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Brave New World Anthology: Reality Stars

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  • Brave New World Anthology: Reality Stars


    It all went to hell and came back different. Twenty years ago, if a woman lifted a car off her child it would be considered a simple biological process induced by a surge of adrenaline at seeing her child about to be squashed under a car. People who ran four minute miles were considered the pinnacle of human athletes. For the most part, it all made sense eventually thanks to science and the increasing amount of knowledge gleaned from years of healthy skeptic research. Anyone, given the right training and motivations, to put it in the most exact terms despite the complexities involved, could do feats considered superhuman by the average onlooker. These feats, with the exception of ones brought on by training, were generally not repeatable upon request. Reporters would not ask a mother to lift up a car again because it was ridiculous to think a single woman could a lift car by herself without some motivation. Similarly, someone running the world record mile time couldn’t be expected to do it on demand without fail every time like a well wound clock. Questions like “Could you show me again?” just made no sense.

    Of course, twenty years ago was twenty years ago. Now people doing superhuman feats is par for the course of everyday life. One day, twenty years ago roughly, someone made the simple claim that they could bench press a car to a reporter friend of theirs while out drinking. The exact date is not known because the report was lost during the seventeen year war that soon followed. This person was known for boasting and dismissed without a second thought. So, like any person wanting to prove a point and gain credulity with his friends, the two went to the parking lot where the boaster proceeded to bench press a car while drunk as a skunk and barely able to walk. His reporter friend, however, was not that far gone yet and remembered the whole ordeal. In the light of a new sun rise, the reporter friend brought a camera crew to his friends house and got the stunt on camera. Instantly, the name Robert Jones became a household name. Coincidently, it was the last time anyone ever saw Robert again.

    Reports of amazing acts and displays of unexplainable power soon populated the media of the day. In the more liberal countries with a free press, the stories were on the nightly news for several months. Most of the people in the reports vanished. Unsurprisingly, countries with a restricted press had very few news reports of acts that could only be described as super powered unless they were due to some government strengthening reason such as god blessing the country or the like. Around this time, reports of people dressed in costumes doing heroic or villainous deeds also spread. Comic books, superhero movies, and fiction became nearly everyday real life around this time. Executives at Disney and Warner Brothers were in a panic since no one paid for comics or to see their movies/tv shows after seeing it happening in real life. Whole reality tv shows sprung up in the U.S aimed solely towards discovering the next great American Hero accompanied by morning show guests all showing off mostly minor powers. American Super Men, a number one hit for three months until the wars started, was dedicated to finding the “Super Heroes” that were the most American based on their heroic deeds and costumed personas. People even got to vote for who was the most American. All in all, it was a time of wonder for the masses.

    Governments, for their part, saw the super powered people in their countries as assets to be stock piled like nuclear weapons back when they still mattered. All of it is unsupported rumours since governments aren’t keen to share this sort of information with even the central world government formed after the wars. People in power would rather burn the records than let the world know what they did. All I have to go on is self reports from the people who were involved or drafted by their governments at the time to do their patriotic duty. They weren’t lying. China, Russia, and the U.S were the worst of the nations although no government had clean hands at the time. Even small island nations deified the few people who got powers and set them up in high ranking military positions that were largely ceremonial yet gave the people a reason to fight for the nations. Super powers had become the new nuclear arsenals and the country with the largest, most powerful arsenal made sure the other countries knew about it. Behind the scenes, away from the public eye, posturing for the new cold war was in full swing.

    War started in Africa followed by Asia which brought in the other continents who had treaties or just wanted to flex their muscle. In addition, some powered people decided the nations they lived belonged to them and waged a one person war against a modern army. In the first month after the Somali warlords invaded the rest of Africa, more people than the first two world wars combined did not live to see another sun rise. Once the forces in Asia started marching against each other casualties reached a level beyond even a nuclear war could have projected. Not to be slighted, Russia swept into the rest of Europe. America had its own problems, but soon quieted North America. This allowed the U.S to focus on the mutual defense pacts it signed and help its allies around the world. In a war where one man can level whole cities, deaths were counted in billions. After it all was over, a strong one world government emerged letting each remaining country largely manage themselves, but claiming the power to regulate intercountry relations. No country was in a position to challenge this.

    It was at this point my organization, the U.N World Legacy Organization, was started. Someone had to record the seventeen years of near constant battles between nation states and that job fell on the newly minted U.N organization to do. I still remember the day I was approached by the person put in charge of the organization. Flowers were just starting to grow over some graves in San Francisco and the birds were chirping the most pleasant song that rivaled the symphonies of Beethoven himself. Over a cup of Silver Needle tea, Andrea asked me to compile a report of what happened to the world in as matter of fact way as possible. She had done her homework and learned my gift was the detection of lies. So, logically I was the best to find the truth especially considering I couldn’t lie or spin any false hoods thanks to my special gift. For the next two years, I traveled the world to collect stories and facts of what happen during the seventeen year war in hopes of preventing another one. Some of the accounts were quite compelling, so I included them in the report as spoken by the interview subject. Andrea didn’t see it my way and ended up cutting all the “fluff” as she called it while giving me permission to publish the personal accounts in the manner of my choosing. To this end, I compiled them all here so their voices would not be lost forever behind cold numbers. All accounts presented are transcriptions of recording of the interviews without alteration.
    Last edited by mrdent12; 5th February 2015, 07:45 PM.
    [url=]My characters past and present[/url]

  • #2
    Re: Brave New World Anthology: Prologue

    Going Public

    When I arrive at Fiddlers Green in San Francisco, Ca to meet Finian Fogg he is already drinking. The bottle of Jameson 1812 on the bar in front of him is already empty. Finian is a red headed Irishman who looks to be thirty years old and in perfect health. Despite the empty bottle, he looks as sober as a priest giving mass. His clothes are that of someone who has been in one too many bar fights based on the holes, grass marks, and general messiness of them. From his body type, anyone would think him just another skinny bar fly.

    I wanted to wait for you to get here before I started drinking, even got a whole bottle so we could do this properly, but you know how these things go. A bottle arrives from a pretty barmaid and old reliable Jameson asks to be drank. Don’t worry though, I got us another bottle. You know, in the old days before it all changed all it took was a couple glasses of whiskey to get drunk and start the real fun. Some might say that is a bit excessive, but after drinking with me they won’t be saying anything for a week if you know what I mean. Everyone always misjudges me. Hard core drinkers from all over the world, the sort that put back a proper pint every ten minutes, think they can come in here and challenge me to a drinking contest to prove themselves as the best in the world. Soon enough they are on the floor. There was this German who thought he could drink more beer than me last night, but after going through a keg of some German beer I never heard of that is supposed to be world famous he hit the floor and I wasn’t even seeing the world spinning yet.

    Before all of the wars and stories in the press, I was just a bare knuckle boxer. Tough as nails and just as stupid. Still am stupid if you ask some people, but working for new world gangsters has a way of making someone smarter. My employers back then had fights just around the corner from that bar in New York where that strong man first started shouting about lifting cars. Fuck knows his name, but the bar was the best in the city. It was just inside the Bronx, that place that was wiped out by the Russians when one of their missiles missed Manhattan. Who needs accurate when you can destroy whole cities? I still miss that place. This one bartender had redder hair than any woman back home and a smile that would make a man do anything. Sheila I think her name was. She made me strong drinks on account of me and her being very familiar with each other in the back room of the place.

    There is one thing you need to understand about that place. It wasn’t a place anyone just walked in to off the street without being told about it by someone else. Yelp, or whatever was used to find bars, didn’t even list it for reviews. No, this was the sort of place real drinkers and ones who knew the city like a glove drank. If someone didn’t have too much to drink and make some wild claim about something it was only because the place was closed. This one night, a person went on for hours after having just one shot of vodka about how aliens kidnapped him and did that anal probe that everyone is always going on about to him. He just kept going in so much detail I almost believed him myself. These aliens had grey heads with one eye and bodies as skinny as a toothpick. When they probed him, he said they bent him over a metal table that was silvery and shiny. Turns out, he was just buggered by a bloke who drugged him.

    You have to understand that when someone went on about lifting cars, we all thought he had too many. I didn’t see how much he had because Sheila and I were in the back doing things to each other one can go to jail for in some countries. Me and her did the craziest stuff to each other. After we put our clothes back on and headed back into the main bar area, this man was going on about how that morning he had lifted his two ton truck a dozen times before heading to work. He was a construction worker or something. No one cared in that place and no one, no matter how blitzed they were, believed a word that came out of this mans mouth. This stick of a man who could barely stay in the stool after just a few shots of Jameson was claiming he could lift cars like a superhero in the comics was just the nights entertainment. Of course, it wasn’t just cars. There was other things like cranes, fork lifts, and even trailers from the job site he said he worked. It was starting to sound like the alien story again without the drugs, buggering, and probes.

    His friend, this reporter guy who always came by the bar for information for his stories, was almost as far gone as his friend. He was a bigger man though and could hold his whiskey better. The bar stool he was on didn’t move so much. Like a good reporter, he looked at his friend as just another rambling idiot who had a wee too much to drink, but it was something special that night so the reporter let his friend go on about it all. I think it was a birthday or bachelor party. Sheila still had her eyes on me and the tear in her jeans so I wasn’t paying much attention to the reporter and his friend. After the big demonstration though, one bloke told me the reporter and the friend were special friends that spent a little too much time together, if you know what I mean. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but this man who told me also said he was anal probed.

    After a hour of going on about his strength, one of the people in the bar eventually screamed out that phrase that was in every paper for a month when powers first appeared, “Prove it!”. Normally, people in the bar just laughed it off or passed out by then. This bloke who was claiming to be super strong though kept at it like he thought it was really true without trying to defend himself at all. Thinking back, it became a drinking game. Every time someone yelled “Prove it!” that night, a shot was given to every man in the bar on the reporters tab to make his super strong friend happy. It got so bad, most of the bar could barely walk anymore.

    Near closing time, there was only a few of us left in the bar. Most had staggered out drunk and passed out in the alley or in the street earlier in the night. Sheila, God bless her heart, took all the mens keys when they came in the bar. Cries of “Prove it!”, reached a record high until the reporter was all out of money and the strong friend decided he would prove it finally if someone would show him how to get out of the bar. Twenty shots makes a man lose sense of things like doors, walking, or standing up properly. A few of us who could handle our liquor helped him out of the bar at Sheila’s begging and into the parking lot where a taxi was waiting for him and the reporter friend to take them home. We didn’t make it to the taxi. This drunk man who couldn’t walk without throwing up wiggled his way out of our arms and rolled under the truck of this bloke who didn’t make it past the door before passing out. Next thing we knew, the truck rose. For added effect, the strong man lifted the truck again with only one hand this time. “Proved it!”, he screamed before passing out. None of us knew what to make of it. Must have been the whiskey, vodka, gin, and the other shots that were passed around that night. It was just impossible. Not even the bodybuilders on that strong man competition could bench press a truck.

    The next night we are all at the bar again waiting for the next man to get drunk enough to tell tall tales when Sheila puts on the T.V. I never even knew it worked until that night. Standing in front of a house is this man who looks just like the strong man from the night before lifting a two ton truck right on camera for the world to see. His reporter friend then gets on and says there is more. Clips of the strong man lifting the news van, a forklift, and a helicopter were played next. For the first time I have ever been there, the bar was silent. As if walking in on cue, the reporter and his friend come strutting into the bar like they just won World War III single handily. Both of them had this huge grin on their faces.

    Do you remember those movies with the gunfighters who always said they were the best in the west? They always died. Here was this skinny man claiming he was the strongest in the world to a bar full of almost drunk people. News reports covered the lifting, but what you didn’t hear about was what happen to the lifter. That night more cops than I thought existed in New York swarmed the bar with a dozen men in black suits following close behind. The cops were claiming everyone had to be brought in for questioning about drugs, whores, or something like that because of new evidence from some person or other. It didn’t go over well. A fight broke out and everyone in the bar was shot except for the strong man who was put to sleep and dragged into a black van. I only know what happen and survived because I found out I could heal from any body damage that night. Next morning, the news was reporting it was a deadly raid on a brothel where everyone died. In those early days, there was a lot of raids that went bad.
    [url=]My characters past and present[/url]


    • #3
      Re: Brave New World Anthology: Going Public

      Raising Awareness

      Arnold Lister is late a half hour for our scheduled interview time at the Hotel del Coronado Sheer restaurant. The sun is already setting over the water when he arrives with three beautiful women who are coming out of their bikini tops around him. His hair is graying and face showing signs of age, but he has the older rich moneyed look about him and the white suit to match. Before sitting, he dismisses the women by giving them each fistfuls of U.N dollars and yells over to the waitress to bring him a green tea latte. When he smiles, his teeth are pearly white.

      I am telling you man, being in the news business when that guy with super strength first went public was like being an oil man whose wells overflowed with money. The public couldn’t get enough of it. For years all of the news stations were money pits that couldn’t hope to keep up with the bloggers, tweeters, and twenty four news cycle that the public called for since being uninformed was a major sin apparently. Every story had to have a spin that resonated with your demographic or else the ad dollars wouldn’t follow. At the time, I was the head of a small station in Pittsburgh just trying to get off the ground and on the brink of failing because no one even knew who we were. On the street if you told people so and so story was on CNN, everyone knew what CNN was, but if you told them it was on World News Pittsburg they would look at you like you were crazy. This isn’t me just pulling this out of my ass either. We did market research by asking people if they heard of WNP. It was dark times.

      Once that news story about the strong man came out though, every news station went searching for people with powers. I think the ratings for that strong man broadcast alone topped NCIS and any other TV show that week. For years, people got their super hero fix from comics or movies, but with people who could do amazing things in real life they started looking to the news for the stories. In depth backgrounds on the heroes life, the heroes families, and what they were going to do with their powers all became the water cooler talk of the day. Of course, the problem was most people with powers didn’t go public after the strong guy vanished. What set WNP apart from the other news stations is that we didn’t go out and try to track down super heroes like the bigger networks. We made our own. Hell, how was the public ever going to know that John Iron Body really was an actor who did his taped “powers” through special effects? If John Iron Body vanished the next day, we chalked it up to a conspiracy that only strengthened our claim. Seeing other of their kind air in a friendly light on our station caused the real powered people to come to us instead of the big networks and soon we didn’t have to make up people anymore. Whatever gives powers didn’t give me any, but that didn’t stop me acting like it had to lure in the real deals. Was it lying? Sure it was, but it made me money.

      What we did, everyone else wishes they were doing. That is the business. Even after the wars people don’t want the truth, they want a version of the truth that is most entertaining to watch. Take that waitress over there. He points to a young woman wearing a short skit and ill fitting top. If I went over and told her that I have billions of U.N dollars, she wouldn’t care because I am twice her age at least and would sound as boring as a stick in mud. However, if I go over there and say I can take her around the world on my private jumbo jet big enough for her and all her friends anytime she wants to go, I would be rolling around in bed with her tonight. You see? Saying you have money is the boring truth. Saying you can take her around the world with all her friends is the entertaining truth. Thats all we told, the entertaining version of what was going on in the world.

      After the first week, our ratings trampled the other networks. They scrapped their own super powered reporting just to rerun our stories on the powered person of the day. A half hour of every nights broadcast was devoted to some super powered hero or average joe with powers that inevitably had a tragic past about coming up from nothing into a person of notoriety. Toss in a bit of loss, dead parents, going broke, formerly a mental patient, surviving cancer, or some other heart string tearing event and you had the powered person your average viewer could relate to. When the real powered people came to us who led mostly normal boring lives all it took was inventing a sad event. An accountant from middle of nowhere in Iowa all of a sudden became the survivor of a nasty tornado that ripped through downtown Monroe and had the longing for a simpler life in Iowa. His simple life was disrupted though when he got the power to transmute metals. In reality, this accountant was raised middle class with no high hopes in life. Entertaining truth versus boring truth in action. As I always told my producers, never let the truth get in the way of a good story because a good story will make you rich while the truth will leave you broke on the street without even a box to call home. The silly people took it to heart and bless them for doing that because it lined my pockets with enough dough to keep me warm until the U.N took over.

      There is this one guy I have to tell you about. His powers were nothing short of a miracle and we almost branded him as the next coming of Jesus before he backed out of being on the news. Too many issues with going public or some BS like that. Anyway, his power was that he could heal anything and bring people back to life. I am not talking healing one or two at a time here. Put him in a room full of people with cancer and in five minutes they all walk out cancer free as if they never had it or chemo a day in their life. It was a story that had to be told in the news. We had filmed him doing it half a dozen times, gotten interviews with people he healed on camera, verified his powers with doctors, and got it all lined up for a special one hour event. This guy was so perfect for a story because we didn’t even need to invent a backstory for him. His life had it all with a girlfriend who killed herself, growing up an orphan, dropping out of college because of major depression, going back to school to be a counselor, and finally marrying the man of his dreams. Yeah, it had the gay angle as well. You couldn’t write a more perfect background for a one hour special event report. All of the interviews we did with the people in his history just added more meat to the story that would pull on the worlds heart strings. For this one girl, he saved her kitten from being stuck in a tree. By all accounts, he was a regular boy scout. After flaking on us, he went off the grid with his husband. Last we heard, he was in Africa helping to clean up after the warlords nearly annihilated the whole continent.

      So, back to the ratings and the money. Everything else is just filler and boring anyway for people like me. Once our ratings soured, advertisers who would never buy ad time with us were sending me on weekend or weekday vacations all over the world to exotic locations. You know how politicians used to be schmoozed, that was me. Every morning like clockwork at eight in the morning there would be a line of men in nice suits carrying briefcases full of money and asking to have an ad slot for our half hour super powers amongst us segment. None of them cared if it as real. All they cared about was the spike in sales they saw by being associated with the segment. There was no price on having a soap ad right after the bit where a superhero cleans up his act and puts on blue spandex. The next day comes and the bored housewife thinks the powered person used that soap. So much money rolled in that I was able to get my own private island to wait out all the chaos that followed after only a weeks time.

      When you reached out to me, you weren’t asking about the money though, that is why I accepted the interview. I just had to meet the person who didn’t care about my billions. If you want, I could go on and on about how I made my fortune off running a news station from my private island or converted all my U.S dollars to U.N money. You probably already read my book about all of it. The best part is where a ship full of models that escaped the tornados ravaging Los Angeles came across my oasis at sea. At first, they were too scared to do anything, but after a few drinks my island was rocking like it was a major earthquake with me at the epicenter and the women as the shockwaves. It was a good thing we were on an island because the sounds from my private beach could be heard miles away. Of course, you don’t seem too interested in that either. That is the problem with everyone today. Too many people are in to helping humanity or having a part in the world recuperating from everything it went though. Back in the day, men would salivate at my model story and playboy would come banging down my door for an interview with penthouse demanding I write a letter they can publish about it. If that story even gets a thousand people to buy my book now I’ll be lucky.

      Your question over the phone was about my morals, if I remember right. Something about the people on my show vanishing after being on it or soon after. My conscious is clear on that. Its their own damn fault for going public when powered people were being snatched up to never be heard from again. Money rolled in, beautiful women threw themselves at me, and my yacht got another level for a giant hot tub added to it. These people on my show weren’t my responsibility after showing the entertaining version of their life story for all the world to marvel and gawke. We also had powered people who turned out to be not so good as well. No one is crying about them vanishing after boasting about their crimes or plans for world domination. The program was a public service.

      Mr. Exploder, or some such nonsense name, was on my show once. His story was massive for our ratings. Get this, he was raised on the streets by thugs who used him as a drug runner since he was a little kid who would never get picked up by cops like some of the more tattooed members of the gang. They beat him, raped him, and did all sorts of bad stuff to him. Social workers, cops, and even former gang members all attested on camera to this kid getting the worst possible life imaginable. Through it all though, he made his way up to a power player in the gang before giving them all up to the cops for immunity no questions asked. Heres the deal though, before the cops could pick up the gang, most of the members were blown up with the kid being the only survivor of the freak gas line accident. His power was amazing to see on camera and stumped every special effects guy we brought the tape of the power demonstration. Turns out, on the air during a live interview, he said he was going to rob Fort Knox. There wasn’t any reports of a Fort kNox robbery after his segment aired, so I assumed the authorities picked him up. In fact, there is no mention of him ever again except in rumours of Chinese military bases blowing up without cause. Could have been anyone causing the explosion though in this new crazy world we live.

      So see, we helped. If you need another example, there is this guy dressing up as a superhero that came on our show. Said he was like Superman even going so far as to wear his underwear on the outside. The interviews we did showed that he was doing super stuff like fighting crime single handily in some tiny town somewhere in the midwest United States and flying around. Heroic as they were no one except the people of the town knew about him. After our broadcast, all of America and the free world knew about the superman of the middle of nowhere. His story inspired the wave of super heroics that became common place until it all went to hell. As it would turn out, he wasn’t immune to bullets and got shot up by a full auto AK47.

      Want to know why WNP is the biggest news station in the world now? It is because of all these people who came forward and we had the fortitude to risk our moral values to tell their story to the world. My genius made us the last trusted news source when the wars broke out. We had reporters on every battlefield, front, and region of the world at war with each other. All of this and we didn’t need morals or a conscious to do it.
      [url=]My characters past and present[/url]


      • #4
        Re: Brave New World Anthology: Reality Stars

        Reality Stars

        It is just after dinner service on the newly constructed intercontinental rail line. The longest overwater leg that crosses the Bering Strait has just finished when Tasha Niska sits down at my table. She has long, flowing black hair and is wearing a simple long skirt with a tank top that flatters her famous twin assets. In her voice is a mixture of New Yorker and Russian accent. Despite being in hiding since before the wars started, she looks remarkably healthy and has skin that any woman would sell their first born for, as she describes it.

        Before you say anything, I know I am early. My messenger said I would meet you in the Free Siberian Land, but that was to distract those who would still hunt me for my blessing even after the wars are all settled. That is how I knew you would be here. What you and the rest of the world, including the U.N, doesn’t know is that my blessings are not enhanced reflexes or superior tactical skills that were portrayed on The Next Great Super Hero. That is what the world saw. Very few in the highest levels of government know my true blessing is to see the future, past, and any location in the present as it was one. This is the reason I went into hiding before the wars started because in the wrong hands my powers would allow anyone to win any battle even before they fought them. I still remain in hiding because of this. Your work needs to be written though because people need to know the truth of what happened back when powers were still considered novelties to be sold to the proletariat as cheap entertainment.

        The Next Great Super Hero name for the show was an inside joke with the cast and producers. None of us ever took it seriously. How could there be a next great super hero if there was never real superheroes? There are those that say that Hercules, Zeus, and so on were the first wave of people with powers and had their stories passed down as mythologies for others to follow as legends of gods. Believe me, I checked, there was no super powered people. When cast, we were told the show had a working title of Real Super Heroes, but that title always left a bad taste in the producers mouth and the network thought it might invoke that WPN news segment that was over dramatized and a suspected cover for the governments of the world to recruit new weapons for their coming wars of aggression. Me, I think the producers of that news segment were just greedy capitalists who didn’t care for anything except profit. If our show even sounded anywhere close to that travesty of a news segment it would end our show before it even got out of editing. No one behind the camera could come up with good names, so Astral Girl and I suggested The Next Great Super Hero like that model show. Back when it was on, that was all I watched being a seventeen year old girl obsessed with being beautiful.

        There was Astral Girl, Jimmy Four Arms, Captain Humour, Made Man, and Quickie. I was Quickie. We didn’t get to choose our names for the show. They were provided during the casting phase when the producers were looking at all the people with powers who desperately wanted to be on a reality show. Initial forms of my power manifested as heightened reflexes as if my body knew something was coming before my mind did. One of the casting directors was a big smelly pig like man that had a reputation for making women who wanted to be on his shows “earn it” as they call it. I forget his name now, but he took one look at me during casting in my low cut shirt showing off my breasts and skinny jeans that showed off my butt and thought of Quickie. Based on rumours among the crew, he probably was thinking about one with me. Fortunately, the lawyers made it clear that he was to not fraternize with or date any of the cast because that would contaminate the shows integrity. He may have been a pig, but he liked money more.

        I know you know this, but for historical accuracy sake the premise of the show was to put the great hero candidates in ever more difficult situations until each drops out one by one in front of the whole world. Whoever won would become the next go to hero for the world. If it wasn’t for the wars, one of us would have become the worlds great super hero on par with Superman from comics or the Avengers from that movie. We were already being coached on how to respond to various threats and handle the media so that when the media called us in to action we could zoom in on the corporate jet branded by any advertiser willing to pay for it, drop in on the action, and save the day like any great hero. Most of the fights would be staged, but it still was something I wanted back then. To say I was idealistic would be an understatement. Looking back, the best way to describe me was stupid, cute, and naive. My beauty and youth bought me a ticket to brief reality stardom as long as I kept wearing revealing clothes that pandered to the capitalist pigs who thought sex sold better than quality work.

        All of us on the show were too naive to see what it was really about. I just wanted the spotlight like the Kardashians, but the others had their own reasons. Jimmy did it for the acceptance of his newly grown two extra super strong arms, but was mocked in advertisements by people who wanted to exploit his deformity. Astral Girl and Made Man started out doing the show on a dare, but fell in love. They truly thought they were going to change the world together by forming an alliance the show couldn’t separate at the end when they were the last two left standing. As for Captain Humour, we had some fun together as the whispers back then said we did, but he was only on the show for the girls. None of us knew at the time that we were just going to be a face for staged fights meant to promote corrupt brands once we won. America would see us as heroes, but we would be the Monkeys if they were super heroes.

        Our first fight is a perfect example of what might have happened to us. America had just been introduced to us at a press conference that we should have known was a ruse by the show because it looked like real press people were there. Among the plants was a few real press people, but most of them were paid small time actors told to play along with whatever happened. The real press were meant to give it authenticity. During the producers meeting for the fight, most of them wanted only plants, but the pig capitalist who could not keep his hands off women insisted on some real press to make the whole fight seem real to the rest of the world. In front of a hundred people, dressed in our costumes that were meant to please the eye more than fighting needs, two people dressed in all black from head to toe stormed in shooting fire over the crowd from flame throwers attached to their backs. Behind them came a man straight off a bodybuilder show wearing all black as well. We, being super heroes now, jumped in to action doing our things such as punching, shooting mind blasts that looked like rainbows, and other uses for our blessings. It was all over in two minutes. “Police” came and took the villains off to “jail” while the real press there thought we had saved the day. Every morning show had our faces and gushed about how heroic we were and true symbols of America. They got one part right, we were symbols of American capitalist greed.

        Of course, our second episode, the last one that aired, wasn’t much better than our first. Picture a sunny day of two teens making out, two under the covers doing more than making out, and another teen punching stuff in the gym. You can probably guess who was who. All of a sudden the producer installed alarm telling us there's a crisis goes off. At this point, we had bought in to the press that we were legitimate superheroes that were going to save the world from evil mastermind villains and terrorists. As you can imagine, our ratings spiked when the teens under the sheets jumped out to suit up. They had a jet all ready for us as if they knew something was going to happen and all we had to do was get inside, pretend to be busy pushing buttons, and look heroic while the jet flew the autopilot course to the fight. Waiting for us was the stuntmen. Each of them were dressed up in cheesy villain costumes no self respecting villain would ever wear, but to American sheep it went to show the villains were serious and not a joke. It was a dozen of them in all. Jimmy took the worst of it because they taunted him ruthlessly by calling him a freak and yelling he belonged in a circus. The rest of us did our fighting thing to save the small town that ended up being mostly set pieces made by hollywood magic to look real for the “news” cameras that flocked to the scene. Production did a good job of it. Buildings were on fire, extras were hired to pretend to be in danger, the stuntmen had gadgets to mimic powers, and the lines spouted by the stuntmen played well to the audiences. If you want to know the saddest part though, we believed it was real. That is when Jimmy dropped out.

        After two episodes, they pulled the plug on the show. It was too much nudity and violence for a primetime show on a major network. Sure, it was shopped around and we were sold like a product to any network that would listen, but in the end the show was too expensive and we refused to make it even more racy than it already was. A spinoff did make it through until the third world war. They called this one Americas Top SuperHero. We weren’t invited to take part. With production ended, we all went back to our normal lives as best we could. Jimmy ended up killing himself, Astral Girl and Made Man got drafted by America, Captain Humour vanished, and I went to work doing the only thing I could that could get me attention. I stripped. This was about the time my abilities started maturing. Being true to my bolshevik heritage, I didn’t exploit my gifts for personal gain although I easily could have. Instead, I saw people who would. To prevent being exploited I went into hiding on a night that I knew the government was going to come for me.

        All of what I have told you so far is well known. If they let you publish it, here is the real reason The Next Great Superhero was made as a show. There are no more records of it, but the government wasn’t happy with WPN for faking their guests powers. So, to stockpile gifted people like us for their future wars they paid some producers to have an open casting call for a reality show for empowered people. To sweeten the deal, the even offered to pay for two episodes. Most of the people who responded vanished into the brainwashing program to become weapons. Me and my fellow cast mates were put on the show because the audience would love us. Love us they did.
        [url=]My characters past and present[/url]