UPI NEWSWIRE: GREATEST BRITISH HERO EVER DIES AT 88 TODAY IN MANCHESTER LONDON - The British people today marked the passing of one of their greats. Lord Geoffrey Kyle Bruce Hallsworth, known in the 1940's and 1950's as the Caped Commando, died today in his Manchester estates. His death is believed to be from natural causes. Hallsworth had been well-known for his humanitarian efforts in the middle East & southeast Asia even before World War II. He used massive amounts of wealth from his own personal fortune to aid refugees and prevent the war from spreading from it's theaters to all over the world. Then in secret he volunteered for Project C-Brittania, the English equivalent to the Super-Soldier program which produced such greats as Captain Justice, Dr. Radar, and General Columbia for the United States during that War and the Korean Conflict. One of the minor set-backs of the Super Soldier programs was the spotty success of the anti-aging process. Some heroes such as Cpt.Justice became icons of the public & other paranormals, as the serums kept them from becoming old, and their crime-fighting careers spanned unprecedented times such as 4 to 5 decades. Others such as Dr. Radar and Hallsworth (his secret identity was revealed when he retired after the Korean Conflict) however were not so fortunate, and the onset of old age (as takes us all) robbed them of their powers. Prime Minister Whiggins said in a speech on the program 30 years ago: "The tragedy here is not that they lose their paranormal abilities, but that they gave up their private lives for the Crown, and yes they gained supra-human powers many of us would like, but their sacrifices must be recognized." It was never determined, and the science has been lost to recreate, why some subjects of the programs became resistant to aging and some didn't. Hallsworth fought the Axis both at the home-front and in the Pacific theater. If he had been an RAF pilot, he would be an ace 6 times over, as he disabled over 30 Japanese aircraft with his energy beams. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for singlehandedly saving the ANZAC and American boys on Okinawa, when giant lizards released by Japanese super-science threatened the joint units stationed there. His other exploits were well documented, and his never-flagging efforts to evacuate wounded and refugees reflect well on the devotion and selflessness he possessed. In a 1976 interview, he confided his belief that the regular soldiers, and also the other paranormals of the Allies would win the war, and he always felt that left room for him to do a "little Red Cross action rather than all that bloody fighting all the time." Even though other heroes killed more enemies, other heroes flew faster or pulled off more cunning espionage feats, it was this attitude that earned him his place in the hearts of the British public. (When a British magazine runs their poll every 10 years, Hallsworth had been selected "Greatest Hero Ever" 3 times, in 1968, '78, & '88.) War observers often said his second greatest feat was the disabling of the Japanese freighter Domoyashi, which prevented the resupply of Kanwan, which caused the Japanese to lose this strategic sub-base, and lose control of the entire Yellow Sea, this being second only to the rescue of Okinawa mentioned above. Private observers maintained that his greatest effort came on the day when he prevented the deaths of 45 soldiers & airmen on Tinian, when he gave each of those wounded men blood transfusions in one day! It has never been explained how he gave out so much blood and got up the next day. But his enhanced metabolism apparently enabled all of them to pull out of what would otherwise have been mortal injuries. His noblesse oblige overshadowed all other of his considerations. Back in today's headlines however, the public's great love for the Caped one as he was, and the benevolent Lord Hallworth as he had been lately, became amply evident as mounds of flowers, thousands of greeting cards, millions of pounds of charity donations, and throngs of those paying respects lined up around his Manchester estate. All the nations of the Allies (France, USA, Belgium, Australia, etc) all attached honor guards to Westminster Abbey, to stand watch over his body as it lies in state. In a surprise move, the IRA sent an honor guard as well, claiming that he saved as many Irishmen as Welsh, English, & Scottish. IRA leaders also declared a 90-day moritorium on any extra-political activities in his honor. Their logic: if they can't drink Guiness in peace, they'd can at least drink Watney's Red Barrel rather than Jaegermeister today, and they thank Hallsworth for giving them the opportunity to be oppressed by Britain rather than annexed by the Axis. His official funeral is scheduled for this Sunday, and will be held in Battersea Park, in part because that was his favorite place to enjoy an afternoon, and because no other venue besides a stadium could hold the thousands expected to pay their respects.
Caped Commando's Funeral, Part 2: The heroes are sent to England as honor guard, and to escort the secret service agents who will be accompanying the vice-president to the funeral. Several VIP's as well as war veterans, paranormals of all caliber, well-wishers and family will all attend. Thousands of Britons will also attend. It seems like either everyone has been helped by Lord Hallsworth personally, or knows someone who was. Speakers at the funeral will include Lady Helene Jameson, sister-in-law of Lord Hallsworth, giving the eulogy; former Prime Minister Whiggins; current Prime Minister Kerrington; French Foreign Minister Joumelin; and on behalf of the Allies, (*) insert hero from your campaign) who will speak a personal word of thanks & remembrance in honor of Hallsworth. In a tearful speech he will reveal that the Caped Commando is the main reason for him becoming a superhero, and that Hallsworth personally saved the life of his father in the War. Without Hallsworth he would not be alive today, much less a hero in his own right. Music will be performed by the Royal Choir of Manchester College, and the Black Watch (Lord Hallsworth's weakness was the bag-pipes). * In my JLA campaign, this is Enforcer. He has a massive PRE, Oratory skill, a famous reputation, and is well-educated. Having such a person speaking masterfully, and unashamedly weeping in gratitude for the accomplishments of this great man will move 99.5% of the crowd to tears themselves. What makes it even more striking is that Enforcer is an Afro-American, showing that Hallsworth's philanthropy cuts across race, class, gender, everything.
and now for something completely different. Near the end of the funeral, VOICE-VIPER-RAVEN (%) will drop 3 tac nukes in a spread at Battersea Park. Several people will be in the crowd who have Danger Sense, and it will warn them. Failing that, Heathrow Air Traffic Control will report an unidentified air-vehicle which "may have just released 2 or 3 devices directly over London". that is plan A. should the heroes somehow prevent the nukes from destroying them and 23,000 civilians, plan B goes into effect: Every paranormal member of VOICE-VIPER-RAVEN, as well as every mercenary, mutant, or goon who will carry an RKA is airdropped into the area: Objective: mayhem. The goal here is simple, kill as many heroes as possible, show the might of VOICE-VIPER-RAVEN, and get final revenge on Hallsworth. (Some maven in the above organization was thwarted and injured by Caped Commando, and unable to kill him, seeks to prevent his final rest) Now of course this is a huge scenario, and could take hours to actually play out the combat. But that's not my fault, the Hero Muse moves in strange ways. % = your choice of villain organizations.