Showcase: Regor of Uuz: 1969: The Menace of Bantor, Prologue: An Introduction to Regor and Uuz

by Dan Swanson

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An Introduction to Regor and Uuz:

On Earth-Two around the year 1900, a famous British rocket scientist named James Flint and his family, his American wife Harley and their infant son Ainsworth, established a temporary residence on the tiny volcanic island of Barrios in the South Atlantic Ocean. During his scientific education, James had made the acquaintance of H.G. Wells, and Wells’ visions had inspired James to work on his greatest project — a rocket capable of traveling through space. Without interruptions in the solitude of Barrios, he finally finished his small prototype in 1901. Unfortunately for the distinguished family, the island’s volcano then erupted. There was enough room in the prototype for baby Ainsworth and Harley, but she refused to leave her husband. Flint set the controls for America, but for some reason — perhaps because of damage due to the eruption — the rocket instead headed for deep space.

In space, the tiny rocket encountered the Great Comet of 1901, which swept it ever farther into space. Eventually, deep in the solar system’s Oort cloud, the Great Comet passed close to the (still undiscovered by Earth astronomy) small, cold planet of Uuz, and the rocket drifted to a landing there in a snowdrift after more than twenty years in space. Somehow, the combination of the deep cold of space and the influence of the comet had put little Ainsworth Flint into suspended animation over the years he traveled through space. A childless couple, Rinni and Lynia Lamm, discovered the rocket and adopted as their own the child they found sleeping inside. They named him Winki after Lynia’s mother’s maiden name.

In the lesser gravity of Uuz, Winki’s Earth-born physique gave him remarkable powers. Even as a teenager, he had the strength of ten ordinary men of Uuz, and he grew even stronger as he matured to adulthood. His powerful legs allowed him to leap long distances, almost high enough to go into orbit, although he couldn’t actually fly. And strangest of all, the most common building material on Uuz — glass — was transparent to his Terrestrial eyes, although it was opaque to natives of Uuz.

It was always winter on Uuz, and a warm day outside might reach about ninety degrees below zero Fahrenheit. All Uuzian cities were therefore totally enclosed with airlock-style entrances around the perimeter. Uuzians were partially adapted to the cold and normally set the indoor temperature to about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, but each Uuzian always carried a personal heater, and they rarely ventured outside. All farming was done indoors as well. Science had advanced to the level of color televisions (called televisors on Uuz). Vehicles were heavily insulated, armored, and tracked for travel in the deep snow and ice. Uuzian weapons were guns that shot liquid water encased in a thin glass envelope, which would then freeze on contact. Thanks to his human strength, Winki was immune to the effects of these water bullets.

Winki Lamm’s parents raised him well, and he eventually decided to use his great powers to battle crime and aid his fellow Uuzians. His mother designed a costume for him, a red body with green boots, cape, and shorts. The boots, wrists, and shoulders of the costume were trimmed with white fur. He adopted the name Regor and had a green and yellow chest emblem and a distinctive signet ring, both in the shape of a stylized letter R (which coincidentally looked the same in Uuzenese and English alike).

Becoming a roving televisor interviewer in his Winki Lamm identity, he pretended to feel mentally superior to Regor, using his head instead of his muscles, as he put it, and he would regularly describe the hero as “that lame-brained mass of muscle.” He worked for Orbital Broadcasting Network for News Director Potophink Wilfur. And his co-worker, the beautiful and famous newscaster Loria Rode, sometimes suspected that Winki and Regor were one and the same.

An evil scientist named Bantor soon became Regor’s arch-nemesis. In 1949, early in their respective careers, Bantor developed a system of exercise and nutrition that allowed him and his gang to develop strength far beyond that of the normal Uuzian, although still somewhat less than Regor’s own. Bantor also developed ice bullets by leaving water bullets outside in the ultra-cold until they froze solid enough to penetrate even Regor’s durable costume and skin, as well as polarized glasses that allowed his gang to see through glass like Regor did. Overmatched by a dozen very strong men with deadly weapons, Regor despaired that his career was over and launched himself aimlessly into space in the very rocket that had brought him to Uuz. Perhaps the rocket had a homing instinct, because not long afterward, Superman spotted it plunging toward a potentially disastrous collision with Earth.

After saving Regor and his ship, Superman took them to a fortress he’d built in the polar wastes, and Regor commented that Uuz was never as warm as the Arctic. In the fortress, Superman put Regor through a rigorous training program, improving his strength and stamina until he was a match for any terrestrial strong man.

While on Earth, Superman provided Regor with a supply of a virtually indestructible, bulletproof, heatproof cloth for new uniforms, and the two men developed compressed air jets that could be mounted on Regor’s belt that would allow him to fly in Uuz’s low gravity.

The two heroes then returned to Uuz and worked together to capture Bantor and his gang. Superman disguised himself as Regor to help Winki conceal his secret identity from Loria. Then Superman created a small sun for Uuz. Before he returned to Earth, Superman helped Regor build the super-exercise equipment he needed to retain his Earth-built strength. The two had maintained a friendship ever since, mostly communicating by exchanging recorded radio messages. Since this time, Regor married Loria Rode, and it wasn’t known whether they had any children yet or not.

Uuz was a very cold world. Over a light year from Sol, most of its heat came from the slowly cooling core of the planet. Uuzian scientists theorized that until recently (in geological terms), Uuz had been a moon of Jupiter and the planet was heated by both the sun and radiation from Jupiter, and the core was kept molten by tidal stresses. During this period life had developed, but some great disaster had ripped Uuz from its ancient orbit and thrown it into the Oort cloud. Early religious art pictured the most powerful deity as a giant sphere that covered half the sky and watched over Uuz with a giant red eye, and the holy writings claimed that somehow Uuzians had angered their pantheon, who had punished them with a long night and everlasting winter.

The heavier elements were very rare on Uuz, which supported the Jupiter moon theory. Jupiter’s intense gravity had pulled most of the heavy elements from nearby space when it was forming, leaving few for the smaller bodies that formed around it. Lighter silicate elements made up most of the surface, making glass the most readily available building material. Additionally, there wasn’t much of the metallic potassium on Uuz. This lack had a big effect on Uuz history and government, as whoever controlled a country’s potassium supply basically controlled that country. Finally, the light from the distant sun was very dim, so Uuzian humanity adapted to use and see light outside the spectrum visible to Earth humans.

It was an open mystery of science how human life, so similar to that of humans on Earth, developed on Uuz. Since Winki discovered his Earthly origins, he had speculated that the first humans on Uuz might have been a colony of a very early Terrestrial civilization on Earth, perhaps Lemuria. Presumably the event that had ripped Uuz from the orbit of Jupiter was the Great War between Order and Chaos a hundred thousand years ago.

End of Introduction.

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