CORELINE INFORMATION PACKET: NEW JERSEY.
The state of New Jersey, like many other places throughout the world, has had its tough moments after The Vanishing, but people have pulled through. The fact that many, *MANY* Fictions (and no lack of Reals) treat the state as a mockery has been one of the most serious, constant hindrances that it has faced-occasionally as dangerous as any monster or threat.
But still, the people have pulled through.
LOCATIONS OF INTEREST:
-JERSEY CITY: The closeness of the city to New York has made it a hot spot for a lot of Factions out to use it as a staging area-anything from the mob to eco-terrorists like Green Fury and S.C.A.L.E. Because of this, a lot of law-enforcement Factions have also made the city their base.
Even with the large influx of people coming to the city, it has had a particularly long delay in going through its reconstruction efforts-because, until recently, the misadventures of Harold “Coop” Cooplowski were constantly wrecking the city. An emphasis must be put on that ‘recently’, because it was recently that the citizens of Jersey City had just about enough of him and went and lynched both a good and an evil version of him to showcase that.
The other Coops got the point, either leaving Jersey City or going underground (this was something that the ‘evil’ Coops especially did) or starting to drive ‘nicer’ (read ‘trying to reduce collateral damage&rsquo
and some just went to work for the cops and the corporations (deciding to get justified (and profitable) with their smashing).
-ACTION PARK/MOUNTAIN CREEK WATERPARK: Beneath it, there’s Robot Hell. A dimensionally-compressed multi-mile cave complex where evil robots are tortured for eternity (or at least a very, *very* long time-it really depends on the Robot Devil’s tastes).
The Robot Devil: an impressively powerful and techno-magical robot, bound by its programming to act as a stereotypical, cartoonish-as-they-come evil devil. Within the bounds of said programming, though, it’s pretty deviant.
The nearby town of Vernon Township has received the nickname of “Hell’s Gate” because of this.
-CAMDEN: During The Vanishing, the city was fusioned with Bludhaven. The city of Bludhaven, which had been hit with a nuclear/chemical attack during the DC “Infinite Crisis”, and before that it had been a very wretched hive.
The result: a chaotic hodge-podge of nuked-to-hell city blocks and (initially) untouched edifices… which were then the focus of massive battles for territory amongst the survivors.
10 years after The Vanishing, it is a hellhole of impressive proportions, only held together by very tough (and unrestrained) lawmen, very determined (and just as unrestrained) vigilantes, and the Oracle Network ‘experimentally’ using surveillance to levels only comparable to (or possibly higher than) Oceania.
-GOTHAM CITY: The City of the Bat appeared on the area of Little Egg Harbor, south of Mystic Island. It is not a nice place to visit, and a worse place to stay. It has the highest number of corrupt cops on the entire state (and arguably the entire East Coast)… and then we factor the criminals (super-powered or otherwise).
Considering the latter: the situation is bad enough that even a zero-tolerance policy on crime similar to the one on Los Angeles (and even kill-on-sight orders on such monsters as The Joker) has done little to prevent the three super-max penitentiaries within city limits (Blackgate Penitentiary, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City) from being full.
It is the City of the Bat. It is the territory of countless Alternates of the Bat Family. Once you’re inside the city limits, the Bat is watching, passing judgment, making sure you play by his rules. Wayne Enterprises is the most powerful megacorporation in the city.
The place is a hellhole. Those who call themselves ‘natives’ are incredibly resilient bastards by virtue of having seen (and quite possibly survived) a tremendous amount of atrocities.
-HADDONFIELD: The town of Haddonfield, NJ is plagued with the same problems as its twin in Illinois… and that is that many Alternates of Michael “The Shape” Myers stalk the surrounding area, preying on anybody unlucky enough to get in their way. People who live here have taken hefty precautions and the police is heavily armed and in constant patrol-not that this has deterred The Shape in any way.
-BLAIRSTOWN, HOPE & HARDWICK TOWNSHIP: These three towns are plagued by a different (but no less terrifying) slasher: Jason Voorhees.
-HOBOKEN: This town has seen an increasing influx of Fictions which use “Pet Monsters” or “Mons” (Pokemon, Digimon, Medabots, Bit Beasts, Monsumo, et al). This has led to a marked increase of Mon-related crimes (a large number of the organized ones being perpetrated by Team Rocket) and occasional terrorist attacks by Team Plasma.
-SPRINGFIELD: After The Vanishing, all of the towns and cities on the United States of America with the name of “Springfield” obtained, in a minor or major way, elements of the “Simpsons” universes.
As a town with “minor” Simpsons elements, Springfield, NJ only has a number of signature buildings (among them Moe’s Tavern, Springfield Elementary, the nuclear power plant, the Kwik-E-Mart and Evergreen Terrace) and people, while the rest of it has remained the same.
The town’s problems are myriad. It is a hot spot on the mob war between the Soprano, D’Amico and Castellaneta crime families, and it also houses a cell of the Fiction terrorist group COBRA, which has reappeared time and time again even after several (increasingly brutal) attempts to stomp it out.
Even with all of this, people still say that the CLULESS Virus was merciful. After all, it could have ended up as one of the “major” Springfields…
-NEWARK: The only two changes to the city have been a large increase of paranormal-type Fictions… and it being the location of the headquarters of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense.
-ATLANTIC CITY: The city has obtained a much-needed shot in the arm in the years after The Vanishing, and has become a gambling mecca. Any type of gambling activity (legal or otherwise) can be found with ease within its limits.
An increase in (organized) criminal activity was a result of this. Lots of backstabbing, shady deals and heated discussions amongst criminal big shots happen on the alleys of the city… and a battle for its soul is still ongoing.
-PRINCETON: It has obtained a large influx of people and a larger boost in living quality thanks to the university. Courses of new technologies, magicks and medicine (the latter thanks to the new Princeton-Placeboro Teaching Hospital) are par on the course.
-THE NEW JERSEY LANDFILLS: Spread throughout the NJ countryside, many of the covered-up landfills that are the reason of the myriad “Jersey smells” jokes have become places of interest.
This is because of the massive growth of unusual Fiction plants on said landfills-chief among them the “herbs” of “Resident Evil” lore, which have powerful medicinal capabilities and as such are sought after by many people and companies.
One thing worth mentioing is that these herbs have an indeterminate (best described as ‘weird&rsquo
but powerful smell. Which has made the landfills the reason for many more jokes.
FACTIONS OF NOTICE:
-THE SOPRANO CRIME FAMILY: Led by Anthony Soprano, it is the most powerful Italian Mafia group on New Jersey. They control illegal substances and other types of smuggling, gambling and prostitution, and have enough firepower to take on all comers. The Soprano family has a bitter rivalry with the D’Amico, Castellaneta and Marcone crime families of the Midwest.
-S.C.A.L.E. (Servants of Creatures Arriving Late to Earth), GREEN FURY & TEAM PLASMA: These two groups are what Post-Vanishing folks call “Animal Folks Groups”: hyper-militant, extremist eco-terrorist factions that believe that helping Earth’s eco-system is something worth the annihilation of part (or all) of the human race.
What makes these groups *very* dangerous is that they support Kaiju (and on the case of Team Plasma, Mon) rights. And they have obtained both advanced firepower, and the capacity to control said Kaiju (and Pokemon, on Team Plasma’s case).
SCALE and Green Fury are mostly based on (and occasionally attack) Jersey City, while Team Plasma is based on (and attacks) Hoboken. None of the groups see their hypocrisy in using creatures as WMDs, and none of them can tolerate each other and have come to blows for a variety of reasons (differences on their agendas, pointing out the other groups' hypocrisy while trying to keep their under wraps, typical Alpha behavior...)
-TEAM ROCKET: The most powerful Mon-crimes faction on the United States (which, obviously, is a pretty narrow superlative-not that this has in any way stopped them), taking on all comers and performing many atrocious things (including kidnapping and experimenting on people and Mons in a race to develop better (and more profitable) biological WMDs) as they climb up the criminal food chain.
-THE ORACLE NETWORK: Picture Anonymous. Then imagine Anonymous created by Barbara Gordon, with the sole objective of helping the Bat Family and any other superheroes and vigilantes that they deem ‘worthy’.
This is The Oracle Network. Nobody knows how many members it has, or how many people it supports, or the true limit of its capacities. What *is* known is that they keep tabs of (and make life difficult to) any enemies of The Bat.
-THE B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense): A U.S. government think-tank and paramilitary group tasked with detecting and battling those threats to the American public which are supernatural in origin. Having top-of-the-line gear and many powerful members (most recognizable among them being Hellboy), several other law-enforcement factions which have to deal with the paranormal in some capacity (like the FBI’s Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit (V.A.S.C.U.) and ‘X-Files’ division, amongst others) consider them “glory boys” and pretty often friction ensues.
MONSTERS/THREATS OF NOTICE:
-THE JERSEY DEVIL: There are many “Jersey Devils” out there on the state’s woods. The only thing that those who have seen them agree on is that they’re bipedal, with horns and with hooves. Anything else (EVERYTHING else) varies.
What it can do, what it’s vulnerable to, what its origins are, what its attitude is. It is this that makes the Jersey Devils most dangerous-the fact that you’re running a gamble when you encounter one, with (most possibly) your life at stake.
-THE MONSTER MINDS: Techno-magical, bio-mechanical, mutant, sentient plants with the capacity to turn to both humanoid and weapons-laden “cars”, “tanks” and other mechanical facsimiles, they terrorize the back roads of New Jersey just like the “demon cars” terrorize New England’s.
These monsters are constantly hunted down by the Highway Patrol, the corporations, and mercenaries, with any ‘nest’ that is found scorched to hell and gone. Even then, the constant threat that they represent means that the number of “autoduelists” and weapons-laden cars and convoys on the highways is pretty high.
One good thing, though-the Monster Minds are specially vulnerable to weaponry that can destroy plants (special gasses, poisons, fire and ice throwers, for example)-but it’s hard to tell for how long this will work…
-MICHAEL MYERS & JASON VOORHEES: These two legendary “slashers” (supernaturally-empowered spree/serial killers) roam the countryside, annihilating anything in their path and being specially cruel to those who violate slasher film conventions (like, for example, being a horny teenager).
The police, bounty hunters, and more than one “concerned citizen” has hunted them down or are hunting them down, and has attacked them with all kinds of firepower. Many times this has done the trick.
But with slashers, it’s really hard to tell when they’re down for good…