The 2029 Union City terror incident was a metahuman incident occurring in Union City, Wyoming on New Year's Eve. The attack, carried out soley by a metahuman named Voltage, dealt substantial damage to the city's uptown districts and resulted in the deaths of its resident Liberators chapter.
Voltage, known as Glenn Cromwell prior to his awakening, was originally an accountant working for Sabre Printers and Paper in Union Central. Cromwell had been experiencing severe depression, anxiety and other mental disorders prior to his awakening. He was described as the 'office punching bag' that was at the bottom of the feeding chain at Sabre by acquaintances and employers.
On January 1st, 2029 at 1:23 AM, after a New Years Eve party, a group of drunken co-workers harassed Cromwell and cornered him in a bathroom, ganging up on him and threatening him with physical violence and bodily harm. Though these threats were not entirely credible, the stress was enough to cause Cromwell to awaken into a dynokinetic entity. Only minutes after the awakening, videos were already being posted to YouTube and the Internet of Kingdom Tower's upper levels (where Sabre's offices were located) being engulfed by flame.
Cromwell had snapped, and become a creature of uncontrollable, vengeful rage as his metahuman powers manifested.
At 1:31 AM, the situation was reported by local law enforcement to the United Liberators Coalition. In response the Coalition immediately sent out an alert message to Liberators-830, which was returning to Union City after a successful mission in eastern Wyoming after stopping a Dark wizard. Liberators-830 immediately responded, their ACS-2 stealth command jet maintaining their course to the affected area of the city on high alert.
Union Central had already lost power to most of its blocks by the time the agents arrived, its skyscrapers plunged into chaotic darkness. The ACS-2 jet was escorted in city airspace by two F-35 Trident II jet fighters scrambled from a nearby station in southern Montana by the Montana Air National Guard. Upon reaching the city, Cromwell attacked the incoming aircraft, destroying both escorting fighters immediately and then severely damaging the ACS-2, shorting out its propulsion systems.
Forced to land short of the target destination of Atlantes Center where their base was, L-830 pilot Sarah Seelye crash-landed the aircraft in Sorcerers Stadium, dealing severe damage to the football field, wrecking the aircraft and killing two Liberators, Theo Waters and Ian Tabogin.
Battle at Sorcerers Stadium Edit
Cromwell had come to the stadium and decided to confront the agents directly. What resulted was an intense battle between the eight remaining Liberators and the metahuman, in which the team slowly succumbed to attrition and fell one agent at a time. Among the first casualties were Kieran Francis, Argos Bryant, Jeremy Hill, and Toshiko Fano.
Sarah Seelye, the unpowered Human pilot who was only armed with a standard issue sidearm, lasted unexpectedly for more than halfway into the battle before eventually being killed by shrapnel and an electrical discharge from Cromwell.
Brick House, armed with heavy weaponry and possessing immense physical strength due to being a black bear Anthro, managed to help the remaining agents keep the metahuman at bay by laying down heavy suppressing fire from his minigun, enabling fellow agent Sam Winston to attempt to drown Cromwell with a bubble of compressed water. This tactic almost succeeded, but a discharge from Cromwell caused House's hand to seize and his muscles to become paralyzed just as he was about to throw a grenade. The grenade detonated, killing House and shocking and traumatizing Winston to the point that he momentarily lost focus on his attempt to terminate Cromwell.
Cromwell underwent a secondary activation due to the stress of being nearly drowned, becoming even more powerful and dangerous. At this stage, only two Liberators were left, Adam Creel and Sam Winston.
Final confrontation Edit
Cromwell had become an inhuman-looking manifestation of wispy energy, and at this point devolved into a completely feral and monstrous version of the man it once was.
Creel, fearing the battle was lost, ordered Winston to evacuate the area and attempt to use their ULC SUV's communications equipment to broadcast an emergency message to the Phoenix Complex and nearby US military forces to warn them not to enter the city, and that the threat had elevated to Alpha level. This was a last resort signal to Unified Command that a nuclear strike was warranted in order to end the metahuman's rampage once and for all, as its power had gotten beyond the ability of even the elite Liberator agents to handle. Winston left in the surviving utility vehicle, making a run towards Kingdom Tower, which ironically was still the only building with power and working elevators, and also the only one high enough for a transmission to work.
With Winston gone, Creel faced Cromwell alone. He lured him away, using his staff to fly, from the stadium into an already depopulated and ruined street in Union Central. Creel intended to minimize casualties and distract the rampaging metahuman. Knowing he was no match for Voltage, he attempted to talk Cromwell down and appeal to his humanity, but to no avail.
Winston ascended the skyscraper at the heart of the city to where everything started, fighting the fires with his water abilities as he struggled to reach the rooftop. He ultimately perished atop Kingdom Tower, having managed to send the emergency signal from the portable communications briefcase, but succumbing to the smoke and fires atop the burning skyscraper. His warning spared the 347th Wizard Air Squadron, who aborted their attack run after receiving his message and were saved.
When Cromwell began to attempt to kill a family inside a car trapped in rubble, Creel used the last of his magical strength to overload his body with mana. With dangerous, lethal amounts of it flowing through him, Creel jammed his staff into the roadway, cracking the pavement and allowing his very body to become a vortex of magical energy which sucked the metahuman towards him, ripping Cromwell apart into particles. Ultimately, the wizard used the last of his strength to absorb the metahuman into himself, killing them both and creating an explosion of energy that shattered windows for five blocks.
First responders in the form of police, fire and medical personnel were on scene at Sorcerer's Stadium, Atlantes Center, and Union Central within less than thirty minutes of the deaths of Creel and Cromwell. Police recovered the remains of Creel's magical staff, which had been ripped into two pieces, its orb shattered. Union City suffered somewhat heavy casualties from the event, as Cromwell had laid waste to a significant portion of the uptown area before the arrival of the Coalition agents.
Power was restored to Union City's uptown districts by morning. Kingdom Tower and the other buildings that had caught fire were extinguished. Triage areas, first aid tents and shelters were erected to house survivors that lost their homes and were in need of urgent care, and blood donation drives were begun. In the aftermath, Liberators-597 and Liberators-839 expanded their coverage to compensate for the loss of Liberators-830 and protected the city as the Coalition rapidly mustered agents to replace the team lost.
The bodies of the fallen agents were removed on January 2nd.
The Coalition assigned the name "Voltage" to the entity that Cromwell had become. In the aftermath, the United Liberators Coalition assigned two full replacement chapters to Union City, L-830A and L-830B, the former of which was equipped with more powerful cutting edge equipment (such as an ACS-1 Citadel).
In the following weeks, Sabre Printers and Paper's stock dropped significantly as controversy arose over how it handled workplace harassment and bullying, and how the failure of its HR and employee programs had led to Cromwell's activation, and the company was assigned a large portion of the blame for the event.
Severe damage had been done to the city's infrastructure, its central buildings and numerous roadways throughout the uptown area. Kingdom Tower was closed for repairs, and the total estimated cost of damages to repair was in the millions.
Crime in South Side rose significantly for the first month after the incident.
In late January, agents of Liberators-830B, the replacement chapter, oversaw the removal of the wreckage of the ACS-2 Aquila stealth jet that had crashed in Sorcerers Stadium and witnessed its remains being hauled away.
The United States Army provided security from late January to March 2029, establishing checkpoints and working to restore order after the chaos had occurred, and to resolve incidents from possible awakenings that may have been triggered by Voltage's rampage.
By March 2029, almost all of the damage to the roadways had been repaired and most of the damage to the buildings had been fixed as well. Several roads however still would remain closed until May.
Kingdom Tower reopened in April of 2029 after extensive repairs. It became threatened again in May, but the attack was foiled by Liberators-830B.
The 2029 Union City terror incident resulted in several upgrades to ULC assets and mass revisions of policy for all chapters across the United States.
Though professional and competent, L-830 failed to deal with the metahuman threat and revealed that Union City, now a booming metropolis, had grown too large for them to adequately handle and that there were now too many lives at stake. Huge backlash resulted from the damage done to Union Falls and the casualties inflicted, as well as Voltage's rampage, prompting the ULC to decide that security must be greatly tightened.
The team is regarded nevertheless at heroes, their sacrifice having saved the city and preventing more drastic measures from being taken. Their names are etched into the memorial wall in the atrium of the Phoenix Tower at the Phoenix Complex in San Francisco. Their sacrifice and death serve as a testament to the threat of metahumans and that even the strongest can fall.