Endbringer Report (Ren Tanaka)

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Endbringer Report (Ren Tanaka)
Date of Cutscene: 16 September 2015
Location: Caverns of Prophecy
Synopsis: Ren's compiled report on the Endbringers and Cauldron.
Cast of Characters: Ren Tanaka

Ren Tanaka is onscreen. He's in a parka, in the Caverns of Prophecy, with a phone camera. He's got a report for you!

"Alright, hello there, everyone. You may have to bear with me on this one, I've got a spiral-bound notepad sat on my lap here, it's very full of brainstorms, and I haven't organized it at all. Please, please forgive me if I have to do some paperflipping."

Imagine this occasionally happens during the course of this.

"Now, in a manner of speaking, this all got started when Telsa Armadia and the Confederacy tried to assassinate the members of the Triumvirate, and for all intents and purposes they succeeded. You've seen the aftermath, you've seen the public outcome, and you've seen the things that Ainsley and I recovered from Alexandria's office in Brockton Bay's PRT offices. But just in case you haven't, I'm going to summarize some of the things we found out.

And then, I'm going to add in the million dollar prize, which is what Defiant, Dragon and I found out by using the Caverns of Prophecy."

A muted version of the report condemning Alexandria plays in the corner of the screen. It probably has a little markup option to play it unmuted and pause the report until you're done.

"The Triumvirate- Alexandria, Legend and Eidolon- are all sort of involved in another organization. Their name is Cauldron, and they're basically the illuminati. Or, if that doesn't mean anything to you, imagine a secret group that nobody really knows about that controls a lot of the really really really important things in the world. I mean heck, it was so secret that not even all three of them were all the way involved.

Digression: the superheroes in Defiant's world, 'parahumans', are empowered by something called shards. These give them their superpowers. The 'Entity' named Scion produces shards, but they're all somehow nerfed in such a way that you can't directly harm him using them. Can't turn the gun on the man that made it.

However, there's a second entity. I think its name is Eden.

You see, Cauldron has access to a second source of shards- shards that are coming from the second entity. They can somehow manually remove these, and use them to create parahumans- people who have either paid for powers, or... people who have been... experimented on. The latter is... well, there's a lot of them, and they're not all very successful, and there are probably a lot of rather awful people who are the result of these experiments and... probably a fair amount of people who haven't had things work out all that badly for them. In any case.

Cauldron was, in all likelihood, manufacturing an army of parahumans, even if they don't all answer to them. As far as we can speculate they created parahumans to increase their world's chances of fighting the Endbringers. We've defeated one- they're enormous mega-scale monsters who have been gradually destabilizing the world, fighting and killing the parahuman population.

The prophecy about Jack Slash exists mostly because ... either he ends their world within a year, or the Endbringers would have gained so much momentum that THEY would have.

All of this is done at the behest of... um... well, people we don't honestly know a lot about yet. We know names- Contessa, Doctor, Number Man- but we don't know enough about them as such. Ainsley has a plan related to that, but I'll let her tackle that on her own time. I need to summarize things about the Endbringers."

"Eidolon- who is currently dead or dying or otherwise completely a nonfactor- was also someone empowered by Cauldron. His power was a very... abstract one. There's someone in Cauldron who can see 'the path to victory', which is I suppose the course of action they needed to take to succeed at what they wanted to do. Eidolon's power is kind of simpler. Kind of.

It gives him 'what he needs'.

The thing is... that's as broad and undefined as you might expect. Ordinarily, it gives him whatever superpower he needs at the time to fight the Endbringers, let's say. But we used the caverns and went back through all of their attacks, and he was always there. He was always squaring off against them.

We found out... found out that Eidolon basically went from a crippled man who couldn't do anything to someone who was so overpowered that he ... could do everything, but he did it so well that his life was just as hollow and empty. His powers made his life too easy.

So he created the Endbringers."

Pause.

"He didn't do it conciously. That might be the biggest tragedy of all. Eidolon's power gives him what he needs- he needed opponents who could give him a challenge. And boy... boy, did he ever get them."

"The Endbringers constantly appeared and adapted to make themselves stronger, based on the idea that they were becoming harder for /him/ to beat. Nobody- no one in the world of the parahumans- is aware of this fact. Cauldron has been chasing shadows the whole time. They've always thought they were a countermeasure for... well, they thought it was for some sort of superhuman entity, but they never realized the person they were looking for was already there.

And now that Eidolon is out of the picture, the Endbringers have gone passive. I honestly think they're having an existential crisis.

I honestly kind of feel a bit sorry for them, really. Keeping in mind that they've committed atrocities and destroyed more human lives than anything else... they were still created to serve as a compelling fight for one man, who didn't even know he was wishing for it.

I think the next course of action will be to approach the Endbringers, yes, I know that sounds mad, I know that. But I've always favoured talking someone down over fighting them to the finish. Perhaps we can find some sort of ... I don't know. Something that's better than waiting for them to go insane from boredom and go back to destroying the world.

But we need to confront Cauldron, and we need to confront the Endbringers. And we need to figure out what to do if Scion takes umbrage with Cauldron pulling shards out of his fellow Entity for goodness only knows how long, because I'm pretty sure that'll be messy.

And we need to figure it all out... before Jack Slash tries to end the world."