The Speck—Earth’s Tiniest Hero!
The creation of the World Superhero Organisation happened long before I decided to use them for the story "WSO #97", which appeared in Magpie Magazine.
I was to create a character for a new role-playing game campaign we were starting, and it was a setting, where each character was to be pulled from his or her own world, and brought to the adventure setting. As such, we the players had pretty-much carte blanche when it came to the type of world our characters were from. Myself, I decided to make a superhero.
I created my character using the rules of the system (I no longer remember the name of the system, possibly RIFTS. I don't think we ever actually played), and so made a guy who could shrink to 6 inches in height, had wall-crawling à la Spider-Man, had Infra-Red and UV Vision, and some thing called 'Great Mental Affinity'. To flesh out my character some what, and so the GM could get an idea of where my character was coming from, I wrote this:
Okay, so here I am, Dennis Darling, computer programmer employed by Cliktek, the world’s most popular computer software company, and I’m sitting on a giant, spandexed shoulder. I am six inches tall. How do I get into these messes? I guess it’s all part of the package when you’re a super-hero called The Speck.
I guess I couldn’t really say it started anywhere but in my buddy’s lab, six years ago. Back then, I was just an ambitious programmer, fresh out of the local technical college. My best friend at the time, Marcus, was several years older than I, and I looked up to him greatly. Marcus had been in self-imposed exile for the last five or so months, and then he showed up on my doorstep one day, large boxes under his arms. Of course, I let him in.
After the greetings, he told me he’d spent the months in seclusion building a machine that could usurp the computer, and that he wanted me to give his prototype a test run. I agreed to do it, and he started pulling out of his boxes strange, blobby things. One of these was very small, and he stuck it onto my forehead.
‘Are you ready?’ he asked, once everything was inter-connected. I nodded, and then I was in the machine. If you think of those stories about people jacking into cyberspace, that isn’t doing this thing justice, but I can’t think of any other comparison. I just simply WAS the machine, and I could do anything. I started exploring.
I still didn’t have a clear grasp of how to use this thing, and for which purpose, when my probing hit something bad. My eyes saw the inside of the computer, as well as the room where Marcus was waiting expectantly. Some sort of energy flowed through my entire body, and I felt great burning on my eyes, my forehead, my hands, and then I lost consciousness.
When I awoke I had the powers. I discovered them doing mundane things. I would shrink unconsciously when meaning to duck, or I would stick to walls after leaning on them. My vision took about a week after the accident to come back, but as soon as it did, I saw infra red, UV.
That’s sort of the beginning. Soon I started thwarting crimes, not usually the armed robbery kind of stuff, but I brought in a lot of embezzlers, a couple murderers, and a bunch of drug traffickers. It was after I brought down a New York-based syndicate who had been expanding into Toronto, that the American Heroic Community took notice of me. Back then, they were under the leadership of Psi-Ron, an alien robot with telepathic powers.
The group offered me membership, to which I agreed on one condition: they change the group’s name. From then on, we were all a part of the Global Heroic Community (even though our influence really only surrounded the lake Ontario region). When Psi-Ron died at the hand of his Arch-Villain Dr. Mord last year, I took over the leadership.
The other members have been more or less constant. Flying Hook Man has been a part of the GHC since its inception as the AHC. He has a noble heart, and is filled with determination. His powers are to leap really high, and then give the bad guy a hook in the jaw as he descends, knocking them out immediately.
Sceptor has been a member on and off over the last eight years. He is sort of mysterious and unemotional, but his sceptre can create an illusory projection over anyone that lasts for an hour. That sceptre has saved us on numerous occasions.
The final member of the group, now, is Lady Coldwell. She joined just after me. She and I are close…but I’m not really sure HOW close. Every time it looks like something will happen between us, something else gets in the way (like when I was put under Hypnotia’s slave spell).
I guess that explains me. And my friends, all of whom are here now. But as I sit on the shoulder of the GHC’s greatest villain, and look up at the gigantic head above me, I remember that that doesn’t explain him. His name is Massidor.
Massidor had been fighting the AHC since the beginning. He has the power to alter his size upwards of a normal human, because of the monacle he wears. How the monacle works, no one really knows. Massidor’s motives are destruction, which is easy for him to do when he’s grown to the size of a skyscraper.
Down below me, now, I see my comrades giving it their all. Flying Hook Man is at a severe disadvantage, as he can’t reach Massidor’s jaw, no matter how high he leaps. Still, he’s punching the hell out of Massidor’s leg. And he’s smiling.
Sceptor is clearing the civilians away with frightening holo-illusions. Lady Coldwell is the only one doing anything really useful. She’s managed to numb one of Massidor’s arms enough for him to not be able to use it. And she’s providing an excellent distraction.
I look up at his head, the monacle gleaming on his cheek. There’s no closer I can get to it without him noticing me. I make a dive upwards for his jawbone, then scramble up the rest of the way. I see that gigantic eye looking around, then seeing me. I don’t have much time. I grab a hold of the monacle and send it spinning to shrink mode. As I do this, I jump off Massidor’s face, holding tightly onto the monacle. Soon, Massidor and I are standing face to face, both regular sized, but his monacle is in my hand. I crush it under my boot.
‘NOOOO!!’ cries Massidor. ‘You fool! That monacle didn’t give me my power, it just let me control it!’ Massidor began expanding at an exponantial rate, and then disappeared, but just after he disappeared, I saw a giant molecule fly past me, growing as it did so.
‘What happened to him?’ asked Flying Hook Man.
‘He grew too large for this universe,’ I answered. ‘I guess he’s in some other one, now.’
And there you go. Firstly, awful writing. And not, I think, on purpose, as the awful writing in the comic is. A few name changes, Psi-Ram was Psi-Ron, which was a copy of L-Ron, which is now cleverly disguised. The WSO was once the GHC, but I just thought Global Heroic Community was just too corny, even for WSO #97. Again, I think it wasn't on purpose.
Psi-Ram actually turned out to be one of the most interesting characters (and the Speck the least interesting), which is why Psi-Ram's alive in the comic. Needless, I think, to say, none of that segment is necessarily official continuity, although I might enjoy doing 'The Death of Psi-Ram' at some point in the future. Dr. Mord and Massidor don't necessarily really exist in the official universe. But then again, what are bad comics without embarassing back issues that need to be incorporated into continuity? Hmm...
Any way, the awful Massidor ending in this was meant to indicate that maybe the Speck (once he went into the alternate universe where the RPG was taking place) might run into Massidor. A more perfect antithesis for the Speck, I could not conceive (way better than that lame The Mite...what was I thinking?).