And due to hitting 50k on NaNoWriMo and then being out all Thanksgiving weekend, here’s one more background excerpt before returning to our regularly scheduled program.
Superpowers or simply Powers are superhuman capabilities bestowed on individuals via a Rosen-Tesla Event.
The majority of powers manipulate forces explicable by science in inexplicable ways. Despite over sixty years of study, no theory of powers has been accepted as predictive by the scientific consensus. While the forces supers manifest may be themselves quantified, the mechanism by which they are generated has not been.
Supers regularly appear to violate the laws of conservation of mass and energy. (Some scientists believe that apparent violations are simply a transfer of matter and energy via an unknown mechanism for creating stable wormholes.) Certain demonstrated powers seem to violate basic understandings of how fundamental forces work (e.g., Telekinesis and other applications of motive forces without an apparently source). Others have biological effects that are very poorly understood (e.g., Regeneration and Shapeshifting).
In general, researching powers is complicated by lack of access to repeatable test conditions. Not only are many supers unwilling to subject themselves to extensive tests, the tendency for powers to be unique even among those in the same Event makes it hard to set up proper controls. It is theorized that certain countries guilty of human rights violations may have a better understanding of powers, due to willingness to run invasive tests on powered citizens, but these governments are the most likely to keep their research and actions secret.
Even though many of the mechanisms for powers are not understood, their repeatable elements can produce scientific breakthroughs. For example, MIT has announced a potential artificial gravity generator based on study with the retired hero Heavyweight.
While the scientific principles behind powers aren’t understood, there are several consistent similarities between known power wielders that have become accepted as rules.
The first is that all individuals within the same Event gain powers with a consistent theme. Each power can be described as a variation on a central concept (e.g., different forms of Telekinesis, Energy Projection, Mind Control, Healing, etc.). Certain scientists believe that these concepts must be understood to form a scientific understanding for powers: the unique individual powers are all results of a central factor interaction with the different physiology or psychology of the individuals.
The second is that a single individual’s powers can always be expressed as a single concept. If a super appears to have multiple powers, they will always be expressions of a single, central power. For example, Liberty’s great strength, durability, leaping ability, and ability to climb any surface are all expressions of Telekinesis used to enhance her body or things touching it. This means that many active vigilantes and villains require a way to gain additional offense, defense, or mobility not provided by their powers; there are few powered individuals that simultaneously have an ability to cause harm, resist to harm, and move in a way that exceeds normal human capabilities.
The third is that all supers develop an intuitive understanding of and ability to control their powers. There have been very few examples of supers that lost control of their powers, required extensive training to access them, or did not know the extent of their powers, and most of these are believed to have had psychological problems that prevented the normal intuitive control. Smith vs. The Exploder set a precedent that supers cannot legally claim that they lost control of their powers without extenuating circumstances; there are no accidental power activations, just potentially negligent uses of powers.