By James Stark
PARAGON CITY, Rhode Island, July 5 -- Senator Gilmore of Rhode Island today announced an inquiry to examine the United States’ role in funding of Vanguard, the United Nations special forces unit with a focus on extraterrestrial threats. Senator Gilmore said, “The Vanguard is an outdated, old-fashioned institution. It has no foreseeable purpose anymore, yet the members of the UN Security Council are expected to fund it to the tune of several billion a year?”
Vanguard’s Head of Communications, Incandescent, replied, “Unfortunately, with all due respect, Senator Gilmore’s conclusion is short-sighted. We never saw the Rikti coming during the first invasion, and it almost cost us everything. While we are more prepared than we have ever been, now is not the time to turn a blind eye to possible threats. We have to be vigilant every hour of every day – if we slip up once, it could cost us our lives, our planet, our existence.”
Vanguard was created by a resolution of the United Nations Security Council to help coordinate hero resources in the worldwide war against the alien Rikti invasion. Vanguard was the first real successful coordinated effort in those harrowing days, and the members of the UNSC gave them the freedom to act as they felt best.
This lack of oversight was not a concern in those dark days, but Senator Gilmore went on the record stating that it was a very large part of the inquiry he is leading.
“Who are the Vanguard today? No one knows anymore. Their old standard bearers are long gone, like Hero 1, or have moved on to more current, real threats – like Statesman’s focus on the Arachnos terrorist group.” Gilmore also went on to say, “The glory days of Vanguard are long past. The two-score and nine heroes of Omega Team were laid to rest with full honors years ago. They succeeded in taking the fight to the Rikti homeworld, as witnessed by their only surviving member, Ajax. They broke the back of the Rikti then – so why are we still paying for an outdated dinosaur like Vanguard today?”
Today’s Vanguard is led by a woman known as Lady Grey. Little is known about her background before being appointed by the UNSC to her role as director of the anti-alien task force, but she was championed by permanent members Britain and France with support from elected members, Germany and South Korea. Lady Grey has been criticized for fear-mongering with their propaganda campaign utilizing slogans such as: “Earth Is For Humans,” and “They Are Still Among Us.” Lady Grey, although she rarely speaks in public, has always maintained that the threat is still out there. Incandescent told the Paragon Times, “We stand watch to deter hostile alien forces who would disrupt our peace and livelihoods. We know what to look for, even if you don’t. Keep your faith in us, and pray you never come closer to a Rikti than on the evening news.”