Saturday, April 18, 2009


As for the Mesa Grande universe, I had some inspiration while mowing the lawn and I'm going to be laying down a chronology and fitting the various groups into it. It will require some heavy retconning of DOA, which will affect some of the mission profiles and characters, but I like what's there so I want to keep as much intact as possible.

Here's the basics: what is now the DOA team will become a team called the Specials, formed in the 1990s by a secret cabal within various agencies of the Department of Justice (no NSA or CIA) in response to some major events (such as the spectacular exposure and collapse of the alien-backed conspiracy within Majestic-12 and the civil war between the Kremlin Thought Police, their next-generation of young psychics who want to create their own society of telepaths, and the high-tech Rocket Corps). Not so much emphasis on criminals or outright deaths, but lots of characters being put through the wringer. Most of the recruited characters are former law enforcement or vigilantes serving federal probation for their failures. This is an homage to The Outsiders and the television show Alias.

The real DOA now emerges in the 1980s as a black bag operation of the CIA. The government has a discredited process that will imbue ordinary people with superpowers. The downsides are various unpredictable mental and physical side effects and the fact that everyone who undergoes the process dies within 12 months because of their transformation as their bodies either (a) reject the powers or (b) the powers go out of control and kill them in some fashion. The CIA, banned from developing its own metahuman program after the disasters of MK-ULTRA in the 1970s, offers felons the chance to undergo the process without telling them that it's going to kill them. The idea is that there's no long-term downside to using these people, as they'll take themselves out of the picture. So truly, DOA. The series arc culminates when enough of the mission members realize what the hell is going on. This is an homage to the comics Strikeforce Morituri and the Suicide Squad.

Also want to introduce the 1960s group The Order of the Green Flame: survivors of the Philadelphia Experiment who lose their official Office of NAval Intelligence sanction and form a private association of crime fighters and defenders. Plus the original Minutemen and their downfall, the new Minutemen, the villainous mastermind plot that succeeds in preventing nuclearwar, and so forth.

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