A group of vigilantes has learned about a secret project codenamed Long Stairs by the US military. They’ve found the base and must plumb its depths to find the truth behind the mystery of all masks, both good and evil. What dark secrets will be uncovered? Who will be spared? Find out in the thrilling conclusion of the Age of Masks.
March 15, 1984
Costumed Vigilantes, Adventurers and Criminals & The Reagan Act
Today, President Cheney is proud to sign the Reagan Act into law. The tragedy of last year’s Air Force One attack galvanized Congress to finally outlaw so-called ‘masks’, as they are a clear and present danger to the American people. After decades of tolerating these fringe radicals out of a misguided notion that they could protect society better than our lawfully elected public officials and trained police officers, the 113 deaths on that fateful day has shown us the truth: that men and women who hide behind masks are not to be trusted.
So you want to be a superhero? No such thing.
But. You can be a mask, which is why you’re here. You said superhero but you meant a mask.
The difference? Simple. Superheroes didn’t choose to be what they turned out to be. They made the best with what they had. That’s why they died off. Masks want to be masks. Need to be. The governments, all around the world, passed those crackdown laws. That took out most of ‘em. But the call of the mask is still strong enough. Strong enough to call you.
Here’s what I got. First number here is for this company. They make body armor and costumes on the sly. Light weight kevlar sewn in, lead weights on the knuckles of the gloves, maybe a few extras if you got the bucks. Cheaper if you already got a design but they can come up with something. You got an idea on the design? Good. Only hacks let someone else do it.
Next number is a street doc. Stitch your boo-boos right up. Cheap too. Oh and you’ll need that number. Might want to tattoo it on you or put it on speed dial on your wrist communicator. Hey, no need to get cocky. You need this number.
Oh yeah, you got some moves. You’re fast. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be talking to you if I thought you couldn’t hack it. But it don’t matter how fast you are. How strong. How tough. You will bruise, you will break bones and you will bleed. But that’s part of the thrill you know?
Masks dance the dance because they’re fucking crazy or they love the thrill or both. Oh sure you gotta stop the bad guys. But that’s not the point. Masks do what no one else can.
Third number is Hal. He’s a trainer. Runs a 24 hour gym in the roughest part of the city. Doesn’t ask questions, about anything. Can get you some weapons too. You gotta keep in shape, right?
You want extra juice? Lemme give you a number. There’s a black market for, shall we say, performance enhancements. My advice is to not fucking touch them. Masks who dip into that shit get burned. The cops have an anti-mask unit you know and they make examples out of any freak who throws a car on the evening news. Not to mention the side effects, cancer the least of them. Lost a lot of good people to them. Your call.
The place? Nah, kid. I gave you a lot but I can’t give you that. You gotta earn the right. It’s the only place where masks can relax and they are a goddamn exclusive crowd. Before the crackdown, there was over a thousand masks worldwide. Now, maybe 100 at any given time. Most masks die or get caught in the first month. Some study said the average mask’s career is 2 years. Oh sure, some go on for decades. Most don’t.
I know you need this. Just pass the cash over and you get the numbers.