The GC616 logo appears on screen as the camera zooms out to reveal the GC616 newsroom. At the moment, the newsroom is just an empty utility room in the first reasonably priced office space that the team could find on such short notice. The anchor, Reagan, quickly jumps up from behind the plastic folding table covered with a black tablecloth that doubles as both desk and lunctable for those in the office. Pinned on the wall behind her is a blue tablecloth hastily painted with the GC616 Logo.
Reagan stares off-camera and talks to the camera man. While not as nervous as she was at the Hellfire Gala, there’s still an element of anxiety to her.
Reagan: Are we live?
The cameraman, the same one from the Gala, says something inaudible that shocks Reagan into the same confidence that we saw at the Gala.
Reagan: Good evening and welcome to GC616. I’m Reagan Anick. Our top story tonight: the X-Men return to heroism and save the city from a psychic robot.
Footage of the X-Men piloting a mech in battle against an alien-looking robot appears in the corner of the screen as she talks.
Reagan: Thanks to the quick thinking of this new team, led by Marvel Girl and Cyclops, New York City was saved from a psychic attack that would have led to immense damage and could have potentially spread to the world if not for the heroism of the X-Men. The other heroes that we have to thank are Polaris, Synch, Sunfire, and Wolverine.
Reagan shuffles the papers in front of her a little bit.
Reagan: After saving the city and receiving a welcome from both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, the X-men returned to their new base, a treehouse in a corner of central park that they have named Seneca Gardens in honour of Seneca Village, a 19th century majority Black settlement that was torn down in order to construct Central Park, displacing all of the inhabitants of the settlement.
Reagan pauses as the same muffled voice from early can be heard from behind the camera.
Reagan: Once again, a thank you to the X-Men for their heroics today. Now, if what I’m being told is true, we have someone with information on a teenage superhero group known as… [she looks off screen, squinting to read the cameraman’s lips] the Runaways. Let’s cut to them and find out more.
The feed cuts from the normal view of the GC616 offices to webcam footage of a dark room, with the only light coming from more than a dozen screens placed all around the place, and in the middle, a young man in a hooded cloak can be seen sitting on a rotating chair.
Reagan: Now, if what we’ve been told is correct, you have information about the not-famous-enough-to-get-a-real-reporter Runaways, right? You say you’re their biggest nemesis.
Cloaked man: I AM THE SHADOWS THAT CRAWL AROUND THEM DURING THEIR SLEEP! THE SWORD HANGING OVER THEIR HEADS! THE ABYSS THEY DO NOT DARE TO LOOK INTO! I AM…Glenn.
Reagan: I see you’re very passionate about your job.
Glenn: IT’S NOT A JOB! It’s an honor! I was tasked with watching every one of their steps by the heads of P.R.I.D.E before they fell, and I will not abandon their purpose, even after their deaths. I watch what they do every hour of every day. I have cameras all over the city. I have drones ready for anything they do!
Glenn does a spin with the chair as he puts his hands in the air.
Glenn: This week has been slow though, they’ve just been kinda sad. Gib, the child of the gods that wanted to destroy humanity and now lives with the runaways, keeps going to school and playing football. Lots of cats started giving him rats as sacrifices so he can feed, so I guess there’s that. Nico had a breakdown because of the wizard inside her staff sucking her soul. I would feel sorry for her if my purpose wasn’t destroying her and all she cares about. At least she told her girlfriend, Karolina, about it. The kid that is no longer with them because he betrayed them a while ago, Alex, wants to join the J-Team now. Let’s see where that goes!
Glenn: Wait, finally! The past Gert, who is now present Gert, and is dating Victor, has just discovered that the future version of herself is dating her ex, Chase. They’re all running off, but Victor is staying in place…A SPACESHIP? An alien spaceship just appeared in the sky and landed right in front of him…They’re from Karolina’s planet! What’s going to hap-
The door to upstairs opens. It’s Glenn’s mother.
Glenn’s mother: SON! I TOLD YOU I NEEDED YOU TO GO TO THE STORE FIVE HOURS AGO. THE THOMPSONS ARE COMING FOR DINNER!
Glenn: MOM! THE NEWS PEOPLE ARE HERE! Fuck, I’m sorry, guys. I need to go. I’ll see you next week, I guess.
Glenn goes running up the stairs as he tries not to trip over his cloak, and the camera cuts back to Reagan in the studio, her eyebrows raised.
Reagan: Well then. That was interesting. Now to Katie with a report on a Hulk sighting.
The camera cuts to Katie, standing inside a hotel lobby. Next to her is a woman, tall in stature with a slightly miffed expression as she adjusts the sleeves of her dark grey trench coat.
Katie: Hello G616 watchers! I am here in New York City, reporting on a domestic disturbance report. And yes, it is safe to go outside downtown Manhattan again. After that gamma-fueled fight between several Hulks and the Avengers earlier, many citizens felt terrified. At least Blade was extricated from the fight early on. What was he even doing there?
Jen Walters: Hello? If you don’t mind, can we start this interview?
Katie: Oh, right! I’m merely informing people that they’re in no danger of getting Hulk-smashed anymore.
Jen scoffs, smirking. The recording audio picks up Jen’s muffled mutter.
Jen: I’d be more worried about She-Hulk smashing you right now…
Katie smiles at Jen, completely oblivious.
Katie: Yes…Sorry I’m so scatterbrained! I had a recent blood transfusion and I’ve been feeling like two different people lately!
Jen: Ah, I can relate.
Katie: Wait, you can? You’ve had a —
Jen: Can we just start the interview, please?
Katie: Yes, of course! Ahem. Jen Walters, tell me, who was arguing and what was the cause of the argument?
Jen: My cousin and his…whatever she is to him these days, were yelling about their relationship, of course.
Katie: Witnesses in the lower levels of the hotel said it sounded like all hell broke loose up there. Do you have any insight into why the debate escalated so loudly?
Jen: Let’s just say, those two have some…self-esteem issues. And a history. They aren’t the best at communicating their feelings. Who is? I’ve felt a loss of control as well lately. Yet, I didn’t cause a scene, ha.
Katie: I see. Why was the whole building reported as “shaking” the moment corroborating sources also witnessed a “demon angel from the depths of hell” flying from your hotel suite.
Jen: Look, I don’t know what to tell you about hell or angels. The domestic situation has been handled. My cousin’s a good guy, deep within the recesses of the hulking emotional barrier he’s constructed. He took an extended Vegas vacation and his girl…wasn’t thrilled about his absence. There’s been a lot of tension between all of us lately. Warring internal desires and all that. But I can assure you that no one was hurt.
Katie: Well, I’m delighted to hear that everyone is safe. You avoided my question about the flying…harpy creature. Are you throwing me a red herring here?
Jen stifles a laugh.
Jen: I’m throwing you a red something.
Katie: A red…? Well, thank you for your time Miss Walters.
Jen: Pleasure. I wanted to set the record straight in case any misleading information leaked.
Katie: Manhattan truly is safe today, evidently. Back to you!
Jen rapidly texts on her phone as the camera once again cuts away to Reagan in the studio, this time as she’s wrapping up a conversation with her cameraman, a grin on her face. The grin quickly falls into a more serious look as she notices that she’s live again.
Reagan: Thank you so much Katie. Now, on to some more news from Krakoa as one of our intrepid reporters relays the most recent word on X-Force, Krakoa’s covert ops unit.
The camera cuts to a completely dark screen. After a moment of silence, Reagan’s voice is heard.
Reagan: Did we lose it or….?
She is interrupted by a voice from the dark.
Voice: Frustrating, isn’t it? The dark? Oh, not all the time. Sometimes, we want the dark. We need it. Good things can happen in the dark, memorable things can happen in the dark. Sometimes you’re better off in the dark. Krakoa wants you to think that’s what’s happening with X-Force. They want you to trust them, to stay in the dark – for your own good. Well, we here at GC616 have a different view on that.
Light flicks on, revealing Kevin wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora, trying very hard to pull off a look he isn’t quite managing. He is standing beside a wall full of photographs of various mutants and humans connected by red tape, which looks suspiciously like the wall of a crazy person.
Kevin: I’m Kevin, and welcome to the X-Force Beat. This week, I’m reporting on another series of mysterious incidents that have swept the US. Most of you probably heard about the high-profile murder of a US Senator in the streets of Washington DC, with no motive even suggested. Some of you may also have heard of the strange, sudden disintegration of an NYPD officer in Central Park. But I bet you hadn’t heard the extremely credible reports of a strange hulking monster in the Pacific North-West?
Grainy footage plays of a large red-eyed monster; its authenticity looks highly dubious.
Kevin: What do all these things have in common? As your humble reporter, legally bound by several extremely firmly worded contracts and multiple reprimands from prior employers for ‘wild evidence-free allegations’ – I can say nothing. But if I could say something, I might note reports that a certain purple-haired mutant was reported at the scene of at least one of these mysterious deaths, and maybe more.
The camera cuts back to the room, where Kevin draws a circle around an image of Quentin Quire with a red marker.
Kevin: I could also note that this same individual was spotted in Washington state shortly after the rash of appearances by this hulking swamp-monster, with sources suggesting that other mutants may also have been present and engaged in some sort of battle – just before sightings of the creature abruptly stopped. But like I say, I can’t mention any of that – or remind you of this mutant’s alleged links to the heavily-rumored mutant black ops team known as X-Force. Other networks may keep sneering at this as a ‘crank conspiracy’ – but I’ll let you be the judge of whether this seems like the work of some conspiracist.
The camera pans out to show that the set of connected photos is in fact dramatically larger than previously revealed, taking up the entire wall of a very large auditorium. After a knowing nod from Kevin, it cuts back to the studio.
Reagan mutters something about needing to stop conspiracy-types from ending up on the airwaves before turning on her usual anchor persona.
Reagan: And now for a special report from…a member of the Krakoan Quiet Council, Mister Sinister himself?
Sinister: Welcome to Sinister Scoops with your host, MISTER SINISTER! Not the main Sinister of course, he’s a bit…distracted at the moment. Instead it is I! The Sinister with the journalism gene, dedicated to scooping the news on Krakoa for all mutant – and man – kind. Or at least the important parts featuring Sinister.
Sinister puts his hand to his ear
Sinister: I’m hearing that the journalism gene is not a real thing but I would like to remind the GC616 staff that I am a high regarded geneticist with a very short temper who may not be able to kill humans, but will gladly clone them and leave them in constant doubt of which is which. Not everyone has a Sinister System like we do after all.
Sinister: Drama in the Hellions this week, but what’s new there? Orphan-Maker found himself snooping where he wasn’t allowed and he and his Nanny have found themselves falling out. Will this finally push our seven foot tall child to grow up a bit? His new unlikely friendship with Greycrow sure seems like it’ll toughen him up a bit. Meanwhile, Empath is struggling to recover from the news that he…
Sinister stares in disbelief at the page he’s reading from
Sinister: SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR THE HELLIONS? Is this thinly veiled excuse to give us Sinisters some useful henchmen actually producing results? Greycrow isn’t immune to the drama either, as Kwannon rebuffs his latest advance and sends PsyCrow shippers spiralling. Meanwhile, the main Sinister has some Sinister shaped spanners thrown in the works as ANOTHER Sinister appears, returning from Arakko, and he is NOT happy. Presumably because of his vastly inferior cape. Now in the service of Tarn the Uncaring, this scarred Sinister has joined up with the Locus Vile to get back what Sinister stole from him. Some delightful DnA samples of those Arakki mutants. Is Arakko the secret source of the journalism gene perhaps? With Bar Sinister under the Locus Viles occupation at the moment, Tarn has asked me to read out a statement and…warning…to anyone listening.
The entire screen goes black with white text appearing on it
“Amino Fetus must not eat”
Sinister Secret #1
Those humans and their “Zeta Squad” may think they’re on to something but everyone knows a robot baby mutant coming from Cameron Hodge is destined for only one ability, manifesting cardboard suit necklaces.
Sinister Secret #2
And speaking of robot babies, Nanny isn’t as good at hiding her little one from the prying eyes of Sinister Scoops as she thinks. I won’t tell, but let’s hope the other Sinister doesn’t watch the news…
Sinister Secret #3
The journalism gene? I made it up. But shhh, don’t tell anyone…
Reagan: You know this is a news program right? Why are you telling “Sinister Secrets” to everyone? Anyway, on to the next segment!
We cut to a nervous wreck of a reporter, Brason, sweating in his nice suit. He looks very out of place in this crowd at Senator Krane’s statement on his new anti-alien movement following Knull’s invasion.
Reagan: Is everything alright there?
Brason: I think so, the environment isn’t too hostile. Looking over the notes I gathered, some anti-mutant hate speech at the beginning. *whispers* Maybe someone was salty they weren’t at the Gala. Anyways, there’s Krane leaving the stage right now! Let’s try to get some further information.
Brason sprints up to him very uncomfortably in his dress shoes.
Brason: Senator Krane, we over at GC616 have a few questions about the Birthright Act! Have you contacted any members of S.W.O.R D. or the Guardians of the Galaxy on your plans about dealing with alien threats before they can reach Earth? Will Thor have to leave the Avengers and Earth entirely? Why are you so confident Charles Xavier would sign onto this after all he’s been trying to accomplish over the years with mutants?
Krane is caught off-guard at first with the fluster of questions & the detail of them.
Krane: I can assure you we have taken all those questions into consideration. We have this handled and will have the Act ready for the President to sign on in no time.
Krane steps into his trailer and slams the door in Brason’s face.
Brason: First off, rude. Second, something sounds fishy, GC viewers. He didn’t answer a single question. I’m worried about what we’re in store for.
Crowd: FOR HUMANITY! FOR HUMANITY! FOR HUMANITY!
Brason: Now it’s getting too chaotic here. I’m gonna see myself out. I hear talks of another Krane rally tomorrow. Everyone please stay safe out there. Back to you, Reagan.
Once again, the camera cuts back to Reagan at the newsdesk.
Reagan: Thanks Brason! And now for some news on everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Person. On to y—
Before Reagan can cut back in from the office, the screen turns black as Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 plays as an icon slowly appears as the drums hammer away. The logo finally become clerk as “Checkin’ In With Chad” who is known as a hyper infamous Youtube sensation. As soon as the logo becomes clear to the viewers, the music quickly transitions into a heavy bass electronic track as Chad’s sizzle reel begins. A few of the highlights of the reel are as follows: Chad kayaking in the flooded streets New York City after Namor flooded the city, him taking a selfie with his tongue out as Magneto declares that Earth has New Gods, and one particularly tasteless one where he shouts “GOTTEM!” as Norman Osborn kills the Skrull Queen. The choice to bring him on the team was a tough one but his fanbase would help their ratings massively.
Chad: What is up, nerds! When I got the call about being a real newscaster, I said hell no but then I was like wow. What if they, like, let me go to big ass parties and shit like the Hellfire Gala? That would be hella sick. But anyway, I am on Spider-Man duty. JJ Jameson always says he is a menace but I am not really sure why, I don’t read the news, just the headlines. Seems like enough. Anyway, a couple of Spider-Man bits of news this week!
Chad starts walking away from his cameraman, towards a scene of clear havoc recently caused by the semi-villain Star. It’s clear that he’s so used to holding the camera himself that when he was talking about what happened that the camera got none of it. When the cameraman finally spoke up, Chad swung around.
Chad: Bro, I am straight up not going over it again so I will give you the TLDR. Star is like this super person who can change reality. She was mad or something, popped her high school bully like a water balloon, and Spider-Man gave her some soapy “great power” crap to show her the error of her ways. All that matters is that I got to meet a little dog named Tater Tot and got to buy a sick book called “Infinite Jest” from the bookstore she robbed. All my dudes have been telling me this book is sick. But also some other bad stuff happened.
Chad fumbles in his SUPREME backpack before pulling out his iPad. He pulls up a video of Doc Ock attacking Curt Connors’ lab to hold up to the camera.
Chad: So my buddy uses the dark web a lot so he got me this gnarly video. So it looks like the Lizard and Dr Conners are split in two now. There has been a lot of weird chatter that the villains are about to start an all out war. Sounds like the Sinister 6 are involved and shit too. I am going to find out more but I will kick it back to Megan back in the studio. Oh, Reagan. Sorry, my b.
Back in the studio Reagan purses her lips.
Reagan: Thanks Chaz! [sarcastically] Oh wait, it’s Chad isn’t it.
Reagan smiles before rounding out the show with her outro.
Reagan: Once again, thank you for tuning into GC616, and a massive thank you to our correspondents. Keep an eye out next week for more of our reporting. Have a wonderful evening.
Reagan quickly ducks down behind the desk as the camera zooms in to the banner behind her and music plays off of a phone held close to the microphone.
Reagan: [offscreen] That went great!