HELLO FREEDOM COMPANY

Welcome, recruit! My name is Warhorse, a code name I earned during the Great War. Not many of you've heard of me that’s all right I’ve heard of you.

Like many of you, "Warhorse's" not my real name; like with most members of Freedom Company, I'm pretty darn careful to use my codename so that some Axis spies don't do their worst to sabotage my family back home. Life's hard enough on the home front without having to worry about Nazi spies battering your door down just because your kid brother's making life hard for Der Fuhrer's soldiers in North Africa.

What’s This All About

Well, bunkie, if you haven' t figured it out yet, you're in the Army now! That's what happens to supers these days. If you haven't already volunteered to serve your country in the war, then you've been drafted into service.

People lucky enough to possess super powers have a responsibility to use them to help others. Nowhere is that more obvious than during a war. Who else is better suited to stop the Axis from grinding freedom under its jackbooted heel?

Of course, American Supers are few and far between. They're a precious resource, the kind you can't just ration like bullets, or raise war bonds for. That means that we can't just waste them in any old part of the Army. Sure, one super might be able to help out a squad of regular GIs, but just think about how much good a coordinated team of supers could do for us.

Freedom Company was personally founded by President Roosevelt back in 1939. Even back then, long before America got involved in the war, FDR could see the storm clouds of war gathering over Europe and Japan, and he knew that the US Government was going to have to bring all its power to bear on the problem-including its supers.

Of course, Freedom Company didn't kick into high gear until after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on that most infamous of days: December 7, 1941. By December 14, just one week later, President Roosevelt had already made a public call for every American super to step forward and serve his-or even her-country in its darkest hour.

The outpouring of support was amazing; supers came crawling out of the woodwork. Even those who had rarely if ever used their super powers were suddenly standing side by side with the more colorful, costumed heroes. Even more incredible, though, was the way long-time enemies were suddenly working alongside each other-even guys like the Yankee and the Gangster, who'd been at each other's throats for years. War makes strange bedfellows, I guess.

FDR's super amnesty program had a lot to do with that. In exchange for serving a full tour of duty with Freedom Company, all but the worst super criminals were guaranteed a clean slate again. Just about all the supers in prison (or wanted for one crime or another) leapt at that chance, and not just because they smelled their shot at freedom, either.

No, these supers weren't just crooks. They were Americans, and proud of it. They were ready and willing to fight to preserve our nation against the Axis threat.

That’s Where You Come In

If you're reading this document, then you're a new member of Freedom Company. If you're not and you're a faithful American, then stop reading and take this booklet directly to the nearest Army recruiting center. They'll know what to do with it.

Take it from me. If you're not with Freedom Company, this information isn't for your eyes. Do your country a favor and turn it in so we can figure out how such sensitive information got into the wrong hands. If you turn it in voluntarily, we'll take that into account; you shouldn't be in any trouble at all. But if we somehow find this in your possession, then you've perpetrated a crime tantamount to . treason. So do us all a favor and turn It in now.

If you're an Axis spy and you're reading this, all I can say is that this document is updated regularly, so what you're reading here may not be valid for long.

That, and I hope you choke on it.

THIS BOOKLET

If you're reading this document, then you're a new member of Freedom Company. If you're not and you're a faithful American, then stop reading and take this booklet directly to the nearest Army recruiting center. They'll know what to do with it.

Take it from me. If you're not with Freedom Company, this information isn't for your eyes. Do your country a favor and turn it in so we can figure out how such sensitive information got into the wrong hands. If you turn it in voluntarily, we'll take that into account; you shouldn't be in any trouble at all. But if we somehow find this in your possession, then you've perpetrated a crime tantamount to . treason. So do us all a favor and turn It in now.

If you're an Axis spy and you're reading this, all I can say is that this document is updated regularly, so what you're reading here may not be valid for long.

That, and I hope you choke on it.

BECOMING A SUPER

Everyone's got their own story about how and when they received their super powers. I'm sure you have one of your own. What you may not realize is what all of these stories have in common.

Now, I'm no eggheaded scientist, but I keep my ear to the ground. I talk to people, and most of the time-despite what the Yankee might tell you-I even listen.

Apparently, just about anyone has the potential to become a super. It's something in our blood, I think. So now you're asking why do so few of us actually make the leap.

Welt for you to "awaken"-that's what they call it when you receive your powers-you must endure a pretty harrowing experience, the kind of event when you're pretty darn sure you're going to die. It has to be pretty bad, or you're just not likely to join the ranks of the super-powered.

On the other hand, tha t means tha t every awakening story makes for one good yarn. I mean, what kind of fun would it be if your story was, "Well, I just kind of woke up one day with these powers"?

I swear, supers are some of the most interesting people I know. First of all, not everyone's been in the kind of situation that would cause an awakening, much less survived one. It's kind of thrilling when you think about it; in Freedom Company, you're part of an elite club that has one real requirement-besides the powers, I mean: You have to be a survivor.

EVENTS DEFINE YOU

I don't know how it works for sure, but it seems to me that whatever causes your awakening, well, it can ha ve an effect on the kinds of powers you get.

Take the Aquarian for instance. You know, the guy with the webbed fingers and jet-black eyes? Well, he was a sailor on the Robin Moore. Heard of it? Yeah, it was that US merchant ship that a Nazi U-boat sunk last May, back in '41. You'd have thought something like that might have been enough to finally push us into war against the Germans, but no, it took Pearl Harbor to show us the light.

Anyhow, the Aquarian was this ordinary joe on the Robin Moore, and the next moment, he and his pals are in  the drink and their ship is heading for the bottom of the sea. The Aquarian didn't fare so well, though, and went under for good.

But he didn't drown. No, he grew gills so he could breath underwater. And he got webbing between his fingers and toes so he could swim like a dolphin. And his skin changed so that the cold Atlantic waters didn't bother him anymore. And his eyes, well, they got big and black like those of a fish.

Most people think he got those powers because he nearly drowned. I mean, becoming a blaster in the middle of the Atlantic wouldn't have done him a whole lot of good, right?

On the other hand, maybe he was always fated to become the Aquarian and only a near-death at sea could cause it to happen. Even if one of the others did become a blaster after the ship sank, he was probably lost at sea, and we'd never even know about him.

DEFINING YOURSELF

Its pretty apparent that some folks' super powers are gained due to the kind of people they are. Take Professor Goddard, for instance. He's one of the gadgeteers who cares for Liberty, the aerial carrier that Freedom Company calls home. He's oversees all the other gadgeteers they have on board.

Now Doc Goddard has always been an inventor, ever since he can remember. He awakened after his life was threatened by a bunch of Nazi spies who wanted to get their hands on his life's work.

Now, if the events around your awakening are what define you, you'd think the doc would have become a tough like me. But no. Instead, when he recovered from the incident and got back to his lab, he realized that his head was filled with all sorts of ideas that never would have occurred to him before. So in a sense, those Nazi bastards did him and the rest of us a favor.

Of course, Doc, like the rest of us, has dedicated himself to paying them back.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU

As enlightening as I'm sure I've just been to you, not a whole lot of what I've said affects you directly. Most supers have a pretty unique story about their awakening, and I'm sure yours is just as wild as any of them. If you ever run into me and feel like you want to talk about it, I collect these yarns. I'd love to hear how it happened to you.

No matter how you got your powers, the important things are that you have them and you're ready to use them. Cap that off with the fact that you're an American, and you're a prime recruit for Freedom Company.

Not everyone joins up, you know. It seems crazy to me-and to you too, I'm sure. I mean, there's a war on. Those Axis bullies are about ready to rampage over the entire planet, and unless we do something about it now, we're liable to end up facing off against those fascists alone someday.

If I ever learned anything on the playground, it's that bullies only back down when you stand up to them.  You're here, and you should be proud of yourself for that. Heck, I'm proud of you.

But there's precious little time for compliments now.

WELCOME TO
FREEDOM COMPANY

As a member of Freedom Company… well, you're not just a "member," you're a soldier in the United States Army. Freedom Company is an official division of the US Army, you see. Of course, we're a particularly special one, since we're all supers.

Freedom Company's CO (that's commanding officer for you new recruits) is Colonel Joseph Ford, or "Old Joe" to those he considers friends. You can call him "sir." Colonel Ford served our country back in World War I, during which he earned three separate citations for bravery. This is a man who has looked Death in the face more times than he can count, and he's always managed to push on through.

On one of those occasions in which Death's bony fingers clawed a little too closely to his heart, Colonel Ford awakened.

The military being what it is, you see, there are lots of supers formed from its ranks. These are men going to war, putting their lives on the line for the people back home. They run into the kinds of experiences that might cause an awakening every day. Sooner or later, you're going to end up with a super, right?

Anyhow, Colonel Ford awakened back in 1918, in the closing days of World War 1. He was a sergeant back then, and a German machine-gun nest had his squad pinned down. He actually stormed the thing single-handedly, with nothing more than a pistol and a couple of hand-grenades, and took those pointy-helmeted soldiers down.

When Ford's platoon finally reached the machine-gun nest, they found that one of the Germans wasn't quite as dead as they'd thought. The man threw a live grenade into the center of the squad.

Ford knew he didn't have much time. He threw himself on the grenade to save his men, knowing he faced almost certain death for his act of heroism.

Amazingly-and obviously-he survived. And what are his powers? Well, let's just say the colonel has an "explosive" personality and leave it at that, okay?

Colonel Ford is a good, solid CO. He's a no-nonsense, regular army kind of guy, having worked his way up the ranks to where he is now. Forming Freedom Company was apparently his idea, and he's obviously the best man for the job.

If you haven't seen him around here yet, you will. He's a tall man, about 6'4." Even though he's in his '50s, he keeps himself in great shape. He keeps his hair cut short in the traditional Army fashion. That's a tradition that's upheld by the rest of Freedom Company too, soldier. If you haven't met your first Army barber yet, well, you're in for a real treat. Take it from me: You get used to the short hair soon enough.

Most days, you won't have any contact with Ford, but he does take a hands-on approach to his command. He usually sits in on mission briefings. Sometimes he even gives you the rundown himself. For this and many other reasons, there's no man in the outfit who is better respected.

Or feared.

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Freedom Company

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