Event Info

Black queen

September 15, 1946
New York City
First Mentioned
Notable Participants

September 15, 1946 was the fateful day the alien wild card virus was released over New York City, changing human history forever.

The cannister with the alien virus had been found a few weeks ago by men in the employ of the criminal Dr. Tod. Tod tried to blackmail the government, demanding 20 million dollars, or else he'd release the deadly virus over a major city. The government refused.

In September 15, Dr. Tod and a few of his most trusted men, aboard a modified dirigible, approached New York City a little after 2 pm. The dirigible was 12 miles over the city, so anti-aircraft fire couldn't reach it. Panic started when the air-raid sirens started, and someone hit the wrong set of switches in the CD office, making the power go off all over the city. City authorities had no clear orders, and the policemen on the streets only compounded the panic. Several squadrons of military fighter planes tried to shoot down the dirigible, but it was flying too high for the planes.

Jetboy, aboard his experimental jet plane, was the only one with the skill and the equipment to reach the dirigible. He managed to crash his plane against the skin of the dirigible, and boarded it. Jetboy engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Dr. Tod, who was trying to set up a bomb that would explode the falling cannister with the virus, releasing it over the helpless city. The bomb went off when both Jetboy and Tod were still aboard the dirigible, killing both men instantly. Initially, the citizens of New York thought the threat was over. They were dead wrong.

The virus rained down over the city like gentle, autumn rain. Thousands were infected. People started to mutate horrifically, melting, burning, turning to stone. Every death was different and many of them were spectacular. The panic was tremendous. Some of those mutated by the virus survived, their bodies twisted and warped into monstrous new shapes. The exact tally of black queens and jokers in the first day of the wild card is unknown. A few lucky individuals were changed for the better, gaining amazing abilities, they were the aces.

The bridges were closed down, people were urged to stay at their homes, the US Army and the National Guard were out in force. No one really knew what had happened. There were rumours about an experimental germ weapon released by the Nazis, or Stalin, or aliens from outer space. There was a rush to New Jersey, as people tried to escape from the city. The infrastructure broke down. In the following weeks, there were as many deaths due to rioting and poor sanitary conditions than from the alien virus itself. A month later, the final number of casualties would reach 20.000.

Many famous aces and jokers were infected in that very first day. An ordinary 14-year old boy named Croyd Crenson was coming home from school when he was infected, becoming the Sleeper, a being trapped in an ever-changing body. A minor theatrical actor and war veteran named Jack Braun became Golden Boy, the world's strongest man. A banker called Xavier Desmond grew an elephant's trunk where his nose used to be. Hours after the release of the virus, the alien Dr. Tachyon started to help the baffled authorities. He was an exile of the very alien race that had created the virus, here on Earth to help mankind.

September 15, 1946 entered history as the day that began a new era. The age of the wild card, with monsters and superhumans living among us.

Trivia Edit

  • September 15, 1946 is actually the date of birth of Howard Waldrop, the writer that created Jetboy. One of the conditions of Howard's participation in the Wild Cards series was that his date of birth would be used as an important day in the plot of the novels. So George R.R. Martin came with the idea of of using it as the day the alien virus would be released. The date is said to be a Tuesday in the novels. Actually it was a Sunday.
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