Mugshots: Empire State Human

Everybody knows the organizations behind the infamous Space Race, but what about American, Alan Gingham?


There’s a reason: he was never part of it. Not good enough, they said.



Sent home.

Embittered, Gingham went to the Russians. Volunteered himself for their space program. That’ll show NASA, the bastards. Maybe it would have, if the Soviets wanted him. They too rejected him.

So while NASA v. Soviets had satellites and men jumping all over the stars, advancing science ahead four-fold, Gingham was toiling away in a worthless residency at Monmouth University.

One of his duties was to oversee a clincal study on the effects of livestock growth hormones and pesticides on the human body. What he found was minimal; human physiology can be affected by livestock growth hormones, but only if massively consumed. Something like thirteen hamburgers a week might yield a truly alarming result.

What interested Gingham, however, is that these growth hormones affected the whole human physiology; muscles, fat, bone structure, all were being altered. He’d concluded that should trends continue, within five generations homo sapien might give way to a giant offshoot. Or, musing further, in one pill.

Gingham combined all the data collected by colleagues, student interns and himself and set about his own pet project. He took the animal hormones, combined them with human steroidals and refined them until he had created a product, he thought would jump that five generation gap instantly. Unfortunately for him, this product had required human testing along the way. He didn’t have access to human subjects, so he mostly used himself. All his successes, failures and otherwise were all tested and discovered inside him.

Regardless, he had designed a success, something that not only advanced technology five generations, but humanity as well. He was the cat that had swallowed the canary. Until the FDA refused to approve his work, the “Cormoran” pill. The FDA cited numerous dangerous, hazardous and even controlled substances in the formulas.

At this stage, there wasn’t much the dejected Gingham could do. Because he made himself a cruciible he contracted a debilitating nervous system deficiency and had to retire. The doctors claimed he only had two years to live. There was nothing anyone could do to clear him of all the pathogens in his system, or the damage they had done. He’d allowed his pride to kill himself. Prideful until the end, he promised he’d create another pill that could fix the effects of his self-studies.

Six months from his death, he managed to create a pill that flushed his system; almost completely returning him to a state like before his tests. He called it “Jack.”

So now he was seemingly healthy again and had created two great medical enhancers; Cormoran, his giant creator and Jack, his giant-killer. The dichotomy of this intrigued him. He began testing a diet of both. He found that Cormoran could compound upon itself, each time enhancing the subject greater and greater in size and density as well as in fat and muscle content. Jack on the other hand, was created to neutralise the compounds in Cormoran, no matter the levels or concentration. The subject would be returned to their expected, normal state.

Armed with Cormoran and Jack as well as a heavy exercise and muscle building regimen, Gingham became “The Expanding Man.” During his escapades throughout New Jersey and the outskirts of New York, The Expanding Man began to build up a reputation. When he clashed and then defeated the Jersey Devil, it drew the admiration of The ___________. The Expanding Man was shortlisted as a possible recruit into the team. However, there was one concern. Because his size was constantly growing and contracting, it had impossible for Gingham to wear a costume, or armor or anything, often battling in the nude.

This was unacceptable, and until he could remedy the problem, he would not be allowed to join. Once again, on the cusp of greatness, Gingham had been rejected.

Creating a solution was beyond his prowess and all seemed hopeless. he tried hundreds of fabric-like compounds, none of which could hold out under his desired expansion.

Eventually, after aping the work of a scientist who had worked with Oppenheimer on the bomb, did Gingham think of using folds. Not unlike blinds on a window, or an accordion he developed a suit that folded in on itself the smaller he got. After he finished work on this suit, he was let into The ____________.

There he met Man from Mars, who rechristened him Empire State Human after the Human League song and having to do with where Gingham was from, and his louvered, metal appearance looking like a skyscraper.

When in his “Cormoran State” Gingham is at peak human health. Like an Olympic athlete only 60 times the size. In his Jack state, he is returned to default age and incapabilities. Because of this, Gingham could potentially extend his lifespan indefinitely.

3 thoughts on “Mugshots: Empire State Human

  1. Reach for the stars long enough, and you might grow, eh?

    This has the makings of a classic Twilight Zone episode. A man so desperate to get to space that he becomes a giant…only for his body to deteriorate. Be careful what you wish for and all of that.

    Also? “Cormoran, his giant creator and Jack, his giant-killer” — ingenious. A perfect tip of the hat to the fables of yore.

    The ________________ are shaping up to be quite the cast.

  2. Pretty nice post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!


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