">>>[System//Corazon*//Security] Begining Playback: Subject: Patient 15669. Doctor on Record: Dr. Baidoa Chorakov, Staff number 4339-A12" "Patient 15669: Day 1. Begin recording. Admitting Patient number 15669. Patient Name is Barisal Weißhaus, brought in by [Redacted]. apparently coupled with impressive pattern identification and deductive ability. The patient appears to be suffering from severe delusions and hallucinations, believing that he is being hunted by “Smoke Men”, “The Man in the Suit” or “Angels of Hate”. These terms are used interchangeably, although when confronted with this fact he denies using multiple terms vehemently, to the point of accusations of changing the recording when played back to him." "Due to the extreme nature of his symptoms, he has been sleeved in a Cognite F37-159 “Freeman”, model to aid in care and analysis. Behavioural analysis begins in one hour. End Recording." ">>>[System//Corazon*//Security] Addendum Patient 15669 Brainwave Meta-analysis shows positive for Asynchronous brainwave patterns. Initiating Alaska Protocol." "Patient 15669: Day 98. Begin recording. Once again, Patient 15669 shows no response to treatment. Standard therapy appears to be keeping him calm, but optogenetic and chemical intervention displays no lasting benefit. It's almost as though his mind is anticipating the treatment, and altering itself to render it useless. Digital Fork manipulation has likewise proved fruitless. At this point I am officially recommending permanent optogenetic implantation with a dedicated AI minder. It's a shame, but I can't see any way we can let Mr. Weißhaus ever leave the premises. Investigations into the existence of a pre-trauma backup should be initiated, so that his family can “find” him on the indenture boards. End Recording." "Patient 15669: Day 492. Begin recording. Patient 15669 has suffered a severe worsening of his condition, after an incident in Garden 3. After witnessing a scuffle between patients 2998 and 40001 [See Here For Additional Information], Patient 15669 collapsed and began screaming about “Shadow Demons engulfed in Hellfire”, initial attempts to calm him failed, and full ego suppression was initiated after he began pulling his eyes out. No physical damage was done, but Barisal's condition has worsened considerably. He no longer trusts the staff, claiming we are “Slaves of the Beast”, nor can he tolerate the presence of his fellow patients. Even looking at him can send him into fit of rage. We are moving him to solitary confinement, but this is not a tenable solution. If he doesn't see any improvement within the next month, I shall have no choice but to recommend he be moved to Cold Storage. Barisal's a good man. He doesn't deserve this. End Recording." "Patient 15669: Day 501. Begin Recording! I am officially filing a complaint against “Doctor” Spheresong. Despite knowing quite well Bari's issues, that anarchist Nutjob thought it'd be a good idea to tell him about the damned Cameras in his cell, apparently because "he had a right to know". He quite predicatably freaked the fuck out, and we had to openly remove the spines from the cell. Fresh nanocams are coming online now, but Spheresong's actions are a mockery of our profes... what the … the cell's empty! Checking the corridor spines now... the door never opened! I'm going down there now. Corazon! Can you hear me, you laughable excuse for a security syste... did I just see-" ">>>[System//Corazon*//Security] Recording automatically concluded after 5 minutes of silence. [System//Corazon*//Security] No mesh contact for 1 hour. Initiating Siberia Protocol. Communication Airgap Initiated. Beginning Archive Upload." ">>>[System//Corazon*//Security] No motion detected in compounds for 2 hours. No Mesh contact for 5 Hours. Assumption: Cataclysmic Security Failure. Initiating Tunguska Protocol." ">>>[Contact Lost with [System//Corazon*//Security] ]" The Ungauss exsurgent strain is in some ways similar to the Haunting and Mindstealer strains, but with a more dramatic culmination. Initial infection occurs as a Sensory Reprogramming Basilisk Hack, and a digital version exists that exposes infomorphs to the same hack. Infomorphs and synthmorphs will remain asymptomatic until they resleeve into a morph with a biological brain. Stage 1: Upon infection, the character takes 1d10 SV, and gains the Psi (Level 1) trait with the Pattern Recognition, Savant Calculation and Predictive Boost sleights, and the Mental Disorder (Schizophrenia) trait. The later takes the form that the character constantly believes they are being watched, combined with hallucinations of vague shadowy figures which disappear when regarded. This “schizophrenia” is actually a direct result of the character's Async abilities showing them what is to come... The character is also implanted with an Awareness Block rendering them incapable of clearly remembering their exposure to the basilisk hack, merely being vaguely aware that something bad happened. Neither memory enhancement technologies nor psychosurgical measures can restore this memory. The existence of the psi trait is also covered by this block, meaning the character may not be aware that it is using the sleights, or may believe that they always possessed them. The infection can theoretically remain at this stage indefinitely, although this is unlikely. Each time the character takes SV related to his Async nature, such as through Morph Fever, as a consequence of their Schizophrenia or through what their abilities “reveal” to them, the infection gains a stronger grip. Once they have taken cumulative SV equal to their Insanity Rating, they proceed to Stage 2. Stage 2: At this point, the character gains the Psi (Level 2) trait with the Multitasking and Omni Awareness sleights, in addition to the Phobia Disorder (Being Looked At) trait, which will resist all treatment. When using the Omni Awareness sleight they may use it with a duration of Sustained instead of Temporary, but the penalty on skill tests increases to -20. At this point the Awareness Block becomes weaker, and the character becomes aware that they were exposed to or witnessed something, and that something is influencing their actions. However, this coincides with an intensification of their Schizophrenia so that they either believe that their hallucinations are the source, or that those around them are under the figures' control. Characters must succeed a WILLx1 test in order to seek help, failure results in them taking 1d10/2 SV. Again, the character will remain at this stage until they have taken cumulative SV equal to their Insanity Rating, although this will likely occur much faster due to their phobia, and SV due to attempting to seek help and failing also apply. Once this point is reached, the character progresses to stage 3. Stage 3: Infected characters which achieve this stage will seek somewhere where they are unobserved by others, at which point the Awareness Block dissolves entirely. They remember the Basilisk Hack, and their Async mind absorbs and processes the information contained within, which completely shreds the character's understanding of self. No longer able to conceive of their own existence, yet provided with absolute knowledge of it through their sleights, the paradox fuels and magnifies their Async abilities until the impossibility is forced into reality, twisting the character into the Ungauss Exsurgent. Ungauss Exsurgent The Ungauss exsurgent does not possess a definable anatomy, rather it exists as a “cloud” of unstable particles of indeterminate position. It can be seen only unconsciously or through peripheral vision, where it appears as a vaguely humanoid figure with holes of apparently infinite depth where the eyes and mouth should be, with a colour which is either white, black, grey or some mixture of the three. Attempts to analyse the form or hue of the Ungauss through eidetic memory or image enhancement fail spectacularly, either removing the Ungauss from the image entirely or reducing the entirety of the image to unintelligible chaos. Should the later occur, and the image be analysed, the digital form of the Ungauss Basilisk Hack is the result. This renders the Ungauss effectively invisible to electronic monitoring without an ego present, as the spines either remove the Ungauss from the image or replace the frame with static. Ungauss prey exclusively on targets with biological minds, which they detect through their Ego Sense sleight. Should they discover such a target, they will attempt to approach it, utilizing their Quantum Uncertainty ability to penetrate barriers where necessary to avoid being seen, although they prefer not to if the option is available. If they make contact with their victim, they will use their first available complex action to use the Spam sleight to expose their victim to the Ungauss Basilisk Hack. The Ungauss is considered the source of the Hack, and must maintain physical contact for the duration of infection. Should the victim succeed in resisting the Basilisk Hack they are still subject to the penalty to actions from the Spam sleight, and the disruption to their vision means they no longer force the Ungauss to move by looking at it, although they still take the -30 penalty on attacks. The Ungauss will then attempt to use it's remaining complex actions to use the Psychic Stab sleight as often as possible. Should the target be infected with the Ungauss Basilisk Hack, then any damage dealt applies to the cumulative limit determining the infection's progression. Should the character reach it's death rating in this manner, then it will immediately become an Ungauss Exsurgent. Ungauss cannot directly attack morphs with cyberbrains or Infomorphs, and so instead will stalk them, carefully allowing them to catch glimpses of it in order to provoke them into analysing the images and so expose themselves to the Digital Virus. Should an Ungauss find itself observed, with no eligible positions to move within range, it's quantum state will suddenly and violently collapse, causing an explosion identical to a Plasmaburst Grenade. Cognition +5 (20) Coordination +5 (20) Intuition +10 (30) Reflexes +10 (30) Savvy - (15) Somatics – (15) Willpower +10 (30) Initiative 13 Speed 2 (+1 Mental from Multitasking Sleight) Durability 35 Wound Threshold 7 Death Rating 53 Mobility System: Walker (8/40) – See Quantum Uncertainty below. Skills: Control 70, Fray 60, Freerunning 60, Infiltration 50, Kinesics 40, Perception 40, Psi Assault 70, Sense 70 Notes: Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Vision, Nanoscopic Vision, Swarm Composition (Most attacks do 1 point of damage. Area-effect weapons, plasma rifles,and fire inflict 1d10 damage and plasma grenades do full damage. A Somatics score is included above should a value be necessary) Ungauss exsurgents take 1d10 damage each action turn they are within the effect of the “Static” sleight. Quantum Uncertainty: The unstable nature of the Ungauss exsurgent means that it can “walk” along any surface regardless of gravity, and pass through physical barriers by performing a WIL x2 check modified by the barrier's armour rating. The Ungauss cannot be directly perceived: any attempt to do so immediately makes the Ungauss aware of the presence and approximate location of the observer, and shifts the Ungauss to an unobserved area within 40m. For this reason, Ungauss cannot be directly attacked. Ranged and melee attacks must be made “blind” with a -30 penalty. Characters under the effects of the Unconscious Lead sleight do not trigger this effect. The Ungauss may always use it's full Fray value against ranged attacks. Psi Sleights: Ungauss exsurgents possess the following sleights. They never take strain from using these sleights. Their effects have been summarized for ease of use. If the use of a sleight would enhance a skill the Ungauss doesn't possess, treat it as having a skill of 40 before modification. Passive: Multitasking (+1 mental action per Action phase), Pattern Recognition: (+20 modifier to Language, Investigation, Research, or code-breaking Tests.), Savant Calculation: (+30 to any Math related tests.), Predictive Boost: (+10 on tests to predict Outcomes, +1 Initiative and +10 Fray (already included above)), Unconscious Lead: (+1 Speed (already included above). This is usually an active sleight, but Ungauss are constantly under it's effect.) Active: Ego Sense (Complex Action, Close Range, opposed Sense test to which size modifiers apply. Success detects the target's presence, plus one piece of information for every 10 MoS such as size, direction ect.), Psychic Stab (Complex Action, Touch Range, opposed Psi Assault test. Success deals 1d10+3 DV, Extraordinary successes deal +5 damage.), Spam (Complex Action, Touch Range, opposed Psi Assault test. Success implants the Ungauss Basilisk Hack, which may be resisted as normal. Any questions, comments or criticisms? The basic concept came to me after wondering what would happen if Schrödinger's Cat escaped from the box... because if it's simultaneously dead and alive, then surely it can be simultaneously in the box and out of the box :P It's also perhaps worth mentioning that I know that quantum uncertainty doesn't work that way in real life. Any and all feedback would be appreciated :D
—In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?