July 4th 1990 9:26 pm.

It was the instant that the world changed forever. Up until that point, things had been going fine. The Soviet Union was collapsing internally. The economy hadn’t yet started into recession and things were looking up in the world.

As people gathered in Washington DC to watch the evening fireworks an electricity was running through the air. There was something that told people that something important was about to happen, and happen it did.

In the middle of the fireworks display, suddenly the sky above the city caught fire. It was like some huge wave of fire began to burn its way slowly across the night sky, and it stretched seven hundred fifty miles from north to south. It began over Chesapeake Bay and drifted westward against the jet stream burning away like some weird twisted ribbon of fire.

Nothing showed up on radar but temperature readings suggested that it was burning at nearly eight thousand degrees. Passenger jets were redirected over, and around it. Three crashed into the bay trying to avoid being burned. Military jets tried to take samples but were destroyed by the flames. Burning debris fell all over the country setting all kinds of fires that kept emergency services busy all night.

Fallen material recovered from various fires scene dissoloved into a complex carbon based compound not unlike the ashes of a human body. There was even remnants of some kind of DNA in it that was similar to that recovered from various Neanderthal fossils found in Northern Europe.

Most strangely as the effect the fire was having on people. Wherever the fire passed over, certain people- not very many- began to glow. They became frozen in place as their bodies secreted an amber-like fluid that quickly hardened. Within a few moments, it burned away in a flash and they were changed. Some had physical mutations, others appeared normally but could do things that normal humans had only dreamed of in the comic books.

In the cities, riots broke out as these “erupters” dealt with the sudden changes in their bodies. Some tried to help quell the riots, others participated. Some battled each other, and others tried to hide from the violence around them. Over 500 people died that night as the ribbon burned its way across the United States to finally contract and disappear over Las Vegas at sunrise. The world would never be the same again.

The fire had changed others as well. It was discovered that the people who erupted that night started off with a rather impressive level of power, but over the next few days, those powers faded to much lower levels. Some people however, went through a diffferent kind of change, one that we now call a cold burn. The light is faint, sometimes so faint that the person doesn’t even know it’s happening. Sometimes it’s painful though and those with physical modifications report sensations of everything from intense pain to pleasure, to an itching all over. There’s no amber fluid, and the process can takes days or even weeks. But when it is finished the same result- powers like in the comic books.

The difference between the erupters and cold burn was rather significant. The erupters began with a high level of power that they burned off. The cold burns built to a high level of power and leveled out. Cold burns tend to be class 10 or above. Very few erupters retain anything above class 7 or 8.

Society wrenched and wiggled and struggled with the sudden appearance of powers beyond the mortal ken among them. Some chose to use their power for selfish means or for political statements. Others tried to hide from them, or simply ignored. Others however were willing to step up to the plate and help bring a sense of security and order to the world.

One such neo is Lady Lightning. She appeared on the scene about a week after what was being called the Neogenesis Night. At first, she was simply a woman wearing a ski mask trying to stop the riots that had broken out in Washington DC. Later, as she appeared more and more around the country, people started noticing that it was the same woman.

Eventually, she revealed herself as Lady Lightning and worked out a deal with the Federal Government to form a squad of other like minded neos to help bring the rest into line, and to protect the general population. Thus was born Neo Force 1; a group of neos dedicated to securing the peace and prosperity of all the citizens of the US.

Things would have probably remained as they were if it hadn’t been for the Fury incident. In 1994, a powerful force came on the scene- one that shook off the power of the US Army itself.

The exact nature of Fury’s eruption is considered top secret, primarily to keep anyone from trying to duplicate it. Outside of Chicago a huge female beast suddenly appeared. She was nine feet tall, with deep red fur, and a horrible mishapen face. She simply went on a rampage through the city. At first the Army tried to deal with her. She took a direct hit from an M1-1 tank. It only made her mad.

By the time Lady Liberty finally arrived to drive her off, she’d killed almost a thousand people, including 403 men and women in the Illinois National Guard and the US Army who tried to stop her. This brought about calls for regsitration of neos, gene monitoring, and the possible restriction of their movements.

The battle over the issue raged for the next twelve years. In that time, neo groups rose, fell, fought, died, and slowly pushed the US into the realm of comic books. Finally, in 2006, after a battle between two villains Fire Fury and Inferno left half of the city of San Francisco in flames, the Neo Registration Bill was passed over a Presidential Veto. It required all neos to immediately reveal their identities to the Federal government and register their powers as weapons of mass destruction.

Being passed and being enforced are two different things. The last administration chose to put it very low on their list of priorities, so for two years, it has sat there. However, with the new administration, it has become a policy strictly enforced, leading to at least one case working its way through the courts.

Blood of My Ancestors