“…A great evil has befallen the world; greater, I believe, than any evil which has come before. The scale of loss defies words; defies comprehension; defies endurance. Never in human history have we faced a tragedy of this magnitude; never before have we, humanity, been so wounded…
…In this, our darkest hour, we must give thanks to those who struggle, even now, to bring us back into the light. To the citizens of the world who have opened their arms to those in need. To the millions of men and women working day and night to contain the effects of this disaster; who have chosen to use their God-given powers for good in the face of such evil. To the valiant members of the Legion of Heroes who lay down their lives to protect us all. And to Captain Dawn, who, were it not for, this calamity, this breaking of the world, would have been but the beginning of the end of days.”
– President Martin Luther King Jr., Address to the Nation, October 10th, 1990
CONTINENT DEVASTATED, 400 MILLION FEARED DEAD IN BLAST FROM SUICIDAL EMPATH
New York Times, October 10th, 1990
An explosion unprecedented in human history tore through central Africa last night, wiping out entire countries as far north as Libya and as far south as Zimbabwe. There is yet no official count, but UN Secretary-General Sang said an estimated three hundred million may have perished, and in the immediate aftermath the calamity is believed to be the most devastating event in human history.
The explosion came after three days of intense fighting across the African continent between the Legion of Heroes and a single as yet unidentified individual, rumoured to be capable of absorbing powers from other people. Around 8:30pm last night the conflict appeared at an end as Captain Dawn, the sole surviving member of the Legion, gained the upper hand. However, at 8:48pm a blast equal to over 5,000 atomic bombs emanated from a point in northern Zaire, annihilating everything within an almost 2000-mile radius and sending shockwaves around the globe. Unconfirmed reports from the few surviving witness including Captain Dawn have described the explosion as the final, suicidal act of the criminal to avoid capture and defeat.
Across the world, death tolls from seismic activity climb into the thousands, and a cloud of ash spreads throughout the atmosphere. Millions of people in what remains of Africa flee earthquakes and radiation. Were it not for the tireless efforts of powered individuals working worldwide to counteract the effects of the catastrophe, the Earth would undoubtedly be looking at an extinction-level event…
DETAILS OF CONFLICT EMERGE AS DESTROYER OF AFRICA IDENTIFIED
Washington Post, October 11th, 1990
The man responsible for the deaths of up to four hundred million people in Tuesday’s incomprehensible explosion is believed to be Klaus Heydrich, an empath previously identified by the Legion of Heroes as being responsible for over a thousand murders believed committed in acquiring a vast array of superhuman powers.
Heydrich, the son of Nazi intelligence officer Reinhard Heydrich – known as ‘The Butcher of Prague’ and an architect of the Jewish Holocaust – had been slated for apprehension by the Legion to answer for an increasingly uninhibited campaign of terror throughout Africa, in which he is believed to have slaughtered entire villages to gain a single power. At 9:01am on October 7th members of the Legion tracked down and attempted to apprehend Heydrich, who it soon became clear had access to a vast array of abilities and was far more powerful than originally anticipated. At 9:14am, following the deaths of two Legion members additional reinforcements were called, seemingly to no avail. By 4:42am the next morning, all initiated members of the Legion of Heroes save two were believed dead, the only remaining combatant being Legion second-in-command Elsa Arrendel, ‘The White Queen’, who continued to fight Heydrich for almost twenty-four hours before eventually succumbing around 6:15am on October 9th.
Following Arrendel’s death, Legion head and founder Captain Dawn broke his vow of pacifism and left the Academy to engage Heydrich over the Straight of Madagascar. The fight between the two lasted over fourteen hours before eventually swinging in Dawn’s favour, at which point Heydrich, unwilling to be taken alive, is believed to have combined his ability to absorb energy with his ability to imbue matter with explosive force, infusing his cells with unstable atomic power and unleashing an approximately 5,000,000 megaton explosion. Prior to the blast, the Legion’s fight against Heydrich had wreaked havoc throughout the countryside, damage now insignificant compared to the devastation which Heydrich’s final act has unleashed upon the world…
Bio: Born and raised in Newcastle, Australia, Ben is a lifelong writer currently studying his Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. An avid fan of the weird and wonderful, he has wanted to be a writer since he was five years old (before which he wanted to be a dinosaur).