Memoria

Ooh

So like, there’s absolutely going to be a crossover ending between Kris and Sleipnir/Hughes

But. It was supposed to be from the beginning—and I forgot—that Kris can either opt to defend or bring in Sleipnir and Hughes

If she brings them in, well, that’s the easier ending. Sleipnir would probably agree to it, because it’s his thing that he ultimately wants to go “clean”… Hughes on the other hand would probably fly away believing that he’d done nothing wrong in his life, just because he never had any intent to do evil.

If Kris decides to shelter and defend them, though… the Salvarean superpower police is still going strong. It could only be a matter of time before she got found by another superpower and had to fight them

Who could it be though…?

One thing that comes to mind is maybe with “Sleipnir” and “Hughes” it should be the “Muninn” analogue named idk, Memoria or something. They might have some kind of power based on memory that allowed them to find the fabled ‘Stray Horse and Straw Hat’; it would be kinda cool to have some kind of confrontation that would somehow draw on absolutely everything recorded in your save file including previous attempts to fight Memoria and a chunk of random minutiae you’d never ever remember saved there just for now, where you would have to remember it (semi-impossible) to beat Memoria the “legit” way but you could also carefully deduce from patterns in the way they acted a decent guess of what the info was supposed to be.

(Wow, by complete accident, that’s actually a really cool way to implement the Faith attribute. I’d been struggling with ways I could make Faith stuff feel like a long shot but that actually really works :p)

What if they didn’t even have criminal trials in Salvare and every major criminal case that wasn’t settled first was determined by a ridiculous superpower battle

Like, here, because it’s assumed that Faith = justice, obviously the person with the stronger Faith who believes in their superpower the most will be the one who was chosen by god is innocent and deserved to win.

It’s a highly flawed premise of course. Corrupt superpowers spring up to defend the bad guys, some of the bad guys become superpowers in order to join the superpower police and evade punishment, some of the “good” superpowers do incredibly bad things and stand by them (to the point it’s sort of hard to even tell which superpowers are good and bad).

It’s probably illegal for superpowers to hurt anybody including other superpowers unless they broke a law punishable by superpower (just like cops, they have an obligation to solve things as nonviolently as possible and usually all they can do is arrest you), but if a superpower breaks a law punishable by superpower a corrupt superpower can totally go get them. A lot of corrupt superpowers do get the short end of that because they halfass their training thinking that just securing amazing powers will carry them through, but a few of them can prevail against “good” superpowers.

Now, you can’t replace everything with trial by superpower. It’s only for semi-serious crimes that would take over a half-hour to try traditionally. In Salvare they probably don’t have juries—because they don’t want to give everyday people, many of which are probably crooks, the huge responsibility of deciding what’s right and wrong; that’s what superpowers and judges are supposed to dedicate their life to so ordinary people don’t have to—so a lot of everyday cases fly through the system really quickly while only a fraction of them go through to trial by superpower.

This kinda means that the system errs toward, particularly for lesser crimes, putting a lot of people in prison improperly if only for short sentences.

Of course some cases are more complicated than a fine or a short “enrollment” in prison can solve, so you have to set the person up with a public defender superpower. The relatively random selection tends to give a good chance that even if a corrupt superpower is picked, they still won’t have any interest in protecting this particular person’s crimes. However if the person is thought to more likely be innocent than guilty, they might be given a local superpower they already know.

The whole thing with the superpower battles is that it kind of is a real thing in this universe that strong belief in something will strengthen both you and that thing. The Faith attribute has the Angel of Faith Xzhyrxiel, who is sort of the godhead for that attribute, and believing in it as a force to give the universe meaning is said to strengthen its existence and give people the power to do things they otherwise couldn’t in the name of good—this is the religion of Belief. Additionally, the superpower archetype is originally defined by a more “secular” version of this where superpowers’ power ultimately comes from a strong desire to dedicate themselves to Right and never give up even if they have to do the impossible. (It’s a pretty good rule of thumb that the corrupt superpowers that do manage to do okay against the “good” ones are still protecting somebody.)

Before the trial by superpower, an accused gets to talk to their appointed superpower. Some time after that, the fight happens. The accused doesn’t get to be anywhere near the superpower during the fight given this is a universe where everyone can do “magic” and only the superpower is supposed to be doing that, but they might get to see it live.

It’s hoped that by matching the “defence” superpower with a superpower one tier higher, a lot of the chance of the superpower succeeding on their own will be eliminated, and only the belief of the accused in the superpower and vice versa will allow them to succeed.

This kinda sounds like a punishment for the defence superpower but for the most part it’s not. Defence superpowers are usually ones that want to do this as training, notably to rise to a higher tier, though sometimes a superpower that has done some lesser wrong will be sent to be a defence superpower to atone. In any case anybody who does one of these on either side is pretty much required to take time off to make sure they have time to recover. The last thing the government wants is for this to be a nice way to destroy superpowers.

(Though, the shock of this literally being one living person potentially tearing up another one, to any normal person who isn’t a superpower and might not realise this is basically what they do and it doesn’t hurt them as much as normal people, is supposed to give people pause and make them think twice about not turning themselves in. It’s kinda like, instead of making the trial nice and civil and then inviting you to a perfectly nasty prison experience, they make the prisons nice and comfy and average so you can sit there traumatised thinking about how you just witnessed the very symbol of your nation and everything it believes in getting senselessly beat up just because you had to do something probably significantly less violent.)

Of course if your superpower wins, you go free. And often, even if they lose, everything about the trial by superpower will get looked over in a regular short hearing and if everything points to you being a good person who has learned from this experience you’ll still be released.

Of course, ‘extrajudicial’ superpower fights still happen not infrequently. They’re a slight hassle for the government, because it has to figure out whether the outcome was acceptable or whether it should intervene in some way, but not entirely discouraged, just as superpowers aren’t entirely discouraged from doing whatever they need to do even though they’re not supposed to use more force than necessary.

Superpowers are like, generally given a good amount of latitude for what laws and rules they’re allowed to bend or break, even if they aren’t officially part of the superpower police. So, simply by trying to do what she thinks is right Kris would get a little credit

If she failed to defeat Memoria she’d pretty clearly be labelled a rogue superpower and carried off with the other two to be investigated though

Even if they don’t have traditional trial hearings, they can still have lovely interrogations for anyone who looks especially suspicious.