Post-Cold War Champions 2016
Quantums (aka Quantum Leaps)
The vast majority of recent new superhumans are randomly gifted through the unpredictable survival mechanism of what has become known as a Quantum Leap. Most of the Super Powered Beings who belonged to JASOC did not identify a triggering mechanism; however, that was not a question being asked of them at the time. For many, the answer may be lost to time. Children of SPBs/Quantums are slightly more likely than the average person to also become gifted (although the odds of getting struck by lightning are still better). While the majority of supers are gifted with powers via a survival mechanism, other recorded triggers have included:
- Environmental triggers. Differentiating between a survival mechanism and environmental trigger is sometimes difficult. The first recorded appearance of what is now referred to as a Quantum was in 1915 after a chemical attack by the Germans. While his appearance is common knowledge in 2016, his exposure to chemical weapons was classified until some years after the end of the Cold War. The atomic bombs dropped on Japan spawned several Quantums, one or two of whom are thought to still be alive. The Three-Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979 spawned 5 known Quantums, although only 2 are still alive.
- The psychological component of Quantums means that the powers of new-minted superhumans are seldom at odds with their personality types. Aggressive breakthroughs gain offensive powers, non-violent breakthroughs gain defensive powers, and so on.
- Related to a Quantum’s psych component, physical changes have been known to occur. Developing a more striking or even a monstrous appearance befitting the Quantum’s state of mind at the time his or her powers were triggered has been documented.
- Suicides. Individuals gaining powers after attempting to commit suicide has been documented and verified. Early reports (notes left by the individuals) indicate the powers were an unconscious survival mechanism. Unfortunately, reports suggest an increase in the number of suicide attempts by individuals in the hope of gaining powers. The number is slightly higher for children of supers. Confirmed reports of suicides gaining powers has only served to increase the number of attempts, while the psychological state of these individuals often requires the intervention of Super Groups to contain or neutralize them.
Some Quantums continue to evolve or develop new powers (not new ways to use existing powers) over time, but this is very uncommon.
No one appears to have found a way to predict who will gain powers, which makes the terrorist attacks that much more reprehensible in the eyes of everyone.
A significant percentage of Quantums are single-power types, loosely or tightly defined. Most power sets fall into the following archetypes:
- Brick – [Frequency – Very common. Typical Trigger – Defensive].
- Energy Projector – [Frequency – Very common. Typical Trigger – Offensive]
- Gadgeteer (includes Powered Armor) – [Frequency – Very uncommon. Possible Trigger – Uncertain]: One key difference between normal science and the spark is that, in the former, a scientific experiment can (at least in theory) be reproduced by anyone, while the latter only works because the unique gifts of certain individuals make it happen. Perhaps because those with the spark are Reality Warpers who make their inventions possible.
- Martial Artist – [Frequency – Common. Typical Trigger – Defensive]
- Mentalist – [Frequency – Very uncommon. Possible Trigger – Uncertain]
- Metamorph – [Frequency – Common. Typical Trigger – Defensive]
- Mystic – [Frequency – Very uncommon. Possible Trigger – Uncertain]
- Speedster – [Frequency – Very common. Typical Trigger – Defensive]
- Weaponmaster – [Frequency – Common. Typical Trigger – Offensive]
- Sink – [Frequency – Uncommon. Typical Trigger – Defensive]: with primary abilities being drains or transfers a “Sink” can diminish, nullify or steal another super’s powers, abilities or stats, either temporarily or permanently. This archetype appears to be more common in response to incidents involving super powers.