Ginferno: 1913-1914

December 27, 2008

I think another break is due. Here as a Christmas ‘present/punishment’ of 2,500 words. 

Aw Yeah

Aw Yeah

‘Ginferno’ has been released under a creative commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license. You can clone us, and promote us when you do, just don’t sell us or change us.

Aw Yeah
Aw Yeah

 

1913:

The Montreal Methmanol was the first time we heard him speak. Given the type of character Methmanol was – and I can think of these fellows as nothing but characters – I also think this speech was little different to silence; speaking often, he still managed to say nothing at all. The ‘background’ of Methmanol is, of course, a matter of public record. Making the smallest concession to a ‘secret identity’ with his domino mask, Methmanol was otherwise patently open with the first press hatband he encountered. He, a tireless fireman, had been in the line of fire in an explosion at a chemical factory. Saving the wise, old Professor Generic from a fate of death, the old man in turn healed the firefighter’s burns with an experimental new formula, the anithesis of that which had exploded in the lab that fateful day. Not content at saving the youth’s life, the perfected potion gave him increased speed, strength and durability against fire, with an internal fire of his own to boot. In this Methmanol was formed. His mission?

 

Same as ever – protect and serve. Sometimes these conflict.

 

Apart from the domino mask, everything else was standard firefighter’s uniform. Someone had wisely removed name, rank and truck number, but it was otherwise the same. People knew him, but otherwise it was the same. He was a superhero, but he hung out at the Toronto fire house all the same. He could bench press a truck, but he washed it all the same. Whether they were being called out to rescue folk from the impact of a demon crater or rescuing a kitten from a tall, tall tree, he leapt onto it all the same. Sometimes he did both at the same time. He went to elementary schools, just like all the other firefighters. He told the kids they could all grow up big and strong, same as he did. All the same. He was someone. He was anyone. He was everyone. Methmanol could tear up concrete and shatter steel, but it honestly -apparently- never occurred to him to turn to evil, or at least forthright market management of Iconic status. He sat back and chugged beers with the rest of the guys at the station house – never while on duty of course. Never mind that his super metabolism would dissipate its effects instantaneously, he didn’t drink on duty because it was Against the Rules.

 

He didn’t drink because it would make others drunk-scared with possibilities. He was sober.

 

The City Officials that had overseen the reintroduction of Methamanol to his fellow fighters of fire, were aware of this little problem. The potion that had sustained this epic ‘6’6 in fireman’s yellow and gave him this buff, brute and brave exterior also had a queer effect on his fellows. Men in his proximity seemed drunk, somehow. They were rash and fire dotted their skin with permanent rashes. They were hotheaded and their heads were set alight. They were reckless and they were wrecked. Consider this peculiar effect and the psychology is easy. Set men beside a a fellow who is supposed their fellow, a fellow who is fearless, fugueless and fire proof, and with a cry they will strike and, unknowingly, stoke the fire wildly. All the same, he was an indisposable asset, and so he was set into the fire alone. Only in the deepest, darkest, fiery hearts was the Methmanol of Montreal sent. He never questioned this. He believed in the city, the state and his vocation. Fate, the government, these were interchangeable. He opened yet more parades, saved yet more cats.

 

He Saved the Day.

 

At this time he was allocated as being a resource, and could thus be upgraded to the position of emergency necessity. It was no coincidence that this was mid 1914. With little reference to anything across the Atlantic, home boys like the Super Nova Scotian and Plasmate were local fires that needed tending. They could be tended with the same international icon legislation that was allowing The Yank Tanks and the Noble Gases groups to form in the public eye on both sides. Hastily re-packaged as the all-Canadian hero, his tenure would be up the day they had refined a version of Methamanol 180 formula that worked on anyone without his curious chemistry. He had given those bottles of curious catalysts, unbreakable protein strands and mixed mitochondrials quite freely to his government, but since the supposed death of Professor Generic at the hands of Jan Ice, (the Professor’s protege pre experiment-explosion and The Montreal Methmanol’s greatest foe post explosive-experiment), retroengineering it had been driving the Guinea Pigs mad, dead or bad.

 

Methmanol was one of a kind, apparently. He was kind.

 

His powers hit a long-term peak at about this point. Before, he’d been the type to skirmish well. Now, going national, he started shrugging off trains and hauling trawlers. Some suspected, from what very little they had been able to deduce from the juice of the superhero’s serum, that his long-term exposure was increasing his existing abilities exponentially. Others suspected he’d had this level all along, and merely refrained from using it until necessary. Until authorised. That author of his fate would be a nameless, faceless official, affecting the hero whose name and face were known. No one man could decide what to do with a god – not even that man himself, apparently, especially not him. Having one man take on that responsbility that would be sick. Within the state, one was not one, one was a cell that itself might act, but did so with the implicit collusion, or at least their passive acceptance. No one made the decision, yet it occurred. In success, thousands would claim fatherhood, in failure it would become an orphan. Giving the state this control in his fate, Methmanol allowed himself to become the cat’s paw to the cat with the thousand heads and no heart. Was Methmanol trying another option to superherodom or had he happened upon the greatest identity invention; anonymity?

 

The faceless do not need to reflect. No blame attaches.

 

Whatever the case, he wasn’t on the crazy jewel heist beat or the 5pm-9am rooftop circuit anymore. State provisions outlined him as a natural at natural disaster solving. Fire and Ice, ‘Methmanol’ was the last line of research and rescue. So much was being driven into Canada those days. Deserters with ten types of arms, legs and minds. Dissidents running from the creations of the Clockwork Tsar’s regime; The House of Romanov was celebrating the 300th anniversary of their succession to the throne and wished to throw a few fools on the bracing fires of Lenin’s Steam Furnace. The were-bear children of the tragic dying King Ursus fleeing their father’s war-bear hegemony, his death-throes directed at the hated apes that had acceded beyond his beloved bear brothers. Every class of US reject with cape and cowl were jumping border and dropping trouser to disdain and stain Canada. These were ordinary joes, like Methmanol, but in this strange age, were running around with atomic furnaces in their chests, fireworks displays in their brains and undying fires in their hearts, like Methmanol. These were walking disasters – so was Methmanol.

Ow!

Ow!

 

In the old century, such wonder boys and great girls were picked up by organisations or started their own. But this was a time of flux. All times are, as any seasoned time traveller will tell you; who caused the Rogue Planet, the Monadvocacy, the Cacophoney, the Dyson Sphere of Sol? The Twentieth Cenutry, thats who, and damned proud. Even if those times never came to be, they never happened with style. The Twentieth Century decided so many futures, killing the possible machine culture, alien culture, insect culture, bear culuture, zombie culture, all other cultures ut that of True Human Beings. More than ever, one person could decide the world, up and down the timelines. These were quantum continuities with egos. Man-made Man Disasters.

 

These were walking Tunguskas, the Russian Impact of 1908. It went off for a while, that impact, killing Methmanol in 1913. What was it?

 

In scientific circles, the leading explanation for the explosion is the airburst of a meteoroid 6–10 kilometres (4–6 miles) above Earth’s surface. In 1989, D’Alessio and Harms suggested that some of the deuterium in a comet entering the Earth’s atmosphere may have undergone a nuclear fusion reaction, leaving a distinctive signature in the form of carbon-14. In 1973, Albert A. Jackson and Michael P. Ryan, physicists at the University of Texas, proposed that the Tunguska event was caused by a “small” (around 1017 kg to 1019 kg) black hole passing through the Earth. In 1941, Lincoln La Paz, and later in 1965, Cowan, Atluri, and Libby suggested that the Tunguska event was caused by the annihilation of a chunk of antimatter falling from space. Astrophysicist Wolfgang Kundt later suggested the Tunguska event was caused by the sudden release and subsequent explosion of 10 million tons of natural gas from within the Earth’s crust.  Oliver Nichelson suggested that the Tunguska explosion may have been the result of an experiment by Nikola Tesla using the Wardenclyffe Tower, performed during one of Robert Peary‘s North Pole expeditions. referred to the Tunguska event as “the Russian Roswell” and claimed that crashed UFO debris had been recovered from the site. In 2004, a group from the Tunguska Space Phenomenon Public State Fund claimed to have found the wreckage of an alien spacecraft at the site.

Quite frankly, I don’t know.

I don’t know what raced across the sky that morning. I don’t what caused an impact on par with the later Tsarbomb with no nuclear materials. I don’t what caused the roar that made the locals ask the bishop if the beginning of the end had finally begun. I don’t know I don’t know what took the TickTock IronMen ranks of the Tsar’s guard three days to keep in and control over Tunguska territory back 1908. I don’t know what knocked the trees flat or doused the soil in iridium flames. I don’t what the hell, or heaven, had to be driven into Lake Cheko – no, why Lake Cheko was created to bury it, still living. 1917 was hell on records, even with the Man of Steel’s electrical memory efficiency, and much of what the Tunguska thing was and what it did were buried already by 1913, and further still in 1960.

I certainly don’t know why it wasn’t dead in 1913, when Methmanol arrived.

Early in the year, they’d seen The Great Fireball Procession, a chain of slow, large meteors moving from northwest to southeast, over North America, particularly in Canada. Methmanol had been sent to follow them, partially out of purely astronomical interest aided by his newest fire-flight abilities, partially out of purely defensice interests later when he reported that these ‘processions’ would wait over old impact sites, ‘calling’ up fellow lights lit with a ‘colour out of space-comics’ as he commented later. He followed these to Alaska, over the ocean straits and stretches, and to northernmost Russia. Here is what we do know: Whatever was in Tunguska was the last in a line of … something that had fallen some time ago, and whatever was in Tunguska was whatever that was needed to … complete it. Cheko boiled, broiled, and a light arose, more powerful than any before.

It was not a positive creature. Quite negative in fact.

Whatever it was, Methmanol could not return to Canada to ask his masters what it was, whether it should be destroyed or given diplomatic immunity. The radio crackled orders, garbled and burbled, but they weren’t on the ground. It was … huge in dimensions we can’t begin to calculate. Bigger than the sky, yet not seen beyond the slowly regrowing forest. Stronger than gravity, weaker than torch light on a bright day. More explosive than as yet undiscovered A-bomb, less force exerted on reality than a leaf on a hurricane. It came from the places between places. This thing was the nowhere child of a neutron star, reassembling itself with no more conscious thought than a set of cells on a petrie dish and it would scream down the walls of the Winter Palace. It was a real Alien Tiger: No point in it eating us, or us eating him – we were mutual poison on the level of very perception.

Didn’t mean we couldn’t kill each other in the finding out.

This incident tore Methmanol’s idea of institutional anonymity all to hell, or heaven. An institutional memory could remember ages past and imagine those to come. An institutional mind could sentence one thousand to as many varieties of death and sleep easy. An institutional left hand could act without the knowledge of the right, even without the right’s knowing of the left’s existence, never mind knowledge of the left’s business. But even an institution cannot look upon a beast of thirteen dimensions and call it fine. It cannot categorise or collect it, cannot designate or design it. Seeing something like that would tear the fragile dream of government right of humankind’s heads. It would right up the carpet of the fragile Earth for the cheap huxter’s arras that it was and such fine dreams would die, just like this Tunguska thing was dying now. Methmanol learned his lesson – to live for the state was to die for the state, outside of state, when exposed to that It that was outside of the It of state.

He tore open whatever fire hazard that lay within him, and flew within the Tunguska It, and that was that. Barring the explosion of course.

He didn’t kill It – it slept till the Nedelin Disaster, 1960, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome – whether It was awoken by the disaster, or caused, I don’t know. The AllGood gang put it in the ground for good. As for Ginferno, whatever he may be called, I believe he lived beyond 1913, 1917 and 1960, but never again by the name Methmanol. It was one of his longest incarnations: he had friends, fellows and family, of sorts, about him in that time. People missed him when he was gone, because he had given them someone to miss. There was mourning, and mornings after not so light for his absence amongst the morning stars. His powers developed into fire and flight under this name, strength, speed and chemical disruption increasing exponentially compared to his previous icons. Ginferno ripened here. Perhaps this was a real bid reality rather than a test. That is not … impossible. However, if so, it merely taught the man who would become Ginferno that he was impossible, that he was unreal. Whatever he really was; science, magic, a trick of the light – he could tear apart things from other universes now, and you can’t do that without being or becoming something outside your universe. Not belonging to neither the universe he protected or those universes he protected it against, Ginferno moved on. Tracing his path, he was in Death Valley by July 10th, with temperatures hitting 134 °F. He was in Panama for Hallowe’en, and is said to have been a last minute part of the plunger system at Gamboa Dike on the 10th.

The man who would become Ginferno headed South.

 

 

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Ginferno: 1912-1913

December 19, 2008

1912:

Inert

in San Francisco was different. Appearing some time after the fire, Inert was never associated with the manipulation of physical chemicals. No pyrotechnics and electrochemics, not even the average injuries inflicted. Instead, there was little to no physical violence in any of Inert’s activities. Dressed in a surgeon’s get up, complete with gown, mask and gloves, Inert was silent and surgical in his strikes. Inert appeared at hostage negotiations, kidnappings and animal attacks. Craven criminals and crazed creatures would collapse at a look or a touch from Inert. His powers were never stated, nor his origin, though those who saw him drew their own conclusions.That is, the ones they wanted to.

Inert’s powers were thought to come from the distinctive smell of camphor and chloroform that constantly surrounded him. The queasiness those around him felt was attributed to this, from which the first whiff of Ginferno arises. Dissimilar to the Black Out incidents are almost all the details of the modus operandi and the general proferment of a persona for the crowd, costume and all. However, Inert’s context is indicative of why this was possible. San Francisco Master Mystery Man was known as the Doctrination, a group gestalt entity that had been incarnated into the body of a leading street medic and surgeon. The Doctrination was all the medical minds of a millenia manifested in human incarnation per generation. Primarily a medicine man, the Doctrination’s host was a favourite of the city at large and he co-ordinated, co-operated and recuperated the cities various teams.

He had disappeared during the Great Fire.

The get up Doctrination’s was sufficiently similar to make the association, sufficiently dissimilar not to insist upon it. On one occassion, his mask was ‘accidently’ pulled back by a collapsing criminal revealed a head almost completely bandaged. Those parts conspicuously not bandaged were apparently scattered with scar tissue consistent with fire injury. Sufficed to say, he was not the good doctor returned, despite these implications of a baptism by fire. Respect was maintained – despite his dress type, Inert was never given a medical moniker, nor gave himself one. People adjusted. The heroes Doctrination had fought and fallen alongside were aware of his means of reintroduction to the world. They tipped their hats, caps and cowls to Inert, but never engaged him as they had the old boy, because he wasn’t him. It wasn’t ice between them, nor fire, but merely an absence, just as there was an absence in Inert. He was not the powerhouse of peace and purpose that Doctrination had been, nor tried to be, and was unobstrusively accepted as a result. Perhaps there would have been a fufilment, and adjustment in this state of affairs, but the year of 1913 put an end to that. There was a hostage situation, a warehouse of TNT, a little girl with pigtails and ponies. Inert walked in, the girl ran out, the flames leapt sky high.

The loss of the criminals was little mourned, Inert was mourned not at all.

They didn’t hate that dead man. Despite publicity and performance, the fine folk of ‘Francisco simply had nowhere to put the pity and pour the pain felt from this loss. Two months later, a boy Doctrination stepped from the loud crowd that formed when Shroudog slammed Cataflaque into the pavement. Shroudog collared by Ferr Al, the spotlight led to a magical lad that healed the fearless feline’s wounds. The boy was carried on shoulder top to the headquarters of the Sons of the San Franciscan Sun, where, with a glass of milk and a quick questioning of the boy’s limitless nursing know-how, he was hailed as Doctrination reborn. Inert had been a shadow, they said, a ghost of the old incarnation serving time until the arrival of the new. A shade, a shard of soul, this relentless revenant had benevolently beheld the city in the stead of his arising successor. Inert’s name was added to the hall, a rare frontpage picture was wreathed in roses, a true carer’s catharsis was achieved, cleanly sealing up speculation behind him.

That the boy’s account of himself as to have come into his powers directly after his predecessor’s passing, seven years previous, played little part into this reverential reasoning.

If your book is late, so will you.

Reminder: If your book is late, so will you.

 

‘Ginferno’ has been released under a creative commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license. You can clone us,  and promote us when you do, just don’t sell us or change us.


Ginferno: 1912

December 14, 2008

Timeline and Noted Events:

1910:

Mystery Metachemical Man known as Black Out appears in the arena of anti-gang activities. First reported sightings consistent with a young Ginferno’s power range. The fire and electrical disruptions as extension of his powers are accounted for in Black Out’s principal strategy; using flares to blind the night sight of the attackers, before the surrounding street lights die. No physical details are listed from these eye witnesses lacking reliable eyes. The victims say this continues, while men grunt and groan around them, for twelve minutes. Then the lights come back on. The victims stand, quite queasy, in a ring of living-but-lethargic street thugs. While standard super-encounter violence is noted in the later statements of gang members, the chief identifier of a Ginferno-based attack are in the fact that they are all recorded to have hangovers (the villians worse than the victims) they can’t account for.

All.

The other classic Ginferno identifier is that he did not personally encounter the criminals or victims at any proximity, and the tag Black Out was coined later. This, coupled with the premeditatedly generalised nature of the attack, makes it quite clear that no firm link can be formed with can be formed between this incident and those surrounding, never mind with Ginferno himself. Not even the hangovers are conclusive: the criminals are unlikely to have owned up to a little premeditated Dutch courage, the victims unlikely in admitting self-reduced capacity. A fuzziness about the power type in early activities is a classic phase of many super types, but it is rare in this mental set that some degree of encounter is not noted. Not even warding the victims to the nearest police station, never mind warning the ne’er do wells off of this area. Instead they appear to have been observed.

To be tested.

In the following weeks, the string of recon-rescues continued. The secretive saviour appears to have made no announcements, pronouncements or significant protections. As such, ‘he’ barely made the society pages. It was a city filled with heroes, each trying to carve out a niche in the rush of pro-super legislation and public lauding. If “Black Out” wasn’t going to self-publicise, he would never go public. ‘He’ did get a cover of the October 1911 edition of the recently established Superb magazine, but all they had were scene photos, a few barroom confessions and a question mark. The story didn’t run long, and neither did Black Out. By the end of the year, even the most indepth researches into the vague reports reveals nothing consistent with the already vague peramters of attack and withdraw. A thunder newcomer to New York referring to himself as BrownOut briefly took up the mantle. This version later realised both his titles spelt BO, and later became the Thunderhead who had the impact into the floor of the Mayoral Residence that the Police Commissioner happened to be sitting in at the time.

‘Dunderhead’, as he was later dubbed by the papers.

Relegated to outer-outer-ocean coast guard by the burgeoning Icon Affairs Offices, the Black Out/Thunderhead misassociation seems to have driven the meagre mythology of this figure into inexistence. This may very well be a true association; there are no strict accounts for Thunderhead’s whereabouts before his arrival in New York. But it is unlikely – Thunderhead’s self-promotion driven motivations excise him from investigations at this time. Preying on natural, human sensibilities, the confusion of the superheroic explosion and magpie-eye of those clawing their way to the top, the Black Out phenomena is associated with a few isolated incidents in the lead up to a disgraced superhero, whereas speculative investigation incidents attributable to this figure rack up an arrest record a little under that of an accredited mid-level hero of the time. Slipping away like a thief in the night, what had been stolen was information never missed and all the more powerful when never retold.

Knowledge of self.

Beat to a bloody pulp-fiction

Book-Pimp: Beat to a bloody pulp-fiction

 

‘Ginferno’ has been released under a creative commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license. You can clone us,  and promote us when you do, just don’t sell us or change us.


Ginferno: Modus Operandi

December 10, 2008

I was busy . . .

 

Psychological Profile:

This innate ability to make those around him intoxicated has aroused equal speculation and feculation about Ginferno‘s actual self. Not merely his identity; it has been theorised that Ginferno cannot deactivate his powers, and so everyone who perceives him must do so through gaze of an affable drunkard. Even basic details about his appearance have never been confirmed, with variations in height, descent, voice, hair and eye colour, dress and occasionally even gender. Photographers have rarely gotten within range of his charm with their final photos off-centre, off-focus, or suffering an attack of the forgotten lenscaps. His off-the-cuff hilarity for which he had become much famed is far more explicable in this light; in that condition a rousing Armpit chorus would be Wildean wild wit, to say the least. Given the low fieldability of recording equipment at this point in history, no extant footage of Ginferno can be examined without obvious note of the operator’s dense inebriation at his station. But this flame burns both ways, some have thought: if no one in the world that you interact, no one at all, ever sees you as you really are, what does that do to your perception of it? Of them? Of yourself?

The most terrifying thought is that in the centre of a maenad’s maelstrom, Ginferno is the most sober man in the universe.

Origin:

Such a man can have no origin story or, rather, he has several hundred. These range from the simply unconfirmable to the hilariously apocryphal. Urban legend says he fell into a vat of the finest ale and drowned – eventually- after getting out three times to go to the toilet. Said to have taken the hair of a were dog that bit him, to have consumed the worm at the bottom of a bottle and gained its powers, Ginferno was bitten with the bitter bite of drink. Others, allow Ginferno to be a Wandering Jew type, condemned act as barman to the world until the mythical Last Call. And so on. All of these stories were no doubt concocted by Ginferno himself as skilfully as he is known to concoct his drinks, fed to the ultimate in gullible customers. It certainly fits those few confirmable attributes about his personality that lie in file. There have, however, been rumours of Ginferno displaying intellectual abilities easily equal to those of his chemical ones. Instances in which he has decommisioned bombs, guns and narcotics have proved his chemical proclivities. Others were he has nullified poisons and even exchangeable metabolic rates to help the biologies of others to self-repair evidences his being able to use his physical abilities for basic cellular repair rather than systematic liver damage. A doctor’s proctor.

Ginferno’s

real name, if he still uses it, may have some Phd.’s, and possibly an M.D. after it. Identity:

In this super age of early twentieth century New York, any number of noted scientists go missing in blaze of smoke, a flash of light or a whiff of ozone, only to presumably return in much more noticeable stance. As such, Ginferno could be any one of a thousand chemical experts, metabolic experimenters or research and development brewery staff. Is his great satire upon us, do you think, that the fine mind he must have been would have become most renowned in its most comical role? Given his name, his bar’s name, and that of his greatest nemesis – the apparently demonic GinfernalGinferno‘s association with ‘demon drink’ has one his harshest critics have been quick to make, often allying high-ranking church and abstinence groups against him. Yet, if he can so aptly manipulate those around him . . . one cannot help but think that a true scientist would take some degree of satirical glee in making himself the very epitome of malevolent magic while in actuality an empirical method master.