Warning: This is spoiler information for the short story, Stardust: Collapsing Star.
Below is the first in a series containing some basic ‘setting’ information for my upcoming stories. This exercise forces me to get some needed detail about each ‘world’ down on paper, which sets the stage. While I will plan to take a “Shoot from the Hip” approach for Collapsing Star, this stage of planning is still needed. One cannot tell a story without some idea of the setting it is in.
Collapsing Star takes place in the city of New Orlando, which was re-built after a devastation wrecked the original city. The story takes place in the same ‘universe’ as Wildlight.
About 20 years ago, super powered humans (mutants, cyborgs, aliens, supernaturally enhanced , etc.) began to crop up among the normal populace. Most tried to hide their abilities, and live normal lives among the populace. Some used their powers for their own gain. Some of the illegal activity involved using powers of brute force to rob, plunder and kill. Others used their powers to break laws in a subtle way to pull strings from behind the scenes. A few superheroes stepped up to use their powers to stop those criminals. However, their numbers were few, and thinning. The normal police forces lacked the numbers, equipment and training to properly deal with the threat these new criminals posed.
The federal government enacted the superhuman registration act, requiring that all humans with abnormal abilities file with the federal government. Failure to do so could result in felony charges. The act also detailed when one could use various powers. Finally, it allowed the formation of the Department of Special Forces (or DoSF, for short). An offshoot of the FBI, the DoSF works to stop super powered rogues, as well as locate those who did not register. The DoSF is comprised of three departments. The Enforcers handle the tasks requiring strength and force to resolves. The Seekers work to find those super powered citizens who have not registered. The Investigators ferret out those superhumans engaged in more white collar crimes.
Because of the uniqueness of each super human, the government grants the DoSF greater latitude than other branches of law enforcement. After a number of significant failures, and even jailbreaks, the DoSF increased their response, using greater force, restrictions, etc. In a number of situations, the punishment they would levy seemed to be much more severe than the crime, Rumor of innocent people arrested on charges, and their freedoms stripped away, spread through the interwebs.
Their efforts have been somewhat successful. Over the last decade, reports of crime fell 56%. However, significant resistance to the government’s forces still exists, and recent budget cutbacks have hindered the efforts to bring things totally under control.