Away from the political wrangling between the new super powers, and as human progress seemed to start moving forward, the human race had taken a new evolutionary step with the appearance of what became Alpha humans, or simply Alphas; ordinary people with extraordinary abilities.
Two types of Alphas appeared; the Inferiors, who lacked special skills but were immune to almost every illness; and the Superiors who had the same immunity but also super human capabilities.
Scientists would later learn that all Superiors originated from Inferiors after an internal metamorphosis. The mechanism behind the change seemed to trigger randomly and most Inferiors would never make the transition.
The Superiors generated the most attention with their abilities, while the Inferiors were viewed as normal. This led the term Alpha to be commonly accepted in reference to the former and not the latter.
Scientists were at a loss to explain this rare offshoot of the human race. The occurrences were so rare it was hard to extrapolate data. After several decades of research the Alphas were discovered to have had ancestors that had survived a mysterious plague that had killed many following the initial comet impacts. At the time, such diseases were prevalent without a proper medical infrastructure, so the true nature of the plague was never investigated.
It was only looking into history that scientists studying Alphas began to consider that the comet might have carried some sort of extra-terrestrial bio-hazard that either killed those it came in contact with or had somehow mutated the DNA of the survivors. Why the effects of the mutation had appeared generations later though would be another mystery.
Once the revelation of Alpha Superiors became general knowledge, they became targets. Feared by ordinary people for the dangers they could become, Alphas often chose to hide their unique gifts.
Military forces around the globe viewed these powerful humans as either valuable assets or threats to security which was another reason for the Alphas to remain discrete. Some Alphas, however, chose to use their gifts for the benefit of others. Those that did not join official agencies chose to use their skills to fight crime as costumed adventurers. Similarly, there were those Alphas that decided to use their gifts for more negative purposes, becoming or working for criminals.