A UNITED STATES FEDERAL EMPLOYEE META-HUMAN EDUCATION INITIATIVE NOTIFICATION
FIVE SIMPLE STEPS: YOUR FIELD GUIDE TO THE META-HUMAN CLASS SYSTEM
A meta-human, or 'power', is traditionally defined as an individual who possesses traits or is capable of actions that cannot be replicated in an unmodified 'genetically standard' human being without the aid of technology or magic. Technically speaking, a significant minority of humans come under this definition. It is when the range of aberration is such that government policies of public safety, law enforcement, correctional management and national security must take them into account, that they qualify for the Class system.
The Class system is made up of five tiers, into which individuals are fitted based on their powered traits, not on their person. Ability, intelligence or personality are not taken into account – the Class system is indicative only of an individual's meta-human status. Security responses must be formulated from a much wider range of data, though the Class system is intended to provide a rapid baseline for response coordination, particularly on the field.
The five tiers to the system are as follows:
A Class 5 power is any individual who satisfies the basic definition of meta-human, with the addendum that their aberrant features are in any way relevant on commercial, criminal or security terms. A Class 5 security threat can likely be attended to with the same law enforcement and correctional staff and equipment as a non-powered individual, though extra caution is often warranted. Over 13% of the United States prison population is composed of Class 5 powers. Though individuals classified as Class 5 are legally obliged to register with the National Meta-Human Registry, they are typically not approached for Society membership or other government service relying on the application of meta-human ability.
A Class 4 power is a meta-human who, in a security situation, would require the application of non-standard tactics or equipment, though potentially implemented by standard staff. Law enforcement faced with a Class 4 security threat may or may not require the assistance of so-called 'Cape Buster' personnel, but any criminal case involving a Case 4 falls under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Powered Affairs. A Class 4 prisoner can be housed in the appropriate wing of a standard correctional facility and all federal buildings and security details are considered fit to process and hold a Class 4 individual when required.
Class 3 contains any meta-human who is capable, by their inherent ongoing meta-abilities alone, of representing a security threat that standard law enforcement and correctional staff and facilities are incapable of containing. Standard military procedure, however, will often suffice. Law enforcement faced with a Class 3 threat are instructed to secure the perimeter, evacuate civilians and immediately contact the BPA. The 'Cape Buster' unit's success rate of pacifying Class 3 security threats has reached almost 100% following the 1997 McKinley Act. As a result, Society intervention is no longer standard procedure in Class 3 criminal cases. The majority of Society members are themselves Class 3 individuals.
A Class 2 meta-human capable of engaging with both BPA staff and military forces. While the BPA possesses protocols and security capability for Class 2 cases, Society intervention is to be expected. Even with significant military commitment, a Class 2 threat by definition will likely result in casualties. The application of Class 2 personnel forms a major part of modern military strategy. Small Class 3 Society teams may prove insufficient, though any coordinated response from the Society against a single Class 2 individual will be a short one.
A Class 1 meta-human is an individual who, in a security situation, demands a major and ongoing military commitment or a meta-human of equal classification for resolution. A fairly accurate truism regarding this Class is “it takes one to beat one”. Successful alternatives have included military mobilisation, nuclear weapons and quantum disruptor technology, though the costs associated with these approaches have seen Society deployment remain the most common response to a Class 1 situation. Since the 1997 reformation of the BPA and Society, the Society's central mission statement is to safeguard America from the threats that cannot be dealt with any other way – the Class 1 threat. With never more than a few dozen simultaneously active in American history, any active Class 1 Society member is almost certainly a household name.