Established in 1953 by Tesla’s nephew Andro, Echo Enterprises used basic Metis free energy technology to build a massive financial empire. In sly reference to Metis, the founder named his fledgling organization Echo… the nymph who sacrificed herself before Hera’s wrath to protect her fellow nymphs… and also a pun on the ideas that Metis’ tech is being echoed, and the free energy devices “echo” an initial instance of energy.
The intention was not to enrich Andro, but to create a foundation for an international law enforcement agency that moved in the private sector. The energy opened doors to nations eager to use the technology. Given that metahuman crime had exploded in the ‘50s after WWII, most countries welcomed Echo.
A handful of citizen “metamilitias” had grown up organically, but they didn’t coordinate their activities or share data. Tesla created a pool of information (later dumped into a database and available through wireless internet) of metahuman criminals and vigilantes. The great innovation that catapulted Echo to the forefront of metahuman crimefighting was a simple idea: supplement the combat abilities of metahumans with the investigative strengths of professional private detectives. Echo’s detective core, the MachOps, swelled in a decade, allowing Echo to collect ten times the bounties that other registered vigilantes could manage.
Western governments, baffled by the surge in metahuman activity, wasted no time in bringing Echo into the fold as an officially recognized law enforcement contractor. Though legal battles over the deputy licenses awarded Echo operatives would stretch over decades, police were more and more inclined to overlook broken laws when Echo brought a powerful metahuman to justice. In their eyes, Echo had saved them from a dangerous apprehension.
Andro Tesla passed the torch to his son, Alex, in the 1980s, before his death. Under Alex, Echo has continued to flourish, although the broadcast energy technology created by Nikola Tesla still fails to establish traction as an energy alternative. Thus, the metahuman branch of Echo remains the forefront identity of the company.
Echo employs a rating system to gauge the power of a metahuman. Waggishly named for the speed of sound, the Machs range from Mach One (minor metahuman abilities) to Mach Four (off the scale). Some of the Machs that have appeared in the Secret World thus far are Handsome Devil, Shakti, Matei and Motu, Mercury, Flak, Kid Zero, Einhorn, Warzone, Leader of the Pack, Silent Knight, Junkyard Dog, The Four Winds: Northwind, Southwind, Eastwind and Westwind, Yankee Pride, Corbie, Dreamcatcher, the Troll, and Doc Bootstrap.
Echo Rescue is a non-combat emergency response division staffed by metahumans who, for some reason, are not suitable for battle situations. The robot-armed Jaws of Life is an example. Superstrong but too slow to use his strength as a weapon, he instead provides support for fire and rescue crews.