Mysteranium-Enhanced People

Mysteranium-enhanced people, or MEPs, are people who have developed unusual abilities or physical traits due to a reaction between a sufficient amount of mysteranium in the body (usually a quarter of a gram to half a gram) and a high form of energy (often a powerful surge of electricity). This term was coined by the US government in the early 1940s while researching this phenomenon.

The precise mechanics of how catalyzation works are still unclear, though peoples' changes seem to be affected by their environment quite often - EG, a woman who would only identify herself as "Lily" reported that she was working in a plant nursery the night she gained the ability to make plants grow. An anonymous man with the ability to freeze objects stated that he was in the arctic when he received them.

There are other indications that a person's state of mind can affect their changes - EG, a woman whose changes included enhanced strength and shield generation reported that she had a strong desire to keep her loved ones safe long before gaining her powers.

In addition, research conducted by the Modern Society of Magical Research in the mid-20th century found that certain powers frequently (though not always) corresponded with certain personality types.

The US military classification system for mysteranium-enhanced people:
MEP-C1: Usefulness negligible. No real tactical benefit.
MEP-C2: Marginally useful. Does not outperform standard equipment or artillery.
MEP-C3: Very useful. Outperforms small equipment and/or artillery.
MEP-C4: Exceptionally useful. Outperforms heavy equipment and/or artillery.

When people are first catalyzed, their powers will often be about as strong as they'll ever be. However, in a few cases their powers may manifest below their full potential strength, sometimes as low as two thirds. In these cases, they can build up their strength with frequent practice. Practice is also important for any MEP - those who fail to use their powers on at least a semi-regular basis will find that their potency diminishes. If they go a few months without using their powers they might that they've lost their edge; if they go a few years without using them, they'll find their powers extremely weak. Still, they can always gain back their strength by using their powers regularly again. One MEP-C4 who neglected to use his powers for about three years found that they were approximately on MEP-C2 level when he attempted to use them again. Still, after about five months of practice he had his powers back in prime condition.

Powers do not change or evolve, nor does anyone spontaneously develop new ones. However, those who put their minds to it may discover unusual new ways to use their powers. It can also happen that an MEP might gain more than one ability at catalyzation, but fails to realize it for awhile due to nothing happening that triggers the power.

Attempts to alter people via mysteranium have shown that risk is high and worthwhile results are relatively low. Studies typically find that 25% of suffer injury consistent with the energy force used as a catalyst. Another 25% experience mild injury to no change at all. Approximately 50% undergo biological change. However, 25% these changes bring little, if any serious benefit. 17% of these changes were of some benefit, but are not considered sufficiently superior to ordinary training and equipment by most militaries. 7% develop changes considered sufficiently useful by most militaries, and 1% develop changes considered exceptionally useful. With a 25% chance of harm or even death, and a 92% chance overall of failure to develop anything considered sufficiently useful, very few have seriously attempted to militarize mysteranium thus. (However, it did lead to the creation of an MEP classification system, which is still commonly used today.)

Another deterrent to militarizing mysteranium is the fact that individuals who fall into the "useful" range often require non-standard training, the precise nature of which is impossible to predict ahead of time. Another issue is the possibility of people who develop changes that end up being destructive - even if they can be eventually trained to control their abilities, most military people would rather not bother with the headache in the first place.

It's estimated that there are a few to several hundred MEPs under the age of 65 in the US, comprising somewhere from .00009% to .00018% of the population. (It's hard to get an exact number, as many do not make themselves known.) Evidence suggests that the numbers are similar in any country where electricity is common.

Notable Incidents & Research

In 1918, an 18-year-old college student of Cambridge University by the name of Albert Moore purchased a sample of purified mysteranium to use in electrical experiments. Moore used the college's resources and often let his friends watch. When Moore and his friends got drunk on New Year's Eve, he decided to show off a project he'd been working on and accidentally shocked himself. Moore suffered mild burns, and immediately afterward developed the ability to walk through walls at will. Moore would become involved in a string of high-profile robberies, though his illustrious career came to an end a year and a half later when one of his cohorts knifed him in his sleep to take his stolen goods.

In 1927, a group of miners discovered a patch of mysteranium-laced quartz and, after discovering that exposing them to electricity made them glow, used them as lights to navigate the mines. 19-year-old Robert Perkins accidentally electrocuted himself while attempting to charge the crystals thus. He survived with minimal injuries, but subsequently developed superhuman strength, durability, and the ability to see in the dark. This is the first confirmed mysteranium incident in the US. Although it was initially believed that the crystals were to blame, modern research indicates it was more likely that Perkins ingested small amounts of mysteranium dust while working.

In 1942, an experiment headed by Dr. David Bell to research the potential application of mysteranium for military use attempted to re-create the conditions of the 1927 Robert Perkins incident. Three test subjects, all volunteers, were subjected to the same currents of electricity in conditions which precisely re-created (including the location) the exact conditions of Perkins' freak accident. Volunteer A, a male of 18 years gained superhuman strength and his skin took on a thick, rocky appearance that offered protection from most injuries. Although Subject A performed well in combat for several months, he later experienced severe depression and outbursts of violence. It's believed that Subject A's mental state was a result of societal rejection based on his physical appearance. Volunteer B, a male of 21 years, experienced no change in physical status at all, even when voltage was increased beyond what a human should have been able to survive. Little else is known about Subject B except that he enjoyed a very successful career as an electrician after the war. Subject C, a male of 19 years, did not survive.

In 1953, 32-year-old Wendy Duvall of Solomon, Nevada was struck by lightning. Duvall was unharmed but gained the ability to fly and to navigate perfectly, even when blindfolded. Tests of the area revealed trace amounts of mysteranium in the drinking water. To prevent further incident, the government claimed that nuclear testing had rendered the town unsafe to live in, and residents evacuated. A government facility has since been built over Solomon's location.

In 1986, 22-year-old Nick Murley from Wollongong, Australia was electrocuted during a construction accident. He gained the ability to levitate and move objects up to 5000 pounds at up to seventy five feet away, had nearly impenetrable skin, and had bones that could withstand several tons of pressure. Murley, who is one of the most powerful MEPs on record, ultimately made a living working as a freelance construction contractor. He also used his powers to assist in disaster aid, and in 1992 was instrumental in stopping the fire-starting-and-controlling eco-terrorist Mary Colton from her spree of setting cars and gas stations on fire.

Related SoulMettle content:

The National Mega-Threat Research & Response Administration

Other pages of interest:

Tips & Ideas To Make Better & More Interesting Powers

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