In the early 80s, mutants begin to appear; most major government detained suspects, and disavow knowledge of mutants.
This changes in June of 1988 when a group of detainees in America escaped their facilty, and occupied a town in Arizona called Pawtax. They made demands for amnesty and retribution, and mailed out copies of the demands to major new organizations.
The Governments bombed the city, acknowledged the existence of mutants, and blamed the destruction of the town on one of the mutants losing control of his abilities.
At the end of the month, the Mutant Registration act was passed, giving the government the legal power to detain suspected mutants and hold confirmed mutants indefinately. The Department of Mutant Activities was formed to manage this.
In 1992, a World’s Fair was held on a man-made island off the Coast of New York. Several hours after opening, all the transport boats sunk, and any boats attempting to approach the island afterward sank as well. In the evening, news crews present for the fair’s opening sent back a tape made by a mutant on the island calling himself Liberator, demanding the repeal of the MRA and the release of all detained mutants, as well as offering the island as refuge to any mutants who wished to join him. He executed several hostages over the next few days, before declaring himself leader of The New Mutant Nation and threating Washington. After five days total, the government bombed the island.
Later that month, the destruction of Pawtax was revealed to have been carried out by the Government, and not by an “out of control mutant.”
By July, the MRA is amended, due to the heat the government was taking for its handling of the mutant phenomenon. They are only allowed to detain “moderate threat” mutants, and are only allowed to keep “high threat” mutants indefinitely.
In February of 1995, the government opened a special contract with The X-Arc Corporation to handle high threat mutants. DMA forces were frequently being overwhelmed when trying to apprehend stronger mutants, but X-Arc’s Armored troops, led by Stephen Armandan, were able to deal appropriately. Armandan’s division is headquarted in the city of North Harbor, VA. By November, many world governments had opened similiar contracts.
In early January of 96 were the first reports of a masked vigilante in North Harbor. Though the reports increased over the year, this was treated as just an urban myth, until a reporter for The North Harbor Herald was rescued by the vigilante. The masked man only answered two questions, saying he was not a mutant, and that he was just a guy trying to help. The reporter nicked named the man Primus; since then, no other media figure has managed to talk to him.
In the wake of this “first” hero, a few other vigilantes popped up in other cities over the next year, despite both local and federal government disapproval; many of these didn’t last very long, and either disappeared or were arrested.
In Nov. of 97, X-Arc ran into major financial trouble when Armandan announced he was leaving the company to pursue his own research and carry out his bounty work, under the name “Armada.” Soon afterwards, they announced the shutdown of several divisions, citing financial issues.
In April of 98, a pair of mutant brothers razed the North Harbor City Prison, and formed the first major mutant-led street gang with many of the liberated prisoners. Seemingly emboldened by this, super-power criminals across the nation began to pop up, leading to a rise in super-powered crime. North Harbor was hit especially hard by this.
In August, North Harbor began construction on a large, maximum security prison specifically to deal with the influx of super-powered inmates. It was dubbed The Stonehall.
In March, 1999, a trio of Demons razed Mahattan when they were accidentally freed during an exhibition of ancient artifacts. In the ensuing chaos, a sorcerer known as Binder appeared to stop them; magical artifacts the world over “awakened” with this event.
The Stonehall was completed in October. Not two months after its completion, a minor riot occours when one of the inmates melted his cell. The riot was contained, but the more powerful inmates were frequently able to escape their individual cells.
After several weeks of tumult, Binder approached Stonehall and offered an artifact which allowed the prison to immediately change any cell to be a customized prison designed to counter the abilities of an inmate. The escapes and riots ceased immediately.
In 2004, X-Arc was publicly revealed to be experimenting on super-powered individuals. A group of heroes had obtained “permission” to operate on their own, outside of government influence and without government interference; these heroes discovered the Bio-Tech division of X-Arc, thought to have been closed, was carrying out illegal experimentation on super-humans.
Though the resulting government inquiry shut down The X-Arc Corporation, several of its R&D cells went rogue, making illegal technology and genetic modification available on the black market.
However, the success of The Defense, as here and over the next few years opened the door for other super teams, by affording public goodwill, and giving a basis for governmental non-interference.
By 2008, the MRA was only used to indefinitely arrest those who are capable of easily escaping jail, until a “better” solution could be found, or to ensure that anyone with a “dangerous” power had control of it. Super teams existed in most major cities, and generally had at least one member who acted as a point of contact to the local government.
With the super teams handling major threats for free, Armada became less active as a hunter. He invested a great deal of money in North Harbor, making it the most technologically advanced city in the world; however, super-villains were drawn to the monetary and technological wealth of the city. Serving as the home of The Defense and the increasingly reclusive Primus, North Harbor was also one of safest cities in the country.
By the end of the year, Armada left the United States, beginning a similar infrastructure project in Edinburgh. He left a group of protégées, nicknamed The Fleet, behind to manage his interests.
We‘re still piecing together what went down in 2010. It started with a rash of casino robberies. The cameras eventually caught a shot of a couple of super villains we thought to be well locked up in Stonehall. Before we could go after them, we started disappearing, one-by-one. The super villains, calling themselves The Bonds of Tyranny, had some new guys we’d never seen, and the ones we knew were stronger and more powerful. They took us all hostage, and performed experiments on us.
Meanwhile, they built some kind of mind-control device. People everywhere were unable to believe The Bonds were capable of doing wrong. Their gremlin army ran rampant, and they did whatever they pleased.
The device wasn’t perfect. Metahumans, especially, were resistant to its effects.
North Harbor was spared the worst of their rampage. Primus showed up whenever the villains themselves came to the city, but the gremlins terrorized the citizen daily.
After a year of their rule collapsed within a matter of days, starting with the destruction of The Leviathan of Los Angeles. Most of the original members of The Defense left the team after being freed, focusing on matters in their civilian lives. Their liberators, however, took up the mantle, protecting the world as it rebuilt the damage done during its occupation.