Mauriello stared out his window and took in the view of New Dawn City. The sun would rise soon he knew. “Looks like I won’t be getting any sleep.” He grumbled while attempting to ignore the sobs of the beaten woman at the far corner of his office.
“Hey boss,” came a voice from the com on Mauriello’s desk, “we have him.”
“Please… Just let me go. I didn’t know. I had nothing to do with what he is.” Mauriello frowned. The woman had been saying the same thing for the whole night. It didn't matter what she said at this point. He couldn't let her go now.
“Bring him in.” Mauriello said as he held the com button down with his finger.
“Please…” begged the woman again as Mauriello pulled out his gun and turned off the safety. A few minutes later, his men entered and tossed a bound and gagged man onto the floor. The man was dressed in a costume and wore a mask.
“So you're supposed to be our Superhero, eh?” Mauriello said as he looked over the man head to toe. The woman continued her sobs not daring to look at the bound man she once called her husband. “You know, there’s a reason why Supers don’t go hero.” Mauriello continued as he glanced over at the crying woman. “There’s just too much to lose and so little to gain. Life just ain’t what it’s like in them comic books.”
The costumed man struggled desperately in his bounds as Mauriello casually walked towards his window. It was starting to get brighter. “New Dawn City. This city definitely lives up to its name. This city was the first to enter the industrial age; the first to give birth to the Super Criminal; and more recently, it became the first to give us…” Mauriello turned his head away from the window and fixed his gaze back upon the bound man on the floor “…the superhero.
“Yes this city has plenty of firsts to its name.” Mauriello continued as he casually raised his gun, off to the side and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang followed by a thump. No more sobbing came from the corner of the room.
Without sparing a glance at the corpse, which now bloodied his floor, Mauriello approached the now raged filled man, still struggling against his bounds. “Today, this city, will have yet another first.” Mauriello lowered his gun to the man’s forehead. “Starting today, New Dawn will be the location of where the world's first superhero died. Today is the day hope dies.”
Mauriello released a bullet into the man’s skull without a second thought and made his way back to the window. “Clean that up and hang them in Farriston Park for all to see.” Mauriello’s men did as they were told and left the office.
“That won’t be the last of them.” Came a voice from the shadows. It was The Patriarch, Mauriello knew. That man’s ability to spy on people was quite troublesome, though not so much as The Watcher’s.
“Course not.” Mauriello replied. “There will be plenty more where he came from. Suppose it was only a matter of time though.” Light began to pour into the window as the sun finally crept up above the horizon.
“You’re not worried?”
Mauriello laughed. “Worried? About a few rookie superheroes? Nah, that’s nothing to be concerned about. In a world like ours, a world full of supervillains, what can some rookie heroes hope to accomplish?”
Mauriello turned away from the window to look into the depths of the office's shadows. There was no one there of course. The Patriarch would never risk coming in person to see Mauriello.
The sun had finally rose above New Dawn City. It was a city of life. A city of beauty. A city… of supervillains.
* * * * *
It’s been 15 years since the rift to the spirit realm was opened. Since then nothing has been the same. Originally, The Rift was formed to help scientists understand that which could not be explained. Five years was spent researching how to make it. Another five was spent to create it. Scientists claimed the rift would take mankind to the next level, and to be honest they weren’t wrong. Humanity did take a giant leap forward, but not for the better.
The opening of The Rift released spiritual energy into our world. Most people remained unaffected by the energy; however this was not true for everyone. A rare few obtained great powers once the energy washed over them. Although some initially thought to use this power for good, in the end the temptation to use their powers for personal gain proved too great.
Society as we knew it was rewritten. Those with powers ruled over the weak. The ones without it lived their lives in fear. The world had become a crooked place where justice was only a faint memory…
Welcome to New Dawn City! Home to The Rift and the world’s highest population of Supers. Once a prosperous city standing for all which was free and just, in the Confederate States of America, this city has since gone to rot along with the rest of the world. Since the death of Captain Matter, the world’s first hero, there hasn’t been much hope to go around. However not all is lost, for Captain Matter’s example has acted as inspiration for ones who shall give the world a new tomorrow. Today's wannabe heroes have learned from Captain Matter's mistake of revealing himself to the world. For you see, the only way for a Superhero to survive in a world controlled by Supervillains is to remain in the dark. Unknown by the world around them.