Well here we are the last installment of my experiment at using the blog to share the introduction I wrote for my upcoming superhero game. I am happy with the way it turned out. I had some corrections to do on the posts as they were published; it’s never easy to edit your own writings. I hope you liked it, my players are still digesting the information and I promise to write a follow up post about how this introduction shapes the expectations and preparation for the upcoming campaign.
I know not everybody is interested in readying my amateur writer exploits, so I promise to balance this fiction pieces with other posts during the upcoming days to make up for the interruption in our regular programming. I’d still like to know what you thought, good or bad, and if you’d be interested at all in something like this in the future.
And now, part five, the longest one so far. Have fun everybody!
Dawn of a New Age, Part 5
CLASSIFIED – TS
Excerpt from an ODNI interagency debriefing
RE: The incident, i.e. “New Dawn”
201177 at 1900Z
Richard Horowitz PhD, NSA and DOD Advisor: “As you all know last Monday an Incident occurred on a world wide scale. Global communications were interrupted for 3.14468 minutes. Power outages have been confirmed in 93% of the world. All electronic systems failed during that time and many did not work properly afterwards, causing accidents and disasters of unparalleled proportion.
A series of natural disasters occurred in the 37 minutes preceding and the 18 minutes after the incident. These include the earthquakes along the San Adreas Fault, tidal waves on the east coast, and the eruptions of various volcanoes, most devastating of all those of Mt. Redoubt and Mount St. Helen, in the US alone. Although we have no empirical proof relating theses to the Incident itself, statistical analysis makes it unlikely that this was a coincidence.
The resulting chaos caused accidents all across the globe, concentrated mostly in metropolitan areas. Relatively speaking, little loss of life resulted from these events in the US. Preliminary reports from China, India and many parts of Africa place causalities at close to 5% of the total population of major urban centers. The breakdown of transportation, from downed airplanes to derailed trains, was also a major factor in the loss of life. The effects on the economy are still being analyzed and later Dr. Akitabe will go into further detail in this area.
Preliminary analysis of all available intelligence and post Incident communications fail to point to a clear culprit. No one has come forward to take responsibility for the attack and all suspected parties seem as baffled, confused and surprised by it as we were. There was no warning…
The only anomalous finding in our admittedly preliminary research was the report from the NASA Deep Space Monitoring Program that reported an increase in background radiation readings over the last seven months. The FBI and CIA are currently trying to locate Dr. Spencer Loyvin who wrote a theoretical scenario during his time at NASA DSMP suspiciously close to what happened. Authorities want to question him.
In the days following the Incident the resulting confusion meant we had to question every piece of information we received and at firsts analysts at different agencies dismissed the rumors as nothing more than fanciful imaginings. Then the first video was uploaded online. The media was soon calling it the Flying Man of Mumbai. Reports from Brazil, China and Mexico soon followed.
The first report in the mainland US was amidst the devastation in LA on the 16th. A store owner opened fire on some looters, most ran, but one simply stood his ground. Initial police reports speculated that he used a bulletproof vest, but surveillance video revealed the man withstood eight shots from a 45 caliber weapon, three of them at close range.
The store owner did not survive the beating and when police finally restrained the man seven officers were in critical condition. As you can see from the reports the man suffered no permanent injuries and was actually taken into custody after being shot with anti tank weaponry.
We can no longer deny that as a result of the incident a transcendental change has taken place. Estimates range from as low as a thousand to possibly tens of thousands affected. There is no discernable pattern to the condition and initial reports seem to indicate there may be a correlation between population and reported cases although some analysts point at greater concentration of reports in urban areas or industrialized countries. As the President said before we are avoiding terms like “super human” or “superhero”. We have settled on the term extra human ability to describe the condition.
Following the initial reports, during a newscast a major television personality referred to the incident and the resulting changes as the dawn of a new age. We have to agree with the assertion, this is indeed a brand new playing field, from this moment on all reports and activities will be coordinated by the New Dawn Taskforce until a proper report can be presented to Congress and the necessary legislation enacted. I’ll leave you now with General Gregory to go over the military’s role in all this.”
March 19th, 2011
Dawn had come to the city. The first rays of sunshine sneaking their way into the concrete canyons. Rescue and repair crews had worked on through the night, as one shift ended and another began the city was silent for a brief instant. This avenue had not yet been touched by the cleanup crews; the plane’s fuselage had broken off into various parts and lay strewn down the avenue, along with the debris from the buildings. The remains of the vehicles trapped under the wreckage had burnt into an unrecognizable slag and a fine coat of dust had settled over all the remains of the disaster six days before.
The wreckage had remained undisturbed for days after initial sweeps by rescue crews looking for survivors. A silent graveyard to those that had perished during the incident the media, even the government, was referring to as a new dawn, a strange moniker for something that had taken so many lives. Unlike other parts of the city where survivors and the families of the deceased had placed mementos or flowers in memory of the dead, authorities still considered most of the avenue and surrounding blocks a “hot zone”, here no one mourned or remembered the dead.
At first the hum was almost imperceptible, growing in intensity just as the wreckage began to shake. Then light began to shine from beneath the slag and rubble, brilliant shafts of light escaping from underneath. The metal bent, melted and groaned followed by a loud explosion. Concrete, metal and other debris flew in every direction leaving behind a small crater amidst the ruins.
In the smoldering crater stood a man naked and confused, at first Ahmad Hadi wondered where his taxi was. Then he remembered the plane and wondered if this was heaven. He ran his fingers through his long hair and beard. He had it cut two days ago, and shaved this morning. He wondered what was going on, where that light was coming from. He looked at his hands and realized the light was coming from him, he was glowing. What was going on?
From further down the avenue he could see the men running towards him, scrambling over the wreckage, he could hear the helicopter coming closer. The men, he could hear them talking, but they were too far away. His senses felt overloaded, thousands of voices and sounds. He pressed his hands against his ears and tried to block it. Rescue and security personnel, including soldiers were rushing towards him. What had happened? Was Kimiya alright? He screamed and wanted to get away from all this more than anything in the world.
The nimbus of light around him flared up and Ahmad was gone, flying up into the morning sky. His take off caused a wave that threw some of the people approaching off their feet. The sonic boom shattered what little glass remained nearby. The pilot managed to regain control of the police helicopter and watched dumbfounded as the streak of light flew off into the morning sky.
©Roberto Micheri, 2010. All rights reserved.