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Subject: A Comprehensive Report

Chapter Text

Notes of Abdul Attar, social scientist studying the nomadic Bajau people of Southeast Asia, 1960:

As for the son of Jatmin, I still have not seen the boy. I have overheard some of the older folk talking about him fearfully, although whether they are afraid for him or of him, I am unsure. The Bajau language is an amalgamation of Southeast Asian languages, and I am still not completely fluent. I heard them mention their old gods, the ones that existed before Islam came, and something about breathing the water, although this is likely metaphorical.

It is true that Jatmin's wife sells more fish than the other families, and the fish are often bigger and healthier. And last week, she was selling a small bluefin tuna, but it looked as though it had been killed by a speargun. The tuna have already dove to depths that are unreachable by free divers. Perhaps the boy is a very good and dedicated fisherman. Perhaps he is just very lucky. Perhaps - well, no.

Game Chat

mighteye: hey hey you’re on!
NoBrainNoGain: yeah
NoBrainNoGain: i needed a break i guess
mighteye: how's high school going? did u get into the one u wanted?
NoBrainNoGain: hey ur name is really midoriya right?
mighteye: yeah?
NoBrainNoGain: weird question but
NoBrainNoGain: do u have two scars
NoBrainNoGain: like on both cheeks?
mighteye: yeah…
mighteye: wait
NoBrainNoGain: im in ur science class
mighteye: NO WAY
mighteye: aghhh i would have noticed
mighteye: i even have the class list, but like
mighteye: this week has already been crazy
mighteye: wait i thought you were going for heroics programs
NoBrainNoGain: yeah like that was actually going to happen
mighteye: ???
NoBrainNoGain: i dont have a heroic quirk
mighteye: oh yeah that can make mainstream heroics difficult
mighteye: but listen, i wouldn't write it off
NoBrainNoGain: oh u wouldnt
NoBrainNoGain: great fantastic good to hear
NoBrainNoGain: what good advice from the recommended student
mighteye: oh sorry that might have come off wrong
mighteye: i mean, there’s a lot of diverse quirks in mainstream heroics
mighteye: there are even some mainstream heroes with “underground” type quirks
mighteye: so don’t give up!
NoBrainNoGain: “underground” type quirks?
NoBrainNoGain: are u sure u don’t mean villainous quirks
mighteye: no!! i mean quirks that are suited to covert ops!
NoBrainNoGain: oh yeah that makes it so much better
NoBrainNoGain: deception and trickery and manipulation
mighteye: that’s a really reductive description of underground heroics
NoBrainNoGain: its almost like i havent had ppl telling me that id be a great hero
NoBrainNoGain: u know as long as i become one of those underground heroes
NoBrainNoGain: either that or a villain
NoBrainNoGain: u know that underground heroism arose out of a criminal rehabilitation program?
mighteye: yeah, but thats missing about half the context
NoBrainNoGain: everyone’s real fond of telling me that
NoBrainNoGain: oh yes the “context”
NoBrainNoGain: whatever
NoBrainNoGain: u wouldnt even be talking to me if u knew what my quirk was
mighteye: i doubt that
mighteye: i have a lot of friends who have underground quirks
mighteye: so whatever your quirk is, it won’t change what I think of u
NoBrainNoGain: really
NoBrainNoGain: havent heard that before
NoBrainNoGain: especially not from ppl who are fucking blessed
NoBrainNoGain: i bet u “dont care what quirks people have”, right?
mighteye: shinsou its not what u think
NoBrainNoGain: u see the person, not the quirk
NoBrainNoGain: real easy to do that when
mighteye: you're making a lot of assumptions and if you'll let me explain
NoBrainNoGain: your quirk makes ppl think the sun shines out of your ass
NoBrainNoGain: oh IM the one making assumptions?
mighteye: why won’t u listen to me?
NoBrainNoGain: im too tired for this bullshit

NoBrainNoGain is offline.

mighteye: shinsou
mighteye is typing…
mighteye is typing…

mighteye: nevermind

UA takes defensive measures against reporters!

With All-Might teaching at Japan's premier hero school, the spotlight is on UA more than ever. But can they handle it?

This morning, UA triggered its front gates as a flood of reporters descended on the school, hoping to get a few words from the students and the teachers about the #1 Hero. According to the official statement by the school, the gate was triggered by the reporters passing the threshold of the school without a badge, but the reporters present claim that they didn’t trespass on UA grounds.

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of our students,” Principal Nedzu said in an impromptu press conference outside the school’s closed gates. “We are thrilled to have All-Might impart his knowledge to the next generation! We understand his unique position as both a teacher and a public figure, but we cannot compromise the security of UA to satisfy the curiosity of the public. We are an institution that exists, first and foremost, to nurture and to educate our students.”

Two weeks ago, Ibu Ryuuzaki, Japan’s Minister of Education, released statements that condemned UA’s refusal to follow government-mandated standards of education. In the press conference about these statements, Principal Nedzu claimed that UA’s independence was necessary to maintain both its standards and its security. Specific examples of instances where this security was needed were not provided in either that conference or the most current.

“I appreciate my fans and their continued support!” All-Might told reporters at the end of the press conference. “But my number one priority in the coming year is my students! I must request that you treat them with all the respect that you treat me! Please don’t harass them, and please contribute to their education in any way that you can!”

Excerpt from the notes of Abe Hanae, archived in police storage, and recovered from the 2064 Yokohama bust of an illegal genetics lab:

The quirk region on chromosome 20 seems to be dosage-dependent, as expected. The silencing of the mother’s copy of the gene did seem to indicate that more than one active copy of the gene would spell disaster. We’ve confirmed it. Also, knocking out the gene (removing the gene completely) leads to death.

Below I will summarize years of mouse research. I sincerely hope that even if we can never be published, other scientists in the field will see this. I hope that our efforts were not in vain.

We began with two mouse lines, one that was homozygous for the human quirkless allele and one that was homozygous for the quirked allele. The human allele was successfully inserted, and the mouse’s natural chromosome 20 region was excised. Silencing was allowed to happen normally. The mice were able to survive and thrive with the human sequences. The quirkless mice were normal and lived a normal mouse lifespan (See table below, Reference ID: 1). The quirked mice did indeed display quirks. They could be subtle, but all mice underwent frequent blood tests, and the quirked mice all generated metabolites that are assessed in quirk blood tests (2). Some quirks included acid blood, increased speed, and the ability to phase through walls. Mouse containment was certainly a challenge. However, this early success galvanized our team, and we began to generate more complex mouse lines.

First, we decided to assess the outcome of having two unsilenced quirk genes. When the second copy of the allele was unsilenced in the quirkless lineage, the mice were more sickly than normal, and died earlier. There seemed to be neurological abnormalities (3).

In quirked lineages, the mice with two unsilenced copies of the allele died in utero (4). In order to try to understand why the dosage of the gene led to death, one copy of the gene was silenced in the quirked mice throughout development, and then both copies of the gene were unsilenced when the mice reached adulthood (5). The mice died fairly quickly once that occurred. They became voracious and ran fevers as their energy output increased. At the same time, quirk-use byproducts began to build up in their tissues. The most noticeable of these was benzoquinone acetic acid, which appears black when it is deposited in tissue. By the time of death, all mice had turned entirely black. They also developed neurological tics. Autopsies revealed an intense degradation of brain tissue, especially in the frontal cortex.

Knocking out the gene also resulted in fetal death (6). Decreasing the expression of the gene significantly in adulthood led to a slow death in both lineages (7). The mice began to display erratic behaviors and refused to eat. They died from starvation. The autospies showed slight degradation of brain tissue, and it seems likely that a lack of the gene interferes with neurological function.

The table above summarizes our results with respect to genotype and gene expression. In conclusion, too many copies of the quirk gene results in fetal death, and if introduced in adulthood, the body and the quirk going into overdrive, destroying the organism by depleting its energy and cannibalizing its brain tissue. No copies of the gene also leads to fetal death, and if the gene expression is decreased in adulthood, a sharp decline of neurological function and a slow death from starvation.

Spy Kid

Mei: hey i have a guy you should meet!
Mei: like, soon!
Mei: after school?
Mei: hey
Mei: hey
Spy Kid: yes hatsume sorry i’m in class
Mei: that’s boring
Spy Kid: yeah, we can meet up after school
Spy Kid: what’s this guy’s name?
Spy Kid: he’s actually down with infiltrating the school?
Spy Kid: knowing that I don’t actually know the consequences if we get caught?
Mei: i don’t know, but he’s a hacker
Mei: he says that he really wants to hack UA
Mei: so i think we have everyone we need to get me into the workshop!
Spy Kid: alright sounds good
Spy Kid: see you then

Excerpt from Hero Analysis for the Present, Vol. 4, by Midoriya Izuku:

Tactics - Stalling

Most useful: Hostage situations, cooperative missions, covert ops.
Least useful: Solo missions, rescue missions.

Heroes that rely on it: Mask, Puppeteer, Sound, Fury, Scheherazade

Tactical breakdown:

Many mainstream heroes wouldn’t even count stalling as a heroic tactic, but it is, as evidenced by the number of underground heroes who have made a successful career out of it. Stalling is most useful when working with others and/or when timing is a crucial element of the mission. Has the villain arrived too early? Are reinforcements late? Is the sniper not yet in position? Stall.

Some underground heroes have quirks that were made for it - namely Scheherazade - but others have had to adapt by adopting skillful stalling methods in order to utilize their quirks, like Sound and Fury. Sound and Fury have fairly well-documented quirks because they’re twins who had the rare phenomenon of complementary quirks (quirks that are functionally useless without the other.) Sound can make everyone in an area “hear” a specific frequency of white noise, and Fury can influence emotions, but only the emotions of anyone who is hearing the frequency of sound that Sound produces. This effect is lost as soon as the target leaves the radius of Sound’s quirk, so the twins have developed methods of luring targets to stay in their radius until their mission is completed or backup arrives.

Sir Nighteye’s insight, when I asked him: “The two of them tell me that the key is to give the target part of what they want. You can’t give them everything they want, or they won’t have a reason to stay, no matter what emotions Fury evokes in them. But you also can’t endlessly string them along, because they’ll get too frustrated for Fury to affect. You have to tease, imply that they’ll get everything they desire if they just stick around for a while. I’ve never put their lessons to use, but I’ve seen the results of their missions. Their methods are… very effective.”

On the other hand, Mask and Puppeteer have quirks that they could use in other ways, but they most frequently use them for stalling. Mask can make anyone look like someone else, but she can’t do this to herself. She frequently switches people’s faces in high-tension situations in order to sow confusion. She then plays off of this chaos, encouraging suspicion and complicating the situation until other teammates are in position (or escaped in the confusion). Puppeteer can control the actions of others, but only if they have a strand of the target’s hair. Puppeteer has to move and speak like they want someone under their control to do, which makes their quirk use not very subtle. However, Puppeteer can act at a distance. In emergency situations, Puppeteer can sow discord and stall from within the villains’ ranks while physically in the mission control center. They are often used as a backup and a last resort on many underground missions, and many underground heroes collect the hair of villains that they encounter in order to turn them over to Puppeteer later.

Personal notes:

I had to stall with Nakahara Nobu, and I didn’t do it well. I dream about it. I say something wrong, and the knife goes into my throat instead. It’s hard to think about it. But I have to. I have to. It was only my life on the line last time. Next time that might not be the case.

I’ve written everything I can remember of the days of conversation in a different notebook. Sir wouldn’t be happy if he knew that I’d been doing that with my free time. But there are lessons there. I have to get better. I have to be better. If I don’t use this to save more people, then what was the point?

I’ve told Sir that I’m trying to put it all behind me. That I’m moving on, that I’m not dwelling on it, not thinking about it. I’ve told him that my continuing interest in the Nakahara brothers is simply because of All for One. That I don’t have nightmares, that I don’t wake up in a cold sweat, that I don’t see the shadow of them dogging my steps...

Nobu was right. Every good lie is a little unbelievable.

From: Eraserhead <>
To: Snipe <>, Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <>
CC: Nedzu <>, Itou Mao <>
Subject: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

Please stop making my student twitchy as hell. Midoriya Izuku has trained under Sir Nighteye for two years, so he’s smart and observant, which means that you’re not being half as subtle as you think you are. I know that you’re all terrified of something happening to him under your watch and Sir Nighteye coming to rain down fire and brimstone on you. Let me make this perfectly clear - if you don’t stop making him uncomfortable with your weird behavior (such behaviors include staring at Midoriya, refusing to look at him, stuttering when you talk to him, keeping at least five meters between you at all times, etc.), Sir Nighteye will be the least of your problems. If Midoriya is still paranoid because of you fuckers come Friday, I will be knocking on some doors. I know where you all live.

Treat Midoriya like any other student, or answer to me.


From: Itou Mao <>
To: Snipe <>, Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <>, Eraserhead <>
CC: Nedzu <>
Subject: Re: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

Threatening other teachers with bodily harm is against UA policy. Section 2, point 1A and 1B: “Physical harm against another teacher will be subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of the principal…. Threats of physical harm are also covered under these guidelines.”

Itou Mao

From: Eraserhead <>
To: Snipe <>, Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <> Itou Mao <>
CC: Nedzu <>
Subject: Re: Re: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

I only looped you into this because you’re his “official” homeroom teacher, Itou. Don’t quote UA policy at me, especially when you’re deliberately misinterpreting my words.


From: Itou Mao <>
To: Snipe <>, Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <>, Eraserhead <>
CC: Nedzu <>
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

Am I? Your missive seemed fairly clear. Regardless, I feel that official complaints against offending teachers would be a better solution and one that is not against school policy. Section 5, subsection 3, points 2-4: “To file a official complaint, the offended party should fill out and file the UA Complaint Form in triplicate. One copy should be kept, one given to the subject of the complaint, and one filed with the principal’s office…. The principal will moderate all complaints, and determine what action, if any, should be taken in each case.”

He is officially one of my homeroom students, and I will file any necessary paperwork. Threats are not allowed and are not needed. Don’t overstep your bounds, Eraserhead.

Itou Mao

From: Eraserhead <>
To: Snipe <>, Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <> Itou Mao <>
CC: Nedzu <>
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

Great. You do that. I’m sure that quoting the UA rulebook will be very helpful in this situation. Meanwhile, I’ll take care of my actual homeroom student in the way I see fit. We all know he’s in your class for appearance’s sake. He’s really one of mine, so don’t tell me not to overstep.


From: Snipe <>
To: Cementoss <>, Glitch <>, All-Might <>, AU <> Itou Mao <>, Eraserhead <>
CC: Nedzu <>
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sir Nighteye isn’t that scary

As entertaining as this pissing contest is, I think it’s time to stop. We got it. No paperwork will be necessary. Eraserhead pointed out the problem, and we’ll all fix it. Thanks for the heads up.


Yasu honestly didn’t know how he’d gotten dragged into this. He'd heard rumors about the insanity of the UA Support Department, but he wanted to eventually design network security protocols for hero agencies, and UA had the education and networking opportunities necessary for that.

He didn't expect to be undermining his school's cybersecurity in his first week of classes. But Hatsume Mei was a force of nature and this Midoriya kid was weirdly intense too. And they made good points about discovering flaws and being able to report them to Nedzu. Although Yasu wasn't too sure how necessary that was. He wasn't a god-tier hacker, which you'd have to be to breach the UA network off-site. So he was crouched in the corner of the UA computer lab, plugged into the network via an Ethernet cable.

“They'd have to get in here first,” he'd pointed out to Midoriya, who seemed to be the leader of the operation.

“Easier than you might think,” Midoriya had countered, and then Hatsume ran in babbling about an electric generator, and locks, and Power Loader's sins, and that was the end of that conversation.

Yasu was currently waiting for the power to cut out. He wasn't quite clear what the main goal of this was - asking Uraraka had seemed like the safest option, but she had only looked Yasu dead in the eyes and said - “Chaos. Absolute chaos.”

He didn't know why he had expected anything different out of a girl who willingly spent time with Midoriya and Hatsume. Uraraka looked sweet, but she was obviously insane as well.

Anyway, he was clear on the secondary goal, at least. He'd sent a fake update to the system that would install when the system rebooted after the power failure. All it did was establish a login for him. He wouldn't even have administrator privileges. But he'd be able to get a window into UA's systems, and Midoriya had assured him that a glimpse was all that he needed.

Around 4pm, on schedule, the power shut off. Yasu waited for it to turn back on. And waited. And waited. Distantly, he heard the sounds of screaming. “Put it back, put it back!” Midoriya's voice echoed in the halls.

“No, I'll die!” wailed Uraraka, and then there was Hatsume's loud raucous laugh, and then the screaming was back again. Yasu did not move. He was safe here. No way was he getting dragged into… whatever was happening.

Finally, the lights flicked back on, and the network booted back up. Yasu smiled to himself in satisfaction as he was able to successfully log on with his new account. He amused himself by browsing through their systems, looking at student disciplinary records (wow the hero students got into a lot of shit), archived purchasing orders for the support department (did they really need that many power tools?), and a log of network changes (huh they really… wait.)

Something strange caught Yasu's eye. Ostensibly an update pushed from the manufacturers of the servers a couple of days ago, it was… surprisingly small. And it didn't seem to affect any major systems. But it had thrown up an error when the system tried to run it, which is why Yasu had even noticed it. Yasu surveyed the handful of lines of code, and then read them again, more urgently.

He dialed Midoriya's number.

“Hi Arai-kun,” Midoriya answered, panting as if winded. “Sorry for the delay, we'll be right there -”

“We're not the first,” Yasu cut him off. He didn't know what to do, but maybe this intense boy with a million insane plans would know. “Midoriya, we're not the first. Someone hacked in days ago. I'm looking at the code right now and… I think the gate activation this afternoon was planned.”

There was a pause. “Stay where you are.” Midoriya sounded more serious than he'd ever heard him. “I've got to make some calls. Uraraka-chan and Hatsume-chan are coming to you now.”


“Do the hackers know that you've discovered this?”

“They shouldn't. There'll be a record of me viewing it, but their code is very limited - I think it's already done what it's meant to do.”

“Okay.” Midoriya took a deep breath. “Alright. Just in case, make a record of what you found. Write it down on paper.”

Yasu nodded, and then realized that Midoriya couldn't see it. “Sure. I'll do that.”

“Good. I'm going to call Nedzu and Sir, and then I'll meet you all there.” He hung up before Yasu could reply.

Call Nedzu? Yasu wondered, staring blankly at his cellphone. How the fuck does he have the Principal's number? And who is Sir?

Script from “Shibuya Insurance Commercial #4”, aired in 2175:

Almost 40% of buildings in Tokyo have suffered from heroics-related damage during their lifetimes. [A video of a ruined and smoking skyscraper surrounded by helicopters - footage taken from a 2102 incident that famously ended with the death of both the hero Instrumentive and the villain Bombardier.]

A recent survey found that 1 in 20 urban landowners in Japan will have to deal with moderate to severe property damage as result of purposeful villain sabotage or collateral damage from villain apprehension missions. [A video of a row of collapsed buildings in Tokyo - 2072 footage from the destruction caused by Abhorrence’s infamous confrontation with a branch of the Yakuza.]

Don’t let it take you by surprise. [A video of a high rise on fire - a 2166 incident involving Endeavor and a gang of burglars.] Protect your investments and your property today. [A photo of two smiling middle-aged women.] The Shibuya family has been insuring your life and everything in it since 2051. Trust us to be there for you when the worst happens.

Excerpt from “The Dangers of ‘Unbounded Discovery’: Why the Government Should Limit Genetic Research” by Kato Tomiko, published in 2144:

Groups such as “Unbounded Discovery”, which advocate for the abolition of government restrictions on scientific research, specifically biological research, point to the good that will result from the discoveries that will be made if scientists are once again allowed to use gene-editing software on vertebrates and human cells in cell culture. They claim that a full understanding of quirks can’t be obtained from genetic studies on invertebrates or single-celled organisms, or from non-invasive human clinical studies. They can only learn so much from organisms that don’t have similar physiologies or cellular mechanisms, they say.

And they are correct. If the government were to allow full access to gene-editing software, our understanding of quirks would increase exponentially. We would be able to build better quirk technology, provide better quirk counseling, and generally deal with quirks more effectively as a society.

But this would open up the doors to a host of abuses. In a world where genetics has meant more to humanity than any other time in its history, the ability to edit our own genomes would be a terrible temptation, and as history has shown, someone would eat the forbidden fruit.

Imagine knowing what combination of genes would lead to a child with super-strength, or one with the ability to fly, or one who could fly and control fire and lift buildings. For the first time in human history, we could create humans with powers that comic artists and fantasy writers in the 20th century could only dream of. The prevalence of eugenic quirk marriages at the turn of the century demonstrates that the draw of perfect, powerful quirks would be too much to resist.

We still don’t understand how the machinery of quirks truly functions. And yes, we might need gene-editing software to uncover the truth of this machinery, but the destructive potential is too great. Genetics is more limitless than we ever imagined. With that power, we could very easily create gods - or monsters.

“Your first week in school,” Sir Nighteye said into his hands. “Your first week in school, and you discover a conspiracy.”

When Ochako had been introduced to Sir Nighteye, her first impression was that he was intimidating. Not because he was particularly muscular or tall, like All-Might, or because he was too pretty, like Midnight, but because he had this intense aura around him. He seemed to be constantly cataloguing your every move while somehow keeping an eye on the rest of the room as well.

Well, she still thought he was intimidating, but there was something very relatable about his despair over the fact that her new friend seemed to perpetually attract trouble. I understand, she wanted to tell this lanky, sharp-eyed man. I’ve only known Midoriya-kun for a week, and I’ve already been involved in (hopefully school-mandated) sabotage, doused three teachers in body paint, and learned the position of every surveillance camera in the school. I’ve also punched a boy in the face for him. So. You know. I guess that’s that.

“Okay,” Midoriya-kun argued, a mulish set to his mouth. “To be fair, this one was not my fault.”

“No, not your fault!” Nedzu agreed, clapping his paws together. “It was simply serendipity!” He somehow managed to survive the glare that Sir Nighteye fixed on him. “You do have a peculiar kind of luck, Midoriya Izuku.”

“Don't encourage him,” Sir Nighteye muttered.

“But to the point,” Nedzu continued, “this is indeed a boon. We could have been caught unaware. Now we have the time to plan. Arai-kun, would you mind outlining the malicious code that you discovered in our server?”

Arai looked shell-shocked, but Ochako wasn’t certain if that was the situation or just how his face was. He'd had that same expression ever since Hatsume had introduced him to them.

“Um, well,” the boy began, “I mean, it's not very complex. It just copies certain files to an external drive. The error that the system reported was because that location no longer exists and the path was invalid.”

Sir Nighteye and Midoriya-kun had startlingly similar grim expressions. It was difficult to read Nedzu's body language, but he was no longer smiling.

“They've already retrieved it,” Midoriya-kun said darkly. “The gate incident?”

Arai shook his head. “Some of the files targeted were the system logs during the time of the gate being triggered - essentially a look at how UA systems respond and function during an emergency. They had to retrieve the drive after the incident, not during.”

Sir Nighteye grimaced, rubbing his temples as if to try to stave off a headache. “Just to be clear - this external drive must have been part of UA's network - a flashdrive or an external hard drive that someone connected to a computer in UA. And it's very unlikely that someone outside the school could have infiltrated it to either place or remove the drive. Which means…”

“Yes,” confirmed Nedzu. “We have a traitor at UA.”

“What other files were targeted?” Midoriya-kun wanted to know. Ochako spared a moment to be impressed by Midoriya-kun's confidence. He'd sometimes stutter or freeze up in class, but he seemed in his element here.

“Class schedules mostly,” Arai informed them. “Specifically the schedules for tomorrow. And the class files for the third-year hero students.”

“The third years are training at some of the training areas furthest from the central campus,” Nedzu said. “An intelligent enemy could neutralize many of the students before reinforcements arrived.”

“Then pull them back closer to campus,” Sir Nighteye snapped. “Simple enough.”

Nedzu shot a glance at Sir. “I know your intern Mirio-kun is in that class, but consider our position. There is a traitor at UA. For our sanity, I will declare that all of us in this room are trustworthy, but everyone else is a potential suspect. They don’t know that we know about them breaching our security, but that won't last if I change the third years’ training plans without a solid rationale.”

“Wouldn’t the teachers be trustworthy too?” Ochako piped up. It was nerve-wracking, but Nedzu and Sir Nighteye seemed like they wouldn't mind the interruption. They seemed approving (or tolerant, in Nighteye’s case) of Midoriya-kun’s interjections. “I mean, they already know the class schedules and the students’ information. They wouldn't have to get the information from the servers.”

Nedzu shook his head. “They would still need the security information, and if the third years were attacked, we'd look at who had recently accessed the files. And there would be no reason for a teacher who didn't work with the third year heroics class to look at their class files.”

Ochako nodded sharply in acknowledgement. Midoriya-kun caught her eye and flashed her a discreet thumbs-up.

Sir Nighteye frowned. “There are some we can trust, surely. All-Might, for one.”

Nedzu nodded fervently. “Of course, of course! And we can and should inform the third years’ homeroom teachers as well. I find it unlikely that either would be the culprit, based on the reasons that Uraraka-chan outlined.”

“That's all very well and good, but what precautionary measures will you actually take? You can’t simply sit back and do nothing in the name of secrecy.” Sir Nighteye demanded. “This forewarning only benefits us if you act on it.”

“We’ll pull All-Might from the first years’ class and re-assign him to the third years. It will be easy enough to make up an excuse for that.” Nedzu tapped his chin thoughtfully. “I could also pull a handful of teachers from the school in order to make the instruction one-on-one, as well as assigning our handful of second year heroics students to that training ground, with the attached teachers. I’ll say that it’s preparation for the sports festival, especially given the small size of our second year class.”

“That pulls a lot of teachers away from the school.”

“It does.” Nedzu hummed. “It’s a gamble, I will admit. But those are the files that were accessed.”

“There will still be enough teachers to raise the alarm,” Midoriya pointed out. “And we could try to establish alternate routes of communication just in case.”

“I have some babies that might help!” Hatsume exclaimed. “Would you like me to show them to you, Principal-san?”

Nedzu nodded. “After the meeting, certainly.” He tapped a paw on the desk and then clapped decisively. “It’s risky, but we likely have foreknowledge that our opponents didn’t expect us to have, especially considering their quick timeline. We don’t know who we’re playing against, so we can’t assume anything about how they’ll act. All we have is this piece of code. I’ll put as many teachers as I safely can near the third years’ training ground, but I’ll make sure to keep enough near the main campus in the case of a frontal assault.”

Sir Nighteye tipped his head in acknowledgement, obviously still unhappy. “You won’t mind if I give Mirio-kun advance warning?”

Nedzu thought for a moment before shrugging. “Only Mirio-kun. And that goes for you four as well,” he addressed Ochako and the others. “The events of this afternoon must be kept secret between all of us. Do you understand?” Ochako nodded. She could see the others agreeing as well.

“Good.” Nedzu smiled at all of them. “Thank you for your timely intervention. And Midoriya-kun, Uraraka-chan - have fun on your field trip tomorrow! Try not to worry about the rest of us. We’re well-prepared, thanks to you.”

Personal account of an urban legend about a man who could take quirks, collected from Matsushita Jun (95) in Chiba, collected by Saitou Ayano in 2140. Recording destroyed in 2150, surviving transcript is archived in the Saitou house.

Recording starts:

My memories of my childhood have lost their sharpness, become hazy and vague with the passage of time, but I will never forget my father’s screams.

His quirk hurt him. I don’t remember the details. I’m not sure I was ever told them. But his quirk was not meant for his body. Some nights, he would scream from dusk to dawn. The neighbors must have complained, but I don’t remember any of that. Only the terror, and my mother’s comforting, constant presence.

I think they were worried about me. My father’s condition was… not good, but in hindsight, I think they were more worried about the possible consequences if I inherited his quirk. My mother was quirkless, but as I have learned, quirked-ness is inherited through the father’s line. I had a good chance of being quirked, and thus a good chance of having a quirk that caused those screams.

It started out as an ache in my arms, a shifting underneath my skin. The first time I dislocated my elbows - well, they say that you can’t remember pain, that the mind dulls it. But I swear that I can recall the burning, throbbing agony. I can hear the pop and feel the tearing of my tendons. I know I screamed. My mother came running, and my father, and they cried over me like I was dying. I felt like I was dying.

My life was a haze of pain until the man came. I don’t remember what he looked like, only that he was very tall, and that there was something about him that terrified me. When he placed his hand on my head, it was cold as ice. But after that day, the pain was gone, and my father’s screams stopped.

No one explained it to me at the time, but I found the legends on the forums later, and I knew that I had met the Stealer. My father died when I was eight. He was a part of a mob that descended on a police convoy and allowed for the escape of a high-profile criminal. It was his first and only crime. My mother never denounced him for the crime, and maintained that he was a good man. She always glanced at me when she said it. I didn’t understand then, but I think I understand now.

End recording.

Excerpt from “Brushfire” by Maki Keiko, published in 2100:

The fire rose about him, with no escape on any side. The boy screamed at it but all that came out of his mouth was meaningless noise. He’d forgotten that he couldn’t talk to it any longer. There was no crackle in his lungs, no burnt ember of a tongue, no incandescence in his throat. The place where his quirk used to sit was barren and empty.

“Listen to me!” he cried with a tongue, with a mouth, with lungs that were too ordinary. “Please,” he screamed uselessly, “let me live!”

“Hey,” Izuku said, stepping forward, hands outstretched. “Hey, there’s no need for that.” He purposefully didn’t look at the monster beside him, focusing all his attention on Shigaraki. “I can explain why All-Might isn’t here today.”

“Oh?” The man drawled, lazily scratching at his neck.

“Yes.” Izuku absentmindedly stroked a thumb over the wide scar under his eye. “It’s a story, for sure. Bear with me - it can be a little hard to believe in parts.” He shrugged, and managed to produce a thin, trembling smile. “But I suppose that’s how you know it’s real.”