Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Colony (description) (super person universe)

[Originally posted over a year ago on my Patreon  The plan was to polish and organize it before making a post here.  All this time, haven't touched it, so I'm just cutting and pasting.]

Aside and introduction:
For those unfamiliar, the index to stuff I've done so far in the my super person universe can be found here though it's not entirely up to date and obviously doesn't include Patreon only stuff that I haven't ported over yet.

Looking it over, at this point it mostly seems to be snapshots of lesbian superheroes (including one aro lesbian) and with a couple of gender conforming trans characters in there too.  (And some straight people too.)

But, anyway, to the point, this is just a rough semi-stream of consciousness description:

The Colony is an overarching supervillian organization that was first introduced, though not in detail, here, and . . . I cannot find anything anywhere else in spite of being reasonably sure I did write more about them. [Found it, see post script.]

The Colony takes villainy seriously.  Paperwork must be filled out, procedures must be followed, villainous plots need to be described in detail and submitted for approval, risk assessments are carried out, the healthcare plan very much includes mental health it is highly recommended that agents make use of this fact.

There are performance reports and reviews, and . . . they're very much not into the whole cackling "I will take over the world and show all those people who laughed at me in university" thing.

While they call themselves "The Colony" and members are known to talk about getting into the woodwork, being in the woodwork, or feeding off the detritus of a rotten place,  they do not require their members to dress up in silly termite costumes and the organization is not a themed one.

While operations range from simple smash and grab jobs to complex years long Xanthosian schemes, one thing that never changes is that The Colony always maintains a no-casualty record.  Part of it is pragmatic, part of it is that they do have a set of values.

Colony teams are generally openly villainous, but The Colony maintains a variety of subdivisions with various levels of legality.  This intersects with their values most strongly in power-hostile jurisdictions like Raptor's home state where they offer the only reliable non-underground safe haven.

Their education apparatus is a completely above board private accredited system which can allow a powered individual to go from kindergarten to attaining a PHD without ever having to fear being arrested, disappeared, beaten, killed, (or even merely mistreated) for their divergence from the norm.

There was a time when various heroes were convinced that this was some indoctrination (or even brainwashing) scheme, it turned out to be nothing of the sort.  The education was top notch, there were no attempts to sway the students to their side, and in fact many eventual heroes were protected by being sent to a Colony boarding school in their youth.

That doesn't mean that the schools aren't useful to Colony recruitment, because they certainly are, but rather that they are not intended for that purpose.  The Colony is vehemently opposed to intolerance in general and intolerance against those with powers in particular.  It is also the case that Colony values state that education is a human right.

The fact that this nets them new recruits and also leads to heroes that aren't particularly interested in fighting them is just a bonus.

Preferred Colony missions involve theft, espionage, blowing up (thrice verified empty) unsightly buildings and then getting a Colony owned company the contract to build something more aesthetically pleasing, political manipulation, occasional kidnapping (but the kidnapping victim must be afforded every luxury for the duration of their captivity) using the inevitable fights with superheroes as distractions or disruptions that benefit subtler plots, taking advantage of market inefficiencies, and so forth.

In general, though, individual teams are given a lot of freedom to do what they want in their area, provided that they submit their proposals in writing in a timely manner and said proposals don't conflict with higher Colony priorities.  (And said proposals, you know, make sense.  If the team wants to turn all of the traffic lights into cheese they had better have one Hell of a good pitch as to why this is a thing worth doing.)

Since The Colony is ubiquitous it's extremely useful for villains that like moving around but don't want to have to start from scratch every new place they stay for a while.  Since it focuses on crimes against property rather than against people, it draws in people who are willing to become criminals, but don't want to hurt anyone (and The Colony is good a minimizing indirect harm through their good-publicity-generating charitable organizations.)

In fact, since they're not out to hurt people even the hero community has found a use for them: sending new heroes on missions against them is about as safe as heroing can be.  Yes, there are the customary epic fights, but those fights are ones both sides can walk away from.  (In pain, sure, but that's part of the job.)

The Colony is considered a joke by the kind of villain who'd vaporize three city blocks to get someone's attention, but they're resilient, profitable, long lived, and widespread; plus: members have a comfortable standard of living.  This does include the janitors, and yes: they are unionized.


I knew I'd written about The Colony somewhere else because I knew I'd talked about their schools.  Found it (apparently I had different capitalization rules then):

[...] the Colony runs a great many schools for gifted youths.

They have higher education too. You can go from preschool to getting a real live PHD without ever leaving the Colony school system.

This can be a very useful thing when you're afraid your powers (or you child's powers) will manifest at school and you live in a place where it's not safe to have powers.

The fact that the Colony doesn't actually pressure anyone to stay with them after leaving their schools leads to a higher retention rate than they project would occur if the graduates believed they were being forced into Colony work.

This makes attitudes towards the Colony extremely complex. Some of the very heroes who end up fighting against Colony teams were only saved from horrible things because a Colony school gave them a full scholarship. (The only case it isn't a full scholarship is when the potential student's family is really fucking rich.)

The termites get into everything, but sometimes that's a good thing. In the morally rotting areas of the world, they provide the fertilizer that outside~the~norm young people need to grow.


  1. I am not sure you and I have recognizably similar definitions of what it means to be a villain.

    1. They're the light and fluffy criminals.

    2. "Light and fluffy criminals" are very much appreciated when one needs a break from Darkness And Edginess.


  2. This is so amazing! And the super person universe in general, too, but these folks extra. (snuggles the paperwork)

    index yes good