Sep. 14th, 2014

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There's the Earth you know, and then there's the Earth that Violet knows. They look the same and, on the surface (and neglecting certain artistic, ah-hem, appearances), pretty much are. People are still people that have to wake up to the irritating buzz of an alarm, then drag themselves out of the warm cocoon called bed in order to trudge to work, school, what have you. There's still the familiar family structures, with breadwinners and homemakers, siblings and sibling rivalry.

It's all pretty normal, really. Mundane event.

At least, on our Earth it is, but things have an added layer of incredible in Violet's world - for ease of reference, we'll call it IncrediEarth.

So, what's this added incredible? Hold tight to your hol(e)y shower sponge, Batmod, because we're about to find out!

On Earth, things are, as noted, normal for the most part. People live and die; politicians rise and fall; celebrity romances flare up and burn out. When someone breaks the law, the police are called in to deal with it. Crime prevention is limited to stickers placed in windows and concerned community groups that meet monthly over tea and crumpets.

On IncrediEarth, things are just a bit more incredible. People still live and die; politicians still rise and fall; celebrity romances still flare up and burn out. Here, though, if someone breaks the law, there's something that stands between the criminal and their victim. Here, crime prevention is heralded by proud figures silhouetted against the horizon and celebrated by community groups that hold monthly tea-and-crumpet appreciation nights.

Here, there are Supers!

These are humans that are that little bit more than the average joe - unless you refer, perhaps, to Average Joe, who's been known to foil his share of dastardly plots by disguising himself as an Evil Minion and using his powers of concealment to dismantle the threat from the inside.

Average Joe aside, Supers are people that have superhuman abilities and a stalwart moral compass, who use their gifts for the betterment and protection of humankind, not the enslavement of it. (Note: All supervillain plots referenced in The Incredibles rely on technology, not special abilities, to get the job done; it's rare, at best, to have a superpowered supervillain.) They have superstrength, supersize, superspeed, or superelasticity; they can fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound, or summon lightning out of the sky. They are, in short, superhumans, and thus they are known as Supers.

The standard Super has a mild-mannered alter-ego with a home, a job, and a "normal" life, but they shed all that the moment that notoriety raises its ugly head. Wherever help is needed, they will be there! Be it to help a little old lady get her cat out of a tree or to put an end to world domination attempts number 267, 355, and 401 (all in one afternoon), they will be there!

Sure, IncrediEarth has police and military, politicians and bureaucracy, but if there is one thing it has that we Earthlings do not, it would be the Supers. No one knows the source of the Supers abilities, but all (with the exception of evil) agree it to be a blessing beneath a stylish mask. This single difference, however, can really change a world's outlook. To give you an idea of how the existence of Supers actually creates a significant difference compared to our reality, see the following exhibits:
Exhibit A: "It's a bird? It's a plane? No, it's Superman!"

I bet you just laughed, maybe made an offhand joke that it's gotta be hard to be Clark Kent nowadays, since public phone booths are extinct. You certainly did not look in the sky to catch a fleeting glimpse of the man, nor to see what tragedy he's seeking to avert. Well! On IncrediEarth, that very outcry sends eyes skywards to see an unaffiliated likeness zipping through the air, perhaps chasing after the roboticised Ratzilla that the eeeeevil Dr. Rodentstein unleashed upon the city!

Exhibit B: "You sly dog, you got me monologuing!"

Hardly a concern on Earth, unless you are an actor trying out for a two-line role. On IncrediEarth, the monologue is a Super's first and best defense against the evils of supervillains that style themselves as the next world monarch, ready to hold humanity in the throes of terrified servitude. Need those extra thirty seconds to wiggle out of the rope and evade the saw rotating towards your (planned-to-be) slow and inexorable demise? Accuse the villain of utter depravity and enjoy at least one minute of dramatic speech about their motivations in which to cover and make your equally dramatic escape!

IncrediEarth sounds amazing, doesn't it? That's because it is! In fact, it's almost too amazing! And that is exactly the truth that IncrediEarth, with all its incredible, had to face. Sure, dozens of Supers worked tirelessly to save the world and all its people, but the best intentions are often the greatest downfall of anything.

Tragedy struck IncrediEarth during its Golden Age of Supers - and with it, cruel irony! The very people that the Supers saved turned on them, claiming that the Good Samaritan services were unwanted, intrusive, and downright dangerous. Lawsuits were launched by victims seeking compensation for injuries sustained during "so-called" rescues.

Tensions rose, legal costs skyrocketed, and in the face of plunging approval ratings, the government had little option but create the Supers Relocation Program. All Supers, known or otherwise, were made to hang up their capes and take off their masks; in exchange, the government sheltered them, re-located them as necessary, and helped even Average Joe become an average joe.

Re-intergrated with society, these Supers then tried to make their mild-mannered alter-ego their only ego - to varied results. Pride in their calling left in tatters, they all but disappeared from the day-to-day doings of IncrediEarth and, for a time, IncrediEarth appeared to be even more like Earth. Without Supers to thwart, most villains retired to less noticeable, far more dastardly pursuits - generally becoming lawyers and tax collectors.

And, aside from the occasional report of a moonlighting Super, IncrediEarth has become Earth that we know and love, with all signs of super anything swept under the rug of bribery, memory erasure, and propaganda to make the public's issue with Supers simply go away.

This Earthlike IncrediEarth happens to be the one that Violet grew up in, and though she knows about Supers (being one herself), she takes society's cues and avoids talking about it with anyone but her family. The problem is that her family (in particular, her father - Mr. Incredible) has had trouble adjusting. The occasional displays of superstrength that he displays has caused her family to be uprooted time and again as the government seeks to quash any rumours or fears that the Supers might rise again.

It's nothing personal, you see. It's just that the people aren't comfortable with Supers.

There's trouble afoot in her day, however, as a supervillan named Syndrome works to rise up as the world's first, unclosetted Super in decades. Violet doesn't know much about it, but this evil plot has been seeing hidden Supers drop off the map like motes of dust blown away by unseen force.

Completely oblivious to all this, Violet's niche in the world is simply to find a niche in the world, so that she can blend in and be just like everyone else.

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Violet Parr

September 2014

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