04 October 2007

My Superpowers

Since my first and second (not yet posted) attempts of serious writing got a little bit of criticism for being too violent and gruesome, I tried again writing about something less harsh. It's still (supposed to be) quite dramatic though. It's also the most I have ever written.

06/24-28/07; My Superpowers; OutsiderXE
"There are men", wrote Aristotle, "so godlike, so exceptional, that they naturally, by right of their extraordinary gifts, transcend all moral judgment or constitutional control: 'There is no law which embraces men of that calibre: they are themselves law.'" (Hughes-Hallett, Lucy. Heroes. Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.)

Extra-sensory perception, the sixth sense
She's rushing to the main station to catch her train every day after work. One time I told her that her train would be late, so she needn't hurry. Of course there was no reason to believe me so she picked up speed anyway. There was no way to check so I had no proof. And actually I had really just made it up but it is the coincidence of the train really being late that bothered me. So I have come to the conclusion that I must have some kind of superpowers! Specifically I have what "scientists" call "Extra-sensory perception", ESP for short, which is defined as the ability to acquire information by paranormal means independent of any known physical senses or deduction from previous experience. Just because of one coincidence, you ask? I have more.

The first signs of Extra-sensory perception
When I was a kid, probably eight or nine years old, I used to look up in the sky, imagining myself having conversations with God. It was my own style of praying, or maybe just an imaginary friend a lot of kids seem to have when they are very young. I mean, I had friends, but few of them were living close by. All of them were brought and picked up by their parents when they visited my neighborhood. Luckily that happened a lot since we were living in an allotment union and my parents were running the local restaurant. I always had a lot of question for God, sometimes asking for guidance, sometimes asking for favors and by now I realize that I often used him as a Jin asking for specific things I wanted to have. The Nintento Gameboy was pretty popular at that time, so I asked God to give me one. I cannot remember how often I had asked Him or how long it took, only that my parents finally bought me one. I understand that there is an error in logic, or the divine implication in that thinking.
How could I be thinking that it was God who gave me the Gameboy? Had I not ever asked my parents to give me one? I had, and they gave me one. Maybe the next example will make things clearer, or depending on your point of view more clouded. A famous basketball NBA-star, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, quit the game, after being diagnosed with AIDS. Back at that time people were not exactly sure as to how the virus was spreading from one person to another, so "Magic" was not allowed to play until further notice. I prayed to God to let him return, I was about eleven at that time, and after a while the doctors did let him return to the game, even if it was only for a year. At that time I was feeling very close to my Lord. I was praying a lot, my nightmares had vanished (the type of nightmares kids usually have after watching a scary movie, so nothing too special here), and I often felt some sort of divine glimmer around me.
Fast forward, I turned eighteen, probably the first time I felt depressed in my life. I guess it's just how it sometimes turns out. People change, it's just very difficult to understand why. There are probably almost as many theories on why people change behavior and beliefs, and on how they can do it, as there are people. For me it was probably school being over and the first time I had no directions in what I wanted to do in life. My connection with my "invisible" friend was non-existent so He couldn't help me either. Time was flying by, tick-tock, tick-tock, and I was hopping around at the job center to see if anything could be done. Though living in Germany, I had never been to a German school, except kindergarten, for once in my life. So it was also my wish to experience German school life for once. The job center put me into one of these schools, probably another time my superpowers changed the fate of the world without anybody even noticing. And I realized that I could do it without asking a divine being for help, so it was probably me all time along.
As more time passed by I realized that I had been developing more powers based on ESP. Some other unique abilities it has allowed me to practice are "Soul-diving", "Hyper Déjà vu", "Precognition" and "Mind Control". I invented the names of the first two in case you were wondering (and I know you were).

When I look into peoples eyes for more than five seconds I can read their minds, better yet, their souls. I can get so much information about every person: past history, present thoughts, even details about the person's future. At that German school I tested it on simple ideas. For starters, I could guess whether a person ever wore glasses in his/her life (people I could never have known if they had worn glasses, but you would be surprised how many people actually have, even if they are not wearing them at the time), then I estimated the time he/she had been wearing them, then it got more complicated as I calculated how old the person would be until he/she needed them again. When I tell people to think of a number between one to ten the first thing that comes to their mind is to trick me and think of something like zero, eleven or 48,151.62342. But almost everybody discards that idea pretty quickly, since it is more fun to play by the rules of a game.

Hyper Déjà vus
This is actually a power many of us have experienced, some of us more often than others. It is also a pretty useless power, since it only works after the event went into effect. I mean, when was the last time a power was considered special when almost everybody has it? You know what? I can make my body feel hungry when I actually really need to eat! Really special!
The term déjà vu describes the experience of feeling that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously. We have all experienced déjà vus, some of us more, others less. The funny thing about my déjà vus is that they seem to happen over and over again, making the actual déjà vu-feeling a déjà vu by itself. So you find yourself in a situation where you thing you have said or done something specific before and it is exactly that avowal that makes you experience another déjà vu, and that again, and again and again. You find yourself in an infinite loop trying to break it by saying things you would normally not say until you find the right one.

Precognition denotes a form of ESP wherein a person is able to perceive information about places or events through paranormal means before they happen. That's how I knew the girl's train I mentioned in the beginning of this text would be late. That's how I can predict the outcome of sports events. I have actually used that power once to win a bet by betting on a draw in basketball. If you know anything about that sport you know how seldom draws happen. It happens but it's not like football where probably every fourth to sixth match ends in a draw. Unfortunately it is not a power I can control. I am not even sure how it happens. In movies they often explain it through visions and other silly things. With me it's different though, it is like the information of something specific happening in the future is suddenly in my head. Just like I know what will happen with in a computer text-document when I press "Enter".
I tried to find some answers and a friend of mine mentioned someone who was experiencing something similar. He was calling it "déjá vu-based Precognition". Meaning he could see things in the future based on re-experiencing stuff that had happened in the past. I asked him how it would work. He said that it was simply an idea of a power that has yet to be developed. What if one could deliberately create Déjà vus? That person would be able to bend and break the laws of time by (re)creating a situation that he then lets have come to past even before the first feeling of Déjà vu. And what does that have to do with precognition? Well, let's say someone could alter the past via a present Déjà vu and based on the events after that time since the first event he could of course predict the present. But the present is unpredictable you say, since it's the present and not in the (un)predictable future? That only counts for things we know about, things we don't know about may very well have happened either in the past, present or future. And this is where precognition steps in. People get confused easily so here is an example: I know George W. Bush is the president of the United States (present reality). He won the elections in 2004 (past reality that affects the present and the unknown future). I remember the elections (not a déjà vu yet), I let myself re-experience the election (actual self created déjà vu) so I change the past which also affects the future and if I know enough about the alterations I have made I can foresee events. It's as simple as math. 3+5=8. Replace the 3 with a 4 and I know it will be 9. I don't even need an additional power like Precognition, I just do the math.

Mind Control
This is actually not a self-established power. It has more to do with the existence of the other powers which allow me to control other peoples behavior and make them do my bidding. Based on Soul-Diving, if you know what people are thinking you also know how they will react to every single binary you throw in their way (See "Precognition"). So you actually don't look into peoples future, you calculate it by taking every possible step into consideration. It's like domino. Only that I get to choose the shape and size of the first stone.
Unfortunately you don't get to dive into everybodys soul, then you use simpler tricks like lying and deceit. There's a TV series I like, called "M.D. House". It's about a doctor (Gregory House) and his medical team solving the most wicked cases (as far as I have heard all based on true cases). This particular Dr. House is an arrogant subject, but also a genius which makes him a superhero of some sort. He never visits any of his patients, generally assuming that all of his patients lie when asked about the history of their accidents, diseases, infections, whatevers. Now, it is my understanding that you can tell everybody anything you want as long as you reveal a part of weakness or truth about yourself. For Example: The little kid broke the vase, and his parents will be angry at him as soon as they find out. To prevent them from becoming angry the little kid makes the first move towards the parents and tells them what he did (revelation of truth/weakness), and by doing that the kid tells his parents all sorts of stories trying excuse his mistake. If done right the parents won't even see the excuse, concentrating on the fact that the kid came forward telling them the truth. He might even get a cookie for it and he might stay up until late to watch "M.D. House"! Getting back to him, I would so much like to test this trick on Dr. House. A person who can make anybody believe anything challenging another person who never believes anything. What a duel!

Purpose of a superpower
A power, any kind of power, be it optical, mental, electric, motive, effective radiated, purchasing, statistical or political is there to be used. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Spider-Man's uncle Ben said that with great power came great responsibility, so I try to find ways to do justice to that responsibility, well knowing that the number one rule of any superhero (or even supervillain) is to keep his real identity a secret, but in my case it's not so hard, since my powers are not based on physical strength or speed, meaning, I don't have to be physically at the scene to let my powers become effective.
Corny as hell as it may sound, but the first thing I remember ever doing, consciously using my powers for good, was saving a stray cat from a tree she had climbed too high to get down again. Because I had been bored I had soul-dived my landlord to look for some kinky stuff and realized that he was a little sad because his fat black pussycat Natty hadn't shown up for breakfast that morning. If it had ever missed a meal it probably meant that it was dead, but there was no corpse to be found. My precognition had allowed me to see this very ugly cat up on a tree that was in a park close to my neighborhood, having cut herself on a tree-bench and then bled to death some hours later. Usually I wouldn't have cared less, I'd probably even have made fun of my landlord for some time until another disgusting thing would have caught my attention, but since the day was already boring enough I went to the tree and mind controlled the cat. No, I did not make her get down immediately. I was throwing stones at her to make her dance on one of the tree-benches. The poor fat cat needed some exercise after all. I called my landlord and told him where his cat was. As soon as he had arrived and was close enough I let the cat jump on his head. She was making some funny sounds so he quickly took her to the vet.
It was the first time my powers had actually made me feel good about something, because up to then I was just using them for small tricks and the recovery of some teenager self-esteem issues. So, I was thinking, in what way could my powers benefit mankind? (Un)fortunately unlike as in comics there was no supervillain for me to beat up so I had to find others way to fight crime. Much like finding a decent job I started reading the newspapers, looking for incidents happening, and where I thought my extra-ordinary powers could be of help.

From balance into chaos
Often as I read a newspaper-article I was getting these flashes of information about the various perpetrators. There was this group of bank robbers called Beagle Boys Inc. going around in town and despite raised security measures had managed to rob every bank they set out to, and nobody ever had a clue about their true identities. I found out that they actually had a pretty simple routine for choosing the banks they broke into. They had a guy on the inside on the police who provided them with information about which bank was best suited for their next hit. They chose banks with older security systems, non-digitalized cameras, lack of security personnel, banks with small windows so people from the outside were having a harder time noticing what was going on inside the bank. I called the police posing as one the Beagle Boys and tipped them off their next hit. First thinking I was a prank caller the oldy lady on the other end of the phone refused to give in to me, but after a while agreeing with me that I was probably worth hearing out. They catched the group red-handed, three days after my call. The man they had on the inside was also arrested and charged with bank robbery.
It was all working out really well in the beginning as I was helping police fight crime and old ladies walk across the streets. But one day an old beggar appeared at my doorstep, telling me that if I did not stop doing what I was doing our world would be doomed. I didn't recognize the "prophet", only had this slight feeling that he might actually be right about what he said. I quickly discarded the feeling and attended to my own matters, there was a world I had to save and I was the only one who could do it!
One day I turned on the TV and saw something in the news that disturbed me quite a bit. The Beagle Boys had all been killed inside the prison they were being held, police suspecting that other inmates were trying to shake down the location on the money they had stolen. They definitely deserved prison but they never killed anybody on their heists, so I did feel a little sorry for them. Two days later I got the news from my landlord that his cat had died because of internal bleeding. The vet suggested someone having fed her with little stones. Someone must have thought that mixing stones with her food would help her digest more easily. The woman I introduced at the beginning of this text died a week ago. She was hit by a car because she stopped at the middle of the crossroads when someone spoke to her and the traffic lights suddenly turned green for the vehicles. She was about to hurry for her train when she heard my voice telling her that she needn't hurry.

Where I go from here
My powers are a course, the effective outcome of my powers. When I was young it seemed to be allright, I was getting what I wanted, small things, little things. But when I started to help people around everything seemed to go to hell. It seems like the world is destined for damnation if there is nothing a person can do even when wielding such tremendous powers. It is the second time I feel depressed in my life. I it's just how it sometimes turns out. People change, it's just very difficult to understand why. There are probably almost as many theories on why people change behavior and beliefs, and on how they can do it, as there are people. For me it was my powers and the first time after a long while I had some directions in what I wanted to do in life. My connection with my "invisible" friend was still non-existent so He couldn't help me either.
Dear Lord, I can't feel you now, but I know you are out there. Will you come now to tell me how it is going to end, or how it is going to begin? If I abused some power that you gave me, then you can take those powers away - I never asked for them, nor do I particularly want them anymore.

(3305 words)


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