From the introduction:
Azraq is the home of a race of humans who were, for better or worse, visited by a race of aliens called “The Outsiders.”
The Outsiders parked a massive space station called “The Citadel” in orbit above Azraq. From there, they began to spread propaganda about their prophecy.
“We’re here visiting Azraq to fulfill an ancient prophecy handed down for generations. We cannot share the details of this prophecy with you. Knowing what the prophecy entails could ruin its revelation. This is why our people cannot fulfill the prophecy, and why we must attempt to shepherd you into completing it.”
And so it went. The Outsiders would come down to Azraq and abduct people in the name of their prophecy. At first, law enforcement and governments tried to fight them. But the efforts were so one-sided. Defeated, they eventually gave up and basically granted The Outsiders the authority to take what they wanted because there was nothing the powers of the world could really do to stop them anyway. It helped ease their minds when The Outsiders would return the people they took mostly unharmed, although not unchanged.
They never told anyone, but part of the abduct / return process was subjecting people to alien tech that gave them super powers...
The media coined them “Altered.” Humans with super powers capable of wild abilities. Naturally due to The Outsiders screening process which goes something like “This guy could fulfill the prophecy” The Altered run the gamut from Heroes, to Villains, to the just plain uninterested.
This world would become a battleground for The Altered.
A playground for the powered.