May 21, 2019 1:08 PM
Lorica lands in sentinels!mutant world
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"Each of us has one of our dads' powers verbatim, which is something that happens sometimes but not always--like we have a cousin who got his dad's power exactly, too, but there's also this friend we have who inherited variants on both of his parents' powers. And we know the direct inheritance thing isn't just an our-family genetic thing because his mom--"

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"--our aunt whose artificially-replicated tissues enable the Sentinels to be so dangerous--"

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"--was adopted."

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"Cape families can have trends - New Wave are all similar except their adopted one too - but my dad and I have really different powers. He's a teleporter."

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"If you were mutants then my guess would be that if your mom had had the X-Gene she would've been a Tinker."

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"Mom's not a cape, and if she did trigger she'd probably branch off Dad."

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"Yeah, you're way more explicable in our system than yours."

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"Once, back before everything, there was this anecdote that came up--there was this guy who married two different unrelated mutant women, divorced each of 'em after he found out but not before he'd had kids with them, and each of the women had one mutant kid, and the kids' mutations were nothing like their moms' but a lot like each others'."

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"Huh. And this guy didn't even have the gene - so its expression is controlled by something else?"

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"We think so."

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"Weird. Why would genes for powers even exist in the general population? I guess if they're applied like random numbers to some set of outcomes that the gene has available as a preset list, but that's - bizarre. And you'd expect a high proportion of useless or worse powers, though maybe there was one."

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"Yeah, we're really far on the useful end of the bellcurve. And, like, Hank helped a lot--the kid I told you about who inherited variants on both parents' powers? His dad shot uncontrollable rings of plasma all over the place until Hank invented a vest that let him focus it into beams, and his mom--actually his other dad but, like, his incubating parent, he was like us that way--his power was basically that he could survive anything, which is the only reason that pregnancy resulted in neither of them dying, because the baby's variant on Dad 1's power was incontinent plasma eye beams, Hank eventually figured out goggles that worked but until then the two of them had to stay in the underground bunker after the kid was born so no one would get hurt."

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"Huh. I'd be surprised to hear about a parahuman with incontinent plasma eye beams and I'd expect a survive-anything power to - be described differently, but that's likely just cultural."

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"His power's way more complicated than that it's just that survive-anything is de facto part of it and it's the part that's relevant to carrying to term a baby that starts incontinently plasma eye beaming during the second trimester."

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"Anyway, part of that anecdote is that we think the bell curve is being affected by the fact that a lot of the more inconvenient mutations just fail to produce a living mutant."

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"One possibility that we've considered is that the X-Gene has been around for a long time and the only reason it's being noticed now is that mutations are finally producing more visible survivors than lethal manifestations after a long period of selection."

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"Wouldn't the gene have been selected away long ago if it depressed fertility and seldom produced a good power?"

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Shrug. "Dunno. Like I said, we were six the last time this was being seriously studied."

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"It's okay, we're pretty functional for as fucked up as we are."

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"I appreciate that."

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"Survivorship bias."

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"Capes manage to get to be astonishingly fucked in the head and kick around like that for years, but yeah, I suppose naively that's kind of odd and I shouldn't expect it here."

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"Also you probably have more surviving capes."

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"Cape life expectancy is really, really bad, but there's always more triggering, so yeah."

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