The Damocles Foundation
by Loz Cook
Emma Steed and her son Jasper form an advanced branch of the British Hellfire Club named the Damocles Foundation. The members are the Marauder Malice who has possessed the sorcerer Feron, psychic vampire Selene, and crazed sorcerer Grave Moss.
Their main goal is the complete subjugation and control of the British Empire. To do this they need to get rid of MI:13, the Royal family, and Britain’s connection to the multiversal control of Roma, Merlin, and Saturnine, and claim lost bloodstones so that they can each live long enough to enjoy their Reign.
The conflict comes in several forms; Captain Britain, Secret MI:13 agent Switchback who has been tasked with monitoring the 616 universe for Fury or Jim Jaspers level threats, Elsa Bloodstone who has been tasked with protecting bloodstones, and finally the fact that no member of the Damocles Foundation can trust or be trusted by any of the other members.
One of the standout characters from the whole of the Age of Apocalypse was Damask from X-Calibre. I knew she would be the star of my villain book. Everything she does is calculated to one end. Even her weakness for her adopted son Jasper will not stop her from her goals. She needs bloodstones to make sure she lives long enough to enjoy her domination of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Will she get her bloodstone?
Jasper is my favorite creation for this pitch. At the end of the Captain Britain storyline where Jim Jaspers fought the Fury, Saturnine takes a DNA sample from the deceased Jim Jaspers. As far as I’m aware, this was never addressed again. Enter Jasper, the cloned child amalgamation of Jim Jaspers and the Fury. He’s the arrogant, petulant-child version of the crazed Jim Jaspers. He wants a bloodstone Mummy, and he wants one NOW. Will he get his bloodstone?
Originally my pitch only included four main characters, but then each contributor got their wild cards. Mine was Malice and while I could have brushed her off, I decided to make her an integral part of the story. Originally Jasper was going to be the big bad, but things change. Malice has already possessed the budding new MI:13 agent Feron when the pitch starts. Malice needs bloodstones to become corporeal and not have to possess others. Will she get a bloodstone?
I needed a long-term X-men Villain to balance out the lesser known picks in my pitch and I’ve always wondered what Selene would do after being resurrected in Brian Woods X-men run. Here, she’s going to the root of her Roman colony connection and will take a swing at the British Empire. All she wants is to live forever and not have to worry about draining others of their lives. Will she get a bloodstone?
Grave Moss was only in three issues of Excalibur, but I loved his character. I needed to introduce the idea of mystical weaponry, and magic being a big part of the pitch. He’s a crazy sorcerer and all he wants is his own soul sword … which he gets, but will he get a bloodstone?
Captain Britain – You can’t have a British-based, X-related book without Captain Britain. If the Lighthouse is the 616 nexus for access to Otherworld, and the Damocles Foundation wants to sever that connection forever, they will have to go through Captain Britain. And they will.
Tangerine – She’s my telepathic foil for Emma Steed, and I love her 70s aesthetic.
Switchback – The other standout character from X-Calibre was Switchback. For the purposes of this story, I changed the gender and gave him some upgrades in the power department. He now has a pair of stylized psionic guns that shoot bullets that temporarily revert his targets bodies violently to a previous state. He has been tasked by MI:13 to monitor the UK for signs of Fury-related attacks and to deal with the threats as they arise. Jasper falls completely into this category.
Motormouth – I loved reading Motormouth and Dark Angel as a kid and loved how they represented the part of the world where I came from. I didn’t learn about Excalibur until a bit later, but if I had to replace Kitty Pryde as a member of Excalibur, Motor Mouth would be the replacement. Of course this version is the older one with two kids, but still the same level of bad-assery.
Elsa Bloodstone – And talking of bad-assery, You can’t have a book featuring a villain team who want bloodstones without the coolest, baddest Bloodstone of them all. Really, there’s always a part of my creative mind that is looking for a story in which to insert either Elsa or Cullen.
First Year Summary
Issue 1: Beautiful Stranger
- Pete Wisdom is visited by a frantic Feron who has divined the future and has seen a horrific event caused by the Hellfire Club. Feron has seen a dozen Mutant children rounded up to be sacrificed in the name of London Underworld Gods.
- Wisdom consults MI:13 psychics. There is a weird static. They can tell that something bad is going to happen concerning the Hellfire club, but a fog of some kind is stopping them from seeing the future properly. Wisdom sends Lionheart with Feron to investigate. Later that evening Feron calls Wisdom and says they are too late. The Hellfire club already has the children. Feron is then cut off.
- Wisdom puts together a team to raid the Hellfire club. They make their covert attack and in a sub-basement, they find their first child; a small boy in a cell with a cuddly plush lion with a Union Jack in the shape of a heart on its tummy. Wisdom frees him, but his team report that there are no other children.
- Wisdom asks the boy where the other children are being kept. The boy says they are all gone now and that his name is Jasper. Jasper slaughters the whole team and eradicates the Hellfire club completely leaving Jasper in a giant crater.
- Jasper climbs out and gets into a nearby tactical truck where he gets a big hug from Emma Steed. She gives him a lollipop and he shows her his new Secret agent figurine with super cool shades and hot throwing knife trigger action. Feron is also in the truck. He has been possessed by Malice. They have formed an organization to replace the outdated Hellfire Club: the Damocles Foundation
Issue 2: Get Together
- Malice visits the New York Hellfire Club. She walks through all the security with Feron’s magical abilities and battles Pierce and Shaw. Shaw questions what Malice is doing there. Selene Steps from the shadows and holds Shaw fast. Malice kills both Shaw and Pierce. Selene joins the Damocles Foundation.
- Emma and Jasper visit each Marauder to find Sinister. They defeat each Marauder and finally upon reaching Sinister, deliver him a set of Marauder action Figures. Sinister refuses a position in the Foundation and Emma Attacks. His Telepathic abilities have no effect on her.
- Jasper creeps up behind Sinister and touches his leg. A hundred psionic chains burst from Sinister’s head. Each chain connects across the globe to every viable trace of Sinister and telepathically burns it to a crisp.
- Emma complains that Sinister didn’t join the foundation as she tucks Jasper into bed. He says he’s got a good feeling about Pilgrimm. Jasper is exhausted after their last outing and needs his sleep.
- Malice, Selene, and Emma visit a cairn and travel into the realms of the Ru’tai. They run afoul of Pilgrimm and his minions. Emma invites him to join the Damocles Foundation and rule Britain as part of a new Monarchy. He refuses and orders his minions to kill them all.
- Grave Moss makes his entrance. He binds Pilgrimm, performs a spell, and draws a twisted soul sword from Pilgrimm’s chest. He then possesses/absorbs Pilgrimm and charges up the soul sword. Eight red eyes appear on Grave Mosses forehead. He now commands Pilgrimm’s armies and invites himself to the foundation. Emma accepts and announces phase two of their plan.
- Dai Thomas calls Brian Braddock to the remains of the Hellfire Club to investigate.
Issue 3: Gone
- Emma and Jasper go on an outing to visit MI:13. They attack and an alert goes out to all remaining operatives for aid. Many are felled in the first wave. Many operatives and allies are warped into assorted kid’s toys.
- MI:13 agent, Tangerine, attacks Emma while Faiza Hussein distracts Jasper.
Faiza: “Freeze dirtbag.” She uses her powers to separate Jasper into all his visual body components. Faiza then goes to do the same to Emma. Just as Tangerine and Emma are about to defeat Emma, they hear Jasper.
Jasper: “Cool. Sword in the stone.” Excalibur flies out of Faiza’s hands and lodges itself in a boulder that has grown out of the floor. She runs to retrieve Excalibur.
Jasper: “Frieze, dirtbag.” Faiza is smeared across a nearby wall in a multicolored mural/painting with an expanded look of shock across the wall.
- Tangerine confronts them. Emma tells her this is phase 3 of their domination of the United Kingdom as a new world Power.
- Tangerine questions phase 1 and 2. Emma explains. phase 1: eliminate the Royal family and subjugate all followers. Phase 2: eliminate all main political leaders in Britain, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.
- Tangerine says she will stop them, that Captain Britain will stop them.
- Emma Laughs. Emma: “I know this is very watchmen, but I did say this was phase 3. Phases 1 and 2 were completed an hour ago before we arrived here. They are all GONE.
- An orange-like skin starts to grow across Tangerines skin and she starts to suffocate.
- Emma and Jasper leave MI:13 an empty husk littered with kid’s toys, a Faiza Hussein wall mural and a strange Tangerine cocoon.
Issue 4: The Power of Goodbye
- Grave Moss and Malice attack the Lighthouse: Phase 4. Malice realizes that Grave Moss is completely unhinged, but she needs another warlock no matter his mental state. Malice knocks on the door. Megan believing it to be Feron lets her in giving her a big hug.
- Captain Britain arrives too late to MI:13 headquarters. No one has survived. Before he reaches a strange new mural on the wall that seems to be weeping, he gets a text message from Maggie to come home.
- Megan is increasingly getting sicker. She apologizes and goes to check on Maggie. Malice leaves Feron’s body to search for portals in the basement. Megan goes to the bathroom and completely freaks out, her body changing and transforming erratically.
- Maggie has a conversation with Feron. She asks him what is wrong. He replies; nothing anymore. Feron tells Maggie to save her mum and leave the lighthouse.
- At that moment, Grave Moss attacks Megan and they battle through the lighthouse. Malice finds a portal to Otherworld and returns to Feron’s body. She intends to destroy it, cutting off all access to Otherworld and also any interference from Roma, Merlin, or Saturnine. Feron knows a powerful spell that will cut off all future access to the multiverse from Britain in the 616.
- Brian arrives and battles multiple twisted versions of Grave Moss and his soul sword.
- Megan goes to find Maggie. Maggie is waiting at the portal to Otherworld. Malice and another of Grave Moss’s dupes perform the ritual and Maggie scared for Megan, pulls them both through the portal. Malice and Grave Moss close the portal and cuts off the lighthouse from Otherworld indefinitely.
- Brian feels the separation and is distracted. Grave Moss slashes through Brian’s chest with the soul sword. They leave Brian for dead with a gaping wound through his body.
- Three figures arrive. Tangerine, Motormouth, and Switchback who has been tailing everywhere Jasper has been. Switchback puts his hands on Brian’s chest and reverts his body back 10 minutes and saves his life.
Issue 5: Sky Fits Heaven
- Malice visits Selene at Windsor Castle. Selene has consumed the royal family and has her minions holding the other inhabitants at Windsor in holding pens.
- Malice tells her that she knows there are rare bloodstones hidden in the royal vault at the tower of London. A set of four that have twice the power of ones in possession of the Bloodstone clan. Malice suggests Selene might never need to feed on someone again. Emma plans to get them and share them between the four of them, but she doesn’t trust Emma. Secretly Malice wants all four of the stones. If she gets them she can become corporeal and have her own body. Selene and Malice go to the Tower of London to secure the bloodstones.
- Emma is seeing to Jasper’s bedtime and he’s very tired and ornery. He asks if he’s special and if he will live forever. She responds that both of them will if things go to plan. She keeps feeling something wrong about Malice, but has a plan in effect should things go sideways.
- Malice and Selene encounter armed opposition at the Tower of London. Malice engages them while Selene goes to the vault. Elsa Bloodstone is waiting and they battle. Selene smashes Elsa across the courtyard into the armory museum.
- Malice reaches the vault and finds Cullen Bloodstone waiting. They battle but Malice banishes him back to the dimension his Glartrox first possessed him. Malice realizes the Vault has been warded against Magic. She needs a reality warper.
- It’s after Jasper’s bedtime, but Emma wakes him up. She doesn’t trust Malice. She brings Grave Moss with them. They warp into the Tower of London.
- Selene entombs Elsa in medieval armor and joins the others in the vault.
- Jasper is groggy, and not in a good mood at all. He rips the door off the vault. Grave Moss performs a locating spell for the Blood Stones. He smashes the ground beneath the vault to reveal a secret bunker.
- They are interrupted by a newly formed Excalibur: Captain Britain, Tangerine, Motormouth, Switchback, and Elsa Bloodstone.
Issue 6: Give It 2 Me
- Motormouth disrupts The Damocles Foundation’s Senses. She immediately teleports Jasper to the Isle of Sky and throws him into the sea unconscious.
- Tangerine VS Emma | Switchback VS Grave Moss | Elsa VS Malice | Cap VS Selene.
- Eventually, a panicked Emma loses her cool. She is worried sick for Jasper. She shoots psionic chains in all directions. Everyone dives for cover.
- Grave Moss jumps into the secret bunker followed by Cap and Malice. Emma impales Tangerine, Switchback, and Elsa.
- Switchback shoots Emma reverting her body to a state it was a minute before she manifested the chains. Tangerine and Elsa are unconscious when Motormouth ports back in. She battles Emma while Switchback sees to his fallen teammates. None are prepared for Selene’s attack
- Grave Moss and Malice combine their powers against Cap. Someone whispers to Cap to grab a fallen mace that is close by and to play dead.
- Cap takes a lethal blow but decides to do as the voice said.
- Emma and Selene join Malice and Grave Moss. They argue over the bloodstones. Emma states that she and Jasper each need one.
Issue 7: Impressive Instant
- The Damocles Foundation argue, but Emma will not back down. She will have two of the bloodstones. Malice secretly wants all four, while Selene is biding her time for the right moment to claim one.
- Grave Moss sneaks up behind Emma to take the bloodstones.
- Emma Kills Grave Moss and escapes with all the stones in the following skirmish. Malice and Selene vow to kill her and take the Bloodstones for themselves. Both plan to betray the other.
- After the villains leave, Brian wakes up. He is holding a mystical Mace named Sharur. This secret vault holds the bloodstones, but also four ancient mystical weapons that are uncovered when the bloodstones are stolen. Brian wakes the others and gives each a mystical weapon.
- Brian wields the ancient Sumerian, talking mace, Sharur. Motormouth wields King Arthur’s dagger, Carnwennan which can shroud its user in shadow. Elsa wields Dyrnwyn, one of the 13 treasures of Britain that blazes with fire when used by the worthy. Tangerine wields Fragarach the Answerer, a sword forged in ancient Ireland by Gods. The sword can cut through anything. These are the weapons to protect and track the bloodstones. Switchback will use his own weapons.
- Emma rescues Jasper from ice-cold waters in the nick of time. He’s very angry and wants revenge on Motormouth. Excalibur attack with their new weapons. Even with the weapons Emma and Jasper are more than a match for them in battle.
- Motormouth warps behind Jasper to stab him. She is using the daggers ability to shroud herself in shadow.
- Malice appears behind Motormouth, breaks her neck, and takes the dagger, Carnwennan. Malice blasts Excalibur back. Emma takes a bloodstone. She whispers an incantation and swallows the stone instantly becoming near immortal. She then attacks Malice. Her psionic chains and daggers smash through Malice’s brain attempting to fry it.
- Feron laughs. He killed Malice soon after the lighthouse. She unleashed something within him and he couldn’t bear to be a puppet any longer. Feron decided that he wanted the bloodstones for himself and rule the British Empire alone.
- Feron unexpectedly stabs Jasper in the head saying: “You’ve been naughty, very, very, naughty.”
Issue 8: Die Another Day
- The Damocles Foundation and Excalibur fight Feron. Both Selene and a resurrected Grave Moss join the fight against Feron as Feron summons the anti-phoenix.
- Feron v.s. Selene and Grave Moss. Feron v.s. Emma. Feron v.s. Excalibur. Feron v.s. Emma and Switchback.
- Feron takes two of the remaining bloodstones, and Selene manages to take one. Selene abandons the battle now she has what she wants.
- Brian and Sharur destroy Carnwennan. Tangerine impales Feron, but he destroys Fragarach.
- Finally, Elsa, using Dyrnwyn, destroys the remaining two bloodstones and kills Feron with Switchback and Emma’s help.
- Britain’s infrastructure is ruined. Excalibur has an idea to help rule Britain and get it back on its feet.
- Tangerine and Brian wonder what to do with Grave Moss. They ask Emma what she would do.
- Emma smiles and says he should be dropped into their deepest, darkest, most magic-proof cell. Emma goes to Jasper’s dead body and with tears in her eyes, takes a DNA sample. She smiles. “We’ll be together again soon.”
- Emma heads to the royal palace with Excalibur in tow. Invisible psionic chains trail from her head to each remaining member of Excalibur. The Damocles Foundation has lost a couple of members but has gained some new more permanent ones.
There it is. Pitch three. This one was a lot of fun to create, and I wanted a villain book where the villains succeed and win. Of course, this whole pitch would continue on with another chapter where we are introduced to the X-Men team that would have to deal with the Damocles Foundation, I can see them already. And, maybe that book would be the downfall of Emma Steed, Jasper, and their new empire, but for now, I’ll let Emma revel in her victory.
I just wanted to say thanks to a couple of people. Thank you Craig Black who colored my pictures and made them so fantastic. I’m completely in love with how they turned out.
Also, thank you Mike for help with the Logo. It’s awesome.
Lastly, thank you Tyler who graciously gave Pitch Week 3 a place to live. You’re all F.A.B.