The Malfunctions were a highly informal grouping. They lacked a natural grasp of basic cape politics, and were unaware of many details about powers. Before Gold Morning, the Malfunctions rotated between several towns in the Midwest, though they had little success in finding villains and remained inexperienced. After Gold Morning, they were fine just operating on the fringes.
All of the Malfunctions triggered as kids, and got in touch online to form a team, dropping out of school to be heroes. Prior to Gold Morning, the Major Malfunctions mainly wandered between three small towns in North Dakota, but had no luck finding any villains. By Gold Morning they had been operating for four years. Nevertheless, against the odds, they stayed together as a hero team.
The Malfunctions eventually settled in a tent city, where other teams hadn't claimed jurisdiction, but remained disconnected from other teams and continued to be largely inactive as a hero team. With a referral from the Super Magic Dream Parade, the Major Malfunctions became part of the growing hero collaboration network spearheaded by Breakthrough.Antares met with them and assigned them to keep an eye on one of the suspects at the prison.
The Malfunctions later began their stakeout, with some supervision from Fume Hood. Some shenanigans apparently occurred when they realized that they hadn't brought food, but the situation eventually was resolved.
Later they called in about developments and were visited by Goddess-aligned Antares and Byron Vera. Their second target, prison pharmacist, was meeting with Teacher's agents. Heroes tried to inform Wardens, but ran into communication interference and had to fight through Teacher's thralls in attempt to capture the pharmacist by themselves.
Although Caryatid sustained some burns and the pharmacist escaped, they successfully disabled and apprehended numerous Teacher's agents thank to Finale.
Malfunctions were left out of anti-Teacher operations by their own desire. However, once the first Wardens' attack disappeared, the older members of the team joined Breakthrough in the second assault on Teacher's Compound.
↑The Major Malfunctions were in. They had no idea that there was even a welling PR issue, and when I explained it, they seemed to have some difficulty understanding why it would change anything for them. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.9
↑He was startled by that, and the sudden shift in position forced one of his legs to take on additional strain. It wobbled precariously, metal straining on each flex to the extent that I could hear it creak and pop.
“That’s a thing?” he asked, once he’d found his stability.
↑ 3.03.1How many teams were doing what the Major Malfunctions were doing, settling into a territory where jurisdiction wasn’t contested and just subsisting? No interest or willingness to join other teams, no clues about where the villains were, no information with which to equip or empower themselves. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.9
↑“That explains shit,” he said. “Oh god. Why isn’t there a manual or website that walks us through all of this?”
“There was. It was called the PRT.”
“Couldn’t go to them. Cary lost her brother when she was young. Her family got split up. We were like siblings, us three, we only had each other, really. We’d go from one of our towns to the other, to check on family and friends, but we were the only ones who always had each other’s backs. We were worried we’d get taken away from home or broken up, like how her family got broken up. They reached out a few times, but-” - Excerpt from Beacon 8.8
↑“We got in touch online. All of us got our powers young- it was Caryatid and me at first. Finale a year later. We had different names then, obviously,” Withdrawal said. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.8
↑ 6.06.16.2A painfully slow search online brought up some images of kid heroes with terrible costumes. They’d been small timers before Gold Morning, small town ‘heroes’ who’d rotated between three middle-of-nowhere towns in North Dakota looking for villains or criminals. Four years of activity and they hadn’t found any.
It would have been easy to dismiss them, or to disparage them. They had dropped out of school to be heroes and had no wins. The lack of education was clear in the spelling errors. It worried me a bit that their referral had come from ‘Super Magic Dream Parade’, the loopy team from Boston, who had apparently heard about what we were doing and passed on word.
The Major Malfunctions were teenagers now and they’d been kids when they’d triggered. They’d stayed heroes across six years, and they’d stayed together.
↑“This is the person you’ll be keeping an eye on. The people who attacked the stations might be working with him, or they might be looking to force him to do what they want. I’ll send you the details, along with his schedule. Keep an eye out, discreetly if possible. If there’s weird activity around him, pay attention to that. Maybe he’s already being watched by someone else. If he sneaks out at night or goes to meet people, we want to know who. Get all the information you can. Pictures, license plates, addresses.”
“Bit of a problem,” Caryatid said. “I can’t hold bring phones or cameras with me. They get chewed up by my form.”
“We’ll figure it out,” Withdrawal told her. To me, he said, “We’ll do it. You can count on us.” - Excerpt from Beacon 8.8
↑Tristan spoke, “We’ve got people keeping an eye out for the zealots that are operating around the prison, Auzure is keeping an eye on the prison medical, Sveta’s guys will track some key guards, now the Major Malfunctions- who did we give them?”
“I gave them the response team leader,” I said. “If things get bad and the anklets don’t work, his people are the ones who suit up and go in. If the anklets do work, he’s one of two people who sign off on pulling the trigger.” - Excerpt from Beacon 8.8
↑“I was talking with Fume Hood and the Malfunctions,” Sveta said. “The Malfunctions started their stakeout and realized they didn’t bring food. It was a whole thing.”
“I sent someone their way.”
“And Fume Hood?”
“She’s fine. She was with the Malfunctions for a bit, then went her separate way, keeping tabs on someone from our A-list of concerns. She’s been at this for a while, hasn’t she?” - Excerpt from Beacon 8.12
↑Finale’s wail formed the bulk of the background noise. I spared a glance, even though I didn’t want to see. Her teammates were hurt, not dead. They looked as concerned about her being upset than she was about them being shot, but they didn’t have a lot of strength to communicate to her when she was this loud. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.13