Friday, November 18, 2022

Ultimate Alliance: China - Part II

A longstanding colony of the waning British Empire, Hong Kong often found itself between two worlds, culturally, politically and also in terms of its people. MI-13 had been concerned with the mystical aspects of the Chinese mainland, as well as the growing number of giant monster, or "Kaiju", attacks on nearby Japan, but lacked the resources to implement any permanent defense network against such threats. When the Japanese started to fight back against their own Kaiju with the Super Sentai Teams and Ultraman Project, Hong Kong science and military personnel began work on their own version, drawing as much from the American "Six Million Dollar Man" as much as the Japanese programmes and code-named Project: Inframan. Due to budget constraints, the project never came to fruition and by 1974 was shelved and all-but-forgotten. In 1975, however, Hong Kong was rocked by the attack of Dragon Mother and her Monster Legion and Science Officer Rayma became Inframan to defend his homeland.

After the Monster Legion was defeated, it was found, as suspected, that Rayma could not be separated from the Inframan parts, and though the stoic young man took it in stride, the loss of his old life was a grave one. For several years, Inframan was experimentally deployed at part of the Hong Kong Police, but as the machine parts of his body wore down, they became less controllable and several incidents of property damage and injury of suspects resulted in the trial being terminated permanently. With nothing to do and no reliable way to be repaired back to full function, Rayma reluctantly agreed to be "switched off" for the foreseeable future, until such a time as Inframan was needed or he could be returned to being human. Decades past, and Inframan was eventually forgotten, left to collect dust in a government laboratory and often considered a myth or hoax by those who had never seen him in action. 

When the 2019 Hong Kong Riots started, Black Bat, aka Cassandra Cain, former Batgirl and member of Batman Incorporated, immediately took a stand against the totalitarian actions of the government, working from the shadows to aid the protesters and harry police. As the situation worsened and Chinese troops massed on the border, Black Bat reached out to the broader superhero community, but received no aid from her peers wanting to avoid aggravating the Great Ten and creating an international incident. However, Black Bat had one vital ally that, according to most of the world, didn't exist; Oracle. With almost unparalleled hacking skill, Oracle dove into the secret history of Hong Kong's superhumans, quickly finding the story of Inframan and the resting place of Science Officer Rayma, still in suspended animation and long forgotten.

Breaking in to a secure, but abandoned, facility was no struggle for the daughter of Cain and former Batgirl, but even after following Oracle's instructions to reactivate Inframan, the real work had only just begun. Having been "sleeping" since the 1980s, Rayma was disorientated and unwilling to believe that it was now well into the 21st century, let alone that Hong Kong was Chinese territory and troops had started moving in. When Rayma saw the riots for himself, and the accompanying youth movement for Independence and a free Hong Kong, he quickly made up his mind on what to do with his new lease on life. Out of date, somewhat broken and lost in a world not his own, Super Inframan had returned to defend Hong Kong once more.

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