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Kim Mecham,[1] known publicly as Arbiter, is a member of the Los Angeles Protectorate, under Rime.[3]


She considers Cauldron evil given their rampant human experimentation on the Case 53s.[4] She was disillusioned when the extent of Alexandria's activities was revealed.


Arbiter's mask is a golden woman's face with the mouth parted a fraction, shaped in a way that reveals her forehead. Her costume also includes a black bodysuit with loose black cloth draping down from the attached golden shoulder pads and breastplate.[5]

Abilities and Powers[]

Arbiter has minor forcefield, sonic laser powers, and a social Thinker power, a variant on a danger sense she calls a "riot sense".[6] This makes her aware of the threat level of individuals associated to her target, not including that person, in terms of color.[2] She is well versed in using her forcefields and a sonic laser in combat.[7] While her forcefield lacks the durability or versatility of other heroes she is adroit in its use.[8] This weemingly unconnected selection of powers are hallmarks of a Grab-Bag Cape but the circumstances of her trigger event are largely unknown.

She also demonstrates the ability to learn languages unnaturally quickly, with her Portuguese advancing from broken to flawless after three exchanges with native speakers.[3] She also speaks Chinese[9] and a local language from New Delhi.[10] Weaver describes her voice as "oddly melodic".[5] It is unknown whether this ability is distinct from her other powers or has other applications.

She also has some medical training.[11]



She was a member of the Los Angeles Wards program under Alexandria's supervision before graduating to the Protectorate.[12]


She participated in the fight against Bambina, Starlet, and August Prince.[13]

She helped as a translator between the Yangban, the Protectorate, and other groups prior to the New Delhi fight against Behemoth.[9] At the fight, she used her forcefield powers to help Weaver evacuate capes from a burning rooftop.[10]

It is unknown if she survived the event and what her subsequent activities were if she did.

Chapter Appearances[]

Worm Chapter Appearances
1. Drone 23.1 Absent
2. Drone 23.2 Debut
3. Drone 23.3 Absent
4. Drone 23.4 Absent
5. Drone 23.5 Absent
x. Interlude 23 Absent
1. Crushed 24.1 Absent
2. Crushed 24.2 Absent
3. Crushed 24.3 Appears
4. Crushed 24.4 Absent
5. Crushed 24.5 Absent
x. Interlude 24.x Absent
y. Interlude 24.y Absent


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arbiter: Kim Mecham - Private conversation with Wildbow, archived on Spacebattles
  2. 2.0 2.1 Once we were all in the elevator, I figured I was clear to ask without sounding too much like a newbie. “What was Arbiter talking about? Riot sense?”

    Rime explained. “She’s a social thinker, in addition to her minor blaster and shaker powers. Her danger sense is mild at best, not something she can react to immediately, but it makes her aware of associated individuals and the threat they pose. She wouldn’t be able to see much from Pretender alone, but she knows that there’s a moderate to high danger posed by those closest to him-”

    “His team, probably,” Prefab said.

    “She’s predicting a massive risk from people who have an intimate but less immediate association or those who have a recent but less familiar association with him…”

    “Old teammates or family that he doesn’t see regularly,” Prefab said, “Or people he’s hired for help that he isn’t as familiar with.”

    Rime finished, “…And a moderate risk from people or things on the periphery of his real-life social network.”

    “The bogeyman?” I asked.

    Rime didn’t answer. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  3. 3.0 3.1 “Arbiter,” I responded. One of Rime’s underlings. The one with the social danger sense, forcefield and sonic beam. I supposed her forcefield wasn’t quite large enough or versatile enough to offer a bridge down to the ground. “I’ve got other stuff I need to pay attention to. Don’t suppose you speak French? Or Spanish?”

    “Portuguese,” she said. “And no, but give me a moment.”

    She turned to the capes, but a heavy crash interrupted her before she could speak.

    A building had fallen, toppling, and Behemoth hadn’t done anything to precipitate it. Nothing except the roaring.

    Was that enough? Was this building coming apart beneath us?

    Where the hell was Tattletale? My bugs flowed into cracks in the building, checking rooms only to find them empty.

    “Hurry!” I said. I turned my attention to my swarm. They extended out beneath me, forming into neat lines. My bugs were slow to move through the structure. I had to use the cracks that already existed in the walls, ducts and vents that just happened to be open.

    “Speak to me,” Arbiter said to the Portuguese capes.

    The one with the spiral costume chattered out something I couldn’t even guess at. Arbiter nodded. In very broken Portuguese, she asked a question. The spiral man looked at the one with him, gesturing.

    In less broken Portuguese, she spoke again.

    That prompted another burst of explanation, or what I took to be exclamation. They sounded desperate, afraid.

    When she responded, she spoke just as quickly and flawlessly as the two native speakers. She’d picked up the language in a matter of three exchanges. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
  4. Nix interrupted, “We’ll still fight Endbringers. But the Protectorate was going to take Pretender from us because of how he got his powers. It’s ridiculous.”

    “He was still going to be on the team,” Arbiter said. “Just… we can’t let him be leader if he’s beholden to a group like that.”

    “It shouldn’t matter.”

    “Cauldron’s evil,” Arbiter said. “They experimented on people to get the powers Pretender has.”

    “It doesn’t matter,” Satyr said. His voice was rough. “Pretender’s gone, and so are we. We’ll get our teammates and we’ll go.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  5. 5.0 5.1 One of the capes on the rooftop approached me, pushing her way through the crowd. She wore a golden mask with a woman’s face, the mouth parted a fraction, with a black bodysuit. It was softened a touch by the loose black cloth that draped down from her golden shoulderpads and breastplate. The black didn’t look so dramatic as it might have, mottled a brown-gray by the loose dust that had accumulated on it.

    “Weaver,” she said, her voice melodic. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
  6. Rime turned off the television. She looked at Arbiter.

    “My riot sense was going off like crazy as he talked,” Arbiter said. “There’s something at work here.”

    “Describe it.”

    Arbiter touched her middle fingers and thumbs together, forming a circle, “Orange.”

    She moved her hands further apart, “Red.”

    Then further apart again, until the implied ‘circle’ was as big as a large pizza. “Yellow.”

    “That bad?” Rime asked.


    “Then we move now,” Rime said. She raised her hand to her ear. “Dragon? Cancel your errands. We’re in for some trouble, almost guaranteed, and I’m thinking we want to clear out before it descends.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  7. She leaped down, holding August Prince’s hand, and Arbiter took action. The heroine directed a sonic blast at Bambina with one hand, but Bambina kicked the wall, changing the direction she was moving. Arbiter blocked her with a forcefield, then raised a hand to shoot again-

    And stopped, standing still instead. A look of consternation appeared across her forehead, above her mask.

    Bambina ricocheted off of Dragon’s craft, hitting it hard enough that it shifted, then flew at Prefab. One hit, and he was out of action. The explosion hadn’t even been that large.

    Prefab, who had his cannon raised and hadn’t even pulled the trigger once.

    Bambina whipped around, rotating crazily before touching ground, her feet skidding on the ground. She set the Prince down. Starlet, up on the wall, laughed. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  8. Arbiter only nodded, her eyes on the ongoing fight.

    I drew up decoy-swarms, placing them across the rooftop, and stepped off the rooftop, hovering and using the building for cover. Arbiter raised her forcefield to fill some of the gap in the tinker-created field, crouching in the crowd of swarm-people. Others followed suit. I covered them as much as I could without obscuring their vision.

    Seconds passed before Arbiter gave the go-ahead. Capes evacuated the rooftop.

    Behemoth’s lightning strike flashed through our ranks, right over Arbiter’s squatter forcefield, through two decoys and striking a cape. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
  9. 9.0 9.1 “You’re upset about the Yàngbǎn.”

    “I don’t like surprises.”

    “I sent you a number of emails, three voice messages.”

    “Can we trust them?”

    “No. But they’re still an asset. Alexandria wanted them on board. When you installed your new administration, they said to keep going.”

    Chevalier sighed.

    “Our thinkers are on board to advise with the concentrated defense. I’ve coordinated the foreign capes, Arbiter’s handling some of the translations.” - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
  10. 10.0 10.1 Six more capes made their way down the line. Arbiter used her forcefield to block some more agitated capes from making their way down before it was time. She spoke in one of the local languages to the group. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
  11. Arbiter and Prefab had enough medical training to check the civilians over before we moved them or moved them further. With my power, I tracked Bambina as she ricocheted through the area, causing innumerable explosions across the landscape. Rime struggled to evade both Bambina and the detonation, while maintaining some degree of cover against the gunman. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  12. “Alexandria was always hard on us,” Arbiter said. Her voice had a strange tone to it, oddly melodic, “Getting us to focus on grades, extracurricular stuff, on top of what we did as a part of the team.”

    “We were challenged to be better than the other teams in everything, academics included,” Vantage said. “But we were the only team with a leader who cared about it.”

    “Except the capes in Fresno,” Arbiter said. “I was still a Ward, then.”

    Vantage smiled, “Oh yeah. The bastards in Fresno. They caught on, probably because we were complaining so much. Small team, but they started studying like crazy, just so we’d be in second place, academically. Didn’t matter why we were second, Alexandria was still annoyed at us.”

    “All those sermons on being top-notch, on acting like the people we wanted to be, and… she turned out to be a monster,” Arbiter said.

    “A monster slain by Weaver, here,” Usher spoke. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
  13. Then Usher stepped forward to help, and the August Prince choked, giving me a little slack. I sucked in a gasp for air.

    Arbiter heard, whipping around, and threw a forcefield between us. I pulled away.

    She managed to sandwich the little bastard between her forcefield and the ground. I rolled away, sitting up. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2

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