The Tor Problem

This page is meant to be viewed using the Calligraph421 BT font. If this entire page appears in a rather plain type-face, consider downloading and installing Calligraph421 BT.

June 21

[A Global Press news feed being read by news anchors around the world.]

Tor [pronounced; “thawr”] has moved on from his campaign of revenge battles (in which he defeated Cobblestone, Xtreme, the Spider, the Bat and Blackwing,) to present himself as a Protector of Earth. In a brief interview after thwarting the Grey Gargoyle, a rival network reporter was able to ask him about this. His answer was, “I was called a fraud and dishonored. I have proven my worth by defeating those who had a hand in my dishonor and so can take my rightful place as Protector of the Earth.”

While a populist notion in some quarters, simple might makes right through violence is an antiquated notion and has generally fallen out of favor for the last 300 years or so. Civilization today upholds the rule of law, not the sword. This Tor doesn’t give his allegiance to any country or ruler, so exactly what governs his actions? What is he protecting the Earth from? How does he determine what that is?

There are many who worry that he is actually subjugating us by presenting himself as a benefactor until he can gather enough support to pursue his own agenda. Some have gone so far as to liken his movement to that of Hitler, flouting legitimate governments to raise up his own ideals while currying popular support.

Which is true?

Batlog, June 26

I have been concerned about effective responses to the metas. A very reasonable and proper question has surfaced many times among the media and various world leaders as to what to do in the event any one or any group should become a public menace. The operation mounted by PRIMUS at HeroCon in San Diego in April this year proves the level of interest and ingenuity in the U.S.; it also proved the possibility that any official response might be ineffective.

The most significant threats are Emperor X and Victor von Domovich, partly because they enjoy citizenship in countries that do not have extradition treaties with any other countries, but that only gives them immunity from arrest while at home. They also are heads of state which gives them diplomatic immunity except when they are actually prosecuting a crime, even then the only option is expulsion from the country. They have shown no qualms about leaving their borders and perpetrating crimes elsewhere. Team Liberty and PRIMUS have so far proven unable to predict their moves, but have been very effective in responding once an operation is detected. Other known criminal metas have proven less of a problem and have been effectively countered with far less force.

Notably, the more powerful metas have proven difficult to counter except by other metas. This is a problem; the security of the general public hinges on their being able to effectively oppose metas without relying on other metas for help. Given the political disposition of most of the public toward metas in general, that is not help they should count on. Tor has declared that his purpose for being here is to provide just that guarantee to Earth’s people at large as our self-appointed protector. That’s small comfort, in part for the same reasons the rest of the metas are a threat, and in part because of his perception of his own divinity; he thinks he’s a Norse god and somehow entitled to prestige – and gratitude.

Notable metas who have not been effectively countered (except by other metas) include Team Liberty as a group or individually; American Pryde, Captain America, Cobblestone, Grey Hulk, Hardware, Kitty Pryde, Phoenix, The Key, The Shaman, Xtreme and others. As individuals, Team Liberty monitor each other. As a group, if they went rogue, taking them down would be a monumental task. I am working out details of a sequential campaign to defeat them individually in blindside attacks using misdirection and weakness exploitation.

The Knight, operating in San Diego, is not a super per se, but a normal who uses a very high-tech armored suit and has managed to conceal his identity. Mr. Stuart has had some military training and some civilian martial arts training, but there is nothing spectacular about his skill-set. He is heavily reliant on his equipment and that means he is entirely vulnerable – in his case, via pilfering. Given sufficient time alone with a particular piece of his equipment, I can disarm him.

Buddy Kirby is an interesting conundrum. He has become the living embodiment of what WWE wrestlers all pretend to be – a gladiator for good in a corrupt scheming world who can prevail against any threat with enough encouragement from his fans. That’s the limit of the problem though. If he were to become a public threat, the source of his power would turn against him – he’d defeat himself.

The Spider is a non-Team-member and has yet to be effectively countered. He has a sixth-sense he refers to as his spider-sense. By observation, it gives him non-specific warning about evading attacks by direction only – he is frequently surprised as to the nature and source of the attack. Ambushing him would involve misinformation on an instinctual level. Defeating him in combat is an entirely different matter. He is fast, agile, and strong, but unskilled as a combatant. While he’s a determined brawler, he is subject to normal combat. His entangling attack is his most serious threat but it can be counteracted. Him, I can take, should need arise.

There are numerous other “good” metas of less power; most of these can be reliably countered by PRIMUS or SWAT teams unless they can fly. Metas of this power level who can fly are susceptible to normal military aircraft.

That leaves Tor. He’s strong, tough, resilient, an irresistible force and an immovable object all at once – but he can be beaten. Nightwing and I have done it before working with Team Liberty by speed and determined attack. He returned the favor in dramatic fashion using an ambush based on a presence attack I had previously thought would be ineffective. He also uses an obvious focus that compounds the problem for the inflexible thinker. It appears to be accessible but so far no one else has been able to move it, much less lift it. Even the Grey Hulk was only able to roll it using the handle as a lever. He performs a variety of attacks with it, solid self-retrieving projectile, immalleable bludgeon, and atmospheric controller. He also appears to require it for flight, throwing it in the direction he wants to go while hanging onto it.

I’ve done my research. The presence attack he used to initially disable us is a signature move. When facing more daunting opponents, he relies on it to even the odds – a testament to the impression we made on him the first time with Team Liberty. As his signature table-turner, it is also his greatest vulnerability; defeat it, defeat him.

He is closely modeled after the Norse god of thunder, pronounced “thawr” in English. This bears investigation. Depending on the psychological strength of this modeling, it may present another avenue of attack. One of three cases applies. One is he is a powerful being whose abilities lend themselves to styling after Tor and so he took the name – an exposable fraud. Two is that he believes himself to be the incarnation of Tor – a psychosis with an underlying personality that can be brought into conflict. Three, though unlikely, is that he is Tor, the Norse god of thunder, come to Earth again from Asgard as a self-appointed protector of whomever he views to be deserving – an uninvited alien invader, here without sanction or legal status. The primary logical argument against this theory is that he appears in the United States, not in north-eastern Europe where he was worshiped.

At any rate, he is the single greatest threat to Earth. If he is what I think he is, I will solve that at the next opportunity. Being a grandstander, he will show up somewhere to “save the day” and give me an excellent opportunity to confront him. In doing so, I will begin to sort out which of the three he is.

Leave a Reply