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The Baumann Parahuman Containment Center, better known as the Birdcage, is a prison for parahumans that have committed crimes severe enough that they must be removed from society. It is not designed to allow prisoners to leave after they have been imprisoned within it. Because prisoners are only meant to enter the prison, prisoners are loaded onto an elevator with limited oxygen.


The Baumann Parahuman Containment Center was presumably built in 1996,[1] Initially it was manned by an unknown overseer,[2] later it became Dragon's responsibility.[3]

Behemoth presumably tried to attack the Birdcage in 2001.[4][5]

Since its inception it has only been taking on more and more inmates.[6] At the time of May 2011 there were 606 inmates,[7] and at the time of June 2013 there were almost eight hundred or more.[8][9]

In the wake of Scion's attack, the Birdcage was opened and many of its inmates were released to assist in the fight.[8] The rest were liberated by a goddess.

Known Prisoners[]


The Baumann Parahuman Containment Center is located inside a hollowed-out mountain in British Columbia, part of the greater Rockies mountain range. Behemoth attacked it but it is unknown what damage he managed to do to the area, if any.


The Baumann Parahuman Containment Center was maintained by Dragon. It is inside a hollowed out mountain whose walls are lined with ceramics that were designed by Dragon, each layer of the mountain contains dormant containment foam, which will automatically start expanding upon a wall breach. Inside the mountain is a vacuum, and three thousand anti-gravity drones, which will detonate upon detecting an abnormality. Some of them contain containment foam and some are much more lethal.

Teacher surmised that there may actually be a spatial warping device that makes the entire prison no bigger than one's fist. This is why it would be nearly impossible for someone to break out.[13]

The prison itself is suspended inside the mountain by the same pipes that supply it with its supplies (such as books, blankets, cigarettes, food, water and air, and other objects), it is also split up into wings, the walls between which are negligible, allowing all the prisoners to intermingle. The prison was originally sex segregated but that didn't last.[14] The cell blocks are usually run by someone and some are very organized, such as Marquis' block, block W.

Societal Structure[]

As with any prison the inmates have their own economies and trade relationships. Cell block leaders are recognized within the prison as authority figures but not outside it. There are more cell blocks than there are leaders but it is recognized that this works. There are lawless zones outside of the cell blocks where people can reside.[15]

Dragon specifically places[7] or directs inmates to specific areas[14] and orders inmates to do things.[16] in order to keep the peace.


  1. Considering its job done, the house program archived the transcription among fifteen years of conversation and notes from the Baumann Parahuman Containment Center. - Exerpt from Interlude 16.y
  2. 2.0 2.1 - Excerpt from Interlude 15.y II
  3. I can say that Dragon is not a tinker at the core level and that you can look at the date the Birdcage was created and the date she was made and that it's fairly obvious she co-opted the technology at one point. The facts don't add up otherwise. - Wildbow on Reddit
  4. attacks birdcage, appears in rockies, no sign he was close or beneath cage. - Exerpt from Crushed 24.3
  5. Vanderhoof, February 25th, 2001. Behemoth. - Exerpt from Interlude 24.x
  6. “It’s not worth it,” West said.

    “A moderate risk for a chance to save hundreds, thousands, even millions of lives,” Armstrong said.

    “How many lives do we lose because of the monsters we set free?” West retorted. “Those criminals were put there for a reason.”

    “At first,” Armstrong said. “But the rationale for indefinite detention has been getting weaker, and the number of capes going in has been increasing. I-” - Excerpt from Scarab 25.1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Signal terminated for 30 minutes and 5 seconds.  Restoring core system from backup NXDX-203 from time 4:45am on date June 4th of year 2011.


    She read the house program’s logs, keeping an eye out for deviations and notable events.  Nothing pressing.  As was her routine, she checked on the last month’s additions to the Birdcage.

    Prisoner 606, Ramrod.  Now member of Cell Block X’s inner circle.  To be expected.  She’d placed him there with the idea that he would become just that.  His psych evaluation from the courtroom suggested he was a very laid back and unruffable individual.  It was her intention that he would have a calming influence on the others in his block. - Exerpt from Interlude 10.5
  8. 8.0 8.1 The cell block leaders.  They’d held their own, maintained their territories, and had been okayed to stick around by the thinkers.  That double-check didn’t have as much weight as it should have, given how this one group alone had no less than three ways to screw with thinkers.

    But they were firepower.

    We had roughly forty-five minutes to half an hour before we’d take our first shot at Scion.  Try as much as we could while risking as little as possible.  These guys would be assets at best.  Cannon fodder at worst.

    Other prisoners were arriving.  Dozens.  Some seemed to be subordinate to the cell block leaders.  Others, they didn’t look like they had a place to go.  I watched Lustrum beckon to a girl with yellow feathers in her hair, and the girl didn’t budge. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.3
  9. With the Birdcage, I added seven hundred and forty-three individuals to my army. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4
  10. Interlude 14.z II
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Blood Diamond had had an accident. The only reasons she could find for her own nomination to Blood Diamond’s position managing the girliest end of the girl’s side of the prison were her sweet disposition and the fact nobody else wanted the job.

    Well… Love Bite had wanted it, but Love Bite had her head torn from her shoulders. Teacup had wanted it, but Teacup had had her porcelain armor torn off, her head shaved, and her tongue torn out. No boys had even been involved in Teacup’s demise, whether the demise was marked at that point she lost her tongue and nearly died of blood loss or when she carried out a hunger strike and died of dehydration. - Excerpt from Interlude 15.y II
  12. “Yeah. When you go to the Birdcage, Colt, they sort you out. Put birds of a feather together. I was one of a few prisoners, and once I heard how they were putting certain people in certain blocks, I thought of her. Of course I go there. Of course. But I ended up being Ingenue’s to look after. Not just not Lustrum’s, but farthest from Lustrum’s cell block.” - Excerpt from Interlude 11.b II
  13. The Birdcage was nicknamed such because the prison dangles. It’s basically set inside a hollowed out mountain and the tube/elevator system that transports prisoners down is also the same (and only) thing that keeps the prison from falling.

    Originally, the Birdcage was conceived of in ‘The Cat and the Canary’, wherein Canary was the main character, and Siberian was a notorious inmate, who decided Canary was her newest victim. I make a nod to this draft when someone mentions in-story that Siberian is one of the only individuals who could break in/out of the Birdcage. (I do this a lot, actually). - Wildbow on Extinction 27.4
  14. 14.0 14.1 “I’m afraid I’ve got to do my job, and that means carrying out my role in enforcing the law. You understand? Whatever my feelings, I can’t let you go.”

    “I- Yes.”

    “Listen, I’m sticking you in cell block E. The woman that put herself in charge of that cell block goes by the codename Lustrum. She’s a pretty extreme feminist and misandrist, but she protects the girls in her block, and it’s also the block furthest from the hole the men opened into the women’s half of the Birdcage. If you’re willing to play along, buy in or pretend to buy into her way of thinking, I think she’ll keep you safest.” - Excerpt from Interlude 6
  15. A goon in the Birdcage who had made a mutinous bid for power and lost. He had been turned away by each cell block leader in turn before venturing into the depths of the Birdcage, where prisoners too dangerous for a cell block had been put. He hadn’t survived his first run-in. - Excerpt from Interlude 9 II
  16. He had no plans. Or rather, he had a hundred. He’d spent seven years thinking about what he would do when he had a chance, a real chance that didn’t use food byproducts and what he extracted when he performed procedures on his cell block inmates. The mentally ill, the suffering. Take from one, give to another, level out serotonin, reduce aggressive urges. Now and then their parahuman overseer would get upset at him for building up too much of a collection, demanding he dump it. Until then, he had some freedom.

    He kept a cell block of people quiet, when they were of types who had no reason to be quiet, and in exchange, they left him alone six days out of seven. Another of the seven days was reserved for dealing with disputes and talking to other block leaders.

    Now he was out, all of those notes in his head, and with a hundred ideas to pick from, he had no ideas. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.y II

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