Earths entire population is infected with an airborne virus, but only one percent have the specific gene required to activate it. Those that have the gene come to be known as One Percenters. As a side effect, these individuals go on to develop unusual abilities. In most cases these abilities are harmless, but in a few rare cases they can also be extremely dangerous. As such, all One Percenters are put into isolated facilities run by a company called Sanaxus to undergo further testing. Under the guise of being a research company searching for a cure, Sanaxus carry out barbaric tests on One Percenters with their own secret agenda in mind.
An event involving a One Percenter triggers the start of a war between a government backed Sanaxus, and One Percenters everywhere.