In the novel Potentia, genetic engineering can give humans “superhuman” abilities. Using CRISPR Cas-9 and other related technology, scientists are able to modify a person’s genetic code to make them stronger, create additional senses, and extend natural human abilities.

After years of research and human trials, companies were able to make these genetic superpowers available to the general public. Different companies research and develop their own powers to sell as a monthly subscription packages.

Governments regulate these superpowers and require certain conditions for the user to operate. This may include a health checkup and registration as a superpower user. By law, companies program the powers to deteriorate gradually to prevent any permanent genetic changes to the user.

Regulations require that these superpowers ONLY be activated by a trigger point located in the inner forearm of the user. This point is a bundle of nerve tissue that responds to the activation sequence and initiates the power after a few seconds.

Superpowers are generally classified into two broad categories:

The following are superpowers present in the book Potentia

Electricity Manipulation Superpowers (Electrokinesis)

Electrokinesis is the ability to manipulate and produce electricity from your hands. This superpower requires electric eel organs, called electrocytes, that produce an electric current. These organs produce a shock from the fingertips to stun or incapacitate a foe.

These electrocytes are sandwiched between two insulating layers of fatty tissue to prevent shock damage. Typically, the electrocytes cover the entire arm and can produce lethal levels of electricity.

A diet of fatty foods and vitamin capsules are necessary to successfully graft the fatty layers and electrocytes to the host’s bones. A diet rich in potassium and fatty foods is necessary to ensure the constant use of the superpower.

El Pacto del Diablo (Devil’s Pact) favor the electrokinesis superpower for its variability. They created their powers using their own equipment making them prone to short circuits within the arm that lead to cell damage.

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Fire Manipulation Superpowers (Pyrokinesis)

superpowers for pyrokinesis. Arm with muscle displayed showing cutout of muscle and organs embedded to arm. Bombardier beetle cross section displayed showing chemical storage and ejecting chemical spray.

Pyrokinesis is the ability to eject fire from the palm of your hands. This superpower takes inspiration from the Bombardier beetle which spews a chemical spray from within its body. Mimicking this, the user of this power ejects a flammable liquid stored in their arm, ignites the fluid in their palm, and releases flames.

To protect from burns, a thin, insulating silica layer covers the fingers and palm of the hand. Diatoms inspired this design as they naturally produce a silica shell.

A special diet of silica and protein tablets are required for constant use. The flammable liquid is stored in hydrocarbon sacs along the arms. An artificially grown muscular “pumping” layer transports the liquid to the palms. Ruptured hydrocarbon sacs can leach into the surrounding cells and blood causing inflammation.

The weakest Prosperidad gang, La Jauria (the Wolfpack), favors pyrokinesis for its destructive and powerful nature. Lack of sophisticated genetic tools often leads to cancerous growths and explosive accidents.

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Enhanced Strength (Hyper-kinetics)

Hyper-kinetics, or enhanced strength, is an ability that gives the user hysterical strength. This ability strengthens physical attacks, improves speed through stronger leg muscles, or increases durability.

During operation, the user enters an accelerated metabolic state as their muscles begin to work overtime. This leads to rapid muscle twitching requiring excess perspiration (usually in the form of steam) to minimize overheating. The user must enter a state of chronostasis that appears to slow down time to control this ability.

No special diet is required for this superpower as it draws from the natural strength of the user. The user can improve their physique and muscular development to enhance the powers use. Because this ability requires no xenogenes, it is one of the most developed and stable powers in the market.

Care must be taken not to overextend the users natural muscular capacity which may lead to ruptures in the muscle. The enhanced durability decreases blunt force trauma but still leaves the user susceptible to cuts from sharp objects.

Los Alterados (The Altered) is the most powerful gang in Prosperidad and consists of very few, skilled members who specialize in the Berserker superpower. They are often very fit and prefer hunting other gang members alone.

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