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Sodality (sometimes stylized as Sodaliy and formerly known by the working title Cataclysmic Horizons) is an alternate history science fiction superhero serial of planned books, intended to become a TV series. It is similar in nature to Stationery Voyagers, except for being set in a variation of the Gerosha Universe. It depicts a world in which the United States ceases to exist as a country in the year 2018, combined with a story about a group of superheroes who must come together and rebuild their civilian lives, in the wake of a political tragedy they were unable to prevent. On the side, their need to rid the world of their prime enemy, the Hebbleskin Gang; requires them to band together to form the Sodality of Gerosha. They must do so in cooperation with the Phaelite Society-controlled oversight organization known as "SCALLOP," which has numerous other enemies that include the Society of the Icy Finger.

Central protagonists in the series are reinterpretations of major names in Gerosha mythos. The central team, or "Founding Elites," consists of Ciem, Emeraldon, Botan the Plant-Man, Jackrabbit, Earwig, Laurie Pegol, Miranda Kanla, Meerkat, Mukade, and Emily Cormier. They eventually gain several new allies from amongst the "Legends" and their associates: the Gray Champion, Extirpon, Navyrope, Mapacha, Pilltar, Strawberry, Hea Pang, Tabitha Pang, Tiffany Sterlie, and Jordan Sterlie. They also have to deal with friends-turned-rivals Jordan "Sapphire King" Reddlwick and Celia "Taterbug" Winehart. Sodality is the first major Dozerfleet Comics work to have its concept art be shot primarily in 3D, employing both traditional red-cyan and American Paper Optics' TrioScopic™ anaglyph techniques.

Synopsis

Season one: Instigation

Main article: Sodality: Instigation

After the Obama administration forces the United States into complete financial ruin, the nation gets split into four. The Hebbleskin Gang takes over the northwest, calling its new nation "Netheel." They set to work creating Meethex-1s and Meethexos, and plotting to expand their political influence. They also plot to eradicate all Phexos, and exact revenge on the Phaelites that frustrated their efforts during the Battle for Gerosha. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri come together to form the nation of Toklisana, a remnant of what the US used to be. California and a few other states become a colony of China, dubbed "Chimerica." The eastern US and most of the Midwest, however, is taken over by the legions of Halal Affadidah - made up of Jihadists from both the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. After a year of empty promises that they'd allow registered Toklisanans to leave on a schedule, Affadidah's regime in "Ameristan" reneges on its promise. Several Toklisanans are trapped behind enemy lines, and death camps become prevalent.

After escaping from one, a young Centhuen Prototype woman named Candi Flippo shares the story of how she got her centipede powers with a fellow escapee: a young housewife named Dolly Malestrom. Dolly informs Candi that Affadidah formed a temporary truce with the Hebbleskins to eliminate anyone that could be a threat to both - namely Phexos like Candi. Dolly's husband, Jeraime, was captured by the Hebbleskins due to his knowledge on how to create exosuits that could enhance an individual's ability to fight Phexos and Meethexos. The girls also believe that he may have connections to a hacker that can breach "The Wall," a force shield along the border between Netheel, Toklisana, and Ameristan. Duke Arfaas and Affadidah agreed to erect it so as to keep Toklisanans from ever making it safely to their homeland.

SodalitySeason1Title3DRC

Scene in 3D, depicting season 1 Candi, Donte, Imaki, and Dolly. Original 2D high-quality here.
3D high-quality views: 3DRCTriscopicGlasses

Candi recruits Dolly to the resistance force that she's already a part of: the "Exodus Agenda." Her godfather Imaki Izuki and her boyfriend Donte McArthur have also joined in order to aid as many registered Toklisanans as possible in fleeing from captivity. They lost the best hacker they had who could breach the wall a short time earlier: Candi's sister Miriam Flippo. Miriam and her boyfriend Phil Couric attempted a similar breach escape; with Miriam among the few survivors. It is revealed that Miriam has moved to Hong Kong, where she is gang-pressed by the Chinese MSS in an effort to counteract growing Hebbleskin Gang influence in China. With the help of her new boyfriend, scientist Steve McLaine, she tries to bring down Hebbleskin technology that arrives in Hong Kong. Her Chinese friends go by the codenames Black Rat, Teal Hog, Stung Hornet, and Tin Dragon.

Meanwhile, a displaced Apache named Jack "the Jackrabbit" Mercreek works with his friends and their private radio network to track down Hebbleskin Gang activity in Toklisana. He uncovers a plot to capture several Phexos and Phaelite supporters, and execute them publicly, when Duke Arfaas hovers his doomsday ship over Houston. If the plan succeeds, Houston will be compromised. The rest of Toklisana could fall. However, the storage location for Arfaas' operations in Toklisana remains unknown. His girlfriend, Miranda Kanla, is abducted by Don the Psycho. He believes that due to her family's involvement in the Phaelite-based organization SCALLOP, Miranda is a target for extermination. She reformed him from his past life as a notorious womanizer, and feels he owes it to her to save her life. Alas, Jack's efforts lead to him getting involved in a constant game of cat-and-mouse with Don. It turns out, Don Mendoza and Candi also share an unpleasant history with one another. And while aiding her friends in the present, Candi tries to make peace with her memories and past baggage. Dolly reveals that her history with Jeraime also may have helped contribute to a lot of the team's current problems. At one point, Candi and Dolly must battle the ruthless chicken monster Jawknee for their own survival. Amidst this backdrop, Imaki trains Candi to use her centipede abilities to become a freedom fighter named Ciem. Candi and Donte decide to elope while behind enemy lines, realizing they will have to remarry once they make it across since Toklisana doesn't view Ameristani elopment marriages as valid. Donte, who was defending Evansville as Emeraldon up until the political collapse of America, agrees with Candi that they need to get married; since they have difficulty controlling themselves in each other's presence.

In Louisiana, Kyle "the Meerkat" Freneti and his wife Charlotte "the Mukade" Yamamura try to defend their hometown from both Hebbleskin thugs and from constant Affadidah regime invasion. When Candi and her friends finally do pull off the great exodus of their Exodus Agenda, they intercept a description of plans for the invasion of Houston. Donte ignores a warning from his teammates and is captured in an MPF field. Imaki is shot dead while fleeing, forcing Candi and Dolly to head to the border alone - both vowing to either rescue their men or avenge them.

Season two

Main article: Sodality: Season Two

BattleAtTheBar

Ciem prepares to intervene while Jack battles Don the Psycho. Original here.
3D views: 3DRCTriscopicGlasses

Candi and Dolly arrive in Toklisana, only to discover that it's hardly the "Promised Land" that they imagined it to be. Safer for them than Ameristan, perhaps, but the entire country is under constant threat of war from within and without. Corruption is everywhere to be found, as Candi and Dolly survive an attempt on their lives by the corrupt border patrol agent Brett Georgan. They discover that Navyrope is an ally; but that Toklisana is in danger of degenerating into a police state. As Duke Arfaas and the nation of Netheel poise themselves and their resources for an attack on China and Texas, Miriam's friends in the MSS look for every possible way to fight back. They learn just how far the Hebbleskin influence in China has spread - and annoy Beijing by the news of whom their best allies can be in fighting back. Miriam's archnemesis, Melvin Markus, tries to undo every good thing that Miriam does as Sniperbadger.

Meanwhile, Arfaas' minions start pouring out into every part of Toklisana to spread mayhem. These include Lobe, Rockpapsci, Musaran, Milp, Cupric, Don the Psycho, and Wayne the Vampire. Various other bad guy factions also begin spelling trouble, forcing Ciem and Jackrabbit to work together if they wish to overcome the odds and see their loved ones come through the mess alive. However, being around each other brings temptation with it that could jeopardize their existing relationships. They also uncover the Phaletori's efforts to unleash a True Centhuen army assault on various cities in Toklisana. Laurie Pegol and Celia Winehart join the team as Support Staff. The team gains another ally in the form of Jeral "Botan the Plant-Man" Cormier.

A dispute over ownership of the Earwig armor that can give the team a fighting chance against Musaran leads to the team clashing with Darius Philippine, director of SCALLOP over its possession. Darius is revealed to be struggling with Arfaas trying to blackmail him. This also leads to him trying to frame the girls for theft amidst their preexisting legal troubles. The compromised Darius is eventually assassinated by Milp, prompting Lex Philippine to take over as the new director of SCALLOP and begin weeding out bad influences within the organization. Meerkat and Mukade personally get involved to aid the fledgling Sodality in defeating Milp. Field Agent Jim Oisdaat begins a personal feud with Celia, one which will have devastating consequences later. Adding to the difficulty of everything, the Sodality members must continue to find a way to balance their efforts to save the world with their personal goals to find jobs and attend college classes at the University of Houston.

The season finally leads up to a climactic battle, as the Sodality heroes must use all their wits and other resources to thwart Arfaas' invasion and rescue their loved ones.

Season three

Main article: Sodality: Season Three

SodalityLogo

Sodality of Gerosha logo.

The Sodality accustoms itself to its new members, but learns of possible new threats on the horizon - including a suspicious Judge Terry Beliah who seems to be gaining popularity with the countercultural crowd and with the Phaletori's ever-growing resources and influence. Halal Affadidah remains a threat in the background. However, the Hebbleskin Gang is in ruins. Captain Aardwulf takes what he can from it after launching a successful mutiny, killing Duke Arfaas and stealing the Ming-Yo in a bid to carry out for his own agenda the backup plans that Arfaas put in place in the event of his Doomsday Ship invasion of Houston failing. When Candi discovers she's pregnant, the team looks for a new recruit to fill in as Ciem until they can get the original back. Their fill-in, Michelle Winston later becomes "Feruga," a sand-colored Centhuen Prototype hero that goes to great lengths to distinguish herself from Candi's alter-ego. Feruga also proves useful, along with Purge-Flare, in finally putting an end to Victor Nanale's human trafficking ring.

The Sodality finds itself forced to work with the Chinese MSS in order to overcome Capp Aard. Dolly learns to move on from her past and let go of her hatred for Affadidah, in order to stay focused and protect an innocent town from the regime rather than get distracted by her thirst for revenge. The Earwig is eventually reunited with her team. Jeraime learns to deal with being blind, as Lex Philippine and the scientists at SCALLOP attempt to restore his eyesight - after he lost it while breaking free of Musaran's control. To add to the team's complications and heartbreak, Laurie Pegol resigns from the Sodality Support Staff due to the personal hardships she's endured via association with them. Celia becomes "the Taterbug" after defecting from the team to become the Sapphire King's new girlfriend. Celia and Jordan ironically find Lex Philippine to be a secret ally in their quest to get revenge on Jim Oisdaat for his mistreatment of both - and his repeated attempts on their lives.

Season four

Main article: Sodality: Season Four

This season begins with the Sodality of Gerosha dealing with the consequences of the Ming-Yo and Ming-Cho being destroyed along with Captain Aardwulf's defeat, as well as how they put their lives back together afterward. However, the arrival of Judge Terry Beliah and his mad followers as a new threat to Toklisana's national security betrays an agenda to have the entire Sodality imprisoned in MPF containers. The "Founding Elites" are informed of the "Legends," whom they must rescue and recruit if their team is to become strong enough to thwart a Phaletori-induced civil war inside Toklisana. Worse: Beliah's men unleash the Shrouded Entity, an ancient evil, on the Netherlands by accident. The Sodality's new and old members alike are put to the test as they fight for their very survival. To succeed, they need all the outside help they can get. The reward? A safe and free Toklisana, in which the Sodality becomes a true Sodality consisting of actual Modalities within. As if the threat of their own nation turning against them, being trapped in MPF containers for all of time, and the Shrouded Entity weren't enough to worry about, a plot is uncovered that the Toklisanan Senate has been infiltrated by the Society of the Icy Finger - the one threat to SCALLOP and the Sodality considered to be worse than either the Phaletori or the Hebbleskin Gang. Having been expelled from Canada, a beaver-like Meethexo named Wishpon (named after Wishpoosh the Monster Beaver of Chinook origin) sets out to stalk and kill any escaping Phexos he can to avenge his fallen Hebbleskin creators. He is defeated by Feruga and Isitoq "Anarteq III" Sundue.

In addition to Oraphim II, the team is helped briefly by Chris "Purge-Flare" Kennal. It marks the entry into regular series continuity of the Gray Champion, Mapacha, Extirpon, Navyrope, Pilltar, Strawberry, and their various sidekicks as Sodality members. Feruga also briefly returns, showing how she has come to differentiate herself from Ciem.

Season Five: Vindication

Main article: Sodality: Vindication

This season has over half the Sodality facing internment as SCALLOP fights for their rights; while the other half tries to protect SCALLOP and the Toklisanan government from an onslaught brought on by Affadidah, the Phaletori, and the Icy Finger. Whereas they'd rescued and recruited friends that had been kidnapped by Judge Terry Beliah before, now they have to convince the citizens and government of Toklisana that they deserve to be a part of society. This is after remnants of Beliah's followers launch a campaign to amp up enforcement of Beliah's amendments to the Tom Kirby Act of 2015, which essentially make Phexos illegal.

When the Toklisanan government requests Sniperbadger, Stung Hornet agrees to be incarcerated instead - to avoid a war between SCALLOP and China. This leads to Black Rat assisting the Sodality fugitives in Team Spaghetti Liberation in handling the outside threats to Toklisana. The Sodality men are tested like never before to learn how to work together without their women, while a majority of the women learn how to survive in prison. In addition, a sinister agenda in the state government in Arkansas takes hold; one which will lead Tabitha Pang to leave the Sodality and join the Swappernetters in order to put a stop to it - if she and her new friends can survive having been wrongly placed in a juvenile detention center. As if this didn't cause enough complication, the Icy Finger's new leader Rappaccini has sent Marblefaun to stir up trouble on Phaelon - with the Phaletori even calling for a second attempt at destroying Dephinapolis that will force the Sodality and Phaemer Village Peacekeepers to work together to thwart.

Main characters

See also: List of Sodality series characters, for a more thorough list of characters and factions.

As the series takes time for the titular Sodality of Gerosha to build, it begins by addressing the political situation that necessitated their existence. A small handful of regulars appear, making up the earliest modalities in what would become the Sodality's "Founding Elites." The first season consisted of the following protagonists:

  • Candice "Candi" Marie Flippo-Levens-McArthur / Ciem, a Centhuen Prototype and descendant of Gerosha town founders Stan and Shalia Flippo. She seeks to restore the legacy of her family however she can, a legacy that was torn apart when most of her family was murdered. She also struggles with her sense of duty to be Ciem, her plans to marry Donte McArthur and start a family, and her feelings of shame over her own past sexual baggage. She possesses various superpowers such as Centuition and rapid cellular regeneration, with her prominent "Centileg" stingers capable of shooting venom into her enemies. Her powers were made by Phaelite scientists with the help of DNA extracted from a brown centipede dubbed "Grandma Centipede," since the infusion was done directly to her father and she inherited and manifested it. This same type of centipede is the inspiration behind the types of centipede depicted in the decals on her Ciem costume. Before marrying Donte, she assumes a surname of "Levens" after crossing the border into Toklisana. This allows her to keep the Hebbleskins from discovering her too quickly, as the name "Flippo" is being hunted. In addition to her struggles with life and as Ciem, Candi's frequently being misunderstood by law enforcement gets her into enormous amounts of trouble.
  • Donte McArthur / Emeraldon, an Emwault of the "true green" stripe that is able to fly and absorb various forms of energy around him to become super-strong and near-bulletproof. He possesses a suit that enhances his ability. After losing everything to the collapse of the United States, he begins to see Candi as his ticket to finding a new purpose in life.
  • Imaki Izuki, an old inventor with ties to the organization SCALLOP. He is Candi's godfather, and a former mentor to Charlotte "Mukade" Yamamura. He also takes in Donte when Rev. Tyler Kilmington is murdered at a convention center. He serves as a chaperone as well for Candi and Donte, lest they become too tempted by one another and lose sight of true love to begin pursuing more banal passions with one another. He had joint custody with Erin Flippo over Candi, right up until Candi was legally old enough to decide for herself what her living arrangements were.
  • Dolores "Dolly" Marion Weiss-Malestrom / The Earwig, the unofficial wife of inventor/software engineer/cattle rancher Jeraime Malestrom. The two were working on a "Project: Musaran" together to develop a powered armor capable of handling Phexo and Meethexo threats should the situation call for it. The Hebbleskin Gang captures her husband and his project to turn him into a mind-controlled minion for Duke Arfaas. Dolly has a huge chip on her shoulder towards both Arfaas and Ameristani regime leader Halal Affadidah for the injustices they've committed against her, and sees her time helping Imaki's "Exodus Agenda" program as an opportunity to save her husband and even possibly get her revenge. She is noteworthy for her skilled improvisation in tough situations, her abrasive and even defiant personality, and her preference for wearing her hair in pigtails. She later gains possession of the "Earwig" powered armor, a project similar in nature to the Musaran one which allows her and her team to stand a fair chance against Musaran. The armor seems to be capable of "almost anything a powered armor should do" - except flight. However, the AI in its helmet is sadistic and has trouble telling friend from foe. She must gain help suppressing the AI, lest it take over her mind and make her the female version of what Musaran already is.
  • Darius Philippine, the half-Phaelite illegitimate son of Stan Flippo and Insila Murtillo He is the director of SCALLOP when the series opens, having been so since the 1990s. He works in tandem with Imaki, and a minister in Houston named Wilbur Brocklyn, towards the goal of using the church ministry Wilbur is starting as a recruitment center for an eventual league of heroes. The second season reveals Darius to be cowardly and corrupt, though he still cares about most of his family and allies and even puts himself in mortal danger to redeem himself when it counts.
  • Lex Philippine, Darius' son who is looking to move up in the ranks of SCALLOP in order to support the beginning of a family of his own.
  • Jack Mercreek / Jackrabbit, a Leaper Phexo capable of jumping really high. He is an Apache and a student at the University of Houston, who has vowed to find a way to save his activist girlfriend Miranda Kanla after she is captured by the Hebbleskin Gang. His only lead on her whereabouts in the beginning is through the vampiric serial rapist/killer Don "the Psycho" Mendoza that abducted her in the first place. He spends the entire first season in a cat-and-mouse game with Don, ultimately getting frustrated when Don always manages to slip away. He later defeats the Psycho with help from his Sodality friends in season 2, after learning that Candi also shares an unpleasant history with Don.
  • Kyle Freneti / Meerkat, a Leaper Phexo with similar abilities as Jackrabbit. He has vowed to protect his hometown from continued incursions by the Affadidah regime; but he has shown an interest in helping out SCALLOP in Houston should they ever need his help.
  • Charlotte Yamamura / Mukade, a Centhuen Prototype originally from Tokyo who moved to Louisiana and later married Kyle Freneti. She has an unpleasant history with the Hebbleskins' Milthuen Prototype minion Kimiyato "Milp" Hiriyama, whom she fears could resurface in Toklisana at any time. She is also very skilled at wielding a twin pair of sais.
  • Miriam Ann Flippo / Sniperbadger, a hacktivist with few equals who is surprised to have not inherited an active strain of the same Centhuen Prototype program as her sister Candi. After her boyfriend Phil Couric is killed and she escapes Affadidah's tyrannical state, she schemes her way to Hong Kong and goes into hiding while pretending to be a pharmacy assistant named "Haishui." She later betrays her secret identity to Chinese authorities in exchange for protection and cooperation in bringing down the growing Hebbleskin Gang threat within China. Her archnemesis is the Hebbleskin-loyal hacker Melvin Markus. She also aids Imaki's Exodus Agenda when convenient.
  • Shing Xú / Black Rat, a Chinese MSS officer who has been given his own team specifically for monitoring Hebbleskin activity and countering it. A big flirt, he is considering settling down at some point. He immediately sees the potential in Miriam to aid his team, and welcomes her aboard after she is press-ganged into joining the MSS as an informant.
  • Mingmei Chéng / Stung Hornet, a former MSS 妓女间谍 (Jìnǚ jiàndié, a "Dirty Harriet" / honey trap) recruited to Black Rat's team. She is the first to discover Miriam in a Shanghai jail, and becomes a sort of surrogate mother to her. Mingmei views saving Miriam as an essential element in redeeming herself from her own colorful history.
  • Wen Dù / Tin Dragon, an ill-tempered weapons expert who is also a part of Black Rat's team. While he distrusts Miriam in the beginning, he grows to have a great respect for her later.
  • Chen Táng / Teal Hog, the team's clumsy and often clueless fourth "mainliner." He is childish and accident-prone, but he becomes lethally competent when the situation grows dire.
  • Steve McLaine, a scientist/adventurer from Alaska who was driven into exile in China by the Hebbleskins. He hopes that working with Black Rat's team will allow him to return to his home one day. He and Miriam eventually strike up a budding romance that leads to marriage later on.

Season 2 introduces Support Staff members Laurie Pegol and Celia Winehart, the latter of which would become known as "Taterbug" in season 3. It also introduces the Earwig armor officially, and brings in additional Sodality members Jeral "Botan the Plant-Man" Cormier and his wife Emily Cormier. It further explores Donte's childhood friend-turned-rival Jordan "Sapphire King" Reddlewick, who becomes active toward the very end as an ally of the Sodality who never officially joins due to his history as a professional thief. Miranda Kanla is added back to the team upon her rescue, and comes in handy as Laurie and Celia depart the Sodality in season 3. Season 4 sees the team's numbers grow dramatically. The Gray Champion John Domeck, Eric Stanley "Extirpon" Opendi, Vince Liam "Navyrope" Finton, Pilltar pilot Ron Barrin, Strawberry pilot Stephanie Barrin, Marge "Mapacha" Ramirez, Hea Pang, Tiffany Sterlie, Tabitha Pang, and Jordan Sterlie are all added officially to the team's roster. They gain a few other allies that come and go along the way; such as Mallorie Wade, Silo Wade, Michelle "Feruga" Winston, Oraphim II, Camille Beliah, and numerous SCALLOP agents.

After season 3, Miriam and Candi are downgraded to recurring characters. Within that season, Tin Dragon and Teal Hog are killed off by Captain Aardwulf. Imaki is killed off at the tail end of the first season, leaving Wilbur Brocklyn as the only living elder mentor/founder for the Sodality. Season 4 also briefly features Chris "Purge-Flare" Kennal, revealing what Chris has been doing with his time since the events in Blood Over Water. Characters Feruga, Cocklebur, and the Phaemer Village Peacekeepers get some more coverage in season 5.

Development

Usage

The term "sodality" as it applies to the Sodality of Gerosha is the social anthropology definition. Being a member of the Sodality of Gerosha essentially means believing in the general causes of Stan and Shalia Flippo, and/or being a Phaelite, a Phexo, a Marlquaanite, or other who is sympathetic to the mainstream Phaelite cause that SCALLOP was created around. "Sodality" as a term is used in a more religious sense to refer to the pact that was formed by Imaki Izuki, Wilbur Brocklyn, and Rev. Tyler Kilmington to form a mission outreach to Phexos and Marlquaanites. Meethexos that renounce the Hebbleskin Gang are invited to join also, though few have ever attempted to do so.

In regards to the Sodality of Gerosha as a team of heroes, "Sodality" is used as a synonym for a league. This is because the word "league" was deemed unfavorable for usage in marketing Gerosha superheroes. Dozerfleet Comics markets its Gerosha heroes as a "Sodality of Gerosha," or "Sodality" for short. This contrasts with Marvel having the Avengers, and DC having the Justice League. Since a sodality is made up of modalities, each modality within the Sodality is comprised of the different factions within said hero league, with the term "sodality" referring to how they all interact to serve a greater common purpose.

The following modalities are recognized as valid structures for the first generation:

  • Core Founders: This group consists of the three patriarchal figures that helped initiate the idea behind there being a Sodality of Gerosha: Imaki Izuki, Wilbur Brocklyn, and Tyler Kilmington. As of season 2, only one of these three old men is still living.
  • Legends: This is a division within the team that refers to those heroes on the roster that have demonstrated pre-Affadidah prowess at being heroes in their own right. May or may not also refer to their sidekicks, contextually. This group includes the Gray Champion, Mapacha, Extirpon, Navyrope, Pilltar, and Strawberry. Hea Pang, depending on context, is sometimes also considered a member of this group.
  • Support Staff: All non-powered heroes who prefer to work behind the scenes rather than doing field work. Miranda Kanla and Laurie Pegol excelled at this position, one which later included Tiffany Sterlie. When not lumped in with the Legends, Hea Pang also resides in this group. Pam Marcones joins eventually as well. Dolly Malestrom used to be in this group, before she became the Earwig. Emily Cormier works in this division as the primary scientist.
  • Team Gray: When the Sodality is not in session a situation requiring the whole league to function as one unit, it often splits into various factions that focus on specific problems. Dealing with the Icy Finger and villains it creates is a specialty for the Gray Champion and his immediate allies. This includes Mapacha, Hea Pang, Tabitha Pang, Pablo Ramirez, and Anna Ramirez.
  • Lambrelli Labs: This home security systems industry-based company also specializes in making equipment for neighborhood watch programs. It was founded by Seth Lambrelli, the creator of Pilltar. It is currently run by Ron Barrin and his daughter Stephanie. They are able to remote-pilot militarized versions of their Pilltar and Strawberry neighborhood watch drones to aid the Sodality if necessary. Otherwise, they have taken to letting neighborhood watch programs and police departments use inferior Pilltar models to do their messy work for them. They try to keep a low profile most of the time, given the bad publicity Stephanie received years ago when she tried to use her Strawberry unit in the streets of Des Moines to stop a band of knockout game thugs. Originally based in Des Moines and its greater area, Lambrelli Labs relocated in 2018 to the greater area around Oklahoma City.
  • McArthur Estate: The McArthur family in Waco, which became official when Donte "Emeraldon" McArthur married Candi "Ciem" Flippo-Levens. These two were once prominent Founding Elites. But by season 3, they have downgraded to part time status as Sodality members. After Frank McArthur is born, he is considered a part of the McArthur Estate.
  • Freneti Estate: This consists of Kyle "Meerkat" Freneti and his wife, Charlotte "Mukade" Yamamura-Freneti. They are referred to by this designation when they are defending their house and their hometown in Louisiana.
  • Team Jackrabbit: The name for Jack "Jackrabbit" Mercreek, his fiancee Miranda Kanla, and their social circles of friends excluding members of the Sodality that belong to other teams.
  • Navyrope Organization: Initially consisting of Vince Liam "Navyrope" Finton himself and his liaisons with Lambrelli Labs, this network later included Tiffany Sterlie and her son Jordan. Later, it came to consist of a wide variety of anonymous patriots who shared Vince's views - and knack for unusual forms of activism.
  • Team Extirpon: Eric Stanley "Extirpon" Opendi, his eventual wife Pamela Marcones, their son Wilfredo, and anyone else who supports Eric's personal mission.
  • Malestrom Estate: Dolly "the Earwig" Malestrom and her husband, Jeraime Malestrom. They are software engineers and cattle ranchers, with Dolly occasionally finding time to don a powered armor and save the world. Jeraime was once captured and trapped inside an AI-controlled armor to become the murderous menace "Musaran." He is since happy to report an end to his life of supervillainy.
  • Sodality of Florence / Florentines: This is a band made up of the Sapphire Gang members Sapphire King and Taterbug, along with Cocklebur and his support staff, Feruga and her support staff, and the lone wolf Purge-Flare. Jordan, Celia, Michelle, and Chris accept Angelo's offer to move to Italy with him and start their lives over as a new Sodality, when they wish to perform their operations without making life needlessly difficult for the Sodality of Gerosha.

Premise

The basic initial premise of this series was developed over the course of five days, as the Dozerfleet founder sought to create an apocalyptic alternate history that took the best of previous attempts at The Gerosha Chronicles, and put it together in broad strokes in a single continuity. Inspired by shows like Doomsday Preppers, The Walking Dead, Jericho and various dramas on the CW, Sodality re-envisions the Gerosha universe as a worst-case scenario of the United States becoming divided into four nations by the fallout of a second Obama term.

The Dozerfleet Blog theorized before the 2012 elections that if Obama won a second term, that US would end up divided into an eastern half under Jihadist control and the west would fall under Chinese control. The two sides would battle for dominance. A website called The Tenth Harbinger alluded to a similar scenario of what could happen by 2018 - if the country steered too far off the "fiscal cliff."

For purposes of this series, the Hebbleskin Gang was given a nation to the north and the Tea Party one to the south. It is revealed that in spite not entirely viewing the world through the same eyes, China considers Toklisana a lot more responsible with money and trade than the America it's descended from. Therefore, there is a shaky peace between the two. Feeling a sense of entitlement, China in this series is not above partially press-ganging talented Americans to work for its agencies. Therefore, Miriam and Steve end up working in Hong Kong for the Chinese government for a time. Meanwhile, both Toklisana and China, which controls "Chimerica," readily see that the Jihadist-controlled "Ameristan" as a serious threat. Radical Islam has often made itself known as a threat; and in this series, they're able to take their threat level to new heights. Critics of "Islamophobia" are challenged directly, as it's revealed that Islamist regimes oppress their own civilians just as much as everyone else. Why is it oppression when anyone else does it, but somehow "not" when they do it? By allowing Arfaas and the Hebbleskin Gang their own country, even if only for a time, it is shown that they too can be dangerous. Public fear of them and what they can do seems more justified, as Arfaas appears considerably more competent in this continuity than in prior ones.

After this initial premise for the first season, later seasons borrow and repurpose material quite liberally from the Ciem webcomics and novels. However, those plots are reworked to include larger teams that allow the show to focus on more than just the life and times of Candi Levens. TV shows like Heroes and Agents of SHIELD are also mined for inspiration, especially with regards to how the growing Sodality of Gerosha deals with cameo appearances by heroes outside their fold - and their relationship to the oversight organization SCALLOP.

Continuity

Sodality creates a broad-strokes alternate history timeline for the US, illustrating the worst-case scenario of what could happen in real-world politics. After the Dozerfleet founder's sense of despair following the 2012 elections, much of Candi's lifestyle as previously described in every version of The Gerosha Chronicles prior to this one seemed highly doubtful. Ideas for exploring what could happen if critics of the Obama administration turn out to be right about nearly everything began to ooze out, and not even Stationery Voyagers was adequate for it. Therefore, nearly all post-2016 events in Comprehensive Gerosha were tweaked or else ruled null for the continuity of this series.

While details have been filled in since, the first four seasons were decided upon almost from the beginning. On March 1st of 2015 around 3:08 PM EST, a fifth season was announced.[1]

The Flippo sisters

While most items from previous continuities made it into this one, what's surprising are the items that were excluded. Denny Levens, for example, is never seen on screen. The inventor of Remotach technology, he dies before ever meeting Candi. Candi randomly chooses the last name of Levens to change her name to, in order to not give away her location to the Hebbleskins - similarly to someone in a witness protection program getting a new last name. As such, Denny effectively doesn't exist in this timeline. And by extension, Angie Levens was never conceived. Charlie McArthur was also written out. John and Dana are strongly implied in after-note material to be born some time after the series is concluded, though they are not major plot points in the timeline of the series itself. Marina, true to tone, disappears before the story begins after marrying Matthew Baret. However, she is not seen actively involved with her sisters' lives after fleeing. Her fate is depicted briefly in the first story, to show that she got the happy ending she wanted. She disappears from the plot completely a short while later. Andy becoming "the Pitohui," much like the existence and careers of his cousins, is not shown happening in Sodality timeline proper. Instead, the tie-in video game concept Centipede + 49 reveals these events to have come true. To the best extent that the new timeline allows, it sets up the framework for an equivalent of the canceled Comprehensive Gerosha series Ciem Tomorrow.

Certain character themes are either directly transferred, omitted, or altered slightly. Candi and Donte's sexual baggage remains a subplot that motivates their character arcs, but it is by no means the only theme in their lives like in previous incarnations. Erin begins to struggle with genuine mental illness - something never clarified in previous versions of the story - due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. The instability this causes at home becomes a motivating factor in her sisters' acting out and leaving home sooner. Partially blaming herself for Phil Couric's death, Miriam flees to Hong Kong to start her life over. She finds that the Hebbleskin's influence reaches even that far, and vows to help Chinese officials put a stop to it. The new mission she develops in life leads to her meeting another exile: Steve McLaine. Their combined efforts to kick the Hebbleskins out of China gives their lives new focus. They ultimately do conceive Marie and Trina, but under different circumstances than before. Most telling is that in this version, Black Rat and Stung Hornet are Miriam's allies; whereas they were hunting her in previous incarnations. Sam Wrikon is still one of the Flippo sisters' ancestors, but his role is minimized. Meshaluta and her cult effectively don't exist, so the Meshalutian Trilogy does not directly affect anything in this series; nor is anything from that trilogy ever discussed. Many of the girls' psychological problems are blamed on abuse from classmates and faculty, rather than some supernatural curse.

Emeraldon

Unlike before, Donte never gets cancer or loses his powers in this version. He does still get captured for a time, requiring Candi to define herself as a hero outside of his shadow. Abolition, a story which would have been necessary to tell for Comprehensive Gerosha, becomes part of the plot for season four of this series. Therefore, it cancels that project out. All prequels pertaining to the Meshalutian Trilogy are also negated by extension. Therefore, Vile Magenta Cloak and A Miner Named Sam are canceled projects. While Donte's origins do play a role in the series, there are still plans to make his origin tale Of Emeralds and Sapphires Cataclysmic Gerosha re-designs the Emeraldon and Sapphire King outfits from variations that they'd had ever since Classic Gerosha. The Ciem outfit, by contrast, remains (mostly) unchanged from its Comprehensive Gerosha design.

Other

Many characters' designs are similar to what they always have been, with only mild modification to fit the world of Sodality. An exception would be Don the Psycho, who receives a considerable overhaul both in appearance and in competency. He is mutated, making him more of a threat. His result is something between a Meethlite and a vampire, giving him red eyes and a silvery complexion underneath his blue trenchcoat. This is a far departure from his skull T-shirt-wearing, still-flesh-toned, Hispanic counterpart in Comprehensive Gerosha. The suit harkens back to the one he wore in the Ciem webcomic written i 2007. It was decided that he had the potential to be an even more interesting nemesis for Ciem and her friends than Musaran - or any of the other major villains from previous Ciem incarnations. While he is Ciem's enemy first and foremost, he also shares a rivalry with Jackrabbit. While on the same team, Don and Wayne are contrasts. Wayne's attempts to rape and terrorize women prove that he is an amateur, one reason he dies very quickly. Don laughs at this, using it as an opportunity to flaunt his superior tactics.

Jack's appearance undergoes minimal change; but he's given more to do. His notoriety for seducing women is revealed to be a thing of the past, an urge he tries to suppress as he is now in a committed relationship with Miranda Kanla. He develops feelings for Candi, even trying to start an affair with her when both believe their true loves to be dead. However, she breaks it off almost immediately when she decides she's not ready to believe Donte is dead. Her faith is rewarded, as she and Dolly manage to secure Donte's freedom and return Miranda to Jack. As far as college aspirations, Jack wants to become a track coach for the Olympics after leaving college. However, he gets a paid position as the director of the Sodality instead - and a paid nominal position within SCALLOP. His college career becomes frustrated by his duties to defeat Don the Psycho and other villains.

Making the characters an ensemble also proves beneficial. The plot is centered around the common goals of every protagonist, and on what happens as they seek to make good on those goals. The story centers mostly around Ciem in the beginning, but is not nearly focused enough to make her the sole central protagonist. As time passes, she becomes less and less important while other characters' arcs grow in importance. This was seen as a means of correcting a problem with every other Gerosha continuity: an over-focus on Ciem at the expense of not giving enough other characters interesting things to do.

Series title

CataclysmicHorizons-logo

Old Cataclysmic Horizons title card.

The series was originally going to be titled Ciem: Cataclysmic Horizons. However, the title was shortened to merely Cataclysmic Horizons to make Candi part of an ensemble cast rather than the sole central focus. Taking a new direction with titling this version of Ciem mythos allowed for other characters to gain more time for character development, utilizing the vast array of characters in Candi's world in ways that had not been attempted in any past incarnation. The series itself shared a name with a message board that had no relation to it. After the trouble that had been undertaken to re-define Gerosha mythology around Cataclysmic Gerosha, it seemed difficult to figure out a better name.

On April 30th of 2013, however, it was renamed Sodality; to reflect that it is about how the Sodality of Gerosha came together. This is in keeping with how the Sodality functions for the Gerosha universe in a manner similar to how Marvel as the Avengers and how DC has the Justice League.

Visuals

Sodality establishes many firsts in the history of Dozerfleet Comics. It is the first series to use concept art stills that, on a regular basis, utilize parallax anaglyphs to produce native 3D. While much of the concept art uses The Sims 3 like Comprehensive Gerosha, this new narrative is the basis for Cataclysmic Gerosha. The alternate universe allows room for other models, not just Sims. Some art for the Ciem novel trilogy was going to use models generated with MakeHuman 3D Alpha Build 6.0. This series is able to take advantage of later MakeHuman versions, which have introduced models with clothes and hairstyles available for experimentation.

Another first with this series is that it is the first to take full advantage of DeviantArt as a storehouse for concept art. The benefits of networking on DeviantArt have yielded several artists willing to contribute artwork of theirs to provide conceptual visuals for the series; asking only for promotion of their profiles and portfolios in exchange for the use of their work. The greatest benefit of that has been finding images of models that somewhat resemble cast and characters, providing actual photographic references for casting. The first character to receive this treatment was Stung Hornet, portrayed by an ethnically-Asian model.

Photographer Maleica eventually supplied other images that, once altered slightly in Photoshop, provided other characters with photo references. Candi received a photographic model immediately following Stung Hornet. This led to the same model in his stock being used in other photos for Miriam and Marina. However, Candi's Ciem suit remains a construction in The Sims 3, Photoshop, and MakeHuman 3D. Several cosplay artists have been offered the chance to build their own Ciem suits, in exchange for promotion of their work.

See also

References

  1. "Sodality season 5 being planned." (post.) The Dozerfleet Blog. Sunday, March 1st, 2015, 3:08 PM EST.

External links

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