The Era of the Superhuman

29 Mar

Prologue

From: Dawn of a New Era: The Journal of Lieutenant-Colonel Ennis, US Army (Ret). Unpublished.

Hitler was an evil man. The Nazis were evil people.

I know; that goes without saying. You might as well say that water is wet or the sun is hot.

Depending on when you read this, you probably will know about the death camps, about the gas ovens that living men and women entered and came out dead, about Hitler’s grand dreams and the price humanity paid for their destruction. You’ll have heard about Himmler, the man who dreamed of the superman, and Mengele, the doctor who experimented on the inmates, torturing and killing them in the name of science. But you won’t have heard of Gerhard. Few people ever have and I may be the last person alive who remembers his name.

Wolfgang Gerhard was a genius. I hate the man and everything he represented, everything he did in the pursuit of his mad dreams, but I have to admire his mind. He was also more than a little insane, a man who moved from emotionless detachment to passionate lunges for knowledge that came with a bloodstained price. I have the reports filed by his SS supervisors and the woman who served as his mistress until 1945 and they all testify to his instability. Small men all, they didn’t really understand his mind. Some of them thought he was a mental patient who had somehow managed to convince their superiors that he was a genius. None of them liked him.

Curious, that. These were men who had watched impassively as thousands of victims were murdered in cold blood, or supervised experiments so horrific as to be beyond description. And yet they didn’t like Gerhard. I wonder why.

Gerhard and Himmler had one interest that bound them together. They both dreamed of the superman, of unlocking humanity’s potential so a new master race could be unleashed upon the Earth. I’m sure that Himmler never considered what would happen to him when the blonde Aryan supermen came into existence, but fanatics never ask themselves what would happen if they got what they wanted. Gerhard believed that the key to creating the superman was to dissect the brains of thousands of victims and somehow distil their potential into a form that could be transplanted into a test subject. The few papers left have been carefully studied and deemed nonsense. Gerhard was careful to disguise what he was actually doing and none of his guards were qualified to follow his experiments. By then, Gerhard was kept separate from the rest of the Nazi scientists.

Eventually – and there are a dozen theories about how – Gerhard created a virus which he swore would unlock the superman inside the mundane man. By then, Nazi Germany was in a desperate plight. The Russians were advancing from the East and the Allies had just won the Battle of the Bulge. Gerhard tested his virus by unleashing it on the prisoners in several concentration camps. Nothing happened. Himmler blamed it on the choice of test subject and ordered the virus tested on Allied prisoners of war. Nothing happened.

At first. The real changes were beyond their ability to detect until it was far too late.

Everyone knows what happened next. Some of the test subjects developed superhuman abilities. Not all, but enough to form an army. There were men with invulnerable skin, women with the ability to fly, children who could run at supersonic speed. The SS weren’t even remotely prepared for the sudden outburst as the superhumans turned on their tormentors. Some just wanted to escape, to safeguard their friends and relatives. Others wanted revenge. They advanced on Berlin and nothing the Nazis could put in their way could stop them. The entire world has seen the picture of a young Jewish girl, Anne Frank, tearing Hitler apart with superhuman strength. Germany fell before their might.

The war ended, soon afterwards. By then, the era of the superhuman had begun.

I killed Gerhard in 1947. Unfortunately, his dream lives on.

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3 Responses to “The Era of the Superhuman”

  1. The Deposed King April 1, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Don’t really care for the whole Nazi thing as the dievergence point. That said who am I?

    It kind of reminds me of a book that recently came out from Baen last year, with super human powers and a divergence point around the 1900’s.

    But hey people with super powers are fun to follow. Its harder to pigeonhole them, especially if there are a lot of them. When the government tries to push them around, they push back.

    They aught to have one with the super power, they call the tax man. He can read thousands of pages of legal code (laws) then crunch the numbers. Allowing your average everyday citizen to avail of all those legal loopholes government makes for all its special interests. It’d be a cheap and easily overcome power but it tickled my fancy just now.

    Or how about the human magnet. He can act like amagnet for people and they will fly over until they are magnetically in contact with his body. He’s got a 100 foot radius. He gets ticked and everyone goes flying in his direction.

    Or you know what, those are terrible ideas. I’ve got to run.

    have a blast chris,

    The Deposed King

    • chrishanger April 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Well, my general theory would be that 60-70% of the superhumans would be surviviors of the Nazi camps and therefore most of them wouldn’t be very nice people. Instead of Israel, there would be a Germany dominated by superhumans who want a little payback for what the Nazis did to them.

      Chris

  2. The Deposed King April 2, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Well if you look at the survivors of the Nazi camps, they broke down into two different groups. The Saints and the Sinners and the sinners did out number the saints.

    Some people it broke. Some people it turned into the sort of bad guys you were talking about. Other people it made them better, the reached down deep inside and shared their cup of soup, even when they were starving. They went on to live good lives, jobs and have grandchildren. Pillars of the community.

    So I don’t think you are limited in your selection of personality types. Although I agree, give concentration camp survivors super powers and watch the blow back.

    The Deposed King

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