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Old 10-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #101
VulpesFulva
 
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

No big. I just used the "Thoughtform Talent (Ritual Adept)" to hammer home that the ability still "suffers" from being Weird "Psience."
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:36 PM   #102
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Okay, I've been kicking around an idea for another group of villains, on Inp-Earth, but I wanted them to tie into the world events, a little better. The Halloween events gave me the hook.


Messenger


Rev. Russell Posey stared quietly around the table at the dozen brethren who’d come out so late on a cold, rainy Thursday night. All of them were solid citizens, and early-risers who owned local shops, or made the hour-long commute to jobs in Evansville. He knew at least a couple had tussles with youngsters not old enough to understand why they couldn’t go out Trick-or-Treating through the streets of Vincennes, Indiana, with the other children. Those fathers looked a worn out, and they were sipping at second cups of coffee.

Given what he was about to reveal, Rev. Posey figured that brewing a couple of fresh pots of coffee was the least he could do. He took a deep breath.

“Gentlemen, I cannot thank you enough for coming out on such a cold night,” Posey said, solemnly. “If you would indulge me, I’d like it if we could bend our heads in prayer, a few moments.”

Several of the brethren blinked in surprise, but joined the rest in murmured agreement. After a brief request for guidance from the Good Lord, Rev. Posey took another deep breath as the men waited patiently.

“Brethren, the reason I’ve called you here is because I need your advice. I believe our dedication to the Good Lord’s righteous path has been noted, and we may have – I might have – received a divine visitation.”

A moment of shocked silence rapidly gave way to babbled questions. Brother James Walker quickly took control of the group after a few moments, as usual, and shushed everybody up. He looked at the reverend for a long couple of seconds.

“That’s an extraordinary thing to say, Rev. Russ, especially on a night given over to heathen excess.”

“I know, Big Jim, but I think perhaps our devotion to the Word, especially on this night, may have drawn the attention of the Divine. However, because diabolical forces have used this night to so successfully seduce the ignorant, for so long, I felt that it’d be best to consult with all of you. I also plan to travel down to Evansville, tomorrow, to speak to Rev. Pike.”

Brother Hank Surrey, who owned the nearby meat locker and served as the group’s quartermaster, spoke up.

“Reverend, maybe you better tell us what’s goin’ on.”

Rev. Russ swallowed a sip of coffee and wiped his palms on the legs of his trousers.

“Well, I closed up the church after we got the spaghetti supper cleaned up, tonight, and I sent all the ladies home – Bill, do thank Gracie for the garlic bread; it was wonderful – and walked on out to my car. I pulled around the front, and something made me look up at the front doors. I saw a lady in a white dress sitting up on the top step. She wasn’t wearing a coat, but she didn’t look cold. I, uh, didn’t recognize her; she’s not a member of the congregation.”

The reverend took another sip of coffee, and cleared his throat.

“I opened my car door and stood up, to ask her if something was wrong. The lights were all off inside the church, so I figured she had to know it was closed up. She said that, yes, something was very wrong and asked me to come up and sit next to her, for a few minutes. She, uh, she knew my name.”

Hank blinked.

“You mean, she asked you to sit out on the front steps, in the rain?”

“Yes, she did. I’ll tell ya, I wasn’t too excited by the notion. It wasn’t pouring, or anything, but there was a cold drizzle, about like right now. Plus, it was a long day and Mrs. Posey was waiting for me to come home so she could turn in. Oh, yes. I did call her before I called all of you.”

“Maybe she won’t thump you, too bad, when you finally get home,” Frank Henderson said, after a guffaw.

“Here’s hoping. Anyways, I figured that if this young woman was out on such a night, and needed to talk to me so badly, I probably could sit with her long enough to convince her to come back tomorrow morning. So, I went up the steps and sat down.”

Rev. Russ took a deep breath, as the other men agreed that was darn decent of him.

“That’s when noticed the first strange thing. The dress was real old-fashioned, like ones from the ‘50s I saw my granny wear. Also, she wasn’t wet; not at all. Not her hair, or her dress, or anything.”

The room grew still.

“I asked her how I could help her, and she said she’d come bearing a message. I got a little spooked, about then, but she said I needn’t fret. She said she and some of her peers had been sent to bear tidings to those concerned about the growing sinfulness of our nation, who had worked so hard to draw our brothers and sisters away from the path of error, and bring them back to the path of righteousness.”

The brethren leaned in more closely, eyes riveted.

“She confirmed all of our fears. She said corruption had blossomed in the souls of our brothers and sisters, and it has drawn them away from the Word of God. They now walk the erroneous path of moral relativism and spiritual weakness. She said secularism is a stain on the fabric of our society, scientific materialism lures our best and brightest away from the beautiful promise of God’s creation. She said the desire for financial gain has seduced our sisters and daughters away from their ordained roles as wives and mothers. Our society has begun the slide toward degradation followed by France and England, before us, and Rome before them, and ancient Egypt, before that. A dark age is upon us.”

Nobody said anything. Rev. Russ’ coffee mug rattled the table a bit as he lifted it for another sip. Big Jim Walker carefully laid his own shaking hands flat on the table.

“Did she…, uh, did she say anything else?”

“She did. She said the time had come to gather close our friends and families and those of like mind, and prepare for the dark times, ahead. She said the other four worlds that have appeared in our sky have been sent by the Almighty as a test of faith.”

“We knew it,” said Hank Surrey, quietly. “It’s just like you always said, reverend,” Alan Borden added, a second later.

“She had more to say. She said that those of us who have remained rightly-guided must fight to take back our beloved nation from the secularists, the feminists, the scientists and the other moral relativists, lest the entire country fall into sin and depravity. The melting pot has become a crucible, she said, and that horrible attack, last spring, was just the first of many strikes of the hammer. If we do not want to shatter from the blows of our enemies on those other worlds, we must strike, ourselves – and strike hard -- to exorcise this nation’s impurities. Or all is lost. All is lost.”

Jim Walker’s chair scraped the buffed concrete of the church’s basement floor, as he pushed it back and stood up. The big man walked over to the big Persian rug in the center of the room, and clasped his hands behind his neck as he looked at the designs for a long moment. Then, he looked at the gathering, his face pale.

“Oh, God. Did she…, did she say where to strike. Or, or who?”

(Continued)
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #103
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(Continued)

Rev. Russ leaned forward, his forehead in his hands. They couldn’t see his eyes.

“She said we had to put our own house in order, first. Those who claimed to follow the path of righteousness, but who abandoned it in the name of political expediency….”

The brethren muttered angrily.

“…who abandoned it in the name of expediency when the bombs fell, if not before; those are the ones whom we must first smite. To test them – or to break them. She said we already knew their names. Some of them have spoken, here. Some of us have even volunteered to help them win elections, these past 30 years.”

Hank’s arms gripped his belly, tightly. He’d been fighting an ulcer for some time, and Rev. Russ feared it might be acting up.

“Reverend, I think…,” Hank drew a deep breath. “I think you should go and see Rev. Pike, and find out if this has happened anywhere else. But, I think this messenger – this angel – must be speaking the truth. I think you called us here because we’re the ones who already know this truth, in our hearts.”

Rev. Russ looked up and nodded, reluctantly.

“I fear that may be the case, brother. I do not know that the End Times are upon us, for the good book says none shall know the day or the hour. But I do believe a time of testing is at hand, and we must bear up under the burdens about to be laid upon us.”

Jim nodded, and looked back down at the rug. His eyes saw the bright pattern, but his thoughts focused on what lay beneath.

“I think that’s right, reverend, but I also think it’s wise of you to talk to Rev. Pike. In the meantime, we need to get more… well, we need to speed up our preparations.”

“What happened, then?” Hank asked.

Rev. Russ’ mug sloshed when he tried to pick it up, this time.

“She… she reassured me that, with faith and devotion, we’d come out of this alright, in this world or the next, and asked me to pray with her. I put my head down for a brief moment, and when I looked up, she was gone. Just, gone, like she’d never been there, at all. The step had a puddle, right where she’d been sitting, and the water was icy cold.”

The men all gasped, and several started to quietly pray.

“You, all of you, agree this seems to have been a blessed visitation, and not the act of the… Adversary?”

No one moved for a long moment, and then Al Borden closed his eyes and nodded.

“Yes,” he whispered, as the others murmured their assent.

“Well, let’s see what Rev. Pike, thinks. Meanwhile, I think Big Jim is right. We need to, well, speed things up a little. We’ll talk more, after I get back from Evansville.”

Chairs scraped as the brethren stood up and walked over to the sink to wash out their coffee mugs. Sam Wharton took care of the pot.

These are all good, conscientious men, Rev. Russ thought. They don’t hesitate to do what’s needed, no matter how small the task. Or how large.

As he ushered the men out the back door, Big Jim lingered for an extra minute.

“Did this messenger-woman say anything else?”

Rev. Russ looked troubled.

“Yes, and it’s a matter of considerable concern to me,” he said, after a moment. “I thought that, if she was an angel of the Lord, I might find her name in the good book, or some of the other references. I couldn’t find it, which is one reason I want to speak with Rev. Pike.”

“She told you her name?”

“Well, I don’t know that it’s her proper name, but she called herself… Lorelei.”
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:53 PM   #104
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Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fifth Column
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VulpesFulva View Post
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fifth Column
Oh, yes. Of course, they'll never believe that that's what they are, but that's an advantage, for Lorelei.

As I mentioned on SB.com, the books about her might give her enough of a boost that she can maintain herself after the Curse is over.

Would have replied to this sooner, but I don't check the GURPS forum every day, particularly if I have some other thing that takes a long time to deal with.

Still trying to decide whether there's a point in creating a separate thread for character write-ups, and such.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:56 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Oh, yes. Of course, they'll never believe that that's what they are, but that's an advantage, for Lorelei.

As I mentioned on SB.com, the books about her might give her enough of a boost that she can maintain herself after the Curse is over.

Would have replied to this sooner, but I don't check the GURPS forum every day, particularly if I have some other thing that takes a long time to deal with.

Still trying to decide whether there's a point in creating a separate thread for character write-ups, and such.
From a campaign standpoint, one of the fun things about making her ghost/enhanced spirit combo more durable is that it gives the PCs a mystery to unravel. If Rev. Russ and/or the Brethren start to take violent action against apostate conservatives, or start causing havoc up in Vigo County (a national belleweather that has voted successfully for every president since 1956), or nearby union stronghold Perry County, the PCs could get involved. At some point, they may learn about the "angel" Lorelei, and try to find her.

Should they succeed in doing so, they might actually be able to turn her around. After all, she worked for the Abwehr, the leaders of which found Hitler seriously distasteful -- to the point of plotting against him. In Whicker's last book (I think...), the fictional version of Erika Lehmann got mixed up in the July 20 Plot to assassinate him.

What if the thoughtform spirit that enhances Lehmann's ghost also "taints" it with aspects of the fictional version? Or, what if Whicker actually got it right, and the historical Lehmann worked as a spy for Germany during WWII, despite the fact that she disliked the chancellor and his party?

At that point, the party might have the chance to "flip" the ghost, and learn the identities of everybody in southern Indiana she contacted. Once that's done, maybe the shade finds peaceful rest.

("So, let me get this straight, agent. You flipped the enemy asset ghost, and it gave up the names of every domestic terrorist it contacted?" "Uh, well, yessir." "Jeezus. You may be the best counterintelligence agent I've ever even heard of....")

(I can't imagine Lorelei could function outside the Ohio River country of southern Indiana, and maybe bits of northern Kentucky. Stories about her, and the books written, seem mostly popular in that particular region, as opposed to nationwide. Some spy-fiction aficionados may know about her, but it's not like she's a female Jason Bourne, or a latter-day Mata Hari, or even a German version of Nancy Wake, really.)
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #107
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Okay, at Prince Charon's request, this is a cross post from a different thread. He thought this might be useful for those who would like to add Wicca-flavored "magic" to this setting.

NOTE: this is based on a VERY simplified version of the Wicca religion, and it focuses almost exclusively on the female.goddess side of things. Women, and female magic, plays a huge role in Wicca, which is sorta unique when it comes to religion in the modern world (especially in countries with Abrahamic religious traditions). That's why it got my attention.

If by "witch" we mean practitioners of some form of nature-goddess worship in the modern world, then we have to put our heads into a place where magic comes from those things that many women find important or fascinating. Wicca generally conceptualize female magic as taking place in three important phases of a woman's life; "Maiden", "Mother" and "Crone."

Also, a key notion is the "three-fold return" -- what they put out into the world comes back on them, thrice over.

Based on some of the things I learned when I was hangin' with the Wicca, I'd base witch magic on the following ideas, which are (once again) really simplified for the purposes of gaming:

I. Maiden
A. This mostly revolves around adolescence. Both boys and girls go through changes during adolescence, but the physiological changes experienced by girls are much more profound, and the Wicca consider that terribly significant. To their minds, women are acted upon by the forces of the universe much more profoundly, and this is reflected by the fact that to many Wicca, menstruation seems to synch to phases of the moon.
B. As part of this, "Maiden Magic" should reflect the experiences and emotions of many adolescent girls. Sensuality and sexuality play a big role (and how to control and focus that in positive ways), as well as a willingness to engage in conflict. (Ever seen a teen girl fight with her parents? Yikes.)
1. However, as part of this, girls confront the reality that, in most cases, adolescence changes boys in such a way as to put most girls at a significant disadvantage when it comes physical conflict. When they were children, girls and boys were about equal. As adolescents, girls may start their development a year or two earlier, but once it kicks in, boys become incredibly strong -- much stronger than most girls, and that can scare many of them. It also "weirds out" a lot of girls.
2. Starting at adolescence, girls must think about conflict differently, or they could get badly hurt. In Wicca, this turns into means of physical conflict avoidance (especially with boys), combined with ways to get what they want via indirect means -- persuasion and suggestion.
3. Adolescence, for Wicca, means a focus on understanding, accepting and positively focusing physiological changes and attendant increases in sensuality and passion, as well as a willingness to engage in conflict. However, that's combined with the need to keep themselves physically safe at a time when their male peers seem to become (somewhat) monstrous.

II. Mother
A. This marks the time after adolescence when a woman is ready to have children (which is a BIG DEAL in Wicca). By that, the Wicca mean a woman is not just physiologically ready, but emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility. Fertility magic and defensible homes are the focus, here. (Yes, lots of Wicca exercise their 2nd Amendment rights -- which sorta surprised me, but then made sense once I thought about it; unpopular minorities, and such.)
B. This is probably the most fundamentally important period in a Wicca's life, and the one where she relies the most heavily on her sisters in the Coven. In the really-real world, a coven can (and a good one does) provide a key support network for mothers with young children. To the Wicca, the womb is the gate by which new souls enter the world of space and time, and that's the biggest of big, mojo magic.
C. Most of the Wicca I talked to, during this time, expressed a pretty profound "nesting instinct." They strove for economic security, wanted a reliable spouse or partner, did their best to create an orderly home and generally did everything they could to absolutely ensure their children had everything they needed.
D. At this point, most of the risky "Maiden" behavior is done. In the "Mother" phase, they'll still take risks -- but all risks are "calculated," and all bets are "hedged."

III. Crone
A. As might be expected, this phase begins when either all the kids have grown, or with the onset of menopause, whichever happens first.
B. Wiccan crones expect to be treated with respect, and they mostly get it, unless they're demonstrably foolish. Other women in the coven come to them for advice about all sorts of things. They provide the support (baby clothes, babysitting services, quilts and sweaters, advice and home remedies) to mothers with young children or difficult teens. If she's healthy, she'll take difficult girls off to the woods, for the weekend, ostensibly for camping and nature rituals, but mostly to give mom a break. They're sorta like crosses between parish priest(esse)s and Girl Scout leaders. A lot of them ARE Girl Scout leaders, and have been since their own daughters were members of a troop.
C. At this point, Wicca practitioners can and sometimes do get politically active, for the same reasons as most AARP members. They have the time for it, and the interest, and it's a way to try to influence law and society in such a way as to increase security for themselves and for their loved ones.
D. Magic, here, would focus on blessings and other rituals designed to enrich and protect entire communities. That includes the ability to set up new covens with new sacred spaces in remote areas where they can feel the cycle of the seasons (Wicca is very much a temperate-climate phenomenon). A "Witch Queen" is simply the high priestess of a coven that has successfully spun off daughter covens, while retaining strong membership in her own, original coven. (A "Witch King" is the male leader of that same coven -- and is usually the Witch Queen's spouse, but not always.) It's sorta like a magical version of Amway or Mary Kay Cosmetics -- but it's not supposed to be a pyramid scheme, because benefits are supposed to flow both ways. (It sometimes goes that way, though -- Wicca can be as manipulative and amoral as anybody else.)

So, for magical rituals, I'd go with the following "feel":

1. Maiden Magic.
A. Basic: Spells to increase desirability and sensuality, as well as to maintain and protect health (bonuses to avoid STDs!) and well-being -- and that includes reproductive control. Wicca strongly believe sex is important for emotional health, but that every baby born should be a baby that was wanted. Women who aren't ready for that responsibility shouldn't have children. Also, toss in some powers of suggestion or the ability to mesmerize.
B. Combat: Spells for this should focus on self-protection and damage avoidance, rather than dealing out pain. They should enhance "Dodge", "Block" and "Parry", with increases to "DR" considered of secondary importance. For Wicca, the idea is to never get hit, in the first place. Also, toss in some healing spells -- that's a very "Wicca" sort of thing.

2. Mother Magic.
A. Basic: Fertility is the main thing, here. Spells should help a woman conceive when she wants to conceive, help keep men potent, reduce the difficulties of menstruation, ensure the pre-natal health of the fetus, and make child-birth less hazardous for everyone involved. Also, they should have a means by which to weave protective wards for their homes and property, enhance peace and serenity within its walls (attracting Brownies and other helpful household spirits would be the best possible outcome), create empathy between spouses/partners and enhance the yield and beauty of their gardens -- as well as make the wilderness areas around their sacred spaces more robust and ecologically healthy. Wicca are the ultimate tree-huggers.
B. Combat: At this point, I'd think the magic would be all about the "Buff." Mothers do not put themselves at risk. They expect their menfolk (and any of their sisters without children so inclined) to do that, instead. I'd see them using rituals to enhance the skills and defenses of other people -- armor buffs, toughness buffs, temporary High Pain Threshold, temporary Bravery, some of the "Maiden" combat rituals now usable on others, increased stamina and healing. Again, not so much dealing damage, as absorbing it or avoiding it.

2. Crone
A. Basic: Older women are expected to act as repositories of wisdom and good advice, and to have the ability to guide the younger generations to better futures. So, I'd see rituals to enhance clarity of thought, and allow for limited Divination. Also, they're the ones with the knowledge of the rituals to create sacred spaces, make chicken soup that heals the soul, and concoct potions for all sorts of reasons.
B. Combat: This would be the dark side of the crone -- Scathach and Morrigan, the ladies of death. They curse the enemies of their people, anoint the weapons of their warriors with deadly poisons, render barren the wombs of the women of their enemies, lay waste to their enemies' fields and devastate their enemies' homes. When it comes to war, the crones are the "no-holds-barred" WMDs of the Wicca; after all, if what they put out into the world comes back on them three-fold, then the fact that they'll die soon, anyway, frees them to take drastic action if the need is great.

Anyway, that's the direction I'd suggest for witches.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #108
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Thank you.

On another note, people wanting to create characters in this setting might want to have a look at these two threads, on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of armour in GURPS, when compared to RL, as well as the relative effectiveness of firearms. I may be adopting some house rules from those threads, once they're consistent enough.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #109
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On page three of the Additional Craft Secret Perks? thread, Dr. Kromm had a couple of things to say that I think are relevant, here.

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If you mean the slings and arrows of gamer logic, I'll note that I find it very helpful to reply to "But X would imply Y, and then everybody could figure it out!" arguments from players with something like, "People in the setting – including your PCs – think in a different paradigm and don't see these connections. Discovering the new paradigm is an Amazing invention . . . roll against the the lowest of Philosophy, Psychology, or Teaching at -22. After that, you can teach others at the usual 3d months per class." Gamers who live in today's rapidly changing near-Singularity society have a blind spot where such things are concerned. That is, they don't realize that most implications are missed by generations of thinkers who can plainly see them, until a suitable Zeitgeist emerges and removes their blindness. Great-man thinking is amusing and all, and plays well to gamers' power fantasies for their PCs, but it's probably bunk.
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
To be very clear: My post was not talking about specific discoveries, inventions, and secrets. I was addressing the "meta-issue" of looking at others' discoveries, inventions, and secrets in such a way that one can undertake to understand and reproduce them. Things like "reductionism," "the scientific method," and "reverse engineering" aren't timeless . . . they were invented and developed, and people without them were fundamentally ill-equipped to reproduce results from analysis, observation, etc. Those who wish to create a world of the mind in which Craft Secrets are routinely grasped and disseminated by observers have their work cut out for them. I'd say that the necessary thinking needs to be reinvented at each TL, too.

My point is really only that players who say things like "Oh, I saw gunpowder made, so now I should be able to do it!" are thinking like modern gamers with meta-game knowledge. In a TL3 world, say, "making gunpowder" may well be a Craft Secret that always flops for those who lack it, sometimes disastrously, and that can't easily be understood because the essential analytical methods and concepts of experimental controls don't exist to allow it. If they want to change that, then they should first develop TL4 scientific thinking as a philosophy (or something like that). That's because they're trying to change the setting TL from 3 (gunpowder is a rare secret) to 4 (gunpowder is well-known and mass-produced) in an important respect.
Of course, these don't cover someone from TL(5+2)^ teaching someone from TL2-3^ how to build the tools to build the tools to build the factories to build steam-powered trains and railroad tracks (and all else that that entails), they just cover the difficulty of building a railroad from seeing a train in operation. Sure, they could sort of duplicate it with wooden or stone (concrete?) tracks and trains pulled by donkeys (such already existed, IIRC, in ancient Greece), but making the mass-production steel tracks, much less the train engine, would be way bloody hard work.

As for Craft Secrets in general, it's a perfectly valid Perk, and only if it becomes widespread does it cause that aspect of the Tech Level to change (which I think is what Kromm meant).
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:18 PM   #110
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Okay, here's something that Prince Charon and I have been working on, for much of the past week. He gave me top billing but, really, this was all his idea; I would never have thought of it.

He approached me because of my journalism background, and I hope that hasn't gotten too rusty. This was a lot harder than expected, because we wanted to it to have a lot of verisimilitude.

All Things Considered: Kal'El of Krypton
(by tshiggins and Prince Charon)

“Welcome to All Things Considered. I’m host Robert Siegel, joined this evening by my colleague Huw Edwards, anchor of Britain’s most popular news program, BBC News at Ten. Audie Cornish and Melissa Block will appear later in this broadcast. Welcome, Huw.

“Thank you, Robert. It is an honor and a privilege to be here, this evening. Our audience should know that we have chosen to simultaneously broadcast this programme on NPR and the BBC, this evening. We have a very special interview for you, tonight. Robert and I, earlier today, interviewed by interplanetary radio none other than Kal'El, of Krypton, from a broadcast station on Earth-2, where a version of WWII rages.”

“Thanks, Huw. Kal'El contacted Huw and me three weeks ago, and offered to allow us to ask enough questions to fill an hour-long broadcast. The distance between his world and ours means a 26-second time-lag existed between the time we ask the question and the time he hears it, and then there's another 26 seconds for us to hear his reply. This meant we could not broadcast the interview over the air, live. However, we present the interview as recorded, in its entirety, having only edited it to reduce the 52 seconds of delay.”

<Recording begins.>

SIEGEL: “Thank you for your time today, Kal'El. Mr. Edwards is sitting beside me, here in the NPR studio in New York. Given the time-lag, I will jump right in to the questions.

“Firstly, let me say that in our world, Kal'El of Krypton – ‘Superman’ as he’s otherwise known – has been a part of U.S. culture since June of 1938. Our understanding is that he was actually created, whole cloth, by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Schuster in 1933, while those two young men were in high school in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Yet, eight months ago, your world and three others appeared in our sky, and one of them included you, in a version of the world that bears remarkable similarity to our Earth in 1940 – only with the addition of beings such as yourself. Of all the changes Siegel and Schuster’s character has undergone through the decades, and all the different ways he has appeared in all sorts of different formats, do any of them even come close to an accurate representation?

KAL'EL: "Not really. The version from the comics both our Earths have in common from 1938 and '39 is the closest match for what I was like when I met Jerry and Joe in Cleveland in '33, but they had to take a few liberties, because it was a comic book. I didn't really wear a costume that much until '37, for one thing, and was never a reporter, though I was and am friends with a few - none quite like their Lois Lane, though."

EDWARDS: “That’s quite fascinating. While your abilities may not quite match everything that’s been written, here, they are nevertheless quite extraordinary. So, when can we expect a visit?”

KAL'EL: "Probably not until after the war, and even then, not until we have some faster means of getting from planet to planet. I'm needed a lot these days, even without the occasional spy, saboteur, or fifth columnist making trouble."

SIEGEL: “As you noted, you have quite a lot on your plate, before you can start traveling to different planets. However, the fact that you contacted Mr. Edwards and me seems to indicate that our world does hold considerable interest for you. Given your unique background and upbringing, what parts of our world interest you the most? What aspects do you find the most troubling?”

KAL'EL: "The greater tolerance of your world gives me hope for this one: I hope that one day, there will be no lynchings that need stopping, no children being beaten for being the wrong color in the wrong neighborhood. On the negative side, the way many of your nations seem intent on disarming your populations, despite knowing that the police simply can't be everywhere, the way they seem to want to make everyone more dependent on the government, rather than less, is very troubling. Your social programs are both good and bad: on both our worlds, FDR proved that they're needed, but most people need a hand up, far more than they need a hand out."

EDWARDS: “Currently, the United States and other space-faring nations on this world have substantially increased research and construction of new spacecraft – with some surprising results. Does our world’s rapid development of interplanetary capability pose any concern, over there?”

KAL'EL: "Yes, certainly. Despite our initial impression, it turns out that your world is much more wealthy than ours, partly because your population is so much larger, and your technological capabilities are... awesome, in ways both wonderful and terrifying. You've also suffered a serious attack from one of the nations on our world. On top of that, your own conservatives are pretty dismayed by some of your cultural developments. Imagine how that must look to more traditional people, here? Now that we understand how advanced you really are, there is some concern that you will use your technological superiority to impose your cultural values, in the name of keeping yourselves safe. Given the recent attack you suffered, it's easy to say that you have justification for any such actions. But, does that make it the right thing to do?"

SIEGEL: “What sort of agreements would you like to see, in place, before travel between our worlds becomes commonplace? What do you think are the primary areas of concern?

KAL'EL: "Well, for my part, I'd like to see us figure out a way to keep criminals and tyrants from fleeing to our world to try to escape from yours. I'm pretty sure you'd like to prevent some of our villains from coming to your world, as well. We've certainly got some difficult people, here, even aside from the war. I'd also like to see controls on the spread of weapons technology, and I think a lot of people here would prefer the ability to control the spread of movies and literature that maybe we're not ready for. That does run into some First Amendment problems, though, but we're much more willing to accept the notion of "community standards" than you seem to be. The notion that individuals are so willing to disrespect the sensibilities of their neighbors is one of the aspects of your culture that we find particularly troubling."

EDWARDS: “I think your comments will provoke a great deal of conversation, on our world. Some considerable discussion about your presence in our sky is ongoing. The fact is, your world’s version of Adolf Hitler has drawn us into your war, there. Six months ago, the Führer launched an unprovoked attack on our world, which killed nearly 15 million people in three cities. The United States, here, has since retaliated with an apparently successful nuclear strike. This is only the third time such weapons have been used, by anyone on our planet. Could you have stopped the NAZI attack? Could anyone on your world have saved those lives?”

KAL'EL: "If I had known about the launch far enough in advance, and if I had been able to get into Germany soon enough, without being spotted, and if none of their own extraordinary operatives, or not enough of them, were on the scene, then I probably could have stopped the launches. That's a lot of 'ifs', though. I couldn't have stopped them after they were in orbit, which is when I did find out about it. Neither could Captain Marvel, by then, and while Green Lantern and Doctor Fate are powerful, they aren't as fast as either of us."

SIEGEL: “Adolf Hitler is considered one our history’s most profoundly evil figures, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people he considered ‘undesirables’ – not just in conquered territories, but even from amongst the German people. Indications are that your Hitler is currently engaged in the same sort of activities, on your Earth. Do you intend to take up arms against him? If so, when? If not, why not?

KAL'EL: "You could say that I already have: while there isn't enough concrete proof, there's a mountain of circumstantial evidence that a lot of the criminals I've faced in the last two or three years have been fifth columnists working for either Mr. Hitler, or Mr. Stalin - mostly Stalin. The numbers have gotten bigger since the Lend-Lease Act became law."

(End part 1. Darn character limit...)
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