|Galaxy Free of Blight
|Metropolis, Earth -
For the first time in one month, this newspaper is being published,
thanks to the efforts of the Legion of Super-Heroes in ridding Earth
and the entire United Planets of the unworldly menace known only
as the Blight.
This newspaper was forced to shut down operations when the Blight
swept in through several stargates in the U. P. and set up their
headquarters, which they called "the Stem", on Earth. The Blight
instituted a system of martial law on all planets they conquered,
taking many citizens captive, enslaving many and leeching life-energies
Offering resistance to the Blight was U. P. President R. J.
Brande, who organized the Legion of Super-Heroes. While a number
of Legionnaires were captured in the initial onslaught, they and
other super-hero groups, including Leland McCauley's Workforce
and the Xanthusian Amazers did their best to help keep people
safe from the Blight-creatures and help sustain the general populace,
whose food and water supply had now been infected by the energy-draining
According to Saturn Girl, the Blight is an ancient, super-scientific
race of beings who grew bored with their accomplishments and decided
to try and make themselves immortal. Their chief scientist, a
being named Atrophos, apparently found a being who would bestow
immortality on them, however, this being was an entropic force
and turned them into a race of perpetually decaying creatures
who were forced to spread this decay
other worlds. The Blight engulfed all other worlds in their immediate
vicinity and spread themselves wider and wider, slowed by the
pace of non-stargate space travel.
Eventually the Blight found and enslaved a benign race of plants
called the Doda, which have the unusual ability to teleport themselves
for the sake of flowering in new places. With the Doda enslaved,
the Blight's reach was again increased, until they arrived on
the edge of United Planets space, in the Lycidas system. They
Blighted a moon in that system, which robbed it of almost all
potential energy: very little combustible organic material of
any kind remained on it, very few of its inhabitants survived
at all, and those that did existed in a state of constant fright
and panic. The Blight's transport, upon departing that moon, accidentally
brushed a Legion ship, marooning almost a dozen Legionnaires who
barely escaped with their lived before the moon itself disintegrated.
| It was through this contact with
the Legion ship that the Blight found the Stargate network, and
Earth. Atrophos managed to connect the Doda energy stream to the
stargate network, instantly spreading the Blight to eight United
Planets worlds and rendering all stargates useless. The Blight set
up its headquarters on Earth, presumably sensing the abundant energy
in the Legion of Super-Heroes. Indeed, according to Saturn Girl's
report, it seems that M'Onel himself was their main target, as the
supremely powerful Legionnaire had enough energy to act as a trigger
to draw all life energy in the universe through the Doda network,
returning the Blight-creatures to their normal forms ans existences,
at the cost of all other life. It's uncertain if this was the Blight's
aim all along, or if this possibility only arose after they discovered
In any case, the Blight's weapons managed to quickly subdue
some of the most powerful Legionnaires, turning such powerful
defenders of humanity, such as Ultra Boy, Star Boy, Spark and
Thunder into puppets of the Blight. Once this was discovered,
U. P. President R. J. Brande devoted his resources to arranging
networks of secret weapons and hiding places so the remaining
heroes could organize against the Blight. Under the leadership
of Live Wire and Chameleon, the heroes managed to save many lives,
but after approximately a month, the remaining heroes were hunted
down and enslaved or imprisoned. Only Chameleon remained free
when some remaining Legionnaires, who had been off-planet when
the stargates went down, arrived on Earth.
This group, which included Brainiac 5.1 and former Legion leader
Cosmic Boy, managed, with the help of Chameleon and XS and Saturn
Girl, who had escaped from imprisonment in the Stem, to infiltrate
the Blight's operations and reach M'Onel and Atrophos. Saturn
Girl was able to set Atrophos's plan on its ear, using M'Onel's
energy to instead break the link between the Blight and the Doda.
The Doda, free of the Blight, spread out all over the galaxy,
wherever the Blight had been, with flowering energy, revitalizing
the life-forces of planets that had been drained of it by the
Blight. The Blight themselves were destroyed, as they had become
extremely dependent on the Doda.
President Brande has promised to devote his full efforts toward
rehabilitating the devastated planets. However, the destruction
of the stargate network raises important questions about the safety
and stability of stargates and thereby the United Planets' structure.
|Xanthu Still Recovering from Darkness
Xan City, Xanthu - Xanthu, which
was not stricken by the Blight as much other United Planets worlds,
is a planet coping with different problems, as it has yet to fully
recover from problems caused by a dark mass earlier this year.
The world, which exists on the fringes of U. P. space, had not
yet received the necessary relief in the form of food to replace
crops destroyed by the darkness, energy crystals to replace those
drained to combat the darkness and drugs and medical personnel
to help treat those stricked with darkness-anxiety. Thus, the
cutoff of transport caused by the Blight has hit Xanthu worse
than most other worlds.
In addition, Xanthu's Amazers have yet to return from Earth,
where they were dispatched to fight the Blight.
Fortunately, Xanthu has one great asset in combatting these
problems. Ironically, that happens to be the one who caused the
darkness to begin with.
The Shade, an immortal supernatural being who was apparently
born in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century and who
acted as a super-villain throughout most of the twentieth, has
spent much time trying to repair the damage caused by his darkness
cloud and by the Blight. The darkness cloud was, he said, the
result of an infection planted in his body by an enemy of his.
In the twenty-first century, the malignant growth of darkness
was detected, at which time, the Starman of that era had him exile
himself to outer space until he could control it well enough to
bring those who could help him.
Those turned out to be two of his twentieth-century friends,
Jack Knight and Mikaal Tomas, who both operated under the name
Starman in their times. The Shade says that he has mastered the
use of his darkness for time travel, and he snatched the two of
them from in the middle of a quest in space to help him in the
thirtieth century. The two Starmen, along with the Xanthusian
Legionnaire Star Boy and the darkness-controlling Legionnaire
Umbra cured the Shade and returned Xanthu to normalcy.
Since that incident, the Starmen have returned to their home
era, and the Shade, while he has expressed an interest in traveling,
has remained on Xanthu to make amends. While he was unable to
combat the Blight directly, he has been instrumental in maintaining
morale on Xanthu during that bleak period and in restoring services
in its aftermath.
Takron-Galtos Spared Blight
Takron-Galtos - The Takron-Galtos
warden's office has confirmed that operations of the prison world
were not affected by the Blight epidemic.
The reason for this is still unclear, since Takron-Galtos is
linked to the stargate network and lies on the usual stargate
path to Earth. It is possible that being an artificial world,
the Blight was unable to detect any reasonable amounts of energy
on the planet. Another possible reason pertains to the presence
of high-energy creatures, such as Validus and its new member,
the Emerald Eye, infusing the world with so much life-energy that
it could not be drained.
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Recently-discovered Matt Groening cartoon about twentieth-century
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Insectoid hive-hatcheries -- the family structure of the future?