The terrorist organization known as KEM (Kill Every Monster) has as its central tenet that Ultrahuman individuals must all be murdered. Older consumers of this feed, however, may well have an entirely different association with this name.
The earliest mention of KEM that we can find on the archived sections of the old internet refer not to an actual group of individuals, but to an old podcast. Each session of this entertainment program involved the creator of the podcast speaking to an expert on a given cinematic monster about how such a creature might fare if released into the modern world.
Movie creatures such as vampires, mummies and the like were its focus, and the entire program was conducted with tongue firmly in cheek. It had a large audience, for the time, and existed alongside thousands of other such works, with little to distinguish it from any other frivolous entertainment.
The transformation that followed is difficult to track in its entirety, but enough data is available to sketch in the basic details.
During the Ultra Crime Wave the podcaster’s adoptive brother was killed when the first Melter used his power to fuse him into a floor while escaping from a department store robbery. The podcaster apparently witnessed this atrocity firsthand, and strove desperately to bring the bizarre circumstances to the public’s attention.
Unfortunately for him, the media climate of the time was bound up in other matters, and the physical evidence was quickly snatched away by the Joint Task Force. The podcaster was unable to get any traction in any remotely mainstream venue, his testimony written off as hysteria.
He turned, instead, to their online audience, and presented his case to the internet. Reaction was mixed.
The majority of his audience were not interested in such a story, having come for entirely different reasons, and began to drift away as his work came to resemble a conspiracy theorist’s rantings. But a smaller group of listeners stayed, and they reached out to him, connecting him with a broader community that he had never realized existed.
These were the survivors and witnesses of various Ultra incidents. Dismissed by the authorities they had sought out one another, forming various fringe groups and associations, united by their experiences with a genuine government cover up of what seemed to be supernatural occurrences.
They called themselves the Ultra Believers, or simply Believers.
Kill Every Monster became this movement’s media. The podcast focused more and more on this community, becoming a means of connection and organization among these individuals, each isolated from the world around them by their singular encounters with the faces of the future.
The community was initially focused on investigation, on uncovering the truth and bringing it to the public’s attention. They only became violent after their members were targeted for detainment and interrogation by the Joint Task Force.
Karen Austin’s fingerprints were all over this fiasco. She arrested leading Believers wholesale on trumped up or entirely forged charges, grabbing them up in a whirlwind evening of raids and arrests.
These raids were unnecessarily brutal, injuring the detainees, destroying their property, and in at least four cases killing loved ones in front of them. It was cartoonish thuggery, the very worst imaginable caricature of Law Enforcement as a violent and oppressive force brought to malevolent life.
He questioning was similarly uninhibited, and ultimately prompted a subordinate to blow the whistle on her. The government eventually released the Believers and settled a massive lawsuit with them, but the damage had been done.
No one knows exactly what Karen told them during their interrogations, or what they might have suffered, but the KEM that we know today was born.
The Believers emerged from their experience vindicated in their beliefs, distrustful of authority, and hardened in their attitude. They scattered across the countryside, traveling and employing every trick they knew to stay off the grid. They organized into cells and grew their numbers from societies destitute and criminal elements, to whom their cause and wealth were potent inducements.
They spoke of a coming apocalypse, of the need to root out the demons within their neighbors, of a monstrous conspiracy overtaking their government.
They were, by most definitions, a cult. They just weren’t precisely wrong.