The Regime’s Birth 2

Peggy Martin awoke, the first Ultra in the world.

What was her state of mind?  How did she make sense of her incredible power?  Was she already almighty at that time, or is there some grain of truth to the rumors of her undergoing the Process multiple times.  No one knows the answers to these questions.

What IS apparent is that she fell immediately and naturally into Dr. Chen’s orbit.  For a rock bottom social deviant the prospect of a roof over her head and steady income, along with a supply of the chemicals she had been dependent on, was apparently too much to ignore.  Alternately, she decided to suck up to the guy who could make Ultras.  Alternately, daddy issues.  Once again, no one knows the reason.

It is useless, but traditional, to lament that our world was kicked over by seemingly the only resident of that time period who didn’t use social media to record their every thought.  Alas.

In any case, Dr. Chen now had his validation.  Peggy had Ultra strength.  His Process worked.  So why didn’t he immediately go and rub it in the Westen board’s face?  We have only speculation to go by.

The traditional answer is that he had just been burned before.  Remember, he thought that his lecture had been convincing.  He himself wouldn’t believe something if he wasn’t convinced by the reasoning behind it, so why would anyone who didn’t understand what he told them be convinced by Peggy lifting a car?  Recall, the good professor had some interpersonal difficulties.

I’ve never been persuaded by this line of thinking myself.  Yeah, some people might doubt, but a living Ultra, just one black swan, would prove physics to be false.  Once you’ve got Peggy pushing over a mountain it becomes obvious that there is something fundamental missing from our understanding.  Even Dr. Chen should be able to get that.

I believe that it was something else that held him back.  His comic book consumption.  He’d read tons of 21st century pablum.  Masked heroes.  Vigilantes, all that jazz.  I think he was seduced to some degree by the mystery of the thing.

Then, too, it is very likely that he killed someone.  I mean, the Process works 1/30th of the time on women.  So the odds that he gets 2 in a row are grim.  Picture it.  Afire with vindication the Professor gets someone to undergo the next dose.  And they die, switched off.  Can he go public with this?  He’d be a murderer!

In any case, for whichever one of these reasons seems most convincing to you, dear reader, Dr. Chen didn’t immediately tell the world that he’d created an Ultra.  He started looking around for other test subjects, women he could augment, whose lives would be improved by their new abilities.  Women who wouldn’t be missed, who might be saved by Ultra powers.  He sent Peggy Martin out to fetch terminally ill patients.

Knowing little of his ward, and, once again, possessing a somewhat skewed idea of how the world worked, he no doubt expected her to obey.  But, obviously, Peggy didn’t know anyone who had a terminal illness and was dying in hospital.  The local hospitals knew her as a frequent flyer on their ‘fake emergency in order to get inside and then swipe a bunch of drugs’ lists.  She knew a lot of crooks though, and plenty of them would do what she said if she twisted their arms.

Thus Dr. Chen, all unknowing, entered the period that would give rise to the initial Ultra crooks.  He began to administer the Procedure to ‘terminal’ patients that Prevailer would bring him.  Those who survived the doc allowed to depart in peace, thinking that he was seeding the world with new heroes.  He was likely striving to reduce the Process’s fatality ratio before bringing it to the world’s attention.  It hardly mattered.

The Ultra Crime Wave had begun.

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