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John Zsolt leaned against a chest-high cairn and tried to catch his breath. The air
was so cold that it burned in his lungs. When he exhaled, moisture caught in his
mustache and froze solid in a few seconds. He coulcl see snow still unmelted on the
mountain peaks surrounding him. The narrow pass was silent, but the blood ham-
mering in his ears made Zsolt think of late-season avalanches, of lonely travelers swept
down to their deaths by tons of falling snow and ice. He'dbe no good to anyone then,
he thought. There was no point in coming this far just to throw it all away widi a single
misplaced step. He leaned down with his hands on his knees.
"This is Switzerland now," Varya called. She was in a better mood than he was.
She also didn't seem to be having any trouble breathing.
Zsolt looked up. "That mean anything special?" he asked.
She shrugged, and her blonde hair swung a little. "It's not Italy, so that's some-
thing. And nobody's caught you yet. That's even better. \\fc're getting closer to Basel
with every kilometer. I don't think there'll be any more long detours."
"Terrific," Zsolt said. He was still having trouble getting a good, deep breath.
"How far now?"
"Want to see on the map?' 7
He raised one hand and waved it sideways a little. He was too worn out to say no.
She gave him one of her beautiful, brief smiles, the kind that had no friendliness
in it at all. "Think of Switzerland lying on its side just over Italy, okay? We're down in
the lower left-hand corner. Baael 's about as far away as it can possibly be and still be in
Switzerland, all the way on the northern border with France what's left of France."
Zsolt wasn't going to let her goad him. "Stop trying to cheer me up," he said.
She laughed, like her smile, it was empty. Her blue eyes got rounder. "Hey," she
said widi false innocence, "it's 2120, people don't hike anymore. This wasn't mvidea. I
wanted to fly or at least rent a skimmer. You're the one who thought somebody was
trying to stop you. You Ye the one who wanted to hug the dirt all die way to Switzerland."
"That's not the way I remember it," Zsolt said. There was a long, low rumbling as
tons of snow and rock fell from one of the glaciers into a crevasse. Zsolt had stopped
paving attention to those sounds.
"All right with me." Varya shrugged and turned away. "Remember it however you
want. What's your plan to get to Basel?"
Zsolt crossed the frozen ground between them. "I don't know," he said. "What's
your 'invisible paionic guidebook' say?"
She turned to him again with another of her smiles. Zsolt shivered. "There's an
old inn up ahead maybe half a kilometer. Been there for centuries. It's the place where
St, Bernard dogs got their name."
Zsolt stared out over the pass, where the land fell away toward a river valley. "I'm
trying to save somebody's life," he said. "I don't care about history."
"That's the Combe des Morts down there," she said, walking again, leading the
way. "The Valley of the Dead Guys. So come on if you're coming." She didn't look
back over her shoulder; she knew he'd follow.
In a moment, Zsolt saw diat she was right she was usually right. Two venerable
stone buildings sagged in the saddle of the pass, looking unchanged since the monas-
tery was Founded twelve centuries before. Not even tire tracks or uplink dishes marred
the timeworn stillness.
One building was evidently a church and the other must've been the inn Varya had
known about. It was bigger than he'd imagined, with enough rooms for a couple of hun-
dred travelers, Zsolt wondered about that. Who came through this way? Roman legions,
maybe, shuffling past on the road to conquer some other province. Or Napoleon with his
army. Nobody ever showed up here just to be here-, if they stopped at all, it was only because
it was the route to somewhere else and night was coming on as night was falling now.
If Zsolt and Varya didn't stop and call it a day, they might get lost in the tangled,
frozen mountain gorges. Then the monks would turn loose their well-trained St.
Bernards, but if Zsolt wasn't found in time

"Dreaming already, John?" Vaiya said with a mocking edge in her voice.
He shook his head to clear it, settled his pack more comfortably and walked briskly
by her on ihe track. Sometimes he didn't Like the tone she got, and sometimes he just
wanted to finish what had to be done without discussion. Going down into the valley
was for tomorrow; not being captured was for tomorrow; finding his way to Basel was
for tomorrow. What happened after he got to Basel, well, he'd think about that to-
morrow, too. Right now, all he wanted was to meet a kind, hospitable innkeeper who
spoke some language that Zsolt or Varya understood.
The older of the two buildings, the church, had a porch with a handbell, Zsolt
glanced around, but no one was in sight. He climbed to the porch, hesitated, then
raised the bell and rang it. Its clanging and echoing shattered the Swiss stillness until
Zsolt was sorry he'd ever touched the thing.
The raucous noise produced a man from within. He was short, heavy and red-
faced, and dressed in black clerical robes. He smiled at Zsolt and Varya. "Griietzi," he
said, welcoming them in Schwyzerdutsch, the Swiss-German dialect. He also greeted
them in French and German.
"Ready for this guy?" Zsolt murmured.
"He'd be dead before he could touch you," she said.
"Try to be quicker. Some of those psyqs don't need to touch me."
"I'll just get rooms for us, all right? And I'll take care of the rest."
The friarbeckoned to them, and they went with him into the ancient stone church.
They followed a vaulted, dusty corridor around the inner sanctuary to a covered pas-
sageway. Zsolt could see that it led across the yard to the second building, the inn
where the monks sheltered weary travelers.
As they walked along the cloister, the friar chattered in French, but slipped fre-
quently into Schwyzerdutsch. Although Zsolt spoke French, the monk's dialect was
difficult to understand. Zsolt heard the word vendredi and caught something about a
jour maigre. "Why's Friday special?" he whispered. "What's he mean by jour maigre?
If it's something that'll attract a crowd, we need to get out of here."
"Don't jump, raagyar," Varya said. "He's just saying he's sorry, but Fridays are
lean around here. No meat."
"Oh, okay. I got my own anyway."
Varya frowned at him. "Leave it in the pack, John. Respect the place."
"What difference is it to you what I eat?" Zsolt asked. "I didn't think churches
were such a big deal to you."
Varya shook her head. "Churches aren't. Beliefs are. Maybe when you're my age
you'll see the difference."
Zsolt estimated she was seven, maybe eight years older than he enough to make
her an authority whenever it served her purposes, but still young enough to make
Zsolt do all the hard work. It wasn't only that Varya was somewhere between handsome
and beautiful, and that she was as smart as any three random strangers combined; she
was also simply better at manipulating people than Zsolt was. She was a great teacher,
too, and he was taking careful notes.
The friar showed them to cold, quiet rooms on the second floor of the larger
building. He'd come for them again in time for vespers, and there'd be a communal
supper after prayers. Varya translated for Zsolt. The black-robed man turned away,
and Varya went into her quarters, shutting the heavy oak door.
John Zsolt sat in his clean, somber cell and stared out of the iron-barred window
toward the mountains to the north. The River Rhone was still invisible beyond them.
Zsolt was glad to be alone( glad to have time to think over his plan.

Brother Luce hung up green tags for Rooms Ilg and 117- "They could be any two
people in love wandering through the Alps in June," he said. "I suppose they're not
Swiss or German, although 1 could be wrong about the woman. Her dialect is very
good; you hardly notice an accent. He didn't say very much, but he looks like he

doesn't need to. You can see she's got the mind for both of them. She's one of the
Gifted; I'd bet tonight's pie on it."
Brother Enric was rinsing off vegetables brought up from Bourg-St.-Rerre.
"Gifted," he said with a short, bitter laugh. "I hate that word. They invented it them-
selves, you know, so they wouldn't sound too special. My mama used to say, 'You'll see,
dear, diey're not really better than everybody else, they're just Gifted.' In school, the
goddamn Gifted kids always thought they were better every time."
"You'd rather I called them 'psions'?"
Brother Enric kmmphed. "At least 'psion doesn't make you feel like they're re-
minding you how inferior you are. That's probably why they use it, so we don't pay
attention to what they're up to all the time."
"You're suspicious of everybody."
The cook shrugged. "1 didn't like it on-stage. That's what I called it out there:
on-stage. That's why I'm in here."
"I'm here to serve God," Brother Luce said simply.
"Sure you are," said Brother Enric. "I'll bet they're not in love."
"What? Who?"
"Your travelers." Brodier Enric brought a heavy cleaver down on a handful of
leeks. "I'll bet they're not in love."
"They probably haven't even noticed the climb."
"They've noticed, all right. You've watched too many vids. That's your problem.
Old romantic vids. Those two visitors may be crazy in love, my friend, but their knees
aren't. It's the knees that tell you you're walking up a mountain."
Brother Luce didn't say anything for a moment. He just looked up at the ceiling
where he supposed God would be listening, The two monks had had this conversation
before, and if God hadn't grown bored of it, Brother Luce surely had. "How many is
that for tonight?" he asked at last,
"Twenty-two," said Brother Enric. 'You're forgetting the four Chinese guests
not sleeping at the hospice."
"Right. Twenty-two." Brother Luce turned over four more green tags in case the
rest of the kitchen and housekeeping staff needed reminding. Then he piled all of
Brother Enric's scraps on a tray to take to the compost pile. As he left the kitchen, he
thought, "Why couldn 't they be in love?" But he didn't say it aloud.

The setting sun had vanished behind the peaks. The villages of the deep valleys
were already sunken in twilight. For a few minutes longer, though, a radiance slanted
down from the west, and the Alpine glow lingered in John Zsolt's chamber. The in-
stant he became aware of it, it slipped away. He sat alone in the darkened room and
watched as the stars trembled into the sky.
His mouth formed the words "Zsolt... Kaposzta Kid... read." The minicomp on
his belt projected a holographic index in the emptiness of the air. Zsolt glanced at it
briefly. He still did not speak, only shaping the words "mail" with his lips, then "Pat."
He chose the most recent entry.
His friend's image was there in the cheerless, cold room. "John!" Pat said with a
grin. "How you doing? Thought I'd diank you for die games and the books. I'm not
even sure you'll see this before you go. Maybe you already left for"
"Pause," Zsolt murmured. He stood and went to die tall, narrowwindow. The church and
die road back to the Italian frontier were behind him, on due odier side of die inn. There was
nothing to see now, just the dark mountaintops against the black sky and the brilliant stars.
Zsolt turned again and looked. In the middle of the room, Pat was caught in
mid-gesture, in perfect humor and perfect health. Both were illusions, Zsolt had read
this letter dozens of times, at least once each day since it arrived. Pat had waited to send
it until after Zsolt went away to Europe.
It wasn't an accurate image of Pat. It was an avatar, a carefully designed reproduction
from a time before Pat was stricken widi D. It didn't look like Pat now and it didn't sound

like Pat now. Even the gestures were edited in from old files . It had been months since John
Zsolt had seen his friend's face light up with joy that way. Months since Pat -was strong
enough to go hiking, one of his favorite pastimes. Now, Zsolt knew, Pat's face was taut with
strain, and he did little but pick restlessly at the raveled seams of his blankets.
"Play, " Zsolt watched the system-animated avatar Pat seemed active, eager, thriv-
ing but Zsolt clearly remembered the last times they'd been together. Pat had al-
ready begun to deteriorate, and since then he'd have gotten worse, not better. In the
letter, Pat avoided the subject of his illness, unable to tell even his most loyal and
devoted friend how wretched he'd begun to feel. Zsolt turned away again from the
false form and voice; he couldn't bear to watch anymore.
He listened to Pat's vacant chatter, but stared out of the cell's dreary rough-hewn win-
dow. He could make out familiar constellations: Orion and Taurus, each attended by more
faint stars than Zsolt ever imagined in the skyroom of his home arcology. Pat's voice filled the
stone chamber, grateful that Zsolt had stayed his friend even after Fat got sick, and how rare
that was, and how lucky Pat felt "really, magyar, Ifeel blessed despite coming down withD."
Zsolt wondered what Varya was doing in the room next door. Was she performing
some secret psyq ritual, maybe "attuning herself to the subquantum resonances" to
help them slip safely into Basel? The clears had more double-talk explanations than
the pyramid-and-crystals crowd. But hell, he thought, whatever worked.
She'd revealed almost immediately that she was a clairsentient. He said that no one
really used that word. Where Zsok came from, young ckirsentients wanted people to call
them "Ductrans," from a Latin word meaning "to lead." Nobody called them "Ductrans,"
either. In everyday speech, the ^sculapian Order the healers were called "docs," and
the clairsenticnts had become "clears." Clairsentients, especially Varya, loathed that slang,
but they couldn't do anything about it because diey were the Good Guys. Or so they said. . . .
"Two last things." Pat's strong baritone voice broke into Zsolt's thoughts. "One
big thing and a small one. The small thing first: Since you've been away, Dunyha's
adopted me. I don't mind your cat curling up on my feet. She's kind of cute, really. I
don't mind her settling down on my chest while I'm reading, cither, except she's not
a kitten anymore and she weighs a lot more than she thinks. She grooms my beard with
her raspy little tongue. I do mind that she's been sleeping on my pillow right on my
hair. Last night she startled me awake, coughing up a furball on my forehead."
Pat was pretending to take the disease in stride, trying to be brave, but that was
enough of an effort without unprovoked cat attacks. Zsolt smiled.
"The last thing." Zsolt always quit the letter at this uncommon, grim change in Pat's
tone. But high in a mountain pass hidden in the Swiss Alps, at the hospice of Great St.
Bernard, Zsolt listened to his friend's voice. Maybe the peaceful setting granted Zsolt
the strength, but he turned to watch as Pat's idealized avatar spoke its last words.
"Don't forget me, John, All those years, all the ways life pulled us apart, we could always count
on each other. Ves, FmafraidofD, but I'm mojie afraid ofbeing forgotten after I'm gone.
"John, you're sure you can find a miracle for me in Switzerland. Well, good, I'm
glad it gives you something to work toward, something to focus your mind on. My own
feeling is you won't find any help there. I'll stay home and hold out while D takes over
my body. I may give in before you get back again, but that's not such a terrible tragedy,
We knew it could happen anytime, John.
"I dreamed once that when I was born. God gave me a second calendar page for
the last day of my life. I've spent years trying to forget that image. You will have a last
day too, John. If you're lucky, you'll have a friend as good as the one I have in you.
Please let me ask this one last time: Remember me, John. "
The strong young avatar aimed Pat's trademark smile into Zsolt's eyes. The image
flickered and went dark. The sunset had long since faded from die rocky slopes; there was
no moon, and John Zsolt's small room now held nothing but deep and dismal shadows.

Delemont's desktop was broad and empty, made of some sturdy material that
mimicked white oak. Months ago, he'd cleared it of every bit of visible system hard-

ware, which was now stripped down to its smallest components and hidden within the
desktop itself. He'd packed a cardboard carton with his clock, lamp and hardcopy
machine all in matching white alabaster a silver and blue souvenir mug from Sao
Paolo, and even his family holos. He labeled the box "D Necro Sections "and tucked it
high out of reach on a shelf in his office's walk-in closet.
The desk's frame was made of the same simulated oak. Delemont had designed it
without slots or trays for pens, paperclips or other small office supplies. There were
neither drawers nor compartments for notepads or hanging file-folders. There wasn't
the smallest space to hide even the most miniature electronic audio or video recorder.
As a desk, it was virtually useless. As an introduction to Delemont, the man, it was all
you needed to know.
On the bare, flat desktop, in the far upper-right corner, two polished shafts of
petrified wood rose up like weathered desert spires. Conspicuous on the uncluttered
surface, the two shafts of stone confined between them three narrow books. Delemont
had written two of the volumes, and a former colleague had written the third. That last
book had been dedicated to Delemont out of professional regard, but the inscription
page was as far as he'd ever read.
At the base of the taller column was a tiny sliver of rock, a chip that Delemont had
noticed every hour of every day. Whenever Delemont felt any sort of dissatisfaction, he
looked at the small bit of stone and knew there was some Asian philosophy in it. He
didn't know what, specifically he didn't need to know what. If anyone had asked him,
Delemont would've replied serenely, "What does a waterfall mean?" Delemont was able
to appear serene, and he was able to sound serene, but Delemont would never again
know true serenity of mind. He'd chosen between the tranquillity he'd yearned for and
an opportunity to wield vast power. As yet, he had no cause to regret his decision.
Delemont leaned forward and his white leather swivel-chair creaked. His lips
formed the words "Delemont," then "33...Rutli...I3," "call,"
then "Chiavenna." He waited a few seconds until Stina
Chiavenna answered her phone and her avatar appeared
in the empty space of Delemont's desktop.

"1 iound them for you," said the Italian woman's avatar, chosen to look brisk and
businesslike, smartly dressed in a steel-blue suit, her long black hair brushed smoothly
back, withjust a few stray strands to one side. The avatar, about ten inches high on Delemont's
desk, looked comfortable in a chrome-steel recliner padded widi black leadier.
"We found them ourselves an hour before you did," said Delemont. He didn't
bother to use an avatar. Chiavenna saw him just as he was: powerful, angry, and able to
cause the woman a lot of trouble if Delemont didn't get a satisfactory explanation.

Chiaverma's avatar pursed her lips, a tiny signal of annoyance. 'You're paying us"
"Yes, Stina," said Delemont, "we're paying you, but we're not completely relying
on you. We're fallowing our own leads in case you don't deliver. And so far, you
haven't delivered." Almost without realizing that he did it, Delemont reached out and
moved the chunks of petrified wood to either side of the avatar. Ghiavenna couldn't
see them, of course, but her image now seemed trapped between the heavy rocks.
"Well, Mr. Delemont," Chiavenna said, "last night when you commissioned us, it was
already pretty late. Of course, we put our best available team on it, but as of an hour ago"
"At 7 : I5 th^ niorning," Delemont said in his coldest voice, "John Zsolt made a
quick stop in the church at Great St. Bernard, went to the first pillar on the left, and
dropped a thick roll of Italian new euros in the poorbox. He and the woman caught a
ride in a small truck down into Martigny. From, there, they could've followed the
Rhone east, but I'm guessing they're smarter than that, They wouldn't trap themselves
on a boat, and diey must know we're watching the airports, magtrain stations and bus
terminals. They'll continue cross-country, on foot or hitching rides on small roads,
and try to shake us in Montreux, Lausanne or Bern."
Chiavenna's avatar didn't say anything for a moment. "There's no proof they
even know we're following them."
D elemont made an impatient sound. "You believe what you want," he said, "How-
ever, if you don't have results for me in twenty-four hours and I mean the cryal we
won't be offering your outfit any further assignments."
Chiavenna cleared her voice. "I want to be sure about one thing: You don't care
what happens to Zsolt or the woman?"
"I hear the... enthusiasm in your voice," said Delemont, "and frankly, it's offen-
sive. The jEsculapian Order would rather save lives than waste them. Now and then,
our goals result in misfortune for some people. We know it's unavoidable, but we still
regret it. So to keep the bad luck to a minimum, there will be no more mistakes from
now on. Zsolt's cryal could lead to a general panic. If that happens, we want to be in a
position to manage it. That means we need more time to get ready."
"This cryal, whatever it contains," Ghiavenna said in a faltering voice, "should I
warn my agents?"
"Signorina Chiavenna, if you don't get the cryal from Zsolt, one of those regret-
table misfortunes that I so deplore will find you within minutes. You won't have to
worry about anything else."
Delemont broke the connection and cleared away the woman's avatar with a curt
wave of his hand. He took a moment to position the two towers of petrified wood
more precisely in the upper-right corner of his desktop. Then he sat back in his white
leather chair and began some slow, relaxing breathing exercises,

John Zsolt was in a warm room with the feel of summer afternoon lingering in the
corners. He recognized it as the modular apartment of his friends Kaylee Sat-Ghokand
Tavo BrneL That told Zsolt he was half a world away from the Wais region of Switzer-
land, as Kaylee and Tavo's place was slotted into one of the remaining Zaozhuang
arcologies south of Beijing. It didn't occur to Zsolt to wonder how he came to be there.
From behind and above came the voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong,
watered silk and gravel, singing "Moonlight in Vermont." Zsolt noticed a strong, sweet
fragrance of flowers three perfect white gardenias floating in a silver bowl of water,
resting on a white concert piano. Shafts of lowering sunbeams through narrow lou-
vers painted the piano with tawny tiger stripes.
Zsolt turned towardadarkdoorwayand stopped. Hewasn'twalkingtliroughthemodapt,
but drifting through it as he might float in a dream or holosim. The room didn't seem quite
real despite the specific sensory evidence: the muted jazz, the strong perfume of the gaide-
nias, the blazing mist of dust motes in the sunlight. Zsolt felt relaxed and detached; not only
was it a dream, it was someone else's dream, Zsolt was a silent witness, watching but not
touching, not a We to touch. It was a peculiar experience, but not alarming.

He moved along the corridor again, toward the dark room. A woman's urgent whisper
from the sunlit room overtook him: "1 cant get him to eat, not even to try a swallow." It must've
been Kaylee Sat-Chok. Zsolt remembered the uproar when she'd finally been released, and
then she'd joined Tavo in Zaozhuang, They'd thrown a big party that lasted three days, and
friends came from all over the world and the orbital and lunar cities. Zsolt had been at the party
with a woman he'd known at the time. Janica? Belita? He couldn't even recall their faces.
Pat had been at the party, too, with one of his crazy money-making schemes, this one to
develop a better OpNet frag-mapper. Pat was sure it would mean a fortune for them all. There
hadn't been much time to talk at the party all Pat was interested in was his wild new idea, and
Zsolt was trying to keep track of Janica or whoever she was. He and Pat could talk another time,
any other timethey'd been the best of friends since childhood and there were aAvapsparties....
Of course, at Kaylee and Tavo's celebration in China, no one especially not
Zsolt or Pat had even heard of D. It would be at least another year befo re Pat noticed
the first minor symptoms.
"Don't force him if he doesn't want it." Now it was Tavo's voice pulling Zsolt out
of his memories. "You don't want to make him choke. He's so weak."
Zsolt knew that Tavo and Kaylee were really there, but evidently they couldn't see
or hear him. That didn't particularly bother Zsolt, either. Tavo came up the hallway,
and they passed through each other without sensation.
Zsolt entered the dimly lit room. On the northern and western walls were large,
dark screens. They weren't windows, of course; not even Sat-Chok and Brnek's com-
bined wealth could afford a modapt in the arcology's exterior wall, one with a view out-
side. These were projection panels that now showed a midnight scene, a synchronized
sea scrolling up a clean, endless beach beneath program-perfect stars in the fairest of all
night skies. If Pat had been able to lift his head from the pillows, he could've found the
Pleides or followed the curve of Ursa Major around to the bright splinter of Arcturus.
Pat seemed too weak to fight his withered body free of the clean cotton sheets.
Lately he'd been unable to manage his own cleanliness and grooming, and Kaylee had
shaved Pat's head, which was now covered with scars and mottled bruises. To Zsolt, he
looked like a silhouette in the dusky light, like a motionless feature of the landscape
not at all like the friend whom he challenged to hovercycle races and with whom he
watched holos not so long ago. Pat's impossibly long, tapered fingers dangled loose,
stirring slowly like the tendrils of a beautiful but blind sea creature. He lay open-
mouthed, his breathing shallow and wheezing, the smooth and unlined face of his
youth betrayed by gauntness, by sunken darkness where there shouldn't have been
shadows at all.
"Maybe someday," Varya said, "with all my insights, Til figure out how you can
stand to eat cold leftover gulyas for breakfast." Her disapproval implied an intimacy
that had Zsolt been listeninghe would've found ominous. She held a battened pie
tin toward him, and a hunk of brown bread.
Zsolt's eyes widened. "What was that?" he said, gasping. "A hallucination?" His
breath puffed away like the gray raincloudsthat swirled low over the Swiss countryside.
"Here, take it. I'm not your serving-girl and I'm not going to stand around all
day holding it, either. I hired you to get me safely to Basel, but I'm beginning to think
I made a mistake. Hell, eat it if you want it. Otherwise, I'll leave it here for the next
poor starving schlub of a traveler."
"I mean it," he said in an urgent voice, "what was it?" Zsolt stood against a damp,
griLty rockfall, not far from the flat, stony spot where he'd slept. He'd already rolled
and packed his sleeping bag, and he'd broken more wood for the breakfast fire. His
jacket was cold and muddy, and his tough petrocotton jeans were damp.
Varya didn't turn around. She was kneeling- by the campfire. "What was it like?"
"I was right there in the room with him, at Sat-Chok and Brnek's in China. I
didn't even know he'd gone to stay with them. He looked barely alive, a hell of a lot
worse than when I saw him last."
"They're searching for the cryal, John the jtsculapians."

He turned and spat into a trickling brook that was so lovely, so Swiss, so pictur-
esque that it absolutely needed something spat into it. "Yen? Then you were right
about what the docs said in that first clinic we went to. For all their talk about helping
people, how much do they actually do?"
Varya stood and put a hand on his shoulder. "In that place in China just now, you
could move through the rooms, right? But it was like no one could see you or hear you."
Zsolt stared. "It wasn't a dream I've been awake for hours. And the details I
"My first time, I was only seven or eight years old. It had something to do with my
little sister's birthday. I saw her come into the dining room with this big old chocolate
cake, and she caught her foot in a fold of the rug and fell on her face. She got choco-
late cake all over her pretty birthday dress and on her face and in her hair. Then she
started crying. So four months later, it's her actual birthday, okay? And in she comes
with the chocolate cake, and I said something about her taking a dive into it and she
dropped it again and fell. My mother figured it was my fault somehow because I knew
it was going to happen, and I tripped her or something. She wailed on my ass for half
an hour." Varya looked off into the distance, smiling. "I wish we had a better 'orien-
tation program' and 'free introductory gifts,' but all 1 can say is welcome to the world
of clairsentience, magyar."
Zsolt'sjaws tensed. "CouWn'tbe," he said.
Varya was amused by his sheer revulsion. "I knew you were a latent from the first
time we met. I agreed to some of your stranger decisions on this trip, just to make sure
you didn't do something even more foolish. Like join one of the other orders, I
mean. We need you, John."
Zsolt wasn't happy about any of this. "I'm not a psyq. okay?" he said furiously. "I
had some kind of weird daydream, that's all. It doesn't prove I'm one of you."
"One of us." She squatted down, filled the coffeepot with clean water, and jammed
it into a corner of the campfire.
"We'll see." Zsolt took the pie tin from her and looked into it. There was a thin
reddish stew in it, 'Varya," he said, "trust me. In one area, you're as empty as I am.
This may be decent spaghetti sauce, but it's awfulgulyas."
Varya shot him a venomous glance. "I got some nearly boiled potatoes here, pal.
Tell me you're sorry fast and maybe I'll let you have one. That's the best deal
you're going to get this morning."
Zsolt stopped listening to her. He played the vision in his mind again, and the strange-
ness of it made him shiver. He did remember a couple of things, though: Only days ago,
when he'd last been in that room in China, the piano had been black, not white, and Louis
Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald had been singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me."

When Crystina Chiavennawas fourteen, she spent two of the worst months of her
life staving at her father's summer house on the Dalmatian coast. The major reason
was simple enough: Her father's villa was only halfway up the hillside. She could act
cold and dismissive toward the young men and women who resided below her, but all
of the really interesting people lived farther up the dusty, rutted road near the ruined
town of Karloska, and they passed their disdain from the hilltop all the way down to
the stony plain, scorning Stina Chiavenna and anyone else who didn't count.
Yet, since most of them were there for the summer only, they all had to pretend to
be friends or else be bored to death in exile. They held parties and arranged outings and
practiced their social skills and torments, just as they'd learned them from their elders.
One sultry day in August, after swimming nude in the magnificent marble pool at the
Villa Suska, their hostess, Marveille de Vos, had the staff serve a special round of drinks.
Marveille took a fluted glass of champagne and raised it. "This is for you, Stina,
since you're going back to Rome tomorrow, lucky you. In the last few weeks, you've
complimented me on my sapphire engagement ring thirteen times"
"Fourteen," one of the young men corrected.

Marseille turned and gave him a quick, warm smile. "Stina, I just wanted to wish
you all the luck in the world in dealing with the envy and covetousness that must be
eating you up inside. Gome on, sweetie, drink up! It's just a joke!"
Ciyslina Ghiavenna's expression froze in place for a second, and then she laughed.
She'd noticed that while everyone else's champagne was the normal color, hers was a pale
sapphire blue. She lifted the flute, saluted Marveille de Vos, and gulped the sparkling wine. It
was, of course, excellent. Then she laughed again and flung her glass to the ground, where it
shattered and tinkled. There was just another bit of silence, and then all of the others drank
their champagne, laughed, and broke their glasses on the marble flagstones, too.
One of the young men not one of the very popular young men came up to
Stina. "1 don't know many people who would've handled that with such good grace,"
he said. "You showed a lot of refinement."
Stina looked up at him and smiled, "Yes," she said. "Now, let's get back in the
game." And she dived into the churning water of the ancient pool.
An hour or so later, when she decided it was a good time to leave, Stina said
goodbye to everyone and gave Marveille de Vos a kiss on the cheek and thanked her for
a lovely afternoon. Then she went into the bathhouse, collected her clothes, and used
the toilet. When she stood up, she saw that whatever had been in the champagne had
turned her urine a bright blue. She caught herself just as she uttered a quick exasper-
ated sound. She took a couple of deep breaths and calmed down after all, by dinner
time tomorrow, she'd be in her own house in Rome, with her own friends and her
own servants, and with decent luck, Marveille would get unexpectedly dead or preg-
nant before next summer,
That last idea was a happy thought as she dressed. She was just imagining the de Vos
bitch at eight months as Stina came out of the bathhouse. There, in rows as if arranged
for a holo snap, was Marveille and all of the others. Stina stopped short and gasped.
"The color does suit you, sweetie," said Marveille cheerfully. "Don't worry, it'll
go away in a few days. I thought yo u could freeze some and have sapphire crystals bigger
than I'll ever get!" And they all laughed.
Stina just stared, surprised to feel almost nothing. In fact, she didn't think her face
was flushing at all. She looked at them for another heartbeat or two and then joined dieir
amusement. "1 really do have to run," she said. "I've got a ton of packing to do yet. Ciao!"
"Next summer, Stina!" someone called after her. She was already heading toward
the main house, and didn't turn or say another word. She looked straight ahead until
she got back to her own villa.
There is a proverb: Never stir the wrath of a patient man. More than a dozen
years later, it was probable that Marveille de Vos had forgotten Stina Chiavenna en-
tirely, but Ghiavenna remembered her. Chiavenna knew where her old antagonist
lived, how many marriages, divorces and children she'd had, what her income was and
what she was addicted to.
If she hadn't taken her revenge yet, it wasn't because she'd forgiven Marveille de
Vos. It was because it hadn't yet seemed like the perfect moment.
Chiavenna shookher head, focusing her concentration. Her two thugs had stopped
their Concurso hauler crosswise, blocking the narrow road almost immediately after
it turned sharply to the right. They waited in the rocks on either side, and were well-
armed. Chiavenna sat in the black leather driver's seat of her hand-crafted Solano,
parked on the road's shoulder twenty meters past the truck. She watched the red sec-
onds tick away on the console, Zsolt and his bitch were on a Shendai hovercycle that
they'd stolen, registration number W337I, racing toward her at 180 kilometers per
hour, slower if Zsolt hadn't handled a bite before. While she waited, Chiavenna idly
wondered just how protected Delemont, her client, actually was.
She heard a low, throaty growl behind her, like a giant mountain cat. A hovercycle
engine, she thought. Just as she flicked her eyes to die rear-view mirror, she saw a single
brilliant headlight blaze around the shoulder of rock, then tip or slide away abruptly, out
of sight. Not even a high-performance hovercycle would have enough vertical lift to

clear the Concurso. Zsolt would have to lay the cheap Shendai down his only chance of
preventing disaster. Then Chiavenna heard the coarse bark of an autorifle and saw the
glimmering reflection of laser fire in the car's rear-view as her men fired dozens of
rounds from their weapons. The noise and light show was just for effect, and to keep
Zsolt flat on the dirt. While her men were still shooting, Chiavenna slipped on her dark
glasses, glanced at her reflection in the mirror, and got out of the car.
It was a pleasant night, with the promise of warmer weather on the smoke-scented
breeze. Chiavenna heard her men barking orders in German, she supposed and
checked her flechette pistol as she came around the Concurso. She saw Zsolt and the
woman for the first time. They were both doing a very good job of being motionless.
Dressed in durable petrocotton jeans and jackets, neither looked badly hurt, although
the woman's right sleeve was ripped and there was blood. They were lucky Zsolt hadn't
spilled their brains all over tbe Swiss countryside when he laid down the cycle. "Bones
broken?" Chiavenna asked,
Nobody answered. One of the guys kicked Zsolt's shoulder.
"1 don't fuckin1 know yet," Zsolt said.
"Get up," Chiavenna said. "1 just want the cryal."
"I don't-"
Chiavenna snapped off a shot that chipped the pavement beside his hand. "I'll
save us all a little time here. I want the cryal. Don't play dumb. You don't get a chance
to make deals. If you don't give it to me now, goddamn it, I'm going to kill her." She
paused to let all of the emotion bleed from hervoice. "You JcnowI'll kill her. Get up."
Chiavenna watched Zsolt stand up slowly. He was good-looking enough, dark and
with a mustache, although he was a little shorter than she expected. She watched as his large,
intelligent, Hungarian eyes flicked down at the other woman, who met his gaze and smiled
slightly. He looked back at Chiavenna, started to reach into his jacket and then stopped,
raising his eyebrows. Chiavenna laughed out loud; it was the most amusing part of die day
so far. Such an ancient vid moment Chiavenna holding the flechette pistol on him, he
asking with his expression for permission. She almost prayed that he did have a weapon in
there, but she knew that wasn't where he'd carry it. "Give it to me," she said.
Zsolt's hand went into his jacket's inside pocket, and he brought out a cryonic vial
of brushed metal, about the size of a walnut. He held it out on his palm. "I have a
friend," he said. His voice was steady; there was no pleading in it, and Chiavenna was
interested to hear what she thought was a touch of a threat. "He's dying. Getting this
cryal to Basel is the only hope he has."
Chiavenna held her pistol on him and gestured for the tall thug she'd never
bothered learning their names to take the cryal. "As far as I'm concerned, it's just
money," she said in her flat voice.
Zsolt hesitated, glanced again at Chiavenna's weapon, then handed over the cryal.
She took it from the tall guy, backed up a couple of steps, then turned and went to her
car. As she murmured it into gear, she looked into the mirror again. The hired muscle
could take their payment now: whatever the two on the hovercycle had been carrying
in cash, plus the bike itself, as well as whatever Zsolt and the woman's bodies were
worth in the nearest town with a chop shop.

After Chiavenna's black Solano roared away, the night settled into the sounds of
cricket-chirping along the road to Basel. The darker, heavier thug pointed his weapon
at Zsolt and Varya and demanded something in a gruff, Baltic language that meant
nothing to Zsolt. The tall guy translated: "He wants you to grasp your wrists behind
your heads. He saw it in an American holovid somewhere."
Zsolt glanced down at Varya as he complied, but she seemed dazed and didn't re-
spond. Then, for no reason that Zsolt could figure, the dark guy in the Nippon Ham
Fighters cap yelled something at his colleague and sliced the tall one into two or three
equally dead portions. Startled, Zsolt dropped his hands, waiting to see what would
happen next. The dark guy picked up his former partner's gun and gestured with it.


indicating that he wanted Zsolt to back off. That presented no problem to Zsolt; he
would've walked clear to Cape Horn for a guy aiming a Voss laser carbine and a Banji
autorifle at him.
Zsolt was ignored as the dark-haired goon walked slowly and somewhat stiffly
across the few meters toward Varya. Each pebble he crunched, each piece of glass that
snapped sounded like gunfire in die still Swiss night. "Fine," thought Zsolt, "what's
happening here? Rape the good-looking woman before killing us and driving off with
the admittedly piss-poor loot?" Zsolt remembered from his years fallen on hard times
that Number One in the Street-Smarts Handbook cautioned: Tf you're interested in
one of two hostages, kill the other goddamn motherfucker before anything else.
So die Nippon fan had his eyes on Varya. He carried both weapons sloppily, pointed
down, as if he'd completely forgotten Zsolt's existence a possibility, since Zsolt didn't
know what kind of unbalanced nuts that strange woman had hired. For all Zsolt new,
diese guys were a couple of extreme sociopaths. He didn't wait to find out. He made a
flying tackle behind die guy's knees, dropping them both to the dirt and rubble.
The thug shook his head and spat a foreign phrase as Zsolt went for the weapons.
Zsolt had just slapped a hand on the Banji carbine and rolled over to take aim when go
kilos of Baltic thug slammed down on him. The guy shouted an endless stream of
abuse, matched by a look of combined anger and fear. Zsolt didn't have time to bodier
with why the guy was freaking out this way, nor did he particularly care.
A heavy fist crashed into Zsolt's jaw, but did little more dian piss him off even
more. He pointed the autorifle at the hired hood. "Get off and hug the ground if you
want to live," Zsolt said.
Terror came to the fore as the strongarm's eyes seemed to clear, then rage re-
turned. "Nyet\" he cried, fumbling back for the Voss laser.
Zsolt let off a few rounds into the guy's chest, tumbling him back onto the road.
"Too bad he couldn't follow directions."
"John," said Varya, "among the topics we'll no doubt talk about from here on in, please
remind me that I don't want to know a damn thing about your ideas of right and wrong."
Zsolt grinned. "Right and wrong? What ideas?This guywas nuts." He saw \arya,
apparently none the worse for wear aside from her scuffed arm, stretch and take in the
midnight countryside, He shrugged, scrambled to his feet and set about cleaning up
the mess.
Zsolt put his hands under the armpits of the psychotic thug and dragged the
corpse out of the middle of the road. He stopped halfway, still bent over, and took a
couple of deep breaths. Glancing up, he saw that \&rya had already pulled the tall guy
orvhat was left of him out of sight, into the rocks. Sometimes he wondered about
die full extent of her strength and endurance.
"Need some help?" she called.
"Yeah," he grunted, "now's a nice time to think about that."
"What's dial supposed to mean?"
He went on lugging die dead guy toward a dark, deep, final resting place off the
road and down the side of the mountain. He tried to answer her with something
clever, but he could only pant for breath.
"Take it easy," Varya said. "Just drop him right there. Forget about cleaning ev-
erything up. Nobody'11 care about these two, trust me. What, you think a Legion pa-
trol might come by at any minute?"
Zsolt put his right boot squarely in the small of the corpse's back, and when he
shoved it over the edge, he imagined Varya, too, sailing off into the cool, quiet Swiss
emptiness. He was glad they were getting near Basel. He'd had about half a liter too
much of her already. He hadn't run into cryptic strangers and psychotic gunmen
before he met her. And she was so goddamn Gifted she diought the forces of natural
law got her permission every morning before the sun rose. He didn' t care how attrac-
tive she was; he'd had to listen to her for too long. It wasn't so bad on the bike, but now
he'd be trapped in the truck with her.

1 2

She looked at him without expression, her head tilted a little to one side, "We'll
take the truck," she said.
"I know that, goddamn it," Zsolt muttered to himself.
"I'll drive," she said. Before he object, she held up the Concurso's keys on a ring
with a wind-up, hopping plastic tongue attached to it. "In the first place, I know the
way. I'm clear, remember?"
" Morgas."
Varya laughed. "I can hear better than you think. A few seconds ago, it was 'I know
that, goddamn it.' I missed one, though. That Hungarian word."
"Nothing," Zsolt grumbled, getting into the truck's passenger seat. "Just some-
thing my mother used to say."
"Your mother. "Varya shook her head. She put the key in the switch, fastened her
seat belt, but didn't speak to the engine. Instead, she turned to her companion, "Now,
seriously," she said with an amused expression, "what are we forgetting?"
Zsolt tried to look innocent. Clairsentients couldn't read minds, he knew, but
Varya still had an eerie knack for knowing what he was thinking. She probably knew
he'd robbed the tall corpse, but that guy wasn't going to need his money again and
Zsolt didn't think she cared about it. "We're forgetting something':'"
Varya shook her head and jabbed him in the chest with a long, tapered forefinger.
" You 're forgetting something important, magyar the other cryal. "
He slammed the flat of his hand against die dashboard. "Bassza meg*." he shouted,
irritated with himself. He stepped out into the cool night air again and slammed the car
door behind him. He wondered how far diey were from Basel after all, and he calmed
down . He smelled the smoke and a floral sweetness in the air; he heard birds and insects ,
and realized how infrequently he paid attention to sensory details that didn't immedi-
ately affect his well-being. He'd pulled off the hovercycle's handlebar grip in moments
and retrieved die second cryal from where he'd hidden it in the hollow tube.

It was a slow Tuesday night, which would mean the early morning hours would be
even quieter. But even so, Nurse Practitioner Elsje Pohl wasn't happy about going to
work on what had been scheduled to be her evening off. It was a long drive always
longer getting there than getting home, for some reason and nothing to look for-
ward to all night but Ernst and his clumsy but effective fingers. Oh, and with a little
luck, Old Testament Nurse would be called away, leaving Pohl with the keys to the
meds locker. A shot of Sonneine and Pohl would tolerate anything.
Her electric Korean sedan hummed across the bridge over the Aare River. Directly in
front of her loomed breathtaking views of die Hapsburg and Schwyzer Alps, neither of which
Pohl had ever noticed. The road curved up into the mountains, through Schinznachdorf
a town no one in Switzerland knew anything about or cared to , as far as Pohl could determine
and then rumbled through an ancient tunnel under the Botzberg. At the highest point
along the readjust before it dropped again toward die River Rhine and the city of Basel itself,
was another of those dull, identical villages , but this one touted the site of a formerly impres-
sive monastery and the impressive Montressor Clinic, theworld headquarters of thejEsculapian
Order. In the very mortal words of Elsje Pohl, "big verfickte deal."
She changed into her uniform and signed in at the emergency room's processing
desk. "Please," she whispered, "no lunatics," but the first thing she saw in the waiting
room was a customer in a vidlid. Nurse Practitioner Pohl wished the guy a devastating
case of colitis that would tragically and agonizingly end his life before a doctor could
actually get to examine him. Vidlids had been very popular fifteen years ago, a sad fact
that in itself warranted a statement in the patient's chart without a word being said. The
lids covered the skull like floppy plastic helmets, in bright horrible greens and pinks, but
that wasn't the worst part about them. There were little platforms on the crown of a
vidlid that played holo-chip slideshows, as many as the fool wanted to show off: his dog
or baby doing something unspeakably mundane, a clip of a team of local clog-dancers
taken just before their execution, the guy himself demonstrating the padietic limits of


what he believed to be a talent. Yet the holographic atrocities weren't the worst part the
vidlids had sound, loud sound. And between each vile, loathsome squib of "entertain-
ment" were advertising holes, familiar ones that everyone hated, with
"must have told you about it."
Nurse Practitioner Pohl hadn't heen paying attention. "Okay," she thought, "here
we go." She took a deep breath. "Excuse me," she said to the customer another guy,
not the buffoon in the vidlid. To cover the fact that she hadn't been listening, she
turned away briskly and went to a calendar posted at the other end of the processing
station. She stared at it blurry-eyed for a moment, then came back to the newcomer
with the dark mustache. "Sorry, sir," she muttered, "What was it again?"
Zsolt's expression didn't change. "The local clinic in China couldn't do much for
my friend. They said we might only get help at the main clinic, in Basel. They promised
they'd send you a file on it a couple of weeks ago. They must have told you about it,"
"Which 'they,' sir," Pohl asked, "die doctors in China or die doctors in Basel?" She
was just seeing how easily he got annoyed. She kind of lifed the way he looked, but she
wasn't in the market at die moment for anodier rotten temper on a four centimeter fuse.
There was a pause while Zsolt gathered strength and patience. "There should be a
file from Zaozhuang. My name is John Zsolt."
Pohl looked up, glancing past Zsolt at his blonde friend. The woman filled out
her shirt all right, but she looked old enough to have been this guy's history teacher.
"I'll check on that right away," she said. "Spell that name for me, please." Zsolt did,
and Pohl murmured each letter back at her desktop. "Do you have a tissue sample for
us, Mr. Zsolt?"
While he took the second cryal from his jacket and put it on die counter between
them, Pohl read the brief entry from the Zaozhuang clinic. At the end of the report
was the code GOMER, which stood for "Get (This Person) Out of My Emergency
Room!" Pohl said nothing. Her facial muscles didn't even twitch. She was a profes-
sional, and she'd seen that code hundreds of times before.
"If you'll take these forms and fill them out for us, please, Herr Zsolt," she said.
"You're welcome to take a seat." She handed Zsolt a dpad with a light-pen clipped to
it. As far as Elsje Pohl was concerned, that ended dieir business, unless she decided to
get him away from the blonde with the big Zuckertorts. More likely, however, she'd
never have to talk with him again, even if he rocketed through the intake forms and got
them back to the processing desk within the hour.

Dawn had finished giving the street beyond the double glass doors its special early
morning look. Now it was just daytime out there, but it reminded Zsoh that they'd
been sitting in the goddamn uncomfortable metal chairs for hours. There were hun-
dreds of others waiting with them, too, but this was an emergency room, and even in
the venerable Montressor Clinic, laser- and stab-wound patients got priority.
"HTd known how long this was going to take, "he said in a low voice, ''1 might ve gotten a
name of somebody to see here, made an appointment or something. Guess T wasn't diinldng."
"You're tired, magyar," said Varya, who looked surprisingly fresh after a long
hoverbike ride, an armed battle on the Swiss roadside, another drive toward Basel,
and several hours of trying not to notice the variety show that was going on all around
them in the clinic's reception area,
"Yeah, "he said. "I'll be gladwhen we're done here. We'llgogetsomeuiingto eat, rent
a cheap room and get some sleep. I'm not made out of high-impact banjyrene like you."
"My God, Montresor," she said.
"This is the Montressor Clinic. 'My God, Montresor!' That's a quotation. Look
it up." Varya stretched and rotated her neck, working out stiffness. "No, John, we're
not made out of the same stuff, not at all, but we're not that different, either."
Zsolt grunted. "Here goes the loyal-magyar-as-psyq-superman speech again. This
is where 1 came in. I'm going to look for a vending machine."


"What if they call your name"

"While I'm away? You go with the doctor. You know as much about Pat as I do,
and they have everything they need in the cryal. I wouldn't worry, though. I hear the
average wait here is thirteen hours. We haven't been here seven. Settle in. You should've
brought something to read."
Varya rolled her eyes. "I could always eavesdrop on the soap opera next to usthe
little old guy and the doll teenage girl."
"She's a doll?"
Varya rolled her eyes again. "Get me something to drink, okay, something with
bubbles in it."
Zsolt walked away, shaking his head. There were sick people in that room, and
some of them beyond the help of even all the psions in the world.
A corridor took Zsolt to another corridor, and then a third hallway led to a lobby.
A pleasant young man seated in a circle of glossy black obsidian was filled with regret
that there were no vending machines in the Montressor Clinic. There was a cafeteria,
but they could lose their chance if they were eating when their names were called. They
could eat one at a time, though. Zsolt thanked the guy and headed back to the ER
reception area. "They could eat one at a time." What a team they were turning into.
Zsolt used what little of his charm remained to talk a nurse out of a small bottle of
sparkling spring water. He presented it to Varya like a small but hard-won trophy.
"That's it," he said. "We eat afterward, or start gnawing on our neighbors."
Varya looked at the wizened old guy on the other side of her and shuddered. He
was talking in a loud voice to himself, to his teenage-girl toy, to Varya? "Sometimes
you shouldn't say those funny things," she told Zsolt. "Sometimes they're not so funny.
You should shut up until you can tell the difference." But then she leaned nearer and
kissed his cheek. "Thanks for the water, magyar."
"Hey," he said and shrugged, at the moment the full extent of his eloquence. Her
kiss startled him mightily.
Hours went by, and the racking coughs of the elderly woman behind Zsolt past,
replaced by the throat-clogging stink of gangrene. Zsolt and Varya changed seats, but
there wasn't a more pleasant section. It was like swapping steaming boulders in Hell.
Across the aisle to the left, where a young man sprawled on a gumey, huddling beneath
a thin sheet for hours, Zsolt now saw Rat. Pat hadn't turned or moved since Zsolt's earlier
vision of the room in Zaozhuang. His friend was still a twisted figure under his worn blanket.
Then Zsolt understood: This time, Pat was only an image on an JEon. Trinity
monitoring device. Two men and a woman in uniform watched and murmured into
recording devices. Each uniform had a small patch: "Triton Division." What was Tri-
ton Division, he wondered. What did the jon Trinity care about Pat in the first place?
Zsolt shook his head, clearing away what hadto have been a dream.
"What time is it?" he asked.
"Eleven AM.," Vaiya said. "Almost lunchtime, We've been here nearly twelve hours."
"Should be soon, then."
"Should be soon." Neither looked confident.
"Okay," said Zsolt, "we've been through this whole thing, and we've waited here
all night together. Tell me again why you're here."
She turned toward him and stared, her eyebrows raised. "Didn't the ad say I
needed someone to get me safely to Basel?"
"Didn't I say that I expected not to answer questions, especially that one?"
"Well, hell, then, John."
"Well, hell yourself. You don't need anybody to get you safely anywhere. I'd be
willing to bet you're the only reason I'm still alive."
Varya didn't answer that immediately. "You remember that ad, magyar? The one
where I advertised for a gentleman-protector to get me to Switzerland, and that the

1 5

pay was good and no funny stuff?"

Zsolt frowned. He didn't understand her point. "Yeah, 'course I remember it."
"Where was it? What newsflat? Chipzine? Where'd you see it?"
He thought back. It must've been at Kaylee and Tavo's flat in Zaozhuang-. He and
Varya had taken a suborbital from Beijing to Rome. "I don't remember which paper,
Varya," he said. "I wasn't paying attention to stuff like that. 1 was thinking about how
bad Pat was doing and everything."
"John, look at me." Her voice was even lower, and very dramatic. "There was no
newsflat. There was no ad. I faked it."
"What the hell-"
"I'm a clairsentient, okay? I told you that right at the beginning. I didn't tell
you that I'm one of the Mashriqi, the order's administrative council. Some people
think we're not the best organized of the psi orders, but I promise you: We have
our resources. More than you'll ever need, with any luck. I'd heard about you, did
a little investigation, and saw that you have tremendous latent talents. I wanted
you with us, with the ISRAns. I. . .1 faked a 'zine ad transmission to bring you on
Zsolt's dark brows drew together. "Gazemberl" he cried, not caring who might
turn to look at him.
"Now, don't get mad, John. There are reasons , big reasons wheels within wheels.
It starts with Pat, of course, but there's so much more, and so little time"
"Goddamn it, Varya! You think you're such a great schemer, but it all boils down
to 'somebody's gotta carry the message through hostile country.' But not me.'"
Varya took a deep breath and let it out. "We left from Beijing, went through
customs there and again in Rome, Then we traveled north through Italy, across the
border into Switzerland, staying on small roads your style till we got ourselves
here. Right?"
"Damn right."
"Gave our IDs dozens of times, right?"
"Uh huh. What's the amazing surprise this time?"
Varya looked deeply into Zsolt's eyes. "Magyar, answer me. What's my full name?
You must've heard it"
Zsolt shook his head. "No, I've never heard it- Okay, so you've got magical Gifted
psyq superhuman powers, but I never liked you people anyway. What makes this so
special foryou? It's important to me because I promised I'd do this for Pat. What are
you getting out of it? A new car for recruiting me?"
She stood and stretched. Despite his indignant, irate feelings, it was good to
watch Varya stretch , "John, " she said, "we need to have a long talk when there ' s time . "
"Sure, " he said, "because I don't feel like talking now, okay? I'll be all right. I just
don't want to say anything that'll spoil the seduction."
Varya smiled, tried to make herself more comfortable, and fell asleep almost immediate^.

After seventeen hours, Zsolt had had enough. From the new duty nurse Nurse
Practitioner Elsje Pohl had escaped to breakfast and sleep and peace a long while ago
he confirmed that no record existed at the Montressor Clinic of Pat's cryal; no record
existed of Pat at all, or of John Zsolt, either. He thanked the nurse and left the build-
ing without waking Varya.
He proceeded to the main post office on Freie Strasse, where a package waited
for him at General Delivery. It was the small parcel he'd addressed to himself and
attached money to, and then dropped into the poorbox at Great St. Bernard. The
monks had taken the money gratefully and sent the parcel on its way. Swinging his
shoulders and feeling the stiff muscles in his back, Zsolt tore open the box and slid
a third cryal into the palm of his hand. A quiet binging sound informed him at
the same time that he had new email on his minicomp. He didn't feel like reading
it now.

He drove back to the clinic's parking area, opened the back of the van, and
unclipped the minicomp. The email was from Kaylee, dated two days ago. Pat had
passed away. Tavo was appearing beyond Kaylee's shoulder, "Quit," Zsolt said in a
husky voice. He'd play it all another time,
He reached into the back of the truck and retrieved the Banji autorifle and the laser
carbine that had belonged briefly to Chiavenna's incompetent hoods. Carryingthe weap-
ons slung over his shoulders, he found his way to the ER reception area once more.


"Rise and shine, Varya," he said, kicking her foot gently. "We've got an ap-
pointment with Doktor Zweidler."
Varya woke quickly, her eyes growing larger when she saw Zsolt's hardware. As
she opened her mouth to speak, he tossed her the laser carbine. "Figure it out be-
fore you need to use it," he said. He didn't look back at her, knowing she'd follow.
He headed straight for the reception desk.
"You need a stabbing or a gunshot wound to get some attention around here, huh?" he
said. He let fly a few rounds into the front of the desk as the attendant dove for cover, ''I hope
that isn't just fiberboard, because I really don't want to hurt anybody."
The gunfire brought out a security guard from a back office. The man wore the white
uniform of die jsculapian Order's security staff, but he had the weathered features of a
mercenary. That earned Zsolt's respect. The moment was spoiled a litde when the Hungarian
realized that the guard moved like a robot vacuum cleaner in some Saturday-morning
holotoon. The guy's barrel chest, huge forearms, tiny head, and die way he moved smoodily
over the floor made the guard seem more like a "hovergoon" than a human being.


"Drop," Zsolt shouted in German. "The security guard ignored the command,
spat something in a language from one of tlie Free States east of the Ukraine, and
grabbed at Zsolt's trigger hand. Zsolt ripped the weapon free again and smashed into
the guard's skull. The security guard crumpled. "Stay close behind me, honey," he
said over his shoulder. "The docs are bound to have some real security, psyqs or maybe
even Legionnaires. You're all the backup I've got." He waited. Varya didn't answer.
Zsolt went cold at the silence, and turned quickly. Varya was right where she was sup-
posed to be, covering him with die laser carbine. She gave him a long, slow, warm smile.
A grim-faced orderly came toward them, ignoring the weapons. "Dr. Zweidler
wants to meet with you in his office back this way. He doesn't want any more confusion
in the waiting area."
Zsolt had dismissed the sedated and sick occupying the waiting area. "Those poor
bastards out there didn't notice anything," Zsolt presumed.
"That's the truth," Varya assured him.
"Follow me," said the orderly.
They walked down a narrow corridor that was decked out with luxurious marble-
gray carpeting. Zsolt hoped he wouldn't get blood all over it. About halfway along,
Varya glanced at a door they passed with the name "Delemont" on it.
The orderly opened an office at die end of the hall a plain door without a
nameplate on it and went in, followed by Zsolt and Varya. "Dr. Zweidler," he said.
Zweidler looked up at the orderly and nodded. "You can leave us, Fritz," he said.
They waited for the man to go out and shut the door behind him. Then Zweidler looked
at his visitors, giving them a puzzled frown. He stood up and came around his desk.
"Arli, weh, then this is our John Zsolt, all the way from Zaozhuang. How is China? It's
been many years since I've visited diere. But, of course, of all nations, China"
There was a low throbbing sound, a low static screech, and the acrid smell of
burnt hair, Zweidler raised a well-manicured hand to the smoking remains of a lock.
"Step back," Varya said.
Zsolt smiled at her, puzzled but determined not to show it. "You figured out the
safety system on that two-handed flashlight."
"He was using vitakinesis to sedate you," she explained. "I thought I should break
it up. If you shook hands with him, he'd have you counting backward from one hun-
dred, and you'd wake up in a semi-private room with nice flowers and a visit from all
the wrong people."
Zsolt nodded, but he didn't look at her. He'd heard the docs could do such
things: it shouldn't surprise him that their proxy would try it on some wild-eyed as-
sailant. "Why don't you sit back down, Dr. Zweidler. You know who I am. You know
why I'm here. What's wrong with my friend? Why couldn't they tell us anything in the
local clinics we tried?"
The old man shrugged. "So many questions. And you deserve answers. You know
what are these Aberrants?"
"Yeah, everybody does. Nasty mutant suckers raiding our colonies and cities."
Zweidler's eyes flicked from Zsolt to Varya and back again. "Also, then, the taint?"
Zsolt's expression turned thoughtful. He shook his head.
The old doctor spread his hands. "There could be some of these... Aberrants on
Earth bere and there, alone or in groups. For what reasons that make sense? Our
beautiful world tainted, you would say, by their very presence." He reached into a
pocket of his white lab coat and brought out the second cryal, the one Zsolt had sur-
rendered at the ER's reception desk. "Yourfriend...his illness"
"Can you help him?"
Zweidler's eyes looked brighter, as if they'd filled with tears. He held up the cryal
again. "His illness is of this Aberrant taint. It is nothing natural, nothing anyone has
ever seen before. It isn't a germ or a virus. Now, today, we are helpless."
The Hungarian closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall. "Then why in the
name of God were you trying to stop us?"

"Stop you?" Zweidler asked.

"How the fucking hell do you think you got that cryal?"
Varya spoke up, her voice calm. "We were attacked on the road. All they wanted was
the cryal. John was smart enough to have bro Light two, but your people here got that one,
too. He trusted them, 1 suppose. For a cynic, he's too romantic for his own good."
Zweidler interrupted. "I don't understand. Yes, IknewHerrZsoltwasonhisway r but
1 gave no orders to have you stopped, to have you assaulted. The entire world knows 1 would
never permit that. My staffl've chosen carefully, one person at a time, and no one in this
organization would allow such a thing, either. This whole idea is deeply disturbing,"
Zsolt opened his eyes. "You got a tall thin woman working for you, wears dark
glasses at night, lots of black leather, much too aware of her image for her own good?"
Zweidler looked helplessly to Varya. "New illnesses," he said in a tired voice. "No
one is ready to hear about them yet, about how little we know of this taint. We must act
responsibly. It would be so easy to cause panic, and that would certainly be disastrous,
a deadly mistake- We must study and learn, and we must make the world ready to hear
and understand our findings."
Varya let out a sigh. "You're saying there are brand-new diseases popping up all
over the damn place because of the Aberrants, because of the taint they spread, and so
far you jsculapians are still standing around with your thumbs up your asses wonder-
ing what you can do about them."
Zweidler shook his head. "We need you," he said softly. "People like Heir Zsolt,
people with true latent talents. We're always looking for men and women who have the
abilities to become new healers. Think of the gift you have, the great gift! I can see it
shining from within you. Join us, Herr Zsolt. Maybe it will be you who heals your friend."
Zsolt's eyes widened slightly, and he looked from Zweidler to Varya. There was a
moment of solemn silence, with just the rattle of the air conditioning audible in the
room. "You almost had me," Zsolt said at last, "but you took it just a little too far. Pat
died two days ago and you knew it; you and your ^Eon Trinity friends. I'm not going to
let people psyqs or neutrals manipulate me anymore." He turned and left the
office, missing whatever passed between the doctor and Varya.
Varya smiled when she caught up with him in the hallway, "\buplayed old Doc Zweidler
just right! You're learning, magyar!" She put her arms around his neck. He felt her breasts
press against his chest, and smelled the clean sandalwood fragrance of her skin.
"T meant you, too," he told her. Zsolt's rage was gone, but the anger remained.
He reached up and pulled away from her arms. "You wanted to get to Basel, well,
there's probably a bus in front of the building that'll take you right downtown."
Zsolt didn't know what kind of response to expect, but Varya just laughed.
He shook his head and walked away, still carrying the Banji automatic. None of
the clinic's staff stopped him from leaving, but he was too wrapped up in his own
thoughts to realize it. Zsolt tried to remember where he'd left the truck. He wouldn't
decide what to do next until it was plainly in front of him.

Later that night, Zsolt pulled the Concurso off the road and got out. He stared
up at the cloudy, starless sky and felt a sudden chill. It wasn't the altitude or the wind.
It was a cold feeling that had risen from deep within him. His minicorap sat on the
damp earth beside him. Zsolt's eyes were closed, but he heard Pat's voice: "Please let
me ask this one last time: Remember me, John."
Somebody in China explained to him that there were only two things to do when
certain diseases invaded the body. The first was to cut the disease out completely. The
second was to strengthen the body so it could fight for itself. Zsolt knew that there were
some diseases that couldn't be cut out, not completely. The world was sick tainted
and the clears and the docs and all of the other psion orders were supposed to be
dedicated to strengthening the world's body.
Instead, they seemed more interested in vying with each other for status and re-
cruits. Zsolt heard the stories of these saintly Gifted defending humanity, but he'd

1 9

seen that they were all too human. He relied on them to help Pat, and they failed.
Still, just because the psyqs hadn't found a cure didn't mean there wasn't one.
And just because Pat was dead didn't mean Zsolt would give up on his friend. Varya
and Zweidler claimed Zsolt was a latent, that he could become a psion. As much as he
hated and mistrusted them and their manipulations, Zsolt realized that becoming a
psion might be the best way to honor his friend's memory. He didn't trust the docs;
they'd lied to him from the beginning. Although \arya stuck by him through this
mess, she just wanted to recruit him, too. He knew little enough about the other
orders besides what he'd seen on holovids and in chipzines who knew if they were
any better?
Zsolt couldn't deny the impact of the strange visions he'd had, though. They'd
helped him, revealed things he wouldn't have learned otherwise. Just imagine if he
could harness the full potential of clairsentienee! If he became a psion, Zsolt might
discover what the others couldn't or wouldn't. He would no longer be a pawn.
This would be his memorial to Pat, the proof of his loyalty. "No," he whispered,
"I won't forget."
Zsolt didn't even wait for morning. He got into the Concurso and turned it back
toward the Montressor Clinic. Maybe he could find %rya, still looking for that bus
into Basel.


> DUMP <




2.O RSI 3D

3.D Psi ORDERS 36




V.D SPACE 1 1 2

B.a A L I E N S 1 42





Warren Shaw, Retrospective 2120 OBC
In looking to our past, we see our future.
Proxy Otha Herzog, ISRA

The past two decades of this While the layman marvels at the
new century have seen more wonders of the psions, scientists
change and progress than had oc- marvel at the insights into our uni-
curred in the preceding 100 years. verse that psionic powers give us.
The tremendous strife humanity Noetic science, the investigation of
suffered in the 21 st century, from this phenomenon, theorizes that psi
global warfare to political up- operates on a fundamental level of
heaval, from economic collapse to energy referred to as the subquan-
social change, served to temper tum universe or implicate order;
us. Now, in 2120, humans are psfonic energy exists on a basic
hardy, dauntless creatures with physicaHevel even under quarks and
opportunities that previous gen- tachyons. The discovery of this en-
erations could scarcely have ergy has revolutionized modern sci-
dreamed. ence and changed the way we un-
It is an exciting time to be afive. derstand the universe.
Humanity reaches ever further into Psionic energy particles are said
space, establishing and expanding to permeate all things, from aster-
colonies and orbital stations in dis- oids to grass, from alien races to all
tant solar systems. Technology is human beings. They're everywhere
constantly on the rise, resulting in and affect all things. Their discovery,
tremendous scientific break- noetic scientists say, confirms that
throughs such as interstellar jump there is afifthelemental force at work
ships and other wonders of bio- In the universe, along with gravity,
technology. Alien beings walk weak and strong nuclear forces, and
among us, teaching us theirstrange electromagnetic energy. This Holy
ways, and learning ours. Grail of science may be the missing
Yet more important than all of link that completes a true Grand Uni-
these things, science has discov- fication Theory. Psionic energy, the
ered the key to understanding the subquantum universe, the implicate
universe, which, Ironically, was orderwhatever you want to call it
locked away in our minds all along. resonates through everything and
Psionic powers, the powers of the is therefore the unifying force be-
mind, are a reality, and the people tween all things, living or not All
who have fully realized them are things are said to be a part of the uni-
known as psions. After centuries verse, and the universe Is supposed
of fantasizing about mental pow- to be part of all things. Rather high-
ers, humanity can now move ob- brow, but now that science theorizes
jects, read minds, ignite fires and about the bonds between everything,
; even perform the most delicate of we hope to unlock the remaining
: surgery with but a thought. secrets of the universe.
iR E T R O S V
The proof of psi allows us Humanity defended itself,
| to go beyond theory and con- and'Jhe Aberrant War was the re-J
jecture. As if created by some suit. The war ended almost 60||
benevolent hand, the psions years ago with the Aberrants' de-i
have arisen and are capable of partureto places literally beyond the ^
perceiving the essence of the stars. WM the'horror and devasta-
universe. Their powers allow tion they caused are felt eyers today,
them to project their minds, ma- it was the threat that they would
nipulate the energy particles someday return that yyas ourgreat-
around them, and recognize the est fear. Now outefearl! a reality.
ties between themselves and as- Humanity faces the Aberrant
teroids, grass, aliens and other menace again, but our hardships
human beings. While scientists of the past 60 years give us
ponder the ebb and flow of uni- strength against our resurgent en- I
versal particles, psions see them, emies. The decade following the
feel them and direct them. The Aberrant War, called the Crash, was ;
psions are therefore our tools for truly the darkest time in human his- '
discovering the truth of reality. tory. Much of the world's financial j
They are our leaders in what may and ecological resources were ;
be an age of answers. drained. Half of Earth's arable land I
It is indeed a wonderful time was corrupt and infertile. The :
to be alive, as we finally unravel OpNet, the global computer net- \
the greatest mysteries of all time. work, was in ruins and a stagger- :
What is the meaning of life? Why ing amount of recorded informa- i
are we here? What is our purpose? tion on history, culture and soci- i
Can we define the mind and even ety was lost. Millions died, not only $
the soul in terms of subquantum in the war, but in the ensuing riots 3
psionic particles? The Grand Unifi- and chaos. Untold billions in dam- 1
cation Theory and the psions could age were done to cities and na- .;
hold the answers. tions around the world.
Yet as we stand on the brink The Crash saw nation squabble :
of discovery, we also stand on the with nation over table scraps. Poiiti- ;
brink of destruction. Humanity's cal and religious differences flared
greatest threat, the Aberrants, to fervent hatred. North America and 't
have returned. These erstwhile-he- Europe, the two regions hit hardest
roes-turned-apocalyptlc-destroy- by the Aberrant War, were relegated
ers were almost the ruin of human- to the status of second-class pow-
ity. They arose innocently enough ers. China and Brazil, and later the
in the 21st century as beings pos- newly formed United African Na-
sessed of amazing powers and a tions, stepped forward to lead the
desire to ply them for the good of wprld into the 22nd century.
the human race. But their strength In the waning years of the 2 i st
came from a genetic anomaly, a century, Earth's nations made an ef-
tumorous mutation labeled the fort to put three decades of strife be-
Mazarin-Rashoud node. Their hind them. Space was the new fron-
powers grew immensely as their tier, where anyone from an indM
mutation festered. Before long, the vidual to an entire population could
Aberrants were out of control, start anew. Governments and cor-
completely insane. porations leapt to the stars, creating:

itai research While currently numbering less
Stations and min- than one percent of the eight bil-
ing platforms. lion human souls scattered across1
They were fol- Earth and the near stars, these pro-
lowed by hardy ex- tectors are a powerful force.
plorers and colonists ea- In fact, without the psions we
ger for A second chance. would never have made first con-
Since the second Space tact with an alien race, the Qin.
t^ge began in 2024, human- Though they had not yet developed
ity has conquered Luna; interstellar travel, the Qin had cre-
Xinched shining orbital cities ated a civilization to rival Earth's.
around the inner planets; mined These beings are at once intriguingly
rich ores from Mercury, Jupiter's similar and disturbingly different
moons and from the asteroid belt; from us. Yet aside from the count-
initiated terrafbrming on Mars; and less mysteries that exist between our
even advanced beyond our solar races, humans and Qin share a fun-
system to new worlds. damental nature: curiosity about the
Now clouds darken this new universe, and a staunch desire to de-
dawn. No one can forget what they fend it against all hostile beings.
were doing on January 28, 2104, Aberrants are the enemies of
when the Aberrants returned. Their both humans and Qin. But much
attack on Research Outpost Vesta, less understood than Aberrants are
beyond Saturn, came without warn- the pseudo-reptilian aliens, the
ing. The viciousness of that assault Chromatics. Their raid in 2113 on
was matched only by the horrific de- the Karroo Mining Colony near the
gree to which the Aberrants had mu- Crab Nebula was unannounced,
tated. Forty years in the void had and as unprovoked as any Aber-
transformed them into bizarre things rant assault. Humanity does not yet
from a Saturday night holovid. But know the Chromatics' motives, and
these monsters are real. we won't until we re-establish con-
The Aberrants have changed tact with our outposts lying
grown more powerful but trapped and vulnerable in the dis-
so have we. The strides we have tant reaches of space.
made to rebuild Earth civilization, The forces that endanger hu-
restore what was destroyed in the manity in the 22nd century are hor-
first Aberrant War, and extend our rifying. But if our achievements and
reach into space make humans a discoveries of the past 20 years are
force to be reckoned with. any indication, we are prepared to
And this time we have the contend with any threat. As the
psions nothing less than the psions rally and the new jump ships
power of mind over matterwhose are brought online, we will restore
powers are the product of natural hu- contact with our distant outposts,
man evolution, not genetic muta- take the fight back to the Aberrants,
tion. Ever since the first psions ap- and end their menace once and for
peared to combat an Aberrant as- all. Only then can humanity and the
sault in 2106, these people have psions safely explore the unifying
been humanity's greatest defenders, truths of the universe and find our
and their numbers have swelled. rightful place in it.


H O P E 5 A CR C E u
In a universe of dangerous interplanetary travel, first contact wtftfi strange, alien races, the emergence '
of mysterious psionic powers among humanity, and the rediscovered menace of the Aberrant horde ithat
endangers all life, the /ton Trinity is a force for good, dedicated to the protection of Earth. In a time of great
uncertainty and apprehension, /fan stands at the forefront of humanity, both protecting and leading the way
into a bold future. We lead the way in hopes of unifying all people to face the destiny that lies before us.

Congratulations, citizen, you are humanity's

tury, we counsel, represent and coordinate vir-
greatest hope. You are one of the Gifted; a psion, tually every world and space government, or-
a champion of Earth and a defender of every- ganized religion, metacorporation and psi or-
thing that has ever been. Through the blessings der. Indeed, /on is the right hand of the world's
of the proxies, who are the leaders of the psion decision makers, and always has the good of
orders, and the graces of the powers that be, all people at heart. The >on Trinity does not
you have developed the astonishing ability to control any party or individual, but influences
perform miracles with only your thoughts, will them toward a common goal: unity. /on is a
and strength of character. Your psionic powers society that you as a psion can turn to and rely
allow you to see the fundamental forces of the on in the hard and happy times ahead.
universe, and affect the cosmic balance of things. /on services humanity through three
This is no minor responsibility. Now that branches, each of which facilitates functions essen-
the Aberrants, your heroic predecessors- tial to the Trinity and your order. These three divi-
turned-corrupt, have returned to assault the sions were established at the organization's incep-
Earth again, you are essential to the protection tion, and although their duties and operating pa-
of all life. Now that humanity explores the rameters have changed with time, they retain their
mysteries of deep space, you are the spear- original designations in honor of those who came
head of those forays into the unknown. Now before. Neptune is Aon's administrative branch. It
that science realizes that psionic energy is the is staffed mainly by "neutrals" ornonpsionic people,
fifth force in the Grand Unification Theory that and is supported by psionsand some proxies, such
shapes nature itself, you have the power to as the leader of your order, all of whom seek to
reveal the secrets of the universe and to dis- coordinate the unity of humanity and its allies for
cover the role that humanity must play in it. the achievement of peace and prosperity. Triton is
Yours is the most glorious duty and honor. our research and investigation department. Its
You are not alone, though. We are the /Eon members study space and our alien allies and en-
Trinity, a society dedicated to the protection and emies, keep a vigilant watch for Aberrant attacks
service of humanity for the past 200 years. Your and solve crimes committed against humanity.
psionic order, the group that unlocked your abil- Proteus is the hand of the Trinity, the operations
ity to channel psi energy and that trained you to team that consists of psions and special agents who
use those powers, is your surrogate parent actively protect Earth and its peoples.
your adopted family. The /on Trinity is your As a psion and ally of /Eon, you may
"godparent," your tutor, advisor and counselor belong to one or more of these branches,
in this, the greatest responsibility, challenge and and are thus one of the guard ians of ou r age.
adventure you have ever faced. The Trinity has members in countries through-
The /ton Trinity was founded in the 20th out the world and across explored space. You
century and has worked with the governments are counseled with and deferred to in all
and societies of Earth ever since to help hu- matters of defense and the common good,
manity fulfill its destiny. Now in the 22nd cen- from defending against the Aberrant


face to receiving ambassa- The abilities that marked the first champions of the
dors of alien races, such as /ton Society changed with those who followed.
the Qin. You are a power for change, a Powers grew greater than had ever been known
'means to achieve unity and strength. before. The inventiveness and wisdom that founded
The /ton Trinity is the catalyst that holds the the society were abandoned in favor of raw power
psi orders, Earth and space governments, as well as new Individuals arose and frowned on /ton and
as humans and aliens together. Aon is an earthly its goals. These beings, who became known as
benefactor, if you will. But the Trinity did not always Aberrants, wallowed in their own abilities and used
have this honorable and weighty role in the uni- them to satisfy their own desires, without a unify-
verse, or even among humanity. To understand ing vision of what was best for humanity.
/ton's purpose and direction in modern times, you /on sought to control these Aberrants, to
must look back to early 20th-century Chicago. reason with them and give them purpose, but
/Eon's founder. Maxwell Anderson Mercer, in- the beings were drunk on their own power. Aon
ventor, businessman and millionaire, established lent its resources to the space program in the
what was then hopes that the
called the/on So- Aberrants' mounting
ciety for Gentle- abuses could not af-
men. Mercer had a fect humanity off
vision of the future, Earth, but it was too
even in those late. The Aberrants'
simple times. He increasing powers
understood that had outstripped
humanity's devel- anyone's expecta-
opment up to that tions even sanity
era had taken a itselfand theabus-
slow and gradual ers lost control of
path, but with up- themselves.
coming innova- We are all famil-
tions in technol- iar with the tragic Ab-
ogy, introductions errant War, which re-
of social reforms and the blossoming of human po- sulted in the deaths of millions of humans and mere
tential, upstanding men and women, the brilliant handfuls of Aberrants. Yet from that horrible loss,
and motivated, would be needed to lead humanity good did arise, /ton recognized its next mission
into the future. This society recognized the dawn- for the good of humanity: sacrifice. If the Aberrants
ing of a new age, one of hope, to which it could were to be stopped and humanity preserved, the
give direction. And though the society was per- society would have to give wholly of itself. Society
haps named in the naive spirit of an innocent time, members in China were instrumental in the devel-
the changes that it anticipated would indeed come opment of arms sufficient to force the Aberrants to
about, whether in a thousand or a handful of years. stand down. Special agents in the society who
Mercer's vision proved accurate when the first stood against the Aberrants reasoned with them,
exbarionTial people emerged near the endofthe 20th convincingthem to seekaltematrves to life on Earth,
century. These rising stars were new and vibrant, as places where they could use their powers and ful-
yet untouched by corruption. They were the protec- fill their own destinies, not at the expense of be-
tors of their era, and the /ton Sodety worked wfth ings less fortunate. To lead Earth's tormentors by
them to improve the lot of 20th-century life. It was a example, many of/ton's agents left with them for
new Golden Age of heroes and potentialof hope. other worlds via the strange warping ability a hand-
And yet, that hope was dashed. Something ful of Aberrants possessed, ft was, indeed, a time
in the Inherent being of Earth's heroes went awry. of sacrifice for all.

A T T A C K DM V[ 51 A" CAMLRA 14

In trie years following the Aberrant War, trie re- housing and opportunities for work on the many
maining members of the now-galvanized /ton Cov- stations and colonies that were not damaged in
enant a group of people that was bound by the the war, but resources that could not be plumbed
example set by those who sacrificed themselves for from an overtaxed planet.
Earth's gooddedicated itself to rebuilding Earth so- /ton's role in this second pioneering of
ciety. The depredations of the war had left many areas space was one of assistance and support. In
in ruins, and those lucky enough to survive struggled these closed communities, human rights and
to start tneirlivesagain.The ongoing sacrifices of lion's needs had to be protected. Justice had to be
members went fer in restoring the once-beautiful Earth. upheld. The mistakes and abuses of the past
Records ofourcultures and collective history weregath- had to be remembered, if for nothing other than
ered and restored after the massive destruction of the to say, "never again," Thus with /ton's help,
OpNet A decade of research by Neptune and Triton humanity and Earth were made whole again.
divisions restored a global electronic library by piecing it was then that humanity, when it was most
together paper texts and fragmented computer flies. ready, as if in a cosmic cycle, was Invited to take its
Urban centers blossomed as people were gathered next bold step into the future. The psionic proxies,
together where resources and programs could be humans with incredible powers bestowed by
shared by all. Others preferred the isolation of rural ex- strange patrons, emerged and contacted those
istence, and were let go with society's blessing, but, people now called psions who would be-
sadly, were beyond the shelter of/ton's wing. come their agents in the next great age. The prox-
Space, once again, proved to be humanity's ies' gifts awoke powers that had not been seen
best hope for new life. The defeated Earth needed among humans in two centuries. These powers
time to heal its wounds. Space offered resources were similar to those wielded by the founders of
that humanity needed desperately, not only the yon Society in the early 20th century, before

/[ON T R I N I T Y

The need for that unity is made all the more

dear by scientific research into psionic powers
themselves. Noetic research suggests that psi pow-
ers tap into a previously unknown subquantum
Subject; Chinese space program and Aber- energy, a universe that unites all aspects of what
. rant resurgence we consider reality. Like gravity, psionics prove to
From: Proxy Rebecca Bue Li, Ministry of. be an undeniable force of nature, one that affects
Pslonic Affairs
To: Dana Boresheltov, /on Trinity, Neptune
all things. And you, as apsion, wield it. The secrets
Division of the universe are in the palm of your hand.
Encryption: SI'E Here, then, is an opportunity to follow
Transmission type: textfile new leaders, to unite all countries, to bring
Date: 11:131429.12,2105 together all organizations under the banner
Agent Boresheltov, first my thanks
of the psions, their orders and /f.on. No single
: for your encouragement of the Chinese ?
part of the whole psion, human, country,
government to recognize my native colony, order would be above the rest. A
Philippines and Its significance in Chi-1 new Golden Age, indeed.
nese policy and necessity to the Chf-j
And as if to confirm this need, as if to ratify
nese space program. Now that two
this show of hands for unity, our old enemies have
Chinese outposts have been attacked, f returned. The Aberrants are back and loom at the
and my order counsels the Chinese gov-
borders of known space, just as they promised
ernment, I plan to take the initiative in
when the last, spiteful one of them was shown
response to the return of the Aberrants.
the way to a better life on his own.
As the Chinese posed the Ultima-
tum to rid the Earth of Aberrants de-
cades ago, so will we do it again today.
This time we will do it with (tie psions,
and the Ministry shall lead the way. 1 Subject: Chinese space program and Aberrant
plan to dispatch Ministry telepaths to resurgence
the last known Aberrant attack site to From: Dana Boresheltov, Aon Trinity, Neptune
issue a new ultimatum: Leave Earth Division
To: Rebecca Bue Li, Ministry of Psionic Affairs |
Jone once and for all, or be destroyed.; Encryption: DSE
Chinese destroyer convoys are al- : Transmission type: textfile
ready dispatched and prepared to Date: 03:18:1 ! 9.12.2105
stage strikes if the Aberrant response Negative, Proxy Bue Li. I repeat, nega-
Is hostile. Events are set in motion. 1 tive. The Chinese destroyer fleet will stand
trust you will communicate word to the down. This was not part of the prepared
other proxies.. .should we need them. arrangement. ,/on Trinity has precise plans
for the integration of the psion orders. You
the transgressions of the Aberrants. Yet the powers will not pre-emptthose plans, nor stage any
were also new and unique; refined and powerful, action against Aberrant attacks without ex-
and certainly more widespread. Humanity had pressed commands from the Trinity. You are
reached a new stage of development, it seemed, advised to remember the means by which
and /on was there to give it direction. /on brought your order was recently recognized by the
the proxies together, pooled their resources, and Chinese government Furthermore, as you
helped introduce theirorders to an awestruck world. have obviously used your abilities to inte-
This perhaps is a third Golden Age, for it grate your order directjy into the Chinese
marks a new direction and purpose for human- space program, I advise you to review the
ity: to unite, to rally behind Earth's new heroes reasons why the Chinese fleet stood down
i form one people for the advancement of all. after the Aberrant War.. .and consider who
helped them make that decision.
I t

And new en-

emies have arisen
as well. A violent race of aliens |
A DAY IN known so far only as the Chromat-
ics has staged raids on our distant colo-
LIFE OF A PSIO nies and space outposts. What is this new men-
Orgotek psion Carlos Peralta, recipient
of Commendation far Valor, ace and what is it capable of? We don't yet
as interviewed by Dazyl Grenich, know, but rest assured that we will find out.
Ufesiy/es 0 2I20MM1 Now is indeed a time of unity, for human-
Do I get scared? Sure, we all do. ity and for any alien allies whom we can rally
Ve have these powers, but we're just to the cause. With your help, and the help of
Ilike everyone else we have families, /on, we will come together to face our com-
1: friends, pets. That's why we do it all. I mon foe. With our combined strength, we will
I want to protect my family, my country reunite with our colonies orphaned in deep
my species! Psions use their powers space by Aberrant attacks. We will travel to
> protect Earth and everyone in space. the worlds of our alien allies from whom the
|You would do the same if you had the Aberrants have severed us. The third age, the
chance, what with the Aberrants attack- age of unity, is upon us. It is up to us and
Ing and everything you love at stake. you to achieve it.
What will I do next? Orgotek had a
j part in getting the jump
ships created we can fi-
fnaJlygo hack into deep space
I/after the teleporters disap- "The lady doth protest too
Ipeared and the Aberrants cut much, methinks."
ius off from our colonies, i This kind of propaganda worries
want to be a part of that. No me, yen? Sad part is, normal folks know
: knows what's happened so little about Aon that they don't know Encryption: DSE
ut there. They say the Chro- enough bad about the group to doubt Date: 14:02:49 I 1.6,2119
I matics and some other alien its word. If I hacked into the OpNet rout-
ers tomorrow with proof that I was responsible for the greatest events of
pace are still out there, doing the past 20 years, folks would flock to me, the desperate ones anyway.
Vwho knows what Now bring that out 200 years and imagine the following that the /Eon
1SRA wants to get to Trinity could generate.
the Qin home-world to get Do we want to make an Issue, though? /ton certainly isn't every-
the ambassadors stranded thing that it daims to be here, but it's not a bad thing, either. I know it
here back to their people, doesn't call the shots for my order, but it does whisper them, and I'd
| and to bring our ambassa- rather not speak up against the very people who cut my checks.
dors home. But still "/fon is the hope of the future?" I don't remember any
Of course, there are Aon agents being around when that Aberrant got (he jump on my team
the Aberrants, too. I've and kflled Vatez. /Ion was nowhere in sight when the jump ship orbital-
manufecturing platform was blown into so much plasted and blopaste.
ily seen three, and came
As far as I can tell, yon is little more than a PR firm for the psi
ithin reach of one.... It's orders and a few countries and colonies, it's no stronger than we are,
i hard thing to do...but if and we're no stronger than it (and maybe we need each other as a
1 don't do it, who's going result). 1 do know that the orders are out there in the light and taking
> protect my familyor the heat from the public when things go wrong, while von sits in the
shadows and plays at calling the shots.

^ *
o Oo

Psionic powers have been relegated displays of power that their followers had al-
to the realms of myth and speculation for ready made, and promised the world that
centuries. As civilization progressed into the the orders were committed to defending hu-
modern age and technology came to domi- manity against all Aberrants,
nate popular culture, such speculation was po- Though the Trinity knows the proxies and
larized between scientific skeptics and those their followers had acted secretly since 2103,
who believed fully in powers of the mind. we cannot confirm why they withheld knowl-
People were en- edge of their existence until the now-historic
thralled by anyone raid. After a closed UN
proclaiming such fan- address, these "Gifted"
tastic abilities, as integrated themselves
though there was a deep seamlessly into human
subconscious need to be- [ORGOM] PROXY ALEX CASSEl,PW society. The /ton Trinity's
lieve that things like te-
lepathy were possible. A
was key to this
but we can-
Excerpt: fextflle, 9.21.2106
close-minded scientific We're not Aberrants. We're not a bunch not take full credit for the
community refused to of power-mad freaks hell-bent on world sheer speed and degree
acknowledge the exist- domination, We're human, just like you. to which the psions be-
ence of psi powers, de- We've been given a!wortderful gifcr though came a part of everyday
bunking frauds whenever a new w% of being human,1: ;tf you will. life.
possible. Strange inci-
dents and inexplicable
Our benefactors have done nothing
less than unlock, apotential that's been PHILOSOPHY
demonstrations of power
galvanized believers, but
buried deep iti the Muman; psyche for mil-
lennia and-for that, humanity should
were deemed unreliable A psion may achieve
be eternally grateful. We've finally re- harmony with the impli-
by "expert authorities" vealed the secretsvpf psionic powers, and
even in the 21st century. cateorder through training,
we're here to share that knowledge with
The rise of Aberrant pow- meditation and by open-
mankind. This isn't some bizarre mutation ing himself to the sublime
ers diverted psi research like the Aberrants-had. These abilities are power that exists through-
when ultimately incon- a natural result of human evolution.
clusive attempts were out the universe. Hesenses
Whoa! Hang on! 1 understand that!! the ebb and flow of en-
made to quantify the ef- despite the Sydney vidcasts shown just ergy through all things,
fects of the Mazarin- A few hours ago, this may be hard to be^; and his own metaphysical
Rashoud node. At most, lieve. That's why we're here, ladies and; place in the universe.
the scientists of the time gentlemen. We're here to prove what we|
concluded that Aberrant Psi connects every-
can do, and that we're on your side. Lookg thing, and no action occurs
powers interacted some- let's try a little demonstration. You'll get;
how with strong and entirely independent of
a kick out of this. 1 know I do.
weak nuclear forces. other forces. ]ust as gravity
In 2106, human- exercises a pull, however
ity finally confirmed the existence of psionic infinitesimal, on all objects in the universe, so too
capabilities. The leaders, or proxies as they does psi have a pervasive effect. The Gifted who grasp
prefer to be called, of secret orders of psi- how the subquantum universe operates understand
active individuals addressed a stunned popu- that all actions have innumerable reactions. An
lace in the aftermath of the historic Sydney individual's seemingly inconsequential behavior can
spaceport raid. The proxies elaborated on the have tremendous impact on the universe asawhole.

Understanding the connections

between all things and the limitless
ramifications to all actions is hum-
bling. Indeed, some psions who
have had such insights into the cos- nderstanding Pst's
mos have left their orders abruptly I
and forsaken their powers alto- True Nature
Jneirtlent Proxy Otha Henog, Guest
gether. Others have suffered men- (dress, the first Noetic Conference,
tal illnesses, from mild cases of agora- Olympus, 10.9.2109
phobia to severe cases of paranoia. Some You look for a greater compre-
Gifted have even suffered physical harm hension of the energy we know as
from sudden changes in the subquantum psi, and of your place within it. Per-
stratum. Vitakinetics and noeticists are called haps I can help you understand.
upon with increasing frequency to combat Think of us all as eddies in a river.
conditions that can result when psions open Those without the gift of psi cannot
themselves to the entirety of the universe. see this river. To them, it is as noth-
The stresses of pslonic attunement and ing. They focus on the pebbles at the
the development of mental ailments, such as river's bottom, at the fish swimming
pslonic psychosis (also called burnout), that against the invisible current, at the
result from psl powers have moved a small debris carried on the surface. Those
but vocal portion of the noetic community to things are reality to these people.
urge caution in the creation of new psions. Those of us fortunate enough to
Scientists speculate that humanity might have emerge whole from the Prometheus
stumbled across psi powers before it was pre- chamber know that, while the pebbles,
pared to control them, and that using psionics fish and debris are reality, they are su
could cause far more harm than good. tained and unified by the water that sur-
To allay such fears, most orders allow the rounds them. As they are to the river,
/ion Trinity to conduct psychological tests we are to the implicate order of energy.
on latent and existing psions. It is hoped that We Gifted see the water flowing at the
such procedures will isolate potentially un- same time that we are in the flow. Al-
stable Gifted so that they may be treated though we see ripples and whirlpools,
before they harm themselves or others. and each is distinct and unique, they
USING PSI and weare all still part of the river.
However, there is a second con-
Psionic manipulation is equal parts in-
stinct and training. New psions are taught cept that is equally important: Psi is
not a gentle, contemplative state of
certain standard effects, but having an innate
feel for how to direct psi flow is vital to being. It is a potent natural force, as
; subtle as gravity, as powerful as nuclear
achieving the results desired.
energy. A river may carry you calmly
Each psion describes attunement to the
and serenely, then without warning
subquantum universe differently. Some re-
pi u nge you i nto dangerous rapids and
late it to sensing a body part; you don't have
thundering falls. So it is with psi.
to see your leg to know it's there. Others
Psionic energy is not a tool to
equate it to trying to remember a word that's
used ora device to be manipulated, it is
on the tip of your tongue. You know it's there,
a force of nature that defies our control.
you just have to concentrate to conjure it up.
We merely tap Into it, drawing power 1
Yet others describe their psi attunement as
from it when it will allow. Nature suf- I
feeling utterly sure of something, a confi- fers us to exist. Nature could destroy us |
dence that words cannot express. utterly if it wanted to. We m ust be care-
ful not to overstep our bounds.
o Oo
The Gifted feel every- mental theories, and progress toward con-
thing around them. Psions firmation of a grand unified theory offerees.
sense the resonance of all the people Awareness of psi inevitably led to the
and objects they encounter. That energy discovery of an entire subquantum realm
isn't tangible, but it is there of corresponding fundamental particles,
nonetheless. Using psl Involves dubbed "psions." Joining pho-
focusing on that resonance; the tons, gravitons, leptons and
psion connects to the energy Mial Kozs, ISRA quarks, these psions proved to
flow in and around others. He member, on be the missing pieces of an el-
doesn't control this force as channeling psl egant foundation for the uni-
much as he allows it to perme- energy verse. With the establishment
ate him, and his will channels it "It's better than sex! of psi as a new, fifth force, grav-
to affect the universe. Well, just as good." ity, electromagnetism and
NOETIC SCIENCE weak and strong nuclear forces
formed a convincing model for
Prior to the psions' emergence, a small the hypothetical Grand Unification Theory.
but dedicated group of scientists was already Since its initial proposal 10 years ago, the
investigating psi potential. Such research, then theory of psionics has proved to be the key
known as "psychotronics," bore a distinct to understanding the universe and our
stigma. The established scientific community's place In it.
reluctance to embrace new methods and With theoretical research comes applied
theories relegated psychotronics to the sta- investigation and experimentation. Noeticists
tus of science's whipping boy. have confirmed that the latent capacity to
Once psi was an indisputable, proven manifest psi abilities can be sensed through
quantity, scientists were forced to change per- use of certain psl powers, or by using bio-
spective. The result was the development of technological survey equipment. Indeed, be-
noetics, or the science of the yond simply detecting psi
pslonic mind. This "new" sci- potential, scans applied to
entific field was founded on a latent can sometimes dis-
equal parts quantum physics, cern the psi aptitude to
spiritualism and psycho- Subject: "psion" which the subject is best
from: Dr. Elena Subashi, PhD
tronics (although students of To; Dr. Cecil Walker, PhD suited. However, the specific
psychotronics claim it as the Encryption: SPE genetic differences that sepa-
father of noetic science.) Transmission type: textfile rate latents from neutrals still
Noetic study proved that Date: 14:32:129.4.2107 escape noeticists' recognition
psionic powers do not func- Perhaps the most irritat- and understanding.
tion exclusive of the laws of ing thing about all this is that Noetics also faces the
physics and nature. They sim- we coined the term "psion" challenge of understanding
ply operate on a level of to refer to "psi energy quanta." the biotech devices that psions
which no one had previously Leave it to the byte-hungry use. "Bioware" is fascinating
been aware. Once their eyes media to bastardize it into a not only for its capacity to aug-
were opened, so to speak, term for individuals with psi ment or duplicate psionic abili-
noeticists began looking for capability. Well, I'll be damned ties, but for its apparent ori-
and finding correlations be- if we're going to change the gin as knowledge gifted to hu-
tween quantum physics, ge- scientific term simply to avoid manity by our benefactors. As
netic biology and psionic confusion among the un- hard technology is based on
powers. The past decade has washed masses. physics, biotechnology is
seen a redefinition of funda- rooted in noetics.

Bhurano's Theory
QuanUklnettc Proxy 5. K, Bhnrano, Introductory Address
at the first Noetic Conference, Olympus, 10.8.2109
If we look back on the carry 20th century, we see that most scientis
; thought that the great discoveries in physics had already been made. Sor
questions still needed to be answered, but the fundamental physical laws c
our universe were considered "determined." Of course, we know this wa
wrong. As the tools of scientific inquiry became more precise and i
up new realms of Investigation or offered new insights into establfc
beliefs, scientists realized how attic they really understood about nature.
The same can be said for us, lOOyears later. We have learned to commi
nicate across theglobe, we have conquered diseases, we. have created \
ons capable of massive destruction and we have even walked among
stars. We are proud of our "understanding",of the universe,artd our;
plishmentsjare considered evidence of our knowledge :But yve are as
iuded asithe arrogant 20th<entury scientist, for all of ouraccomplishmer
mean nothing when new discoveries undermine everything we hpid to 1
true. The discovery of psionic energy ts just such a revelation.
Psi is hot a- "new" force. Just as electricity, magnetism, gravity and
i forces between atoms have always affected the universe, so too has psi. I
the emergence of the psions, however, we simply didn't have the tools
perceive and manipulate psionic energy.
Hypothesis arid experimentation have always been the bases of scit
tific inquiry. Witij them, Newton established the laws of rnotioh and;
tatton. Majcwell unified electricity with four fundamental equations; Einst
set forth fight's constancy and objects' relative motions with Ihe theory <
relativity. And now I propose the parameters by which psi runetions.
As science progresses, it becomes ever more challenging to qt
; new theories. TS do iso, we mustcreatethe'tools by which to test them,
i was much easier td prove theories about gravity than ft was to verify i
particles smaller than atoms exist. Whereas Newton proved his theories I
dropping objects, subatomic particles were proved to exist with the ir
tion of accelerators and electron microscopes.
The subquantum universe "psion particles," as the quanta are t
exists all around us, as do protons and quarks. It's always been here, j
as molecules and gravity have always been. However, we weren't able 1
study and quantify this realm until now. With the proper tools at our dis
nothing less than psi abilities themselves we can finally explore 1
j= last, unifying force of nature.

Bioware (of which individual devices are
Biotechnological de- also known as "bioapps," or biological appli-
velopment is A product of the rise of ances) originates from enormous cultures of
psionic powers among humanity. The con- undifferentiated living cells,
cepts behind the technology derive from the called matrices. Matrix
psionic ability to recognize and manipulate the cells are processed by
subquantum energy flowing through all living large organic comput-
things. By directing these en- ers (referred to, simply
ergies, psions can enough, as "matrix
transform living mat- computers"), which
ter into technological stimulate the cells to
tools. Gifted from the grow along a pro-
Norca and Orgotek, grammed template.
in particular, can use "A Rose By This growth results in
their psionic capabili- Any Other Name either a living structure
ties to modify and Warren Shaw,
Retrospective 2110 OBC that continues to grow and re-
control biotech to a new itself, or in a quasi-living
degree even other With the quantification of
psi, it became possible to cre- structure that maintains some
psions envy. functions of life, but is really little
Such devices ate a scientific classification for
individuals possessed of the more than a shape composed of
can be used unto living matter. The important dis-
themselves, but they ability to utilize psi energies.
Noetic science labeled them tinction here, of course, is that
are often combined bioware is a product of life, as op-
with conventional Homo sapiens mentis, beings
still Indisputably human, but posed to hardtech, which is a
hardtech. However, product of mechanical processes.
biotech use is limited possessed of a slightly differ-
ent genetic makeup than the As with al! appliances, weap-
mostly to psions; the ons, vehicles and other mechani-
capability to use bio- rest of us.
Of course, human ver- cal creations, maintenance and up-
technology beyond keep are paramount to bioapps'
basic devices re- nacular has relegated "mentis"
to scientific papers. Other la- continued function. Unlike
quires psi energy hardtech, however, bioapps can re-
that only the Gifted bels, from the prosaic "Gifted"
to the derogatory "psyq," are quire some unusual if not down-
possess and can con-
used. In the end, most people right bizarre methods of mainte-
trol. Operating even nance. The simplest bioapp may re-
basic bioware appli- seem comfortable with "psion,"
despite its intended use as a quire nothing more than occasional
cations can exhaust cleaning, while intricate devices
the mind of a normal term for elements of psi en-
ergy, not psi users. may require the removal of excess
human. Trying to use cells, oiling to maintain surface cells,
advanced bioware Likewise, terminology
used to refer to those without comfortable bedding or periodic
has been known to immersions in nutrient baths
drive normals insane psi abilities ranges from unin-
spired to rude. "Neutral" is "feeding," as it were.
or even kill them. Living, self-renewing bioapps
Noeticists are re- currently in vogue, although
psions have been known to used in toxic or highly radioactive
searching biotech- environments (unprotected space,
nology intensively in call the rest of us "neuts,"
"norms," "blanks," "empties" the colonies, or Bahrain) must be
hopes of making all scanned regularly, either by a com-
bioware available to and other names inappropri-
ate to this broadcast. It's un- petent noetic technician or by
fortunate that mankind feels it
necessary to create such arti-
ficial labels, for in the end,
aren't we all human?
bioware designed
for such mainte-
nance. Cellular mutations may de-
velop that interfere with the devices'
Macrotech functions. In fact, It's not unusual for
versus Microtech bioapps to develop forms of cancer after
[ Dr. Kleran Baxter, The Technological Age
2110 Walkabout Press exposure to a hostile environment If such
Psions have developed only a few means afflictions are detected early, the mutations
i: by which to turn organic materials into tech- are generally easy to excise or repair.
nology. The result is basic templates used FORMATTING BIOWARE
bioware development. There are four known cel- Each piece of bioware possesses its
lular matrices: bacteria], plasmal, floral and faunal. own psionic field. The bioapp resonates
Most bioapps are created using floral and faunal with a low-level psi aura related to its
matrices, as these are the best understood by noetic component materials. A psion manipu-
scientists. Early experiments with bacterial and plas- lates this field to activate a device.
mal matrices have been frozen for future study. Bioapps with weak fields can be used by
Most available bioapps can be considered normal people, as everyone resonates
"macrotech." They are large, obvious objects, like with at least some degree of psionic en-
guns, powered armor, vehicles or medical scan- ergy, even if it's not enough to possess
ners. In general, such macrotech is non- or mini- telekinesis or to read minds.
mally invasive to the user's body. Macrotech is Bioapps are one of two types: for-
relatively easy to create and maintain. matted or unformatted. Unformatted
Also contained within matrix computers' or- bioapps perform only limited functions.
ganic memory banks are templates for bacterial Normal people can use these devices
and plasma! "microtech." Such devices are mi- without suffering mental burnout.
croscopic organisms biological nanotech, if Formatting a bioapp is usually accom-
you will that form a thin layer over the skin to plished by injecting a small amount of a
enhance an electrokinetic's emissions, that per- psion's genetic coding into the device. Vari-
form microsurgery under a vitakinetic's guid- ous enzymes contained in the central ma-
ance, or that assist in a biokinetic's alteration of trix break down the gene, absorbing the
cellular structure. DNA groups that are instrumental to psi
Microtech research is hindered by concerns activity. Those groups are then integrated
about the very nature of the technology. Devices into the bioware's own DNA, which alters
of this sort generally require invasive applications, the device's psionic field to resonate in se-
and can give rise to unforeseen side effects and quence with the psion's own emissions.
problems. And once they're introduced, how can This synergy creates a link between the
they be removed? psion and the bioapp, allowing him to op-
erate it. Some devices can be formatted
to be used by multiple psions; each per-
son simply introduces a DNA sample.

- - "
o Oo
Everyone knows what the psi orders In 2109, the proxies stunned the psion
are but ask for a detailed explanation of community with the revelation that the
them and odds are you'll get a blank stare and quantakinerJc Chitra Bhanu Order was in league
a mumbled, "Well, they're the orders." At best with the resurgent Aberrants. The other seven
Joe Hologram the average individual can orders united to exterminate their traitorous
state accurately that each order represents a par- brethren. The operation was completed by the
ticular psi aptitude or path of psionic develop- spring of 2110, yet rumors persist to present
ment (although he wouldn't use those words). day that more than a few Chitra Bhanu (and
Beyond that, the person on the street is at a loss. perhaps even their proxy) escaped.
In other words, the orders A second disaster struck the or-
have done an exceptional ders fburyears later, when, despite
job of integrating them- the valiant efforts of Orgotek strike
selves into the social and teams, an Aberrant attack
political landscape.
Their existence is ac-
cepted without ques- <V,,-
tion by the majority of
normal humans, and their
activities are mytholo-
gized or rationalized thanlts
to the efforts of the /"ton Trin-
Psionic BocklasK
Legionnaire Robert Llnsey Marsden, Fifth Legion,
ity and an army of media wiz- interviewee* for Retrospective 2116 OK.
ards. Questioning the motives
and actions of the orders is like Psi energy is usually only a tickle in your mind, 'cept it's not
questioning whether you re- really your mind, if you get me. It's something more than that. Your
ally need oxygen. Both are mind and body all in one. If somebody dies nearby or an explosion
goes off, you feel it like a smack to the back of your head. Nothing to
considered essential for
humanity's survival. get twisted about, usually, but sometimes backlash can give you a
When the orders made shasty headache. Most times it's over in a flashan Instant of hell.
their first public appearance When something realty rears up the natural way of things
14 years ago (after operating : gets rucked royally you don't feel a tickle, you feel a knife stabbing
in secret for years previously), straight through you. The day France was destroyed, the backlash
there were eight of them: the was about as far from a headache as a solar flare is from a match.
vitakinetic/Csculapian Order, I was In BTsorry, basic training outside Perth when tl
the quantakinetic Chitra shit hit the rotor. From what 30,000 kilometers away? I felt
Bhanu, the clairsentient it. It was like my entire body was a single giant nerve ending
ISRAns, the psychokinetic Le- being stomped on. The pain only lasted for a few seconds, but It
gionnaires, the telepathic felt like forever. Afterward, I had the worst hangover of my life
Ministry, the biokinetic without even the pleasure of having a single drop.
Norca, the electrokinetic Know what the kicker was? I was just some newble grunt. I'd
Orgotek Order and the barely started to understand the what do ya call it?
teleporting Upeo wa Macho, "subquantum energy." Our drill sergeant, an old Zen master, was
Tragedy has whittled their laid out by the Esperanza backlash. He was unconscious for two
ranks, however; one order ; whole days, and that was just the start of his problems.
has been exterminated and They say the better you get with psi, the more susceptible you
another has vanished. |are to that sort of thing. Sure as hell hope I never get as good as
rgeant Tobashi. He still can't move the right side of his body.

o Oo



brought the Lsperanza orbital station crashing to cated as they are found, or are triggered to one
Earth in the heart of Europe. Every Gifted (and a of the remaining six aptitudes is unknown.
number of latents) felt the tremendous psionic The Chitra Bhanu tragedy and the Upeo's
shock wave that resulted from the impact and vanishing act have aiso injured the psi orders'
the millions of deaths that it caused. A backlash public image. Despite the Aon Trinity's best
caused by the teleporters' mass disappearance efforts at mediation and spin control, various
thundered through the subquantum stratum an governments and even some psions look with
instant later. Many highly attuned psions still suf- increasing frequency at the orders' failures and
fer psionic trauma resulting from those combined setbacks. They seem to lose sight of how cru-
events, even today. cial the Gifted are to the future of humanity.
It's commonly accepted that the
Esperanza's destruction (and that of a good
Each order was established and is still ad-
deal of France) was merely a decoy that al- ministered (or ruled, some say) by a single
lowed the Aberrants time to strike at their proxya psion with abilities far beyond those
real targets: the Upeo. Regardless of specu- of even the most accomplished of his or her
lation, the fact remains that the teleporters kind. Theories from reasonable to ridiculous
are gone, and their absence has crippled abound regarding the powers of the proxies.
extrasolar expansion for half a decade. The paranoid and conspiracy theorists claim
Strangely, when both orders vanished, so that after the proxies underwent their own
too did anyone with strong latency in either transformations, they diluted the processes
quantakinetics or teleportation. Whether such used on their followers to ensure their own
latents disappeared as well, continue to be eradi- supremacy. Of course, it's just as plausible that
o Qo

the proxies are simply the Norca continue their solitary and secretive recruit-
most powerful psionic in- ment, exclusive of the other orders.
dividuals the world has ever known. The orders transform latents into psions in a
Whatever the truth behind the proxies' similar way, although enough differences exist in
powers, they lead their respective orders with the processes to create psions with unique psionic
varying degrees of control, and seem to be united capabilities. A latent is enclosed in a "conversion
in their dedication to drive off the Aberrante. tank," referred to as a Prometheus chamber. Sup-
The orders themselves are socio-political or- posedly, he can be triggered only in one of these
ganizations, and have autonomy over the creation, special bioware tanks, regardless of the aptitude
training and deployment of psions. Each order is to which he is inclined. Each order has its own
responsible for locating humans with appropriate chambers (which are kept in individual, secured
latent talents and convincing those humans to locations). The aptitudes reportedly manipulate psi
undergo the conversion process, known as the energy in their own way, and the various orders'
Prometheus Effect. This isn't usually a hard sell, as chambers perform slightly different functions to
the media has done an exceptional job portraying trigger the appropriate powers. Someday humans
psions as something that everyone should want may manifest active psi powers spontaneously,
to be, Psionic powers, wealth and the chance to but until that time the Prometheus chambers are
save the universeliterally. Who wou/dn'rwant key to the birth of psions.
to be one of the Qfted? Psions created by these means are supposed
Methods used to seek out latents vary with to be capable of only certain psionic effects. Re-
the order, but typically involve search teams search conducted since the emergence of psionic
and testing centers. The majority of humanity powers Indicates that psions may sometimes mani-
has the same basic degree of resonance that fest rudimentary levels of aptitudes other than the
flows through everything in the universe. Those ones in which they're triggered. Most noeticists and
with a stronger amount of psi who test as vi- high-ranking psions state that, while primitive ex-
able latents don't register an inclination for a pressions of multiple aptitudes are possible, humans
certain aptitude; they simply show the poten- simply aren't mentally equipped to manifest mul-
tial to channel psi energy. A latent who exhib- tiple aptitudes fully. Further study is required to learn
its a noticeable tendency fora specific psi apti- more of the potential inherent in this mystery.
tude is sought after greatly by the orders, since After their conversion, fledgling psions are
such an individual often makes a powerful psion trained and subsequently deployed by the or-
in that aptitude. In the end, though, the order ders that triggered them. This education and
that takes the latent in and puts him through assignment, while primarily concerned with
its Prometheus Effect dictates the aptitude that combating Aberrants and hostile aliens, includes
the person actually manifests. other endeavors unrelated to the orders' pri-
Acceptance into an order also varies, of- mary function. For instance, while electrokinet-
ten requiring more than just possessing psi ics join the other orders in hunting down
latency. Some pose rigorous entrance tests, Aberrants, their order, Orgotek, also pursues a
some refuse to promote latents of certain back- thriving business in bioware development, ship-
grounds (whether cultural, religious or racial), building and terraforming. Even the orders, it
while others welcome potential psions of any seems, aren't above malting a profit.
temperament or background. A number of normal humans assist in the or-
The Neptune Division of the /on Trinity also ders' "mundane" pursuits. Though comprisingasig-
facilitates trade and transfer of latents among the niflcant percentage of their respective orders and
orders, although the Ministry and the Norca have growing in number, the Gifted still make up a rela-
not or do not participate in this program. The Min- tively small portion of the human population.
istry has only recently offered to exchange latents Normals who work for the ordersare essentially em-
with aptitudes other than telepathy. The biokinetic ployees, and are not part of the orders in the truest

sense. Only psions are

The Prometheus Effect embraced as true or-
An Analytical Presentation der members.
Excerpt: The third Noetic Almost all psions, even those
Conference, Olympus, 10.6.2111 who work for the /on Trinity in some
The Prometheus Effect, labeled such by the: capacity, remain members of the orders that
| Vltakinetic Proxy Dr. Matthieu Zwadler, largely re- created them. After all, the benefits are good,
mains a mystery even to most psions. The actual me- the company is amenable and backup is usu-
chanics of the process involve the latent imbibing biofluid, ally available when Aberrants strike. However,
then being immersed in a gel-filled bioware tank The sub- individual psions have been known to forge
ject fells into a fugue slate while her body is infused with out on their own. Each order has its own policy
nano-organisms. A psion monitors the subject through a on rogue agents, from the Norca's sometimes
btollnk, and follows a very precise process to trigger the extreme measures in recovering free agents
latent to a full psion. to the Legion's public commendation of indi-
In the orders' early days, proxies were personally viduality. Ifs mostcommon for psions to switch
involved in each latent's awakening. Since then, it seems order allegiances for personal or financial
most have passed on the responsibility to a few key reasons. The /ton Trinity has taken a direct
Gfted underlings. From what we are toid, only del hand in brokering these personnel exchanges,
Fuego, the Norca Proxy, still monitors his psions' trans- which seems to have eased relations between
formations personally. the orders in general.
New pstons describe their emergencefromthefugue Finally, while each order has a central
state, as their bodies rise dripping from the tanks, as being base of operations where its influence is
reborn. Powers are typically uncontrollable but weak for most apparent, they all maintain global
the fast few days after being "triggered." Control and and interplanetary operations, as well.
strength derive from familiarity with and training in the The /tsculapian Order, for example, is based
psions'new abilities. near Basel, Switzerland, but has a second-





ary center of operations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Those Gifted who seem to work especially well
and numerous dinics in over 4O countries, on together are usually offered extended assign-
Luna, and on most human colonies. ments. As long as the orders approve of such
P5I ORDERS AND m ON 1RINIIX cooperative programs, the Trinity provides the
majority of each psion's wages and benefits.
Aon has helped the psi orders grow since
their very inception. The Trinity has offered as- Solitary psions may find their way to Aon
sistance and guidance to the proxies over the as well, either through freelance work or as
past two decades, and extends that same aid to parts of Triton Division's investigations. These
the psions of each order. While the majority of individual Gfted are offered positions in teams
psions do not perform missions for Aon directly, of like-minded psions. Even those free agents
virtually all interactwith the society on some level. inclined to work with normals or to work solo
Psions become associated with Aon through are accommodated when It's feasible.
a number of means. Although the orders under- A fringe benefit that results from working
stand that working together is important, they all with the Trinity is a sense of normalcy for the
have a tendency to perform independently of anything-but-normal pstons. Aon is one of the
the others, and each considers Its policies to be few institutions that brings together not only
the best Who can say what the result of the psions of various orders, but also humans of all
EsperanzA attack would have been had the or- backgrounds. Many Gfted feel uncomfortable
ders been able to mount a unified defense? around neutrals, and while most orders strive
Aon's most important function is coordi- to alleviate this separation anxiety, only Aon
nating the orders. The Trinity organizes most can provide psions with a truly cosmopolitan
missions involving psions from multiple orders. environment in which to work and live.


o Qo

a.k.a. vitakinetics. docs or rexs
textfile conversion, Hiroko
Foster, EMT, sculaplan Order
Humanity has always suspected that the
mind is a powerful force for healing, but hard
VITAKINEW evidence has eluded those who have sought it.
Almost 15 years ago, the proxies gave us proof
This aptitude covers the use of
enough for even the most hardened skeptic.
|psionic energy to heal the body and
mind or to harm them. The majority We psions of the ysculapian Order use the
of development in vitakinesls involves power of the mind to cure illnesses, to mend
broken bones and to perform medical wonders
its healing applications, as categorized
under the iatrosis and mentatis modes. that were previously believed the province of
Training in algesis, the application of wizards, saints and miracle-workers.
; vltakinesis to cause harm, is controlled Yet despite our amazing skills,
I rigidly by high-ranking /tsculapians. /sculaplans are about as far removed from
Iatrosis: The psion applies his will to metaphysical mumbo jumbo as one can get.
mend physical Injuries, from minor cuts and In fact, the docs I've worked with tend to view
scrapes to massive trauma and loss of limbs. their own abilities and potential with a coldly
Mentatis: The use of psi energy to scientific eye. Point out to a vitakinetic the
remedy psychological derangements, similarity between her techniques and the
healing the mind rather than the body, i medieval "laying of hands" and you're likely
Algesis: This mode is geared toward to get a half-hour lecture about the perils of
causing injury. It is considered a neces- confusing religious quackery with the hard sci-
sary evil in the battle against Aberrants, ence of vitaklnesis. Or you just might get a
but few vitakinetics practice its effects. half-hour rant about how you're exactly right.


As a vitakinetic, you heal body and Dr. Matthieu Zweidler, MD, fathered the
mind. You mend and even regenerate ytsculaplan Order. One of the world's finest
neurosurgeons, Zweidler was the head of the
damaged tissue or soothe psychological
trauma, atrby focusing your will on a sub- Montressor Clinic, an elite private hospital
ject. While your powers could be used tx>; located In a converted monastery outside of
harm instead of heal, such actions run erHJ Basel, Switzerland.
tirely contrary to what we ask of you. After he was transformed into one of the
Your aptitude sees primary use in original eight proxies, Zweidler used both
field work. You engage in research and his clinic and a network of affiliated hospi-
missions to contain subjects with genetic tals, former employees and contacts to lay
anomalies. You assist in the eradication the groundwork for what would become the
of Aberrants themselves. You enter into /tsculapian Order. Within a few months,
front-line combat and tend to your team Zweidler began a quiet process of identifi-
members' wounds with both your medi-: cation, recruitment and triggering of
|:cal training and your psi powers. vitakinetic psions.
Thanks to Zweidler's carefully laid plans,
Your powers are essential to more
;than simply maintaining your team- when the proxies revealed themselves to the
-mates' health, though. You are the world, the docs were already up and run-
team's lifeline. ning. Those first-generation vitakinetics dis-
guised their powers for at least three yea
and were established The Basel operation is dominated by Dr.
physicians, known and Zweidler and his peers from the pre-proxy
accepted by the normal doctors and days, but field healers now come increasingly
nurses whom they worked with. The first
from non-Western backgrounds.
docs built a reputation as selfless, fearless Zwetdler insists on strict documentation
angels of mercy. of all manifestations and uses of vitakinesis.
Today, vltakinetic clinics are located ev-
The strongest adherents to the order's cult of
erywhere from Earth to the extrasolar colo- scientific rationality are based in Basel. The
nies. The media is full of stories of heroic rexs
clinic is the docs' administrative center, train-
who brave the dangers of catastrophes, epi- ing facility and noetic research lab. The
demics and battlefields to treat the sick and Montressor Clinic also maintains a massive or-
injured. Indeed, as gan bank, with satel-
the order expands it lite facilities at other
absorbs, duplicates or major clinics. The
simply makes obso- banks' director, Roland
lete many existing Stoltzfus, claims that
medical-relief organi- his people can rush an
zations. Even the ven- organ to anywhere in-
erable International system in less than 24
Red Cross has been hours.
virtually subsumed by Much of the
/Esculaplans. it only order's power is con-
makes sense, though; centrated In Basel.
we are simply better That's why the clinic is
equipped to handle guarded heavily by
emergencies. At both psions and
least, that's what our armed human agents.
press releases say. Ironically, these secu-
Latents with the rity forces seem to
potential for the vita- spend much of their
kinesis aptitude are time controlling the
relatively common, hordes of sick and in-
but Zweidler is par- firm who drag them-
t i c u l a r about the selves to Zwetdler's
people whom he al- doorstep in search of
lows to undergo the cures.
Prometheus Effect; Beyond the order's
simply registering latency isn'tenough. Still, hundreds of small clinics, posts and man-
there have been quite a few docs over the aged-care facilities, there are major
years. I've heard the jUsculapiart is the third/Esculapian clinics in Olympus, Minnesota,
largest order after the Legions and Orgotek. Addis Ababa and Haiti. The Haitian city of
There may be as many as 10,000 vitakinetics Port-au-Prince is home to the "loyal opposi-
running around. tion" to Zweidler's technocratic cadre.
GEOGRAPHY Shamen, faith healers, acupuncturistsdocs
with different ways of perceiving vitakinesis
"Seasoned with Basel" has become slang
congregate there, an ocean and a world
among the docs' field ops for describing idi- view away from the order's often stifling ad-
otic policies that come straight from the top. ministrators.
Q Q o

W h i l e Zweidler's
deeply rational soul loathes
these docs' spiritual views,
he still recruits powerful latents
Whal s m Q Name* on principle, regardless of their
Corf He isle r, The Painful Truth* beliefs. If Zweidler can't work
with someone after the transfor-
Apparently Zweidler was| [ mation, he simply ships her out.
fan of the Classics. He dubbed I Zweidler is quite touchy about
| nascent order the "Ascuiapiar how closely his special talent
Rafter ^tsculapius, a Roman phys| mimics the effects of folklore and
cian and son of Jupiter who wa| legend, and can't bear reminders
supposedly skilled enough tc
of that "stigma."
aring the dead back to life. /Esculapian clinics follow one of the
Zweidler must never have two established paradigms of Switzerland or
I up the details of /tsculapius' ; Haiti, depending on where a clinic director
)le story; Jupiter was none-too-
did her internship. There's a friendly and
I pleased with his son's activities and
sometimes not-so-friendly rivalry as to
\ killed him with a thunderbolt from which group is "right." A doc can still move
ifthe heavens. from one clinic to another with a minimum
I don't have to tell you that
of culture shock, though.
"vtsculapian" is a mouthful. It's;
| not surprising that nobody uses
|lt (except Zweidler, of course). Ev- TRITON ARCHIVE-
il eryone calls them "vitakinetics,
|Instead, after their aptitude. And;
recovered email fragment from Dr.
| if that doesn't thrill you, there's Matthleu Zweidler
always slang. The /tsculapians are [Haitian vitakinetics are] nothing
essentially glorified doctors, | more than a bunch of damned witch
right? just a short hop from that doctors using my money and equip-
"docs." And pop culture and ment to paint themselves blue and ca-
we megameds being what we vort...
| are, had to be clever and bastard-
iize the traditional "Rx" into "rex."
So the order's official paperwork |
|refers to 'VEsculapians," but ask any-
|body on the street who that refers
|to. As far as joe Hologram is con-
srned, it's "vitaklnetic," "doc" or
1 don't know why Zweidler
sts so upset about all this. We still
lumor him with "Prometheus Ef-
fect," don't we? You ask me, there's
o Oo
I s


Each rex performs an internship of
three to five years at one of the main clin-
ics after being triggered. Upon graduation, /ESCULAPIANS:
the psion is considered a licensed medical INTERACTION WITH OTHER ORDERS
technician. Membership in the order after this /tsculapians maintain cordial re-
point isn't mandatory, but is expected, and lations with Orgotek. The two study
the benefits that Zweidler provides are so and develop bioware together (al-
attractive that almost no one ever leaves. though despite strong professional
/tsculapian clinics, no matter their locale ties, no love is lost between the two
or setup, follow a Basel organizational model; orders' proxies). The Legions are
the paperwork and chain of command are likewise looked upon favorably, since
the same in every clinic from Europe to psychokinetics and vitakinetics sup-
Europa. The chief of staff (essentially, the port one another in combat. A num-
ranking psion) manages the clinic, while ber of docs have ventured to South
neute fill key administrative roles. The small- America for extended research with
est clinics may have only a single rex, while the Norca. The purpose of such study
the largest maintain as many as 100 fully Is unknown by low-ranking docs.
trained docs at any time. While ytsculapians consult occasion-
No matter their sire, most of our clinics ally with Ministry psions on psi-re-
also have full medical staffs of neutral doc- lated psychological problems, the
tors, nurses and technicians who outnumber two orders otherwise make a point
the psions whom they work with. The latter to avoid each other. ISRA psions are
are the "superstars," though, and I've known given little more than a nod and a
a few who have vid-star attitudes, but no one smirk by docs, since clalrsentient
can argue with their results, Psions fresh out powers are considered to have little
of internships are attached to existing clin- use beyond patrolling for Aberrants.
ics, unless specially directed to research pro- Of all the orders, theytsculaplans
grams or the military. Only the largest clin- seem to have the most trouble with
ics have the facilities to maintain more than their own. The Basel adherents' rigid
a couple of trainees at a time. scientific mentality is increasingly at
odds with the Haitian docs' "spiritual"
attitude. This could become a concern
if the psions allow their philosophical
differences to affect their work.
o Oo


a.k.a. clairsentients, seers, clears or eyes
textfile conversion, Otha Herzog, We dairsentients do not search for glory or
Clalrsentlent Proxy power. We are servants of a greater power, of the
I am given to understand that you wish to energy that surrounds us all. We are your eyes,
know about ISRA. Much of what you would always watching, ever aware of the forces at work
like to learn is impossible to comprehend if in the universe. It is not ISRA's function to control
you are not dalrsentient, but I will relate my these forces. Instead, we alert our Gifted breth-
knowledge as dearly as ! may. ren, and gather when those forces conspire to
disrupt the living harmony of all things.
Aberrants are the great discordant note
in this reality, and we direct ourselves most
intently against them. Clairsentient psions are
vigilant for thejglltale .disruptions that sig-
nify Aberranypergies at work, and are quick
CLAIRSENTIENCE to call for combat these rftonstrosities.
A Gifted with this aptitude can extend But _rtatls all ISRA does. We
Shis senses far beyond the human norm, can teverlishion we may. For
aid hui
iread the "auras" of people and objects to some, ^^^^ ituring into space aboard
learn their histories, and can even catch;
marvelpus craftexjaipftag the stars for new re-
glimpses of the future. Gairsentience effects sources and places of habitation. Others inves-
fare categorized under the psychometry, tigate^ mysterfes*hat pftgiie our world, from
Icpsychonavigation and telesthesia modes. deivirtg intp iitstorical analysis tq rooting out sad,
Psychometry: These powers involve commit '.tarings, and evade
^attuning to a subject's aura, as the
punifipierlH i'so'-tbose of us who
?dairsentients call it, to learn of recent
plumb the ell, < -. > :, itselfpoping thai
events and encounters. greater understanding we -vill have greater ca-
Psychonavigation: This mode en-
pacity'to us,e <sur trernendous'abUities."
Cables the psion to find a subject by key- You knovAne as a proxp, the leader of the
y ing into its subquantum resonance.
Clairsentient pfijtts.: I n^pforrect you in this.
Telesthesia: The Gifted can project I merely guid^p||^Bp,? giving them the
his senses through physical barriers and wisdom of my exp^r^wifvvhen appropriate,
^across vast distances by attuning him-; much as I do with you now. Psions must fol-
self to psionic energy wave-forms. low individual paths. I simply hope my words
/EON TRINITY MISSION PARAMETERS are beneficial when my fellows take their steps.
As a Clairsentient you perceive the uni-
;jverse with senses far greater and sharper than'
I have styled ISRA after the simple, el-
normal. You can see through walls and into egant models of monastic orders, although
the deepest reaches of space. Your compre^
our structure is still quite informal. All funds
hension of the physical world is unparalleled. and property of the school meeting areas,
You are our scouts and detectives. You vehicles, equipment and the small number
pilot orbital craft and our incredible new of orbital stations we are fortunate enough
.jump ships. You scan the stars for signs of to have are communal, shared among all
^hostile incursions of all types, from" members. Decisions made by our siblings are
Aberrants to aliens to even human forces. arrived at democratically, although weight is
You investigate disaster sites, crimes and
mysteries, uncovering information with
your powers of perception.
You are our eyes, peering into the
darkness to bring the truth to light.
siblings with piercing insight into the universe
number only a few thousand. The demographic
THE FATHER OF CLAIRSFN1IFNCF figures that we have show ISRA's membership
to followa broad "universal human norm," with
Analysis: Malcolm Severn, PhD, Triton
Division, 4.24.2117 members from, and in, all parts of human space.
Otha Herzog, the proxy who refers I am often asked about my politics, and
to himself as "the world's most forgettable those of my siblings. I feel that such things,
man," didn't have access to the political much like hairstyles and musical tastes, are
or financial resources that funded the other personal choices. Politics has no place in ISRA,
orders. Instead, he built his order out of a though 1 understand governments' perceived
deep reverence for humanity and a dedi- necessity in greater society. The school dis-
cation to the Baha'i philosophy, which pro- plays favoritism and antagonism toward no
poses a unification of all faiths and the har- nation, corporation or other powerful group.
mony of all people. His first psions were I am pleased that many of my siblings follow
followers of Baha'i, and numbered in the my example and renounce their national citizen-
hundreds when ISRA finally took its place ship. Artificial bonds of political loyalty and pa-
on the world stage in 2106. triotism are not the way of ISRA, for they cloud
Formerly a naturalized citizen of Ger- the purity of the visions we seek. Still, I think no
many, but now "a citizen of the universe less of those psions who maintain ties to home.
and a servant to no nation," Herzog is be- They follow their own paths. They may have seen
lieved to live in Huruf at-Hayy, an orbital that the courses they must take lead them to serve
station on the solar system's outer reaches. their countries, or to even join the /ton Trinity.
This choice of headquarters (so far from It saddens me, however, that ISRA's poli-
the center of human activity) appears ec- cies have not endeared us to the more au-
centric until one remembers that distance thoritarian national governments. I do not un-
matters little to the clairsentient proxy. derstand why clairsentients of Asian extrac-
Herzog considers himself a parent tion cannot renounce their Chinese citizenship.
rather than a leaderalthough his hu- Or why local statutes in some regions of the
mility goes further; he refers to Federated States of America equate ISRA
clairsentient psions as his "siblings." He membership to treason. How is such a thing
leaves most administration and the possible? We are all citizens of humanity. Such
training of new psions to a group col- boundaries and Iimitations,setve only to sepa-
lectively l<nown as the Mashriqi. While rate us from one another.
the Mashriqi have no official school sta-
tus or clearly defined social privileges,
Although ! follow.Bijfla'ism. as do many of
other ISRAns generally respect their my Mashriqi siblings, ve do not reference it
opinions. This isa reflection of Herzog's explicitly in the schoQl'spffJaai rn^rerials 01 train-
own manner of guidance. He emerges ing literature. ISRA ;does nof rnake any claims
infrequently from Huruf al-Hayy, but about the truth or relative worth of any religion
even his simplest word has great or philosophical systern. Insteacj, the school prac-
weight among clairsentients (and a tices a policy of enlightened tolerance, encour-
growing number of other psions). aging each clairsentient to find her,>ewn sym-
bolic framework. Those;^elements of Baha'i
given to the wise and experienced among (largely terminology and gpneral ethics) included
us. In ISRA, everyone has a voice. in ISRAn teachings are secularized cprnpletely.
Ours is not the largest order, nor is it the Sadly, the public still seemSt&:believe that
smallest. While ISRAns who manifest a low ISRA is an official conduit for Baria'ism. This makes
level of dairsentience are fairly numerous, my it difficult for my siblings to deal with Israel-judah,
o OQ

given that followers of

Baha'i were expelled from
their headquarters at Mount
Carmel during the Temple Sealing. I have
nothing but the greatest friendship for the
Methodology Israelis. As I have said in the past, I am in debt to
Philosophy Jerusalem for encouraging the Baha'i and my
Warren Shaw, Retrospective humble school to look spaceward.
We ISRAns prefer to be away from the dis-
ISRAns are expected to turn over i tractions of a gravity well when contemplating
at least 80% of their earnings for, complex visions. This should address your curi-
clairsentient work to the school. In re-' osity regarding our tendency to work and live in
turn, ISRA ensures that all members! orbital stations and other extraterrestrial locales.
have access to lodgings, board and a; Our "isolation" is also due in large part to our
small living allowance for dothing and I involvement in jump-ship development. We are
persona! items. Members aren't re- best suited of all the orders to pilot these incred-
quired to live simply, but many follow: ible new vessels into the depths of space. Our
the more experienced clairsentients': past work with the Upeo wa Macho to locate
example. Each Mashriq literally owns; teleportation destinations gave us invaluable
nothing, having renounced persona! training, and an affinity for sensing the depths of
ownership to live entirely within the space. When the jump ships are fully functional,
communal standards of ISRA. we shalt finally rejoin our star-tost people,
Material goods aren't an issue
in ISRA. Yet, despite the Mashriqi's
best efforts, many young or less
gifted ISRAns have become obsessed
with boosting their power levels, cit-
ing a vague feeling that "something ISRA:
big is coming," and that they need INTE RACI10N WITHOTHR(MRS
to "see more clearly." This desire to ISRAns seem to get along well with
increase their abilities causes some almost everyone. Qairsentients are the
psions to rely on and become ad- first line of defense against the Aberrants,
dicted to psi enhancers and other since they can often detect the spatial
biotech augmentation devices. disruptions caused by the creatures' pow-
Supposedly, Herzog himself is ers of "warp travel." Beyond that, the
subject to a sense of foreboding. The; ISRAns don't have an agenda beyond
growing significance of messianic im-; using their abilities to improve the hu-
agery within the Baha'i religious com-;; man condition. They don't force their
munity and his own order is said to viewpoints on others, and are disposed
unsettle the proxy. He has withdrawn to lending assistance wherever possible.
from the day-to-day running of ISRA,' However, the same powers that
leaving most immediate practical mat- make clairsentients so useful also make
ters in the hands of his Mashriqi. Herzog them socially shunned. ISRAns have a
reportedly spends ever-greater periods tendency to show up unannounced,
of time in deep meditation, which is, and to deliver cryptic messages about
allegedly accompanied by long peri- impending events. The fact that they' re
ods of fasting and other practices. usually right doesn't alleviate their un-
settling manner. Psions of other orders
consider clairsentients with cautious
optimism- ISRAns are very useful to
have around, but whenever they ap-
pear, something is bound to happen.
o Oo

,.k.a. psychoklnetics, PKs, Legionnaires or war dogs

conversion, Robert Linsey our proxy. General Solveig Larssen is a holy
i Trinity, Proteus Division terror disguised as a Scandinavian woman in
nsldering we psychokinetics tend to be a her 50s. She's the shining example of
fiercely independent lot, some wags marvel that psychokinetic achievement. It boggles the
enough of us PKs can stick together to make a mind to see her in the trenches, using all three
single legion, let alone an entire order. How we , PK modes at once while us poor sods are try-
do it isn't such a surprise. Take a bunch of folks Ing to get our brains around one, yeh?
with something in common beating Aberrant She's the only proxy I know who still goes
arse and they'H stick together just fine. the field 'stead of hiding behind a desk. Be
Course, thlngS^would've fallen apart by Isute, the men oh, and women .-:
in the Le-
now if not for the General who you'd call love her for it. Gerje&l Larssen isn't just a
t soldier, she's one of the most brilliant tacti-
< dansthat ever lived Alexander, Attila, Napoleon,
Brad%, Osner-^andtarssen. Ifyou don't agree,
' I've got a fev^ihousand friends who beg to differ
The ddeticists ;Say psychokinesis is the most
POTQKINEM 1 comma*! of all thejjptitudes. Lookingatthe Legions,
These powers involve molecular manipU" I, I'd ^they're i^ght We're a damn big mob! Tens of
Son. A psychokinetic can create cold or heat , * ijjeusancls cf s^ftamin'psions getting up dose and
or can move something by manipulating peisora) with Aberjante. It's a good thing PK's so
molecules. The three psychokinesis modes '"* common, I suppose, considering purattrtton rate.
"are cryokinesls, pyroklnesls and telekinesis. The General uses-;our numbers to best
Cryokinesis: Cryo effects slow down -I advantage by, maintaining seven PK groups,
an object's molecular motion, simply cool- :; each geared t6 a different kind of Legionnaire,
tag It or perhaps even freezing it solid. She lets her commanders run their Legions
Pyroklnesls: These effects excite now they w i l l / b u t makes sure they always
molecules to generate heat and to cause remember; who calls the shots (and if you have
combustion. ; to ask, this ihj^fyiew is over). Sure, we have
Telekinesis: The psion lifts objects i standard fbur-year'tours, and a lot of Legion-
and even himself by moving an entire mo- ;< naires muster out at the arid of theirs, but Gen-
lecular construct with focused psi energy, I eral Larssen allows ustoTOMLup with other
i I organizations while we're still \vfife the Legions.
m TRINITY MISSION PARAMETERS II I don't mean buddy up with some upstart
Psychokinesis involves mind over 1| country or paranoid metacorp. With a Legion
matter. You create fire, generate ice and f post in almost every nation on Earth and ev-
:can even fly. Your abilities manipulate the ery territory in settled space, we make sure
subtle potential and raw power inherent: the three Cs are in effect for all our troops
to objects and the very air around you. ij communication, coordination and confidence.
You defend innocents against Aberrant Our loyalty is to the Legions before anyone
threats. You patrol cities, colonies and space else. That's why "Legions First," yeh?
itself in search of any and all dangers to hu*
manity. You act as police and militia, keep-i m FIRST - THE HOME GUARD
ing the peace and confronting menaces. | Scattered across the continent of Australia, the
You are a front-line assault trooper, Legionnaire Home Guard is characterized by its
and you guard terrestrial and stellar bor- psions' blue and white uniforms, and Is adored by
ders against threats of any kind. not only Australians, but by humanity in general.
o Oo
PROTEUS ARCHIVES The First is the most
pected of the Legions,
not that the rest of us are
m SEVEN LEGIONS unwashed louts. It's simply the prettiest,
Analysis: Craig Bartholomew, Soldiers of the First appear in vidcast com-
Proteus Division, 5.29.2108
mercials, sponsoring everything from lager to
The Legions are a study in contradic-
lasers. Although they're happy to rake in what
tion. Of all the orders, theirs is the most regi-
cash they can, the blue-and-whites are less
i, mented, divided as it b into seven units rang-1
t mercenary than the rest of us war dogs. They
; ing in size from several hundred to severaJ |
Ijdon't take independent contract work, mainly
thousand psions. However, while the Le-
| Carrying out assignments handed down by
! jgions operate with a strict military structure
^(supervised and maintained by Proxy | '*.' General Larssen.
;; Larssen), each Legion has its own system of j| } Iftf SECOND-FORIUNE'IKNIGHTS
feiankand regulations, and style of command, ;| ! A new breed of warjlor was born centu-
llhis includes everything from a Legion's phi- ries ago: the soldier, of fortune. We PKs dls-
| Josophy to means offinancingendeavors. * tilled this decades-old pedigree into the Sec-
While a field marshal leads the First, a *i ond Legion ; the children of a hundred war-
commandant leads thefifth,and a shogun rior cultures, also called Fortune's Knights.
pleads the Seventh. The Legionnaires are a The .Second Js the core of the Legions'
^diverse lot, so much so that they resist all mercenary crowd. When a country or
attempts to bind them into a single unit. metjacorp wajfts to hire Legionnaires as
:: One of the few limitations that Larssen shock troopsjspecia! forces or glorified secu-
| imposed on this diversity of titles and com- :rity guards it turns to ,the Mercenaries.
jxjnand was a system of "tiers." This refer- ; * Whether they're commandos pr .reserve flank-
Sence allows for an easier understanding of ^
the relative levels of authority between,
say, a /lafismotoand a It. major.
At least, this tier system makes sense
to the Legions, I've been studying it for
weeks and still haven't figured it out.
^: _ . - . - . . . ...... . j
The First is the hope defense, honor gtiard
and constabular^W the Legions. The oily
Guardsmen abroad act as military police for ffie
other LegionsjjiAsk an Aussie to describe a Le?
gionnaire and he'll likely mention blue jackets
and white berets and the Seven Legions' sig-.;;;
nature star-burst emblem he'll describe a
Guardsman, a soldier of the First. ers, troops of the Second serve with
distinction...and at a hefty price, yeh?
Although the Mercs take moneycheer-
fully, even they also demand some odd fees
for difficult contracts. Favors can change hands
rather than cash, especially when a client rep-
resents someone particularly influential. Some
of the Legion's most Infamous stories were
inspired by such payments. Truth be told,
Fortune's Knights are as prone to tall tales as

o Oo

they are to soldiering The most scattered of the Legions, the Fourth
and they do both excep- is a dumping ground for fanatical PKs. Sociopathic
tionally well. Aberrant-haters are assigned to the Fourth, and
THIRD - SUPPORI fORH (M they find kindred spirits there. In a society filled
to the brim with anti-Aberrant sentiment, folks
The Third is the smallest of the Legions, gen-
erally made up of nonpsychokinetic Qfted, or this extreme are pretty damn radical.
neuts who are associated with the Legion periph- While the Avengers share a common bond
erally. The Third provides support, such as trans- in their hatred, they're the least unified of the Le-
portation, logistics, latent testing and the like. I gions. Soldiers of the Fourth are the most likely to
-take individual assignments, and many work for
" pathetically little pay, accepting contracts that suit
', their needs for revenge, justice or atonement. Of
, course, they're also the most likely to barge in on
yoti uninvited and aocusejour wife of being an
Aberrant spy. There's rarely any middle ground
with the Fourth. They even disturb the rest of us.

I'rh biased, butln my mind there's no Le-

' gion finer fian the fifth. The Americas are sorely
: in need of defense, not only from Aberrants, but
from themselves. North America's full of civvies
railing against file Federated States Military. Don't
This Legion doesn't have a ranking <cam- get me started on those glorified policemen!
marider/Tts members are attached to the other South America's rife with ail kind of potftlCa) and
six Legions, instead, and the^ report directly : social intrigue. You need a storecard to know
to General Larssen herself. The groupls grown who your friends are on this half of the world,
quite a bit in the last couple yearst so 1 imag- but everyone knows where the Fifth stands.
ine it's only a matter of Jflme before the Gen-
eral lets 'em toddle off on their own. *
Some say money is the spark that starts a
wan but rage keeps Jt burning. The Aberrant
War was fueiedjlyso much rage that it's still
smoldering alrfjbst 60 years later. That anger
is the motivation of the Fourth.

Legionnaires recruited from the Americas are

stationed in the Western Hemisphere, and comprise
the majority of the Fifth's troops. I've heard the brass
is wonied that we're more loyal to the West than to
the Legions. I can only speak for myself: All that's
really impotenttorrKisahealthy hatred of Aberrants,
and the Americas are home to enough ofthat.
o Oo

m SIXTH - EUROPE So, we've got Phoenix

Eurcpeisa\Afeck,athird-dass continent Its people Squadron: a collection of hot
are strong and hopeful, though, and it's the Sixth pilots and brave psions, out
Legion's job to defend those foils. Second to the there among the stars malting sure nothing
Americas, Europe is where most Legion recruits come gets through to us.
from. The Sixth has set up as many recruitment sta- Next to the ISRAns, the PKs of the Seventh
tions as it can afford. Considering that most of te fund- make up most of the biofighter pilots. They don't
ing comes from European donations, the Sixth is on a stop there, though. Phoenix Squadron has posts
pretty tight budget. It tests every bloke who applies. I on space stations and colonies. The Seventh main-
The European Legion concentrates on mo- iitains an HQ on Luna, the better to respond to any
threats from the stars. They're a strong-willed, In-
dependent tot, I'll give 'em that. Nextto the Fourth,
soldiers of Phoenix Squadron are the Legions' most
; bails-to-the-wall outfit. Beji^e me, coming from
another Legionnaire, that's saying something.

Legionnaires are the most direct
and forthcoming of all psions. While their
bile'sqtiads rafter than established bases. Sure, manner earns them respect and wins
it has a few posts, like in Londofl* Zurich-Geneva, them affection among the normal popu-
Rome and Leningrad, but even Legionnaires sta- lace, some orders don't care for the Le-
tioned there spend much oftheir tirntoh patrol gions' blunt (and sometimes crude) style.
particularly along the French bojtler-vvpstes. The /tsculapians and the Legions
m This
is the newest Legion. It was e$tablthed
get along, as their powers complement
one another (although Legionnaires
after the Chromatics' raid'On the Karroo cdjpny li tend to consider vitakinetics subordi-
back in 2113. Beforerffet, the Legionnaires who ;; nates rather than equals), ISRAns are also
patrol led space andJwho were set up on colonies f treated with respect; me psychokinetics
and orbital stations operated independently. Af- f recognize the need forthedairsentiente'
ter a point, thrffe was just too much going on ifl, | advance warnings of trouble.
space to not have an established presence, yen? The Legions and electrokinetics are
rivals. Orgotek's paons are almost as
combat-savvy as the psychokinetics are.
This sometimes leads to juvenile contests
of one-upmanship between them, in any-
thing from physical contests to boasting.
The Legions seem to dislike the
Norca and Ministry because those orders
operate under a veil of secrecy while
Legionnaires act in full sight. The bioki-
netics encourage Legionnaires' disdain
for them, while telepaths seem insulted
by their treatment. The Ministry claims
that use of telepathic abilities is regulated
strictly, but the Legions are unconvinced.
o Oo

a.k.a. telepaths. Ministry agents or tels
textfile conversion, Terrence Chu, the upper levels of the Philippine intelligen-
linlstry Liaison to Aon Trinity tsia. However, when she realized that the Chi-
Forget what you've heard about telepaths. nese secret service was attempting to infiltrate
The amoral, obsessively secretive Ministry the new group, the telepaths studied the
telepath is a Western media creation. Further- nonpsionic espionage agents in their midst.
more, despite what you've seen on vidcasts, The infiltrators eventually realized that
the Ministry isn't a society of cold-blooded "In- telepaths had been ob-
quisitors" or "agents in black." serving them all along.
In fact, our history is a matter of public Concluding that it was
record. After becoming the telepath proxy, Impossible to work MedrtatioT
from Madame
Rebecca Bue Li set out to gather her order from against telepaths in a Hue's Little Book
covert manner, the Chi- Thought is a net
nese State Council of- on which we hang.
fered Bue and her group Thought is the ropes
full access to the re- that make culture
sources of China if they dance. Ride the sym-
IREPAIW would join forces with bol web. Translate.
This aptitude involves nothing Beijing. As a gesture of Control the flow of
than the power to delve into another senl good faith, the Philip- thought through the
tient being's mind. Telepathy is used pines were adopted as brain. Be the birds, fly-
-communicate regardless of language difc a full partner in the Chi- ing from mind to
ferences, or to take control of someone's nese space program. mind. Concentrate.
very thoughts. Noetic science lists this. For her part, Bue re-
^aptitude's effects under the empathy, alized that the resources and diplomatic le-
iniindshare and psychbending modes. verage of China would offer her almost un-
Empathy: The psion can perceive and limited opportunity to seek out latent
even control another person's emotions. telepaths on Earth, and Aberrants through-
Mind share: The effects of this mode al- out the solar system.
low for direct mlnd-to-mind contact that tran-
scends all other forms of communication,
The Ministry of Psionic Affairs is a cabinet-
Psychbending; The psion can assume; level division of the Chinese government with
control of another person's thoughts and a variety of branches unto itself. As Psi Minis-
memories through a concerted force of will > ter, Rebecca Bue sits on the Beijing State Council
m TRINITY MISSION PARAMETERS and has access to tremendous financial re-
Yours is the power to read others' sources, equipment, information, political le-
thoughts. They cannot hide their deepest verage arid personnel. Individual Ministry
fantasies and darkest fears from your psionkf agents work within the Chinese federal bud-
probes. You discover the truths behind t get, though, and are required to justify unusual
spoken lies. You know the unknowable. expenses to their superiors.
You act as an investigator, separating The Ministry's administrative headquar-
the guilty from the innocent. You are evef ters is in Beijing, with adjunct academic fa-
vigilant for those who would act against cilities concentrated at the Shanghai Psi In-
us, and against humanity as a whole. stitute. However, many of the telepaths'
You are our ears, learning our en* training facilities and research staging areas
emies' plans and thwarting them (including the psi institute at Quezon) are
they are even carried out.

located in the Philippines, out of the main that I'm at liberty to give yog
political arena. Peripheral administrative cen- a tally of Ministry operatives.
ters exist on Mars (dedicated to studying the lean say that we may be about as common
effects of colony life) and Luna (the center of as your average dairsentient.
the Ministry's high-level diplomatic func-
tions, including researching the Qin). FORM AND CONTENT
Ministry offices are located nearly every- The Ministry is divided into separate divi-
where in the Chinese sphere of influence. Or- sions and offices, each of which performs spe-
der agents are scattered throughout the rest cialized functions with and for the Chinese gov-
of human space, acting as diplomats, media- ernment and people.
tors and impartial observers. Every orbital ship = = OFFICE OF SEMIOTICS
that leaves a Chinese launch site carries at least = = (THE MANDARIN)
one psi-officer who monitors for Aberrant ac- Devoted to the exploitation of telepathy's so-
tivity during the journey, and who maintains cial benefits, the Office of Semiotics spearheads
mentaj contact with flight control. important advances in international relations, for-
Many of the Ministry's psi operatives have eign diplomacy and domestic affairs. Although
highly specialized roles within the Chinese OS operatives attend high-level conferences and
realm, acting as messengers, translators, coor- business negotiations as advisors and modera-
dinators and information gatherers. Generally, tors, this office's most important function is to serve
the Ministry's official function in the Chinese as an impartial forum for the mediation of interna-
goveiWTient is to ensure the smooth flow of tional disputes. The recent peace in the Middle
inrbrriiation and authority within and among East is due in large part to the OS' diplomatic
the various state bureaus and departments. successes and surveillance of global stress points.
It's been said that a good tele-path is hard to The office translates documents and programs
find That doesn't just apply to the active ones. Te- from all cultures into the universal language of
lepathy isn't as common as you might expect, not thought. Nearty all foreign materials arriving in China
pass through the OS for translation and correction
before being distributed to the Chinese people,
The OS also studies alien races. As the un-
pleasant encounter with the Coalition shows, first
contact situations can be inconclusive witiiouttele-
m TRUE STATE OF AFFAIRS pathic assistance. The Ministry uses telepathy to
The Trinity has reason to believe achieve a comprehensive understanding of aliens.
that the Ministry is engaged in a secret == THE PSI
power struggle with other factions of = = INSTITUTES
the Chinese government. Unfortu- We humbly acknowledge that we are fa-
nately, it is difficult to determine just mous for having the best training and recruiting
what is going on psions speculate branches of all the orders. I offer our psi insti-
that the telepaths are fighting other fac- tutes as the reasons why. Operating from high-
tions of the Chinese espionage estab- tech campuses outside Shanghai and Quezon
lishment for control of certain projects City, the Ministry makes a concerted effort to
(or even China itself), or simply to prove locate latent and nonaffillated psi-active telepaths
their own loyalty to the State Council. from across human space. They are then offered
This should not lead us to assume full access to the Ministry's training facilities and
that Proxy Bue or the Ministry in gen- financial resources, including instruction in all rec-
eral has "lostsightofhumanlty'sgoal," ognized aptitudes by psions from every order.
as many strident voices daim. After The institutes have the best noetic research
all, if Bue were to stray from that facilities in the world. Experimental programs at
agenda, she and her order would fol-
low the quantakinetics into extinction.
^^^ -' ' '^^^^^^w^^^^^BBIB^r

the Shanghai Institute study mittee for telepaths, monitoring our own people
the alien races and attempt for abuses of power and other violations.
to isolate and eliminate the root causes of
Aberrant Syndrome. Research at Quezon
As representatives of the Chinese govern-
tends to focus on "pure psi" experimenta- ment, Ministiy agents are legally empowered
tion, with various laboratory teams attempting to demand full cooperation from all Chinese citi-
to unlock the genetic factors that determine ap- zens and institutions. In practice, however, the
titude, or to even create new, artificial aptitudes. extent of cooperation we can expect varies de-
== OFFICE OF PSIONIC SECURITY pending on the political ramifications of the situ-
ation and the personal agendas involved.
The most clandestine of the Ministry divisions Outside China, our agents often find their
and the one that contributes most to our national affiliation a mixed blessing. Ministry
undeservedly bad reputation is theOf- agents who want to operate effectively in a for-
fice of Psionic Security. OPS is eign country must exploit that country's rela-
China's tionship with China. Needless to say, those na-
carry warn- tions that are not friendly with China (notably
I ing system India, Brazil and the F5A) aren 't very coopera-
and psionic tive, often refusing to allow Chinese telepaths
police force. to operate freely within their borders.
Is Bue Sick? We call this It is entertaining to see that when such bans
Newsftay holobrief S division "the are imposed in hdodramas, Ministry agents per-
(2.18.2119 GN Aviary," where form covert operations, literally becoming invis-
Telepath Proxy Rebecca Bue ] Madame Bue's ible to everyone but other telepaths. In the real
U made a brief return to the pul> "birds of the world, most goals can be accomplished just as
| lieforumtodayby attendingadin-1 mind" go to wellif not betterthrough diplomaticmeans.
ner in honor of the Shanghai Psi J roost. OPS psi
Institute's graduating dass. It was; operatives have
herfirst appearance in four months.; a thankless job:
The normally radiant and| moving secretly
youthful-looking Ms. Bue Ll:; among the
(better known in China as thej populace and
I Minister of Psionic Affairs) is no; monitoring sur-
stranger to controversy, butherj face thoughts INTERACTION WITH OTHER ORDERS
erratic behavior at the dinner! for criminal and The Ministry's agenda is more dif-
aroused commentary. "Shei seditious urges ficult to determine than that of the Norca,
looks sick," noted the Brazilian and signs of Ab- despite the fact that the telepaths are
ambassador, "Gray as stone," errant activity. more forthcoming with information than
Despite rumors that the^ Once wrong- are the secretive biokinetics.
proxy is suffering from an lncur-;i doers are iden- Most orders have cool relations
able strain of ovarian cancer,, tified, the Aviary with the Ministry. Orgotek and the Min-
Bue Li's personal physician is empowered istry compete in noetic research, which
only that, "The minister is suffer- to bring themto has resulted a general rivalry between
ing from nothing more seric court or to see the two orders' psions, ISRAns afford
than a taxing bureaucratic sched- that they re- the telepaths cautious friendship. The
ule. She slmpry has not had mt ceive psychiat- other orders deal with the Ministry
time for publ ic functions." He ^ ric care. OPS curtly, and as briefly as possible. How-
on to note that Ms. Bue Li has I also serves as ever, even such scant interaction is still
A persistent cold, common for t the ethics corn- quite discomforting to Legionnaires.
citizens of Beijing at this time
year, which was aggravated by frre^l
exhausting task of imprinting the;
new jump ships only amonth ago.
o Oo

a.k.a. bloklnetlcs, Norca or shifters
textfile conversion, Heironymous
Dleda, Aon Trinity, Proteus Division
I apologize for not providing the degree
of detail you requested. However, the agree-
ments 1 made with Pal de Nor$a on becom-
ing what 1 am prohibit me from sharing any
This aptitude gives the psion com-; more than this.
pJete control of his body. He channels The Nova F6rpa de Nacionales was founded
psionic energy to adapt, enhance and during Columbia's ascendancy, on national pride
even restructure his own physiology, and belief in rightful ownership. The "Norca"
Noeticists divide bioklnesis into the ad- brought a halt to the petty terrorism and crime
aptation, psychomorphing and trans-, in Medellfn, overtaking the drug lords and their
Irnogrify modes. influential infrastructure with sheer presence and
Adaptation: The psion uses this promise. Ending the asesinos de la motos and
mode to protect himself against hostile other signature gang-war violence almost over-
[environments (from being underwater for night, we Norca won the respect of both the
extended periods of time to being able rich and the poor of South America. The former
to maneuver without danger in non- regard us as a dangerous but necessary asset to
standard gravity). their countries' newfound global influence. The
Psychomorphing: The Gifted can latter have their homespun "heroes" at last.
manipulate his internal physiology, We are the South American equivalent of
:growing redundant organs and even the Nihonjin Yakuza, the Italian Mafia and the
subsuming bioware into himself. Russian secret service. This analogy isn't en-
Transmogrify: This mode enables the tirely accurate, but it should give you an idea
psion to change the shape of his own of our power and philosophy. We are the
>dy. Effects range from creating weap- storybook Zorros, Three Musketeers and Robin
ons from the psion's own skin and bones Hoods of our culture, where talk among the
to assuming someone else's appearance. masses turns man into myth and myth into leg-
yEON TRINITY MISSION PARAMETERS end. SI, we're internationally notorious, and
called "los magicos" at home. Norca "magi-
As a biokinetic, you possess utter
control of your physical form. You can cians" reap the rewards of Colombian success:
change the shape of your face, grow ad- power through obedience, respect and fear.
ditional limbs, create patterns on your The Norca are small in number compared
skin and even mend your own wounds. to the other orders. I do not know whether
You are our spies and infiltrators. You this Is because biokinesis is a rare aptitude,
^venture into hostile territories and adapt or because Pal de Norca is very careful about
lyourself to their conditions, be it a frigid who he gives this gift to. Perhaps both, or
tundra or war-torn Europe. You take on neither, are correct. It matters not. We are
whatever role necessary to discover the
: Norca, and our will is strong. We are as many
plots and schemes of our enemies. as we need to be.
You are the ultimate Everyman, a spy We can be anyone, nearly anything, and
beyond compare. You are essential to can exist outside the human realm. My
gaining access to areas that no one else biokinetic cousins and I are never squeamish
can even approach.


about merging com- Intimacy of control-

pletely with our surround- ling one's own body
ings. We are experts in surveillance, as we can. We can
infiltration, criminal psychology, bio- amuse friends, en-
technology and psi-adaptation. tice lovers, stagger Proxy del
The others rarely allow themselves to be enemies and topple Fuego:
seen or recognized for what they are (I, my- governments. Pal de N<
self, seldom mind). We are racial chameleons We are loyal to Warren Shaw,
who can become African or Nihonjln, or even one another, and to Retrospective
members of the opposite sex. We are self- Pai de Norca above 2112 OBC
mutilators who carve machetes out of our all else. Never mis- When Giuseppe del
own limbs, and who develop gills to breathe take the petty bick- Fuego YsaaJiansformed
underwater. ering and grand- inuj__
We Norca are like any other extended standing of Norca ^be
South American family: tightknit and infinitely underlings as dis- Mad Awaited the'"
complex, with layer upon layer of secrets, content; each has for some time arigj
sexual tensions, nepotism and unspoken de- been hand-picked aiinbyecl
mands for respect. by del Fuegotojoin long- In coming^ Since
We are born of a patriarchal culture that his exclusive ranks. 2103, delJFuego has
espouses loyalty, panache, and "honor among We would give our gatBj , : ! Herder
thieves." We treat each other even those lives to protect his aboil mSS^i, the
who come from other cultures like long- power. The bonds
lost family or childhood friends. All Norca are among the Norca of the legalized South
cousins. No outsider can ever understand the are stronger than American drug network
any other ties, and in which he was already
even extend to involved, bringing the
CONFIDENTIAL those who have left strongest minds in psi
the fami ly amicably. and the new technoc-
Our power ex- racy to his side. The "Fa-
ther of the Norca,"
NORCA MANEUVERS tends far beyond its
Proxy del Fuego con-
- Analysis: Craig Bartholomew, Proteus drug-trade roots.
Division, H.21.2118 Such enterprise, le- trols the most powerful
Norca are known to have frequent gal in much of South underworld family of
destine meetings in certain places America, but still the Western Hemi-
ross settled space. WeVe confirmed outlawed through- sphere and quite possi-
Hng points in El Pbblalo in Columbia, out most of settled bly the world.
nondescript warehouse in downtown space, creates great
iro. the Russian underworld cafe Sagef" revenue for the Norca. However, it is a very
itheooast of the Black Sea, and an Eclipse small part of what we are. In fact, fewer and
dia editing office in Yutu Yinchon. fewer of the Gifted take part in the business,
Still, ttiere is no possible way to trace leaving it to our normal cousins.
i all Norca influences may reach nor Norca presence in various countries, colo-
/ deeply tfwy may run. The "Amazon nies and orbital stations is both anticipated and
now blankets known subseds dreaded. We go to such places mainly to in-
Russia, the FSA. ihe Middle East and vestigate possible Aberrant incursions, al-
sTurkish Empire. Suspected Norca infll- though we pursue other agendas when the
i has also been linked to Australia, need arises. While the populace welcomes such
Mars and even Nippon. intervention for the most part, the governments
In fact, our investigations show that
the Norca seem to have an intense inter-1
est relating to Nippon and things Nihonjin.'
find it next vice from a
to impossible Norca. To have
to monitor a The one on staff is the
Norca's comings Greatest ultimate personal luxury, but
and goings without Honor one which must be kept secret.
psion assistance. Newsdtty interview. Norca independents like myself are
A problem with Proxy del Fuego regarded with suspicion by our cous-
psions in general, this I t . 1.2119 ON ins, but are tolerated as long as we re-
Is magnified with us. "The other [or- main within the proxy's strict guidelines
Keeping tabs on ders] are incapable or on nationalism and loyalty. The indepen-
people who can liter- unwilling to fulfill their dent operator who lines his pockets with
ally change their iden- obligation to pro- the wrong currency, or who steps out-
tities is next to impos- tect all that is Earth, side the lines of propriety is disowned,
sible, requiring a skilled whatever the cost. hunted down by his own land, and lulled
psion or specialized That is our honor." pubtlcly...graphically. Bring shame upon
bioware. The other or- the Norca, and there is no mercy and
ders aren t always willing or able to help ner- no escape.
vous officials in this regard, and Pai de /Vorca Perhaps now you understand why I can
certainly doesn t have the time to bother, We tell you no more.
have seen a rise in the number of freelance
psions retained by certain governments (in
the UAN and FSA, most notably). Such mea-
sures do not bother us overly much, although
they do hinder our capabilities.
Some governments are friendly toward NQRCA:
my cousins, or at least show deference to Pas INTM1ION WITH OTHtR ORDERS
de M?rca. We care not The Norca have no cause for dis-
for such special pute with any of the other orders.
treatment, as it They work closely with ysculapians
comes with its and Orgotek employees in a num-
Exhlblr B, audio own restrictions. ber of areas, and consider the Minis-
and holotape format We prefer to do try to be a kindred spirit. However,
MM1 News our work on our the biokinetics refuse cooperation
cameraman Joe own terms. and assistance at almost every turn.
Seinne's momen- We are the Such Isolation makes relations be-
tary lapse of judg- New Force of South tween Norca and other psions in-
ment that resulted America, with con- creasingly difficult, and sometimes
in the ongoing civil trol over indigenous counterproductive.
trial of 2113: terraformtng and Biokinetics who desert the Norca
"Unlessyouwant biotech projects. without Proxy del Fuego's expressed
me to carve a pair of We act behind the consent are considered traitors to the
these in you, I'd turn scenes in foreign order and to the South American
the camera off. NowT and off-world af- people. Such rogues are hunted
fairs, and slip in and down without mercy and either ex-
out of international strongholds without a trace. ecuted publicly or returned to del
We are far more effective than any of our com- Fuego's remote facilities (it's un-
petitors. Governments and metacorporations known what happens to them at that
pay high prices to procure even a single ser- point). By contrast, those who leave
with their proxy's blessing may ven-
ture anywhere unmolested by their
Norca cousins, although they appar-
ently may never return to the fold,
o Oo

a.k.a. electrokinetics, EKs, teks or uppers
textflle conversion, Arthur you're looking for skeletons in closets and
Bengali, Aon Trinity, Neptune Division dirt under rugs, you won't find it here, I know
We're supposed to relay detailed infor- it sounds strange, but Orgotek's squeaky
mation on the orders. I've been working at clean as much as any multibillion-yuan
Orgotek for almost four years and I've metacorporation can be, anyway.
learned little more than what is provided by The story of Alex Cassel's transformation
corporate outlines and press releases. If from unassuming-yet-brilliant college student
to powerful-yet-easygoing psion is well-docu-
mented, especially in the FSA. It helps that he
describes his life in a vague but entertaining
fashion in Orgotek's corporate profile.
Heir to a family fortune and social con-
nections, Cassel laid the groundwork for his
The psion channels electrical energy order during his college years. He enlisted
and even manipulates the electromagnetic school friends to join him in creating World
spectrum with this aptitude {which Is also Enterprises, Inc., and in doing so founded a
referred to as EK). Electromanipuiation, holding company that would grow to be-
photokinesis and technokinesis are the come Orgotek, "The EK Company," in less
three recognized EK modes. than 20 years. Once the order was financially
Electromanipuiation: This mode in- secure, Cassel explored the other gift that
volves controlling electrical impulses in the proxies had: biotechnological formulae
organic beings. and processes. The information he had and
Photokinesis: This mode's effects the experiments he conducted on organic
are used to perceive and direct the flow material turned Orgotek into a bioware em-
of energy across the electromagnetic pire, and initiated the biotech revolution.
spectrum. A skilled Gifted can create
holograms spontaneously and can genr CORPORATE PROFILE
erate lasers by focusing his will. The electroklnetic order Is funded and
Technokinesis: The psion taps into and administered entirely by the Orgotek Corpo-
controls energy flow through mechanical ration, the world leader in bioware manufac-
technology, from computers to spacecraft. ture and design. Orgotek, in turn, is wholly
owned by Alexander Cassel and members of
m TRINITY MISSION PARAMETERS his personal cirde er, board of directors.
The electromagnetic spectrum is youK Orgotek employs electrokinetics and ensures
; plaything. You manipulate the flow of that all of their basic economic needs are met.
electricity in the human body, in bioware In return, the corporation hires select teams
and in hardtech devices. You tune into of psions to outside interests as consultants.
broadcast transmissions and generate^ The Orgotek corporate headquarters is cur-
deadly lasers merely by concentrating. rently in the FSA's New York arcotogy. How-
You are a technical expert. You pen- ever, I think Cassel's becoming frustrated with
etrate even the most heavily guarded the Big Apple's accelerating decay. He's taken
: OpNet nodes to gather information. Youi steps to move the main offices to Orgotek's
take control of opponents' weapons to: San Francisco regional headquarters. Other re-
give your teammates the edge in a'J gional HQs include Montreal and Vancouver,
firefight. You repair and manipulate^ with extranational headquarters in Bangkok,
equipment of any kind, human or alierv,:i Cairo, Olympus, Rome, Sidney, Wanjing and
hard- or biotech.

Meet the Prexy Proxy

Corl He Isle r with Alex Ousel, The Painful Truth 2119 MMI
"He's Just a guy, yeh?" his employees that d! the rigid assumpttons of the last few
loutinefytdlreporteis. 'Sure, heoan otitdown centuries things like countries, federal
lightning and talk to elections and stuff but governments, the relationship between hu-
otherwise, Alex Cassel'sjust a. regubrperson. " man beingsand our toolsare really more
That explains the unique allure of the pBabte than people think. If bfotech can melt
y aooikxuMsm derived from a few distinctions, great!
"proxy" and "president. " Some aie as nand- PT: And your critics...?
son^ as Alex Cassel, but none are so acces- AG ..have a vested Merest in enforcing
sible. SomeaKsmaiter, but nonean?so,gDod the db&xtiors. They want to stay where they
atexplaffvr^thesubquantumuniversetothe are forever: on top. It's an unnatural position
public Some are richer, but few seem to en- and they knew it, so they get desperate,
joy it so openly and so innocentfy as PT: rart of the anima aesthetic is com-
Alex Cassel. Paradoxically, the GO isa cul- biningarchaic symbob with advanced tech.
tural Joon largely because he seems so...reai. bOrgotek rWingtriislsiirK>prirnitive wave?
He's Ihsboy nextdocr, a blendcfiaddlheri- AG I'm not sure thaf s useful. True, we
built Orgpsoft Farms on natural bio-galvanic
Ameikans. A n^giiar^iy wftoofc up ffitrtng. vortices. But it's not because of "ley fries" or
PT: The culture theorists call you the fei- "dragon fines": only because that's how the
ther of anima culture. How does that fed? world happens to look when seen with what
AG I can't take credit for anima, but 1 we call "spectrum sight." Once you see that,
love It! Anima is about the melting of borders it's simple common sense to take advantage
and classifications, I think it's a fantastic idea ofthosecuniaTtewnen situaBnga biotech plant

Xianggang. Assorted Orgotek biofactories, aux- Francisco and the various Orgosoft Farms.
iliary plants and branch offices are likewise scat- In his absence, everyday corporate deci-
tered across the Earth and the permanent colo- sions are made by the board of directors,
nies, with a large number located in the FSA which is composed of Cassel's wife ELIlayne
and Quebec. and seven of the couple's closest private
The Prexy himself spends most of his Gifted associates (not all of whom are elec-
time commuting among New York, San trokinetics).
o Oo
O "^^--T"

PUBLIC RELATIONS pects of the EK philosophy (while deploring

Orgotek's public re- the galjin lack of discipline).
lations team is second to none. It's been On the other hand, despite being one of the
instrumental to making EKs universally most profitable corporations in the FSA, Orgotek
respected and appreciated except by is on extraordinarily poor terms with the North
the suits in the FSA, of course. Members of American military-corporate establishment.
high-profile Operations teams in Europe and Cassel appears to be concerned not only with
Australia are even treated like celebrities. Eu- his employees' quality of life, but also with the
ropeans, in particular, still honor the teks who squalid conditions of the urban communities that
died trying to stop the Esperanza crash, and surround Orgotek installations. This concern
Australians admire Orgotek enthusiasm, makes him an unwelcome figure in FSA corpo-
which is considered akin to the energetic rate society. Furthermore, the Orgotek board's
Legion spirit. Even the Nihonjin admire as- tendency to take controversial political stands


The first of Prexy Cassel's companies, WEI is the dual administrative and public
relations arm of the Orgotek empire. WEI attracts ambitious and talented psions of al!
aptitudes, and coordinates Operations teams' activities. Corporate strategists inves-
tjgate possible fields for Orgotek expansion, and spin doctors handle image control.
Orgosoft is the source of most of the Orgotek corporate mythology and
mystique. When people talk about "Orgotek," they usually refer to the gigantic
btatech plants and ideals of the original Orgosoft Farm. The main facility is located
in northern New Mexico, and Is where Cassel spliced the first bioware matrices.
Contemporary biotech manufacturers tend to follow in the Orgosoft image ear-
nest, enthusiastic and suffused with reverence for all forms of life,
Tekne oversees the Orgotek hardware industry. Most psions in Tekne are
technokinesis specialists. The stereotypical Tekne employee is a lovably uncommuni-
cative person who prefers to relate to theoutside world through tools. Indeed, Orgotek's
dormitory environment allows the redusive Gfted to live productive (if protected)
lives interfaced with machinery. Tekne employees are also infamous for their acerbic
wit and "good-natured" cynicism. Ifs not near as charmingas they think, if you ask me.
Orgotek's smallest division and the focus of photokinetic study, Lu-
men is a world leader in electromagnetic research, especially in the high
end of the spectrum. These psions and scientists consider the fragmen-
tary reports on Chromatics "fascinating" rather than frightening, and are
working on techniques for "jamming" or even "hacking into" linguistic
structures in the Chromatic brain. Other current research projects include
holographic nanotech and "extra-satisfactory" computer intelligence.
While psions hired specifically for active duty serve the bulk of their
time in Operations teams, all active Orgotek employees are required to
perform at least two days of training and monitoring every month. The
administration and research divisions could consider these duties a chore,
but they actually seem to look forward to their monthly tours (and the
teks haven't complained, at least not vocally).

'^ -^
0 OO

The majority of psions

ONE WORLD, ONE MIND? employed byOrgotekaretek
Advertisement from Global Watchdog,
5.2118 (Baltimore, FSA) natives of the F5A and Que-
They tell you their biological tech- bec Asubstflntial number of Orgotek psions
nology is the best thing that humanity are also Nihonjin; Orgotek is friendly with a
has ever created. No pollution, no en- number of the Psl Nippon enclaves. Corporate re-
ergy waste, no mess, no fuss. cruiting brings in prospective EK candidates from
But did humans actually create the stuff? all over the world
They tell you It's "cutting edge." After being triggered, new psions are given
"the yeh thing" to let their biological the choice to join the company on a contractual
technology form its parasitic bonds basis (the usual term between renewals is four
with your nervous system. years). If they choose not to join Orgotek, there are
Think about it. no hard feelings. In fact, I've heard that many of
Paid for by the Committee for Truth Cassel's best friends are "freelance" teks.
Orgotek handles all education and training,
both psi-specialized and professional, once a pston
such as on the EK airlift to the Pueblo Nation in hires on. The company also assigns new opera-
2115and'16makes Orgotek even less popu- tives expense accounts good for room and board
lar with the FSA government. at any Orgotek residential buildings. Although
Most Orgotek employees (especialry those psions aren't required to stay in employee resi-
from the FSA) are bewildered by the way the dences, many consider the communal atmosphere
American establishment treats them, but follow one of the greatest rewards of belonging to the
official corporate policy on the matterthat the Orgotek "family."
FSA establishment Is to be pitied rather than feared.
Those Gifted who come to Orgotek from other
parts of the world and from settled space often
have less tolerance for such mistreatment, which
can sometimes aggravate domestic relations.
Orgotek's security contracts are due for gov-
ernment review in just overayear. I've heard that
Cassd Is planning to declare the company an WITH OTHER ORDERS
extranafjonal corporation rather than submit to an Orgotek and 1SRA are vocal in
order to disband the Orgotek private-security di- urging the cooperation of the orders.
vision. If the company does go international, the In recent years, it seems that
FSA economy might be endangered. Meanwhile, Orgotek's aggressiveness has driven
federal and corporate propaganda campaigns other orders from it rather than bring-
against Cassd and his EK company continue. ing them to it. However, electroki-
mmElectrokinetics are surprisingly common,
netics have been instrumental to the
advancement of biotech, primarily
the new jump ships, so the other or-
in relative terms, and are second only to ders maintain polite political ties to
psychokinetics in number. Some claim this ensure access to the craft,
is because Cassel is willing to take almost ISRA and the Legions work regu-
any latent, no matter how borderline. That larly with Orgotek in the field, de-
sounds like more FSA propaganda to me. spite any personal differences. Ad-
Sure, the various Orgotek divisions employ ditionally, the Ministry has engaged
over 100.000 people, but only about 10% of in noetic research with EK. scientists,
them are EKs and psions who have come which has had some very productive
over from other orders. results, but which has also led to
clashes and competition. Otherwise,
the orders seem content to leave
Orgotek to its own devices.
a.k.a. teleporters, Upeo, porters or jumpers
Psions of the teleportation order pos- it came time to organize and supervise her
sessed the rare ability to transfer themselves order. And Atwan trained her charges well.
almost instantly from one place to another. The Porters were intrepid and confident explor-
truly skilled among them could take a number ers. They took to the challenge of the void
of passengers and even large craft with them. with a fervor matched only by that of a Le-
The minimum latency required to mani- gionnaire in hot pursuit of an Aberrant.
fest teleportation abilities was significantly Humanity has the Upeo to thank for its
higher than that needed for the other orders. accelerated expansion into the stars, for in-
The Upeo was therefore the second-small- terstellar travel and for first contact with
est order, having slightly more members than alien beings. Perhaps more than any other
the Chitra Bhanu. At the time of their disap- psi order, the Upeo wa Macho encouraged
pearance, the Upeo numbered afewhun- humanity to work together to achieve a
dred. There was a constant clamor for their common goal-, - :; .i,
services from the rest of;hurrianity, which Since the Upeo vanished in Zl 14, there
often forced teleporters to almost literally be have been hundreds of supposed teleporter
in several places at the same time. sightings, but none has confirmed the return
Proxy Bolade Atwan was no stranger to of the missing order. Despite such disappoint-
the demands of public service. Her ments, we will not must not give up the
years on the Sokoto, hope that the Upeo
Nigeria police force put wa Macho will some-
her in good stead when day return.

An Inspiration
for the Future
Excerpt; Teleporter Proxy
Botade Atwan In her Universal
Address 9.31.Z106
"Upeo wa Macho" is norj
ily a promise, it is an inevitable
/olution. I chose to 'name my;
Lifted brothers and sisters after!
jur African "horizon" because
at is our inspiration. As all hu-f
lanity strives to achieve new|
standards of greatness, so too do|
ve, as humans reborn, aspire to
jlfill our destiny.
We crave nothing less than tol
i beyond something that wasl
ice so distant it was considered
iknowable. Tomorrow, the un-
knowable may rest in the palm of|
.our hands. '^rtlfliir^^

""B "''-

a.k.a, quantakinetics, chibs or dark pslons
Chitra Bhanu, the quantakinetic order, Rumors that Chitra Bhanu was "soft"
revealed its presence along with the other on Aberrants surfaced as early as Z107,
seven orders in 2106. The order was led by when "rehabilitated," minor Aberrants Itnown
prominent Bombay psychologist S. K. From the war were sighted visiting the
Bhurano, and its members were apparently Bombay clinic. Over the next two years, sto-
able to manipulate nuclear forces. It seems ries of "insane" practices and "dangerous
that quantakinetics were able to use psi enV science" continued to circulate, along with
ergy in a manner similar to the way Aberrants the inevitable rumor that Bhurano had found
manipulate the universe, by rearranging a cure for Aberrant Syndrome,
atomic compositions-by corrupting nature Bhurano's last public appearance was at
itself. In the end, tnese dark pursuits caused the first Noetic Conference in 2109, at which
the Chitra Bhariu's downfall she gave a lecture on the moral implications
Und(er the aegis of Chitra Bhanu, and of the subquantum universe. Shortly there-
with the help of vitakinetic Proxy Zweidler, after, conclusive evidence revealed that the
Bhurano ;iaid the groundwork for modern Chitra Bhanu organization was in league with
noetic science and the' investigation of the Aberrants and had allied itself with them.
sul^quantum universe. However, Chitra New Delhi feared Aberrant Intervention on
Bhanu is best known in India for its attempt behalf of the Chitra Bhanu, Legions, the Office
to philosophically unify Shaivism, Vishnaiv- of Psionic Security, Orgptek Operations teams
ism and Zdroastrianism with contemporary and squads of Norca were therefore enlisted
noetic-quantum physics. The order also to enforce the declaration that Chitra Bhanu
funded a number of clinics and research fa- disband. Most of the quantakinetics, including
cilities,for the treatment of Aberrant Syn- Bhurano, refused to surrender peaceably and
drome and rare psi dysfunctions. were lulled while resisting arrest.

Lectures of Professor They didn't show us any mercy. For every
'Solomon Prlngle, Proteus Division one Aberrant killed, thousands of normal people
I'm here to make you understand one thing soldiers and civilianswere murdered. The
and one thing only: Aberrants are the single war went on for years because people had no
greatest menace known to humanity, even more choice but to defend themselves or die. Hell,
so now in the 22nd century than ever before. the Aberrant Mungu Kuwasha interfaced with
Fact is, Aberrants are the worst evil humanity and wiped out the global computer network sim-
has ever faced, and are most frightening because ply because he could thousands of years of
they were once us human. Horrifying that in cultural, historical and social record destroyed
all our exploration of the universe and travels because of a solitary maniac's prank.
into deep space, the most dangerous thing we And that, of course, was the straw that broke
have encountered is ourselves. the camel's back. Crashing the OpNet spurred the
While everyone must know the depth of Chinese government to hand down the Ultimatum
evil that Aberrants represent, as a psion, you need in Z061: Aberrants must stop the insanity or every-
to be especially conscious of this. Sooner or later, thing would be nuked. Pretty bold move, but the
you will come face to what passes for face with Chinese meant it.
Earth's 60-year-old legacy: an Aberrant returned The Aberrants left Earth, supposedly for other
from exile in the unknown reaches of space, hell- planets and places tfiat they could reach with their
bent to destroy you, me and the whole powersand without biosuits or jump ships (re-
goddamned human race. And you have to stop member that when you're floating in space in your
it or die trying. suit, outside your jump ship how vulnerable
I'm not pulling any punches here. I'll let you are). We were left to pick up the pieces, to
your orders and proxies hold your hands and rebuild an Earth in ruins. Many of us, daunted by
pat you on the head. I'm going to tell you ex- the sheer devastation, abandoned Earth altogether
actly what you're up against, because if you're with hopes of a new start in space.
going to die, you might as well know why. The last we knew of the Aberrants was an
That's more than can be said for the people on ultimatum of their own: "We'll be back." That
Research Outpost Vesta. was 60 years ago. It took them a while, but
You know the basics: Aberrants were the the Aberrants kept their word they're back.
heroes of the Z1 st century. About 100 years Their first new attack on the human race
ago, they were lauded like you are today as was at Research Outpost Vesta. I lost two Trin-
the protectors and benefactors of humanity. ity colleagues that day, including my wife. I
The /Lon Covenant of the time worked with hate the Aberrants with every fiber of my be-
these "heroes" for the general good. Some- ing. That's why the Trinity assigns me to these
thing went wrong in Aberrant physiology, lectures, to make you understand the abso-
though. The source of their powers, a struc- lute evil of what you face.
ture in the brain called the Mazarin-Rashoud The strikes continued from there, always on
node, named after its discoverers, mutated isolated stations and colonies, always using hit-and-
across the board, Aberrants, who were once run tactics. At first, we didn't know what was at-
sane and who protected normal people, tacking. We had yet to encounter any alien races
started to abuse their powers and final ly went back in those days, but we expected to at any time
mad, slaughtering thousands. Others who as we explored space. It seemed that we had fi-
emerged later simply went insane upon nally made first contact, and it was hostile. How-
manifesting their abilities. Humanity's fight ever, "alien" tissue gathered proved that these be-
to survive against these things became the ings were, in fact, human. Apparently years of in-
Aberrant War. breeding, festering in exile and their insanity-made-
manifest (a mutation now called Aberrant Syn- you can still bend them with
drome or "taint") turned the Aberrants from hu- your strength of will alone.
man-seeming into absolute monstrosities. Singly, you're not as strong as most
The attacks continue today, still in guer- Aberrants, but you have the strength of each
rilla style, still vicious, still without mercy. The other, of your fellow psions of unity.
majority of Aberrant attacks focus on the or- Now that A.on has helped your orders get
bital stations and colonies at the borders of the jump ships online, it's your duty to carry
settled human (and Qin, as it turns out) space. the fight to the Aberrants. Drive them from
Aberrants are becoming better organized, Earth once and for all. Make them pay for the
though, their assaults striking with greater fre- crimes they've committed against humanity,
quency and deeper into our space on the yfon is counting on you, but you can count
orbital stations, on Luna, on Earth itself. on us, too. We are your lifeline. You can call upon
The devastating attack just a fewyears ago on the Trinity for backup, to seek information from
the space station Esperanzain orbit around Earth our data banks, to get equipment that you abso-
and the resulting deaths of millions of Europe- lutely need to carry on the fight. Even if your
ans is undeniable and terrifying proof of how dose orders can't provide for you, >on will be there.
the Aberrants can get to us. As is their recent attack While our resources aren't infinite, what we have
on our station orbiting Luna. How did the Aberrants is at your disposal. We have bases and agents
know we had a jump ship base there? How did across Earth, the Moon and throughout known
they know to strike when the ship was about to space. We're your friends. We're all a team.
start testing, when we're so dose to getting back On a personal note, if you come away from
out to deep space? And most frightening of all, are these blatherings of a hateful, lonely old man
the Aberrants of old still alive with nothing else, at least
and out for revenge? remember this:
Questions with Aberrants are your
no answers. That's mortal enemies.
why /Lon needs Don't expect pity,
mercy or courtesy
you, why humanity
needs you. The
Archeology from them. As far
powers you've been1
T^l* * **
as they're con-
Anthropology Newsletter
blessed with allowyou holoflle vol. 161, #3, 3.2118 cerned, you and
to stand against the In this month's column we include a" your forebears threw
Aberrants like no hu- "Report from the Field" from Rnlay O'Brien them out of Eden,
man could in the Zlst (Cairo). He has uncovered a burial site that They haven't forgot-
century, or even today. seems to indicate that 21st-century Aber- ten; they hold onto
Aberrants' powers rant-controlled cults dismembered living hu- that alone, If any-
seem to defy the laws man infants and consumed their entrails as thing, of their former
of physics themselves. part of some initiation ritual. Apparently this lives. It's what defines
Astheycould lOOyears horrifying practice of modem anthropoph- them. They want re-
ago, Aberrants can will agy was only the beginning of the ritual pro- venge. They'll kill you
something into exist- cesses. O'Brien has evidence that the rituals and they absolutely
ence on an atomic level, became even more grotesque and destruc- will not stop until
and seem to have be- tive as cult members rose in status and rank. they've killed us all.
come more powerful On a lighter note, our members are re- Understand that and
than ever. From what minded that the forms for submitting abstracts every choice you
the noefjcists say, while for the annual meetings are in this issue; the make in the cold re-
you psions can't break usual April 1 deadline approaches rapidly,,.. ality of space will be
those physical laws, absolutely dear.

The Titans Return

Textfiie excerpt: Paolo Hen-en,
Twilight of the Gods 6 2 1 1 6 Sinus Press
Every schoolchild learns the Speech of Dlvis
Typhon. Briareus. Cronus. Ymir. Mai, right up there with the Lagos Manifesto. The
These are the gods, emblems of the ideas archfiend itself, bullets atomizing around its too-
that raise humans above their animal roots and perfect body, ionic hellfire blasting the secretary-
reflections of the fears that lower humans back general to a twitching skeleton as it spoke, cul-
Into the slime. And yet even the gods sprang minating in that immortal line: "Your legacy is
from the titans, the giants, the primordial mon- our future," It raised its fist, like some old news-
sters in the dark. reel Nazi or Nation of Islam leader, and let the
it's an old myth, really, an Id kind of thing. secretary-general's bones collapse around Its feet,
Father sires son; son rebels against father; son a god casting dice for our destiny. And then, from
supplants father hell, the Greeks even threw all over the world, they rose into the sky like the
in a castration scene son takes mother, son aurora borealis, and were gone.
throws emasculated daddy In Hghtless dungeon, Only the old-timers remember the Age of
cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth. And the the Aberrants. From what 1 hear not that
Old Ones, the Titans, the Jotun, the primordial, getting anything out of em' s easy, 'cause even
inchoate Things, they stay in Sheol or Nlflhelm with Asculapian science, they're getting a tad
or Tarrerus, never well, almost never to senile it was an age as wondrous and terri-
trouble the New Order again. fying and.. .well, golden., .as any "once upon a
On January 28, 2104, out in the dark be- time." 1 mean, you had the normal people like
yond Saturn, our titans came home from Tartems.

YOUK LEGACY is nun KjriiKs.." > D I V I S MAL AT U.N. ZQE, 1


So you watched the footage. You inter-

acted with Aberrant sites on the local OpNet
and you logged onto New York 2020. You and
your friends ran around in the arcos, screaming
out atomic disruption noises, pretending you
were The Biood Queen, Cestus Pax, The Colony,
know I did. I was Overkill. My friend was
Maxx Mauler. Every weekend
in Luna Park we bombarded
each other with imaginary rays
from the wrong side of the elec-
tromagnetic spectrum, and
then, when the sun went down,
we went home for dinner.
The scientists at Research
Outpost Vesta aren't coming
home for dinner.
After the Aberrants left the
planet, we...well, we just for-
got about 'em. Like that aster-

you and me, and among

them walked gods. r*<At
Yeah, gods. 1 know
what some of you are
thinking: "Yeah, right,
Herren. Aberrants were
human beings just like "^jL V .
the rest of us. They just
had that little gland in
their forebrain that
Mazarin-Rashoud node
that let them do...."
Any damned thing they wanted.
Don't tell me that didn't turn you on as a "--'- .' - -.-.:.,r---.'iwjj
kid. You may have looked at those old hofos SfeTfe^j-f; >'': :, rV '%-v^i^i^
: s
A'iV.i'tJ-."-'.-, -*v-/,-;'>/'.-"-->;-^;^>.!i!tte
of 7". Rex or the great whites before we drove ^v*^c:vtV^.v:.^/,-^"'-'>';';>:\J^^i-:^;^^
'em extinct, seen those teeth like Industrial
grinders, and been scared. But you thought it
was cool. You imagined your enemies shred-
ded in the monsters' maw, and you thought,
"I wish I was a predatory machine of doom,
feared by all who dare to cross my path."


"Alien" Aufopjy
Aon Trinity medplex, SubChkago
arcology, 2.7,2104
old that can theoretically rain down on us like the Repeated tests verify that the "alien
wrath of God and smash us into sediment with the entity" is essentially identical to human
dinosaurs. Objectively, we know it's out there. Ob- DNA. Clinical and objective interpretation
jectively, we know that planets do get hit by ce- and recording of findings reveal exten-
lestial bodies, and that if this happens, our time is sive somatic mutations.
over. In practical terms, we don't want to think "Allen" physiology does actually deny
about the possibility of bad things happening, so a biological connection to Homo sapjens,
we ignore it. although the severe mutations give that im-
The scientists at Research Outpost Vesta paid pression to the naked eye. Epidermis is a
for this ignorance with their lives. translucent gray-pink. The frontal bone of the
I wonder what went through those poor fools' skull is distended severely. The exterior of
minds when they picked up the perimeter alert joints and the spinal column sprout what ap-
and saw those things plowing through the void pear to be short, prehensile tentacles. Limbs
under their own power, without life-support suits? are gnarled and atrophied. Fingers and toes
When they deployed the defenses and watched are elongated and flaccid, apparently to func-
the things cut through 'em like paper? When they tion more like tentacles than human digits.
heard the creaking of metal, and realized the things Further, reports from the attack on Re-
were ripping the whole station apart like a house search Outpost Vesta identify other creatures
ofcards? consisting entirely of tentacle-like protrusions.
Wonder If the poor foois ever figured out why If this creature was once human, as diffi-
it happened? Far as we can tell, it was all to de- cult as that is to believe, it is about as true to Its
liver a message. evolutionary origins as Homo sapiens are to
Vesta killed one of the things. Just one. They the primordial ooze from which we evolved.
had to hit it with a pulse cannon. A damn antitank Addendum: /Esculaplan Proxy Dr.
weapon had to be deployed to put the bastard Matthleu Zweldler to on Trinity
down. Yeah, 1 know what it said on the report, that This creature was once human, as in-
crap about government unity and what have you. credible as it seems. One of the Aberrants
It's bullshit. Aberrants trashed the installation, mur- returned, as we warned the Trinity Ooun-
dered most of the scientists inside, and held the cil would be the case. The cause for the
military in a standoff until one finally got popped creature's apparent mutation is unknown
with a damned experimental weapon. to us, and has yet to be explained by our
And the rest of 'em, at that point, chose to patrons. More information will be forth-
leave. Scared? Or did they just feel they'd made coming when it Is available.
their point? For now, one fear haunts me: If this
That point being, 1 think, was "we're coming was once an Aberrant, and they have
back, and here we are." There's going to be a war returned, how will we be able to recog-
a revolution. Or maybe an evolution. You know, nize them? The Aberrants of the 21st
looking at that footage of Research Outpost Vesta, century were ostensibly human and had
I feel an awful lot like a Neanderthal right now. the power to change matter and energy
You see, we don't know what the hell hap- on an atomic level. If our current attack-
pened to them out there in the dark. Because ers still possess that power, they may
that bit of Homo sapiens DNA we recovered from be able to revert their apparent muta-
the dead Aberrant's carapace was the only thing tion and assume human appearance. If
about it that could pass for human. they cannot do so, why not? And if they
can do so, are they among us already?

Aberrants Attack Orbital Station

/Vewsdvty holobrief 4.8.2119, GN
Reports have been confirmed that thought to be "The Colony," known 1
the explosions that occurred today on ally of Divis Mai, The infamous Divls?
a station orbiting Luna, were indeed Mai was, of course, the last Aber-;
the result of Aberrant attack the rant to leave Earth after the Aberrant
third in as many days. Military and War, after staging a horrific display;
/on Trinity sources report that at least of power before the United Nations.
five Aberrant beings attacked a mili- Courtney Post, vfonTrinity repre-
tary testing installation. Insiders claim sentative, stated, "Increased Aberrant
the orbital base, constructed on an attacks such as these indicatea gn
asteroid captured and moved into lu- in their power. We don't know at this
nar orbit, housed one of the experi- time whether there is a connection!
mental new jump ships rumored to between their targets, or if this is a sign j
be in design for some months now. of better organization. Rest assured, the \
The other two attacks were Trinity will assist the psi orders in irv|
staged against separate, apparently vestigating this matter thoroughly.
unrelated targets: an Orgotek manu- Ms. Post did not confirm whether-
facture facility on Belt Outpost 17, it was indeed the Colony returned. If
and an 1SRA training institution. it was, this reporter wonders is Divis;
Most shocking about the attack Mai still lives. If so, how long can it bef
is the appearance of the Aberrant before he returns as well?

Humans are wonderful, adaptive crea-

tures. We are innovative, obstinate, arrogant,
inquisitive and compassionate. We have sur-
vived centuries of warfare, strife, famine,
plague and pestilence, and emerged stron-
ger from adversity. Among our most recent
achievements, we have crawled from the sur-
face of Mother Earth and have set foot among
the stars. We have confirmed the existence
of alien races. We have unlocked humanity's
psiunic potential. And we have discovered the
implicate order, the very fabric of the universe
that may help us unravel the greatest ques-
tions posed to the human race. Our future
stands before us, filled with potential.
However, overshadowing this promise is a
threat greater than any ever faced in our long,
tumultuous history: the return of the Aberrants.
To truly understand this danger, we must look
to our past. For, despite all our accomplish-
ments, we are prone to repeating our mistakes.
Indeed, that is one of the primary rea-
sons why the /Eon Trinity was founded. The
organization has helped steer humanity's
course for two centuries, to stay on the high
road during times of hardship and to help
humanity arrive at its fateful destination.
Still, there is much beyond /Eon's con-
trol. Only by understanding the errors of the
past and the events of the present can we
hope to gain command of our future.
The following, then, is an attempt to investi-
gate recent events in hopes of finding salvation
and unity in what couid be the darkest of eras.
Times Past
With the /Eon Trinity's establishment two cen-
turies ago, it was hoped that a handful of knowl-
edgeable visionaries would lend their talents to
benefiting humanity's future. The immediate results
were not as rewarding as hoped; the social and
political forces that led up to the Second World
War, for example, were already in motion and im-
possible to stop. Still, /Eon's subtle maneuverings
and charities demonstrably affected the conflict's
course. As tine decades passed, the organization
grew in members, influence and wisdom. One hun-
dred years after XEon's inception, while most people
knew nothing of the group, their lives had nonethe-
less been touched by it in some way.
This isn't to say that/Eon had grown large
enough to unify humanity to withstand any
adversity. However, the foundation laid did
enhance our ability to fend off that greatest of
all threats Aberrants.
We do well to remember that Aberrants
were initially considered humans with extraor-
dinary powers, not vicious, incomprehensible
mutations, Indeed, unthinkable as it may
seem today, the early 21 st century portrayed
Hyper-fusion Aberrants as wondrous beings. Aside from
Dr. Astro performing pyrotechnic displays and feats of
Schache, Under
the Microscope
strength, Aberrants were responsible for so-
2118 OBC cietal advancements. The ubiquitous modern
So-called hypcr- energy source known as hyper-fusion was,
fusion was invented after all, developed in 2Q22 by Dr. Soguk
in the Early 21st Birlesme a brilliant man later proven to be
century and revolu- an Aberrant. His revolutionary energy con-
tionized all aspects version process was a key component of the
of power production United States' first fusion-powered space-
; and consumption. craft, unveiled only two years later.
The ability to gener- Indeed, hyper-fusion was the means to
building viable intrasolar colonies. Various or-
; cient to power s ganizations developed plans for orbital colo-
town, in a device no nies at the Lagrange points and on Luna; the
lorgrjrthan a typical U.S. led the way, establishing Olympus Base
bathroom. WHS lib- near the Moon's south pole in 2031. It was
| erating to say the a brief time of technological progress and
least. trade in near space.
The fusion pro- However, as more Aberrants emerged,
| cess begins with tineand their manifestations grew increasingly bi-
; extraction of deute- zarre and frightening, they revealed a previously
num [heavy hydro- hidden malevolence [later termed the Aberrant
gen, often called Syndrome], The overwhelming evidence we
"deuce"] from watnr, gained from the study of Aberrant evolution
i which is channeled proved that whenever this taint grew in an Ab-
I' into a BirlRsme con- errant, the being became incomprehensibly evil.
i- tainment chamber Aberrants took over organized crime, infiltrated
| where it is brought military systems and manipulated religious cults
I to temperatures ex- not to mention indulged in numerous indis-
\. ceeding one million criminate acts of destruction and cruelty.
j: degrees Celsius
[ and forced uj fuse,
The Aberrant War
While efficiency Our i n i t i a l attempts to corral the
j has not approached Aberrants largely failed. Their powers allowed
theoretical limits, many to elude even the OMEN satellite sys-
even a modest drop tem, and enabled Aberrants to stage shows
of water contains of strength, to attack victims and to perform
enough energy to atrocities only to disappear again.
. provide power to a It's erroneous to think of Aberrants as a
medium-sized build- single, unified group, even today (although their
inn Compared to attacks seem to be growing larger, better or-
archaic sources of ganized and more strategic since the reappear-
power such EIS fis- ance of "The Colony" in 2119). Decades ago,
sion nnd fossil fuels, Aberrants were a diverse minority, separated
hyper-fusion ia ex- from one another by geographical location, so-
cial upbringing, religious philosophy and individual
relatively safe. temperament. While numbers of them banded
together, Aberrants were for the most part uni-
fied in only one thing: their devastating powers.
Furthermore, at that time they had not
developed the massive physical mutations that
mark Aberrants today. They were virtually im-
possible to find unless they called attention to

themselves. Others were so powerful that they

stood in plain sight and dared humans to chal-
The Destruc- lenge them,
average nous
tion of the One of the most notable was, of course,
miters, to i
I tin n
'iv | H ' i i
Information "Allah's Legion" an Aberrantcontrolled relh
tected government
gious group which seized control of the Afri-
Superhighway can island Bahrain in 2O46. Whether the group's
: -orate net-
Dr. Kreran leader, Abdul Masiq, truly believed in the group's
Baxter, The Techno- A smrjle Ab-
logical Age 2110
religious tenets or simply used zealous Aberrants
errant's malicious-
Walkabout Press to further his own agenda matters little. The
By the first I ! R - group's actions motivated governments and cor-
-21st cen- porations to organize defenses and plan unified
from near-instanta-
!:nry. I l i y 7,0-^lled retaliations against Aberrants.
MI ;i
"liil.yi i i e l " i While it certainly seems amazing today
: complex and that humanity [and the /Eon Trinity] waited so
iverywhere on I
highly interactive opti- long to address the Aberrant peril, remem-
cal n c - j l w r j r k . The ber that mankind was dealing with previously
t . l l f ! !:
"OpNi fjlnbnl unknown circumstances. It took some time
a.iMirnunications web for our grandparents to understand the
considered invulner- situation's severity, to realize we weren't even
I rjrlny D'ir.v
ti - I.MIWI-!!- [Ino.-iH- dealing with a human threat.
tinnr;, nlnnii The atrocities escalated until the United
pulses and othe Nationsfinallydeclared war on the Aberrant popu-
i>:al i i K j h u r : lation in 2049. It's difficult to understand what it
Asiilr fmrn its f> was like to live in that era. While we can intellec-
inrjcity, an opti- tually comprehend the travesties of war and
cal networl man's inhumanity to man, how do we account
the information flnw by for the sheer viciousness and randomness of
rs of magnitude some attacks? What was the point of attacking
< ompared to that ol commercial airlines acts that destroyed inter-
continental air travel for decades? What did the
previously. It was a Aberrant clan known as "the Outsiders" gain by
timr; of incred M< ib dumping 1,-ribopropylmethionine [RPM] into re-
mote water supplies all across the globe, slowly
dissolving the nervous systems of peasants and
nomads far from any medical care? And was
Hi- man flooried the Wycoffs self-immolation and subsequent spread
nntirn D|)Nr:t; t l n - - of the blight a result of him losing control of his
prosaically t-v powers, or some degenerate desire to leave his
"|ji.n al p mark on the North American plains?
Similarly, we may never understand why an
unnamed Aberrant raised a tidal wave that vir-
tually destroyed the Florida coast. Or why Geslav
rendered 9O% of the Russian nuclear reactors
inert yet left the region's warheads armed. And
QpNeL Tfie Tn
even though the self-proclaimed "Space
SOCtyear legacy
Brigade's" surprise takeover of Olympus in 2049
made excellent tactical sensegiving Aberrants
vents 1 1
IhrheDpM control of near orbit the strange group
seemed content to stay on Luna and simply
darstanding of the
puter syr/1 observe the conflict on Earth.
not only wping clean Almost as tragic as the loss of millions of
lives in those 12 years was the massive informa-
tion loss. Satellites, transmitters, computer net-
works, even printing presses fell victim to Aber-
rant [and human] attacks. We may never truly
know of the worst, most horrible acts perpetrated

Wvcarr EXPLOSION DN Ni wu A B U H I V E 2D54

in this time. Still, from a perspective
Subject: Project Rewrite almost three-quarters of a century later,
From: Trinity Council we at least have a sense of the overall
To: All North American and dynamics and impact of events.
European Outposts
Encryption: DSE The Ultimatum
Transmission type: textfile
Date: 8.12.2062 and the Exodus
With the destruction of While the rest of the world fought
the OpNet, you are autho- the Aberrants, China went compara-
rized to commandeer all book tively unscathed. Its only participation
and database libraries within in the war was to deny known
your jurisdictions, whether Aberrants entry into the country.
public or private. Books, in- What China did behind the scenes to
formation and data are to be avoid Aberrant attacks is still unknown.
shipped to regional distribu- Although the action seemed in-
tion centers for transport to comprehensible at the time with
/Eon holding facilities. Gath- so much of the world in danger of
ered information will be com- Aberrant attack China devoted tre-
piled and preserved, to be mendous resources to developing
posted selectively if or when space technologies. In 2053, China
the OpNet is restored. launched the Xingyang Sujia, the first
interplanetary craft with a human
crew, headed for Mars. China con-
tinued to set the standard for space develop-
ment despite the United States' and Russia's
attempts to catch up. By 2061. China had
several hundred orbital craft, three orbital sta-
tions and seven huge [at that time] cruisers in
Then, upon the destruction of the OpNet,
China put the Aberrant War to an end. In
2061, with more than 500 craft in orbit
around the Earth and Luna all armed with

fusion warheads China announced that it

would launch a full-scale nuclear strike if the
Aberrants did not cease their attacks imme-
diately. China had even established what was
then known as a "deadman switch": The
strike would take place automatically if peri-
odic signals were not sent to stop it.
Radio communi- It appeared then (and to this day) that form! It looks like
cation piroted from China was perfectly willing to sacrifice the he's wearing some
OMEN Low-Earth- I
Orbit Relay Station entire planet to end the war. The nation's lead- sort o f . . . a r m o r .
2, Eau Claire, WI, ers apparently didn't care how it was resolved; No! It's an Aber-
9.7.2O61. Aberrants could surrender, face execution on rant!
OMEN LEO even colonize and stay on Luna China's NORAD: Re
; Relay S: ...seem proudest and most brilliant would be safe peat last trensmis-
to be holding pos;- f aboard the fleet. As we know, the Aberrants sion. Repeat.
Lion. Sir, if the Chi- ' I spurned the options offered them. Instead, OMEN LEO
; nose were going to they left the solar system entirely. But even in R e l a y 2: He's
do something, that they didn't go quietly; it took a foolhardy t e a r i n g into the
wouldn't they have Aberrant to trigger a retaliatory strike on platform's hull with
done it by now? Bahrain to prove that China meant business. his bare hands!
IMORAD: You're To this day, we don't know where the NORAD: Alert:
not paid for com- Aberrants went after the Ultimatum. It is as- all DMEN relay sta-
mentary, Relay 2. sumed that the majority followed those tions. Do a long-
Just keep your sen- Aberrants with a "warping" ability to small rannc. weep far spa-
iors on that bases established previously on distant plan- uai uiajrbances.
DMEN LEO Re- ets. While we may never know the Aberrants' OMEN LEO
lay 2: I'm picking up [ final destination, we shall never forget the dec- Relay 2: Sir! I have
a spatial disturbance laration from the unimaginably powerful Divis a cornm blackout to
it's approximately (E Mai, just prior to the Exodus. The being's ap- all OMEN satellites
5DO meters off one of pearance in the relocated United Nations was in LED Alpha Prime!
the Chinese fusion t met with surprise and panic. The Aberrant
platforms' Redirecting posed for the cameras to give its final state- offline!
i orbital cameras..,. ment to the people of Earth: Tour legacy is NORAD: ,,-
NORAD: What our future." The words resonate with rage and lays 1 ,' " -
do you sec,, Relay revenge even today. With Divis Mai's declara- an EMP in LED Alpha
2? Are they activat- tion, the Aberrant War finally came to an end. Prime, Relay 2,
ing something? In the aftermath of these dramatic days, Looks Itkt) Lhe Chi-
O M E N LED j after 12 years of brutal conflict, one question nese lit up a platform.
R e l a y 2: V i s u a l remained: Why did China order its fleet to stand OMEN LEO
should be online in down after the Aberrants departed? China was Relay 2: Oh. God!
a few seconds. The in B position to control Earth and all of near NORAD: Ke"
spatial reading has fr space, but chose not to proceed. How many iL Luyethcr, Relay .
stabilized. Visuals di- . nations over the course of history would have ""veryone k
rected toward done the same thing? What reasons did the gather. The Chinese Holy Chinese government have to release us from have tfiR ball. Let's
shil.! There's some- its iron grip? hope they decidn l.n
one outside the plat-
The Crash keep playing.

The Aberrant War's incredible toll was

more than emotional or physical. The re-
sources of entire regions were depleted, as
demonstrated by the loss of much of the
former United States' agricultural regions,
urban centers and financial wealth. Electronic
networks were destroyed beyond repair. In-
formation technologies were isolated and frag-
mented, and protected fiercely as a result.

Three additional pressures the Urban

Schism, the Communication Frequency Con-
The Ultimatum striction [or Comm Crunch), and the Orbital Microgravity
Broadcast Expansion also weighed on human society. - Excerpt: let's
Explore Space!
GN, 9J2Q 6T
We have |ust
The Urban Schism interactive holo
In the wake of the Aberrant War, survi- 2O 99
receivnri cnnfirmatinn Alpha Software
that the Abei vors clustered in groups to create communi-
cnnf.rolled islanckia- ties. They did so in part for safety in num- 36. Where would
tion of Bahrain ii.-ss bers, but also to gather strength to take the yrm fiuil /nro-iiiTivilyV
been destroyed by a territories and resources of other survivors. a. In spare
. ulaLed nuclear This phenomenon occurred on a small scale b. In a vacuum
strike. The al as bandit gangs fought over ravaged turf,
came from a Chinese and on an international level as shattered
orbital craft, armed countries squabbled over scraps of land. d. Answers "a"
with an estimated six The "Urban Schism" arose because of a and "b"
fusion warheads. De- division between the wealthy and poor that
tails are still unclear existed even before the world economy col-
swer: "c." S i n c e
at this time, but it lapsed. Once it became possible for individu-
i C:.-IL;|I abject in Mr:
does appear that the als and groups to own hyper-fusion energy
i ii liverse has at least
entire island has been sources and these groups could remove
some niiinr,, every
destroyed. themselves from the remains of society
We axpra:t H re- the Schism progressed rapidly.
sponse from Chinese While it swept the globe to varying de-
u l l i . : i a l s within the grees, the Urban Schism occurred prima-
hnur In t.hp. r rily in the Western Hemisphere. Groups
they have releasfjd a moved out of North American and European
cities and into remote areas, and eventually
meriL It claims the into orbit as land became prohibitively ex-
Bahrain stnkn was in pensive. Australia was also an important
retaliation for an Ab- influence on this mass emigration. The oft-
HiTHnt attack on a forgotten continent reversed its previous
i! plat- isolationist policies and encouraged the dis-
form. Further signs possessed and destitute to start a new life
of aggression "down under." The campaign worked mar-
Aberrant, or human velously. Australia's population swelled to
forces will supposedly twice its previous size in less than five years.
he met with a full- Relocation to the Outback enclaves, as all
scale nuclear 1 attack middle-class communities have since be-
on the entire planet! come known, only slowed when other na-
I'd like to take a tions pursued intrasolar colonization (and
Bntto appeal to Australia's own resources became notice-
all Abeirants and gov- ably strained].
ernment forces The shift in populace changed the very
watuhing this broad- society of the world's cities. The wealthy cre-
cast. II. sHHrns the ated energized arcologies. The poor, forgot-
Chinese government ten at the feet of the rich, eked out an exist-
is fully committed to ence as servants and maintained the
its ultimatum, I urge metroplexes. Those unfortunate souls with-
you. please find a out the talent or luck for even that minimal
peaceful resolution. level of subsistence scrabbled for survival in
Humanity's fate rests the husks of the once-thriving cities.
These social disparities exist even today,
intensified by 60 years of cultural stratifica-
tion. No single social class gives much
thought to the others anymore, except as
potential threats to its own safety.
The Comm Crunch
Transmissions '-?. With the loss of the OpNet as a means of Holograms
in the 22nd unlimited, instantaneous communication, the Dr. Kieran
world was forced to resort to old-style trans- Router, The
Century mitted communication systems. Human soci- Technological Age
Cori Heisler, ety went from free information exchange to 2110 Walkabout
The Painful Truth limited transmission bands and jealously Press
2119 MMI guarded secrets. Communications technolo-
Since "air Irv gies eventually reached a hard limit; there just
those transmissions weren't enough radio frequencies to be had
that don't travel vitj (or so governments claimed). Signal splitting
optical ctjFi!: 1 : i and duplex amplifications could do only so
pi l y i a i t j t j i I_.L;I I U L I I L - , 01 c much, and the proliferation of cellular phones
heavily taxed an and other link-users were in danger of over-
tared, an \, : whelming communications systems altogether.
Governments therefore imposed hard
catch a government's regulations and heavy taxes on cellular links,
attention and fee! ite creating a reliable source of revenue for the
wrath i. Of noiirse. this financially strapped bureaucracies. [Even to-
doesn't stop people day, patching a call from Sao Paulo to Olympus
from cransii costs a small fortune, and that's only if the
whether via technalq frequency link can be rented.] These limita-
tions also went a long way toward insuring
without o license- that governments and the affluent maintained
Don i 1.1 K: access to and controlled communications,
while the rest of the population did without.
thorized transmis- Today, people go uninformed beyond what nkillr-!tl modification.
sions can muni 1.11- ' those in control of communication systems
choose to broadcast. Limitations on communi-
Mnre severe laws d< cations capabilities put transmitting on a 20th-
mand jail senttu century level. People also live in a state of fear ise I it irr.ims exten-
lest too many systems be linked together and sively, Li<:<:ri'>'!l()iiiiir-
i provide an opportunity for data and systems to
take kindly in u'in: be destroyed again. Access to the somewhat ted to use realit-
who pi.K-it;li one restored OpNet is limited even at the university 1 firl icst revenn and government levels. Only the media claves
link through multiple networks, and even their
transmissions are timed and monitored rigidly.
Orbital Expansion
The most progressive movement in the
wake of the Aberrant War was humanity's wide-
spread departure from Earth. The development
of gravcrystals in 2071 made it feasible for
normal people to live and work in space.
Previously, small stations had to rely on
short-shift rotations, and woe to the worker who
stayed too long! Fully automated stations also
proved ineffective without human intervention.
Once microgravity environments became safe
for humans, companies started recruiting people
to go off-planet. Considering the price of land on
Earth at that time, not to mention the devasta-
tion of the European, Middle Eastern and North
American landscapes, it's easy to understand how
this lifestyle was tempting. Individuals bought into
a colony or research organization and were
O f?
shipped to the colonies where their new jobs and
homes waited. Once colonies had sufficient popu-
Scientists lations, they were more or less self-sustaining,
When something
breaks, the energy in t
Say: We especially once their function manufacturing,
tows outward VY
Have The mining or research got underway, something is created
Attention diverted across the globe to
Answer the colonization of space was the catalyst
enemy...flows in. Sorrie-
NewsdoY es the change is so
holobrief for resolving wars and strife on Earth. . .:k, it's stunning. I
8.12-2105 GN Former squabbles and earthly interests sometJmRri wonder how
INDIA Noetic seemed petty to nations capable of ventur-
I would feel if a i &-*; big
scientists from the ing into space for territory, resources,
; change occurred near
wealth and trade commodities that
wouldn't have to be fought for in the vast- Tests continue to
I day ' '.'Hry of ness of unclaimed space. Even small or un- | i understand and quan-
a previously unknovyi stable countries were able to join the space
< . che energy form
energy form. Scien- movement as they made alliances rather rt psion-ically aware
tists studying pe-dc- than declared wars, and joined their neigh-
:ils appear tn
. tive individuals and bors on orbital and deep-space ventures.
| tap into. The optimis-
' the supposed use of The development of pseudo-gravity 1 tic among the re-
I mental powers be- marked a new direction for humanity after search team hopp
the devastation of the Aberrant War.
ties function an a su!> The Aberrant Return ,\ iheir wark will of-
fer insights inLo ques-
, ma-
nipulating an as-yet- and the Rise of Psions I tions that still pb
:-:. even in the '
unidentified energy There is no way to describe the collective
.particle. Research dismay, horror and terror felt when the
Aberrants returned in 21D4. Most as-
| particles operate like sumed that the Aberrants wouldn't come
f quantum energy, al- back for several generations, if ever. Many
: tnnuah at an even hoped that Divis Mai's threat was empty.
Yet less than 50 years after their Exodus, Excerpt: oudiofile; vote*
Previous theories the Aberrants are back. unidenVrftel 7.17.2119
be Uial LI II-- There is hope, though. Many people I have to admit to some
tuin level of energy grudgingly admit that, as odd as the psions curiosity, though. Cauld our
contains the smallest can seem, they have proven to be our best early members have some-
particles known to hope in this time of need, and the /Eon how been responsible for cre-
scienr.n Trinity has stood beside them since their ating the proxies? Could pre-
Psi-active sub- emergence. Indeed, the /Eon Trinity was vious Trinity members inspire
jects report sensing there to support the orders and their prox- so much hope for an era of
tiiesepartJdfcis, and be- ies when they first appeared. /Eon recog- human enlightenment that
ing able to msninuto nized the instrumental place that the or- what the proxies have quietly
' theni.AsChtraBnanu ders had in humanity's survival, and worked referred to as their "benefac-
Means Patel, rnembE with the proxies to find them a home tors" came to investigate?
of the quartei- kinetic 01 - among the world's peoples. The proxies claim (and I
der states, "Ever since The Legion was the first order to re- wonder why we believe them)
i I WHS LnriiiHrsrl. I'VR veal itself to the world in the Aberrant alter- that they're helping us fight
been abletn SRG (Jungs cation at the Sydney spaceport. The Legion- the Aberrants. But there
n a new way, Not see. naires have since proven to be stalwart war- seems to be evidence of the
> really, but...know. I'm riors, but certainly not the only ones. proxies' appearance and the
not just in n rnom l i t i Qrgotek uses electrokinesis to explore the Aberrants' return at the
oui I uuh iucu uy CL la yy noetic science of biotechnology, supplying same time. And, of course,
that moves and shifts Gifted and even normal humans with the larger issue: Just what
BS objects and | bioware, from weapons to ships to even is this "taint" that pushed the
computers. The /Esculapian "rexs" are al- Aberrants over the edge
ways on hand to aid the injured and desti- years ago, and does it con-
tute. Their tremendous healing powers are tinue to affect humanity or
a godsend in these desperate times. And even the psions?

"- ;."


of all the things that the ciairsentients of ISRA

can perceive, it is perhaps the very approach
and proximity of Aberrants themselves that
CONFIDENTIAL makes these psions indispensable.
The psions' dedication to protect hu-
Excerpt: oud rofile; voice manity from Aberrant assault wins them
unidentified 5.12210 6 favor among humans, even among the
In order for the orders skeptical. The psions' possession of pow-
to be integrated, we must ers seemingly like those of the Aberrants
sculpt an image for them of old creates concern that a new de-
based on society's needs, stroyer walks the Earth. How long will it
whether conscious or sub- be before these psions turn on those
conscious. The psions have whom they profess to defend? Valid fears,
tn be perceived as everything but ones that have been assuaged as the
the Aberrants are not. We Gifted have integrated themselves among
need to work against that foi. human friends, societies and countries,
The orders also have Go prove and have been relentless in their com-
their dedication some mitment to protect humanity over the
great sacrifice, something at past 16 years.
their own expense for the Yet despite all psion efforts, the most
good of others. But if we're significant and tragic event to occur in re-
going to accomplish any of cent history was the crash of the orbital
our goals, the orders hare to station Esperanza in late 2114. Psions of
present a unified whole. If they the electrakinetic Drgotek Drder explained
dont appear-to be united, why that they had intercepted some kind of Ab-
would anyone follow them? errant transmission, that an attack was im-
minent on the European Commonwealth's
shining achievement since the war: its very own
space habitat in Earth orbit. Sadly, the psions'
effort could not save the station.
During the Aberrant attack, the Esperanza
was knocked from its relatively stable L1
Lagrange point. Even the station's advanced sta-
bilizing thrusters weren't enough to keep it from
tumbling toward Earth. Gravitational and re-en-
g .But if that's so.
Career Day try stresses and the attack itself tore the 3RA? The
Esperanza apart; it fell in pieces over the Atlan- didn't
tic and crashed to Earth over much of France they get mare help to
and parts of Spain, as well as over various parts
of Western Europe. Millions were killed instantly, -'ythat
and France remains a largely uninhabitable
Qrgotek is
wasteland even after five years. Aberrants. th.
3rtZcP In the wake of the tragedy, it was discov-
ered that all members of one of the orders, netes .-i just
* seems so the Upeo wa Macho, had disappeared. Their
as brave as the L
departure remains unexplained to this day. This . /
sine- .'!! won loss also had immeasurable impact. The they developed some I
ayan 131* u teleporting psions had become humanity's
means to deep space. Their efforts allowed dp into Al>
colonies and stations to be established far from . : i- I 1C
i| But how Earth, much farther than could be traveled by
suppose w
conventional means in any reasonable time
. mat,..?
frame. When the Upeo disappeared, so too
And why diet
did humanity's connection to its colonies.
Li pec . .! dis-
It has been suggested that the Aberrant at-
errant tr:-- tack on the Esperanza was a decoy for the abduc- ter? Where
Jiat seems tion of the teleporters. No one knows for certain.
did the telepi
Jly simple. But even when handed a major setback
go? Are they
like the loss of the Esperanza and the Eu- come they ;

I thai. 2been ropean community's hope to reestablish it- ne back'3

self in the galactic sphere humans prove
remarkably resourceful and ingenious. >Eon
Trinity and several orders, with assistance
from various world governments and even
the stranded Qin, have spent the past five
years modifying teleportation biotech and de-


vetoping new bioware to in-
NEPTUNE ARCH1VL teract with it. The result-
ing new "jump ships" Psions:
started testing last year Messiahs or
RMCUS Of mtmm CRASH (and resulted in an acciden-
tal encounter with yet an-
Corlos Viminez,
Journal 2112
Aon Trinity Dbrlfbig, MM!
Neptxme Division W h i l e less than two
dozen of the ships are cur- DiSfj'Ji'i 1 1
Subject: Ministry ogent Chen Li
rently online and have under-
I was a recent graduate of Shang- When die oitters were
gone minimum testing, the
hai when the space station crashed fnnriiifiil, MIRTH were
and the teleporters disappeared. If you orders say they are prepared
to stage exploratory missions i:ii.|ht Chtra Stan i t i n ;
are aware of how our powers work, 6oceted"quartBkretic
you understand that our senses of our to the extrasolar colonies. It
may be weeks or even i i n l i i i ';;,];, iiii I ILI have
surroundings have limits. I am normally
months before we find out hi:* 11 |>,M!ljmlHl1y Ml In;
able to sense strong changes in tive at searching out
how our orphaned colonies
psionic energy within a few kilometers. Ahhirrmit.s, but its
That is all. have fared; the jump ships
seem so primitive compared members r^xrtedyfsl
When the Esperanza crashed and victim in Aberrant, 9yr>
to the capabilities of the
the LJpeo disappeared, even I felt rlmrne the T-:in iL.
something half a world away! The Upeo.
deaths of so many people affected
every psion at that time. A wave came
Alien Contact tft/es dnim ttint H i i U f i
Perhaps by coincidence Bharui sensitivity In
over me, a terrible feeling of dread, f Alxirrjtita made than
or due to some cosmic de-
reported to duty immediately and vulnerable to thn Srm-j
sign, just as h u m a n i t y
found that I wasn't the only one we derangement that of-
struggled to comprehend the
all felt it, some more than I, My nose
return of the Aberrants and
and ears bled for days. I knew some rstty 21st; century WH
the emergence of the psions,
who went into comas! understand that r,hn
we made first contact with
They say that having these powers is rt|-e- orders acting
an alien race the Qin in
a blessing, I am pleased to serve my coun- nri dimdjuii [ion ilit;
2107. The aliens were re-
try and my people, but there is a price to ITOXES dsmirai nt I nl
ceived with both fear and joy.
pay. Being in touch with the movement of Dura Bhanu psora V*
Thus far, relations have
things, with changes in energy with life have also been cEsuisd
proven friendly; in fact, both
and death can be., .overwhelming. It is
races have established em-
not always a pleasant world. ';>/: ii irorne to other
bassies on Bach other's
worlds. Unfortunately no one, psiur fa en leasable.
not even the Qin, could have anticipated the Ofcour-v
loss of communication with our respective em- assurances are only
bassies when the Upeo wa Macho, who made . i ; :r:til i nare psions
first contact possible, disappeared. We must art :r f.--r.i/ : rl hy the
be confident that our joint expedition back to taint. After the Aber-
the Qin homeworld, Qinshui, will be success- rant attack on Sydney,
ful in re-establishing contact. We can only hope dnrinn wr.u,: i ttie uf-
the Qin will understand that the abrupt termi-
nation of relations was due to the Aberrants, appearance, we were
our mutual enemy, and not an indication of : at |:'.i IM- were
disrespect on our part. notAberrants, TIN
Initial contact with the Chromatics was tants, taut humanity's
not cordial. We weren't even aware of their
existence until they attacked the Karroo in-
terstellar mining colony in 2113. Reasons
for the attack are unknown, and will remain
so until jump-ship missions are staged to the
mining colony; nothing has been heard of the
Chromatics since the Upeo disappeared. Pre-
sumably that silence implies that
the aliens lack interstellar travel
of their own, and that we will have / Hope for the
the upper hand when our ships
are fully online. But how have the
Kara McGowan,
Chromatics spent the past five interviewed for
years on the fringe of our known Retrospective
space? 2120 OBC
Humanity's most recent I was Wi
alien contact has come as a seven, eight, when the
result of initial experiments Sydney raid happened?
with the new jump ships. De- I was absolutely deter-
tails of first contact are virtu- mined Co grow Lip and
a l l y u n k n o w n , except that become a psion. Why
s o m e t h i n g went h o r r i b l y ^ my sibs didn't destroy
wrong. Reports thus far have , it holofile, 111 never
involved the names "Coalition," know, I played it i
and, apparently in a deroga- and over.
tory fashion, "Breeders." I still go to the Le-
gion recruitment cen-
The 22nd Century ter every year. I've
Humans face a variety of chal- registered neutral
lenges today. No longer confined to every time, but they ,
a single planet, we now dwell in a say that even Che low-
variety of places and under a vari- est neutral can sud-
ety of conditions. Humans have denly show latency.
spread throughout near space, It'll happen some-
starting lives on Luna, Mars, day, I know it. When
Jupiter's moons, in the asteroid 0) it does. I want to be
bete, and in a handful of deep- one of the first to go
space colonies. We have also back to the lost colo-
unleashed the power of the mind nies, I want to hunt
and explore true human poten- rlown Aberrants. I
tial through the psions. Knowl- wont to stand up La
edge discovered by the psi or- Dtvis Mai. and wipe
ders is used for human pur- tl iat holovid smirk off
poses, to comprehend our place The Colony's face I
in the order of the universe. want to take the
It was stated previously back to their home,
that humanity has a tendency and find out, why the
to repeat its mistakes. But hu-
mans have another trait: We pull
together. We join forces when i :1o it a
threatened by outside forces. In
spite of the problems and differ-
ences we face, we can take a long
view and consider the conse-
quences of our actions. Now is
the time to gather our re-
sources and prepare for the fu-
ture as an entire race uni-
fied not merely as single
nations, corporations, groups
and individuals. Now more than
ever, our goal is the unity of all.
Hope, Sacrifice, Unity
/Eon Trinity
200-Year Timeline
1921 First public incidents of supernormal acts.
Events continue sporadically over the next few decades,
but their influanca on culture and politics is minimal.
1923 Maxwell Anderson Mercer establishes
the /Eon Society for Gentlemen.
1970 A dramatic increase in super-normal
events. Normal human society is amazed by the
achievements and aghast at the actions of un-
usual individuals.
1998 So-called "Aberrants" appear in a va-
riety of places and demonstrate powers that can
be used for the good of humanity.
2021 Aberrants proliferate globally. Their
activities, struggles and depredations increas-
ingly endanger and harm normal humans.
2022 Dr. Soguk Birlesme invents viable
2024 The United States unveils a versatile,
fusion-powered orbital craft.
2024 to 2O32 Various nations launch or-
bital defense satellites. By far, the most advanced
is the United States' Orbital Military Network
[OMEN] defense system. It is used increasingly
to monitor and, when necessary, counteract in-
tensifying Aberrant activities.
2031 The United States establishes the
Olympus Lunar base.
2046 The Aberrant group Allah's Legion
seizes control of the African island Bahrain. The
event initiates widespread conflict between hu-
mans and Aberrants.
2049 The United Nations declares war on
2049 Aberrants calling themselves the
Space Brigade take over Olympus Base. This
group destroys 75% of OMEN satellites. Olympus
remains under their control until the war ends.
2O49 to 2061 Various major cities [mostly
in North America and Europe) suffer destruction at
Aberrant hands.
2052 Aberrants destroy Jerusalem.
Reconstuction delayed until 9061 due to ongoing
Aberrant conflict.
2053 China launches Xingyeng Sujia, the
first manned interplanetary exploration craft. Its
destination: Mars.
2054 Aberrant Calvert Wycoff explodes over
the North American Great Plains in a flaming
ball of plasma. The detonation is blamed for the
devastating blight that follows, which destroys
Morth America's grain belt.
2055 The United States invades Canada [with
Quebec's assistance]. Ostensibly, this is done to
claim Canada's marginally healthier farmlands, but
it boils down to U.S. need for Canada's resources
[geographic and financial] in the ongoing war.
2061 The Aberrant Mungu "Backlash"
Kuwasha destroys the OpNet, setting back com-
munications technology 100 years.
2061 China makes its "Earth Strike Ultimatum."
Aberrants leave Earth with the threat of returning.
The war ends. The Chinese fleet stands down.
S061 to 2070 The Crash. Millions are dead.
Half of the world's arable lands are infertile. The
world's financial and ecological resources are
drained. The world economy collapses. Conflict
erupts between nations. The Comm Crunch hits.
The Urban Schism occurs. Orbital expansion is
attempted to revitalize the world.
2067 At Nippon's suggestion, China
reconfigures its economy on a platinum standard.
Other nations follow. This is a significant step to-
ward revitalizing the world economy. International
commerce changes from a dollar to a yuan base.
2071 The "pseudo-graviton" is developed;
gravcrystal grids make artificial gravity possible
on spacecraft and in other microgravity environ-
ments. The discovery heralds an end to global
strife; warfare diminishes and nations become
culturally and technologically progressive.
2103 Eight humans are bestowed with
psionic powers, making them proxies for the psi
orders that they are to create. The proxies learn
about the force behind the soon-to-return
Aberrants, and aboutthetrue nature of the taint.
2104 Aberrants attack intrasolar colonies.
2106 The psychokinetic order reveals the
existence of psions when members fight off
Aberrants in Sydney. The orders and psions are
met with mixed feelings. The orders begin exten-
sive public-relations programs.
2108 to 2120 The psi orders integrate them-
selves into human society and assist or become in-
volved in the development of technology, commerce,
travel, exploration, medicine and even entertainment.
2107 First contact with the Qin. A Chinese
deep-space explorer (pshjumped) encounters an
alien patrol craft in the Qin's home system.
Though initial interactions are cautions, things
go well.
21 OB The Qin establish an embassy on Luna.
Humans establish one on Qinshui, the Qin
2109 The proxies declare the quantakinetic
order to be in league with Aberrants. The other
psions unite and destroy the rogue order.
2113 First contact with the Chromatics; the
aliens stage a raid on an African mining colony.
2114 Aberrants attack the Esperanza or-
bital station. An electrakinetic strike team reacts
immediately. The psions are unable to prevent
the station from crashing to Earth, destroying
France. Afterward, the teleporters are discov-
ered to have vanished.
2119 The orders create viable biotech jump
ships that interface with clairsentients. These
should make interstellar travel possible without
the Upeowa Macho.
First contact occurs with the Coalition after one of
the first test jumps of the new ships. Details are
sketchy, but the event apparently doesn't go well.
2120 Present time. Expeditions are about
to be sent to the interstellar colonies and to con-
tact the Chromatics and Coalition. Deep-space
probes continue to search for Aberrants.
The dawn of t verse, normal humans have yet t rant threat, humanity's ability to
psJoniccapacity and the birth to understand the big picture. set its own differences aside
ofnoeticsciencearethegreatest * Humanity in the 22nd century may be the one thing that can
human events of the 22nd oen- . has, as throughout history, an . save the Earth. Although Aber-
tury. Psions, the living embodi- amazing tendency to create di- rant raids began erratically, the
ments of psionic energy, bear " visions, to segment itself with " beings seem to be organizing,
the honor and burden of lead- artificial boundaries. We define hitting strategic targets, and
ing humanity into a new age of t ourselves by religion, cultural f striking in ever-increasing force.
understanding. heritage and national bound- If humanity and the psions can-
The secrets of the universe * aries. We split over differences * not pull together, we may not
are at our fingertips. All we need .that we can control, such as af-. survive this twisted Second
to do to grasp them is understand filiations, academic standing, Coming.
psionicenergy.Thisiswhypsions " gender preferences and even " All nations, corporations,
are so important. Even Aberrants employers. But we also create * industries, orders and indi-
and hostile alien races, while m groups based on differences . viduals in the human race
deadly menaces to humans, are beyond our control, such as skin therefore have something in
insignificant compared to the uni- "color and place of birth. " common. Despite their differ-
verse itself. By understanding all , Yet in spite of cultural dif-, ences, they all must confront
Creation, we understand even ferences and long-standing po- their own destruction and find
our enemies. And then, are they * litical conflicts, humans still unite * the common ground to face
truly enemies at all?
against external threats. Old it together. Distant and dispar-
Our Tragic Flaw conflictsare set aside; disagree-. ate societies in the 22nd cen-
Despite the fact that hu- ments are tabled until the out- tury thus become one society:
manity stands on the brink of sider is vanquished. Aberrants * that of frail but resolute hu-
discovering absolute truths, that * are the ultimate "them," the. manity. Perhaps once we re-
psions wield the most Impor- . epitom6 of everything that is not alize this unity, we can tran-
tant elemental force in the uni- human. In the face of the Aber- * scend artificial boundaries.


tune (administra-1
tive), Triton (re-1
search and devel-
* opment) and Proteus
, (operations). These direc"
22nd -Century Warfare tors work together to pre-
Grwor Muro*, World at Weir
2118 Walkabout Prss " serve the vision that Max-
With the progression of technology and society, * well Mercer, founder of
t /ton, had 200 years
warfare has come full circle. Centuries ago, conflict in- ago,
| volved a handful of combatants on either side, slug- and work to ensure that hu-
ging it out up dose and personal. With technological * manity fulfills its destiny.
innovations and growing populations came larger wars , Beneath these figures
Diving bigger weapons of mass destruction. Then are thousands of administra-
: Aberrant War showed humanity how much it had * tors and regional directors
ome to rely on bombs and missiles. Since conflict was * who oversee the Trinity's
(against small groups of isolated Aberrants, using large- f day-to-day operations, /ton

Je weaponry caused more destruction and damage is comprised of hundreds of

> the side using it than to the intended target. * thousands of agents who are
That conflict and the resulting Crash impressed . each assigned to one of the
rongly upon 22nd-century society the value of natu- three divisions. The three
resources and even of man-made developments * branches have a place wher-
on Earth and in space. Mankind couldn't afford to al- * ever the Trinity is located, for
low rampant destruction while defending or attacking t no one part can function fully

Jes, especially given all the money and manpower without the others. Proteus
?nt building them up in the first place. * cannot stage missions with-
As a result, most warfare Is again on a personal level, , out the orders of Neptune,
Diving a squad composed of a dozen soldiers or at but neither Neptune nor Pro-
lost a battalion of a few hundred. Heavy artillery, missile " teus can act without the in-
Ikes and the like are held In reserve, used only if abso- * telligence of Triton, while Tri-
t necessary. It's the same whether the conflict is be- , ton must rely on the other
a Canadian resistance squad and FSM troops, or two divisions for support
i a psion team and Aberrants. A small sampling * when investigating.
courageous men and women armed with personal . /ton has headquarters
eaponry decide the fate of thousands, even millions. and outposts scattered
across the world and
' throughout known space.
These are lofty, ephem- Such offices and facilities
eral goals, but ones that /ton aren't obvious; they draw no
/ton is one of the most pursues on a real-world, re- more attention than simple
influential organizations in , alistic level. The organ- businesses do. Yet these are
the world, even if not the ization's leaders remain fixed the places where normal
largest or most visible. Its on the achievements they people and psions work to-
primary goal is to chart the pursue, and follow their vi- gether to coordinate services
course of humanity's future, sion at every turn. Mean- and to defend humanity and
to ensure that humans while, their underlings, even the Earth itself, even if only
achieve their full potential. down to the "lowest" clerk, in the regional jurisdiction of
The /ton Trinity has therefore facilitate the leaders' needs a single office.
worked with the orders and and orders, no matter how A regional Trinity branch
psions since their emer- dear-cut or how enigmatic. administers to the sick and
gence, to ensure that the fun- The /ton Trinity is led homeless, operates support
damental energy, psl, is used by the /ton Council, which and education programs,
to raise humanity to its right- consists of the three lead- provides economic aid to the
ful place in the cosmos. ers of/ton's branches, Nep- destitute, provides backup to

police and military Psions even use Trinity facili- take orders from /ton to
Iforces, performs ties to establish relations with some degree). Some
finedical research, . alien races such as the Qin. psions have abandoned
Investigates poten- Of course, /ton has its the orders and work for na-
^^ ^Tal weaknesses in * demands of psions, too; the tions, corporations or the
Aberrants, searches for signs two have a symbiotic rela- Trinity itself. Most psions find
of Aberrant Syndrome, coor- tionship. /ton seeks to meet themselves subject to both
dinates psion efforts, main- countless goals that normal order and Trinity in varying
tains relations between the humans and hard technology amounts. No matter where a
psion orders, Investigates the . simply cannot accomplish. psion's loyalties lie, he will
mysteries of the subquantum Psions and their biotech help encounter the /ton Trinity
universe, and, most recently, " the Trinity achieve these sooner or later.
coordinates the orders' goals. Thus /ton is at the ser- While /ton does assign
manufacture and launch of t vice of psions, to help in the basic ranks to psions, it does
Interstellar jump ships. The war they fight, but psions and not require them to live or
Trinity enacts humanitarian * the orders are beholden to behave in a regimented fash-
programs across the spec- . /ton for the support, rein- ion. The rank system itself is
trum of society. forcement and coordination not military, being little more
To the normal civilian, * that ft supplies, and also be- than a tool allowing for easier
"/ton Trinity" is an everyday cause of influence that the interaction between the divi-
term, but one that is little un- Trinity has over certain prox- sions. The important thing,
derstood. Most people con- ies and key psions. from the Trinity's point of
sider it a goodwill and hu- * /ton's ultimate goal in view, is that the psions are
man-aid organization t h a t . providing these services and on call and respond to /ton's
has existed longer than any- coordinating these efforts is needs and demands. The
one can remember, /ton " the unification of humanity. Gifted might be required to
simply is, and does good The Trinity purports that, ac- work alongside normal Trin-
work like any other social 4 cording to the vision that in- f ity agents, to go on missions
agency is supposed to. spired the group centuries outlined by the Trinity, or to
The majority of /ton of- ago, humanity will fall di- * perform covert operations on
flee and outpost members , vided before dangers that we . the Trinity's behalf, /ton has
are normal humans, but have yet to face. In order to agendas to pursue against
psions represent a signifl- * achieve the unity we need to * the Aberrants; against hostile
cant minority. Psion atten- * survive, individuals will be * aliens such as the Chromat-
dants are either assigned to f expected to will have to f ics and Coalition; and against
support the Trinity by their lay their personal goals world and space govern-
respective orders, or belong * aside. ments, corporations and
to no particular order and , Psions and j^on powerful individuals that
offer their services to /ton Psions typically have ob- . contest unification, /ton also
as a whole. ligatlons to two organiza- explores space and explores
In return, psions can call tions: their orders and /ton the depths of psionic pow-
upon the services of an >ton , Trinity. The orders created ers. These, of course, are the
outpost anywhere on Earth the psions, but in many ways purviews of almost all psions
or Luna, or in space. Psions the /ton Trinity created the as well.
receive room and board. orders and the Trinity is the A psion undoubtedly
They can seek medical aid, catalyst that allows the or- knows a number of /ton
requisition information or ders to work together. members and perhaps has
transportation, and establish The degree to which a regular relations with several.
communications with the psion has allegiance to an or- The Trinity is even known to
Trinity, their orders or any der and to /ton depends on assign liaisons to particular
other human organization. the individual. Some psions psions. The Gifted don't nec-
They also use /ton outposts are completely true to their essarily work with the /ton
to meet with other psions proxies and take orders from Trinity on every mission that
and to stage operations. no other (yet the proxies all they undertake, but they are
I bound to encounter Trin- tions, data files, current tions taken. For the
ity members almost any- whereabouts of individuals, * poor psion, this!
where they go, no matter . details on political situations . can mean conflict-j
whose orders they follow, and general background on ing priorities and'
even if they are independent people and corporations. " confused loyalties; who
agents. It is therefore difficult Proteus agents stand side by should be obeyed, order or
for a psion to do anything or side with psions, whether on /ton? That's for the indi-
go anywhere without /ton the front lines of space or in vidual to decide, and to suf-
learning of itwhich can be defense of Earth. Proteus ' fer any consequences,
good or bad, depending on . agents man ships provided. The Aon Trinity's involve-
the psion's objectives. to psions by the /ton Trinity, ment in affairs from an interstel-
The Trinity's involvement jump out to the fringes of * lar to an individual level cannot
is defined clearly by the known space, hunt criminals, * be denied. TheTriniry pays dose
organization's three divi- m counter terrorism, police t
attention to events taking place
sions. Directors in Neptune space ports and stations, and in countries across the globe, on
detail the missions them- act as couriers. * orbital stations and colonies
selves, explain /ton objec- . For the most part, Trinity . throughout near space, and in
tives, debrief psions and au- assignments are coordinated outposts beyond the fringes of
thorize psions' use of or ac- ' with psions' orders to ensure * our solar system. Humanity's
cess to ships, gear, re- that all agencies are aware of * progress through the millennia
sources, data and classified f what the others do, and to f
has accelerated dramatically in
Information, intelligence avoid conflict. However, not the past few centuries. It is
agents in Triton provide all groups have the same pri- * /ton's goal to assist in the con-
psions with the knowledge . orities, andrivalriesbetween . tinued development of every
and equipment they need to the orders and with >^on it- government, culture and indi-
carry out their missions: co- " self can lead to dissension * vidual in the present time and
ordinates of space destina- over orders given and ac- * into the future.


A continent of many na- roots and re-establish the old ' Tribal Peoples, commonly
tions, Africa was once ways. The United African , called the "B'razaa" and
crippled by colonization and Nations {UAN) reinstated the transformed into a futuristic
war. In the 22nd century, Af- intertribal forum and instilled nirvana by the young warrior
rican countries have found the belief that Africa's hope ' classes. The governmental
their power in solidarity. Af- rested in the hand of every , seat embodied in the
rica has achieved a sense of African. Under the UAN's Nyerere Kusanyiko, in the
"diversity unified in purpose" banner, Africa soared into historic "Conscience of Black
that far surpasses old ideals space commerce and jump Africa" ofTanzania, hosts not
of the American melting pot ship technology, and pres- only the tribal elects, but also
or of the European common- ently sets world standards in the best and brightest minds
wealth of nations. In Africa, multicultural affairs. The con- of the international political
technology melds with tradi- tinent was also home to the arena, joining them are vis-
tion, creating advanced inter- now missing Upeo wa Ma- iting dignitaries, p u b l i c
stellar markets against a cho, and their abandoned speakers, and Earth-bound
backdrop of tribal culture. base awaits the order's re- spokespeople from offworld
Africa is a flawless grav-crys- turn. colonies and orbital stations.
tal wrapped In tanned leath- The UAN is a strong rope However, Africa's consolida-
ers and sinew cord: a thing woven in shades of brown: tion efforts, which began in the
both powerful and pure. from the fair Creole islanders late 2070s, are not without dis-
During the Crash, of Cape Verde to the mid- sent. The Northern Islamic Funda-
Africa's relatively plentiful night-blue-black of the liber- mentalist movements of Algeria
resources were trapped in ated Senegalese. Pride, tra- and Egypt exploded into rioting
capitalistic and nationalistic dition and prosperity have and guerrilla warfare that confnue
struggles; infighting denied breathed new life into an old sporadically ta the present.
resources and stability to all. world once ravished by white Hordesof Berbers and Sunni over-
To become strong in both u/f/anders. The ancestral took the fisheriesand drug-export
economy and spirit, African lands have been reclaimed channels of Morocco, effectively
leaders realized that they had by the Bararzaa Kila Kabila holding the country hostage until
to rediscover the continent's Mzee the Elder Council of the military intervened. Today,
North Africa is a world stage class. Home to the first move followed by
for political protests, self-pro- ' teleportation jump station, the rest of the inter- j
claimed prophets of Kush and , teleporters themselves directed stellar community,'
Islamic radical movements, and most of the Upeo port's traffic. raised Africa to a new
the target of a host of bombing ' Africa lost much of Its competi- level of wealth. Africa's^
and assassination attempts from tive edge in space commerce sizable platinum reserves en-
neighboring dissidents and ever- when the teleporter order van- abled the nations to adopt the
present Global White Suprema- ished. Police and Legion squads new standard with relative
cists. Although the (JAN issingle- routinely dear away squatter ease. African miners' dedica-

mlnded in its purpose, its policies , camps of relatives, tourists and tion to the trade has been ri-
are not practiced throughout the benign youth cults that duster valed only by their quality.
continent This internal strife is the ' around the closed station. Kept The Nooitgeadact mine still
greatest threat to the UAN's fu- sealed the past five years, the functioned even under siege
ture prosperity. jump station awaits the Upeos' by Aberrant Pauly Natal and
Space Development return. All of Africa celebrates his cult of followers in 2052.
One of the Consolidation's Proxy BoladeAtwan's birthday. The ransom attempt was
most successful ventures is the , Strangely, psions who vis- staged to fund the Aberrants'
training facility built on the con- ited the teleporters' baseafterthe fanatical quest for the Sev-
tested Ogadeu desert, be- Upeos' disappearance, and enth Seal. The miners re-
tween Somalia and Ethiopia. psions who are permitted to visit solved the 11-day standoff in
The Axum Institute is a nexus
today report that the site is a brief but bloody revolt.
for many Africans aspiring to 1 psionically "dead." Apparently African mining operations
futures in astrotechnology and the place is simply devoid of ac- and space colonies make up
orbital careers. Named after the , tivity on a subquantum level, the the majority of UAN invest-
first East African Empire, Axum physical realm psions sense and ments. The one exception is
features the first micro-g simu- manipulate with their powers. Mafaa-3, the scientific re-
lation course on Earth, an ex- This is the only place known to search station off of Jupiter's
change program to the under- be "inert" on Earth and in ex- moon lo. The terawatt lasers
water Pearl City in the Carib- plored space. How this phenom- mounted on platforms at loan
bean, and a qualifying Intern- enon relates to the disappear- Lagrange points have been
ship program on UAN's orbital . ance of the Upeo Is unknown. modified since Mafaa-3's
station Mujukuu. The crew of ISRA also operates a original inception as an ex-
the Luthuli Moja, the first UAN launch station near the Nige- ploratory mining station. Now
space colony transport, con- rian border, with sister launch the arrays focus outward Into
sisted of 14 Axum graduates. sites in Mali,
Ports Chad, Egypt
Kenya's Jomo Kenyattaspace- and Zam-
port shines as the first and still larg- , bia, for use
est commercial extrasdar transport by the no- The UAN Mission
launch site on Earth. Only the madic dair- Statement and
Olympus spaceport on Luna sur- sentients. Consolidation Credo
passes the African port's traffic vol- Commerce ngravd p!qu outside the
ume. Over 50 major transports Mi ning Nyerere Kuscnyiko, the UAN's
travel daily to and from Jomo and interstel- governmental sect, in Tanzania
Kenyatta to the near space orbital lar coloniza- We, the appointed representatives
stations and Lunar colonies, and tion comprise of the United African Nations, will continu-
connect with flights for Mars and Africa's pri- ally strive for the benefit of Africa our
beyond. "Hopper" ships piggyback mary space- People, our Land and in the Spirit of our
on the Mujukuu orbital station for faring goals. ancestral vision. We will be both teacher
rendezvous with the station's sci- China's shift in to and student of our Africa, we will be
entists and UAN defense crews. 2067 from a both our own People and a unified People
Nigeria houses the Upeo gold-to a plati- of our Africa, and Africa will achieve awe
wa Macho spaceport, the only n u m - b a s e d with one foot firmly planted on our home
other African port of Jomo's economy, a soil and the other stepping toward the out-
stretched horizon.
space, studied pri- The enterprising UAN Aberrants provoked a
f marily as a means uses the arrays recently to wave of sectarian wars and
f of developing near- propel solar sail ships to pin- , social upheaval. By the time
light-speed travel. point destinations in settled the religious tumult and in-
The arrays also make a space. These laser sailing' fighting died down only Israel-
formidable defense system. jaunts, the final leg home on < Judah, Oman, Persia and the
luxury space cruises, looks to Turkic Federation remained vi-
be a commercial success. able as nation-states. And whiJe
Along with tremen-' these countries have sustained
dous benefits, success in , themselves into the new cen-
space has cost Africa. Af- tury, they have yet to be a force
The Vocoder ricans grieve for t h e ' in modern society.
Dr. Keiran Barter, The
crews, scientists, colo- Decades of chemical,
Technological Age nlsts and miners lost dur- 1
nudear and Aberrant warfare
O 211O Walifflboul>rss ing expansion to the reduced much of the Middle
Africa's Gonsolidation resulted in stars. The most painful ' East to a mass of balkartized
a small device that changed the loss was that of the Kar- , tribal states and localized pock-
world. Unification was initially ham- roo Mining Colony in the ets of power. These quasi-na-
pered by Africans' Inability to com- Chromatics' infamous' tional groups are monitored
municate easily. The "vocoder," or first attack. UAN citizens constantly by the UAN, the
vocal translator, was an invention raise black flags embroi- Chinese orbital surveillance
born of necessity, created by the dered with stylized ren- network, the psi orders and the
Nihonjin upon demand of would-be derings of the aliens as ' /on Trinity for signs of resur-
UAN leaders. The vocoder cannot iridescent, fin-backed , gent violence. As a dispropor-
breach the cultural differences that reptiles in remembrance tionate amount of taint seems
exist in Africa (and with humanity in of the massacre. to remain in the toxic wastes,
general), but it does allowfora dearer Middle East ' monitoring forces are espe-
exchange of ideas than was ever pos- cially careful to check for signs
According to the lat-' of Aberrant mutation. Various
sible before. The standard vocoder's
est round of ISRAn scans, . patrols make routine sweeps,
ability to store and translate up to five
the levels of Aberrant taint searching for new and old
languages brought mutual under-
remaining in the bombed- Aberrants since both seem
standing to entire nations.
out deserts of the Arabian * drawn to this region.
Vocoders are available today
Peninsula are even higher, The Israel-Judah bloc, the
in a wide variety of styles from stan-
than previously thought. only major political power in
dard, small-business and localized
The Damascus region, Abu the Middle East, remains
models to advanced "eardip" add-
Dhabi and the corridor from , strictly isolationist. As Israel
ons for the International commerce
Mecca to Bahrain are gen- continues to integrate the
and orbital station markets. High-
erally considered environ- post-206! territories into a
end models can translate 10 to 20
mentally "unsarvageable." single economy, the hermit
foreign languages into the listener's
Old news for the nation insists that it desires
native speech. Africa has acquired
Middle East, which bore to be "left to go its own
the license to produce all vocod-
the longest and most pain- way." Meanwhile evidence
ers in exchange for resources paid
ful brunt of the Aberrant suggests that the rebuilt
to Nippon.
War. Not only Jerusalem has stepped up its
did the war already intensive psi re-
ruin OPEC's at- search program, possibly
tempt to re- putting it on par with the pro-
build itself in grams of Shanghai and
the wake of Medellfn,
the oil crash, Other rumors (as yet un-
but the de- substantiated) indicate that Is-
struction of rael may be working on some
Jerusalem by sort of divergent biotech with
military applications.
Orgotek psions who
patrol the Middle East
have reported simultaneous
changes in the subquantum
universe toward both life and Muzzem Bang: The Next Sound of
death, as if neither and both Excerpt: floatporty, 5.211S
occur, or that they are in a state Get ready for the next big wanted it that way. It's a|
of flux. The psions are baffled thing, just when you thought symcause of all the anima trans-1
by this new sensation, and fur- the post-anima future was safe, forms that are hitting humanity I
ther investigation is pending. here comes Muzzein bang, the now. Bioware and island poll-;
Despite (or perhaps because demon love child of Marrakesh rJcsandtheCollapseandthepsi 1
of) the horror of the last bang, anima culture and...the uncodingall that demanded |
century, many sects based on dairsentient order? Muzzein, yen?"
Sufl or Ba'hai doctrines stress "It's great stuff," says The "Old Man" himself,!
the value of the universal hu- bangboy Adrienne-Hong Shari, intersolar citizen Otha Herzog, |
man spirit, beyond national or perennial fixture of the Djakarta ccftjldnotbereachedforinterview..]
religious boundaries. This is anima scene, "They've taken the Hesenttotfparrya prepared state- \
especially visible in the recent hypnotic parts of Marrakesh and ment in which he offered his hope j
wave of Arabic literature avail- thrown a ghost spin on the me- that Muzzein would continue ex-:]
able in the world marketplace. dia. You get a zigged Muzzein panding the noetic awareness of |
Millions of people, especially divina plugged into the mix sta- the young. Since most Muzzein 1
in Russia, Turkey and the In- tion , a psion who can really sing divinas are faithful ISRAns, he|
donesian city-states, are find- down shekh and call the num- shouldn't have to worry. Mr. I
ing comfort and inspiration in bers at the same time, and it's Herzog also wanted to let Ms. i
these hyper-contemporary !:better than religion." Shari know that he considers ':l
works, the first large body of fioatpart/s own Tram- Muzzein to rot be "better than," -\
literature to incorporate the pdinaagrees: "As the Old Man but just as good as religion in Its]
psi experience into text. will tell you, Muzzein had to own way, although he rarely has:
i. The Anima Continuum time to listen to it himself.

9 J



Quezon '

Welcome to the Asian Just as ominously, social from education and domestic
Century. The ancient civiliza- structuresand cultural norms that * development. The Chinese
tlons of Asia are putting new safeguarded Asian civilizationfor, people went without medi-
technologies to use throughout thousands of years are now cines, safety measures, agri-
human space, fueling a dra- * breaking down fester than new " cultural machinery and, even-
matic synthesis of new culture traditions can be proposed. tually, even indoor heating.
and a fieri sense of opportunity Public resources (like vehicles
and expansionism. Not only irreparable cultural damage. and communications systems)
have the Asian powers paved Zhon<j<juo (China) were confiscated and sold to
the Pacific and transformed the other nations to provide addi-
world economy, they are now While other nations chal- tional funds. Despite Beijing's
terraforming Mars and coloniz- lenge China's daims to cul-
claims to the contrary, an esti-
ing the outer reaches of the so- tural superiority, it's difficult mated 14 million people died
lar system and beyond. In to dispute the popular belief
from disease, hunger and ac-
particular, China, having con- that China is the focal point cidents as a direct result of the
quered space, turns inward to of the 22nd century. Since tip-
Great Leap.
conquer the intricacies of the psi ping their hand with the 206 1 It was an unpleasant chap-
universe itself, and the myster- Ultimatum, the Chinese have
ter In Chinese history, but it was
ies of human consciousness. been the dominant power not successful. Yet even today,
Asia is on the move. only in Asia, but in space.
Beijing works to maintain the
The problem facing Asia The Great Leap Upward appearance that China is orderly
is an ancient one: overpopu- The best way to explore and prosperous, even if the
lation. China has overex- the political character of China people must suffer at tlrnes.
tended itself, growing too today is to examine how the Witness the burnout of the
quickly for resources to com- country achieved orbital as- Yunriah fustort dotne. Outsiders
pensate. The enormous de- cendancy. When the state can only speculate at the full
mands of the Asian popula- council ordered the move into scope of the tragedy. The dome
tion tax modern land and space exploration, it diverted is still absent from official Min-
water agricultural methods. enormous national reserves istry of Energy reports today.
owes its privi- tions against the Ko-
leged status rean governmentl
within the Chi- that the country's un-'
nese sphere to usually high death rate'
Absolute Power the machina- is a direct result of inhu-"
Wrri Show, KstrospecttYe > 2113 tions of Minister mane work conditions. Minister
China literally held the power of life and death Bue, telepath Bue and Korean leaders deny
over everyone on Earth. The example of Bahrain dem- proxy and Chi- any such abuse, if the Korean
onstrated China's ability to destroy any nation, and nese Minister of people were overtaxed, they
the political will to do so. Moreover, it seemed that Psionic Affairs. posit, surely Ministry telepaths
China was largely undamaged by the Aberrant War. The psi institute would sense it.
So why didn't China conquer the world? Per- at Quezon is the Society and Culture
haps its government was as tired of war as ev- headquarters of Confidence and national
eryone else was. Perhaps the country was in China's fledgling pride are proof of the Chinese
worse shape than it let on; there's still a lot we biotech research people's subtle conviction that
don't know about Chinese internal affairs during program, as well China's ascendancy is the logi-
this period. Perhaps the Politburo wasn't com- as a premier cal result of their being the most
pletely behind the Ultimatum and another fac- training facility pragmatic and sensible people
tion ordered the fusion platforms to stand down. for psions from on Earth. Events of centuries
Perhaps it was a simple, momentary act of all orders. past have taught the Chinese
human fellowship. We know that China fared bet- Korea, once that foreigners have strengths,
ter during the Crash than any other country (in fact, an Independent and the wise learn what foreign
by leading the switch to a hrd currency system state (or even cultures do well and adopt those
based on a platinum trade standard, it led the way two), is now a techniques (though not the for-
toward international recovery). Maybe stability was semiautonomous eigners) for Chinese purposes.
a more practical advantage to work with than rul- arm of Chinese Although ancient art forms
Jng a destroyed planet. c i v i l i z a t i o n and customs are still practiced,
proper. The high- the Chinese find global trends
^^^^^^^m lands of Pyong- fascinating, especially in psi re-
The Autonomous * yang are home to the Asian search. This may be
, deep-space industry, and to due in part to the
China's computer research fac- fact that the
The Chinese sphere of in-
* tones. Despite rumors of "silicon telepath order
fluence includes most of eastern
* sweatshops" and armed guards
Asia. Although China follows the
, in laboratories, Korea
same basic government model
appears to en-
it has used for centuries, Beijing
* joy its position
allows each local government
as the hard-
outside of China proper a sur-
prising amount of self-govern-
tech wizard Welcome to
ment. The locals set their own
behind Chi- Xianggang!
nese power. CortHlr,
social agendas freely, as long as The Pamful Truth C 2117 MM!
Competition with
Beijing remains their primary In the century since it was an inde-
Nippon keeps
trading partner and political pa- ndent colony known as Hong Kong,
the Koreans
tron. As the slogan goes, there Xianggang has become Asia's commer-
working hard, per-
is "One China," but "Many Sys- cial gateway to the stars, the heart of
haps harder than
tems" in Asia today, where in- Chinese mercantile, corporate and pas-
any other people
ternal borders are deliberately senger spaceflight. Ulanbator's vast in-
on Earth,
vague but diversity is (at least dustrial shipyards may be larger, and
Psions out-
officially) considered beneficial. Shanghai may stil! handle most of
side the Ministry
The Philippines and Korea China's domestic shipping and
who have trained
are special cases. Made full
in Asia, and potent hardtech trade with Nippon, but
partner in all Chinese technol-
psions abroad, Xianggang is Orbital City, Look out
ogy and commercial space ef-
have made allega- Jomo station; Xianggang is on your tail.
forts in 2104, the Philippines

Ts a branch of the insurgent move-
IChinese govern- ments, particularly in TRITON ARCHIVE
Rnent, with telepaths , the Autonomous Re-
Pand other affiliated gions. All but those in V
lifted interacting with " Xinjiang and Taiwan THE 'QUARANIINE BROADCAST"
everyday citizens. Chinese no- (and occasionally broadcast continuously over Radio
Japan, 5.7 123L2O47
etic research is world-famous, Xizang) are relatively It is with great regret that the Japa-
and the Shanghai Psi Institute, minor, but even with nese people must inform the community
run by the Ministry, has a vig- the Ministry's help, of nations that the Home Islands will be
orous outreach program, test- . keeping them from the closed to all unnecessary traffic for an in-
ing most urban children for psi world's attention re- determinate duration, effective at 10
potential at an early age. quires substantial mili- A.M. GMT on May 8, 2047. This deci-
However, people's in- tary and propaganda sion is motivated by a desire to fortify
creasing awareness of inter- resources. More seri- Japan's sovereign borders against the
national events and customs ous resistance factions growing epidemic of worldwide terror-
cause the Chinese govern- in China include hard- ism and should not be considered an at-
ment stress. Beijing . line anti-psi groups, the tack on any national government or its
faces numerous Young Marxians and policies. Trade will continue as normal.
other Mao Restoration All terrestrial and orbital cargos bound for
societies, as well as the Japan will now be routed through the
radical "individualist" Oltinawa facility for inspection and even-
Anlma Music Society tual transport to the Home Islands.
centered in Manchu- Those with diplomatic business in
Telepaths Win rian universities. The Japan should address their concerns
Fight for Ministry of Psionic Af- with Japan's arm in the global sphere,
Catholics in China fairs handles these dif- the lower chamber of the United Na-
ficult cases. tions. Aum Soto.
I1.2t.2fl3 GN
In an announcement; Nippon
mat marks the end of de- When the Japanese favors or credit in biomass and
|;cades of official persecution: islands reopened in 2103, af- heavy metals. Other, more
of Christianity in China, the ter sequestering themselves complicated patents are manu-
E Chinese State Council;; since before the Aberrant War, factured by me Nihonjin them-
^stated it will lift the special^ those privileged foreigners al- selves and sold to an eager
restrictions imposed on lowed to visit Nippon de- world that (by and large) can
I Roman Catholics in Asia.X scribed it as "a futuristic won- no longer keep up with the
|This announcement appar-| derland." Now that the Quar- technologies involved.
.ently came after a pro-; antine is a dim memory, old
Unacted power struggle be- The Fortress Islands
assumptions of this important
tween Rebecca Bue Li, but reclusive nation must be Behind the
Minister of Psionic Affairs,; re-evaluated. Electronic Curtain
and certain elements of the; Nippon, as Japan is now Most consider the hard-
conservative wing of known, is the undisputed world tech playground of the 22nd
Chinese government. leader in technological re- century to be "futuristic," but it
A child of the Catho-j search. Hardtech is integrated is debatable whether the Home
lie Philippines, Ms. Bue Li into all aspects of local culture Islands' vast artificial urban
remains sympathetic to and is the foundation of the sprawl represents the future of
Catholic issues world- nation's economy. The state fo- humanity. Hiding behind pro-
wide, despite having left cuses its international involve- tective screens, Nippon was
the Church. She was one? ment in the arena of technol- perhaps the only major nation
of the first women to pe-; ogy, trading licenses to inven- to suffer less damage from the
tion for Jesuit training af-l tions (such as the UAN vocoder Aberrant War than China did.
ter the 2084 Vatican Con-; and the gill-breather apparatus But there are those who claim
ference, but did not com- vital to activity in undersea cit- that this security has become
plete the regimen. ies) in exchange for diplomatic Nippon's doom.

Hardtech, rigid most childlike won- '

angles, sharp edgesthis der. The aliens calllj
is the Nippon of 2120. . the Home Islandsj
Having stared so long into the most "elegant"
Nihon/in Emperor the mirror of their own cul- regions built by humansT"
Hospitalized ture, isolated from the an ultimate triumph of hardtech
Hewsflash G 11.2.2116 world, the Nihonjin are over nature. Parts of Nippon are
Genman Enterprises now trapped by the stifling even more artificial than an or-
Kazuhito, Emperor of bital environment. During the
demands of living on over-
Nippon and a lifelong sufferer
developed islands. They . Quarantine, much of the
of Total Allergy Syndrome, fell
are no longer comfortable Honshu landmass was sifted for
ill today duringaceremonial visit raw materials and then recon-
in the outside world and
from Australian diplomats.
appear to withdraw ever structed. Polymer plastic song-
When the medical resources of
further into their own arti- t birds sing and orchids bloom.
the imperial palace failed to Im-
ficial dominion. An esti- Massive environmental genera-
prove the emperor's condition,
mated 28% of Nihonjin tors create artificial weather
he was rushed to the emergency
suffer from neurotic disor- . within the polymer and
ward of a Tokyo hospital. plassteel arcologies. The
ders, especially Ant Farm
The incident apparently
and Total Allergy Syn- ' Nihonjin re-create their envl-
arose from a misunderstand-
dromes. Domestic vio- ronment continually to suit their
ing on the part of the Austra-
lence, random homicide . unique tastes.
lian party. Failing to follow the
and irrational terrorism are Natural c h i l d b i r t h has
Imperial Household's strict
at epidemic proportions tighter regulations (and is less
medical protocols, a member
among the Nihonjin urban . common) than the manufac-
of the foreign delegation ar-
classes. ture of "artificial life." An im-
rived with trace amounts of co-
The Triumph of Artifice portant minority of autono-
logne on his person. This sub- mous robots and S! (satisfac-
stance, ordinarily undetect- Considering their al-
most symbiotic relationship tory intelligence) simulacra ex-
able, triggered the emperor's
with biotech, the Qjn view ists in work places. Quick to
attack. In her formal apology, stress that they do not consider
the Australian ambassador re- hard technology with an al-
quested that the Household
not blame itself for the griev-
ous error.
D -H-

V H-

D *

a u m

n3 H

: .

OpNet in th*
22nd Century
Dr. Kiwron Baxter,
The Technological Age
O 2110 Walkabout Press
Information systems In the 22nd
century are a marvel of paranoid de-
sign. Kuwasha's pulse in 2061 caused
|a devastating loss of information; when
the OpNet was reconfigured in the fol-
Jlowingyears, a conscious decision was
made to develop nodes that were com-
computer simulacra "alive," . Nihonjin society inte- letely isolated from one another.
Nihonjin nonetheless have a grates biotech even This trend has continued into the
disturbing tendency to treat Sis * less, used only when ab- it century, led mainly by Nippon,?
like pets or children. solutely necessary. iitenaysayers' claims that govern-
Just as SI "dolls" and inter- . Nihonjin Law nts are being overly paranoid. The
active computer agents mimic Introducing bio- rrants' return has Justified the
humanity in Nippon, so do hu- ' technology of any sort anoia, however, as there have al-
mans aspire to artifice. Indus- . to the Home Islands or eady been a half-dozen Aberrant at-
try emphasizes loyalty to the their holdings without pts to duplicate Kuwasha's pulse,
corporate "cyber-mentality," adhering to immuniza- to regimented node conflgura-|
with employees serving as mo- tion procedures de- ions, none of these electronic atta
bile nodes and expressions of. manded by the Nippon las caused more than minor data Ios3|l
that mentality. Corporations are government is a capital land inconvenience.
often given form by program- * offense. Nihonjin dedi- Optic links exist at each node, butjj
mers SI cybershinto flour- cation to hardtech has pare kept locked down except for stricttys
ishes, with growing numbers led to stringent legisla- regulated transmissions. The link sites;
of semiautonomous personae tion on the importation :
are watched doseiy by SI computer!
infesting computer systems like and use of biotech., human technicians and elec-
ancestral spirits haunting a fam- , yet this almost paranoid
;trokinetic monitors, and gigantic
ily shrine. Nihonjin society is an opposition to bioapps screening programs cycle continuously
eerie reflection of the modern ' suggests A more com- as well. These people and terabytes are
computer network not sur- . pelling reason for jset to cause a router shutdown on a
prising, since Nippon was in- Nihonjin resistance. Ifianosecond's notice. Since Kuwasha's
strumental in developing the pulse overwhelmed normal electron!
Nippon enforces its
OpNet's current configuration. laws to the fullest, as safeguards, this shutdown is physical.
The Nihonjin establish- was proven in 2109 jSmali charges are set to destroy a lin
ment has very little interest when three psions, In- site rather than allow another potential
in psi or its potential appli- cluding a member of tragedy. Linksites are modular and eas-
cations. Psi is used in Nippon The Ministry, entered iry (if expensively) replaced.
as simply another resource. Nippon air space with
Those Nihonjin citizens who biotech and were appre-
possess strong psi capacity hended, incarcerated, their Island Politics
are typically alienated and bioapps confiscated and their The foreign strategy of
join underground subcul- trials scheduled in a matter the zaibatsu (the sole arm of
tures or emigrate to one of of hours. Only delicate politi- N i h o n j i n government) is
the various Psi Nippon expa- cal negotiation spared the simple, but has become as
triate communities located psions' lives. Their bioapps rarefied and complex as the
throughout human space. were never returned. rest of Nihonjin society. Es-

sentially, Nippon has no ficient, using increasingly India
allegiances and no en- sensitive sorting arrays to ex-
emies. The nation maln- , tract as many precious raw Considered!
the third most im
^tains a respectful distance substances as possible for
1 portant power in Asia'
from all World powers. Its home consumption,
behind China and Nippon,"^
neutrality is a tool used as i The Nihonjin them- serves
the Indian League boasts
skillfully as any hardtech de- do not to take well to extra-
both the world's largest and
vice. Even the Trinity has terrestrial lifestyles. With the
1 , most vital population base
trouble piercing the "elec- exception of the colony at
and a fierce dedication to
tronic curtain" surrounding , Olympus (established well be-
' global diplomacy and me-
Nippon. As long as primary fore the Quarantine), a few
diation not seen since the
sources of raw materials re- manned research stations, Psi
Swiss of previous centuries.
main secure and the world . Nippon and other e'migre'
As the starting point of
Ignores the Home Islands, groups, few Nihonjin ever
many so-called New Rell-
the Nihonjin will continue ig- leave Earth orbit.
. gions spreading through
noring the world from a pro-
settled space, India is an ar-
tected position. They see
biter for global morality
their role in world
and ethics. Bombay hosts
politics, if any, as
that of mediators, the annual World Ethics
Conferences, New Delhi
intercessors and,
handles mediation for
strangely, curators
Middle Eastern and Central
of those aspects of Excrt>t: Anima Asia C 2118, Asian disputes, and a num-
other cultures that Walkabout Pi-s
ber of human rights associa-
they find interesting. Southeast Asia is a world leader
tions are based in the sub-
The Floating I in integrating bioware and psi-infiu-
t continent. India is also the
Gardens | enced cultural devekDpments into ite so-
birthplace of anima culture.
Other than its I ciety. Orgotek's influence is
hardtech supremacy in the great Anima Gties of ' Russian Federation
(including rumors of land Funan. The metropolises are Russia is a land trying des~
devices that outshine I biotech wondertands, and host a num- . peratery to make upformissed
easily even the most I ber ofOjn dignitaries who consider thei; _ opportunities. With a wealth of
highly advanced gear I cWes homes away from home. resources and millions of able
on the market today) These regions are centers of so*! bodies from Petrograd into the
and elegant diplo- | called "anima society." "Anima" refers . Chinese Co-Development
matic strategy, ' to the "spirit-witriin-alMhlngs" philoso- Zone, by all rights Russia
Nippon's only real re- phy that pervades much of youth cul- should be shoulder-to-shoul-
source is its orbital ture today. Anima society concerns it- der with China, Brazil and the
presence. Nihonjin f UAN. A selfish and short-
self with discovering natural and or-
space is a small but al- ganic elements in the surround! sighted Russian government
most entirely robot- world. The trend allows for any di held the great nation back in
icized network of of extrapolation. Anima is common , the 21st century, and Russia
manufacturing out- a means to understand the human hasn't caught up yet.
posts and mining in- condition more dearly, but many ap-| When Borsov assumed
stallations devoted to ply it to developing new musical and i the presidency in 2050,
the location, process- I fashion styles, orto integrating Russia's space exploration
ing and transport of into everyday life and some showed marked but still mi-
mineral resources. use it to relate to hard technology nor progress. Russia's long-
The Home Islands ways never considered before. term extraterrestrial efforts
cannot afford to Anima culture's most dedical looked promising, but
waste anything. adherents are teens and young adul Borsov and his staff saw
Nihonjin orbital refin- This generation's fresh pers] greater political glory In di-
eries are incredibly ef- finds new ways of merging psi and sci recting their efforts against
ence, and bioware and hardware, the Aberrants.
escape even the most astute adults.
Russia became Earth. Such wealth inspires gives Russia the necessary
; one of the stron- North and South American po-' technology and China a
gest aggressors litical relations, as well. , significant amount of grain
against Aberrants. Russia doesn't have the fi- and mineral resources.
Ironically, the nation nancial resources and equip-' The Russian people are
wasn't a hot spot of Aberrant ment currently to develop the < not all sanguine about renting
activity until Borsov threw agricultural lands and platinum out Siberia to a foreign power.
down the gauntlet. Strong mines to their optimum po- Rebel factions and mercenary
enough to weather the Aber- tential. The Co-Development' groups harass the mines and
rant War better than Europe Zone, Russia's lease of her , transport routes, redirecting
or North America, Russia eastern territory to China, shipments meant for China.
came through it strained and Russian soldiers refuse to take
battered nonetheless. up arms against their own,
Russia's Crash Involved so Chinese military and
deposing Borsov and Russian-hired Legion-
working toward space naires struggle with the
development once outlaws.
again. Unfortunately, Already exploited by
the Russian economy its eastern allies, Russia is
was in a shambles, re- cautious of binding its fate
stricting feasible devel- to that of Europe. Despite
opment of any kind. Its repeated overtures from
free market economy the Swiss, plans for a
suffered much like that "Euro-Russian Common-
of the rest of the west, wealth" have stalled, re-
its resources plentiful peatedly rejected as "in-
but its ability to process appropriate" by the mer-
them restricted. The cenary boyars of Moskva,
government looked for Petrograd and Kiev. Rus-
options, and found sia has observers in Zurich-
them in Russia's neigh- Geneva, but discussions
bors. so far has been inconclu- 1 I
Even with the de- I
struction caused by the Political experts and
Chernobyl dome's par- economic gurus agree
tial collapse, the vast that Russia could be a
Russian steppe is the major player on the
largest agricultural zone world stage. The vener-
ever cultivated. Russia's able nation must first
grain buys her friends, quell its internal squab-
notably India and the or- bling, choose a single di-
bited stations. Russia also rection and move for-
holds the second-largest ward with resolve.
platinum deposits on

The United States of " The gamble paid off; the land * plus. Before long, new com-
America are united no longer. * down under is known as both munities dotted the Outback.
Europe is an economic wreck the last refuge of the middle
best characterized by the class and as the entertainment
The Media
smoking crater that domi- empire of the 22nd century. Publicity attracted Aus-
tralia's population of expatri-
nates the French landscape-
Asia is a troubled land ruled
Tke New ates, and publicity keeps them
by China's iron fist. South Melting Pol there. Sydney and Melbourne
America's governments bow When the Aberrant War are the new global entertain-
to thie wishes of crime. Where broke out, fate spared Aus- ment capitals, and network
is the common man to go to tralia. The continent wasn't satellites transmit a dreamland
escape these titanic forces? enough of a player in the war of images across the Outback.
Where is there room for the to interest many Aberrants. Many new settlements invest
common man to realize his Australia was neither a super- in satellite dishes even before
dre^lms? Australia. power nor a nation with any buying fusion reactors,
In the wake of global particular military might. The world's five media
changes, Australia has stepped The Aberrant War came giants are all based in Aus-
into those places vacated by the and went, leaving Australia tralia. They vie for ratings;,and
superpowers of yesteryear. Let largely untouched. With the netl inks with the same Inten-
China and Brazil have all the middle class of the world be- sity as nations struggle for
power. Let America and Europe reft of a home, Australia pre- political supremacy.
scramble to regain their bygone sented itself as the land of op- Australia Today
glory. Australia will take in all portunity. Anywhere from 50 Although the megameds
the souls whoaresqueezetkxit to 500 settlers would combine possess enormous influence,
by such power plays. Australia their funds and purchase a they have not subsumed gov-
took a gamble after the Aber- small fusion reactor. Once en- ernment. The media corpora-
rant War, reversing a formerly ergy was on hand, all that re- tions are content with "control
isolationist stance to market it- mained was effort and the of the population through en-
self aggressively to the world. dispossessed had that in sur- tertainment." They leave

policy- and de- from sustenance to pro-
rcision-making to tection to local decision-
"the government . making, now seek offi-
'as long as the appro- cial autonomous status.
priate respect is paid to " It would seem that
the media, of course. settlements intend to New Paris
Australia's ruling body is its m isolate themselves even The First Setllemeir
Parliamenta consistency that from the rest of the con- Warrn Shaw,
Retrospective 2116 OBC
pro-Australian publicists_are * tinent. The Australian
Now a national monu-
quick to point out. Australia's . Parliament has yet to re-
ment, New Paris was the
current Prime Minister is Luis spond to these re-
first of Australia's settle-
Trenton, formerly a colonel in " quests, but the clamor
ments. Settled by French
the Australian Air Force. He is grows, and settlers be-
fleeing the chaos of wartime
well-loved by the public for his come restless as their
Europe, it was to be a shin-
military background and forth- voices continue to go
Ing example of the power of
right manner. His participation * unheard.
hope and of the strength of
in anti-Aberrant raids adds con- . Criticism of Parlia-
ambition. New Paris was
siderably to his image. In fact, ment also arises over the
built in 13 days and served
Australiaalready rabidly and- * ongoing Aborigine plight,
as a tribute to the human
Aberrant has become virtu- which has been intensi-
spirit for 17 more.
ally xenophobic during f fied by the continent's
Exactly one month after
Trenton's terms. population increase. Like
construction of New Paris be-
Despite the open arms * the national "melting pot"
gan, things went wrong. The
policy of the past 60 years, a , that preceded it, Austra-
settlers had bought a second-
number of Australians fear and lia faces the problems of
hand reactor, one with a mi-
resent outsiders. These groups ' cultural suffocation that
croscopic crack In the core.
seek self-sufficiency and even * come with multicultural
The reactor explosion killed
self-government. Outback t infusion, particularly for its
60% of the town's population
settlements that have pro- indigenous peoples and
instantly. Bandits, raiders and
vided for themselves foryears, * minorities.
w i l d animals descended
upon the settlement In the
days that followed. New Paris
was no more.
To settlers, New Paris is a
two-fold reminder. The hu-
man spirit is a powerful thing.
The Outback is tougher.


After nearly a century of continent's ritual heritage. nations have suffered in the
devastation and reconstruc- * An indeterminate number of ' past century, the people's
tion, Europe remains a conti- . cults and agrarian-socialist . will remains strong. Many
nent of ruined cities and frag- splinter groups have sprung Europeans have relocated to
mented nations. Although re- " up. This new mysticism is ac- * Australia or Luna, but an in-
forming fie" Eoropear! 'Com- cbrhpan ieff by a flood of sto- ordinate amount remain in
morfwealth Is a step toward re- ries about psi "saints" and their homelands, trying to
storing the continent, the root "angelic visitations," rebuild their once-great cul-
of Europe's problems is not The French would have tures. Many leap at the
political but cultural. Despite found the irony amusing. The chance to undertake space
Zurich-Geneva's best efforts in Dark Ages have returned to expeditions for foreign cor-
leading the EC Into a new era, Europe in an era anticipated porations or governments,
European nations have trouble otherwise as the most hope- not only to help heal the Eu-
accepting that they are no ful for humanity. Modern Eu- ropean economy but to
longer the world center of cul- ropeans dwell In a ruined ur- prove to the rest of the world
ture and commerce. The rem- ban forest, a world haunted that Europeans are still vital
nants of old nations bicker for by ghosts and angels. The to shaping human progress.
condtessions In the EC, while youth of Europe look above Politically, the European
the young turn away from tra- the forest, to the stars, while continent comprises a mass of
dition entirely In favor of new the superpowers' orbital sta- local interests held together by
wayS of life. tions loom bright in the firma- the sheer stubbornness and
Ironically, these new ment. The Urban Schism con- limited resources of the Euro-
ways are often the oldest. , tinues in Europe, -with, thou- pean people, particularly the
Religion has filled the void sands of European slummers Swiss. After Zurich-Geneva,
created by the collapse of retreating to small villages. the Barcelona, London, Ham-
national power. With the loss Yet dark as it is on the burg, Bruxe, Milan, Copen-
of French rationalism, the Eu- European continent, a spark hagen, Ljubjanaand Budapest
ropean mind turns increas- of perseverance still flickers. metroplexes dominate the
ingly to mysticism and the Despite every setback these major remaining arcological

Each of the sur- amid sprawtir>g urban decay.
V w Jl^ftf .flr viving great dties has Even the most advanced Eu-
its own character and ropean arcologies are out-
its own strategy for re- dated compared to the gleam-
gaining prominenceon ing African or Chinese
France: Five Years After trie world stage. For metroplexes. The crumbling ru-
London Circle some this means seek- ins of places like Paris, Berlin, the
C9.19^tl9Rafal, In*. ingaDiances with the new Netherlands and Stockholm
FRENCH PERMANENT REFUGEE superpowers. To others serve as stark reminders of the
ZONEMourners from as far away as the means experimenting tremendous losses Europe suf-
Titan came to Tours today to com- with social rnetamorpho- fered. But if the European spirit is
memorate the fifth anniversary of the sis or gambling on new any indication, these once great
Lsperanza disaster. In a holotaped state- technologies. For most, nations will rise again.
ment, Otha Herzog offered his prayers however, survival simply
| and sympathy on behalf of BRAforthe means that
; survivors of France and the people del Europeans
Europe. "The tragedy of the Esperanza are forced to
I affects us all profoundly. In time, the true rely on their
meaning of the disaster will become
;i known and the bereaved may gain
: some comfort from the martyrdom of
natural talents
and energy, and mimm com mwio
Excerpt: Pop* Benedict XYIH' 211ft
will rise or fell as
; the dead. For now, ISRA joins in the pronouncement
a result.
mourning, both for the lost French spirit It is also grievous that our brothers and
and for the great paralysis visited upon sisters in Brazil have fallen so far into compla-
each arcology
5 the larger European community." cency while the practice of heretical modes
proclaims its
The orbital station Esperanza,. unique cultural of fortune-telling, conjuration of spirits and vol-
launched by the EC in 2112,wasrecog-S and historic untary spirit possession continue growing in
; nizied as Europe's last hope for estab- heritage ea- their midst. We have sent members of the
; lishing a space presence. The Aberrant gerly, in hopes Society of Jesus to Brazil to inform those taken
attack on the station two years later sent:ij of bringing in by this "Candomblist Heresy" that this is an
;. it back to Earth, where it disintegrated unacceptable adulteration of the teaching of
desperately our lord |esus Christ. If the Umbandists care
: and rained over western Europe, Hun- needed tourist
dreds of pieces of debris detonated the to claim scientific merit for their practices, then
yuan into local let them do so under the guidelines estab-
Tench power grid and hit in destructive economies.
iock waves as far away as Genoa, lished in De Naturis Vibus Mentis and claim
Nostalgia, one no more "supernatural" or "spiritist" prov-
Sardinia and Algiers, An estimated 11 of Europe's
million people were killed outright by enance for their efficacy.
few remaining If, however, they refuse to do so (or
; the power grid explosions; deaths due commodities,
I to radiation poisoning and other com-; brings with it a cannot), then they must either desist their
6 ^plications may eventually rase the final J jealous protec-
itoll to twice that. Without the contin-
and the
or endure separation from God
body of the Church. The Society of
tion of remain-
ued support of the psi orders, it is un- Jesus will decide.
ing art and ar- For those elsewhere, and particularly to
likely that Prance will ever recover as a| chitecture.
I habitable center As a Permanent Refu- the children of Europe, whose kingdoms have
Europe been cast down by the work of the Aberrants,
|gee Zone, France is co-administered by has a difficult
the EC and the /Esculapian Order. I ask that you pray often and honestly before
road ahead.
giving yourself over to the lust for "miracles."
The continent
Before you follow a living saint, allow the sci-
regions. Rome, as center of the may never recover
entists to ascertain that the stigmata are in
newly revitalized Catholic or- completery from the
fact miraculous proofs of God and not sim-
der, has demanded special sta- devastation it laced in
ply manifestations of the natural powers of
tus. This fact irritates the Swiss, the last century. Pock-
the mind. While it Is proper to offer venera-
who consider the Vatican a ri- ets of lush countryside
tion unto saints, adulation of the psionically
val in an already exhausted struggle to flourish
gifted Is a sin of idolatry.


The once-proud United * The Blighl " a blaze of glory that swept
States of America, including Calvert Wycoff was raised * the heart of North America
Canada and portions of a fundamentalist Christian. Af- , for two hundred kilometers
Mexico in the 22nd century, ter his Aberrant powers mani- in every direction. The burst
has become a loose confed- fested, he gathered a circle of * itself was recorded as some
eration since the Aberrant followers called the Prophets sort of plasma energy, Re-
Wat. The old United States' of Jehovah. From an armed ports asserted that an an-
economic might was one of camp in Hastings, Nebraska, other wave of unidentified
the biggest obstacles to the they preached the "word of energy washed over roughly
Aberrants' victory, and their God" as spoken through "His another thousand kilometers.
strategies, disorganized new Son," Wycoff. However, since the second-
though they were, hinged on The Prophets blared their ary effect caused no imme-
destroying the superpower. apocalyptic message across diate death or property dam-
Although Aberrants local OpNet, radio and TV fre- age, it was disregarded.
II seemed to have no specific quencies, foretelling the de- The instantaneous deaths
I geographic tendencies, the struction of the world, the of those In the blast zone, and
majority flocked to North death of this "Gomorrah na- the loss of hundreds of millions
America in the early 21 st cen- tion at the hands of the Son," of American dollars la re-
tury. The United States was a and his triumphant return a sources shocked the world.
primary target for their ag- century afterward, "leading However, the long-term effects
gression when the war broke the very hosts of Heaven." of the Hastings explosion didn't
out! The impact of such hor- Citing egregious violations of become apparent until months
rendous circumstances can- FCC regulations as well as afterward. Despite calls for an
not be described adequately. suspected wea"pbns'Viola- investigation into the govern-
Yet, as severe as the war's ef- tions, the FBI moved into the ment's role in the disaster, the
fects were on the United Prophets' compound only a FBI insisted that its field agents
States, two key events few weeks later. acted Independently when
proved to be the nation's ul- Minutes into the raid, they raided the Prophets' com-
timate downfall. Wycoff literally exploded in pound.
^ ;

By early 2055
^ it was obvious that
independence from all
political bodies. The
rthe Hastings blast . armed forces assumed
: The Prophets of Jehovah
mad a more sinister |From: S. Helbig, FBI Director control of American defenses
^^ ^effect what became * : To: C. Barnett, Omaha Office and declared authoritytocom-
known as the blight. Crops ; Date: 23:31 2 NOV 2054 mandeer whatever funds and
wouldn't grow in ground ex- Having spoken to my su-f resources it needed to con-
posed to Wycoff s strange iperiors over the last several! tinue the fight against the
secondary wave. Even ; hours, we have approved Aberrants. Politicians were out-
worse, major strains of con- . < raid on the Hastings com-i raged, but the American
temporary high-yield soy pound. You are hereby au-f people supported the uprising
and wheat would not germi- " Jthorized to use any means? after the military proved that it
nate in any North American |necessary to bring Wycoffj could seize food reserves and
soil. Questions remain even t ! into custody, as of 00:00 '. distribute them among civil-
today: Was this some secret NOV 2054. ians and fulfill the military's
plot of WycofFs? Was it the Good luck, Collln. own needs.
work of other Aberrants who . The armed forces drew
channeled his death throes? boring Aberrants. The free-" up unofficial boundaries, cre-
Was it simply an unforeseen " dom of religion clauses in the ating military management
side effect of his death? Bill of Rights were sus-. districts that each encom-
Whatever the answers, the f pended temporarily by a passed several states. Re-
blight's effects were horrific. cult-obsessed president. gional forces cooperated
Fear and starvation swept the * The Rise of the with each other and shared
land as the nation scrambled . Military-Corporate. resources whenever pos-
to replenish its depleted food Complex sible, but otherwise acted in-
reserves. Meanwhile, other * The United States was in " dependently, in defiance of
Aberrants continued laying poor condition. Most of its ur- shrill political protest.
waste to urban centers and t ban centers suffered severe . The new military estab-
the countryside. damage from Aberrant attacks, lishment moved on Canada
Only paranoia seemed " and millions of civilians were " and Mexico as one of its first
to grow in this new climate. dead. The country's resources . actions. The United States
Americans became suspi- were stretched to the breaking hoped to take control of the
cious of each other; splinter * point; losing a massive amount" bordering nations' margin-
groups, however harmless, of grain reserves to the blight * ally healthier resources.
were soon the targets of vid f (not to mention the inability to , While the United States' mili-
exposes, Ordinary neighbors grow more) rocked what was tary hardware had mixed re-
accused one another of har- * left of the nation's stability. The * sults against the Aberrants, it
only things acting in the. was fully effective against the
military's favor in the on- country's neighbors. These
going war were the fiew invasions would have been
OMEN fusion "death- even more challenging had
The Dustbowl sats" that hadn't been , Quebec not assisted the
destroyed In the Aber- United States' thrust Into
Returns rant "Space Brigade's" Canada. The North American
Henry Jop*r, Iowa pork
fanner, interviewed for raid on Olympus Base, Police Action instigated re-
Global News: Investigative and the sheer size of the volts, revolutions and coups
Reportt O 5-23-2O56 6N armed forces. across the continent that en-
To do your work, you need Without a strong fed- dured for decades after the
a full stomach. For a full stom- eral government, and war itself.
ach, you need a plate of meat. without the support of After five years and In-
For a plate of meat, you need a state governments that calculable devastation to the
pig. Ail the damned pigs are already struggled to feed continent, a taxed United
dead, and even if they weren't, and provide for civilians, States military finally consoli-
we've got nothing to feed them! the U.S. military declared dated with a few private cor-
One Nation
Under God
Askant Sr,
World C 2O93
Walkabout Pr*
Lest you think the
nation has devolved into
some pathetic post-
apocalyptic cliche, let me
tell you something: The
federal government still
exists! That surprises a lot
of Americans these days.
True, it's mostly all col-
lapsed now; it serves as
little more than a puppet The Federated Stales great metro-plexes of the
for the metanationals. of America East and West Coasts and the
Only one remnant retains The new Federated "Outback" lands across what
any real power: the mili- States of America was still remains of North America.
tary. The Federated crippled severely by a lack of Massive arcol-ogies rule
States Military provides agricultural resources in the . North America's coasts: from
most levels of law en- war's aftermath, and other Boston to Atlanta in the east,
forcement, from county nations were too preoccu- " and from Vancouver to San
sheriff to coast guard. pied with their own restora- Diego in the west. These
The FSM is ever-present tion to provide assistance. t metroplexes loom, brooding
on contract, of course. Americans are nothing if not like concrete and orbital steel
Don't let a fed hear you resourceful, however. While giants. Aircrafts and space-
use the word "extor- major wheat and soy strains . ships frequent the skies over
tion," unless you'd like to were dead, experiments the cities; the lights never go
be pressed into garrison proved that other strains " out and the commercials
duty in Omaha. could be used. Continued lu- never stop broadcasting.
nar development yielded vi- The great metanational
able mineral resources and corporations, in league with
porations to maintain control ' the m i l l i o n s of American ' the restructured Federated
and fund the ongoing war ef- homeless and destitute . States Military, still rule the
fort. The formerly blurred di- made prime colonization land but not in name, of
visions of the nation were fodder for Luna, Mars and the course. There's no reason for 0
now made absolute. This asteroid belt. The once great the corporations to dirty their
new "military-corporate nation struggled gamely hands with the work of gov-
complex" redirected funding through the waning years of erning. They leave that to the
on all government levels to the 21st century to recover skeletal federal government.
rebuild the country's offen- its position of global su- The military-corporate com-
sive and defensive capabili- premacy. plexes own the great ar-
ties. Legal and moral consid- Considering the FSA's cologies in which the masters
erations aside, not even this current state, this effort will of the metro-plexes dwell,
boost allowed the military to be difficult to say the least. and, by extrapolation, con-
contend with the Aberrants The Federated States still re- trol the very nation. No one
fully. If not for China's Ulti- tains a certain coherence; its owns or cares to own
matum, it is difficult to say citizens are all Americans, at the crumbling shanty waste-
what dark fate would have least officially. Yet a deep lands surrounding those
befallen North America. mistrust exists among the shining arcologies.


IN i ii it mi; m H O L D S I M AD > R E E D W O S E N TSUNAMI

Great Lakes District, trol the waste-

South District, Tex-Mex Dis- lands to aid trav-
trict, these are the North elers in danger.
American breadbaskets of the The corpora-1
22nd century. Cities like Pitts- ' tions and the FSM
burgh and Denver have seen , work hand in glove While the country gives the impres-
a resurgence in trade since on both coasts- sion of a land on the rebound, statistics
the war. Farming remains un- Military production and evidence give our economists fits.
safe; the threat of attack contracts go to the There's more work to be had in the fer-
looms for many rurals. The corporations with tile lands than there are reliable farm
blight displaced a lot of those the largest military workers. Heavy industry is seeing its
whom it didn't starve to presence in "their" fourth consecutive rise in output. And
death; thousands escaped to cities; the corpora- yet the FSA's official GNP continues to
the FSA's many orbital colo- tions round up slide; the dollar buys less each year, and
nies, or emigrated to Austra- cheap labor in the thousands starve in the ring-towns of
lia. Some of those who re- slums around the the arcologies. If production is so high,
mained and survived now arcologies or, if where is the food and money going?
roam the land like migrant they get desper- Our contacts in the metanational cor-
tribes, crossing the central ate, from among porations indicate that a fair amount of
wasteland to trade for sup- the rurals. Such resources go to the corps and the FSM
plies or to scavenge aban- acts are over- but not enough to account for this
doned cities. Rumor has it that looked by the fed- discrepancy. North America should be
rare groups of these rurals pa- eral government. in much better financial shape than is
evident. So again, the question must
be asked: Where is it all going?
Quebec Mexico
When the FSA invaded Mexico City is a smoking
Canada, Quebec backed the hole in the ground. A
effort The province'salliance with , quake hit in 2043 (an
the Federated States was key to act claimed by at PROTEUS A R C H I V E
the northern conflict Quebec was * least a dozen Aber-
allowed to remain independent . rants), and a schism Subject: Border Resistance
of the FSA, as a reward. among Aberrant fac- from: Colonel Theodore Whitman, FSM
Quebec has little political tions not long after- Tactical Analysis Division
Tos Brigadier General Samson Fourke,
clout in the 22nd century, sid- ward did millions of FSM Central Command
Ing with the FSA in most mat- ,yuan more in damages. Encryption: D5E
ters. Considering Quebec's At least one million Transmission type: hololile [enclosed
behavior in the years since the * people died during this textfiles]
Dates 10:07:56 2.04.20
i North American Police Action, . time; the rest fled for ru- Regarding the continued resistance
the Trinity wonders at how in- ral lands. The national our great nation faces to the north and
i dependent the nation really is. government collapsed south: I've studied the enclosed field re-
not long afterward, ports extensively, and I must admit
owing to a combi- some consternation. While theCanadian
nation of incredible resistance movement offers little direct
official corruption threat to our nation's stability, it is fius-
Subject; Continued FSM Negotiations j and crushing national tratingthat such pooily-equipped rabble
From: Assistant Director R- DuBois,:t debt. When the
Department of Foreign Affairs,! can resist our military forays. Even when
Montreal United States moved wefindtheirhideouts,frieCanucks5cat-
To: Deputy Director J. Cartier, DFA;$ down from the north, ter like cockroaches when you turn on
Quebec Orbital it met with little orga- the lights. I don't know how they can
Encryption: DSE. nized resistance.
Transmission type; textfile (transla- keep going, considering they have no
tion from the French) Much of Mexico resources or support.
Dates 13:41:33 10.16.2119 is considered con- This leads me to the so-called
I spoke with General Johnson? tested; the north "Mexican freedom fighters." Unlike
again this morning. Jacques, this; along the Rio Grande their northern counterparts, these
situation is impossible. The treaty; has been merged rebels are well-funded and -organized.
your people negotiated in 2055i with Texas, and the We know they receive munitions and
before my time, remember5 Gulf Coast is petition- mercenary support from South i
^guaranteed our sovereignty after ing for FSA member- America, and our commanders note
the invasion of the western prov-^ ship. Southern and suspected Norca involvement as we!l.
inces, didn't it? central Mexico are a Due to the recent setbacks we've suf-1
If It did, why are General battleground be- fered in the southern border conflict, I
Johnson and her aides citing pro-i tween FSM troops, recommend we deploy two divisions
visions of the treaty that 1 have| so-called freedom of personal heavy assault and,::
never seen before, and insisting fighters, and Brazil- reconaissance gear immediately.
that they retain the right to art! ian-financed merce-
airbase outside of Rouyn? Are; naries. Apparently
there provisions to the treaty that; the FSM seeks to secure as for an independent Mexico.
I'm not cleared for? If so, why the? much arable land as possible. The mercenaries' goals are un-
\ hell do you people have me CQ-! The resistance claims to right known.
;;ordinatlng the negotiations?
Please contact me at once,



Not even the Spanish somed like never before, * tinent to join the rest of the
conquistadors with their vi- desolate city-states began world as much as the war
sions of El Dorado could have construction of the most lav- m brought other countries
predicted the fortune to be ish spaceports on Earth, and down to South America's
had in the South America of * new megalopolises became * level. However, the foreign
the;22nd century. When* -centers for international busi- catastrophies of the Aberrant
America's fertile farmland ness and pleasure. South War made South America's
was decimated by Calvert America came into its own natural resources a vital com-
Wyeoff's dramatic suicide, with fine tailored suits en modlty, even something
South America closed its Brazilia, hand-rolled cigars, worth righting over.
continental borders and its and a white-toothed smile Furthermore, beforejthe
governments exiled most that gleamed like orbital steel. Aberrants left Earth, Bn~
foreigners in a great exodus. Natural Wealth delrante-\ed "hunters"
Only minimal international Nature is power in the swarmed the South Ameri-
trade and communication 22nd century. South America can Jungles, purging those
wasjmaintained. The "Neces- delights In being the leading Aberrants who hid from? ra-
sary! Wall" spawned discon- nation on the commodities dar and satellite scans, find
tent with governments' poli- market. Brazil has its finger on making the fertile lands safe.
cies]! but martial law silenced the pulse of the UAN, China These turns of events rede-
all cjlssension.
and Nippon, while tightening fined the world's concepjt of
jWhen South America re- its grip on the F5A, Russia and progress, began the "envi-
established economic contact Italy, and saving special "trade ronmentally anxious" era,
in 2073, it opened like an oys- and made South America a
tariffs" for Portugal and Spain
ter with pearls of agricultural Its former masters. green gem to be coveted.
produce, bulk natural re- Yet South America strug- South America has made
sources and surplus power. As gled with second-class inter- its natural resources an indus-
foreign money flooded into national status well into the try unto themselves. Anti-de-
the continent, tourist havens 21st century. The Aberrant velopment factions in Bolivia
on the verge of ruin bios- War did not enable the con- and the Mapucne Nation, for-
: ' "

: ; . '. p|

for a

new world

merty Chile, were instrumental Millions of neutrals

in returning these nations' farm- , are inspired to un- Is Over
lands to their natural state. lock the natural Dozyl Grenich,Itferf/fcs O
L6.212O MMI
Rainforests encroach to the * psionic potential Fashion designer and Dutch
edge of their cities, evidence of within them through emigr^ Kostbaar declared today
a dramatic change In philoso- t whatever means pos- that mourning is over. Five years
phy from previous centuries. In- sible, drugs being the is enough, he says, so no more
digenous Environmental Rep- * most likely route. black, no more faux French berets.
lication Projects (IER) have been . South America's legal- It's time for fashion to move for-
instituted by Brazil to enhance ization of the drug ward again, in the new, bright,
the tropical ecosystem. Even * trade transformed Brazilian monofiber fabrics and
terraforming projects are un- - drug-lords Into busi- clever body-shaping cuts that are
derway to turn more land into , nessmen, cartels into all the rage in haute couture this
rain forest. The Brazilians expect metanationals. season. Kostbaar says his new look
I to recreate entire ecosystems The Norca are hits the ramps in Rio this spring.
with existing square kilometers known to support See the holos here first!
as templates. Combined with drug trade and devel-
the latest discoveries in biotech- opment. There are *
nology, these efforts will still not even rumors that Proxy del allegations.
see results for decades. Fuego himself condones the Space Development
Agricultural industry is not testing of drugs that induce The space race has had
the only motivation for South perception of the subquantum little appeal for South America.
America's reforms. The Aber- universe. What the order The continent focused Instead
rant War, the Crash, depression might have planned for such on the global Motherland
and poverty took their toll on research is unknown, and de- home. The South American or-
humanity. Worldwide demand tails are sketchy as to how ex- bital station Orgutho de Cu
for medicinal and recreational treme and humane this test- was built more as a symbol of
drugs is at an all-time high. ing may be. Neither the /ton wealth and power than out of
Drug trade flourishes Trinity nor the other orders any true need, Today it serves
again due to the psi orders. have yet to respond to these as a scientific laboratory for bio-
chemical and ge- the FSA, among the youth of work-aholics. The Mne/ros
fnetic engineer- Russia, in the Balkans and in ' of Minas Gerais are thrifty,
ing. C o l o m b i a nthe Turk Federation. Colom-, clever business-people with
^research crews are bian and Brazilian coastal car- an extremely religious nature. "
*busy analyzing sam- tels are in league with other ' The quiet, unassuming
ples from Titan and Europa. organized crime families in < Nordistos of the northern re-
They hope to splice these Italy, Israel and in the Russian gions lead gentle and simple
orbital strains onto existing Intelligence agency. lives in their neo-ecoculture.
South American agro-ge- However, many concede ' The Pantanal was the
netic chains, further ad- that the Norca most likely, source of biotemplates in
vancing South American control it all, including deter- Norca's first foray into eco-
biotechnology. mining access to, and flow of,' logical recovery. The feral and
Politics the latest South American dangerous beauty of the re-
The "official" South discoveries in biochemical gion is preserved because of
American governments can and genetics research its unique biochemistry.. .and
best be described as decen- throughout the UAN and ' because the Norca insist on it.
tralized. Discounting the China. In any case, South . Minas Gerais traffics cov-
indlgena nations, old rivalries American politics pander to eted bacterial templates and
and new prosperity has cre- vain and vengeful demands,' black-market biotechnology.
ated a winner-takes-all atti- and no deal is signed with- Biosamples are gathered by in-
tude among the arcologies, out someone getting a cut. cursion units of every stripe and
Brazil remains the super- Brazil | easy to recognize: three to five
inclination. These teams are
power in the public arena, al- Brazil is the Western
though the growing influ- Hemisphere's center for envi- heavily armed guards, at least
ence of Candomble (the larg- ronmental biotechnology, bio- * one mestizo or native scout,
est African-Brazilian cult in sphere stabilization and bio- , and perhaps a handful of seri-
South America) makes Papal chemical research. The coun- ous-looking strangers whose
State supporters increasingly try consists of five arcologydis- * bu/rosand small terraroversare
uncomfortable. Columbia tricts: the Pantana!, including < packed with handling equip-
and Brazil vie for control be- the mines of Minas Gerais; the ment and cryotubes. These
hind the scenes, with no one Mato Grosso; Rio de Janeiro; agrotechs plunge into the deltas,
group f i r m l y in control. . Sao Paulo; and Salvador. Over * hoping to emerge with enough
Medellin druglords and offi- 90 million poor live in a squalid base material to boost the de-
cials have devoted masses in buffer zone between these glo- pleted ecology of any nation

willing to pay the price,

rious arcologies, '
and these destJ- <
tute must con- What was once a dance
tend with the rain in honor of the gods is now
forests that still * the largest African-Brazilian
hold secrets from religious cult in South
modern science. America, and the governing
Excerpt: Marie-Theresa San Dies* There is a place power of the pious in Brazil.
Univeristy of Pharmacology Thesis, 2116 for everyone In Bra- The Pat or Mae de Santo
You won't find anything illicit on zil, and each region chant and weave their
the streets of Sao Paulo. The walkways has its own stereo- prayers in solemn, entranc-
are clean, the roads are well-kept, and typical flavor. The ing tones while wearing soft
everyone is either going to or return- Cariocas of Rio are white. They throw buzios to
ing from work. No one dallies. Now in hedonistic, frivo- interpret their fortunes or fu-
the business meetings, well, that's an- lous and irrespon- tures, or to explore their past
other story...Apoderado's the only sible pleasure-lov- lives with the gods. The
place I've worked where no one leaves ers. The PautlstAS of shells splay all-knowing pat-
the office or the gym without a guar- Sao Paulo are up- terns in the swept dirt of a
anteed smile on his face, and it's nor wardly mobile, ma- floor. ]ogo dos Buzios is a se-
always from the overtime pay! terialistic, neurotic rious force of power and only


frenzied haggling, and the ag-

gressive tourism trade bring a
| gritty glamour to Argentina. \fenezuelastiug-l
' gled during the 21 sfl
Colombia * century, subjected to'
The Power The Colombian Supreme , harsh Aberrant attacks that oF"
of Candomble Court's legalization of personal minated in germ warfare. The
Excerpt: Wakina Sat ' drugs in the mid-1990s trans- * country was quietly shunned
holomag O 2119 Geiunan
Enterprises , formed illicit drug trade into big , thereafter, and gained the nick-
"I quoted a proverb.^ business. Colombia is the undis- name El Capytxua, after the in-
They were overcome with! ' puted system leader in drug * fested rodents that lived in its
laughter at f/iese words." ' trade, with the nation's capital, * nearby jungle. Venezuela didn't
This was 79-year-old . MedellTn, the most advanced , shed its reputation until the Norca
Ay Nika's simple defense pharmaceutical center in settled helped establish underwater cit-
space. Experiments performed * ies off its coast. These small
against the accusation that;
she used her position of| i with a wide array of drugs on * realmsspreadintotheCaribbean,
Mai de Santos to bring evilj hundreds of willing human sub- contained within translucent bub-
jd-n (magic) against the twos jects advanced medicinal science " blesof enforced orbital polymers,
who tried to rob her. exponentially. The city's research lie suspended between ocean
young men fell ill of teams at the University of Phar- . bottom and island stalk,
:: rare wasting diseaseth macology are now decades A variety of occupations are
only two cases recorded in |
ahead of their Chinese competi- available here: oceanic biology,
Brazil since 1822 within? , tors. Medellln's poorest quarters . deep-sea tourism and farming,
hhree days of the incident4 house hundreds of test subjects intermediary grav training for
jvThe families of the men who are the "dreamers" in the space flight, and on-site security.
e brought suit againsl cast-off "Den of Dreams." Oceanic patrols are the first line
of defense for local land and wa-
,y Nlka and her congrega- Peru ter cities, and keep vigilant watch
Her defense coui
Most of Peru went the for Aberrant lifefbrms that might
financed by individua! do-
way of Chile and Bolivia after roam the watery depths.
itions that, at last count,
the Aberrant War: back to
70 million new yuan. 1
ancestral traditions.
, Peru's government
the foolhardy would laugh at and trade capital,
the telling, or insult the Spirit Lima, sprawls under
Parent who gives it. Danger in
a thick shroud of
Argent ma mist. The port city
Excerpt: Travel
Argentina is all business. trades In one of the
South America: 2115
Such business is primarlry in guer- richest commodities C 2115 Stahu Entertain m7it
rilla warfare and "dirty wars" known to man: infor- Fair warning to all entrepreneurs:
among North and South Ameri- mation. When infor- The Colombian juntas have every inten-
can political factions, religious mation is relayed to tion of keeping the wealth of Columbia
cults and special interest groups. western South Ameri- inside Columbia. Armed militiamen are
Argentina is busiest in Its own can, it comes through everyday fixtures and have no qualms
bad<yard, due to the fascist re- Lima, but without the about shooting suspected traffickers of
gime that divides the nation into expenses demanded appropriated merchandise. Although
the very rich and very, very poor. in Brazil or Colombia. South American law forbids unnecessary
In contrast to its crooked No hoiotransmis-sions violence without proof of criminal intent,
and criminal politics, Argen- or coded flat texts here, such actions are classified as in "national
tina is the stage for South only quiet hearsay defense." If you are one of the truly un-
American theatrics. Carnival's traded person-to-per- lucky, you may be beaten, drugged and
feverish ecstasy of color and son from aquatic ship released in squalid Communa
motion, the m u l t i l i n g u a l captains to foreign Noroccidenta! to find your own way out
bartertown cenrros' loud and datathieves. or, even worse, you may be discovered
by Norca biokenetics and never heard
from again.
* "''
Humanity has won- at the progress that we would while. However, China's
dered at the stars since be- have made in our solar system ' achievements also marked the
fore the dawn of history. Our and beyond had the Aberrant dawn of a new space age, a be-
achievements in venturing War not erupted. Most of, ginning of a new dream to walk
into space are therefore rela- Earth's space program shud- among the stars.
tively recent accomplish- dered to a halt due to the dep- ' And the humans of the
ments in our development. redations of the Aberrants. 22nd century do exactly that.
Initial forays into orbit be- And yet as history has Earth is no longer our only
gan in the 20th century. But proven repeatedly, adversity home. People reside in near or-
those successes were only inspires humanity. The Chinese bit, throughout our solar system,
stepping stones to the strides people performed Herculean , and in the vast reaches of space.
of the 21 st century, when hu- feats in launching numerous Certainly, sdentificdiscoveries
manity created new energy space craft and weapons plat- ' haveallowed these achievements,
Pr sources, developed new tech- forms during the war. Not only . but the evolution of human's
mm* nologies and finally walked did China's successes in space psjonic potential has trury made the
among the solar system's put an end to the fighting, it ridcolonization of space possible. The
planets. It's impos- Earth of the Aberrant threat, 'rise of the orders and the pstons,
sible to guess the discovery of the subquantum
if only for a short ,
energy that reso-
nates throughout
the universe, and
the Invention of
biotechnology has
led to develop-
Life on the Fringe ments in space ex-
Stphonr# Chan, Th Fmal Frontier 2tIS GN ploration never
dreamed of before.
In many ways, life in extra- cards, or a work schedule, or even We have touched alien
terrestrial colonies, stations and a mate? Killing is easy anyone soil and become the
bases can be compared to that can do it and get away with it on friends of alien races.
on any new frontier, in any era the frontier so why look for The psions are indeed
of human history. Eking out a liv- trouble? Forgive and live. I Earth's pathfinders to
ing in an unknown environment In space, you depend on the com- the stars...or they
demands resilience, a rugged petence of those around you. Highly were.
physique and cooperation. But screened and trained crews are the Now that the
the worlds that space explorers dream of every supervisor; a single! teleporting Upeo wa
struggle to conquer go beyond screw up could kill everyone. Since life- I Macho are gone,
the hair-trigger life of Tombstone support environments are at a pre- humanity's dreams of
or the dangers of staking a claim. mium, limiting privacy off Earth, a little spacefaring have been
Justice in space is swift and harsh. personal space can be worth killing for. shattered. Colonies
When you run out of food, But whether people are miners, established in deep
there's nowhere to forage. When terr&fbrmers or researchers, living space are stranded,
things go bad, there's no way space is minima! compared to the vast- and have been so for
to pick up and start elsewhere. ness of space, and everyone better get five years. No one can
And when your enemies come, along or someone's going to die! guess what has hap-
there's no place to hide. The complexity of life follows the pened to them, or if
A harsh environment ere- complexity of technology, and those ;? they have even sur-
ates harsh people, but toler- who live in space are entirely depen- ] vived. With the return
ance, grace and subtlety are in denton their technology. Pioneering, j of the Aberrants and
greater demand in space than in the 22nd century is no return to the unexpected ap-
anywhere else. Is it worthwhile "the simple life." unless you mean pearance of the hostile
to get angry over a game of that it's si

Chromatics, it doesn't
seem likely that our or-
phaned peoples still thrive
out there alone.
Only the near future will
reveal the truth. The remain- The Milky Way on 2O a Day
ing psions, working with Qin Travelogue special issue O 2119 Rafat, Inc.
allies trapped with us, have In wealthy arcologies and on orbital-station decks,
created new, "living" ships ca- most consumer goods are paid for simply by identify-
pable of returning to deep ing yourself to the cashier (who may be a computer
space. The glory days of the agent in some stores). Voiceprint and thumbprtnt are
Upeo may be with us again, scanned, checked against your bank records, and the
even if the teleporters them- cost is automatically deducted from your account.
selves are not. We will return In less affluent areas on Earth and in most of the
to our lost colonies, rescue our inner colonies, old-fashioned hard currency and credit
people, return our alien am- :
cards still hoid sway. This is due in large part to the
bassadors home, broaden the exorbitant fees and effort involved in accessing ap-
frontiers of known space and proved OpNetfinancialnodes. Most colonies also have
finally confront the forces that multinational presences Olympus alone has over a
menace us on their own turf. ijdozen major national outposts. Add to these issues a
number of petty fees and concerns, and most busi-
The ,/Eon Trinity nesses find it easier to rely on tried-and-true hard cur-
and the Orders Srency, trade and sometimes even barter. Apparently
Almost all of the orders ;the Belt's a purely barter-system economy; all the credit
have some presence in space, in the universe won't even buy you a drink.
whether public or not. The/ton Setting up a bank account doesn't change much
Trinity also has extraterrestrial fa- whether you're in Zurich-Geneva or in a Lunar colony
cilities, which are accessible to Ispur. You simply present yourself at a branch office.
normals and psions alike. They take a voiceprint and retinal scan and check them
ytsculapians' activities in against the databases they have access to. As long as
space are perhaps the most you prove to be who you say you are, you can open
public and widely recognized an account, transfer funds or do whatever your heart
of all the orders'. The docs op- desires. The usual interest rate for loans is 3% ifyou're
erate a variety of dinics in all in the black, 20% ifyou're in the red. Banks that offer
lunar sectors, in every colony "more privacy" (meaning they aren't as concerned
and on every publicly held or- about your identity) are available, but their interest
bital station. The vitakinetics rates are high, and their fees are exorbitant.
provide medical attention to
colonists, from tending to inju- ytsculapians to conduct influence on lunar society or a
ries, curing illnesses, providing medical research, particu- factor in lunar events. The
psychological treatment and larly on new medications * order's impact has increased
stress therapy, to trying to that cannot be manufactured recently due to the jumpship
el i m inate the sale of black-mar- on Earth. Luna's /tsculapian program. The clairsentients'
ket organs and controlling drug clinics are a major source of powers allow them to inter-
trade (both legal and illicit). The medical treatment and act with the new biotech jump
/sculapians are needed most psionic healing throughout ships, and Luna is the staging
in Luna's Downside, where colonized space. area for humanity's return to
workers and the indigent suf- ISRA is based on the deep space. Although most
fer frequent "accidents," and Moon. What better place than ISRAns call Luna home, Proxy
overdose regularly on the Luna, the clairsentients rea- Otha Herzog lives on a space
drugs they turn to in hopes of son, is there to look out across station far from human habi-
a brighter existence. the stars and protect the tation and his psions.
The low-gravity environ- Earth? Although the order is The Legions are the orders'
ment in space also allows based here, it is not a major contribution to security in space.

As Luna is the hub of spotted (or evidence of their Alex Cassel revealed a sec-
the human universe, so passing has been found) in ond such site on Luna, cre-
too is it the hub of Legion . Olympus, in the Belt and on a . ated, maintained and kept
activities beyond Earth. Per- number of orbital stations, secret exclusively by Orgotek
haps the best known of the * though. Norca activities in * all along.
psychokinetics on the Moon is space have almost always The Ajon Trinity itself op-
Phoenix Squadron. Legion- m been limited to the lower lev- t erates a variety of extraterres-
naires also provide security for els of stations and fringes of trial outposts. Some are public
the various sectors of Olympus * colonies, with the psions dis- * facilities on Luna or orbital sta-
itself, dealing with unruly colo- . appearing as quickly as they . tions that can be located by any-
niste and protecting the base have appeared. Officially, one. Public offices provide ser-
from foreign incursions. More * Norca agents claim that their * vices ranging from information
than one rowdy miner has suf- activities in space involve act- - libraries to medical clinics to so-
fered abuse at the hands (and f ing against threats that the cial programs (the last two of
psionic powers) of psychoki- other orders overlook, but the which are most prevalent in the
netics bored with their "chicken * order refuses to elaborate. safer regions in Luna's Down-
roost" duties. The Legions main- . Orgotek maintains re- . side). Psions are posted to these
tain several military barracks and search centers throughout public facilities occasionally, but
ship-launch sites on Luna. settled space, which are op- * mostly for appearances sake or
The Ministry maintains erated by both normal and as penalty for abuses of power
telepaths on all publicly held t psion agents. These facilities t or breaches of conduct.
orbital stations and colonies at are located on every major Private outposts are thecen-
ail times. It also staffs liaisons * orbital station in the solar sys- * ter of yon Trinity action in space.
to Chinese delegates to the lu- . tem and in the colonies on . Aon maintains a variety of chap-
nar-based new United Nations. Luna and Mars. Tests are oon- ters on Luna that coordinate nu-
The high Chinese population in * ducted on biotech and * merous activities throughout hu-
the stars also demands telepath * psionic powers to gauge * man-occupied territories. Hous-
presence simply to ensure re- t their capacities in low-grav-1 ing for psion and neutral space
spect for the earthly Chinese ity environments, and to ex- explorers, noetic science experi-
government's doctrines, and to * pand noetic science. mental labs, weapons-testing
protect China's interests in . Orgotek agents and sites, Aberrant surveys and space
space. The Ministry's space psions are crucial to the devel- patrols fell under this purview. The
outpost is located in Yutu * opment of jumpships. The or- * Trinity's space personnel are also
Ylnchan on Luna, but isn't rec- * bital jumpship launch platform instrumental to the jump-ship
pgnizable unto itself against the s was destroyed in the 2119Ab- s program, and was primarily re-
backdrop of diplomatic and errant attack, led by the The sponsible for building the orbital
business institutions that per- Colony. Hundreds of psions " station that was destroyed in the
vade the sector. and Orgotek employees were , 2119 Aberrant attack Those tests
The Norca maintain no killed in the assault. The pro- continue even now in the "sec-
official bases or operatives in gram was thought grievously ond" launch site, recently re-
space. Btoklnetlcs have been delayed until Orgotek proxy vealed to the Trinity by Orgotek.

I n d i g e n o u s life

Closest distance to Earth 356,400 km

Primary salellites

In the early 21st century, pansions on the base de- When tensions between
the United States space pro- manded that mining and wa- humans and Aberrants rose
gram turned its attention to , ter-processing facilities be en- . back on Earth, all three lunar
Earth's closest neighbor, Luna. larged as well. The station's bases were left woefully under-
Astronomers searched for an " landing plain was also turned " staffed and undersupplied.
appropriate site for a lunar base. into a full-Hedged space "dock," Olympus doled out resources
They settled on a small crater a catering to a steady stream of r and aid whenever possible.
near the south pole, which con- traffic to and from Earth as new Yeltsingrad suffered consider-
tained a frozen lake called inhabitants arrived and itiner- " ably more than Camelot did be-
Galatea. Sheltered in the , ants returned home. Families cause of its distance from
shadow of the high walls of the were even created on the base, Olympus and because the lim-
selenic scar, the lake was pro- ' and the U.S. government finally ited funding available to con-
tected from the sun's blazing began to refer to Olympus as a struct the base resulted in a ru-
heat, making it an invaluable re- "colony" ratherthan a "project." dimentary facility.
source in lunar development. Olympus wasn't the When lunar inhabitants
The U.S. began Earth-side world's only lunar project. In got word of the United Na-
construction of the base, 2045, Britain proudly un- tions' declaration of war
Olympus (also called the veiled its own base, Camelot, against the Aberrants in 2049.
Mount), in 2015, but it took located to the south of most were relieved that they
NASA architects, astronauts Olympus, on the shore of were isolated on the Moon,
and administration 15 years to Galatea. Russia also an- and spared the conflict. They
launch the first lunar construc- nounced its Yeltsingrad base, worried, of course, about their
tion mission. On March 18, just across Luna's shadow friends and families back
2031, Olympus was christened, line. Yeltsingrad, located on a home, and shuddered sympa-
and ushered in a new age of small crater-lake, was never thetically each time they re-
space exploration and research. intended to be anything more ceived news of another Aber-
Lunar mining was central than a mining operation, rant atrocity.
to Olympus' funding for its first while Camelot was a shining Only a few months later,
decade. In time, however, ex- monument to technology. the war came to them.

lion dollars in damage. tended low-gravity exist-lj
Most of the deaths oc- ence. Lunar men and
curred in short melees, . women suffered acceler-
though some resulted ated skeletal breakdown/
from misunderstandings. Their expected life spans
A Famous After Olympus was se- were reduced drastically and
Person I Admire cure, a small group of in- they became prone to skel-
Amaru Pandarapandi, age 8, vaders detached to dis- etal stresses, making life ago-
Chandi School for Girls,
Calcutta, India, interviewed for able the British base, and nizing. This condition came
Lifestyles 21f 8 MMI returned with all remain- . to be known as Lunar (later
I admire Selene Olympla ing Camelot personnel. Low-gravity) Aggravated
Miller most of anyone in the After destroying Osteoporosis, or LAO.
world. She was the very first many of the OMEN In an effort to offset
baby born on the Moon. Her "deathsats," the Aberrants these afflictions, foster pro-
first name is for a moon god- repaired and augmented grams were developed for
dess of Greece, and her middle Olympus' weapons sys- the children (known as
name is for the base named tems, as well as its solar, . "elgees") of lunar gravity
Olympus. She was born on hydroponics, water-pro- families. The children were
June 16, 2034, and lots of cessing and manufactur- raised by families ("fulgees")
newspapers wrote stories ing complexes. The Space in the full gravity of Earth, and
about how much she weighed Brigade declared Olym- visited their biological fami-
and how much hair she had. pus a neutral territory lies at intervals. Elgee chil-
When she was 15, she helped the base was a retreat for dren learned to accept the
a bunch of people when the humans and Aberrants . pity of fulgee adults, and to
Space Brigade came to the alike who could reach the contend with the jeers of
Moon and took it over. Because place. Residents were their fulgee peers.
she played in the tunnels, she never allowed to leave,
knew all the hiding places, and however. Key Space Bri-
they all went with her, even the gade members trans- TRITON ARCHIVE
grown-ups. And because she ported mined ores and
knew how to hide really good, scavenged technologies
Short-burst Loser Trans-
they ail stayed safe, even to purchase necessary mission, received by Denver
though bad people were blow- supplies from Earth's black Communication*
ing up things on Earth. markets. From: Olympus, Moon
2O6O 18 Mar.
Residents lived com- To: The relatives of S.O.
fortably, if not amiably, MilUr, ID#OLOOOO2O8
The Aberrant together. Even so, a number I regret to inform you
of the human crew departed that your niece, Selene Miller,
Takeover willingly with the Aberrants passed on during childbirth
Aberrants stormed in 2061, having forged 15 Mar 2060, apparently due
Olympus without warning. A friendships and relationships. to what our doctors now
horde of mutants appeared The years under Aber- identify as LAO (see attach-
out of nowhereapparently rant rule doomed Olympus ment). Despite the extreme
using the bizarre "warp" abil- residents. Crewmembers' measures taken by our staff,
ity and swarmed through muscles weakened and she was beyond our ability to
the base, demanding surren- bones thinned due to Luna's save. Her child, a boy, Is not
der and herding the popula- low gravity. Returning to yet named by the father.
tion into the control center Earth therefore meant under- Please accept my condo-
for an introduction to the ri- going considerable physi- lences on the passing of this
diculously named but militar- ological stress or even meant intrepid woman.
ily precise "Space Brigade." death. Furthermore, the cal- Sincerely,
The takeover resulted in 12 cium of crewmembers' Dave Henderson, Com-
casualties and about 17 bil- bones diminished due to ex- mander, Space Brigade

and Beyond
Not long after the Pseudo-gravtty
Aberrants' Exodus, in Or. Kferon Baxter, The Technological Age 2110
keeping with a diplomatic Walkabout Press
agreement, China estab- The relationship between a given mass and the gravitational force it
lished a base adjoining exerts on other bodies Is well-known. Scientists also agree that matter and
Olympus, There was no energy are the sameforthe purposes cfdisojssinggravitaiional effects,
similarity between the lose mass as a result of the tremendous energies that they radate, and even
outposts. China based its electrons have minuscule but mathematically deteirriinabiearnountsofrnass.
station design on practi- In 2071, gravity researchers developed a process by which
cal cubical modules with energy can be converted into mass to create a kind of artificial grav-
auto-sealing bulkheads, ity, Orbitatly manufactured crystals (dubbed "grav-crystals") mani-
ending the romantic age fest artificial mass when fed a significant amount of energy. Grav-
of domes in favor of crystals absorb energy and radiate the equivalent gravity of much
stackable, customizable, more massive objects. Although they do not actually possess high
mobile, space-saving fa- mass, grav-crystals create the effect of gravity over short distances.
cilities. Yutu Yinchan was Individual crystals (constructed to a regulation 4 on x 1 cm) are fitted
composed of cluster into sockets within a pseudo-graviton generating grid. Each grid is a flat
groups, each with its own panel that is one-meter-square, and six centimeters deep. Plugged into a
hyper-fusion generator, strong power generator (such as a ship's fusion engine), the specially de-
water conduits, solar signed grid creates a resonance among the grav-crystals. The result is a
lines, food production localized hemispherical gravitational field of up to 1 g projected over roughly
and storage. two meters at full strength. The mass field's wave-form collapses beyond
Following the U.S.- that point, not unlike a soap bubble that's blown a too large.
Chinese example, multi- A ship with a grid system operating at full resonance, and that en-
national construction ef- ters a gravity well (such as that of Earth or Luna), undergoes increased
forts became increasingly gravity within the craft. Grid systems have gravity compensators, or "g-
common on Luna, Nip- comps," that regulate degree of resonance to maintain a comfortable
pon spearheaded the Earth-normal Ig.
creation of a solar-energy Despite what one sees on hokxiramas, spacecraft, orbital stations
system to supplement and low-gravity colonies are not blanketed with pseudo-gravity genera-
the hyper-fusion reactors, tors. Grids are precise systems that require specialized care; strong power
for use by all Moon bases. fluctuations or system malfunctions can short them out easity. Grids are
The lunar population co- also very expensive to manufacture and maintain, and requirea significant
operated to complete the amount of energy to operate.
Yeltsingrad Corridor, a There are anumber of circumstances underwhich a tow-or no-gravity
conduit that ran power environment is preferable to pseudo-gravity. "No-gravity zones" are typi-
and life-support lines to cally indicated by red-and-black-stiiped markers. These utility areas utilize
the isolated Russian facil- weak local gravity to ease cargo and high-speed transport. Construction
ity. And in the greatest workers on extraterrestrial sites use a few portable pseudo-gravity grids
collective effort of all, the (hooked into a central generator) where a gravity source is desired. Other-
lunar colonies created wise their work is facilitated by operating in low gravity. New sports and
Tiamat, a monstrous wa- entertainment media based on low gravity have also developed.
ter-processing facility in In the decades since it was first introduced, pseudo-gravity has revo-
the center of Galatea. lutionized space development. Yet we cannot forget the dangers inher-
Tiamatfinallymade all the ent to space, as well as to mixing pseudo- and low-gravity environ-
lunar bases a joined, ments. A situation involving a space liner that suffers a massive grid
dosed system. short, or an inattentive worker who steers a loaded cargo pod into a full-
gravity zone could lead to calamity.

Yet, as much as sprouted soaring towers and solar system, Olympus be-s
Tlamat revolutionized blocky high-rises inhabited came Increasingly impor-
life on Luna, nothing . by the affluent and iconodas-. tant as a source of supplies,
changed the evolving cul- tic. The rich used their tre- construction materials, com-
ture of the Mount as much " mendous wealth to urge en- * munication relays and crews.
as the development of grav- glneers to design w e l l - - While orbital stations were
crystals did In 2071. Earth's t shielded yet stunning above-1 ideal for docking, resupplying
scrounging populace no ground structures. and mission launches, they
longer had to worry about Various countries tried to * lacked the vast resources and
the major deterrent to lunar , snatch up some of the. defenses of the Mount. The lu-
colonization: LAO. Even Mount's glory by construct- nar colony was better prepared
^ though 21st-century orbital * ing orbital stations at Earth's * to handle emergencies, gen-
transportation was expen- Lagrange points. Olympus eral ship maintenance and to
slve, Luna's population ex- had established itself, t house ships' crews, provisions
ploded. Hydroponic farming though, remaining the jewel and payloads.
complexes sprawled out * in North America's tarnished * Luna firma truly became
from the urban center, . and lopsided crown. The fo- . home away from home,
tended by colonist serfs who cal point for trade, coloniza-
worked for corporate and tion and success, the base ac- *
Welcome to
governmental barons. Min- quired a romanticized repu- Olympus
Ing consortiums ventured t tation comparable to that of m Luna is recognized as the
over and into the selenic 19th-century North America. hub of the solar system. While
crust, achieving limited inde- * People virtually sold them- much of the Earth has been
pendence from the lunar . selves into slavery to govern- restored since the war, most
arcology. Olympus itself mentsand metacorporations of the one billion souls who
just to have the chance to * left it for the stars have little
start over, away from the desire to return and fully
post-war crowds, filth ( half of that number make their
and toxic remains, new home on the cramped
In fact, as * quarters of the Moon. Many
Life on lima t mining and re- . miners, scientists, business-
Upside search opera- men and colonists (the major-
Daryl Grenith, Lifestyles tions spread * ity of them North American
C2120MMI " across the or European) left ravaged
We're in
Dietes, the finest resi
alt of Luna (although it's
rounded by 10 other restau-
rants that make the same
claim). We're in Yutu Yinchon's
highest towers, overlooking
the spaceport and its rat race.
You'd be hard pressed to find
a more ostentatious display of
wealth here on the Moon
except, perhaps, for the
Olympean Towers. Local wags
claim that the Towers gleam
like that because they're made
of pure platinum. While that's
an exaggeration, money was
no object in the creation of that
paradise for the affluent.


Dozy I Grenich, Lifestyles
0 2120 MMI
Here's a darling little
pub for the university set. It
oozes with pre-war senti-
ment. The wood decor is
perfect for carving lovesick ;
declarations or political
dogma often one and the
.me for this crowd! The en-
sec is like this, brimming
pizza jinks and skating
Jnks, and things kids love to
do with their folks' credit.
homes to build something ' lough. Yutu Trust Oxford Camelot to try
new. From a vantage point on , Yincnon's markets, night life starting a distinguished tra-
Luna, Earth is but a beautiful and spacedock make it the dition and fall miserably
gem in the sky. * perfect place for space trav-once all the North American
Olympus has grown into * elers and Olympus residents academics arrive.
a nation-state for the 22nd t to mingle and exchange
century, home to almost ev- gossip, money and con-
for the United States in the
ery aspect of space society " tracts. Oxford University's lu-
from the intrasolar negotia- . nar campus in Camelot has 20th century.
Entertainment is central
tions of the new United Na- transformed the dilapidated
to many areas of the Mount.
tions to the shadowy confer- * Grail into the heart of
Most blue-collar diversions
ences of the black market. * academia for the new century.
Corporations use Olympus as The vast majority of lunar are Downside, a rough-and-
tumble lakeside region that
a base for trade and finance. visitors and spacers frequent
adjoins the student haunts of
The media uses it as the back- ' the Yutu Ylnchon District. The
drop to everything from news region runs the gamut from lunar Oxford, the corporate
sectors and the Corridor,
shows to comedies to adven- upscale restaurants, bars and
Downside bars, pool halls and
ture programs. Even indepen- resorts to grimy, dangerous
bath houses are all equipped
dent mining and trade opera- * dives. The wealthy display
with advanced security sys-
tions shop their wares in the , themselves in the cultural
tems to keep watch for the
Mount's numerous markets nucleus of Bire Lubuto, pay-
slightest hint of violence from
(from "legal" to "don't ask"). ing enormous prices for tick-
workers unwinding from their
The rich buy their way ets to Chinese and Russian op-
high-stress jobs. A contingent
into the Olympean Towers' eras, ballet, kabuti and other
of the psychokinetic order's
luxurious apartments, while cultural performances.
Lejanas hosts many Second Legion is on perma-
brilliant minds flock to
nent retainer here, and deals
Uklyoshi's technological middle-class families. One of
courteously and efficiently
mecca. Various regions of the the Mount's biggest tourist
with any problems that arise.
Mount have acquired certain attractions, it caters to the nu-
reputations: Uklyoshi's merous youths housed in the The Underworld
lakeside districts are "corpo- region's gleaming high-rises. Luna's poor quickly filter
rate towns" consisting of Luna Park is the family resort down to Olympus' low levels.
modest apartments for of the solar system, in much Only the wealthy can live high
intrasolar travelers on fur- the way that Disneyland was above the Moon'ssurfece, bask-

Dozyl Grenlch, Lifestyles
We're a few levels down,
now, in Downside down
levels, down scale, down class,
This is the turf of blue-collar
corp slaves on leave from
sweaty spectra scans on Mars
or Mercury. This is the Brass
Knuckles no, wait, that's
down the strip. This is a little
classier than that, but then
is Ayvana Gar, that bastjj
fashion sense (but
other story altogether):
This is OTIahelfe's Pub,
one of the busi els due to almost in the higher levels. Although
vice stations constant system pariahs to Upside, these elgees
big, it's tot and it's full malfunctions. Air command respect and even fear
flashtemp miners. Notice the vents back up frequently, from the Underworld's fulgee
discreet holocameras in every vomiting noxious fumes and residents. The low-gravity
corner not a moment of sending residents scurrying for dwellers wield influence and in-
privacy, but at least it keeps ; oxygen masks. formation much desired by oth-
you from being crushed flat; The twisting corridors ers, and have eked out a small
by a twltchy grunt with a chip ' and dimly lit rooms of the un- but significant power base deep
on his shoulder. Legionnaires derground sectors are con- in the Pit
appear in the wink of an LED sidered the "underworld" in Migrant workers,
to lead boisterous laborers

many senses of the word. No stranded and disillusioned
away with a kind word about \ wise lunar resident walks
docked R&R pay. here unarmed or un-
:, "\- ' -- . " - - _,
guarded. Negotia-
tions that take place Law of
ing in natural light and enjoying ,
here are shady at best,
premier water and power sup-
though they may deter- the Wild
plies, protected from the dan- ' Anonymous ice miner,
mine the fates of indi- intervtawad for The Final
gers of cosmic radiation and
viduals, countries or en- Frontier 2KB GH
vacuum by highly advanced en-
tire worlds. From the Look, 1 can give you all the
gineering systems. The Moon's
depths of Hera, through advice in the galaxy, but it all
oldest structures are now cov-
the Corridor and into the boils down to two things. The
ered by new construction, and
heart of Yeltsingrad (also first is: The farther up you go in
are supplied essentials by their
known as the Pit), the Olympus, the tighter the secu-
original hydro- and life-support
most despicable, feared rity. You can walk around the Pit
systems. Since water is so tre-
and terrified prowl the for- with a dozen lasers strapped to
mendously scarce in space, it's
gotten sectors in pursuit of you, but try that In Yutu Yinchon
never purged entirely at this
dark agendas. and you'll get thrown in the brig
level; most of it has been re-
The victims of LAO faster than you can spit.
cycled millions of timesand
make their homes here as The second is: It's not guns
tastes like it The power supply
well, forgotten and disre- that make people dangerous.
frequently drops to minimal lev-
garded by those who dwell

region's life-support merce. Luna is the
systems, power and place for any company
limited security moni- with an interest in stel-
A New Dream tors. lar exploration or expan-
Stephanie Chan, The The Underworld, a sion. Every player in the
Final Frontier 2118 GN broad and constantly ex- space game has a major base
Luna is a mix of humanity's panding area under of operations, if not corporate
greatest triumphs and darkest se- Olympus proper, first di- headquarters, on Luna. The
. Whatever you may be look- vided along national most prosperous do business
ing for or running from, you're sure lines. Subsequent reorga- from splendid edifices that
to find a place on the Moon, It's a nizations, murders and soar above the colony-state's
land of opportunity, where anyone further realignments have commoners, and have archi-
can make a fortune or lose it all. made the region's politi- tecture that's impossible to
It's a symbol of humanity's future, cal makeup even more achieve on Earth.
the realization of a centuries-old chaotic than those above
dream to venture into the stars. the surface. Illegal drugs,
mercenaries, killers,
immigrants, and hard-luck black-market organs, sex and
cases of every variety weapons are just a few of the
struggle to make livings and commodities available here.
The Corridor isn't "prime The Pit
to raise families in the Doxyl Gremch, Lifestyles
Underworld's depths. Most territory" like the Pit and the 0 2120 MM!
do it without any legal pre- " Underworld are. Those sec- Let's keep it quiet, kids;
tenses. Those who want to tors' principal powers leave we're in a tough sec now. It's :
survive align themselves the Corridor to less-orga- the infamous Pit, home of Wade
with the local powers that be. nized bullies. This leftover re- maiket, black/naif and way too
The Pit is dominated by a gion is squabbled over by a much black /ghf. The most dan-
heavy-handed dictatrix number of angry gangs, gerous twinks in the system live
Itnown simply as "the Presi- which have varying levels of and breathe and eat andwdl,
dent." Having established power. ttiis is a family show, so 1 won't
herself some time ago in Lunar Business jfieredown here. Far un-
Yeltsingrad's command cen- The Mount is iir\g that could be cotv
ter, her clan possesses nearly the center of all :dvitized,thispfeKEsmelJs
supreme control of the * spaceborne com- worse than a broken-down
trashpadpr. The water's brown,
nd.1 woutdn'tdrink anything but
"and that just to kill the biobugs
that must infest the place.
Names you see scrawled
only in graffiti up above are in \
neon here: Ekiwundu, Bear
Under Glass, The Undertaker,
Braza Verde, jive, 1 don't dare
take you inside these places i
for fear that this would be my j
Tfc'P farewell broadcast! The whole
Pit is like this, except for the i
poorelgeesecsandthey're i
worse. Take It from me: Stay ]
Upside no matter how exotic ,
Underworld seems.


Sun's spectral type

Mass (Earth - 1 )
Equatorial diameter (km)
Gravity ( E a r t h - 1 )
I n d i g e n o u s life
Rotation period
Closest distance to Earth .54 AU
Primary satellites

Mercury is a moon-sized MMC teams have been effort is spared to resolve it.
planet that has become known dropped to Mercury's deso- If it cannot be resolved, one
as the "hdl of the universe." Its late surface. Though not hos- of those involved is trans-
laces, exposed to or sheltered pitable, the dark side proves ferred immediately.
from the sun, are contrasts in less detrimental to both As compensation for this
abuse: excruciatingly hot or worker and machine life brutal lifestyle, a Mercury
deathly odd. The planet supports spans than the sunward miner receives excellent pay
no life and has no water, but does does. Mining teams rotate on and the death benefits are
possess an abundance of met- 25-day shifts, and find respite simply astonishing.
als, silicates and other exploitable on a sparsely furnished or- The breakthrough of
minerals. This opportunity for in- bital station (officially desig- olaminium, a new space-age
dustry was the inspiration for the nated MMC Orbital Station /, element, has MMC worried
Mercury Mining Consortium. but known as "Purgatory" about the future profitability
Several company explor- among its tenants). of its operation. Investors are
atory missions mapped the sur- Miner culture is tight and pressuring the corporation to
face of the planet and performed cliquish. Managers must do anything necessary to be
extensive spectroanalysis. Al- maintain close relations with competitive with the revolu-
though Mercury has several workers, prying into personal tionary space-industry mate-
veins of "luxury metals," such as lives, addictions, debts and rial. Rumor has it that MMC
gold and platinum, the planet's bad habits. Even a small er- agents are currently search-
real wealth lies in rare metals ror could kill an entire team Ing for flaws in olaminium,
tungsten and molybdenum on the harsh Mercurian sur- In an effort to discredit the
used in ship-steel manufacture face. If someone has a con- substance and its UAN
and other heavy industries. flict with another worker, no manufacturer.


Sun's spectral type
Mass (Earth - 1 )
Equatorial diameter (km)
Gravity (Earth ^ 1)
Indigenous life
Rotation period
Closest distance to Earth
P r i m a r y sate

Although commonly " mal. The planet has an in- " mineral mining, but through
considered Earth's sister credibly slow retrograde ro- sales of advanced explor-
planet, and even once f tationa Venusian day lasts
, atory craft. Perelandra Station
thought to be habitable, Ve- * 243 Earth days. Is already one of the private
nus actually has such an in- Offworld Enterprises, " sector's primary man ufactur-
hospitable environment that s Ltd., established Peretendra ers of orbital vessels.
colonization has thus far Orbital Station around Venus, Although a number of
proved impossible. Venus' * both to study the planet's * Earth governments purchase
dense, poisonous atmo- surface and as a private - ships and parts from Offworld
sphere is such an effective a spacedock. Despite Venus'
Enterprises, many of those
"greenhouse" that the harsh conditions, OE inves- same governments are suspi-
planet's surface is hotter than * tors hope that the planet's cious of OE. The company is
Mercury's. Any water that relative geological similarity . suspected of trying toforma
Venus might have once held to Earth will yield rare min- "corporate state" in orbit
has been vaporized. Violent erals. OE is advancing the around Venus, not dissimilar
winds also rip at clouds in the development of exploratory to the FSA's military-corporate
atmosphere's upper layers. work vehicles to test that establishment on Earth.
Venus underwent exten- theory, and sends probes Orgotek assigns electrokinetic
sive volcanic activity in the into Venus' deadly atmo- patrols to Venus on a regular
past; much of its surface was sphere. If the project suc- basis to ensure that
formed by lava flows. Mod- ceeds, OE will reap tremen- Aberrants cannot use Venus as
ern volcanic activity is mini- dous profits, not only from a base, of course.

acp" .


Orbital Stations
Stephanie Chan,
The Final Frontier
O 2119 GN
Humanity's most prosperous cities
don'teven touch theground. Enormous
Sun's spectral type
weakh goes into operating orbital stations,
Mass (Earth = 1 )
or "OSs," but the business that pervades
Equatorial diameter (ki
these artificial floating meccas makes them
Gravity [Earth = 1 ]
more than worthwhile to the countries that
maintain them. Grav-oystal manufacturing
I n d i g e n o u s life
provides many space stations with the ma-
Rotation period
jority of their income. In fact, crystals made
Closest distance to Earth
it possibleto expand stations from theirorigi-
nal status as factories into centers of com-
merce and recreation.
Luna is obviously the Earth in the L4 point spins Earth's wealthy eagerly pay exor-
Earth's shining gem in the Orgulho de Ceu, where bitant prices for entry to these offworid
stars. Humanity's home has a . Marquez Laboratories, in playgrounds. Much as jetting to Paris
number of artificial satellites in conjunction with the Norca, in the 20th century or vacationing in
addition to the Moon. Most performs groundbreaking Brazil in the 21st century was consid-
large corporations maintain . research in modern medi- ered romantic and cosmopolitan, a visit
offices in at least one of the cine, biotech and bioengi- to a majestic orbital city is considered
three major Earth OSs, which neering. Marquez holds the height of modem sophistication.
orbit at Earth's Lagrange (or " some of the most lucrative A thousand kilometers above Earth
"L") points. Indeed, it seems , patents in the biosciences. or Luna, one can romp in the Lulong
that in order for one to succeed China has finally con- zero-g sportscenter, view bioengineered
on Earth, one has to get off it. firmed rumors of a long-an- animals and survivors of nearty extinct
Lulong Station, in the L5 - ticipated, fourth orbital sta- species in the Orgulho de CeVTerrarium,
point, houses the MultiNational tion. Tentatively named or take in the cultural feast that is the
Stock Exchange, where brokers Fengming Station Mujukuu Center for the Arts.
make enough money to visit ' "Phoenix Song" it is in- Despite the Esperanza crash, orbital
Earth every weekend. UAN's . tended to be a celebration stations retain their image as glittering
Mujukuu&ares LulongStation's of China's continued "casfles In the air." Their freshly constituted
Lagrange point. The St. Peters- ascendance in space, a glo- and conditioned air is easy to breathe. Their
burg Modern Freeform Ballet rious tribute to the everlast- corridors are spotiess (maintained meticu-
Troupe (associated with the ven- ing Chinese empire. The lously by maintenance serfs). Their cham-
erable St. Petersburg Ballet) cre- station will be located at the tei3arelxeathtakingmarvelsofdestgn{cre-
ates and holds microgravity per- LI Lagrange point occu- ated by the brightest architectural minds of
formances at the Mujukuu Cen- pied previously by the the clay). Orbital stations are dreams given
ter for the Arts, and plays to Esperanza, and is report- shape, and their residents pay tremendous
packed houses despite the ex- edly named in memory of amounts to live those dreams. OSs, as the
pensive seats. Opposite the the fallen station. playgrounds of the elite, have no slums
no visible ones, anyway. A ticket down the
gravity well is much less expensive than a
ticket up, and serves as the best way to get
rid of the troublesome and unsightly.

losest distance to Earth 0.38 AU

Primary sate Phobos,

The Red Planet was the built in and around Mars' dis- provide moisture. Aug-
obvious choice for humanity's * tinctive "canals" (in reality ex- * mented water content and
first extraplanetary efforts. Its . tensive natural canyons), was , limited greenhouse effect (a
proximity to Earth, frozen wa- intended to take advantage of calculated result of dust clouds
ter supplies, moderate tem- * the relatively thick atmosphere " raised by the asteroids' 1m-
peratures, and Earthlike rotation * in the planet's low regions. Un- * pacts) were merely the begin-
and gravity promised to make . fortunately, the fault lines that ning of what was sure to be a
Mars a colonization dream. created the canals continue centuries-long terraforming
The first manned Mars " their tectonic activity today, * process. Sadly, the process
mission, China's Xingyang . causing problems for settlers, * was made even more difficult
Sujia, resulted in a permanent Like Rio de Martio, Akabenje by the nations' constant bick-
installation. However, the base * Colony takes advantage of low ering over territorial rights.
itself was fully automated and * altitudes, This African station is
remained so for many years. , located in scattered meteor
Manned stations and mining craters within the greater
facilities followed, but f u l l - Gusev crater. Nftmmrld's
scale colonization began only Despite other nations' Quotable*" 8.3.2111
after the development of grav- presence, China remains the "It's hard not to an-
ity crystals. power on Mars, with over half thropomorphize the little
Three colonies currently a million Chinese colonists liv- bastards when it seems like
exist on Mars. The first is ing in cubic dusters and under they go to every effort to
Wanjing, 'The City of Rocklike small domed complexes. sabotage your work."
Fortitude," on the Tharsis Martian governments Mars Terrafbrmlng
Bulge, just outside Olympus have worked since the early Project microecology re-
Mons' immense shadow. Chi- 2090s to make the planet search leader Dr. AMn Jost,
nese colonists hoped the lo- even more hospitable. Their on the organization's "dec-
cation would yield fertile soil initial efforts involved firing ice laration of war" against na-
due to past volcanic activity. asteroids into the atmosphere tive Martian microorganisms
South America's Rio de Martio, to increase oxygen levels and

proposed to the Chinese,
Brazilian and African gov- .
ernments that the order
could accelerate Mars' "
terraforming with advanced Press Release, 7.18.2119
bioware. Using human and Qjn f Current Status of the Man
Trraformmg Pr<ycl Orgotek:
biotechnology, Orgotek initiated Using state-of-the-art bio- and hardtech methods, we i
this enormous task with an army have made monumental changes to Mars' ecology. Yet i
of engineered microbiological . we still have a long way to go before the planet can be
organisms and gigantic terres- considered "completely terraformed."
trial and orbital bio-structures. " The process used prior to the introduction of biotech-
The procedure was designed to nology would have taken at least 1,000 years to com-1
thidcen Mars' atmosphere by in- fplete. Our Incredible breakthroughs in biotechnology,!
troducing an ozone layer and ^combined with those of the Qin, have reduced that time
seeding the planet with oxygen- Immensely to less than 75 years! Unfortunately, un-?
producing organisms. The goal: . foreseen complications presented by native life have in-J
to eliminate the need for sealed increased the task's already significant challenge. It remains\
colonization environments. to be seen how much of an impact the Martian organisms i
However, Orgotek ne- have.
glected to account for native t Atmospheric Mora, 2109 Mors, 2119
Martian life. Mars' micro-ecol-
ogy, discovered in the late ' ; Carbon Dioxide 95% 86%
ZOth century, was considered . Nitrogen 3.1% 7%
an irrelevant factor in the Argon 1.5% 1.5%
terraforming process. While * Oxygen negligible 1.3%
Chinese scientists opposed Water negligible 2.4%
Orgotek's plan, citing the un- f Avg. Air Pressure 7 millibars 50 millibars
known potential of the As you can see, we have already Introduced significant\
planet's ecology, the electro- * changes, particularly In aimospherlc pressure. Although the pro-\
kinetics dismissed their con- , portional changes may seem small, more than 100,000 mefricS
cerns. Much to the 'teks' cha- tons of oxygen have been incorporated into Mars' atmosphere.
grin, the microorganisms k We hope that the planet's ecology will soon support and con-
proved a bigger problem than Nnue this transformation on Its own. However, the changes made
anyone could have guessed. , | have caused the nativeflorato evolve at an astounding and un-
Mars and predictable rate. The microorganism population has grown by
Aberrant Attacks | two orders of magnitude, competing with the organisms Intro-;
Mars became a target for f duced by the project.
Aberrants attacks shortly after , We are currently working on several ways to curb
the abominations returned in ' this Impact, and are confident that the project will pros-
2104. The raids were quick i per despite this setback. We have every confidence in
and uncoordinated, consisting lour scientists and technology.
largely of strikes against
terrafbrming equipment and
the occasional outpost. The the past year, raids staged on assist in the control of native
emergence of the psions Mars have diminished none Martian microorganisms
slowed the rate of attacks have occurred in the past 13 through use of South Ameri-
somewhat, but did not stop months. /on Trinity agents can terraforming techniques.
them entirely. coincide the reduction with No other correlations have
However, as Aberrant at- the arrival of Norca agents on been made with the reduction
tacks seem to have become Mars. Biokinetics have been in Aberrant raids, though the
larger and better organized in stationed on the Red Planet to investigation continues.

: !*

" <f -. ?v
<* '**-- i

Equatorial dianiel


The Nihonjin developed a strike it rich on some plati- of "poor man's Olympus," the
research station in 2080 strictly * num-rich asteroid. * free market handles virtually all
for use in the asteroid belt. The . Misfits, outlaws and vic- * intersolar trade beyond Luna's
Fuyoushfs crew found a stable tims of poverty and over- sphere of influence. Crews dock,
solar orbit among the tumbling " crowding flocked to the Belt, * trade, enjoy the local scene and
rocks and ran exploratory spec- * searching for the dream claim depart. The station's main clien-
tra on the region. Nippon de- B that would turn their lives
tele are orbital miners. Absolute
cided within a few years that re- around. All those people Zero is a second homeformany
turns from mining the asteroid * needed a place to make re- * of them.
belt weren't worth the finances , pairs, to restock provisions . Fuyoushi, located far
required to operate the station. and to kick back. Fuyoushi, or from any organized law, is a
Absolute Zero as it became ' genuine frontier. Corpses get
A small group of inter-
planetary entrepreneurs pur- known, is just such a place. flushed out of airlocks, and
chased Fuyoushi. These Though the "Boating diner barroom brawls result in doz-
people were from different in space" has been a science fic- ens of people being admit-

walks of life, countries, reli- tion joke for centuries, that is just ted to medical facilities
gions and cultures, but what Absolute Zero has be- (which are run by over-
shared a vision for Belt life. come. It contains a few bars, a worked Asculapians). Law
Small groups and individuals tew "greasy^spoon" restaurants, enforcement officers rou-
bought outdated ships, a "general store" that supplies tinely stalk criminals here.
loaded them with the most basic necessities, several flop- And yet Absolute Zero is the
up-to-date spectral analysis houses, three competing broth- best place outside Luna
equipment they could afford, els and an enormous dodcing to hear gossip, rumors and
and rocketed into the Belt to space for its free market. A sort- news about the space ways.


The second-largest body In the liquid water under the ice. crust, and exploring Europa's
the solar system next to the * Dark streaks crisscrossing the ' vast oceans in a properly
Sun, Jupiter is a treasure trove . ice surface are caused by ex- . equipped vessel, all without
for scientists, but holds little in- ploding geysers of warm wa- knowing the underwater ge-
terest for the economically * ter. Officially, Europa is mined " ography or conditions. Yet the
minded. The Jovian moons, for its water reserves, which Norca pursue their research
however, are targeted for de- supposedly help fund the with great fervor.
velopment by various corpo- Norca's various research The order suppresses all
rate and government concerns. ' projects. information on the project.
Europa The biokinetics postulate, Whether the biokinetics have
that life forms exist in found anything, and why the
The Norca, working in Europa's oceans, surviving * group is being dose-mouthed,
tandem with the Brazilian on thermosynthesis rather is unknown.
government, laid claim to
Europa as a likely source of
than photosynthesis that
is, an entire ecosystem thriv-
undiscovered extraterrestrial ing on heat instead of light. Ganymede is the largest
life in our solar system. Given Like bizarre tube worms or of Jupiter's moons. Surveys
the difficulties that Orgotek bacteria that live near heat of the satellite indicated that
has run into on Mars, the vents on Earth's ocean floor, its silicate mantle was prime
biokinetic order is proceed- any fauna on Europa is be- for gemstone and potential
ing cautiously, with the intent lieved to have evolved with- mineral mining. However,
of studying rather than eradi- out plants to feed on. the moon also proved tec-
cating possible native life on Although theories re- tonically sound, a stable body
Jupiter's small moon. garding this extraterrestrial life conducive to colonization.
Europa consists mainly of fascinate scientists, the prob- The UAN claimed Gany-
water, with a kilometers-thick lems of researching the hy- mede's m i n i n g rights in
ice shell over a liquid ocean. pothesis are enormous. The 2089, and the Kiremte min-
The moon's center is hot like task involves drilling through ing station expanded into a
Earth's core, which maintains a several-ldlometer-thick ice true colony 19 years ago.

8,000 indi- enough energy to
viduals, and power most of human
the colony space, including all of
still accepts Earth. The UAN used the
residents. Al- allure of this incredible power
Water Mining to recruit renowned physicists
Warren Shaw, Retrosp though the
2119 OBC ^H base's main in- and chemists to take part in
Water is in high de come comes an incredible project: increas-
throughout human space for from mining, spe- ing the number of elements
number of applications. Deute- cialists in other pro- on the periodic table. Mafaa-
rium is extracted from it for fessions (especially medi- 3's cheap and plentiful power
hyper-fusion reactors, oxygen is cine) are encouraged to allowed the to UAN push the
drawn from it for life-support sys- apply for citizenship. limits of known science, and
tems, and moisture is condensed Kiremte supplements to confirm a long-standing
from it for Mars' terraforming. its mineral mining with theory: stable and non radio-
Water also serves less glamorous some water excavation, to active elements could indeed
but no less important duties in escape the stellar water be found at key points on the
flushing sewer systems and act- market's high prices. Min- periodic table. The Mafaa-3
ing as a coolant. erals are still the focus, research team already cre-
The multi-billion yuan indus- though; several valuable ated the first new element,
try supplies ice to lunar mining sta- veins of gemstones, met- olaminium, and the station
tions, colonies and various orbital als and more prosaic but no currently gears up to produce
stations. Even though most ships less valuable minerals draw this ultradense element on a
and stations recycle their water in a great deal more money commercia! scale.
continuously, the fluid can be re- than any of the original Olaminium
circulated a finite amount before colonists would have A new development in
it must be replaced, and fresh vol- thought possible. armor, shielding and weap-
umes are always desirable.
The two largest water-min-
lo ons manufacture has revolu-
tionized space travel and
ing companies are ICE, the In- Caught in a close or-
colonization. Olaminium, a
ternational Consortium for bit around Jupiter's mon-
Ecomining, reportedly con- strous demistellar mass, stable, ultradense metal, has
replaced depleted uranium
trolled by the Norca, which op- lo generates trillions of
watts of power simply by as the premiere component
erates on Europa, and AB1, of military and space technol-
Amalgamated Business Inter- traveling its preordained
ogy. At present, the UAN
ests, which is active on Tethys. course. The UAN claimed
Jupiter's Callisto was the first ce- the volcanic moon to take markets this new element
and its alloys through Tan-
lestial water mining site, but advantage of this re-
gent Technologies. The sub-
Europa is currently the largest source, then spent several
stance is highly restricted,
and most lucrative operation fol- years debating its possible
available In small amounts
lowed by Saturn's Tethys. uses. A station could not
Small operations and entre- be established on its sur- and at exorbitant prices.
Materials made of
preneurs occupy the lower ranks face liquid sulfur lakes,
olaminium are virtually im-
of the industry. They use single an unstable surface and
penetrable by radiation, and
ships or small fleets, indepen- molten rock made for
can withstand impacts from
dently contracted mining teams stunning visuals but unde-
heavy weapons and space
and even illegal mining sites to sirable habitation. Further-
debris better than orbital
make their fortunes. more, the Jovian mag-
steel or titanium. Money
netosphere made life out-
pours into the UAN from
side a heavily shielded
military agencies across
(The oldest "native" Gany- spacecraft extremely short.
settled space to reserve sup-
medan is 16.) Klremte's The UAN finally con-
plies of the element itself, of
original population of 1,000 structed an orbital station at
o l a m i n i u m steel and of
has grown through births one of lo's Lagrange points.
olaminium-titanium alloy.
and emigration to a healthy The Mafaa-3 station produces

' .
Governments and corpo- Tooci also serves as a 1
rations bidding on ola-minium formidable defense sy
resources agree, at least pub- tem for lo, and the UAN is
licly, that initial supplies should close to completing a second
Subject: Heavy Metal Project be devoted to psion efforts to terawatt array.
From: IUPAC, Geneva, Swit- protect against
zerland the Aberrants and
To: A. Olominia, Mafaa-3, lo to return to colo-
Encryption: S?E nies lost in space,
Transmission typ*: textfllc The UAN
Date: 15:42:15 6.2,2115 also built a Subject: Element 114
Dear Dr. Olamina: terawatt laser in From: A. Olaminia
Please accept the 21 13 desig- To: HMP Research Team
committee's congratulations nated "Tooci," Encryption: SPE
on your discovery. The 1LJPAC Lugandan for torch Transmission type: holofile
Elemental Names Committee Dale: 24:01:14 6.3.2115
which also ac-
has confirmed that the name 1 am extremely honored by the IUPAC
cesses lo's tre-
of Element 114 on the Peri- committee and especially by all of you for
mendous energy.
odic Table is Olamlnium. your nomination. In all fairness, Element
Tests to apply the 114 should bear the name of every per-
Sincerely, laser array as a
Lili Albrecht, Ph.D. son on this project, if only it wouldn't be
means of near-
IUPAC ENC liaison so long to pronounce! 1 don't feel 1 de-
light-speed travel
serve all the honor, given the wholehearted
The frustratingly slow pro- were stepped up
effort made by everyone on this staff.
duction promises to be worth dramatically after
- *'. Thank you.
the wait. Initial tests of. the Upeo wa Ma-
,:- In any case, I think it's extremely ap-
olaminium on Mafaa-3 indicate cho disappeared.
propriate that the first use we'll make of
that ships and space stations * A ship sup-
our "superdense" material is to improve
will be better protected against plied with large so-
the quality of life here on the station. With
radiation than ever before, im- lar sails can ride the
the 114 shielding in place, we'll see a stun-
proving the safety of life in * laser, accelerating
ning drop in radiation levels throughout
space. Bulkheads need not be toward its destina- the spectrum. Msfaa-3 should be safer than
as thick as they currently are nor t tion at incredible
Earth when the project is complete, which
do they need to be covered in speeds, Granted, means our rotation schedule will become
layers of rock or My lex, allow- " this is a one-way obsolete. (I know, just what you all wanted
ing for new designs in , boost, but the to hear longer shifts and less vacation.)
spacefaring vehicles and sta- UAN feels the Seriously, we won't be dragged out of the
tions. Even space suits may be need to develop a
lab just when we're In the middle of dis-
made impervious to radiation * method of long
covering something important.
or accidental puncture when distance travel not
One other point: We need a military liai-
lined with olaminium or one of dependent entirely son. We're already besieged about projectile
its associated compounds. on psions. testing and other military applications for 114.
I'm negotiating with Tangent as a possible
dodge of complete military possession. Vol-
unteers for the liaison position are desper-
ately needed. If 1 don't get any, I'll ask every-
one why they can't do it and pick the person
who does the best job of weaseling out of it.
Again, thank you and congratula-
ons to us all!

Atmosphere hydrogen
Indigenous life none
Rotation period I0 linn
Closest distance t 8.01 AH
Piirnarv satellites

Like Jupiter, Saturn is impact crater. The site's min- cient laborers. Still, it's almost
snubbed in favor of its moons. * ing and support staff has gen- unheard-of for miners to leave
The Ringed Planet is currently . erated astronomical profits. Tethys, prompting competing
the Farthest distance that hu- How much return the 20,000 organizations to derisively
manity has established per- " workers have received of the shorten Amano-Kelsian to
manent outposts within our billions of yuan made is an- "Amano-Kill,"
solar system (although Otha
Herzog's mysterious Hurufal-
v other question entirely.
Tethys' own small moons,
Hayy orbital station Is ru- * Telesto and Catypso, have suf- Saturn's largest moon is
mored to orbit Neptune). .. ficient mass to generate faint the newest subject in the
"tidal" effects on the main Norca's ongoing search for ex-
Tethys satellite's surface. Tidal surges traterrestrial life. Titan is larger
This moon is one of the make mining operations haz- than both Mercury and Pluto,
few celestial bodies exploited ardous, especially due to and half of it is ice. The rest is
completely by a corporation. stress fractures that run rock, and readings suggest that
The Tethys water-mining sta- through the Icy crust. the moon's core may still be
tion is reportedly the 22nd- ABI vigorously denies al- hot. Titan's atmosphere is more
century equivalent of a "com- legations that miners work dense than Earth'sand contains
pany town." It operates with- and live in Tethys' natural such organic compounds as
out any governmental or co- gravity to improve productiv- ethane, carbon dioxide and hy-
lonial restrictions or laws, and ity, and to prevent them from drogen cyanide highly poi-
has correspondingly poor escaping to a planet with sonous to humans, but perhaps
working conditions, even higher gravity. Such rumors a source for carbon-based life.
poorer living conditions, and are surely exaggerated; The biokinetic order has fi-
operates debt slavery. pseudo-gravity grids are stan- nanced two exploratory missions
ABI owns and operates dard in low-gravity com- to Titan and may stake a claim.
Tethys and its Amano-Kelsian plexes, since humans who re- What the silent Norca hope to
mining colony, located on the main in microgravity develop gain from searching Europa and
edge of the moon's Odysseus brittle bones and aren't effi- Titan for life is anyone s guess.


S u n ' s sp
Mass (Ea
Equatoria 51.400
Atmosphere hydrogen
Indigenous life
Rotation period 1 6 hours
. Closest distance to Earth 17.28 AU
Primary satellites

The gas giants of Uranus possible gain, especially with from Earth orbit, the psionic
and Neptune and the frozen the ever-present threat of * Shockwave that radiates
ball of Pluto orbit the coldest Aberrant attack. Instead, the . from a jump ship's passage
fringes of our solar system. metacorps and nations pre- would devastate most
While of scientific interest, fer to focus their intentions * Gifted. The physical distance
the three outermost planets closer to home. gained by traveling so far
hold little practical appeal to The only traffic that goes , out dissipates the psi wave
humanity at the present time. to the solar system's edge before it reaches Earth.
Jupiter and Saturn are much are sensor buoy repair crews * It's commonly thought
closer for studying gas gi- and manned patrols that. that Proxy Otha Herzog lives
ants, and Pluto is currently search for Aberrant and in Neptune's orbit on Huruf
little more than a curiosity. other hostile incursion. Also, Al-HAyy, but as yet the regu-
Most corporations and gov- the jump ships travel be- lar patrols and sensor sweeps
ernments feel the risk of set- yond Uranus' orbit prior to , haven't confirmed the pres-
ting up a research outpost teleporting. Although they ence of any artificial struc-
that far out isn't worth the could theoretically j u m p tures around the planet,

As soon as humanity manity lost contact with its Khantze Lu Ge Is a
rose from the ashes of the ' distant outposts. There was * dark, cool planet, orbiting at
Aberrant War and its hopes (and is) no telling what be- a little less than one AU from
turned to space once again, , fell the colonies, trapped as . its dim orange star. Not even
the long-time dream of trav- they were in the unforgiving the brighter, yellow Alpha
eling beyond our solar sys- 'void, vulnerable to the * Centauri A alleviates the
tem was rekindled. As they p Aberrants' resurgence and to colony's eternal twilight
had led the way in most the depredations of a new, (and the even more distant
space endeavors, the Chi- hostile enemy race known Proxima Centauri never
nese were the first to make a only as the Chromatics. seems more than a small red
foray into the stars. Despite heroic efforts, . moon). The planet's negli-
Early interstellar coloniza- no one has been able to learn gible tilt limits habitation
tion attempts weremadeunder the status of any of the lost "
humanity's own power and in- . colonies. Enhanced telepathy
genuity. Such endeavors in- and clairsentience provide
volved extensive scans into dif- only vague readings that
ferent quadrants of space, the planets still exist, but no
searching for systems that might , details on their inhabitants. The Castle
support life, "me automated re- High-speed laser transmis- in the Sky
search craft launched to such sions will take years to reach Warren Shaw,
places transmitted useful data Khantze Lu Ge, the dosest of Retrospective
only afteryears of travel through the outposts. Only the /ton O 2115 OBC
the stars. The few colony ships Trinity and the orders' devel- Even today, China's ven-
launched to likely systems opment of new jump ships ture to Alpha Centauri is con-
weren 't expected to reach alien , may finally enable Earth to sidered one of the most sui-
planets for decades more, and regain contact with its lost cidal gambles in human his-
only one such attempt was suc- people, and to return the Qin tory. As much as tjffik''Space
cessfully confirmed. ambassadors to their home. Race" of the mid-2Qf||cen-
Finally, when the psi or- ^ it remains to be seen how the turyipotivatiSelworld powers
ders presented themselves colonies have fared in the to throw untried technology
to the world, humanity used past five years. at thestars, so too did China,
in it^ frenzy to control space,
psions to catapult itself be-
yond its home. The teleport-
Khantze Lu Ge hasten its expedition.
ing Upeo were instrumental The first settlement outside -China's no-frills space
to transporting vehicles, of our own solar system was es- arR,piggyisiiCkMd''to the Lito
people and materials into tablished in Alpha Centauri, the Comet, sfrotiid never have
deep space, to planets that dosest system to home. In 2087, been able to make the four-
the clairsentients and prox- . afteradecade-longjourney, aChi- light-year journey and
ies had located and studied. nese exploration ship landed on certainly not in a mere 12
Indeed, it was the psions' a lifeless but vaguely Earthlike years. Yet it did. The major-
powers and efforts that led planet in orbit around Alpha ity of the explorers survived,
to first contact with the Qin, Centauri B. Named Khantze Lu and were on hand to receive
and each race's establish- Ge, the planet was barely suitable the automated colonization
ment of embassies on the for human habitation, but having freighters that C h i n a
other's homeworld. The ulti- little choice, the explorers dedi- launched in pursuit of them.
mate result of deep-space cated themselves to making their Such an extreme achieve-
travel was five colonies that new home livable. An atmo- ment bears witness to the
humanity could call home. sphere-building program had a heights of both human per-
After the Upeo disap- remarkable effect on the planet severance and folly. Khantze
peared in 2114, apparently and proved that humanity could Lu Ge was truly a "castle in
due to Aberrant actions, hu- survive on other worlds.


Alpha Centauri System

Suns Er (Alpha Centauri Bprimary),
Yi (Alpha Centauri A),
Proxima Centauri
Suns' spectral type Kl, G2, M5
Founded 2087 (China)
Source astronomical
Planet mass (Earth =1) 0.87
Equatorial diameter (km) 12,330
Planet gravity (Earth = 1) 1.07
and agriculture to the rela- After the Water content (Earth = 0.75) 0.34
psionic orders Atmosphere nitrogen
m tively temperate equatorial
region. The air is thin and went public, colo- Rotation period 31 hours
..* ; dry, barely breathable, but nists traveled to indigenous life none
massive hyper-fusion air Alpha Centauri in Human population 3,000,000
regulators forcibly evaporate droves. The inhab- Closest distance to Earth 4.3 light years
the polar ice caps to thicken itants of Khantze Primary satelite fixing Gaozhao
the atmosphere. Lu Ge accepted
Indeed, technology the immigrants grudgingly. ing te previous 20 years of self-
made the colony livable, Advanced Earth technologies reliance. Though never inte-
from constantly modified and previously unknown to the grated fully into the established
upgraded air regulators to ar- isolated world were suddenly society, newcomers soon out-
tificially lit hydroponic gar- available, and the colony grew numbered the original colonists
dens to tight-augmenting by leaps and bounds. and overwhelmed any opposi-
contact lenses to thermal New arrivals quickly par- tion to their presence.
clothing for forays outside took in the spirit that had made With the Upeos' disap-
the arcologies. Khantze Lu Ge successful dur- pearance, Khantze Lu Ge re-
turned to its former state of iso-
lation. We can only speculate
on what has happened since,
Ms. Narayan, though the colony should re-
It is with humble apologies that I must ten- main self-sufficient if it has
der my resignation without the (bur days notice been unmolested.
required by law. As you know, I am LuGeian, In 2116, after concluding
and I am certain you are aware of the mission that the teleporters weren't re-
other LuGeians have mounted to return home. turning, the Chinese used the
Despite the acute homesickness I experienced MaSaa-3 terawatt laser array to
after the toss of interstellar space travel, I felt that launch a scout mission to Alpha
1 couid continue my work with you. Centauri. Sporadic telepathic
But as the LuGeian expedition's departure communicaticn indicates that a
draws near, I know with certainty that I must be on similar mission was sent from Al-
that ship. I have enjoyed my stay on Earth, and pha Centauri to Earth, though
appreciate the opportunities you have given me. without the benefit of a terawatt
Still, I am long overdue to see my home, and the laser launch. Sensors have been
journey is a long one. set to detect the LuGeian ship's
Sincerely, approach, although none is ex-
Michael Ganshin pected for years to come.


Qinjunan System
Sun Qinri
Sun's spectral type F8
Founded 2108 (Embassy,
Earth United Nations)
Source psion discovery
Planet mass (Earth = 1) 0.99
Equatorial diameter 12,821
PI anet gravity {Earth = 1) 0.97
Water content (Earth = 0,75) 0.89
Atmosphere nitrogen
Qjnshui , although Qinshui's
land masses are Rotation period 21 hours
Diplomatic relations be- ' smaller, with no Indigenous life Qin, variety of animals,
gan between Qin and hu- recognizable conti- vegetables, microbes
mans immediately after their nents. The atmo- Human population 13,000
historical meeting in 2107. i sphere is very thick, Closest distance to Earth 17,000 light years
Both have since established 1 soupy and humid Primary satellite none
embassies in the other's sys- but Earthlike; veg-
tems, the Qin on the Moon, etation, animal life and weather core's position in the sky dur-
and humans in a domed fa- resemble those of Earth's ing daylight hours throughout
cility on the Qin homeworld marshy regions. Qinshui has no the year.
in the Qinjunan system. moons, and therefore no tidal The human embassy to
The Qin have a great deal forces, resulting in relatively the Qin is a biosphere located
in common with humans, in- calm oceans. on one of the northern
cluding home planets. Qinshui Qinshui is located on the hemisphere's large land
has gravity similar to Earth's and edge of the 47 Tucanae globu- masses, near the Qin equiva-
is composed mostly of water, lar cluster. In this extremely lent of Earth's United Nations.
dense group of stars, one Human bureaucrats get head-
need merely look up to aches dealing with the Qin,
know he is far from Earth. as It is difficult for humans to
Qjn Welcoming The sky is brilliant at night, distinguish between Qin na-
with stars packed so closely tions. The human delegates
Speech together that the concept of can venture elsewhere on
Excerpt: lextflla
transcript, with telepathic constellations is alien to the Qinshui without needing en-
notation [] included Qin. Our Milky Way is vironment suits, although it's
"We are cheerful [pleased] to merely a dim pool of stars not unlike walking through a
engage in the dual [mutual] ad- in their northern hemi- constant drizzle in the height
vancement of our two selves sphere. The intense stellar of summer.
[peoples?]. Please be accepting of concentration gives daylight The domed embassy,
[we hope you enjoy] the pond a radiance equal to that of a designed to be a little piece
[home?] we have poured [built?] sunny Earth day, despite of Earth on Qinshui, is regu-
foryou here on Qinshui. If there is even extreme cloud cover. lated to human comfort
anythingyou thirst for [require], do Nights are ethereal, the stars zones. As Earth's first em-
not falter in inquiring. This isa hon- casting a gentle glow over bassy to an alien race, it is
orable [historic?] time, and we shall the world. Qinshui's seasons populated by extraordinary
allow nothing to dam [stop] it from are similar to Earth's, and are individuals and support staff.
becoming a successful future." determined by the cluster It has all the comforts of

home, with the Qin KarrOO M part. Scientists eager to|
always eager to pro- research the Crab Nebula
vide anything lacking. . on its very doorstep
At last contact, the politi- In 2109, an African ex- flocked to the colony as well.
cal atmosphere on Qinshui * pedition made a daring As Karoo expanded, the
was still somewhat paranoid, teleport to the Crab Nebula, need for more station con-
and humans were always a supernova remnant first duits, hydroponics bays,
careful to provide their own seen on Earth in A.D. 1054. Mylex shielding and pseudo-
technology and bloware. Se- * It is an inhospitable region gravity grids increased dra-
curity was tight, and both Qin . with no large planetary bod- matically. Importing such
and humans were cautious ies and a single rapidly spin- materials (torn Earth to the
about what they said and did * ning neutron star. However, ever-expanding station sys-
in the other's presence. the sector is rich with dust tem was expensive. Addi-
When communications t clouds, gaseous nebulae and tionally, over time the UAN
were cut with Qinshui after asteroid fragments com- and private Upeo shippers
the Upeo disappearance, posed of valuable heavy ele- couldn't keep pace with the
both humans and those Qin . ments. The UAN established i growing number of emigres.
in our solar system were un- a.stellar science and mining The colony established its
derstandably concerned. Qin station just outside the own independent manufac-
representatives on Luna nebula, despite the extreme turing and farming stations
claim to be confident that the risk involved in the venture. eventually, trading the ele-
human embassy will be taken Heavily shielded stations ments mined from the
care of, but tension grows as were anchored to planetesi- nebula in return for the more
the years pass with no con- mals, and the Karroo Mining easily transported raw mate-
tact. The stranded Qin assist Colony was born. rials Karroo needed to ex-
in creating new interstellar Although the UAN es- pand further.
transports. Indeed, Qin bio- tablished the colony, rugged , Karroo reached relative
ware and input were key to humans of all nationalities self-sufficiency just prior to the
jump-ship development. flocked there, lured by the Chromatics' attack in 2113.
promise of wealth. The first assault surprised the
In only a few years, colonists completely. The hu-
Karroo swelled to mans suffered heavy losses,
over 20 times its but regrouped and changed
original size.The, focus from mining to warfare
UAN's profitable to keep the aliens from oblit-
Crab Nebula taxation system erating everything they had
Sun Crab Pulsar funded mining with built. The Chromatics' appar-
Sun's spectral type neutron star (21 little investment on ent photokinetic capabilities
pulses per second) the government's rendered the colonists' laser
Planet n/a
Founded 2109 {United
African Nations)
Source Upeo/lSRA joint exploration
Planet mass (Earth = 1)
Equatorial diameter
Planet gravity (Earth = 1)
Water content (Earth = 0.75)
Rotation period
Indigenous life
Human population
Closest distance to Earth
Primary satellite


weapons virtually Far Nyumba

useless. The re- The dairsentients' search
sourceful Karroos fell for habitable planets in deep
back on conventional space was long and strenuous.
The first Attack slugthrowers and coil- Otha Herzog himself plied his
General Abasa, Karroo Mining Colony guns as well as orbital powers extensively during
Mwalimu, knives and clubs. Addi- humanity's rush to colonize the
We are under attack from an alien: tionally, the colonists ex- stars. The likelihood of finding
force. Our lasers have no noticeable plored the effectiveness sectors that could support hu-
effect, and theirs are deadly. Theyt of other energy weap- man life was almost nonexist-
appeared out of nowhere, and all at-'}; ons, such as plasma can- ent, so when Far Nyumba was
tempts at communication have failed,; nons and ion beams.
discovered and proved suit-
Members of the Ministry in residence: The 1 Upeo van- able, it was settled promptly by
here have ascertained that these alien; ished just as the tide of the UAN in 2112.
creatures perceive us to be like battle turned in the The largest moon of the
Aberrants, whom they have appar- colony's favor. Karroo's gas giant Mgitu, Far Nyumba
ently encountered before. Thfe fete is unknown, but is similar to Earth in size,
telepaths have been overwhelmed by considering we know
gravity, planetary tilt and at-
feelings of intense hatred from these:; next to nothing about mospheric composition.
beings. These aliens are not Qln. They the Chromatics'origins Though seven All from its
are something completely new. and the colony no single sun, the massive
I request al] possible assistance^ longer has support Mgitu is nearly a brown
Please be advised that we are sending from Earth, the worst is dwarf star itself and provides
children and wounded back to Earth as assumed. All attempts the moon with more than
soon as we receive word. We have sent at re-establishing com- enough heat and light to
a captured alien corpse with this dis- munications have make up the difference. Most
patch. 1 apologize that I could not fore*5 failed; the colony is of Far Nyumba's single land
warn you, but 1 wanted it to arrive as simply too far away. mass is covered by thick rain
soon as possible, while it was
still.. .glowing.

SS1515 System
Suns SS1 51 5a
Suns' spectral type A7
Founded 2112 (United
African Nations)
Source ISRA discovery
Planet mass {Earth = I) 364.6 (Mgitu)
1.01 (Far Nyumba)
Equatorial diameter (km) 187,463 (Mgitu)
12, 895 (Far Nyumba)
dozen other* table of all the extrasolar colo-
Planet gravity (Earth =1) 2.8 (Mgitu)
moons, sister sat- nies for a few short months.
0.92 (Far Nyumba)
ellites to Mgitu, f Many great minds were
Water content n/a (Mgitu)
also track across stranded on Far Nyumba
0.79 (Far Nyumba)
Far Nyumba's* when the Upeo disappeared.
Atmosphere hydrogen {Mgitu)
sky, The number of colonists and
nitrogen (Far Nyumba)
Far Nyumba available resources were so
Rotation period 8 hours (Mgitu)
itself provides * few that the outpost's contin-
27 hours (Far Nyumba)
plenty for colonists ued existence five years later
Indigenous life plants, Insects,
to study. Still, curi-a is in doubt.
ous humans also
Human population 8,000
explored the TRITON ARCHIVE
Closest cfetanoe to Earth 11,000 light years
Mgitu's surfece at-
Primary satellites
mosphere, mainly
(Mgitu) Far Nyumba, Kala
(Far Nyumba) none
as an accessible New Ditcovery
source of vita! * Excerpt: holobrief from
forest, the remainder is dev- gases. The gas giant's doud lay- o Jerome Donnikan, Ph.D.
CNoetks), M.Sc. (Electricol
astated by constant volcanic ers are truly alien, but beautifij. Engineering) to the Journal of
activity. Microbes and insects Particularly brave or foolish Le- Xenological Science, 3.17-21I-4
are the only significant ani- gionnaires, sealed in small cap-f The artifacts found last week
mal life beyond tiny proto- sules or even in heavy pressure range in size from a small...
creatures destined to be- sute, used their powerstoven- spaceship?...(roughly 15 meters in
come mammals, birds and ture deeper into <he atmosphere length) to easily pocketed items (.02
reptiles. The insect popula- than exploratory craft could. meters) and are made of both organic
tion is kept in check more by A year after the colony's and inorganical!oys.Theseobjectsare
the abundance of carnivo- establishment, Legionnaires dearly not of human or Qjn design.
rous plants than by the scat- made an incredible discovery The items hover with eerie sta-
tered proto-animals. on Mgitu. All manner of bility, suspended in Mgitu's hydro-
Mgitu dominates the Far strange structures and objects gen atmosphere, and contain un-
Nyumba sky, at least above floated in the atmo-sphere's fathomable circuitry. My plan is to
the tree canopy. The gas stormy layers. Scientists and locate and tag as many items as
giant's eerie colorful glow archeologists rushed out to possible, to see if they are linked in
bathes the moon with light study these alien relics, caus- any way. I will proceed with a thor-
more than the system's sun ing a surge in Far Nyumba's ough physical examination of mi-
does. Daytime is determined population. nor devices, with psi examination
by Far Nyumba's orientation The moon base was the to follow as soon as appropriate
to Mgitu, not to the sun. A most promising and hospi- psions become available.

S53819 Syifem
Suns SS3819a (giant), 5S3819b (dwarf)
Suns' spectral types G5, AO
Founded 2106 (Brazil)
Source Upeo investigation
Planet mass (Earth = 1) 1.17
Equatorial diameter (km) 12,821
Planet gravity (Earth = 1) 1.10
Water content (Earth = 0.75) 0.42
The Associacao Atmosphere
Averiguas Adiantamento Uni- Rotation period
23 hours
Shorty after Aberrant attacks versal (the Association Indigenous life algae in oceans.
grew more organized, Brazil es- For Universal Ad- no notable land life
tablished a deep-space colony. vancement) or Human population 22,000
With Norca guidance, the Upeo AAU, as the Aver- Closest distance to Earth 2,800 light years
transported explorers to a white iguas colony was Primary satellite Viglar,
dwarf/red giant binary system. namedwas meant
The fifth planet of six, des- as apsion training ground. Here, ing AAU: They relied on subju-
ignated Averiguas, orbited the Brazil claimed, the Gifted could gated Euro-American workers.
red giant at a relatively comfort- explore the potential of their Thesedisenfranchised looked for
able 1.7 AU. The rocky planet powers without fear of causing new opportunities everywhere,
proved capable of supporting harm or destruction. Strangely, and Averiguas was as good a
human life and even hosted a only Norca agents had the op- place as any to make a fortune.
sort of proto-ajgae life form. portunity to use the facility. The /ton Trinity learned that
The Aon Trinity dis- working conditions were quite
covered that Brazil brutal. It was only a matter of
wanted to guarantee its time before the Western "never
future should the resurgent say die" spirit came to the fore.
Result of Feasibility Study for Coloniza- Aberrants prove too pow- In 2114, only three months be-
tion of Averiguas in SS3819
erful. Working in conjunc- fore the Upeo vanished, the
This committee recommends that
tion with the Norca, Brazil Euro-Americans rose up against
Averiguas not be chosen as an interstellar
established Averiguas as an their Brazilian leaders. It was a
colony. We predict that due to the binary star
extrasolar military base. quick and carefully staged coup,
system's nature, diewnitectwarfstarSS3819b
The system's instabil- the mutinous workers taking
will go supemovainlhe near future, astronomi-
ity made the site inhospi- over key areas of the outpost
cally speaking. Thiis event v^vinlially atomize
table to other colonization with minimal bloodshed.
the entire solar system, including Averiguas.
efforts. Averiguas was Brazil, unwilling to reveal
Based on spectral analysis oflhetwostars,
ideal for the Brazilian plan, the facility's true nature, claimed
and the rate at which matter transfers from
howeverremote, dan- that it was sending resources to
the giant to the dwarf, a full supernova event
gerous and of little foreign quell a miner's strike. It parceled
is extremely likely in the next 1,000 to 2,000
interest Despite warnings reinforcements in small groups
years. Furthermore, we cannot anticipate (he
that the white dwarf could to maintain the cover story.
ful I potential ofthe minor nova effects that the
go nova, and its omi- Upeo pilots transported only a
dwarf currently exhibits. Averiguas' magnetic
nously regular flares as it few Brazilian squads before the
field may be insufficient protection against the
absorbed the red giant's teteporters vanished. As with the
extreme solar winds produced.
stellar matter, Brazil pro- other extrasolar colonies after the
Once again, this committee ad-
ceeded with construction. Upeo disappearance, Averiguas'
vises that Averiguas not be chosen.
The Brazilians made fate and that of its rebellious
Eleanora Bordes
one mistake in establish- colonists remains unknown.
Chair, Astronomical Committee
University of Rio de Janeiro SPACE
^S^^K- ^^f


Corporaltons of Note
Excerpt: Free Enterprise Report O 2119 Rafat, Inc.
AFRICA ing to expand into deep-space mining equipment.
Alpha Software: A mainstream software com- Genman Enterprises: Genman funds seven out of
pany based in Cairo. Alpha is best known for 10 Jiewsflats in Australia, and an impressive 20%
its interactive computer agents. system-wide. Although file news isn't as popular
Language Systems, Inc: The top vocoder ma n u - as interactive journalism, Genman's newsflatsare
facturer in settled space. LSI single-handedly surprisingly dynamic and current.
controls over 4O% of the vocal translator Morris Media, Incorporated {MMD: Morris competes
market. with such big-league metanats as Baryi and Orgotek.
Mashindano: This African vehicle MMI's main interests lie in high-glftz infotainment, but
manufacturer's name is synonymous with "re- the megamed also explores custom network produc-
liability." Mashindano's mid-range consumer tions, tailoring broadcasts to individual colonies and
cars are possibly the most popular m the world. settlements.
ASIA OBC: A top megamed, OBC's success comes from
Bafcuhatsu: This aerospace eompa ny took the its family-oriented marketing. Sitcoms, Aberrant-
world by storm when, it emerged from Nippon staying adventure shows and the like make up a
when the Quarantine was rescinded. large part of OBC's programming.
Bakuhatsu has become Banff and L-B's pri- Rafat, Incorporated: Currently number three be-
mary competitor in only a few decades. hind MMl and OBC. Rafat was a small-time enter-
Banjb This Nihonjin rneta national, based in tainment concern that rose to megamed status
Yokohama, is a leading producer of a wide based on the strength of its vidflat network, Mati-
array of devices, from coffeemakers to mili- nee, as well as syndicated shows and other low-cost
tary aircraft. Banji's reputation is one of productions.
rock-solid dependability and impeccable Shendai Pacific: A joint Australian-Nihonjin manu-
business ethics. facturer specializing in affordable hover vehicles.
L-fe Formerly two separate North American Stahu Entertainment: Smallest of the big Five
manufacturers, the parts of L-B merged and megameds, Stahu Entertainment started in music
crossed the Pacific after the Aberrant War. This media. While musk remains its strength, Stahu's
top aerospace company has produced quality recent forays into interactive media show promise.
craft in Shenyang, China for the past century. EUROPE
Orchid-ware: This Shanghai-based software Helvetica International: Helvetica is a 22nd-cen-
company specializes in business-oriented tury descendant of the erstwhile "Swiss Bank,"
programs and interactive computer agents. and is privacy oriented and discreet. Legally, it is
ToshiGinko; The largest financial institution still based in Zurich-Geneva, but Helvetica's real
in the world, this Nihonjin metanational headquarters is believed to be in Africa.
maintains its image as a "friendly neighbor- Reed Rosen: This British automaker specializes
hood bank" even while backing ruthless in luxury skimmers. It is one of the few Euro-
takeovers. Close to 25% of all consumer pean manufacturers that is still in business, due
bank accounts ore reportedly with mainly to its high-quality vehicles.
ToshiGinko. Vow: An Austrian-based weapons manufac-
Wazukana: The largest computer manufac- turer, Voss specializes in personal laser weap-
turer in settled space, Wazukana has major onry its highly efficient energy cell/optical
offices in a number of Nihonjin and orbital lens interface device is notably superior to those
locations. It controls about 30% of the hard- of other manufacturers.
ware market and 45% of the software mar- NORTH AMERICA
ket. Wazukana's dominance is a result of its Alchemy Computer Corporation: ACC was asso-
operators' knack for subsuming young, in- ciated with Orgotek at one time, but the two have
novative companies. become competitors in the biotech market. Rumors
AUSTRALIA posit that Alchemy's theft of a prototype matrix
FangTech: This Perth-based marine equipment biocomp from Orgotek triggered the rift.
company manufactures over 30% of the world's DalaWarp: This North American software
aquatic craft. Rumors claim Fang Tech is look- manufacturer lost much of its market share to
Wozukano, Orchidware and Alpha Software dustry. Associated closely with the Nor^a,
m the past few years. It maintains itself al- BioSyslems focuses on personal, portable
most exclusively on military contracts. bioapplkations.
DataWarp is based in Toronto. Concurso: This Brazilian-based truck company
Davidson-Wheeler: A small but enduring constructs solid transport and maintenance ve-
manufacturer, Davidson-Wheeler manufac- hicles for civilian and non-combat military uses.
tures wheeled motorcycles exclusively in its Kostbaar: Both a person and a metanat, the man
Midwestern plant. known only as Kostboar is a "post-refugee" fash-
HLY Notional Finance: A struggling financial ion designer of Dutch descent. He is the defini-
metanat compared to the Eastern commercial tive source of good taste in fashion. Kostboar
trading bloc, HLY remains strong in the West- currently lives in Brazil, but considers himself a
ern Hemisphere. HLY is involved in hundreds citizen of the world (a subtle jab at Proxy Otha
of legitimate development ventures, from blight Herzog's "man of no nation" claim).
research to offworld manufacturing. SPACE
L-K and ClmTech: These two companies are Amalgamated Business Interests (ABO: The
branches of a single weapons manufacturer. L- former WorldBank metanat maintains its
K. produces personal weapons, while CtrnTech large corporate headquarters on Olympus.
produces heavy weapons. Both are based in the ABI "diversified its interests," emerging as a
corporate section of the New D.C. arcology. major presence in space, both in its growing
Orgotek: The undisputed leader of biotechnol- domination of the water-mining industry and
ogy. Although Orgotek has a good reputation more subtly through client companies and fi-
among consumers it has faced (and defeated) nancing.
civil lawsuits over the last three years regard- A.N. DuPres-Mutesa and Company, Inc.:
ing restraint of trade, accidental deaths and DuPres controls most extraterrestrial metal
patent violations. Orgotek press releases im- and mineral-mining operations. Ares, Inc. and
ply that the suits are sponsored by the FSA the Mercury Mining Consortium are its fore-
military-corporate complex in an attempt to most client companies.
undercut Orgotek's financial livelihood. Eclipse Media: This Luna-based megamed
Porter-Andersen: P-A is North America's only gives Australian media agencies a run for
major remaining automobile manufacturer, with their money.
a dozen manufacturing plants in the upper Mid- International Consortium on Ecomining
west, Current industry gossip indicates that the GCE): The largest single water mining corpo-
company is considering relocating from the Great ration next to ABI, ICE is headquartered in a
Lakes region to the stronger markets of Asia. private colony station on Luna,
Slehihordl: The "last American computer Luna Fiona: The premiere real-estate agency
manufacturer," Stebihardt supplies many gov- on the Moon, handling 60% of all lunar prop-
ernments (most notably the FSA) with their erty transactions.
mainframes. The company has headquarters in Offworld Enterprises, Ltd. (OE): Based on
the Vancouver arcology. Perelandra Station orbiting Venus, OE is in-
Tau Ceti Development Corporation (TCDQ; volved in scientific research and exploratory
Tau Ceti is a start-to-finish emigration support craft design relating to Earth's sister planet.
corporation, handling information, transport Pizza Belle: The most ubiquitous source of fast
and resettling services to off-world colonies. food in settled space, the Pizza Belle corpo-
SOUTH AMERICA rate headquarters relocated to Olympus re-
Apoderado Designs: This is the up-and-tom- cently.
ing computer software company of the decade. Slavros Weapon Designs: Slavros is a rela-
Apoderado employs less than TOO people and tively new weapons manufacturer, based on
is based in a renovated warehouse in Rio de Luna. It makes cheap, no-frills firearms. De-
Janeiro. It's considered the trendsetter for in- spite their marginal quality, Stavros guns are
teractive computer agents. popular street weapons. It's suspected that
Aris Armaments: Aris is a Brazilian weapons the company is little more than a front for
company with headquarters in Sao Paulo. It black-market trade.
specializes in "exotic" weapons like flechette Tangent Technologies: Although new, this
stingers and sonics. popular Olympus-based marketing firm has
BioSystems, bit: This Columbian company is taken on a number of sizable clients, includ-
Orgotek's chief competition in the biotech in- ing Bcnji, Voss and the HAN,

Since the dawn of history, humanity an undisclosed number in the recently dis-
has stared into the celestial void. Thirteen covered Coalition (potentially between five
years ago, in true Nietzchean fashion, the dark and two dozen species alone). Rumors of
between the stars gazed back at us. With the another species displaced by Aberrant attacks
coming of the Qin, then the Chromatics, and remain just that: rumors. And then there are
finally the Coalition, humanity's very concept the veiled references by the proxies of pow-
of itself has been tilted on its axis and sent ers beyond even they, that are somehow
spinning into the mysterious sky. their allies. Given how so very upside-down
The discovery of life on other worlds, while the universe has turned in the past several
not quite so shocking as it would have been years, anything is possible.
had humanity never experienced the Aberrant
Wars, was nonetheless an epochal event. (The
effects on religious belief alone completely
"With friends like these...."
changed the demographic base of several ma-
The punchline has yet to be written for
jor faiths.) In the past 13 years, humanity has
the enigmatic Qin, humanity's fbr-the-nonce
advanced itsfrontiersof knowledge a hundred-
allies among the stars. These quixotic creatures
fold and learned to live with the looming
certainly seem friendly but then again, they
fear of invasion from the stars.
seem humanoid and just about everyone's fig-
Thus far, humanity counts a number of
ured out the falsity of that supposition.
new species: the Qin, the Chromatics, and
o Oo

Humanity first contacted the Qjn 13 years

ago, when a Chinese explorer vessel inter-
cepted a transmission of Qin radio static. The
psions arranged a rendezvous at the aliens'
home system, which later became colloquially
known as Qinshui. First contact went well, one Celebration
supposes, and ambassadors were exchanged; Excerpt: Luna San Times
the Qin currently have an embassy on Luna. I0.3r.2117 Eclipse Media
We gave them their name: The term "Qin" The smooth, soaring lines of
Is Chinese, a reference to a form of Beijing the Qin embassy arched high
opera. The Qin's stylized, lacquered-looking over last night's celebratory ban-
(and almost certainly artificial) humanoid bod- quet as diplomats, press and the
ies evoke images of the old plays. They're quick wealthy rubbed elbows with the
learners: Recently arrived Qin diplomats alien exiles in our midst. Our Qin
"wear" bodies that are nearly identical to those allies remind us of two things:
of humans. The older ones, though, as well as that races as rich and intriguing
newcomers remaining "out of the public eye," as humanity do exist in space,
still display "old-school" bodies: crystalline, and it is the very vastness of
shimmering shells that prompted the occa- space that strands our cousins
sional nickname "icons." with us. The curving hall, walled
Our biotechnological theories seemed entirely in the Qin's unique
incredibly advanced a decade ago, that is, "bioglass," allowed guests the
until the Qin showed us their bioware. The rather peculiar sensation of walk-
Qin don't talk too much about their technol- ing unprotected on the surface
ogy not in public, anyway but evidence of the Moon. Overhead, the or-
suggests that they've developed biotechnol- ganic spires of the upper tow-
ogy to a level that we can barely fathom. ers glimmered in the sunlight.
Noetic research shows the Qin uniformly A Qin diplomatic assistant
possess a baseline telepathic ability that commented that the celebra-
seems to be instrumental in their relation- tion was one of great impor-
ship to bioware. The Qin use their technol- tance to their race, but declined
ogy routinely to accomplish near-unimagin- to explain further.
able feats of macrocosmic construction and
terraforming. One would presume they are
equally skilled in their technology's military
applications though one hopes humanity
will never find out firsthand.
Orisha Mfune, Input/Output Special 2120 RafAt, Inc.
The First Contact. The Shining Host comes Huge, expressive eyes that somehow convey
, down from the heavens, bearing gifts from the nothing. Beatific smiles in happy, vacuous, per-
angels on high. The sky opens up in corusca- fectly proportioned faces.
tions of light, and beatific ranks of Others de- They average around 6'8" enough to
|scend in drill-corps harmony to pull us up to have presence, not enough to intimidate.
celestial firmament. They're classically, Barbie-doll angelic, but in
Great PR. Seems to be about the way the a kind of bland way enough to inspire awe
|Qin planned it. And if we look around and without any troublesome sexual baggage.
realize we' re not in Heaven yetwel I, we' re They come in all kinds of colorssilver, ebony,
not about to be impolite to our newfound blue, magenta thus laying to rest any
friends, are we? troublesome racial issues. They're androgy-
The coming of the Qin now this I re- nous enough to dispel chauvinistic approaches
member. We all do. You remember where you without being, you know, weird about it.
were on March 23, 2107 when an angel Of course, they learn any and all languages
passed above the world of wars and sanctions they need to in a matter of a month or so,
land economies and lies, an angel bearing tid- then turn around and speak 'em better than
ings of new life. Remember that week ev- most of the natives. They wear clothes, but
; erything kinda died down a little, tike we were they don't look so much worn as grown or
a bunch of kids caught fighting in the sandbox spun around them, all whorly and bandy and
didn't want to look bad now that the with cool-looking protrusions and flourishes.
grownups were coming to visit. Some people They come from a world in the thick of the
said we should push The Button; some said it galaxy somewhere, and yeah, they know a
Jwas the Rapture, or the Next Wave of little bit about What's Out There, but they
Aberrants. Most folks, though, just looked up haven't gotten any farther than we have.. .thus
toward the skies and talked about the Signal. laying "evil galactic dictator" fears to rest.
The Signal. The Aricebo scientists practically If I were a marketing rep for an alien race,
wetting themselves on holotransmissions across I couldn't put a better spin on these folks.
the sofar system as they announced that, yeah, it's obvious those bodies are like the clothes
that crackling belch of radio static Intercepted spun for public consumption. Debate? Please!
; by the Kowloon actually spiderwebbed out into Beyond a reasonable doubt. The first contact
a deliberate message. The Upeo arranging a files may be locked down, but 1 have it on good
rendezvous at Qinshui how they knew ex- authority that the rumors of the Qin realty be-
; actly where to go, I'll never know, but never let ing two-foot long slugs is true. I bet they slurp
It be said that you heard me questioning psion right inside the head and drive those bodies
i: motives. The holovids spiraling up and clown around like we would a skimmer. The Qin are
the conveyor craft you could almost hear putting on a show. Don't look behind the screen,
"Thus Spake Zarathustra" in the background. Earthlings; it's all done with mirrors.
And the coming of the Qin. We know they've got biotech. I mean, the
You've heard the phrase "too perfect," i governments and I'm talking about the real
assume. Look at a Qin sometime, then think governments, not those primped, airbrushed,
about that phrase. I mean, you see these guys pixillated holos you vote for must've been
and it's like looking at a crystalline cataract creaming when they got a gander at what these
sugar-spun into human form, as if Botticelli had critters could do. We thought we were so high-
conjured Venus from the pure spray itself. tech 'cause we could integrate bio-goo with a
II..I >

fusion engine to make "biofighters," Then the phic because it's convenient from an engineer-
Qin come along and hand us bioware techniques ing point of view, or because they know we' re
that'll let us turn Mars into Vera Cruz In a couple taping and they don't want us to freak out.
decades, instead of a thousand-year terraforming Ever heard the Story of the Sphinx? Yeah, that
project, we're now looking at 75! And the Qin big stone thing in Egypt, Well, archaeologists think
just hand this to us, iike it's pocket change. that the Sphinx's serene, pharaoh-looking head is
For them, biotech is everything. Ever seen actually a later innovation that the thing was
ambassadors' reports? When the Qin want there before the Egyptians, and when they got
anything a new suit, a new weapon (and there, they chiseled off the original face and re-
remember thatthese angels do have guns), placed it with something more.. .what? Suitable?
a new road, a new city they just grow It. Or less disturbing?
Yeah, throw your magic crystals in the water, They are "icons" indeed, mirrors reflect-
my friends, and conquer the world. ing what they want us to see, which is what
They even use it for travel, surrounding we want to see. The problem is, if there's one
themselves In organic carapaces, then linking thing I know about good old Homo sapiens,
together into vast, spaceworthy living robots. it's that we're never content with our icons.
They don't need to "build the tools to build We want to break them, to scratch the paint,
the tools" they am the tools. If they need to tarnish the chrome and see just what's behind
make somethingor to help us make some- the mirror. And somehow I don't think our
thing they just get enough Qin, form them- guests will much care for that And then 1 think
selves into gargantua, and build what they of those build-it-yoursdf colossi, and how they
need. Like Amish folks gathering to build a pulverize rock with a punch, and I imagine....
barn, except they build whole cities this way. Weil, I'll spare you the paranoid jingoism,
I wonder if the carapaces are anthropomor- boys and girls. That's all for now.
o Oo


Testimony of Major David deBeers,

The bastards came out of nowhere! I
CHROMATICS mean, we were checking out one of the
mining planetoids and came across a pack
Seemingly conjured from the recesses of 'em you know, all lit up for war,
of a B-grade horror vld, the Chromatics have
with those tool-harnesses and whatnot.
whipped human xenophobia to frightening
Well, I couldn't tell what they were think-
heights. Perhaps this is because they em- ing If you can read an expression on
body our primordial fears of the Evil Invad-
those turnips they call faces, I wish you'd
ers merciless, inscrutable, grotesque. They
due me in. I went with what I could read
give even the Aberrants a run for their money
the stance, and the leveled weapons
in this regard.
that look like cheap knock-offe of Orgotek
Since the Chromatics' initial "Pearl Har-
bioguns. So we engaged, and...well, it
bor" assault on the Karroo Mining Colony in
seemed our weapons were useless, be-
2113, we've learned little about them save cause when we cut Into 'em, it was like
their military strategy and even that is
firing into air.
mostly a cipher. Psions' encounters with And then we got mowed down from
them before the Upeo wa Macho vanished behind. Hell, we'd scanned the area, and
(thus breaking our contact) indicated that the I swear with what's left of my right arm
Chromatics have nothing but violent inten-
that nothing was behind us all dayside.
tions, even hatred for humans. Unfortunate
And there the things were, popped out
though they're far from pretty by our stan-
of nowhere, all warbling while those light-
dards, the Chromatics are a fascinating race.
blasters were chopping us to hell.
Bastards, I say we find where they
live, dump the pslons on the planet, and
let 'em wipe each other out.
Studying human-Chromatic encounters
and recovered alien bodies, the Trinity con-
firms that Chromatics are definitely sentient
beings and not simply clever animals. They
seem to have developed a complex system
of bioluminescent organs that produce light
in an array of hues. This apparently serves as INVISIBLE MENACE
their primary means of communication, and Professor Clara Riccio, /ton
was the inspiration for the appellation we've Trinity, Proteus Division
applied to them. Their language appears to A favorite subject of fiction and film,
be highly sophisticated, even if the Chromat- creating a "cloaking device" to render
ics themselves aren't. Attack survivors say people or objects invisible has long been
these aliens use a variety of tools, although a goal of science. With the revelation of
the Chromatics seem to have no concept of psi powers, many assumed such a power
clothing. Their accessories are entirely ftjnc- wouldn't be far behind. This capability
tional, but serve mainly to supplement the to create a kind of invisibility seemed to
race's inherent capabilities. fall under certain electrokinetics1 ability
Indeed, most fascinating of all about the to manipulate light waveforms.
aliens is that they can control psionically, To their chagrin, however, this
it appearsinternal and ambient light emis- power remains beyond these psions'
sion. They've been known to manipulate reach. Apparently, bending light waves
light, shaping it into blinding flashes and la- around a three-dimensional form while
ser beams and even bending it entirely to still enabling that form to see outnot
create a kind of holographic blending. While to mention adequately maintaining the
the electrokinetics are curious to learn how cloak's resolution while tracking the
the Chromatics accomplish such an advanced user's movementinvolves a stagger-
feat, the majority of humanity is more inter- Ing number of variables and a signifi-
ested in learning what has become of those cant amount of psi energy.
people stranded with these warlike aliens. Disturbingly, studies of the Chro-
Now that the jump-ship technology is com- matics' attacks seem to indicate the
plete and the first psions are sent out to the aliens may possess some level of cloak-
frontier, we will finally discover how the colo- ing or perhaps merely blending ability.
nists in the Crab Nebula fared against these Unfortunately, the reports available are
relentless warriors over the past five years. rather dated and the few Chromatic bod-
ies still undergoing study have yet to
reveal conclusive information.

Analysis: "'Operation Abyss''

With regard to the per- ers who postulate that, given the existence of
petrators of the incident at the Karroo Min- certain fundamental laws of physics, organic life
^ ing Colony, we urge caution, not only be- develops in similar patterns throughout the
cause of lack of knowledge of the species' ca- known universe.
pabilities, but also due to lack of understanding, First, some general parameters. Height:
which could precipitate a futile and unneces- roughly 1.75 meters, though the flexible no-
sary conflict. The concept of the "bug-eyed mon- tochord and extendible neck structure evi-
ster" is a fiction, a fantasy best left to the con- dently allow for considerable fluctuation even
fines of the theatre, and we encourage military among individuals. Weight: This specimen
forces to lay cultural biases aside when dealing weighs 81,7 kilograms. Bipedal posture and
with a very critical real-life situation. three-fingered opposable thumb structure,
We nave taken the liberty of studying the though the digits of the hand structures are
specimen General Abasa was kind enough to less developed than our own, while the dig-
provide. Our observations follow herein. its of the foot structures are more developed.
It is unquestionably a carbon-based life form; We postulate an evolution from a species of
amino acid structure and cell composition dis- climbers, though the thickened skin of the
play fundamental similarities to our own, though soles further leads us to speculate that this
the adds themselves differ from our own gua- organism evolved among rocks and crags.
nine, cytosine, ef at. Certainly the entity's super- It is an aerobic organism. In addition, cer-
ficial parameters, though perhaps grotesque to tain enlarged pore structures in the sldn lead
a casual observer, will comfort those research- me to believe that it has the capability for os-

. **<


*. "V
CON F I D E N T I A Lfl:

motic absorption of oxygen in a liquid medium. enabling the creature to per-

The "tubes" running down the back: un- celve light, shade and
doubtedly structures similar to those of the ex- movement from atl directions.
tinct Dlmetrodon, used for storing ambient light Interestingly, the being has two brains.
or heat and converting it to caloric energy. This The first, located in the head cavity, is smaller
would indicate the presence of such sources on and seems solely dedicated to the creature's
the creature's home world, or a dearth of prey extensive sensory capabilities. The second is lo-
species, forcing the creature to conserve energy. cated in the torso with the other organs;! con-
The head structure displays advanced vi- jecture that this is dedicated to handling the
sual apparatus. Whereas human beings evolved rest of the being's processes, including higher
a binocular vision, allowing for depth percep- thought functions.
tion at the expense of wide angle focus com- And the vaunted "lights"? Just that. Bidu-
mon to deer and the like, these creatures have mlnescent organs of amazing complexity as
maintained both. They have four eyes (position though one of Earth's angler fish had evolved to
and number of rods and cones in comparison to the point at which it is capable of language. We
our ocular structure indicate highly developed do not exaggerate on this iast
organs), two in front and two to the side. Evi- hypothesiselectro-
dently one pair or the other doses at a time, convulsive stimula-
allowing whatever method of perception tion of the epider-
is most applicable to a given situa- mis produces a re-
tion. Additionally, the entire markable range of
surface of the head hues, intensities and
structure is cov- patterns. We postulate that biolu-
ered with minescence is indeed the creature's
"eyespots," preferred method of linguistic ex-
pression, particularly given the ru-
dimentary development of the
structures equivalent to our palate
and larynx.



The little the Trinity knows is based on

M COALITION hearsay and scattered pieces of informa-
When deep space probes reported a huge tion. Despite our direct involvement in co-
object headed rapidly toward our solar sys- ordinating the jump ship's Intercept, the
tem at near-light speeds, panic was under- UN has locked down all data regarding
standable. Aberrant raids showed no sign of these aliens. Still, based on what /Eon has
slacking off, and it had been almost six years uncovered, it seems we humans must re-
since the Upeo disappeared. Was this thing define our place In the universe. Encoun-
an Aberrant fleet, a Chromatic warship or ters with the single alien races of Qin and
something worse? The United Nations, with Chromatics were bizarre enough, but what
/ton Trinity assistance, authorized dispatch- to make of encountering an entire confed-
ing one of the new experimental jump ships eration of alien species? For that is what
on an intercept course with the approaching this alien "Coalition" seems to be a col-
object. This expedition resulted in the (by now lection of various races, each with a regi-
traditional) good news/bad news. The good mented place within a larger sociopolitical
news is that, while it is indeed a ship of mas- structure. Investigating UN data nodes in-
sive scale, it isn't one of our known enemies. dicates that Earth governments don't yet
The bad news is that we don't know yet if know of the exact number of Coalition
these beings are our friends. Considering the races. Preliminary reports, seemingly little
severe information blackout, it may be some more than guesses, estimate between a
time before we find out for certain. half-dozen to over a hundred.
o Oo

Such flies mention "Envoys," a race of

bipeds astonishing in their blandness but who
seem to speak for the Coalition, as well as PROTEUS A R C H I V E
towering nine-foot-tail monsters called "Spi- I
nals" seemingly dreamed up by a lunatic with Case Number: 69 1 1 3 1
a phobia of sea urchins, and lumbering, bear- Date: 12.3.2119
like creatures labeled "Sasqs" who apparently Patient: Captain Li Hu
handle the Coalition's maintenance tasks. The Physician: Dr. Lynn Golden
Trinity knows of little beyond this sparse in- I am pleased to note some progress
formation, but there doesn't seem to be in the captain's condition. Today he spoke,
much more to know. Contact has thus far breaking the autistic silence under which
been as tentative as it has been titillating he had lain, in spite of drugs and hypno-
the Coalition evidently holds very...alien sis, since the rescue team found him
views with regard to reproduction. huddled in the bridge of the Yl.
With all of these fascinating factors to He still speaks in single words and
pursue, one wonders why the UN locked phrases, his mental processes and
down first contact data so severely, restrict- brainwave activity are erratic, and certain
ing even Aon involvement. All anyone has responses indicate the presence of pro-
seen Is the initial transmission of the nounced phobic abnormalities. Nonethe^
Coalition's "space ark." What does the UN less, I was able to coax intelligible re-
not want us to know? l sponses from him.
From a geopolitical standpoint, Cap-
tain Li's report is significant indeed. His
testimony indicates the discovery of a new
alien species one or several, it is un-
ear from his report.
From a psychological standpoint, this
irst contact" was a close encounter of a
most disastrous kind, I believe you will
understand when I advise against disclos-
ing certain details to the media.
To put it bluntly, many of the crew;
|were done to death in a fashion that 1 can
only interpret as rape.

..; :"""
- ,.I^^^Bfl
': EPj

. . " m '":~~
|H I,
- ' ^^^Bi
- : - - - -'

9F .

Chapter One: Systems
Actions 158
Trait Ratings 158
Rolling Dice and Dice Pools 15?
Success and Failure 15?
Chapter Two: Character 163
Character Creation 163
Character Development 172
Chapter Three: Traits 177
Nature 177
Allegiance 17?
Attributes 180
Abilities 182
Backgrounds 186
Willpower 1?0
Psi 190
Chapter Four: Aptitudes 194
Clairsentience 202
Electrokinesis 208
Psychokinesis 214
Telepathy 221
Vitakinesis 228
Chapter Five: Drama 233
Dramatic Systems 233
Combat Systems 23?
Health 250
Sources of Injury 254
Chapter Six: Technology 258
Buying Things 25?
Weapons 260
Armor 266
Clothes 268
Computers 26?
Tools 274
Medical Gear 276
Biotech Augmentation Devices 277
Transportation 278
Chapter Seven: Storytelling 2?0
The Storyteller 2?0
Drama and Conflict 293
Telling Stones 2?8
The Series 300
Appendix 303
Supporting Cast 303
Glossary 307
Character Sheet 312
Index 315
1 54
I N T R Q D U C T a N
intensity and excitement is lost with larger groups,
in which players must compete for attention.

on is set in the early 22nd century. Hu- The Storyteller

manity has ventured into the stars and dis- Aon has more in common with plays than
covered strange aliens and malevolent cosmic with card or board games. Most notably, one player,
forces. While much like our own reality in many called the Storyteller, is a "director" of sorts. In
I ways, the Aon universe proposes a future that Fact, the Storyteller acts as a combination direc-
confirms the existence of psionic powers and ex- tor, narrator and referee, creating the drama
traterrestrial life. through which the players take their characters.
The ^on cosmos is, at its foundation, a As a Storyteller, you do nothing less than
game, but a game about telling stories. If you've create the environment in which the characters
played other roleplaymg games, you should al- are placed. While players and Storyteller shape
ready be familiar with the idea. If not, this sec- events together, you are responsible for tying
tion explains what it all means. the story's disparate threads together and mak-
ing sure that the game runs smoothly. Your most
Storytelling useful tools in balancing story and game are your
Telling stories is a part of our heritage. The imagination and the rules systems. Storytelling
oral tradition is the oldest method of communi- Aon is challenging, but this book makes it a sim-
cating information and entertainment. As society pler and more enjoyable process. It's a formi-
progressed and became more diverse and sophis- dable job, but it can be incredibly rewarding
ticated, so too did storytelling. Unfortunately it after all, the reward is the story itself.
also became more passive. Where our ancestors The Storyteller's role is explored in detail
took turns telling one another tales, we now watch in Chapter Seven: Storytelling, page 290.
stories on television. The Players
Yet there are still storytellers among us. The
Most of the people playing Aon assume the
filmmakers who create movies and the writers
roles of the story's protagonists. While the Sto-
who create novels are just a Few of those who
ryteller sets the stage for the game, it is the play-
maintain this ancient art. >Con is all about telling
ers who take the stage and create the action
stories, not just listening to them. It's an oppor-
there. Being a player demands effort and prepa-
tunity to create new legends not to merely
ration, but these elements add richness and
watch as old legends are recycled on screen.
depth to the story.
Roleplayinq As a player oF /ton, you create a character
with incredible mental powers a psion. You
Aon is a roteplaying game; players assume
decide the character's actions over the course
1 the roles of central characters in an ongoing story.
of a story as if you were playing a protagonist in
It's much like improvisational acting with a dash
a novel or film. Everything you have your char-
of "Cops and Robbers." Trie make-believe you
acter say and do has an impact in the Am uni-
played as a child imagining yourself as a knight
verse. Your goal is to help the protagonist over-
in shining armor or a brightly clad superhero
come the obstacles Facing her, thereby achiev-
was roleplaying. Aon is simply a more sophisti-
ing her objectives.
cated version of those childhood games.
After you describe "your" action, the Sto-
Still, Aon needs a few more rules than the
ryteller will occasionally demand that you roll dice
playground did; "Got you!" "Did not!" "Did too!" is
to see if your character succeeds in the attempt.
too simplistic for this sort of game. >on's rules set
Beyond tfiat, you need only think back to when
the story's parameters, allowing the Storyteller to
you played make-believe it's that simple.
determine each character's abilities and limits. Rules
guide the story, eliminating conflict over whether Characters
or not a character's actions are plausible but To play Aon you create a role and become
rules don't dictate or restrict the action. The next that person within the context of the game. Just
chapter covers the basic systems for play. However, as actors play characters on stage, players are
like the subsequent chapters, even these rules al- the protagonists in an improvisational story.
ways emphasize story over mechanics. While a playwright's characters have a pre-
Designed for cinematic storytelling, ^on is determined existence, the Am character you cre-
much like a movie. The game works best when focus- ate develops according to your desires. The char-
ing on only a few main characters; only a half-dozen acter creation process is relatively simple; it takes
or so players is recommended. Much of the game's only a half-hour or so to work out the traits and


- '&- :- ".
ratings that designate the character's capabilities. Even course of the story, achieving certain status within an
so, a character is nothing but a collection of numbers on a order, developing a previously untapped aptitude, un-
piece oF paper until you breathe life into it covering an Aberrant plot or simply enjoying the ex-
Character creation is covered in Chapter Two: perience of playing in the game.
Character, page 163. There is no official "end" to a storytelling game,
merely breaks between game sessions. Each time the
The Game players gather, the story picks up again just like an-
There are no "winners" or "losers" in Aon. The other episode in an on-going TV series or another chap-
idea is rot to "beat" the other players, as having ter in a novel.
everyone's characters cooperate is often essential to Playing Aids
your own character's survival. Nor is the goal to "beat"
>ton is designed for play around a table. You need
the Storyteller, since the Storyteller and players work
tittle besides this book, some 10-sided dice (also called
together to create the best story possible. In the end,
"dIOs"), photocopies of the character sheet, pencils
the idea is to rise to the challenge, striving to overcome
and paper for taking notes and, of course, your
cosmic Forces with your powers, wits and courage.
Although this setting's main focus is humanity's
Still, other props can make the roleplaying expe-
struggle against the once-human abominations called
rience more vivid. Mood lighting, music, scribbled notes
Aberrants, /fan is designed for players to pursue any
or sketches; all can serve to make the game seem more
number of goals. You can explore any concepts that in-
real. Remember, though, that props are just that; it's
terest you. Your series of stories may deal with this epic
the story that matters.
conflict or may involve exploring the frontiers of space,
interacting with aliens or investigating p o l i t i c a l Live-Action
maneuverings on Earth. As in real life, the choice is yours. Live-action roleplaying is a natural outgrowth of the
/ton's "victory conditions" are less tangible than "tabletop" storytelling described above. Live-action is
being the only player who isn't bankrupt, or cornering even more like improvisational theater; the actors (the
your opponent in checkmate. Success in Aon may come players) literally act through the scenes. This can create a
about For a number of reasons: defeating foes in the very intense and immediate storytelling experience.
fl 5 6

In live-action roleplay ing, you don't just describe your or realistic-looking props (like guns or swords) of any
character's actions; you "are" that character. You actually sort are allowed at any time during live-action sessions.
do what the character does (within reason). Whether that's Respect People Who Aren't Playing: Play in a
simply walking across a room or carousing in a spaceport, private area where only the players are around (your
you are physically involved in the action. Imagination is house, a reserved room on campus or a rented hall).
still important, and the Storyteller may still interrupt events Never perform live roleplay if passersby may be con-
to describe objects and special situations. fused or frightened _by the event. If nonplayers are
No dice are used in live-action games; alternate around, understand that they probably have no idea
rules (like those in White Wolf's Mind's Eye Theatre what you're doing. Be discrete and considerate; re-
game products, or simply the result oFthe Storyteller's spect their space and don't Force them to participate
judgment), replace dice. The method of adjudicating (pausing to explain that you're playing a game is also
actions itselF isn't important as long as it's consistent, a good idea).
Fair and Fun for everyone. Know When to Stop: Remember: It's just a game.
Rules of Live-Action When anyone calls For a timeout, all action must cease
You must follow a Few essential rulpr, l.u ensure that immediately. If the game gets too intense for someone,
live-action roleplaying is safe ?nd enjoyable For all. it's time to stop.
These rules must be obeyed in any live-action activity;
safety is always the primary concern.
Don't Touch: Players may never actually strike The Following is a number of terms used in the
or grapple one another. No combat should ever be per- rules that new players may not be familiar with. Each is
formed that's what the "dice" are for. If anyone described in more detail elsewhere in this book.
gets too rambunctious, the Storyteller should call For a Character Terms
timeout and remind everyone oF the rules. Repeat of-
Ability: A Trait describing learning, knowledge
fenders should be asked to leave, or the action should
or applied experience in a given area. Abilities are added
be returned to a tabletop roleplay Forum.
to Attributes to determine your character's Skill Total.
No Weapons: No props can be used if they must
Allegiance: The order, government or organi-
touch another player to be effective. No real weapons
zation to which your character belongs.


f, '
I N T R Q D U C T a N 1 5V i

Aptitude: A category of psionic powers. Each Action, Multiple: Taking more than one action
Aptitude consists of specialized types of powers called in a turn. The first action's Dice Pool is reduced by a
Modes. Characters have only one Aptitude each, but number of dice equal to the total number of actions your
often have multiple Modes within that Aptitude. character will take in the turn. Each following action
Attunement: Your character's ability to sense loses an additional die (cumulative).
the Flow of psionic energy around her. Action, Resisted: An action that two or more
Attribute: A Trait that describes your character's characters take against one another. Rolls are made for
basic characteristics; a reflection of raw, natural capability. each against Traits designated by the Storyteller, and
Extras: The characters (created and played by the character with the most successes wins.
the Storyteller) with whom the team interacts, from Action, Standard: An action with no difficulty
simple passersby and bit characters to trusted allies and modifiers. You simply roll your Dice Pool and tally any
dangerous enemies. successes. All tasks your character performs are stan-
Group: The players who adopt the personas of dard actions unless the Storyteller declares otherwise
characters involved in the stories told. (by applying a difficulty., noting multiple actions or stat-
Mode: A specialized group of psionic powers ing that the action is resisted).
within an Aptitude. Botch: A notable and often dramatic failure when
Nature: Your character's core being, her emo- attempting an action.
tional personality. Dice Pool: The total number of dice available to
Psi: A measure of your character's psionic you For a given action. Your Dice Pool is equal to the
power. Skill Total most applicable to the action taken. If your
Quality: A remarkable aspect of one or more of character doesn't have an Ability rating in a task, you
your character's Attributes. default to the base Attribute involved and use its score
Skill Total: The combined rating of an Ability instead of a Skill Total.
and its base Attribute. Skill Total determines the num- Difficulty: Short for the "difficulty of the roll,"
ber of dice you roll (called a "Dice Pool") when your a difficulty notes the added challenge involved in ac-
character performs an action. complishing a task. You must roll the standard base of
Specialty: An area of expertise within an Ability, one success plus the additional difficulty indicated (usu-
Storyteller: The person who creates and guides ally by the Storyteller) to accomplish a difficult action.
the game by assuming the roles of all characters not Dots: The method used to indicate rating val-
taken by the players, and the person who determines ues. Each dot equals a die that may be used to per-
all events beyond the players' control. form actions.
Team: Specifically refers to the characters Rating: A numbered Trait value; usually a range
within the game, not the individuals playing them. From 0 to 5, though sometimes from 0 to 10 (oFten noted
Trait Any Attribute, Ability, Advantage or other in numbers of "dots"),
index with a rating. Success: A die that rolls equal to or higher than
Willpower; Your character's self-confidence and the Target Number of 7. Most actions require only one
moral center. success; more challenging actions demand more successes.
Success, Extra Any successes you roll beyond the
Rules Terms
minimum required to accomplish an action. Extra successes
Action, also Dice Action: Performing a task (a
may be used to make a standard success truly inspired.
consciously willed activity). When you announce that
Success, Standard: Rolling exactly the number
your character is doing something, she's taking an ac-
of successes required to accomplish an action.
tion. This is also called a "dice action" when you must
System: A specific set of game mechanics used
roll dice (known as a "Dice Pool") to determine whether
in a certain situation; rules to help guide dice-rolling
or not your character succeeds in an action. Most ac-
resolutions to simulate dramatic actions.
tions are "standard actions"; see below.
Target Number: The standard rating of 7 which

Action, Difficult: A task more challenging than
you must roll or exceed for your character to succeed
normal. See Difficulty
in a dice action.
C H A P T E R O N E T EM s
/*> hance exists; It's impossible to avoid. Despite our simply describe actions to the Storyteller. An ac-
^ best efforts, circumstances are often beyond our tion can be anything from having a discussion to
control. It's true in real life, just as it's true in games Fending off an Aberrant.
especially in storytelling games that reflect real Some actions, such as talking, walking and
life. The systems in this chapter provide a structure other simple physical deeds, are automatic, not
by which matters of chance are resolved in Aon . requiring dice rolls. Other maneuvers, mostly those
These rules are quite simple; however, you related to combat, are called dice actions, and de-
shouldn't feel constrained by them. Diverging from mand that you roll dice to determine the outcome.
the basic systems will increase the likelihood of See Complications, page 159, for informa-
debate in your game. Be flexible with your ad- tion regarding specific types of actions.
justments and be consistent when you make
changes. Also, remember that simple is often best.
Your character's actions may depend on
how far she can move. These rules keep formu-
las to a minimum, so the ones for determining
movement are fairly simple. A walking charac-
The Golden Rule ter moves Five meters. A running character
The First rule of /ton is simply: If you j moves her Dexterity rating +12 meters. A sprint-
don't like it, change it. The story is more im- ingcharacter moves (3 x Dexterity) +20 meters.
portant than any rule. If the systems get in4 Movement is often an automatic action, but
the way, ignore or change them. These rules Jj a character can take no other action that turn if
are merely guidelines; Feel Free to use, alter 1 she moves the entire distance that she's able to.
or disregard them as you see Fit after all, A character may typically move half her running
it's your story. Note that the Storyteller isg distance and still perform a dice action. Moving
the final arbiter of any rules question. under hazardous conditions (combat, rough ter-
rain) may also call for a dice roll.

Time is a fundamental element of /Con. There*! Dice
are four distinct ways to describe divisions of time, i
Aon requires a few 10-sided dice, which you can
progressing from the smallest to the largest unit.
find in any game store. Sharing dice between players is
Tim The smallest unit of time in the [
perfectly acceptable, but can slow things down at times.
game, considered long enough to take one action.
I If you prefer your own dice, you'll want around 10 (the
A turn is defined as about three seconds in com-
Storyteller will more than likely want her own dice).
bat situations, although a turn of up to three min-
utes is acceptable in less dramatic circumstances.
Scene One compact period of action
and roleplaying that takes place in a single loca- Trait Ratings
tion. A scene is comparable to a scene in a movie.
It takes as few or as many turns to resolve events A character's Traits innate and learned
as are necessary. capabilities, called Attributes, Abilities and Ap-
Episode One independent part of a titudes are defined by a number of dots.
series, often played in one game session, made Traits are rated from one to five dots; indi-
up oF scenes connected by downtime. cates a mediocre level of skill, while in-
Series A complete tale, with an intro- dicates the absolute peak oF human capability.
duction, buildup and climax, that often takes several Trait ratings are recorded by filling in the ap-
episodes to complete. Your series is the continuing propriate dots on the character sheet.
narrative that your cast creates. Abo called the story. x Abysmal
Downtime The time between scenes Poor
or episodes that characters may spend resting, Average
recuperating or possibly learning new talents. Any Good
time that characters are not actively participat- Exceptional
ing in a story is considered downtime. Superb

Arhions Rolling Dice and Dice Pools

Characters take lots of actions in the course When your character takes a dice action,
of a story. Players may act out conversations or you roll one die for every dot in the Traits most

suited to that task. The Storyteller decides which are one who improves upon her natural capability through
the best Traits simply by choosing the Ability that best training will generally perform better than someone who
covers the action being attempted. tries to get by purely on raw talent.
Attributes (innate capabilities) and Abilities Personality Traits
(things you know and have learned) have individual rat-
Two Traits have no Abilities related to them
ings, but are added together to determine a Skill Total.
Willpower and Psi. Each Trait has both a permanent
If your character has a 3 Perception and you put two
and current rating. The permanent rating (designated
dots in Awareness, your Awareness Skill Total is 5.
by dots on the character sheet) usually stays the same.
Whenever your character performs an Awareness-re-
However, the character's current rating (noted by the
lated action, you roll five dice.
squares on the character sheet) can fluctuate during
This Skill Total (also called a DicePoo!) is recorded
an episode. Dice actions using Personality Traits are
on the character sheet in the square with each Ability.
based on the character's permanent scores (the dots)
The Dice Pool is the total number oF dice you roll for a
not the current ratings (the squares).
single action. Characters usually perform only one ac-
Personality Traits are discussed in more detail in
tion in a turn, although you may wish to try more than
Chapter Three: Traits, starting on page 1?0.
one (see Multiple Actions, below).
Each Dice Pool derives from a single Skill Total, and and Failure
defaults to the appropriate Attribute if the character has
When you roll your Dice Pool, you want each die to
no rating in an Ability. The only exceptions are Dice Pools
match or exceed the Target Number. The Target Num-
Figured from Personality Traits (see page 190).
ber is a/ways 7 So each die that comes up an 7, 8, ? or 0
Default Traits (10) is considered a success. A success is just that a
On occasion your character may not have a rating in positive result, a successful resolution. Conversely, if all
an Ability that the Storyteller designates. IF so, you de- the dice you roll come up less than a 7, your action fails.
fault to the Attribute on which the Ability is based. So if All you have to know when you roll is the number oF
the Storyteller calls for an Awareness roll, but you put no successes you need; if you get at least the minimum quantity,
points in that Ability, you simply use your character's rat- you succeed. The standard number of successes necessary
ing in Perception. This system reflects the idea that some- for any task is always one (unless the Storyteller says other-
wise). Extra successes beyond the minimum can sometimes
be used for additional effect (at the very least, extra suc-
cesses mean your character accomplishes the action in a su-
perior and notable Fashion). See Complications, bdow, for
Option: Cross-Matching information regarding easier and more difficult actions.
Attributes and Abilities Total Successes Rolled Degree of Success
>Eon's Attribute/Ability combinations match
up the most appropriate Attribute to a given Abil- One Standard
ity; this helps greatly in streamlining game play. Two Superior
Still, the Storyteller may decide that a more ap- Three Remarkable
propriate Attribute/Ability match is called for un- Four Astonishing
der certain unusual circumstances. Five Phenomenal
On these rare occasions, the Storyteller may ask For Example: Hiroko Foster notices an enforcer who
for a cross-matched roll simply by declaring the At- works for Valentine Cleff lounging outside her flat. Not
tribute and Ability combination he feels is most suit- wanting to get involved in the black-market organ trade,
able (this is the only time that the Storyteller need call Hiroko sneaks out the back. Stealth is the obvious Trait
for the Attribute as wet! as the Ability to be used). You to use and the Storyteller asks for a standard roll. Hiroko's
then take each Attribute rating and Ability rating (not Stealth Skill Total is 5, so her player rolls five dice and
Skill Total) and add them together; this is your Dice needs to get at least one success. The player gets: 3, 5,
Pool for that roll. Cross-matching should happen only 6,8 and 0. Hiroko not only succeeds, she does so with an
rarely, when the Storyteller feels it adds to the plot. extra success, slipping past the enforcer with ease.
For Example: Astin Marko hears a scuffle in an Complications
alleyway and sees a pair ofstummers accosting some-
one. Wanting to get their measure before he wades It isn't difficult to get at least one success, even
in, Astin tries identifying the punks' fighting style. with only a couple of dice. If your group is heavily into
The Storyteller thinks Martial Arts is appropriate, roleplaying, the simple rolls described above serve to
but it really calls for an Intelligence test. Instead of move the game along with a minimum of distraction.
using his normal Martial Arts Skill Total [Dexterity -f The options below serve to accent the game's action
Martial Arts], Astin's player combines his 3 Intelli- and cinematic qualities with an added level of complex-
gence and 2 Martial Arts for a total of five dice. ity, but are still designed for smooth gameplay.
Botches more successes that are needed. Any extra successes you
get beyonWthe difficulty indicate that your character does
Mormatly if none of your dice roll a 7 or higher,
an even more outstanding job than required.
your character simply fails. IF any dice on such a Failed
roll come up Is, you've botched. A botch is an unfortu- Difficulty Rating Degree of Difficulty
nate result; not only does your character Fail the ac- Zero Standard
tion, but she does so rather significantly. However, as +1 Tough
long as you roll at least one success, any is are ignored. +2 Challenging
The specific circumstances of a botch are up to the +3 Difficult
Storyteller, but they should affect the character adversely +4 Critical
and should relate to the action being attempted. A botch's For Example: Hiroko runs from the magtrain terminal,
severity depends on the total number of Is rolled; the more the enforcer hot on her heels. A hovercycte turns t/K comer
botches you roll, the worse the disaster. While a single casually. Hoping fora fast getaway, Hirckojumps forthe cycle.
botch may result in only temporary distress, a major botch The Storyteller decides that landing on a moving bike is tricky,
should result in a spectacular problem. and declares +2 to difficulty. Hiroko has a 6 Athletics, so her
Total Botches Rolled Degree of Botch player needs to get three successes on six dice. She rolls: 2,3,
6,7,8 and ?. With three successes, Hiroko lands on the cyde,
One Embarrassing
grabbing the surprised driver around his waist.
Two Unfortunate
Three Severe Extended Actions
Four Disastrous Some tasks require multiple successes to complete.
Five Catastrophic These extended actions often take more than one turn to
For Example: Hiroko heads for a nearby magtrain complete, although not always. The additional successes are
terminal. The Storyteller asks for an Awareness roll. cumulative, reflecting that sustained effort is needed to ac-
Hiroko doesn 't have any points in A wareness and de- complish the action. You can keep trying to obtain successes
faults to her 4 Perception. Rolling four dice, her player until you gather the required amount or until you botch. If
gets }, 3. 4 and 6; a botch. The Storyteller decides you botch during an extended action, the Storyteller may
Hiroko is so pleased with slipping past Valentine's en- decide that you lose a "saved" success for each botch, or
forcer that she not only fails to see another enforcer that you lose them all and must start again from scratch
in the terminal, but Hiroko runs right into the thug! or even that you messed up so badly that you can't try again.
Automatic Successes Extended actions are more complicated than standard
actions, and should seldom be employed in the middle of
Your character may be so skilled in a certain task
intense roleplaying. The action in the game should reflect
that you need not roll For it. At the Storyteller's discre-
what types of rolls are needed, not the other way around.
tion, your character has an automatic success iF her Skill
For Example: Noticing the commotion Hiroko is caus-
Total For an action is at least equal to the Target Num-
ing, the thug posted outside her flat takes advantage of
ber oF 7. So if you have eight dice or more, your char-
the distraction and breaks into Hiroko's apartment. Since
acter succeeds automatically you don't even need
he's hired muscle, not a burglar, the thug decides to break
to roll. Still, it's merely a standard success; you might
down the door. The Storyteller figures the thug must get
want to roll anyway to achieve extra successes.
a total of four successes in an extended action to snap a
You may also spend a Willpower point to earn an
solid lock. The enforcer has a? Might, so his player rolls
automatic success. This "free" success is in addition to
seven dice. He gets an abysmal t, 2,2, 4,5,6 and 9; the
any successes gained by rolling dice, but the Willpower
door buckles slightly but doesn't give. On his next turn,
point must be spent prior to your roll. You won't want
the player rolls 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, ? and 10. The four successes
to do this too often. While Willpower points are easy to
this turn plus the one from the previous turn are more
spend, they're not easy to earn. Only one Willpower
than enough to send the door crashing back on its hinges.
point may be spent per turn to gain a Free success.
Difficulty and Difficult Actions Multiple Actions
Your character can also perform multiple actions
Most of the time you need only one success to com-
in a turn. The total number oF actions the character takes
plete an action. However, some tasks, like performing a
is how many dice are subtracted from the First task at-
I trick shot or disabling an encrypted lock, can be more
tempted in that turn. Each action after the first loses
challenging. The Storyteller declares difficult actions when
an additional die beyond that amount (cumulative). So
appropriate, designating a certain number of successes
if your character tries to perform three actions in a turn,
that you need to roll for your character to complete the
you subtract three dice from the First task's Dice Pool,
task. The difficulty to a roll is always listed as a number oF
four From the second, and five from the third. If the
additional successes needed beyond the standard one. So
total actions bring your Dice Pool for any one task to
a "+2 to diFFiculty" means you must get a total oF three
zero, that action cannot be attempted.
successes. The harder the action being attempted, the

jw- 'fp

C H A f I E SYSTEMS 1 61

Far Example: Back on the street, Hiroko 's having with no Might Ability and 2 Strength ratings. The Storyteller
trouble getting the irate cycle driver to flee the scene rolls for the driver, getting 5 and 8. Hiroko s player rolls 8
while the enforcer simultaneously takes aim on them and 9. While the driver resists her, Hiroko has just enough
with a netgun. Short on time, Hiroko performs two ac- leverage to goose the bike's speed back up.
tions: shooting at the enforcer and intimidating the Some actions are both extended ant/resisted, One
driver. With two actions, Hiroko's player subtracts two opponent must collect a certain number of successes
from her 6 Firearms Ability (rolling four dice for: 2, 5, in order to win. All successes rolled above the
5 and 6) and three from her 4 Intimidation (rolling one opponent's total number oF successes in a single turn
die for: 0). Hiroko's stunner shot misses the thug, but are added together. The first opponent to collect a des-
the weapon s scream combined with Hiroko's shouting ignated number of successes wins the contest.
startles the driver. He cranks the throttle and, turbines For Example: Hiroko's impromptu chauffeur loses
roaring, the hovercycle tears off down a side alley. his temper and tries throwing Hiroko off the bike. The
Resisted Actions Story teller states that whomever gets three successes
first on resisted Might rolls stays on the hovercycle,
Sometimes your character's efforts will oppose
while the losing character gets tossed to the ground. In
another's, just like in a tug of war. Ir resisted actions you
the first turn, the Storyteller rolls for the driver and
each make rolls usir>g the appropriate Traits. If you score
gets 3 and 9; Hiroko'splayer comes up with 4 and 6. In
more successes than your opponent does, your character
the second turn, the Storyteller's roll is 7 and 3;
succeeds at her action before the other character does.
Hiroko's player gets 5 and 8. At the start of the third
Your total successes are then reduced by the amount that
turn, the cycle driver is up by two successes with the
your opponent rolled; the successes remaining are used
Storyteller rolling again for ?and 0; Hiroko's player,
for the action itsdF. In this way, even if your opponent
astounded by the Storyteller's successes, rolls I and 7.
can't beat you, she can dimmish your efforts.
With a total of three successes, the driver shoves
fV&campfe; The hovercycle driver's surprise lasts only
Hiroko offtheback of the careening cycle. Adding in-
for a moment, and he tries to bring the bike to a stop. Hiroko
jury to insult, the Storyteller imposes two Bashing
reaches forward and tightens her grip over the driver's, hop-
Health Levels of damage on Hiroko as she slams into
ing to force the throttle back up. The Storyteller calls for
the unforgiving concrete. Hiroko lifts her head in
both to make Might rolls. The characters are evenly matched
stunned disbelief as the hovercycle speeds away.

''!~ ipr"

:. ,. <"! ,.- -, ;.',

1 62

Teamwork Examples of Rolls

Characters car combine successes, generally dur- The following are a few examples of how to
ing an extended action. At the Storyteller's discretion, use these rules. Remember, each of the Abilities
two or more players can roll separately and total their mentioned ties directly to a specific Attribute; un-
successes. While teamwork is effective in repairing less stated otherwise, you can always default to that
devices, collecting information or in combat, the tag- Attribute if you don't have the appropriate Ability.
team approach can be confusing in social situations. The entire list of Attributes and Abilities is detailed
For Example: Since the enforcer in the street bad no in Chapter Three Traits, starting on page 180.
chance to catch up to Hiroko, he goes inside her flat to help An electrical conduit blows nearby. Roll Athlet-
his partner. The two thugs ransack the place, trying to find ics or Martial Arts to dodge out of the way.
the holofile recordings thatHiroko took of her last conver- Sneaking through the Orgotek warehouse, you
sationwith Valentine Cleff. The Storyteller decides that the stumble across a guard. You both roll Initiative to
enforcers will need to get three successes to find Hiroka s ) see who reacts first.
safe since it's hidden behinda fake panel. The first enforcer' The power is out and the airlock's manual release is
has a 5 Investigation and his player rolls 5, 5, 6, ? and 0. jammed. Roll Might at +2todifficulty to pry thedoorsopen.
The second thug must default to his 3 Perception, his player You've been driving your hovercar across the
getting 1,3 and 8. The enforcers discover the smallptasteel Outback for the past 10 hours straight, hoping to reach
safe: now all they need to do is find a way to open it. Perth by dawn. Roll Endurance to avoid nodding off.
Second Chances Two overly curious soldiers question you about
your "borrowed" officer's uniform. You could roll
Failure is frustrating. If you're having trouble with
either Command to order them away or try Savvy
your computer and can't figure out why, you're in for an
to offer them a bribe.
evening of increasing frustration and decreasing produc-
No matter what you do, you can't get the young
tivity. Aon reflects this "frustration with failure" by al-
girl to tell you what's wrong. Roll Rapport to get a
lowing the Storyteller to increase the successes needed
sense of what's troubling her.
for any action that you try again after an initial failure. So
You need to jump across the service bay to the exit
if a first attempt at picking a simple manual lock fails, a
while avoiding laser fire. Roll Athletics at +2 to difficulty.
character's frustration with her failure could make her try
Suspicious customs officials don't like the look
too hard the second time. To reflect this, the Storyteller
of the ore you've brought back from Mars. Roll
asks for two successes. Of course if the character fails
Subterfuge at +1 to difficulty to assure them that
yet again, things will continue to escalate....
it's entirely harmless and worthless.
The Storyteller shouldn't invoke this rule in in-
Your vocoder is on the fritz. Roll Linguistics at +2 to
stances such as combat. Missing a target isn't terribly
difficulty to figure out what the shopkeeper is yelling about.
surprising under such circumstances, considering that
Despite your best efforts, it looks like this free-
everyone is dodging about, ducking for cover and gen-
booter won't listen to reason. Roll Brawl or Mar-
erally not being polite enough to stand still.
tial Arts to show him the back of your hand.
Modes The skimmers outnumber you five to one and they
There is one difference to dice actions involving don't look like they're in the mood to talk. Roll In-
psi powers. Simply put, your Dice Pool for Modes isn't timidation at +3 to difficulty to impress upon them
based on an Attribute or Ability. Your character's per- that this will hurt them more than it'll hurt you.
manent Psi rating determines her Dice Pool, instead. You burst into the cabin to discover the pilot is
Whenever your character uses a psi power, you roll a nowhere to be found, and the shuttle is hurtling
number of dice equal to her Psi. directly toward an asteroid, Roll Pilot to steer the
For Example: Hurt by her fall, Hiroko uses the ship out of harm's way.
vitakinetic power Mending to heal her wounds. Hiroko s The bioware this thug was using looks distinctly
player spends a point of Psi and rolls seven dice (equal nonstandard. Roll Engineering at +1 to difficulty to
to Hiroko's Psi score). The player rolls: 1,2, 5, 5, 9, 0 determine its origin.
and 0. Since each success heals a Bashing Health Level, A pair of American-model orbital fighters scream
the three successes restore Hiroko to full health easily. out from behind the moon's shadow. Roll Firearms to
As Hiroko picks herself up and dusts off her clothes, fire your laser cannon right back at them.
she decides it might be best to lay low For a while. It's your first time at this /ton Trinity office and
you've forgotten your security code. Make a
straight Intelligence roll to recall it.
You could really use that fellow's platinum card.
Roll Legerdemain at +1 to difficulty to lift the wal-
let from his breast pocket.
What's that chiming noise? Roll Awareness to find out.
H. - ....,,. :;....._.......

It.. _ im jE^J. .in

C H AP '

B efore you enter the Aon universe, you First

create a character. However, the character
creation process involves more than just saying,
the team doesn't have to be a Norca enforce-
ment squad, members should be able to stay on
the same ship without blowing it up. It also helps
"1 want to be a...." You need to know who your to Figure out why the members of your team are
character is and what she has the potential to do, together. Cultural, ethical or personal ties are j ust
her likes and dislikes, her background, and more. a few reasons why psions might work together.
Deciding all of this is covered step by step in this IF your character doesn't Fit in with the rest oF
chapter, giving you the chance to create a unique the team, you may Find yourselF sitting out of a
psion whom you enjoy playing. lot oF the action, or splintering the group.
Character creation starts with a basic con-
cept, then you assign the character's Traits to Character Crcatini
determine what she can do, and finally fill in the
All the steps of character creation are de-
details on the story of her life. You should create
tailed here. You'll create a character in less than
a character who is interesting For you to play, for
30 minutes by Following this process. This chap-
your friends' characters to interact with and For
ter is concerned primarily with the mechanics
your Storyteller to incorporate into the story. The
oF allocating points For Traits and with filling in
goal is not to make the ultimate psion, capable of
the blanks of other areas oF your character.
destroying cities with a thought: if you easily
Chapter Three: Traits, page 177, and Chap-
trounce everyone you meet, your series is likely
ter Four: Aptitudes, page l?4, give expanded and
to be extremely dull. Characters with strengths
detailed information on each of the sections out-
and weaknesses are far more interesting, if only
lined below.
because the more challenging the struggle, the
sweeter the victory. Step One; Concept
Character creation ts not a random process; you
You begin by formulating a basic concept
build your character from the ground up, to your own
For your character. You don't need to know all
specifications. You assign Traits and choose every-
the details of her life at this point; you just need
thing about your character. That way you're certain
to have a general feel For who she is. You can
to play a character whom you Find entertaining.
add specifics later on in the process; right now
Also consider how well your character will -
you're just interested in the basics.
interact with the rest of the team. The universe is
You need to determine Four things at this
a dangerous place; a team has enough to worry
stage: Who you are, what powers you have, what
about without dealing with internal strife. While
you're like and where your loyalties lie.
Psions don't spring fully Formed into the
/ton universe. Your character had a life before
Role of the Storyteller she was triggered. You must decide what she did,
The Storyteller should guide the players how she lived and what was unique about her.
through character creation, It helps move the This concept may describe her profession, her
process along with a minimum of time and fuss
personality or her interests. The following ori-
if the Storyteller is on hand to offer assistance. gins are merely suggestions; if none of them fit
First, pass out the character sheets and the idea you have in mind For your character or
give the players a couple minutes to look them seem too restrictive, feel Free to create your own.
over and ask questions. Then go through the Affluent: Connoisseur of fine things (idle
character creation process, helping the play- rich, executive, dilettante).
ers create well-balanced characters. Artist: A creative personality (writer,
Sometimes character creation can take dancer, actor, painter).
an entire game session. This is Fine; the play- Gambler: Life is a game (thrillseeker, ir-
ers shouldn't feel rushed and should take the reverent, youth).
time to create believable characters. If you want Hermit: Cast adrift in the universe (vaga-
to cut down on time spent, encourage your bond, recluse, scarred veteran).
players to have their ideas ready beforehand. Nobody: Just an average, everyday per-
Once you're done with the practical de-
son (student, working stiFF, grunt).
tails oF creating characters, you can spend Outsider: Fallen through society's cracks
the rest of the session running Prologues.
(slummer, dispossessed, neurotic).
These serve as introductory stories, allow-
Philosopher: Yours is a world of poten-
ing both you and your players to get to know tials (dreamer, student, idealist).
the characters and the >Eon universe.

Pioneer: The universe is a wonderful mystery

(researcher, trallblazer, environmentalist).
Protector; One who cares for others (police,
doctor, missionary, teacher).
Rebel: Shaking up the status quo (criminal,
gang member, politician).
Saint: You Follow a higher purpose (priest, vi-
sionary, theologian).
Scholar: Learning is its own reward (profes-
sor, theorist, scientist).
Warrior: Conflict draws you (vigilante, sol-
dier, crusader).
for Example: Dee wants to create an /fon char-
acter. Before spending any points, she thinks about
what type of character she'll play. Since she's rela-
tively new to gaming, Dee decides this alternate self
will echo her own personality in most respects. Dee
sees this character being somewhat bookish and
easygoing, optimistic and slightly naive at times.
Then, to separate herself from her character. Dee
decides that her creation grew up in a rough area
arid escaped it by pursuing a career in computers.
She decides the Pioneer Origin best suits the idea
she has in mind.
Next you choose your character's Nature, a person-
al ity archetype that best suits her true personality. This
self-perception guides how your character interacts with
the Aon universe (see Nature, page 177, for detailed in-
for Example: Dee settles on Europe as her
character's home and picks the name Batya Olis. Next,
Dee looks at the Natures so that she may determine
Batya's fundamental mindset. This takes some thought.
Batya could be an Analyst, considering her curious and
scientific personality; however. Dee finds that
too...analytical. Visionary sounds interesting, but Dee
can't think of what Batya might be searching for. Dee
Finally decides that Explorer suits Batya's inquisitive
A pivotal aspect of any Aon character is her Apti-
tude, her psionic capability. Noetic scientists don't yet
understand why an individual has a given potential or why
the Prometheus Effect imprints only a specific Aptitude.
You may choose any one of the six Aptitudes that the
orders currently teach (see Chapter Four Aptitudes, page
194, for specif ics). An Aptitude is the "branch" of psionics
that your character has developed; it doesn't dictate loy-
alty to an order (Allegiance covers that).
Most psions maintain loyalty to the orders that
; trained them in their Aptitudes. Yet, after learning how
[to control their powers, a few Gifted join different or-
| ders. Some have even been known to leave the orders

entirely For a corporation, nation, society or even their For Example: Dee determines Batya's Attribute
own causes. You must determine where your character's categories as follows:
ideals and loyalties lie. Keep in mind that there's a lot of Mental is primary. The character is curious and
friction between some orders, restricting the type of psion perceptive, wondering what makes things tick in ma-
that certain orders will allow to join them, no matter what chines, people and everything around her, Batya's es-
her personal outlook. See Allegiance, page 17*?, for de- cape into intellectual pursuits made her childhood bear-
scriptions of the orders' general philosophies. able (she was raised in a Polish family that scraped by
Although most psions have an Allegiance to a spe- through various menialjobs in the Warsaw metroplex).
cific order (or to the /on Trinity), you shouldn't feel Dee splits the seven points available to the pri-
restricted by this. Depending on your character's con- mary Attribute group as follows: three in Perception,
cept, she may have an Allegiance to a specific govern- three in intelligence and one in Wits. These points are
ment, corporation, religion, criminal organization added to the one free point that psions receive for each
or she may deny any ties and try going it alone. Attribute, putting Batya at 4 Perception, 4 Intelligence
Allegiance determines the basic training that your and 2 Wits. Batya is a very shrewd observer and has
psiori receives. The Ability groups for each Allegiance an impressive reasoning facility; however, she some-
are listed under Step Three: Choosing Abilities, below. times lets her eagerness overwhelm her common sense
For Example: Since Dee wants Batya to be skilled in her pursuit of knowledge. Since Batya has two At-
with computers, Dee reasons that her character was tributes of four, Dee must choose a Quality for each.
discovered through one of Orgotek's aptitude tests. She picks Attentive for Batya s Perception, and Bright
Dee likes the roleplaying potential of Electrokinesis and for her Intelligence.
picks that as Batya's Aptitude. However, Orgotek is Dee makes Social her secondary Attribute cat-
too corporate for her tastes. Dee decides that Batya's egory. A pleasant, amiable person, Batya enjoys being
talent came to the attention of the/Eon Trinity, which around others. Although labeled "slummers "like other
offered her a position in its Triton Division. /Eon Trin- low-class families, Batya's parents were always sup-
ity is noted as Batya's Allegiance. portive and encouraged her to think positively. This
enthusiasm is Batya's best defense against adversity.
Step Two: Choosing Attributes Of the five points available to secondary At-
Attributes are innate potentials represented by nu- tributes, Dee allocates two to Appearance, one to Ma-
merical ratings. These Traits are the basis for all of your nipulation and the last two to Charisma, giving Batya a
character's capabilities. Each character's Attributes are 3 Appearance, 2 Manipulation and 3 Charisma. Batya
rated on a scale of one to five and are represented by is a pretty, outgoing woman, but she doesn't usually
dots: is abysmal, is average, and is in- apply her charm to exploit others.
credible. Psions start with a rating of one dot in each of Dee makes Physical A ttributes the remaining, ter-
the nine Attributes, which may then be improved upon by tiary category. Batya s mental studies didn 't leave her
spending Attribute points on a one-for-one basis. much time to work on her physical abilities. She's
Attributes are divided into three areas: Physical, healthy, but Batya's no Olympic hopeful.
Mental and Social (see Attributes, page 180, For de- With only three points to spend, Dee weighs her
tailed information). You must prioritize these three At- options. She spends two points on Dexterity and one
tribute categories, determining one area in wtiich your on Stamina, so Batya has a 1 Strength, 3 Dexterity and
character is particularly adept (primary), one in which 2 Stamina. Dee doesn't envision Batya to be particu-
she's Fairly average (secondary), and one in which she's larly strong, but does consider her nimble. -
weak (tertiary). You spend seven Attribute points in
your primary area, five Attribute points in your sec-
StepThriree; (Tinnsinn Abilities
ondary area and three Attribute points in your tertiary As Attributes are your character's innate quali-
area. Allocate the points within each group however ties, Abilities are the skills and talents that she has de-
you see fit (from putting the majority of points in one veloped in her life (see Abilities, page 182, For specif-
Attribute to spreading them out evenly). If an Attribute ics). Abilities are rated from (basic) to (su-
ends up lower than you'd like, don't worry. You may perior). Abilities begin with a rating of zero, not 1 as
improve it later with bonus points or experience. Attributes do. You have 10 Ability points to spend on
Any element of your character's concept may sug- your Ability Group (listed below), and another 13 points
gest the placement of Attribute points. A highly devel- to spend on other Abilities as you choose. You may dis-
oped clairsentient might have strong Mental Attributes, tribute Ability points on a one-for-one basis however
while a character used to relying on his wits might have you see fit, although individual Ability ratings cannot
high Social Attributes. be higher than three at character creation. Bonus points
IF any of your character's Attributes are rated at may be spent here, as they can be with Attributes.
four dots or higher, you need to choose a Quality for it. Concept is important to deciding where to assign Abil-
See Qualities, page 160, for specifics. ity points. A bookish technician won't be very skilled in com-
three points in Academics, two in Investigation, one in
Option: Pooling Attribute Points Firearms and two in Subterfuge, and picks the Martial
and Ability Points Arts Ability for two points.
Instead of splitting your Attribute points be- " Dee spends her remaining 13 Ability points after
tween primary, secondary and tertiary groups, you some thought. She puts one point in each of Athletics,
may spend the total 15 Attribute points any way Medicine, Rapport and Style. Two points go to each of
you see fit. The only limitation is that you can put ' Awareness, Intrusion and Science. Since Batya is supposed
no more than eight and no less than two points in to be a whiz with computers, Dee allocates three points to
any one Attribute group. Engineering. She wants to give Batya the Computers Spe-
Similarly, instead oF taking an Ability group, cialty, but that will have to wait for bonus points.
you can take the total 23 Ability points and dis-
tribute them among your Abilities any way you like.
Step Four; Advantages
As before, individual Ability ratings may not begin Advantages are unique resources (Backgrounds)
higher than three at character creation. and special capabilities (Aptitudes). You have a spe-
cific number of points to spend on a one-for-one basis
in each advantage category. Advantages are rated
(minor) to (advanced). You may spend bonus
points here as you can with Attributes and Abilities.
bat, while a foot soldier won't know much about piloting deep-
space craft. You may choose an area of specialization within
an Ability; see Specialties, page 182, for more information. Backgrounds measure your "place" in the >on
universe. They're a measure oF who you know, who
Ability Groups knows you and what resources you can draw upon. You
These are Ability clusters in which groups focus have seven points to allocate among your character's
their training; a character's Ability group is based on Backgrounds. Your choices should reflect your charac-
her Allegiance. You need not put points in every Ability ter concept (see Backgrounds, page 136, for details).
listed in your group, but you can put no more than three For Example: White Dee has a good idea of where
in any one Ability. Batya came from and what she knows, Dee isn't cer-
While only the orders and the Trinity are listed tain what her character's Backgrounds might be. Things
here, Ability groups are available for whatever Alle- fall into place with a little thought.
giance you choose. The Storyteller selects six Abilities Dee puts two points in Allies, one for each of
that he Feels best represent your particular Allegiance. Batya s parents. Dee thinks Batya used her ties to
>Escubpians: Academics, Awareness, Medicine, Orgotek and the ,on Trinity to get her folks better
Meditation, Resistance, Science jobs. She suggests the idea to the Storyteller, who likes
1SRA: Athletics, Awareness, Investigation, the concept; Batya's father becomes a mid-level se-
I Meditation, Pilot, Rapport curity guard, and her mother becomes an assistant
The Legions: Athletics, Brawl or Martial Arts, medical technician in the Warsaw metroplex. Dee then
Command, Firearms, Melee, Survival puts a point in Cipher, deciding that Batya used her
The Ministry: Bureaucracy, Command, Eti- computer skills to cover her past. Following that train
quette, Interrogation, Martial Arts, Rapport of thought, Dee assigns a point to Contacts, which rep-
Norca: Athletics, Brawl or Martial Arts, Intru- resents that Batya has established a tenuous relation-
sion, Melee, Stealth, Savvy ship with users in the murky OpNet. Since Batya was
Orgotek: Academics, Bureaucracy, Firearms, able to raise herself From her destitute beginnings, Dee
Science, Subterfuge, Engineering allocates two points to Resources. Finally, Dee puts a
yton Trinity: Academics, Investigation, Fire- point in Status, thinking that Batya is a low-ranking but
arms, Resistance, Subterfuge, one close combat Abil- noted member of the /Eon Trinity.
ity (Brawl, Martial Arts or Melee)
Skill Totals Having chosen your character's Aptitude already,
As Attributes are raw capabilities and Abilities are you distribute points among its special powers, called
learned talents, the two combine to Form your character's Modes. Each Aptitude has three Modes; you have only
Skill Totals. To calculate a Skill Total, take the base At- three points to spend among Modes. This isn't a lot to
tribute, add the relevant Ability and write the total after allocate to a central aspect of your character, so be
the Ability rating on your character sheet (in the box af- careful when selecting powers (see Chapter Four Ap-
ter the row of five dots). Whenever you make a roll, your titudes, page 1?4, for choices). Bonus points can buy
Dice Pool equals the Skill Total in that box. more powers in your Aptitude, but starting characters
For Example: Dee has 10 Ability points to spend cannot have more than three dots in a Mode.
based on Batya's &on Trinity Allegiance. Dee puts Bonus points can also buy one dot in an auxiliary

H A R AC T 1 671

Mode, a power outside of your character's Aptitude that your character reinforces belief in herselF (by acting
manifested during the transformation into a psion. Hu- true to her nature) see Willpower, page 170, for
mans can't yet exhibit multiple Aptitudes, even by un- Further details.
dergoing the Prometheus Effect. However, auxiliary Permanent Willpower begins at five dots, and bo-
Modes are vestigial signs of this potential. While you nus points may be spent to raise it (to a maximum of
may buy more than one auxiliary Mode, they may never 10). Current Willpower starts equal to your character's
be rated higher than one dot. permanent score.
Far Example: Dee considers long and hard how to Psi
spend the three points onBatya's Electrokinesis Modes.
The subquantum universe is the Fifth force oF na-
She Finally decides thatBatya has developed her con-
ture, discovered by humanity only with the emergence
trot ofhardtech devices relatively well, but is also work-
of psionic powers. Psi energy permeates all things and
ing on manipulating organics. Dee puts two points in
beings and thus unites all powers and forces in the uni-
Technokinesis and a point in Electromanipulation.
verse. Psi rates your character's psionic capacity and
Step Five: Finishing Touches attunement to the energy of all things. Permanent Psi,
listed as circles on the character sheet, measures your
All that's left to do is to fill out or develop the last ele-
character's overall psionic strength. This is not only the
ments of the character, These final details are as important
ability to manipulate psionic energy, but an indication
as any other dement of bringing your character to life.
of the amount of biotech that may be handled safely.
Willpower The current rating, listed as squares, describes reserves
Willpower measures the power of convictions of psionic energy and is used to power Modes (refer to
and self-control. The circles on your character sheet Psi, page 1?1, For more specifics).
reflect your character's maximum or permanent Will- To determine Psi score, add your character's
power rating (also called the score), which is the theo- Stamina, Wits and Charisma, and divide the total by two
retical limit of determination. The squares track your (round fractions up). The result is your character's
character's momentary force of will; this current rat- starting rating, although you may use bonus points to
ing (also referred to as points) drops as will is ex- increase it (to a maximum of 10). Current Psi starts equal
erted (by spending Willpower points), and grows as to the permanent rating.

1 6B C H A P T E R TWO C H A R A C T E R

Initiative Bonus Points

Initiative is used whenever there is a question as Bonus points are used to Fill in die blanks left on the
to which character performs an action before another character sheet during basic character creation. You have 15
character. Initiative is the total of your character's Dex- bonus points, and may spend them on any Attributes, Abili-
terity plus Wits. As with other advantages, you may ties or Advantages. However, Trait costs vary (see the Char-
raise this score with bonus points. acter Creation Table, below); also, Abilities and Modes can-
Movement not be raised above 3 during character creation.
For Example: The end in sight, Dee quickly notes
Movement indicates the distance your character
that Batya's Willpower score starts at 5. Batya's Psi
may travel in one action. Although not entirely realistic,
score is 4 and her Initiative is 5.
for simplicity's sake all characters have the same base
Deespends 10 bonus points, raising Bafyas Psi score to
movement; Dexterity varies running distance, however.
6.AnotherfotrincreaseTechnokine$isto3. Deeputsherfina!
Your character may walk five meters, run her Dexterity
point in Engineering to cpve Batya the Conyuters Specialty.
rating +12 meters, and sprint (Dexterity \ 3) +20 meters.

Character Creation Table

This covers ttie character creation process in short form; refer to the appropriate sections for details. Available
points are listed where relevant.
Step One: Concept
Choose Origin, Aptitude (page l?4), Nature (page 177) and Allegiance (page 17?)
Step Two: Select Attributes (page 180)
Prioritize the three areas: Physical, Mental and Social
Choose primary Attributes (7 points)
Choose secondary Attributes (5 points)
Choose tertiary Attributes (3 points) Bonus Points
Step Three: Select Abilities (page 132)
Trait Cost per dot
Choose Ability Group (based on Allegiance) (10
Attributes 5
Abilities 2
Choose other desired Abilities (13 points)
Specialties (max. three per Ability) 1
Calculate Skill Totals
Backgrounds 1
Step Four: Select Advantages
Aptitude Modes 4
Choose Backgrounds (page 186) (7 points)
Auxiliary Modes (max. one dot) 6
Choose Modes (based on Aptitude, page 1?4) (3
Willpower 2
Psi 5
Step Five: Finishing Touches 1
Record initial Willpower (5), Psi ([Stamina + Wits +
Charisma] +2, rounded up), Initiative (Dexterity + Wits),
Movement (walk 5 m, run Dex +12 m, sprint [Dex x 3] +20 m)
Spend Bonus points (15 points)

think about what events took place during your

Spark of Life character's life. Experiences have as much impact on
Now that you have the dots and Traits out of the how old you Feel as your physical age does.
way, you can personalize your creation and make her What do you look like? While the Appearance
uniquely yours. The more details you work out, the more Trait indicates how attractive you are, it doesn't say
depth your character has. While they have no direct what it is that makes you attractive, nor anything else
rules impact, these details make it easier for both you about your physical identity. Consider your other Traits,
and your Storyteller to know who your character is and including Nature and Backgrounds. Also remember that
how she fits into the series. you can be from any culture, or of any religion, race or
How old are you? Noetic scientists have found sexual orientation.
little corollary between age and psionic power. While Did you ever notice you were...different? The
most psions in the field are between 16 and 60, others Prometheus Effect merely enhances a previously ex-
range in age from adolescents to octogenarians. Also isting psionic potential. Many latents experience flashes
. 1

of power, whether they realize it or not. You may have Who Needs Psi Powers?
already been aware of your potential before being con-
tacted by a search team, or you may have been baffled Or, Playing a "Normal" Human
and confused by the inexplicable occurrences that hap- While psions are central to the events that shape
pened around you. Perhaps you have lived blissfully un- the 22nd century, you're not obligated to write one
aware of your nature. ' up. Being a psion gives your character quite an edge
How were you discovered? Each order has its over the "blanks," but some people thrive on chal-
own method of Finding recruits. Were you approached lenges. There are eight billion humans running around
out of the blue, abducted, raised from birth, stumbled in 2120; you're certainly welcome to play one of them.
across, or did you track down psions yourself? Did the Bear in mind that writing up a "neut" does call for
/Eon Trinity or some other organization discover you: some modifications to the creation system detailed
and bring you to an order? above. The following information outlines these changes.
What are your quirks? Everyone has interest-: Step One; Concept As always, your concept
ing personal details; what are yours? They can be any- is key to creating an interesting, three-dimensional
thing, from always wearing an old flight suit to having a character. You don't have to worry about that whole
morbid sense of humor. Good quirks help define your psi power angle, so disregard the "Aptitude" option.
personality and also give the Storyteller more to work Since many normal humans work for the orders, you
with for character interactions and story hooks. can even choose one as an Allegiance if you wish.
Who is important in your life? How do you feel Step Two: Choosing Attributes While you
about your family (or do you even have one)? Are your still prioritize your Attributes, your character doesn't
friends close or merely casual acquaintances? Do you get quite as many points to play with since she didn't
even keep in touch with your loved ones now that you're' undergo the Prometheus Effect. You get six dots to
one of the Gifted? Just because you've become a psion divide among the primary Attributes, four for sec-
doesn't mean you lose your previous ties although ondary Attributes and three for tertiary ones.
it may certainly change how people feel toward you, Step Three: Choosing Abilities You get
and vice versa. the same number of points to spend on Abilities
What do you own? This is usually an after- as you would for a psion: 10 for Allegiance if you
thought, but a little attention to this question is useful. choose one, and another 13 for any other Abili-
Mundane things like an apartment or clothes are con- ties. IF you don't choose an Allegiance, you get a
sidered to be covered by Resources. However, you need total oF 23 points to spend on Abilities.
to buy the weapon, computer, exploration craft or medi- Step Four: Advantages You have only six
cal gear that you want. Generally, Resource rolls are points to spend on Backgrounds, and your
used for such items although the Storyteller might character's Backgrounds cannot be speciFically
make finding that gun, computer or ship your initial psion-related. (If you want a psion mentor, you'd
story.... better have a good reason or the Storyteller's go-
How do you perceive the universe around you? ing to vote it down.) Furthermore, you start with
Your character's Psi score has some influence in this, 3 Willpower and 1 Psi. (All living things have at
but doesn't control her viewpoint. Are you a xenophile"? least t Psi; the point represents the psionic en-
Does space and all that it contains fascinate you? Do ergy that pervades all things. No, you don't get
you envy other psions? Do you yearn for your old life? any points to spend on an Aptitude.)
Are you intrigued by Aberrants? Your feelings about Other Stuff To help compensate for the
other psions, blanks, aliens and even Aberrants color disparities between neutrals and the Gifted, nor-
your interactions with them. mal humans get 21 bonus points instead of a psion's
How did you meet the rest of your team? The 15. These may be spent on anything except psi
"team" refers to the other players' characters. While the powers. The Storyteller may impose further re-
team itself can take many Forms, you still need to figure strictions depending on the story he's running, or
out how you all came together. Whether it's a willing alli- he may decide to create special details that help
ance or a marriage of convenience, be sure that there is your human character compensate (it's his call).
some level of trust between yourself and the others. The Storyteller may wish to have players write
What are your motivations? No one lives with- up their non-psion characters in this fashion even if
out some sort of motivation. What are your goals? What they're going to become psions at a later date. This
do you fear? What gives you strength? Also ask your- way, such characters are introduced and played as
self "why?" regarding these questions. Motivations can normal humans until being triggered, whereupon they
be vague (a thirst for knowledge) or very specific (you become psions and their character sheets are updated
vowed vengeance on the Fourth Legion for failing to accordingly. This gives players a chance to rea//vget
save your family). You understand who you are in flesh- into their characters before they're enhanced, mak-
ing out your ambitions and priorities. ing the transition even more dramatic.
For Example: Dee wants to establish some more most equipment for now (except for Batya s computer,
details about how Batya became apsion, what caused the which Dee decides is a top-of- the-line Wazukana). Dee
/ton Trinity to notice her and what she's been doing for is now ready to introduce Batya to the series, through
the organization since. The Storyteller asks her to keep the Prologue that the Storyteller will run for her.
all this vague for the time being, since he recognizes these
details as the perfect focus for Batya's Prologue.
The Team
Dee shrugs and decides to take care of some other Operating alone in the dangerous universe oF the
I details. She notes Batya's physical appearance on the 22nd century isn't a good idea. Psions routinely band
! back of the character sheet. She sees Batya as a slight, together in teams due to their challenging pursuits.
; young woman with short chestnut hair, a broad pretty These teams vary wildly in number of members, rep-
Face and hazel eyes. Dee thinks Batya is proud of her resentation and organization, but they all share one thing
figure and wears inexpensive but stylish Brazilian in common: a dedication to the team and to the indi-
clothes that complement her shape. viduals who comprise it.
Batya's personality is already well-detailed, but Whether you Ye creeping down a corridor checking
Dee thinks a few quirks would be evocative. She de- for Aberrant infestations or arguing the regulations in-
= cides that Batya always tinkers with her computer, volved in "requisitioning" prototype Legion bioware,you
< modifying various systems and even adjusting her need to know that your team supports you. Much like a
agent. Dee thinks an entertaining roleplaying hook family, the team may not always get along individuals
would be to combine Batya's Explorer Nature and av- could even have distinctly opposing philosophies but
erage Wits. Dee decides that Batya's curiosity often there remains a foundation of respect and reliance on one
: gets the better of her common sense, resulting in some another that can weather almost any storm.
inappropriate comments and questions when Batya Creating a Team
speaks before she thinks.
The type of team the characters comprise has a tre-
Batya's Resources afford her a comfortable
mendous bearing on what the series will be like. If the
i apartment, and even a vehicle, but Dee waits to find
Storyteller plans to run a series steeped in intrigue and
out more about where the series is set before she nails
inter-order politics, he should make sure the players know
these things down. Similarly, she decides to hold off on
PHff DH; ^~
rWQ! C H A R A C T E R

this before they create a group of combat-hungry Le-

gionnaires. In the end, the story revolves around the team Prolonup
(and, therefore, the characters); understanding what the
The Prologue is your character's introduction to
team is about helps both players and Storyteller to im-
the story. It combines back history, personal details and
merse themselves in the >on cosmos.
transformation into a psion. The Prologue is usually a
The following are a Few questions that should be
short, one-on-one rolepiaying session between player
considered about the team during character creation,
and Storyteller, and introduces you and your character
and (hopefully) answered by the end oF the Prologue.
to the Aon universe.
Where is the team based? This depends on
Most good roleplayers begin with ideas for the char-
where the Storyteller sets his series. Knowing that the
acters they want to play, customize those ideas during
team operates out of Orgotek regional offices, a Le-
creation, get a real feel for those personalities from Pro-
gion post, a patrol craft or simply meets at someone's
logues, and emerge from interactions with the Storyteller
flat gives a good basts for both Storyteller and players.
and other players' characters with full-blown characters.
How do the team members interact? A team's
These first roleplaying opportunities are critical to char-
internal dynamics can give everyone a wealth of
acter development, providing you with the chance to get
roleplaying opportunities and story hooks. Are the
inside your character's head and react to things as she
members all close friends? Is the team a business ven-
would. This is a crucial time For setting up relationships
ture? Are there any jealousies or rivalries among mem-
with people, places and things that will become impor-
bers? Are there any secrets kept From certain mem-
tant to your character in the future, making it easier and
bers? What's the level of trust and camaraderie?
more natural For your Storyteller to work those factors
What are the team's missions? This ties closely
into the series. It's also important to depict your character's
with the type of series the Storyteller runs. The team
Backgrounds during the Prologue. Using roleplaying to
may have a specific charter given to it by superiors (pa-
introduce the psion's allies or patrons, to relate how she
trol the Belt for signs of Aberrant incursion, act as
reached her current status, to describe her wealth all
emissaries to the new Qin embassy on Mars), or it may
of these things enhance your character's depth.
have its own agenda (make life rough on Orgotek, help
the elgees). The team's Focus may be on combat or in- Storyteller: Areas of Focus
trigue, and the Storyteller should be sure that missions Although the Prometheus Effect leaves a person
are geared accordingly. However, it always helps to mix forever altered, opening new vistas of perception and
things up a bit (having a rough-and-tumble Legion squad possibility, it does not change who she was. To better
escort a high-ranking UAN official to an international understand the character's existence as a psion, the
symposium can make for some interesting roleplaying). player must know what the character was like before
Is there a team leader? Decisions must be made she was triggered. Briefly roleplaying her life up to that
somehow. Does your team go by military rank or cor- point, and highlighting "defining moments" and impor-
porate structure? Is it a democratic group? Are the tant people are excellent ways to establish the charac-
members well-disciplined and respectful of others' sug- ter and to be entertained at the same time.
gestions, or do they tend toward petty squabbling? Similarly, describing the Prometheus Effect itself
What is the team's allegiance? just as individu- as it happens is much more dramatic than saying, "Okay,
als choose Al legiance, so too m ight a team. A group with you get lit up. Now you're a psion." Even the proxies
the support of an order or government can draw upon don't fully understand the process; using that mystique
this resource for finances, gear and backup although underlines the changes that happen to the character.
usually at the cost of restrictions on the members' free- Following up triggering with a sketch of initial train-
doms and responsibil ities. A team that goes it alone can ing in the psi order serves a number of functions, de-
call its own shots, but operates without a safety net. pending on the Prologue's direction. It can range From
Who are the team's enemies? The team might simply bringing the characters together to causing each
have consciously chosen to defy a specific group. Is that to question what he knows about Aberrants, aliens or even
organization aware of the team's defiance (and does it the orders themselves. Whatever the specific focus of a
care)? Are there other agencies operating contrary to Prologue, the key is to give the players a taste of the uni-
the team's goals? Is the team aware of these forces? verse. This makes each character and the setting all the
What do these enemies intend? more real and dynamic in subsequent sessions.
Why does the team exist? This is perhaps the most Each character's Prologue should ultimately set the
i mportant question of all. There's a reason why the charac- scene for the team as a whole. This introduction could
ters got together and remain together. Did they have a Friend cover the characters' joining, or could set things in mo-
in common? Were they assigned by the Trinity or some tion to bring them together in the first episode. What-
other group? Were they drawn together by similar goals or ever the case, the Storyteller should ensure that indi-
philosophies, or is it simply a marriage of convenience? vidual Prologues reinforce, however subtly, the goals
to which the team will dedicate itself.

, iSJiJsj
Automatic Each character receives one point
Fine Tuning 1
at the end of every story.
The Prologue lets you test your charac- Discovery The character understands some-
ter, making sure she can do the things you want thing new and significant about herself, her fellow psions
her to. It's not unusual to discover that an Abil- or the universe.
ity functions differently than you thought, or Exceptional Roleplay The player roleplayed
that a higher (or lower.') Trait makes more sense her character particularly well. This behavior should be
for your character. After the Prologue, you may appropriate to the character; points should not be
modify your character (with the Storyteller's awarded for outlandish, out-of-character antics.
supervision), adjusting her to better fit your Heroism The character risked life and limb
concept and the series. You don't get any more to save the day. Only the most dramatic situations
development points, but you may shift existing qualify for this award stupidity does not count.
points around as appropriate. Once you begin Wisdom The character discovered a way
the regular series, any Further modifications out of a trap or learned the truth behind a mystery. The
must be made with experience points. group often deduces solutions together, in which case
everyone should be awarded. However, if one charac-
ter pieces everything together by herself, only she gets
the award.
Creativity This point is reserved for play-
laracter Development: ers who add to the story's enjoyment, but who don't
distract from the game. This includes, but is not lim-
Your character learns many things about herself, ited to, well-developed backgrounds, character jour-
her abilities and her areas for improvement during a nals or introducing new story elements. This bonus is
story. Success and failure combine to teach you about highly discretionary and should be awarded infre-
your character's limitations and potential. Your char- quently.
acter will make mistakes, gain insight, practice and Cohesion The characters worked exception-
hopefully not repeat past errors. All of these things are ally well together, defeating their opponents or strate-
measured in a game through experience points. gically investigating all avenues of information.
The Storyteller has the responsibility of quantify-
ing each character's experiences. While the knowledge
you gain concerning plotlines, supporting characters and Experience Costs
your team cannot be measured, your character's experi-
ence can. Experience points are an artificial measure of Once experience is doled out, players can
spend it in any of the following areas. Costs vary
success or accomplishment that translate into enhanced
power and capability. The dramatic situations in which depending on the Trait involved. Also, increas-
ing Traits or buying new ones must be roleplayed
<on characters often find themselves promote fast learn-
ing as a means of survival. before spending any points (it's the roleplaying
that's important).
Awarding Experience Points
The Storyteller should award experience points Trait Increase Cost
at the end of every story. All characters typically get Attribute current rating x 6
the same number, although particularly outstanding ac- Ability current rating x 4
complishments or roleplaying can earn an individual Background current rating x 3
bonus experience. The amount of experience points Aptitude Mode current rating x 5
given depends on a number of factors. Willpower current rating x 3
Keep in mind that a story might continue for more Psi current rating x 6
than one game session, although withholding experience Initiative current rating
points for too long can frustrate players, Generally, if the
Storyteller sees a particular story arc continuing for more ; New Trait Cost
than three sessions, he should give experience about half- Ability 4
way (or even a third of the way) through. Specialty (max, current rating
The categories below describe areas in which three per Ability)
characters can win experience. Each category is worth Background 3
one experience point. No character should ever fulfill Aptitude Mode 7
every single category at one time, although multiple Auxiliary Mode (max. one dot) 10
characters may qualify for the same award.
1 73

formation, giving your character a solid foundation of

Roleplaying Development knowledge and practical experience.
Skill doesn't develop spontaneously. The dots on your You can increase knowledge-related Traits at low
character sheet are easy to fill in, but actually improving such levels with in-depth research. At higher ratings, how-
capabilities in real liFe takes time, practice and application, ever, you must combine study with application.
/ton characters, like real people, can only improve Traits Research material for raising Traits can be found
that they exercise. There are three key ways to justify in- almost any where. Digital libraries, educational program-
creasing your character's capabilities: application, research ming, printed books or even scientific experimentation
and training. You can only spend experience points on a par- can increase your character's knowledge base. New
ticular Trait if your character has used that skill, performed material appropriate to a Trait must be studied each
thorough research or received additional training. time if you wish to increase that Trait.
It is vital, whatever Training
method of development
If your character
that you follow, that the
isn't exposed to situa-
growth be roleplayed.
Whether that means
Development and Backgrounds tions in which her Abili-
Certain backgrounds can reduce the costs ties improve naturally,
seeking out your mentor
of improving a Trait. Most notably, trie Mentor she can seek training.
for formalized training or
Background provides you with direct access to Formalized training fo-
swapping tips of the trade
training or research materials. Although the Men- cuses on improving a
with others, development
tor acts as an advisor and confidant, he also can certain Trait through rig-
must be part of the story.
provide your character with the means to improve orous repetition in a con-
Taking an entire game
herself. The Storyteller should decide what Abili- trolled environment. Any
session to roll dice and in-
ties your patron might have (determined by the Trait can be improved
crease your Brawl Ability
Background's rating and the Mentor's nature). through training, al-
isn't the point. The Story-
Mentors aren't automatons that simply improve though some skills de-
teller and player should
your character's capability with a snap of their velop better through
agree upon the circum-
fingers. Your character still has to work at the Trait "real-worid" application.
stances and time neces-
and may even owe her Mentor a favor or two. Your character
sary to improve a Trait.
Contacts, Allies and even Followers may pos- can seek training from
Skill improvement need
sess superior skill in certain areas. These may prove numerous sources.
not be the focus of the
more difficult to tap for education and training than Gyms promote physical
story, but should derive
going to a Mentor, but are still excellent resources. fitness, schools edu-
logically from the plot.
Contacts usually charge fees (favors, money, in- cate and various pro-
Application formation) and certainly aren't as helpful as a real grams are designed to
Using a Trait re- teacher; however, your character may have access improve social skills.
peatedly is the primary to a wide range of training through contacts. Allies Attending most of
way to exercise it. Abili- are often very helpful and can likewise present a these training institu-
ties that you use regularly wide array of abilities; still, social or family obliga- tions costs money and
are perfect to spend ex- tions between you and your Ailiescan interfere with time. The Storyteller
perience on. Such "train- training. Followers may feel obligated to teach you, should attach an ap-
ing in the field" is suitable although they may resent the new responsibility propriate price tag and
for virtually all Traits. depending on the nature of the bond. training time, in addi-
Even if you fail in a Overall, your character's backgrounds provide tion to the experience 3
task, related Traits still a vast range of potential educational opportunities. The point cost.
qualify as practiced or ease of drawing upon these resources depends on the Finding and in-
applied. Sometimes we nature of the relationship, the background character s dulging in training is
learn more from our mis- capability and your character s own initiative. more than a way to
takes than from our suc- improve Traits. A re-
cesses. The Storyteller sourceful Storyteller
should allow you to spend can tie training ses-
experience on Traits sions into the series,
used ineffectively as well as on those used effectively. plumbing new depths in your character's identity and
Research in the story.
Research is useful for improving knowledge-re- Increasing Attributes
lated Traits. Simple study, however, does not complete Each of the Attribute groups demands a different
the process. Real-world application cements such in- focus For improvement. Physical Attributes can be im-
.: L ; ','">

proved through rigorous training or exercise. Com-

bat experience, manual labor or athletic pursuits can
all improve your character's physical prowess. Men-
tal Attributes develop mostly through discipline and
constant exposure to new material. A stagnant mind
never improves, while an active one can overcome
any limitation. The major component of improving
Social Attributes is human interaction, Practice and
some training with others can help mold social skills.
Changing a basic Attribute is the most difficult
aspect of character development. Your character's vi-
sion cannot suddenly double in clarity nor can she sud-
denly double her intelligence after reading a couple of
books. To simulate this, Attributes are one of the high-
est-cost items on the experience chart. Still, note that
an appropriate Attribute raised with experience points
improves your character's overall rating in Initiative,
Movement and in her Skill Totals as well. She must in-
crease her Psi score separately, however.
Increasing Abilities
Xton characters possess a wide range of Abili-
ties, which improve easily with the proper Focus.
Any Ability can be increased with the proper train-
ing. While such improvement is rapid at low levels,
the cost increases dramatically as your character's
expertise grows. Only the most dedicated individu-
als can master their fields.
An Ability in which your character has a Spe-
cialty increases just like any other. When the spe-
cialized Ability raises to the next dot, your character's
Specialty goes up automatically as well, remaining
one dot higher than the Ability itself. This increase
works the same for all of the Specialties that your
character has in that Ability (remember that your
character is limited to a maximum of three Special-
ties in each Ability).
Say your character currently has two dots in
Firearms, and you had previously purchased the Tar-
geting Specialty (giving your character an extra die
when aiming). Raising the Firearms Ability to three
dots costs eight experience points, and you still keep
the extra die for targeting (giving your character a 4
Firearms rating when aiming).
If you bought the 2ero-g Specialty before you
raised the Firearms rating, it would have cost Four ex-
perience. It would still cost eight experience points to
go to 3 Firearms, but both Targeting and Zero-g Spe-
cialties would still increase (giving your character a 4
Firearms rating when targeting or when firing in
Increasing Modes
Aptitude Modes require special training to im-
prove. These powerful psi effects don't simply spring
into being in an individual. Each order has training
facilities established to further its psions' develop-
.: ment. Training methods differ among the orders,

! M - :. , .,,

from the Ministry's rigorous scrutiny and evaluation to The Storyteller should make sure any changes to
ISRA's informal meditation. You may increase your a character's Backgrounds are justified through the
character's Mode ratings as long as training needs are character's own actions or that they contribute pro-
addressed appropriately in the series, through roleplay. ductively and significantly to the story. Followers don't
exist for the Storyteller to snuff; they're just as much a
Increasing Backgrounds
part of the character as her Attributes and Abilities,
Backgrounds can be improved only through actual
and should be given the same consideration.
roleplay. New Contacts cannot be studied, nor can you
practice increasing your number of close Allies or your Personality Development
Mentor's power and influence. Backgrounds develop
Your character's personality can change radically
strictly over the course of a story. The Storyteller can
over time. Innocent youths can become hardened vet-
introduce a new Contact, but if you botch the connection
erans and cynics can learn to believe in truly good
the contact might never call back. Likewise, your charac-
causes. These changes cannot be mapped on a charac-
ter may actively seek to gain more Influence by manipu- ter sheet. They develop through roleplay ing and inter-
lating politicians and local authorities. Backgrounds de-
action with other characters. Certain Traits, however,
veloped through roleplay then cost experience points to define your character's personality. Nature describes
raise. Gaining temporary citizenship in a country may con-
true personality, Allegiance reflects loyalties. Willpower
stitute only a travel visa. To make the new rating an in-
rates strength of will and Psi assesses attunement to
trinsic part of your character, a key element of her ongo-
the energy that binds all things.
ing story, you must spend the appropriate experience.
New Backgrounds develop in much the same way. Changing Nature
They're introduced into the story by you or the Storyteller. Nature defines a personality's overriding focus.
They are then made permanent by spending experience points. The forces that shape a child into an adult mold the
This doesn't mean your character can have friends, basic Fabric of her personality. These influences (par-
resources or gear only if she buys them as Backgrounds. If ents, siblings, friends, enemies) cannot be denied.
she stumbles across a case full of money or lucks onto an Even if you reject the tenets these influences uphold,
armored jumpsuit, you needn't spend experience to keep it. they still alter your perception and compel you to ac-
Backgrounds represent special relationships cept an alternative. Changing the course of these per-
(whether with another person or even a ship) that you feel sonality influences can be impossible as the child
create an important dynamic for your character. Friends, reaches maturity.
money, connections and the like that aren't purchased as For the purposes of Aon, your character's Na-
Backgrounds still exist, but they don't have the same strong ture should rarely shift, It might change only after long-
ties to your character as those bought as Backgrounds do. term influence from outside forces, in-depth "soul
You need to spend experience only on the Backgrounds searching" or after a particularly traumatic event.
that you want to be a central part of the story, a sort of If you wish to change your character's Nature, dis-
"supporting cast" of your very own. Backgrounds give your cuss it with the Storyteller so the adjustment may be
character special benefits and shouldn't be treated frivo- tied into the game. Whatever the specific circumstance,
lously (by either player or Storyteller). the change should be a dramatic story element.

Losing Traits Changing Allegiance

Allegiance indicates a group with which one shares
Generally, Attributes, Abilities and Modes can be
a similar outlook. Loyalties give an individual a sense of
reduced only due to extreme injury, loss of a limb or a
place, and help in guidance and decision making. How-
similar condition. If your character suffers an injury
ever, that individual can't help but be exposed to dif-
sufficient to impair her, the Storyteller must decide
fering views throughout life. These alternate viewpoints
what impact the accident has on her Traits. Your
can cause a person to switch allegiances or to reinforce
character's Traits should be reduced only in the most
her existing loyalties.
extreme cases.
In Aon, a change of Allegiance is not uncommon,
Backgrounds, unlike most Traits, can actually lower
but it is a rare event nonetheless. Changing Allegiance
in rating over time. Contacts, Mentors and Allies may
requires that your character's current worldview has
cease assisting you (whether due to poor treatment by
altered significantly from her previous one. Adjusting
your character, disappearing or even dying). Devices
a character's Allegiance should happen only after ex-
can break down. Countries can deport your character
periencing strong external influences, after extensive
for breaking the law. Backgrounds should only be re-
contemplation or after a dramatic incident.
duced if you abuse them (assaulting Allies, squander-
ing Resources) or if the reduction Furthers the plot Increasing Willpower
in which case the Storyteller should restore or replace Willpower is a quantified Trait that may be increased
the Background at a later date. with experience points. However, this Trait should not increase
76 C H A P T E R TWO: C H A R A C T E R

without some logical reason. A traumatic event may harden greatest dedication can stretch their mental limits.
your character's heart, strengthening her resolve. Focus and While Psi may be increased through research, medi-
meditation could lead to an improved understanding of tier tation and experiencing the ebb and flow of events, such
core being. In short, events during roleplay have a direct ef- things vary among individuals and cannot be quantified
fect on Willpower, much like they do on any other Trait. The easily. Each character's path of Psi development is a soli-
main difference between Willpower and other Traits is that tary one, and follows a path as unique as that person. In-
Willpower cannot be researched or taught. Increases in Will- sight into the connection between otherwise disparate
power should never be approved casually by the Storyteller. events, understanding the relationships between people,
Increasing Psi and glimpses into the resonance that binds all things are
Combining elements of the physical, mental and so- the keys to blossoming Psi.
As always, the Storyteller has final say as to
cial, Psi defines 3 character's psionic potential. Increasing
Psi should be as difficult and singular as undergoing the whether spending experience points in this area has
Prometheus Effect that unleashed it, Only those with the been justified in the game.

: :: .: y ::.:: !
1 77

raits register your character's capabilities, Gain Willpower when you accomplish a sig-
strengths and weaknesses. While tittle more nificant goal.
than marks on paper, Traits enable you to Bravo: There are winners and losers in
translate a complex personality into the strictures of life, and you are definitely a winner. You rein-
game reality. This Framework gives you the general force your self-worth by dominating situations,
parameters of what your character can accomplish, whether they're physical brawls or political in-
but your imagination and roleplaying shape what he trigues. You might terrorize or protect the weak,
actually does. Aon Traits are designed to be broad; but such weakness is not something you tolerate
this game is about characters, not statistics. in yourself. You don't know the meaning of fear,
The previous chapter outlined the charac- and failure is not an option. Then again, you're
ter creation and development process; this chap- not sure what discretion means either, and com-
ter contains all the Traits you may choose From to promise isn't on your list of choices.
design your character. Gain Willpower whenever you make some-
one else bach down.
Bureaucrat: Laws were created for a rea-
son, and your primary concern is to follow them.
Nature is a basic description oF your No matter what the crisis, you follow the proper
character's self-perception; no character Fits any procedure. If people don't obey the System,
Nature exactly, but one usually describes his con- chaos will run rampant. You take comfort in es-
cept well. Nature isn't all that a character is about. tablished processes, confident that they are the
Rather, it serves as a basic guide to your key to victory. Strict adherence to policy may
character's perspective or the Aon universe, and blind you to better options.
how to act in and react to that universe. Gain Willpower when a crisis is resolved
While Nature helps describe who your char- by following correct procedures.
acter really is on the inside, this may not be the Caregiver: You always try to make a dif-
face he presents to the world. However, a person's ference, helping those around you and they
mood and demeanor can change depending on depend on you for it You're not blind to the flaws
whom he's with and what situation he's in. Your of others; if anything, that makes your desire to
character's outward personality is handled en- aid them stronger. You gain strength from know-
tirely through roleplaying (although his Nature ing that you make a difference, that you ease
should accent his general disposition). the suffering in the world. Yet you have nowhere
In game terms. Nature is important because to turn for support.
it enables the character to regain Willpower Gain Willpower when you receive tangible
points. Each Nature archetype lists the criteria proof that you have helped another.
necessary to gain Willpower. See Personality Conniver: Why break your own back J]
Traits, page 190, for specifics on spending and when you can talk someone else into breaking
recovering Willpower. his for you? You always try to manipulate others
The archetypes listed here are a small sample before applying yourself. You advance your cause
of the many faces of humanity. Feel free to create by coordinating your Friends' efforts and sow-
new Natures if desired. ing dissent among your enemies. You fear that
Analyst: You approach the universe as a others may be doing exactly the same thing to
riddle to be answered. You live by logic and de- you, making it difficult for you to trust anyone.
duction; any problem can be solved in a rational Gain Willpower when you trick someone
manner. Your goal is to uncover the truth, to un- into doing what you want
derstand everything. However, your intense in- Critic You find purpose in revealing weak-
terest in finding the answers to questions can be nesses and faults, whether in artwork, an organi-
distracting, since you get caught up by minutiae zation or in a person's habits. You strive to perfect
and may lose sight of the larger issue. others by pointing out their shortcomings. You do
Gain Willpower when a rational, scientific this for their good, whether they want your help
approach helps solve a situation. or not. You can do your job too well, convincing
Architect You are driven to create some- someone that he isn't just Rawed but worthless,
thing of lasting value for those who come after you, perhaps driving away even those closest to you.
whether you create a new social order, a company, Gain Willpower when you point out a sig-
art or some other legacy. Disorder and decay are your nificant flaw that would have been harmful had
enemies; you hope to bring about order and progress it been overlooked.
through your efforts. If you become fixated on your Explorer: The prospect of finding new
goal, you may force your dream on others. places, people and things whether it's a new

^Bl, *1P

natural resource, an alien race or a musical style gives Jester: The only sane defense against an in-
your life meaning. Discoveries are your passion, and you sane universe is to laugh at it all. Sorrow and pain are
devote a great deal oF time and effort to keeping up with your enemies, and humor is your weapon. You act the
current events. The routine and commonplace bore you, Fool, the comic, to take others' minds off gloom and
and learning of someone else's discovery fills you with despair. In your pursuit to spread smiles, you may cross
envy. Your sights are constantly set on the horizon, some- the line, distracting and irritating those whom you
times at the expense of the here and now. mean to entertain.
Gain Willpower whenever you make a significant Gain Willpower whenever you can lighten the
discovery. mood or ease a tense situation.
Follower: Leaders need followers, and you await Judge: You seek to solve the problems oF others
your orders. Taking charge isn't your style. It isn't in by acting as a mediator, arbitrator or even a friend. You
your nature to rebel. In Fact, your strength comes From pride yourself on your clear judgment and ability to Find
your ability to cooperate with a variety oF personali- comprom ises. Confl ict and d issent are abhorrent to you;
ties toward a common cause. Yet, while you might Fol- you know there is always an option to which everyone
low your commander into a sun, you tend to lack the can agree. Your greatest Fear is that you may use poor
self-esteem to question such a suicidal act. judgment; thinking this way can make you doubt even
Gain Willpower if you help the team succeed be- the most obvious of choices.
cause you carry out your assigned duty. Gain Willpower any time you lead others to an
Hedonist: Life is too important to waste, so have amicable resolution.
as good a time as possible. You only go around once, Leader: You're meant to be in charge. You ex-
aFter all. You don't mind a little hard work as long as a cel at organizing, and others look to you For direc-
good time awaits you at the end of it. Pleasure is its tion. You trust your own judgment implicitly, and have
own reward, and you pity those who take life too seri- no qualms about taking over a project and shaping it
ously to realize this. Even so, your pursuit of a good the way you see fit. There are two ways to do a job:
time can take you too far. your way and the wrong way. While you may be a
Gain Willpower whenever you have a truly good master of direction, ignoring others suggestions could
time (and bring others along for the ride). be your downfall.

'iin a
C H A P T E R REE: T RA 1 79

Gain Willpower when others follow you without

disputing your decisions. Allpni
Martyr: You're ready to put yourself at risk so
Allegiance represents the ideals your character
that others or a cause succeeds, even when the sacri-
has developed or adopted. It isn't all-encompassing, but
fice isn't necessary. You drive yourself twice as hard as
does indicate your character's general world view. Al-
anyone else does, expecting no reward other than rec-
legiance is a guide to how your character views other
ognition of your efforts. Despite this suffering, you en-
groups and relates to them in a broad sense. It isn't an
dure, clinging Firmly to the belieF that you make a dif-
indication of personal loyalty, but it does influence ini-
ference. In your blind desire to throw yourself into the
tial reactions to and sweeping judgments of groups out-
breach, you could sacrifice yourself For nothing.
side your character's own. (Nature affects these per-
Gain Willpower whenever you sacrifice yourself
ceptions as well, so no two individuals with the same
or something of yours to a higher goal.
Allegiance react to the same situation in the same way.)
Rebel: You're the ultimate free thinker. Whether
While Allegiance indicates a bias, it is not a rigid
you champion a cause or simply feel contrary, you
mentality (although some characters may choose to
choose your own path. Others are welcome to join your
make it such). Like Nature, Allegiance accents your
march to a different drummer, but only if their beat
character's disposition toward certain types of people,
matches yours. You deFy authority in principle and deed,
but the specific interactions are always resolved through
even if you have similar views.
Gain Willpower whenever you act to defy an es- roieplaying.
Your character's Allegiance determines the Ability
tablished authority.
group that you may choose From when assigning Abilities.
Survivor: You can endure nearly any circum-
The Allegiances that Follow detail the outlooks held
stance. No matter what happens, you always persevere.
by the six psi orders, as well as that conveyed by the
Never say die and never give up ever. You have no
/ton Trinity. Don't be limited to holding Allegiances to
time For those who crumble at the First sign of adver-
only these groups; Allegiances can be had for govern-
sity. In Fact, to be saFe, you avoid forming close ties
with others. You'll pull through whatever the odds, even ments, corporations or other groups if you wish.
/Esculapian: Vitakmetics are dedicated to the
if it means sacrificing others.
Gain Willpower whenever you survive a difficult care of others, but docs feel that their psionic mastery
of biology is the key to defeating the Aberrants (if the
situation through your own cunning and perseverance.
/Esculapians car isolate the Mazarin-Rashoud node's
Thrilbeeker: You do things, not For the ends,
power, Aberrants would no longer be a threat). The
but For the rush that the means provides. Risk gives
vitakinetics think others should support them in their
your life meaning, and boredom is death. The stakes
research, no matter where such studies take them.
are never so high that they can't be made higher, As
1SRA: Clairsentients are protectors. They search
long as there's a thrill in it, you're willing to pay almost
out threats, both external and internal, and lend their
any price. Paybacks are a bitch, though, and you will
get in over your head sooner or later. talents to those who ask or who merely exhibit a need.
ISRAns want no glory or special treatment.
Gain Willpower every time you put yourself in a
Clairsentients do expect their predictions to be given
life-threatening situation and then escape it.
the utmost attention and to be responded to in a re-
Traditionalist: You believe the solutions for
spectful and timely manner.
today's problems can be found by applying the meth-
The Legions: Psychokinetics are extremely
ods of the past. Constant change destroys instead of
proud of their powers. They are humanity's first and
creates. You wrap yourself in tradition, resisting inno-
best line of defense. Legionnaires are very Forthright,
vations and breakthroughs. Not all change is bad,
and don't trust those who seem to have hidden agen-
though; in holding too tightly to old ways, you can miss
das. Psychokinetics don't consider themselves above the
something better.
Gain Willpower when a thed-and-true method law, but they're not adverse to using their status as
psions to get whatever perks they can.
proves effective.
The Ministry: Telepaths weed out the corrupt and
Visionary: You have a goal that only you can see,
dangerous. Encouraging a healthy fear oF telepath ic pow-
something to which you've dedicated your life. You may
ers helps keep the populace in line, although it creates a
be a spiritualist, philosopher or inventor, but whatever
distrust for telepaths as well. Ministry agents are some-
you are, you search for something more, You create new
what bitter and cold. Their powers could allow them to
possibilities by seeing beyond the bounds of conven-
establish intimate relationships with others, but they
tional imagination. Though you are full oF new ideas,
choose to isolate themselves physically and emotionally.
your head is often among the stars.
Norca: Biokinetics search for and eradicate the
Gain Willpower whenever you take a concrete
subtle menaces oF the universe, the ones that others
step toward realizing your goal.
overlook. They have their own code of ethics and laws,

viewing others' rules as unnecessary or restrictive. The
Norca are determined to discover the secret to defeat-
Physiral Attributes
ing the Aberrants. The biokinetics are content to let Physical Traits indicate a character's raw
the other orders bask in the limelight, since it enables strength, build, agility and sturdiness. Characters
the Norca to pursue their goals in the shadows. adept at physical combat or athletic activities have
Orgotek: Electrokinetics are as dedicated to de- high Physical Attributes.
Fendi ng against Aberrants as any other psions are. How- Strength
ever, they are the most practical of the Gifted. Estab-
Strength rates physical power, including the ca-
lishing authority over all normals, from individuals to
pacity to lift objects and cause damage. This Attribute
powerful governments, is just as important as fighting
is used to resolve jumps, leaps and other actions that
Aberrants on the Front lines. Electrokinetics are not
draw on raw physical power. Strength also determines
above political maneuvers, social networking or cor-
the base number of damage effect dice rolled for suc-
porate warfare to give psions (and especially them-
cessful melee and brawl attacks.
selves) every possible advantage.
Qualities: Athletic, Brutish, Rugged, Stout, Well-
/Con Trinity: Trinity members must unite war-
built, Wiry
ring nations, scheming corporations, enigmatic aliens
Poor: Puny human (dead lift 15 kg).
and bickering orders against that which would destroy
Average: That about says it all
them all. Agents must use every resource at their dis-
(dead lift 45 kg).
posal to convince these disparate peoples and agen-
Good: You don't look silly in a
cies to follow /Eon's vision for the future. Only the Trin-
Speedo (dead lift 100 kg).
ity truly understands what must be done so that hu-
Exceptional: You're constantly
manity may endure and flourish.
enlisted to help friends move
(dead lift 165 kg).
Superb: You can knock out a
Attributes are your character's essential qualities, prizefighter with one shot
translated into numerical ratings. In the real world, no- (dead lift 240 kg).
body has 4 Charisma or 2 Intelligence. We have capa- Dexterity
bilities and potentials, not statistics. However, such fac- Dexterity measures both fine and large motor
ulties must be translated into numbers for the sake of skills. It describes how fast a character runs, how pre-
the game; the trick is to not let the statistics get in the cisely he aims at a target, and everything else that re-
way of the story. After all, a character with 4 Charisma lates to speed, grace and control. Dexterity also deter-
may be vivacious, charming, magnetic or suave. Traits mines the base number of dice rolled to determine ac-
may show what your character can do, but they don't curacy in combat, and is combined with Wits to calcu-
indicate what your character is like. That's what late Initiative.
roleplaying is all about. Qualities: Coordinated, Delicate, Fast, Flexible,
Humans' Attributes typically range from one to
Nimble, Steady
four dots, with two being average. The Prometheus Poor: You cut yourself just by
Effect, which all psions undergo, enhances parts of a looking at sharp objects.
character's genetic code. Many psions' Attribute scores Average: You can dance without
average slightly higher than the human norm as a re- stepping on your partner's toes.
sult; psions' Attributes can be as high as 5. Good: You make zero-g maneuvers
Qualities look easy.
You may select a Quality for each of your Exceptional: You can juggle knives
character's Attributes rated four or higher. A Quality with flair.
* reflects a Trait's aspect in which a person is remark- Superb: You can actually juggle
able, like Flexible (Dexterity), Suave (Charisma) or Dis- knives in zero-g.
;; cerning (Intelligence). Stamina
A Quality allows you to re-roll any "10s" you roll Stamina indicates your character's general
for actions when that Quality comes into play (like wrig- health, tolerance for pain and how long he can main-
gling out of bindings for Flexible, impressing others for tain physical exertion. It encompasses endurance,
Suave or noting the relative worth of gems for Discern- physical will to live and ability to survive hardships.
ing). Any successes gained on the additional rolls are Stamina also determines base Bashing soak, and is a
added to your total (including the original "10s"). And factor of Psi score.
if you roll another "10" on a re-roll, you keep rolling! Qualities: Determined, Enduring, Energetic, Re-
Only one Quality may be chosen per Attribute. silient, Tenacious, Unflagging
T R A I T S 1 SI

Poor: You catch colds as a matter how well your character thinks on the fly. Wits is a fac-
of course. tor of Psi score. It is also combined with Dexterity to
Average: You stay in moderately determine base Initiative.
good health. Qualities: Clever, Creative, Cunning, Ingenious,
Good: You seldom get sick, and Level-headed, Shrewd
heal quickly. Poor: You were born yesterday.
Exceptional: Your constant vigor Average: You know to quit while
tends to irritate others. you're ahead.
Superb: You enter triathlons when Good:Youkeepyourcoolinafirefigbt
you're bored. and even when baby-sitting.
Exceptional: You need a weapon
Mental Attributes permit for your razor-sharp wit.
Mental Traits cover a character's perception, Superb: You react to even the most
mental capacity, imagination and quick wits. Creative dire circumstance with enviable flair.
and intellectual individuals have high Mental Attributes.
Social Attributes
Social Traits describe a character's influence,
Perception covers alertness and comprehension. It
force of personality and looks. They often define in-
determines not only your character's attentiveness to the
teractions with others, from first impressions to lead-
world around him, but also how clearly he interprets it.
ership to dealing with people in general.
Qualities: Astute, Insightful, Intuitive, Nitpicky,
Observant, Patient Appearance
Poor: You misplace your keys Appearance is a combination of physical attrac-
routinely in your own pockets. tiveness and innate appeal. Call it animal magnetism or
Average: You keep abreast of attractiveness. Appearance is your character's ability
general goings-on. to make a good first impression or to simply generate a
Good: You can recognize the visceral response in others.
subtext in books and conversations. Qualities: Alluring, Exotic, Imposing, Luminous,
Exceptional: Your keen eye can Pleasant, Sensual
pick out even the most subtle of Poor: People suppress a cringe
flaws. when they see you.
Superb: Sherlock Holmes was an Average: Just that another
amateur compared to you. face in the crowd.
Intelligence Good: You turn heads when you
enter a room.
Intelligence measures raw mental processes
Exceptional: Both genders readily
memory, retention, judgment, reasoning and imagination. It
admit to your attractiveness.
is your character's ability to find connections between seem-
Superb: You are famous across
ingly unrelated pieces of information, as well as the capacity
settled space for your beauty.
to analyze complex ideas. This Attribute is not a measure of
how fast your character thinks, but of how clearly he thinks. Manipulation
Qualities-. Bookworm, Bright, Clear-headed, Dis- Manipulation measures the ability to influence oth-
cerning, Pragmatic, Rational ers. This is an aggressive persuasiveness, and can be
Poor: Numbers frighten you (1Q 80). subtle or blatant. Manipulation covers everything from
Average: You remember family leading others to tricking them, from being sly to domi-
birthdays (1Q 100). nating. No one likes being fooled, though, so failing a
Good: You know even the most Manipulation roll has risks.
obscure baseball trivia (1Q 130). Qualities: Authoritative, Cunning, Devious, Domi-
Exceptional: Quantum physics and neering, Persuasive, Witty
noetic theory make sense to you Poor: You have trouble getting
(1Q160). your own way.
Superb: Geniuses come to you Average: You get your way
when they're stumped (1Q200+). occasionally.
Wits Good: You always get your way.
Exceptional: Politicians envy your
Wits ranks how quickly your character reacts to
devious nature,
new situations, and indicates general "grace under fire."
Superb: You are a master of mis-
This Attribute describes inherent common sense and
direction and cunning.
'- -.' .. f. "'

1 BZ T R A I T !

Charisma reflect this, Abilities have Specialties, or areas of ex-

pertise. Specialties differ from Qualities in that the
Charisma is used to charm others and to gain trust
Former are areas of special training, while the latter
through natural appeal; your character's "Force of per-
are simply innate aspects of the individual.
sonality," if you will. It reflects an air of confidence or
Specialties are bought with bonus and/or experi-
social grace when dealing with people. Charisma defines
ence points. You may purchase a maximum of three Spe-
how likable your character is to others, and whether they
cialties for each Ability. Refer to Chapter Two: Charac-
actively seek his company. It also determines Psi.
ter, page 168. for bonus point and experience costs. If
Qualities: Charming, Cool, Eloquent, Genial, Po-
you buy your character a Specialty, simply write it after
lite, Suave
the Ability on your character sheet. Choosing Specialties
Poor: Your pets barely tolerate you.
beyond those listed are subject to Storyteller approval.
Average: You're likable enough.
Once purchased, a Specialty gives your character
Good: You're the life of the party.
an extra die on all rolls related to that distinct qualifi-
Exceptional; Even your enemies
cation. A character with 2 Drive (Hover) has two dice
respect you.
added to his Dexterity for driving rolls, but since he's
Superb: Others marvel at your
specialized in hover vehicles, three dice are added to
unflappable charm and grace.
his Dexterity when driving hovercraft.
Strength Abilities
Skill starts with raw potential (represented by an Brawl: This skill covers styles of unarmed com-
Attribute), combined with training or education (desig- bat that rely more on power than on speed; they range
nated by an Ability). Abilities are grouped under the At- from trained boxing to street fighting to wrestling. Brawl
tributes to which they relate most closely. When you per- inflicts Bashing damage, so while it isn't immediately
form an action, your Dice Pool is the combination of the fatal it can inflict a fair amount of pain.
appropriate base Attribute and the Ability most suited to Specialties: Blind Fighting, Combinations, Dirty
the task (there may be exceptions to this on occasion; Maneuvers, Multiple Opponents, Zero-g Fighting
see Cross-Matching Attributes and Abilities, page 15?). Might This Ability encompasses physical Fitness
This combined rating is called the Skill Total. and feats of Focused muscle power. It rates lifting, climb-
Abilities are rated From to and are ing, jumping and throwing competence. While such tasks
added to your character's Attributes. This combination can be accomplished with brute force. Might helps your
can result in Skill Totals up to 10, maximum. Even one character use his physical power to maximum effect.
dot in an Ability implies at least basic proficiency. Al- Specialties: Climb, Dead Lift, Leap, Throw
though each Ability functions differently, all follow a Dexterity Abilities
similar scale of mastery.
x Unskilled: No training in the Ability; Athletics: A measure of fitness, this Ability con-
rely on natural talent centrates on skills requiring balance, coordination and
(default to related Attribute). good reflexes. Athletics training can cover skill in various
Novice: A basic grasp of the Ability; sports activities, knowing how to dodge and tumble or
suitable for hobbies. being able to maneuver in a microgravity environment.
Practiced; General familiarity Specialties: Acrobatics, Dodge, Gymnastics, Spe-
with the Ability's applications; cific Sports, Tumbling, Zero-g
adequate professional training. Drive: Most people are familiar with the basics of
Competent: Detailed comprehension driving. This Ability gives you a detailed understanding of
of the Ability's potential; skilled a vehicle's operation, including performing tricky maneu-
professional capacity. vers, driving at high speeds and engaging in pursuits.
Expert: Profound understanding Specialties: Crawler, Cycle, Hover, Maglev, Track,
of virtually all of the Ability's Wheeled
aspects; peak talent in the field. firearms: This Ability covers weapon operation and
Master: Utter command of every basic maintenance, from personal sidearms to assault carbines
possible way in which the Ability to vehicle-mounted artillery. Weapons also fall into two main
could be used; peerless mastery of categories: projectile weapons (also called "slugthrowers")
the subject. and energy weapons (usually called "lasers"). Weapons handle
somewhat differently based on these categories as well as
Specialties size, caliber and ammunition type. In the end, though, it mainly
Each Ability represents a fairly broad area oF comes down to basic coordination and aim.
knowledge; it's unlikely that an individual would be Specialties. Blind Fire, Cover Fire, Multiple Fire,
equally skilled in all aspects of an entire category. To Multiple Targets, Targeting, Zero-g Fire

Legerdemain: This Ability describes skill with
sleight of hand. Legerdemain is very useful for per-
forming parlor magic, card tricks, filching small ob-
jects, switching items and even picking pockets. Leg-
erdemain rolls are often made as resisted actions
against a target's Awareness.
Specialties: Card Tricks, Palm Object, Parlor
Magic, Pick Pockets, Switch Object
Martial Arts: This fighting Ability covers
hand-to-hard styles such as Aikido, Capoeira, Judo,
Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Thai Kick Boxing and
more. Martial Arts styles inflict Bashing damage.
While it encourages speed over power, this Ability
is as dangerous as any Brawl style.
Specialties:Blind Fighting, Combinations, Dirty
Maneuvers, Multiple Opponents, Zero-g Fighting
Melee: A broad term For understanding the
proper use of hand-to-hand armed combat, and the
proper care of weapons. Melee weapons range from
knives to clubs to bottles.
Specialties: Axe, Chain, Club, Improvised
Weapon, Knife, Nunchaku, Staff, Sword
Pilot This Ability imparts skill in piloting air-
borne, stellar and submersible vehicles. Pilot covers
not only basic control, but also complicated maneu-
vers and combat techniques. Handling a craft in an
atmosphere differs from maneuvering in space or
under water, but all involve similar rudimentary pi-
loting functions.
Specialties: Freighter, Frigate, Hybrid, Jet,
Jump ship, Rotor, Submersible
Stealth: Stealth covers the capability to avoid
notice, move quietly, trail someone and generally
evade detection. Stealth rolls are usually made as re-
sisted actions against another character's Awareness.

Specialties: Ambush, Camouflage, Hiding in
Shadows, Sneak, Trail
Stamina Abilities
Endurance: This talent describes the capabil-
ity to endure long-term exposure to severe conditions.
This Ability differs from Resistance in that Endurance
sustains your character's energy level over long peri-
ods of time.
Specialties:Fasting, Holding Breath, Long-dis-
tance Exertion, Sleep Loss
Resistance: Resistance allows your charac-
ter to temporarily combat the effects of physical pain
or chemicals. This Ability can be used to restore lost
dice due to injury {although such Resistance rolls are
not cumulative), and to resist interrogation.
Specialties: Ignore Pain, Resist Disease, Resist
Drugs, Resist Interrogation

Awareness: This Ability indicates how much

your character notices his surroundings. It's a mea- .3

::!:::,: ..'

sure of knowing what's physically nearby, covering in- Specialties: Administration, Procedures, Regula-
put from all five senses. Awareness is useful for picking tions, Requisition, Rumors
out a face in a crowd or for anticipating surprises that Engineering: Engineering rates your compre-
wait around a corner. hension of electronic and mechanical devices. Your
Specialties: Acute Hearing, Keeping Watch, Sharp character not only understands how computers, ve-
Sight, Smell, Spot Ambush, Track hicles, robots and other machines operate, but he can
Investigation: Investigation is the skill oF search- repair, modify and construct them.
ing for relevant clues or information, whether at a crime Specialties-. Armaments, Bioapps. Bioships, Com-
scene, in a library or through speaking to witnesses. puters, Construction, Electronics, Energy Sources,
This Ability is vital to reconstruct (or uncover) events Mechanics, Telecommunications
to gain insight into what really happened at a scene. Intrusion: Intrusion indicates knowledge of and
Specialties: Analysis, Concealed Objects, Deduc- ability to set up or avoid various security systems, and
tion, Interviews, Quick Search, Research to set infiltration measures and countermeasures. Such

Intelligence Abilities understanding ranges from basic lock picking to ad-

vanced electronic systems.
Academics: Schooling reflects education in a 5/>ecia/fres:Countermeasures, Electronic Infiltra-
given area of knowledge, such as history, law or ac- tion, Lock Picking, Security Procedures
counting. This Ability rates degree of understanding of Linguistics: An indication of the languages that
the topic, and status in the field. your character knows. Linguistics also imparts a basic
Specialties: Anthropology, Business, Culture, Cur- understanding of language systems. Due to the truly
rent Events, Geography, History, Law, Organization, staggering number of languages that exist, specializa-
Philosophy, Politics, Religion tion in Linguistics operates differently than do the Spe-
Bureaucracy; This is a measure of understanding cialties of other Abilities. Your character does not au-
of general administration and the bureaucratic process. tomatically understand all languages. Dots indicate an
This Ability enables your character to utilize the system understanding of language "families" beyond native
beyond simple organizational skills to best achieve his own tongue. You must choose a language "family," and your
ends (and to prevent others from achieving theirs). character may comprehend tongues within that spe-

1 B5

ciFic "family" (e.g., while Mandarin, Cantonese and Wu in almost any environment (although rowdy conditions
are different languages, they all belong to the Chinese make it difficult), and usually takes from 10 minutes to
language "Family"). half an hour to have any benefits.
Your character knows an additional language Fam- Specialties: Contemplate, Hibernate, Psi Recov-
ily For each dot in this Ability (so at , five lan- ery, Rest
guage families are known in addition to native tongue). * Rapport: Rapport is used to help sense and un-
Rolls are needed only to understand complex writing derstand peoples' Feelings. This Ability is not a psi
or speech, although a high Linguistics rating should re- power; it uses your character's own understanding oF
duce this necessity. The Specialties listed indicate most emotions and people to get an accurate reading of what
major language Families. others are Feeling.
Specialties: Arabic, Bengali. Cambodian, Chinese, Specialties: Discern Motivation, Discern Truth,
English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japa- Emotional State, Intent
nese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Qin, Russian,
Spanish, Swahili. Turkish
Medicine: This Ability details how well your Intimidation: This Ability enables you to coerce
character knows how the human body works, and how another into doing your will, whether through subtle
to repair it in case oF injury. Medicine also includes an menace or an outright threat. Whether you plan to Fol-
understanding of drugs and their use, along with the low through on your threat is not important as long as
diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries. your subject truly believes that you will.
Such knowledge can be used to harm as well as Specialties: Break