by DC EYE OF THE STORM. Superstar artist Jim Lee (BATMAN) provides art for Part 1 of a 4-part story spanning the Eye of the Storm corner of the WildStorm Universe! The Authority has been watching over the Earth for years…so what happens when Tao, the most efficient manipulator in the world, tricks the U.S. government into committing an accidental, interdimensional atrocity on its own soil? Once set in motion, it could turn out to be the straw that breaks the Carrier's back! But their reaction might be exactly the opposite of what Tao expects.
Tao, an old member (and then enemy) and one of the most powerful men in the world, had somehow found himself with a phase engine, an alien device powered by a black hole. Tao’s purposes and goals had always been sinister, but what he did with the engine was something not even his own people could have predicted. He staged an elaborate attack on a secret American base all as a cover to get the engine into government hands without them knowing it. Once they did, they realized that the engine could be used to travel into the Bleed, something that until then, only The Authority could do with any measure of success. As soon as they realized this they put together a probe driven by the engine and launched it into the Bleed. Somehow Tao had known what was coming next.
When the engine made it into the bleed it exploded, but the destruction was more than any normal thing. The black hole in the engine had ripped a hole in the Bleed and also destroyed an enormous alien ship (5 or 6 times the size of the Carrier) that had been nearby. The effects were disastrous and in moments burning pieces of the ship and its passengers (members of a race of giant beings called the Vigil) were falling on Florida. The Authority arrived to help but there was basically nothing they could do but teleport away the people who were still alive. The ship fell and much of Florida was destroyed.
After the dust had settled, Jack tried to learn all he could about the Vigil and what had happened. The Vigil were the first beings to ever use the Bleed and they had given themselves the job of recording everything that happened in the multiverse. The destruction of their ship was especially bad because it had been a return trip to their home planet, bringing with it a millennium of information to be added to their main database. After finding this out, and the fact that this loss of information might drive the Vigil to a full scale war against Earth, Jack discovered whose fault it was. He learned that Tao had provided the engine but that the US government had gone ahead and used it without assessing the situation in a way that would have shown that Tao was behind it and that it was not a good idea. Jack felt that this was the last straw. After a discussion with the rest of the team, The Authority took over America.