Code 99: Miami
Though it has been five years since the genetic fallout of the Ghost Flu first became apparent, the scientific field of Anamorphology remains relatively young. Progress is made daily, but something as completely game changing as the complete (and seemingly random) alteration of the human genome to potentially allow for powers that break the very laws of physics means that real answers to some of the most pressing questions posed by extrahumanity will remain unknown without decades of painstaking research.
That said, some things have been established about extrahumanity, and corroborated by peer-reviewed studies into the most basic core of Anamorphology. Here are some key facts as best as we know:
- There is, at this point, no way to determine if someone has the potential to exhibit extrahuman mutations before the event. Once their mutation has manifested, irregularities can be found within the DNA at a few key marker points, known as S-Markers. However, no correlation between the markers and the mutation/powers manifesting has been found. In short, a blood test can determine a mutant; however, it cannot determine that mutant’s capabilities.
- There are no known limits to what manner of mutations can be exhibited. Though a rough classification system has been put into place (below), no ‘upward limit’ has been discovered to what mutations can generate – flight, invisibility, pyrokinesis, hyper-adhesion, super-structural growth, memetic tampering and seeming invulnerability are but the smallest sampling of mutations exhibited, with more being discovered every day. In other words, there is no ‘standard’ mutation. It is impossible to guess what a extrahuman is capable of, and many powers defy the known laws of physics.
- There is no evidence yet to suggest that there is a particular ‘mutant gene’. There is no known child of paired extrahuman parents who has exhibited mutation of any variety. This would indicate, at least at present, that extrahuman power manifestation is completely random, or has no higher probability in the children of paired extrahumans than it does with coupled baseline humans. It will, of course, take several generations of research to prove or disprove this theory, but as of now, there seems to be no indication that possessing extrahuman parents increases the chance for mutations.
- Mutations tend to manifest in puberty on average – however, there is no definitive age range for the manifestation of extrahuman traits. The manifestation of superhuman traits tends to be extremely rapid, bordering on the instantaneous; though conscious control over extrahuman powers frequently takes lengthy periods of practice and training (indicating an as-yet only theorized connection of all powers to some degree of psychic exertion.)
- Mutation has the same probability of occurring across all genotypes of humanity, regardless of race, sex or region.
- Some research indicates that some mutagenic effects are more common than others. Though this correlation has not been completely proven as fact, there does seem to be a high average appearance rate of ‘super strength’ and superhuman resilience.
- Subjects of extrahuman mutation are not necessarily immune to the effects of their own manifestation; the mutation may have detrimental effects on the individual or may, in an extremely small percentage of cases, prove traumatic enough to the system to be lethal.
Though they are by no means hard definitions, a tiered classification system is in place for individuals who express extrahuman traits – anyone who undergoes their manifestation can then be grouped into one of three categories.
- Type-A mutants are those individuals who possess “superpowers” but remain physically unchanged. Their extrahuman traits give them capabilities far and above any degree of human normality, and often violate the laws of known physics in the process. A typical Type-A mutant will appear completely human until they shoot flame from their hands or fly under their own power. Examples: Flight, Superhuman Strength/Speed/Endurance, Invulnerability, Energy Manipulation (Electricity, Flame, Ice, etc.), Telekinesis, Teleportation
- Type-B mutants have undergone rigorous and noticeable changes to their phenotype, but are no more ‘superpowered’ than a baseline human. Type B mutants, thanks to their very noticeable mutations, face the greatest amount of prejudice of all extrahumans due to very clearly not being ‘normal’. Examples: Forked tongue, Exposed skeletal structure, Scales or Feathers, Vestigal Wings (incapable of sustaining flight), Cloven feet, Additional eyes.
- Type-C mutants are those who possess characteristics of both Type A and Type B mutants. Their physical appearance has changed, and either as a result of that change, or alongside that change, those individuals also exhibit superpowers. For example, a Type C mutant might feature ruddy, mineralized skin that also serves as de facto armor. Or, a Type C mutant might have external cranial bone protrusions, such as horns or antlers, but also possess the ability to breathe fire.
Some mutants may find themselves existing in between categories, but by and large the three tiered “ExABC” system provides a functional, if loose, framework for discussion of extrahuman capabilities.