The World of Savants

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Photostill from a YouTube video that supposedly depicts the "Tagger", from New York

Currently, savants are unknown. There has been no public revelation of their existence.

That said, there are more and more savants each year, and they occupy a position in the public consciousness akin to bigfoot and Area 51. There are urban legends aplenty of people with strange powers, and web pages devoted to the conspiracy theories that spring up around those stories.

There are cell phone videos on YouTube of strange occurrences that most commenters compliment the poster on their brilliant video editing skills, or loudly proclaim as obvious fakes, drowning out those who believe the things posted. There are entire chat groups and Reddit forums dedicated to the phenomenon.

Popular conspiracy culture has a variety of names for them: "supes," which could be derived from "superheroes" or "supernaturals." Marvels (after the comic book company). The most ardent and popular Internet commenter on these sightings and urban legends is a blogger who is called Sighter, and (s)he calls them "post-humans" or "SPBs" (for "super powered beings").

Other conspiracy theorists like the term "metahumans," while others refer not to the individuals themselves but the events as "The Phenomena" (with those around whom the Phenomena manifest being called "phenoms" or "focals").

The existence of savants isn't truly a secret anymore. They've been revealed again and again over the years, surfacing as urban legends, war stories, conspiracy theories. Usually, the stories in the public consciousness don't focus on some unified connection between these stories - they focus on the individuals.

Old veterans in retirement homes still tell each other stories about the Sentinel, who showed up during World War II to lend a hand to the Allies where the fighting was at its worst, disappearing into the fog of war before anyone to find out who or what he was. Inner city kids in New York talk about the Tagger, a vigilante who takes on the gangs and the mob when their wars spill over and threaten innocent people who want nothing to do with the underworld.

Kids in the bayous of Louisiana scare their younger siblings with stories of the Gatorman, a terrible man-shaped gator-thing that is all scales and talons and massive teeth, and homeless kids in Miami and other Florida inner cities pray to the Blue Lady to keep them safe from the perverts, the social service, the gangs and the Devil. Farmers in Tornado Alley have talked about the Devil's Wind since the late 1960s.

The FBI has one story after another of strange serial killers: the El Paso Slasher, who hunted immigrant women and somehow managed to evade capture time and again, leaving only sliced-up corpses of federal agents in his wake; Bloody Mary, who somehow kills the men she takes to bed by causing their blood vessels to burst, leaving them to bleed out in bed, weeping tears of blood; the Weatherman, who strikes during terrible storms in New England, electrocuting his victims.

This is the world that the savants are born into. The world that they are responsible for.