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Awakening to a Nightmare
A Leonardo Harding Story
Hello. Leonardo Harding here, star reporter for Paragon Times and part
time hero K-Force. I’m an African-American political activist in
the defense of heroes against Lobbyists like Jacob King(Anti-Hero
activist) and Kings Row YMCA Meta-Human Counselor. Pretty cool, huh?
Well, I often help teenagers who just came into their powers deal with
them and use them for the side of good. But sometimes, I help older
heroes reconcile with their past. This is the story of Adam Mulciba,
Adam Mulciba was born in 1951, May 23rd. At his birth, nothing was odd
about him, and average boy born in Kings Row General Hospital. His
parents were Austrian Immigrants, both unintelligent, barely able to
speak English and emotionally crippled from the death of their teenage
daughter back in the motherland. Strangely, Adam spoke perfect English
and Austrian ever since he first learned to talk. Throughout his
childhood, Adam was extremely intelligent and very charming. But at the
age of 13, Adam discovered he had incredible gifts. He could fire
electricity and heal those around him. When he told his parents of his
new found power, they feared for his life. At this time, the
“Might for Right” act was in power and they knew Adam was
in danger of being shipped off to Europe to fight deadly Russian
superhuman Covert Ops. But when the act was repealed in 1967, Adam had
to deal with his powers. What would he do with them? He couldn’t
just hide them anymore, there was no point now that “Might for
Right” was repealed.
He came to a decision when he was on the way home from Kings Row High
School. There, he saw a small gang of Shadows attacking a young woman.
To those who do not know, The Shadows were a gang preceding the Skulls
in Kings Row who had similar powers and methods. This group of Shadows
were harassing a fellow Austrian Immigrant, Liana Wagner, neighbor to
Adam and a focus of his affections. Adam quickly defeated the group of
Shadows with his lightning bolts and took Liana home. Liana, who always
had a fascination with Super Heroes, suggested he become a hero and
helped design a costume. She even picked out a name for him, one which
incorporated both of his powers. Bio-Pulse.
His first fights were against the Shadows, taking high ranking member
like the villainous Penumbra. His powers developed rapidly and he
discovered he was able to fly and move at super human speeds. When the
nuclear crisis in 1976 occurred, Bio-Pulse quickly jumped in to help.
There, he became friends with Hero One and was made an Honorary member
of the Freedom Phalanx by Statesman himself. Joining the Regulators in
the early 1980's, Bio-Pulse became a media darling, crusading against
drug dealers and taking down “Supes” manufacturer’s.
In the fall of 1984, Adam proposed to Liana and married her in the
summer of 1985, a wedding in Perez Park which was attended by members
of the Regulators and the Freedom Phalanx. But in 1989, Liana gave
birth to their first son, Anton Viktor Mulciba. After “Little
Anton’s” birth, Adam hung up his cape. The moved into small
split level home in the small suburb of EastGate and Adam got a
researching job at Crey Industries. The family was in relative peace
and Adam made good money at Crey. However, he re-entered the hero field
when the Rikti war began in 2002. He fought the Rikti flagship, Osiris’s Assent,
over the neighborhood of Baumton and was caught in the powerful energy
blast that decimated Baumton and transformed it into “
Boomtown”. Adam had a personal force field generator
belt(standard issue for heroes in the Rikti War) that protected him
physically, but sent him into a coma. His body was found in the 2003
scavenging expedition of the Freedom Phalanx and was quickly taken to
Chiron Medical Center. He was put into immediate care. He had been in
an coma for 3 years and came out of the coma on July 27th. I instantly
went to visit him at Chiron Medical Center. Ever since I was nine, I
had admired him and hoped that I could talk to him. I arranged a
meeting with him in the hospital in order to re-introduce him to
I met him in the Hospital waiting center at 8:00 AM. Adam was a large
man of 55 with thick brown graying hair and beard. He wore a stiff
brown suit and thick glasses. According to his medical report, small
shards of rock had gotten into his eyes while he was trapped in
Boomtown. Adam stood and shook my hand cordially with a grim face and
spoke with a thick European accent.
Adam Mulciba: Mr. Harding, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Will we take a cab?
Leonardo Harding: no, I think we’ll walk. Is that alright, Mr. Mulciba?
Adam Mulciba: Mr. Harding, I was in a coma, not crippled. We’ll walk.
We made small talk for two hours as we walked thru Atlas Park. Adam was
amazed at the site of all the young heroes fighting Hellions and
Clockwork. He said to me, “By god, look at all these kids! Some
are younger than I was when I started out!”. We walked towards
the entrance to the Hollows to meet our contacts for our tour. I had
arranged for 2 Longbow agents to guide us thru the are that was once
the neighborhood Adam lived in. Agent Burke and Agent Lowe met us at
the gate and we went in.
Adam Mulciba: so, what happened to Liana and little Anton?
Leonardo Harding: Mrs. Mulciba moved to IronHelm, New York in mid 2002.
She thought you were dead and decided to honor you by not re-marrying.
She lives with her brother Stefan now. I arranged a meeting between you
and Anton later on in Galaxy City. He’s a pretty good kid.
Adam Mulciba: ...my dear son...what has become of him? What do you know?
Leonardo Harding: You’ll see.
We continued our tour through The Hollows. When we reached Cherry
Hills, I knew we were near the home of Mr. Mulciba. We stopped in front
of the wrecked remains of a large split level home. It was charred and
sinking into the cracked earth. The small mailbox in the front read
“Mulciba”. Adam looked at the remains of the home he worked
so hard for and bowed his head. He turned and walked away. He walked
about 9 feet when 5 Trolls jumped him. With a rage I had never seen, he
fire electric bolts at the delinquents and grabbed the Jutal leader,
roaring at him in his native Austrian. The Jutal looked terrified and
began to scream for help from the 2 Longbow Agents. They grabbed Adam
and pulled his off the Jutal, and then used an Arrest teleporter to
send the Jutal to the Zig.
Adam stood where the Jutal had been and breathed deeply for about 5
minutes. What happened to him was understandable. He was trying to come
to terms with the loss of his home and then this jackass steroid freak
jumps him. We then decided to leave and head to Founders Falls for a
pizza at Da Vinci’s Pizzeria. As we sat at a table near the
window, our waiter came over. He was a bald, Italian man of 55 with
strangely dark eyes. After taking our order, he looked at Adam and
looked as though he had come to a sudden realization. He then smiled
and cried out in a thick Italian accent.
Adam looked at our waiter with shocked realization and then, out of
nowhere, threw him a brotherly hug. They began talking to each other
rapidly in Italian. I took one year of Italian in High School, but
understood only a third of what they were saying.
Leonardo Harding: uh...have you two met before?
Adam Mulciba: Leonardo, this is Penumbra! He was my archenemy back in the day!
Penumbra, A.K.A. Louie Vinci, was a leader of the Shadows back in the
mid sixties and had powerful shadow powers. He and Adam fought for
years until 1974, when Adam convinced Penumbra to give up his life of
crime and they soon became great friends. Louie Vinci got several odd
jobs over the years in Paragon, but in 1987 he started Da Vinci’s
Pizzeria. On its opening day, Louie invited Adam and his family over
for a free meal. From what I understand, Louie was deeply upset when
We talked for about 3 hours over oven cooked pizza and left half
an hour until our meeting with Anton Mulciba. Louie and Adam shook
hands and hugged each other like brothers again. It’s strange,
how your archenemy today can be your best friend 30 years from now.
Perhaps, Lord Recluse and Statesman could be friends 30 years from now,
but if the rumors are true they were already friends. Anyways, we took
a cab to Galaxy City. We had set up a meeting at the Freedom Corps
building. There we met Anton Mulciba, all grown up. Anton was now 17
and had followed in his fathers foot steps. At the age of 14, he had
discovered he had force field and electric powers, donning the name
Force-Pulse. When Adam saw his son, he instantly knew he was a hero.
We had dinner Anton’s hotel, The Geneva, and Adam got
re-acquainted with Anton. Anton was now a member of the New York
Freedom Corps in IronHelm. He’d been a hero for 3 years now and
had occasionally worked in Paragon. As we finished our dinner, we heard
gun fire from outside. Instinctively, all three of us charged outside
to what was wrong. Outside, a squad of Council troops were opening fire
upon the Geneva with psychotic glee. Without a moment of hesitation,
both Force-Pulse and Bio-Pulse jumped into action, but I decided to
hang back. This is the closest to a normal father-son moment these two
could ever get to.
Leonardo Harding, signing off.
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