July 22, 2016
203. LAQUACIA NIGHTINGALE
Brooklyn, NY, USA, Earth (Core Reality); Mid-21st century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Laquacia is incredibly intelligent and intuitive. She also has empathic hyper-abilities, which allow her to sense the feelings and intentions of individuals.
Laquacia Nightingale is the incredibly successful host of “Nightingale at Night”, a widely watched talk show, which covers everything from entertainment to world news. She has made a great living from conversing with some of the most notable and controversial figures in the world, and the universe at at large. However, it is her constant, and often firy commentary on the hyper-human community that has truly made her a star.
She attended journalism school at Platinum City University, and like most young people getting started in the business, she did work for lots of small online publications and local TV news programs. Her charisma and people skills, however, put her in the position to earn a spot as the host for a mostly unwatched talk/news program called “The 3rd Shift” that showed at 3 AM on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The show had gone through over 30 hosts in just four years, as no one – and I mean no one – saw any true opportunity for the show to be anything other than something night owls accidentally stumbled upon between infomercials for The Amazing Sham, and re-runs of the terrible syndicated sitcom “Hyper-Dudes with Attitudes”.
WEIGHT: 178 lbs.
Laquacia, however, saw “The 3rd Shift” as an incredible opportunity. The production company provided absolutely no resources, so Laquacia began calling in favors from her old college friends. Most of them were floundering in meaningless jobs with limited resources as well, so she pitched them the idea of combining forces. She convinced her fellow PCU alums, Khalif from California, and Dezminia from Delaware, to move in with her so they could work on the show around the clock. She found a couple of young writers over the internet, and began commissioning them for content. And she begged her twin sister, Zanique, a relatively successful music producer, to do some pro bono work. Furthermore, she hired a young hyper-being high school dropout named Graphica, and asked her to create a realistic three-dimensional illusion of an elaborate stage and set for them to film the show.
The incredible new production value got the show noticed, but it was her hard-hitting commentary that truly put her and The 3rd Shift on the map. During that time, hyper-beings were just beginning to become a prominent part of world. The requisite skepticism and trepidation permeated American society. There was distrust and calls for hypers to be heavily regulated. The biggest media conglomerate in the United States, The Powerhouse Network, made a fortune off of reporting on actions of hypers , and highlighting the collateral damage usually left in the wake of encounters between superheroes and hyper-villains.
Laquacia wanted to take a different approach. Instead of castigating hypers, she became their greatest advocate. She constantly enumerated the advantages of having people with powers around. How useful they could be; how they could advance society and help everyone. Her commentary pieces still were not being watched at 3 AM, however, they were beginning to get some circulation on the internet. And then her interviews with superheroes and hyper-villains began going viral!
Laquacia and her team were soon picked up by a major production company, where she was given the resources and the platform to reach a much wider audience. She expanded her crew, changed the name of the show to “Nightingale at Night”, created even harder-hitting think-pieces, and interviewed more and more people in and around the hyper-being community. Before long, her show was the only talk/news program getting higher ratings and more views than the top shows on the Powerhouse Network. PN, of course, tried to hire her, but she preferred to keep her autonomy. It proved to be the right choice, as within ten years she had indeed built her own empire, and became the Oprah Winfrey of the 22nd century.
It was in the 18th year of Nightingale at Night, when a new hyper-issue presented itself for her to sink her teeth into. President Enid Remington, and Vice President Lawrence Mitchell had been huge proponents of hypers and their inclusion in society, and due to the continued integration of powered beings, society had indeed moved forward in many respects. However, a number of events had caused a shift in public opinion. The ruthless, but extraordinarily successful businessman, Edgar Lockhart had been outed as one of the world’s most dangerous hyper-villains, and was now at large. Furthermore, his extremely powerful sister, London Omega had been unleashed on the world and was wreaking all kinds of havoc.
Additionally, the hyper-human population was seeing a sudden boom, as black market hyper-serums became incredibly popular among humans who wanted to be seen as more viable in the job market. Not to mention the roster of hyper-villains that continued to rear their heads at any given opportunity. Different groups like the Sista Clique, the Platinum City Knights, and especially the Alpha Initiative were on the job, but things were getting out of hand. It was determined by a number of government officials that hyper-beings themselves were not the problem as much as the evil geniuses who used their intelligence to either create hyper-serums or become hyper-villains themselves. With pressure mounting from the UN, President Remington, at the behest of Homeland Security official Knox Hyde, set out to implement Project INTEL. Ultimately the program, through the intellicap micro brain-chip, would be a way to monitor brilliant individuals, and potentially inhibit their intelligence if they showed signs of using their brain power for wrong.
Laquacia was incredulous when she learned that the government had planned to carry out such invasive measures. The public, however, was split down the middle on wether Project INTEL was the right step to take. That was the case, until a particularly volatile episode of Nightingale at Night aired. In a historic feat of media maneuvering she managed to get both Enid Remington, and the man running against her in the presidential election, John Pathkiller on her show at the same time.
The conversation started out cordial enough. However, it wasn’t long before Nightingale went in on President Remington, asking her the tough, hard-hitting questions she had become famous for. She tore Remington to shreds on the idea of Project INTEL, and lit her up about turning on the hyper-human community she had once supported. John Pathkiller soon jumped in, and the conversation became extremely heated. Then, Laquacia dropped the bomb – she levied accusations of corruption and coercion against the President. Enid immediately denied the accusations, but she had no idea that Laquacia had managed to secure intimate knowledge of conversations she’d had with Knox Hyde and her secret operative, Mike Stamper.
You see, that’s the other thing about Laquacia Nightingale – she was also a hyper-being. And she just happened to have the one hyper-ability that truly helped her become one of the greatest news/talk media moguls in the world – the ability to empathically glean information. It also helped that Laquacia had a connection with Alpha Initiative commander Lt. Rashard Bonds, who intentionally leaked information to her, with the goal of getting Project INTEL shut down. Since Enid had been careful not to leave any physical or digital paper trails, there was no actual hard proof of what Nightingale was saying, however, the stunned look on the President’s face was enough to give the millions of people watching live, and the billions who would eventually see the viral video, a reason to believe there was some truth to the accusations.
The episode ended a few minutes later, and the President and her team quickly left the studio and the facility. The damage, however, had already been done, and Nightingale at Night had earned Laquacia yet another record-breaking blockbuster episode.