With Great Power...
National Institute of Health, Office of Biotechnology Activities – Monitoring, Assessment, and Enforcement
“You thought dealing with Fannie Mae or Sallie Mae was rough…just pray you never run into Oba Mae.”
Little is certain about OBA, an unpublicized branch of the National Institute of Health. The mission statements frame it as a quiet little corner of the bureaucracy, focused on monitoring and regulating medical research for the betterment of mankind. A little digging in federal budget records, though, shows a vast amount of funding for equipment and staff that doesn’t mesh with the image of good guys in lab coats with pocket protectors, being funneled into their “Monitoring, Assessment, and Enforcement” program. So what are they hiding?
The reason for the facade is that they deal with something most people don’t believe exist: superpowers, or what they refer to as “NAMs (Nonstandard Ability Manifestations).” Once scientists identified the genetic code linked to superpowers in the late 1960s, all children born after that were genetically tested. Any who showed latent abilities were tracked (and later, implanted with microchips for constant monitoring).
The project, commonly referred to as “Oba Mae,” aims to protect Americans from potentially dangerous abilities. While they continue to work to understand NAMs…they also guard against people who would make such abilities public or use them for harm.
Groups like Theta may claim to be fighting for “mutant freedom,” but Oba Mae knows this to be reckless idealism. Refusing to cooperate with the rules put in place for public safety puts everyone at risk, and they will not allow it.
Dr. Jonah Parker was a research scientist for Oba Mae until he experienced a NAM during a disagreement with his superior about beginning ability stress tests on Devan and Serena Matthews’ young daughters, Emma and Ginny. Though he initially helped the family escape, he later convinced Serena to bring the girls back to a trusted colleague at Oba Mae for their own safety. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.