The Origin of Rad Rock (Rocksteady on Beta)




Since I lost my name in game from beta and can't edit my original post, here's the updated version with my present name:

It had been more than a decade since the Portal Corp was destroyed and much of the world had all but forgotten about possible threats from other dimensions. On May 23rd, 2002, they had a rather rude reminder. On that date, at approximately 5:30 PM Brasilia Time, thousands upon thousands of red lights began to appear in Rio de Janeiro. The lights took the form of perfect, flat circles, ranging in diameter from 9 feet to 100 yards. No one was yet quite sure what they were looking at, but it was obvious that they were dangerous - anything the red lights touched they seemed to devour.

The discs of light kept appearing and were soon all over the city, from huge discs high above the skyline to smaller ones at street level and even inside buildings. The population quickly panicked and clogged the exit routes, trying to flee whatever disaster was about to beset them. Soon reports came in from other cities and countries. The lights had popped up in 27 other places around the world, all of them major population centers.

Over at Paragon City, USA, the Freedom Phalanx made the determination, with the help of a former Portal Corp researcher, that the lights represented some kind of dimensional portal. Where they led no one could be sure. Long standing Freedom Phalanx member and renowned interstellar explorer, Star Strider, volunteered to pass through one of the portals and see what was there. Veiling himself in his invulnerable force field, he entered one of the larger portals and was never seen or heard from again. Similar experiments in other parts of the world had the same tragic results.

As night fell, at approximately 8:30 Brasilia Time, the true purpose of these disks became clear. Simultaneously across the entire globe alien invaders began pouring out of the portals - tens of thousands of them. Most were infantry, wearing some sort of powered armor and wielding energy weapons. Others wore flight packs and dove down from the skies beside hordes of small, spherical attack drones. The largest portals produced huge assault craft, bristling with energy cannons and missile launchers. Even in places like Paragon City, where hundreds of heroes were prepared for an horrific event, the size and power of the invading force proved quickly overwhelming.

The first barrage of attacks was very precisely executed. The invaders had obviously had time to study their foes in great detail. They took out power plants, substantiations, phone lines, cell phone towers, radio transmitters and water lines within the first 15 minutes of the invasion. They filled the air with electronic counter measures so powerful that they jammed all radio communication, radar, and GPS signals. They also struck concentrations of military and police power, taking out armories, air force bases, and naval shipyards. In a matter of minutes they had all but disarmed the cities they chose to attack. Fortunately for Earth, they had failed miserably in one aspect of their calculations: they hadn't counted on the tremendous power Earth's heroes could bring to bear. Unfortunately, Brazil didn't have that many heroes. The inexplicable events that led to the creation of the many world heroes never seemed to happen there in force. They were very few individuals who barely made a difference, so the country could only turn to the armed forces in hopes of stopping this invasion. It was an onslaught.

The world's governments reacted as best they could to the terrifyingly unexpected invasion. The aliens destroyed a good third of the world's military might in those first few hours, but, with the help of super powered heroes from every nation, the armed forces rallied and began to put up a stalwart, if seemingly doomed defense. Even the most advanced army in the world, that of the United States, was seriously outgunned by the aliens. The casualty ratios were typically 5 to 1 in favor of the invaders. Only when those with super powers fought alongside front line troops did the humans ever score any victories. The United Nations Security Council, led by Great Britain and France, formed an emergency umbrella organization to help coordinate hero resources in the worldwide war against the invaders. Called the Vanguard, this group was comprised of some of the world's best and brightest heroes. It sprang into action immediately, and began to effect stalemates similar to the one that had been reached in Paragon City. Only then did Brazil ever saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Sunspot, the most famous Brazilian hero, now part of the Vanguard, commanded the fight in his homeland. The aliens' advances were halted, but it seemed impossible to take back the territory they had already seized.

Back in Paragon City, the effort to discover just who these aliens were was finally achieving some results. Going through the old Portal Corp files (which had been tied up in countless court battles, unseen, for decades), investigators found a record for an alternate Earth home to a race of beings known as The Rikti. Only one Portal Corps team had been sent there and the records were incomplete, although it seemed that contact with the aliens had been established. Apparently they could talk to us, they just didn't want to. The file had no indications that they were particularly war like or hostile and even suggested that a trade agreement could possibly be reached with them at some point in the future. Now the enemy had a name at least, although why they had attacked remained unclear.

The war waged on for the next six months, during which time hundreds of thousands of soldiers, civilians, and heroes died in battle. The Rikti proved a decidedly intractable foe. They had apparently been coming to Earth well before the actual invasion began in earnest, setting up hidden bases and weapons caches beneath the ground. They used short range teleportation portals to strike at unexpected times and locations. The humans were forced to fight an entirely defensive war, as the Rikti kept them scrambling to deal with one crisis after another.

It did not take long for the Rikti to figure out just how important the heroes were to humanity's defense. More and more they began to concentrate their efforts on the costume clad warriors. Any large scale meeting place or base of operations became an immediate target. In Paragon City the Rikti launched a series of all-out, simultaneous assaults on hero organization headquarters buildings. In one afternoon they destroyed buildings belonging to the Freedom Phalanx, the Midnight Squad, and the Dawn Patrol, killing scores of heroes in the process. The Rikti took their heaviest casualties during this engagement, but they must have thought it was worth it because they did the same thing again the next day. And the day after that. In one week they lost over 10,000 soldiers, killed close to 200 heroes and utterly decimated all of Paragon City's major hero organizations.

The Freedom Phalanx was down to just Statesman and a handful of the toughest, most powerful heroes in the city. The Dawn Patrol, Midnight Squad, Regulators, and Hero Corps were in similar straits. With its decentralized command structure and international recruiting base, only the Vanguard (which included Statesman as well), remained a viable, organized fighting force. Even when the Rikti destroyed the United Nations buildings in New York and Geneva, the Vanguard kept up the fight, quickly training and organizing super powered defense teams to hold the aliens in check.

Thanks to Dr. Science, an American hero and the files from Portal Corp, the Vanguard managed to come up with a plan to vanquish the Rikti. November 2nd, 2002, was payback day. Losses were terrible, and only one hero was able to come back as a witness, Ajax.

The war was over, or at least the first phase of it was. Both sides had been nearly shattered in the process. The Vanguard and the other great hero organizations of the world scarcely existed anymore. With the exception of Statesman and a few others, all the world's greatest heroes had died in the war. Trillions upon trillions of dollars of damage had been done to the majority of the world's most populated cities. Paragon City was the worst hit of all. Once a shining beacon of light and prosperity, now much of it lay in ruins. It didn't take long for criminals to start reasserting themselves, and new heroes were needed. It was the beginning of a desperate time that would last for decades.

And the same happened at Rio. With its armed and police forces shattered, and the few heroes the country had dead, everything that was already an urban problem before the war became worse by a hundred fold. Criminal factions, led by rival drug lords, started fighting for what was left of their territory, also planning on expanding their reach, and in broad daylight. Poverty and hunger ran everywhere; millions lost everything from jobs to houses and loved ones.

Now, the effect of the Rikti on human culture and society has not been entirely negative. The world they come from is quite a bit more advanced than our own, technologically speaking. During the war and in subsequent raids on Rikti cells, heroes have recovered literally thousands of tons of Rikti technology. From spaceships to handguns, the Rikti brought a startling array of weapons and other technology with them. Ever since the first alien energy rifle fell into the hands of a human scientist, we have been learning from their scientific discoveries. However, they posed a problem as well. Not all of the discarded or lost Rikti technology fell into the hands of the heroes and governments of the world. Every month, more and more of it made its way into the hands of Rio de Janeiro's criminal element. The black market for alien artifacts is booming, with even a simple side arm or communication device selling for tens of thousands of dollars. A more serious problem were the eventual hoodlums who started using Rikti assault weapons, with the firepower to level a city block in a matter of minutes, for robbing the eventual store.

And then there were the abductions. It's true that the Rikti had been on Earth long before the invasion started, studying their battleground. But when the "hero factor" was introduced into the fight, desperation hit and they had to find a way to turn the tide back into their favor. So they began abducting regular citizens to "experiment" on them. Torture is a better world. They prodded and poked, trying to learn not only what made us tick, but also how did the human body went from human to superhuman. Mutated humans, who didn't have "active" powers or simply didn't choose to become heroes, were their favorite prey. These people were guinea pigs. Their DNA was sliced so the aliens could look for the "power factor" as they called it. And two of the discoveries they made turned matters even worse for the poor captive humans. They eventually found the "power factor", so they began toying with it. They'd boost it, mix it with a different one and even insert it on regular DNA to see if the host body would develop those powers. Also, while researching through our records, they found old documents from the 50s that dealt with radiation and the fears that were linked to it at the time: mutation because of exposure. It was like Christmas for the aliens. Dozens died from these experiences and many more ended up either disformed or with severe forms of cancer. But a lucky few, if they could call themselves that, managed to come out unscathed... and changed forever.

One of those few was translator Rodrigo Barros, 25 years old. He was abducted while trying to get his life back on track. Thankfully his whole family survived the invasion, with the exception of his younger brother. He had no idea of his whereabouts and, even though the city was a mess, he decided to look for him through official means. And that's when he was caught by the Rikti.

The aliens knew Brazil was a developing country. Those who worked undercover studying Earth's population had managed to learn English. They knew it was one of the most spoken languages on the planet, and an important one both politically and economically, so for them it was an asset. And they were so arrogant that they just figured no one in a third world country like Brazil would speak other languages fluently. That was their second mistake when kidnapping Roddy. The first was that they didn't know "the carioca way". It's common folklore among Brazilians that cariocas (natives of Rio de Janeiro) always manage to find a way out of any tight spot. And this was as a tight a spot as any.

By listening in on the Rikti's careless conversations, Roddy was able to learn all their plans, and eventually start plotting his own escape. He had no more hope of escaping the alien clutches than his fellow captives, but fate, luck or just "the carioca way' seemed to work out on his advantage.

The results of the radiation exposure on Roddy were fantastic. He developed control over mineral rock, the very earth. He could shape and will the soil into stalactites, stalagmites, even solid stone. Obviously, he didn't show the aliens his true potential. As soon as they saw any development, they ceased exposure for fear that they'd create too powerful an inmate. Unfortunately for them, they already had. Roddy would show them small stalactites and rock figures, when in fact he was able to create huge structures. And he was feeling better and stronger every day; it seemed the radiation also granted him healing powers. So the young translator planned, and waited for a chance to strike.

That chance came on November 2nd, 2002. After months of imprisonment, his hopes were up with a chance for freedom. When the attack against the Rikti at Paragon City was successful, the aliens deployed all available personnel there. Only a couple were left on regular duties. And as soon as all guards were out helping their comrades and the scientists were left alone, Roddy acted. He generated stone cages to imprison the remaining aliens and a battering ram of solid rock not only to escape his cell, but also to break the other prisoners free and eventually bust out of the Rikti facility.

The aliens were driven away, and the city started rebuilding itself. But life was different now. Rio was more dangerous than ever, but Roddy no longer was an ordinary citizen. Still, what could he do against all the criminal factions when he didn't even fully understand his newfound powers? That's when he heard that Paragon City was recruiting new heroes to help get itself back on its former glory feet.

"Well, I'm sure some of the old veterans are left from the war," Roddy thought. After all, someone has got to be helping the newbies. They wouldn't be calling new heroes if they weren't offering supervision. So even though Rio needs help desperately, maybe I can go over there for a few months, learn a few tricks and then come back and raise hell on those drug lords!"

So he made himself a costume, adopted a flashy name and raced to Paragon, where he hoped he'd become a better and experienced hero so he could go home and make his family proud helping to put an end on the crime and corruption that infested his hometown. He was ready to dispense stone-hard justice as... RAD ROCK!