Like New York, Los Angeles' cape culture has a focus on destructive might, with parahumans who can take down buildings considered the heavy hitters. Unlike New York, Los Angeles provides very little elbow room for local villains: large amounts of visiting heroes, the iron grip of the Elite, and the hard-hitting Protectorate teams under Alexandria's command leave very little room to maneuver. As such, villains active in Los Angeles are either insignificant, extremely careful, or spend only a small amount of their time within the city.
After the Endbringer attack in 2013, Santa Fe Springs and neighboring districts were pronounced uninhabitable due to the traps riddling it.
Government and heroic organizations
Los Angeles houses PRT Department 2, which is the second largest PRT department. It's headed by Director Knox.
As one the top departments, it has a dedicated role: it's responsible for branding. Not only does Los Angeles have the largest branding department, it also serves and administrates countless other branding departments and offices across the United States. For about half of the towns and cities in the US that don't have a branding department, Los Angeles will get the photos, notes on powers, names and other details and will have teams handle the costume and projection of the individual. There's a constant stream of people coming going for the seminars, classes and rehabilitation on the branding front.
The second-largest Protectorate team in America, large enough to have several teams covering different areas of the city, all administrated in a general sense by Alexandria.
Leader of the Los Angeles team and member of the Triumvirate, while also second in command of the Protectorate as a whole. Has enhanced strength and durability, flight, and eidetic memory. She was treated for cancer as Rebecca Costa-Brown in Los Angeles, where she was approached by Doctor Mother, she became active as an independent hero in Los Angeles afterward.
Appointed leader after the Echidna incident. Previously worked under Chevalier. Can create compressed ice fractals that can curve in air and exploded into glaciers on impact. Killed in the battle against Behemoth.
Leader of the second Los Angeles Wards team until problems occurred with her judgement. Has an aura that manipulates inertia around herself, with a positive bias for how it interacts with herself. Transfers to Anchorage.
Known for his reckless tendencies and peculiar mental state.
A teenager in lightweight silver armor with blue cloth underneath, with wave-like designs. Wields an ornate trident, which he can stretch using his power. Accompanied Vantage to Las Vegas.
Unnamed nine year old
Mentioned by Knox to be smart enough to disregard Flambé's advice.
Spends less than five percent of her time in Los Angeles, but is rooted in the villain ratings game. She tries to grab ratings and rankings on top villain lists by taking action and showing off in other cities, and leverages the notability for back-alley sponsorship deals and merchandising. She returns to Los Angeles in between her episodes, spending her money on training, counseling, and living a life of luxury.
Strongarm and Mongler
Two individuals taken down by Alexandria while she was still an independent hero.
↑“And it’s required. Vegas is one of the worst cities for sheer number of villains,” Rime said. Her entire demeanor was rigid, which maybe fit in a way with her ice powers. “Vegas employs a group of unsponsored thinkers and tinkers to monitor the venues, much like the PRT does with the economy, ensuring that everything is above-board, that everything is being conducted fairly and that the numbers add up. Vegas changed as a result, developed a different cape dynamic. In Los Angeles or New York, it’s the people who can blow down buildings that are seen as true ‘heavy hitters’. Here, they’re trying to game the system, and the heroes are trying to game them. In Vegas, it’s thinkers, tinkers and strangers who rule the underworld.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑ 2.02.12.2As a setting, between Alexandria's hard-hitting teams, vast numbers of visiting heroes going out to stretch their legs, and the general iron grip of the Elite, LA provides very little elbow room for local villains. The ones that do exist are such small fry that they barely count, are very successful and very careful (to the extent you probably wouldn't know about them until you'd been around for a few years) or are itinerants who only spend 1/20th or less of their time in LA and are only considered LA villains because they're so rooted in the villain ratings game and flash and pizazz. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 3.03.1Los Angeles, May 17th, 2013 // Tohu Bohu Notes: Victory by Eidolon/The Guild. Tohu selects Alexandria, Phir Se, Lung. Target/Consequence: unknown. - Excerpt from Scarab 25.6
↑They’d figured out how to fight Tohu and Bohu during the Los Angeles attack. The trick was responding quickly, stopping them before Tohu had her masks and Bohu managed her influence. They’d won, for lack of a better term, managing the fight without the casualties they’d seen in the prior attack, but they’d still lost a chunk of the city in the time it took them to beat and batter the towering Bohu into submission. Now Santa Fe Springs and all of the neighboring districts were uninhabitable, due to the traps that riddled it, the way the infrastructure had been completely and totally compromised. - Excerpt from Interlude 26a
↑The largest 65 cities in the United States host individual departments as of 2012. They are numbered accordingly, in order of decreasing size.
↑ 6.06.1Los Angeles is Alexandria's city, and is the second largest department. It features the largest branding department of the PRT, and serves/administrates countless other branding departments and offices across the country. For just about half of the towns and cities in the US that don't have their own branding department, the LA office will get the photos, notes on powers, names and other details and will have teams handle the costume and projection of the individual. There's a constant stream of people coming and people going just for the seminars and classes and rehabilitation on the branding front. LA is a machine on this front. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 7.07.17.27.37.4Director Knox, Note: Auroch’s grades are slipping, necessitating that I send staff to the school, and oversight is starting to take note. Psych sessions are not helping as much as I hoped. We had an incident with a patrol, where Auroch second guessed her initial orders and agreed to move forward with an aggressive play as Flambé was arguing for. To say this is an error in judgement is putting it lightly; Flambé’s reckless tendencies and peculiar mental state are so well known that even the nine year old on our team would ignore his advice. Nobody was hurt, but I’ve suspended Auroch from her position as leader of the second LA Wards’ team. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑The PRT is big, and being big, it has an awful lot of places to stow the more problematic capes. The top departments have individualized roles where they focus on a specific dimension of PRT activities, whether it's overall administration (New York), branding (LA), or training (Houston). - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 9.09.1“Rime, team leader of Los Angeles,” Defiant said.
Taking over for Alexandria, I thought. A cape with black hair in a blue skin-tight costume with fur. I recognized her from the Echidna event, the cape who made ice crystals. I remembered how she’d been following Chevalier’s orders. His second in command? It made sense he’d promote someone he knew to the second largest team in America. - Excerpt from Drone 23.1
↑It's large enough that it has several Protectorate teams to cover different areas of the city, all administrated in a general sense by Alexandria. - Reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑Alexandria – Second in command of the Protectorate. Flies and has enhanced strength, a virtually invincible body, eidetic memory, and senses emotions. The triad of flight, strength and invincibility recurs often enough, in enough variations, that it’s often referred to as ‘the Alexandria package’. Runs the team based in Los Angeles. Member of the now-disbanded Triumvirate. - Cast (In Depth)
↑Tears had been harder to come by since the chemo had started. Most days, her eyes were red and itchy, her vision blurry, too dry to cry. But it seemed this occasion deserved them. For a long time, she lay on her side, staring out the window at the cityscape of Los Angeles, tears running sideways down her face, across the bridge of her nose and down to her ear, soaking her pillow.
There was a sign that caught her eye, because it was so bright a yellow against its immediate background of blues and dusky purples. The classic logo of a fast food restaurant. - Excerpt from Interlude 15.z
↑ 13.013.1“She’s also one of my best yet,” the Doctor said.
“I’ve heard of her,” Hero said. “Los Angeles?”
“You took down Strongarm and Mongler. It was impressive,” he said.
↑Rime Created compressed ice fractals that could curve in air. Fractals exploded into glaciers on impact. - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑Chevalier focused his power on his blade, making it as large as he could. He continued marching forward. There was no indication Usher was okay. Rime was dead, and he had little idea about the state of the supporting forces who’d been intended to help him attack, who’d trained to assist him. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑“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?”
↑“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
↑ 18.018.118.2“Counting coup?” Leister asked. He was the sole subordinate that Vantage had brought along. Rime, by contrast, had brought Usher and Arbiter from her team. Prefab from San Diego had shown up as well. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑“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.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑Usher Provided single-target power immunity to others. - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑Chevalier could feel a sensation crawling through his body, an energy. It didn’t invigorate, not on its own, but he could feel a kind of relief.
Usher was alive, and Usher’s power coursed through him. With luck, he’d be immune to Behemoth’s power, or at least partially immune. Nobody had received the benefit of Usher’s ability and been brave enough to venture into Behemoth’s kill range. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑“You may recognize some of the captains of the respective Wards teams. Jouster from New York, Vantage from Los Angeles, Tecton from Chicago and Hoyden from Austin. You know Clockblocker.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.1
↑Vantage had super strength, but his strength and reflexes scaled up as the number of opponents rose, with diminishing returns. He wasn’t especially durable, but he packed short-range teleports. Very short-range – a matter of two or three feet, at best. He teleported to help close the gap to Swoop and slammed one hand into the man’s collarbone. The woman scrambled for cover. - Excerpt from Drone 23.1
↑Auroch Aura effect manipulates inertia in radius around herself, with positive bias for herself. - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑A second generation cape, Auroch was briefly a member of the Los Angeles team before the attacks in 2011 saw her father and many of her old and new teammates die. She continued her work until a sudden, unprovoked nervous breakdown. The NY office surveyed the case and decided that her leadership abilities and her defensive powers were too great an asset to give up, electing to move her to Anchorage. Thus far she has continued to show her recommended leadership abilities, and was instrumental in inviting a damaged individual to custody. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑ 26.026.1Leister was a teenager in lightweight silver armor with the edges molded into wave-like forms. Beneath the armor was blue cloth with a similar wave-like design embroidered on it. He held a trident, as ornate as his armor. As lightweight and sprightly as Prefab was a veritable tank. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑The others were helpless to assist me, due to the peculiarities of the Prince’s power, but they could direct their focus to Bambina and Starlet. Leister thrust out his trident, and it distorted, stretching the distance between himself and the two kid villains on the wall. He struck Starlet in the face with the shaft of the trident. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑Being on the West Coast, LA is caught up with the Elite, which is the second largest cape group in the US and the largest villain group, though it's villainy is ambiguous. I won't say much more, but they appear in brief in Worm. Long story short is that they snap up all of the rogues (ie. if Brockton Bay were on the west coast, Parian would be leveraged into joining one of the Elite's subsidiaries) and they control a lot of corporate 'hero' teams from behind the scenes. They're organized crime with an emphasis on organized and a varying emphasis on crime, depending on the city. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 29.029.1Bambina is an example of an itinerant: she hits other cities to make a splash, she shows off, and she tries to grab ratings and rankings on top villain lists that she can then leverage into back-alley sponsorship deals and merchandising. Between her episodes, she returns to LA, lives a life of luxury, and gets spends good money on training and counseling in (villain) branding and kicking ass. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑“A pre-emptive attack,” Narwhal said, her voice quiet. “If it provokes them to lash out, well, at least it’s not a coordinated attack, and at least it’s at a point in time when Scion’s busy elsewhere. The Simurgh is standing still. We could hit her with something like what we used in New Delhi or Los Angeles.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.3
↑The Siberian leaped out of the fissure, then paced towards Jack.
Her hand stopped an inch away from him. She lowered it.
Jack had turned gray. Trapped, looped.
“Pathetic,” Gray Boy said. “Stupid, useless. I thought you’d do something interesting, but you made yourself prey, instead of the predator. If you’re going to be prey, I want you to be my prey.”
It dawned on Golem. Gray Boy froze him.
Foil’s screams continued, and were soon joined by Jack’s, as Gray Boy started using his knife, reaching within the field. - Excerpt from Interlude 26b
↑“…I always hated the blank… slates,” Jack groaned the last word. His utterances were finding an odd cadence or rhythm between the gasps of pain, the fresh wounds that were actively criss-crossing his body, opening his stomach, his intestine being gripped and pulled through the wound as if by an invisible force.
The foam weighed him down, and in the midst of the complete and total darkness, he stared skyward.
“…Never that interesting…” He grunted. “Never created art, never… created variation... you’re worse than… most…”