Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
Queen of Shadows Over Innsmouth
The Innsmouth Incident, as it came to be known to a select few, is a dark chapter in the history of the United States intelligence community and a story that is truly better off untold. It involved a fishing town whose inhabitants were actually half-human half-fish monster hybrids, and the discovery of which led to the destruction of the community and the massacre of its population.
Other records name the event as the Purging of Innsmouth due to the brutal extermination methods used. It also went by the unofficial name “The Queen of Shadows Over Insmouth” due to the participation of the Deadly Nightshade who helped direct the operation and personally slaughtered hundreds of the townsfolk.
The town of Innsmouth was located on the coast of Essex County in Massachusetts, south of Plum Island and north of Cape Ann. Founded in 1643 by English colonists, the town first made its profits through shipbuilding and with fishing as its secondary export. The community enjoyed great prosperity for the next hundred or so years and maintained their standing even through the chaos of the Revolution. Their fortunes changed when the War of 1812 broke out and their shipbuilding industry became a forlorn memory. By the 1820s, fishing became the town’s only source of income.
Descent to Damnation
In 1840, a prominent town resident and ship captain by the name of Obed Marsh began a cult known as the Esoteric Order of Dagon whose beliefs and practices were based on the religions he had encountered among the natives of the Polynesian Islanders during his travels. The cult originally masqueraded as a Masonic-style order who were sworn to secrecy and loyalty.
Of all the oaths taken by its members, perhaps the most damning of all was that all the townsfolk are required to sire or bear the offspring of a race of seaborne intelligent fish-like humanoids known only as the Deep Ones. This horrid practice was performed in exchange for an abundance of fish and pure gold.
Despite the supposed economic surge brought about by the gifts delivered by the Deep Ones, the town was reduced to a dilapidated state and the town’s population fell drastically as they were forced to hide the deformed hybrids that resulted from their ritual interbreeding with the fish creatures.
An outbreak of the Insania Virus (no doubt originating from the Deep Ones) further depopulated the town and when news of walking corpses , half-men half-fish creatures and other assorted abominations were reported by the citizens of nearby towns, the Federal authorities started to worry though word of such sightings were fiercely suppressed and witnesses “mysteriously” disappeared.
The Dark Secret Discovered
For nearly a hundred years, the decrepit town became the stuff of legend and was largely separated from the outside world and left the Deep Ones nearly full control over the town and their interbreeding practices increased.
All of that changed in 1936 when an antiquarian student traces an exotic piece of jewelry to Innsmouth. He visits the town where he immediately notices the deformities of its inhabitants and later learns about the Cult of Dagon from one of them. He is tricked into staying at a hotel for the night, but is then attacked by a mob of degenerate hybrids. He manages to escape and report his experience to the authorities. While the local law enforcement scoffs at the story and treats it as a mere drunken rant, the news reaches the military who quickly takes action.
The Purging of Innsmouth
To this day, the official reports of the event stated that only the elements of the United States Coast Guard and Marines took part in the attack on Innsmouth and supposedly inflicted minimal casualties on the townspeople and most were taken into custody for questioning and for medical care. The full and more truthful report could be found in the archives of SHIELD, one that may only be accessed by high-clearance agents such as Nick Fury.
A group of Deep One hybrids ambush a group of US Marines.
The Coast Guard Cutter USS Neptune is boarded by Deep Ones. The sailors manage to repel the attack but barely.
Days before the actual raid, the MID (Military Intelligence Division) enlisted the aid of the Obskura Korps whose exploits during the Great War (World War I) against threats both human and alien were known. While a platoon of kommandos coordinated their movements with the American assets, the Deadly Nightshade used her mastery of stealth and her Darkforce ability to infiltrate the town and spy on the cult. When the attack order was given, she detonated all the explosive and incendiary charges she had set around the town then used the confusion to assassinate the Cult of Dagon’s highest ranking members.
With the loss of their leaders, chaos reigned among the hapless Hybrids as the rest of the purgation forces moved in for the kill.
The raid was swift as it was deadly and brutal. While the US Marines dealt with the Hybrids on the surface and caves, the Obskura Korps exterminated the cultists in their underground hideouts, turning the tunnels into massive blood-drenched tombs with Nightshade at the forefront. The operation ended only after a US Navy submarine sealed the entrance into the Deep One’s underwater city with torpedoes.
Terminate with extreme prejudice!
The official story given to the public was that the town of Innsmouth was razed by a fire started by Communist dissidents and resulted in minimal casualties. Only a handful of people knew that over a thousand people died in minutes from flame, bomb and bullet. Those few that survived were the unfortunate ones as they were captured by both the Obskura Korps and the US military for experimentation. The bloody victory was also compounded by the finding and acquisition of many ancient Starspawn artifacts which were divided among between the victors as spoils of battle.
Whatever was left of the ruined town was bulldozed and flattened years later although nothing was ever built upon the area every since.
Still, the occasional curious traveler would tell stories about amphibian-looking humanoids scouring the site as if searching for relics long lost. As always, such tales are ignored and those who tell them always find themselves miles away from the town with no memory of what transpired.
- the Queen of Shadows herself, the entire affair was just another job.
Nightshade. The Queen of Shadows.