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Supertech on Champions Earth



  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited June 2018
    Radical scientific breakthroughs on Champions Earth aren't just confined to the 20th and 21st Centuries. On our world the fiction of the 19th Century was full of adventures based on the frontiers of science, and in the Champions Universe many of those pioneering scientists actually existed, such as the first Dr. Moreau and his project to raise animals to sapience; Captain Nemo's extraordinary submarine; Baron Frankenstein's reanimation experiments; the invisibility formula developed by a man named Griffin; and Henry Jekyll's discovery to incarnate the evil within every person.

    Other notable figures are unique and original to this setting. Prof. Myron Klauss, a.k.a "Professor Clock," a Swiss clockwork roboticist, allegedly inspired some of the more fanciful creations of L. Frank Baum. One of his constructs, the robotic butler "Dalhousie," still functions 150 years later. Dr. Victor Vulcaine was to applied sonics what Nikola Tesla is popularly believed to have been to electro-magnetism. Vulcaine's feats included a sub-sonic vibration that broke every piece of glass in London. Even modern Champs Earth science has been unable to analyze or duplicate all the accomplishments of these geniuses. But some of their lost or stolen notes or prototypes may still await rediscovery.

    (Most of the scientists mentioned above are noted in the historical section of Champions Universe, but Klauss and Vulcaine are described in VIPER: Coils Of The Serpent p. 7.)
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited August 2018
    At the other end of the spectrum of how comic-book tech can affect the entire world, Book of the Empress p. 132 describes the alternate Earth known as Laurentia. On this world Christianity never arose -- the dominant faith of the ancient world was worship of the Anatolian mother goddess Cybele. In the late 19th century a Cybelite nun named Sister Yvette discovered an advanced alien artifact called the Foundationstone buried in northern Quebec, Canada. The artifact made telepathic contact with Sister Yvette and determined her greatest desire was to spread the Holy Mother Church over the whole world.

    The Foundationstone downloaded its scientific database into Yvette's mind, and reshaped itself into a supertech facility, the Real Cathedral, in the heart of Quebec City. Using those resources and her new knowledge, Yvette constructed the Meter Theon Machina ("mother goddess machine") to telepathically broadcast her religious beliefs around the globe, compelling everyone to convert to her faith. To deal with those few too strong-willed to convert, Yvette built the Norn Cathecists, suits of powered armor that can only be worn by eunuchs of her faith. The remnants of the armies of the rest of the world could not resist them.

    By the second quarter of the 20th Century the Catholic Cybelites controlled the entire Earth. They consolidated secular and temporal power in Quebec City, which they renamed True Paris. Quebec French became the only lawful language, with Latin as the ceremonial tongue. Today True Paris is the seat of the Supreme Chatelaine, the world's absolute political and spiritual authority.

    Laurentia has made contact with Champions Earth on several occasions. The Supreme Chatelaine wants to conquer and convert it, and then all other alternate Earths, but has so far been rebuffed. To counter opposition by Champs Earth's superheroes, the Catholic Cybelites have built the Machinism Ascensus to create their own low-powered superhumans.

    The above example illustrates how some alien technology is so advanced compared to human tech -- even that possessed by major superhumans -- that it reaches the level of "plot device," generating world-shaking events. It's worth noting that Champions Earth could be hiding finds of such magnitude, from several potential sources.

    The late Vanguard, considered the most powerful superhero ever (the CU's Superman analogue), was transformed by exposure to a mysterious artifact in a temple in Tibet, called "the Bell of the Chosen." Despite its mystic-sounding name, the Bell is actually a tech device made by an alien race called the Kuzane. In 1959 a group of Terrestrial adventurers intercepted and destroyed an invading Kuzane ship, but the energy of its explosion mutated them into the legendary superheroes, the Fabulous Five. Unknown to anyone, that explosion also hurled a fragment of the ship through not only space, but time, to land in Tibet seven centuries earlier. There's no indication Kuzane technology was generally so powerful, but it could have been altered by the same energy that created the Five. To date no other Kuzane artifacts are known to have been recovered; but given the circumstances, another piece might be found anywhere on Earth, and anywhen.

    The most scientifically advanced species still extant in the Milky Way are the Malvans. Both Ironclad of the Champions, and the reformed supervillain Herculan, crashed to Earth aboard small Malvan ships. The United States government recovered the remains of both ships, although they were damaged and nonfunctional, and have defied human attempts to understand them. However, one human is in possession of a device from Herculan's ship, which had been taken as a "souvenir" after it crashed. It's not impossible another fragment of that ship might have been spirited away; or that someone could dredge an overlooked piece of Ironclad's ship out of Lake St. Clair where it crashed. Moreover, with the Forum Malvanum on Earth's Moon, there's more than one way a Malvan artifact might pass from there to this planet.

    When the godlike alien Progenitors left Earth after having created the first generation of mankind's superhuman cousins, the Empyreans, they took all their devices except those that protect the Empyrean's hidden city, Arcadia. But there's reason to suspect they could have left something elsewhere on Earth, accidentally or deliberately. The asteroid belt in our solar system was once a planet, home to another race evolved through Progenitor experiments, the "botanoid" Phytians. But the Phytian equivalent of a scientific supervillain discovered some Progenitor tech and attempted to use it to blackmail his whole world. Unfortunately he couldn't fully comprehend the device, and accidentally shattered Phytia. Yet even now, a few surviving Progenitor artifacts remain in the asteroid belt.

    The benevolent advanced aliens named Mandaarians have publicly visited Earth several times in the past. They also continue to study humanity covertly, so as not to influence our behavior. One of their survey ships crashed on Earth, and a nearby drifter recovered a pair of bracers which had been the pilot's control interface. Yet the bracers also proved capable of generating a wide variety of potent offensive and defensive energy constructs, and even of reshaping the drifter's formerly-average body to one of exceptional health and attractiveness. The drifter later joined the supervillain team, the Ultimates, under the code-name "Orion." One can only wonder what a Mandaarian device intended as a weapon might be capable of.

    All the above information was derived from Champions Beyond, except for the origin of Orion, which appears under the entry for the Ultimates in Champions Villains Vol. 2: Villain Teams.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Posts: 1,347 Arc User
    edited August 2018
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Travel, whether by air, water, or land, is quicker and safer than ever before. Flights from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast can be comfortably completed in just two hours in some cases. The "Smart Roadway" system in Millennium City interacts with Vehicle Control Chips in all cars within city limits, allowing traffic authorities to automatically track them, and if necessary shut a car down remotely. When driving on the Millennium City Highway surrounding the city, the VCC lets a central computer take direct control of the cars, practically eliminating accidents.

    um...have you SEEN MC's roadways ingame lately?

    THIS is your 'Smart Roadway' at work


    Post edited by shadowfang240 on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    It's clearly Dr. Destroyer's revenge for the Battle of Detroit. :p
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,063 Arc User
    Something I always wonder about. Sure, there are all these wonderful advances in tech that have helped average people in the comics, but there are also super villains, alien/extra dimensional invasions, and all the other basic genre threats that make life worse for average people. My guts says then that the quality of life for average people in our real universe is probably the same as that for those in the comic universe. I.e. bigger benefits, but also bigger problems.

    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    I would call that a reasonable interpretation, but I suppose it comes down to how you define, "quality of life." Champs Earth certainly isn't Utopia. It shares most of the same social and political problems as our own world. As I laid out earlier on this thread, this superior technology can raise the level of destructive potential for individuals or small groups; but for the average person on the street a fire-throwing supervillain isn't a greater threat to him/her than a criminal with a gun or a bomb. War takes a terrible toll on the innocent, whether they face aggressors from across the border or across the galaxy. People as a whole tend to adapt to what their prevailing reality is, treating that as "normal." And superhumans have been normal in this setting for eighty years.

    In my OP I outlined how more advanced technology has measurably improved the overall quality of life on Champions Earth in various categories: communication, transportation, health care, environmental protection. But as on real Earth, there are many problems which tech inherently can't solve.

    I will add just one more point regarding your mention of extra-terrestrial and extra-dimensional invaders. One of the elements of the Champions Universe that many people seem to have trouble accepting, is that the United Nations is far more effective at maintaining the peace, fostering international cooperation, and making critical decisions, than our UN is. Although it's not stated anywhere in the books that I'm aware of, I would call it a fair assessment that the repeated existential threats to the whole planet from invaders beyond our world, as well as home-grown terrorists and megalomaniacs, has impressed the global community with the need to work together for our common survival. Not everyone on Champs Earth wholly buys into that, but I suspect it would be the prevailing mood.

    I don't think there's a better example of that than the United States signing the UNTIL Tribunal Treaty allowing UNTIL to operate on American soil. For decades the US refused to sign, on the grounds that foreign-born operatives in UNTIL were a threat to America's security. Then Dr. Destroyer leveled half of Detroit and killed 60,000 people. When the American public learned UNTIL forces were ready to deploy to help fight DD, but were held up at the border by bureaucratic red tape, their outrage forced the US government to sign on.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    The Champions Earth state of Awad, on the Arabian peninsula, obtained great wealth from its vast oil reserves; but for decades has invested much of that wealth into technological development. As a result it's a world leader in technology fields, and implicitly is economically much less dependent on fickle oil prices. Awad's technology also makes it a potential threat to world security, a common trope for a super world. Sufficiently advanced tech can not only make a small state a major geopolitical player, it can effectively insulate it from much larger neighbors who might want to conquer it and steal its secrets, or at least neutralize the danger it represents. Even in the real world we have relevant examples, as with North Korea's nuclear weapons. But in comic-books the precedents can be even more extreme, e.g. Marvel's Latveria. On Champions Earth the city-state of Larisagrad has been able to preserve its independence due in large part to its Division of powered-armor troopers, small in number, but heavily armed with some of the more advanced weaponry on the planet.

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