The National Mega-Threat Research and Response Administration

Founded in 1998, the National Mega-Threat Research and Response Administration, or NMTRRA (pronounced "nimtra"), is a government organization created to research and deal with unusually large and drastic threats on US soil. Its headquarters is located in Ramton, Colorado.

NMTRRA often uses extraordinarily gifted individuals to deal with threats where possible. This enables them to quickly tackle problems that might otherwise require mobilizing larger numbers of military or paramilitary forces. Essentially, the NMTRRA approach is overall cheaper and more efficient than the alternative, and creates a far less menacing presence in the eyes of the public.

The Defensive Action Response Team (DART) System

Because threats that require a NMTRRA response are relatively rare, the organization does not maintain any standing reponse teams. Rather, they use more of a reserve force system. NMTRRA seeks out qualified individuals and usually offers them any additional training they may require.

There are several factors that go into NMTRRA's selection process. First of all, an individual must be at least eighteen years old, no exceptions. They usually seek out those who already have training and experience in relevant fields, so many of them come from military or paramilitary backgrounds, or from something similar. (Which means that in practice, most of them are substantially older than eighteen.)

Attitudes and personal histories are taken into account, too. Those who have a record of violence and low self-control are disqualified as candidates. So are those who show a general apathy toward human life and safety, or an overall belligerent attitude. Also, those with extraordinary abilities must be fully capable of wielding them without posing a greater risk of collateral damage than comparable standard weapons, tools, and techniques that would be used otherwise.

(And for these reasons, surly authority-hating teenagers with uncontrollable powers of destruction need not worry about NMTRRA trying to recruit them!)

Those who are selected will usually be brought to a training facility located several miles outside of Ramton for orientation and training, which can last up to a few weeks. Here, they will have their skills and powers evaluated to determine their capabilities and where they might be able to prove. They will also learn how to operate as part of a Defensive Action Response Team, or DART. Once this training period is over, they will return to their regular lives until they are called in as needed or as they require further training (such as with new weapons or potential hazards).

When on the job, NMTRRA members wear tactical gear comparable to military uniforms; however, they are usually designed to look somewhat different from whatever the US military is wearing to prevent civilian confusion. But no matter what they look like, they are designed for functionality first and foremost - there are no bodysuits, leather pants, or domino masks to be found here.

Causing greater collateral damage with one's powers than would have been caused with comparable standard methods and tools legally requires an inquiry and hearing to determine whether or not causing the damage was willful or accidental. If willful, the offending party is to be charged accordingly. If accidental, the offending party is to be charged if it is determined that negligent behavior was involved.

In 2008, NMTRRA member Nellie Meyer ended up in a heated argument with one of her teammates while on a mission. Meyer's ability to manipulate weather was linked to her emotions, and as a result a massive windstorm occurred that caused severe property damage and injured several people. Meyer attempted to argue that none of it was her fault because she hadn't meant for anything to happen, and besides that her teammate should have known better than to argue, but it was determined that since Meyer was well aware that her ability would be set off by a heightened emotional state and that she had done nothing to prevent this emotional state from occurring, she was guilty of wanton negligence. Meyer was dishonorably discharged and sentenced to five years in a military prison.

It must be noted that per international law, NMTRRA legally cannot simply just send DARTs into any country it pleases. To send armed forces into another country without permission would be considered an act of war. Furthermore, many countries have organizations similar to NMTRRA and can fend for themselves.

NMTRRA's Research, Development, & Outreach Programs

NMTRRA employs scientists to research potential assets and threats, to gain a greater understanding of known phenomena, and to research ways to counter or defend against dangerous phenomena.

One of NMTRRA's first projects was to research how mysteranium-enhanced people could get better control of powers they had difficulty with. They did this by interviewing known MEPs and asking them how they did it, and by interviewing various counselors and therapists to ask them what methods worked for their patients. After this, they had several MEPs who had difficulty controlling their powers try these techniques to find out which ones worked. The results of this study were used to write a book containing tips and techniques to help MEPs gain control of their powers, which was released in 2001. It has gone through several editions since then, but it has always been available as a free download on their public website.

NMTRRA also researches ways to suppress and contain various powers and abilities. Studies on MEP power suppression began back in 1999. Groups of MEP-C1s (C1s being those with the weakest or most ineffectual powers) who felt their powers were mainly inconveniences were used as test subjects. Among methods tried were various drugs, clothing designed to ground energy, and even magical wards. Over the course of several years, several effective drugs were discovered. Grounding clothing turned out to be fairly useful for keeping electrical powers under control. Magical wards, on the other hand, did little to nothing.

NMTRRA also researches ways for non-powered forces (such as police) to effectively defend themselves and civilians. They occasionally send people out to instruct these people and train them in what to do, particularly in areas with dense populations. Among the primary topics they teach are how to use non-violent de-escalation methods try to buy time for NMTRRA to arrive and how to get people off the streets (preferably back to their homes if possible, but if not, into any serviceable buildings) and keep them off.

Related SoulMettle content:

Magic: An Overview

Other pages of interest:

Creating & Writing Fictional Organizations

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