Warning: Contains HUGE SPOILERS for inFamous Second Son. Please do not read unless you’ve finished the game or never plan on playing it!
The appearance of Infamous: Second Son in the Matter Of Perspective series shouldn’t really be a surprise. After all it’s all about a morally complex society trying to deal with people who have super powers, leading to a specialist government agency being created, the Department of Unified Protection (DUP).
Their mission was simple, to find and contain all Conduits and place them in a secured location. On the outside the reason given is to protect ‘normal’ people from these potential monsters, so they can rest easy, but it leads to a society where due process for suspected Conduits is trampled on, with people being caged and transported without trial.
The leader of the DUP, Brooke Augustine, is herself a Conduit, but has convinced the public and the United States government that she is no threat and hates others like her just as much as they do. For much of the game her hatred seems so genuine, and she comes across so mercilessly that it’s not hard to believe she wants to find every Conduit and throw them in a cell, or worse. The first time she meets Delsin she causes him excruciating pain because of what he is or even just because he might know something important to her mission.
However, we later learn that Augustine set up the DUP to protect the Conduits and gather them in one place away from the monsters of humanity. You see, when these super powered beings first appeared many were murdered or victims of lynch mobs as fear of the unknown took control. This was probably most evident during the events of inFamous 2, when Cole was running around New Marais. Augustine sees herself as the protector of the Conduits, and when the government tries to wrestle control away and give it to the army, she is scared what might happen.
Luckily for her the army manages to lose three Conduits, and Delsin also appears on the scene. This allows Augustine to show that only the DUP can control the Conduit ‘threat’ and she plans to do so by capturing Delsin. Of course, Delsin doesn’t exactly play ball and is the one really responsible for the fall of the DUP and of Augustine from power. However, even if Delsin believes what he does by defeating Augustine and freeing the Conduits is good, he creates a whole new set of problems which could plunge the world into even darker times.
Let’s first look at the one of the Conduits that originally escaped, Abigail ‘Fetch’ Walker. The first thing she does is go on a murder spree of her own against the drug dealers of Seattle, because she blames them for their role in her past addiction and for the death of her brother. This spree shows that she isn’t a very stable person and uses her powers for what could be considered evil. Sure, not everyone likes drug dealers but murderers are generally hated a lot more. Within a short amount of time Fetch manages to kill quite a few of the drug dealers, and does so in elaborate ways.
This is one Conduit who has a grudge. Now imagine the number of Conduits that were locked in the confines of Curdun Cay and how many of them would have their own scores to settle. Not everyone with powers is a hero and this wave of grudges would hit the United States and the world as a whole very hard. A lot of those Conduits will first target those who hurt them in their personal lives, and then even turn against the government that locked them away for being who they were.
Once the DUP is effectively dismantled, the real target becomes the United States government for allowing such a suspension of justice and due process in the name of security. These Conduits might just team up, and they don’t really need to lobby Congress for compensation when they could rip the doors open and destroy everyone inside if demands aren’t met. A police or military force may be able to deal with an angered crowd of regular people, but they’re vastly outmatched against a group that could literally have any sort of power to beat them.
The question now isn’t if the government fall, but when, as the wrath of the Conduits pushes the humans out. This uprising may spark others across the globe and a new world war could break out. This time it wouldn’t be about ideology, but whether it’s the Conduits or regular people who inherit the Earth and are the dominant group. The reintroduction of Conduits into society is something that needs to be handled delicately, not just by blowing out the walls and telling them they’re free to do whatever they want.
It’s not like the fears of people would have just disappeared in the years after the mob mentality took hold, but instead they’ve been reinforced. Non-conduits have been told for years that the powerful beings are locked away to keep them safe, and now suddenly they’re free. Those fears will rise up quicker than ever, and people will panic. Both sides survival is threatened, and when that is the main concern, either side will do whatever it takes to survive.
The Conduit/Non-conduit releationship is a lot more complicated than opening the gates and opening your arms, it’s one where both sides have serious concerns and gripes that if not handled correctly from the beginning would lead to blood on the streets.