The PRT is legally considered a paramilitary (that is, organized like military but not explicit US Military) grouping of law enforcement, akin to SWAT, with a code of justice (the PRTCJ) modeled loosely after the military one. Congress has the power to stipulate the laws governing them and the executive the power to direct the PRT. The Protectorate, Wards, and Watchdog programs, among others, fall under the umbrella of this organization.
The PRT is primarily a PR organization, with its numerable other functions being a secondary concern. They try to shape the public perception of capes in media. This includes things like giving Protectorate capes tips at interviewing, or making sure movies show positive examples of parahumans with heroes being invincible and heroic. Further it tried to keep some of the more extreme feats parahumans are capable of form leaking to the public and causing undue distress.
The PRT is a multinational organization spanning the United States of America and Canada, with talks about expanding into Mexico. It is overseen as a whole by the Chief Director and Deputy Chief Director while Directors and Deputy Directors oversee individual PRT departments. Local Parahuman Response Team Directors usually have a say in the decisions that the Protectorate make as well as the equipment, locations, and funds available to them. Each Department has varying responsibilities and jurisdiction based on their placement.
United States' PRT departments are designated from one to sixty-seven in order of the country's largest cities to its smaller ones, with smaller offices located in other cities and towns. Canadian cities were added later as part of a treaty, but given special designated (Vancouver (NW), Edmonton (N), Toronto (NE), etc.).
Brockton Bay (ENE), Pueblo (F), and Jasper (J) warranted special attention and, as such, were given special designations. Other special cases included quarantine zones (PRT departments Q1 through Q7) which are, in order: Gary, Indiana (unexplained explosion in villain population); Freedom, California (Pastor); Eagleton, Tennessee (Machine Army); Ellisburg, New York State (Nilbog); Flint, Michigan (Redacted); Gallup, New Mexico (Villain Group); and Madison, Wisconsin (Simurgh).
MIRIS is a largely failed PRT-centered organization made to promote and enable rogues in society, where parahumans who could not be recruited were supported in business and other practical means such as stipends. A series of setbacks and defunding have largely gutted the group, and it barely subsists now.
The Protectorate is a parahuman organization that has agreed to accept government funding and legitimacy and agreed to follow a special set of laws laid out for parahumans, to accept bureaucratic oversight and cooperate with local authorities.
PRT officers wear chain mesh and kevlar vests, and helmets that cover their faces.
They carry firearms - both pistols and assault rifles. These are usually loaded with nonlethal rounds, unless targeting individuals who are considered expendible or capable of surviving. In addition, specific individuals can carry a variety of specialized equipment. The PRT officers can carry grenade launchers that carry specialized load outs, including containment foam and tinker-made rounds.
Containment foam is the PRT's most common non-lethal response to threats. PRT officers are usually equipped with tinker-made containment foam applicators, mounted on the backs of the officer and dispensed on the target with spray applicators. The PRT, in response to large threats, has large vans with turrets mounted on the top to spray the containment foam.
The PRT typically uses large vans for transportation, these are usually marked with purple stripes diagonally across the side, the initialization of the organization stenciled on the side, their emergency lights are green and white. This distinguishes them from lights used by emergency services. IT is unknown how much variation there is between individual departments.
On January 18th, 1993 Alexandria, Eidolon, Hero and Legend were sworn in by the President of the United States under PRTCJ as the founding members of the United States' Protectorate. It was the first in a long series of steps, hastened by outside influence, that led to the formation of the PRT, the Protectorate, and in the organization of heroes worldwide. In exchange for government funding and legitimacy, the members agreed to follow a special set of laws laid out for capes, to accept bureaucratic oversight and cooperate with local authorities.
HOSV stand for Hive Of Scum and Villainy not High Occurrence of Super-Villains.Brockton Bay was threatened with HOSV status, much like Pueblo and Jasper are, as futher examples. Gary, Indiana and Gallup New Mexicohave been designated HOSV's.
The designation itself bares some relation to a quote used to describe a dubious spaceport in the Science fantasy movie "Star Wars', released in 1977 and as such exists in both Earth Aleph and Bet.
↑The PRT is a paramilitary (that is, organized like military but not explicit US Military) grouping of law enforcement, akin to SWAT. The Protectorate, Wards, and Watchdog programs, among others, fall under the umbrella of this paramilitary organization. Because of the stipulations, regulations, the justice system for the powered, and the international actions that the Protectorate may take, there is a code of justice modeled loosely after the military one, giving Congress the power to stipulate the laws, and the executive the power to direct - but while they may be treated like military in many respects, this doesn't make the PRT military, and barring certain specific deployments, it doesn't make the Protectorate military either. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑Hierophant: I think it'd be mostly similar, except instead of amber cloning they'd just have a dinosaur tinker Horizon:Leviathan being that one super-saur in the lake in Jurassic World would be awesome though Wildbow:Nah, that'd be discouraged Cxaxakluth:I mean, the first movie is something like<[...]1993 Hierophant:Didn't someone theorize that Earth Bet would incorporate parahumans into a lot of stuff Cxaxakluth:was behemoth around then? Wildbow:PRT would subtly discourage 'tinker creates catastrophe and citizens try to cope' movie. - IRC conversation, archived on Spacebattles.
↑Anchorage Local: PRT SETS UP SHOP Without announcement or fanfare, discreetly delivering supplies and personnel via. unmarked aircraft, the PRT has unfurled its flags, mounted its iconic shield emblem on the face of a downtown property, and opened its doors. With the PRT come two teams of heroes, consisting mainly of unknowns. The capes include Horizon, Lightslinger, Snaptrap, Auroch... - Department Sixty Four, PRT Quest thread i p16
↑The building housing the local Parahuman Response Team division didn't really stand out. The exterior was all windows, reflective enough to mirror the mottled dark gray of the sky overhead. Only a shield logo bearing the letters ‘P.R.T.' marked it apart from the other buildings of downtown Brockton Bay. - Interlude 3
↑PRT emblem would be worked in via. gold, with wings peeling off of the sides of the logo & drawing attention to it, at one shoulder. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑Many of the major cities have something going on that adds on other duties or focuses. Some push harder patrols because of ongoing issues with crime, others are more investigative, or host facilities where Watchdog does simulations and tracks goings-on. Some have non-Birdcage prisons or asylums. Others are branding-focused and handle media and costuming and the like for a much wider area than is usual. It's often but not always tied into the city's identity, often tied to geography and the needs of the area, and so on.
This & the nature of the director and leadership styles and current events in the city all add different pressures and focuses, and skew the numbers. There are crime-ridden areas where the emphasis on patrolling might be much higher. - comment by WildBow on Reddit
↑The 66 or so largest cities in the US & the various special case scenarios (Brockton Bay being one) have a much more regimented approach. Offices (PRT establishments in smaller cities, small towns) are far looser, but don't have, say, informations departments or branding departments, or whatever else. So the cape is sorta asked to pick up the slack or handle some of that themselves. Being proactive about being liasons, keeping tabs on police scanners and incidents at schools. Time traveling outside of their city to the nearest PRT department to get stuff like costumes done or so on. - comment by WildBow on Reddit
↑Freedom, CA The nature of the footage is at odds with what it contains. A church, the type that appears in a smaller town, a fervent, excited congregation sitting in the pews, not a one of them able to sit still. The sound is muffled, as the person tries to hide the camera, rustling it against clothing, and the video itself crackles and pops, glitching with regularity, as if caught in an electrical storm. The man at the front is heavy without being fat, hair cut short, dressed up in holy vestments. His voice is muffled, as he speaks to the room. He reaches down, touching the forehead of a girl who kneels before him, and words can be made out - ‘gift of God’. The distortion of the camera flares. It takes a full minute to fade. When the picture resolves, the man at the front of the church is standing, holding the hands of two young people. The girl’s eyes glow, visible despite the glitching and buzzing of the camera, cracks running from her eyes around the back of her head and down her neck, glows periodically showing through the cracks. The boy is still changing, muscles moving visibly beneath skin as if they are something alive, and the cracks in his skin don't reach as far, but they're far deeper where they do exist. The crowd’s singing reaches a crescendo- and the video cuts. When the video resumes, the crackling is just as bad, even though the location is different. “Please help,” the person holding the camera says. “I won’t name myself because-” Static. “-in Freedom California. They won’t let us leave. I repeat, please help. We’re in Free-” The remainder of the recording plays out for the next minute, but the audio and video are nothing but static. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 12.012.1As schmee says, the Protectorate is just one group under a wider umbrella, alongside the wards, watchdog & a few minor supporting organizations. If you take Murderbeam and have him volunteer his services to the PRT, then it's possible he..
Ends up on a strike team. Gets training, gets stuck at a staging point somewhere until a crisis happens, gets sent to deal with a major incident, typically a 'might be a class S threat but too early to tell' kind of incident. Dealing with birdcage convoy escapees, kill orders, outright war, etc. Depending on when you are in canon these have been scaled back and/or the strike team members have been deployed to other roles, and only, like, Alexandria and Eidolon really maintain any (and have very full schedules, traveling to other countries).
Get stationed in a place that's 'safe' from a PR perspective. Murderbeam isn't able to do much against the Machine Army, but might get stationed near Pueblo or the Pastor's area. Depending on his background, could be a punishment detail or a 'work for 2 months, take 3 months off for mental health reasons' kind of deal.
Fulfills another role as bodyguard, escort, fly-along for high-risk convoys, etc. He ends up being one of the really scary looking cape who goes with the President when the man travels to Russia or the guy that rides alongside any birdcage transport vehicles.
↑Rogues who sign up with the PRT and stay out of trouble can receive a stipend. They may also receive protections, but this varies by department. Rogues mostly work day jobs and some try to earn wages with unique avenues afforded by their powers, but it often puts them in an awkward spot, where there's pressure to join one side or the other, and/or they're seen as a prime target for powered thugs who want to earn street cred. For a B-list thug like Longfingers, a rogue who's working a day job providing tinker prosthetics to celebrities and movie studios is a wealthy, newsworthy target who has little combat experience and who, following ass-kicking, counts in most circles as being a 'I beat a notable cape' tickmark on one's resume. - Can rogues make a living as a hero? (Wildbow, Reddit.com, 2017-03-06)
↑MIRIS - A largely failed venture to promote and enable Rogues in society, where parahumans could not be recruited were supported in business and other practical means. A series of setbacks and defunding have largely gutted the group, and it barely subsists now. - PRT Master Reference
↑Standing guard by the front of the room, raising their weapons in our direction, was an on-duty PRT squad. Their very recognizable uniforms were chain mesh augmented with kevlar, topped with faceless helmets. The only means you had to identify them with were the badge numbers printed across their vests in bold white numbers. Four of the five had what looked like flamethrowers. They weren’t firing yet – they couldn’t. They were packing the best in nonlethal weaponry, but there were elderly people and children in the crowd, and according to Tattletale, that meant they were prohibited from opening fire on us for the moment. -Excerpt from Tangle 6.5
↑Krouse stepped over to the window. The street was lit only by the minimal moonlight that filtered through the clouds. There were police cars and fire trucks massing inside the quarantine area, as well as black vans with pale purple stripes and the letters P.R.T. on the sides. The people outside the black vans had uniforms like the man he’d just beat up, only they wore helmets. - Excerpt from Migration 17.7
↑It took three minutes for the PRT to arrive. I saw the green and white flashing lights and heard the splashing before anyone stepped into my field of view. - Excerpt from Parasite 10.2
“I, Alexandria, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the director appointed over me, according to the regulations of the PRTCJ.”
Applause swelled around her. As far as the eye could see, there were crowds and flashing cameras. President Griffin extended a hand and she shook it.
↑But what can you do in their shoes? What would you do differently?
The info about what Alexandria is was inevitably going to leak, even before she died, and the death could readily be a catalyst for many people talking about it. Only Contessa was really holding them back (and Cauldron, behind the scenes, decided to stop protecting the Triumvirate: see number man’s interlude). So it was bound to get out somehow.
Alexandria dies, and you have to tell the public -something-. Chevalier makes the call to tell the public about her shady background, with the caveat that he has to reassure the public that the Alexandria situation won’t recur. He promises to vet the leadership, makes it public so the ones in power know to step down while there’s still an excuse.
But you get isolated cases like Pretender, who are too committed to their careers to leave, people who know they have immediate subordinates who are Cauldron Capes. Who find themselves between a rock and a hard place, in a situation where things were already strained at best (ie. Las Vegas). - Comment by Wildbow on Drone 23.2
↑The PRT is done. There are groups trying to cobble together a replacement, but it’s looking shaky at best. - Excerpt from Teneral e.1
↑Let’s not ignore that the PRT is gone, we no longer have non-capes in charge of them, and they have more proportional power than ever. Let’s not ignore that they’re making a new PRT without any of the key rules that defined the last one. - Excerpt from Glow-worm P.1
↑PM_ME_YOUR_CHURCH: Tbh, I think HOSV is more likely to mean something to the effect of "High Occurrence of Super-Villains" or something similarly mundane and bureaucratic.