Even while Dr. Amwerth headed the quanta project, he had lieutenants. The first of these, Dr. Augustus Roont, was brilliantly gifted but always lacked focus for the project as Amwerth defined it. Ultimately that was likely beneficial to mankind, and Dr. Roont’s contributions certainly enriched the quanta community, not least because he discovered that quantas could be produced without using runaways or other ‘expendable’ base material. Roont perfected a method of producing quantas using only the performers’ (or other human) DNA, the quanta power grid, and random matter around which the matrix would grow. His accomplishments were documented by Lupe Luis, reporter for the Finger-Poppin Times, although the public would not know for years about the base material Roont had replaced.
Roont’s assistant, Chic Andrews, was a frequent contributor of material, leading to many wacky transformations which often required the help of King Cougar or another of the Cougar Clan to put right. Giant Armadillo Andrews, Cactus Andrews, Putty-Boy Andrews, and the Red-Headed Quarry of 10,000 B.C. are but a few of the misadventures generated by Roont’s DNA Den during this Silver Age of quanta-genetic experimentation.
Following the Great Change, Roont continued his work but was largely supplanted by another great scientific mind who assumed leadership of the quanta project. Dr. Tom Raley introduced his own element to the mix: in an age of drug experimentation, he added various psychoactive compounds and produced results his predecessors never foresaw. In fact, some quantas even returned to his lab to ‘upgrade’ their abilities. One very successful result Raley frequently customized for his patrons was the ability to generate ‘spectres’: solid-light sculptures whose weight, density, elasticity and other properties the creator could dictate. These were similar to the images the Navy Blue called Blackball could generate, but were generally much more vibrant, with greater detail and unlimited in color. They also could be summoned instantly, rather than being assembled from bits of energy (although it’s been suggested that all such constructs appear at the speed of thought.) Some quantas developed ‘specialties,’ creating the same spectres regularly, much as their parent performer might be expected to ‘play the hits.’ King Cougar has often generated his Ghostly Train, or left evildoers for the police inside a Cellblock Rock, while Midnight Cannonball, one of the earliest meta-heroes, asked Dr. Raley for the treatment and has since often used his Bonds of Love, as well as his permanent familiars Phlip, Phlop, and Phly.