SPIDER CITY, Grandville, Rogue Isles, September 27th -- The Rogue Isles celebrated today in honor of President Marchand reaching his 70th year in office. Festivities to mark his seven decades in power began last night in Marchand’s home region of Grandville, and are expected to carry through the entire island chain for the next several weeks. Citizens of the Rogue Isles will be treated to concerts, arena competitions, and lavish feasts, all for free.
“I have a lot to be happy about,” Marchand said in an exclusive interview with the Paragon Times. “I’ve been elected into office nine times by the people of the Rogue Isles. It’s a good feeling.”
Gerald T. Marchand was elected in 1937, winning a close race
against Conrad Oakes. His first eight-year term carried him through the Second World War. Although he officially declared the Rogue Isles neutral during that time, he earned tremendous favor with the Allies by waging a brutal war on members of the 5th Column, champions of the Axis powers. However, it wasn’t until his fourth term that he cemented the loyalty of his people.
In 1963, the guerilla terrorist Lord Recluse attempted to overthrow President Marchand and take control of the Rogue Isles, backed by his Arachnos mercenary forces. Marchand, with the help of his Loyalists, and his own highly advanced powered-armor suit, managed to repulse Lord Recluse.
In the final, decisive battle, Recluse mortally wounded Marchand before being forced to flee. Marchand was saved by the aid of his science advisor, Dr. Aeon, who kept him alive through advanced technology. Now, living as a cyborg permanently embedded in his armor, Marchand rules the Rogue Isles with a literal iron fist.
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Manticore and Recluse Continue Offensive in South America
“They’re down here looking for something,” an anonymous Colombian official reported. “We are not so sure what they are searching for, but the military believes there are several hidden bases located deep within the mountains.”
Mr. Fish, a CIA-liaison to the Columbian military, described the events, “Recluse has a whole paramilitary unit based down here. They led the attack with a tactical bombardment of the rebel camp, then troops swept in and mopped up whoever was left. A handful of rebels escaped, but Recluse’s Arachnos mercs are ruthless.”
“Who were the rebels?” Fish repeated this reporter’s question with a wry smile. “Why, simple drug-traffickers
and freedom fighters. What else would they be?” His shark-like smile and mirrored sunglasses belied his story.
Colombian soldiers interviewed were more frank. “These are not rebels. They are foreign terrorists who fled here when they were driven out of Los United States many years ago. It is a good thing they are dead, but not so good that it is at the hands of these super-villains-Americanos,” one sergeant said.
This reporter managed to track down one of the surviving rebels in the city’s outlying slum, Ciudad Bolivar. Codename Cisne was gravely injured by one of Manticore’s catling arrows. Cisne is a beautiful platinum blonde woman, bravely pushing through her pain. Her right leg is heavily bandaged, and if she does not receive medical treatment
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Behind the Mask: Manticore
Filed on behalf of Jackson Turner
Only two and a half years ago Manticore was seen as one of the most promising heroes in Paragon City. He had fame, money, a beautiful girlfriend in Lena Elliot…yet somehow behind the mask, everything was falling apart.
Manticore was born Justin Sinclair, heir to the estate of Simon Sinclair, industrialist, adventurer, and the first Manticore, the golden archer. Given everything he could ever want, Justin Sinclair had the life every kid dreams of. Perhaps that was the root of the problem, for Justin was a wild youth, rebelling against his family and his father’s legacy as Manticore. He was expelled from numerous private schools for fighting, gambling, and substance abuse. Despite being given the world’s best tutors in all manner of mental and physical pursuits, he turned to a life of partying. In his late teens and early 20s he was constantly in the headlines for disastrous behavior, wasting his life with Hollywood’s pop tarts, even going into rehab for some trouble with methamphetamine. It was only after his own father’s death that he took control of his life.
Simon Sinclair, the original Manticore, and his wife were killed by an assassin called Protean. In the savage attack, Back Alley Brawler, friend of the family, was put into a coma. Justin was the only witness.
It seemingly shocked him into a sense of duty. Justin took up his father’s mantle and became the new Manticore, the shining hero of Paragon City. He was even taken into the Freedom Phalanx despite rumors of excessive violence and unorthodox behavior. But despite how hard he apparently tried, Manticore’s record was consistently spotty. One incident followed another, from breaking the Phalanx’s sanction against killing to even temporarily killing his own teammate, Statesman, in order to deal with the god-like Prometheus, to assaulting the Guardians when they got in his way. His reckless behavior gave Statesman no choice, and he ejected Manticore from the Freedom Phalanx.
But perhaps Manticore had been lost to the shadows for much longer. During a daring assault on Paragon City two years ago, the terrorist Lord Recluse was captured by the Freedom Phalanx. Or he was until Manticore appeared from nowhere and freed Recluse from a Longbow transport. Back Alley Brawler, the Guardians member charged with escorting Recluse to prison, was killed in the skirmish. A witness captured the now-infamous amateur video where Manticore screamed his confession at the dying Brawler: how he had been recruited by Recluse a decade before, how he himself murdered his parents disguised as “Protean,” and how he and Recluse would one day stand in domination of the world.
From that fateful day, Manticore and Recluse have been on the run, the two most wanted men in the world. Statesman has only spoken out once concerning Manticore, “Manticore was one of the few men in the world I trusted with my life. Now he is one of the two men I would take it away from.”
Marchand from 1A
Yet “G.T.” Marchand is also highly respected and beloved by his people. Public opinion of him skyrocketed in the 60s after Recluse was driven out with his tail between his legs, and it has never faltered. “There is no such thing as the US’s 20th Amendment [in the Rogue Isles], limiting a president’s number of terms,” said Dr. Jennifer Dornan, socio-political advisor for the Rogue Isles. “So because of Marchand’s unique situation where he is essentially immortal, he can run for office indefinitely.”
Despite the fact that his people love him, Marchand rules more like a benevolent monarch than an elected
president. There is little separation of power in the Rogue Isles, and the president is the head of both the executive and judicial branches and has tremendous sway over the legislative branch; the president appoints all senators, who serve only until he dismisses them. Opposition parties are not technically banned in the Rogue Isles, but there has never been a serious challenge to Marchand since he defeated Recluse. Marchand also controls all media in the Rogue Isles, and rarely gives interviews to foreign correspondents. Furthermore, all school-age children must recite a pledge of allegiance to Marchand daily.
Golden and bronze statues and busts of Marchand are littered through the islands, and his likeness is on every banknote and coin. Perhaps the most fantastic is a 20 meter revolving golden statue atop the tallest tower in Grandville. He also had his likeness woven into the world’s largest handmade carpet, involving more than a thousand weavers from throughout the Nerva Archipelago. The carpet covers 70,000 square feet, and will be spread out in the Golden Presidential Palace on St. Marchand.
Despite his peculiarities, President G.T. Marchand is well-liked even outside of the Rogue Islands. The US President invited him to vacation at his family estate in Kauai, Hawaii, last year. During the festivities last night, Statesman dropped in to wish Marchand his best. Although the next election is in 2 years, no one has any doubts that Marchand will win with another landslide.
Manticore from 1A
soon she might suffer permanent injury, but she feels trapped. Cisne stated that she can’t go back to the US, because she betrayed old friends and allies for Manticore. She claims to have had a long, intimate relationship with Manticore, and that she loved him so much she was willing to do anything for him, including abandoning her friends to infiltrate the rebel group.
Cisne said she’d been working for this group for several years, as a double-agent for Manticore, providing him with key intelligence. Cisne said she was caught completely off-guard by Manticore and Recluse’s sudden appearance and onslaught, and had no idea why he turned on her. “I’d given him everything he asked for, but when Recluse said I was no longer of any use, Manticore…he winked at me with that smarmy smile, and then let loose an arrow.” Visibly shattered, she was able to provide several pictures of the attack, which appear to be genuine. Neither the Columbian military nor US officials acknowledged her presence in the country.
Manticore has been at the top of the FBSA’s most-wanted list for the last two years, right alongside Lord Recluse. Mrs. Liberty of the Guardians issued the following statement from Paragon City, “We have every available hero searching for the devilish duo, but the Outbreak pandemic is at such a crisis that we have very few to spare. But don’t think for an instant we’ve forgotten Manticore.
He will pay for what he did to Back Alley Brawler. No one kills one of our own and simply disappears.” Manticore, once the most promising hero in Paragon City, took a dark turn two years ago when he joined with Lord Recluse. Since then they have been spotted around the globe.
ED NOTE: After filing this report Jackson Turner disappeared from his hotel in Bogota. His hotel room was ransacked and he has been missing for two days. Our prayers go with him, and any tips leading to his recovery should be sent to this paper.