Gods of Cloverdale
Superpower has been tentatively defined by the scientific community as “an ability, usually unique to a particular person, that allows an effect in apparent contradiction to the laws of the universe as presently understood.”
This is the way scientific professionals say: “got me.”
Superpowers are a recent phenomenon. About four months ago, an boy in Munich, Germany manifested the first known superpower when a notably abusive teacher was haranguing him.
The first blast of fire essentially vaporized ninety-two percent of the woman’s head — leaving something that looked disturbingly similar to a burned-out matchstick — and continued on to set alight the school building. The boy, unable to control the blast, panicked as much as his schoolmates and ran away from the school and into the city.
Before he managed to get his power under control, the fires had rendered about twelve percent of the real estate in Munich condemned, killed about twenty thousand people (most of those trampled by others), and left almost two hundred thousand people in some combination of “injured,” homeless," or “missing.”
The identity and current location of the boy have been withheld by the German government for his own protection. Naturally, conspiracy theories abound.
Nobody else has had such a dramatic introduction to the world, and it is estimated that somewhere between half and three-quarters of all initial manifestations are so subtle that only the power-user knows it even occurred.
So, where do superpowers come from? It’s obvious, isn’t it? There’s only one possible explanation!
- Genetic mutation caused by an increase in background radiation
- Genetic mutation caused by a plague released by an experimental virology lab in Eastern Europe
- A cyclic increase in the mana level of the Earth, causing some people to manifest magic spells that we call “superpowers” because that’s what we call such things in today’s world
- Divine intervention
- Demonic possession (Fox News is the biggest proponent of this theory)
- Divine intervention caused by demonic possession
- Mother Earth taking revenge for her poor treatment since the beginning of industrialization (Fox News won’t even acknowledge this one exists)
- A thinning of the barriers between this world and the afterlife, causing ghosts to flood the world and cause trouble
- A scientific experiment gone wrong
- The ancient gods having children again
OK, so maybe it’s not all that obvious. But the truth is that nobody knows! Or, at least, if anybody knows, they’re not saying. Or maybe they are saying, but their reasonable explanation is being drowned out by the mountain of crap everybody else is spewing out. It’s hard to separate gold from dross when it’s not even clear that there’s any gold to be had.
Similarly, there’s no reasonable explanation as to why some people have manifested powers and others have not, although one popular theory posits that those people who have not yet manifested powers simply haven’t done so yet.
It’s important to note that, as yet, all superpowers are unique to particular individuals. Many have similar effects and appear similar, but the magnitude, mechanism, and other details are going to differ at some level. For example, there may be individuals with the ability to create ice. One might do so by directly reducing the amount of heat in an area, another might absorb the heat in the same area, indirectly causing the area to cool down and ice to form. A third might manipulate (or create!) water molecules and force them into a crystalline lattice the same way water molecules do when they freeze. Each would have different limitations and effects. The first would be most effective in cold areas, the second in warm areas, and the third in moist or humid areas — with the added oddity of room temperature ice.