PARAGON CITY, Rhode Island, September 20th -- Today marks the third anniversary of the Outbreak pandemic that has swept the city and devastated hotspots around the globe. Memorial services are being held throughout Paragon and around the country today. It was four years ago that the Outbreak virus was identified by scientists at the Rivera Medical Center – to date, the plague has claimed nearly 1 million lives worldwide.
Here in Paragon City, a candlelight vigil is being held in Atlas Park to remember the fallen. While many of the infected are not technically dead, the city’s casualties number in the tens of thousands who have been lost to the Outbreak plague. Statesman and Sister Psyche will say a few words in remembrance. Another speaker will be Tammy Miller, widow of Doctor Greg Miller, one of the first heroes lost
to the plague and the scientist who identified the virus. The first victims of the Outbreak virus were members of a chapter of the Skulls looking for an alternative to Superadine. They hijacked a Crey Biotech shipment and stole an experimental drug. They tested the drug out looking for a quick fix and an easy high – essentially looking to corner a new product to peddle on the streets. They got their quick fix, but there was nothing easy about “Outbreak,” as the street nicknamed the drug. Use of the new drug spread throughout their neighborhood as speedily as its name implied, wiping out many street gangs and homeless, but also severely crippling first responders like members of the PPD, the FDPC, and EMTs.
Users of Outbreak experience a feeling of invincibility and a boost in physical strength, but there is also a corresponding increase in violent tendencies and aggression. A single dose causes physical addiction and will cause a rapid and unstoppable mental degradation resulting in clinical insanity. Doctors have been unable to reverse the loss of memory and personality associated with Outbreak madness.
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Zigursky Guards Put Down Riot and Foil Breakout
BRICKSTOWN, Paragon City – The still night of Brickstown was shattered at about 3:30 a.m. when a group of terrorists attempted to penetrate the Zigursky Maximum Security Penitentiary, or the Ziggurat. The terrorists planned to help a number of prisoners break out, but were foiled by the Zigursky security officers who were supported by a contingent from Longbow. Numerous casualties were reported to both guards and prisoners, but tough vigilance ensured no prisoners escaped.
Responsibility for the break out attempt has been laid at the feet of Lord Recluse and Arachnos soldiers from the Rogue Isles. The plot was uncovered by Longbow, Ms. Liberty’s anti-terrorist division of Freedom Corps. A captured Arachnos agent named Jenkins gave up the details of the mission, and when Ms. Liberty brought this information to Captain Nakayama, head of Ziggurat security, Longbow was invited to bolster the Ziggurat’s forces with open arms. An elite Ballista agent was stationed in the Ziggurat along with her compliment of Riflemen, Eagle
Units, and a squad of Nullifiers, while another Ballista remained on patrol outside, braced by Minigun and Flamethrower wielding agents
Located in the heart of the Brickstown zone, the Zigursky Penitentiary, called the Zig on the street, is known as the preeminent super-powered holding facility in the United States. For nearly 5 decades the Ziggurat has been the answer to the super-powered villain crisis that bedevils Paragon City. Although the Zig takes in several levels of prisoners, it is most commonly known as a “super-max” facility, and is Paragon City’s highest security prison, used to incarcerate the city’s most deadly and dangerous criminals.
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As part of our continued coverage of the history of the Outbreak plague, the Times would like to remember this year’s fallen.
Aaron Shields, Agent Davis, Alicia Robinson, Amber Reeves, Amy Graham, Andre Rogers, Andrew Mitchell, Armando H. Sanders, Arnold Decker, Ashlee Hale, Audrey Yoo, Betty Cope, Bonnie Muniz, Captain Sherman, Carol Wiles, Charles Drake, Charlie J. Lovely, Colleen Hathaway, Craig Castro, Cynthia Bray, Deann Rodriguez, Derek J. Mooneyhan, Devin Mcleod, Elizabeth Bartels, Ernesto Hess, Everett Daniels, Genevieve Sanders, George Givens, Helen Voss, Jacob Covington, Jacob Nadel, James Hannigan, Jeffrey Boone, Jimmy Dortz, Joan Curtis, John Rich, John Walker, Johnathon Murphy, Josef Keller, Joseph Narcisse, Joyce Edwards, Juan Holden, Karen Cortez, Karen Parker, Kathleen Verdugo, Kathryn Swingle, Katie Hannon, Dr. Kryten, Lori Smitherman, Lottie Heaton, Louise Joy, Mark Carpenter, Maxwell Christopher, Merisel Valenzuela, Michael Moreland, Mikey the Ear, Nancy Wilson, Pamela Graham, Patricia E. Jimenez, Perry Venuti, Rachel Price, Rachel Torres, Rachelle Clemmer, Ramon Stephenson, Ray J. Dempsey, Richard Campbell, Richard Tyler, Robert Harden, Robert Rosenblatt, Roberta L. Fain, Roslyn Schreiner, Samuel O’Reilly, Sandra Caballero, Sanjay Chandra, Sara Moore, Saul Williams, Scott Allen, Shawn Ledford, Shelli Jimenez, Shondra Her, Stasia Deweese, Sylvia Demello, Theresa Phelan, Tony Magruder, Veronica Woods, Viola Johnson, Virginia Montez, Virginia Thomas, Walter Daschle, William Spiers.
Outbreak from 1A
In addition to the mental damage, Outbreak also causes physical mutations, such as the signature glowing green eyes. Such victims are known as the Contaminated. The Paragon Police Department has created several quarantine areas, or Isolation Zones, in neighborhoods of Skyway City and Steel Canyon, and the entirety of Talos Island.
Heroes without technological shielding, such as hazard suits or fully-enclosed environmental suits, or without some other magical or super-powered resistance to infection, are cautioned to stay away.
“While many of the Contaminated don’t seem to be a very dangerous threat,” Blue Steel, representative for the PPD, said, “it’s all too easy to become infected. And once you’ve caught Outbreak, you’re lost.”
Although it is nearly impossible to track all members of the Contaminated, it is believed that a surprisingly large number have vanished from the Isolation Zones. Some suspect they are drifting to join the rag-tag armies of the Lost, huddled in the sewers beneath the city streets. Others worry they may somehow be making their way to Sharkhead Isle, a section of the Rogue Isles known to be riddled with plague-carriers. “If the Contaminated are getting through our net,” Blue Steel said, “this could be disastrous. All we need is for one victim to escape to Mercy Island or Grandville, or reach a major metropolis like Chicago or Empire City, and we’ll have the next true catastrophe on our hands.”
Coyote, long-time assistant to the Rivera Medical Center said again that no answer is in sight, and it may be years before they crack the Outbreak plague to find an antidote. “We must continue to be vigilant,” Coyote said, “and do whatever is in our power to help our lost brothers and sisters. We must do everything we can to break this dreaded plague.” Coyote has said in the past that he regrets bringing new heroes into a plague-zone, and wishes he could recover all of those who have been lost.
Guards from 1A
Under the direction of Warden McGoohan, the prison constantly upgrades its security protocols. “We known that our inmates are a crafty bunch, always probing for a weakness in our system, for a way out. Well, it won’t happen on my watch. We hire the finest minds in security to counter any attack, and back it up with a heavy hand. No one has ever escaped from the Zig…and no one ever will!” McGoohan declared.
“This is the sort of stuff we train for,” said Ballista Agent Soulban. He described it, saying, “But to actually have it happen is a different story. It was hell down there. Pure hell.” One of the prisoners, Jimmy Dortz, witnessed, “…a big explosion tore a hole in the outer wall, and it seemed to signal a riot amongst the gen. pop.” Longbow and Zig security managed to round up all the cons who tried to escape from the Yard, although prisoners Hard Time and Angel Lopez were killed in the chaos.
Recluse’s Wolf Spider soldiers were airlifted in by daredevil Arachnos Pilots, but Longbow was able to capture them all. Some claim Lord Recluse himself was there, but no confirmed reports have been made. Rumors abound regarding who Lord Recluse wanted
to free from the Zig. Was he searching for a single villain with a great destiny, or a whole host of villains to strengthen his armies? This reporter will continue to investigate the story, no matter where it takes him. In the meantime, the Zig continues to stand as a monument to justice and watchfulness.