2020. Merely a number. It has no significance to me whatsoever. To humanity however, it is the number that signifies the current year. I have found that humans have a need for trophies; something to symbolise whichever meaningless achievement they attained, and the number of years they have lived is apparently one of those.
Year after year, countless humans celebrate yet another dozen months living on earth. No matter how much closer I got to humans, I never understood the premise of one celebrating their birthday. Celebrating a birthday is simply celebrating another year closer to an eventual death.
The day of one's birth bares no significance on their lives since they live such short ones. I admit that sometimes I wish that a few of my rebirths or the memories of my past lives came a little earlier as to explore a certain period of history more thoroughly, but that is only valid because of my peculiar immortality. Humans should not have the luxury to care about their birthdays.
I have closely observed the human race and their interactions with superheroes ever since they first appeared in 1967.
When the first superhero appeared in the form of a human that can run faster than the speed of sound, the rest of the world behaved in a completely predictable manner. Most were shocked from seeing such a magnificent being, while others were scared senseless to the point where they moved their families and loved ones to underground bunkers.
The increased popularity of comic books about superheroes and special powers sparked talk about conspiracies and secret laboratories that may have created this real life superhuman.
The world's introduction to superheroes was not a graceful event. The man that can run faster than sound couldn't control his power and even when he didn't go through buildings like a hot knife through butter, simply the wind pressure from his rapid movement was enough to wreak havoc in the city and injure hundreds of humans.
The ones with power, human governments, obviously feared the man's power. Power that they could not understand, power that they could not control.
The United States, Russia, and France collaborated in capturing and imprisoning the individual and they succeeded after 3 years. They kept the man in a makeshift prison built deep inside a mountain. A place he couldn't escape from.
After his capture, the collaborating countries started discussions about what to do with him. Kill him, or keep him there until he dies. He has instantly lost what is called 'human rights' the instant he became a super being, and that made it easier for these governments to think of him as simply an unidentified threat, and not a human criminal.
Not very long after the discussion started, someone suggested studying the superhuman to understand how his powers manifested.
What else to expect from humans, they saw an opportunity for a weapon and took it. For the next 5 years they conducted tests and morally questionable procedures for tissue samples in order to weaponize the amazing powers within his body. Of course, them thinking of him as a non human eased their guilt. It is amazing how easily humans can shift blame away from themselves.
Their findings didn't significantly effect warfare capabilities as they hoped, however studying the body of this super being and its different internal traits helped them tremendously in the medical front; many diseases that were thought to be incurable were being eradicated one after the other.
Needless to say, the superhuman did not survive the tests.
After that, many more people started discovering their super powers. The origin of these powers is yet to be discovered, be it DNA related or otherwise. It is said that now 7% of the world's population is power enabled.
No one can control who gets powers therefore super powers were bestowed upon good and bad people alike, thus some crimes committed by power enabled criminals became unmanageable by normal means and the authorities often needed the help of other enableds to defuse the situation.
As power crimes increased in volume, the need for a consistent supply for a power force to retaliate with became apparent which triggered the superhero phenomenon. Power Enabled Department (PED) was created in 1992 as a super powered SWAT unit for the police. The unit was established first in New York, but to respond with the continued growth of power crimes, more cities around the US started needing the unit and it spread to all major cities in the country by 2003. Other countries with a relatively high power enabled population created similar organisations.
Eventually private companies started clawing their way into the superhero business and being a superhero became more than just a dream for many people. The private contractors didn't need to wear the standard SWAT gear; their clothes were much flashier and closely resembled comic book hero costumes. Private superheroes became celebrities and with that, their work attracted more scrutiny.
Just as police would get blamed for letting a criminal go free, the PED, and especially private heroes were often blamed for many super villainous actions even if they weren't involved. And villainous crimes often carried a tremendous load of collateral damage.
Superheroes now inadvertently shouldered a very heavy responsibility.
My beloved Ellen always thought me being more powerful than humans was for a purpose. She thought I could become humanity's saviour and beacon of salvation.
I beg to differ.
With the increased popularity of superheroes, my purpose became clear. I need to show humanity what true heroism is to be. I will become the devastation that unites humanity. I will show humanity what superheroes can do if supported by those they're defending.
Unlike the humans that killed Ellen, the current era seems to relish the idea of powerful beings existing among them however, heroes are not completely trusted. I am here to fix that.
Or at least that's what I intended.
I've studied humanity for the last few decades in anticipation for my plan and what I discovered was truly astonishing. Wars, of course, still exist but humanity has become more united that ever before. Different ethnicities and cultures interacting with one another in a completely organic way. I have never in my long life expected that. Complete change is yet to be achieved, but humanity seems to be heading down the correct path for true unification.
I seem to have lost my purpose once more. Now I live in the heart of all super heroism, New York, waiting for my chance. A chance that will definitely come soon. For now, I aligned myself with some of New York's elites. This can gain me inside access to the rotten core of this city and guide me through planning for when I ultimately carry out my plan.
"Do you have a reservation with us today, sir?"
Soon, I will throw this earth into chaos.
"And your name, sir?"
I will become the beacon of destruction. I will rebuild this world in the image of my Ellen.
"My name is Maximilian Johns"