July 14, 2016
195. ROBERT GAINES
Washington D.C., USA, Earth (Core Reality); Mid-21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Robert has no hyper-abilities. He’s a pretty smart guy.
Robert always knew what to say and how to say it. When his younger siblings were babies and could not speak yet, he knew what they wanted and how to communicate it to their parents. When his friends needed advice, they always came to him because they knew Robert would be able to tell them exactly what they needed to hear and how they needed to hear it. He was a master of communication. He could explain just about anything to anybody in the simplest of manners. Therefore, Robert was often made the spokesperson of his peers. Speaking was his strong point, and he excelled at it.
In college at Platinum City University, Robert majored in Communications. It was a natural choice. He then received his Masters in the same field from the same institution. From there, he moved on to working in Mayor Gemini De Lisi’s office, before making a name for himself and moving up to work for Enid Remington. He was an integral part in her rise through the political ranks, as Robert made sure all of her interactions with the press and the stories shaped around her were pristine. Thus, when she was elected to become President of the United States, it was only fitting that Enid name Robert her Press Secretary. For the first three and a half years, his job was relatively easy and he handled it with incredible proficiency. What he did not know, though, was that some of his great work was going to come back to hurt him.
WEIGHT: 163 lbs.
Over the POTUS’ first term, Robert made sure that the relationship between the POTUS and international business king Edgar Lockhart was solidified in the world view. They worked together on a plethora of amazing initiatives that benefited those in need, as well as helped boost the economy and crush unemployment. The further rise of the US far above other nations in the world as an economic powerhouse was due to this relationship, and Robert made sure everyone knew it was because President Remington made it happen. Therefore, when Edgar was exposed as a hyper-villain and brought down after Alpha Initiative member and Iga Clan master hacker Interface leaked the files detailing all of his illegal and sordid activity, the POTUS took a huge hit. All of Robert’s spinning and manipulating in the press surrounding Edgar and Enid’s relationship was now coming back to haunt him. For the first time, he was at a loss.
For days, the entire White House staff, along with the POTUS and Vice President Lawrence Mitchell, worked on damage control. That was they were made privy to the INTEL program, established by Knox Hyde. Though controversial, in that it hinged on the surveillance and potential control of private citizens, it seemed to be the perfect solution. The advanced monitoring system would come in the form of a small micro chip called the intellicap, which would be implanted into the minds of anyone showing genius potential, and consequently activated to prohibit any brain activity that was trending toward evil intent. In other words, it would prevent another Edgar Lockhart from rising to power – and that is exactly what the public wanted to hear, and what the United Nations needed to hear, since they blamed the US government for Edgar and all his wrongdoings. So, the POTUS moved forward with Knox’s plans, and immediately told Robert to spin messages to the press, in order to buy them some favor and time. And that he did.
He gave stories regarding Project INTEL to the media, both domestic and foreign, and handled all press releases with projections for how the US government planned on resolving things. All of the statistics from Knox Hyde’s initial research regarding the public’s support for a program like INTEL were shared, which only made those numbers increase. Concurrently, he released information about how the Alpha Initiative was aggressively going after Edgar, and related hyper-villains London Omega and Ramses Hondo, to bring them to justice. Everyone across the globe ate up the messaging, and things seemed to be on the up again. That was, until Project INTEL was blown wide open.
On Knox Hyde’s rise to the side of President Remington he made many alliances, but many enemies as well. One of those enemies was his boss, Bridgette Day. She did not support anything Knox was involved in, and she planned to fire him as soon as she could. However, Knox would get close to the POTUS before she could do this, and before she knew it, Knox had surpassed her and she now was underneath him. Since Knox had been treated poorly by Bridgette for the years she was in charge, he made sure to treat her the same way. Bridgette could not handle the disrespect, so she planned on quitting. But then Alejandro “The Asset” Garza came to see her.
He was working closely with the Alpha Initiative and served as the eyes and ears of AI commanders Lt. Rashard Bonds and Gen. Hank Garrison inside Project INTEL. Once he learned of Bridgette’s disdain for Knox and his program, he teamed up with her to assist with his downfall. After some extensive recon work, The Asset procured a hacking program from Interface through Lou, which he then gave to Bridgette, in order to gain access to secret information about INTEL.
Bridgette did just that, using the hacking software to trace Knox’s personal IP address through the project documents he uploaded to the Homeland Security system. Then, once she obtained Knox’s IP address, she was able to unlock all of the secret files he held on his personal computer regarding Project INTEL that he did not share with anyone, which was where she read about Patient Zero, Myron Holden, Vita Arencibia, Barbara York, Dr. Logan Hunt, and Patient Infinity. All of Knox’s dastardly deeds to get Project INTEL up and running, including questionable funding through the offices of Patty Banks, were now revealed.
Bridgette did not hesitate to contact The Asset and inform him of what she uncovered. He knew that information would be exactly what was needed to stop Project INTEL. One of Robert’s connections within Homeland Security informed him of the breach, and he immediately went into action, attempting to find out how it had happened and how he could keep the info from getting out to the public, especially with President Remington preparing for her first appearance on the number one internationally syndicated talk/news program “Nightingale at Night” with Laquacia Nightingale. It was too late, however, as the wheels were already set in motion. Lt. Rashard Bonds instructed The Asset to turn the information over to Laquacia, so that Remington’s unscrupulous dealings with Knox could be exposed to the world in one dramatic fell swoop.
Robert informed the President of what had happened, and strongly suggested she cancel her appearance on the Nightingale show. Enid disagreed, as she felt it would be an opportunity to get out in front of the story and address the world. However, that would prove to be the wrong move, for Laquacia had also invited Enid’s top political opponent and presumed presidential candidate, John Pathkiller to be on the show. The conversation was heated and contentious from the beginning, but quickly turned into a massacre, as Laquacia revealed all of the information about Project INTEL that Remington and Knox were hiding.
The public was outraged! The news stations and blogosphere went ballistic! And all of social media exploded! Yes, most of the population in the US was behind a method of control being implemented to stop the rise of another Edgar Lockhart-type hyper-villain, and they even agreed with the method of chip devices being installed in people to do so. The American people, however, never agreed to kidnapping, torture, experimentation, and the ruining of lives. If the US government was willing to do this to some of the world’s greatest minds, they could only imagine what they would be willing to do to average citizens. Thus, an enraged backlash occurred, and not only was the POTUS under fire for the actions of Edgar Lockhart, but Enid was also being blamed for signing off on Knox Hyde’s INTEL program without providing the proper oversight. The US people and the United Nations were no longer simply calling for a resolution, they were now calling for the POTUS to resign from office.
No matter how Robert spun the information, he could not undo the damage. All of President Remington’s political enemies, especially John Pathkiller, were hurling nuclear bombs at her in the press, and each one was landing. Her credibility was being annihilated, and her approval ratings were tanking by the minute. People began calling for her impeachment, and some were even suggesting she be thrown in jail, along with her VP, her entire cabinet, Knox Hyde, and everyone at the tech company Universal Intelligence who had worked on the project.
At the same time, John Pathkiller managed to secure his party’s nomination for president, and came out the gate with a huge lead over his incumbent opponent. Things certainly seemed to be over for the POTUS and her people. However, she would not go so easily, a fact Robert Gaines would find out the hard way, as she turned to the one secret of hers that had not been exposed – her mystery covert operative. She instructed him to begin cleaning up the mess.
Thus, shortly after Robert was fired from his job as Press Secretary, he disappeared. He would not be the last…