Hero

"Why did I want to be a hero. Because that's the highest title I think a person can ever get. Hero. And before you even talk to me about subjectiveness, I get it. That title is worth less than the trash beneath a villain's heels with the contempt they hold for heroes. But you asked me, and that's the highest ranking title I know."    "And why you enrolled at Mosaic University."    "And why I enrolled at Mosaic, yes."   
— Interview of Lance by a reporter of the MUSE (Mosaic University Status Exclusives)  

Qualifications

There are several qualifications that a person needs to gain the title "Hero" (Heroine). 
  • Needs to be trained in the use of their power at a university. prevents vigilantes being trained 
  • Needs to have graduated university with a minor in their power. prevents non-completion of university
  • Needs to knowingly risk their life to save a person (to a person who can fly, diving off the side of a building isn't risking their life). prevents too many "heroes" from being created if the "risk their life" is based on the average human's powers
  • Needs to have the deed recorded by someone not affiliated with them prevents them from setting up the situation to gain the title unfairly 

Requirements

By default of the person needing to graduate an accredited university with classes or curriculum based on controlling powers, the age of which a person can obtain the title of "Hero" is commonly around 22 (special cases can be made if a person has skipped earlier graded classes or took enough credits to graduate in an earlier time frame).   There is no specificity to species as some powered people don't have fully human genetics anymore, and a person doesn't have to have a family member already given that title (the way it works in sororities).

Appointment

When a person is raised to this rank, the special ceremony depends on the mayor and the city. The title needs to be given by the mayor, but some cities have a specific day to award all the heroes publicly, another city has private ceremonies which are broadcast, another city only does a private ceremony for the hero (but demands that "posturing" doesn't happen), etc.    There is paperwork at the mayor's office that a person can fill out on behalf of a hero they know (and have documented evidence of that fateful day). Heroes are not allowed to nominate themselves, or their friends.

Duties

The duties of a Hero are varied according to city, but below follows a list of the most common asked for: 
  • Asking for lectures at publics areas or schools 
  • Asking for heroes to lead city wide projects; this could be cleaning up, or making murals, etc. as long as it helps the city 
No where in the duties should be the support of any specific person, though a hero is allowed to support specific fundraisers and organizations. [You can't promote 1 specific YA author, but you can help organizations such as Kids Read! which gives kids books, or you can help The Travelling Library, which goes around the edges of the city/state and brings books to people who can't go to the library.

Responsibilities

There are no day-to-day duties that would interfere with the normal life of a person (because powered people aren't the only ones that may be given this title). The are responsibilities, but they are more along the lines of "if you see someone doing something that would result in their title being taken away, you have a responsibility to let someone know" and other things like that.    If they are given duties by their mayor, such as visiting schools to give lectures, then they have a responsibility to complete and fulfill your duties.

Benefits

There are several benefits to being a ranked Hero, however, as like the duties and responsibilities, these benefits can range depending on what the mayor allows. 
  • financial benefits to be given to a charity of the Hero's choice per financial benefits increase with every addition of Hero added to the first one 
  • Free schooling of choice for each child the Hero has and reflected by lottery for children enrolled in non-private/charter schools. One Hero's child goes to a private school, another child is chosen by lottery to go as well. 

Accoutrements & Equipment

Each "Hero" is required to wear a bracelet showing off a stylized "H" paired with the city distinct symbol. There are whole books out there dedicated to drawings of what the Hero symbol looks like, how it's changed, or what it might look like if that place ever had a Hero.     In the few cases where a Hero has gained a bracelet from more than one city, then they are allowed to put the emblems together on one bracelet. A few Heroes have asked for different ways to wear their "H" and those ways have been granted (diadem, belt, emblazoned on a cape, etc.)

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

A Hero may be dismissed in the same way that that they were appointed the title in the first place. Paperwork must be submitted to the mayor's office, and there must be evidence by someone not affiliated with them that they have done something illegal or commonly seen as immoral. (Harassing someone might not be done in a way that's against the law, but that would count for being immoral. Running a red light would be against the law - however most citizens might not report something like this. Something akin to embezzlement would be reported though.)

History

When people were given the title "Hero" in the past, it was without benefits and given to people who were in the usual professions that had plenty of opportunities to be a hero; firefighter would be a good example.    When people started developing their powers, the term "Hero" was seen the same as the type of person who belonged in a comic book.    At the same time that people were changing, the city landscape was changing, too. One mayor boasted that he would allow the powered people in his area to use their powers for the betterment of the city - that was a good example as to the collateral damage one "Hero" and one "Villain" can bring about.    Other cities started making notes of what went wrong there so they could figure out how to get avoid it completely in their own towns; university power control courses were offered, and while they aren't mandatory, there is the requirement that for someone to gain the coveted "Hero" title, they will need to have graduated with a minor in their power. This had the effect of making vigilantism not wanted and getting people to understand their powers better.     The other way that may of the mayors learned from this example was that "Villains" have a place in society as well. They are treated like "grey hat hackers" in that it's known they will break the laws to achieve a better outcome for themselves and those they care about. A villain's place in society is seen as a beneficial outlet for heroes (as heroes are to villains).    Villains have found their place in society as well when they work against the laws/rules for the betterment of themselves and others. (Key point - there's a thesis that was done on the similarities of "Heroes" and "Villains," and it pointed out that the main difference is how they are viewed by their audience. A "Villain" is seen as a good person by those who are helped by illegal actions (stealing food to feed people, for example), while a "Hero" is seen as a bad person by those who aren't helped by their legal actions (promising to bring up the problem with the mayor, or buying enough food to feed people for only one day.)   Currently, there are rules in place so that the damage done between Hero and Villain fights are low, and that vulnerable buildings/people are not put in harm's way. (Hospitals, doctor's offices, etc. are considered safe places.)

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance is both there and not there at the same time. For some, the title "Hero" is an opportunity that they have been waiting for their entire life, and no other day will shine as brightly to them. For others, being given the title "Hero" is just something that happened on a day of the week and it has all the the things to do with luck, fortune, and opportunity and nothing to do with them.

Notable Holders

Dylan Diaz - nonpowered - the banker was off duty when he saw a collapsing building, heard someone scream that there were still people inside, and ran in to rescue two people before it finished collapsing.   Anna Harris - communicates with birds - was driving along the road when she spied a downed power line. She stopped traffic by parking her car sideways across the road, called the emergency in, and tried to wait until help arrived. From the other side of the road, a child continued riding his bike and didn't know to stop. She sprinted across the road, jumped over the wriggling live wire, and tackled the kid off of his bike (which drove straight into the wire).   Xavier Bailey - super stretch - was swimming at a beach with xyr family when a rip tide took an older man out to the horizon. This was longer than they could stretch (in addition to stretching abilities being hampered by water), but xyr swam out to reach the guy, and waited with him until the Coast Guard came.   Kim Loan Thi - nonpowered - a just-graduated university student who was in a coffee shop typing up her resume when a criminal (non-powered) tried robbing the place. She was able to talk to the would-be robber, and invited her to write up resumes together instead of trying to become a villain. She also persuaded the coffee shop not to call the police or press charges. Eventually, the two women started their own small business together, and the would-be villain even wrote a book about the whole experience. (While many corporate stores would require reporting and pressing charges, this small coffee shop was owned by a woman who decided she'd rather have both women helping and working for her than reporting a crime that ended up not happening - however, it was reported in at least one fashion since gaining the "Hero" title required someone to submit the information.)   Akari Suzuki - blooming blossoms - Akari works as a photographer, using her power to have fresh flowers for her subjects when the weather took a turn for the worse. A tornado touched down in the area, and she risked her life to gather all the people in the area (she made her blossoms hold arrow patterns to tell people where to go for safety).
Source of Authority
The mayor of any SuperCity has the right and authority to grant a person, with power or without, the title of "Hero." (Or "Heroine" if wished.)
Length of Term
The title may be given to a person, from a specific mayor, once. However, a city can bestow the title of hero on a person more than one time since the position of mayor is one that changes. And the term "Hero" can be applied by more than one city as well

Comments

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1 Sep, 2022 19:29

I like the superhero angle and your Notable Holders section

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