Breaking News! Violent Metas Cause Rampant Destruction of Property!
Camera pans from stage left, focusing on the impressive form of Jimmy Jonnes as he stands in front of a green screen. Without hesitation or warning, he slaps the green screen and screams, "AAAAHHH! LOOK AT THIS- LOOK AT THIS! PEOPLE-!!!"
The green screen flashes and aerial drone footage is shown of a crumpled helicopter on a torn-up landing pad. Beside it are two other helipads, devoid of their helicopters. In front of it is a slowly melting iceberg, its original size is unknown but its current size is that of a small car. Police are gathered around the scene and examining the destruction for evidence. Sharp-eyed viewers will note one cop in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen notices the drone and points at it, at which point the footage abruptly loops back and plays again.
Still standing in front, Jimmy Jonnes shouts again, "DESTRUCTION!" and slaps the green screen before throwing up his hands and beginning pacing, "Metas are a scourge upon society folks! Look at this, just look at it! A man's helipads, a man's home, a man's CASTLE! VIOLATED! Violated by who? Who Jimmy? Who did this- well I'll tell you who folks, oh I'll tell ya."
Breathing in deeply, the camera zooms in on Jimmy's face. One word is spoken, "Metas." Before the camera pulls back and shows Jimmy Jonnes stomping his foot, "Super powered freakazoids who want nothing more than to tear apart our beautiful and fair city! It just ain't right folks! But you all didn't come here to see ol' Jimmy Jonnes rant oh no you didn't! You want the scoop! The info! The DETAILS! AAAAHHHHH DETAILS JIMMY DETAILS!" From zero to one hundred and back to zero again, Jimmy continues and points at the camera, "I got the details."
The green screen flips images, showing two photos now. One is clearly of a strange, half alive half dead looking man taken at the in-opportune time of him making some weird face. The other photo is a Meta-Human Response Taskforce photo of a man wearing a red mask, red coat, and blue thermal suit. Slapping the first image, Jimmy Jonnes explains, "Meet Zombie-boy! Now I gotta tell you folks, this kid is bad news. He's a demon from the underworld, a monster set upon us by the powers of SATAN! And this-" Slapping the second photo, "Is of Metahuman most wanted, Cold Call. Ice powers, super dangerous, super menace."
"Cold Call over here, if my inside sources are to be believed, was attempting to steal helicopters! Violating the good and righteous owner's rights! No good folks, no good. But instead of letting the police handle this menace this criminal- do you know what happened? DO YOU KNOW? I THINK YOU DO! ZOOOOMBIE BOOOY OVER HERE- AAAAHH-! LOOK AT HIM- LOOK! LOOK AT HIM! HE-"
A pause, a breath, He calms down just a little, "He decides to take the law into his own hands! He takes, and I'm not joshin' ya here folks no I am not kiddin' around, not pullin' ya legs! He takes two GUNS and starts BLASTIN'! Just starts LIGHTIN' UP the whole neighborhood!"
Jimmy Jonnes screams again, "MENACE!" Before continuing in his ranting and pacing, "Who knows how many people he hurt?! How many old grandmamas are DEAD in their BEDS just WAITIN' for the police to find them?! TOO MANY I TELL YA FOLKS!" Walking up to the camera, he grabs it and continues, "HOW LONG POLICE? HOW LONG GOVERNOR? HOW MANY DEAD GRANDMAMAS?! UNTIL-" A breath, a step back, "Until the scourge of Meta-human activity becomes ILLEGAL? Meta humans MUST be reined in! We must have regulation! Now I'm against government overreach folks you know me you know my stance but metas? Metas just don't count, they gotta be stopped."
Waving at the camera, he squats down for a second and says, "Man, these metas just take it out of me. But you know what puts it back in?" He snaps up with a grin and a kick in his step, "Newlifebalance -one word!- herbal supplements! Now I tell ya folks-"
Thread is OPEN for reactions! Jimmy Jonnes publishes his media through a pamphlet distributed on the streets, YouTuube, a Radio Talk Show hour, and when he's actually on the TV, 2am. Anyone is free to post their reactions below.
In recent comments, I’ve noticed a bit of overlap between my readers and the viewers of one Mr. James Jonnes. Given his latest episode on the destructive tendencies of meta vigilantes, I decided it’s about time to address some of the errors I’ve noticed in his reports, with this one as an example. For those of you who haven’t seen, I’ve included the original video below.
[The full video from Jimmy Jonnes’s channel is linked here.]
Now, I know it’s unprofessional to publicly criticize another reporter on his style, so I’ll keep this part brief. Outside of his obvious bias, I’m embarrassed on behalf of Mr. Jonnes’s researcher, given his information on “Zombie Boy” is flawed at best and, at worst, deliberately warped. To give our fellow journalists the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume human error, not human malice.
First off, our blue friend isn’t called “Zombie Boy” at all – this is our own Half-Life. Sure, his blue skin and horns are a little different from Columbus’s Phoenix, but as far as I can gather, Half-Life is the same as you and me. Not a ‘demon from hell’ – though I’d like to meet with the heavenly messenger who gave Mr. Jonnes that information – but a metahuman. Because, in case we forget, metas are just like the rest of us. Going to college or running businesses, filming movies and cleaning bathrooms. Outside of their powers, our meta vigilantes aren’t any different from the human ones.
Which brings us back to Mr. Jonnes’s bias. Not, it seems, against metahumans as a group, but meta vigilantes, which he considers a sub-group of meta criminals. Both terms are made-up categories of people we can use to separate from “normal” humanity by accident or genetics, on top of their choices that we might see as extreme good or evil. Surely nobody human would try to steal helicopters, Mr. Jonnes wants us to believe. Of course, many of my readers – especially our New York Watchers – know that no ordinary human vigilante can reasonably be asked to handle Coldcall [one word], any more than an ordinary high schooler could be asked to beat an ex-con in a fistfight. One glance at our sister blogs in NYC, like Appleworm, could tell us that the police have tried to take Coldcall on before with devastating consequences. He’s a powerful metahuman who chooses to use his abilities for selfish gain, no matter the consequences for others’ life or property. I’m glad that Mr. Jonnes and I can agree on one point at least: Coldcall is a menace.
Of course, the accuracy of his research on Coldcall compared to what he knows about Half-Life, a local hero, is a matter for another time. For now, I’ll look at the facts.
No casualties were reported in the neighborhood of “Executive Flight Services”, the helicopter touring company that Coldcall targeted. As far as our own Poltergeist could tell on investigating, there is no sign of bullet casings or structural damage. This confirms the public knowledge that Half-Life’s weapons don’t fire bullets at all, but are an extension of his metahuman abilities. This means, dear readers, that I can guarantee no grandmamas died as a result of this fight – far from residences, and with a capable and experienced vigilante on the scene. A company, not an individual, was robbed; and while Coldcall got away, Half-Life’s involvement hardly made the situation worse.
As always, I’d like to thank my fellow Watchers for keeping up with this little blog, for the engagement, and for the feedback. If anyone has questions, comments, or further information on Coldcall or Half-Life they’d like to add, go ahead and post it here, or email me directly and I’ll include it in a later article.
In the back of a modified black Man TGS Expedition camper truck surreptitiously parked under the Sixth Street bridge, a titanic man was at work at a powered lathe station. The camper was covered by an enormous tarp. Nobody got near.
One by one, he manufactured serrated knives from the machine, not ceramics like other ones he used, but metal instead - prototypes. He wasn't wearing the uniform of his nightly excursions, but rather a white t-shirt, thick black goggles, and jeans. His tanned skin was pockmarked with tiny white notches all over his arms. A tiny white scar ran across the bridge of his nose, one of the first wounds he'd ever sustained while operating as a vigilante. His hands were particularly beaten up, calloused and burnt, but still strong. A single gold band adorned the ring finger of his left hand.
The scar on his nose was a wound that he'd received it the same night that Arthur Orange had plummeted from the top of City Hall onto an American flagpole by his hand - in his haste to escape justice, the half-politician half-criminal underboss had misjudged his own metahuman power, and fallen to his untimely demise.
The man working at the lathe thought of that moment often. That was the night the Eagle had died befor he could take flight, the entire program was scrapped, and the media had christened him the Shrike. He accepted the new name with no complaint. The mission had been fundamentally altered that night. He was no longer a figure to be celebrated - and indeed, he thought, he did not deserve celebration. This was bloody work. The world would be better off without men like him. Until it knew how to cope with metahumans, though, he would be here - culling the predators.
One of his phones buzzed. Turning away from the lathe, he picked it up.
M, check this out. Just like you said. You're next LOL
He tapped a video attachment that led him to Mr. Jonnes' stream, which he watched with a dead-eyed glare. But once it'd finished, a wry smile had taken up his face. It was something he'd predicted: another call for metahuman registration and regulation. It was a start. But for now, metahumans would regulate themselves. Doubtless whomever wound up in charge of trying to assemble and control metas would probably be one himself.
He sent a reply:
It'd be him on there soon enough, and then Jonnes would have a real point to make.
'The Eagle' truly never could have worked. At the end of the day, maybe this was all for the best.
There was only one exception. Basilica, whenever he saw her, made him reconsider whether the project might have succeeded. Maybe it'd have been worth another shot.