Will your crime fighting do-goodery be thwarted by faceless bureaucrats?
This background is the "in game" briefing about what is going on.
It sets up its own canon but may change a little if it doesn't work or I think of something cooler! The long column of text sets the scene. The documents to the right list the teams, some named APs and some of the bureaucratic endeavours of MAPs to classify everything!
Senatorial Investigation Committee into the Regulation of Augmented Persons (APs)
In 1977 there was an incident at a top secret research facility in Acme, New Mexico. There was N influx of what has been called a Meta Particulate Dispersion (MPD), believed to be transdimensional in nature. This led to the destruction of the town which remains quarantined to the present day. In the immediate vicinity of the accident people and animals were dramatically changed. Some of these people looked normal but gained fantastical powers. Others few grew to immense sizes & turned into rampaging beasts while others simply died in horrible ways as their bodies turned against them. Farther away there were more incidents of people changing either in beneficial ways or fatal ones but the frequency reduced dramatically. Overall there was significant incidence of “infection” in the US and Mexico and, eventually, much lower incidence spread throughout out the rest of the world.
The people who changed had an incredible variety of impossible abilities, “superpowers” if you will. These ranged from the cosmetic – elastic tongues or the ability to turn blue to the earth shattering – the ability to fly or to fling balls of plasma. There is almost unimaginable variety in these effects.
Isolated, small MPD outbreaks continue today. There are also indications that individuals have inherited the AP condition.
The causes of these powers and their nature have defied scientific explanation ever since the incident.
The changed people (APs*) have adopted a range of unusual behaviours. Largely eschewing conventional lifestyles many of them have been drawn to fighting crime, often as masked vigilantes, while they are also disproportionately represented amongst criminals. The US government has also recruited some APs to work for it in a variety of roles, usually secretively. Other foreign powers have followed suit.
The issue of APs has raised concerns amongst ordinary people. This is largely due to the damage they cause and the fact they seem to want to operate outside of the law. There is also push back against organsistions like BAST and individuals with similar “AP supremacist” agendas. This has been brought to a head by the recent Fort Worth incident.
Fort Worth Incident
A vigilante team called Cinque Estrella including, one known as Frostbite was tracking a flamboyant AP criminal Mindwrack and set a trap for them in Ft. Worth where they were staging a heist. Unfortunately Mindwrack was a powerful telepath and the reports from the surviiving members of Cinque Estrella indicate that they took control of Frostbite and made them use their powers in downtown Ft Worth. These powers drained the heat from the city and caused 8,935 civilian casualties and massive property damage due to snowfall & ice. Frostbite & Mindwrack both did not survive the incident. The rest of the team survived after being helped by another vigilante Firefly. This also reminds us of the incredible durability that most AP exhibit as they suffered far greater exposure than the civilians who died.
This incident lead to Anti AP riots in several states & strikes by some police forces who felt their ability to police effectively & to protect citizens was being compromised. There was however support for AP vigiliantes from other police forces, who claimed that they were all that kept crime in check, and from AP fan groups.
The current investigation is the response to this. The Senate has established an investigation committee to try to assess what needs to be done to address the AP situation. They have invited representatives of all the groups that are most directly affected and represent other groups indirectly themselves. The committee is tasked with finding workable legislation that is to the benefit of all involved parties and that can be agreed by them.
The Government has several agencies that take an interest in Augmented Persons. The one exclusively dedicated to this, the Monitoring of Augmented Persons Section (MAPS), has been tasked with providing much of the information on APs and other intelligence as needed. They are also hosting the Committee.
*A Note on Terms:
Augmented Person, AP is the recognised term for people who have been in contact with the MPD and have been altered by it.
The members of BAST refer to themselves as Transhumans and describe themselves as the next evolution of the human race. This is sometimes used by others usually to refer to people with useful and potent powers.
APs are often derisively called Misfits by their detractors
Files with more background information in them including teams