Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Desiration .
Superhuman World 2009 is a work of fiction. The characters herein and the commentary about them should not be considered "real".
SUPERHUMAN WORLD 2009
August - October 2009
It's about time we had some superhuman love stories.
(signed) Wyatt Ferguson.
Desiration Day: Prologue. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.
There are new superwomen from a U.S. Navy experiment, "Desiration Day". The Navy is following up on the prevalence of superhuman women. (See Related Story) The officer in charge has coined the term "Desiration" for how he'll use these women: as agents to induce lust. He says inspirationally, "All of us, working together, is why we'll win." Vigilantes are rumored to want to infiltrate this experiment. - Joyce Darcy for the World Journal Monthly. (12 Aug)
... That's how the story started.
The U.S. Navy has publicized an experiment it's doing with some of its superwomen. The Navy hasn't mentioned is, it's also working with genies. The Djinni are known to the original superhumans of our world, and now Govs are keeping track of them. The U.S. Gov seems to have domesticated at least one djinn who resembles Cupid.
Superhumans are in return keeping track of the Govs. The vigilantes Bandolier and Bandolier are infiltrating the Navy experiment... disguised as me and my lady Judy Kraaco, thanks very much. Judy and I have an appointment there, on behalf of the Alien Defense Initiative. But we've been decoyed elsewhere and Bandoliers are taking our place without our knowing it, thanks very much.
The couple gets introduced to the experiment by their (our) Navy escort: "Our genies will target enemy commanders with romantic feelings toward our selected sailors. The sailors are Panlucida superwomen, so they can handle themselves. We've assigned this genie to give you a demonstration, Ms. Kraaco..."
The genie promptly flies out of the room. The real Ms. Kraaco is elsewhere, lost, with me. She's been thinking about our upcoming marriage, and all the other people who could stand to have a romance.
I hope the Bandolier Family had a suitably rough time escaping from the U.S. Navy. The rest of us had a suitably rough time with what they let loose.
A Date with the Darkness. Commentator: Joyce Darcy for the World Journal Monthly.
He dreamed of stars coating the Earth, then darkness eating the stars. He hoped it wasn't one of his true dreams.
Leon Utwald was in his 40s, and had had superhuman powers for just the last three years. But he didn't know the source.
Leon could absorb the properties of things he touched. For instance, he could absorb the material strength of concrete - and also its immobility, so he'd be stuck until he let the strength go. He didn't consider that much of a combat power, so he didn't go on patrol with it - or even use the power in public.
He did better absorbing information. He could touch a book and absorb what it said - but only as much as he could remember. He hadn't found a good way to use that power for the good of the world yet. But it really helped him do his job as a copy editor, since he could absorb a book's worth of typos all at once.
Leon could also absorb superhuman powers. He'd found this out last year, when all women got superhuman strength. It had been easy enough to touch the women he knew to confirm this.
The high point of Leon's day today would be a dinner meeting with a client: Pam Brown, a fitness professional. Ms. Brown was publishing an article on Pilates exercise in one of his company's magazines. This was normal business on the surface, but Leon knew his client worked for The Combine, one of the superhuman companies that had opened in the last three years. He'd absorb some information from her if he could.
The dinner started well. Ms. Brown was twenty-something, with a non-petite but athletic body. She said, "Call me Pam".
Leon gave Pam a corrected manuscript for her article. The business was over before appetizers arrived. So there was time for talk. They started with small talk about the latest alien infestation. Pam's company had people who'd met the aliens, so Leon was able to steer the subject to her work.
Leon didn't get a chance to touch Pam, but she was informative anyway. She said, the superhumans she worked with had been together longer than three years, and she had had superhuman powers as long as they had. So he decided to confide in her...
"Pam, I've never told anyone this, but I have powers like that too. If I touch you, I can absorb what powers you have." And he touched her wrist. "You've got strength like all women, but there's something else..."
"No! Watch out!"
Leon absorbed darkness. Bone-chilling darkness. And it screamed at him.
He came to on the restaurant floor. Pam was talking to him. He couldn't make out what she was saying, but he could tell she was calling him.
Others were gathered around, but they lost interest after he got up. So he and Pam could talk again.
Leon said, "That darkness. It's in you?"
"No. We're all in it. It just likes me best for some reason... I paid the check. I think we'd better go."
So ended Leon Utwald's date with The Bride of the Ultimate Darkness.
Before he went to bed that night, he turned all the lights in his house on, and prayed he wouldn't dream of darkness. Leon Utwald sometimes absorbed true things from the universe in dreams. He now knew the darkness was true.
Commentary by Wyatt Ferguson.
Pam Brown is indeed a published writer, but she's modest about publishing her own adventures. As her friend and colleague, I find myself speaking for her.
There aren't a lot of people who can handle the Ultimate Darkness. I'm actually one of the few who can, but not like Pam does. There are many who pretend they can summon darkness and deal with it, but it's different when you actually face an omniverse's worth of it all at once. Villains often find that out when they meet Pam.
It helps if you're not doing it just to find out what it's like. I was trying to rescue people when I met the Darkness. But that doesn't make me a good person, at least not like Pam; the Darkness actually likes her. It comes to her for attitude adjustment.
Leon, if you're reading this commentary, you deserve to know: After dinner with you, Pam's given up dating people who don't have the Darkness power. That's how careful she is about her power. You were curious about her power and your own, and that's understandable. But next time, you might want to specify that when you make the appointment. The Combine which Pam works for will understand. Just don't ask to see her.
Pam's had two assistants: the Best Men of Darkness. One is comatose now, and the other is still growing up; I know this because he's about to become my step-nephew. He says he loves her, but I suspect he just wants a wedding like his aunt and I are going to have - after seven years of trying. Pam knows better than to just jump into that. Even with a love genie on the loose, it may be a while before Pam finds true love.
The Month of Desiration. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.
I may have mentioned a love genie on the loose. It's probably time to tell the world what the genie did among my acquaintances.
As nice as these stories are, I have to confess a personal interest in my own story. The genie got Judy too.
My friends and I are at the core of a wave of marriages. Mystics have been trying to trace the romance. The djinn Vesper says he didn't morph himself to look like Cupid, but ultimately the magic checksums prove nothing. (4 Nov)
A lot of the inspiration for this sequence comes from real life. The author's getting married, and this is shocking enough to produce a domino effect among his friends.
Starting this year, the Superhuman World website has accepted concepts from the Usenet group rec.arts.comics.creative, and responded with stories in their contests. The "absorber" concept comes from Tom Russell; this led to A Date with the Darkness in Contest #4.
Little Bill is a character created by Vaughn Gross. Bandolier was created by Richard DeSautels. All other characters in this fiction and the phrase "Superhuman World 2009" are copyright © 2009 by Eiler Technical Enterprises. The map of the Superhuman World is based on one from Henry Bottomley's map software which is well worth a visit.
(signed) Scott Eiler