SW09: The Warm December, or One Last Bit of Sun

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Wed Feb 24 18:48:38 PST 2010

Author's Note:  There's been some demand for more stories about how
the Superhuman World 2009 has changed since it got knocked outward
from its previous orbit.  I've finally caught up with the December
2009 storyline, so I now share it.

This story fits in the timeline as follows:

1.  The Mayas Were Right!
2.  The Warm December
3.  The Book of Ends  (previously #2)

This story actually goes in parallel with the others, but it fits best
in the middle.


Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

I've been told I dash about the landscape like a koala on speed. This
is ironic because our world actually has a koala on speed, and I'm not
it. But I still see lots of stuff. A few entries from my diary may
therefore illustrate how our world is dealing with radical climate
change. In some ways it's The End of the World As We Know It, but in
others it's business as usual.

1 December: Ginny (a colleague of mine) and I are taking a crypto quiz
for a class, with Death watching... Hi, Boss.

    * Actually, I don't work directly for Death any more, but she was
always a decent boss. Still, it's probably not a good sign that she's
so interested in what I'm doing. We're just trying to meet U.S. Gov
requirements for security on our journals until they get published.
(That's why nobody's seen this diary until two months later.)

1 December: Total Conversion (the world's most powerful superhuman
team) is in tribal clothes and coming under attack. They're doing
security for a landing site of The Trillions in the Ivory Coast!
They're trying to look semi-native, but nobody's fooled; the locals
are rioting. Still, it's nothing that a high-powered team of mercenary
superhumans can't handle.

7 December: A certain superhero team from another Earth is looking for
me. I suppose I was technically part of their support staff once. So
they tell me, our Earth's appeared in their universe!

    * They're having another crossover with superheroes from yet
another Earth. For now their archer's dressed up as me and gone out
with their thunder god; he's trying to fend off incoming fire with
just arrows, not bow.
    * Meanwhile, Judy and I are riding our bikes to retrieve one of
the Engines of Reality. One human-but-commanding hero from each team
is collecting them. I figure I can at least tag along until I see all
of them in one place, then maybe get them used to restore our Earth to
its previous orbit. But ultimately they have their stereotypical big
confrontation and then all disappear. Aww!
    * These heroes aren't quite the same as I remember. One of them is
45 years old; he had to admit his real age to his arch-rival as part
of a sex dare to sleep with his wife. The rival says he's not
bitter... I'm not sure I like these heroes' new direction.
    * But what's this about other Earths seeing us? Apparently part of
how we saved our Earth from the impact of Planet Iv was, we shunted
ourselves into an "imaginary" dimension at right angles to reality.
Now our orbit goes through different universes. Hey, maybe it always
did; aside from a few planetary probes that are full of glitches, how
would we ever know?

8 December: Gaah. That superhero stuff lasted just one day. Judy and I
wind up in a farmhouse in Tennessee, waiting for Hitler to come
downstairs so we can have some cake for his birthday. I really should
take a picture, but nobody would recognize him.

    * Adolf Hitler time-travelled to the present the hard way. Now
he's a city councilman in south Nashville, Tennessee, under the name
of Arnold Wolf. Reportedly he fits in nicely with the constituency
there. He sports a respectable full beard and mustache, of course; not
even Hitler can get away with a Hitler mustache nowadays.

11 December: I'm on my own, in New York City for Second Thanksgiving

    * One guy I meet thinks we should buy dynamite and blow up George
W. Bush. Yeesh. I decide not to. Instead I stay out late.
    * I get back to hotel around 6 am. I'm rooming with Mikhail; he's
been out late too. There's a nice outdoor breakfast, but I think we'll
miss it.
    * We make it to job interviews later. They want follow-ups two
days later, but Mikhail wants to head home.
    * As he goes in, they notice me pulling splinters from my hand.
The boss sends me to my room for a bath. One guy says, I have a cusp
on my chest... Huh? I suppose there is a growth there... but I'm used
to that. I used to have intelligent blood cells that would build
little clubhouses for themselves on my skin. This is no different.

12 December: It's Tropical Speedway Night!

    * I go walking around a mockup of the Town of Speedway-Indiana.
People are having a foot race, but most of them are lost.
    * One guy named Fred Myers and two Arab allies of his are there on
a rescue mission that involves pipefitting. But they're cornered in a
building full of terrorists... It's an exercise down in Florida.
They've picked a semi-typical Midwestern town with lots of tourist
traffic to simulate unrest in.
    * I'm working with the Gov as a consultant, because I grew up near
Speedway. I'm staying in a hotel by the highway, even though it's full
on Friday nights. The fields are drying out, because the warm December
sun hitting the ground makes it 90 degrees.

21 December: My lady Judy says she saw The Trillions make a new

    * Judy's been on Trillions Watch, mostly at their California
landing site. She knows now, they have strange elevators. This
elevator has a fence. This building only has 16 stories, but if you
press 24, it'll go 24. Grab on tight, or you'll be flying without it!
(9 Dec)
    * Today's more boring, just sitting by the Trillions ship waiting
for a story, watching the droids scurry around. Judy's colleague Max
is talking to her about addiction. He says there's something inside
him that makes him do all those bad things. Judy talks him into trying
    * Suddenly a spider-droid shoots out a web, hits Max, and pulls
him in! The spider hangs in midair off a high-rise building, and
starts a riot. But Judy can feel what Max does by telepresence. He's
still inside the spider!
    * A security droid tries to rescue the spider without the crowd
noticing. He tells Max to crawl up the wall. Max says he can't make
it, but the droid says he can do anything he wants to. They pull him
in near the top.
    * Later Max appears by broadcast. He says he's going to stay with
the Trillions and live a new life, as part of their security class. A
lot of people don't believe it's real; others are lining up to have
their chance to be taken away.

22 December: Magic Johnson finishes an American Gladiators tournament.
I try to see the action from inside a bus full of new heroes. Culture
is the same as ever, but the guy who can cover Key West in cheez whiz
might be worth knowing for the next world crisis - if only because
cheez whiz is supposedly edible.

23 December: Judy and I have been invited to the U.S. Northwest. The
waves are freezing into sculptures on the shore, but the sun is
sparkling and the tropical birds and plants are thriving. Like I said,
the weather is weird; really cold water is coming in from the sea,
because the sea knows December shouldn't be this warm. But Judy turns
to me and says, everything's going to be all right. At least someone
has faith.

24 December: Our friend in Portland is a restauranteur; he has
buildings he hasn't even used yet. As the sun goes down at 9:15 pm, a
band is playing in the lounge. I can sleep on the restaurant side if I
put up screens; it's open air.

28 December: I've gone into NYC for a meeting. The bridge into
Manhattan is partly out due to rising sea level. Some of us try to row
a raft across the gap rather than wait for the ferry. Fortunately my
important stuff and I both dry off quickly... I'm in city for
advertiser training. Apparently I'm really stylish and marketable now
that I'm getting married.

29 December: We're up for 5 am exercise, but the clocks are wrong. Now
that each day is fifteen minutes shorter, the clocks all have
problems... I think I'll go back to bed and then watch TV.

.So... The weather is weird. The aliens are still coming. There's
unrest among Earthlings. Other Earths are interfering. Death is

... Yep, next year could be interesting.

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