I am not a poet.
Nonetheless, I find that I possess both a vision and a passion that goes beyond the mundane chronicling of history. I could be nothing other than what I am, and this story could not unfold in any other way, but…
The age we now exist in goes under many names, all in a state of flux and all accepted and disputed in varying degrees. ‘The Superhuman era’. ‘The Age of Wonders’. ‘The Dawn of Heroes’. Most recently, many modern commentators seem to have latched onto the term of ‘Posthuman’, and the idea that the world now lives in the ‘Age of the Posthuman’ seems to have gained significant traction.
I am especially uncomfortable with this latter appellation, and with the word Posthuman in particular. I suppose what I dislike about it is the idea that the age we live in is now one that takes place after the time of humans has run its course, and that the world now belongs to those that have already succeeded humanity. In saying this, there is a clear, but unstated, conclusion: that the world is now populated by beings that are not themselves human.
I disagree with this, for several reasons. If the advent of superheroes has shown one thing, it is that defining what is human – and therefore, defining what is not human – is no longer a clear or straightforward matter. Drawing lines in the sand so that onlookers can point at ‘then’ and ‘now’, or ‘them’ and ‘us’ is not just unhelpful. It is divisive at a time when, more than any other, the world has come together.
So, although I acknowledge the general consensus of the term posthuman, I will also be frank: I choose to use the term superhuman throughout this record, in a nod to the belief that the world we now all exist in is one in which there exists a cadre of beings who are beyond human, but yet not beyond humanity.
The advent of the current era – what I will call the Superhuman era - had a profound impact on the entire world, and it’s hard to see how it could not. The appearance of beings with powers that seemed to redefine the laws of physics has not just touched on, but re-written, every branch of human society across the globe.
The establishment of Hierarchy, and all that comes with it, has ushered in an age for the human race that is singularly unlike any that has come before. However, although it is clear to see the world as it is, it is perhaps more difficult to see the world as it could be without understanding the world as it was.
There are few coherent records left of the time before Hierarchy, other than that which has been archived in Legion’s Spires. However, those records are cold facts, clinical and detached; in that sense, they offer no context other than the scattered, shattered remnants of social media left on what used to be the global internet.
Perhaps this is for the best. The world that now exists is one where the weight of history and past sins is less relevant than it has ever been before. Perhaps – as some commentators say – the human race needs to devote itself to looking forward, not back.
And so it is passing strange that I exist for the sole task of recording the first-hand accounts of those that were there, of those that were standing in the frontline when the dawn of the superhumans arrived on our planet. That I have been given absolute free reign to conduct my interviews speaks volumes to the importance that Hierarchy has chosen to place on this record: that the subjects I will be interviewing have freely agreed to take part in my task is nothing less than breathtaking.
I do not know what the ultimate goal of this record is, or what place it will hold for future generations of men and supermen. I don’t know why I was tasked with it, or why such resources and access have been granted to me. I just know that it captures a time unique in the history of a species: a time when a new world dawned. For my own part, I can only hope it will prove of use on the day when humanity’s children will turn to them and ask ‘What were you doing? When the world changed?’
It is humbling to consider the stories and memories that I am about to record. Those that have agreed to be interviewed by me represent a broad cross-section of humanity – and super-humanity – that have witnessed the living dreams of a person that history – even now, twenty years afterwards – is torn between portraying as a saviour or a lunatic.
I will do my best – in my role as a recorder – to not insert my own commentary into the interviews, and to keep any questions to a minimum. There is no value in turning these precious records into conversations or dialogues, for I have nothing to contribute that isn’t already a matter of record and cold, clinical fact.
Like all stories, it starts at the beginning.
Like all records of humanity, it starts with a man.