The GC616 logo, still painted onto a tablecloth flashes across the screen as the broadcast begins. Reagan, hair messily bleached, sits at the anchor’s desk (once again a folding table with a black table cloth over top.
Reagan: Good evening and welcome to GC616, your trusted source for superhero news. Tonight’s top story: an altercation between Thor and Captain America.
Earlier today while the Avengers were taking care of an incident involving robots, Thor, the king of Asgard arrived in Midgard seeming stressed to say the least. Over the course of his visit, Thor took out all of the remaining robots with his lightning before having a minor altercation with Captain America.
Multiple eyewitnesses noted that it appeared as though Thor may have been having difficulties keeping control of his powers. More on this story as it develops but first, Katie is here with some Spider-News
The camera cuts over to Katie, brow furrowed and arms crossed.
Katie: This is my segment! You can’t just barge in here and take over my story —
J. Jonah Jameson: WHEN THERE’S A STORY INVOLVING THAT WEB-HEADED MENACE TO BE TOLD, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I’M GONNA TELL IT — FIRST!
Katie: This isn’t even only about Spider-Man! It’s about a symbiote infestation! And if you wanted an exclusive, why didn’t you go to your little Daily Bugle office?
Jonah: LITTLE? WHAT ARE YOU CALLING LITTLE? THE BUGLE IS THE FINEST NEWS ESTABLISHMENT IN ALL OF NEW YORK!
Katie: Well, at least here at G616 we aren’t SCREAMING ALL THE TIME!
A clip-on microphone sits on the desk. Katie and Jonah lunge for the device simultaneously. A brief skirmish ensues before Katie manages to wrestle the equipment from Jonah. She pins it on her shirt and shoves her hand in Jonah’s face to keep him at a distance.
Katie: Many apologies to our G616 viewers today. Somehow, this…Spider’s shadow got through security. Can I get a little help here, anyone?
She waves her free hand around, signaling for assistance. Her other hand is clamped over Jonah’s mouth, desperately muffling the raging man. Two guards emerge from the shadows to haul Jonah out of the studio.
Jonah: OH, YOU’RE ON MY LIST NOW, MISSY! EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO THE GREAT J. JONAH J–
Thankfully for Katie, a door slams. She smiles and turns toward the camera, trying not to appear disgruntled.
Katie: Thank goodness he’s gone! I feel so sorry for those poor souls over at the Bugle…Anyway, before that man rudely tried to overshadow me, I had breaking news for you all. I suppose it’s not breaking anymore. The only thing that’s broken is my hand after trying to rid myself of that lunatic…Ahem. The Fantastic Four’s headquarters have been completely engulfed in what appears to be black tendrils from a symbiote. Several superheroes arrived at the scene of the Baxter Building.
It also appears that our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has returned after his…ahem, killing spree the past week. Unfortunately, Spidey’s suit was completely ripped in the ensuing battle. Although, he’s pretty ripped himself *cough.*
Witnesses saw The Thing rampaging like the Hulk. As Spider-Man aided the Human Torch in battle against their rocky comrade, a grotesque version of Mr. Fantastic released an explosion of the oozing black gunk upon the heroes. I would hate to be the guy in charge of clean-up.
No wonder Jonah was so hysterical! Any combination of Mr. Fantastic’s intellect and the power of an alien symbiote from space is news. Not good news, but news nonetheless! Wait…what if that symbiote explosion possessed all the superheroes below the building? What if we’re all in danger? What if Jonah gets credit for breaking this story before I did? Oh, god. The possibilities!
With Katie plagued by infinite probabilities involved in “What if?” scenarios, the camera cuts back to Reagan.
Reagan: Erm, thank you Katie. Now we have a breaking news report from Brason. Brason?
BREAKING NEWS hits the screen as we cut to Brason speeding in his car to get to the crime scene first.
Brason: Not much time to explain, folks. We have received word that a group of Alchemax guards have captured Andrea Benton, known as Scream, right outside of Alchemax headquarters. At least two dead guards have been discovered so far and what seems to be a symbiote codenamed Doppelganger.
He sloppily parallel parks nearby and when he exits his car, he is bombarded by a Senator Krane supporter wearing a “For Humanity” hat.
Unnamed Krane Voter: Reporter sir, I saw the whole thing.
Brason: That’s great but I need to get to the guards for some real answers.
Krane Voter: Alright, but just know that Scream fellow I saw was in cahoots with that Spider-Man villain, Carnage.
Brason: I will keep that in mind. That doesn’t add up at all. Who does he think I am?
Pretends to write it down with some scribbling. Immediately goes up to the officers and guards.
Brason: What was the scene here last night, how did Doppelganger get out? Is Andrea Benton in custody?
Alchemax Guard: We had everything handled with Doppelganger. Scream had no reason to get involved, and Andrea was dealt with by the police. She killed one of ours, she is no hero.
Brason: Has Krane commented on your testing of various monsters and symbiotes? Is your organization for or against the Humanity Act?
Alchemax Guard: *a nervous pause before he answers* My pay grade is not high enough to answer that unfortunately.
Brason: I might as well ask this one last question, maybe the man who confronted me did see Carnage, or I’ll look like a joke. I’m hearing rumors that Carnage or Cletus Kassady made an appearance at the fight outside of Alchemax?
Alchemax Guard: We would have known if we saw him, I can guarantee you he wasn’t here last night.
Brason: I knew it! Why did I even go for it?! Well, that’s all I have for you. Thank you for your time. GC viewers, I hope I was able to create a better picture of the events that took place here last night. Back to you.
Reagan: Thank you so much Brason, next up, one of our new reporters, Justin has some Krakoa-related news. Justin?
An eerie silence falls over the GC616 Studios. A silence interwoven with the smell of sulfur. A purple puff of smoke BAMFs three figures behind the desk. One is Kurt Wagner, holding a cutlass to the throat of another man in the middle who wears a tattered suit with longish hair. The other is Black Tom Cassidy, whose hands are clamped heavily over the man’s shoulders until he shoves him hard against the newsdesk. As he does they both point menacingly at the man. Black Tom with his hand, but Kurt Wagner with his cutlass.
Black Tom: And say tha’ fook outta the Krakoan Woolworths!
They BAMF away. Justin looks at the camera, flips his hair Loki style, and sits with a wolfish grin.
Justin: Hello, again, Citizens. Yes, I am returned. Back from my prolonged time-looping hellscape beyond the Zero Point and from extended embedded assignment on the mutant nation of Krakoa, where both X-government and metaphysical officials are still in an uproar.
Despite the general success of the recent Hellfire Gala and newly gained political clout the fledgling island nation has garnered, there is still an unexpected unease rippling through the populace. While I was unable to gain any real hard evidence as to the cause of said malaise due to my clandestine stay, one mutant who spoke to me said that he and his friends “The Xorn Brothers” were looking into the matter.
“Oh, aye, the weebles have kinda spread like wildfire around ‘ere,” said the mutant who would only identify himself as “David”. “But me, the elf, and Starlight Express are on it. Those weebles are the least of your worries when you deal with Onslaught, but if even a humie like you is feelin’ ‘em, that means we gotta start crackin’ on all the more, yeah?”. When I pressed for an explanation, the Brothers Xorn simply harrumphed and “David” started to cackle breathlessly before moving their whole party toward one of the newly constructed Gates that lead to new Krakoan territory Arrako (formerly known as the celestial body Mars).
The Quiet Council of Krakoa also proved similarly cagey. When asked to comment on the “Onslaught” as well as the general feeling of unease felt by the mutant population of the island, a surly, cigar chomping Council representative said, “Who the f$%k is this guy and why does he smell like a flatscan?”. Afterwards I was…politely asked to leave the island after a…lengthy “debrief” process with the island’s security team X-Force and later provided egress, as you saw at the top of my report.
But I assure you, Citizens, my quest for truth is undaunted! Even though I can’t really remember what my mom looks like or the last 72 hours, give or take. We will return to you next week with more top-notch reporting and up to the minute updates on the evolving state of Mutant affairs.
I’m Justin Partridge III and that’s news to me!
Reagan: Thanks Justin! Now here’s another new reporter, José with a report on Iron Man. José?
After finally receiving the On-Air signal on his long-range communicator, José rushes to the front of the window, where alien constellations glisten in the endless black of space. When he first arrived on this rum-dingy FTL ship, he knew it would be the best view for his first live report, though he expected to have stronger feelings about the whole thing. In fact, José expected to have any physical feeling at all, especially with his equipment, but that’s astral projection for you.
José: Hello team! I am reporting from the farthest reaches of space where the most unlikely crew is on its way to fight a god, and you will never guess who is leading them: The Invincible Iron Man!
Just as he rehearsed, José walked down the corridor to the main passenger room, where his interview subjects stood waiting. Even as an astral-projected ghost, he never got used to how weird these folks looked.
José: But Iron Man is now missing, somehow transported to an unknown and untraceable world, and here to describe his current whereabouts are his teammates.
With the gloating ghost-camera, José put Frog-Man and Gargoyle into the shot.
Frog-Man: This is my first time on the news without the humiliation. Hi mom! I’m Frog-Man!
Gargoyle: As for Stark’s location, we have yet to figure it out. According to Hellcat’s tenuous mental link, Iron Man is on a barren planet, living on a colony with other lost souls.
Frog-Man: Apparently it’s the planet where Ultimo is from. Fun fact: There are so many Ultimos! Makes the one we have feel less special, if you ask me.
José: Once you lock onto him, will you have a rescue plan prepared?
For an instant, Gargoyle and Frog-Man exchange a worried glance.
Gargoyle: We have options, but without a true way forward, all is in flux.
Frog-Man: Like it wasn’t to begin with. I mean, Iron Man had to call on me, Frog-Man, for help! Against a cosmic tyrant named Korvo, or something. Only someone really crazy would do that, and right now I think he’s crazy enough to throw in the towel and stay on that colony.
José: Would you say your partnership with Tony Stark was inspired by complete helplessness or yet another personal crisis?
From the next room over, an intimidating pair of iron boots stomped into the scene, pushing Gargoyle and Frog-Man out of the shot.
War Machine: That’s it! Get this guy out here! This is a serious operation, not a goddamn TV show!
José: And we are out of time! Will Tony Stark ever return from his cosmic odyssey? Who knows! But with friends like these, a man has no choice but to find himself. Back to you Reagan.
Reagan: Thanks José, now on to — oh! [annoyed] It’s Chad again. Hi Chad, what’s happening today?
The newscast is transitioned from the studio footage to Chad’s sizzle role, a highlight of this weeks reel is him showing his entire ass to Galactus while shouting “Eat this bro, fucking beta”. When the reel ends, we find Chad in a highly swanky event which is actually the film premiere of “Down in Flames, Up in Smoke”. The camera is facing Chad’s back as he gets something from the bar. As he turns towards the camera, he finishes shotgunning his beer in a powdered baby blue suit.
Chad: What’s up! I am here at a fancy ass movie premiere for Cage Mcknight’s new movie “Down in Flames, Up in Smoke” but the real smoke-show is Mary Jane Watson. I saw with her boyfriend earlier, honestly I could fight him. Anyway GC52 sent me out to report on the event.
The cinema’s lobby is clearly empty as the movie is about to start inside. If you are watching at home, it’s clear Chad is terrible at his job. A group of costumed villains start to walk past him until one stops, a man in a green striped shirt.
Sandman: Bro I love your videos dude. Can we get a selfie? Can’t wait to show my buddies.
Chad does indeed take a picture before Doctor Octopus whistles for Sandman to follow him while also telling Chad he loves his work. The camera follows Chad as he follows the group into the theatre which is popping off.
Chad: OH SHIT! There are so many villains in here beating each other up and Spider-Man. Dude! Mysterio is here! I am in over my head but Imma get involved. See you next week Chadians!
The camera cuts out as Chad slams a folding chair over the Vulture and the report turns back to the newsroom.
Reagan: [dryly] Chad everyone, never a bore.
Reagan pauses before transitioning to the next segment.
Next up is something very special, an interview with Multiple Man himself. Bobby?
We cut to two men sitting opposite each other at a dining table. There is Bobby Varghese Vinu, a young up-and-coming reporter who started at GC’s 616 News Division for the UK. Opposite him is Mr. Jamie Madrox, a gentleman known by many to be the superhero known as Multiple Man. He wears a suit, with the colour scheme based on his costume.
Bobby: I must say Mr. Madrox–
Jamie: Please, call me Jamie.
Bobby: Well, I must say, Jamie, when I was planning the interview at my place–
One of Jamie’s dupes comes to the dining table putting two plates of food.
Bobby: Thank you. Anyways, Mr. Madrox, I admit that I wasn’t expecting you to bring your clones–
Bobby grimaces, realising his mistake
Bobby: I mean dupes. I apologise!
Jamie: Not a problem. I am used to it.
Bobby: It’s a force of habit since the concept of clones is all too real now ever since Dolly the Sheep. So I forget that you can have a duplicate of someone without thinking “clone!”
Jamie: I guess clones are duplicates in a way.
Bobby: But not all duplicates are clones now, are they?
Jamie: Maybe. Though they do have my DNA so they might be clones.
Bobby: You also reabsorb them back, don’t you? So wouldn’t they be extensions of your consciousness?
Jamie: You’ve thought about this a lot haven’t you? I could have sworn this interview was about something else.
Bobby: Of course. My apologies for going off-tangent. But before I ask, I must admit that I wasn’t expecting you to bring them to my place and make food. Not that I don’t appreciate it of course, as I do like a good home-cooked meal, but it was surprising.
Jamie: Ah, well, I got called for an interview on such short notice and I wasn’t able to absorb my dupes, so I thought that I might be able to bring them along!
Bobby: Anyways, I have heard that you’re presenting something at Technology Talks about an ionospheric bandwidth generator.
Jamie: That is correct.
Bobby: Now, here is a question I would like to ask: what is an ionospheric bandwidth generator?
Jamie: I am afraid I can’t divulge the details there.
Bobby: Fair enough. I must ask though, how do you do it? You must have a schedule for this sort of thing, wouldn’t you? And if you don’t mind me asking, how do you work around it with your powers?
Jamie: Well, as they like to say, sir, I do a lot of yoga and meditation. I read. I jog every morning.
Bobby: With the dupes?
Jamie’s phone buzzes and he picks it up.
Jamie: Apologies, Mr. Vinu. I must go attend the conference.
Bobby: But wait! How are you going to get the–
Jamie opens a gate and walks through it. The dupes join him, and the dining room is empty.
Bobby: Well…so much for my first day as a reporter.
Reagan: It’ll get better with time! And now for another piece of news from kra—
Reagan begins to transition to the next segment but is interrupted by a raven swooping into the studio. From its claws a scrolled up parchment drops. It falls lazily through the air until landing flatly on Reagan’s desk. Reagan skims the letter before reading it aloud.
Reagan: [Reading] To whom it may concern,
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I also hope this communication arrives to you as intended, and not as Otherworld sees fit. I try my darndest to get these to you as I’ve written them but for whatever reason this place seems to pervert them in the oddest of ways. Why last week I sent Reagan a tweet only for it to arrive as a sign at the bottom of their tea.
I digress, you seek the events of Otherworld and I am here to deliver it. The lands of this place have been in quite the commotion since the coming of the mutants, or witchbreed as the inhabitants say, although that has a nasty ring to it. The latest rumblings come from Blightspoke. A fellow described Blightspoke as a place of lost treasures, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s full of shite no one wants. Apparently the mutants were poking their noses into some of this shite when the sheriff let a shot off at them. In a magnificent display of force the one who calls himself Gambit deftly defected the shot. It is said you could hear the shot on all the spokes. Needless to say the mutants wrapped up their business there and continued on.
A little after this I got a scathing report from one of my informants in the Majestrix’s court, WHO WILL REMAIN UNNAMED. Apparently, Merlyn, the old wizard of legend has returned. I was told that he was previously the ruler of the Starlight Citadel until Lady Saturnyne deposed the old fool. When I pressed for further information my contact started laughing. Jai- my informant, has a way of doing that. Merlyn is back and his newest quest seems to be the eradication of mutants from these lands. A particularly brave thing to say considering that the rulers of two of these lands are themselves mutants. Not the only drama in the court though as it seems that the Majestrix and her Captain Britain seem to continue to be at odds. Even when their goals align against Merlyn they can’t help to not trust the other. Though I can’t blame Lady Saturnyne, the dear captain’s colors are a bit in poor taste, considering what they represent.
As I write this to you, I currently sit at a tavern with a snout nosed fairy that escaped from Merlyn. All thanks to the Captain and her friends, or as they call themselves, Excalibur. Late the past evening Excalibur trodded right up to Merlyn’s tower freeing the prisoners therein. According to my new friend, Merlyn himself came out to greet them at his Water of All Reality. She didn’t say what the waters truly were but I’ll investigate in my own time and hopefully have it in my next correspondence. Once Merlyn showed Excalibur made an earth shaking exit accompanied by noises whose description eerily sounded like that of a locomotive. Surely they didn’t escape via train. But, Otherworld is a fantastical place and stranger things have happened. The other weird thing is that my new friend claims there was a king amongst the prisoners. The thought made me chuckle. A king in chains, sounds purely Athurian.
Please have my warmest regards as I bring this month’s correspondence to an end. Will this arrive as intended? Who’s to say. Will this arrive as a letter dropped by a plague soaked avain? Judging by prior experience, undoubtedly so.
PS: I almost forgot, my Krakoan correspondent said something about five mutants close to Excalibur being resurrected. To be honest, I haven’t the foggiest idea of who the hell they are. Although, knowing Excalibur, I’m sure I’m about to find out.
As the letter is finished being read it bursts into flames, immediately setting off the fire alarms and dousing the set in water. Reagan, drenched in water from the sprinklers stares annoyed at the camera.
Reagan: Well, it’s time to end our show anyways so once more, thank you for tuning in to the second-ever broadcast of GC616.
The GC616 logo, dripping water appears as the broadcast cuts out.