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Adam Silicon

On September 2, 1984, the Lucent Technologies cybernetics lab announced that they had succeeded in creating a functional humanoid robot.  Six weeks later, the android in question (who was called Project Prometheus AMX-1 by the lab's scientists) sued to have his rights as a sentient being recognized.  Eventually, the case reached the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in the android's favor.  After being declared a free sentient being, the android, who had taken to calling himself Adam Silicon (and was officially given that as a legal name by the US Supreme Court), went to work for Lucent as an expert on cybernetics.  It was later discovered that Dr. Frank Murcheson, Adam's primary creator, was a metagene-inspired genius.  It is doubted that Adam will ever be replicated.

 

Ahab

In the slang that has developed around superhuman culture, "Ahab" (sometimes "Captain Ahab", but usually just "Ahab") is a derogatory term referring to any supervillain who obsessively pursues one particular hero above all others and beyond all possible reason.  The best known "Ahab" in the Butlerverse was Simon "Simple Simon" Bieber, a villain who obsessively fought Knightblade during the late 60s and 70s. Simple Simon continued his war against the hero even after Knightblade publically retired.  A week after Knightblade's death from heart failure in 1982, police found Simple Simon's body in a hotel room in Chicago. The villain had hung himself, leaving a note that explained that, with his having "escaped his wrathful vengeance", the villain saw the world as no longer having a point.
 

AIDS Vaccine

On March 20, 1989, a team of doctors at Crestwick Hospital in York, England perfected an AIDS vaccine that not only killed the virus an infected individual, but prevented uninfected individuals from ever being infected.  This vaccine was created with the assistance of Lord Doom, without whom the cure would have been a very long time coming.  In exchange for his assistance, the United Nations recognized him as the legitimate ruler of the island of Bermuda.
 

Alternate Timelines

The existence of the supervillain called Moebius, as well as the presence of certain other people, has proven to most theoretical physicists that alternate dimensional worlds exist.  These alternate dimensions are usually very similar to "standard Earth", but have differences when it comes to their historical record.  A study done by the Oxford University, with the assistance of a metahuman who called himself "Pockets" has revealed that every time any decision is made in the world, the universe splits apart so that ever possible outcome of the decision is made in at least one of the universes.

This means that, theoretically, billions of universes are born every day.  Consider:  A person wakes up in the morning and walks into his kitchen to have breakfast.  When he makes a decision about what to eat, the universe splits:  in one universe, he just has toast and coffee; in the next he has toast and orange juice; in the next he has cold cereal; in the next he has oatmeal; and so on to the extent of his possible choices for breakfast (including a world in which he skips breakfast entirely).  After breakfast, he goes to get dressed for the day and the universe again splits when he decides what to wear.  What was discovered, however, is that most of the time these "minor alternatives" tend to remold seamlessly with their origin universe with no one ever the wiser.  It is only when the event is one of "landmark proportions" (to use the phrase of Doctor Sylvia Dyner, head of research on the project) that the universes stay separated and go on with their history.

Researchers discovered the existence of "Earths" where the Confederates won the US Civil War, where the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is remembered as a total failure, where the Third Reich still rules over most of Europe, and where various public figures were assassinated or (in some cases) not, as the case may be.

 

Armstrong Base

Built in Tycho Crater, Armstrong Base is a permanent lunar colony. The Lunar Horizons Corporation administer the base for the United Nations. Its stockholders own this corporation: the colonists themselves. Most of the colonists work as miners, chemical engineers, and metallurgists, creating lightweight alloys. The base also operates Darkside Radio Observatory, located on the far side of the moon.

 

The Barsoom Project

The Barsoom Project is a century-long, UN-directed effort to begin the slow terraforming of Mars into a planet on which humans can exist without life support equipment. Begun in 1992, the project is not expected to show tangible results (or even serious effects) until at least 2033, and will not be completed until 2090 if not later.
 

Baseline

A slang term referring to any normal, non-powered person.
 

Bendy Toy

A slang term referring to any Metahuman whose powers involve pliability (colloquially known as "stretching").
 

Blaster

A slang term referring to any superhero or supervillain whose powers and abilities revolve around the controlled generation and expulsion of energy.
 

The Bochner Law

The Bochner Law was a law passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1972. The law provides that that criminal juvenile offenders who possess superhuman powers who are arrested and charges with felonies are to be automatically tried and sentenced as if they are adults. On July 29, 1974, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Pennsylvania vs. Tobias, confirming that the law did not violate Constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. This ruling thus allows superhuman juvenile offenders to be sent to "super-maximum security" prisons upon conviction.
 

Bonded Telepaths

Bonded telepaths are those mentalists who have undergone extensive psychological and background checks and have been rated as "trustworthy" by the United Nations Psionics Organization.  Bonded telepaths are used in courtrooms all over the world, and are occasionally used to monitor diplomatic and business proceedings to insure that all participants are being honest.
 

Books, Publishing, and the Metahuman Influence

The publishing world has been cautious about superhumans until recently, save for biographies and a few ideological works. Only science fiction seems to have dealt adequately with the super, and with the public's appetite for anything having to do with supers, science fiction was finally dragged out of the "literary ghetto" it was shoved into 75 years ago. For 46 weeks in 1998 and 1999, the top five titles on the New York Times Best-Seller's list were stories of superhumans.

The two other areas of publishing other than science fiction to not act cautiously about superhumans are comic books and the is the "true crime" genre. By the mid-1960s, comic books had ceased to be totally fictional as publishing companies scrambled to get the rights to the super's names and stories. Currently, the "big three" Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse share a billion dollar industry that has made them financial giants. They now own movie studios, newspapers and television stations, and supers are lovingly covered by all.

True crime "exposes" based on real supervillain crimes (and the intrepid heroes who stopped them) are extremely popular. These are written in a gritty, police-report style, with plenty of grainy photos of victims and villains and crime scenes. Lurid covers and titles like Debt of Blood, Fires of Evil, Deadly Consequences and Countdown to Genocide keep these paperbacks hopping off the shelves.
 

Brick

A slang term referring to any superhero or supervillain whose powers and abilities revolve around superhuman strength and resilience, especially if the metahuman in question is viewed as being less intelligent than average.
 

The Bruise Baby

The so-called Bruise Baby (Jacob Aaron Levinson, January 2, 1977 to February 18, 1977) was born with an active metagene. Unfortunately, the gene caused the baby to bruise, chafe, and even bleed at the slightest pressure against its skin. Even the weight of a hospital sheet was enough to cause bruising, and the constant pressure of its own weight caused the baby to suffer frighteningly horrible pressure sores from the day he was born to the day he died. He never left the hospital he was born in. He is one of the most frequently cited example of a "Twist", that is, a metahuman whose powers are detrimental to the person possessing them.
 

"Burning Desire"

Burning Desire was the title of a nude pictorial featured in the April 1991 issue of Playboy Magazine. The pictorial featured an obviously superhuman woman identified only as "Heatwave" in various stages of undress (not to mention various stages of immolation... the article accompanying the pictorial mentioned she could generate and control fire). Identification of the woman's true identity was impossible because she not only wore a mask in every picture, she kept the hair on her head "aflame" to prevent identification as well (though, as one waggish subscriber put it in a letter to the magazine, "at least we can tell she's a real redhead").

Two years later, a woman calling herself "Heatwave" debuted as a costumed crimefighter in Memphis, Tennessee. The crimefighter confirmed that she was the same "Heatwave" as in the pictorial. She gladly signs copies of the centerfold to anyone who presents it to her in a polite manner. The centerfold picture from this pictorial remains one of the most popular nude pinups in the world, and a signed copy once sold for almost $200 on e-Bay.
 

 
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