Parahuman Preview: The P-Factor

By: Takashimi Oshoti, Director of P-Factor Genetics, Zaibatsu Corporation (translated)

Despite access to the best genetics technology available in the world, the Parahuman Uncertainty Factor, or P-Factor as it is commonly called, remains a solid mystery. But what, exactly, do we know?

Through study of genetic samples from parahumans ranging across all currently recognized scientific categories, we can determine a few similarities. Frustratingly, predicting and controlling the natural genetic spontaneity of the P-Factor, or producing parahuman mutation on a genetic level to predetermine the abilities and presence of parahuman capabilities, remains one of our top unachieved goals.

What is known is that the parahuman DNA structure contains an additional amino strand. While the standard human DNA structure contains a helix-shaped amino complex, the parahuman complex contains a third strand which runs down the center of the complex. It is believed that this amino strand is what enables the parahumans to develop their powers and abilities.

Furthermore, few are born with this third amino strand, making the category of the Born something of a misnomer, as they almost always develop the strand later in life. Of the 150,000 test subjects monitored for a period of 30 years (see notes on the Oni Project), only 5% developed the strand naturally. Only .2% of those were born with the third stand, and all of those fell into the Immortals classification. The remaining 4.8% of subjects developed the strand over a period of time ranging from early childhood (3% of the cases) to late adolescence (70% of cases) to adulthood (20% of cases). This number includes those categorized as both Born and Mystics. It was impossible to conclude which of the subjects would exhibit the P-Factor, nor which abilities would be developed. Approximately 72% of the subjects developed what are known as “minor abilities,” which have little to no practical application. The remaining 18% developed the “major abilities” we associate with parahumans in the media.

Another 4% of the remaining non-parahuman test subjects were able to be induced, categorized as Experiments (see notes on the Zhinma project). Of those 5,700 Experiments, 80% grew the third amino-strand, but were killed by the process. The remaining 20% developed functional and useful parahuman abilities.

As a note of interest, samples of Clatishian DNA gathered from the Rosewll crash site and the later Invasion, as well as willing Clatishian donors, share the third amino-acid strand, though they have an additional triglyceride. This perhaps gives some credence to old cultural beliefs that the first parahumans were created by beings from the stars.

Attempts to induce Experiment status on unborn fetuses, both vat-clone and natural, resulted in a 100% mortality rate. In vat-clone children, successful Experiment status was able to be induced somewhat earlier than natural children; within the first tri-year state for vat-clones as opposed to no earlier than the 5th year for natural children.

Among survivors of the Zhinma Project, some uniformity was able to be obtained between various subjects, primarily the ability to appear completely normal, and to supply these Experiments with three identifiable levels of abilities. The first grade of Zhinma, while the weakest, are the easiest to control genetically. Dai and Hyper-grade Zhinma, however, prove to foil our attempts to completely shape the outcome of their genetic mutation, so the progress with the first grade of Zhinma should not be considered success in controlling the elusive P-Factor.

It is widely believed by researchers on the project that the strange and unreadable notes hidden throughout the original tract on the Wunderkind formulae might well provide the answers needed to control the P-Factor and the way it mutates. Unfortunately, the notes on translating the language in which the notes are scribbled were not delivered with our initial package of Wunderkind serum and research logs. And if the rumors about the original experiments are correct, it is questionable as to whether it would be morally correct to even successfully translate the notes were we to actually receive the information needed to decrypt them.

Perhaps fortune will smile upon us with the G2 Project.

[tags]Parahuman,Mutants & Masterminds,RPGs,superheroes[/tags]

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