SUPERHUMAN WORLD 2011Me in the Superhuman World:
Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 .
2011: (Deputy | Zombies) Wolf-Woman (Britannia Beach | Silver Skull) (Lateran | Rapture | New Bosnia : 1 : 2 : 3 : 3) | (Discontent: Villains | 2014 | Plan | War | 1971 | Deal | Agents | Myth | Strike | Report) Super-Mage Useless Surprise | (Endgame: 1 | 2) .
Culture: (Tape: Trailer | Clip) | Stay Dead! | Iv | Powernaut .
Superhuman World 2011 is a work of fiction. The characters herein and the commentary about them should not be considered "real".
WORLD JOURNAL MONTHLY
THE SATANISTS WITH THE SILVER SKULL MACHINE!
Correspondent: Richard Alston with Noelle LaRue
See Our Previous Story, BRITANNIA BEACH! (www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/britannia_beach.txt)
Six people came through the cathedral door, and stood in a line facing us. But two Victorian policemen and a scientist were in front of us, facing them.
The senior policeman said, "What's all this then?"
One of the new intruders said, "You intrude." Flame shot from one of his eyes, at all the Victorians!
But somehow the Victorians had defenses! Their clothes were charred and flaking off, but the men weren't dead! Their scientist said, "Oh, good, my anti-mystic countermeasures worked."
"You jest." All six invaders started spouting flame.
My friend Terri shrieked, "Save them!"
My friend Wyatt said, "I know what you mean..." The Victorians disappeared!
Wyatt's friend Adu the African warrior raised his spear and thumped it three times. The sound of it echoed through the cathedral. Then he bellowed, "Evil men. Enemies of humankind. Identify yourselves."
Their leader said, "What you call evil we are proud to call moral. I am Auge von Shaitan. The Eye of Satan."
"Russell Anvernacht. The Legs of Satan."
"I call myself Black Brady. The Spine of Satan."
"Iain Fate. The Heart of Satan."
"Lucy the Pyro. The Heart*burn of Satan."
"MANIC 5. The Skull of Satan." This one had a silver skull! Silver hands too.
Wenchy the witch said, "Only six for this challenge?"
Auge von Shaitan said, "Six is our holy number."
Wyatt said, "Well then. The challenge is over. You missed it."
"Of course we do not believe that."
"Of course. But you must recognize that seven people have the power of seven artifacts." The things within his body glowed brighter. We thought there were three, but there were seven!
"Of course you must realize we will test this... Heartburn." Lucy the Pyro spouted flame at us!
"Shield." Wyatt's friend Wenchy spoke. The flames bounced off, and dissipated.
"Legs." Anvernacht ran at us!
"Leg kick." Wyatt's friend Adu spoke. Anvernacht was struck down! Adu looked urgently at us.
"Spine!" Black Brady charged at us.
My friend Bill said, "Crack!" Black Brady fell over. Heh, going to the chiropractor must have been good for Bill - especially now.
"Skull!" MANIC 5 smirked at us somehow, even with his skinless face. Then speakers popped out of his shoulders. He was really some sort of machine! He started blasting doom music at us. It was draining our souls somehow!
But my friend Jane was on it. Without her leaving Wyatt, the cathedral organ started playing! It restored us, just like church music always does. Even the witch and the African warrior were feeling it.
"Well then... Heart!" Iain Fate tried to overwhelm us with the knowledge of world disasters.
But this one was for my friend Terri. She cared about them all!
Auge von Shaitan said, "This last one is for me... Eye!" He looked at me.
I saw what he saw about the future. It was the world halfway to apocalypse right now, with the end in 2022!
I said, "Maybe you're right. But it doesn't mean we give up yet."
"That's easy to say for you, old man. What about the future generations?"
"Hey, that's me you're talking about!" My daughter Jen was in this challenge with me! "I'm not giving up either! Humanity's had famine years and plague years before! We survived!"
The villain blustered. But Wyatt said, "Well then. Six challengers up, six challengers down. The DuoPolarity Challenge of 2011 is now over."
Wyatt looked up at Adu. Adu said, "So say we all."
Adu looked at me. I said, "So say we all."
I looked at the others. They said, "So say we all!"
The enemies looked at each other. Auge von Shaitan said, "We'll see the survivors in 2019, then." They disappeared in a puff of smoke!
Adu breathed a deep breath and said, "Why I came here seems trivial now... but I still came here."
Wyatt said, "Of course. There is Permanence within me. It comes with one of the power objects. It's an object only I know about. Now you know too... Do you wish for a rollback?"
Wyatt said to the rest of us, "And you?"
I said, "I do." The others said, "I do." Only Terri was silent. I asked, "Terri?"
"I'm sorry! Those were real people we met! I can't vote to destroy them!"
Wyatt said, "Um... Okay. No Make It Never Was. Can we give them their world back at least, without us vs. the Satanists?"
"Everyone? Our world comes back. We go back there. So do our stupid Satanists. Victorians stay on theirs. And I put them away from us so our villains can't go there again. But neither can we."
Bill asked, "Can you really do all that?"
"I can't. But I can loan you all the power to do it."
I said, "That seems fair."
But Adu objected. "Council. I came to save Africa. You propose to leave Africans enslaved."
Wyatt spoke. "Adu. Have you visited other universes?"
"Wyatt. No, I have not."
"Adu. I have. I've fought for them. Often. I opposed Nazis for the freedom of Siberia once. (www.eilertech.com/stories/2006/yesterday.htm) I still think of Siberians. When you fight for other lands, you start to care less about your own. You roam, and you clutch when you can at one or two friends from home... I would not recommend that as a lifestyle."
Jen nudged me, and pointed. Wyatt was about to cry again.
"Adu, do you care enough about these people to fight for them? Unless you do, you must now choose slavery or oblivion for them."
Adu saw Wyatt's emotion too. He said, "Wyatt. Why not oblivion?"
"Adu. Because you have not met them. For all we know, one of your tribesmen is Prime Minister of the Empire. Or else they have grand plans to throw off the British next year. Even when the Nazis took Siberia, I met Siberians with plans like that. Would you deny other people their lives full of those plans?"
Adu slouched. "Wyatt. I yield."
"Well then." Wyatt composed himself and sat down cross-legged, arms out. "Let's take this step by step. Our world comes back, out there somewhere."
I said, "Yes." The others agreed.
"Satanists go back there. " We agreed.
"... Oooh, they didn't like that one. But they had no choice. Now we go back there. "
We all were agreeing ... but not in time. We had a visitor again. The Victorian scientist had come back, with a police cloak wrapped around his charred clothing. He yelled, "No! Please stop!"
Terri said, "Oh, I'm so glad you're safe!"
Adu was less enthusiastic. "What is it you want?"
"Please pardon me. And allow me to introduce myself. I am Doctor Joseph Biggby-Fisher of the Imperial Academy of Metascience..."
Adu growled, "Get to the point."
"... Right. You may understand, Her Majesty's Gouvernment is undertaking radical measures against radical climate change. I am about to depart on expedition to Polynesia for the Magic Fishhook of Tongafusifonua, to help shift the planet even marginally. But you people obviously have something much more powerful."
Wyatt said, "Yes. With this power, we could summon ... that god for you, and make him your slave. I'd really suggest we not intervene, though."
"Oh, my. I suppose that wouldn't be proper. But could you, perhaps, marginally shift the odds of our quest toward our favor?"
I got it. "Oh! You want our blessing!"
"If you would be so kind."
"But of course. Everyone, would you pray to your Higher Powers alongside me?" They all nodded.
I knew we were multi-cultural, but I had to pray my own way. "Lord God, you hide your glory from mortal flesh. But you lend your power to it. Please give our brother Doctor Joseph and his expedition success against all obstacles, and lead them to their goal."
Wyatt said, "good prayer... Amen."
Doctor Joseph said, "You have my most sincere thanks. I'll inform the constabulary you have things under control here."
I said, "Thank you, Doctor. God be with you."
As he left, Wyatt said, "Now... we go back home." We agreed.
The cathedral disappeared. We were all back in the storefront, and all back in street clothes. Even the witch and the warrior were. But Adu still had his spear.
Wyatt continued, "Now we put up the barrier. We stay back here on our world. Forever."
But Terri said, "Really? Forever? Can't I ever see them again?"
"Could Bill and I go there now?"
Bill said, "Terri, are you sure? This is our world. I have a job here. I need you. We all need you."
I said, "Bill's right. We're all in this together. Magic or not. Victorians or not. We're still Britannia Beach."
"Awwww... I can't leave you!" Terri left Wyatt and hugged me, Jen, Bill, and Jane.
Wyatt said, "That counts as contact... Done. Over. This ends the rollback." He sagged. But he continued. "I know you've all had a hard hour or so, but it's not over yet. Now I invite you all to council."
Adu sat down. Wenchy sat down. I sat down. The others followed.
Wyatt said, "I still have great power I can't control. Only other people can. That's why I came to you.
"I have a lot of friends around the world. Adu and Wenchy, you're among them. But Richard and Jen, you're the ones who came to me when I needed help against this same Satanic power once. That must be why I found you first.
"I was on a mission for the United States, to bring them back something that could fix the world. I have that now. A few minutes ago I thought we'd have to destroy it so evil men could never use it. But you all defended it. We won. For now.
"I've got some idea what you've lived through here, but I wasn't here to see it. December must have been crazy, with winter and distance from the Sun. But unless the orbit changed again while I wasn't looking, things are getting better now. In May, it'll almost seem like old times again.
"People could use me to put the Earth back on its old orbit. The U.S. Government probably will do that if I give them the chance. But you've seen the power here. My question to you is: Do we mess with things now?"
I said, "Seems to me, it's all just the same problems, different year. We can move the Earth around, but we can't fix man."
"Probably I could fix man. That's how powerful these things inside me are. But that's just scary."
Adu spoke. "Wyatt. You are wise and so is your friend. I agree, there is no good fix for the Earth here."
Wyatt said, "I sense a consensus. Anyone else? ... Well then. Next item of business. Do I hide somewhere, or do we turn the power off?"
Wenchy the Witch spoke up. "Off seems like a good option."
"Just for now, or forever? I hesitate to destroy the root password to reality."
I said, "Shouldn't God be the only one with that power?"
Wenchy said, "Or Goddess... But definitely not us."
Adu said, "It's tempting to keep the power for later. That alone makes a compelling reason to destroy it."
But Bill said, "You know that old story about how you wait for God to save you from the flood, even though he just sent you a canoe? I think God just sent us something."
Wyatt responded, "This isn't a canoe. It's the Death Star."
I said, "Bill's got a point. The Victorian gentleman knew how to ask for just the power he needs. While we've got the power, we could ask for that too."
Jane said, "Really, shouldn't we give the power back and then ask?"
I responded, "The time to pray is always now." Jane agreed, and everyone else liked the idea. So I led another group prayer... "Oh Lord God of the Universe, save us and guide us and put your power where you will." The others prayed with me. It seemed right.
Wyatt said, "Well then. The next step is yours. Come to me and wish to turn the power off. I'll make that wish permanent."
I said, "Let's do it."
We all gathered around Wyatt again. I said, "Turn it off, Wyatt."
"Do it." "Turn it off." "I agree." "Yes." "Yep." "Do it now."
"... Done." Wyatt sagged. "Well, that's a relief. They're gone now. Really. Forever. I'll never have to drag my friends into fights for them again.
"Now... This last hour's been hard for all of us. I've had quite a lot of the same before it. Richard, is there a place around here I can get a beer?
"The Legion's serving this afternoon. Royal Canadian Legion, that is."
"Good enough. Are we all invited?"
"Well then, will you all join me?"
We all walked to the Legion hall. On the way, I talked with Wyatt. "You were responding to prayers. Do you think you were God back there?"
"I hope and believe something above me had veto power. But for all practical purposes, I was God - but only as long as I had you with me. You must have been worshippers... I'm surely glad that's over."
I almost wrote this as an instant story. But it was big enough to spend two days on review. Still, I think it's time to shove it out.
During review, the next RACC High Concept Challenge came up: Secret of the Silver Skull Machine. At first I was going to pass, or at least give it its own story, because no machine would be the most powerful thing in this story. But then I realized, I'd already put a machine in! It knew the risks. And it could have won.
I used to track my other concepts with date tags in story. Now I'll just put them in Author's Notes.
The Condos: Purely my own invention... There must be some holiday condos north of Vancouver. I bet the next town up the road has them. But when the map showed a real-life town called Britannia Beach, I put the condos there. That town's name got the story started. So the story bears its name. (22 Feb)
The Reality War: I've had treasure hunt stories since before Marvel Comics had an Infinity Gauntlet. (www.eilertech.com/stories/duopol1.htm) Any relation between it and my Engines of Reality is therefore mostly weird writing on Marvel's part. :) But this year I came up with the concept of swords and dogs at the finish. Kind of a DC touch. (22 Mar)
The Ashanti Involvement: I have a brief concept of African dominance. (www.eilertech.com/stories/1988/index.htm#africa) That concept is arising on its own in soc.history.what-if this year. (Look for "Mali's New World".) So I considered having Adu show up in time to split the wish, but opted for the simpler story. Still, he earned a place in story. (7 Apr)
Wenchy the Witch: She's actually a long-time character. (www.eilertech.com/stories/wave4.htm) There's a real Wenchy, who lives in Canada and worships in the Wiccan style. So when Adu needed a magic consultant, she earned a place in the story too. (24 Mar)
Richard and Jen: Also returning characters! (Reference in story.) I put other new friends in the story. Richard and Jen also have some new-friend elements. For instance, I'm on my second Real Richard and my second or third Real Jen now. They may or may not be related, and their real names may or may not be Richard or Jen. But these two old friends had some important stuff to contribute.
The Satanists: All returning characters! Three of them were known Satanists as of "Predecessors" just half a year ago. (www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/predecessors.htm) Please don't make me cite the others right now, but they're all available on a Google search of eilertech.com.
The Magic Fishhook of Tongafusifonua: Has actually appeared before! Someone moved an island with it. (www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/uplift.htm)
Make It Never Was. Wyatt Ferguson knows what it means to sentence an alternate world to oblivion. He once time-travelled and did that against Earth 2022. (www.eilertech.com/stories/neverwas.htm) Ironically, a very similar Earth 2022 is now looming large in the future. So Wyatt knows the limitations of "Make It Never Was". On the rare occasions he comes across that power, he can easily be convinced to use it sparingly.
This story was heavily revised after review on Rec.Arts.Comics.Creative (RACC). Thank you especially, Andrew Perron. Putting in more Victorians did only enhance the story in the end. But don't expect them to return...
All these characters are copyright 2011, Eiler Technical Enterprises. Yes, I just copyrighted a bunch of my friends. Wouldn't your friends appreciate that as holiday gifts? :)
By the way, I saw the weather forecast for Real Britannia Beach on local cablevision today. I'll probably go on vacation through there a week from now. Real Richard and Real Jen will have to get through real church service without Real Wyatt.
(signed) Scott Eiler, 29 April 2011
Various characters in this fiction may have been created by various people. But absent claims from these people, all characters in this fiction and the phrase "Superhuman World 2011" are copyright © 2011 - 2015 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.