Vanguard in the Balance

For the past fifteen years, the exploding metropolis of Salcedo offered a tourist attraction that no other city could hope to match.  Paranormal activity was witnessed and recorded for the first time in mankind’s history.  The discovery of super humans initiated a feeding frenzy within the media, and not a day would pass nor a newscast air without mention of some paranormal extravaganza that reaffirmed that Salcedo was “the safest and most exciting place to live.”

The subsequent infusion of tens of thousands upon thousands of citizens into the city spiraled the economy and political machinations into the stratosphere.  The population swelled to where the city itself appeared to bulge on the verge of rupture.  Housing and development industries soared to meet the increasing demand, and grants, donations and contributions were channeled with unprecedented ferocity to alleviate the straining infrastructure.  Salcedo was catapulted into the future on the backs of the super humans.

The crime rate took a tremendous nose dive as the super people found their abilities ideally suited for cleaning up the menacing side of Salcedo.  With the birth of the superhero, the city shifted into high gear and accelerated toward an ever brightening future.

At the helm of this racing progress was Mayor Angelo Hawkins.  Born and bred on these city streets, his approval rating indicated he was one of the finest leaders Salcedo had ever known.  Unfortunately for the paranormal population, Mayor Hawkins did not see the success of his city occurring on the coat tails of the super humans as a positive development.  At every turn the paranormal crime fighters encountered roadblock after barrier after barricade thrown up by the Hawkins administration.  Were it not for the influence of the commercial and journalistic industries, many superheroes would have sought other, friendlier cities to call home.

In direct response to this potent political machine, the superhero community banded together in a unified front under the leadership of one of the very first superheroes, the heroic figure known as Force of One.  Under his guidance, the paranormal community initiated a policing organization  dubbed the Vanguard, created to defend all that is noble and true of human kind.

For nearly a year the Vanguard and the Hawkins administration engaged in rigorous conflict over the freedoms of the paranormals within Salcedo.  The pendulum swung back and forth, exchanging victories and losses, with neither side having been able to gain a strong enough foothold to tip the balance.  Until now.

Several weeks ago, Force of One went missing.  All attempts to reach or track the hero met with failure.  Rumors ran rampant, with the most popular myth suggesting that the Hawkins administration, or some mysterious faction therein, dealt with Force of One in a most terminal fashion.  Although no corroborating evidence surfaced, tensions continued to run high, crime has waged war anew against the residents of Salcedo, and the rancid stink of fear now blanketed the city.

The Vanguard eyed the precarious balance between the escalating crime rate and the impending hammer blow from the Hawkins administration and gathered to decide once and for all what fate awaited the heroes of Salcedo.

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