One of the primary courses in the core curriculum taken by cadets at the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies, Metagenetics is the study of metahuman ability manifestation, development and categorization.
The correct pronunciation of the course is ' meta-GEN-etics ', instead of ' meta-gen-net-ics '.
Metahuman Classification in Metagenetics
One primary point taught in metagenetics is the classification of the forms of metahuman power development or acquisition. The following five 'forms' are the current classifications used by the United States Government and taught to USAES cadets:
Form One - single-generation independent metahuman development. This development form includes Homo Sapiens Superior (mutants) and other individuals who are born with metahuman abilities, but (usually) do not manifest until puberty. (Those who spontaneously manifest at birth or before puberty are referred to as 'evolved humans'.) These individuals usually have no previous examples of metahuman abilities in their family history OR have previous examples, but have developed radically different abilities than other members of their family. Less than one percent of the metahumans known are classified as Form One.
Form Two - anomalous-catalyst metagene activation. This form includes all individuals (most unknown) who possess a chromosomal/genetic variant known as the 'Metagene', which causes metahuman development if the person is subjected to some form of extreme stressful situation or environment involving the immediate possibility of death (A highly common occurrence in these situations is the inclusion of some variant in the environment or situation which provides a 'template' for the 'Metagene' to imprint from; however, the 'Metagene' does not require this to activate, and many cases of spontaneous 'Metagene' activation are known.) This is seen as the ultimate manifestation of the ‘fight-or-flight’ reflex. Between 18-20% of the entire human population is estimated to have Form Two potential, and the majority of known metahumans are classified as Form Two. The White Event, the alien virus that gave rise to the Wild Cards and the encounter with the comet in the 1970's that have rise to The Seedlings are textbook examples of wide-scale Form Two manifestation events.
Form Three - linear generational metahuman manifestation. Individuals who were born with metahuman (or the potential for same), but have either similar or complimentary abilities to abilities possessed by immediate family members. 90% of Form Three metahumans will give birth to offspring who will also possess metahuman abilities (and some will still possess the one-in-five chance of also possessing the 'Metagene').
Form Four – radically-induced metagenetic development. Normal humans who were subjected to some form of procedure to specifically give them metahuman abilities. Forms Two and Four metahumans are similar, except for the fact that Form Four metahumans do not possess the 'Metagene'.
Form Five - Mystically-augmented metagenetic development. Humans with mystical potentials (those with pure magical power and those with metahuman abilities that have a mystical basis) are listed under this form. It is a separate listing because the laws of magic can and in many cases do supersede the laws of known/understood reality in the way they affect the human form.
Form Six - baseline-normal human development. No metahuman abilities or the possibility for development of abilities. This covers normal humans and is used only for statistical purposes.