Short for ex-Agency, the term ‘XA’ is very rarely heard at all. The Agency quashes any rumours that members would want to leave, nevermind are successful in doing so. The Agency wishes to retain their market share in super-powered assassins, of course, and wants to keep it’s secrets – it’s edge. But there is also a hidden agenda. A refusal to be disobeyed that is impressed on the assets from their first mission to their last.
To this end, all Agency assets are assigned a human ‘Handler’, a talented soldier and diplomat who is ruthlessly, unshakably devoted to the Agency. Handlers monitor all aspects of an asset’s behaviour, mood and psychometrics in order to best predict what they might need and – more importantly – if they might stray from the cause. Agency personnel who have hopes of escaping find their Handler to be the first obstacle in their way.
Each of the small number of XAs have an astronomical figured bounty on their head for live retrieval. This attracts attention wherever these people try to flee, meaning most lie as low as they can, or travel to the edge of humanity just to evade mercenaries and bounty hunters.