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Thread: Life as we know it.

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    Default Life as we know it.

    This is the main background story for "New Chicago. It is also an alternative History of both the D.C. and Marvel Universes.

    "Life as we know it" Part I of III
    by Luther Stone.

    [Note from the Editors. While we do not endorse Mr. Stone's story, or agree with it, we feel his Pulitzer award winning status merits an open mind.]


    Most people who call themselves adults feel they have a pretty good handle on Life. Oh sure they know there are all sorts of things they do not really understand, but the big things, those they have down.

    They are wrong, you are wrong, we are all wrong.

    Life as you and I know it is not the whole story, it is barely half the story. You are not going to believe what I am going to tell you but I have to write it down. I have to tell you, and just hope that someday something happens to you that will convince you.

    These days few people accept that there are these MetaHumans, people with powers, superpowers. They have been around for a while but have always kept to the shadows. Tons of blurry pictures, rumors of mind control, magic and some really terrible things have been swirling around for decades.

    Bigfoot, UFOs, Loch Ness Monster, MetaHumans, all the same thing to most people.

    MetaHumans do not belong in that list. I have met a few of them and they have a long history of living in the shadows. In fact it dates back, like many things this past Century, to World War II.

    The accepted story is that Hitler was just an aggressive conquerer who took advantage of obvious weaknesses. Some brilliant war weapons, a few other pluses, but all within the realm of the explainable.

    Wrong.

    Hitler created his war machine with black magics and technology that simply was not of this Earth. They opened portals to places other men had only imagined. They made deals, terrible pacts. Power was granted, and it was used. The steamroller of the Third Reich was fueled by powers I simply do not understand.

    The reason the world was so slow to respond to the danger that Hitler represented is because they simply could not believe what seemed to be happening. Spies made report after report, all gained through significant risk to life and limb. None of them were believed.

    Portals? Bah!
    Magic? Beneath consideration, obvious mis-information.
    Other Worlds? You really put that in your report?

    We did not believe, and we almost took too long to learn.

    The United States finally lead the way. We learned how to open a Portal, and we stole much of what the Germans had learned. The US found it's own allies, and in typical US fashion they were direct and succinct in their requests.

    "We want to make a super soldier, and we want a weapon with which we can end this war quickly"

    They got both in the form of a serum, a small radiation projector, and the information needed to construct a nuclear bomb. Our new allies also had an additional gift. "For the first one" they had said. Something about the way they said it bothered most of the US delegation, but questions were not answered.

    The US had begun work on the bomb of course, but all the realistic estimates said 10 years, minimum. But with the sudden new knowledge they were able to put together working models in a year.

    A young man was selected for the serum. He was injected, the radiation projector was employed, and a painful transformation took place. His physical form developed, he gained muscle mass in some unknown fashion. When he was finally released he came off the table like a spring.

    Testing would show that he had achieved the absolute peak of human perfection in the physical sense. His strength, speed, stamina, and recuperative abilities were all remarkable. He was like a half-dozen Olympic athletes in one body. And this was all just natural abilities when he began to train he became nothing short of amazing.

    Plans were made for another trip through the portal for more serum. But due to the US's need for secrecy all of the information about this project was stored at one site. Everyone with real knowledge of the project was also at this location. The Germans learned of the project location and sent an attack team to destroy it.

    They succeeded.

    It was determined by the US government that the bomb would be enough to end the war once developed. Once the conflict was over they could reclaim the information and deal with the consequences of it.

    The one super soldier that had been created would serve as a symbol. The Nazi's had a lot of very ugly tricks up their sleeves and someone would need to handle those. A crack team of commandos was formed to support him along with a highly unconventional air wing.

    He was given an outfit made of the most resistant materials known to other secret parts of the US government, in red, white, and blue of course. And he was given the gift from our allies after it too was properly painted.

    It was a shield.

    They called him Captain America. Yes he really did exist, and if everything I have heard is to be believed, somehow he still does. But what I do know is that in WWII he made a difference. There were a lot of horrors we never knew about. We had great Generals, sturdy troops, but sometimes they were faced with horrible monsters. Other-worldly things, cybernetic Frankensteins, zombies and things that should not exist outside of a fairy tale or a horror movie, but do.

    Our troops needed more and Captain America was there. He never wavered, he never faltered, no matter what the challenge, no matter how insurmountable the odds, he always went in, and men followed.

    What he and his team did mattered to the war effort, and it mattered to a whole lot of GIs who lived to tell the tales that no one really believed. Then a few years after the war Captain America vanished.

    But not before leaving behind another legacy. Before I write this let me just be clear. Captain America was, or is, a remarkable man, a loyal American, and by every single account a true blue hero. He is the model for every real hero in existence today, the standard.

    But he did have one tiny psychological quirk. He ah, really liked the ladies and seemed to think that being Captain America, being the only super solider, meant he should make a lot of babies. In most cases the women did not know they were sleeping with Captain America. But because of the secrecy surrounding him none of them had any luck locating him once they discovered they were pregnant.

    This behavior continued even after he was operating out of the United States again. In the five years during and after the war it is estimated he fathered a minimum of 20 children. What was eventually learned was that the serum Cap was given was a mutating agent. When combined with the radiation from the projector we were given it produces perfect humans.

    Without the radiation it is a much more random mutating agent. Every child of our hero gained some sort of special ability. Some used them well, some did not.

    This is all combined with the chaos the German efforts created. They unleashed things that should not exist here. Because they tapped power that can be used for a lot of different things, wizards once again walk the Earth. Humans, and others, who have learned to tap all sorts of unknown-to-modern-science powers.

    Children were also born from the German experiments and projects. So we have an initial burst of heroes, monsters, and villains in the mid 1940s. They battle for the better part of a decade. The heroes pretty much win, mostly retire or pick a city to watch over.

    10 years pass, the children from the beginning are reaching their twenties and we have a new wave of activity. New heroes emerge, monsters reawaken, chaos and battles that are no longer confined to Earth. Other realms are now involved. And it seems that of these 'other' places are not totally unconnected to Earth, to our past.

    Some of those our ancestors called gods were in fact people from other Dimensions. Many of the mythological groups of deities do in fact have a literal truth behind them. As hard as this may be to accept, people who were once known as gods have been on this Planet again, this decade! And they really do have extraordinary powers. It is no wonder we saw them as deities.

    From 1965 or so, and for the next 20 years, Earth is mostly kept calm and safe by people we never see. But in other places fierce battles raged, people died, planets died, the stories are simply epic.

    Around 1985 things had settled down quite a bit. Major portions of the Earth are secretly under the control of these MetaHumans but as a result peace is more common than war for the first time in human history. In case you are wondering, most of the countries that we in the US consider the good guys are in fact under the control of people we would call heroes.

    The third generation is just now starting to take their place as the leading forces in this shadow conflict. But many of the old hands remain as well. One thing that seems to be universal with everyone touched by any of this, they age very slowly. People who were fully adult in 1945 look like they are a couple of decades older at most. Some of them look remarkably the same. By all accounts Captain America did not age at all during the time he was missing and only looks a decade or so older than he did in 1945.



    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 04-27-2009 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    This is the real world people. They are not myths, they are not illusions. It is all real. Everything I have told you is backed up by solid cold fact. I have seen people that can do things that defy description. I saw a man and a tiny little girl play catch with a Toyota! I watched video records of stunning events, read background data, I saw it all.

    The vast majority of them really do have a Code of Honor, they do not want to kill. With the kind of power these people have it is just inevitable that people are going to die, but they look for other options. They seem to realize that with the massive power they have that nothing less than a fairly rigid code will keep them in check.

    When the villains take human life, well then the rules can bend a little. That is the line. And real life being what it is, there are a fair number of heroes who believe that anyone who chooses to mis-use their powers is going to kill people eventually. These people see killing as just part of the game. But I have to say even with some of the most brutal of these people I felt totally safe. They are not hostile, they just make very hard choices. Some of them are even funny now and then.

    I know, I know. You do not believe me. Fine. But it is the truth, and I can only hope that someday you will realize it.





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    Default Author Comments

    This is the first part of the core of the backstory for my game. I am not sure I am really happy with it yet so it is subject to change until the game is announced.

    Part II & III are written but need to be polished up a lot.



    A.T
    (-)




    P.S. I would not mind if this Article was Rated by those who visit. Regardless of your interest in my game did I tell I good story? If I did then give it a Rating.
    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 01-13-2009 at 10:07 PM.

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    Default Part II



    “Life as we know it.” Part II by Luther Stone

    Ok so you probably do not believe much of what I wrote in the first Article. Probably? Bah! I know most of you do not. But you are reading this part so I guess that is something.

    Maybe what you think is some guy dressed up in a red, white, and blue costume and did something in WWII. The shield? He had a bullet-proof shield, big deal. That is what a lot of people seem to think when I tell them about Cap.

    What if I were to tell you I had read more than one report, by people you would know that all said the exact same impossible thing? If a tank shell hit that shield, it did not explode, it vanished. Not one mark, not one scratch was ever seen on that shield.

    Rightttt you scoff. Ok I am going to ignore you doubters for a moment and talk to the other people who are reading this article.

    You have had something happen to you. Something you cannot explain, but very real. Perhaps you have lost someone close to you; maybe you survived something that by all rights should have killed you. But whatever it is, you got some tiny little look at these people, didn't you?

    You know I am telling the truth but do not want to believe it.

    I guess that is your right, but I personally think that every adult has some responsibility to be aware of the true nature of life around them. If for no other reason than to be prepared when something hideous appears before your eyes and threatens your life.

    I lost someone. Someone close. That is how this all started and is a story for another time when it hurts less.

    So I met one of them, she saved me. I know others would hold the fact she could not save everyone against her, but not me. I am living and breathing because someone I had never met rescued me.

    What can I say about her? She is tall, very muscular, with a figure that would do a goddess proud. Blond hair and is not from this Dimension at all. She can move much faster than the eye can see.

    So how did I see her you might be wondering? Because as I sat there holding my dead loved one in my arms she felt sorry for me. I was not near anyone else, nobody else saw her. But with a little rush of wind she was standing before me.

    I was too far gone to be shocked, I just accepted her appearance as the tears rolled down my cheeks.

    “I am sorry I could not save her, there were too many of you. I. I am sorry” she said in an amazingly powerful voice. Even speaking as quietly as she was, so only I could hear, the tone and timber of her voice was just, well I will just say it, otherworldly. I could feel the air move as she spoke.

    “I understand. I forgive you” the words tumbled out of my mouth like I was accepting some simple apology. Automatic, I was on automatic.

    “Thank you.” she said and looked up to the sky.

    “Wait. Who are you, forgive me but, what are you?” some tiny fraction of my reporter's soul forced out those questions.

    “I am Kara, they call me PowerGirl. I. Well I am a hero.” she said with some hesitation but finally finishing up with a small smile.

    Whooosh! I swear she lifted into the sky like a rocket, in less than 1 second she was gone. Mostly I have afterimages of her leaving, almost as if I did not see it at all.

    PowerGirl? A hero? It would be days before these thoughts would do anything than make my already rattled skull hurt a little bit more. But grief as they say passes and work was a way to cope.

    Heroes are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The most common fact about heroes is that they generally die doing whatever it is that made them a hero. A fireman goes up a ladder and brings a kid down is a hero. One that gives his life do so is a Hero.

    But PowerGirl did do something heroic. Without her 46 people would be dead, including me. What she did was absolutely impossible by any human standards, even the most optimistic.

    But not impossible if you can fly, and are insanely strong, which she is.

    So how to find her again? This was no easy task and frankly you do not need to know. I have been in this business for a long time. I have contacts and I used them. I also starting running articles, looking for things that seemed to show some trace of her, or someone like her.

    Once I knew what to look for, or better yet, once I had my buddy program my computer to go out and look for stuff for me, I found a lot. Considering how fast she can move she could have been responsible for a whole hell of a lot, but all of this? Seemed unlikely.

    And when I really dug into all the raw data my global computer hac.. er, search, had discovered I found things that just had to have been done by others, a lot of others.

    I suppose I should have been surprised. But I think the fact that I knew she existed and knew what she could do just changed me. If she existed others could too.

    They do, and yeah, quite a few of them. Not all that many actually live on Earth anymore. They almost all use magic or other tricks to stay out of sight when they are here. There are those who live in different parts of the world. More on that in Part III

    World War II

    As the Nazi war machine kicked into gear somehow they discovered Portals. These 'rips in reality' open onto a whole lot of different places. I am not even going to pretend I understand what I am about to tell you about Dimensions. It is what I was told, and everyone I talked to about it was consistent so it must be the truth.

    Dimensions are whole alternative Realities. Earth, our Milky Way galaxy, and indeed our whole Universe are but one of many. A vast number of these other places are very unhealthy for humans to visit. Different conditions, atmospheres, and huge critters that eat you are the hazards. The Nazi's took their usual approach and started opening up random Portals and tossing people through them.

    If the poor soul managed to make it back in one piece he or she was questioned. Many hundreds of innocent people died so that we could walk other worlds. And there was another small problem, sometimes when a Portal was opened, something or somethings would come out.

    This was at least a bit of karma for the people behind these experiments. While some of the beasts and other things that emerged from the Portals were tamed or put to some use, many slaughtered anyone who got in their way. Some of those, the really bad ones, still exist to this day. Be thankful that most are not here on Earth anymore.

    I have told you about Captain America, he was the first but others followed very quickly. The use of energies unknown to Science created modern Wizards and Sorcerers. Beasts rampaged not only in Europe, but all across the globe. Mankind itself unleashed the final piece to this little picture when they detonated the bomb that they had been helped to make.

    A true SuperHero, Wizards, Monsters, and raw power in the hands of man.

    The mix was explosive.

    Since the beginning of time there have existed spots where the energy that powers a Portal occurs naturally. In ages past these gateways have sometimes opened. There really were Amazons who were all powerful, and there still are, just not here. Many of the creatures of legend are based on real beasts or odd people who emerged usually unknowingly unto our world.

    When the United States detonated the two bombs over Japan they ended one war and opened up a new one. If I did not hate such phrases the 'frying pan – fire' one would spring to mind. Some of the raw energies unleashed in those explosions is the same as the Portals.

    A chain reaction of energy began to flow across the world. For the next decade new Portals would open, sometimes quietly and with no effect, other times well... people died.

    But unknown to us all we had guardians, Heroes who would come and close the thing down. They also dealt with whatever might have come out of it. Don't think this was all mindless battle and death though. Sometimes the threats were subtle and civilized. Every once in a blue moon some friendly people would use the gateways.

    In Part III I will detail what I have learned of the players in this hidden drama. Various groups have come together, fought and then disbanded along the way. Some still exist.

    They have been our unknown defenders for far too long.






    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 01-14-2009 at 11:10 PM.

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    “Life as we know it.” Part III by Luther Stone

    The first hero group was formed right after the war. They called themselves 'The Justice Society of America'. The members were diverse and include some that would go on to become legends. Most of them have not been seen for a long time.

    Captain America was involved in the formation of the second known group. They were called 'The Avengers' and were a much smaller group than the JSA. While I have never found out what it was, I do know the Avengers were formed in response to some huge threat. Captain America sought out people with special abilities and found some very interesting people.

    Iron Man, he looked like a guy in a big fat suit of armor, or a boiler with legs. He could fly and project powerful energies from his armor. Rumor has it that he financed the Avenger's operations but his identity remains a mystery. What is known is that he was a genius who worked in a number of different fields. Two of his assistants would also join the Avengers.

    Dr. Henry Pym and the then Janet Van Dyne (later Mrs. Pym) discovered a way to control the size of objects. While their ability to shrink things was remarkably useful, it was Janet's impulsive test on herself that gave birth to two heroes. Dr. Pym became GiantMan, with the ability to grow to many times his normal height, or to shrink down to insect size. Ms. Van Dyne called herself the wasp and usually operated at a very tiny size, flying with mechanical wings created by Iron Man.

    Those people were all humans, they created things that changed themselves. Hard to believe but at least within the realm of possibility.

    But what of Thor?

    Seven feet tall, long blond hair, by all accounts Nordic perfection. He could fly, summon lightning, control the weather, and create Portals at will. He said he was the Thor, the original, from another Dimension that had once been connected to Earth. The simple people of the time called them 'gods' and they were intelligent enough to go along with it.

    An interesting side-note is that contact with Earth changed Asgard too. They came to think of themselves as a basically gods. Immortality does interesting things to personalities it seems.

    To tell you the honest truth I would not believe many of the stories of the 'God of Thunder' except for one thing. A United States Navy film of Thor tearing an Iowa class Battleship into two pieces. He used his bare hands and a big hammer. Really not kidding. A hammer.

    I should note that the ship at the time was not under the control of the US Navy. The US government approved and appreciated Thor's actions that day. In the end that is why I was allowed to see the video. No one would believe me they said, and yet he deserved more than the thanks he got at the time.

    The final member of this powerful group of unique heroes was called the Hulk. He was a scientist involved in research on Portal energies, making a bomb out of them to be exact. Somehow he was hit was a large quantity of energy and it changed him. He could transform into a green monster with increasable strength. He seemed to have some sort of anger management problem but is generally considered a hero by those who know these things.

    The Avengers had a long run and seemed to have done a lot of good things. Epic battles and a lot of lives saved. They were the first to use the magic items that have kept most of these activities under cover and created quite a bit of highly advanced technology.

    But after Captain America disappeared they had troubles and then a mission gone bad lead to some deaths. The remaining members disbanded soon afterwards.

    Years later a new group formed, they called themselves 'The Justice League”. They were a looser group only coming together when significant threats were discovered. As far as I know they are not really active anymore but they never disbanded either.

    The Justice Society reformed not that many years ago. A slightly different group in that they are more like a family than a strike force. Many of the current members are directly related to former members, or are in some way carrying on a legacy somehow.

    The more I dig into this, the more I find. I will not be telling you anything about what I have learned about the other side of this hidden world. Those who consider human lives meaningless, the ones who believe they are superior and should, and in some cases do, rule parts of the planet.

    Frankly you do not want to hear any of that, and I am a little afraid to write it. Only a little? Yes, only a little. PowerGirl watches over me now. I see her for a split second on a regular basis. She usually stops just long enough for me to see her so I know she is around.

    I feel very safe these days and it is a nice feeling.

    What I wonder about is what would our world be like if none of these things had happened? How much worse would natural disasters be without their silent help? Would War be a constant fact of life somewhere on the planet? We do still have Wars, but we also have times of true peace. Are they responsible for that?

    The ultimate question is would humans still be in charge of their own world if these Superheroes, Villains, and Monsters did not exist. Because make no mistake, humanity does not control Earth anymore.

    They do.

    I have been told that there are people who know the answers to these questions. I find it hard to believe, and impossible to ignore. So I am going to find these people, and I am going to ask these questions.

    Maybe it is time you started to ask some of your own.





    Written by Christopher Darque
    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 01-17-2009 at 05:44 AM.

  6. #6

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    That was... Very good. I very much liked the way that was wrote. While I don't know too much about "comic book heroes", the way you've told it there is awesome. And as a backstory for your game it's very good.
    "Surely thine kind are more than pure dark."

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    Damn good tale ye weaved... sounds like one hellacious world to play in.

    I love the story as it takes the 'reality' of established comic book stories and threads them into your own plot. Basically, you have managed to create a plot wherein the players will be familiar with the world so long as they read some Marvel Comics in their youth.

    I rated it a 5.

    We need a reputation system here methinks.
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    ...Then of course, I double rated it a 5. *wink*

    -Lady D.

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    Thank you all. It was actually rather fun to write.

    There is a fair amount of DC in the mix too, but the Marvel people did kinda get the spotlight. I have always been the first one to be critical of huge 'hidden sides to the world' sorts of plotlines. As cute and fun to read as the Harry Potter books are I have always thought the way she mixed magic into the real world was totally well, lame.

    But with Magic and some alternative Dimensions, ok, that can work. Of course I am wondering if anybody is going to be able to poke a hole in my Magic Tech once I really explain it. *grins*



    A.T
    (-)

  10. #10

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    I'm sure I can find some inconsistencies in any theory. I'm pretty good at it.
    "Surely thine kind are more than pure dark."

    Creator of the Mass Effect Saga Edition conversion.
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