It’s Christmas Eve here in Paragon City. I’m in the Ski Chalet in Pocket D trying to compose my thoughts on the recent events.
I wish I could bring Brittany here to see this. We always talked about wanting to spend a second honeymoon at a ski resort. She hasn’t stepped a foot into Paragon City after the memorial service, back when she thought that I had died. I really don’t blame her either.
Circumstances (*) forced me to let my daughter Joan know that I was still alive. That became something of a mixed blessing for me, because now I have her in Omega 2 along with a few others. She’s become quite a formidable adventurer, and I am, of course, proud of her progress. She also was able to let her mother know that I was still alive but that I could not see her yet. At least not until I can resolve what happened during those missing five years and find out who is responsible for putting the metal plate on my face and what kind of signal it is transmitting.
My work with the Midnight Squad was able to pierce through some of the mystery surrounding my disappearance. Montague Castanella revealed that his people had been searching for me ever since the end of the 2002 invasion when they couldn’t account for my whereabouts. They somehow knew who made it through the Rikti portal and who were killed at the portal site, and I was neither.
Lady Jane from the Dawn Patrol gave me more information about the plate itself, and what kind of signals it is sending. She said that the plate was “enchanted”, which means there was a low-level magic spell placed on it to prevent my body rejecting it. The side-effects of this spell have an effect not only for me, but also those in the immediate proximity. Nobody knew who I was… even those that had worked with me for years, including members of the Freedom Phalanx. The spell dissipates over time, though, which explains why I’m now suddenly getting my memories back, and why people who once knew me are now remembering who I am. That probably also explains why my own daughter could not recognize me even after patrolling the city for a year and a half.
I have taken the fight to the Rikti and I took on the Rikti officer that took credit for the destruction of Baumton. Unfortunately he managed to escape from justice thanks to his Lost friends. I certainly will not stop trying to hunt him down so he can pay for the deaths of all of the people from that day.
In the meantime, the quest continues. The spell on my face plate is gone now, thanks to Azuria, which means that more people are starting to recognize me again. That will only make what I do that much harder, but I suppose it can’t be helped. It was going to happen sooner or later.
Hopefully this time next year I can find a way to bring my wife and daughter here and enjoy the holidays as a family. In the meantime, I wish them and everyone else the best for this season.
(*) As told in the forthcoming story “Putting Together the Pieces”.
(Pictured above: Colonel John Helix Battlerock, a.k.a. "Battlerock X", relaxing in the Ski Lodge)