a sci-fi au meme
50 years ago, or 75 years ago,or 20 - it's hard to recall such precise numbers in the haze and hardship - the world almost ended. While the timing itself is remembered by few, the event serves as a sharp divide of before the Fall and after. The Fall, in all its terrible and explosive splendor, sent societies spinning on their heads, no matter if its intimate nature are unclear. Once again, humanity has had to claw its way out of the primordial pit, all its achievements sent to ruin in the face of a nuclear flare. What little governmental structure remain amongst the survivors is tyrannical, but astute. When those in charge noticed that offspring of those who hadn't been killed by the Fall were beginning to be born with unique abilities, they chose not to persecute this "new generation." Instead, they jumped at the chance to have a homegrown army to protect the fragile rebirth of man, learning little from the old mistakes.
These gifted individuals fall into two categories: those with psionic powers and abilities used for offense and those who have healing and rejuvenating properties. Apart, these are interesting parlor tricks, with psionics, called Powereds, being about to move items with their minds for a few inches or pick up heavier ones they shouldn't be able to or healers, called Sources, fixing up superficial wounds. The true potential lies in when a Powered and Source are brought together, however. Each Powered has a Source that is their match and vice versa, the lock to their key, right down to the very genetics. When the right pairing made, a Powered can move mountains or create energy weapons beyond compare, a Source can provide near infinite energy to their Powered or even bring living beings back from the brink of death. To belong to either of these groups is a high honor. So high, in fact, that as soon as a child shows promise, they are whisked away by higher authorities to be matched with their lifetime Powered or Sourced and begin their training, where, despite the risks, they will find better living conditions and more resources than they could have ever dreamed of out in the desolate, dying world.
This pair grows up together, becoming dependent on each other. Even if their personalities clash, the pull in their very nature evens things out; it is, after all, a psychic bond that connects Powered and Sourced. Without the presence of their Source, a Powered might find themselves enraged or worried or unsettled. On the other hand, a lonely Source may become listless or despaired. As two is where they find complete harmony, and their unity shows in the combat or espionage skills.
On record, romance between matched pairs is strictly forbidden. Off the books, though, it happens more times than not, with two people growing up together virtually since childhood who are programmed to be co-dependent, and it is highly encouraged by those higher up due to abilities being strengthened through both emotional connection and physical contact. There's no risk in it, in their eyes, only gain as they can terminate a pair quite easily. A Powered is useless without a Source, so the ultimate weapon has a kill-switch...and a useful weakness for blackmail purposes There are always whispers in barracks of someone who's doing a task because their Powered's or Source's life is at stake.
Once battle training is complete, each pair is assigned to an eight-man cell, comprised of four matched pairs like themselves. What these teams do depends upon their skill sets and training levels, with anything from peacekeeping to public relations to assassination being on the dossier. Yet the imperative is for those on front line is clear: protect your Powered or Sourced at all costs, even on the backs of the others on your team.
Without them, you are useless. Without them, there is no place for you in this world.
tl;dr sparknotes this because we want to get to the meme: Sentinels and guides had a baby with YA dystopian lit. After a near extinction level cataclysm, people began to develop abilities that fall into two categories: Powered (sentinel/warrior) and Source (guide/healer). Their true powers are only revealed when they find their one genetically compatible match. A shadow government kidnaps these individuals, puts them into lifebonds, trains them for combat, then sends them out in teams to do all the dirty work. Codependency, mind-bonding, unhealthy love, and bloody murder probably ensue.