Rising Stars #0 Synopsis
A falling star lights the sky above Pederson, Illinois. The year is 1969. Years later, while writing his history, Poet calls the light the finger of God. However, this begs one question: "Which finger?"
The extraterrestrial intruder impacts and passes its curse to every in utero fetus in the town. One hundred thirteen children are born with powers they didn't ask for and don't want.
The power is different for each person. It is shaped by their personalities just as their personalities are shaped by the power. The power manifested itself as flight, speed, strength, invulnerability, charisma, flame, and other ways.
Poet muses on the unfortunate fates of those burdened with powers they did not want. Sanctuary has a secret. Chandra can not find love. Matthew Bright, who was "the best of us", didn't want it, though he tried to use it for the best until his violent end. Poor, tortured Willie certainly didn't want the power. And Poet never wanted it.
Poet is writing the story of these people as well as their friends and enemies. He will tell what went right and what went wrong. The story spans sixty years, as 113 people touch the world and are in turn touched by it.
As the Specials gather for a funeral, Poet remembers how they all grew up together and understood each other intimately. He predicts that their kind will never bee seen again once the last is dead. Poet promises to tell the beginning and end of the story. "And everything in between. Because someone should know the truth."
Dr. William Welles writes in his diary. He writes of Matthew Bright after witnessing him flying across the room. Matthew first flew while trying to jump as far as possible from the school swingset. His parents later discovered him circling above his bed. By the time Matthew's ability was brought to Dr. Welles' attention, Matthew was able to rise higher than his parents' home and fly for several blocks.
Dr. Welles is pleased that Matthew trusts him with his secret, though Welles questions whether the boy's parents should be told that he often flys outside at night.
The world has changed for Dr. Welles. He already sees what the rest of the world will not see for several years. His position is one in the middle. He has a responsibility to the children and to the world. The parents fear his power to take the children away if he feels they are a threat to society. He strives to help the children grow into responsible adults.
Welles remembers Lee Jackson. He was just a child, but a camp counselor met a hideous, terrible end at the child's hand. He knows he will never be able to fully understand their powers.
The children trust Dr. Welles, but he worries about what they may grow to become. The world could rid themselves of the danger if only Dr. Welles would give them the justification. But Welles is not ready to give that justification. He does not know if the children are a clear and present danger or if they are the last, best hope for a better world.
The opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States on the case of Daniel Bright, et al. vs. William Forrester, Attorney General is presented. The parents argue that their children have a "fundamental right to freedom from physical restraint" and that the Attorney General has denied "substantive due process" in his efforts to detain the children. The court orders that the parents and Attorney General will agree on a physician who will monitor the children and make quarterly reports. The children will remain with their parents unless the physician determines that they pose a clear and present danger.