SW10, CONTEST: January 2010 #4: The Ministry of Speed

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Tue Mar 23 18:05:54 PDT 2010

Writer's Note:  This story comes before the previous contest entry
"The Last Chocolate Crop", though the sequence isn't important to the
plot.  The web page http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/ is the
definitive source of what stories come in which order.  You'll find
that most of these stories aren't written yet, though.  So far my rate
is, seven stories, two written.  So don't look for January 2010 #3, #2
or #1 yet.

The definitive version of this particular story is at
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/neworbit.htm#speed .  I've
included all its text here, but the web site has hyperlinks to further


The Superhuman World web site now presents our world's leading expert
on super-speed:   Erik Katzman, The Hurrier.


I admit to surprise when this web site asked me to comment about the
new super-runners on our planet. The Superhuman World web site is run
by my ex-wife and my greatest rival. But we live in peace now. And I
will admit, I am the longest-lasting super-speeder on Earth. I have
also researched the origins of super-running and of super-speed, so I
am entitled to comment.


Please allow me to first tell you two important things about super-

   1. Super-speed differs from super-running. I have true super-speed.
I can do all things quickly. I can even make others do things quickly.
Others have just super-running; they can move quickly, and perhaps
react quickly also, but they are powerless when they have to stop
   2. Super-speed and super-running are both different from just
moving swiftly. A rocket may move swiftly, but it cannot react
swiftly. Super-speed gives increased subjective time, which allows
swift reaction. But a true speeder loves the joy of speed, so his
increased subjective time is mostly spent enjoying how fast he goes.

There may be many sources of super-speed. The leaders appear as:

   1. The Haste of Jesus. It's said that the Holy Mother Mary was in a
hurry to go to Bethlehem and give birth to the Savior. I've heard that
Mary's haste may have been a separate holy entity, similar to some
conceptions of the Wrath of God.
   2. Pagan gods. Every primitive culture had its own god of speed.
The Romans called their speed god Mercury, the Greeks Hermes.
   3. A "force of speed" from beyond our known world. That is to say,
some higher power other than gods.
   4. Scientific treatments. Usually these involve some interaction of
mental discipline and charged particles. I have never seen such a
treatment work, though. My own powers arose mysteriously but

I have arranged this list from higher power to lower. It must be
emphasized, none of these sources excludes the others. Higher powers
often work through lower ones. I have investigated many of these
sources, including the pagan gods. I personally believe the Haste of
Jesus gave me my power, but then I am a Catholic Christian.


Now I come to why I was invited to comment: Our Earth has new super-
runners. Nobody can quite tell where they come from. They may be from
other Earths that we've supposedly be exposed to during Earth's new
orbit. I reserve judgment about our exposure to other Earths, and
advise others to do the same.

One of the new super-runners seems to be a Christian also, but a
fundamentalist at that. He calls himself Quickpassage. He quotes Bible
verses that promise speedy judgment upon the Earth. I would guess he
acknowledges the Haste of Jesus (or something like it) to be his
source of power.

The other new super-runners reportedly believe in the "force of
speed", though some of them got their powers scientifically. As part
of their devotion to speed, most of the speedsters actually change
their names. One faction of speedsters is led by their elderly matron,
Lily Speed. (I'm told that names like "Speed", "Quick", "Zoom", and
"Hurrier" are unusual in English, though "Hurrier" - that is, "Eiler"
- is a common surname in German.) Lily Speed claims she got her own
speed powers as an American at the end of the Second World War.

I met Lily Speed at her office in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. She
informed me, she was opening a ministry to super-runners and super-

I first asked her about her relationship to the super-runners. She
told me, two were related to her, and they'd taken her family name.
Others just needed her help.

Ms. Speed informed me, several of the new super-runners first did
whatever they wished when they first exercised their power upon our
world. But they found, people could easily defeat them simply by
tripping them. Then the police would impound them, and they'd have no
support. Ms. Speed was able to give that support, while channelling
the new super-runners into responsible use of power. She said she
wasn't responsible for the Quickrunner, but the others were within her
support group.

Most of the runners now work for corporations as messengers. Lily
said, they navigate corporate dinner parties fairly well, though they
are still adapting to the corporate culture. Some of them get
impatient when women offer them legal advice about their job hunting.
But Ms. Speed says, it's like a ministry to addicts. In this case, the
patients are addicts to speed. (22 Jan)

I asked what support she had for her ministry to speed. As with any
ministry to addicts, no minster can do it alone. She responded, she
was recruiting extensively, and she'd gotten one Charles Brown to join
her staff. He was known to her patients as an expert on speed. I was
able to take a moment to confirm, Charles Brown was at least
affiliated with one known superhuman-mage Linus van Pelt. So her story
was at least plausible.

I asked if she knew the difference between super-running and super-
speed, as this might pertain to her ministry. She said, "There's
basically no difference. We treat every runner as though he might get
complete speed, because he might."

I was then concerned whether the new super-runners had any disputes
among themselves. If they argued among themselves about the origins of
their powers, that could be as devastating as the religious Thirty
Years War was in Germany. Lily responded, the ones within her ministry
would be given one origin story, the "Force of Speed", and then told
to respect other origins.

Of course I advised them all to register as guest workers, follow our
Earth's laws, and be as welcome as any immigrant anywhere. My home the
Federal Republic of Germany welcomes guest workers within its borders,
as long as they are documented. Almost all other nations do likewise.
Ms. Speed responded, of course they were doing the paperwork. There is
no "check-box" for "extra-dimensional" on these documents, so they
were responding in the names of their home nations. That may have been
why they've been accused of subverting the immigration process.

I mentioned, I was concerned about abuse of personal power. I myself
had dreamed of running in the Olympics; I'd even been approved for
Federal Germany's Olympic track team, before I discovered my
connection to speed. Of course, I removed myself from the team. I
needed to know, all super-runners would only display their powers
publicly, not try to hide them and secretly use them for advantage.

Lili responded, "We all do what we can. That's natural. If it's not
legal, we'll work with that."

"You will comply with our laws when they restrict you?"

"But of course. Everyone must."

"And moral codes, to not abuse your power?"

"Please define."

"You teach people to respect Higher Power. Do you get moral codes from
that Power?"

"We don't teach any specific Higher Power. Alcoholics Anonymous
doesn't teach that either. Every patient is encouraged to find his own
Higher Power, and get his own morality from that."

I had no further advice for them. Their ministry is rudimentary but
they know how to build it, and they are working through our Earth's
legal processes in admirable manner. And I do not fear those who want
to go fast. Indeed, I wish all humanity would embrace speed.


Response by Wyatt Ferguson, Editor.

Erik, I respect your assessment as expert writer of this article. As
we agreed, I've approved your article for publication with no
alteration, and now decline to comment about alternate Earths near our
own planet's new orbit. But I hope you respect my own comment as
editor: For once, you trust people and I don't.

Our new super-speedsters have already formed one more secret society
on Earth. You used to worry about secret societies of superhumans,
just because they had the power to break our laws. This new society
can do that too. Is this new society trustworthy, just because they've
said they'll be legal and moral? We should not sympathize with them
just because they have speed.

I don't have any counter-proposals, though. In my world, they're just
more superhumans, one more society, with their own agenda. Our world
survives with many such. One more is probably even a good thing. But
let's watch them.

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