“To start off, I will tell you what it is that the Earthborn Order does in order to receive the concessions and assistance we do from the gods of this realm. I do not know the extent of what Mark told you on your way in, so I will start from the top.” Cicilia said.
“So…” she continued, “the short way to say it is that the average god of this realm only looks down at the people of their worlds from on-high. They have some concerns over how various things in a universe can go wrong, but their ability to find effective solutions is sorely lacking due to their limited perspective. This is where we come in. We have lived as mortals in our previous life, and now we have power great enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with the gods of this cluster of worlds.
“In the past, they were troubled by the fact that their attempts at solving problems in their universe would often lead to far worse problems than the one they were trying to fix, occasionally resulting in the destruction of that entire universe.
“There are two primary functions that the Earthborn Order serves. The more high-level function is that we have trained members who act in a consulting capacity any time a god of this realm is considering a major intervention in their universe. That’s not something you will have to worry about for quite a while if at all though, only a few of our more promising members take those positions. This is our primary function, but it is the one that requires very few of our members.
“The thing that keeps the majority of our members busy is that we also send people down to the ground on certain worlds that require a particularly extra hands-on approach. There have been a set of conditions we have managed to identify that can very easily escalate to a universe-ending scale problem if not closely monitored and kept in check. We send people down to worlds where conditions are ripe for this kind of disaster. I am somewhat certain that you were told when you chose to come to this world, but the various superhero stories on Earth actually come from actions taken in this realm. The spirit energy in the air carries an echo of the thoughts that are on the minds of the people here, and Earth’s conditions make it easy to pick up on those thoughts even across worlds.
“These worlds where we send people down are the origins of a lot of these stories that make it to Earth. That should give you something of an idea of the problems that would cause us to assign our members to a troubled world.” Cicilia concluded. “Are you following me so far?”
“I… think so.” Daren said, trying to process all the information. A lot of it was stuff he had already heard bits and pieces of already, which made things somewhat easier, but it was still a lot to take in. Of course, the most disorienting thing of all was the fact he’d had no idea that he was going to be put into a company that traded favors to gods for the privilege to help people like him incarnate into a world. Speaking of that… “I do have one question though. Well, a lot more than just one, but I wouldn’t know where to begin with most of them. The most important one though would be where I fit into all of this.”
“Of course, I was just getting to that.” Cicilia said as she leaned back and sat up a little straighter. “The gods give us a great deal of authority on worlds where we have our members deployed. We can freely incarnate our members into those worlds as we will. All of these worlds are categorized as at-risk and in high need of constant monitoring, but there is a scale according to the severity of the issues the world faces. We will have you incarnate into a world in which the situation is more stable in general. Once you reach highschool age in that world, you will be contacted by one of our members at which time you will have the option to begin training to officially join the order. There is no obligation at this stage, even if you do proceed with the training. It will greatly ease your transition if you do decide to join us though, and even if you don’t it will give you a lot of information on how to handle the cultivation of your divinities and give you a lot of information on the world you will come to call your second home world that the average citizen in that world doesn’t have.”
“Ok, so I get to live my life in an at-risk zone as a teen superhero.” Daren comments. “Well, guess I gotta take what I can get. Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good operation going.”
“This is the product of centuries of negotiations, trial and error, and several revisions of the process.” Cicilia said. “I would like to think we’ve managed to iron out most of the kinks in the system, but opportunities for new improvement are always presenting themselves.”
“So, I can get this help incarnating into this world and also get help training, and I can still decide to say take it or leave it on actually joining the organization at the end of it all?” Daren asked. He didn’t doubt her, but he gave Cicilia a skeptical look anyway. A look which she promptly responded to.
“We like to have volunteers, not ham-string people in a desperate situation into joining us.” Cicilia said. “The things I just described to you are the services we offer to the gods of this world, but our primary purpose is to help others like us who are also from Earth. As such, we value the freedom of the others who come from the same origin that we do.”
And that’s about the answer Daren had been expecting. He gave a satisfied nod at that.
“There is one more thing I would like to talk to you about though.” Cicilia added. “In regards to your incarnation, your history as a child psychologist and your difficult situation growing up could actually qualify you to act in alignment with the order even during your training. We happen to have what we refer to as an ‘X-men’ situation on one of our problem worlds. That is, a world in which greater than 80% of the population have the relative capabilities of the average human living on Earth, but there is a minority of people with powerful super-human abilities mixed in. The mentioned ‘X-men’ situation also includes there being difficult social tensions between the powered and the non-powered.
“If you agree to this, we will be incarnating you into this world as a child of a family that is prominent within the anti-powered faction. We have identified a family that is likely to be shaken up in what would be a good way for the situation if they were to have a child with superhuman abilities. They are likely to soften their stance and change their direction, it would provide us with an opportunity to begin working with them whether you take an active role with our members or not. That said, it’s extremely likely that this would eliminate a lot of your freedom of choice in the situation from the very moment you are born into this family. This is why, if you are going to be born into this family, you have to make your decision whether or not to work with us right now rather than when you reach your second life’s teen years.”
Daren let out a long sigh when he heard this situation explained. “That sounds like what we might colloquially call a huge pain in the ass.” He commented, netting a slight twitch of the lips on Cicilia’s face into a smile.
Daren had had about enough of that kind of nonsense in his life. It would be nice to be able to at least live in peace for his second childhood. That said, it’s also likely he would have struggles almost anywhere he was born for his second life. Well, first off, even being able to choose the manner of his birth was a luxury beyond anything anyone could ever ask for. He’d just been thrust into a pretty strange new life.
“I haven’t really made my decision yet, but I do have a quick question.” Daren said. “What happens to my memories after I’m born?”
“Well, that system you were given by Earth’s god has a special function on it for that.” Cicilia said. “You can choose whether to use it or not, but if you choose to activate this function then your memories of your past life will be suppressed until sometime around what would be the equivalent of age 14 in your new life. This will allow you to have a mostly normal childhood. The only thing that will be unusual about your life before age 14 is that this function is also designed to mitigate potential problems with your new life affecting your personality. It will manipulate your child brain to have a personality that will develop toward something very similar to what you have now. When your memories return, it will be as though you are a 14 year old kid that just recalled something you forgot for a while, so it will not be a very traumatic experience. It just allows you to have a rather worry-free childhood.”
“That’s damn convenient.” He said. “What about those powers you talked about?”
“Well, your divinity set is mostly geared toward non-visible abilities. That being the case, you new family will most likely be unaware of your superhuman abilities and just regard you as a talented kid until you start actively cultivating your divinities or acquiring new ones. That’s something you will need your memories in order to start doing, so you should not be at any risk if you decide to use this memory suppression function.” Cicilia told him.
Daren nodded. He found that he was seriously considering Cicilia’s offer to help with this project. It was a pain in the ass to be sure, but it would also mean helping a lot of people with a situation he would rather not see anyone have to suffer through. Plus, he couldn’t deny that he was intrigued by Cicilia’s mention of it being a family that was ‘prominent.’ That meant they had money and power. He didn’t want to think of himself as shallow, but he definitely couldn’t deny that had some kind of draw.
“What the hell.” Daren said. “Ok, sign me up.”