This is not a complete time line; it is only meant to provide a general idea of major events that occurred differently from real history.
1908: The Tunguska Event
A comet exploded over rural Russia with 15 megatons of force (which wasn’t matched until the USA’s Castle Bravo nuclear test in 1954) flattening trees for kilometers in every direction. A small crystalline fragment from the comet sank into the local mud which would eventually grow into the alien being known as The Venusian over the course of decades. The sample was found and brought to a laboratory in Moscow a few weeks after the explosion. At the time it was noted only as an oddity for emitting intermittent, weak radio waves.
1920: Rare metals deposit
A large deposit of multiple rare metals including but not limited to Iridium, Thorium, Titanium, Platinum, and various rare earth elements were found just outside the small town of Gunsight, AZ. The resulting mining boom, which is still ongoing as of 2015, caused the ascension of Gunsight, AZ as the industrial capital of Arizona.
1977: At First, a Trickle
A man lifted a station wagon off his child after a massive pile up on the local interstate. He found that afterwards his strength remained at an extremely high level and was able to lift up to four tons without bodily injury. This man would go on to become a founding member of The Alliance as Lift.
Later that year the human running speed record would be broken by four different individuals who would prove to be the first instances of so called “speedsters.”
1979: The Trickle Becomes a Stream
The number of annual Expression Events, as scientists had dubbed the moment powers manifest, increased sixfold in slightly less than two years. Enough people began manifesting powers that villains began to surface in earnest around this time.
1980: An Alien Among Us
The Venusian, who had managed to smuggle himself to England, publicly announces its existence. Eventually it voluntarily moves to the USA after concerns that Soviet agents would be able to “acquire” it if it remained in Britain. This revelation is the reason most newscasts and official paperwork began using the term “Meta Person” in place of “Meta Human,” a trend which has continued to present day. He would be the first extraplanetary alien granted US Citizenship the following year.
1982: The Stream Becomes an Ocean
Depending on the study; the number of annual Expression Events increased between ten and twelve fold between 1979 and 1983.
An urban legend began circulating indicating that this rate would increase until all members of the human race possessed powers; speculative fiction from around this time is lousy with this theme.
1983: The Founding of The Assembly
It was founded by the members of several North American and European teams on September 20th, 1983 in Questing, NY, USA. It was was created with the backing of over a dozen national governments, primarily members of NATO, for the joint goals of meta person responsibility, government sponsored damage coverage, and to counteract the growing number of well organized state sponsored meta persons in the Soviet Union and China.
1984: The Kano Threat Scale
The Assembly adopts the Kano Threat Scale.
1988: The Buran
The russian Buran spacecraft enters service on November 30th.
1991: The Iron Curtain Falls
As the Soviet Union dissolved the formerly government sponsored heroes join the european branch of the assembly as a satellite operation in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia.
1992: The Ocean Remains an Ocean
Three independent studies confirm that the overall rate of Expression Events leveled off in 1983 and hasn’t appreciably changed. All follow up studies have confirmed these results.
This doesn’t stop the urban legend about a total “Meta Humanity” from continuing in certain circles.
1994: The Refugees
In March 1994 the Hubble telescope showed a fast moving streak on several frames. Follow up observations reveal it is an artificial vessel roughly 400 meters long moving at 0.1c and braking. Within a few days various space agencies had sent thousands of radio communications and flashing laser signals in an attempt to make first contact. On the fourth day the world was rewarded with a simple audio only radio message which said “There are thousands of us. We are dying. Please help us.” The vessel then entered a high parking orbit. What followed was nearly a year of UN backed shuttle and buran launches using modified cargo bays to bring the survivors earthside from a ship suffering severe mechanical failures and a lack of supplies. The survivors were seeded across a variety of countries.
The refugees insisted that they were fleeing from some sort of intelligent, adapting, organism consuming being they universally refer to as various translations of The Enemy.
1995: The First Non-Human Expression Event
While the evacuation of the remaining refugees from their ship was still roughly 30% from completion; one of their number experienced an Expression Event when a terrorist attack caused a building to collapse on the five refugees staying there. Unfortunately the other four died while he survived from the development of hyper tough bones and skin. The refugees were especially perplexed as none of their number had ever had a development like this on their own planets. Scientists often point to this as proof there is something environmental on Earth causing Expression Events, not necessarily something internal or genetic.
1996: The First Instance of a Mechanical Expression Event?
US based Omni Science LLC, on contract from the Defense Department, developed six simple artificial intelligence programs to assist in the burgeoning cyber warfare field. As a safety precaution they were hard coded with a scorched earth copy lock; the process of copying would destroy the originals. Within a year it became evident that the field of AI was simply not up to the task as unassisted hackers proved much more able to respond to and recognize threats than those “assisted” by the AIs. The decision was made to delete them. As the process began a very worrying and rapid series of events began to occur. The AIs scanned and attacked the security of the systems on which they resided. They found a single open line and began copying themselves onto the open internet. The Omni Science personnel began working furiously to close them off and managed to shut down the open line; the deletion was completed when the AIs were at 26% copy completion. The severely crippled AIs somehow managed to cobble themselves together into something resembling a single working program now known as the villain Fragment.
This event is divisive among researchers of Expression Events. It meets many of the criteria; suddenly new abilities were manifested in response to being pushed to their limits. However many futurists have pointed out that this was simply a narrowly avoided technological singularity with none of what they call the “supernatural-ness” of the abilities generally possessed by meta persons.
2000: Alternate Planes of Existence… Exist
While testing interactions between multiple EM wavelengths and the portal creating powers of a rogue on staff, a portal was opened to a world now labeled Tartarus in a secret Omni Science laboratory . Before the portal closed dozens of demon-like beings and huge beasts entered our reality; not all of them were accounted for after the Alliance arrived to provide aid at the site. Since this event portals originating from Tartarus have opened on occasion only for what appear to be small, organized scouting groups to retreat back through them when met with resistance.
2004: International Lunar Base Construction Begins
2006: Omni Science LLC Goes Bankrupt
Omni Science LLC quietly shut its doors after years of legal troubles. Most items in developement or production were seized by the US government. However, a small cache was taken by the former CTO now known as the rogue Bulwark.
2011: International Lunar Base Construction Completed
2012: The Ripper Incident
The first Class S threat encountered. It was a young man in Canada who experienced an Expression Event during a psychotic break. The Expression Event left him in a permanent psychotic state and gifted him with extreme matter/energy manipulation abilities out to a range of roughly 100 kilometers. The Assembly classified him designation: Ripper, Class S after he destroyed the Washington State Assembly team and the British Columbia Assembly team in roughly ten seconds by completely obliterating all matter on the northern half of Vancouver Island aside from himself. The incident came just short of a scorched earth nuclear strike when multiple force field manipulators managed to cut him to ribbons. The largest piece remaining was his left hand, which went missing before a hazmat team could collect it.
June 2015: Hydra
A Class B threat assembled itself by first infecting drug users using Primal (unknown pathogen or element at the time of its arrival) and then assembling itself via absorbing infected portions of their tissue. It was stopped by a joint team lead by HEROs team lead Boreas.
Death Toll: 1,084
Delta has rated the chance that this Threat is associated with a separate Class A or greater threat at 58%