So, Prevailer had her powers. She had Dr. Chen. A reader familiar only with her current demeanor might wonder why the old world endured one second more. A fair question, and one that necessarily involves a bit of speculation.
One aspect of Peggy Martin’s demeanor that many observers have remarked upon is her generally reactive attitude. She falls easily into ruts. She doesn’t seem, on a day to day basis, to act unless somethings becomes intolerable to her. So it was during these days.
Peggy was content, or so we may infer. She had the Doc to look after, or to look after her. They had their mission. They traveled the US. Dr. Chen would ask her to find terminal patients, she would look up an old acquaintance, or frequent places of ill repute. They would perform the Procedure. She would dig a grave. Repeat. On the rare occasion that they ‘saved a life’, Dr. Chen would take his measurements and refine his methods. Ms. Martin would either kill the new Ultra or send them on their way with orders to keep their mouths shut.
This went on for years. The victims were no one who would be missed, and their disappearances were without incident or trackable features. While the world turned on, unaware, a slow trickle of Ultra powered malcontents were seeping into society’s veins. News channels would discuss the spate of bizarre incidents. The Fort Knox robbery. The beaching of the battleship Iowa. A series of brazen terrorist incidents… The world knew, on some level, that something was changing, but no one could put the pieces together.
During this time a critical meeting took place. At some point Prevailer and Dr. Chen met with and Processed the man who would become Copyer. The Company was born. Details are murky, but it is clear that Dr. Chen allowed Copyer to take away versions of himself to continue his project elsewhere. Copyer left the country, along with their own Chens, and headed out into the world to continue the good work. In deference to Prevailer’s lawless past they initially headed to areas unlikely to be amenable to United State’s interests. The Pantheon’s core sprung from these independent Ultra seedings, although that would take time to become apparent.
It was perhaps inevitable that, in the United States at least, the ones who would finally succeed at figuring out what was going on would be law enforcement. Not every Ultra who went into crime was successful. Some had weak enough powers, or poor enough plans, to find themselves apprehended. Some of those talked. It took longer than one might imagine for fingers to get pointed at Peggy and the Doc, but ultimately, point they did.
A man named Simon Forbes was in charge of the Joint Task Force. An early believer in a root cause to the impossible sequence of events, he’d drummed up the project when no one else believed. He rallied agencies, cajoled the military and secured law enforcement’s grudging assent. The Joint Task Force began to systematically hunt Ultras. They strove to find these individuals and understand their seemingly magical powers, and potentially learn their origin. Ultimately, they were successful.
Simon learned of Peggy Martin from one of her most recent successes, and took the information straight to his superiors. Agreement was found at all levels. The source of this plague must be snuffed out. The JTF located her motel on the outskirts of Newark and made a concerted attempt to take Peggy Martin into custody.
This meeting, the so called Newark Incident is historically significant, as it marks the first time that human military and security forces met a type three Ultra in battle. The recordings were lost for a long time, no doubt due to her sympathizer’s connivance, but they show about what you’d imagine.
Prevailer crushed their command vehicle, an armored van, deep into the ground. She killed most of their field agents with her teleportation’s characteristic explosive aftereffect. The video captures her laughing with mad glee as she rips unpowered humans asunder. A lifetime of fear and hatred for the police found expression in one murderous rampage.
Only one woman walked away from this confrontation, aside from Prevailer. Simon’s second in command survived the massacre. The recordings show that she begged Peggy for her life, and said something that interested her enough that she was allowed to live. At the time no one knew this, as she told a completely different story.
Karen Austin, known today as Remover, painted a picture of Simon and his men as mindlessly belligerent, provoking Ms Martin with racist epithets and attacking her viciously even as she complied with their commands. She said that she was able to flee to safety in time, even as Prevailer snapped and assaulted her tormentors.
As the only breathing witness, and with the recordings mysteriously missing or damaged, Karen seized control of the narrative and laid the groundwork that would rehabilitate Prevailer’s image, prevent full scale war between Prevailer and the United States and soon blossom into the Ultra Corps.