The Day North America Woke Up Leo the Pirate Vampire King The New Porfiriato Emperor Ted Vojvodina vs. the World Superhuman World Superhuman World 2009
Me in the Superhuman World:
Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Emperor Ted .

Superhuman World 2009 is a work of fiction. The characters herein and the commentary about them should not be considered "real".


Emperor Ted

January - February 2009

All Hail Ted!


All hail Ted!

(signed) Wyatt Ferguson.


Emperor Ted. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

This story insisted on spilling onto the Web, in a very literal way. So did a pandemic.

It started with an alien polo game on the "Planet of Apocalypse".

  • This planet is the only place in the Galaxy where reality is even more mutable than on Earth. The Galactics treat it like a combination nature preserve and insane asylum. Their various languages all call the planet something like "End of All Things".
  • This game is a periodic Galactic event, for those insane enough to visit Apocalypse. Earthlings have actually been involved for longer than Earth and the Galaxy have had diplomatic relations; apparently Earth residents have an advantage when it comes to mutating reality. I was in the game in 1996, and so was the alien conqueror Urr.
  • After the latest alien invasion, Earthling pride was at stake. And the stakes are even higher than that. As well I know. After the game I was in, Urr used his prize to destroy an alternate Earth.
  • Toward the end of this year's game, one black Earthling guy was winning. At various points in the game he looked like a cowboy, a thalidomide baby, and Johnny Carson, due to shifting perceptions. But Ted Clark put a suit of armor together and got the win. (11 Jan)
  • Ted Clark with alien armor? Alien armor killed him with mind-warping! (He got better, of course. That happens in my world.). Ted won his suit in the game after mine.
  • Apparently the superhuman Combine thought it's really important to keep this armor away from everyone else. It was either Ted or Julie Wolcott to wear it. They've both worn armor like this. Julie survived it better, with help from her superhuman husband (please don't make me talk about Ellipsis). But Ted was better at putting it together.
  • Apparently the lead Earthling rival was Eric X himself. And the prize was the armor suit itself. Hijacked airplanes to the contrary, one of these suits was what actually blew up the World Trade Center. And that's just the start of their powers.
  • When Ted got the armor home, it started showing new mind-warping powers, aimed outward for once. In particular, everyone around Ted started worshipping him.
    • Julie started hanging on to Ted instead of onto her own superhuman husband.
    • Ted's wife Ingrid in turn dressed up in a Ninja Turtle outfit, to be his sidekick. She thoughtfully spray-painted the outfit red, to avoid copyright infringement; she's calling herself the Raspberry Lizard. Lizards and raspberries do not have superhuman powers, but Ingrid doesn't either (aside from super-strength which every woman has since the Panlucida Incident), so she doesn't care.
    • One other woman tried to handcuff herself to Ted to gain his undying love. (21 Jan)
  • I got drawn in, when Ted-worship spread via Internet. I've offered to go to Rome to be his high priest when the Catholic Church inevitably submits to Ted.
    • In China it's gone beyond that; they're raising Ted's banner for a new revolution. He's chosen the Evil Minions Battle Flag, only with a brighter color smiley face, and cow colors instead of checks. Boy, it looks like Vermont yuppie tree-hugging stuff. But Ted knows best. All hail Ted! (23 Jan)
  • Best guess (from Ellipsis, who alone has seen the phenomenon but avoided Ted-worship) is, this is something like St. Vitus' Dance. It's a physical disease which affects those in close contact. But there's a memetic component also. The armor is mutating to spread them both. Internet geeks like myself and many people in China are particularly susceptible to the "righteous imperial world domination" meme. This explanation is perfectly logical, but I don't care. All hail Ted!
  • In comic books, people like Emperor Doom take over the world, but then things magically revert after. Emperor Ted may still have work to do before he fully takes over, but I still trust that whatever he takes is for keeps - or will have to be fairly conquered back by the evil enemies of Ted. All hail Ted!
  • ... As it happens, the Occulator Compuplex alien hive mind knows what to do in situations like this. They bring me out of my Ted-worship, and have me come to the basement of a certain skyscraper in Indianapolis (coincidentally near where I grew up).
    • I, now living in Oregon, have some travel adventures to get there, but nothing more sinister than usual for me. Mostly I just get in trouble for making the wrong friends in a seedy Indiana lakefront resort town. Nothing to indicate the interest of Ted. (26 Jan)
    • The "Total Conversion" superhuman battle squad is headquartered in Indy, and has members who have worked with the Occulator Compuplex - the same way I did.
    • Ellipsis is there too, oh joy. But we can work together when we have to.
  • So we start to spread the counter-meme. Others will address the disease itself. (27 Jan)
  • As it happens, Ted Clark usually does not want to be an emperor. If our hive mind could break through his alien god-armor to contact him, he'd be on our side. So I get to make contact!
    • Ted's meeting with an ape envoy (apes now have their own society if not a nation), at a phone company "war room" in Missouri. He finds it convenient because he once interned there.
    • When I go in, I get to be Ted's cupbearer. As King of All The Humans, he has more ritual than when I knew him.
    • Ted and I like each other, so I make the breakthrough. Early results are, this has apparently turned the tide.
  • I'd like to say "To Be Continued", but others will have to continue it. Never mind the state of the world; I've got business! Business is the state of the world too, after all.


Equilibrium. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

As part of my Superhuman World expertise, I present at conventions. And now I'm a novelist!

  • I'm carpooling to a gaming convention. As my editor Katerina Katzman and I head to New Hampshire from I-495 in Massachusetts, our passenger stops the car because he's sick. I'll let him off and call the office, but I'm not turning back. (29 Jan)
  • We're going down into the convention's "Chapel of Doom" to play a game. The building is filled with boxes of balloons, as I find when I float down. (29 Jan)
  • Today's game is "Music Composer". Artists are rated for their ability to rhyme (and to work around things that don't quite rhyme), and the object is to bring in target words. I'm playing the B-52s. (29 Jan)
  • The next day, I get to give readings of my newly published novel - Superhuman World 2004, now in paper form for the first time ever. We call it a "novel" because since the reality shifts of 2005, my memories of 2004 are fiction as far as this world is concerned.
  • My agent meets me here; he recognizes me by the way I tilt my head to listen (my hearing is not always the best) - and because he's my older self, with an eyepatch!
  • But someone's come to disrupt the reading - Erik Katzman, the Hurrier! Katerina is his estranged wife. And he's now out from prison.
  • My older self decides to swap one of his associates with her younger self. So I suddenly get a new Katerina! (30 Jan)
  • Based on age and health, I'd guess our older selves are coming from nigh unto Earth 2022. 2022 isn't that far in future, but I've seen a future where it's the end of the world.
  • Young Katerina was having an argument with her husband. Older Katerina is much more conciliatory. She won't say what happened between her and Older Erik, but it appears he will go out heroically. And this is the night he's supposed to decide what sort of life he'll live. In the end, he's mollified.
  • Postlude: In Sao Paulo, Brasil, Satan's self-proclaimed viceroy Auge von Shaitan is bragging to guests about how he takes pride in his work, and the Hurrier is a special project of his. When a guest asks why the Hurrier doesn't just throttle his enemies instead of making peace with them, von Shaitan said, "Have patience. New enemies shall arise for him. And the more heroic he acts now, the farther shall he fall." (1 Feb)


The Return of Adolf Hitler. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

One more master villain comes back.

  • I'd gone south, to East Nashville-Tennessee. I was trying to find Sunday dinner, complete with both food and beer. This can be a problem once one gets past the Ohio River. I do find a place, but the staff is having a party and I have to stand up at the bar, order the food myself from the kitchen, and serve myself the beer by feeding a vending machine.
  • The owner comes out - and he's Adolf Hitler! He's got Eva Braun with him; I've done some research on Hitler, so I recognize his girlfriend.
    • I once knew an alternate-universe Sensible Hitler. He'd revitalized Germany without picking on the Jews, then united Western Europe against Communism, then overthrew Stalin. Then he got thrown forward in time and became the governor of South Carolina (under the assumed name of "Arnold Wolf"). Then he got assassinated by a superhuman - which helped lead to a schism of superhumans.
  • I feel I have to compliment Eva on what the common people will put up with. Hitler starts muttering ", My Glorious Fuehrer", so I say I was talking to him. (5 Feb)
  • Hitler seems to have come back after many reality shifts (like Emperor Ted did). And he's rebuilding his power base - as a really cheap restauranteur. (Sometimes the best villains start small, kind of like Evil Mayor Anvernacht in Iowa.) And he's got his best girlfriend with him now.
  • But this seems not to be Sensible Hitler. He's got a more sensible mustache, because nobody can get away with that mustache today. But he's claiming leadership in the name of the Ultimate Aryan, the Emperor Ted. Never mind that Ted's now recanting his power; the power isn't just melting away. And Hitler's declaring a crusade against the evil Russians who still pretty much control Earth orbit... This could actually be popular.
  • I am not like some of those heroic renegade generals and Catholic priests who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler. From what I've seen, assassinating Adolf Hitler never works. Either it happens too late, or someone else just does the same stuff as him. The latter seems especially likely to happen now, from among the many other followers of the Emperor Ted. Let's just leave this one alive - and watch him.
  • So I thank my host for the meal, then go off site and update my company's home office. The Return of Adolf Hitler is really not a problem for a field agent to resolve in one afternoon.


Followup. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

Alen magistrates are investigating Earth's superhumans for traces of Emperor Ted worship, and they're still finding some.

  • In the Power Patrol, Skyhawk and the Powernaut are using baby talk as a code to confound the magistrates. Of the unaffiliated vigilantes, Bandolier likes this idea so much, he's spreading the code. The Powernaut seems to be genuine in his Ted-worship; the others may just be messing with the aliens on general principle.
  • Within the Combine, Little Bill the Best Man of Darkness is actively opposing the investigation by throwing crockery - of Darkness! This has special symbolism to the aliens, especially when it breaks. Little Bill was in the superhuman exodus, so doesn't always trust the aliens. (22 Feb)

Me in the Superhuman World:
Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Emperor Ted .

All characters in this fiction (except maybe Adolf Hitler) and the phrase "Superhuman World 2009" are copyright © 2009 by Eiler Technical Enterprises. The map of the Superhuman World is based on one from Henry Bottomley's map software which is well worth a visit.