also in this group are two individuals who seem disjoint from normal existence. Shaman is a Native American with mystical powers, while the Key seems like some alien from a sci-fi film. This group of metaX supers, while retaining government ties, have moved away from complete control and have gained the sponsorship of industrialist Frost who is as mysterious as he is rich.
These are not the only metaXs to make appearances. There are several who stem from a terrorist attack in which a new fruit soda was tainted with a serum that genetically altered the DNA of drinkers. Some lived through this without any seemingly lasting effects. Some were permanently changed. Many more did not survive. I don’t know who were the lucky ones. Yet others have made appearances from sources unknown. They are not all forthcoming. But when you wear a mask … Who is?
But they are not the only ones wearing a mask. When the supers first made their appearances I was Deputy Police Commissioner under Chief J. Cranton Lawless. It was not an easy working relationship. To say that our goals, opinions and personalities were diametrically opposed was an understatement. I believe in upholding the laws of the land and have what some call a naïve longing for justice. Lawless is,… well let’s just say that he has friends in high places. We were at war, and it was tearing apart the Police Dept.
It was shortly after the tainted soda incident that a grim man, resolute and driven, one might say obsessed, came into my life. I had been distracted. My precious wife Barbara was one of those exposed to the tainted soda drink. My mind was on her and our unborn child. She,… they were in the midst of the detoxification process and my mind was elsewhere.
I was about to enter my car in the hospital parking lot. I didn’t even see the figure come up from behind. I turned and found my former partner and Lawless’ chief problem solver, Flash Sullivan, holding a gun on me. He told me that it was time for me to,… leave the force, that he and others were here to take care of me and Barbara. He promised me that I would have a Police funeral with all the honors I deserved. I imagined he meant to leave me in a ditch somewhere. Then out of nowhere,… out of the darkness came a whistle and the gun was out of Flash’s hand. Before I could move a dark figure, cloaked by the night, moved, and Sullivan was no longer a threat.
It was the Bat, a shadowy figure that had started patrolling the nastier corners of the city. A bane to both the criminal element and corrupt police, he was accomplishing what we could not. And because of his methods and success the police commissioner hated him.
The Bat threw me a pair of handcuffs and told me to get to Barbara’s hospital room ASAP. I turned around and he had disappeared back into the darkness he calls home. By the time I got there, I found a nurse, or should I say one of Flash’s many girl friends, dressed as a nurse, bound and gagged. In the love of my life’s IV was a syringe, stuck in but still containing the poison meant for both my darling wife and our child.
They survived, my two Barbaras, seemingly unscathed from the experience. This began my unofficial alliance with the Bat (who now has a partner called Blackwing). His methods are outside the law, and must be kept that way for both our sakes. Other supers since them have appeared. Some good, some bad, like all peoples. Flash and his girlfriend are serving a 10 year sentence. Lawless managed to distance himself and kept his coattails clean. He was promoted to S.H.E.I.L.D., the national homeland security office, meant to protect us from the supers. I was promoted to Chief.
There is a rise in public feelings. First it was utter amazement. Comic books becoming reality. Superheroes, gods far beyond normal men, walking among us. It was first a fascination. They even got their own TV channel! But then the fear started to creep in. Some of it is justified. Some is perpetuated by Lawless and his cronies, using this to promote their own prejudices and bid for power. I am only one man, ultimately one small man in the scheme of things. But I will do what I can.
That’s all anyone can do.