Water Fall: Foreward

You are too dangerous. By nature, what you are and what you can do is too great a possible threat to let into the world. Certainly, you could do great good. But the very fact that you could also do great harm is enough to cause panic, terrify people into either fighting you or bowing down before you. Neither one is good, and the fact that you have the potential to cause both is enough to warrant preventing them entirely. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way the world is. Or it’s the times, or the culture or the conclusion of a more enlightened age. Regardless, we all have to live with it. You’ll just have to live more carefully.

It’s a simple premise. In troper terms, it’s called The Masquerade. It’s the foundation of a thousand and one paranormal/urban fantasy story lines. In fact, it’s at the heart of Project Sumter and an inescapable influence on the lives of independent talents like Open Circuit, Heavy Water and the Grappler.

It’s a lie.

On some level, everyone understands that. But the lie makes life so much easier. Just do away with the uncomfortable ideas, hide them from people and drag anyone who uncovers them into your Masquerade and you’ll never have to deal with any large scale problems, am I right?

Except the very act of stifling the information in itself raises problems, often far greater ones than the ones you hoped to suppress. Squashing the truth, spiriting people away, coercing cooperation and browbeating silence all comes with consequences. Ask the Soviets. Grudging acceptance and growing resentment are a powerful and dangerous combination, a powder keg just waiting to go off. Instead of constantly working on a better, more stable solution you wind up running around putting out ground fires while a volcano is about to erupt just underneath your feet.

That which you have whispered in secret will be proclaimed from the rooftops.

Sometimes it will come from avenging angels, come to set the wrongs to right at last. But far more likely it will come from upset, middle aged men who have spent their whole lives struggling against heavy handed declarations of what is best for them, working to understand why they cannot seem to use their best abilities for their own edification and the betterment of themselves and others.

Worse, these people will come out of the woodwork with no mind for negotiation, little or no thoughts for the ramifications of their ideas and no mercy at all. The world they’ve lived in has left no room for such things, and it will be at least partially the fault of the people who have worked all those years for secrecy. That’s not to say there’s no fault resting with the other side. When two people come to blows, there’s usually plenty of blame to go around. But when you’ve spent the entire time trying to keep them quiet, why should they keep trying to talk to you?

So what do you do when your duty is to keep law and order but the way law and order has been kept until now is both immoral and chaotic? For a long time, people like Double Helix, one of Project Sumter’s most powerful and experienced talents, have been pondering that issue. But pondering isn’t change, and when the situation calls for change nothing else will do.

Because little by little, Open Circuit is changing the status quo. And with every crime, a little bit of the Project’s control of the situation is lost. They strike the Project like drops of water, slowly leaking through a crack in the dam. Each one carries away a little of what holds the Masquerade together, widening the crack until the whole edifice must way, and the flood begins.

The water starts falling next week. It will be a sight to see.


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