The swarm
The Swarm War began in December 1985 and presented humanity with its first major encounter with extraterrestrial life since the Takisians brought their hated wild card virus to Earth in 1946. Millions across the globe watched as smoky trails streaked across the skies in various hues. The spectacle of colour gave way to one of horror as the Swarm burst from countless landing pods and struck out in a brutal attack against all life on the planet.

Each individual bud was part of a branch, and each branch was comprised of up to ten thousand buds. Branches rained down on various land masses, striking all major inhabited continental land masses, save Australia. Swarm buds landed in four places in North America: New Jersey; Kentucky, south of Louisville; both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border at McAllen, Texas; and a diffused landing at Manitoba.

The New Jersey attack came up against a formidable counter-attack when the Turtle threw himself into the fray. He simply scooped up enumerable ranks of the first generation Swarm buds and released them high in the air. The Howler, Modular Man, Mistral and Pulse also added their power to that front along with elements of the National Guard. Modular Man's precision armaments had limited value against the hordes, although his analytical computer brain was invaluable for assessing their numbers and movements, while the aces each had their unique talents to draw on. The marines, air force, and navy also added their firepower to the fray to bring the Swarm advance to a halt on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

Golden Boy was seen wading into the Kentucky assault, battering back the enemy with an uprooted tree. Cyclone, like his daughter further north, fought the Swarm in Texas with his power to control raging winds, and even his personal camera crew equipped automatic weapons to pitch in. The Texas Swarm buds were then driven back across the Mexican border by forces from Forts Bliss, Hood, and Polk, the fliers decimated by widespread use of Vietnam-era defoliants.

One branch of the Swarm dropped right into the midst of military exercises in the north of Germany and were promptly routed by the British Army before they could properly assemble. A branch landing around the Greek-Turkish-Bulgarian border brought a haphazard reaction from the disparate forces of the region and taught the Swarm that human resistance was not a co-ordinated effort. The Swarm had better effect in third-world countries where human resistance was comparatively slight, and the super powers were generally too preoccupied with their own resistance to lend immediate aid. The Swarm invaded Poland, the Ukraine, and at least two places in Siberia. The Soviets resorted to a nuclear air burst in response to the Siberian attack, detonating at least two nuclear devices.


Millions perished in the brief war. People later discovered that the entire assault was little more than a diversionary tactic and an exploratory strike, yet it had made an unforgettable mark on humanity. Many millions were dead and numerous communities had simply been wiped off the map. The Siberian air bursts left harmful levels of radioactive fallout in the air and Swarm buds were found responsible for isolated attacks that continued for a long time to come.

Second and third generation Swarm buds were deployed for reconaissance and infiltration respectively. The second generation "spies" captured human specimens for interrogation and dissection, while the third generation "infiltrators" began to supplant people in key positions within governments and militaries. The Swarm Mother itself was attacked twice in retaliation, firstly by Starshine and later by a small trio of heroes assembled by Dr. Tachyon. This final action in 1986 turned the Swarm Mother away from Earth, effectively providing the final end to the Swarm War.

Selected ReadingEdit

  • Wild Cards Volume II: Aces High - "Unto the Sixth Generation"

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