No Direction Home
The World We Inhabit
Man, where the fuck do we even start?
Probably in 1944 – that’s a good spot to start. Obviously, World War II is where superhuman bullshit first came to light. Surprising everybody, though, Nazis weren’t involved in any way. Shit, neither were Americans or Japanese or Maquis or Brits. The first documented superhuman was a twelve-year-old Egyptian girl named Rashana Nejem. Her powers manifested suddenly, and were (of course) of immediate interest to the warring nations.
The Allies got to her first, and over the objections of her parents, used her to plan a surprise attack. She parted the Mediterranean Sea for several hours, opening the way for a sudden and unanticipated ground invasion into southern Italy. The strain killed her by the end of it, but it basically won the war on the European front – the sudden headway into a previously fortified position and the propaganda value against a deeply religious populace proved quite potent.
After that, the research and the dissections came. The experiments attempting to replicate Rashana’s abilities were uneven and full of tragic failures. Other superhumans appeared, at an increasing rate. An alien species – the Kasshien – made incidental contact in the 1960s, with Kasshien space police engaged in a shootout over San Francisco as they attempted to apprehend a dangerous space fugitive. It was covered up heavily, but more people are aware than governing interests might have liked. A vast monster rose out of the Atlantic Ocean and rampaged through London in 1989. It was stopped by a group of superhumans in fucking costumes, sponsored by the British government – The Legion. The model set by the Legion was emulated by other governments.
It was also emulated by criminal outfits, and by terror cells. Small nations seeking greater power and influence sought out their own superhuman champions. Large nations funded military divisions and special police forces consisting of – and designed to combat – superhumans.
The collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1992 led to dozens of small, unstable satellite countries in eastern Europe and western Asia, with access to weapons stockpiles and extensive data on the causes of and uses for superhuman phenomena.
And from there…