Of G-Men and Supermen

A super hero is a lot like a Squid. In its natural environment, its sleek, sleek, strong, cunning, and graceful. But when you really stop to look at them, they’re really kind of disturbing and otherworldly – the implications of their abilities are like tentacles splaying out in unknown directions.

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” – who watches these powerful unlicensed vigilantes and cleans up after their rampages?

You, of course, as an agent of the Headquarters for Enforcement & Registration of Observed Supernatural.

Of G-men and Supermen is a 24 hour game I wrote for the 1km11kt.net contest, on the topic “Power Squid”. It casts the players as government agents keeping tabs on the rising population of super-powered individuals in 1958 America.

As one of the contest judges, I can’t win, but as an activity done for fun – I think it came out well.

The game is based on a standard deck of 54 (including jokers) playing cards.

The G-man in the window sighed, adjusted his hat, and lit another cigarette. As the menthol feeling filled my lungs, I realized that it wasn’t a window, but a mirror. Damn. When did I get so old? It seems like just yesterday that I was a kid enjoying his comic books and now I’ve got gray temples and a conservative tie. When did this happen?

Oh yeah – when those comic books came to life.

A lot of people are willing to call them heroes, and that is not wholly wrong. “Comics” do pluck falling airliners out of the sky, and stop ice ray wielding whack jobs.

But we have taken to calling them “Squids”. Because they’ve got tentacles that reach into everything, making our life pretty complicated. After all, they’re vigilantes, who refuse to reveal their identities, and become involved in the law with no certification or training. Their authority issues from the fact they can break what seem to be basic laws of physics, much as the Reds rule by the barrel of a gun.

What does it mean to have faith in god when you see miracle workers every day?

If a so-called hero wanted to level an entire city, what could we do to stop them?

Well, our organization for one. We might not succeed, but out agents would try their hardest anyway. To do any less would be un-American.

Everyday we get our orders from Mr. Keeton. Everyday he seems ten years older. It can’t be easy to direct an agency like this when his twin brother is one of the people we watch extra closely.

I have to wonder who is the hero in this amazing tale. Is “Normal” Keeton ultimately the white knight charging down chaos and disorder? Or are these people to be taken at face value, and Keeton himself the villain?


One Response to “Of G-Men and Supermen”

  1. Blaquesaber Says:

    This looks very cool. The whole “50’s Paranoia + Superhero” always gets me. Thanks for sharing.