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Me in the Superhuman World:
Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 New Orbit .

Superhuman World 2010 is a work of fiction. The characters herein and the commentary about them should not be considered "real".


Tales of the New Orbit

January - February 2010


As ever, I keep track of events. This is especially important now that the Earth's in a new orbit. One unexpected development: Our Earth is getting illegal immigrants! But we still have old problems to clean up too.

(signed) Wyatt Ferguson.

NEW! Search the Superhuman World!

Talk Back!
Our Planet's Problems. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

Just say, conspiracy. And just smile.

  • Our planet's most powerful superhuman, the New Sentinel, has come to ground - hoarding stuff in a house. He seems to think I'm his li'l buddy who usually holds the signal watch. Uh, no; I don't even let people signal me. Still, I'm up in the unfinished attic watching him and trying to sleep, but it's cold. Good thing sleeping in the cold is my superpower. (2 Jan)
  • This superhuman tends to work for corporations. I've spent some time avoiding him on general principle. But now I work with him.
  • According to the New Sentinel, the master politician from the United Nations likes to psyche his opponents by having people accidentally drip water on them, then apologizing and saying he wouldn't treat dogs like that... He's some sort of under-assistant, but he holds the secret power. (1 Jan)
  • Okay, our United Nations may be compromised... that is to say, more compromised than a world full of politicians can make it anyway. One more thing to watch, but otherwise, so what?
  • A mage can drink power from red or blue juice cups, each corresponding to a different political version of our superhuman vice-president Crusher Joe Corrigan. (6 Jan)
    • Of course Corrigan's alignment showed up as independent white, alongside President Obama during my world's 2008 election. But in my world, people still dream about red McCain or blue Rodham as U.S. President.
    • People are simulating a fight of the two colored Corrigans. Bad idea, because the statistics are up around 999 and the simulated Red Corrigan might just break free from the simulator. Instead I sneak off to dance with people from high school and take a leak. (27 Dec 2009)
    • Okay, our United States may be compromised... that is to say, more compromised than half a continent full of politicians can make it anyway. One more thing to watch, but otherwise, so what?
  • I must seem like I don't care. But I really do. It's just that I see bigger problems out there...

    Talk Back!
    In the Presence of Another Earth. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

    It seems there's an extradimensional component to our Earth's new orbit. For all we know, there always was one compared to the other planets. But now we can see another Earth too. And its superhumans are plaguing us.

    Most of them have plausible deniability to be here. And they know me somehow, because I'm kind of interdimensional myself. And they know the way here, and they've already made arrangements.

    • On this other Earth, several of the founding superhumans were fundamentalists. These include Quickpassage who moves quickly and can quote Scripture even quicker, and his little sister Zabrina the Rainbow Witch who claims powers over everything Noah saw survive the Flood. (3 Jan)
    • One nanny is not fondly remembered by her grown children, because she lied when she told them everything would be all right. She makes the news because her children are these two superhumans. They saw the new Earth (our Earth) in their sky, and knew they had to come smite this evil. (25 Dec 2009)
    • I found out this stuff from Zabrina's pregnant rival, Prisma the Risen Subhuman. She introduced herself to me at my favorite bar, and shot pool with her old friend Jimmy Flamer the Man-Torch and me. With her wind powers she could do weird things to the balls. And she really didn't get along well with the Rainbow Witch. (3 Jan)
    • I have my own issues with being inter-dimensional, so I do not deny fellowship to those who claim to know me, just because I don't recognize them.
    • The stuff Prisma tells me is all stuff that is not our world's history. But she's fitting in here: Prisma's a registered Mayan. Her relatives are Moroccan and Turkish. Risen Subhumans can surface anywhere.
    • The Man-Torch seems to have good documentation and references too, as far as I could discreetly tell. Maybe he's one of those superhumans who were involved in the 2008 Olympics of Flame. Quickpassage fits in with our world's speedsters, and Zabrina with our Rainbow Kids.

    Still... I'm the most connected superhuman I know, and I get the feeling these are all immigrants, with their own history together but not with us. I love immigration, but still... let's watch them. There are already others...

    RACC High Concept #7 Entry
    Talk Back!
    The Ministry of Speed. Commentator: The Superhuman World web site now presents our world's leading expert on super-speed: Erik Katzman, The Hurrier.

    I admit to surprise when this web site asked me to comment about the new super-runners on our planet. The Superhuman World web site is run by my ex-wife and my greatest rival. But we live in peace now. And I will admit, I am the longest-lasting super-speeder on Earth. I have also researched the origins of super-running and of super-speed, so I am entitled to comment.

    Please allow me to first tell you two important things about super-speed:

    1. Super-speed differs from super-running. I have true super-speed. I can do all things quickly. I can even make others do things quickly. Others have just super-running; they can move quickly, and perhaps react quickly also, but they are powerless when they have to stop moving.
    2. Super-speed and super-running are both different from just moving swiftly. A rocket may move swiftly, but it cannot react swiftly. Super-speed gives increased subjective time, which allows swift reaction. But a true speeder loves the joy of speed, so his increased subjective time is mostly spent enjoying how fast he goes.

    There may be many sources of super-speed. The leaders appear as:

    1. The Haste of Jesus. It's said that the Holy Mother Mary was in a hurry to go to Bethlehem and give birth to the Savior. I've heard that Mary's haste may have been a separate holy entity, similar to some conceptions of the Wrath of God.
    2. Pagan gods. Every primitive culture had its own god of speed. The Romans called their speed god Mercury, the Greeks Hermes.
    3. A "force of speed" from beyond our known world. That is to say, some higher power other than gods.
    4. Scientific treatments. Usually these involve some interaction of mental discipline and charged particles. I have never seen such a treatment work, though. My own powers arose mysteriously but naturally.

    I have arranged this list from higher power to lower. It must be emphasized, none of these sources excludes the others. Higher powers often work through lower ones. I have investigated many of these sources, including the pagan gods. I personally believe the Haste of Jesus gave me my power, but then I am a Catholic Christian.

    Now I come to why I was invited to comment: Our Earth has new super-runners. Nobody can quite tell where they come from. They may be from other Earths that we've supposedly be exposed to during Earth's new orbit. I reserve judgment about our exposure to other Earths, and advise others to do the same.

    One of the new super-runners seems to be a Christian also, but a fundamentalist at that. He calls himself Quickpassage. He quotes Bible verses that promise speedy judgment upon the Earth. I would guess he acknowledges the Haste of Jesus (or something like it) to be his source of power.

    The other new super-runners reportedly believe in the "force of speed", though some of them got their powers scientifically. As part of their devotion to speed, most of the speedsters actually change their names. One faction of speedsters is led by their elderly matron, Lily Speed. (I'm told that names like "Speed", "Quick", "Zoom", and "Hurrier" are unusual in English, though "Hurrier" - that is, "Eiler" - is a common surname in German.) Lily Speed claims she got her own speed powers as an American at the end of the Second World War.

    I met Lily Speed at her office in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. She informed me, she was opening a ministry to super-runners and super-speeders.

    I first asked her about her relationship to the super-runners. She told me, two were related to her, and they'd taken her family name. Others just needed her help.

    Ms. Speed informed me, several of the new super-runners first did whatever they wished when they first exercised their power upon our world. But they found, people could easily defeat them simply by tripping them. Then the police would impound them, and they'd have no support. Ms. Speed was able to give that support, while channelling the new super-runners into responsible use of power. She said she wasn't responsible for Quickpassage, but the others were within her support group.

    Most of the runners now work for corporations as messengers. Lily said, they navigate corporate dinner parties fairly well, though they are still adapting to the corporate culture. Some of them get impatient when women offer them legal advice about their job hunting. But Ms. Speed says, it's like a ministry to addicts. In this case, the patients are addicts to speed. (22 Jan)

    I asked what support she had for her ministry to speed. As with any ministry to addicts, no minster can do it alone. She responded, she was recruiting extensively, and she'd gotten one Charles Brown to join her staff. He was known to her patients as an expert on speed. I was able to take a moment to confirm, Charles Brown was at least affiliated with one known superhuman-mage Linus van Pelt. So her story was at least plausible.

    I asked if she knew the difference between super-running and super-speed, as this might pertain to her ministry. She said, "There's basically no difference. We treat every runner as though he might get complete speed, because he might."

    I was then concerned whether the new super-runners had any disputes among themselves. If they argued among themselves about the origins of their powers, that could be as devastating as the religious Thirty Years War was in Germany. Lily responded, the ones within her ministry would be given one origin story, the "Force of Speed", and then told to respect other origins.

    Of course I advised them all to register as guest workers, follow our Earth's laws, and be as welcome as any immigrant anywhere. My home the Federal Republic of Germany welcomes guest workers within its borders, as long as they are documented. Almost all other nations do likewise. Ms. Speed responded, of course they were doing the paperwork. There is no "check-box" for "extra-dimensional" on these documents, so they were responding in the names of their home nations. That may have been why they've been accused of subverting the immigration process.

    I mentioned, I was concerned about abuse of personal power. I myself had dreamed of running in the Olympics; I'd even been approved for Federal Germany's Olympic track team, before I discovered my connection to speed. Of course, I removed myself from the team. I needed to know, all super-runners would only display their powers publicly, not try to hide them and secretly use them for advantage.

    Lili responded, "We all do what we can. That's natural. If it's not legal, we'll work with that."

    "You will comply with our laws when they restrict you?"

    "But of course. Everyone must."

    "And moral codes, to not abuse your power?"

    "Please define."

    "You teach people to respect Higher Power. Do you get moral codes from that Power?"

    "We don't teach any specific Higher Power. Alcoholics Anonymous doesn't teach that either. Every patient is encouraged to find his own Higher Power, and get his own morality from that."

    I had no further advice for them. Their ministry is rudimentary but they know how to build it, and they are working through our Earth's legal processes in admirable manner. And I do not fear those who want to go fast. Indeed, I wish all humanity would embrace speed.

    Response by Wyatt Ferguson, Editor.

    Erik, I respect your assessment as expert writer of this article. As we agreed, I've approved your article for publication with no alteration, and now decline to comment about alternate Earths near our own planet's new orbit. But I hope you respect my own comment as editor: For once, you trust people and I don't.

    Our new super-speedsters have already formed one more secret society on Earth. You used to worry about secret societies of superhumans, just because they had the power to break our laws. This new society can do that too. Is this new society trustworthy, just because they've said they'll be legal and moral? We should not sympathize with them just because they have speed.

    I don't have any counter-proposals, though. In my world, they're just more superhumans, one more society, with their own agenda. Our world survives with many such. One more is probably even a good thing. But let's watch them.

    The Last Chocolate Crop. (23 - 25 Jan)

    Talk Back!
    The Molten Sky. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

    Our planet's super-geniuses are up to something...

    The stars are frozen in place in the night sky, even though it should be daytime. One of the secretaries where my fiancee Judy works tells her, this is the Time of the Steel Sky. (2 Feb)

    Judy works at the superhuman - superscience Combine. She soon finds, this is part of a plot to give the Earth more sunlight. The Earth is in a new orbit that gives it less sunlight, but since we're passing through multiple universes, we can theoretically harness the light of multiple suns. Please pardon the inconvenience while our scientists recalibrate...

    Gee. I thought better of the Combine than that.

    Talk Back!
    The Contact Plague. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

    When America was colonized from Eurasiafrica, about nine out of every ten Americans died from Old World disease. Now our Earth is getting its own chance to meet contagion, from The Trillions. My diary may show my role in the matter. Of course, since it's my diary, you'll get some personal stuff.

    4 February: I've come with my fiancee Judy to Chicago. We're going to see a play with Dr. Doom in it. It ends with a stage full of Doctors Doom, Moreau, Jekyll, Frankenstein, and other mad doctors feeding each other mushrooms and saying, "Worship Me!"... Cool! It's like a metaphor for the villains in my world.

    7 February: A high school friend of mine is impersonating Ginger Rogers in Wisconsin! Judy and I go out from Chicago to see it. We go back to our room near the Loyola Univerity campus.

    8 February: Judy and I go shopping for clothes. We've been apart for a while, so she take the opportunity to dress me like I'm a Ken doll... Yes, Dear.

    10 February: I'm on Death Row for acne! Or something.

    • As far as I can tell, I'm in a state prison in Thompson, Illinois now. There's a lot of talk about reusing this prison for international terrorists, but that's just cover for using it for contagion victims.
    • Burger King and White Castle are advertising "eye chart" reminder boards with letter and celebrity trading cards. G. W. Bush is one of the cards. I'd get one of the boards for my cubicle, but the management is now enforcing political correctness, and we know what happens to boards in my offices: they get cartooned, and people object.
    • A homicidal inmate named "Simple Simon" has been released for a treatment program involving drive-in movies. The other inmates and I exchange coded messages with left-over dental crowns... I sense "revolving-door" syndrome.

    11 February: I've been released... sort of. I got mis-categorized as "inmate" instead of "conscript", thank you very much the U.S. Gov.

    • A fellow project member and I are making plans to flee our "conscript" project when the inevitable crackdown comes. Some day, they have to tell us what our project is actually about. His face is full of warts, but I'm having more zits than usual, so we're even.
    • Outside, Burger King and White Castle are advertising "eye chart" reminder boards with letter and celebrity trading cards. G. W. Bush is one of the cards. I'd get one of the boards for my cubicle, but the management is now enforcing political correctness, and we know what happens to boards in my offices... they get cartooned.
    • When someone else gets ridiculed for a silly balloon structure, Rich and Jim toss me some papers with old cartoons I drew. My old Human Ziggy Competition will not go over well.
    • The manager notices, and starts pointing close to me. Um, you shouldn't be touching me. I try to take a picture.

    12 February: I've been more released! Judy told my high school friend (the Ginger Rogers impersonator) why we couldn't meet with her in Chicago. It seems my friend was influential... she's appearing on Oprah's show tomorrow, and she insists I be with her!

    13 February: Oprah's filming her show in a department store and I wander on set. Her face is covered with zits. She wants to hug me from behind and have someone kiss me while I close my eyes. (13 Feb)

    • Oprah introduces me as a contagion victim... Huh?
    • Now that I start looking, I notice more zits on people's faces. I always took that stuff for granted. Surely I'm 40+ years old, but I still have that youthful teenage skin.
    • Naturally, I say that zits on skin is not necessarily a bad thing. It does mean the skin is moist and not dry and cracked, after all.
    • That's all I get to say. Some pop-expert from the state of Arizona speaks next. He mentions how Arizona is famous for clearing up skin conditions, and we shouldn't throw that advantage away... Oh well, it's not science, it's Oprah.

    14 February: One might say, there are eruptions outside people's skin. There's a video of a volcano in Iowa, to the tune of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". When I visit the site, I have to crawl across a covered pedestrian bridge, stuffed with women in bikinis. They're pretty, but I'm claustrophobic.

    15 February: I come out of Iowa through East Dubuque toward Wisconsin, just to take a fun new route. But I find gunmen by the road!

    16 February: I've got an engineering job, so I'm working with Disneyland shuttle trains the next day. Hey, maybe Orlando one day, back in Kenosha the next.

    So, what have we learned?

    • There may indeed be a contact plague from The Trillions. But it may actually be a good thing. That is to say, humanity has caught moistureized youthful skin.
    • There's Gov concern, pop culture concern, and yee-haw local militia concern about the plague. Of course, nobody's really asking what's really going on. So what else is new?

    Me in the Superhuman World:
    Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 New Orbit .

    Author's Notes:

    The Superhuman World website now works with concepts from the Usenet group rec.arts.comics.creative. "The Ministry of Speed" relates to the challenge for Contest #7: "Write about a superhero's involvement with the Olympic Games."

    All characters in this fiction and the phrase "Superhuman World 2010" are copyright © 2010 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