2012 04 23 6

Mon Apr 23 2072

"And this is Ken Takamura with NewsNet Nightly. All news. All the time. The straight scream. We go now to our action-point: California Bureau and Jill Haverstrom in Bakersfield, California. Jill - can you hear us? We know you're connecting through STARnet. You're coming to you live from the top of Petro-Cal tower in Bakersfield. We can see behind you, that the city is blacked out. How many people are still in Bakersfield, Jill?"

Jill is indeed, atop the tower, standing with General Jace Gill - recently promoted by order of Governor Gill for valor in battle. He looks tired. He looks haggard, but he's got a hell of a strong chin and alert, angry eyes.

"Yes, Ken! The city is blacked out - with complete power failure as of 30 minutes ago. The city receives power from the Lake Isabella Hydro plant, but with the encirclement of Bakersfield and the severing of Cal-178, the power appears to have been cut. Still in this city, are some 200,000 civilians who have been shelled, bombed and burned, and now have lost power. The pumps on the water towers will only operate for some 36 hours, before water pressure will drop to nothing, Ken. When that happens, basic sanitation will break down."

"Oh my. Who is that with you?"

"Ken, this is General Jace Gill of the California Guard. He'd like to say a few words."

"Well certainly, put General Gill on."

Jill passes the Microphone to Gill, who takes a moment to compose himself. "People expect me to make an inspirational speech. They expect me to stand up here and tell you that we're going to pull together and come out of this as heroes, covered in Glory and the Bear Flag. Well." He says, features hard. "That may not be the case."

"Loyal agents of the Great State of California, they intercepted and stole a shipment of VX 301 Aerosol gas. This is a Neurotoxin. It's fatal with even a small dose - and when not fatal, it causes paralysis and coma. It doesn't break down rapidly - it doesn't go away. This shipment was bound for the 3rd Marine Division, which is bearing down on us. This is not a weapon of war. It's a weapon of murder. It doesn't care who you are. It doesn't care if you're metahuman or human, it doesn't care if you are rich or poor, Japanese or Californian. It's a horrible substance and has only one use. Mass Murder. And it's coming for us."

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