ryann comes in jars ([personal profile] cornichaun) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2014-10-18 10:18 pm

The Superheroes Make It Suck Meme

The Superheroes Make It Suck Meme

You know what? Superheroes make it suck for normal people. They show up, villains show up, there are big fights, kidnappings, evil schemes. Things are destroyed. People die. And, after that, they don't just go on living their ordinary lives.

So this is a world where superheroes have made it suck.

People are afraid to linger out on the streets. The economy is in the shitter. Nobody really trusts that heroes can keep them safe, or that heroes will even win in the end. Insurance rates are sky-high. Medical costs have skyrocketed. It's hard to scrape out a living, now, but there's no solution: if the heroes just stop, then the villains will take over.

Police officers, army officers and public officials take on even more danger. Petty crime is up, not just because people need to survive but also because enforcement powers are stretched too thin trying to take care of individuals with superpowers.

Shit sucks.


Who are you?
1: Ordinary citizen. You're trying to mind your own damn business, but it never works, does it?
2: Hero. You're fighting for the right side, here. Why won't anyone acknowledge all of the destruction that you prevent? Anyway, no wonder you have to wear a mask.
3: Villain. Maybe the way you grew up made you hate so-called 'heroes'. Maybe you didn't have much alternative. Maybe you're just plain evil.
4: Police/Army/Enforcement. You're just trying to keep it safe for the ordinary folk.
5: Doctor/Scientist. Treating the wounded, or trying to find a cure for these "powers."
6: Other. Politician/lawyer? Construction worker making a crapton of money from rebuilding all these destroyed storefronts? Taxi driver who's hijacked at least once a week?

What's happened?
1: Big climactic battle. Which is basically an ordinary Tuesday. Big explosions, lots of people dying, a hero going all-out against a villain.
2: Day-to-day life. Go to work. Go home. Try to sleep. Avoid large open spaces, avoid looking like a tempting hostage, avoid openly having too much money. Deal with the streets that are never properly cleaned, and the insurance payments, and the price of food and gas.
3: Beware of the law. There are new laws. There's an arrest. There's organized police activities. The police have finally gotten a hero or villain in custody. What's next? A legal battle? A vigilante in prison? A whole lot of police funerals?
4: Propaganda. Who's trying to get you on their side?
5: MacGuffin. You've just found a device/serum/antidote that will erase superheroes and villains from the world. Everyone wants it. What do you do next?
6: Other. There's a huge world out there; anything can happen.
sharpcompassion: (glare)

1, or aftermath thereof?

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
[Yes, medical costs have skyrocketed, and there's a certain underclass forming that can't afford care through the usual channels at all. It was only a matter of time before a medical black market budded and blossomed, and thus far attending to controlling it is a low priority.

After all, supervillains threatening to slaughter millions tends to draw law enforcement's attention away from smaller, less immediately lethal activities.

The latest clash in the city was between a handful of loosely allied heroes and villains. The more participants, unfortunately, the more wounded, and the more property damage. As the dust settles, there are a handful of groups going around pulling individuals out of the wreckage. Some of them may have altruistic motives, but not all.

Some may just be looking for spare parts.]
pridegoeth: (incognito)


[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-10-19 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
[Heroes and villains can be so hard to tell apart in these things, and sometimes even they get caught up from the sidelines. Dr. Octavius didn't start this fight, but he was foolish enough to take it for an opportunity, once he saw it start. That didn't work out so well for him, and he's less durable than some of the participants.

The pile of rubble he's under is big enough it seems likely anyone not super-powered it landed on would not have survived, and it's on the fringe of the battleground, so it's debatable whether anyone will notice when part of it begins to move. A brick tumbles, and a small section of the heap settles further. Most of the wreckage is the corner of a building that got knocked off, and woe to any poor schmuck unfortunate enough to live in that corner apartment. In fits and starts, the rubble continues to shift slowly, and gives a low moan.]
sharpcompassion: (srsly?)

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
[There's a flurry of quiet voices that filters through the rubble on top of him.]

"...definitely heard something--"
"--rocks just moved. Hey, pry that beam away."
"Yeah, there's someone alive down there. Get the doc, just in case."
"You sure we should let him waste the energy?"
"--see who it is first..."

[Bricks shift, lightening slowly as things get moved, and the next voice he hears is distinct, even cutting, if weary.] "You dig someone out, I'm healing them. It's not up for discussion. You can't stop me."
pridegoeth: (actuator attention)

[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-10-19 04:06 am (UTC)(link)
Instead of a body, the first thing they encounter as they dig is a glowing red light, at the center of a three-taloned metal claw. It pushes aside a few bricks and half-opens, threateningly, swiveling to take in each of their faces. Then there's another quiet groan, and the claw emerges further and begins to pluck away bricks and other debris delicately. It seems to have no trouble at all picking up larger pieces of cement and things, but it's careful not to hurt whoever is beneath, and it won't make any moves at people who help remove the debris, if anyone is willing to rejoin that effort now.
sharpcompassion: (light)

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
There's a group of seven or eight standing around, some helping to dig, others flanking a thin young man with tired, dark eyes. He seems mildly startled by the light, and a couple of the diggers yelp in surprise and back off temporarily.

"Should we...what is that??"
"There's a human under there somewhere," the dark-haired man says. "I can feel the pulse and respiration. Probably some broken bones, but they're not dying."
pridegoeth: (actuator attention)

[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-10-19 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
He's not wrong, and as they pull away the rubble, they get to first an outflung hand, then the head and shoulders of a man covered in dust from the debris. He's semi-conscious, but twitches and then makes a clumsy effort to drag himself further free. What they might at first take for curved metal rebar or girders making a cage over him, protecting him from the full weight of the heap, suddenly move and come to life. The claw is only one of four, each attached to a metal tentacle and all emerging from the man's back through ragged holes cut in his long coat.

As soon as he's safely clear of the wreckage, the man coughs a little, and tries to curl up with a groan. The metal arms protected him from the worst, but he's not uninjured, whether from the fight itself, having a piece of building fall on him, or both. He may also be slightly concussed.

All but one metal claw focus on the man, brushing him off, trying to look in his face, and generally fretting over him. The last one hovers above him but faces outward, twisting and turning to look at each of the strangers, and clearly protective.
sharpcompassion: (sharp)

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 04:31 am (UTC)(link)
The healer tries to pull away from his handlers. One lets go, but the second has him firmly by the arm and only lets him approach after a moment's thought.

"That's Doc Ock. I think it is, anyway," one of the diggers murmurs. "I mean, how many people have extra metal arms?"

"In this city? Who the fuck knows?" A second girl answers, and there are a few nervous giggles.

The healer crouches and tries to reach past the actuators to take his vitals. "I don't care who he is. Can you hear me?"
pridegoeth: (incognito)

[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-10-19 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
Somebody has read the supervillain who's who!

All the actuator claws snap to look sharply at the young man as he kneels close, but they don't try to attack or stop him, either.

"Nnngh." He wheezes, in pain, but begins to make a clumsy effort to push himself up, movements sluggish and uncoordinated. "Yes." The low voice rasps, and he gives another little cough. Brick dust, blegh. "Don't think... of trying anything..." As threats go it's pretty pathetic, but he's not exactly at his best.
sharpcompassion: (hoodie)

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
"You aspirated a bunch of dust..." he's ignoring the claws for the moment, a little wary of them but more focused on his work. "Don't try to get up yet, okay? You've got some fractures, you'll just make it worse."

The young man places a hand on his arm, eyes narrowing, then taking on a faint glow.
pridegoeth: (mild frown)

[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-10-19 04:49 am (UTC)(link)
Fractures, mild concussion, and bad knees, but that last one doesn't seem like a recent development. Also the interface along his spinal cord is pretty damn weird, metal fused along his back with a mess of old burn scar tissue. Panting, he lowers himself the whole two inches he managed to push himself up, because really doing anything else feels like a bad idea. "What're you... doing...?" It's meant to sound authoritative and demanding, but doesn't really come out that way.

The actuators sway and writhe slowly, restless snakes, watchful but not overtly aggressive. At the moment, they seem to have a better idea what's going on than Doc Ock himself does.

Whoever has read the supervillain who's who would know he is not ordinarily a man to be trifled with, and has been known to lash out at anyone who rouses his ire.
sharpcompassion: (Default)

[personal profile] sharpcompassion 2014-10-19 04:59 am (UTC)(link)
"I can heal it. Just...give me a minute...mostly ribs..." he looks spaced out now, eyes glazed as he focuses on the injuries.

Meanwhile, his compatriots are whispering together:

"...you sure this is a good idea? I mean, when he's back on his feet, what's to stop him from just--"
"Shut up, he can hear you!"
"Could just take what we can and get out of here."
"Yeah, you try that and tell us how it goes."

It's not that they're not armed. At least three have guns, but it's probably wise of them to try to gauge how dangerous the actuators are before making a move.
pridegoeth: (actuator attention)

[personal profile] pridegoeth 2014-11-05 12:12 pm (UTC)(link)
As the others debate, the actuator claws begin to watch them, eventually curling around the healer as he works and staring pointedly at the potential threats. They're faster than a man pulling a gun, and anyone who tries it will not end well.

Only one actuator is left to watch the healer, while the man under his hands lays still, listening, and gradually breathing easier.