Sunday, September 30, 2007

League of Superheroes on Flashpoint, Part 2

Ansric: But what did you think of the story itself? Would you buy it?

Genie: I don't usually buy books. I either get them online or read them at a library.

Tom: When it's closed.

Genie: It's easier that way. Otherwise I'd have to assume a visible identity, and even then they wouldn't expect me to speedread a stack of books.

Ansric: What about the rest of you? Would you buy Flashpoint?

Rod: I would.

Allen: I'll agree with the big guy on this, though I still think more hacking would be better--and maybe a Catholic character or two. What did you think, Genie?

Genie: I have no preference about denominational representation, but it does seem odd that they would use physical conflict over cyber-terror. Given the probable cost of their equipment and their refusal to take lives, hacking would be more efficient. If they targeted components whose loss would not harm people, they could still effectively bring the system down. Trading identities and information on people at random would be good, or they could simply de-classify all information and randomly boost ordinary people's bank accounts. The chaos and humiliation could be leveraged into a campaign to get the local governments to re-assert control.

Allen: That does sound reasonable.

Charlie: But it wouldn't do anything about the spiritual conflict, which is the main problem. God gave us these bodies not only to interact with his creation but to interact with the spiritual world. I don't think you can do spiritual warfare with hacking. Mr. Creed got that right: a spiritual problem needs a spiritual solution. Our technology only positions us for the same on-our-knees work Christians have always done.

Genie: I would think that superhumanity would imply super-spirituality. If I became a Christian, my mind would still be an asset, wouldn't it?

Charlie: No more than any other mind that's yielded to God. The power and glory are his. And I think you'd find--I think you have found--that all superhumanity magnifies is sinfulness. If we could improve our spiritual state by our own efforts, that would be salvation by works, so all that gets improved is the fleshly side of us--our sin nature.

Genie: I don't know. There are other superhuman characters; what do they say?

Ansric: Heather from "Changelings" and Martin both agreed that the arm of flesh counts for nothing; only the power of God matters. Mike Q. Fagin from The Janus File just said that the book wasn't written by a superhuman, or he would know that we aren't made for that anymore. Then he said something about a curse and walked away. Colin from The Gate of Hell agreed with him.

Rod: He would. They're almost twins, except Mike's a nutcase and Colin's doom incarnate.

Genie: Mike is not a nutcase. He's the most intelligent person I've ever met, but his powers are a burden to him. That's why he goofs around. I thought his salvation somehow mitigated his problems, though.

Ansric: Others like him are generally sociopaths, and he isn't. That's a big difference. Anyway, Heather and Martin said that the key is superhumanity God's way, by the Spirit of God coming upon people--though they allowed that it still doesn't make much difference in spiritual matters. Their unusual spiritual insights and powers are gifts from God to help them perform their duties. And even Guardians and Heralds fail. Now, last call for opinions.

Tom: I like the humor, and the spiritual points were well done. Dad was bothered by a few things, but he said he wanted to see the next installment before deciding.

Rod: I think it's pretty good. And it's simple enough even Allen could read it.

Allen: I think it should have pictures to help people like Rod. Oh, I forgot--there aren't any people like Rod.

Charlie: I think the Holy Spirit can deal with any problems, but it is a good start.

Clarice: I wish he'd told what happened to Legacy. And I think e-girl should tell the story sometimes.

Genie: It's outside my field in more ways than one, but I think it's a good example of Christianizing the genre.

League of Superheroes on Flashpoint, Part 1

As promised, we have the League of Superheroes, including Genie, the supergenius who got them started, to talk about Flashpoint by Frank Creed. I should identify them:
Rod Davies is Titan, a walking tank. He's a math and physics genius.
Tom Reilly is Darklight, an invisible spy. He's a language geek like me.
Allen Peters is Tachyon, able to speed or slow time. He's a hacker.
Clarice Peters is his little sister. She goes by the handle "Goodcheer." Don't laugh; it's cruel.
Charlie Taylor is Micromegas, a size-changer. He wants to be a medical missionary.
We'll start with... Oh, Rod, of course.
Rod: I liked it. Good action, fun dialog. Dad said he'd nail me if I talked that way, but he seemed to like it too. He didn't care for that Lix female, though. Too kinky.
Allen: I thought you had a wallpaper of her on your handheld.
Rod: I do not! Don't joke about stuff like that--Dad's listening. Yeah, okay, Dad. Here, see? Hey--what's with the "Huggie Bears" wallpaper? Allen!
Allen: They always blame me.
Rod: Well, it sure wasn't Tom!
Allen: Maybe it was Uncle. He's pretty good. Besides, Clarice likes the Huggie Bears.
Clarice: That was last year. Where is Uncle, anyway?
Ansric: He said he'd leave this to the younger crowd. Stick to Flashpoint.
Allen: Well, I thought it was pretty cool. The action was good, though I thought it would've worked better if Calamity Kid had done some hacking in the field. That would be the best way to deal with the Goliaths.
Rod: With my suit, I'd just blast their legs off and pry them open. That would teach the wimps inside a lesson.
Allen: Well, I'd just stroll over to them and paint over their sensors and stuff their gun barrels with whatever was handy. Or I'd isolate their power supply and age it a few years.
Charlie: I think we're supposed to talk about the story as it stands. There's a role-playing game for people who want to try alternatives.
Rod: I bet they don't have tech-based superpowers, though. You'd just shrink down to bug size, fly under a Goliath, and and show it how tall a Goliath could really be!
Charlie: Actually, I would shrink down, fly inside, and witness to the operator. Sooner or later he would either get saved or flee the vehicle.
Rod: What about you, Tom? Oh, yeah, I forgot: you don't have any offensive powers.
Tom: I shouldn't argue with the Death Star--you're the most offensive guy I know. But I could do a lot of what Allen--I mean Tachyon--could do. Besides, some of my counter-intelligence gear could really confuse a guy in a Goliath.
Ansric: Okay, but the story--
Rod: Hey, Genie! What did you think?
Genie: I haven't read it.
Rod: Allen's got it on his computer.
Allen: Sent it.
Genie: All right, but it'll take a moment...
Rod: And while she's doing that, I'll count to one. Ready?
Genie: Yes, I'm ready. It emphasizes the spiritual more than I like, but I suppose compared with "Star Wars" or more obviously the "Matrix" series, it's good enough.
Allen: You used compressed time, didn't you?
Genie: Of course. I didn't want to put people through Rod's counting to one.

To be continued...
Powered by WebRing.