Atomic Age

Summer of Discontent
Prologue

Museum_of_History_and_Technology.jpgThat summer afternoon in 1966 was hot, but it didn’t stop the protest from drawing a sizable crowd. Many students from around the country converged on the National Mall in Washington to show their support for voting freedoms for all. It hadn’t rivaled the 1963 March and Martin Luther King Jr.’s stirring “I have a dream speech”. Still, the organizers were quite pleased with the turnout, and hoped to sustain their efforts to insure that Civil Rights Legislation was successful. In addition to the students, many other dedicated parties lent their voices to the movement, and news cameras were rolling to capture the event.

This was the Damocles Agents’ worst fear. President Kennedy had secretly created the Damocles Agenda within the Central Intelligence Agency to monitor the alarming rise of genetically altered individuals. The existence of this had to be kept secret, much like Roswell, for the security and tranquility of the free world. Already the term ‘mutant’ had slipped into the public consciousness. It was impossible to close Pandora’s Box; the world was awakened and all too aware of the existence of altered genetic individuals. The intent was to limit the world’s awareness regarding the scope of this phenomenon. Life magazine captured the beautiful American Angel in her daily life, as well as her more public displays of heroism. None was more public than her last minute heroics at saving the President from assassination that day in Dallas in November of 1963. America knew her, and loved her. They also knew of the golden tyrant from the Soviet Union, Paragon. Outside of those isolated cases, the world remained ‘normal’ to most people around the globe. The news cameras threatened to unravel the lie.

For starters, the Damocles Agenda had been creating their own chemical altered genetic individuals (AGI). The Proxy project was in full swing, and while the serum was still radically dangerous, there were volunteers who continued to agree to participate. As of the protest, there had been six categorically successes. In fact, Proxy 6 was on scene to try to help limit the disaster. She was a young girl, but a quick study. An AGI incident had been reported in Silver Spring, and Proxy 6 was sent to contain it. The AGI was freakishly strong as well as fast, and fled the scene by car. The Damocles agent followed, but the woman found her way directly into the protest. Worse, it became clear that two other AGI’s were on scene as well. Proxy 6 categorized the other two with little resistance, and the primary threat, code named Amazon, was subdued.

Network News was irritatingly efficient as usual. The disturbance was caught on camera, complete with car doors and fireworks. Luckily, technology of the day prevented the identities being known. The footage was grainy, and captured from afar. By the time reporters fought through the crowd, the incident had ended. The only identity confirmed was that of Amazon, one Ms. Linda Hawkins. It was unfortunate, but the Proxy agent’s identity remained protected, as did the other two. One had abilities that were only suspected, not confirmed. The second had the foresight to wear a fedora and sunglasses. Whether that was luck or not was irrelevant. It controlled the damage.

As often seems the case, outside factors conspired to make the Intelligence operation more difficult. A small fire broke out at the new Museum of History and Technology as they hosted a brand new exhibit of ancient artifacts from Mesopotamia. The fire itself was of small consequence. One artifact was completely destroyed, several others damaged by smoke and shattered glass. There were no fatalities, and only one injury- a student from the protests named Jessica Vanderwal. Yet the girl’s coma persisted, unexplained. The exhibit moved on, and was on tour somewhere in out west. Nothing else came of it.

Since that summer afternoon, things were quiet. Two more Proxy agents were in the field, and isolated AGI events were contained with no fanfare. Damocles kept the three subjects under observation. One remained in a secure facility within Level 20. As the headquarters of Damocles, this was dangerous, but unavoidable. The technology simply didn’t exist to keep her detained anywhere else. The other two caused no further disruptions, and continued their lives without interference from Damocles. President Kennedy’s Swords remained vigilant. They watched, and they waited.

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