Guardians of the Dawn
From CoH Comic Index
Guardians of the Dawn is the superhero group operating in Paragon City. They are featured in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" series.
It is sometimes referred to as the "Exile Team" for its predominance of members who are considered exiles in one way or another. This includes exiles from other inter-dimensional universes, political exiles, or the famous trio of heroes known as the "Guardian Exiles", which came from an extra-dimensional universe.
All members of the Guardians operate with full law enforcement authority through the Citizen Crime Fighting Act of 1952 which is supervised by the Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs (FBSA). Captain Paragonna is also a special investigator with the Paragon City Police Department. Although they are an independent operation, the Guardians will often work with the PPD when called upon for assistance.
All members of the Guardians are registered superheroes with the FBSA and Paragon City.
The Guardians were founded in November of 2007, prior to the one-time prestige bonus each registered group received on December 10th.
By a special request of the Vanguard, their first new members were three extra-dimensional refugees that the media soon dubbed as the "Guardian Exiles".
The group started to gain public recognition after Galatea Powers defeated Dr. Vahzilok. The publicity also brought in the first exchange member, Lyon Powers of the legendary British-based supergroup Dawn Patrol.
(See also "Limelight".)
For a brief time, the Guardians were officially suspended and the group was shut down when Midnight Arachina was accused of treason and a media lynch mob was being created by PNN media personality Garry Becker. This done at the behest of the clandestine organization known as Shadowborn, which was initially disbanded by Captain Paragonna but later reorganized under new leadership. During this time, a select group of Guardians began to operate a members of the Midnight Squad working to clear Arachnia's name and to bring her back to Paragon City. Once the truth of the "Agent Burke" fiasco was made public, charges were immediately dropped and the Guardians were reinstated.
Change in Leadership
Following some abbrasive command decisions by Captain Paragonna, including a confrontation with Dreadlaw of the Awakend Division which became fodder for the media, the Paraogn Police Department made the decision to suspend the Hero Shield Program that she was operating under until they can re-evaluate the organization. As such, Captain Paragonna was suspended and removed not only as leader of the Guardians, but also as a member of that group.
Although the chain of command would fall to Midnight Arachnia, criticism of her role in the "Agent Burke" incident caused certain people in the Supergroup Oversight Committee to object seeing her in charge of the Guardians. (Again, this was orchestrated by Shadowborn.) With the rest of the hierarchy in question, it was suggested by a close ally to the group that leadership be given to Maximus Rex, given his own experience as the former monarch of his world.
Under his watch, the group did not expand as much, but it did begin working with groups such as The Libra Order, the Freedom Phalanx, and the Dawn Patrol, the latter of which gained them even more public attention.
Following the attempted assassination of Alex Wentworth, Andrew Wentworth made a deal to his nephew on behalf of the Bilderburg Alliance to resolve the escalating conflict between the Guardians and Shadowborn. Admitting that he was the one that originally hired Simon Barrister to infiltrate the Guardians database, the elder Wentworth offered to keep his knowledge of his nephew's dual identity secret so he could win the special election to become District Attorney and to end all hostilities between the Guardians and Shadowborn. In exchange, Alex would not only give up his career as the Libertarian Avenger, but also that the Guardians would disband.
The decision to disband the Guardians was not made lightly, nor was it done without a lot of debate.
Ultimately Maximus made the decision to "officially" disband the Guardians on the belief that doing so would ensure that Alex would win the election and become District Attorney, allowing him to clean up the city's largest area of corruption and abuse of power and would give the people behind both the Bilderburg Alliance and Shadowborn (which was then assimilated into the Alliance) the impression that the Guardians were no longer a threat to their operations.
Maximus joined the Vanguard to serve as their tactical adviser. Galatea Powers started working with Apex in the Rikti War Zone. Icon Powers was "officially" retired. Jimmy Hellfighter went to work for City Hall. Pyrogurl went to live with her parents in Boston. The other Guardians stayed around the Freedom Corps Headquarters in Galaxy City.
But the group was only "disbanded" on paper. Most members believed that this was only temporary and that at some point soon the group would be reactivated.
Destruction of Galaxy City
Attempts to locate and rescue any heroes still trapped in the ruins of the headquarters were thwarted by the sheer number of Shivan operatives that spawned in the area, including giant-sized Shivans. Jimmy Hellfighter is currently working with City Hall and Vanguard on the rescue efforts and specifically trying to find the missing Guardians.
List of Missing Guardians:
- Midnight Arachnia (Note: Her disappearance is the only one not connected to Galaxy City)
- Arktic Chill
- Street Justice
- Rocky Rockrocker
- Coeur Du Feu
(See also "The Guardian Powers")
Although the supergroup is "officially" disbanded, several Guardians are continuing to operate as a "ghost group", each with their own individual authority as registered heroes.
The first priority of this new group has been to clear the name of the Guardians, which have been since maligned by the Cyril Corporation and renegade Internet personality Garry Becker as being responsible for the destruction of Galaxy City.
Their adventures are currently ongoing.
The original chain of command for the team is as follows:
- Prime Chairperson: Maximus Rex
- Chairperson: Midnight Arachnia
- Vice-Chairperson: Arktic Chill, Galatea Powers
- Strike Commander: (unassigned)
- Watch Commander: (unassigned)
- Guardian: all other members
The designation of "Prime Chairperson" was required by City Hall. Previously the leadership position of chairperson was shared equally between Captain Paragonna and Midnight Arachnia.
As of Issue #14, leadership was handed over to Maximus Rex after Captain Paragonna was removed from active service with the Paragon Police Department.
Promotion and demotion is designated by concensus of the chairperson(s) of the higher rank. Currently the positions of Strike Commander and Watch Commander are left vacant due to the current size of the team.
Mission assignments are often designated through an automated CPCU system based on location and availibility, although teamwork is by a per-need basis and through the hierarchy. Absent of the ranking commander positions, the Vice-Chairperson(s) will also carry out that function.
Operating as a "Ghost Group", this is the hierarchy of the Guardians:
- Leader: District Attorney Alex Wentworth
- Operations: Icon Powers
- Guardians: Galatea Powers, Lyon Powers, Captain Paragonna
- Associated Guardians: MidKnight X, Daybright, Elite Ice Queen, Pharon
Wentworth's role as a member of the "ghost group" is known only to a select few people, deferring everything over to Icon as his proxy.
Since the group does not "officially" exist and only a handful of members are operating in it, it's a little more informal, with each member taking a leadership role when needed.
Base of Operations
The original base of operations for the Guardians was within the Freedom Corps headquarters in Galaxy City. Freedom Corps provided temporary office spaces for new organization until a more permanent location could be found.
The physical location of the Guardians of the Dawn base is inside the foundation underneath the huge statue of Talos on Talos Island. Primary access is through dimensional portal controlled by the CPCU, although there is an emergency access point from the water.
The base operates through an automated CPCU system that has been modified thanks to Doc Tor, MidKnight X, and Icon Powers to be linked to various databases, including the PPD, Vanguard, and Freedom Corps.
The base includes a teleport room, infirmary, meeting hall, lounge, and a personal office/living area. The teleport room also has a ready station which includes a weapons locker.
Protocol Contingency Plans
One of the more controversial aspects of the group was its use of protocol contingency plans. This was a feature of the CPCU System as invented by Sally Bright and became the standard for CPCU system used by many other supergroups in Paragon City. Since Bright was murdered before the system was field-tested, it fell to MidKnight X to come up with the system.
One protocol that was not created by MidKnight X was "Protocol Zero". This was a default feature set up by Sally Bright as a way to reset one's access in the event of a catastrophic emergency. It was this contingency plan that served as the basis for all future protocols, although not many people realized that it existed. Protocol Zero uses an administrator access with hex-encryption to bypass established safety procedures and set up an interim identity. It was used by Bright herself after she was merged with the Kheldian Talmyia to become the superhero known as Daybright.
"Protocol One" is a default contingency plan in the event of a hero being attacked while in their civilian guise. This is considered a serious breach of security, especially given the caliber of threats one faces as a hero. Once invoked, all members of the group are on full alert. Access to the base and its teleporters are restricted, and presuming the attacker has access to the victim's Hero ID card, that access is immediately suspended and all use is traced and logged.
"Protocol Three" is a default contingency plan in the event of a catastrophic teleportation accident. When the integrity of the various teleportation systems is challenged, the CPCU system automatically locks out all Guardian members from all teleportation devices, including the dimensional portal that they normally use to access the base. This could cause some problems in places such as the Vanguard base, where access can only come through teleport devices since the rest of the Rikti War Zone is quarantined. Since the infirmary system is also affected by this lockdown, Guardian members are often told to not engage in activities unless absolutely necessary for the duration of the emergency.
"Protocol Fourteen" was based on the guidelines set by the Federal Bureau for Super-Powered Affairs for registered heroes and Paragon City officials. If accused of a crime, city officials were prohibited from revealing the identity of a registered hero. It was believed that this protocol would be violated at some point by some of the city's more corrupt officials. Sure enough, when Deputy District Attorney Edward "The Trust" Vance wielded his newly-acquired credentials as a special federal prosecutor (thanks in no small part to his connection to Shadowborn) to threaten to expose Midnight Arachnia's civilian identity, the contingency plan was automatically activated, teleporting her to the base, and giving her prepared instructions on what to do next. It is believed that other personalized instructions were set up for each member depending on how they would need to invoke this protocol.
There is no way to know how many protocol contingency plans have been set up, although given the nature of MidKnight X, it is sufficient to presume that there are far more than just fourteen.