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Arnus II is the clone of Arnus, one of the most famous mediators in the Cooperative, a highly advanced interstellar civilization in the Milky Way Galaxy.[1] The origin of Arnus II began in 1839 when the original Arnus was taking a space liner to a resort planet.[2] The vessel soon encountered trouble when the magnetic containment of its faster than light drive ruptured, releasing superheated plasma that killed all in its path.[3][4] Many passengers survived thanks to the captain getting them onto escape pods before the ship exploded.[5] However, Arnus was not among the survivors, leading to an extensive search of interstellar space.[6][5]

After searching for nearly 83 years, Cooperative authorities could find no trace of Arnus and declared him dead.[6] However, this was not the end for Arnus due to reconstitution, a technological process in which the minds of dying Cooperative citizens are transferred into healthy, freshly cloned bodies.[7][6] Since Arnus' body was believed destroyed, Cooperative doctors created a duplicate of Arnus' consciousness based on his mental records taken prior to his trip on the space liner.[6] The duplicate consciousness was then uploaded to a clone of Arnus, who assumed the original's life and duties on his homeworld of Terminus as well as elsewhere in the Cooperative.[7][6] As a result, everyone treated the new Arnus as if he were the original.

Soon after his creation, the new Arnus learned from authorities that the space liner accident was in fact sabotage. The saboteur was Oblivion, a notorious killer who the original Arnus sentenced to life on a prison planet until his escape in 1839. Subsequently, Oblivion exacted his revenge on Arnus by arranging the space liner's destruction. Naturally, the new Arnus was concerned that, being the original Arnus' clone, Oblivion would target him. However, this did not come to pass since Oblivion considered the new Arnus a mere copy unworthy of his wrath. Though relieved on that level, Arnus was disturbed that Oblivion was still on the loose to kill more victims, who nevertheless were reconstituted. [8]

In the mid-20th century, the Cooperative as a whole faced a greater menace when the warlike Yoongar race destroyed the planet Velda Glenn on the edge of their space. After restoring Velda Glenn, the Cooperative tried to make peace with the Yoongar, but these efforts failed, leading to war. The Yoongar were at a technological disadvantage because of their relatively slow warships, which took nearly 50 years to reach striking distance of the heart of Cooperative space. By that point, the Cooperative had amassed a huge defense fleet to repel the invaders.[9]

However, Cooperative military strategists realized the Yoongar armada's invasion route would take them near the primitive world of Earth, which would likely be destroyed. Some in the Cooperative considered openly defending Earth from the Yoongar. Others argued against this idea since mankind would likely suffer major social upheaval after learning of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Arnus was called to resolve the impasse between the two sides, but his efforts proved fruitless.[9]

In the midst of this mediation, Arnus received shocking news: the original Arnus was found alive on Earth.[7] After the space liner's destruction, Arnus' escape pod crash landed on Earth, where he had been stranded until his pod's distress beacon was repaired.[10][11] During his time on Earth, Arnus assumed human form and eventually became Icon, one of the planet's greatest superheroes.[10]

Word of Arnus' survival quickly spread throughout the Cooperative,
Arnus II 02

Arnus meets Arnus

which gave him a hero's welcome when he returned to Terminus. The new Arnus was among the well wishers and personally greeted Arnus, who was surprised at having been reconstituted. The new Arnus then renamed himself Arnus II to be distinguished from the original. [7]

Arnus II gave Arnus time to adjust to his newfound celebrity as well as having a clone. He then revealed to Arnus that the Cooperative was discussing three options in dealing with the Yoongar threat to Earth.[9] The first was the Cooperative recording all data on Earth, which would be reconstituted and repopulated in the event the Yoongar destroyed it. The second was the Cooperative openly using its defense fleet to protect Earth. The final option was the Cooperative using its advance technology to move Earth's entire solar system out the path of the Yoongar armada.[9] Arnus supported the last option, but Arnus II was skeptical that mankind could handle such a massive change both literally and culturally.[6][9]

Arnus II informed Arnus of the impending hearing to determine if mankind was mature enough to learn of the Cooperative's existence. The outcome of the hearing would determine which of the three options would be pursued by the Cooperative. Arnus would defend mankind as a mature species while Arnus II would serve as prosecutor. Arnus II suggested that Arnus go to a medi-tech to restore his body to its original appearance. However, Arnus declined since he felt it would be more appropriate to defend Earth in his human form of Icon.[6]

The next day, the hearing on Earth's fate was held in the Great Hall on Justice Moon, which dealt with the most controversial cases in the Cooperative. Icon began his defense of Earth with testimony of his life stranded on the planet.[2] The result of the defense proved mixed since examples of mankind's idealism and compassion were undermined by its barbarism and hatred such as the racial oppression Icon had suffered on Earth. Arnus II underscored this point when he took the stand.[4] The hearing was then interrupted by a distress call from Rocket, Icon' human sidekick, who warned that Oblivion was engaged in a bloody rampage in his Dakota City on Earth.[2][4] Oblivion hoped his carnage would attract the Icon, whom he would finally kill himself.

Icon was shocked that Oblivion was on the loose on Earth.[4] Arnus II apologized promptly for this oversight since he assumed Icon had already learned this news. Icon immediately left the hall and used a Transmat to teleport to Earth.[4] With Rocket's aid, Icon defeated Oblivion, who was taken into custody by arriving D'amsi police officers.[12]

With the crisis ended, Icon was about to return to the Cooperative when Dakota's mayor,
Arnus II 06

Arnus II and Icon discuss Utopia Park

Thomasina Jefferson, asked to speak with him.[12] Mayor Jefferson wanted Icon to endorse Utopia Park, an amusement park she believed would economically revitalize Paris Island, the city's poorest neighborhood. [12] Icon refused to endorse the park, especially after learning how Paris Island residents were being displaced by the project. Following this meeting, Icon was contacted by Arnus II, who had been monitoring his activities on Earth. Arnus II believed Utopia Park could show mankind's maturity and capacity for improvement. [12] So he asked Icon to remain on Earth to endorse the park and help it succeed. Icon was skeptical of using Utopia Park as a test for mankind, but agreed to Arnus II's plan. Months later, Icon's pessimism was vindicated when Utopia Park's was rocked by a fiery riot sparked by a clash between park security and displaced Paris island residents. [13] Icon, Rocket and the rest of Dakota's superheroes helped quell the riot and saved most of its victims. Still, this incident justified Arnus II's dim view of mankind. [13]

Soon, Icon returned to Justice Moon along with Rocket, who would be mankind's character witness. [14] Arnus II thought it unwise to put Rocket on the stand, earning her enmity. Later that day, Arnus II presented holograms of the Utopia Park Riots as further proof that mankind was an immature species. [14] Taking the stand, Rocket testified how she inspired Arnus to become Icon and inspire mankind to better people. Arnus II dismissed Rocket's argument that she and Icon had positively impacted her planet.[15] An angry Rocket then struck Arnus II, who was stunned by her reaction. Icon calmed Rocket down after realizing she erroneously believed the Cooperative would destroy Earth if it was deemed immature. The judge in the hearing explained to Rocket the true purpose of the case. Rocket felt embarrassed about hitting Arnus II, who forgave her given the circumstances. The judge then called for a recess until the following day when he would announce his decision on Earth. [15]

The following morning, Arnus II decided to check in on Rocket, who was likely worried about her planet's fate. Discovering Rocket's quarters empty, he learned that she had teleported to the Yoongar armada's command ship to convince them not to attack Earth. [16] Arnus II quickly contacted Icon, who teleported onto the ship and rescued Rocket before she was killed by the irate Yoongar crew. Rocket's impulsive action made the Yoongar more determined to destroy her planet.[17]

Arnus was glad that Rocket was safe but still was not pleased by her recklessness. The judge shared this sentiment, which Icon feared would cause him to rule against mankind. However, Rocket salvaged the situation by offering the Cooperative a fourth option to save Earth without hurting it culturally. After fighting the Yoongar, Rocket realized the best way to defeat them was have them face a new enemy. Impressed by this clever suggestion, the judge ruled in favor of this option. The Cooperative soon deployed a fleet of self-repairing robotic warships to intercept the Yoongar and constantly fight them to a draw. Oblivious to this, the Yoongar kept vainly changing tactics to defeat a foe not seeking to win. Hence, the Yoongar threat to both Earth and the Cooperative was averted.[17]

Rocket hoped that the Cooperative would repay her quick thinking by sharing their advanced technology with Earth. The judge declined, arguing that mankind needed to earn their maturity not be given it. Still, Rocket's recent actions impressed Arnus II who encouraged her that mankind would become a mature species thanks to people like herself. [17]

This whole experience had also changed Icon, who realized his true home was now Earth. Before leaving with Rocket, Icon gave Arnus II his blessing to continue to live his life in the Cooperative. [17]

Arnus II took Icon's words to heart and has become worthy of his legacy.

Powers

  • Terminan Physiology: Arnus II possesses extraordinary longevity, enabling him to age at a vastly slower rate than that of human beings. Hence, a century old, he is in the physical prime of his life. Arnus’ lifespan is due to both his alien physiology and advances in Cooperative medicine. [7]

Abilities

  • Law: Arnus II is among the Cooperative's most accomplished mediators.[7]

Related

Footnotes


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