First Mutant's Mutant X Warehouse (mutantxarchive) wrote,
First Mutant's Mutant X Warehouse
mutantxarchive

Mutant X Websites: The Midnight Press (Part 2)



From 2001-02, Tribune Entertainment created six Mutant X faux websites as part of the Mutant X official site, in order to supplement the information from the television series. These sites featured a great wealth of background information about the Mutant X characters and plot's storylines, but they vanished in early 2005. The following information is from The Internet Archives of Tribune Entertainment's faux website, The Midnight Press; none of this material is my own.


The Midnight Press Part One ~ The Midnight Press Part Two

Summer 2002

NEW MUTANT CULT: MYTH OR MENANCE?
Authorities are looking for a "handsome man named Gabriel" whom they suspect is the leader of a new mutant cult.
Washington, DC -- Word has begun to circulate concerning a "cult of dreams" that has invaded the minds of select youths across the nation causing them to leave their homes and gather together in a mysterious underground base of operations. The Midnight Press has not been able to discover the purpose or mission this eerie sect might serve, but can affirm that all the missing dreamers have been of questionable genetic background. Is there a zealot cult of New Mutants forming to spread havoc on the rest of the world?

Kelly Rice, 24, a data entry technician in Chicago, had been complaining to her parents of hypnotic dreams she'd been having before she disappeared weeks ago. "They all involved a handsome man named Gabriel who told Kelly he was coming to save her and she must prepare to meet him," confessed her father, John Rice, retired. Co-workers also commented on her growing infatuation with this nightly visitor. "She would daze off in the middle of an assignment and say his name or sketch the number 1.0 on a pad a hundred times," relays Brian Dobson, 28, who shared a cubicle with Ms. Rice. "Not that she was ever normal to begin with, " he adds.

Following this lead, an M.P. check into Kelly Rice's life reveals a young woman obsessed with keeping her surrounding temperature cool, even in winter months, and a history of freak fires dating back to childhood. Although her father dismisses the numerous incidents (all documented by the Chicago Fire Department) as coincidental, our resident staff expert, Dr. Garrett Segall, matches Ms. Rice's profile to that of a New Mutant. "A latent Elemental with the ability to pyrotechnic or create flames," he concludes.

Investigations into other cases of vanished youth (primarily women, but some men as well) who claimed to have visions of a charismatic saviour or the symbol 1.0, all have fit the same portrayal of outsiders with suspicious characteristics. "There are four main classifications of mutants: Elemental, Feral, Molecular and Psionic," defines Dr. Segall. "All seem to have been infected by these religious nightmares."

As to what or who "Gabriel" is and the significance of "1.0", the Midnight Press has yet to uncover an answer. While there are many recent rumors of an outlaw band of mutants who have been challenging covert government forces, it is believed that this new cult is not connected to them.

Printed flyers that have been circulating around college campuses and coffee houses advertise a grassroots organization called "the Strand". Though the message relayed is obscure and seemingly peace advocating, it calls on "gifted men and women" to come forth and identifies itself with the logo of a "1.0".

Police and federal officials have made no attempt to trace the Strand's origins, as it only exists, thus far, on the cryptic discarded leaflets and cannot be connected to any violent or illegal acts. It is the opinion of the Midnight Press, however, that a potentially dangerous devotion has formed that will reveal the mutant population to the public at last in apocalyptic proportions. Our eyes and ears will remain on future developments.

POWER OUTAGES BLAMED ON MUTANT VAMPIRE
Power plant surveilence photo of the alledged "energy vampire."
Boston, MA. -- For several weeks running, isolated areas of the upper Eastern seaboard have been plagued by blackouts, power failures and energy depletion. Local authorities have attributed the incidents to freak electrical storms but the Midnight Press has uncovered evidence that proves otherwise. A mutant caused the outages.

A series of exclusive snapshots submitted by an amateur, undisclosed photographer clearly show a woman in her late teens or early twenties literally sucking waves of energy out of a power plant in early morning hours. "Unless the poor girl was being electrocuted there is no other explanation," declares mutant expert Dr. Garrett Segall after a careful examination of the photos. "Her DNA must make her a living battery that constantly needs to be charged." As no shock-related fatalities have been reported in any of the shortage areas, there is little room to doubt the doctor's theory.

The threat that this energy vampire poses to whole communities at large cannot be underestimated. "It's a real drain on us both economically and technically," confesses power plant manager Scott Wilkins, who runs a facility that has been hit by this phenomenon on two occasions. While the identity of the female culprit has not yet been disclosed, or even confirmed by any source outside of this publication, the effects of her thirst have left many without light, power and television. "If a mutant is siphoning us of our resources," adds Wilkins, "She needs to be switched off at once."

LOCAL VIOLINIST DIES UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES; MUTANT ACTIVITY SUSPECTED
Artist Henry Voight at home with a picture of his deceased wife, Brianna Doolan-Voight.
Cleveland, OH. -- News today that Brianna Doolan-Voight, former prodigy violin player of the Cleveland Symphony, has died in Westchester, New York from wounds she received caught in the crossfire of a suspicious altercation by Singer Plaza. Ms. Doolan-Voight, a favorite among local audiences, had left her apprenticeship in the orchestra nearly a year ago to pursue a professional career on the east coast and promote the avant-garde paintings of her husband, artist Henry Voight. "The greatest mistake of her life," mourned Hans Freeman, head conductor of the C.S., "She made a decision based on love over art and it cost us her life."

The violent incident that caused this tragedy has been enshrouded in secrecy. New York police have only issued blank statements that describe some type of confrontation between a band of radicals and government agents resulting in three bystanders getting killed.

The bodies, as of yet, have not been released to their families. All are identified as workers at the famed Breedlove Foundation who were on a lunch break. Ms. Doolan-Voight had taken a temporary secretarial position in the firm when her musical aspirations had stalled. "Here she was a beloved musician. There she was a word processor. Words cannot express the cruel irony of this tragic event," continued mentor Freeman from his office at Orchestra Hall, yesterday. "What can we make of this?"

The Midnight Press has learned from a variety of witnesses that the alleged activist clash went by almost unnoticed by the always-massive crowd at the Plaza. Apparently there was no gunfire. "Maybe a few zaps, but that was it," insist street vendor Stefan Niel. Businessman Jay Maye agrees. "I saw three or four people hauled away in a van, but no fight. Later, we heard there had been fatalities. It was absurd." While these bizarre descriptions sound more like a mutant attack than a criminal one, authorities are not making comments one way or the other.

Henry Voight, husband of the deceased, has also remained silent except to voice complaints about not being able to claim his wife's body. Characterized by Mr. Freeman as an "acrylic sociopath", Mr. Voight had a NYC gallery showing of his paintings entitled, "Nightmare Taps" briefly last spring, but has since found employment as a janitor. "He dragged Brianna down with his own demented dreams and now we all pay the price," laments the obviously bitter Freeman.

While services have yet to be scheduled, the Cleveland Symphony will perform Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in Ms. Doolan-Voight's honor next Friday evening. She had made the Winter Movement her own in amateur competitions, including the one that won her the C.S. apprentice seat. Proceeds from the sellout will go to a memorial scholarship set up in her name.

Meanwhile, unanswered questions about the Singer Plaza attack grow. Is this young artist another casualty of mutant conspiracy and cover-up? Did actual deaths occur in broad daylight without witnesses or did something more sinister occur? Were DNA enhanced individuals involved? Did the victims, all employees of a genetics science institute, know too much about a taboo subject? Officials might be closing the case but the Midnight Press will continue to tighten the strings and play on.

From the Lab of Dr. Garrett Segall: Is Electricity Alive?
It is a part of our everyday lives and has existed since the dawn of time, yet no one knows what electricity really is. It is both a power we harness and a force that keeps our bodies alive. Do we control it? Not really. Why? Well, the science community has many theories but there is one school of thought that surmises any electrical current is actually a living, thinking element and it, when it comes down to brass tacks, controls us.

Ever get a static shock from stocking feet on the carpet? It's a very personal experience. This emotional response could be the electricity in your body interacting with the spark you just introduced it to. Like two dogs meeting in the street, it may not always be pleasant. But the fact that it involves emotion at all should clue us into the idea that a form of sentience is involved.

Parapsychologists will testify that ghost encounters often include a strong electric stench. Many poltergeists seem to possess heavy passions, again signifying awareness. This could point out that spirits and currents are one and the same and forever connect our world to the next with a charged-up bridge. If souls are electric, science has a whole new chapter.

It is a fact that our brains produce electrical impulses that send out messages to operate our body parts. If the element is a living being this means we of flesh and blood are merely its puppets. So consider this the next time you overload an outlet or make sparks with a comb. To tease this force may be angering your natural landlord. The evidence here may be scientific, but the responsibility is entirely yours.

Next: Time Travel. Are the mysteries of our past really the explorers from our future?

Editor's Note: The Midnight Press does not advocate playing with electrical outlets and cannot be held responsible for any home accidents that occur after reading this article.

Letters
With respect to younger readers, the Midnight Press' Letters column is intended for mature audiences and may contain adult humor, strong language or content which may not be suitable for kids. Parents are encouraged to read the column before allowing it to be read by other members of the family. Have some private mutant moments you need to unburden yourself of? Share them with us. We'll keep your words warm and your identity anonymous.

To Mutated Encounters,

I can't believe I'm writing this letter. I'm a decathlon trainer in my mid-twenties. 6'4" and cut with a full head of wavy blonde hair, I admit I've had an attractive girlfriend or two, even though deep down I'm a very shy and spiritual guy. Nothing, however, could prepare me for the mutant babe I never laid eyes on.

Renting an upper studio apartment in Hollywood while waiting for a big break in show biz, I 'd yet to meet my downstairs neighbor. I knew she was a woman about my age but after living there for almost a year, I had yet to actually see her. I could hear her at night, running her bath and cooing in a sultry sort of way. I admit I was intrigued and often tried to sneak a look when I'd get my mail or was casually passing by her picture window. There was always a scent of exotic perfume in the air and an item or two of silky lingerie hanging in the doorway, but the girl herself was never in sight.

It started to drive me crazy. I thought about that female phantom so much it almost ruined my love life dating other sexy ladies.

One night I was home alone working out my triceps clad in a pair of red nylon shorts while standing before a full-length mirror. Suddenly, a chill ran down my muscular back. I had the sensation that I was being watched.

Turning around quickly, the room appeared empty so I went on with my reps. Still, the feeling continued and the spicy smell of a familiar perfume crept in under my flaring nostrils. I knew instinctively that somehow my mysterious neighbor was there with me.

Being a bit of a voyeur myself, I have to confess I didn't mind the awareness of being spied on. In fact, it made me pump-up even harder, pounding those iron dumbbells like a well-oiled piston. By now I had worked up quite a sweat. Steam was rising off my tan pecs when all at once I felt a soft hand caress them as a set of ghostly fingerprints appeared and faded on my flesh in the mirror's reflection. Hearing a familiar female voice whisper in my ear as a set of unseen manicured nails tussled my thick hair almost made me drop the weights. Yet, I kept on pumping.

I knew now I was in the presence of a mutant, one who could turn herself invisible. This explained everything. I also knew from reading your newspaper that these unnatural beings are very dangerous. I had to act as if she wasn't there, stroking me and gently laughing. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

No forty-meter swim or uphill bike race could compare with the test this mutated vixen put me through but I once made a vow to my dying grandmother that I would only date human girls and intended to keep it. As the form of this undetectable Eve's obviously perfect body brushed against me again and again, yanking at my drawstrings or tickling my delts, it was all I could do to keep from exploding. That's how mad I was. I might have blown my cover once or twice but if my shapely intruder noticed, she didn't let on. After an hour or so when I'd hit the shower, she was gone. I moved to a new bungalow in the Valley a week later.

Now I have a very visible fiancée who models swimwear and my own career is starting to heat up. A lifeguard rented my old apartment. I know him from my gym. I've often thought about asking him if he's "run into" his neighbor yet. Maybe I'll wait. Some things have to be experienced before they can be shared.

Vision Impaired

Late Summer 2002

UNDERCOVER REPORTER MYSTERIOUSLY DIES WHILE INVESTIGATING NEW MUTANT RUMORS
Local freelancer Minhaus was hoping to uncover the existence of mutants in everyday society until he met his demise.
Hoboken, NJ. -- Local investigators are baffled by the unnatural death of freelance reporter Jay Minhaus, found burned "from the inside out" in an abandoned alley late last week. "His insides appear to have been microwaved," announced M.E. Jill Jordan at a press conference this morning. "It is the most bizarre case of electrocution I have ever seen."

Minhaus' peculiar demise may make more sense in light of the story he was investigating: the existence of genetically altered beings in everyday society. Attempting to take a step up from amateur status, the would-be journalist claimed to have evidence of a league of mutant mercenaries involved in recent acts of terrorism and mass murder at Hillside Industries and Macklin Exports. A part-time employee at the latter, Minhaus, 33, reportedly witnessed the brutal slayings of his co-workers at the hands of these unhuman soldiers and a crew of covert government agents. He was willing to sell the story to the Midnight Press and Proxy Blue, among others.

"At the point of his offer, the guy had only gathered hearsay facts so we turned him down," explains MP news editor Bob Munns. "Proxy Blue doesn't appear to have been as discriminate." Indeed, the animated gossip columnist gave considerable airtime to Minhaus' allegations. "She was leading up to a broadcast of his full story on a digital video disc," notes an anonymous fan. The promise remained unfulfilled with the advent of Minhaus' death.

Now the question remains: was Jay Minhaus on to some dark and tangible truth that cost him his life or was he merely a dabbler who died in a freak accident? "He was a loser," asserts Munns, "A real hack who tried to sell us false tabloid fare on numerous occasions before this. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the nut who pulled the trigger at Macklin and then staged the mutie angle as an alibi. Some goons will do anything to get their foot in the door." Proxy Blue has made little comment except for some cryptic notes of sarcasm in her "between-the-lines" style. "Apparently our wires got crossed," she is quoted as saying, "I should never trust a male who isn't drawn."

"The real story on New Mutants is out there," continues editor Munns, "This just wasn't it." The cause of Minhaus' death, as well as the Macklin slayings, remains unsolved.

KILOHERTZ: MUTANT OR SPECIAL EFFECT? Kilohertz: myth or reality?
New York, NY. -- For over a month, television broadcasts nationwide were pirated by an irate radical who spouted pro-mutant propaganda over the airwaves reaching millions of viewers. The fixated culprit called himself Kilohertz. His true identity has not yet been revealed.

"We've got power and we're not going to take it anymore!" This was the extremist's general message. Masked in a cover of blue static, his evening rants brought near riots to peaceful communities, hate crimes across the country and a distrust of television that has not been seen since the Watergate era of the 1970's. No program was safe from the Kilohertz break-ins: network news, entertainment award shows, beauty pageants, pre-season football, the World Series playoffs…even "Friends". The media activist struck whenever ratings were high and spread warnings of a mutant revolution to a vast unsuspecting audience. "An effective sweeps strategy," confessed an anonymous network executive.

Vanishing as suddenly as he cropped up, many questions remain about Kilohertz, the foremost being: who or what was he? "If he was indeed a mutant as he claimed, he must have possessed accelerated intelligence," surmises Midnight Press resident expert Dr. Garrett Segall. "The mechanisms required to cut into satellite feeds without a trace are far advanced beyond state-of-the-art technology. Only heightened DNA could produce such a brain."

Another popular theory is that Kilohertz was a ruse created by lower-rated television networks. "To get viewers to switch away from popular programming to lesser watched channels would be pure evil genius!" states noted columnist Lana Monger. "Not like it hasn't been tried before."

Even school children have a guess. "Maybe he could turn himself into radio waves!" chirps 10-year-old Brian Midiri, a fourth grader at Cahill School outside of New York. He then added that his mother said there were no such things as mutants. "It was just trick photography." Trick or no, young Brian's neighborhood was one of the ones subjected to extreme violence and vandalism following a "Must-See" Kilohertz injection.

In wake of this one-man mutant activism an ironic note remains. The very industry that was plagued by this intruder now seeks him out. "He could have a top-ten show if spun out right!" asserts "Dustin" co-creator Phillip Canell Phillips. Midnight Press sources have learned that numerous networks representatives, theatrical agents and production companies have put out the search for the mysterious mutie renegade. "If he's decent-looking we could have another Kevin John Elliot!" Phillips adds. "Kilohertz already has an impressive Q rating! We'd just need to lighten him up a bit and add a kooky neighbor or a geneticist girlfriend!" Art, once again, would imitate life.

(The editors of the Midnight Press would like it known that any accurate information on the whereabouts or identity of Kilohertz reported exclusively to our publication may merit a substantial reward.)

GENETICS EMPIRE CLOSES FOR RESTRUCTURING; ARE MUTANTS RUNNING THE SHOW?
Ex-Genomex Head Mason Eckhart reacts to the news that his organization has been shut down by the government.
Washington DC. -- U.S. officials announced yesterday that they are temporarily closing the doors of Genomex, a genetics science compound, in order to supervise a complete overhaul of its operating and administrative practices. In a heavily attended press conference, Security Bureau Director Crandall Marston calmly stressed that the noted laboratories' managerial practices have been carefully scrutinized and were "a long time coming". Despite this statement, such reassurances could not offset rumors of a bloody coup executed within the laboratory walls by a purported race of mutated human beings necessitating government intervention.

Genomex was created over thirty years ago to "propel and monitor the growing advancements in hi-tech DNA research". Among the contributing founders was the late Dr. Paul A. Breedlove, generally acknowledged as the "father of geno-evolution". From its inception, the experimental/medical facility was a highly secretive organization that received unprecedented amounts of government contracts and top priority protection. Although Bureau Director Marston denies the existence of a specialized Genetics Security Task Force formed in alliance with Genomex, the Midnight Press has secured photographic evidence of uniformed agents to suggest otherwise. Such strong ties to the Capitol could account for the National Emergency Status that the establishment has been accorded and a possible cover-up of its chaotic upheaval.

"There is no doubt that Genomex has bred semi-human mutants in secret," insists genetics conspiracy expert Dr. Garrett Segall. "Most of the science community is aware of their underground practices. Animal/man hybrids, element wielders…the whole lot. I would not be surprised if these very unearthly creations rose as one to strike down their makers. Now, of course, the factions responsible are disavowing themselves of these crimes out to conceal their dirty work."

Director Marston dismisses such allegations as "sensationalized nonsense" but does admit that the government's involvement with the restructuring is due in part to the large number of highly classified gene-related projects Genomex had been conducting. "It's a matter of national security to keep the vital information gathered from leaking to enemies who would use it to harm our country. Otherwise, full disclosure would not even be questioned."

Current Genomex Head Mason Eckhart was not available for comment. In fact, no one has reported seeing the administrator since news of the closing broke. "He is dealing with matters internally," explained PR agent Melba Tandy. She did confirm that the reclusive Eckhart was among the many research executives relieved of duty. Announcement of an official replacement is still forthcoming.

Meanwhile a rash of mutant phenomena and alleged super-human activity has begun to spread across the globe, ironically coinciding with Genomex's sudden reshuffle. Has a new laboratory-concocted race been sprung on the innocent public? If so, are there any measures left to control them? Thus far, no authoritative statement has been made to address these crucial issues except in these very pages of the Midnight Press.

LANA MONGER'S CORNER:
A prying good day to you all. Lana's got a healthy overdose of Vitamin G (as in Gossip) for all of you to swallow.

First course: this nasty Genomex scandal. It's completely the buzz. Everyone seems to have known the truth on it now, or at least they're claiming to in order to save face at cocktail parties. Imagine a government agency connected with mutant manufacturing! As if there aren't enough social outcasts already.

I pumped a friend of a friend to Jacqueline LaPort Eckhart for some prime inside dirt. She's the ex-wife to missing Geno-Chief Mason Eckhart and is apparently so tongue-tied on the matter that Lana can only smell an airtight gag order stemming from their nasty divorce. What else would she be afraid of?

"Official word" from the Capitol dispels any wrongdoing or genetic tampering on their behalf but c'mon! Lana knows better.

Speaking of Mutants, I certainly would enjoy an exclusive with Gabriel Ashlocke. He's the tall, dark and handsome poster boy for "The Strand" a New Age group of DNA-diva supporters. While Lana suspects he's just a recruiting tool and no more of a mutant than I am, an opportunity for twenty questions would not be unappreciated. So come on Gabriel and blow your horn. I promise I won't miss a note.

Now for a special shot. Does anyone remember child prodigy/whiz kid Adam Kane? He zipped through college faster than Doogie Howser in the 70's and landed an impressive position at where else? …the Breedlove Institute (aka Genomex for those of you who don't read between the lines). I sure would like to know (for certain) what apples Adam is munching on these days. He hasn't been at Genomex for years, so what garden is he hanging out in and what exactly does it grow. I've got an item or two on you, Mr. X, and would welcome a chance for you to come clean before publishing the rumored exploits of a certain evolved entourage.

Keep coming back, you lovers of naughty news. Lana's got the whole X-enchilada simmering on the backburner.

From the Lab of Dr. Garrett Segall: Is the past really the future?

How do people get ideas that change history? Are they inspired or smarter than the rest of us? Or is it all a question of time travel?

Having been an active man of science for many years, I have often pondered why some colleagues make major breakthroughs while the rest of us toil with just as much brilliance and yet our work goes unnoticed. My conclusion: the lucky guys cheat.

Throughout the course of history there have been landmark events of discovery that have advanced the technology of mankind. There is no logical explanation for these "growth-spurts" except for the rather lame one of isolated creative genius. This would imply that certain scientific minds are greater than others. I simply cannot accept that notion.

In what I am sure will become a standard for rational thought, I put forward the theory that all great progress (past and present) is the work of time travelers from the future. These power-hungry voyagers make numerous journeys to the times of yore and bring their superior technology with them. Passing these gadgets on to the unenlightened of a particular era, they then assume positions of great wealth and fame and alter the delicate course of history at the same time. Newton, Edison, Einstein, Crick, Watson, Gates…all part of an elite club from an upcoming timeline who are taking unfair advantage of their time-leaping abilities and usurping the glory of contemporary hardworking scientists, like myself.

It is time we honored our own superior minds and ended this tyranny of generational jumping. It is true our technological, medical and literary evolution may slow down somewhat, but at least those who deserve the credit the most shall receive it.

Editor's Note: Dr. Segall's latest columns have been written from the Mulrooney Mental Hospital in Vermont. The Midnight Press is obligated via contractual agreement to continue printing them, but under no circumstances supports or takes responsibility for their content.

Final Edition 2002

LETHAL CRIME SPREE LINKED TO ANCIENT EGYPTIAN GENE-SPLICERS
Apparition or reality? Avaris, the little known Egyptian alchemist.
Bel Air, CA -- As the world reels from the recent raid on Varadine, the lush estate of business mogul Neal Varadi, investigators have revealed that they may have located a crucial link to the case in the persona of an Egyptian sorceress who lived thousands of years ago. During the past week a series of ruthless robberies have occurred around the world ending in the Varadi massacre on Tuesday evening. Authorities did not connect the incidents until it became apparent that all of the items stolen were priceless artifacts relating to an obscure figure of history named Avaris.

“They was no way we could have put them together at first,” claimed Fred Laskin, Chief Investigator for the FBI at a press conference this morning. “The scope of these burglaries is superhuman in their execution. Dozens of museums, private collections and libraries have been hit globally in a matter of days. Only with the unfortunate attack on Mr. Varadi’s home, when the missing items were catalogued, did an identifying theme become apparent.”

By all accounts, Avaris is a little known Egyptian alchemist who resided in the royal court of Ramses II and performed experiments of a horrifically morbid nature until she was entombed on charges of treason. “She was really the world’s first geneticist,” enlightens DNA expert Dr. Garrett Segall. “Her methods, however cruel and blood-soaked, are echoed in work done manipulating gene strands today.”

“Genuine artifacts and documentation concerning Avaris are extremely rare and belong to the most exclusive of assemblies,” Dr. Segall elaborates. “Neal Varadi’s Egyptian collection was world renown, an achievement which boded badly for him.”

The motives behind the robberies seem to have little to do with material value. “We believe some faction is gathering all recorded knowledge of Avaris and her experiments to reassemble them,” continued Investigator Laskin. “These crimes have a personal, vindictive pattern to them and do not play out like ones committed for financial gain.”

When asked whether anyone involved in the “New Mutant” wave is suspected, Laskin would only say, “The similarities between Avaris’ studies and the recently aborted work of Genomex is not being ignored.” He added, “The unique way the Varadi deaths were carried out also puts us on this track.” This was the only reference made to the molecular electrocution of the victims that has brought such media frenzy to the case.

“It appears to be a crime spree committed for and by mutants,” surmises Dr. Segall. “They appear to be out of their test tubes and into the fire.”
Services for Mr. Varadi and his staff are scheduled to be held early next week at an undisclosed location.

NUCLEAR MELTDOWN AVOIDED AS SHOWDOWN WITH EX-PATRIOT TERRORISTS COMES TO A FIERY END
Colonel Aaron Gaumont
Washington, DC -- A tense confrontation with militant terrorists came to a lethal end last weekend on deserted highway just miles away from the Twin Creeks Nuclear Facility outside of Wichita, Kansas. According to government spokespersons, a troop of black-op fighters led by former intelligence officer Aaron Gaumont took over the power plant in a violent strike on Friday afternoon. Stories that they were attempting to vindicate the lost lives of twelve U.S. soldiers who died on a covert Middle East operation five years ago have not been substantiated, but the existence of a blackmail plot has been confirmed.

An alleged price of one hundred and twenty million dollars was countered by the threat of nuclear holocaust in the heartland stemming from an induced meltdown Colonel Gaumont would stage at the Twin Creeks plant if his demands were not met. Although shut down for public consumption over a decade ago, the nuclear facility still operates as a government-funded testing base to develop various reactor fuels.

Following a news blackout that allowed Special Forces agents to deal with the menace without raising panic, the situation was apparently defused avoiding any radiation contamination to the immediate area and surrounding communities. “Explosions heard were the result of military actions well outside the facility,” assured Twin Creeks owner Les Arnold, “No damage or core meltdown occurred.”

Sightings of laser trails originating from a satellite defense system on the stretch of abandoned highway leading out of the region seem to confirm Arnold’s statement. Apparently a flatbed truck containing Colonel Gaumont and his remaining allies was targeted and hit by the laser weapon putting a definite end to the tense confrontation. There were no survivors. Why the use of such extreme force was applied to the terrorists as opposed to apprehension has yet to be clearly answered.

“Obviously the situation called for the measures applied,” justified Special Forces official Beverly Parrish over a brief telephone interview early this morning, “The recruited agents involved all acted appropriately and used their distinctive skills to quash the maniacs, sparing the lives of countless innocent Americans in the process. Let’s not dwell on their methods.”

Ms. Parrish failed to identify the heroic agents cited or even what branch of the Special Forces they work for. She also avoided any confirmation that the laser, which annihilated Gaumont and his crew, was a weapon they had hijacked from the U.S. defense arsenal and had simply been misfired.

Whatever the truth, official and private investigations of Gaumont, Twin Creeks and the satellite weapon are beginning to heat up and look to be ongoing for a long time before they cool.

BODY COUNT UP TO SIX AS WOODLAND PREDATOR REMAINS UNCAPTURED
Halloween prank or real-life werewolf?
Fargo, ND -- Terror, vengeance and gruesome bloodshed have consumed the thick forestlands along the northern United States and southern Canadian borders. A vicious killer has stalked and slaughtered human prey in this vast wilderness territory for several weeks and thus far remains at large. Six known victims, thus far, have met ghastly dismembered ends. While state and forest officials round up crews to hunt the predator, a major question remains: Is it man or beast?

“We’re talking grizzly or possible wildcat here. I’m guessing with a strain of rabies to make it so aggressive,” assures noted game hunter, Clay Preston. “It’s no more of a freak show than that. No man could have done the damage raked on those bodies. It’s animal, pure and simple.” Preston, a regular contributor on the Wildlife Channel, is one of several experts called in to track the deadly creature.

“The tables have turned and the bear is our prey now,” Preston assures with a high level of confidence. “It’s only a matter of time before we have its pelt to avenge the carnage.”

Not all the hunting party is in agreement with Preston on the nature of the beast, however. “There is a method and execution to the slayings that exhibits far more intelligence than your average northern woods grizzly,” puts forth cryptozoologist, Grady Colt. “It may be we’re dealing with a new species of biped hominid that has yet to be classified.”

“Bigfoot springs to mind,” interjects Midnight Press expert, Dr. Garrett Segall. “While the Dakotas may not be the exact territories where previous sightings have occurred, the half-man/half beast phenomena may fill in many of the blanks these hunters are searching for.” While Dr. Segall himself is not on the expedition, he has authored many articles on the subject of the legendary monster. “It is a mutated life form that hovers between primal savagery and structured reasoning.”

The two latest victims were college students Stacy Curtis, 21, and Matthew Lee, 20, who were filming a light-hearted documentary when they met their horrific demise. The Midnight Press has learned that much was discovered on the couples’ existing video footage, which left the door open to possibility of the attacker being human. Along officials are not making comment on the tape, it is known it was forwarded to experts outside of the assembled professionals and an addition of “new blood” to the hunt may soon be in the works.

All parks, hiking trails and campsites in the area have been closed to the public until the predator, whatever its DNA makeup, be caught or killed. Vacationers are advised to find alternative venues.

LANA MONGER'S CORNER:
Yoo hoo and yo ho, coffee clutchers. It’s a lite menu I have to offer today but very tasty, nonetheless.

The Strand, of course, is still a hot dish. A cult of picturesque “enlightened” twentysomethings who all claim to be, or aspire to join, New Mutants. Ho hum, I yawn. It’s just another cry for attention from a generation that has yet to accomplish anything on a notable social scale. Last season everyone was A.D.D., now they’re New Mutants. Get another theme song, kids, or just accept being left off A-list invites.

And as for the Strand’s guru, the sculpted Gabriel Ashlocke, it’s become common knowledge that he goes through his attractive female devotees like a stallion put out to stud. How original. Another “spiritual showman” who’s the victim of his own loose zipper. Sounds like your human after all, Gabey. With this kind of behavior, I guess Hugh Hefner and Warren Beatty were new Mutants too. Not.

The cocktail/premiere scenes have been so sparse the past few weeks, Lana’s had to resort to mining pop singers for some palatable scuz. She may be on her last quarter of fifteen-minute fame, but teen diva, Normandy Points (she of the bleached pigtails and slutty schoolgirl attire) shocked her sold out audience of teenyboppers the other night on tour in Cleveland. Her breathy voice filled the stadium with her trademark “coos” and “ooh babies” giving much adolescent joy…until it was realized that her mike was never plugged in. How did such a tiny, saline filled nymphet produce all that sound? Is Normandy’s DNA as enhanced as her breasts? I’m sure there’s an ex-Genomex techie on hand to run her next sound check.

Keep it flying low, sweeties. ‘Til my next spin.

From the Lab of Dr. Garrett Segall: Do Dolphins Rule the Earth?

There are many theories about how civilization advanced. What exactly molded the modern man out of the cave man? A popular theory involves early visits from advanced alien races that implanted ideas of structure, technology and conscience to our primitive societies before leaving us to bloom and grow. Accounts of the lost city of Atlantis, the Aztecs and ancient Egyptian empires all support this scenario.One question remains, however: If a parenting race was indeed among us for a spell and then exited, wouldn’t it make sense for them to leave behind a group of babysitters? Someone to keep an eye our world and occasionally report progress (or lack of) back to our distant mentors. Since such watchers would certainly not be human in form, who or what are they? The most likely candidates are dolphins.

The water-dwelling mammals from the Delphinidae family have always been the most curious of creatures. With beak-like snouts, sharp teeth and playful, nurturing natures they swim the warm oceans and often prove themselves to be friendly allies towards sea-venturing men. But is there more to them than that? Is a dolphin’s obvious intelligence even greater than we assume? Are they our alien watch guards, keeping up a dumb show act in order to survey us with complete discretion?

My answer is a resounding lean towards that very enticing possibility. There is no doubt that alien life forms exist. We, ourselves, are just that to those in other galaxies. An aquatic species of this sort existing on our Earth therefore makes the most sense as water may closer approximate the atmosphere and temperature where these visitors (or their prehistoric ancestors) originated.

Some of my compatriots have informed me they would choose a different genus of mammal to fill the sentinel positions I have suggested. Something closer descended to mankind. There are even those who feel the aliens would take actual human form and walk among us. To that I say “Nay”. We are not talking about mutants here. These are beings from outer space. They are superior and enlightened enough not to be covered in hair follicles and constantly hunted. From biological, metaphysical and neurological evidence, it’s the dolphin or nothing.

Let us maintain our cordial ties with these creatures and keep them out of our zoos or tuna nets. A negative report could jeopardize our entire existence.

Editor's Note: Dr. Segall’s correspondence will all be forwarded to the Brickman Asylum Society Home where he currently resides.

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