CHAMPIONS: The Fellowship
“Fellowship Fortress” is the informal name of the compound serving as the headquarters of both the Fellowship Foundation and the superteam known as “The Fellowship.” Located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb of the Metropolitan Millennium City Area, the compound houses offices, laboratories, and material warehouses used by the foundation, as well as more esoteric facilities including a small geodesic biosphere, holographic training facilities, and a hangar for antigravity based aircraft.
Despite its popular name, the Fortress is not armed, nor was it specifically designed to repulse a military attack. Its location, however, does provide it a clear and obvious advantage in terms of defensibility. Although the Foundation owns a much larger plot of real estate in which it is situated, all of the structures in the compound proper were built within a large crater left by a meteorite strike, and the compound is ringed by a perfectly circular, twenty-foot high ridge of packed earth and stone left from the impact. This ring forms a kind of de facto palisade around the compound, and gives it an imposing, vaguely militant appearance.
The meteorite crater was part of the collateral damage inflicted by the Battle of Detroit that would indirectly bring about the creation of Millennium City. The opening move in Doctor Destroyer’s plan that resulted in the Battle in 1992 involved the activation of a doomsday weapon, the Asteroid Attractor, in Detroit and use its magnetic-tractor beam to pull an asteroid down and destroy the city. The main bulk of the meteor was destroyed by the superhero Vanguard, who sacrificed his own life to shatter the mass just before it entered the stratosphere. The majority of the pulverized fragments burned up harmlessly (if spectacularly) in the atmosphere.
One fragment, however, remained large enough to make a significant impact on the surface. Touching down several miles off-target in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, the resulting meteorite created a crater more than five hundred yards wide, destroying a portion of an automobile manufacturing industrial park but, having landed at nighttime, causing no loss of human life.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Detroit, the crater and much of the nearby land was evacuated and remained abandoned until 1996, four years later, when the devalued land was purchased by the Fellowship Foundation. The ground initially remained unredeveloped and used exclusively for scientific research, examining the substance of the meteorite fragments that had survived the impact. Early samples had been found to be composed of a relatively mundane, atomically stable nickel-iron substance, lacking any exotic components (such as kelvarite) that certain other meteorites had been found to have. Nevertheless, for most of the next ten years the impact zone was scientifically monitored for any long-term effects that the impact may have had.
By 2005, however, the situation had changed. Partly because the scientific monitoring of the blast zone had failed to produce any particularly valuable insights, and partly because the economic boom in the nearby and newly-created Millennium City nearby had caused the value of the once-worthless real estate to skyrocket, the Fellowship Foundation altered its plans regarding the property. The organization announced its decision to relocate its central headquarters to the property, hiring top architects to design an administrative and research complex to house the new facility. Construction of the complex went smoothly and portions of the facility became active by late 2007.
In June of 2010 Alicia Merritt, chief Regent of the Fellowship Foundation, CEO and principal shareholder of Merritt-Wilkes Enterprises, announced new plans. The granddaughter of the founders of both entities, the World War II-era superheroes Michael “the Purple Mountain” Merritt and Alicia “the Amber Wave” Wilkes, had decided to sponsor a re-formed incarnation of the Fellowship of Freedom, the team of superheroes her grandparents had participated from 1934 through 1956. This new group, dubbed more simply “The Fellowship,” would be operating out of facilities specifically prepared for it within the headquarters facility at Auburn Hills. The media, noting the compound’s resemblance to a military stockade, quickly dubbed the property as the “Fellowship Fortress,” a designation that has become entrenched in the public’s awareness.