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Awakening to a Nightmare
A Leonardo Harding Story
By
Thomas Delfi

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, A.K.A. Bio-Pulse.

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 But when the act was repealed in 1967, Adam had to deal with his powers.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 He couldn’t just hide them anymore, there was no point now that “Might for Right” was repealed.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 Paragon City.

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.

Waiter: BIO-PULSE!
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 Adam disappeared.

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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