Put down those heavenly lathes and commence to reading, my fellow motes, because it’s time for another round of…
…in which I use the character creation rules in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG’s Ultimate Powers Book to roll up a random batch of powers and abilities, then sit back and watch as some incredibly talented folks work their creative magic upon the quantified chaos.
I didn’t have an entry to run for this week, so I let the dice fall and took things into my own arthritic hands.
One upon a time there was a girl named Deirdre Dahlrymple who adored science-fiction and dreamed of the day when she would travel the stars and have adventures on strange alien worlds populated by even stranger alien beings.
Deirdre’s dreams led her into the field of astrophysics, a career in which she excelled yet increasingly came to resent — for with every startling and groundbreaking discovery about the fundamental nature of the universe came the depressing realization that manned insterstellar exploration would never take the form of the epic space operas which had originally inspired her studies.
Seeking an end run around the “twin buzzkillers” of general relativity and the second law of thermodynamics, Deirdre turned her attention to the curvature of space-time. If there were a way to fold reality back upon itself, she theorized, then it would be possible to bridge astronomical distances almost instantaneously.
The young scientist threw herself into the project with a manic intensity. Though it brought ridicule from her peers and cost her what had seemed like a lock on that year’s Nobel Prize, Deirdre eventually worked out the schematics for something she called a “brane collapser.”
While Deirdre was certain that the theories behind her device were sound, she had difficulty figuring out how meet its immense power requirements. Working off a hunch, she came up with a means generating the needed juice by funneling dark matter through a linear accelerator.
Unfortunately, hunches were never Deirdre’s strong point, and the device’s catastrophic test firing (in a CalTech building since cordoned off by the Army and labeled “the Broken Zone”) transformed Deirdre from a ordinary three-dimensional being into a duo-dimensional planar anomaly.
It may not have been the result Deirdre — who has taken to calling herself “Two-Dee“– was looking for, but one that she has embraced wholeheartedly. Her new career as a superhero has kept her very busy, between battling alongside heroic Venusians against a comic opera overlord and smacking down message board trolls claiming that Firefly jumped the shark during its seventh season.
Deirdre has been so busy, in fact, that she has yet to make good on her vow to learn more about the true nature of her new state of being. She thus remains unaware that her power of lateral thought transmission, her ability to exist (much less interact) as a 2D being in a 3D universe, and her adventures themselves are merely side effects of Dierdre’s true power.
The accident did not simply transform Deirdre into just another (albeit unusual) superhuman. It wove her being into the fabric of space-time itself, creating a sentient node capable of reshaping reality at will. She has become, in theory, the most powerful entity in the multiverse.
In practice, however, Deirdre’s ignorance about her abilities means that they manifest in subconscious (and imperfect) ways which typically reflect her dreams and aspirations. Keen intellect aside, Deirdre has never been particularly quick on the uptake, especially when entertaining distractions abound.
A couple of more perceptive super-scientists with suspicions about Two-Dee’s true nature have theorized that her influence is greater than originally imagined — that the reality of living gods, folks who can fly, humanoid aliens, and all the other contra-scientific trappings of their shared universe are the result of a retconned moment of Dee’s wish-fulfillment.
The notion is as staggering as it is terrifying…at least in the moment before Dee’s subconscious redacts it in order to sustain the integrity of the narrative.
(Words and “art” by Andrew Otis Weiss. UPJ logo by Dave Lartigue.)
Are you an artist, writer, or terrifying combination of the two who’d like to try your hand at the Ultimate Powers Jam? Then drop me a line at bitter(dot)andrew(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll commence the dice to rolling.