Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines the term "metahuman" as:
– A human presenting with abnormal and superhuman abilities as a result of parametabolic imbalances, caused by Parametabolic Mutative Pituitary Dysthyroidism (PMPD).
The full scientific term for metahumans, coined by Dr. Owen Alvarez in 1999, is parametabolic humanoid-- shortened to "metahuman" colloquially-- and describes the sole method of mutation development by PMPD-affected humans. In 2000, a study by the California Academy of Sciences put forth the hypothesis that parametabolic mutations were an evolutionary step in the human race; while a direct consensus has not been reached in the international scientific community, the Homo Mutem theory has gained interest in recent decades, with the term "mutem" (latin plural of "to mutate") becoming a popular term to refer to metahumans.
Classification of metahumans is stringent and dependent upon a variety of factors, but is most commonly unified under three common and universal symptoms:
1. Hormonal imbalances during puberty caused by abnormal pituitary gland behavior, as well as; 2. An enlarged thyroid and dysthyroidism, causing: 3. The development of unexplainable paranormal phenomena, the manifestation of which is triggered by some mechanical or biological process of the affected subject, and; 4. The ability of the subject to control these phenomena in some manner, whether subconsciously or actively.
These four traits comprise the general progression of PMPD.
Parametabolic Mutative Pituitary Dysthyroidism, or PMPD, is a condition affecting the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and in select cases, the pineal gland. Research into specific root causes for PMPD is ongoing; current theories attribute the cause to genetic factors or environmental factors. While the mechanism of progression from abnormal hormonal response to paranormal phenomena is not directly known, empirical studies demonstrate a proven link between these two symptoms; as such, PMPD is seen as a direct progenitor to the manifestation of "metahuman" abilities in affected subjects.
PMPD is a fairly rare condition; a 2025 study by the WHO found a point prevalence of 0.5% over a one-year period within the United States, and a global point prevalence of 0.25%. However, incidence rates for PMPD are increasing year-to-year, with greater annual increases in large population centers like Shanghai, Delhi, New York City, and Tokyo.
The average age at PMPD's onset is 13 years; the process of puberty and sexual maturity has been intrinsically linked to the hormonal mutations present in PMPD-affected individuals. The earliest age recorded for the onset of PMPD was a case of an 8 year-old female in Tuscany, Italy. Early markers for PMPD can be recorded at the onset of puberty before direct onset; there is normally a delay of months to years before hormonal imbalances transition into paranormal abilities. As such, early detection of PMPD is paramount, as it could lead to improving hormonal imbalances within the subject and increasing the likelihood of a positive patient outcome.
There is no cure for PMPD beyond aggressive hormone replacement therapy treatments, along with the removal of the pituitary gland; post-op recovery includes continuous hormone regulation for the rest of the patient's life. Early symptoms of PMPD may include:
- Aggressive and painful acne patches ("meta-rashes");
- Frequent mood swings;
- Abnormal levels of fatigue, insomnia;
- Debilitatingly painful growing pains;
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as anemia, weight loss, weight gain;
- Loss of or increase in appetite;
- Increased testosterone levels in males; increased estrogen levels in females.
It is important to note that many of these symptoms are standard signs for puberty and generalized hormone disorders; as such, it is extremely important to consult a local PMPD hotline to schedule an appointment with a Parametabolic Specialist. Differential diagnoses for PMPD are common. It is important to rule out adjacent hormone conditions before arriving at a PMPD diagnosis, as treatment is extremely rigorous and involves registering the diagnosed individual in the National PMPD Database.
Following a PMPD diagnosis, the affected individual is deemed At-Risk and is required to report for monthly checkups at a MIRA-affiliated PMPD Specialist Clinic; these checkups are primarily for monitoring hormone levels before the appearance of paranormal phenomena; should a patient not reach this benchmark, they are categorized as a latent PMPD patient. "Paranormal phenomena" is categorized under the following criteria:
- The manifestation is not medically classifiable as any known disease or condition;
- The manifestation is intrinsically linked to the subject's biology and organic makeup.
Should paranormal phenomena manifest, the individual is classified as an active PMPD patient and is formally registered as such within the National PMPD Database. Should a latent PMPD patient recover from hormonal imbalances and return to acceptable markers, they will be further reclassified as a recovered PMPD patient and labeled as such within the National PMPD Database.
The degree of paranormal phenomena manifestation is variable within affected individuals, resulting in a variety of abilities that a patient may be able to acquire as a result of their condition. The severity of the mutation is often classified within their profile on the National PMPD Database; see D-0006-K, "THREAT-STAKE DOCTRINE", for more information on the topic of mutational classification.
1. WHO Study Group on Parametabolic Mutative Pituitary Dysthyroidism, “WHO Study Group on Parametabolic Mutative Pituitary Dysthyroidism. Report on the prevalence, incidence, and health impact of PMPD: first report of a WHO Study Group,” World Health Organization Technical Report Series, no. 955, pp. 1–41, back cover, 2025, Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/303998204/ 2. Growing incidence rates in high-population cities is most likely owed to PMPD-affected individuals bearing children that are exposed to either genetic or environmental factors that manifest the condition in progeny. More research required. 3. A hypophysectomy in a PMPD-presenting patient is known to have high mortality rates; surgery should only be considered as a last resort.
Figure 1. Top Left: the first successful PMPD hypophysectomy occurs at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts; Top Right: President Dick Cheney presents his "Jurors Address" in the aftermath of MIRA's establishment; Bottom Left: 2028 Minneapolis Riots leave over 500 dead-- "Mister Midwest" killed in an exchange with "Oracle"; Bottom Right: aerial footage of the "July Holocaust", which left over 400,000 dead in Los Angeles by "The Disciple".
June 12th: Mount Pinatubo erupts in the Phillipines.
December 31st: Soviet Union collapses.
February 26th: A van bomb detonates within the parking garage of the WTC North Tower, killing 6 and injuring over 1,000.
April 27th: The World Health Organization publishes a study disclosing the potential effects of climate change on the human population.
June 13th: Mathematician Geoffrey Banks presents a proof of Fermat's last theorem. Currently the first known instance of a metahuman ability in use; Banks was 17, at the time. Eventual testing confirmed the presence of PMPD; at the time, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and BPD.
August 12th: Recovered Russian intelligence details heightening tensions amongst satellite states, and a desire to maintain power in these regions; political appointees in Moldova, Yugoslavia, Poland, and Hungary help maintain the interests of the Russian Federation.
October 4th: The "Black October" Russian constitutional crisis ends. Yeltsin successfully pushes through his revised constitution and expands the executive powers of the presidency.
January 1st - March 20th: Multiple children aged 10-16 are hospitalized for hormonal imbalances and hyperthyroidism across the United States.
April 19th: The Oklahoma City bombing occurs.
July 18th: The World Health Organization identifies a dramatic increase in hyperthyroidism amongst teens; potentially thousands are affected. Advanced metabolism, heart arrythmia, and weight imbalances are all identified as key symptoms; amongst affected patients, the presence of an abnormal pituitary gland with microadenomas is universal.
August 12th: A global health crisis is declared for a new condition identified by researchers at the Medical University of Austria: Parametabolic Mutative Pituitary Dysthyroidism. The first mention of this condition is published in an Austrian scientific journal; PMPD is also termed Kroenen-Hoffman syndrome, named after the pair of researchers who discovered the trend of symptoms in available patient records.
December 2nd: A campaign by the WHO and CDC seeks to combat misinformation about PMPD. Current theories include: the disease's cause attributed to nuclear radiation and Chernobyl / Three Mile Island, malnutrition, and the MMR vaccine. A doctor from the UK, Andrew Wakefield, publishes a journal regarding a link between the MMR vaccine, PMPD, and autism; the journal is subsequently disproven. Wakefield is later struck off of the medical registry.
February 2nd: An attempted transphenoidal hypophysectomy on a PMPD patient in India results in the death of three surgeons via cardiac arrest, and the expiration of the patient on the operating table. The patient, aged 19, was a college student from Kanpur who was diagnosed with PMPD a year prior; a surviving operating technician described the patient as unleashing an electrical discharge from his chest once an incision was made upon the pituitary gland. All three surgeons expired from the discharge; the patient was rendered braindead from a scalpel being driven into the brain by the lead surgeon, whose body was determined to have seized up from the electrical current. This is the first documented instance of paranormal phenomena associated with PMPD.
March 3rd: A wave of botched surgeries and fatalities from hypophysectomies upon PMPD-presenting patients results in a secondary global health crisis declared by the WHO and CDC. Children aged 13-19 begin to display a variety of paranormal abilities, related to intrinsic biological mutations or processes.
April 2nd: Communication across Russian political channels begins to break down regarding the global PMPD crisis. Internal communications recovered by intelligence agencies reveal that medical institutions within St. Petersburg possibly knew of the presentation of paranormal abilities since 1993. Exact dates are unconfirmed.
August 22nd: The United States of America establishes a committee within the Senate to investigate the root cause of PMPD. The CDC receives over 100 million dollars in funding for PMPD-related research.
January 30th: PMPD has been diagnosed in approximately 10,000 Americans. A 20 year-old man by the name of Jack Gleeson has been documented by the Guiness Book of World Records as lifting a 1993 Toyota Corolla onto its front axle without any external aid; over 10 fact-checkers were reportedly called in to verify the feat.
February 12th: Jack Gleeson is invited to the White House by President Bill Clinton. The quote by President Clinton, "He's got a damn strong grip!", later becomes the slogan for Gleeson's stint as a politician: "He's got a damn strong grip... on what's good for America."
July 9th: The term "metahuman" is coined by English medical researcher Ulysses Sterling-- a portmentau of parametabolic humanoid. The term sees relative popularity in pop culture.
March 3rd: Marvel Comics' X-Men receives criticism for a derogatory portrayal of "metahumans" in an opinion piece published in the New York Times.
September 20th: Russian expatriates that defect to the United States discuss a media blackout in Russia; reportedly, the crisis in the former USSR regarding PMPD is far more significant than that of the West. Defectors discuss the presence of internment and research camps for experimentation upon PMPD-presenting individuals.
December 3rd: The Albright Affair occurs. Whistleblowers report over 1,000 blood samples stolen from hospitals nationwide for purposes of research and analysis at DARPA and CDC facilities. Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under President Clinton, is named in the proceedings. Albright resigns as a result of the controversy.
January 2nd: A rise in vigilantism is demonstrated in the United States and abroad, perpetrated by young adults who display paranormal abilities due to PMPD. Martial law is declared in Seattle as a result of a riot which leaves over 40 dead. President Clinton receives widespread criticism for the handling of matters of domestic and foreign security.
May 17th: Jack Gleeson is charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of vigilantism in the state of California; testimonies claim that Gleeson killed two men in 1999 under the costumed personality of Boy Wonder. Evidence against Gleeson is substantial; however, an instance of jury nullification acquits Gleeson on all charges. Gleeson later likens himself to OJ Simpson in a press release.
October 22nd: Rising tensions in Southeast Asia culminate in civil war within Laos and Cambodia, with Chinese-backed communist forces attempting a coup.
December 13th: Al Gore concedes the 2000 United States Presidential Election, resulting in George W. Bush being instituted as the President of the United States.
September 11th: The September 11th attacks result in over 300 dead. Due to the efforts of two metahuman passengers aboard planes bound for the World Trade Center, hijackers are quickly overpowered and the planes are crashed in order to prevent the cockpit from being taken back by the passengers; Flight 93 endures a similar fate in Pennsylvania. Flight 77, however, successfully reaches its destination and strikes the northern face of the Pentagon, killing over 200 in the building and all onboard passengers. Flight 11 and Flight 175 crash in southern New York, killing all onboard passengers except for Andrew McCormack-- a metahuman passenger onboard Flight 11 who was partially responsible for preventing the hijackers from completing their diversion to the WTC. Cockpit recordings corroborate his testimony.
October 26th: The Patriot Act is signed into law by President Bush. The act later receives criticism for particular statutes related to the surveillance and monitoring of "metahuman" communities, a lack which later emboldens domestic terrorists group called the Metahuman Liberation Front (MLF).
March 3rd: The assassination of George W. Bush occurs. Known as "Gory Monday", an extremist cell of domestic metahuman terrorists affiliated with the MLF hold the President and Secret Service hostage, mortally wounding President Bush in an ensuing attempt by authorities and the Secret Service to recover the President. Motivations for the attack have been cited as disillusionment with the presidency after the September 11th attacks, due to the extreme loss of life at the Pentagon and intelligence that suggests the United States government had information about the attacks beforehand. Additional criticisms of the Patriot Act are given in a manifesto mailed to multiple journalists at the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Senior ranking members are identified as Kasra Bezhadi, Arthur McKinley, and Michael Shannara; a manhunt begins for these individuals.
March 4th: George W. Bush expires from his injuries at 12:03 AM. Dick Cheney is sworn in as President aboard Air Force 1 at 12:05 AM.
July 20th: Growing tensions regarding metahuman individuals and terrorism results in the Gleeson Act being passed, named after prominent metahuman vigilante Jack Gleeson; after a 5-4 Supreme Court decision rules an attack by the Boy Wonder as assault with a deadly weapon, the question of whether or not metahuman abilities are considered "weapons" or "arms" is called into question; the Gleeson Act provides harsher surveillance on PMPD-affected individuals, establishes the National PMPD Database, and enacts harsher punishment upon metahuman-identified vigilantes. These revisions strengthen the core tenets of the Patriot Act signed into law in 2001.
November 3rd: Incumbent President Dick Cheney beats Democratic Party nominee John Kerry in the 2004 United States Election.
May 22nd: The Department for Metahuman Affairs is established. The DMA is largely considered to be the percursor to the Metahuman Incident Response Agency.
March 19th: First known series of posts by an anonymous user on 4Chan later linked to David H. Thompson, also known as "The Disciple"; posts were commonly tirades and criticisms aimed at immigration reform and recent advancements in LGBTQ rights under the Cheney administration. Additionally, Thompson published his thoughts and political beliefs through an independently-hosted website https://thecongregationawaits.com; the website is no longer available, but archives exist of multiple materials. Thompson was later discovered to have been writing these manifestos as early as 2003.
December 5th: First known instance of Thompson being reported to Pasadena authorities by his brother, Owen Thompson. The claims were ultimately left uninvestigated.
February 5th: Second instance of Thompson reported to Pasadena authorities. While a house visit occurred, police found no probable cause to search the premises. While Thompson was placed on a list of at-risk individuals within the Pasadena Police Department, no formal investigation was held.
March 2nd: Neighbor of David Thompson Frederick Richards reported flashes of bright blue light from the house and shed on Thompson's property. Authorities called to the premises found nothing out of place, but noted a dry heat in the air. Thompson was found to be disheveled, with a rash on his left arm. He was not brought into police custody at this time.
May 27th: David Thompson was reported for a third time by his brother, who stated that he believed David was attempting to plan an attack on a populated city center; a search warrant of Thompson's property was acquired and police searched the premises. No weapons or incriminating evidence was found beyond a series of maps in an office within the house pinned to corkboard; when questioned about the maps, Thompson stated he was looking to travel and was interested in urban development. The maps were of Greater Los Angeles, New York City, and Austin. Thompson was not found to be in possession of sufficient evidence for a conspiracy charge, and was not brought into police custody. Auditing of phone records did not reveal incriminating evidence.
June 2nd: Jack Gleeson writes and publishes a book while in federal prison: Boy Wonder: The Right to Exist, a series of memoirs regarding his vigilantism. Ill-received, its notoriety is owed to its status as a de-facto call-to-arms for metahuman vigilantes to continue service and the ethics of PMPD-based ability usage.
June 25th: Thompson is denied disability pay after applying for privileges.
June 29th: A terrorist attack in Yemen perpetrated by suspected metahuman terrorists kills 2,500. The target is a cargo ship and adjacent fertilizer factory that are detonated in the Port of Aden.
July 1st: Julia Kirsch, an elderly woman living adjacent to David H. Thompson, is hospitalized for nausea, seizures, and vomiting; blood analysis reveals severely low WBC counts.
July 3rd: Kirsch expires from Acute Radiation Syndrome at 8:05 PM. An investigation is held into the circumstances regarding her death; a request for radiation-measuring instruments is filed by the Pasadena Police Department. The Division of Radiation Safety and Environmental Management within the California Department of Public Health approves the request and dispatches a team to arrive on the morning of July 4th. Out of fear of some sort of radioactive material present within the neighborhood, and potential exposure by residents, the entirety of Midnight Woods Avenue within Pasadena is evacuated. David Thompson is found to be absent from his residence after repeated attempts for contact.
July 4th: At 8:09 AM, a thermonuclear detonation approximated at 1.2 megatons (Mt) occurs in downtown Los Angeles. The point of origin is hypothesized to be the Los Angeles City Hall Park; the blast is a surface detonation, creating extreme amounts of radioactive fallout that travels northwest. The fallout is reported to reach Las Vegas, and the explosive cloud can be seen from Sacramento. Approximately 500,000 lives are lost in the immediate explosion and aftermath; hundreds of thousands are left injured with varying states of third-degree burns and radiation poisoning. Tens of thousands are left homeless. The months-long investigation is underpinned by two key revelations:
- The explosion is attributed to David Thompson in some capacity;
- David Thompson was an At-Risk PMPD patient who was never formally filed with the National PMPD Database;
- The thermonuclear explosion was a manifestation of paranormal phenomena through PMPD.
The event is known as the July Holocaust; initially, the United States government mobilizes the National Guard and Army due to the misconception that the detonation was a foreign act of aggression.
July 5th: President Cheney declares a state of emergency country-wide, and issues an executive order to allocate necessary relief funds and manpower to assist in the evacuation and relocation of affected Los Angeles residents. Cheney is praised for the strength and haste of his response to the July Holocaust.
September 10th: Details regarding the government-led investigation into the July Holocaust are leaked to the public; in particular, a manifesto published in late June of 2007 by David Thompson is named in an anonymously-hosted disclosure of sensitive government investigatory documents. Traffic to the site is instantaneous, and while the site is shut down, backups are hosted at multiple addresses.
September 17th: The 2007 September Riots kill over 1,000 people, a majority of whom are PMPD-affected individuals; public outcry from either side simultaneously blames the government for a lack of regulation, and accuses the metahuman community of being a danger to modern society.
November 10th: Andrew McCormack, the sole survivor of Flight 11 during the September 11th attacks, gives a testimony before Congress to the Committee of Metahuman Safety and Regulation established in the aftermath of the July Holocaust. McCormack's testimony advocates for the proper discernment of threats to "separate heroes from villains", and to preserve order in the United States.
November 11th: Republican Senator Gerald Anvers delivers his famous "Nuke In the Pocket" speech, wherein he describes the manifestation of PMPD-based abilities as carrying a "thermonuclear warhead in your back pocket, and nobody knows you've got the trigger". While hailed as a monumental, eye-opening call to action by his constitutions, detractors lambast the address for preying upon the fears of an already-terrified populace and dehumanizing metahumans to the status of living weapons.
December 1st: President Dick Cheney signs the July Act into law, expanding executive powers of the Presidency in medical surveillance and categorization of PMPD-affected individuals. Additionally, the Act expands the manpower and resources of the Department for Metahuman Affairs, and adds a National Metahuman Registry; registry in the NMR is required by law in all US territories. Additional requirements include the disclosure of PMPD status on passports, required monthly medical checkups for PMPD-affected individuals that are paid for by the state, and the establishment of a Metahuman Response Taskforce (MRT) within the DMA.
March 5th: Senior members of the Metahuman Liberation Front are confronted and killed in a raid at an MLF compound north of Anchorage, near Point Mackenzie; interrogation of MLF connections revealed a bunker system within the compound, where Kasra Bezhadi and Arthur McKinley were present. The attack is a joint execution of FBI and DMA teams, and is the first known instance of the MRT being deployed domestically in a raid. No casualties are present on the side of the United States government; over nine MLF terrorists are killed in the raid. Michael Shannara avoids capture at this time.
August 11th: Osama Bin Laden, the General Emir of al-Qaeda, is killed in a compound raid in Pakistan. Metahuman intelligence agents and special forces are credited with locating compound and executing the raid.
November 10th: Incumbent President Dick Cheney wins in a landslide victory against Democratic nominee Barack Obama; neutralization of threats within the MLF and al-Qaeda are cited as heavily skewing Cheney's favor amongst the general public.
November 19th: Parasociologist Henry Jerrailt outlines the moral implications of utilizing metahumans in warfare; the book, Meditations on Metahuman Advancements and Cultural Implications, is read worldwide.
December 20th: The presence of metahuman paramilitary organizations and the use of metahuman assets during wartime prompts a statement by the United Nations, in which the organization calls for the banning of metahuman soldiers and enlistment.
January 20th: The Convention on Metahuman Infantry and Deployment in Wartime (CMID or MID) concludes in Geneva. The Convention outlines several protocols (five in total) to limit the use of metahumans in armed combat, prevents the specific targeting of metahuman targets in wartime, and outlaws the usage of metahuman assets of civilian targets, as well as "paranormal arms".
March 20th: President Dick Cheney delivers a presidential address wherein he discusses the recent Convention, and outlines his plans to ratify the protocols; additionally, he announces the expansion of the Department of Metahuman Affairs into a larger defense agency: the Metahuman Incident Response Agency. Termed the "Jurors Address", President Cheney discusses the importance of metahumans in preserving domestic peace, as well as managing foreign interests in a "peaceful" manner.
June 28th: Jack Gleeson is released from prison on parole. He quickly gains prominence post-incarceration as an internet and media personality.
SUMMARY: Formative years for MIRA as assets and resources from the DMA are grandfathered into the new organization. A series of border conflicts between the Russian Federation and Poland results in a RF-backed coup of leadership within Poland. A pro-Russian dictatorship is installed in Warsaw. NATO and the UN condemn the affair and place trade embargoes on Russia, to little success.
In particular, 2011 marks the passage of the MIRA Selective Service Act-- a landmark passage which required the mandatory service of documented US citizens with PMPD. The terms of the Act were liberal in the description of service-- humanitarian roles, combat roles, analyst roles, and clerical roles were all cited as valid service. Many detractors hailed the Act as unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court later upheld the Act in a landmark decision Killigan v. United States.
SUMMARY: The 2012 United States Presidential Election results in Democratic nominee Barack Obama winning over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. President Obama received praise for his work in expanding treatment for PMPD and revolutionizing the healthcare cataloguing system of the United States under the Affordable Care Act. Bipartisan support is largely owed to growing public pressure over monitoring PMPD-affected individuals and safely providing relevant care and treatment for their condition; most notably, the ACA establishes of PMPD Crisis Centers and PMPD Specialists within hospitals nationwide and expands the already-rigorous National PMPD Database created under Cheney.
Under the Obama Administration, MIRA's role in peacekeeping amongst metahumans is further expanded. Rapid industrialization and technological advancement-- owed in part to the high presence of metahuman-employing organizations within "Silicon Valley"-- allows for increased resource allocation towards intelligence services for the Agency, of which the surveillance and understanding of PMPD-affected individuals is paramount. The administration's work in passing the ACA and expanding the influence of MIRA is met with mostly bipartisan support; Democrats support the expansion of access to healthcare for PMPD-affected individuals and the greater American populace, and Republicans support the establishment of order in monitoring metahumans and expanding the Defense budget with MIRA's growing influence.
As such, Barack Obama is able win the nomination for Democratic nominee, and secures a second term against Republican nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.
President Barack Obama's second term is focused upon expanding the Affordable Care Act, fully withdrawing troops from Iraq following the decision of the Cheney Administration to maintain a presence in the region, and placing sanctions upon Russia due to the annexation of Crimea; additionally, the Obama Administration saw three judge nominations, resulting in a "blue majority" within the Supreme Court. The second term of President Obama was marked by cultural shifts in perception of metahumans, the rise of "metahuman supremacist" groups, and further expansion of the Metahuman Incident Response Agency; in particular, the establishment of Field Agent teams, "cloaks" and "daggers", and the general perception of MIRA Agents as "superheroes" from contemporary literature and comic books.
SUMMARY: The 2020 Presidential Election results in Republican nominee Chuck Torres-- a Cuban-American Republican governor from Florida-- securing the bid for presidency over Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Basing his campaign off of the slogan "Chuck Means Change", Torres was a hardline Republican whose platform largely focused upon immigration and PMPD application reform. Torres' cabinet devoted its first term to preventing undocumented metahumans from entering the country, and gained notoriety for placing an immigration ban on PMPD-affected expatriates during Torres' first month in office. The ban was later lifted in 2023.
Torres was praised by Republicans for expanding the judiciary powers in documenting and neutralizing metahuman threats. During his presidency, MIRA began to undergo reform which placed an emphasis upon monitoring, tracking, and responding to threats with "utmost prejudice". Most notably, MIRA's number of employees increased from 100,000 to 150,000 over a period of two years. Additionally, the budgetary allocation to MIRA increased by 100 million dollars. Despite a red senate and house, the liberal leanings of the Supreme Court due to appointments by Barack Obama led to numerous executive orders proposed by Torres being overruled as unconstitutional.
Despite Torres' divisive first term, he narrowly beat out Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2024 Presidential Election. Torres' second term was marred by further controversy; in particular, the methods of MIRA in dealing with rogue metahumans was hailed as "draconian" by detractors, and many critics of Torres describe the Administration as furthering America's society into one of a police state. A series of bloody riots in 2028 within Minneapolis resulted in the high-profile coverage of a MIRA agent's death-- Mister Midwest-- when facing off against a "supervillain" by the name of Oracle. Over 300 Americans died in the riots; Torres received widespread criticism for his handling of the crisis. He left office in 2028 with a historically low approval rating of 30%.
The 2028 Presidential Election of the United States resulted in Democratic nominee Kyle Fielder winning the bid for presidency over Republican nominee James Holt (Vice President under Torres).
SUMMARY: The current year. 2029 has been marked by a period of increasing tensions between unpowered individuals and the greater metahuman population; Fielder's first month in office was marked by an attempt at sweeping reform for metahuman rights and reform to the MIRA Selective Service Act passed in 2011. Attempts to pass reform through Congress were largely unsuccessful; as such, Fielder has been accused of utilizing the liberal Supreme Court and judge appointments to manipulate the passage of metahuman cases to the Supreme Court for landmark decisions.
A. DEVELOPMENT OF SUPERHERO CULTURE - EXCERPT BY LEONARD STONE
The advent of PMPD-affected individuals and the manifestation of latent paranormal phenomena has had substantial effects upon modern society and perceptions of humanity. It is impossible to examine the role of PMPD-affected individuals-- "metahumans", as they are commonly referred-- without examining the concept of and significance of a "superhero", in both classical and modern terms.
Superheroes as a modern concept have been around since the turn of the 20th century. Zorro. Superman. Flash Gordon. The Phantom. Costumed characters that are archetypally bound to heroism, saving the public, and punishing the morally scrupulous through might and wit. The concept of a superhero, however, has existed in the collective unconscious of humanity for thousands of years. Achilles, the demigod; Robin Hood, the gentleman's outlaw. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Heracles. Perseus. Odysseus. All the way back to Gilgamesh, the progenitor and eventual blueprint of the modern hero. Superheroes, in their various forms, have been integral to humanity as far back as stories could be told.
In 1995, those stories became real.
Not in the typical sense. The first few years were not spent hunting down which factories had spilled radioactive ooze, or finding out a child had fallen from space, or dipping a child within the River Styx to render him impervious. The first known case of a superpower, in our world, was the killing of three surgeons and the death of the superhero upon an operating table. Children bore painful mutations of the thyroid that changed their bodies in irreparable and agonizing ways. Hundreds of thousands of parents lived in fear that some disease or condition would turn their child into a suicidal monster. I lived through the PMPD scares of the late 90s; I remembered the stress. I remembered the fear.
Fear is not what heroes inspire. They inspire hope. So, as good leaders should, we pivoted.
It is vitally important that people see PMPD not as what it is, literally. It is a functional mutation that results in borderline lethal mutations of the human body; it is a guarantee that a person's life shall never be the same once they're diagnosed. It's a condemnation. No, the goal of MIRA-- and by extension, every single person within this organization-- is to show the public what PMPD could be. Do you know why Superman was written as sparing the lives of his enemies and helping those in need? Because he was a symbol of hope. Because writing a character who summons the strength of gods as a homicidal and unstable psychopath would hardly make for an inspiring story. Because the reality of the human condition is divorced from the fiction of superheroism; the very nature of the fantasy is a disguised ideal, an offered route of escapism to a world where criminals are stopped by flying saviors of patriotic fervor. A world where Contrail the Aviator punches Nazis in the face, recovers an artifact from a secret tomb, and flies away on his jetpack to be home in time for supper.
So we offer the illusion of that reality. PMPD-affected individuals are not unstable patients, they are heroes. They possess abilities beyond our comprehension not because our world is irreparably sullied and mutated by our industrial desperations, but because they are gifted. And indeed, they are-- the metahuman population enrolled in MIRA's programs have saved countless lives. We portray them as saviors because the public cannot possible handle the reality of what they may be without proper guidance. They rebuild, because we have witnessed what happens when they wish to destroy. Masked men stop robbers and supervillains because the comparison to fantastical heroes is a far more effective coping mechanism than seeing an unpowered police-force slaughtered by terrorists with abilities beyond our capacity for comprehension.
The world has no superheroes. Not really. But we have made ourselves believe that it does, for what are the shadows upon the wall to a prisoner of the world? We accept the facade as truth, because to reject fantasy is to embrace reality. And nobody wishes for that.
B. THE HERO MYTH | "CLOAK AND DAGGER" DICHOTOMY
Following the establishment of MIRA, internal discussions and years of procedural refinement have resulted in the formation of "The Hero Myth" (often shorted to "The Myth" amongst MIRA employees and documentation) and the "Cloak and Dagger" dichotomy.
The Myth is a largely unspoken preservation of societal and archetypal conventions that maintain the appearance of "heroism" to the general public. These conventions vary regionally, but follow similar foundational requirements for conduct and portrayal of public persona; MIRA Agents are to be polite, respectful, and often embody traits of nobility, chivalry, and moral superiority. This includes a focus on humanitarian work, saving innocents, reducing the harm that occurs to bystanders, limiting collateral damage in fights, and cultivating a persona that is easily trusted, well-liked, and even worshipped by a fan-following.
However, the presence of non-photogenic PMPD-manifested traits-- and the need for less-than-tasteful activities in the pursuit of national security and peace within our time-- has resulted in the "Cloak and Dagger" dichotomy, established within MIRA in 2012. As not every Agent possesses the mental, physical or aesthetic requirements to conform to the archetypal "superhero" role, there is an internal division amongst Field Agents which separate them into two roles: "camera-facing" Cloaks, and "camera-absent" Daggers. While Cloak Field Aents may often engage in Dagger-related assignments out of necessity, Dagger Field Agents do not often engage in Cloak-related assignments. Most often, Daggers are pulled into humanitarian assignments to cultivate a small following and improve image, should they be appropriately photogenic and the public is receptive to their personality.
C. CLOAK DUTIES
"Cloak" Agents are meant to embody the ideals of The Myth on a consistent and unrelenting basis. Cloak agents are encouraged to form mental habits that bring their baseline personality traits closer in similarity to that of their cultivated Cloak persona; additionally, they are expected to rigorously adhere to cultural standards for heroism while in the public eye. Cloak Agents are held to high standards for personal grooming, politeness, and humanitarian work while on the field. As such, they are the closest analogue to true "superheroes" in the conventional sense.
While responding to an Incident, Cloak Agents are to use their best judgement in saving the lives of potential bystanders; additionally, there are imposed restrictions upon power use for Cloaks. Lethal finishers and abilities with potential for high collateral damage are to be authorized by the Lead Analyst within an Incident Room ("greenlight" or "redlight"); additionally, ORG and lower threat-levels are to have non-lethal and non-crippling neutralization prioritized, unless no other avenue for pacification is possible. Mandatory collateral cleanup and post-Incident media presence is required for Cloaks. Should a bystander or Incident Suspect be hospitalized as a result of actions taken by the MIRA Agent, they are required to be present for medical evacuation. All MIRA Agents are CPR-trained and educated in basic first aid.
D. DAGGER DUTIES
"Dagger" Agents are not beholden to the ideals of The Myth, and are instead allowed greater freedom in the execution of their abilities. Most importantly, they are to be neither seen nor heard by the general public; most Dagger agents are kept away from media events and are afforded greater protection to their identities, personal addresses, and power details, given their use in espionage, clandestine operations, and lethal mission objectives.
Daggers operate with loosened RoE for Incident Response. Lethal finishers are authorized by default; crippling or otherwise excessive abilities have a perpetual greenlight. Redlighting certain neutralizations may be necessary in the case of an unprecedented civilian complication or media presence.
The relationship between Cloak and Dagger doctrine is often termed as a "downhill river"; in particular, Dagger activities are "downstream" of Cloak activities. Cloak Incidents may transition to Dagger Incidents, should The Myth be broken by the Incident Suspect or a present Field Agent; in the case of a Cloak-to-Dagger transition, Field Agents are advised to wait for an appropriate greenlight after media presence is disrupted or otherwise distracted by analysts within the Incident Room at the nearest Headquarters. This may include the usage of smoke-and-mirrors deployment by having an adjacent Field Agent cause collateral, EMP deployment, or cutting cable and internet services in the area.
Should a Cloak happen to harm their cultivated persona or otherwise compromise their image, reassignment to Dagger classification under a different aesthetic and alias may be explored.