Reality warping powers come in a wide variety of forms, and it’s hard to make any sort of comprehensive list of them. (See the Reality Warping wiki) (Note: that thing is hilariously wrong – patterns) They also seem to frequently mimic other powers in nature and scope.
(For a discussion of whether reality warping should count as a mirror power, see Dyer and Dexter Through the Looking Glass, and the Circe Project discussion boards.)
Here, we primarily see the massively larger than normal target (the city), as well as the duration of the event (estimated indefinite, if not for intervention) (Note: Probably closer to 3 or 4 years before physical burnout, assuming no support powers, maybe closer to 1 or 2 for psychological – patterns). There’s no indication (indeed, in most of these events) that there was any additional agent at work; the reality warping power itself simply acted in this manner. These are only the most notable effects, anyway, but the most substantial of the evidence for some incidental mirror power.
(See Addison and Gaius Funhouse Mirror, chapter 8 for an in depth argument of this as a standard support power (and the rest of the book for a depiction of the incident from that perspective))
In this incident, we also see power suppression at work. Now, while it’s been posited by many sources that this is either a mirror-like side effect of the power or a mirror power itself (see Ivanov et al. ‘Reality Reflection’, Soong ‘A study on the mirror-like effects of reality warping powers’, Moore et al. ‘Reality Warping Powers and Common Secondary Powers’, Chan and Channing ‘Seven Common Powers’), it’s important to note that in this case, the power suppression worked on all individuals (with powers) from parallel worlds, as well as all of those with magic. (Addendum: It’s also important to note that a fair amount of technology (extranormally associated and not) ceased to function.)
It’s rare that a single power can suppress both extranormal abilities and magic use, although it does happen from time to time in the case of native and parallel extranormal manipulation (See Oz (V), Gold Standard (IX), Rule of Law (L), Strong Nuclear Force (I); see list of parallel suppression abilities). Even devices cannot be reliably built to do so (and will break down quickly when they can be built), so evidence points to this being a separate power, either a side effect of the reality warping, or another power altogether (as listed above).
Also note the facets resembling other powers that are in no way mirror related: some geographies changed (although most of the layout of the city remained the same), some buildings or parts of buildings switched places, the atmospheric content shifted in the affected area only (including weather indicators for weather that would have occurred outside the affected area), certain technologies were replaced with older or different versions rather than simply ceasing to work, enhanced memories were retroactively affected (note: almost all memories subjects should have had up until that point were recovered, and many report memories accrued during the event impacted, such as development of perfect recall memories despite this not being possible at the time), and some people underwent dramatic personality shifts.
(See the precise boundaries of the event – map)
Although many people noticed buildings and stores, etc., getting redecorated, the most consistent change was repeated reference to a ‘Los Angeles’, most notably among souvenirs, but also present on maps, signs, etc. Such items that were removed for testing or research during the crisis remained as such (and now fetch a high price as collector’s items). This, along with the changes in details to people’s clothing, personal possessions, etc. (mostly minor, with exceptions) leads researchers to believe that the warping was not specifically and in detail rendered by the perpetrator of the event, but rather that some section of our reality was replaced with a different one, either by copying or exchanging with some part of a reasonably similar world.
(See list of ‘drastic changes’; see vetted list; see verified list)
(See list of geographic changes, list of historiographic observations, see list of missing, see list of new persons, see list of hospital admissions for drastic changes in mood or behavior)
(See list of comparisons to known parallel worlds)
This is not an uncommon theory; most city scale events have some or much coherence to the altered space, belying the idea that they’re a fantasy of one person (or any group of people) made manifest. Smaller scale events are harder to judge, but are frequently commensurate with the finding, at least when it comes to location-based changes. Certain types of reality warping are incompatible with these theories, but have never been seen on a scale larger than a few dozen square feet.
(See Dubois-Hayashi ‘Alternate Dimensions’ for an illustration of some such events, as well as low-level theoretical background)
(See the Fake Place Real Talk message boards for amateur discussion on the theories, see list of academics, see list of academic resources)
(See Seethepalli Control X for in depth discussion of alternate reality replacement theory)
(See the Dolfen Review Guide to Reality for technical discussion)
(See the WHO comprehensive list of powers (reality warping)) (Addendum: if you’re a masochist or a nerd with too much free time Addendum: or both!)
Of course, the most important thing to remember when interviewing witnesses and suspects is that something like this is a deeply traumatic event, and most will exhibit behaviors you’re likely to associate with guilt, lies, or paranoia. (They may also show flat affect or a lack of emotional range; this is more likely to be an indicator of shock than sociopathy.) This holds true not only of those within the affected area during the event, but also regarding those interacting with or observing it from the outside, and even some with little contact but strong ties to the area in question.
(See Park, Parker, and Parkinson ‘Coping with Reality Warping Events’)
Addendum: (See Park, Parker, and Parkinson Paradigm Shift)
Thus, a gentle hand is required when dealing with any and all persons potentially involved in perpetrating or continuing an event like this, simply because many suspects will be caught up in the search. (Perpetrators will often also feel deep guilt, especially those with initially good intentions, and are almost as likely to be traumatically affected as a bystander.)
(See list of interview guidelines)
Note especially that, while the risk for the average person is almost negligible in most cases, the risk for vulnerable groups is extremely high, especially those that rely on extranormal abilities, magic, highly specialized technology, etc. to survive or live their lives. Most deaths will occur immediately, with the toll rising sharply over a relatively short timeframe as patients’ previous treatments wear off, they can’t access the right medication, or their equipment breaks or malfunctions. Keep in mind, risk of injury both physical and psychological (as well as suicide) increases over time as well.
(See list of high risk groups)