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Chapter 2

Watchtower Personal Log
J'onn J'onnz
(Cont.)

Little did I know how prophetic my words would be. It did indeed get worse. Much worse.

The continual bashing of us in the press eventually gave rise to a much darker, much scarier reaction in the public’s perception. What started out as a few misrepresented stories and a few outlandish theories about us and the nature of the League began to turn into an all out assault on us and all members of the Superhero community. While many still revered us as champions and heroes, a small but rapidly growing community of people began to view us as a menace, a group of brightly clad malcontents purposefully engaging in these larger-than-life battles for the sake of our own egos. They began calling us a threat. And out of this small community of people rose a voice; a ringleader of this anti-superhero movement that would eventually prove to be one of the most difficult adversaries we have ever faced.

Meanwhile, other bonds started forming in the League that I only really became aware of recently. Wally and Kyle had always been closer to each other than to the rest of the group. I thought back then -- and to an extent, still think to this day -- that most of their connection was due to not only their age, but to the fact that they were both "new versions" of established heroes. Despite Kyle’s continual belief that we all view him as "Hal’s replacement", most of us see both him and Wally for what they are: new people successfully continuing in the grand tradition of their predecessors. I can see now the men (and the heroes) that the two of them have become and it is truly a wonderful thing to behold. And I think that part of that maturing process for the two of them was the relationship - the bond - they formed while working side-by-side in the League. Considering both of their natures (especially Wally’s) and their shared sense of humor, however, this bond began to manifest itself outwardly in continual good-natured ribs, jokes, verbal prods and, eventually, pranks against one another.

Now, I’m still unclear how Eel figured in to all of that, but somehow he did. Somewhere along the line, Eel started spending more time outside of League activities with the pair, turning the previous duo of jokesters into a triumvirate of total prankster mayhem. Eel is the ultimate instigator, egging the other two into fits of competitive practical jokes against one another. Their practical joke war still wages to this day, but I pity Eel the day they discover he’s actually the one behind all of this.

As for the rest of us, Arthur eventually did agree to be on the PR Subcommittee -- much to Diana’s chagrin, I think. The meetings were a little rough, especially to start. We agreed to meet every 2 weeks, immediately following the normal weekly meetings in order to avoid having to make multiple trips to the Watchtower. The first few meetings were mostly discussions about the problems and what possible solutions we could come up with. Unfortunately, a few of the meetings broke down, general discussions turning into outright arguments. To her credit, Diana did a fairly decent job at trying to keep the meetings on track, but since she has a tendency to veer off-topic from time to time, we found ourselves discussing other matters more than once. I was also pleasantly surprised by Arthur; once he settled in and resigned himself to the fact that the subcommittee existed and existed for a reason, he ended up being that true voice of dissenting opinion that we were hoping for. I think that "Devil’s Advocate" role suits Arthur well. We quickly discovered, however, that our biggest obstacle wasn’t a question of coming up with solutions, but rather a question of implementation…

The PR Subcommittee members all glanced down at the information packets in front of them, silently flipping though the pages. This was the intricate and detailed plan that had been devised to counteract the negative publicity problem - the result of the last few months of meetings.

"The plan is good," Superman confirmed upon finishing the last page. "I think this will at least help to bring a much more positive light to the League in general."

J'onn and Diana nodded in agreement while Arthur simply scoffed as he finished his packet. "I still don’t see how this will help," the Atlantian grunted. "Public appearances, personal interviews, disclosure statements… it’s all window dressing. It’s reactionary and it looks reactionary…"

"You would prefer an all out assault on the entire international press community?" Diana retorted.

"I would prefer not to do any of this…" he grumbled under his breath. Ever the pragmatist, however, Arthur approached the next logical step. "Okay, so how to we implement all of this?"

Diana paused, looking at Arthur for a moment. "What do you mean, Arthur?"

"I mean," Arthur replied, "how exactly do we make this happen? What, we just stroll into the Daily Planet or the Gotham Post offices and say 'Hey, print this for us'?"

"That is a good point," Clark admitted. "While the Planet has long been a staunch supporter of the League and the Community in general, we can’t just assume that they're going to splash Page One with our suggested headlines just because we ask them to…"

"Why wouldn’t they?" Diana responded matter-of-factly. "Our names do carry a bit of weight in the public realm. I’m sure we could convince the Planet to run anything we ask them to."

"Well, that may or may not be true, Diana," Clark responded. "Perry will print anything he considers news, but assuming that they'll print anything we ask is stretching it a bit. Besides, getting the Planet to run a story is one thing, but most of these ideas require national press coverage. That kind of promotional push takes quite a bit of footwork."

"I’m sure that’s something we can handle," Diana retorted, suddenly getting somewhat defensive. "We're a pretty capable group…"

"We're capable when it comes to handling invading aliens and cataclysmic world threats," J'onn answered, "but I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know anything about publishing official statements or setting up television interviews. And I’d be willing to bet that none of you do either."

"I can help somewhat in the newspaper department," Clark offered. "Other than that, I think we're a little 'behind the curve'…"

The subcommittee members looked around at one another, the sudden realization that in all of their planning, they had never discussed how to actually put the plan into action. Each of them shrugged and shook their heads in turn, Diana finally speaking up.

"It cannot be that difficult gentlemen," she chided lightly. "Surely we can figure out how to do this kind of thing. We've held press conferences before. We've done public interviews before…"

"Well," Superman replied, "those are usually set up for us - the press normally approaches us. What we're talking about now is initiating the process ourselves; a process we know about in theory, but in practice…"

"Fine," Diana retorted, "then what about hiring someone to do it for us?"

Arthur threw his hands up in disgust. "Not that ridiculous PR agent thing again…"

"It’s not ridiculous Arthur," Diana replied. "We're obviously not prepared to handle this ourselves, so why not bring in a little outside assistance?"

"I’ll tell you why not!" Arthur answered, then calmed himself. "I agreed to be on this committee in order to help try to counteract what everyone else perceived as a potential threat to the team. But now you're talking about bringing in a complete stranger in order to solve the problem for us! Never mind the potential security risks involved with bringing someone like that on board, the entire concept of bringing someone in to handle our entire 'public image' is ludicrous!"

"I’m not suggesting we turn the whole project over to an outside source, Arthur," Diana interrupted. "I’m merely suggesting that we seek some outside consultation. We will still be handling our own 'public image', I just think we need to get a little help in how to go about it…"

"I understand where you are coming from, Diana," J'onn offered. "But, I also see Arthur’s point. Bringing in an outsider does open up possible security and safety concerns…"

"We're not talking about hiring Luthor or Neron here, folks." Superman attempted to ease the growing tension before it got out of control. "We're talking about a normal person who may be able to bring a little more expertise to the situation…"

The committee members traded glances for a silent moment. "Oracle," Diana addressed the giant green holographic head floating over the table, "what do you think?"

The room was silent again as all eyes locked onto the strangely motionless head.

"ORACLE, what are your thoughts on this?" Diana reiterated impatiently.

"I…think…Diana makes an excellent point," the head suddenly responded. "One that needed to be discussed. Maybe she'll go into a little more detail for us."

Arthur and J'onn traded disappointed and incredulous stares as Diana replied.

"Certainly, Oracle. I think what we need is…"

 

Kyle glanced down at his watch. "They should be here by now," he muttered to himself, then got up off the couch and headed into the kitchen, grabbing a fresh beer.

"Hey, baby." Jen’s voice jolted him up out of the fridge. He turned to see her green-hued form strolling into the kitchen wearing a pair of loose sweatpants and a button-down shirt with the top three buttons undone. He absently kicked the refrigerator door closed and set his beer on the counter.

"Whoa. Hey there, sexy," he hummed, sliding his arms around her waist and kissing her gently. She moaned happily against his lips, then finally broke the kiss.

"Mmmm… too bad you've got company coming tonight," she cooed, a sparkle in her eye.

"Well shit," he chuckled, "I can always call and cancel…"

As if in response, there was a knock at the front door of the apartment.

"Aw," Jen pouted playfully, "too late now." She slipped out of his arms, playfully sticking her tongue out at him and heading for the refrigerator herself.

"Damn," Kyle grunted, chuckling. As she passed by, he smacked her playfully on the bottom, grabbed his beer off the counter and headed out of the kitchen, the sound of her gasping "Hey!" following him out. .As he rounded the corner into the main room of the apartment, he called out toward the door. "C'mon in, guys. Door’s open."

The door knob jiggled slightly, then there was a loud thump against the door. Kyle snickered lightly, still heading toward the door. "Oops, I guess not," he called out, chuckling to himself. He opened the door to see Wally rubbing his forehead and Eel behind him snickering and giving Kyle a thumbs up.

"Dick," Wally spat, chuckling as well as he walked into the apartment carrying a small plastic bag.

"Hey guys. How’s it goin'?" Kyle greeted cheerily as Eel came in behind Wally.

"Pretty good!" Eel chirped before morphing into a giant ball and bouncing across the room and landing with a thump in the large recliner in the living room area. Kyle turned a questioning glance in Wally’s direction, who just shrugged in answer.

"Can I get you guys something to drink?" Kyle offered as Wally headed toward the couch.

"Beer!" they both answered in unison. Kyle chuckled again, then headed back into the kitchen. Jen, now making herself a sandwich, waited for Kyle to pass on his way to the fridge and slapped his butt in return. Kyle grabbed two more beers out of the fridge, then turned back to her, grinning mischievously.

"Ooo, baby," he delivered in monotone, causing her to roll her eyes before returning to her sandwich. Laughing, he walked back out into the living room and handed the other two their drinks before flopping down on the couch. Wally was apparently in mid-story.

"So, he pulls me aside after the meeting, saying he needs to talk to me." Wally turned to Kyle and upon noticing the slightly confused look on his face offered "BB" as an explanation. "BB", Kyle knew, was short for "Big Blue" -- Superman. Then, Kyle remembered Superman pulling Wally aside after their last meeting and realized Wally was explaining why. He nodded in understanding so Wally continued.

"We walked into the Rec Room and he immediately goes over to the pool table and starts racking the balls. Now, I’m thinking this is kind of weird… he says he wanted to talk to me and he’s setting up a pool game? But I just decided to go along with it. I mean, Supes decides he wants to talk over a game a pool, that’s fine with me. So, as soon as I break, he starts: 'Thank you for dinner', 'We had a really great time', blah, blah, blah…"

"Wait," Kyle interrupted, realizing he’d missed part of the setup for the story. "Dinner?"

"Yeah," Wally explained, "he and Lois were in Keystone last week covering some big political debate thing for the DP. Linda thought it would be nice to invite them out to dinner one night, so we did." After Kyle nodded in understanding, Wally went on. "So he’s thanking me for dinner, talking about how we should all try to do things like that more often. He said Lois and he both enjoyed the company and Lois really enjoyed meeting Linda… you get the picture. Then he starts asking about Dick and Barbara -- how the weeding plans were coming along, how excited were they -- stuff like that. He seemed to be really excited about the whole prospect of their wedding. So then, just as I’m lining up for another shot, he looks right at me and asks: ‘so when are you and Linda going to settle down and get married?'!"

Kyle, who had been mid-sip, choked on his beer, almost spitting it out all over the living room. He coughed a few times once he got the liquid down, then turned an incredulous stare at Wally. "What?!"

"Hand to God, man," Wally affirmed, raising his right hand slightly. " 'When are you and Linda going to settle down and get married.' His exact words. I couldn’t believe it."

"No shit," Eel agreed, laughing. "What did you do?"

"Well, I damn near jumped the cueball off the table. Once I finally processed what he had actually said, I told him that we were engaged, but we just haven’t set a date yet -- which apparently, he didn’t know. He told me that was good and congratulated me then kept on with the game. It was… surreal."

"I’d bet," Kyle responded. "Gettin' the Parental Talk from Big Blue like that…"

"Yeah, but the weird thing was, it wasn’t really all that 'Parental'. I mean, it was conversational… more like curiosity than actual condescension. It was… disconcerting."

"That’s our Supes," Eel chimed in. "He can talk down to you without it feeling like he’s talking down to you. You hear what he says and it makes sense at the time, then 4 hours later, when you're sitting in your apartment it dawns on you that he was preaching at you all along and you're like DOING! 'Hey! Wait a minute..' "

The other two laughed, not so much at what Eel said but rather that on the "DOING" sound effect, Eel’s head had stretched out to twice its normal size and morphed into a bizarre looking face. Eel saw his friends laughing and jiggled the big head around comically a bit before shrinking it back to normal size, a smile on his face.

"Y'know, if you think about it," Kyle responded, once he stopped laughing, "Supes is probably just all hopped up on this wedding thing. He hears that someone’s gettin' hitched and now he’s got bells in his eyes -- wanting to see all of his 'young friends' getting married…"

"Which means," Wally joked with a grin, "that you're probably next." When Kyle’s eyes widened in realization-horror, Wally slipped into the best Midwest-Farmboy drawl he could muster. "So, Kyle, when are you and the little lady gonna tie the knot?"

"Whenever we damn well feel like it," Jen replied as she stepped out of the kitchen and into the conversation, sandwich plate in one hand and diet soda in the other. "Hi guys."

"Hey Jen!" Wally greeted, smiling.

"Da-amn, Jennie-Jade," Eel enthused, eyes bulging comically, "You are lookin' Double-F FFine tonight!"

"EEL!" Kyle yelped. "Dude! That’s my girlfriend!"

"So what if she’s your girlfriend. That doesn’t stop her from bein' a Grade-A P.O.A.!"

"DUDE!" Kyle gaped incredulously.

"Oh please, Kyle" Jen chuckled, "he’s no worse than Guy… I think I can handle it. Thanks, Eel… I think. So what are you guys up to tonight?"

Wally reached into the small bag he brought with him and pulled out a DVD case, presenting it like a trophy. "The Osbournes, Season 1!"

Jen’s face twisted in a disgusted look. "Ugh. Reality TV crap?"

Wally gasped in mock offense. "Blasphemy! No, it’s not Reality TV, it’s Surreality TV! It’s The Osbournes -- they put the 'Fun' back in Dysfunctional!"

Jen shook her head, smiling weakly. "I still don’t get your fascination with that crap, Wally."

"Oh, c'mon. It’s Ozzy! The walking, talking Posterboy for the dangers of over-indulgence! It’s funny!" Wally argued.

"I fail to see how a burnt-out Heavy Metal madman bumbling around the house and screaming at his wife and kids is funny, but to each his own. You boys enjoy your evening. Kyle, I’ll be playing on the 'puter if you need anything."

"Thanks, baby," Kyle replied, leaning his head back on the couch to look back at her.

"If you're lookin' for something to play on…" Eel started, then was immediately silenced by a giant green construct-hand covering his mouth. He looked over at Kyle who was glowering at him with his own little version of the BatGlare, his fist raised in Eel’s direction and his Lantern ring glowing fiercely. Eel offered an innocent look in reply.

"Alright, ladies," Wally interrupted, chuckling. "If you're through playing touchy-feely, let’s get down to business." Hopped off the couch and zipped over to the entertainment center, tossing the first DVD from the set into the player and returning to his seat in the time it took Kyle’s construct to dissipate.

The trio giggled continuously through the first few episodes, reveling in the antics of the burned-out Heavy Metal Prince of Darkness and his oddball brood. In the middle of the third episode, Wally felt a light tapping on his shoulder. He turned to see Eel’s arm stretching across the space between them, his hand now motioning toward the other side of the couch. Wally turned, then caught the laugh in his throat at the sight of Kyle passed out, his head leaning over and using the high padded arm as a pillow. Wally turned back to Eel, who was grinning mischievously, a strange twinkle in his overly-widened eyes. The man of plastic’s head slowly turned toward the opposite corner of the room… toward Kyle drawing desk.

Nearing the end of the fourth episode, a particularly loud "SHAR-RON!" from the TV shook Kyle from his unconscious state. He blinked a few times, catching his bearings, then slowly raised his head up off the couch arm and glanced over at Wally and Eel in turn. Both seemed to be intently watching the screen. Wally slowly glanced back over at Kyle, a wide smile on his face.

"Hey bud. Welcome back to the land of the living," the speedster joked.

"Whew. Sorry about that guys. I guess I was more tired than I thought," Kyle apologized.

"No problemo, mon ami," Eel answered, ignoring the complete mangling of several languages at once. "You just missed the best parts. Sharon and Jack throwing meat at the neighbors…"

Kyle chuckled, remembering the scene from the first time he saw the episode. Once the fourth episode ended, Wally got up and stretched, heading over to the DVD player and retrieving the disk. Kyle was too busy yawning to catch the quick wink and nod toward the door that Wally gave Eel.

"Well, I think Eel and I are going to head out…" Wally said to Kyle.

"You guys don’t have to leave," Kyle protested weakly, still a bit groggy. "I’m fine. Really…"

"Nah, it’s alright m'man. You look beat. It’s written all over your face…"

Out of the corner of his eye, Kyle thought he saw Eel convulse slightly, but when he turned to regard his pliable buddy, Eel simply stood straight up, collecting his empty beer bottles.

"I’m sorry, guys…" Kyle offered, yawning again.

"Don’t worry about it, Kylie," Eel replied cheerily before handing his bottles to Wally. The speedster zipped away into the kitchen, disposing of the bottles then came back out to meet up with Eel by the door.

"We'll catch up with you later, loser." Wally kidded, slapping Kyle playfully on the arm.

Kyle closed the door behind them and, if he had been awake and aware enough, he probably would have caught the laughter zipping away from his door at 500 miles an hour. As it was, he merely shuffled along the hallway back toward the spare bedroom he and Jennie used as a computer room. Jennie sat at her computer, her back to the door. Kyle strolled up behind her, leaned down and kissed the top of her head, his hands running down over her shoulders and wrapping around her waist.

She moaned lightly in response as she clicked the next row of boxes on the on-line crossword puzzle she was doing. "Mmm. Hey baby."

"Hello yourself, gorgeous," Kyle replied, glancing down over her head and catching a glimpse down her partially opened shirt. "Nice view…" he whispered.

"Eel certainly seemed to think so," she replied chuckling.

"Yeah," Kyle answered rolling his eyes. "Sorry about that. That’s Eel for ya. The words 'Eel O'brian' and 'tactful' don’t belong in the same sentence unless there’s a 'not' in between them somewhere."

Jennie chuckled again, returning her attention to the puzzle. "Okay, smart-guy. What’s a seven letter word for 'a necessity for all men'?"

"Bed," he offered.

"That’s only three letters, doofus."

"No, I meant that’s a necessity for this man," he explained, his hands slowly running up over her front, eliciting a small sigh from her lips. "Care to join?"

"Well, since you put it that way…" she answered, stopping suddenly as she turned her chair around to look at him. Her eyes went wide in shock and her hand immediately shot up to her mouth.

Kyle’s head jerked back slightly, a confused look on his face. "That… certainly wasn’t the response I was looking for… What? What is it?"

Her hand slowly moved down away from her mouth as she continued to stare at his face. "Y-you fell asleep out there, didn’t you?" She couldn’t hide the laughter in her own voice as she spoke.

"Y-yes…" he replied slowly, still confused. Realization suddenly landed on his head and his eyes widened. Without a word, he ran toward the bathroom, Wally’s words from earlier suddenly filling his mind:

It’s written all over your face.

He stumbled into the bathroom, flicked on the light and stared into the mirror. What looked back at him was his own face, with a set of backward letters written in the unmistakable black ink from his indelible Pigma Micron inker’s pen (size 08):

!!RESOL

 

Transcript: The Rich Radar Radio Show. Show #354 (cont.)
© Radar Entertainment Inc. Westwood One Radio Networks.
(Segment 6)

Rich Radar: Welcome back to the Radar Zone, folks. I’m Rich Radar, your host for the festivities. Our topic today: Metahumans. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last three decades, you know what I’m talking about. The men and women, blessed with all sorts of powers and abilities who protect us on a daily basis from crime, corruption, invasion -- sometimes even ourselves. Who hasn’t seen the reports on TV and in the newspapers. Who doesn’t get that little bit of a jolt when we see the Justice Society or the Titans or even the Justice League performing some daring rescue live and in color. Some of us have even seen these brightly-clad warriors in person a time or two. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. And sometimes, it’s even a little scary. For some people, the existence of these Superheroes is so ingrained that they hardly even think of it until it’s staring them right in the face, but we all sleep a little better at night knowing that there are those few individuals out there who put their lives on the line on a daily basis for our protection.

RR: But of course, as it is with all things, there is a flip side to all of this. There are those Metahumans out there who use their abilities to harm others. These aptly-named "Supervillains" thrive on destruction, disorder and chaos and most of them will stop at nothing to accomplish their own personal agendas, be it world domination or destruction of a particular hero. They are the "yang" to the Superhero "yin", the ultimate evil battling against the ultimate good. And sometimes to cost is pretty high.

(Pause)

My guest this segment has a decidedly different take on the Metahuman phenomenon. His new book, The Meta-Menace, is in stores now. Ladies and Gentlemen, please help me welcome Dr. Leon McKinley to the Radar Zone. Welcome Dr. McKinley.

Leon McKinley: Thank you, Mister Radar.

RR: Please, call me Rich. This is the Radar Zone.

LM: Very well.

RR: Quite an accent there, Doctor. Alabama?

LM: (Chuckles) Mississippi, actually. Born and Raised.

RR: Ah. So, Doctor McKinley, I read through your book and it seems to me that you perceive all Metahumans as a threat, is that correct?

LM: Yes.

RR: So you make no delineation between superhero or supervillain?

LM: Last year, roughly fifty-seven thousand, two hundred and fifty people were injured, permanently disabled or killed as a result of Meta-human activity. So no, I don’t make a delineation…

RR: Wait, what was that number again?

LM: Fifty-seven thousand, two hundred and fifty. And I don’t just mean victims of "villainous" activities. You've seen the reports and watched these larger than life battles unfold - how many times have you seen one of these battle’s participants crash through a crowded building? Or land on top of a parking lot full of cars? How many of these battles have you watched that include gigantic explosions that level half a city block? Never mind the billions of dollars spent each year repairing the damage from these battles, the innocent by-standers injured or killed as a result of these battles…

RR (Interrupting): Hold on a minute. We've all seen that whenever something like that happens that most of the heroes first concern is the safety of those around them. We've seen the Justice League or the Titans doing their best to get all innocent by-standers out of harm’s way whenever something like that happens…

LM: Oh, I agree! Don’t get me wrong, their efforts have not gone unnoticed. However, think of how much higher the injury count would be if they didn’t! Their best efforts are still resulting in over fifty-seven thousand injuries and deaths a year. That’s a pretty lousy track record for doing their "best"…

RR: But that toll would be even greater if they did nothing! That count would be astronomical if the villains were left alone…

LM: But at what cost? The cost of innocent lives? Don’t tell me that the ends justify the means, or that "you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs". We're the eggs in that equation, Mr. Radar. You and me and all of the other innocent human beings on this planet are the only real victims here. We're the ones who suffer while these Meta-humans soar off into the sky leaving a trail of destruction and death in their wake. And who gets left footing the bill? We do.

RR: What do you mean, "footing the bill"?

LM: Seventy-nine percent of all of the Insurance companies in this country deny any claim where the cause of damage or injury is Meta-human related.

RR: Seventy Nine?

LM: Yes, seventy-nine percent. And more and more companies are taking that stance every day. According to most of these companies, it’s "cost prohibitive" to provide coverage for Meta-human related damages. And it shows in the remaining twenty-one percent: their premiums are much higher than those who do not cover Meta-human damages. There are actually insurance companies out there right now providing "Meta-human Insurance" for a separate - and exorbitant - fee.

RR: Well, it’s the same for Fire insurance. Or Flood insurance…

LM: Not quite. You see fires, floods - as I’m sure you are all aware - are referred to by the insurance companies as Acts of God and the reason for the extra insurance coverage for these acts is not only because they are extensively damaging, but also because they are so unpredictable. Insurance companies base their rates on certain predictable criteria - like the likelihood that your house will get robbed depending upon how high the crime rate is in your area. Natural disasters, since they are so unpredictable, are charged at a higher separate rate due in no small part to that unpredictability. To their thinking, however, Meta-human damage is considered more predictable in that the cause of the damage is human error or human behavior - conscious beings making a conscious decision to engage in these activities. And conscious beings have the ability to stop themselves. So the insurance companies list the damages as human fault and charge an additional rate for coverage because of the normal extent of damage.

RR: I see. And I suppose that the only way that the insurance companies can recoup their costs is to pass the charges along in higher premiums.

LM: Exactly. And the medical insurance for these victims is not much better.

RR: Which is where your organization comes in.

LM: Nice segue. (Chuckles)

RR: Thanks. (Laughs) My producer tells me it’s what I’m best at.

(Both laugh)

LM: Yes, that is where we come in. PACE is a non-profit organization designed, in part, to provide financial and legal support for victims of these Meta-human caused catastrophes and their families. We are also applying pressure to the insurance companies to regulate the costs of Meta-human insurance as well as pushing the US government to enact more stringent legislation on the insurance companies and on all Meta-humans operating within the United States. We have been in contact with the office of the Secretary of Meta-Human Affairs to try and get some more cooperation on a federal level. Unfortunately, just as no one is regulating the insurance industry, no one is regulating these Meta-humans' behavior either.

RR: Whoa! Regulating their behavior?

LM: Why not? We regulate our own behavior, don’t we? We have laws concerning alcohol consumption. We have regulations concerning gun ownership. We have laws regarding drug abuse, motor vehicles, waste disposal, and so on… it’s no different. All of these laws that we use to govern behavior are enacted out of concerns for Public Safety. And that’s all we're suggesting when it comes to the Meta-humans - it’s a matter of Public Safety.

RR: Well, some may argue that the Superhero "community" has a history of governing itself - that Metahumans can regulate their own behavior…

LM: And to those people, I’d say that I can think of about fifty-seven thousand families that are likely to disagree.

(Music bed starts)

RR: Well, that music means we're out of time. Dr. McKinley, thank you so much for joining us today on the Radar Zone.

LM: Thank you for having me.

RR: Anytime, doctor. You've certainly given us all a lot to think about. Alright folks, coming up in the next hour: Rap music - Mindless entertainment or Mind Poison aimed at little kids. My analysis and your phone calls coming up, after these commercial messages…

(cont.)

To be continued...

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