October 13, 2005

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This Month's Other Stories:

1970s NBC Newsman's Public Service Announcement Re-Released

Alien Giant Returns to Earth - and Finds His Even Larger Son

Thrift Store and S.C.A. Team Up - to Open an Inn

Corporate Island vs. Crimefighters

Radio Program with its Own Coloring Book

Tourists from Atlantis Help Build the Capital City of Togo

Related Stories From Our Archives:

Lucianus Autonomus, the Super-Boxer

Earthlings and Aliens Discuss the Dying Universe

Superhuman Argentine Death Squads

Space-Jellyfish Control a Reality Shift

Alien Hive-Mind Invades the Earth

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The Secret Superhuman War

Our world used to have superhumans who fought wholeheartedly for justice or evil - in costumes! The World Journal Monthly has learned where they disappeared to - because our own reporter Sylvester Morrow went with them! And he's come back with the story.

"The whole world was falling asleep, what could we do?"
- Laura James, "Morningstar", U.N. peacekeeper.

The Gathering

Last July, the superhumans disappeared off our Earth - before a reality shift would have wiped them out. (See Related Story) They can tell us how the shift started!

  • It was first noticed as a sleeping sickness in Japan, on Sunday the 11th of July. As midnight came there, everyone who was still awake, carefully shut down what they were doing, then fell asleep. When sunrise came, they didn't wake. And as the night and the day moved west, the rest of the world fell under the same spell.
  • It was Sunday morning, so it took the world longer to notice than it might have otherwise. But in the end, the world did eventually notice. Superhumans wondered what to do about it. But then they started disappearing!
  • The superhumans appeared together, hundreds of them, in a featureless gray area. A masked man was addressing them. He called himself X the Unknown.
"What the hell do you mean, escape the Earth?"
- "Rolling Thunder", U.S. government agent.
X the Unknown
Artist's rendition of "X the Unknown".

The Dreamtime

The heroes were in a realm of dreams. And so were the villains.

  • They'd all been gathered into another dimension. X the Unknown told them, he wanted them all to escape what was about to happen to the Earth.
  • X the Unknown promptly disappeared beneath a storm of superhuman violence. When the storm was over, he reappeared and said, "Have you finished?"
  • According to X, space aliens had put the earth asleep, because it was about to go through a reality shift! The aliens were controlling the shift, to destroy all superhumans. Nobody could stop it, they could only avoid it. That's why X had brought them here. (See Related Story)
  • X gave them their objective: Move to a safe zone! Outside the zone, their subconscious selves could take over their bodies - and their powers would be uncontrolled. Having no choice, the assembled superhumans started marching.
  • The heroes mostly massed together, as one force with three wings. The United Nations "Paxis" peacekeepers were led by the Mighty Tim, assisted by Morningstar. The younger "New Balance" heroes were led by the vigilante Dancer of NYC, assisted by college activist Ron Cannon. In overall command was the famous boxer Lucianus Autonomus; the famous musician Vara Hosea assisted him, leading mages and other assorted superhumans.
  • But meanwhile, the villains split into smaller groups, and moved faster. The heroes knew the Scum Syndicate was out there before them. And so was at least one Argentine superhuman death squad. (See Related Story)
"It was like a weapons range - only there weren't any weapons, only powers."
- Vince Cortez, apprentice "white mage".

The March

Now, the Earth's heroes had to survive, on a march lasting several days.

  • They didn't need food, not here. But they still needed sleep.
  • The heroes knew, they had to not sleep. The mages knew how to keep them awake, at least for a while.
  • But the villains weren't paying attention. They started sleeping. But their bodies kept moving - and lashing out with superhuman powers at random! And the heroes were the most obvious target.
  • As the onslaught went on, Earth's heroes kept moving. Some of them fell, but the others carried them on. Surviving villains started to rally around them, simply for self-preservation.
  • And so, the heroes reached the safe zone. A surprise awaited them there...
"Is this what a refugee camp is like?"
- "Toejam", unregistered superhuman.

The Aliens

When the survivors emerged from their weary march, they were on another world! And they were prisoners - of space aliens!

  • They were fenced in all the way to the sky, by vines as strong as iron, with acid sap. Those few superhumans who could break the fence, were promptly shot by man-sized lizards with ray guns.
  • And somehow, all the superhuman powers were weaker. It was as though something that the superhumans needed, wasn't nearly as strong here. And this weakness couldn't have come at a worse time... especially because they all needed sleep.
  • But whenever a wounded superhuman was put on the ground, vines would grow out to entrap him! Most of the Earthlings tried to keep the wounded standing, while the rest tried to call outside the fence for help. After several hours of this (as far as the Earthlings could tell), they had to let the wounded drop... and be wrapped. Giant melons grew around them.
  • Some of Earth's heroes know about space aliens. Aliens had approached them before! (See Related Story)
  • They deduced, their prison world was called "Caladria". Its native race looked almost like humans. But ferocious lizard-aliens called "Gronites" patrolled the perimeter, and spindly little "Greens" and floating "Jellyfish" stood outside inspecting. Many alien races were interested in the captive Earthlings.
  • But why had X the Unknown brought them here to the alien world? Everyone had an opinion, but nobody knew.
  • Finally after several days, the aliens made contact... with individual Earthlings. The aliens would ask a question over and over again, until the Earthling lost patience. And every Earthling did. Then the aliens started on the next Earthling.
  • Eventually, the super-boxer Lucianus Autonomus was interrogated. (See Related Story) He had the mental discipline to calmly answer the same question as often as he was asked. The aliens asked him sixty times... then they said, he'd passed the test of the Sixty-Fold Question! Lucianus had therefore earned the right to question the aliens. And they had their own strange story to tell...
"They invade us, they say Oops, and then we're supposed to cooperate?"
- Ron Cannon, student activist.

The Return

Eventually, the aliens started bringing superhumans back to Earth. But there was a price.

  • The aliens had had a role in the reality shift. When the shifts started, some renegade Jellyfish drove the first one.
  • A creature of the Caladrians, named "Spanker 4", was on Earth already, on a punitive mission. But that mission got outside the aliens' control. Spanker 4 captured the reality shift engines from the Jellyfish, and now he was controlling the shifts!
  • So, the aliens were assembling a strike force to shut down Spanker 4. They had robots ready to go, and they had some allies on Earth already; it seems the Anglican church was secretly helping them! But they wanted more Earthlings to help out - and here they had a ranch full of captive Earthlings.
  • The aliens offered a deal. Earthlings ready to help, could go back to Earth with the aliens! Earthlings that wouldn't help the aliens, would stay behind. The aliens said, space travel wasn't cheap.
  • Of course, some Earthlings were ready to help. Some weren't. There was a lot of arguing.
  • Lucianus Autonomus proposed, the aliens take all the Earthlings home, as long as some Earthlings volunteered to help. The aliens agreed... but only if at least half the Earthlings would help.
  • Back in the Earthling enclosure, there was a lot more arguing. The sentiment was against the aliens... especially after the attack of the giant melons.
  • But then X the Unknown reappeared! He'd taken Earth's superhumans into the land of dreams, because that was the only place they'd keep their memories or any of their powers after the reality change. And he'd aimed them at the aliens, because only the aliens knew how to fix the reality shifts.
  • Then the first melon hatched. The wounded Earthling superhuman "Bandolier" emerged, alive and well. X said, all the wounded would emerge from their own melons the same way. The melons were never an attack; they were first aid!
  • The aliens had a plan to deal with the reality shifts. They would send a peacekeeping force to Earth, with native guides. The Earthlings and the aliens would join in a hive mind to assimilate all available data, pinpoint the threat, and send force to neutralize it. (See Related Story)
  • In the end, barely half the Earthlings volunteered to help the aliens. But by the terms of the bargain, they all got to go home.
  • X the Unknown went ahead. He said, he was concerned about the Earth too. He had his own way to get there, which he said not even superhumans could survive.

So, humans and space aliens agreed to work together. And Earth's superhuman heroes returned to a world that no longer remembered them.

See Our Sequel!

Special to the World Journal Monthly by Sylvester Morrow.

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