The World of Anomalies
Weird science, monsters, and mysticism have long been rumored to exist. We all have read the stories, modern day comic books, ghost stories, even stretching back into the Penny Dreadful’s of the late 19th century. We’ve all heard of Dr. Frankenstein, and of Captain America. Of witches and mad scientists. But these were all fiction.
That is, until 5 years ago. The fact of the matter is these are not just stories; sure, many of them have been exaggerated, and up until 5 years ago no one was flying around in tights. The truth is the strange world of science and magic has always been there, but it’s been rare, whispered of in the dark, and unknown. But, it’s been getting more frequent.
5 years ago the world got a big wake-up call, the Trinity Square Incident. No one still fully knows what happened: most of the video evidence doesn’t show much, much of the witness testimony is scattered and inconsistent, and the site itself has been under government lock-down since the incident. What we know for a fact was that over 30 people died that day, and the remains of at least 5 of the victims were classified and not returned to their loved ones.
Since that day, the world would never be the same.
Toronto, Where it All Began
In 2012 there was something of a cultural fascination with the End of the World. Most people didn’t put any stock in it, but plenty of conspiracy theorists were of the opinion that the world would come crashing down on December 21st, 2012.
On December 21st, 2012, at about 8:30 pm local time, something terrible happened. Not exactly the end of the world, but it certainly changed the world. The Incident itself claimed the lives of 30 people, 5 of whom were “never recovered”, though many think that several of those were taken by the Canadian Government and locked away somewhere to be studied.
The city of Toronto itself did eventually heal. Trinity Square itself is now a permanent classified military installation, but outside of that the city has mostly returned to normal. Well, normal with Superheroes that is.
The Age of Heroes
At first, after the incident fear and paranoia ran rampant. Many who were enhanced or accused of being enhanced were beaten, threatened, or worse; usually by fringe extremists, but even the general public was wary of them. Law enforcement became increasingly militarized in order to push back against potential enhanced criminals.
In late 2013, however, a counter movement took root, pushing back against public fear. It argued that while enhanced criminals were a threat, yes, but most enhanced were normal folk, or even better, could become more, could be heroes like in stories and comics.
Two noteworthy moments in this movement: The indie film No More Clear Skies painted the plight of innocent enhanced and has become something of a cult favorite, and in late 2013 the first public appearance of Mr. Amazing
Mr. Amazing is widely considered to be the first true “superhero” of the modern age. Capable of Flight, Super-strength and more he became a symbol, not only as a protector of his home city of Vancouver, but also that the new world we lived in could be one of heroes and not just of monsters.
The Flood of Vigilantes
Not everyone was happy to see someone like Mr. Amazing making the front news. In mid-2014 an amateur mask by the name of Cannonfire was killed trying to stop a bank heist. His fight with the robbers, which included an enhanced on their side, caused roughly $50,000 in damages, and the lives of four bystanders.
The bank sued Cannonfire posthumously for the damages, stating that his intervention was reckless. They argued that he should have left the robbers to the proper authorities. The case received unprecedented news coverage. In the course of the case, Cannonfire’s identity was made public, and his widowed mother’s testimony moved the court, who did rule against the bank in the civil case.
However, as more and more masked heroes were coming out of the woodwork, as well as more enhanced criminals, law enforcement had to do something to try and stop more would-be do-gooders from suffering similar fates.
Enhanced Law Enforcement and Super Division
in 2015, the Enhanced Individual Regulation Act was put into law in the US. This law allowed the FBI and NSA to keep track of enhanced individuals, and also required enhanced individuals to register and report their abilities. It also laid out regulations for the deployment of enhanced individuals on police forces. A similar law was passed in Canada as well.
That same year, the Super Division was founded. An elite crisis management team of enhanced individuals, the Super Division is a branch of the National Guard, and is sent all over the country to help in situations where they are needed.
While Vigilantism is still technically illegal, that hasn’t stopped masked heroes from trying to do good all over the US and Canada. Situations vary from city to city, but in most cases law enforcement is willing to work with such individuals, as well as keep an eye on them as long as they are careful and don’t cause too much property damage.