The date is the 25th November 2011, and one in fourteen people have spontaneously developed superpowers. At first it seems wonderful: you can fight crime, or escape your old life, or save the life of someone you love. But more and more people turn to crime, and society is collapsing. Nowhere is safe any more.
And in the office of the acting prime minister is an alien. He claims he's here to help. All the prime minister has to do is give his permission...
Neil Kerrigan was sweating heavily when Robert Aldington approached his counter. It was odd, really – he didn’t usually sweat much, and he wasn’t hot or worn out, but the sweat was pouring off him nonetheless.
It registered in his head that Robert wasn’t carrying any shopping, but the sweating was starting to dehydrate him and a significant headache was forming. He decided to shut his register and go for a break, but Robert was already upon him. “How can I help you, sir?”
“Have you been reading the newspapers?” Robert was smiling like a shark who’d smelt blood.
“I – I don’t understand...”
“The newspapers? Stories of spontaneous supernatural abilities? Ringing any bells?” Robert laid his hand on the counter. “Come on, you must have heard something. There’s a man with the power to heal all wounds, there’s a woman who can fly, and there’s me.”
Every drop of sweat on Neil’s body suddenly began moving, rolling slowly towards Robert’s hand and forming a small pool on the counter. His headache was getting worse, and this new development was more than he could cope with. “How did you do that?”
“I don’t know. Amazing, isn’t it? But the question is,” Robert leaned in, “What happens now? I could draw the rest of the water out of you, and sweat you to death. I could drown you in your own internal fluids. Alternately, you could just empty out the till.”