To Be As Gods

This is “Part Two” of my ongoing exploration of all the things that never got said in while my Brave New World roleplaying game was in print.

The nature of reality is that each universe in the infinite panoply of universes has its own rules, its own logic, its own way that things work. In our reality, for instance, people can’t fly, walk through walls, or fire blasts of pure energy from their fists—at least not without some sort of technological assistance.

These kinds of things, what some might call superpowers, violate the basic laws of physics of our universe. They’re plain impossible.

However, in another universe, it might be that everyone can do these things and more. There could be universes out there in which every person is essentially as powerful as one of the gods of legend. In the grand scheme of the multiverse, nearly anything is possible.

As long as everybody sticks to their own universes, everything’s fine. It’s when people go where they don’t belong that there’s trouble.

In the case of the universe of Brave New World, the problems began with the arrival of those so-called gods of legend. Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, the Cyclops, the Hydra, dragons, and so on, they didn’t hail from the Brave New World universe. They were renegades from another dimension—several others, actually—who took refuge in a relatively backwater dimension and set themselves up as gods and creatures of incredible power.

The very presence of such powerful beings in a universe in which they shouldn’t be disturbs the fabric of that universe. It pokes it full of holes and causes it to start to fray. Left unchecked, such damage can accumulate to the point that the entire dimension can fall to pieces, destroying everything and everyone in it.

Renegades drunk with power don’t often care about such things. The process of degradation is slow, and it can be generations before any irreparable harm is done. When matters do take a turn for the worse, the renegades usually just move on to the next universe, leaving behind untold innocents to a horrible fate: having the existence of their entire universe unravel.

In the universes in which everyone is so powerful, there are strict laws against traveling to universes that aren’t equipped to handle such visitors. People can usually get away with a quick visit or two, but the systematic establishing of settlements in other dimensions nearly always brings the law down on the violators.

This is what happened in the Brave New World universe. The Multiversal Police discovered the gods and monsters living there, and they started to quietly root them out. Ever wonder why the gods are no longer around? Why dragons no longer soar in the skies? The MPs took them out.

Some of the gods and monsters left quietly. Others were killed before they had a chance to resist. A rare few managed to escape and may still be fugitives, hiding in one universe after another, always one step ahead of the law.

Before the gods left, though, they managed to thoroughly taint the human gene pool. There were now natives running all around the place that carried the genetic code of powerful people from other dimensions. These were some of the most notable heroes of legend,

However, the blood of the gods quickly ran thin. Only rarely was there a genetic fluke that brought someone with any sort of powers into the world.

Still, the damage to the universe had been done. As time wore on, the fabric of the universe kept on fraying. As the 20th century dawned, the problem had become bad enough that those who bore the genetic potential could suddenly find themselves filled with power. All it took was a stressful situation to cause them to subconsciously tap into the power within them.

This is how the deltas were born.