Subject: A brief explanation of the terminology used by our organization, compiled by order of Peggy Martin (honorary Vice President of Operations), under threat of extermination.
Super strength (Super Power, Super Vigor, etc.) refer to the ability of certain Ultras to generate far more force than their form should be able to, according to old world physics. A super strong Ultra can lift more, hit harder, and bend/break sturdier things than she ought to be able to.
Unlike ordinary strength, the strength of an Ultra diminishes rapidly as it passes from one form to the next. Consequently, an Ultra with super strength swinging a club or car will not do nearly as much damage as they will hitting you with their fists, although it will obviously still be a large amount. Missiles thrown by the Ultra behave similarly, striking with the force one might expect of an object of their size at their velocity, rather than conveying the Ultra power of the individual which launched them. Distance is the greatest safety against super strength Ultras.
Super strength of the first degree yields an Ultra who is narrowly stronger than an unaugmented human could be. They can lift, leap, and hit like a winning competitor in the old Olympic games, (or slightly better) despite the fact that their forms do not ordinarily display any sign of this. First degree superstrength makes an Ultra capable of feats akin to several strong humans, but they remain basically confined to the realm of strength that humans inhabit.
Super strong Ultras of the second tier leave humanity entirely behind. They can toss several ton weights, jump up onto the high floors of buildings, and perform other feats similar to those of old world fictional characters. Possessors of this power have been observed putting out force equivalent to construction equipment and can, through sustained efforts, topple the largest man made structures or constructs.
Very little is beyond Ultras with level 3 super strength. Greg Hasp, the canonical example of level 3 super strength, has pushed over skyscrapers, and picked up a battleship. There is no firm boundary to the outer limits of the power that can be exerted by an Ultra who is super strong to the third degree. In general, if they can touch it, they can twist, pull, crush throw or smash it.
As Ms. Martin will no doubt be aware, Super Strength is the only power to which we have added a level 4 classification, and she is the only one it has been applied to. During a period of great stress, she transported herself to Earth’s satellite and cracked it down the middle with a strike from her heel. The Company believes that your abilities allow you to generate literally as much force as you wish through direct contact.
Super speed, as exhibited by Ultras, refers to the ability to activate and/or propel the Ultras own form more swiftly than they ought to be capable of. This does not increase their power as you might expect, and refers only to their reaction times and top speeds. An Ultra with super speed will hit no harder than a human, however swiftly they might propel themselves.
An Ultra with first level super speed is as fast as a fighting artist from old movies. When the protagonist of the picture defeats a bunch of opponents in a fight, they are typically acting at something resembling first degree super speed. This ability predominantly refers to reaction speed and precision. An Ultra with super speed to the first degree has the subjective experience of time slowing, to allow them to act or react precisely and exactly as the situation demands.
An Ultra with the second degree of ultra speed is palpably faster than the world around them. They appear to be sped up, like they are a part of a separate world where time is pasting faster, when they exert themselves to their utmost. An ultra with speed like this lives their life in a world that they can slow to a crawl at any moment. Ultras with this ability are rare and mighty.
No Ultra possessing super speed to this level has ever been reliably observed by Company Personnel who reported the incident, but it is widely believed that it was an Ultra with this power set who devastated the Regime in the Third Defiance. Extrapolating from the existing pattern, an Ultra with super speed 3 would take part in a stationary world, the sole actor in a vast tableau of victims. No one could contest their domination of this world, for by the time they attempted to dispute it, the Ultra’s will would have already been done. No one, except yourself, Ms. Martin.
Ultras who have super toughness can generally ignore the damage that the world would do to their form. They will withstand blows and recover from impairments with outrageous ability. In general humans will struggle to impede them or affect them at all. An Ultra with strength equivalent to their toughness can generally affect them as though they were both unaugmented humans. Those not so gifted, however, will struggle to impact the Super Tough Ultra at all.
The most common power any Ultra will gain is Super Toughness of the first degree, or Super Durability, or whatever you want to call it. They are outrageously substantial, by the human measure. Bullets impact on them like punches on an unProcessed person. They can recuperate from a beating in a moment and a few deep breaths. They can endure impacts which ought to shatter a person, and continue to function essentially unimpaired. Only the most extreme efforts of ordinary humans, bombs and the like, can have any hope of killing them.
Ultras with level 2 super toughness are entirely immune to conventional attacks. Bullets bounce off them, wrecking balls shatter on impact, and so forth. Level 2 super toughness guarantees that an Ultra will only meet her end at the hands of another Ultra. Even confinement of such Ultras is difficult. Their form has an integrity that the world respects, and their autonomy is implied thereby.
Invincible is the word for Ultras with level three super toughness. They can withstand any attack save for another Ultra gifted with super strength of level 3. Only 2 Ultras with super toughness three have ever been recorded to have perished, both at your hands. Beyond their personal durability, Ultras with super toughness three benefit from a kind of circumstantial protection. The world goes out of its way to restore them to their desired state if something does manage to inconvenience them.