Wall Walker didn’t slow down, launching directly into a description of the body.
“She was found with a broken leg and arm, opposite sides. The arm was broken in two different places, and the hand of the same arm was also broken. It’s possible to escape from handcuffs and zipties by dislocating one’s hand, and the injury seemed similar to that. The leg was…”
He searched for the right word. “You’ll see.”
Risk had plugged something in under the table and was now manning the display on the wall. He opened a file explorer and navigated to a folder called ‘Clothesline’ and then to a sub folder within that. It was full of pictures. Risk opened the first one. It showed an alleyway with one side being a construction site rather than a building.
The photo was wide, establishing. Immortalizing the scene before the photographer got close and started tampering with things. Half concealed by shadows was the form of someone lying down. Their head was visible, but facing away. Even so, I recognised Clothesline’s costume from what little could be seen.
Collage and Unshaken were paying rapt attention, had been since Wall Walker dropped Waterlad’s name. Lucidity blindly reached over and found Slingshot’s hand on the third grab. The recent heroine seemed to be rising from her chair despite herself. Muffle and Satellite were behind me so I couldn’t see how they were reacting, while Orcus was as composed as ever. I was paying close attention myself.
“Risk took these images roughly two hours ago.” Wall Walker explained as Risk started cycling through the images. A picture was taken every few steps, so it took a moment before the body of Clothesline was the sole focus of a picture.
Her leg, the one I had broken, was mangled, for lack of a better term. Bones were visible where the leg had twisted a full 180. The end of the bones were sharp, and blood had pooled where they broke the skin. Clothesline didn’t have her mask, and the one visible eye was open and staring at nothing. Blood had pooled all around her.
I stared at the eye. The disturbing feeling from earlier was rising again.
Risk stopped there and turned to the room. “This raises several questions. But first, let’s go over the facts. There are no burn marks of any kind that we could find. Nor are there any lacerations or stab wounds. That means the murder weapon was bludgeoning in nature. A sledgehammer might do it, or a baseball bat.”
Murder weapon. He said murder weapon.
Wall Walker continued. “She was found without her mask and we haven’t found it nearby, which means the killer likely knew who she was under the costume. We don’t know what Clothesline’s civilian identity is yet, but we the Regulation should let us know before the autopsy is done downstairs.”
Risk continued without missing a beat. “Considering Clothesline’s power, it doesn’t make sense for her to lose a chase. That’s why we think her leg was taken out first. This supports the theory that Clothesline was familiar with the killer.”
They kept saying that word.
I nearly missed Slingshot glancing at me. She had her bandanna and glasses on, so I couldn’t make anything of the action.
“Also, her body was found near a construction site.” Wall Walker picked up again. “This is problematic for the investigation because the site had been active for several hours before the body was found. Work is suspended for the time being, but it’s more than likely any evidence has already been disturbed.”
Risk nodded. “At present, Toil is working at gathering evidence. He is quite proficient at it already, but we’re not expecting anything groundbreaking.”
“Any questions?” Wall Walker asked the room.
“When did this happen?” Collage asked immediately.
“Overnight.” Risk answered. “We know she extracted from the situation yesterday, which was the last time she was seen. We’re waiting on the autopsy to give us an exact time of death.”
Time of death. I repeated to myself. I was looking at Clotheslines body again.
“Cause of death?” Unshaken asked, unshaken.
“Trauma to the head, falling from a great height, or blood loss afterwards.” Wall Walker answered. “She lost a lot of blood through that leg.”
“Suspects?” Satellite spoke up.
“Everyone.” Risk stated.
“Reasonable.” Satellite nodded and leaned back. I, on the other hand, was suddenly dreading what Wall Walker was gearing up to say.
“That kind of brings us around to what we’re really here for.” He said. “The Heroes of Yesterday are taking this case, with Risk as the leading investigator. People gifted with abilities are the primary suspects, we’re going to need alibis from all of you.”
Everyone was keeping their reactions quiet now.
Orcus said. “Understandable. Will this room work for you? Or would you prefer the room we normally reserve for questioning supervillains?”
“I know the one.” Risk answered. “We’ll take each of you one by one, starting with the Sentinels. We intend to stay around until everyone has been interviewed.”
“That’s not a good look for Sting.” Voidling murmured.
“No.” Risk agreed with a shake of the head. “It’s not.”
Wall Walker cleared his throat. “In any case, we should make this expedient, so we don’t interfere with your schedules too much. Orcus, you’ll go with Risk to be questioned. I’m going to stay here and make sure no one leaves the room.”
Orcus nodded. “Rosie, grant exclusive control over the locks of this room to Wall Walker until it is vacated.”
“Please confirm.” Rosie requested.
There was a pleasant ding coupled with the sounds of doors locking shut. Wall Walker shook his head. “I always forget about Rosie.”
Orcus walked to the door, then stopped and turned to Wall Walker. “I need your permission to leave.”
“Before that, there’s one more thing I want everyone here to know.” Risk stood before Wall Walker could open the door. “My power lets me know the two most likely outcomes of a given situation.”
That got my attention. It got everyone else’s too. Revealing how a power worked had that kind of effect.
Risk continued. “It can be vague, like it’s being right now in regards to this case. Lock. Satellite. Unshaken.” He looked at each of us in turn. “The two most likely outcomes for this case result with each of you dead.”
“Excuse me!?” Unshaken demanded indignantly.
“Prove it.” Satellite similarly demanded.
I didn’t say anything. Not at first.
“How likely are those outcomes?” I asked, somehow sounding calm despite feeling numb inside.
“Not good.” Risk answered with a bow to his head. “Right now the most certain outcome has a 31.2 percent chance of coming to pass, and the second has a 29.5 percent chance of occurring. That leaves a 39.5 percent chance of anything else happening, but my power doesn’t let me access that information.”
“Why tell us?” Unshaken coldly asked.
“Because telling you makes the numbers change. Already, they’re shifting.” He paused, then fidgeted uncomfortably.
“Risk.” Wall Walker said.
“I’m going to say another thing.” Risk said again. Then, like a badly written character revealing a crappy twist, “In that second outcome Lucidity dies as well. I’m going now.”
Wall Walker looked like he wanted to say something, but thought better of it.
“Rosie, let Risk and Orcus leave.” He told the air. There was a pleasant ding in response, and the two heroes left.
Wall Walker pulled the device Risk had used to access the images, and they disappeared from the screen. Collage turned to the room at large with his trademark grin on his face.
“Talk about a bombshell, huh?” He joked.
It fell flat. Slingshot pulled Lucidity into a hug.
I was the second to last Sentry that Risk questioned, with only Slingshot remaining after me. Wall Walker had wanted out of that room as soon as possible, so he was walking the two of us down to one of the lower floors with the intention of seating Slingshot somewhere nearby while I was being questioned. It was three hours after Risk had informed me there was upwards of a sixty percent chance I was going to die.
The room Risk and I were in was a typical interrogation room, almost exactly like the movies. There was a metal table that Risk and I were sitting at in an otherwise empty room. To my right was a mirror that no doubt had others behind it. The only difference I really noticed was that the room was expansive, with a lot of empty space between our backs and the walls behind them.
When I walked in, the first thing Risk told me was to drop my uniform. I consulted with Rosie to see if that was even allowed before lowering my mask and dropping my power.
“Double layered, huh?” Risk commented. “That’s smart.”
He didn’t sound aggressive or patronising, which ruled out him playing good cop, bad cop. It was a one man interrogation, anyway. Maybe he was just vocalising an inner thought.
I noticed he was looking at my face, making me self conscious about my nose. The urge to fidget with my earring was rising, but I batted it down before it could take hold.
“For all the good it does.” I replied in as similar a tone as I could manage. “All of upper management knows who I am, so it’s basically pointless.”
Risk nodded. “Part of why I work a step separated from the Regulation myself. Still, it’s an impressive power. Shall we?” He opened a file in front of him and clicked a pen. All business, it seemed.
I ignored the inaccurate comment about my power. “I have a question.”
Risk waited, giving me permission to ask.
“What are the two most likely outcomes of this interview?” I asked.
“Hm.” He looked at me, trying to figure out what I was thinking. “In both outcomes you give an alibi and tell me what you did to Clothesline’s leg.”
I kept my expression even, but it was hard. I passed it off as a curious tilt of the head.
“There’s a variation in the alibis, but they’re remarkably similar.”
I tapped one of my fingers on the table. “So what’s the point of the interview then?”
“For one, so there’s a recording.” Risk gestured towards the mirror. “Two, because the outcomes have a 6.23 and 5.98 percent chance of occurring, respectively. That leaves a 87.79 percent chance of anything else coming to pass. It’s a blind spot I’m working to reduce.”
I nodded. “Secondary question, if you’ll humour me. What happens to me immediately after this interrogation?”
Risk gave a heavy breath. “What’s with the Sentrys and assuming interrogation?” He muttered, mostly to himself. “We’re not accusing anyone yet. These are interviews.”
“After this interview, then.” I amended without pause.
Risk looked past me for a few moments, then glanced at the mirror with concern. “53.2 percent chance Zephyr insinuates you are responsible for the deed, with Orcus interrupting the matter. 31.2 percent chance Orcus does not intervene and you receive severe punishment.”
“I thought so.” I said, glancing to my side like Risk just did. I hadn’t actually thought that exactly, but with how things had been going…
“How about now?” I asked.
“It changed, you say hello to Slingshot or Slingshot and Lucidity.” He said, then shook his head in realisation. “You used me.”
I shrugged. Zephyr hadn’t shown up in the holding room with the rest of us, but I knew that Jagmikh only wanted to be chased for roughly forty minutes each day. The Sentinel had returned hours ago, and I had correctly guessed exactly where she’d be. After Zephyr’s display at the end of yesterday, I was walking on my god damn tippy toes around her. That being said I hadn’t expected such a dramatic change in the course of events.
“My name’s Michael Barker.” I told Risk, changing the topic to the reason we were here. “I’m sixteen, I’m a Sentry, and I am the one who broke Clothesline’s leg.”
Risk matched the change quickly and started jotting things down on a pad of refill. “What can you tell me about that?”
“We were fighting yesterday. She had Slingshot and me on the floor and was using her speed to dominate the fight. I picked up a keyboard and was able to hit her with a surprise attack that ended up doing more than I thought it would.”
Risk wrote that down. “How did you hit her so hard?”
“My power.” I said simply. “Did you know that my costume is made of valuar?”
Risk shook his head. “What’s valuar?”
Valuar evidently wasn’t common knowledge outside of adept circles, then. The explanation Charlotte had given me drained from my mind as I tried to grasp at it. “Uh. It’s heavy, and that’s it. Doesn’t matter much. I’ll just show you what I can do.”
I gripped the table and reduced gravity to near zero. Then I easily cheated at lifting the heavy metal thing. Risk pulled his arms back from the table in surprise.
“You’re an enforcer?” Risk checked. “I thought you were a ghost.”
I really needed to have a look at the power classification system. Too many people were using information I didn’t have. Soon, I was going to miss something obvious. As I rapidly cycled through those thoughts I let the table drop with a heavy clang. Risk’s notes bounced out of order and he started fixing them.
“Not an enforcer.” I told Risk as I recalled my conversation with Satellite. “Disrupter. Touch range telekinetic.”
“Dagger, then.” Risk gave a nod. He was using information I didn’t have again.
What the what? “Sure.”
“Powerful enough to break bone on accident?”
“That’s what I said.” I banished the image of Killer Kage with a spider silk sling.
Risk made a note. “So you have the means. What was your relationship with Clothesline?”
I didn’t miss how he had just moved me higher in the list of suspects. “I met her once when she beat up Slingshot and myself, then I broke her leg.” I answered honestly. Risk had said that awareness of his ability changed the outcome probabilities. Was that happening now? “Then I saw her get knocked around by Victorious. That was the last time I saw her.”
More notes. “Is there any unresolved animosity from that encounter?”
“She kicked me a few times and clotheslined my friend, so I broke her leg.” I stated. “I’m not the one who lost out there, and it was unintentional. I… I don’t know how I feel about that now. I got my revenge, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Risk nodded, writing more. He let the silence hang. “Do you know a Hayley Vermont?”
“Is that her real name?” I asked.
“No, I barely know anyone in Graceland.”
“Why is that?” Risk asked.
“I just moved here from Salt Lake City.” I told him.
The note taking stopped, then started again. “You have my condolences.”
“Keep them.” I’d received so many condolences on my journey to Graceland. Enough to have long gotten tired of them.
Risk didn’t ask anything else until he finished writing down whatever he was writing down. “What did you do after the situation yesterday had resolved?”
“Came back here and dressed down.” I answered. “Then I wrote a very detailed report. Then I was given a costume and dressed up. I had a debut with Slingshot. Then I went home and had dinner with my adopted sister.”
“When did you get home?”
“I didn’t look at the clock, but probably after nine. Everyone else was asleep.” Risk wrote the time down as I said it.
He tapped his pen against the table. “You have an adopted sister?”
“Refugee, like me.” I explained. “Her name is Sofiya, it has a y.” I spelled it out. ”I was put in a foster house given my situation when I arrived.”
“I’m surprised you left the city.” Risk commented. “With what you can do, rescue efforts would have benefited greatly. You would have been greatly appreciated, even made a pretty penny if you happened to be a villain. At least until the ceasefire ended. And the few groups that remain there would have likely lapped you up.”
I hadn’t considered that. But none of it mattered.
“There’s a reason I didn’t.” I told him.
Risk glanced at the mirror and back to me. “You may want to tell the reason.”
He was reminding me this interview had an audience. I conceded the point, but took the time to pick my words.
“Cognitive dissonance.” I said truthfully, if vaguely. “I was manifesting.”
Risk paused, urging me to go on, but eventually accepted that as enough. “Your family, the adopted one. Can you give more details on that?”
I frowned. “Is that relevant information?”
“We may need to contact them to see if your alibi holds up.” His pen moved up the page to a previous note he made. “You have the means.”
A reminder I was a legitimate suspect. If I argued, I’d be seen as suspicously combative, in other words.
“The mother, Kathrine, don’t know the last name off the top of my head, but I’m sure it’s on the file,” I started explaining. “Her husband died a few years back. I don’t know the circumstances, but there were already three kids in her care and she was taking good care of them, so child services let it be. The three kids from eldest to youngest are Marie, Sofiya, and Alice. Twelve, nine, and five respectively. They each have their own stories. I haven’t asked what they are, beyond the obvious.”
“I find it hard to believe you don’t know your foster parent’s surname.” Risk commented as he made quick notes.
“It’s not mine, and the last time it was said in front of me was months ago.” I gave a shrug. “Mine is Barker, I know my address, and I pick up on enough details that I could get in contact if I wanted to.”
“That quite a blase attitude.”
He was prodding me, keeping me talking, revealing things about myself. I was happy to.
“I focus on what matters.” I said. “For this job, that’s details on villains, other heroes, people’s tics, and power dynamics in more ways than one. In this case that’s any amount of distrust I’m getting from my allies,” I paused for effect, punctuating it with a glance towards the mirror. “And how you’ve been trying to play me since I sat down.”
I decided to flip the dynamic. “Are you using your power before every question?”
Risk cooly answered, “I’m using it enough.” Saying everything but the word yes.
“And now we’ve been over whether or not I would be able to do the murder.” I was trying to establish pressure and keep it up, but I almost tripped on that last word. “Which I theoretically could have. I broke the leg at an unrelated incident, which may have contributed, but isn’t grounds for my involvement. We’ve been over my potential motives, which are shaky. And we’ve established an alibi for me. I can give you Sofiya’s number so you can confirm. She knows about what I do. And with that we’re pretty much done here.”
“I have the number.” Risk tapped his pen and stood, too quickly. He had been expecting me to say that. I wondered what the exact chance of it was. Either way it was confirmation that he was still playing me. No doubt he got Sofiya’s number through precognition, then cancelled that future.
I stood with him and reactivated my mask. He opened the door for me and offered a hand.
“We’ll contact your mother if we need to. That head on your shoulders, it’s…”
I took the hand and waited for him to finish. I didn’t bother to point out the fact that Kathrine wasn’t really my mother.
Risk shook my hand and released me. “Good day, Lock.” He gestured for me to go.
That puzzling interaction complete, Risk closed the door behind me. Leaving me to wonder what I should be doing now. So long ago today, Voidling had given me a USB with a schedule on it. I needed to check that out. But first I looked one door down and waited for it to open. I didn’t wait long before it opened and two sentinels stepped through. Orcus and Zephyr.
“You didn’t tell us you came from Salt Lake City.” Zephyr stated. She hadn’t even finished walking up to me.
“Hello to you too.” I responded. “I understand I’m your main sidekick for the foreseeable future.”
I didn’t actually. But, given the hostility she treated me with, Zephyr would probably use the logic of keeping enemies closer than friends to demand it be so. From the way she reacted, it looked like I was right.
Orcus said. “Lock.”
He killed my flow with one word. They wanted me to talk about Salt Lake City.
“It was warm.” I told them. Boy, was that an understatement if ever I heard one.
“We were there.” Zephyr said flatly.
“Then I’m sure I saw you.” I turned my head to Zephyr. “Actually, I do think I saw you. Didn’t know who you were at the time. I didn’t catch Orcus.”
“When were we going to hear about this?” Orcus questioned.
“When it became relevant.” I responded, then gestured at the room. “Which was just then. I’m just surprised it didn’t come up sooner, like when you guys background checked me.”
They shared a look. It was so weird seeing them on the same page for once. The weirdness increased when they started whispering to each other.
“You should remember that the Regulation offers pro bono therapy for employed heroes.” Zephyr told me, taking me completely off guard.
“I know.” I blinked away the surprise. “You told me before I signed.”
I didn’t want it. It would break me before it made me better.
Orcus said. “Good.” Then he turned and went back into the room they came from.
“We start tomorrow.” Zephyr told me as she followed the grey man. Then the door closed.
That was about as good a dismissal as I was going to get from her, so I turned and started moving with the intention of leaving for home. On the way I passed Wall Walker and Slingshot.
“Au revoir.” I said as I passed. I had been planning what else to do today during the hours I had been unironically locked in a room. The USB Voidling had given me weighed in my pocket.
005.0 Regulation Power Classifications, Ratings, and Responses
The Regulation uses a descriptor and definition based system to classify the abilities of Gifted or Transhumans. These systems were first established in 1998, and were made in tandem with Metafore, who had a significant amount of input on the systems. As Metafore was the most prominent clairvoyant to work with the Transhuman branch of the government of the time, the terms and phrases he used became the standard, with one deviation from the rule.
Refer to the tables below for more details. 005.1 describes Power Classifications. 005.2 describes Power Descriptors. 005.3 describes Power Rating Systems.
005.1 Power Classification
Displacer - Powers with this classification involve enhanced movement. This can be hastening or translocating in nature, or simply be an ability that gives an alternate form of movement such as being able to run along a wall, or ceasing movement entirely. Powers with the Displacer classification do not place undue stress on the body in most cases.
Disruptor - Powers with this classification alter the physical state of the world. All powers that break the laws of physics have this classification. There is a wide breadth of powers that have this classification, ranging from simple telekinesis to producing fireballs, making ice from nothing, directing electrical strikes, shaping certain elements, telekinesis, etcetera.
Enforcer - Powers with this classification enhance properties such as strength and durability. This can be observed by enhancement of the body, or an overhaul of what constitutes the body. Powers that enhance speed can be given an Enforcer classification. However, for this to be the case, the ability must cause stress on the body of the user, as powers with the Displacer classification bypass this requirement.
Ghost - Powers with this classification alter perception. Powers with this classification can disguise the user, or targets of the user. Powers with this classification can also be used for the purposes of invisibility in some scenarios, and are often capable of obscuring large objects and sounds. Potent powers with the Ghost classification are capable of fooling technology as well as the naked eye.
Monarch - Powers with this classification blatantly influence or dominate creatures. Powers with this classification can be based on line of sight, touch, or simply proximity. In all cases, there is little that can be done against powers with the Monarch classification once they have taken effect. Not all Monarch powers affect humans, and most that do are limited in the capacity of control they gain when active.
Psychic - Powers with the Psychic classification are subjected to one of two sub-classifications. Both these sub-classifications are detailed in 005.1.1, & 005.1.2.
Shifter - Powers with this classification alter the form of the self. This can range from willful mutations of limbs or skin, to complete restructuring of the body, to changing the form’s state of mass. e.g. solid to gas. Shifter powers often ignore the law of conservation regarding mass, and are considered to be one of the more volatile classifications of powers as the user may not be able to properly revert to their original forms.
Traitor - Powers with this classification interact with other powers. Often powers with the Traitor classification simply negate or reduce the effectiveness of other powers, but there are some that interact with powers in other ways. A power with the Traitor classification may have an aspect that specifically counters one power, while being ineffective against another. In both cases the power is still considered to have the Traitor classification
Whisper - Powers with this classification subtly influence creatures or remove perceptions of other creatures. Powers with this classification can also play off human perception to alter the state of the world, or compel actions to be taken that would not occur under standard conditions. Actions induced by powers with the Whisper classification are mostly human in nature, but are not required to be.
005.1.1 Psychic Sub-Classifications
Each power classification used by Metafore has been adopted by the Regulation for ease of translation while interpreting Metafore’s visions. The exception to this rule are psychic abilities, which Metafore refers to using the classification ‘Scientist’. In lieu of Metafore’s classification two other classifications coined by the Psychic Goldbough, who was active between the years 2011-2013. These classifications are described in 5.1.2.
005.1.2 Sub-Classifications Classification
Adept - Powers with the Adept Psychic classification are characterised in that they do not have the ability to generate immediately useable information. Instead, powers with the Adept classification generate ideas for invention. If the user is able, they will be inspired to construct devices with supernatural qualities. Each Adept has a specialisation and their inventions are normally limited to that spectrum, though the breadth of this specialisation varies in each case.
Smart - Powers with the Smart Psychic classification are characterised in that their power generates information. This can vary from visualisations of information, precognition, and to the observation of additional senses. NOTE: While many Smart Psychics have powers that can be passed off as telepathy, these cases often fall apart under close scrutiny. It is unknown if telepathy is a power that can exist, and it is therefore recommended to assume that all Smart Psychics claiming to be telepathic are lying in an attempt to achieve more effective manipulation.
005.1.3 Classification Recollection
A useful method of recalling these classifications is recalling the following rhyme:
Displacer, Disruptor, Enforcer, and Shifter.
Ghost, Whisper, Monarch, and Traitor.
Psychics are the odd ones out.
NOTE: The thoughts behind this rhyme are as follows: The first four power classifications all constitute powers that physically interact with the world and the self, and the second set of four powers interact with people, perception, and other powers.
Psychic powers have been singled out because they do not fit into the Classifications originally given by Metafore. Having them addressed as the exception to the rule makes them easier to recall.
005.2 Power Descriptors
Altered - Powers with the altered descriptor have changed the physical appearance and form of the user. In most cases this occurs as a side effect while the user is manifesting, but there are cases of powers altering the body with use.
Aura - Powers with the Aura descriptor maintain active functionality without concentration. Most Auras have visible or easily observed effects on the world. Powers with the Monarch classification are the ones that most frequently have the Aura drescriptor.
Dagger - Powers with the Dagger descriptor have minimal range or are touch based.
Lance - Powers with the Lance descriptor are ranged or extend great distances.
Splatter - Powers with the Splatter descriptor have large areas of effect. The user of a power with the Splatter descriptor often has trouble
Trick - Powers with the Trick descriptor have multiple states or forms that are exclusive from each other. One form of a power with the Trick descriptor cannot be used at the same time as another under standard conditions.
005.2.1 Descriptor Recollection
A useful method for recalling these descriptors is recalling the rhyme below:
Altered & Dagger, Trick & Aura, Lance & Splatter.
005.3 Power Rating Systems
There are two systems by which powers are rated: The Number Rating System and the Class Rating System, described in 005.3.1. & 005.3.2. These systems work in tandem, as the class system exists as a shorthand to quickly communicate the threat level of villains and other creatures.
005.3.1 Class Rating System
This system is used to quickly communicate general threat level, and indicates the necessary level of resources needed to contain or eliminate the threat. There are three threat levels attached to a Transhuman, A-5, or A-13. Each is a result of an evaluation of their abilities, intelligence, and aptitude in using bother. The Class Rating System levels are Alpha Class, Theta Class, and Omega Class.
Alpha Class - Threats of this level are not typically lethal, but can be in extraneous circumstances. A Transhuman in the low end of the Alpha Class can be contained by a single well trained person without powers. A Transhuman in the middle of the Alpha Class can be contained by a well trained Transhuman, or a group of well trained personnel without powers. A Transhuman in the high end of the Alpha class may require multiple Transhumans working together, or a Transhuman working with a group of well trained personnel without powers.
Theta Class - Threats of this level are cause for evacuation of the immediate vicinity. A Transhuman with a Disrupter power at the lower end of this class can likely cause maiming, or even mortal injury without intervention. While a Disrupter power at the higher end of the Theta Class is more than likely capable of leveling a small building with a thought. A Psychic or Whisper in the Theta Class is less straightforward than a disrupter, as the nature of their abilities means the effects of their power may not be readily apparent, but will have similar impact on an area when they are done.
These threats often elicit cooperation between groups of villains, and the Regulation offers villains a degree of amnesty when these threats appear, provided they cooperate in containing the threat. A group of well trained trained Transhumans is the lowest standard response to the appearance of a Theta class threat.
Omega Class - Threats of this level are few and far between. At the time of this document’s publication, there are five Omega class threats. These existences are impervious to standard methods of containment or subjugation. The standard response to actions of Omega Class threats is to evacuate while Aegis works to limit the threat.
The five active Omega Class threats are listed below:
- He Who Is
- The Dead Men Walking [Amended - The Dead Men Walking were disbanded as of August 13, 2018, as the majority of their members were killed or captured by Regulation forces.]
- The Three Calamities (Listed Below)
Quetzalcoatl. The first to appear. More commonly known as ‘The Eclipse’.
Ai Laau. The second to appear. More commonly known as ‘The Earthshaker’.
Scathach. The third to appear. More commonly known as ‘The Inevitable’.
005.3.2 The Number Rating System
This system is more comprehensive to communicate the exact response level necessary when faced with a supernatural threat. The system starts at 0, which describes a standard human being without powers, who are deemed ‘unclassified’ by the Class Rating System. Transhumans and A-5 with powers that are rated 1-4 are considered to be a part of the Alpha Class. Transhumans, A-5, and A-13 with at least one power that is rated 5-8 are considered to be a part of the Theta Class. Anything with a power rated 9 or higher is considered to be a part of the Omega class.
A more comprehensive breakdown of the Number Rating System is detailed in 005.3.3.
I stopped there and fell backwards on my bed, letting my head rest as I digested all that information. I would go through the rest of the document when my head had calmed down. It wasn’t that the information was hard to digest, even if it had taken something that was, frankly, cool and framed in a way that was kind of boring. The Omega class stuff was cool, but the rest was eh. What had me going was that I hadn’t had access to the information for so long.
It wasn’t online, I looked. The document I had open on my laptop kind of had the answer as to why. The documents were only available to Regulation personnel. I was surprised there hadn’t been a leak, given how many people the Regulation employed. But then again, they had a think tank somewhere filled with Adepts and Psychics, so it wasn’t like it was impossible for them to contain information like that.
In the meantime I started applying what I had read to what I knew. My ability to perceive and alter the forces in objects was a Smart Disrupter power, rather than just a Disrupter power. It broke the laws of physics, like Satellite had told me days before, but the fact that it gave me an additional sense made it necessary to tack on the Smart classification.
My wonderful ability to doodle without pen or paint was a ghost power, but since I didn’t sense colour, that one was just Ghost. Cut and dry. Probably rated 1 as well. Both my ghost and my Smart Disrupter powers had the Dagger description, and possibly the Aura one as well, since both only needed my concentration to activate, but didn’t require it to be maintained. That was where it got muddied, since the Disrupter power needed me to keep touching the thing, while the Ghost power did not.
I idly reached out to the wall and wrote the word ‘test’ in a grey similar to the colour of the wall. Without touching it, I willed it away. Nothing happened. That was expected since I hadn’t been able to do that with Madeleine. I made a mental note to check the test every now and then to see how long it lasted.
I made another mental note to thank Voidling for the care package, then dimly noted that I should check my sidekick schedule before going to school tomorrow. Some reading had been all it took, now I had at least some of the essential knowledge that every other hero seemed to have.
That hadn’t been so hard now, had it?