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A BREED APART

A New Race for a New Age.

ABERRANT

SPECIAL DELIVERY
They were all standing on a massive rock the size of a city bus, which jutted up out of the rapidly moving river beneath them. A few hundred yards downstream, the roar of the waterfall could be heard. Lana Macon smiled serenely out at the rain forest beyond, and placed a hand on her husbands bare shoulder. Peters dark, mocha skin felt hot and damp in the jungle air, but it was a pleasant texture, and she traced a gentle pattern up his humerus. As her brown fingers traced the intricate feathering of his giant hawk wing, Peter looked up at her, and the sun seemed to shine brighter on their little group. Lana heard the hiss of Annies portal closing behind them. Look at that, Lana, Annie said. Your son just smiled at me, even though hes wearing sunglasses! Ive never seen you smile with shades on, Nick kiddo, not once since Ive known you. Annie Trade Winds Horne, the legendary transportation Elite, grinned happily and mussed Nicks hair. Nick broke into a wry grin as Lana turned to look, and awkwardly returned Annies hug from his flank. To his mother, he said, Shes like a giant, white puppy. Hey! Annie bopped him gently on the back of the head. Lana shrugged. Im sorry, dear, its true. Youre white as can be. She sniffled dramatically. I... didnt know how to tell you before. Annie laughed. Hey, in this kind of sun, white is by far the best color scheme I can think of. Lana smiled. For an affluent, 21st century Southern belle, Annie was remarkably unselfconscious about her race. Possibly because she had made her fortune on her own as Trade Winds, inheriting next to nothing from her happy Alabama home. Meanwhile, Nick had lay face-down on the hot rock, and started to do one-armed push-ups, smoothly switching at every peak from one arm to the other. Annie walked over and took a seat on his back as it rapidly rose and fell. Nicks pace did not alter in the slightest; it just rhythmically pumped the lady Elite up and down like a bourgeois piston. Excited for your upcoming eruption, Nick? Nick just grinned wider at the rock. Up, Aunt Annie. Annie obligingly hopped to her feet, and Nick swung his legs up in the air and began a set of one-arm-stand pushups, switching fluidly from hand to hand like before. Im just happy Mom and Dad are letting me have an eruption for the public to see at all. Lana smiled at her son. Peter did not smile, but he stood up behind her and faced Nick with his arm around Lana, brightly colored hawk wings folded neatly behind him. He looked proud, and happy. Your father and I have both had our heyday, Nicky; we dont mind being retired as novas. But your nova powers already put ours to shame, and youve got your whole life in front of you. We dont want you to spend it undercover. Peter nodded. Also, there is nothing prohibitively unusual about a son erupting to known baseline parents, such as your mother and myself. He ruffled his wings. Lanas identity and mine are secure. Nick wheeled neatly to his feet. He walked over to Peter and hugged him, who returned the gesture with strong arms that could bend lead pipe. Thanks, Dad. Annie came up behind Nick and brushed something off his shoulder. Now, when you take him to the Facility, be sure you go to Ann Arbor, not Detroit. I have friends at the one in Ann Arbor, and... oh, what? Nick and Lana had exchanged a glance. I think we might not be going with the whole Rashoud Facility route, Annie. Not that we dont trust the Project, you understand Oh, stop, said Annie. Its fine! Its a perfectly legitimate decision. Christ, I used to work for them; Im not their roving sales-nova. Peter, Im sure youll be a fine teacher. Lana nodded carefully, and was silent for a moment before adding, Its not about Corbin and Rousseau. Its okay if it is. I used to be friends with Rousseau. Lana nodded again. Peter coughed. Look, well, Id better be going. Ill be back in half an hour. Annie stood on tiptoes to kiss Nick on the forehead. You practice your terminal velocity falls now, and enjoy your picnic. A jet-black disc opened in the air, and Annie Horne stepped into it and was gone. Lana smiled. See you, Annie. Peter wheeled on his son, wings unfolding to their full size. Going down the waterfall first was a good idea. Best to get your head wrapped around the whole falling idea first before you try it on pavement. Nick beamed. Im ready, Dad. Lana sat down on the warm rock and hugged her knees. Peter, are you sure this is safe? Peter shrugged. Nick exploded. Mom! This is how you erupted for real, and you already said you know Im stronger! How could it not be safe? Every nova is different! Nicky I just worry about you. Dad, lets go. Peter nodded. He squeezed his wifes hand, and Nick embraced his mother with one arm. Then the hawk-winged novas big hands slipped under his sons armpits, and powerful wing beats lifted them up over the water. Lana looked down at the suns reflection glittering across the face of the river. She looked up just in time to see her husbands left wing explode in a flurry of feathers and spattering blood. Before Lanas eyes, her husband and son lost their balance, and plummeted toward the water. She was flying through the air before Peters scream left his throat. Lanas slight form slammed into the two most

SPECIAL DELIVERY

ABERRANT
important men in her life, driving their fall trajectory off the edge of the waterfall. * * * Mom! She regained consciousness, soaking wet and smelling algae. She picked her head up and looked around, and saw that the jungle scenery was moving. She was in the bed of a Toyota pickup truck, which was hurtling down a dirt road, with Nick and an unconscious, bleeding Peter lying on his stomach, wings folded awkwardly over him. Mom, is Dad going to be okay? Lana fell onto her husband and turned him onto his side, fumbling at his neck. She placed her fingers there for a moment, then heaved a sigh. Hes got a pulse She grabbed onto the forewing and pulled it up to expose the bullet hole behind the dark feathers. I think hell live Snipers bullets are high-penetration, but it just blew through the wing at a single point and didnt tear up much of the surrounding tissue. Lana wiped her eyes, teary from the wind and stress, and looked up at Nick. Where did this truck and driver come from? Oh Well, I pulled you and Dad out of the lake and carried you, and once I got us to the dirt road, I waved down the first car I saw and told him if he didnt give us a ride, Id throw his car into the lake, with him in it. Nick glanced up at the trucks cab. And then I picked up the front of his car to show I meant it I hope I didnt scare him too bad. Lana collapsed to the bed of the truck, near exhaustion and sick with relief over Peters fate. Nick put his arm around her, and rested his head on his shoulder and closed his eyes. He opened them seconds later to get a last look at the waterfall, as it dropped out of view, and sighed his own relief. I wonder who was back there? Why would anyone shoot at us, and how did they know where to find us? * * * Motherhunter, Annie snarled. With the Macons gone, the jungle had reverted to its usual quiet, with a more or less constant fwoosh from the river punctuated by the cries of territorial birds of paradise. The sniper, at least, wasnt saying anything Annie wasnt sure if the massive, spherical force blob enveloping him actually suppressed speech, or if the would-be assassin was just too terrified to talk. Oh, but he would talk. Annie smiled widely at the surrounding jungle, then made a gesture, and a bright green circular gate opened up in the air below them, with only Annies Trade Winds powers holding them suspended in the jungle air. Lets go see Mme. Rousseau, Annie said. The dark man in her bubble said nothing..

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Utopian Transcript

[Transcript of recording of Aeon Council meeting, December 17, 2008] First Voice (French accent): For our next item of business, it appears that we have yet another nova-related problem to address. The author of the report on this development will now give us a brief overview of the situation. Feel free to ask questions afterwards. Second Voice (northeast United States accent): As you all have seen in my report, we have uncovered evidence of a number of novas living incognito among the general human population. As these hidden novas seem intent on living ordinary lives and depriving the world at large of the benefits of their nova capabilities, we would already need to uncover them simply due to our increasing need for nova personnel. Unfortunately, these novas pose a greater threat. Due to the fact that they have never received treatment at a Rashoud clinic or from a Utopian Intervention Team, these novas are not only fertile but have managed to pair off with each other and produce nova children. Third Voice (western United States accent): I agree that we need all the novas we can get our hands on, but are you seriously suggesting that novas living quietly out in suburbia and having kids are a threat to our plans? Second Voice: Exactly. If youll refer to the Bahrain lab reports, we have strong evidence to suspect that the offspring of breeder nova couples have the potential to outstrip their parents in terms of their quantum capabilities. Our extrapolations predict that once they mature, these second generation novas could easily grow to match the level of power exhibited by Divis Mal. One Mal is enough of a threat to Aeons plans for humanitys betterment. With fifty to a hundred more novas of his caliber around the world, we are faced with the potential to derail those plans entirely. Fourth Voice (faint midwestern United States accent): So you would have our operatives hunt down these families, simply for their potential to thwart the plans of the Aeon Society? Wouldnt simply leaving these breeder novas and their children alone be more effective in ameliorating whatever threat they might pose? If we follow the course of action you have proposed, we will be making both parents and children into enemies of Project Utopia and Aeon. Fifth Voice (Korean accent): This is clearly a case where the needs of humanity as a whole must take precedence over the selfish desires of a relatively small number of individuals. We cannot afford not to take this opportunity. Fourth Voice: Need I remind you that the only reason that Project Utopia has worked well so far is that their novas joined it of their own free will? What were talking about here is a program of mandatory conscription, and it will surely result in increased nova resentment of Utopia. If we pursue this course of action, it will eventually blow up in our faces, quite possibly in a literal sense. Sixth Voice (Brazilian accent): Forgive me for interrupting, but I see no reasonable alternatives to the course of action outlined in this report. If we fail to exploit the powers of these novas for the sake of all humanity, all of our previous efforts are likely to be wasted. Also, I agree that the education of these second generation nova offspring cannot be left to chance. If we can raise them to be loyal to Aeon, we could gain the upper hand over Mal and his Teragen. If we leave them be, that just leaves them open for recruitment by unsavory elements like the Teragen, Aberrants or the organized crime families. (Brief pause.) I assume that you have appropriate recruitment strategies worked out for these child novas? Second Voice: Yes, if such children do prove to be tractable. I suggest that Project Utopias Nova Medicine section be given initial responsibility for that operation, if it does become viable. Third Voice: I second that, with the condition that we dont break up these families except in cases where the parents are criminals or otherwise threats to their children. Second Voice: (Brief pause.) I have no objection to that. First Voice: Very well. As we seem to have no other questions, we shall now take a vote on whether to implement the plan in question. (Brief pause.) We have ten yeas, and two nays; the plan is approved. You may begin immediately. Second Voice: Thank you.

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Utopia Case-file #: T2M-121808-JJL2251

Arena: Global Author: Justin J. Laragione Authors Title: Director, Project Utopia Subject: Breeder novas Urgency Level: Urgent Minimum Security Rating: Beta Overview: A few months ago, Utopian operatives discovered evidence that certain novas have managed to avoid any and all public exposure, and are living hidden among the general human population. If this was a more perfect world, we could permit these novas to pursue their dreams of domestic bliss and quotidian success. Unfortunately, there are five reasons why this cannot be. Our need for new nova recruits. As anyone in our Recruiting section could tell you, Utopia quite literally needs all the novas we can get. Each and every nova has the potential to change the world, and with Utopias guidance they can improve it for the common good. Instead of joining us in our efforts to make a finer world for everyone, these novas have decided to turn their backs on all the good they could do for their baseline brothers and sisters. Despite whatever mistrust of Utopia that has made them avoid us, we cannot allow their potential to go to waste in this manner. We must seek these novas out and convince them to use the gifts theyve been blessed with to humanitys benefit. These novas hold the key to the mystery of nova sterility. We have hard evidence that some of these novas are not only fertile, but have also produced healthy nova children. If we can find out how they managed that feat, then perhaps Utopia can make it possible for them to share that gift with the rest of the nova population as well. There are too many novas who would make wonderful parents for us not to take this opportunity. The children of these novas are born erupted, and have the potential to dwarf their parents in terms of their nova capabilities. Studies performed by our associates in Triton suggest that not only are these second generation nova children a match for any recently-erupted nova, but upon reaching maturity they will attain levels of power that could easily match those of our own Caestus Pax. Utopia owes it to humanity to ensure that these children are raised with a sense of ethics and morality strong enough to match their inborn potential for extreme power. If Utopia does not recruit breeder novas and their children, then our enemies surely will. Any nova we fail to recruit for Utopia becomes ripe pickings for groups like the Teragen or the Aberrants. While this is bad enough in the case of your average newlyerupted nova, the danger posed by breeder novas joining the Teragen is even greater. There is no one more influential on a child than the people who raise him or her. We cannot afford for any of the second generation nova children to grow up into new members of the Teragen. The prospect of these children and their parents joining the Aberrants is only slightly less distressing; as is the idea of recruitment by any of our other rival organizations. If we cannot get these novas to join Utopia, they will almost certainly end up opposing us. The final reason we need to find these people is that as novas living off the radar, the likelihood of them having contacts with others living off the radar is very high. Typically this means criminal contacts, and in the long run, criminal contacts have the distressing tendency to lead to criminal employment. We really dont need someone with Paxs level of power working for an organized crime group like the Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate or the Nakato Gumi, they are already enough of a problem. Approach Recommendation: This office recommends that all reasonable efforts be made to locate and recruit any breeder novas (and their children, if any) that may be found in our respective arenas. At least one T2M nova with appropriate enhanced social capabilites should be assigned to a breeder recruitment team, and should be considered the team leader unless the breeder novas become violent in their refusal. In that case, standard sequestering protocols should be followed, but team members must avoid even appearing to threaten the children at all costs. Criminal or highly-aberrated breeder novas will be dealt with as per standard operating procedures. Any children of such obviously unfit parents will be remanded to Nova Medicine until appropriate Utopian foster parents can be arranged to adopt them. Also, these teams should remain on guard for any Terat or Aberrant interference.

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Proteus Communiqu

[Begin Proteus Communiqu double-encrypted with Navajo Daedelus 3; dated 12/18/08] Ozaki, The meeting went better than I had expected; the proposal was accepted with the only dissent coming from the expected sources. It is imperative that we place sufficient long-term operatives within Nova Medicine to redirect captured breeder novas and their second generation offspring to our clinics, where they can be dealt with as we have deemed necessary. Extreme visibility protocols are required for this to work; if any hint of what were really doing leaks out to Laragione or (God forfend) Mercer, it could all come crashing down on our heads. We should also check into the feasibility of replacing Dr. Stadler with someone more tractable to run Nova Medicine. Stadlers militaristic managerial style may get results but also makes it all the more difficult for our long-term agents to operate under his command without burning out from the additional stress. -Thetis

Utopian Memo

To: All Medical Facilities From: Internal Affairs, Triton Date: 5/25/99 Re: Tracking of Controlled Substances Due to the risk of abuse of these controlled substances and the liabilities thereof, we will be instituting a tracer program in all adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine distributed by Project Utopia and affiliated clinics. Said tracer will include a microscopic tag with a unique numbering sequence. These tracers have been issued to all facilities and the identifying sequences logged to those facilities, and are to be included in all issued doses of these substances as of 6/1/99. By this method, we will be able to eliminate liability for third-party distribution of these substances, and can track any quality control issues as they arise.

Private Communiqu

[SECURITY CODE Omicron-Epsilon-859-3] [DECODING] Thetis, The first doses went out last week, as scheduled. Follow-up reports from this week are on-target: Negligible gamete counts, and new gametes self-eliminated almost immediately. Congratulations; it appears that we have succeeded. There will be exceptions, of course, but those can be dealt with on a caseby-case basis. Toiho [RE-ENCODING] [SELF-DELETING]

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Personal E-mail

02-12-08 14:52:35 To: gingersol@ingersolbiosolutions.op From: melhat33@denversocket.op Re: Good News Greg, You know how weve talked about that what if? About what it would be like if we were normal people and could have what they have? We can stop talking. Were going to have a baby. :-) Come home, hon; weve got a lot of planning to do! Love, Melissa

From Parenting World Magazine


01/24/11

Family, Revisited: The Ingersols


Mom, Dad and toddler daughter, living in the suburbs of Denver. Dad works for a local pharmaceutical company, Mom does free-lance writing from home, and daughter has found her voice as she has entered the terrible twos. Sounds like your typical American family, right? Well, the Ingersols couldnt be less typical if they tried. Dad is Gregory Microbe Ingersol, the man who has created six different cancer vaccines from scratch in the past six years, and is the founder of Ingersol Biosolutions. Mom is Melissa Cheetah Hatch-Ingersol, renown wildlife biologist and author of more than 40 books on the big cats of the world. And daughter Meghan is at two years of age not only a latent, but a full-fledged nova. We are thrilled to be able to interview this remarkable family. PW: Thank you for meeting with us today, Mr. and Mrs. Ingersol. Gregory Ingersol: Please, call me Gregory. Melissa Hatch-Ingersol: And call me Melissa. Its no trouble; were happy to be here. PW: Gregory, Melissa, Im sure that you both are aware of just how rare your situation is, even 13 years after N-Day. And as that topic has been discussed extensively in recent years elsewhere, Id like skip past it and talk about your family. Gregory: Thats fine. PW: Now, I see that your daughter, Meghan, seems to have your eyes, Gregoryand if you dont mind me saying so, your spots, Melissa. Is thisnormal with nova children? Melissa: Well, its hard to say what really is and is not normal when you are talking about second-generation novas. Theres a vanishingly small sample from which to draw conclusions. That said, there have been previous examples of inherited patternings and colorations and such. So it wasnt a complete surprise when Meghan showed up with my cheetah spots.

PW: Correct me if Im wrong, but do you mean that your daughter was born with these spots? And does that mean what I think it means? Gregory: Yes; Meghan was born a nova. PW: Did that come with any complications? And do you know why she was awell, I suppose you would call it a pre-natal eruption? Melissa: Actually, it probably saved her life. I have an rhnegative bloodtype, and Gregory is rh-positive, as is Meghan. Because my immune system is as strong as it is, the normal prenatal treatment for the mismatch was not very effective; my antibodies were attacking her blood cells faster than the treatments could counteract. It was actually touch and go for a whileand then, her blood count shot well past the norm and up into nova territory. We think she erupted in an effort to resist my antibodies, and it certainly worked. PW: Thats amazing. And wonderful, I might add! Gregory: It was a life-saver, literally. PW: So, Meghan is probably the picture of health then, yes? Gregory: She hasnt been sick a day in her life. And from what I can tell, she never will be; it looks like the immunity that both her mother and I have passed along to her in full. PW: No worries about colds and chicken pox then. Im sure, though, that Meghan presents different sort of challenges Melissa: Oh, you can say that again. She goes through food like any other nova: lots of it, with gusto. There were times where I honestly wondered if I was going to have to nurse her 24/7 that first year. PW: Wow! She probably has quite the diaper bill, too. Melissa: Had one, yes. The rate she went through diapers was unreal, but shes already moved out of them. Developmentally, Meghans well ahead of the curve. Shes already reading at a 5th-grade level. PW: At two years old? Thats remarkable! Gregory: Unfortunately, the tantrums are pretty remarkable, too. Shes still only two emotionally and a two-year old with a 10-year olds vocabulary, well, it gets a bit rough.

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Proteus Communiqu

[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQU] Top Secret


[PROTEUS FILE] Encryption Code: Jericho-9-15 Date: March 18, 2011 To: R. Murphey, Asst. Proj. Lead, North America From: G. Reynolds, Team Charlie Lead Subject: Operation 385-J8 Dir. Murphey, As per instructions, patterns have been tracked and established for the target (see attachment A). Given the circumstances and the nature of target capabilities, vehicular intercept is recommended, with combustion imperative. See attachments B and C for recommended methods and locations. With your approval, we will conclude the operation. G. Reynolds Field Agent

[END COMMUNIQU]
Proteus Communiqu

[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQU] Top Secret


[DIRECTIVE FILE] Encryption Code: Jericho-9-15 Date: March 18, 2011 To: G. Reynolds, Team Charlie Lead From: R. Murphey, Asst. Proj. Lead, North America Subject: Operation 385-J8 Agent Reynolds, Proposed resolution 3 is approved. Commence conclusion of operation. R. Murphey Asst. Director

[END COMMUNIQU]
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General News Release

Celebrated Nova Family Killed in Automobile Accident

[Excerpt taken from the Denver Post, March 23, 2011]

Associated Press DENVER, COLORADO Local nova celebrities Gregory Ingersol, Melissa Hatch-Ingersol, and their daughter Meghan were killed today on Interstate 70 in a fiery collision with a propane tanker truck. The accident, which closed the westbound lanes of the I-70 just west of the I-225 interchange for three hours this morning, occurred at approximately 7:35 am. State police report that a pre-existing oil spill on the highway may have caused the Ingersols Subaru to go into a slide beneath the trailer of the truck. The trailer broke free from the tractor, flipped onto the Subaru and exploded in a fireball that was seen as far away as Englewood. The driver of the truck, Mr. Jose Gonzales of Topeka, KS, has not been charged at this time. The Ingersols were well-known within the Denver area, having become celebrities since the news of their nova child two years ago. Megan was one of the very few second-generation, or 2ndGen, novas publicly known in the U.S. Mr. Ingersol was the founder of Ingersol Biosolutions, and Mrs. Hatch-Ingersol the author of an extensive number of books and articles on large hunting cats. They are survived by.

Proteus Communiqu

[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQU] Top Secret


[DIRECTIVE FILE] Encryption Code: Jericho-9-23 Date: March 23, 2011 To: R. Murphey, Asst. Proj. Lead, North America From: G. Reynolds, Team Charlie Lead Subject: Operation 385-J8 Dir. Murphey, Operation completed successfully. Awaiting new assignment. G. Reynolds Field Agent

[END COMMUNIQU]

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Directive File

[Encrypted OpNet Email] To: big-daddy@pimpster.net From: straitjacket@squirrel-bait.com Date: 11/08/2005 Count Orzaiz: Now that the dust has settled from the recent failure of our first attempt to verify the existence and nature of the Utopian sterility agent which Bounty claims is being used to prevent the One Race from reproducing, I have finished my analysis of the situation. The results are both disturbing and heartening, as you will see below. Item #1 - Equipment & Supplies: Despite our best efforts to set up an independent laboratory sufficient for our operational needs, nearly all of our orders for lab equipment were interfered with in one way or another. Glassware was broken in transit, pieces of equipment were delayed or lost in shipment, and many of the supplies turned out to be mislabeled. And to top it off, this sort of thing happened with nearly all of our orders. Item #2 - Social Difficulties: We Terats being who we are, a certain amount of sniping and interpersonal conflict was to be expected. At the beginning, all of our researchers understood the importance of our work and did their best to perform their duties in a professional manner, for the good of the One Race. It didnt last. The excessive amount of problems with our equipment and supplies nearly drove our collective stress levels through the roof. Then at least three feuds among our personnel developed; with a scientific argument, accusation of incompetence and a failed seduction attempt being the causes. Frustrated with our lack of progress in setting up the lab, two of our senior researchers quit the operation in order to perform some real work elsewhere. Item #3 - Sample Quality Problems: Eventually, we did get the lab set up so that we could begin our real work. To our surprise, none of the samples of adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine which that freelance thief acquired for us from Triton Pharmaceuticals showed any traces of the sterility-inducing chemicals we were expecting to find. This lack of success led three more of our personnel to resign, as they were convinced that we were wasting our time. Item #4 - Outside Harassment: Our research continued for another week. Thats when Project Utopias Technological Regulation section arrived for a surprise inspection of the lab. Our collective morale sank even lower when they arrested our top resident pharmaceutical expert on a trumped-up outstanding warrant. Three days later, we received a call from the Mathematician, who instructed us to leave everything and abandon the lab immediately. We followed his advice without question, and received news that the lab and everything in it was razed to the ground by a trio of DeVries elites, one of whom was seen toting around a BFG. If any of us had still been there, we would surely have been killed. Our pair of resident bodyguards are not at their best when fighting against long-range attacks. If they had been present at the lab when PUs Tech police showed up, we couldve found five or six elites on our doorstep instead of just three. In Conclusion: Count Orzaiz, this operation was made by our foes nearly from the moment we bought the lab building. All of the items listed above are indicative of a focused and sustained effort to keep us from investigating the Utopian sterility agent by any means necessary. Even the social conflicts between our personnel can be linked to this; as several of them had casual friends and/or lovers who have disappeared without a trace after our lab was destroyed. Even the stolen drugs must be held suspect - did that thief really steal them from a Rashoud clinic, or was he merely given them by Utopian operatives? Earlier I said that there was something heartening about all this bad news. The silver lining is this: Project Utopia would not have put this much effort into derailing our operation if there was nothing for it to discover. If someone can find out what theyre so desperate to hide, the results could be explosive.

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Teragen OpNet Transcript

[Excerpt from a private OpNet chat dated 4/23/2006] Open Secure Channel (Superuser: Synapse) Login: Orzaiz Login: Geryon Geryon: OK, Im here. What all is this BIG project youve got going? Synapse: We want your children. Geryon: You want WHAT!?! Orzaiz: Synapse, please... James, we would like you to donate several samples of your sperm for our project. In fact, we would like for you to do so on a regular basis. Geryon: At the risk of repeating myself, you want WHAT!?! Orzaiz: You are, of course, quite familiar with Utopias efforts towards the mass sterilization of novas. However, you should also know that impaired fertility has long been a concern for baselines as well. Fertility clinics and sperm banks have been helping baseline couples who would otherwise be barren to bear offspring for over thirty years now. The Casablancas have been working to take advantage of this ever since we first heard the rumors about nova sterility back in 2003. If the baselines are going to help themselves to overcome their own fertility problems, all it takes is just a small bit of substitution for their efforts to help us as well. Geryon: Orzaiz: Think of it as poetic justice. Geryon: What does Mal think of this? Synapse: Scripture knows. He laughed when I told him about the project and said that we had the blessing of Mal for our little endeavor. Geryon: Hes really OK with future members of the One Race being raised by baselines? Synapse: Guess so. Besides, outside of Bountys crew, all of us were raised by baselines and we turned out all right. Orzaiz: The question is not whether the children of the One Race should be raised by baselines or novas. The question is whether or not bringing more of the One Race into the world is a good thing for us. Considering that Utopia is seeking to prevent that at all costs, I would think so. Geryon: Why me? Synapse: You can have kids without Bountys help, and there arent many novas who can do that. Weve tried putting sperm samples from Terat guys that shed just used her power on into cryogenic storage, but it didnt help any. The effect of Bountys power wears off too quickly, and the samples became useless after just a few days. Geryon: How about you baldy, are you going to contribute to this project of yours too? Orzaiz: I cant. Synapse: What? Orzaiz: All those nights drinking in public, somewhere down the line they managed to get to me. Im sterile. Geryon: Ah, that bites man. Im sorry. Synapse: Ditto. Geryon: But what youre asking me to do, its a big deal. Id be having kids out there that Id never see. Orzaiz: You would have children out there with no obvious link to either you or the Teragen, James. Children that Utopia and the other enemies of the One Race could never target or hold against you. Children that would, in time, inherit the fruits of our struggle. Geryon: OK, Im not saying yes, just yet. How, exactly, would this work?.

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Encrypted OpNet Message

Date: 09/26/2008 To: glissande@downtown.com From: basespwned@tweakers.net Count Orzaiz: Im pleased to announce that our group of researchers has achieved our first objective, the isolation and identification of the Utopian sterility agent. As per our initial hypothesis, the agent is indeed administered through the adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine produced by Triton Pharmaceuticals. However, our initial speculations were contradicted - dramatically so, in some cases - by the results of our examination of our samples of said medications. Our specific findings are as follows: 1- The Utopian sterility agent is present in only a small fraction of the adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine produced by Triton. The agent was only found in three of our samples; two of which were purloined from Utopian Intervention Teams and a third from a Rashoud clinic. We surmise that these adulterated drugs would have been administered to either newly-erupted novas or to recalcitrant novas who come into conflict with Utopian agents. Furthermore, the agent is transmitted by the microscopic tags found within all Triton-produced adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine, allowing the agent to be directed to its intended targets with a high degree of efficiency. 2- Instead of a simple contraceptive drug, the Utopian sterility agent turned out to be a pair of bioengineered retroviruses that have slightly different yet complimentary effects. The first retrovirus targets the subjects existing gametes, while the second targets gamete-producing structures in the subjects gonads. In both cases, infection results in the novas gametes being genetically damaged to the point of being precancerous. As a result, the subjects existing gametes and any that may be produced by the subjects gonads in the future are summarily dispatched by the subjects own immune system. 3- Upon examination of the two Utopian sterility retroviruses, it is our unanimous conclusion that there is no way that Triton could have created them from scratch, even with the knowledge of Utopias pet nova gengineers at their disposal. Instead, we postulate that the genetic flaws induced by the retroviruses came from a nova whose eruption resulted in genetic damage. If the nova in question also developed severe levels of taint from his or her eruption, we further speculate that this unfortunate may very well have been incarcerated in Utopias Bahrain Rashoud clinic. Now that our first objective has been achieved, we now are seeking ways to fulfill our second and third objectives; namely finding a means to protect fertile novas against the Utopian sterility retroviruses and a way to restore the fertility of those novas who have already been affected by them. Our initial debates have been contentious, but we should see some progress soon, if all goes well. PS: Please pass along our appreciation to Synapse for changing the tone of our false addresses.

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Maer Enclave Personal Log Excerpts

[Excerpted from personal log of Trang Doctor Anh Sng Sao Xuan Tu] My fellow scientists are fools, and either unwilling or unable to see that my approach to correcting the nova sterility issue is the correct one. Genetic engineering will once again triumph in this matter. * * *

[Excerpted from personal log of Francesco Thermite Anselmi] Had another run in with Anh Sng Sao today, the arrogant ass. After he rubbed my nose in that typo that I made for the third time (like no one else has spelled the as teh), I mentally increased the temperature on his experiment by two degrees for two hours, then I moved it back down. Lets just see if hes bright enough to figure it out. Now Permafrost is impressive, shes almost my mental equal, and the package that mind comes in is even more impressive. * * *

[Excerpted from personal log of Tamara Permafrost Kavanne] Men are fools. The obvious way to approach this problem is to adapt Bountys techniques. I think Thermite is trying to steal my research, he came over to my lab, again, and made eyes at me. Like Im supposed to not know that he prefers men? Worse, he didnt correct me when I deliberately made a few errors on some of my blackboard calculations. Either he wasnt smart enough to figure it out, or he was too busy reviewing what I was up to. * * *

[Excerpted from personal log of Maurice Brainstorm Whitworth] Well, Platypus and Thermite are still lusting after Permafrost and trying to impress her with their brilliance. I synthesized Anh Sng Saos scent and put a swab of it in Platypus lab. As I predicted, Platypus does have an enhanced sense of smell, so he noticed. Platypus is paranoid enough to think that Anh Sng Sao would deliberately sabotage his work, and of course Anh Sng Sao helped the issue by saying that he couldnt be bothered to ever review anything a lesser mind such as Platypus could do. I think Platypus spent two days searching his lab, looking for whatever gift Anh Sng Sao left him. Hopefully this will refocus his mind on his work. * * *

[Excerpted from personal log of Ethan Platypus Butler] Anh Sng Sao could just make me scream. He tries to hide his technical inferiority by stealing ideas from his betters. I found evidence that hed been in my lab, which he denied. Worse, his research used the same stand in variables I did on THREE separate points. The ass didnt even bother to change them for the presentation!!! No way does it end here.

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Directive File

[Memorandum] For Director Harris: As you suspected, the common wisdom concerning the so-called breeder nova phenomenon is incorrect on four important points. First, the population of fertile novas is much greater than is widely believed. Instead of the handful of breeder nova couples that have been documented by the media, my research leads me to speculate that at least 100 breeder nova couples are living hidden and scattered around the First World nations. Second is these novas total aversion to public attention. Judging from to the surveillance Ive performed on two such couples in the continental U.S., they take extreme pains to pose as uninteresting baseline couples (including use of the dormancy technique) and keep their status as novas secret from the world at large. Third is the fact that all of the public speculation among paraphysicians on the biological difficulties that fertile novas would presumably face in sexual reproduction is pure bunk in most cases. From what Ive been able to determine, most breeder nova couples face little or no difficulties with getting pregnant and bringing the fetus to term. So far, none of this appears to be cause for concern. These novas intentions appear to be living fairly normal (if quiet) lives, holding down steady well-paying jobs, paying their taxes and raising their kids as best they can. Its the next point that worries me. Fourth is the fact that these growing little families do not take well at all to anyone who attempts to out them as novas. In most of the cases where I suspect this has happened, the couple grabs their kids and valuables, then abandon their established identities and lives. I know of one case where such an attempted exposure by an overly-pushy baseline Utopian recruiter resulted in the recruiters death just minutes before the family hed uncovered vanished. The old clich about nothing being as dangerous as a mother protecting her children is almost too appropriate here. Fortunately, the other major factions all seem to be keeping any interest they have in breeder nova couples (and their children) very low-key, if they have any interest in them at all. Utopias certainly been sniffing around for them, but with little apparent success. The few Utopians who do locate a breeder nova couple tend to return to PU either empty-handed or in an ambulance (or body bag). I have no concrete evidence of either Aberrants or Terats attempting to recruit these novas yet, but its only a matter of time. One big surprise was confirmed evidence of a breeder nova couple from Saskatchewan, Canada being recruited by DeVries. Theyve kept this success very quiet, and have already fended off one attempt (by a probable Utopian spy) to uncover the familys new location. Most of the minor factions dont appear to have any serious interest in this situation, with the Church of Michael Archangel being the lone (and ineffectual) exception. Three Michaelite monster hunters have been shot and killed by local police in Milwaukee, Phoenix and Miami when caught stalking young families theyd mistaken for breeder novas. Trip.

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Directive OpMail Transcript

[Unsolicited OpMail received by Director Arnold Harris, 06/14/2009] To: Director Harris [OpMail Address suppressed] Subject: Hatcher Breeder Novas From: [Name & OpMail Address suppressed] Director HarrisLet me make a few things absolutely clear beforehand. Yes, I know enough about you to send you this OpMail and ensure that you receive it. No, I have no interest in any further communication with you or your organization. As for why I have made this brief contact with you, Id like to clue you in on a very serious problem thats been keeping me up nights lately. As you are one of the few people on the planet who might able to do something about this problem, you and your superiors need to know about this. You are no doubt aware of the breeder nova phenomenon, where a few novas have proven capable of siring or bearing offspring in the normal human fashion. You also already know that novas powers are largely dependent on their subconscious expectations of what they can do. From there it should be obvious that taint (to use the vulgar term) is a twisted part of their powers and their expression, and is also dependent on novas subconscious expectations. This is also shown by most novas aberrations going away when they dorm down. The problem with this is that pretty near every humans subconscious is wired to think about sex a lot. In all but a few cases where a nova becomes asexual, this is no different where novas are concerned. Sexual aberrations do exist. The general public is even aware of some of them - a few novas are known for sleeping around far more than is considered normal, and then there is Saxon. The problem I wish to call to your attention is that Saxon was not an extreme example of this. His aberration was a mental disorder; however physical aberrations do not appear to have an upper limit. Eventually taint can leave a nova literally inhuman, effectively making him or her a member of a unique species in all but the genetic sense. But not all species follow the basic human method (what biologists call a k-type strategy) of sexual reproduction. Other creatures such as insects and fish follow what is called an r-type reproductive strategy, where massive numbers of offspring are produced with little or no parental investment. This reproductive strategy isnt unbalancing to the environment because the vast majority of these offspring dont survive, but then they also arent quantum powered. It is possible - likely inevitable - that somewhere a highly-tainted breeder nova has developed the reproductive habits of a cockroach or spider wasp, for example. Its also possible that the reproductive cycle of such a nova will accelerate to match the cycles of those creatures. Finally, its also possible that any offspring produced by that nova will be just like their tainted parent. Thats the bad news. The good news is this level of extreme aberration isnt the sort of thing that just appears full blown in a tainted novas development (except possibly with certain Terats). This sort of breeder nova (which I personally call Hatchers) must be discovered and dealt with before they hit that end stage. Hatcher novas are rare in the extreme, being a tiny minority even among those breeder novas who develop serious levels of taint. This in no way diminishes the threat they pose, however. If even one Hatcher nova manages to start the reproductive ball rolling out in the boondocks somewhere... The math behind a Hatcher novas quantum-powered r-type reproductive strategy is simple and brutal, but Im sure you can do it yourself. Im also sure I wont need to spell out and the implications for you and the world, either. Good night. Sleep tight.

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Directive Report

AOR: Breeder Novas DIRECTIVE FILE: AH-91 REL: Cell leaders and analysts. IPSP: Standard ENCRYPTION: Beta Thanks to the media, Im sure that all of you are familiar with the phenomenon of the so-called breeder novas. What you may not know is that there are more of them out there than the few whove been spotlighted by N! and the other media organs. From what our sources have learned, the vast majority of breeder novas pose only a negligible threat to the member nations of the Directive, and thats only if we dont leave them be. Yes, these novas have gone undercover to establish new lives for themselves as baseline citizens in much the same manner that sleeper agents establish and maintain their cover identities. Fortunately, their only goal appears to be leading fairly normal lives little different from those of their baseline neighbors. These novas want to work at their jobs, pay their taxes, and raise their children as normally as possible. Several of our higher-ups have made recommendations to have these novas immediately taken into mandatory government service as soon as they are discovered. I cannot emphasize strongly enough just how counterproductive that approach will be. These novas have been known to vanish at the first sign of their covers being blown, and have also responded to overly-persistent interference with and/or threats to their families with lethal force. From the breeder novas viewpoint, interference from the Directive in their lives is just as unwelcome as that from Project Utopia or corporate headhunters. If we leave them alone, theyll be content to continue living as productive, everyday citizens. The same cannot be said for those few breeder novas our analysts have come to call hatchers. While rare in the extreme, these breeder novas have become so mutated by taint that they now follow the r-type reproductive strategy, where huge numbers of offspring are produced with little or no parental care. Taint-maddened novas were more than enough of a threat to the Directive member nations and humanity as a whole without the potential to churn out hundreds - quickly becoming tens of thousands - of equally mutated and powerful progeny. Ladies and gentlemen, we are looking at the very real possibility of human extinction as a result of this development. All cells are therefore instructed to maintain a watch for signs of hatcher nova development and/or activity, which are detailed by our analysts in information packet 39C. Report any and all potential hatcher novas and hatcher nova activity to your immediate superior ASAP. Covert Ops and/or Blue-and-White Hunter Teams will then be assigned search and destroy missions to eliminate the confirmed hatcher nova and any offspring it may have produced with extreme prejudice. Even so, if your cell has a true opportunity to eliminate a confirmed hatcher nova and/or its offspring, take it immediately. The case of the Glasgow Ladykiller (see Directive File CL-47, included in information packet 39C) has given us concrete proof of just how dire the threat posed by hatcher novas and their progeny truly is. If that monster and all its unborn progeny hadnt been killed by one of our Covert Ops Hunter Teams, the death toll it would have racked up would have been far higher than 12 unlucky baseline women and 2 Directive agents. There is no margin for error here. Even a single hatcher nova has the potential to multiply, overwhelm, and then wipe out baseline humanity. -Director Arnold Harris

Proteus Communiqu

[Begin Proteus Communiqu double-encrypted with Navajo Daedelus 3; dated 09/13/09] Ozaki: Excellent job on your recent endeavor with Director Harris. With the Directive unknowingly assisting us in our efforts to contain and eliminate the threat posed by hatcher novas, our agents should have more opportunities to fulfill our other objectives. Your next job is to get our analysts started on looking for evidence of whatever other breeder novas may be hiding from us, either among the baseline population or elsewhere. These novas are yet another wildcard in this scenario, and are incompatible with Aeons vision of a better future for humanity. One way or another, they must be dealt with. Director Thetis

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Encoded OpNet Message

From: Corkscrew To: Sophia Rousseau Subject: The Motherhunters Date: 12/24/2008 Mademoiselle Rousseau, I wish I couldve given you better news on this Yuletide morning. When you gave me this assignment, you told me that something was rotten within Utopia. Judging from the intelligence Ive gathered, what we didnt know was just how far the rot has spread throughout the Project, or how toxic it is. Fortunately, the aid of our new friend has allowed us to find out about it early enough for preventative measures to be taken. As you predicted, both Utopia and the secret directorate within have recently begun operations to locate and deal with breeder novas and their offspring. Ive labeled these operatives motherhunters, after the agents in the Gil the ARM stories of the American science fiction author Larry Niven. If youve read those stories, youll see that the label is chillingly appropriate. If the Aeon Society has knowingly given their approval for these operations, I can only think that theyve damned themselves. Thanks to our friend, I managed to to learn about some of the novas they have picked for these operations, not all of whom are official Utopians. The Utopian novas who can be assigned motherhunter duty are too numerous to list, so we didnt bother with their Rashoud clinic files. We must simply assume that any Utopian nova field agent could be a motherhunter. Theyve been deceived into thinking that they are actually doing breeder novas (and their children, if any) a favor by having them shanghaied for Utopia. Laragione and his masters have already painted breeder novas as selfish and antisocial in their official internal memo, which spoke of such folderol as breeder novas denying their baseline brothers and sisters the benefits of their powers. These operatives have been directed to try and con any breeder novas they find into letting themselves and their children be taken without a fight. If their sales pitch fails, they are to act as a modern-day press gang. Both parents and children are then to be placed in the custody of Utopias Nova Medicine section, but I fear that is where theyll vanish, never to be heard from again. What really got to me were the non-Utopian novas thatve been tapped for the black ops motherhunter operations, which made looking over their Rashoud clinic files quite disturbing reading. Unlike the Utopians, these are a collection of zealots, borderline sociopaths, homicidal maniacs and people wholl do anything for a fat paycheck. These novas have no direct link to Utopia beyond their initial treatment and training at the Rashoud clinics, and are listed as having been discharged with no forwarding address. Nevertheless, our friend is certain that Utopia funds are being covertly funneled through several layers of classified projects to retain the services of these novas. I suspect (and our friend agrees) that these novas are to be the covert hatchetmen of the secret directorate, as theyll have no qualms about murdering innocents or anyone who gets in their way. Im sure that you and the others are already planning to thwart these despicable plots, and that the intelligence Ive relayed to you will be of great help in your doing so. That said, Im requesting exfiltration out of both Utopia and the identity you have established for me ASAP. Playing the role of a baseline Internal Affairs assistant in an organization that sees our kind only as either threats to be killed or beasts of burden to be disposed of once their usefulness has ended is only getting harder. I hope to have children one day myself, which makes working for the Project feel like being a Sonderkommando in a Nazi death camp. Pardon the melodrama, but we all have our limits, and Ive nearly hit mine.

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Encoded OpNet Message

From: Sophia Rousseau To: Mesztizo Subject: Exfiltration & Replacement Date: 12/24/2008 I hope the holiday season has found you well, as Ive a favor to ask of you. One of our extreme deep-cover moles (codenamed Corkscrew) in Utopia has requested total exfiltration from his current mission. He is of professional caliber in these matters, and wont have left much for you to clean up in the residence and social life of his cover identity. I would like you to take care of this matter, as Corkscrew has more than earned it. He has not only uncovered vital intelligence on some of Utopias nastier plans, but has also managed to recruit Athena Boyd for the Aberrants. Ill leave the details up to you, but be sure to perform the exfiltration ASAP. The stress is finally getting to him, and it wont be very long before it results in a case of the Thousand-Yard Stare. On a related note, we will need someone reliable to take over Corkscrews position at Utopia as Athena Boyds assistant. Ms. Boyd is a valuable asset, and I dont want to see her commit suicide by attempting to take on Proteus all by herself.

Aberrant Transcript

[Partial Transcript: Triumvirate Meeting, 12/26/08] Sophia Rousseau: Seasons greetings to you both, Andr , Doctor. Thank you for coming here on such short notice. This room is secure, so speak freely. Andr Corbin: Glad to see ye too, Sophia. Id like to wish ye happy holidays, but Ive a hunch that it wouldnae fit the tone of the news yeve got fer us. Dr. Worm: My sentiments exactly. I take it that Aeon has decided to do something drastic about the breeder novas, then? Rousseau: Yes. My sources have discovered that both Utopia and Proteus have started setting up operations to abduct breeder novas and their children. Both directorates have already been selecting agents to serve as motherhunters, if you will. Utopias leadership is justifying this as conscription for the common good, and officially intends to turn breeder novas into more Utopians. Unofficially, once the breeder novas have been captured, they and their children will be at Proteus not-so-tender mercies. Ive come up with a plan to thwart Aeon on this matter, but Ill need your help as branch leaders to pull it off. Corbin: Let me guess; yer people will be sniffin out the breeder novas and the motherhunters, me own lot will be runnin interference against those wankers, and the Docs friends will be settin up the families weve rescued in new an safer locations? Rousseau: There will be some overlap given the varying capabilities of our people, but thats the general idea. Dr. Worm: Consider myself and my associates in, Sophia. I believe we can handle our end of this new operation without much trouble. Its not like the breeder novas well be rescuing and resettling will want to draw any more possibly hostile attention to themselves. But since weve already given a label to our enemies in this matter, what label will we be using for our own operatives? Corbin: Why nae call em delivery boys? That ought to be generic enough to go unnoticed in case anyone outside overhears something they shouldnt. Dr. Worm: Not bad, I dont have a problem with it. But we will have a bigger problem to deal with here. I cant see the Teragen letting Aeons motherhunting operations go unopposed. At the very least, Geryon and his Nova Vigilance are certain to get involved by undertaking delivery boy operations of their own. Is there any news from your sources on that point, Sophia? Rousseau: None whatsoever, but I agree that it will only be a matter of time. However, I see no reason for us to interfere with the Teragens delivery boy operations if they stay clear of ours. Besides, having the Teragen out there to distract Aeon from us has helped us before, and it will do so again in our delivery boy operations. Corbin: Its settled, then? Right, now lets see who weve got thats up fer this kind of work...

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Aberrant File

Mission Report TO: B12 FROM: Renaissance Man As requested, Ive analyzed the various intelligence reports you sent to me and have reached a conclusion. Despite Proteus public exposure as a result of Andr Corbins trial earlier this year, I am forced to conclude that they have not merely gone to ground, but have retained the access and support required for them to carry out their intended operations. The following items comprise the strongest evidence for my conclusion. Item #1, Mission Reports K8S from Quince & R4V from Antenna: Thanks to Quinces obtaining the briefing memos for the Utopian motherhunter teams, its clear that Proteus still retains considerable influence within Project Utopias hierarchy. The three breeder nova family groups mentioned in the memos have all been falsely portrayed as violent criminals. Family #1 was painted as a married couple of former Organizatsiya operatives, now with an infant son. The parents in Family #2 were described as a pair of former clandestine elites. As for the parents of Family #3, they were under official suspicion of having ties to the Greenwar ecoterrorist group. The background work performed by Antenna has confirmed that these accusations were all false; as all the adult breeder novas listed are non-combatants whose criminal connections, if they existed at all, were grossly exaggerated. Item #2, Mission Report IC3 from Shunt: Shunts accounts of unidentified individuals engaging in certain criminal activities would ordinarily count for little, except that hes uncovered a pattern of previous contact by Utopian surveillance in over 80% of the incidents. Likewise, Shunt has found evidence that the Aeon Society has been funding many small, unremarkable installations (locations unknown at this time) across much of the planet. Item #3, Mission Report UC7 from Folsom: Folsoms report confirmed the capture of Family #1 (from Mission Report K8S) by Utopian motherhunters, which officially ended with both parents and child being placed in the custody of Utopias Nova Medicine section. Folsoms report further indicates that there are no further reports of either parents or child within Utopia from that point onwards, leaving me no choice but to assume that they have either been secretly imprisoned by Proteus (possibly for medical experimentation as was performed at Bahrain) or have been killed. Item #4, Mission Report L2B from Buzzcock: Buzzcock has confirmed that Proteus has hired elites to perform motherhunting work that are essentially wholesale group assassinations. Thankfully, Buzzcock was able to alert one of our operative teams in time to thwart the mission and capture the elites. Not only did the elites have no knowledge of their contractors true nature, they had also been told that the mother of the breeder nova family theyd been sent to kill had been selling nuclear warheads smuggled from the former Soviet Union to certain terrorist groups on the black market. Their orders were to make the deaths appear to have been an accident; failing that the family was to simply have been vanished. Our own background check on the breeder nova family in question has proved these accusations to be false, of course. Judging from these reports, the threat posed to novas by Proteus has not diminished as a result of their public exposure and official censure. Our legal maneuverings have only forced Proteus to work more covertly than they have in the past. With the Aeon Society apparently sheltering these criminals, I have to wonder just what it will require for us to shut down Proteus once and for all.

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DeVries File Letter

November 13, 2013 Ms. Rori McClain, This letter is to inform you that you have been accepted into our Compensated Dating program. Only one person in the program matches your rather unique requirements regarding blood chemistry. If you wish to continue in this matter, contact my office and we will supply you with his file and schedule a meeting. Medically speaking your next window should be around November 29 of this year. Sincerely, Doctor Edward Hiltonson Director of Genetic Studies, DeVries Medical, Pretoria, South Africa

DeVries File Letter

November 21, 2013 Ms. Rori McClain, Please find enclosed the personal file of Alex Battlefield Jones. This includes his medical file, personality file, and history. Where this conflicts with his online resume with DVNTS assume this file is accurate. That resume was created by Marketing and I understand they take some liberties. Also included is contact information. If you wish to continue with this DeVries has a corporate jet that would fly you down to our Pretoria compound on the 25th. To confirm our phone conversation on the 19th of this month; given a donor, any donor, whose cells are compatible to your daughter Tonis immune system, and we will be happy to perform the entire procedure at no cost to either of you. Further, while the youngest age at which someone can safely donate cells in such a procedure is indeed two years, a newborns placenta can be harvested to that purpose without a problem. DeVries Medical is one of the best equipped facilities in the world, we could do it. Sincerely, Doctor Edward Hiltonson Director of Genetic Studies, DeVries Medical, Pretoria, South Africa

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DeVries Memorandum

[From a DeVries internal memo dated 8/26/09] From: Anna DeVries To: Matthew Tsvangirai Re: Blood Tests Mr. Tsvangirai, Recruiting needs more direction. So far they have been assuming that baseline blood relatives of existing novas have the M-R gene sequence. This is fine as far as it goes, but the results have been much more mixed than I would wish. I want you to put together a list of people who have the sequence, or at least part of the sequence. Hire a discreet cyberkinetic if you have to, this is important.

DeVries Memorandum

[From a DeVries internal memo dated 10/20/09] From: CyberRat To: Matthew Tsvangirai Re: Blood Tests Mr. Tsvangirai, Enclosed are the records you wanted. Use the usual account. Considering this is the sort of thing that requires periodic updates, keep me in mind for future work.

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DeVries Memorandum

[From a DeVries internal memo dated 4/20/13] From: Laurel Devereaux To: Anna DeVries Re: Applicant Group Delta Victor 8 Ms. DeVries, Here are the most promising candidates from our current pool of applicants, with my recommendations as to their suitability. All of them are attractive and at least somewhat charming. Not all of them would be interested in or are suitable for a compensated date. Notice the increased percentage of applicants with the M-R gene sequence. I can only take partial credit for that, recruiting is doing a better job than they were a few years back. Bonita Bonny Gonzales Age: 27 Marital Status: Married Occupation: Actress, former fashion model Ethnicity: Hispanic (mixed) Nationality: Brazil (Currently living in Bollywood, India) Remarks: Bonita is no stranger to controversy. She is a highly successful model who, 2 years ago, married a wealthy banker three times her age. She recently retired from modeling, has taken up acting (with only moderate success so far) and wants a child. After she learned about our program, the possibility of bearing a nova child was incentive enough for Bonita to apply. Her ailing husband is apparently unable to perform for her, and is either willing to play along with Bonitas plan or is unable to prevent it. Controversy appears to be a lifestyle with Bonita, we strongly suspect that Bonita also intends to use any resulting controversy from this situation to propel her acting career to her accustomed level of success. Despite all this, her psychological profile indicates that she would be a good mother. Recommendation: Bonitas desire for public attention makes her a security risk, but she is otherwise a good candidate for a compensated date, preferably with a stud who doesnt mind paparazzi. Winiwini Win Camisha Age: 24 Marital Status: Divorced Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (communications technician). Ethnicity: Nigerois Nationality: South African (naturalized) Remarks: Winwini was recruited by one of our talent scouts in Nigeria, where she was languishing in an arranged marriage to a captain in the Nigerian Army. Her husband was abusive, and beat her for being barren (our medical tests have proved that Win is fertile - its likely her husband was sterile but without tests well never be sure). Even worse, Wins family was too traditional to allow her to put the Western-style education theyd given her to good use. After being hospitalized after a particularly brutal beating, blood tests performed on Win revealed that she does carry the M-R gene sequence, and is far more likely to produce a nova child. After being exfiltrated from Nigeria by DeVries agents, she disowned her family and divorced her husband in absentia, neither of which were pleasant events. Win has worked for DeVries for five years now and is very much a fan of both the DeVries Agency and novas in general. After finding out about our program, she leapt at the chance to bear a nova child. Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date. Win has been receiving psychological counseling and therapy to correct her emotional damage ever since she joined DeVries. Even so, we should be careful of who we pair her with because of her history of spousal abuse. Sarah Goldstein Age: 25 Marital Status: Widowed Occupation: Employee of DVNTS medical staff (registered nurse and paramedic).

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DeVries Memorandum (Continued)

Ethnicity: USA (Jewish) Nationality: Israeli (currently living in a DeVries living complex in Cairo, Egypt on a work visa) Remarks: An American Jew, Sarah emigrated to Israel upon marrying her Zionist husband, and became a settler on the West Bank. Her husband and young daughter were murdered less than 18 months ago in a suicide bombing orchestrated by Hezbollah. Sarah was then recruited by DeVries and has performed admirably as a nurse in our clinic at the Cairo facility. Our interviewers claim that Sarahs eagerness to join our program is due to lingering grief over losing her husband and first child, but she keeps a very close eye on the West Bank situation, and that worries me a bit. Her tests have shown that she does carry the M-R gene sequence, and is far more likely to produce a nova child. Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date, but keep a close watch on Ms. Goldstein after the birth if the kid turns out to be a nova. Kimiyo Kim Obayashi Age: 28 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (OpNet R&D), former Olympic athlete (track & field). Ethnicity: Japanese Nationality: USA (naturalized) Remarks: The only child of an upper-class Japanese couple, Kimiyo was an overachiever from an early age. Thanks to expensive tutoring and her inborn personal talents and drive, she gained the equivalent of a Masters degree in computer engineering at the age of 13. She was one of the first confirmed novaphiles after the first N-Day in 1998, as she secretly set up and operated one of Japans premier nova websites. Kimiyos website was different for its extensive files on possible ways to induce eruption as a nova. She became seriously involved in athletics as a result, taking up martial arts in an attempt to erupt. Her later involvement in track & field led to a brief career as an Olympic athlete, where she won a Bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics at the age of 19. After that, Kimiyos parents informed her that it was her duty to become a meek, mild housewife in an arranged marriage to an overweight man she had never met. She left home the next day, emigrated to the United States and was recruited by DeVries. She currently works as a high level contract network engineer for DeVries in New York City, and manages a new OpNet site about novas on the side. Her psych profile posits several reasons for Kimiyos eagerness to participate in our program. First, she wants a child in order to further distance herself from her parents, who she has pre-emptively disowned. Second, she feels that this will be the only way for her to find a man who will measure up to her standards. Third, shes novaphilic enough to really like the idea of giving birth to a nova child. Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date, but unless she erupts in response to giving birth to a nova child, her continued interest in self-induced eruption could lead her into self-destructive acts later on. We need to make arrangements for Kimiyos child to be adopted by a suitable DeVries employee, in case that Kimiyo winds up killing herself in an attempt to erupt. Rori McClain Age: 25 Marital Status: Widowed Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (security consultant), former police officer (New York City PD) Ethnicity: Irish Nationality: USA (naturalized) Remarks: Rori immigrated to the United States when she was 18 to marry her first generation Irish-American boyfriend. They immediately proceeded to be fruitful, and had a daughter named Toni nine months later. Her husband was in the family business, police work. Three years later he died in a car accident. Since most of her family and friends were cops, joining the police was a natural option for Rori to support herself and Toni. She went to a police academy, applied to join the NYPD, and succeeded. She eventually rose to the rank of detective in Homicide. Recently her daughter Toni was diagnosed with one of the rare disorders that Project Utopia hasnt gotten around to curing. Tonis only real chance for survival is a stem cell transplant, but there are no genetic matches for her on record. If Toni had a full sibling, there would be about a 25% chance of acquiring matching stem cells from the

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DeVries Memorandum (Continued)

siblings placenta. Rori left the NYPD and joined DeVries as a security consultant after hearing about our program. Because of her insistence on matching immune system types, only one of the studs in the program matches her requirements, but one should be enough. Both Rori and Toni carry the M-R gene sequence, which gives us a rare opportunity here. If we play our cards right, we could get three novas for the price of one. Recommendation: Excellent candidate for a compensated date, especially if we can save Toni with DeVries medical expertise. Elvira Elly Lesnikh Age: 27 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (certified instructor in mathematics, physics and several languages). Ethnicity: White Russian Nationality: South African (naturalized) Remarks: Originally from Northern Russia, Elly had a good education and had studied very hard in school. She could teach Math or Physics. She could also speak or teach English, German, Spanish, & French along with her native Russian... and none of that was doing her any good at all. In Northern Russia there were no jobs, the men were nearly all uneducated alcoholics, it was dark and cold most of the time, and anyone who could got out. Her way of getting out was to become a mail order bride to a white South African, but in the middle of the ceremony her would-be husband had a heart attack. While the South African government was considering deporting her the whole mess ended up on the front page of the local newspapers. Thats when you stepped in as her advocate, and personally recruited her for DeVries. Shes done an excellent job teaching foreign languages at our Pretoria compound, and has done quite well subbing for our other classroom instructors when necessary. The fact that Elly also happens to be nearly identical to you in both appearance and mannerisms has also been remarked upon by her coworkers. Ellys psych profile indicates that she has a serious case of hearing her biological clock ticking, which has only been exacerbated by the revelation of her younger sisters infertility. Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date. In terms of ability, attitude and loyalty to DeVries, shes nearly ideal. Heather Andrews Age: 28 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Lawyer, law firm of Brown & Cohen (New York City) Nationality: USA Ethnicity: USA (British ancestry) Remarks: A heiress of an Old Money family from Boston, Heather left the easy life of a high-class socialite to become a very successful lawyer for the firm of Brown & Cohen. This move has only increased her already impressive wealth, which she has come into sole control now that her elders are all either dead or irredeemably senile. As a bisexual with a long-term female lover, Heather was at risk of being disinherited by her conservative elders. Now that thats no longer a danger, Heather has brought herself and her lover out of the closet and is planning to start a family. Naturally, she wants to have the best child she can, and that means joining our program. Heather claims that shes prepared to do whatever it takes to bear a nova child, but her strong lesbian preferences may prove to be a stumbling block. Recommendation: Good candidate for using our sperm bank. We should also see about recruiting her for DeVries, as shes almost as good a lawyer as our own Mr. Wether. Nitara Chakravarthy Age: 19 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Singer / Actress managed by DeVries Ethnicity: Indian Nationality: USA Remarks: The child of Indian immigrants, Nitara only just managed to become a natural-born citizen of the United States by thirty minutes. With her mothers death later on, Nitara became a substitute mother for her younger brother and sister. She was

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DeVries Memorandum (Continued)

discovered as a singer at the age of 17, and used her new wealth to help her family. Oddly enough, her status as an extremely talented baseline singer worked to her advantage in the global media, despite the ongoing popularity of novox. A year later, it all fell apart. Nitara and her family was involved in a nasty highway accident involving a tractor trailer truck, leaving her father and siblings dead and herself crippled. While in the hospital Nitara also discovered that her manager father had been using her money to gamble, and that she had inherited his debts. Fortunately for her, the blood tests performed on her at the hospital also revealed her as a carrier of the M-R gene sequence. Your stepping in to save Nitara and becoming her artistic patron made for some excellent PR, and has sparked several office debates about recruiting other baselines with such high levels of talent. Our nova healers repaired her body, and our lawyers restored most of her wealth in return for a management contract withDeVries. Nitara has been an excellent moneymaker for DeVries ever since. Recommendation: Excellent candidate for a compensated date, but I hope that we have someone who can meet her standards (and yours). Chou Ling-yu, M.D. Age: 26 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Employee of DVNTS Agency (Medical Doctor / Researcher) Ethnicity: Han Chinese Nationality: Taiwan Remarks: One of our best baseline medical researchers, Chou Ling-yu has shown interest in applying for our program from the beginning, but had always been too busy with one research project or another to take the time off required for the resulting pregnancy and child care. Well, this time around shes finally gotten her timing right, and has applied. On the face of it, Ling-yu would be an excellent choice for a compensated date; shes beautiful, very friendly with her co-workers, highly loyal to DeVries and would make a good (if fairly eccentric) mother. Even better is the fact that shes tested positive for carrying the M-R gene sequence. That said, her bedside manner (pun intended) could use some work. Ling-yus psych profile shows her to have a deep fascination with the evolutionary potential of novas. Add that to some decidedly kinky tastes, and you can see why one of our stud elites has been known to break out into an anxious sweat whenever he comes within three meters of Ling-yu. He claims that Ling-yu seemed to view him as something between a lab rat and boytoy, and that she was just plain creepy when she got aroused. Recommendation: Excellent candidate for using our sperm bank. Matching her with a stud could be a problem with her in-house reputation. Carol Aquash, CPA Age: 21 Marital Status: Single Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (CPA) Ethnicity: Native American (Mikmaq) Nationality: Canadian Remarks: A certified public accountant, Carol Aquash left the Mikmaq reservation in hopes of making a better life for herself. The eruption of her cousin (Jasper Landmaster Aquash) was her inspiration, but it also convinced her that she must have the potential to erupt as well. She has tried dozens of ways to erupt, but her attempts always failed. Her application states that she wants the money to help enlarge her nest egg, and intends to give the baby up for adoption. Her psych profile indicates she wants to have sex with a nova and have his child in yet another attempt to erupt. If she doesnt erupt, she will probably keep the child (regardless of whether it is nova or baseline) and continue working as a CPA with DeVries. Carol has been a loyal DeVries employee for two years now, and her tests have confirmed that she carries the M-R gene sequence in her DNA. Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date. Id have rated her as excellent if it werent for the possibility of Carol killing herself in an attempt to erupt. I suggest that we have suitable DeVries employees on hand to act as adoptive parents in case Carol either dies or becomes a threat to her child in her quest to become a nova.

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A BREED APART
According to some thinkers, the reproductive drive underpins all of human society. From that somewhat reductionist viewpoint, the myriad aspects of human life agriculture, commerce, science, entertainment, et al. can be boiled down into ways to either attract potential mates or care for the young. In a very real sense, a humans spouse and children are his or her stake in the gamble of civilization. If a society does well and advances, a family is more likely to survive and prosper. If a society fails and regresses, a family is more likely to be endangered and face difficult circumstances. So what happens when a human lacks either spouse or children, and appears to have less of a stake in society? Surprisingly, just having one of these blessings can often make up for not having the other. Happy, committed couples that are childless can be found almost everywhere humans live. Likewise, if some people didnt find parenthood deeply fulfilling, there wouldnt be single and widowed parents out there raising their children (either their own or adopted) as best they can. But still, that leaves those who are either unwilling or unable to both attract a long-term mate and have children, even through indirect methods such as adoption. For these people, one of the activities of human life (such as religion) instead becomes a way to sublimate the reproductive drive. Sometimes that proves sufficient to fill the void caused by not having a family of their own, and they can benefit society (and vice versa). Sometimes it doesnt, resulting in a tendency for these people to endanger themselves and others, if not society as a whole. In the world of Aberrant, novas would seem to both have their cake and eat it. Theyre often wealthy, glamorous, and are eagerly sought after by marriage-minded suitors. As celebrities theyre globally famous, and their scientific achievements advance baseline society by leaps and bounds. Upon closer inspection, the perks of being a nova tend to turn out hollow in the long run. Fame and glamour are fleeting, wealth is too easily lost, and yesterdays hot prospect for marriage becomes todays has-been. Scientific achievements are relegated to history as new discoveries come to light, and the human need to tear down their celebrities makes no exception for novas. That wouldnt be so bad if the pressures of nova life and the mystery of nova sterility didnt make successful long-term relationships and parenthood pipe dreams for most novas. Combine the sheer power of novas with the lack of any real stake in human society, and the conditions for potential worldwide catastrophe are met. And yet, despite the odds against them, some novas have managed to bear and raise children of their own. These new families face an entirely new level of danger, as the second generation novas have the potential for power that will dwarf their parents, which in turn makes them targets for either

Perilous Beginnings

exploitation or assassination by the various factions of the Nova Age. Faced with these threats, will the nova families try to make peace with a society that too often only seeks to either exploit or kill them? Will they lash out against baseline humanity in genocidal warfare? Or will they abandon Earth for new homes and lives out among the stars, leaving baseline humanity and Terran civilization to their fate? With all of these questions, only one thing remains certain. Conflict is at hand.

Lexicon

Applegate: Slang term for novas who live incognito in Nova Age society by passing themselves off as baselines, many of which are also breeder novas. This is because many breeder novas have decided to live undercover and raise families free from the interference of the various factions, and because many novas who erupted and immediately went undercover avoided being sterilized in the first place. Breeder: Somewhat derogatory (and occasionally envious) slang term for both fertile baselines and fertile novas that developed after the reality of widespread infertility among novas became public knowledge in the nova community. Delivery Boy/Girl: Slang term for operatives who deliver (read: rescue) breeder novas and their offspring from the threats posed by motherhunters and other hostile parties. Harpy: Derogatory slang term for sterile novas of either gender who have a hatred of breeder novas and their offspring, which often extends to baseline parents and children as well. Jaffa: Self-referential slang term used by sterile novas of both genders. Originally British slang for infertile men, derived from the Jaffa variety of seedless orange. Mare: Short for brood mare; derogatory slang term for a fertile female nova. Motherhunter: Derogatory slang term for operatives who track down breeder novas and their offspring (if any), typically with sinister intent. 2ndGen: Slang term for the second generation novas, the offspring of two nova parents. These novas are divided into three separate clades (Trues, Terats and Trogs), depending on how their parents dealt with Taint. Stud: Somewhat derogatory, occasionally complimentary slang term for a fertile male nova. Terat (second definition): Slang term for second generation novas born to the Teragen. Trog: Slang term for second generation novas born to highly-Tainted nova parents. True: Slang term for second generation novas born to nova parents with little or no Taint.

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Much of the material presented in this sourcebook deals with mature issues, and may not be suitable for some Aberrant players. As such, this material is entirely optional. Storytellers are encouraged to discuss the subjects covered in this sourcebook with their players before introducing them into their Aberrant chronicles. If a player has personal issues with these matters, then show that player some respect and dont press his or her buttons through his or her character. Aberrant is a game, and games are meant to be fun.

Disclaimer

Nova Reproduction

While a great many novas do suffer from a currently inexplicable form of sterility in 2015, that isnt true for all novas. And like other humans, these fertile novas will eventually turn their thoughts toward settling down and starting families. For those Aberrant chronicles where these matters will be explored, weve provided new rules to cover this essentially human phenomenon.

Provided that a nova isnt sterile due to either the Utopian sterility cocktail or Taint, he or she will possess enhanced fertility. As human fertility is an extraordinarily complex matter, characters in an Aberrant chronicle are assigned a fertility rating, which is a simple percentage chance roughly equal to a characters base Stamina rating. (Mega-Stamina isnt counted, as it figures into the fertility rating in a different way.) The percentage chances of both partners in a sexually-active relationship are added together, and a roll is made against the combined percentage rating to see if conception occurs. In the case of nova couples where both partners have superhuman fertility ratings, the maximum possible combined fertility rating is 100%. The conception roll is always made by the Storyteller in secret, with the results revealed to the players only when appropriate (Storytellers discretion). The Storyteller is always within her rights to fake the roll when a given result would either help or hinder the plot. Variable factors such as drug use, mundane fertility treatments, advanced age, a characters level of sexual education and level of physical activity (among many others) can also alter a characters fertility rating in any way the Storyteller sees fit. Mundane fertility treatments cannot increase a characters fertility rating above 10%, however. Assuming that a couple has sexual encounters on a regular basis, the percentage roll should be made once per month of game-time, barring unusual circumstances. If either or both members of a couple are experiencing high levels of stress and/or physical hardship, the percentage roll might be made only once every three months or even waived completely. Characters that are sterile are typically considered to have a fertility rating of zero and cannot conceive in ordinary circumstances, although the Storyteller might assign a fertility rating of 1 or 2% in certain marginal cases at her discretion. Of course, homosexual couples

Nova Fertility

Contraception

will not be able to reproduce at all without the aid of either specialized medical assistance (and a surrogate mother, in some cases) or certain quantum abilities. With just the normal nova metabolism, a novas fertility rating is 5% greater than that of a healthy baseline human with the same base Stamina rating. Possessing Mega-Stamina will increase a novas fertility rating by an additional 5% per dot; with a novas base fertility rating being increased by 10% at Mega-Stamina 1, 15% at Mega-Stamina 2, and so on. Also, fertile novas have a certain advantage where their gametes are concerned. The sperm of fertile nova men can survive for up to seven days, and fertile nova women can produce several new ova on a monthly basis. This enhanced fertility is an optional part of the basic package of being a nova, and has no cost (in either freebie or nova points) for two reasons. First off, any novas who are dosed with adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine at a Rashoud clinic or by a Utopian Intervention Team are also exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail. This makes it easy to sterilize novas who either seek training at a Rashoud clinic or have only just erupted and arent in a position to defend themselves, assuming that said novas lack certain Mega-Stamina enhancements. Second, fertile novas who are publicly known to have either become pregnant or caused a pregnancy may become targets for assassination or kidnapping by Utopia, Proteus and many other groups.

Given how widespread the Utopian-induced sterility is among the nova population, its ironic that most fertile novas tend to have difficulties with keeping their fertility in check. With how easily novas can shrug off the effects of drugs tailored to the baseline metabolism, its only to be expected that many contraceptives are ineffective for fertile novas. Hormone-based contraceptives (such as birth control pills and hormone-infused implants) are completely useless, as a novas body will process the hormones too quickly for them to have any effect. Contraceptive drugs must be cut so that they are just as pure as other drugs intended for nova use for them to be effective. This will make nova contraceptive drugs toxic to baselines, which in turn can make using a nova-strength spermicidal agent with a baseline sexual partner potentially fatal for the baseline. This leaves physical contraceptive devices as the only option for most fertile novas, provided they lack any aberrations that cause damage to matter. If either partner has Mega-Strength, physical contraceptive devices can easily be damaged to the point of uselessness.

Paternity

In the case of nova women who become pregnant after encounters with multiple male partners, the Storyteller will either assign percentage chances to the males in question in order to determine paternity with a dice roll, or she may simply choose one of them. In either case the choice is made in secret, and the result will be kept from the players until it could be plausibly discovered in the events of the story.

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In most cases, the pregnancy of a fertile female nova is much the same as those of fertile baseline women, except that her optimized body will lessen the strain that the developing fetus will place on her system. First Trimester: The nova mother-to-be will become hypersensitive to smell and taste, receiving -1 to her difficulties on Perception rolls involving smell or taste. This is a mixed blessing, as she will also suffer a penalty of +1 on Stamina rolls to avoid becoming severely nauseous when exposed to strong unpleasant smells and/or tastes. Fortunately, most nova women are better able to stave off the resulting morning sickness than baseline women. She will also experience sudden cravings and/or aversions to certain food items. Aversions will lead her to reject a given type of food item, even if it was previously one of her favorites. Cravings can be for just about any food item, ranging from the stereotypical (pickles and ice cream) to the exotic (such as dirt). Second Trimester: The nova mother will begin to gain weight in order to better support her pregnancy. Her body will become increasingly awkward, which in game terms translates into a -1 die penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around. She will also develop the famous motherly glow as hormonal changes make her skin become rosy and her hair thickens and becomes lustrous. In game terms, she receives -1 to her difficulties on Appearance rolls involving being physically attractive. Third Trimester: A nova mothers augmented metabolism makes her better able to withstand the general aches and pains experienced in the third trimester, but its (usually) not enough to let her just shug them off. In game terms, she will suffer a penalty of +1 on all of her Stamina rolls due to general lethargy and exhaustion. Fortunately, a nova mother wont suffer from insomnia as a result of that. Also, the nova mother will also exude an aura of neediness at this stage of her pregnancy, for lack of a better term. This gives her -1 to her difficulties on Charisma rolls that involve getting other people to help her. In the last few weeks before delivery, the mothers nesting instinct will take hold. She will suddenly become both quite energetic and nearly obsessed with getting things ready for her babys arrival. Postpartum (birth to approx. 6 months afterwards): After the birth, the nova mother will begin to lose the excess weight gained during her pregnancy. This will happen faster than it does with baseline mothers, but its still a fairly slow process which breastfeeding the infant will accelerate. Speaking of which, lactation in nova mothers is almost as uncomfortable as it is for baseline mothers, as even the nova metabolism wont do much to impede the natural function of the mammary glands. Fortunately, it does make the period of her hormonal flux drastically shorter, allowing the nova mother to escape the resulting altered psychological states (severe depression, anxiety, loss of selfesteem, intense worrying about the infant, and the rare psychotic break) experienced by baseline mothers.

Nova Pregnancy

metabolisms. This changes if a nova mother and/or her partner (usually a male nova) has a permanent Taint rating of 6 or higher. If one of the parents has a Taint rating of 6-7, the base chance for complications is 10%. If both parents have a Taint rating of 6-7, this chance rises to 20%. If one of the parents has a Taint rating of 8-10, the base chance for complications is 40%. If both parents have a Taint rating of 8-10, the chance rises to 80%. The Fertility enhancement can reduce the chance for complications, although nova mothers will gain the most benefit from it. A novas Chrysalis rating will have no effect on his or her chances for pregnancy complications. The kinds of complications that a nova mother can face in her pregnancy not only include the mundane varieties known to baseline obstetrics, but also many bizarre conditions caused by either parents Taint. Mundane complications that can occur include (but are not limited to) birth defects of all kinds, a diminished Attribute on part of the infant, rhesus factor mismatches between mother and child, stillbirths, footling position, miscarriages, natural abortion, terminally ill infants, tubal pregnancies, false pregnancies, and premature deliveries. Complications arising from parental Taint can be literally anything that the Storytellers twisted imagination can conjure up, although the Storyteller is advised to determine remedies for such beforehand in the case of the pregnancy of a player character or an important Storyteller character. One unique variety of pregnancy complication that merits special attention is prenatal eruption and power usage on the part of a nova fetus. While this is most often seen in second generation nova fetuses, it is possible for unborn nova offspring of baseline parents as well. In either case, this phenomenon typically occurs in response to a threat (real or perceived) to the survival of the mother and/or fetus. Unlike other pregnancy complications, the chance of prenatal eruption and power use are not affected by the Fertility enhancement. Maternal stress will also increase the chances for this to happen (the details are left to the Storytellers discretion), especially if the mother is threatened with physical and/or emotional harm on a regular basis. The Storyteller is always free to fake the roll and apply whatever result she deems best, however. In game terms, a nova fetus and its mother are automatically considered to be attuned to each other, as per the Attunement background. Pre-natal power use is treated as though the mother had the Uncontrollable Power quantum aberration (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 95), with the Storyteller having complete control over the quantum power and other nova traits manifested by the nova fetus. This allows the Storyteller to employ pre-natal power use as a convenient deus ex machina to help the storyline of the chronicle along in whatever way she sees fit. While this usually means protecting the mother and/or her unborn child from actual threats, it can also cause complications if the fetus lashes out at someone its mother perceives (mistakenly or not) as a threat to her or her child.

When Genetics Goes Boink

Pregnancy Complications

Nova women also face the risk of complications during pregnancy, although their chances for such are much lower (1% at most) than those of baseline women thanks to their optimized

As such, Nature (or the Storyteller) can throw a monkey wrench into the reproductive processes of novas on occasion, leading to anomalous births. While this generally means having a child that

Homo sapiens novus is still a natural process for the most part.

Despite their powers, the breeding (and interbreeding) of

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isnt a chip off one of the old blocks for baseline couples, it can become much more dire in the case of nova offspring. Fortunately this tends to be rare, with it having roughly the same chance of occurring as complications in nova pregnancies. (The effects of the Fertility enhancement and high levels of Taint will affect the chance for anomalous births normally.) Of course, the Storyteller is always within her rights to fake the roll and choose a result she feels would add some needed drama to the chronicle. That said, the Storyteller is strongly encouraged to discuss this topic with the players before introducing it into the chronicle. Also, its a good idea to limit these events to Storyteller character couples, although nothing is wrong with players wanting to explore these circumstances through roleplaying. Examples of anomalous nova births for nova couples include birthing the wrong type of 2ndGen nova infant (low-Taint novas birthing a Trog 2ndGen nova or high-Taint novas birthing a True 2ndGen nova), or having a normal (a latent, HighQuantum baseline, or an actual baseline) child. In the case of nova interbreeding, the standard guidelines for determining the chance of conceiving offspring (and the status of said offspring) are tossed out the window in favor of random chance and/or the Storytellers whim. taint levels, as a multitude of factors can act and counteract with each other to influence the developing child. One such influence that deserves special mention is the Fertility enhancement, which can shift the percentage chances in the following guidelines in the favor of the parent with that enhancement. In game terms, the chance of having the wrong type of 2ndGen child is just another type of pregnancy complication as far as the effects of Fertility are concerned. For low- and intermediatetaint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of having a Trog 2ndGen child. For high-taint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of having a True 2ndGen child. Astute readers may have noticed that the Terat 2ndGens have been ignored in the following guidelines. This is a deliberate omission, since due to certain established facts in the Aberrant setting, Terat 2ndGens cannot just crop up out of the woodwork the way that True and Trog 2ndGens can. Unlike their True and Trog peers, Terat 2ndGens derive more of their distinctiveness from the novacentric (and isolated) upbringing and education provided by the Teragen than they do from the effects of the Chrysalis on their Terat parents. Like other human infants, the Terat 2ndGens are extremely impressionable in their early years of life. This is why Bounty and Scripture have taken such extreme pains to sequester them in their formative years; as instilling the philosophy of Teras to the point where it becomes natural (as it has become for the Terat 2ndGens) requires serious indoctrination from a very early age. Unless both parents in a breeding nova couple are Terats with a Chrysalis rating and give away their child to Bounty for her to rear, the status of any offspring should be determined regardless of a parents Chrysalis rating. Low-Taint Nova father & Low-Taint Nova mother: 100% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring, barring any anomalous births. Intermediate-Taint Nova father & Intermediate-Taint Nova mother: 80% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring and a 20% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring. High-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother: 100% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring, barring any anomalous births. Low-Taint Nova father & Intermediate-Taint Nova mother: 90% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring and a 10% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring. Low-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother: 65% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 35% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring. Low-Taint Nova mother & Intermediate-Taint Nova father: 95% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring and a 5% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring. Low-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova father: 55% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 45% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring. Intermediate-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother: 95% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 5% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring. Intermediate-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova father: 90% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 10% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.

New Parent Syndrome

Just like expectant and new baseline parents, expectant and new nova parents are often nearly incapable of either thinking or talking about anything other than their new child and parenthood. While this is only somewhat annoying in baseline parents, this behavior can become extremely dangerous for nova parents. Without the aid of psychic or hypnotic blocks to suppress this tendency (or living in seclusion), nova parents who indulge themselves in this behavior are effectively making excellent targets of themselves and their child for the motherhunters of the major factions.

As we have shown, taint can throw quite a few monkey wrenches into the otherwise optimized reproductive processes of a nova couple. So it should come as no surprise that taint can also affect the 2ndGen offspring of such couples on some very basic levels. While this is most obvious when highly-tainted novas give birth to Trog 2ndGen novas, the children of nova couples with intermediate levels of taint can also be affected. Things become even more confusing when the parents of a 2ndGen child have differing (sometimes to a radical degree) levels of taint. Fortunately, weve taken the time to hammer out some guidelines for these situations. Barring anomalous births, all offspring of a first-generation nova couple will be 2ndGen novas. Nova parents who both have little or no permanent Taint (5 dots or less) will bear True 2ndGen children, while nova parents who both have high permanent Taint (8 dots or more) will give birth to Trog 2ndGen progeny. The question of what any possible children will be like becomes a little dicey in the case of nova parents that both have intermediate permanent Taint (6 or 7 dots), as they will usually produce True 2ndGen offspring, but have a chance to produce Trog 2ndGen infants as well. This matter becomes even more a matter of chance when a pair of nova parents have differing 28

Tainted Heritages

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While most breeder novas most commonly use this ability to pose as baselines and stay under the radar of the motherhunters, it does provide an unexpected benefit for those with moderate to high levels of permanent Taint. Female breeder novas are perfectly capable of conceiving and bearing children - including 2ndGen nova children - while dormant. Pregnant breeder novas that remain dormant for the full duration of their gestational period (conception, pregnancy and labor) use the basic mechanics for nova pregnancy, despite their inability to actively channel quantum in that state. The benefit gained from following that course of action is that the breeder novas permanent Taint is considered to be 1 dot lower than normal per dot of the novas Dormancy rating for all reproductive purposes, including determining the clade of any 2ndGen nova offspring. In this way breeder nova mothers with Dormancy ratings sufficient to counter most or all of their own Taint can avoid the risks of pregnancy complications and birthing Trog 2ndGen novas. Breeder nova fathers with moderate to high levels of Taint should also be dormant at the time of the encounter in question, as they can also receive lowered permanent Taint ratings for all reproductive purposes. Depending on the circumstances of the chronicle (and the Storytellers discretion), breeder nova fathers with serious Taint may also find it necessary to remain dormant during their partners full gestational period while within her immediate vicinity, due to the potential risk of paternal Taint contamination affecting the unborn child.

Dormancy

Inhuman Upbringings

Despite the proclamations of the Teragen, most novas still have more than a little in common with their baseline forebears, including their reproductive strategy. Baseline humans and most novas are considered k-type breeders, in that on the average a breeding couple will produce only a few offspring and are willing to invest much time and resources in their children. In times of stress and danger where the family bonds cannot be relied on, humans can temporarily adopt a limited r-type breeder strategy, where producing as many offspring as possible while investing few resources (at least on the fathers part) is favored. When peaceful times return and general wealth rises again, humans will return to following the k-type strategy. This is not the case for certain breeder novas, as they have adopted varying levels of r-type breeding strategies for fulltime use. The first category of r-type breeder novas the Casanovas is comprised of lecherous and ethicallychallenged heterosexual nova men. Just like certain of their baseline counterparts, these nova men prefer to follow the limited r-type strategy which most humans reserve for emergency situations at all times, regardless of the circumstances and consequences. These conscienceless jerks see nothing wrong with loving and leaving whatever women that they can become physically intimate with. In the case of certain male breeder novas among elites and Teragen, this course of action can seem quite reasonable, especially if they have no other way to sire children without endangering said childrens lives. The classic example of this situation is a MegaSocial male breeder nova who seduces any fertile women he

desires, only to abandon his newly-impregnated conquests in his search for even more women to sire offspring on. Male breeder novas with the Copycat enhancement or the Shapeshift power could easily impersonate a womans husband or boyfriend in order to seduce and impregnate her. While the Casanovas are the more common of the r-type breeder novas, theyre also the ones whose offspring have the best chance of evading the notice of the motherhunters. In many cases, the offspring of a Casanova will be baselines, and even those who are latent firstgeneration novas will attract little or no attention to themselves prior to their eruptions. The second and far more dangerous category of the rtype breeders are the Hatchers, which is comprised of highlytainted breeder novas. While most of these monsters still follow the k-type & situational limited r-type strategy preferred by baselines, a few have adopted an extreme r-type strategy little different from that of insects and fish. Thanks to their taintderived mental disorders and problems with social interaction, establishing the family bonds required for the k-type strategy can be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible for these novas. Highly-tainted breeder novas following an extreme rtype strategy will seek to produce as many offspring as they can, and will invest little or no resources or time in said offspring. Depending on the details of a highly-tainted breeder novas powers and aberrations, the specific method of reproduction and treatment of resulting offspring will vary wildly. A telepathic high-taint breeder nova might use the changeling method and use her mental powers to brainwash a baseline couple into thinking that one of her many offspring is actually their child, after which she abandons the child for good. A female high-taint breeder nova with the Parasitic Gestation body modification might use a method like that used by the spider wasp, which involves paralyzing a well-fleshed baseline, implanting him with one or more of her parasitic fetuses, and leaving him in a convenient attic for her offspring to feed off of him. Others might abandon their many offspring after birth to live or die on their own, in the hopes that at least few will survive to reach maturity. In these cases, the offspring will always be born with whatever Mega-Attributes, enhancements and powers that will let them survive on their own. It should also be noted that the surviving children may have at least some psychological problems of their own due to their abandonment even without taking the influence of parental Taint into account. Despite the rarity of extreme r-type breeder novas, Project Proteus and the other motherhunters spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources hunting them because the math behind a quantum powered extreme r-type strategy is terrifying. According to one of Proteus worst case scenarios, a heavily tainted breeder nova could reproduce asexually by generating exact copies of itself, and create 10 such offspring a month, each of whom could possibly reach maturity in as little as 6 months. Assuming a 50% survival rate among the offspring, there would be roughly 600 such novas born after a year, and 45,000 in two years. If this theory of Proteus researchers ever became reality, baseline humanity could be facing extinction.

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Throughout human mythology, gods and goddesses have often dallied with mortals. This state of affairs (pun intended) is little different in the Nova Age circa 2015, as few novas aside from the Teragen and those novas who are highly Tainted have shied away from enjoying intimate relationships with baselines. Widespread sterility among novas has ensured that the consequences of most of these encounters are limited to the emotional and social varieties, but what happens if the nova is fertile? For that matter, how often can the potential to erupt as a nova crop up in a family of (ostensibly) normal baselines? What if a fertile novas sexual partner happens to be something more than a baseline? What will the resulting children from such unions be like? Here are a few guidelines for when this situation comes up in an Aberrant chronicles. In most cases, first generation novas are the ones who will be interbreeding with baseline humans and members of the other Inspired human subspecies. As former baselines, most of these novas remain close to their baseline roots (unless they start racking up permanent Taint), and are much less likely to shun baseline suitors. The following entries on possible matches with novas have been written with the first generation in mind. As far as second generation novas are concerned, things are not nearly as clear-cut. Some arguments have been made that 2ndGen novas especially the Taint-altered Terat and Trog clades have diverged far enough genetically that they could be considered new species of humanity, and therefore are incapable of interbreeding at all. Others reject this, saying that one generation of breeding isnt nearly enough to cause the necessary genetic alterations, even where novas are concerned. From that viewpoint, 2ndGen novas are just as capable of interbreeding as their parents. For this reason, the question of whether or not 2ndGen novas can interbreed at all with either baseline humans or the non-eximorph varieties of Inspired humans has been left to the Storytellers discretion. Nova father & Baseline mother: 25% chance (at best) of having a first-generation nova child. 50% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as latents or HighQuantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy complications if the father has moderate Taint, guaranteed pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted. Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 50% chance of having a second-generation nova child. 100% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20% chance of pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted. Nova mother & Baseline father: 50% chance of having a first-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels of the Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100% chance that the child will be a second-generation nova. 100% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy complications if the mother has moderate Taint, guaranteed pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily Tainted. Nova mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 80% chance of having a second-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels of the Fertility enhancement, in which case

Interbreeding

there is a 100% chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova. 100% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20% chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily Tainted. Baseline mother & Baseline father: 1% chance of having a first-generation nova child. 5% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. Baseline mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 5% chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. Baseline father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 5% chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. High-Quantum Baseline mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 10% chance of having a first-generation nova child, 1% chance of having a second-generation nova child. 50% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. Nova father & Psiad mother: 0% chance of viable offspring; any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal humans. Nova mother & Psiad father: 1% chance of viable offspring, in which case the child will be a sterile baseline human; otherwise any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal humans.

A Daredevil By Any Other Name...

In this sourcebook, weve gone along with Bruce Baughs ideas on the nature of daredevils. According to him daredevils are paramorphs, capable of subconsciously manipulating perpendicular time (also known as probability) to perform extraordinary feats. Max Mercer happens to be a highly advanced example of the breed, as shown by his ability to consciously control linear time. As such, we have posited daredevils as the third known Inspired subspecies of humanity, occupying a middle branch between eximorphs and psychomorphs on the evolutionary tree of Homo sapiens. For those Aberrant Storytellers and players who prefer Andrew Bates ideas on daredevils (daredevils are just exceptional baselines, and Max Mercer is the only known paramorph), we encourage you to change these rules to suit your own Aberrant chronicles. Its your game, after all.

Nova father & Daredevil mother: 50% chance of having a second-generation nova child. 100% chance that other (nonsecond generation nova) offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or first-generation novas. 5% chance of pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted. Nova mother & Daredevil father: 80% chance of having a second-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels of the Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100% chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova. 100% chance that

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other (non-second generation nova) offspring will carry the MR sequence as either latents or first-generation novas. 5% chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily Tainted. or have hard evidence of just how powerful these 2ndGen novas will be when they mature. This has made 2ndGen novas and their parents targets for either exploitation (if deemed useful) or assassination (if deemed a threat) in the view of many of these well-informed and influential people. Other such power players may seek to protect 2ndGen novas and their parents, but its anyones guess as to how successful their efforts will be. The second factor that has altered this conflict is the excessive levels of Taint which are slowly becoming more common among the first generation novas. Along with the normal nova couples that manage to somehow settle down and have kids, there are also Taint-ridden novas whose offspring will redefine baseline humanitys concept of monstrosity for centuries to come. These mockeries of nova families pose a threat to humanity and the entire world unlike any seen before. Between the potential power of the 2ndGen novas and the growing influence of Taint among the first generation, the stakes can only go higher.

High-Quantum Baselines

Latents

Its technically possible for an otherwise-normal baseline character to have a Quantum rating of 1 by spending 7 bonus points for it at the time of character creation. About 1 in 500,000 baseline humans is a High-Quantum baseline. Such a baseline cannot actively use his single dot of Quantum but will enjoy certain small benefits derived from having it, such as a slightly-increased resistance to certain quantum powers. That said, a High-Quantum baseline is not a latent nova and wont ever erupt as one, barring the use of quantum powers such as the Quantum Transformation technique of Quantum Supremacy. High-Quantum baselines do have an increased chance of producing nova offspring, especially if the other parent is a nova. Latents are baselines who are born carrying the M-R gene sequence but lack any predisposition to eruption as a nova. Such baselines could become novas, psiads or paramorphs depending on what sort of telluric energies they are exposed to later in life.

Surrogate Mothers

It is possible for baseline surrogate mothers to carry a nova fetus to term safely, so that both the surrogate mother and the infant nova survive childbirth. This requires that (1) the surrogate mother receives quality medical OB-GYN supervision & assistance during the pregnancy, and (2) the unborn nova isnt the offspring of a moderately or heavily Tainted nova father. If either condition cannot be met, complications with the pregnancy can occur.

Wicked Aunts and Uncles

The process of choosing a spouse, starting a family and raising children has always been a timeless cycle in the course of human life. Likewise, there have always been social deviants who seek to harm or exploit families and children, and people with sufficient courage and moral fiber to stand up against these predators. Even in the Nova Age, this conflict hasnt changed very much. When fertile novas manage to pair off and start families, there are many people out there who will gladly use, abuse or kill them and/or their children. Fortunately, there are novas who seek to protect (some of) these new families, and ensure the future of novakind. The future of baseline humanity is another matter entirely... The first factor that has altered this conflict where novas are concerned is the potential for unimaginable power which is the birthright of the second generation novas. There are those among the factions of the world of Aberrant who either suspect

Weve taken the time to come up with what we feel is the most plausible explanation of what the Utopian sterility cocktail actually is, how it works and why it hasnt been cured by some medically-inclined nova hypergenius prior to 2015. Of course, all this can easily be changed by the Storyteller to suit the individual needs of his or her own Aberrant chronicle. What is the Utopian sterility cocktail, and how does it work? The Utopian sterility cocktail is actually a pair of bioengineered retroviruses that were developed in secret by Proteus agents in Project Utopias Nova Medicine section. Acting under the command of Director Thetis, those Proteus agents had their Triton researchers genetically engineer components of the retroviruses genomes, which were then assembled into the two finished retroviruses by Proteus scientists for later mass production. The retroviruses were designed so that they would specifically target and infect all the cells of a novas gonads within thirty minutes after exposure. Once there, the retroviruses attack two different targets in the novas DNA, both of which are involved in the genetic basis for nova capabilities. The first retrovirus directly attacks any and all existing gametes, altering the targeted DNA so that they carry what amounts to an encrypted genetic sequence. The second retrovirus alters the cells that produce gametes, ensuring that any gametes produced in the future will also carry the encrypted genetic sequence. Their dirty work accomplished, the viruses are then quickly eliminated from the novas system. The altered gametes are now genetically dissimilar to the rest of the novas body (with the potential to eventually become cancerous), and for this reason are quickly destroyed by the novas own leukocytes. As of 2015, there is no known cure for the effects of this retrovirus. Director Thetis interest lies in controlling the nova population by preventing their reproduction, so creating a

Project Utopias Sterility Cocktail

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cure (a key to the genetic encryption) was deemed both unnecessary and counterproductive. Proteus began the nova sterilization program on June 1st, 2000, and it has been successful for the most part. Why were two retroviruses necessary? Proteus has hard evidence that the basic nova metabolism grants fertile novas two advantages unavailable to baseline men and women. The sperm of fertile nova men can live for up to seven days, where that of baseline men only lives for 72 hours at most. Likewise, fertile nova women can produce several new ova on a monthly basis, which baseline women cannot do at all according to current gynecology. So any effective nova sterilization agent would have to ensure that both any existing gametes in a novas body and any gametes a novas body produced in the future would be destroyed. Director Thetis is nothing if not thorough. If Utopias retroviruses are the true cause of nova sterility, what about the claims of Jennifer Slider Landers and Director Iktome that there are sterility-inducing chemicals in the Utopian nova drugs? Slider and Iktome were confusing the cause of the sterility with its method of transmission. Proteus long ago buried the secret of the source of nova sterility, but it still has to actively put the sterility retroviruses into batches of adrenocilin and moxinoquantuamine on occasion. Thats what Slider and Iktome found. Are the two sterility retroviruses triggered by channeling quantum energy? No. That tidbit is another piece of disinformation created by Proteus. The retroviruses will do their dirty work regardless of whether or not a nova is channeling quantum energy at the time of exposure. Are the sterility retroviruses present in all of the Utopian nova drugs? They arent, for two reasons. First off, the sterility retroviruses were deliberately made too weak to survive for very long outside of a specialized laboratory environment in game terms, they both have a Virulence Rating of 2 when used on a nova. This allows the retroviruses to be used safely in most cases on novas without the risk of mutation and subsequent transmission to the baseline population. This changes if the retroviruses are used on a heavily-Tainted nova (8-10 dots of permanent Taint), as the novas Taint can easily cause severe mutations in the retroviruses. This unforeseen circumstance will prove to be the source of some of the infamous Taint diseases that will ravage the baseline populace both during the upcoming Aberrant War and in the Trinity Era. Second, both adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine are readily available to novas (with a prescription), making it all too easy for them to end up being examined in some nova masterminds biology lab. For this reason, the only Utopians that are regularly issued doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that have been laced with the sterility retroviruses are Project Utopias Intervention Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. The only exception to this is when Utopian novas are tasked with subduing what Aeon terms rogue novas (read: dissidents, suspected Aberrants or Terats, and novas too paranoid or cagey to go anywhere near a Rashoud clinic). In that case, Proteus will covertly provide Utopian novas with several doses of moxinoquantamine that have been laced with the sterility retroviruses. As a rule, Utopian novas wont hesitate to use mox on their foes, and so end up doing Proteus work for them. On the other hand, Proteus agents are routinely issued sterility retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine (or the sterility retrovirus mickey, in the case of Proteus bartenders) as Director Thetis deems necessary, usually to sterilize novas in other organizations that Proteus has infiltrated. Note again that most Proteus agents dont know what the sterility retrovirus-laced drugs or mickeys that they are dosing novas with really are. As far as they know, they are either using standard adrenocilin and/or mox, or as bartenders are covertly testing experimental medicines intended to retard Taint accumulation in novas on Director Thetis orders. No matter how they are used, sterility retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine or the sterility retrovirus mickey are only used once or twice on any given nova. Since the sterility retroviruses typically need only one chance to do their dirty work, one or two doses are all thats required. Batches of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that are distributed through other channels will lack the sterility retroviruses, and the sterility retrovirus mickey is only distributed by Proteus. If the sterility retroviruses are so weak in terms of their Virulence Ratings, why dont novas resist them? Most exposure to the sterility retroviruses occurs when novas either take adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine for the pain of eruption or training in the use of their quantum powers, respectively. Proteus agents working as bartenders also use a sterility retrovirus mickey, which they slip into hyperintoxicating drinks such as Amp Wells. In both cases, a nova would not even think of attempting to resist the drugs or the drinks, especially since relatively few novas will have any clue that theyve just been infected by the sterility retroviruses. The exception to this are novas with the Body Awareness enhancement (from Aberrant: Brainwaves), who will instantly notice the sterility retroviruses entering their systems. They can then make a Resistance roll to purge the sterility retroviruses from their bodies. Alternatively, the Mind Over Matter enhancement (also from Aberrant: Brainwaves) can be used to retard the onset of the sterility retroviruses, and the Healing quantum power can aid in the Resistance roll to purge the sterility retroviruses. Use of the Suspension enhancement (from Aberrant: The New Flesh) can also halt the onset of the retroviruses, as can the Stop Time technique of Temporal Manipulation. How else can novas resist the effects of the Utopian sterility retroviruses? Having the Health enhancement is the most obvious defense novas can have against the Utopian sterility retroviruses, although having dots of Invulnerability: Disease works just as well. The only problem with these defenses is that a nova must gain them upon eruption for them to be effective. If they are developed after a nova erupts and is sterilized by the Utopian retroviruses, they cannot restore the novas fertility. Whats worse is that those defenses can also prevent any future attempts to use retroviruses to cure the novas sterility. The Fertility enhancement (found later on in this sourcebook) is also

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a viable defense, and is more useful as developing it after a novas eruption will actually allow a sterilized nova to regain his or her fertility. Why havent any medically-inclined nova masterminds discovered this before 2015? And why havent any of those masterminds come up with a cure for it? Certain Mega-Intelligent novas have known about the Utopian sterilization program for quite some time, with Antaeus being the most notable of them. Knowing that a problem exists and doing something constructive about it are two different things, however. Provided that a mastermind can see through the disinformation put out by Proteus (several Proteus agents churn out fanciful and lurid stories for the tabloid industry, for example), she will then have to investigate other possible ways to induce sterility in novas. If the mastermind suspects a genetic cause of nova sterility, she will then be faced with strong evidence that it is apparently linked to the genes that allow for nova capabilities to develop in the first place. If said mastermind thinks to compare the DNA from a sterilized novas gonads to that from the rest of his body, she can verify that nova sterility is not a natural part of the nova genome, leading her to suspect that retroviruses have been at work. That leaves her with the task of locating the genetic alteration caused by the retroviruses within the nova genome, and the task of decrypting the genetic alteration once its been found. Thats when attempting to reverse nova sterility becomes a truly Herculean labor. First off, Proteus genetic encryption has no key, making it a oneway process, as Director Thetis never intended nova sterility to be reversible. Second, since a gamete has only half of a humans genetic code and the individual chromosomes of that code are randomly selected, the encrypted message is non-determinate. This leaves developing another retrovirus to correct the genetic alteration made by the Utopian sterility retroviruses as the only conventional way to cure nova sterility. Once you add in the difficulties of evading Utopias Technological Regulation agents, Proteus saboteurs and industrial espionage in the course of developing said retrovirus, it becomes all too easy to see why even nova masterminds have made little progress in the matter of curing nova sterility through conventional means. Are there any unconventional ways to cure the effects of the Utopian sterility retroviruses? Yes, but theyre not widely available to novas in 2015. Developing the Fertility enhancement will allow a nova to correct the Utopian-induced sterility without any medical assistance. Healing simply will not work, as it doesnt affect a subjects DNA. Biomanipulation can allow normally-sterile novas to produce offspring by means of the Body Manipulation technique (to induce brief hyperfertility). This technique is what has allowed the Teragen to secretly produce a small brood of nova children. The catch to this method of sidestepping nova sterility is that this technique doesnt alter the parents DNA, so that the offspring will inherit their parents induced sterility. Powers that directly control the DNA of other novas (such as possessed by the Terat Altaz The Apothecary Zia) are capable of correcting the effects of the retroviruses in a single nova. The Mutation technique of the Ecological Supremacy power is capable of restoring the fertility of the entire nova population with a single use, but the only novas known in canon to eventually develop that power are Antaeus, Regina Mundi and Belladonna. It is speculated that one of these novas not only restored the fertility of the nova population in the 2030s, but granted all novas the equivalent of one level of the Health enhancement as well. How did Proteus manage to sterilize nearly so many of the known novas prior to the Slider scandal in 2008? Soon after their recreation in January of 1999, the first real project of the Aberrant-era incarnation of Proteus was the creation of the sterility retroviruses. By late May in 2000, Proteus began mass-producing the sterility retroviruses, and quickly built up respectable supplies of sterility retrovirus-laced adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine. Before Jennifer Slider Landers was murdered, relatively few novas had any reason at all to be distrustful of Project Utopia. Many novas, often still in pain from their eruptions, either sought help at Utopias Rashoud clinics or gladly welcomed the aid offered by Project Utopias Intervention Teams. Those few that werent eager to accept this Utopian aid were deemed rogue novas, and were typically dosed with sterility retrovirus-laced mox at least once. Proteus agents infiltrated many other organizations that counted novas among their ranks, often under the cover of working as either paraphysicians or more frequently as pharmacists. Some even operated as street paraphysicians, offering their discreet medical services to criminal novas. Other Proteus agents found employment as bartenders at various nightclubs frequented by novas, where they would occasionally add a sterility retrovirus mickey to the hyper-intoxicating drinks formulated for nova consumption, such as the Amp Wells of the Amp Room. How did Proteus manage to create the sterility retroviruses so quickly? They actually got lucky, believe it or not. One of the first novas recruited by Proteus had become naturally sterile as a side-effect of her eruption. Thanks to her superhuman awareness of her own body (the Body Awareness enhancement from Aberrant: Brainwaves), she realized that her own immune system had not only wiped out her existing supply of ova, but was also systematically killing the new ones that her ovaries were somehow generating as soon as they were released into her Fallopian tubes. Distraught, she went to a Rashoud clinic seeking medical assistance, where she was examined by Proteus doctors. Intensive medical investigation revealed that the eruption trauma had created two separate genetic defects in the novas DNA, which combined to make both her original ova and any newly-generated ova into precancerous cells. Director Thetis realized this for the golden opportunity it was, as attempting to deliberately engineer those genetic defects from scratch in the lab would have easily taken decades of hard, expensive work. Duplicating them, however, only cost Proteus scientists a few days effort. Proteus had the weapon they wanted, so all they needed was a delivery system. Proteus then arranged for separate parts of the sterility retrovirus development project to be farmed out to many extremely talented researchers at Triton Pharmaceuticals, who worked either as individuals or in tiny groups. The Proteus agents at Triton (some of whom were in management positions) deliberately misled the researchers as to what the actual use of

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their products would be. With the resources of Triton at their disposal (which included unethical medical experimentation performed on Proteus novas), completing these mini-projects only required a few months. Formulating adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine didnt even take that long, since theyre basically baseline drugs cut so that theyre strong enough to affect novas. Once the parts were all completed, all Proteus had to do was have their own scientists assemble them correctly, check that the finished sterility retroviruses performed as intended, and ensure that they could make more of the sterility retroviruses as needed. The unwitting Triton researchers got a nice fat bonus on their paychecks, and started work on their next projects in blissful ignorance. Was Max Mercer behind the Utopian sterility retroviruses? Certainly not. As written, Max Mercer is not someone who would countenance the mass sterilization of an entire group of humans, even one as powerful as the novas. Aeon was left to its own devices after Mercer vanished in the mid-1950s. Others in Aeon attempted to carry on what they thought was his dream, but they wound up shifting focus to their own personal agendas. Said personal agendas have diverged greatly from Mercers original vision of what Aeons ideals, goals and methods should be. When Mercer returned to Aeon in the mid-1990s, he did not like what found. To Mercer, the lengths to which Aeon projects like Utopia and Proteus have gone indicates that he screwed up royally somewhere. Mercer retains much control over Aeon, but hes got a lot of work to do before Aeon can really be considered his group once again. So while Mercer would not have aided in the development and use of the Utopian sterility retroviruses, he was also far too busy regaining control over Aeon to rein in Thetis premier atrocity. That explanation is all very nice, but it doesnt suit my Aberrant chronicle. Are there any alternatives? Of course! At the Storytellers discretion, the Utopian sterility cocktail may truly be an assortment of sterility-inducing drugs tailored to affect novas instead of a pair of engineered retroviruses. Alternatively, the sterility-inducing drugs could be too expensive and/or too difficult to produce for it to used widely, leading it to be used in only the adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine issued to Project Utopias Intervention Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. Also, the Utopian sterility retroviruses or drugs can also have a more exotic source than we have indicated, again at the Storytellers discretion. Its not impossible for a mad scientist from the Adventure! Era to have developed either engineered viruses or special drugs with the Super-Science rules. have instead sought to attain it for their children. And despite the best efforts of Project Utopia, Project Proteus and the Directive, certain organized crime syndicates have stepped in to claim a share of that highly lucrative market. Caveat emptor applies especially to such proscribed services and shady providers, however. Both the DeVries Agency and the Teragen also have implemented their own plans to covertly increase the nova population, the ramifications of which will not become apparent to the world at large until 2025. The seeds have been sown, and all that remains is to see what will grow from them. When the genetic basis for becoming a nova was revealed to the scientific community in late 1998, savvy individuals quickly realized the extreme value that would eventually be placed on viable homo sapiens novus sperm. Unfortunately, the majority of novas at that time were either still trying to adjust to their new powers or had yet to erupt, so chances to acquire samples of said tissue were nearly impossible to come by. As the phenomenon of novas as celebrities began to develop during 1999, there was a brief window of opportunity for covert sampling as certain male novas indulged in debaucheries that had previously been restricted to rock stars and their like. When the mysterious problem of nova sterility became widespread in late 2000, the whole matter became moot as far as the most of the world at large was concerned. One of the first people to realize the potential of this new commodity was one Doctor Takeshi Maeda, a skilled medical doctor and cutting-edge geneticist who also happened to be born to a yakuza family and loyal to the Nakato Gumi. He then drew up plans to use a few suitable male novas to supply a nova sperm bank, the services of which the Nakato Gumi could then reap extreme profits from. Having alerted his superiors in the Nakato Gumi to this opportunity in December of 1998, Maedas proposal was deemed both feasible and profitable, yet was shelved as a low-priority project during the Nakato Gumis rise to ascendancy over the Japanese underworld. By 2010, however, Maedas project finally got approval from the oyabun and was implemented. Five years later, Maedas project has paid for itself scores of times over, and has given the Nakato Gumi a near-monopoly on one of the most precious commodities of the Nova Age. Dr. Maedas operation currently uses three Japanese stud novas as unknowing sperm donors for the Nakato Gumi sperm bank. The stud novas came to the attention of the Nakato Gumi by means of their contacts in the Japanese medical system, and have been tricked into their current predicament though use of unspecified family obligations. One of the stud novas own inclinations helped to lure him in he is a confirmed lecher whose interest in sex borders on satyriasis. The powers of these novas are quite low-key in game terms they are all stealth novas (Aberrant core book, p. 155) with many MegaAttributes at low ratings. They have also become very attractive to women in some way or another. Having been relatively normal young Japanese guys (very late teens to early 20s in age) before their eruption, the stud novas decided (with parental urging) to hide their novahood and attempt to lead reasonably normal lives. The Nakato Gumi has secretly helped them with the prior, but made the latter impossible. All three of these novas have been unknowingly set up in living situations that had previously only

More Precious Than Gold

Seeds of Divinity

For most baselines in these early decades of the Nova Age, erupting as a nova is seen as something of a Holy Grail of worldly success. Unfortunately, most of them also know that the capacity to erupt is an extremely rare genetic mutation. (Those who dont accept the latter fact fill the ranks of baselines who end up either crippling or killing themselves in misguided attempts to induce their own eruptions.) With no known reliable means of gaining novahood for themselves, wealthy baselines

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been seen in Japans various harem anime and manga series. As far as the stud novas know, they have somehow found stable jobs as building managers of one sort or another one runs a boarding house, another oversees a small apartment complex, and a third somehow wound up managing a small girls dormitory. All three establishments are owned by the Nakato Gumi through several shell companies. Leaving little to chance, Dr. Maeda had the three establishments filled with a pre-screened selection of young female tenants. Aside from being very attractive and generally pleasant if somewhat eccentric in personality, the young women chosen by Dr. Maeda were all fleeing unpleasant family situations and were romantically unattached. Tenants still attending high school have mysteriously inherited sizeable savings accounts (actually provided by the Nakato Gumi), while the older tenants have luckily found jobs at local businesses that the Nakato Gumi has full or partial ownership of. After settling into their new lives, the managers and the tenants got acquainted with each other, and Nature eventually took its course. Being lonely young women faced with a superhumanly attractive guy on a 24/7 basis, it wasnt too long before the tenants actually fell in love with their respective manager (and vice versa). All of the tenants have lost any qualms they might have had about seducing their particular Mr. Right (or being seduced by their tenants, in the case of the stud novas) whenever possible. The free medical care the residents are all provided with by the Nakato Gumi which includes the services of skilled gynecologists who handle the sperm harvesting from the female tenants allows the managers and their tenants to carry on in their accustomed lifestyle without any inconvenient fears of pregnancy. It is important to note that neither these young men nor the young women they live with have any clue that their surreal lifestyle is all a setup for them to be exploited by the Nakato Gumi. If the truth were revealed to them, their reactions would be nearly impossible to predict. Dr. Maeda also keeps a close watch over the tenants medical reports he has theorized that regular intimate contact with a nova might be sufficient to trigger eruption as a nova, and is eager to gather any evidence that would confirm his theory. Kuro-Teks covert research into nova genetics has also resulted in a technique that allows the M-R gene sequence to be genetically engineered into a human blastula either before conception or during the first month of pregnancy. This project has only been somewhat successful as far as Professor Sayo Ikeda, Kuro-Teks premier hyperintelligent nova gengineer is concerned the genetic implant is completely safe and stable, but very few of the resulting children seem likely to ever erupt as novas later on in life. Professor Ikeda also seems to be the only gengineer nova or otherwise on the planet capable of performing the required genetic manipulations reliably and without any errors. In game terms, the M-R gene sequence implantation technique is essentially a gadget useable only by novas (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148), which also requires extensive training in human genetics and genetic engineering to use. Despite all this, the implantation procedure is considered preferable to using the Nakato Gumi nova sperm bank by those upper-class couples who deem matters of good breeding and legitimate birth to be vitally important. While using a sample from the nova sperm bank drastically increases the resulting childs chances of eruption as a nova, it also means bearing a provable bastard who could disgrace their family and reveal the ostensible father as a cuckold. The considereably greater production costs involved make the M-R gene sequence implantation not quite as profitable for the Nakato Gumi as their nova sperm bank operation, but it still rakes in plenty of money for their bank accounts. It can safely be assumed that Professor Ikeda will be performing this procedure for the Nakato Gumis paying clients for decades to come. Purchasing the services of the Nakato Gumis nova sperm bank requires a minimum of Resources and Contacts , with the latter representing a major contact in both the Nakato Gumi and the Japanese government. Those who wish to have the M-R gene sequence gengineered into their unborn offspring instead need Resources and Contacts . Clients from Japans upper social strata (generally powerful politicians, successful business families and Japans blue blooded gentry and nobility) may substitute dots of Influence (based in Japan) to lower the actual price to Resources and , respectively. For purposes of determining the status of any offspring of the Nakato Gumi nova sperm bank, the stud novas are all first generation novas with no permanent Taint. Most of the children that have been gengineered with the M-R gene sequence wont erupt as novas in game terms, they are considered to be High-Quantum baselines. Only about 10 to 3% (Storytellers discretion as to the exact percentage) of such children are born as latent novas. If the mother of such a gengineered child happens to be a High-Quantum baseline herself, theres a chance that the child will be born as a 2ndGen nova, as per the Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline mother listing in the Interbreeding tables.

Fools Gold

The demand for viable nova sperm hasnt gone unnoticed by the rest of the underworld. The Camparelli-Zhukov Megasyndicate also discreetly offers the services of their own nova sperm bank to certain customers. These are generally marks who are rich enough to be worthwhile targets, foolish enough to be conned and not powerful enough to mount serious reprisals against the Megasyndicate. The main difference between the Megasyndicates operation and that of the Nakato Gumi is that most of the Megasyndicates product is actually taken from baseline sperm donors. When the children resulting from the couterfeit nova sperm fail to erupt, the Megasyndicate plans to place the blame for that on the mothers baseline genetics. Its possible to buy the real thing from the Megasyndicate for a much steeper price, naturally but that option has its own problems. The few fertile male novas in the service of the Megasyndicate all have medium to high levels of permanent Taint (five dots or higher), which can lead to all sorts of pregnancy complications for the unfortunate mothers who purchase the Megasyndicates premium sperm bank services. Purchasing the basic services (and counterfeit nova sperm) of the Megasyndicates nova sperm bank requires a minimum of Resources and Contacts , with the latter representing one or more minor contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate. Purchasing the premium services requires Resources and Contacts , with the latter representing two major contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate.

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Annas Stud Service

Ever since DeVries Agency President Anna DeVries decided to find a way for her to become pregnant, medical researchers within the amoral elite agency have taken a keen interest in matters of nova sexuality and fertility. It soon became apparent that while fertile male novas were more commonly found among the ranks of elites than in the general nova population, their often extremely hazardous lifestyles also made it highly unlikely that they would survive to sire any offspring. When combined with the hedonistic attitudes that many elites develop eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die most people would see it as proof positive of the essential emptiness of the elite lifestyle and its vaunted glory. Anna DeVries never was most people, and quickly spotted the highly profitable business opportunity that the situation offered. Instead of suggesting to the fertile male heterosexual novas among her elites that she wanted them to moonlight as gigolos, she has set up a very discreet compensated dating arrangement for them. Anna takes applications for compensated dates from interested women, many of whom are DeVries employees fertile female novas employed by DeVries receive a special discount. The chosen elites then get to pick and choose which women they will entertain from their pool of applicants. The ladies receive several nights of passion, the elites receive some sexual relief and the lions share of the money (minus a matchmakers fee for DeVries), and the transaction is finished as far as the world at large is concerned. As could only be expected, Annas ambitions go far beyond arranging hot dates for some of her elites. What everyone not involved in the transaction doesnt know is that the women the DeVries elites are being paid to entertain in compensated dates arent just after some romance and sexual satisfaction they are also attempting to become pregnant. The elites who work for Annas compensated dating service have not only been informed of their state of reproductive health, but are unanimously willing to sire children in this manner. These men have long realized their own mortality, and yet cannot abandon the life of the combat elite. They see Annas compensated dating operation as a way to leave behind some sort of legacy after their deaths other than battlefield tales, empty mansions and fat Swiss bank accounts. The parental rights of the DeVries stud novas arent usually an issue, as the elites will only rarely enforce them. On the other hand, most of the elites also take a very dim view of their children being manhandled, regardless of whether or not they have been involved in the childs parenting. In the case of women from outside the DeVries Agency who apply for her compensated dating service, Anna is generally content to charge a very stiff fee for the services of her elites. She does make regular exception for women Anna deems people of interest; who tend to be blood relatives of novas, women that are otherwise highly likely to bear nova children, friends of either Anna herself or the DeVries family, female novas who have been proven fertile by DeVries resident paraphysicians, and women to whom Anna feels indebted in some way. Anna charges these ladies a much smaller fee, and may even waive the fee entirely in certain cases. (In this situation, the elites fee comes from the general company payroll.) Female DeVries employees who apply for a

compensated date are also charged a much smaller fee, and those in sufficiently good standing with the DeVries Agency may also have their fees waived entirely. If Rachel Alinsky ever hears her biological clock ticking and decides to apply for a compensated date, not only would Anna eagerly grant her as many compensated dates as she wanted, none of the stud novas would even dream of refusing Rachels application. Anna has also set up a discreet nova sperm bank, for those women who either feel uncomfortable with applying for a compensated date or have had their applications rejected by one or more of the stud novas. This isnt generosity on Annas part, but is a vital part of her long-term schemes. Like the Teragen with whom she sympathizes, Anna DeVries wishes to increase the population of novas, but she also wants to take advantage of the new novas that her scheming produces. Anna has used her influence over DeVries recruiters to ensure that attractive, healthy young women who want to bear nova children are more common among the employees than they would be if standard hiring practices were followed. If a female DeVries employee becomes pregnant as a result of a compensated date, she is encouraged in person by none other than Anna DeVries herself to relocate to the DeVries Compound at Pretoria, South Africa. To date, none of the employees have refused Annas offer. Once they have transferred to the DeVries Compound, the new mothers willingly sign up any resulting children into a special child care and educational program sponsored by DeVries at no charge. By indoctrinating the children to see DeVries as their trusted friend from an early age, Anna hopes to ensure that a healthy portion of the next generation of novas will be loyal DeVries employees. Assuming that a woman meets with the approval of the elite she has applied for, purchasing a compensated date for three days with a DeVries stud nova requires both Resources and Contacts , with the latter representing a major contact within the DeVries Agency. Purchasing a compensated date for seven days requires Resources . If the woman in question is either a person of interest or a DeVries employee, purchasing a compensated date only requires Resources (three days) or (seven days) and either Contacts (DeVries) or Backing (DeVries). Female novas that are fertile only need Resources (three days) or (seven days) and Contacts (DeVries) or Backing (DeVries) to purchase a compensated date. Applicants with Backing (DeVries) or higher or a good Reputation with DeVries may have their fees waived entirely at the Storytellers discretion. Acquiring a sample of viable nova sperm from the DeVries nova sperm bank requires Resources and either Contacts (DeVries) or Backing (DeVries), with the cost lowered to Resources for fertile female novas. The only catch to using the DeVries sperm bank is that fertilization is always performed in the main medical clinic in the DeVries Compound at Pretoria, South Africa they never ship their samples. Any resulting children from a DeVries employees compensated date or use of the DeVries nova sperm bank are then typically signed up by their mothers for Anna DeVries free child care program, which later on includes education and indoctrination. For purposes of determining the status of the children resulting from a compensated date or use of the

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DeVries nova sperm bank, DeVries stud novas are all novas with little or no permanent Taint (zero to four dots). male nova. Refer to the appropriate listings in the Interbreeding tables for details.

The Hagar Procedure

Like most novas, Anna DeVries was unknowingly dosed with the Utopian sterility cocktail and rendered unable to conceive. Unlike most other novas, Anna DeVries also had the resources to do something about this problem. Anna started DeVries research program on the nova infertility problem immediately after finding out she was sterile. The researchers first big break was the discovery of the small handful of fertile novas among DeVries nova employees. While this quickly resulted in the establishment of a profitable side venture for DeVries (see Annas Stud Service, above); finding a way to use fertile novas to solve Annas problem took several more years of research, many millions of dollars and a breakthrough on the part of one nova gengineer by the name of Harold Manders, M.D. With Dr. Manders skills at their disposal, DeVries now has a procedure to sidestep nova infertility that works fairly well sometimes. The procedure begins with an egg cell donated by one of DeVries few fertile female novas, from which all of the nuclear genetic material has been removed. Several stem cells are then taken from the sterile female nova who is attempting to conceive. The 23 chromosomes that would ordinarily be split off into an egg cell are taken from the stem cells, with the chromosome carrying the maternal M-R gene sequence singled out for special attention. The mothers M-R gene sequence is removed from that chromosome, and replaced with the M-R gene sequence from the donors egg. The maternal chromosomes are then transplanted into the donors egg, which is then fertilized by donated sperm in a standard in vitro procedure. Special medical nanotechnology developed by Rachel Alinsky is then implanted along with the fertilized egg into the mothers womb. If all goes well, the medical nanites will prevent the fertilized egg from being rejected by the mothers immune system. Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to the Hagar Procedure. First off, Rachel Alinskys special medical nanotechnology is in game terms a gadget useable only by novas with medical expertise. Second is the fact that the genetic manipulations and nanotech operations involved in the Hagar Procedure are both unwieldy enough that the nova gengineer must have Luck and Attunement , in order to literally shift the odds for successful conception and pregnancy in the favor of the would-be mother. Third is the failure rate of 80%; for every successful pregnancy resulting from the Hagar Procedure, there are four cases of stillbirth or natural abortion. Fourth, Anna DeVries has kept a very tight rein over who gets to use her new medical miracle. Using the Hagar Procedure requires Backing with DeVries. There is no Resource rating required, as Anna expects the resulting children to literally be raised as part of the DeVries corporate community. Finally, it cant do a thing to help infertile male novas father their own children. As of 2015, eight ostensibly sterile nova women have managed to conceive and successfully bear children by means of the Hagar Procedure, including Anna DeVries herself. The status of children created with the Hagar Procedure depends on the status of the biological father; who will usually be a baseline, High-Quantum baseline or a fertile

The Cuckoo Gambit

Exposure

With their plans for eventual nova domination of baseline civilization, it was only a matter of time before the Teragen hatched their own plots dealing with reproductive technologies. Certain medically knowledgeable Terats within the Casablanca faction have been gathering viable sperm samples from the few fertile male novas scattered throughout the ranks of the Teragen since 2003. These Terats have also infiltrated many normal sperm banks in the First World nations and secretly replaced selected baseline sperm samples with those from the Terat stud novas. The only criteria that has to be met is a rough match between the racial characteristics of the original donor and his nova replacement. As far as the Teragen is concerned, the ranks of novas must be replenished by any means necessary. If doing so means causing potential emotional harm to the couples they deceive, then so be it. The natural process of evolution is cruel, so why should they be any different? It is also important to note that Divis Mal and Jeremiah Scripture not only have full knowledge of this scheme, but have given the Casablancas the blessing of Mal for this project. The Terat donor novas can have any level of permanent Taint desired by the Storyteller, with the effects on the resulting pregnancies and offspring being as stated in the Interbreeding tables. As of 2015, only the C-Z Megasyndicate has been unlucky enough to attract any official attention to their sperm bank scam. As far as Utopia, Proteus and the Directive knows, all that the Megasyndicate has done is fraudulently sell viable baseline sperm as that of nova donors, which is fairly trivial when compared to their other crimes. This state of blissful ignorance cannot last. Revelation of the operations of the Nakato Gumi, CZ Megasyndicate, DeVries Agency and Teragen involving reproductive technologies would immediately draw intense hostile interest from many factions. Utopia and Proteus would take a dim view of any operations intended to increase the nova population, and would seek to shut them down with extreme prejudice. The Directive would seek to immediately shut down the operations of the C-Z Megasyndicate and the Teragen, but would assuredly leave the Nakato Gumi and DeVries to their own devices. The Teragen would seek to subvert the operations of the Nakato Gumi and C-Z Megasyndicate (along with any stud novas involved) for their own purposes. The Aberrants would want to rescue unwilling stud novas in the Nakato Gumis operation, and prevent the C-Z Megasyndicate stud novas from being used as such due to their (and presumably their offspring) being highly prone to taint. Interference with the DeVries or Teragen operations is unlikely, though possible victimization of the resulting offspring would be an issue for the Aberrants. Most elite agencies would be ambivalent or disgusted by the operations, but would refrain from interfering with them unless hired to do so. As far as the baseline factions are concerned, their reactions would range from alarm and concern (at best) to subversion attempts or witch-hunts (at worst). Many national governments and corporations would leap at the chance to breed and raise their own force of novas, while the Church of

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Michael Archangel would see the donors, parents and children involved in these operations as yet more targets to eliminate. the motherhunters is another good way to enter into conflict with them. Enlightened self-interest is not unlikely, as any breeder nova who becomes known as such will be targeted by the motherhunters sooner or later, so why not take the fight to them beforehand? Recruiting freshly-rescued breeder novas to join the operatives faction has been known to happen, as timing can be everything in a sales pitch. And as money can buy nearly anything in 2015, greed can pull an operative into the thick of this conflict, provided that the client hes working for can afford his services. The common thread here is that the delivery boys and girls agree that breeder novas and their offspring are worth protecting. This can lead to problems when said breeder novas are either tainted monstrosities or remorseless criminals. If delivery boys and girls arent careful in choosing which novas to protect, they could wind up bearing partial responsibility for any unwarranted deaths and destruction their erstwhile charges may cause in the future. Utopia: Motherhunters. At the very least, Utopians will seek to establish & maintain surveillance of suspected breeder novas. If direct action is deemed necessary by their superiors, Utopians will typically seek to take their quarry and their offspring into custody (where Proteus can execute and/or experiment on them with impunity, if Thetis so desires). This isnt the case where highly-tainted breeder novas are concerned, as Utopians will use deadly force against obvious threats. Proteus: Motherhunters. Proteus agents aims will vary with their mission parameters. They will depend on Utopian surveillance for the most part, with Proteus spies performing surveillance in those areas beyond Utopias reach. When actively motherhunting, Proteus agents will typically attempt to capture their quarry for live experimentation. If any discovered offspring are young enough, Thetis might have them sent to Dr. Toiho at the Bahrain clinic for comparison to his artificially-produced nova children. Otherwise, they will kill breeder novas and their offspring as soon as is feasible. Teragen: Delivery Boys. By their way of thinking, every nova they rescue from baseline oppression is a future Terat the only variable is how long it will take said nova to see the light (read: accept the Terat viewpoint as the truth). Only those breeder novas known to have harmed other novas will be denied Terat aid. Of course, the price of Terat aid is often to become Terats themselves (or at least allies of the Teragen).

The Motherhunters

Sinister Actions

Utopia, Proteus, and other groups have agents that track down any proven breeder novas that those organizations uncover or otherwise become aware of. Utopians might seek to take their quarry and their offspring into custody (where Proteus can execute and/or experiment on them with impunity), while Proteus agents may likely kill them as soon as is feasible. Agents of other groups may or may not have other plans for breeder novas and their children, depending on the goals of their organization. Who are these people, and how do they operate? And how can a budding nova family avoid their notice, or failing that, avoid being captured and/or killed?

The experiences of taking a spouse and having children are arguably two of the major cornerstones of human society, and are assumed to be common goals for most people. So what could make a nova capable of doing harm to a couple or family of breeder novas? Sadly, there are many things that can cause a nova to become one of the true motherhunters, with sociopathy and sadism being only two of the more obvious reasons. Simple greed can also be enough, as most organizations that sponsor motherhunters can afford to pay them very handsomely for performing this particular brand of dirty work. A desire for revenge on a particular nova can all too easily expand in focus to cover novas in general. Misguided religious zeal has led devout baselines to commit atrocities for centuries, and devout novas are no less vulnerable to it. Its not unheard of for some sterile novas to become so envious of their fertile brethren that they cant bear the thought of breeder novas having children and starting families. Even simple mistaken beliefs about the nature of novas and/or their 2ndGen offspring can be enough, given sufficiently unpleasant prior experience with a nova. The one thing that motherhunters all have in common is a willingness to dehumanize their prey, to see them as objects to either be used or disposed of instead of thinking, feeling humans. Of course, dehumanizing other novas is much easier when the novas in question are either heavily tainted or prove themselves monstrous by their deeds. In these latter situations, an erstwhile motherhunter will have more in common with the monster hunters of past centuries, and is more liable to come away from such hunts with a clean conscience. Just as the motherhunters seek to harm or exploit breeder novas and their families, there are those nova operatives who also track those novas down in order to aid and protect them. The motives of these delivery boys and girls are almost as varied as those of the motherhunters. Moral integrity and idealism have often inspired ordinary people to stand against wrongdoing, as have religious conviction, ideology and possession of a strong sense of justice. A need for vengeance against motherhunters or the organizations that employ them can easily lead a nova into this kind of protection work. Revulsion and outrage over the despicable goals and tactics of

Opposite Reactions

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The Directive: Motherhunters. The only thing preventing these operatives from being as vicious as Proteus agents is their tendency to obey civil laws, even if only in the breach. In the eyes of too many Directive agents, novas are threats to baseline governments and society just by virtue of their existence, and are therefore just as guilty as any international criminal or petty Third World dictator. They wont seek to kill breeder novas and their offspring if unprovoked, but a lifetime of imprisonment and interrogation isnt that much better than death. Aberrants: Delivery Boys. Aberrant operatives will seek to protect breeder novas who arent obvious threats to humanity, who will either have high levels of taint or are harmful criminals. Recruitment of breeder novas rescued by Aberrant operatives isnt unknown the Aberrants tend to be fugitives as well, so it isnt that much of a lifestyle change for a breeder nova. DeVries: Variable. Anna DeVries has instituted a quiet program of offering sanctuary to employable breeder novas and their offspring in return for hiring on as DeVries employees. DeVries elites have been known to accept offers to hunt down breeder novas who are obvious threats, but Anna has also directed them to discreetly capture their offspring. These children are then adopted by loyal DeVries employees, in hopes that they will become DeVries employees themselves when they grow up. Other Elite agencies: Variable. Agencies such as Argus, Peacekeepers and NovaCom will likely seek to protect breeder novas that arent violent criminals or tainted monstrosities. The Janissaries and other agencies who focus more on combat for profit without regard to morality will tend to act as motherhunters more often than not. National governments: Variable. Depending on the attitudes towards novas held by a given regime, breeder novas could find themselves deported, marked for execution, or recruited for (often lucrative) government service. National nova groups such as Nordlysene, Nippontai or Australis will act as directed by their government superiors. Any motherhunter or delivery boy operatives lacking an organized nova group will come from the security agencies of the given country. Other groups: Variable. Groups that specialize in a certain activity, such as the Gestalt does in the use of psychic abilities or Greenwar in ecoterrorism, wont have much to do with either motherhunters or delivery boys. Isolationist groups such as the Protectors could offer sanctuary to suitable breeder novas and their offspring. The Queer Nova Alliance would be most likely to act as delivery boys where matters of conflicting loyalties dont apply, although their lax security makes their effectiveness questionable. And of course, the Church of Michael Archangel will be fanatic (if mostly ineffective) motherhunters. One such group that deserves special attention where this conflict is concerned is the Daedelus League. Most of the other factions believe that this loose association of nova space travel enthusiasts is of little importance and even less relevance to the conflict between motherhunters and delivery boys. They couldnt be more mistaken. The Daedelus Leagues sympathies makes them delivery boys in most cases, much like the Aberrants, although their facilities for relocating breeder novas arent for everyone. As all they currently have are a few covert asteroid bases, the Daedelus League lacks any offworld refuges for novas who cannot handle life in a space habitat and dont have Adaptability. (The hyperactive metabolism of novas fortunately makes them immune to low-gravity aggravated osteoporosis, so artificial gravity isnt a necessity for the residents of the Leagues asteroid bases.) This will change in upcoming years, however. After his talks with Thomas Sering and the Protectors on establishing an offworld colony (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 178), Cyrus Katrak has slowly become convinced of three things. First is the fact that those novas who wish to lead a relatively normal life a surprisingly large minority instead of becoming celebrities and commodities have almost no chance of doing so on Earth, thanks to the influence of the various factions of the Nova Age. Second is the growing certainty that the existing social order between novas and baselines as of 2015 cannot be sustained over the long term without risking catastrophic damage to either Terran civilization (at best) or Earths biosphere (at worst). Third is the knowledge that advances in Terran space exploration will certainly lead to most of the Solar System being claimed by various Earth governments, making asteroid and interplanetary colonies stopgap measures at best for novas wishing to live free of their entanglements. For these reasons, Katrak and certain other Daedelus League members have started a long-term covert operation of space exploration beyond the Solar System, with the goal of finding new worlds for humans both nova and baseline to inhabit. Although the Daedelus League has always paid lip service to the idea of eventually finding extrasolar planets capable of supporting human life, Katraks recent conclusions have given them motivations for that search beyond scientific curiosity and the urge to explore. They have also managed to keep this operation a secret (so far) from the scientific community and the various other factions of the Nova Age. After fending off repeated recruiting attempts from Project Utopia, Katrak has no intention of allowing the Daedelus League to be subverted by any of the other factions, especially since that would put the survival of both the known human subspecies at risk. Currently, the Daedelus League has drawn up plans for expeditions to certain star systems and has quietly recruited warper novas capable of reaching those star systems as quickly as possible. Their hope is that they will find at least one

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habitable planet before the situation on Earth between novas and baselines degenerates and breaks out into global warfare. Once one or more such planets are found, they can then be colonized by those novas and baselines who wish to live together in peace, far away from the madness and devastation that threatens Earth and all who live there. That way, something worthwhile of humanity and its civilization will survive, even should the Earth itself be reduced to a radioactive cinder in the upcoming conflict. as the Copycat or Mr. Nobody Mega-Appearance enhancements are the best disguises available to them. The only alternative for an Applegate nova who cannot pass for baseline is the unenviable life of a shut-in. Living undercover is hard enough for adults, but its even harder for young children. Once the expected difficulties of raising one or more nova children while remaining undercover become apparent, most Applegate families tend to become fairly transient in order to minimize the risks of exposure. Jobs where an employees family must move on a regular basis are coveted by Applegate novas, as the constant relocation provides a ready explanation for their reluctance to form social bonds with their current neighbors. Jobs where the employee can work from home using the OpNet are also valued, as it allows an Applegate nova parent to keep an eye on his or her kids during work hours. Due to their largely unofficial nature, employment in many of the criminal occupations also works well in the Applegate lifestyle. While Applegate novas and their kids prefer not to make casual friends and acquaintances for security reasons, they do sometimes manage to make real friends on rare occasion. Applegate nova children tend to be fairly isolated from the communities they live in, with much of their education either given them by their parents through home schooling or acquired online through OpNet-based educational institutions. Provided that an Applegate nova couple has enough discipline to only use their nova capabilities when necessary, and that they can teach their children to do the same, they can go on for several years without being discovered by their enemies... if theyre lucky. The second option available to breeder novas is to establish some sort of homestead in a region on Earth that is at least somewhat removed from baseline civilization. Breeder novas taking this backwoods route tend to be either those who cannot pose as baselines in civilized society due to personal circumstances or those who just dont want to do so for some reason. The main benefit of this route is that they wont have to keep as quite a low profile as the Applegate breeder novas. They still have to be wary of remote surveillance and the like, but both the breeder novas and their 2ndGen children can use their powers somewhat more openly and put in more of their spare time into practicing their use. They might have to pose as baselines when visitors come calling or when they go to town, but they can be themselves at other times. The drawback to all this is the physical and social isolation thats required. Novas attempting to live apart from baseline civilization are put in much the same position as the American pioneers of the 19th Century, as they will typically be living with little or no readily available support from society. Basic competence in a wide array of skills such as construction, medicine, cooking and agriculture just to name a few examples will be required for a backwoods nova family to survive. Fortunately, a nova can literally have several lifetimes worth of skills, making this way of life much more feasible for a backwoods nova family. If all or even just a few members of a backwoods nova family has superhuman survival advantages such as the Adaptability enhancement, the cards used in the game of survival are stacked even more in their favor. Unfortunately, the members of a backwoods nova family will need all of those advantages sooner

Dangerous Prey

For breeder novas attempting to live their lives and raise their children free from unwanted interference, there are four main options. The first option is what some have referred to as the Applegate route. An Applegate nova is one who has abandoned all ties to her pre-eruption life, gone underground and is currently living under an assumed identity as a baseline. The main benefit of this approach is the (usually) convenient access to the goods and services offered by baseline society. Provided that an Applegate family remains as anonymous as possible, they can enjoy the comforts that too many baselines in the First World take for granted. The main problem with adopting this lifestyle is the constant secrecy that an Applegate family must maintain at all times in order to keep from blowing their cover. Applegate novas must have some way to pass for baseline, possibly for long periods of time. Fortunately, the Dormancy background is tailor-made for this situation. Provided that the nova using it hasnt accumulated too much taint, dorming down will allow a breeder nova to effectively revert to his or her previous baseline self for as long as necessary and with little risk of detection. The only problem with this tactic is that second generation novas cannot use Dormancy at all since they were essentially born erupted, the 2ndGen novas literally have no baseline selves to revert to. If the 2ndGen nova child in question isnt a stealth nova, temporary solutions such

The Applegates

Finally, we come to the focus of the conflict between the motherhunters and delivery boys, the breeder novas and their children. Forswearing the easy fame and glamor that most of their kind are accustomed to, these novas instead do their best to live free from the interference of a world that sees them as commodities, media icons and political pawns instead of the people that they really are. Ironically, their disengagement from the typical nova lifestyle has made these recluses even more important to the world than their more public brethren. Thanks to their shunning of the medias limelight, these hidden novas have managed to avoid Utopias nova sterilization program. Against all odds, the majority of these isolated novas have managed to pair off into breeding couples and have had children. The nascent power of these second generation novas is what has made them and their parents into some of the most highly sought-after novas on the planet. With so many of the factions of the Nova Age bent on either exploiting or killing them, how have the breeder novas and their offspring managed to remain hidden and survive on their own for as long as they have? And for how much longer can they expect to keep their hard-won freedom?

Country Cousins

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or later. Unlike the Applegate breeder novas, backwoods breeder novas have no one but themselves to rely on in an emergency. They may live at a distance from the towns and cities, but can visit them when necessary to obtain needed goods, services and social contact. The basic tenets of civilized life are respected sometimes and occasionally with more sincerity than is normally found in mainstream baseline society. Personal honor and integrity (or the appearance of such) are also valued, as they are marks of someone who can be relied upon in a pinch and will reciprocate aid given to him. Education for the children in such families tends to be of the homeschooling variety, but a wealth of practical knowledge and skills are also part of the curriculum. Backwoods breeder novas following this lifestyle tend to have little or no Taint, as they rely on being able to cooperate with each other and interact successfully with their family members (and with their neighbors, on occasion) in order to survive. Backwoods breeder novas who refrain from drawing attention to themselves can expect to live unmolested for years before eventually being discovered. pioneers, as the surrounding environment is far more hostile than the American Old West ever was, making the colony extremely dependent on highly complex technology for their survival. If the colonists fail to get along and work well together, the social environment of a space colony will resemble a potential forest fire, as even the smallest faux pas or indiscretion can threaten the survival of the colony as a whole. Without ready access to Earths markets, all food, medicines and other consumer goods must be either produced at the colony, imported in large quantities or simply done without. Even simple luxuries such as chocolate or coffee are few and far between. The maintenance of a colonys technological devices will be of prime importance, as a breakdown in either of the life support systems or the power plant, for example, is the stuff of nightmares for space colonists. Living inside a sealed habitat can also lead to outbreaks of cabin fever, which may or may not be alleviated by going outside the colony in a spacesuit or small spacecraft. Nova space colonists are extremely likely to either have or develop Adaptability, as the ability go simply go outside the colony without risking immediate death makes for a welcome psychological release valve. Education for the children of a Daedelus League or Protectors space colony is excellent, as both groups have members who are well capable of and willing to provide quality instruction up to the university level. In other space colonies education will be of the home-schooling variety, although instruction related to techonology and living in space it will likely be of high quality thanks to their extreme importance to space colonists. Breeder novas living in a space colony will always have little or no Taint, as the survival of everyone in their community often depends on their being able to cooperate and get along with each other, even in the most difficult of circumstances. If they dont draw attention to themselves, space colonists can expect to go for decades without fear of attack. The fourth option is a reversion to a savage lifestyle, which is all too often the only feasible choice for breeder novas that have developed excessive amounts of taint, with all the insanity and social difficulties that entails. Savage breeder novas tend to rely on their Mega-Attributes and quantum powers for their survival, although only some of them have completely abandoned the use of technology. Provided that the members of a savage tribe all have the Adaptability enhancement, just about any isolated and rarely-visited locale on Earth (and many places offplanet) can make suitable refuges for these monsters. Denied the benefits of being part of a civilized, humane society, these breeder novas have adopted a degraded tribal sort of existence that many 21st Century baseline tribal cultures would find apalling. In this way of life might literally does make right, outsiders are either allies of convenience or victims to be exploited, and baselines are seen as ready-made peons to dominate however one wishes. Social norms can vary wildly from those of modern baseline society, and transgressions against said norms may either be punished severely or merely winked at and ignored. In this social environment, it can only be expected for dysfunctional personalities and relationships to become the rule instead of the exception. Cruelty and a basic lack of empathy for others including their fellow tribe members are all but universal in savage breeder novas, as

The third option is to become a space colonist. Only two of the factions of the Nova Age have managed to establish operational offworld colonies by 2015, although they are not currently open to habitation by baselines. The Daedelus League has established secret habitats hollowed out from the cores of a few of the larger stony asteroids (the smallest is 12 km in diameter) found within the main Asteroid Belt. The habitats were designed by the Leagues resident Mega-Intelligent nova space scientists, and are surprisingly livable for a microgravity environment. The Protectors have established a subsurface Mars colony with the aid of the Daedelus League, which is buried somewhere beneath the bottom of Hellas Planitia. While only a few Protector novas are living there in 2015, the Protectors eventually plan to relocate their entire organization en masse to their Mars colony, abandoning both their Antarctic base and Earth by 2020. The only thing holding them back is their current lack of a reliable artificial gravity system. With such a system in place, the Protectors baseline members will be able to live and work right alongside their nova brethren, just as Thomas Sering had always intended. Three of the Protectors best hyperintelligent nova scientists have been working on developing such a system for several months, and a breakthrough is expected soon. The other space colonies tend to be the residences of either powerful individual novas or small nova groups. The Teragen have made tentative plans to establish a new enclave somewhere on Luna (see Aberrant Worldwide: Phase I, p. 84), but with events such as the Night of Long Knives in their immediate future, it remains to be seen whether those plans will ever make it off the drawing board. Aside from their extreme isolation, the main benefit of this lifestyle is becoming part of a tightly-knit small community where the colonists dont have to hide their nova powers and can engage in honest social relationships with other colonists than their immediate family group. Despite minor differences such as location and exterior environment, all space colonies present similar challenges for the colonists who live there. The basic situation is even more difficult than that of historical

Settlers of the Solar System

The New Barbarians

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these qualities allow them to take advantage of whatever opportunities fall their way without wasting time on debates over morality. Education for the children in a savage tribe is widely varied at best, and often tends to be short on cultural and technological knowledge. Backwoods breeder novas who take up this lifestyle are always those who have accumulated large amounts of taint, as their various mental disorders and difficulties in social interactions with baselines can make it nearimpossible to operate in civilized society. With their mental and social problems derived from their taint and a casual contempt for outsiders, a tribe of savage breeder novas is fortunate if they have the sense to avoid drawing hostile attention to themselves. If so, they can probably manage to engage in their brutal activities for years. If not, they can expect to be attacked in short order. relocating a space colony is a massive undertaking, and will only be considered in the most dire circumstances. Lethal force will almost always be used against motherhunters, as a motherhunter attack against a space colony requires serious material and financial support. Aside from their own nova powers, space colonists will not hesitate to use any technological weapons that could feasibly kill the attackers. Depending on the level of resources and scientific expertise among their members, space colonists could plausibly deploy large-scale monofilament weapons, kinetic railguns, DeVries Nanokill (see Aberrant: Brainwaves), nuclear warheads and bomb-pumped x-ray or gamma lasers. If the space colonists are fortunate, the fate of any motherhunters they kill will become just another unsolved mystery of the Nova Age. As most space colonies will have been established under the provenance of benevolent factions such as the Daedelus League and the Protectors, the aid of delivery boys from the colonys parent organization or their allies will always be welcomed by space colonists. Savage breeder novas will most often fight any motherhunters who attack them, although some of them will certainly have enough sense to flee in the face of overwhelming opposition. Lethal force will be used on any and all motherhunters, unless a savage nova thinks that one of the attackers might be more desirable as a captive instead of a corpse. In this case, a captive might prefer death to becoming a slave, torture subject or concubine. Discretion in their fighting usually wont be a concern for savage novas, as almost all of them really like the idea of being feared by outsider novas and baselines. Relocation is a haphazard affair at best for tribes of savage novas, as they will end up losing their accumulated wealth just as often as they manage to save it. Assuming new identities is rarely done, as most savage novas are either too twisted by Taint for that to be feasible or too egotistical to even consider it. Likewise, any delivery boys who offer aid to a tribe of savage novas are walking a fine line the savages might accept the offer, or they might consider it an insult to be repaid in blood.

Exposure

No matter which lifestyle they adopt, all breeder novas and their offspring must make plans for when they will eventually come under attack from the motherhunters. Unless breeder novas have access to telepathic means of altering the memories of inconvenient people, their reactions can be boiled down to a simple choice: fight or flight. Applegate breeder novas will seek to flee at the first sign that they have been compromised, although they will fight in the defense of themselves and their children. If the threat posed by the motherhunters is dire enough, Applegates will have no compunctions about using lethal force against their antagonists if they can do so discreetly or in a manner that cant be connected to them. After escaping from a motherhunter attack, Applegate novas will abandon their current identities and lives and establish new ones elsewhere. For this reason, its common for Applegates to keep most of their wealth and personal records in forms that are either easily transported or disposed of, as the situation warrants. They also try to limit the amount of possessions they have, for much the same reason. Aid from delivery boys will be gladly accepted, provided that they have won the trust of the Applegate family in question. Backwoods breeder novas will flee from a mother-hunter attack only if they have no other choice their roots often go a good bit deeper than those of Applegate novas, making relocation much more difficult for them. With their isolation from baseline society, backwoods novas have a much better chance of fighting back against motherhunters without blowing their cover. Lethal force is also more likely to be used against motherhunters, especially if it can be made to look like the fault of someone or something other than themselves. If their cover has been irreparably blown, backwoods novas will seek to relocate to some region where they are less likely to face further motherhunter attacks. If necessary, they will shed their current identities and assume new ones, although they typically wont be as proficient at deception as Applegates. Also like Applegates, aid from delivery boys will be welcome, provided that the backwoods novas consider them trustworthy. Space colonist breeder novas will always fight against motherhunters

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For quite a few breeder nova couples attempting to become parents, bearing a healthy nova infant is often considered the ultimate prize. Considering all the hurdles placed in their path by Project Proteus and other factions, its not surprising that breeder novas often romanticize their goal of becoming parents, as the fantasy of achieving domestic familial bliss can sustain them in difficult situations. Unfortunately, thats still just a fantasy, and one thats only loosely connected to reality at best. Lots of new parents can easily be that nave, and new nova parents are no exception. Getting pregnant and giving birth is only the beginning. For new baseline parents, the experience of having a child will either make or break their relationship as a couple and a family. The basic situation isnt that much different for new nova parents, as 2ndGen nova children are usually just as troublesome as their baseline counterparts its just that the problems (if not the joys) of raising a 2ndGen nova child can be and often are very different.

And Baby Makes Three

Nova Parenting 101

With the birth of their first child, a breeder nova couple will experience a permanent lifestyle change of a truly radical degree. The responsibilities of caring for a completely dependent child will almost entirely divorce the new parents from the hedonistic and often irresponsible lifestyles practiced by the majority of other novas in the early Nova Age. Combine that with either having to go underground or leaving Earth to evade the motherhunters, and you have an adjustment which can be truly hard for even novas to make. The pleasures most novas take for granted will become things of the past for nova parents, especially if indulging in them would risk exposing their family to the motherhunters. Socializing with casual friends and acquaintances will become a danger to be avoided instead of a way to relieve pyschological stress. The idea of freedom can also become an near-alien concept for nova parents, as living undercover or in the wilderness precludes hiring a babysitter or going to child-friendly restaurants on a regular basis. Nova parents in the space colonies have it only slightly easier in terms of their social lives, as the isolation and pressures of living in an asteroid colony or interplanetary base will make up for the increased opportunities for safe social contact. Even engaging in combat is seen from a different perspective, as the risks of fighting deadly foes are thrown into sharp relief when one has a spouse and children depending on them. All of that would be difficult enough if the offspring of a nova couple was a powerless and easily-handled infant. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on ones point of view), most breeder nova couples will bear 2ndGen nova offspring, who are literally born with their quantum powers. Nova parents will have to provide all of the expected necessities (food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.), which can be quite a hassle even with the aid of quantum powers. Nova infants typically share the enormous appetite of adult novas, even if its

scaled down a bit. This makes feeding an infant nova a Herculean task, not to mention dealing with huge amount of dirty diapers that will be produced. Clothing for a 2ndGen nova baby had best be inexpensive and bought in bulk, as only Mega-Intelligent infants with the Precocity enhancement will have the mental acuity to attune a eufiber colony to themselves. Having a paraphysician with training in pediatrics as a loyal ally is the best possible situation as far as the infants medical care is concerned, especially as modern medical ethics frowns upon a medical doctor treating her own relatives. Education is also a concern, especially in the case of Mega-Intelligent 2ndGen children if the parents arent careful, a 2ndGen child prodigy could wind up learning things unsuited for young and overly impressionable minds. As if that wasnt enough, the various powers and Mega-Attributes a 2ndGen infant can manifest will add new and wicked little wrinkles to this situation. The playpen of a 2ndGen baby with any form of flight will have to come with a lockable lid. Keeping clothes on a toddler can be hard enough without the toddler being able to use Bodymorph or Shapeshift to escape from them. 2ndGen kids with destructive powers such as Immolate can also go through a lot of outfits in short order. A telekinetic 2ndGen child can always reach the cookie jar. Pity the parents of a 2ndGen nova infant that develops the Adaptability enhancement, for while the kid possibly wont have to consume as much food as other infant novas must, she could possibly also remain awake and crying for attention 24 hours a day. If a 2ndGen child manifests a dangerous power at too early an age (or one that would draw attention from motherhunters, in the case of families living on Earth), his or her parents will have to create a complex inhibiting use of that power in the childs psyche, much as is done in the course of toilet training. The complex will usually be removed by the parents once the child is old enough to use the power responsibly, even though this tactic tends to result in overcompensation when the complex is undone. (The age-based cap on a True 2ndGen childs Mega-Attribute and quantum power ratings is a welcome blessing in this situation.) When a 2ndGen child is older, her parents must also train her in such things as self-discipline, combat and the use of her nova capabilities. Depending on where a breeder nova couple decides to settle down, they will also have to train the child in either maintaining secrecy or living in a space habitat. Neither situation is free of problems for a 2ndGen childs development; growing up undercover can result in social inexperience, while growing up in space limits the childs social exposure to their own tiny community. Fortunately, the rewards of parenthood and family usually balance out the problems and restrictions, even for novas. When compared to the hollow pleasures of most novas, the sense of fulfillment that comes from having a family of ones own stacks up surprisingly well. The enduring love of spouse and children will always beat out transitory fame and the fickle adulation of the global media. When the 2ndGen novas come into their own in upcoming decades, one can be sure that some of them will have parents filled with pride over their exploits and achievements. Closer allies than ones own spouse and children cannot be asked for. As adults, a nova couples grown-up children can typically be relied on for both the little things (helping their parents move into a new home) and the great (taking care of their elderly

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parents). The True 2ndGens high resistance to Taint will also prove a comfort to their parents, who will have seen far too many former friends and colleagues become irreparably twisted by the taint. Finally, breeder novas with children have a moreor-less concrete legacy that will remain in the world when they pass away, and they will (hopefully) be remembered by their descendants with love and respect. This is especially ironic, considering that knowledge of so many of the heroic novas and their good deeds has either been forgotten or deliberately suppressed by Aeon by the Trinity era. some way is a waste of time and effort. Its not a question of Trog 2ndGens being either born as or made into monsters, as both nature and nurture conspire to make them into abominations.

Much of what has been said on the parenting of nova children has been mainly applicable to the True 2ndGen novas and their parents. But what of the progeny of the Teragen, or the spawn of the highly-tainted breeder novas? As could only be expected for novas who have either rejected their baseline human heritage or lost it to taint, their family situations are quite different. For the Terat 2ndGens, the main differences from their True counterparts is an increased vulnerability to Taint and having no limits on their Mega-Attribute and quantum power ratings, both of which makes raising Terat 2ndGens... difficult, at best. There also hasnt been much in the way of family bonding for Terat 2ndGens, as the only parents they have ever known are Bounty, Jeremiah Scripture and Divis Mal. (Plans have been made to have the 2ndGens adopted by Terat foster parents at Badanah in coming years, but it remains to be seen if anything will come of that after the Night of Long Knives.) Given up to Bountys care by their biological parents, these nova children have literally been raised in the ways of Teras and the Chrysalis by Scripture, thanks to his powers over communication. Having been raised free from baseline expectations and connections, the Teragens stated intention is for these children to become living exemplars of Teras, for other novas to rally around when the conflict between novas and baseline humanity breaks out into open warfare. The reality of the situation is that too many Terats have little if any parental bonds with their 2ndGen progeny, and see them only as useful pawns in the continuing conflicts both with baseline humanity and between the Terats themselves. Aside from Bounty, the Terat 2ndGens have few if any defenders within the Teragen, and their survival is by no means assured, especially as they will likely turn out just as egomaniacal as their elders. For the Trog 2ndGens, their family situations tend to range from bad to worse to abysmal. These nova offspring are not only born mentally warped by taint, but also by the experience of being raised by insane, dysfunctional and quite possibly abusive parents. Highly-tainted breeder novas also tend to either lead dangerous lives or tend not to be strong believers in permanent mating relationships, which results in a higher than average rate of single mothers among these novas, with all the additional problems that implies. Add in the fact that these little monsters dont have any limits on their base Attribute, Mega-Attribute and quantum power ratings, and you have the makings of a truly hellish family life. As most Trog 2ndGens will only receive cursory care from their parents at best, they quickly learn that caring for other beings who cannot immediately benefit them in

Scions of Teras and Taint

On rare occasion, a couple comprised of latent novas and/or High-Quantum baselines will manage to give birth to a 2ndGen nova infant. Even if the baby is a True 2ndGen, the hapless parents are going to be in for a very difficult time. (Trog 2ndGens will either be abandoned or possibly killed at birth by their parents, if they can manage it.) Lacking any way to defend themselves against the infants nova capabilities, the baseline parents of a 2ndGen nova child at best will be living under the constant threat of injury, mental domination or death due to inadvertent or deliberate power use. At worst, the parents can easily find themselves trapped in a nightmarish existence straight out of a horror movie. In these situations, most such baseline couples will gladly give up their nova offspring to be adopted and raised by other novas.

LEnfants Terrible

Despite the best efforts of Director Thetis and Project Proteus, the second generation novas have been born and are now available as player characters (at your Storytellers discretion). The progeny of two fertile novas, these children can attain levels of power that few outside of the Teragen have any inkling of in 2015. However, the 2ndGens potential for extreme power is counterbalanced by their immaturity and inexperience. Barring the odd 2ndGen nova with an accelerated growth cycle, in 2015 even the oldest known 2ndGen novas will only be in their mid-teens, with the vast majority of 2ndGens being either preadolescent or still in diapers. Not only will the 2ndGens face the difficulties of nova life, they also get to deal with all the joys of being kids. Add in a whole grocers list of people who want to either recruit, exploit or kill these child-gods, and you have what could only be called an interesting (as in the Chinese curse) childhood and a certifiable roleplaying challenge. If that sounds appealing to you, read on... 2ndGen novas are created much like other Aberrant characters, except for having several additional benefits and limitations that are unique to these natural born novas. 2ndGen novas do not erupt, but are born with their quantum powers and will grow into them naturally. 2ndGen novas start with +20 nova points in addition to the level of nova points used in the chronicle (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 66-68). As the other characters in an Aberrant chronicle usually wont be the parents of a 2ndGen character, this shouldnt be taken a reliable indicator of the power levels of a 2ndGen characters parents. 2ndGen novas cannot gain Taint from having a high rating of the Node Background. The individual farahcyte cells that would form the M-R node in a first generation novas brain are instead evenly distributed throughout the grey matter of a 2ndGen novas brain, so there is no possibility of brain damage.

Playing 2ndGen Novas

The Basic Template

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2ndGen novas have their life expectancy increased by +50% longer than that of first generation novas, even before any dots of Mega-Stamina are factored in. 2ndGen novas cannot buy Tainted Quantum, MegaAttributes, enhancements or quantum powers with either nova points or experience points. 2ndGen novas cannot take the Dormancy Background, as they literally have no baseline selves. 2ndGen novas cannot have an active Quantum rating higher than 5 until they undergo Apotheosis and come into their full power. However, a 2ndGen nova character can purchase more than 5 dots of Quantum, with the additional dots representing untapped potential that the character cannot use until Apotheosis takes place. 2ndGen novas must take one of the Clade packages (True, Terat or Trog). Unless your Aberrant chronicle takes place after 2015, all 2ndGen novas must take some level of the Adolescent/Child Flaw. 2ndGen characters who have already reached maturity via the Accelerated Maturation enhancement might also be allowed, but only at the Storytellers discretion. Apotheosis, the Storyteller can then switch to awarding that character experience points just like any other Aberrant character. The third method is to award experience points to 2ndGen nova characters normally, but let them use the following chart for purchasing quantum-related items with experience points after they undergo Apotheosis. Storytellers who want to really emphasize the extreme potential of the 2ndGen novas may also use the first or second methods along with the third, at their discretion. Trait Increase Mega-Attribute Quantum Power (Level 1) Quantum Power (Level 2) Quantum Power (Level 3) Quantum Power (Level 4) Quantum Power (Level 5) Quantum Power (Level 6) Quantum Quantum Pool New Trait Background Enhancement Mega-Attribute Quantum Power (Level 1) Quantum Power (Level 2) Quantum Power (Level 3) Quantum Power (Level 4) Quantum Power (Level 5) Quantum Power (Level 6) Cost CR x3* current rating x 2* current rating x 3* current rating x 5* current rating x 7* current rating x 9* current rating x 12* current rating x 6* 2 per dot Cost 1** 3* 3* 2* 3* 5* 7* 9* 12*

Despite having been born with the ability to manipulate quantum, 2ndGen nova children wont start to develop their true potential until sometime during puberty. At that point, 2ndGen children will undergo a process called Apotheosis thats similar to the eruptions of their parents, if far less traumatic. While there is no physical trauma associated with Apotheosis, a 2ndGen nova must still adjust to her greatly expanded powers and capabilities. The exact details of the effects of undergoing Apotheosis have been left to the Storytellers discretion, but they all involve a dramatic increase in a 2ndGen novas power. The exact time at which Apotheosis will occur will vary (and will also be at the Storytellers discretion), as some precocious 2ndGen might undergo it as soon as they hit puberty, while late bloomers could undergo it during their mid- to late-teen years. Many other factors can also influence the timing of a 2ndGens Apotheosis, similar to the factors that can trigger eruption in first generation novas.

Apotheosis

* Cannot be purchased Tainted. **(This reduced cost applies only to available quantumrelated backgrounds such as Attunement and Node.) Extras for an existing quantum power are bought at 50% (round up) of the difference between total normal cost with & without the Extra (Aberrant core book, p. 230). clade [kleyd] - noun, Biology A taxonomic group of organisms classified together on the basis of homologous features traced to a common ancestor.

There are three ways to depict in game terms the rapid increase in power that 2ndGen novas will exhibit as they grow into their full power. The first method hews closely to the speculations of Dr. Toiho (see Aberrant: Project Utopia pp. 138139), as 2ndGen characters will use the standard experience point costs, but will also be granted a windfall of anywhere between 50 to 100 additional nova points (Storytellers discretion) when they undergo Apotheosis. The second method is to grant a 2ndGen character a variable amount of nova points instead of experience points at the end of every story until that character undergoes Apotheosis. Over the duration of a 2ndGen novas pre-Apotheosis adventuring life (which can be anywhere from four to ten years of game time), the Storyteller should expect to to grant that character the allotment of 50 to 100 additional nova points. After a 2ndGen nova undergoes

Fast-Track Development

The tendency to see all individuals belonging to a given category as a unified group especially if the category in question is seen as dangerous and/or just very different is a common human failing. Even in the Nova Age, things are no different, especially when it comes to such a small and mysterious category as the 2ndGen novas. Despite their potential power being more theorized about than documented, the 2ndGen novas are commonly considered by those few who know of them to be monolithic in what they have to offer humanity, either in aid or harm. As always, the situation is more complex than most people realize. 2ndGen novas are not one homogenous group, and never were. Most of them arent even organized into formal groups at all, which is understandable given how many of them are still under the age of 10 by 2015. Instead, they are split into

The Clades

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three separate populations, with their membership in a population being largely determined by how their parents dealt (or failed to deal) with their own Taint. Each clade has their own special assortment of perks and problems, with the only common factor being that these children of the Nova Age will all eventually be hunted for the sake of their potential power. To those who seek to either establish or maintain their rule over the Earth, the 2ndGen novas appear to be the ultimate commodities... or threats. Conflict is assured. The children of two nova parents with little or no permanent Taint. These are the 2ndGens that one of the Aberrant writers hinted at in the Very Low Taint rules on p. 68 of the Aberrant Players Guide. They are sometimes known to inherit parental aberrations by manifesting them as false aberrations (a.k.a. taking aberrations as Flaws), but are otherwise highly Taint-resistant. (Its the players choice as to whether or not this happens, as is which aberrations the 2ndGen character will manifest.) Benefit: Increased Taint Resistance: Trues cannot gain Taint from purchasing high Quantum, and automatically have the Taint Resistance Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 76). Trues use the Very Low Taint rules on p. 68 of the Aberrant Players Guide, as they can gain temporary Taint from Power Strain & Rapid Recovery, but only in the most extreme cases (such as Power Strain caused by maxing a Level 4 power several times in the space of an hour). Problems: The main problem faced by True 2ndGens is the intense interest that certain factions of both nova and baseline society will have in using them, once they become aware of their existence. The combination of a potential for extreme power and a lack of Taint will make these kids either extremely valuable or dangerous in the eyes of the various factions. Some of the factions wont hesitate to recruit, indoctrinate & exploit these young novas by any means necessary; and they simply wont care to hear any objections from their parents. Other factions will see a True as posing just as much of a potential threat as the Terat and Trog 2ndGens, and may decide to strike at a True while he or she is still relatively weak. For this reason, the Storyteller will assign True 2ndGens a variable number of dots in the Skeleton in the Closet or Wanted Adversarial Backgrounds as appropriate. The True will receive no compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be bought off, as the factions interest in either exploiting or eliminating a known True 2ndGen will only increase in the years leading up to the Aberrant War.

Trues

Just from being born as novas (and never having been baseline humans), Trues can seem very strange to baseline humans at first, and they can also sometimes lack insight into and/or sympathy for the problems that baseline humanity has to deal with. In game terms, Trues have a +2 difficulty penalty on their initial social interactions with baseline humans. In both cases, sustained positive social interaction (which includes such things as empathy, respect, compassion and good manners) can overcome this difficulty after the initial meeting. Keep in mind that this penalty will always be applied to a Trues initial social interactions with baseline humans, however. Trues will find xenophilic and/or marginal baselines (eccentrics, minorities and other fellow outsiders) the easiest to get along with. Baselines who are xenophobic cant overcome their aversion to a True without appropriate psychotherapy, while prejudiced/bigoted baselines will refuse to do so without the psychological impact of a life-changing event or something similarly dramatic. Ironically, Trues also have problems when socially interacting with both heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas. Sensing the increased power of a True without the accompanying Taint that theyre accustomed to can put heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas on edge, as something about the True just seems off-kilter, impossible or just flat-out wrong. In game terms, Trues suffer a difficulty penalty of +2 on rolls for social interactions with heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas. Trues can take false aberrations as Flaws to reduce their Adversarial Background ratings, with each point from a false aberration Flaw replacing 1 dot of an Adversarial Background. These false aberrations can be either inherited from a parent or be original to the True. In the latter case, the false aberrations can be reflective of a parents quantum powers if desired. In any case, a True cannot develop mental aberrations in this manner. Physical aberrations which arent repulsive to baselines are

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allowed, as are quantum aberrations which are not harmful to the True or those around him or her. Trues will be most likely to have special effect aberrations, although aberrations which can make a Trues life interesting (in a non-threatening, comedic sense) are also possible. As an adaptation to aid their survival to adulthood, preApotheosis Trues have an age-based maximum limit on the dot ratings of their quantum powers and Mega-Attributes. This makes them somewhat less of a hazard to their parents health, wealth and peace of mind; and also forces them to develop a wider base for their future quantum power development. PreApotheosis Trues of 13 to 16 years of age are limited to 3 dots, those from 7 to 12 years of age are limited to 2 dots, and those who are 6 years and younger are limited to 1 dot. Also, PreApotheosis Trues in these age ranges are unable to develop the Mastery Extra. The silver lining to this cloud is that these Trues are better able to manipulate their quantum energies at this reduced power level, and can ignore botches on their power rolls, treating them as simple failures instead. This mixed blessing/curse is lost when the True undergoes Apotheosis & his or her full power kicks in. At that time, the Storyteller may make up for that loss by assigning the True additional dots of the Skeleton in the Closet or Wanted Adversarial Backgrounds, to reflect an increased interest the factions will have in a True once his or her full power becomes evident. Mega-Intelligent pre-Apotheosis Trues with the Precocity enhancement still qualify for this limitation, despite their accelerated intellects. the duration of the Chrysalis will only be 1 day per experience point spent while in Chrysalis. Problems: The main problem of being a child of the Teragen is that its somewhat like being born into the European aristocracy during the Renaissance. Despite having the potential for great power, Terat 2ndGens are often viewed as pawns by their elders; to be cultivated, manipulated, and when necessary (or desired) sacrificed for personal gain. Aside from Bounty (and perhaps Divis Mal and Scripture), few of the 1stGen Terats feel any parental bonds with their 2ndGen offspring. This makes for a dangerous situation for Terat 2ndGens to live in, especially as Bounty has few true allies amongst her fellow Terats. Many Flaws and Adversarial Backgrounds can be used to reflect the perils that Terat 2ndGens will encounter from within the Teragen. From birth, Terat 2ndGens have been taught to reject their baseline heritage and to view baselines as lesser beings. Combined with the fact they they have never been baseline humans, this makes for a marked lack of sympathy, compassion and respect for baselines among many Terat 2ndGens. Even those who arent openly contemptuous and/or dismissive of baseline humanity will still tend to treat baselines with an air of superiority and noblesse oblige, and will see baselines as animalistic creatures who shouldnt be expected to know any better and are perhaps to be pitied. Even the most tolerant baselines will take offense at this, resulting in Terat 2ndGens suffering an additional +2 difficulties on their rolls for social interactions with baselines. And since a belief in nova superiority (if not outright supremacy) is a cornerstone of Teras, Terat 2ndGens will almost never seek to remedy this fault in their education. As children of the Teragen, Terat 2ndGens are essentially born with bulls-eyes on them. From the viewpoint of Aeon and the rest of the baseline world, Terat 2ndGens are a deadly threat to be nipped in the bud whenever possible. For this reason, the Storyteller will assign Terat 2ndGens a variable number of dots in the Skeleton in the Closet or Wanted Adversarial Backgrounds as appropriate. The Terat 2ndGen will receive no compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be bought off, as the collective reputation of the Teragen will only grow worse in the years leading up to the Aberrant War. Terat 2ndGens can also inherit actual aberrations from their parents to reduce their Adversarial Background ratings. Inherited aberrations will be priced as Flaws (for this purpose only), with every 2 points from inherited aberrations replacing 1 dot of the Skeleton in the Closet or Wanted Adversarial Backgrounds. These aberrations can be of any kind, but must be ones derived from a parents Chrysalis. Ironically, this will increase the chance that the parent an aberration is inherited from may actually take an interest in his or her offsprings wellbeing, and perhaps might act as a Mentor to the child. That the child would also inherit the emnity of the parents Terat rivals is only to be expected. In game terms, the Terat 2ndGen with a parental Mentor rating gained in this way must also have an equal rating of the Rival Adversarial Background. As their conception is a direct result of Bountys fertility powers, nearly all Terat 2ndGens have inherited the genetic

These are the offspring of two 1stGen Terat novas that have gone through the Chrysalis. The Teragen always intended for their offspring to grow up free from baseline influences and expectations, and they have succeeded for the most part. Benefit: Born to Teras: Due to the influence of the Chrysalis on their parents, Terat 2ndGens do not have the same resistance to Taint that the Trues do. Terats do not gain permanent Taint from having too much Quantum or Node; and cannot buy Tainted Quantum, Mega-Attributes, enhancements or quantum powers. Terats can (and will) gain permanent Taint from accumulating excessive temporary Taint. Terats can gain temporary Taint through Power Strain, Rapid Recovery and Mental Disorders. Also, they cannot have the have Taint Resistance Merit. This vulnerability to Taint is necessary for Terat 2ndGens to engage in the Chrysalis. Since they have been schooled in Teras almost from birth, Terat 2ndGens automatically have both an archetype and 1 dot of Chrysalis. This is what allows them to accumulate Chrysalis as 1stGen Terats do when performing actions that are in line with their archetype, although Terat 2ndGens only pay 5 quantum points to turn a point of temporary Taint into temporary Chrysalis. They also do not use the Chrysalis experience point chart on p. 125 of Aberrant: Teragen, as they instead use the experience point chart from Fast-Track Development for all purchases of quantum traits. They do find entering a Chrysalis somewhat easier, as they roll against their Chrysalis without the normal +2 difficulty penalty and only have to pay 8 quantum points. The amount of time that a Terat 2ndGen will spend in a Chrysalis is also drastically shortened, as

Terats

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alteration that Utopia inflicted on their parents. Save for those few whose parents have either never been exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail or erupted with the Health enhancement, Terat 2ndGens are naturally sterile from birth. Terat 2ndGens also tend to be more than a little selfabsorbed, which isnt surprising given how egomania runs unchecked among their elders. Terat 2ndGens must make a Willpower roll (without penalties) in order to put aside their self-interest for the sake of anyone who isnt a Terat or could become one in the future. These are the offspring of two heavily-Tainted novas, and conform closely to the true aberrants seen in Trinity. Trogs are generally considered to be Taint-ridden abominations by baselines and other novas. Even the Teragen (save for the Harvesters) look down on them for their inability to deal with their Taint. These Funky Taint Babies practically reek of Taint, and baselines are far more likely to refer to a Trog as it rather than him or her. Unless a group of Aberrant gamers (and their Storyteller) really want to play in an angst-fest chronicle, these 2ndGens are best left as Storyteller characters. Benefit: Born Aberrant: Unlike other novas, Trogs are not taken out of play when they finally accumulate 10 dots of permanent Taint. Instead, they face the unenviable prospect of becoming even more Tainted. A side-effect of this allows Trogs to sidestep the normal limits on physical Attribute ratings imposed by the Adolescent/Child Flaw. Thanks to the Taint, Trogs arent exactly children and dont share all of their limits. For each dot of permanent Taint gained after the tenth, a Trog will: suffer an additional +1 difficulty penalty on social rolls with baseline humans (and most other sapients). develop two high-level aberrations, or the equivalent in lesser aberrations. In this case, one high-level aberration is equal to two medium-level aberrations or four lowlevel aberrations. The Storyteller is free to mix and match aberrations of differing levels to inflict on the Trog as she pleases. suffer from an increased vulnerability to noetic energies beyond that of other Trogs. In game terms, Trogs with permanent Taint ratings of 11+ are twice as likely to be detected through psionic Attunement, and their vulnerability to psionic attack becomes even greater. Problems: Unlike other 2ndGen novas, Trogs are not highly resistant to Taint in fact, theyre even more vulnerable to it than their parents! Trog 2ndGens can gain temporary Taint through Power Strain, Rapid Recovery, and mental disorders just like 1stGen novas, and can gain permanent Taint by accumulating temporary Taint. Trogs also use the High Taint rules on p. 68 of the Aberrant Players Guide (they automatically receive 1 dot of permanent Taint per dot of Quantum possessed), but cannot gain Taint from the Node background. Trogs cannot have the Taint Resistant Merit. Trogs dont inherit Taint as such from their parents, but they will be born with a number of aberrations (and the accompanying social penalties) equal to the combined total of their parents aberrations in addition to those derived from their own Taint. These inherited aberrations will usually match those of the parents, although the Storyteller is within her rights to prohibit incompatible combinations of aberrations. Trogs will also start out with at least one mental aberration chosen for them by the Storyteller (with the players input, in the case of a PC Trog). The Storyteller is within her rights to forbid a Trog from taking the Mega-Attractive form of the MegaAppearance attribute. Similarly, the Storyteller may make Trogs incapable of using Mega-Charisma in a positive manner with baselines who are not insane. Like the Terat 2ndGens, Trogs are also considered threats to be disposed of ASAP by Aeon & the rest of baseline humanity. For this reason, the Storyteller will assign Trogs a variable number of dots in the Skeleton in the Closet or Wanted Adversarial Backgrounds as appropriate. The Trog will receive no compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be bought off, as the collective reputation of Trogs and other Taint-ridden novas will only grow worse in the years leading up to the Aberrant War. Highly Tainted novas can theoretically make halfway-decent parents for a Trog, but that is rare in the extreme. A Trog could (and likely will) have all sorts of personal problems (Flaws, mostly) stemming from parental abuse and/or neglect. Even without those problems, Trogs

Trogs

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are deeply dysfunctional people (to use the term very loosely). Codependencies, perverted affection and twisted love-hate relationships are what Trogs have in place of the healthy social relationships enjoyed by most baselines. In general, Trogs are incapable of functioning in any reliable or healthy way. Add in the expected difficulties of growing up as a Trog, and its easy to see why so many Trogs wind up becoming monsters by deed as well as birth. Last but hardly least, Trogs are surprisingly sensitive to noetic energies. Not only can they (and any use of their powers) be detected with psionic Attunement and the Cognitive Modes (Telepathy & Clairsentience), but Trogs will also be quite vulnerable to psionic attacks. Attempts to detect a Trog by psionic Attunement will receive a difficulty modifier, with penalties to detect the weaker Trogs and bonuses to detect strong Trogs (Storytellers discretion as to which Trogs qualify as weak or strong). Psions will receive an automatic success to detect a Trog powerful enough to be rated as a Prime Threat in Trinity terms. The details of a Trogs vulnerability to psionic attack have been left to the Storytellers discretion; her options include reducing a Trogs soak rating, adding dice to psionic attacks made against the Trog, and treating the damage a Trog takes from psionic attacks as lethal if bashing and aggravated if lethal.

New Enhancements
Accelerated Gestation (MegaStamina)
Prerequisite: One level of the Fertility enhancement. With all the dangers posed to nova parents and their offspring in the Nova Age, taking a full nine months to conceive a child and carry it safely to term can be just too much of a risk. In response to this evolutionary pressure, certain MegaVigorous novas have developed an appropriate countermeasure. System: This enhancement allows a female nova (or a nova with either the Yin-Yang enhancement or the Hermaphrodite aberration) to safely carry a fetus to term in a dramatically shorter period of time than a baseline woman can. Fertile male novas with the three nova point version of the Parasitic Gestation body modification can also take this enhancement, in which case it affects the prenatal development rate of any children they manage to sire. Up to four levels of this enhancement can be taken, with each level reducing the time period used to measure the duration of a female novas pregnancy by one category. So where a typical baseline womans pregnancy (from conception to delivery) would last for nine months, the pregnancy of a nova with one level of Accelerated Gestation would last for only nine weeks. This becomes nine days with two levels of this enhancement, nine hours with three levels, and nine minutes with four levels. Not only does this make pregnancy more convenient for a nova mother, it also allows fertile novas to reproduce at considerably faster rates than baseline humans. At the Storytellers discretion, a pregnant nova with this enhancement may have to consume huge quantities of food (equivalent to the amount consumed by novas with the Ravenous aberration) for the duration of her pregnancy in order to ensure the normal development of her fetus. This enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the duration of the pregnancy.

Aberrations, Enhancements & Powers


Very few aberrations, Mega-Attribute enhancements, quantum powers or body modifications factor into either the reproductive or maturation processes of novas directly. Common sense is your best guide in deciding whether a given aberration will interfere with a novas attempts to reproduce, although the Storyteller still has the final say in this matter. A nova whose body has been permanently transformed into some living inorganic substance will certainly be sterile, as will a nova that continually emits dangerous levels of radiation or other energies. Novas with the Sexless aberration (Aberrant Players Guide, p.93) are completely incapable of reproduction. As for the existing enhancements, only two are known to have much effect on a novas fertility. Health (Aberrant Players Guide, p.103) not only allows a nova to better resist the sterility cocktails of Project Utopia, it also adds +5% to his or her fertility rating. None of the existing body modifications have any direct effect on a novas fertility. Likewise, none of the existing aberrations, enhancements or body modifications have any direct effect on the maturation of a nova child.

Existing Aberrations & Enhancements

Accelerated Maturation (MegaStamina)

For the second generation novas (the offspring of two nova parents), the times of childhood and adolescence are when they are the most vulnerable. Given the wide assortment of dangers that they will face in the Nova Age, having to spend almost eighteen years in states of immaturity and adolescence before becoming a capable adult can be more than some of these novas can really afford. Certain Mega-Vigorous novas of the second generation have found a radical solution to this problem. System: This enhancement grants a second-generation child nova a dramatically shortened period of immaturity. Up to four levels of Accelerated Maturation can be taken, with each level shortening the duration of the novas childhood and adolescence in a not-quite-smooth curve of progression. For purposes of this enhancement, maturity is defined as the equivalent of seventeen years of age. With one level of Accelerated Maturation, the nova would reach maturity at only five years of age. This is reduced to one year with two levels, three months with three levels, and a mere twenty days with four levels. The novas development in all areas will be

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extremely rapid, and he will be able to learn things with speeds normally seen only in Mega-Intelligent novas. (The Storyteller is encouraged to waive the matter of training times completely in this situation.) Depending on how the novas player and/or the Storyteller decide this enhancement should function, the nova may either simply develop quickly or he may go through one or more periods of metamorphosis. In the latter case, the nova will pupate at certain stages of his development, forming a cocoon very similar to that developed by novas undergoing the Teragens Chrysalis. The nova will only remain in the cocoon for a short period of time (determined by the Storyteller), from which he will emerge noticeably older. When the age of maturity is reached, the novas aging rate will slow down to the normal rate for a nova with his Mega-Stamina rating, or even slower if he has either of the Adaptability or Unaging enhancements. The nova will lose all levels of this enhancement when he reaches maturity, which will be replaced with different Mega-Stamina enhancements of the Storytellers choosing. At the Storytellers discretion, the nova may have to consume huge quantities of food (equivalent to the amounts consumed by novas with the Ravenous aberration) for the duration of his period of accelerated growth in order to ensure normal development. This enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the duration of the novas period of immaturity. The bodies of novas with Mega-Stamina are optimized to function marvelously well, resulting in a degree of physical health that baselines and novas lacking Mega-Stamina simply cannot achieve. There is a glaring exception to this, though: many novas are sterile for some reason. Despite this, some independent paraphysicians theorize that certain novas could possess or develop superhuman reproductive capacity, although these claims are inevitably ridiculed and dismissed by Utopiabacked paraphysicians and researchers into nova biology. If a nova did have such an ability, he or she would do well to keep it a secret for as long as possible, or risk being hunted down and murdered by Utopian (and Proteus) deathsquads... System: The basic form (one level) of this enhancement provides several advantages. First off, it subtracts the novas Mega-Stamina from the Virulence Rating of any contraceptive or sterility-causing chemical, disease or effect; including those caused by quantum powers. This is wholly cumulative with the effects of the Adaptability and Health enhancements. Second, it makes the nova more likely to either become pregnant (if female) or cause a pregnancy (if male) after a single unprotected sexual encounter, as the novas fertility rating is increased by 20%. If two levels of this enhancement are taken, the novas fertility rating is increased by 40% instead. Third, the novas reproductive span is increased, allowing the nova to sire or bear children without difficulty until he or she has lived through 90% of his or her total lifespan. (This limitation can be sidestepped if the nova is restored to physical youth with the Age Alteration technique of Temporal Manipulation.) Fortunately, the fourth benefit gained by the nova is complete control over his or her own fertility rating, as he or she can switch between being sterile (fertility rating of 0%) or being fertile (normal fertility rating) as an automatic action. This benefit functions regardless of any other fertility-inducing effects including this enhancement, if the novas partner happens to have it as well! Female novas with one level of Fertility will also have their chances for pregnancy complications either reduced by half in the case of moderate to heavy parental Taint, or negated completely if the chance was only 1%. Finally, novas of both genders that have been sterilized (by the Utopian sterility cocktail or by other means) can permanently overcome the induced sterility by purchasing one level of this enhancement with experience points. If a female nova buys two levels of this enhancement, she gains the following benefits: The nova no longer has to menstruate, nor does she suffer from PMS or the later problems of menopause. After conception, the nova does not have to endure many of the problems of both pregnancy and delivery. She doesnt suffer from morning sickness at all. Her nervous system automatically adjusts for the changes in her center of balance and her musculoskeletal system, making her much less awkward than a pregnant baseline woman. The novas metabolism kicks into high gear, allowing her to remain physically active during pregnancy when other mothers-to-be would find themselves exhausted. The novas pelvis becomes inhumanly flexible and certain arrays of pain receptors are temporarily shut down during labor, allowing for deliveries that are nearly painless when compared to those of baseline mothers. The nova may use her quantum powers to the fullest while pregnant without the slightest risk of harming the unborn child a definite plus when defending oneself against Utopian motherhunters. Even the use of powers such as Shapeshift, Sizemorph, Bodymorph, or Matter Chameleon will not harm the child. If the mother accumulates temporary or permanent Taint, her child will remain unaffected. The novas chances for pregnancy complications are either reduced to 25% of the normal value (rounded up) in the case of moderate to heavy parental Taint, or negated completely if the chance was only 10%. All of the novas offspring will be second-generation novas, regardless of the fathers specific classification (assumuing that there is a father). If desired, the nova can spend a quantum point to release 2 or 3 eggs prior to conception, resulting in the birth of healthy fraternal twins or triplets, respectively. If the nova still wants to become a mother but cannot find a suitable nova male to father her child, she can spend 2 quantum points and roll Stamina. Even 1 success on the roll means that the nova becomes pregnant through parthenogenesis. The pregnancy will be normal (for a nova pregnancy, anyway), but the resulting healthy female infant will effectively be a genetic clone of her mother. If the nova mother also has the Yin-Yang Mega-Appearance enhancement, she can spend an extra quantum point (for a total of 3 q.p.) to conceive and bear a cross-gender clone of herself. The resulting healthy male infant will be a genetic clone of his mother except for having a Y chromosome instead of a second X chromosome. This form of reproduction does have its advantages, but can seriously deplete a populations genetic diversity over the long term, making this an emergency measure at best.

Fertility (Mega-Stamina)

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If a male nova buys two levels of this enhancement, he gains the following benefits: By selecting which gametes to release, the nova can choose the gender of any children he sires. The chances for complications in any pregnancy the nova causes are either reduced by half in the case of moderate to heavy parental Taint, or negated completely if the chance was only 1%. If he wants to, the nova can spend 2 quantum points and roll Stamina when causing a pregnancy. Even 1 success on the roll means that the novas partner will give birth to healthy identical twins 4 or more successes indicates healthy identical triplets! For best results, the novas partner should be a nova herself with two levels of the Fertility enhancement. The nova should also tell his partner about this beforehand otherwise, he risks being skinned alive, horsewhipped, or strangled by his justifiably irate sweetheart! Note: Depending on how your Storyteller decides this enhancement should function, female novas with both Fertility and the Adaptability enhancement may need to resume a regular diet of healthy food and drink for the duration of the pregnancy. The details of a healthy diet may vary for nova mothers-to-be with the True Omnivore enhancement or the Altered Diet body modification. Just imagine the weird food cravings they could get! To heck with pickles and ice cream what if such a pregnant nova started craving uranium? This enhancement is permanent, and ordinarily has no quantum point cost. The exceptions to this have already been noted above. immature as their peers, and they will not have the wisdom that only experience can grant. Even so, this can be a vital edge in the conflicts that all second generation novas will face long before they reach adulthood, especially if they can keep their adult antagonists ignorant of the true state of their intellects. Being underestimated has its benefits... System: Unlike other second generation nova children, those with this enhancement arent restricted to a maximum rating in their Intelligence-based Abilities, allowing them to function at an adult intellectual level. This enhancement is lost for good when the character reaches maturity (about 17 years of age), when it will be replaced with another Mega-Intelligence enhancement of the Storytellers choosing. This enhancement is permanent, and has no quantum point cost.

New Body Modifications

Mental Prodigy: Survival (Mega-Intelligence)

Precocity (Mega-Intelligence)

No matter where on Earth a Survival Prodigy finds himself (or elsewhere, in some cases), he will be able to survive with the ease of an experienced outdoorsman. A nova with this enhancement has a natural genius for living without the comforts of civilization, as he can provide for himself and for others, if need be using the natural resources around him. If he actually has formal survival training (the Survival Ability), he can thrive in the harshest of wildernesses and other inhospitable surroundings. System: Whenever the character is involved with situations or problems concerning survival in wilderness or hostile environments (a highly-tainted nova forced to live like an animal would consider a baseline human community a hostile environment), the player may make an Intelligence roll. For each success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making Survival rolls and any other rolls related to surviving in uncivilized circumstances. (The Storyteller has full discretion as to what qualifies as a related roll.) Activating this enhancement requires spending 1 quantum point, with the effects and bonuses lasting an hour or longer at the Storytellers discretion. Certain Mega-Intelligent second generation nova children have a hyper-accelerated rate of intellectual development, allowing them to achieve mental maturity long before their peers will. Sadly, those novas are still every bit as emotionally

Augmented Fecundity (one nova point/ three experience points) This body modification allows a female breeder nova to consistently bear four offspring (on the average) per pregnancy. Unlike female breeder novas who induce multiple births with two levels of the Fertility enhancement, a nova with Augmented Fecundity does not have to make a Stamina roll or spend quantum points to produce these multiple offspring. This body modification may be taken multiple times by female breeder novas whose bodies and/or methods of reproduction differ greatly from baseline human women. Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ (two nova points / four experience points) The nova has an augmented vomeronasal organ (also known as the Jacobsons organ), which grants him an increased ability to detect pheromones by their scent. Not only can the nova consciously detect and interpret the unconscious pheromonal signals of other humans, but he can listen in on the interspecies pheromonal communications of the rest of Earths animal and plant populations. In game terms, the nova can detect pheromones and decipher the pheromonal communications of humans and all other Terran organisms (and certain alien ones, at the Storytellers discretion) with an Awareness roll. These communications will be extremely basic, with most of them indicating the organisms physical (and in the case of the higher animals, emotional) state. The range of these pheromonal communications tends to be very short; in the novas case he will be able to detect pheromones within a number of meters equal to the novas (Perception) + (MegaPerception x 2). Finally, with this increased ability to notice pheromones comes a better chance to resist their effects, as the nova will automatically notice any pheromone-based effects that others may try to use on him. As this body modification allows the nova to detect and interpret the natural pheromone signals given off by other humans, its very useful for evaluating both potential mates and potential sexual rivals. The nova can detect both the status and fitness (in terms of reproduction) of humans of both genders. A subjects reproductive status will include facts such as actual gender, sexual maturity, and current fertility. If the subject is female, the nova can also detect whether shes pregnant or

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lactating. Reproductive fitness will include the presence (or lack of same) of problems such as genetic damage, disease, drug abuse and chemical contamination. Its also possible for the nova to detect when his or her partner is most fertile with an Awareness roll; with every 2 successes scored allowing an additional conception roll to be made per month. This will require the nova to stay close to his or her partner on a 24 hour, 7-days-a week basis until the partner reaches a point of peak fertility. Couples attempting to conceive at that time will receive a +5% bonus to their combined fertility rating. Alternatively, the nova can attempt to detect times of peak fertility in any potential mate he or she meets and gain the same bonus, although whether or not that tactic is successful is up to random chance (and the Storytellers whim). At the Storytellers discretion, the nova may also determine the general nature of a problem that makes a subject reproductively unfit (disease, drug abuse, a serious genetic defect, etc.) with an Awareness roll. Storyteller Note: Novas with the Fertility enhancement who are currently sterile by choice will be detected as such by a nova with this body modification, and cannot be differentiated from other sterile novas. Genetic Sampler (two nova points/ four experience points) A nova with this body modification is capable of acquiring a sample of another humans DNA through simple physical contact with the target. All thats required is for an area of the novas bare skin equal to one fingertip to touch the bare skin or the blood of the target for one turn. Even mundane clothing can prevent a targets DNA from being sampled via the skin, although such coverings offer no protection if theyre soaked with the targets blood. Novas who either cannot be touched or who dont have DNA (due to using Matter Chameleon or Bodymorph) cannot be sampled. While the genetic samples gained can easily be used in conventional forensics or genetic testing (theres no possibility of sample contamination), most novas with this body modification are female breeder novas who can use genetic samples from other humans (of either gender) to fertilize themselves without engaging in coitus. If the target human is a male, the female breeder nova can choose the gender of any children she conceives in this manner with a simple Perception roll. If the target is a woman, any children sired by the target in this manner will also be female. The nova is capable of storing up to (Stamina) genetic samples acquired with this body modification for a duration of (Stamina + Mega-Stamina) days, after which the samples will irreversibly degrade and become useless. Only one level of this body modification can be taken. Gestation Pouch (one nova point/ three experience points) This body modification is basically a large pouch thats specifically designed for only one purpose: to carry a human fetus safely to term. Much like the Pouch body modification, this extra physical structure is typically located on the abdomen at stomach level, although female novas will have it sited on the upper back instead. The pouch will function just as well as (if not better than) an actual uterus, although the fetus will have to be transplanted into the pouch from the mothers uterus, either by means of the Parasitic Gestation body modification or through surgical procedures. Fortunately, the birth of the transplanted infant will be unbelievably easy, as the novas pouch will simply (and painlessly) open up on its own at the correct moment. Despite certain cultural preconceptions, novas of either gender can have this body modification. Male novas with this body modification that are hosting a fetus will be slightly more awkward than a female nova would, as the male body isnt really designed for carrying an unborn infant around as internallystored cargo. In game terms this translates into a penalty of -2 dice on Dexterity rolls for moving around, beginning at the start of the second trimester. Male novas in this situation will also be certain to draw a good number of stares, especially in the second and third trimesters. At the Storytellers discretion, one or more additional levels of this body modification can be taken, although a male nova whose body is both normal-sized and passably human will likely be limited to two levels. Female novas cannot take additional levels of this body modification if their bodies are both normal-sized and passably human. Parasitic Gestation (one nova point / three experience points, or three nova points / six experience points) The one nova point version of this body modification allows a pregnant female nova (or novas with either the Yin-Yang enhancement or the Hermaphrodite aberration that are in the same situation) to implant a fetus that she has conceived within the first 14 days of the first trimester of her pregnancy into a female nova or baseline human, who will then carry the fetus to term as a host mother in the normal human manner. (Novas of either gender that have the Gestation Pouch body modification can also serve as host mothers.) If for whatever reasons the nova isnt carrying a fetus, then this body modification will not function. If the nova retains her fetus past the 14 day limit, it will become too large for her to transfer safely, and she will have to carry it to term herself. The nova uses a short, retractable sharp-tipped ovipositor to implant the fetus, which will cause no physical damage to the host mother but can be a traumatic experience if she is both unwilling and conscious during the implantation. The three nova point version of this body modification is available to both fertile male novas and pregnant female novas. A pregnant female nova will be able to use the aforementioned ovipositor to implant her fetus into the abdominal cavity of any adult male baseline human she can either convince, trick or force into submitting to her designs. It should be noted that the ovipositor cannot normally be used to implant male novas, as all novas possess some level of lethal soak. The exceptions are when the implanting nova has some means of breaching her victims defenses (such as using the Claws quantum power) or can take advantage of an open wound that has already breached the victims abdominal cavity. Fertile male novas will only need to engage in coitus with a fertile female human in order to use this body modification. Neither method of implantation will directly cause physical damage to the host by itself, but the fetus will have a mutated placenta that will literally feed off the hosts body in a parasitic manner. In game terms, carrying a fetus in this manner will cause the host 2 levels of unsoakable Stun damage per day, with the damage inflicted one level at a time over the course of the day to allow the host to heal the damage normally. In addition, hosts will also experience near-

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constant fatigue from the stress of supporting the parasitic fetus, resulting in a +2 difficulty penalty on all Stamina rolls. The host will also find his or her body becoming awkward as this parasitic pregnancy progresses male hosts get a -2 dice penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around starting at the second trimester, while female hosts will suffer the normal difficulties of pregnancy. At the time of birth, the fetus mutated placenta will literally rip open both itself and the hosts abdominal cavity from the inside, inflicting three levels of unsoakable lethal damage in the process. Most hosts subjected to this sort of treatment will not survive the birthing process without immediate medical aid. For this reason, novas with this form of Parasitic Gestation will sometimes keep their host(s) imprisoned and reasonably well cared for until the birth. Removing the parasitic fetus prior to birth requires a fullystocked surgical bay, along with the services of a doctor with the Medicine Ability at 3+ dots and the Surgery specialty. If the fetus is to survive, it must be developed enough for the surgeon to perform a modified Caesarian section on the host. Please note that at this level, this body modification can also be combined with the Accelerated Gestation enhancement. In this case, it will reflect the extraordinary speed at which the parasitic fetus will develop. This will put an incredible strain on the host, as he or she will suffer 2 levels of unsoakable bashing damage per day with one level of Accelerated Gestation. The damage will still be inflicted one level at a time over the course of the day, so the host will still be able to survive and heal the damage normally. If the nova has two or more levels of Accelerated Gestation the parasitic pregnancy will pose a far greater risk to the hosts life; as the damage inflicted will be counted as one level of unsoakable lethal damage. The damage will occur on an daily basis with 2 levels, every hour with three levels, and every minute with four levels. At the Storytellers discretion, a baseline hosts appetite will grow to nova proportions and a nova hosts appetite will match that of novas with the Ravenous aberration for the duration of the pregnancy, as their metabolisms go into overdrive in an attempt to meet the nutrient demands placed on them by the parasitic fetus. way novas who have been affected by Project Utopias sterility cocktail can sire offspring without using their damaged gametes. Female novas using this power to reproduce will only be able to sire female offspring, however. If the nova also has the Genetic Sampler body modification, he can use any samples hes collected with that body modification to impregnate women with this power, instead of just being limited to using his own DNA. What really makes this power so insidious is its subtlety. If the target has no way of detecting the use of this power or the state of her own reproductive system (such as Body Awareness or active use of Quantum Awareness), she will have no clue that she has been impregnated until she either has her next medical examination or first episode of morning sickness. Using this power on a willing target just requires a straight power roll. Only one success is needed for the nova to successfully impregnate a willing target, with each additional success on the power roll reducing the targets chances for pregnancy complications and anomalous births by 5%. Using this power on an unknowing or unwilling target requires a resisted roll, pitting the targets Stamina + Resistance against the novas Stamina + Quantum Conception dice pool. The nova can add a number of successes equal to his Quantum rating to the power roll, and need only achieve one net successes against the targets Resistance roll in order to impregnate the target. In either case, since the nova is effectively creating something permanent (the 23 paternal chromosomes) from nearby inorganic matter, using this power requires spending a permanent Willpower point along with the normal quantum cost. It should also be noted that if the target is already pregnant, is not of childbearing age or is biologically male, uses of this power will automatically fail dont even bother rolling. Nova targets with the Fertility enhancement are also immune to this power, unless the target wants to become pregnant in this manner. If the target has the Mind Over Matter enhancement (from Aberrant: Brainwaves), she can spend 1 quantum point and make a Wits roll to self-induce a natural abortion and rid herself of the unwanted fetus. Unwilling nova targets who are aware of the attacking novas impregnation attempt may make a Willpower roll to actively resist this powers effect, with each success adding another die to the Resistance dice pool. The nova can even impregnate a normally sterile non-nova woman of childbearing age by paying double the normal quantum point cost (6 quantum points). If successful, the target can conceive and carry the resulting healthy child to term just as if she were fertile. Unfortunately, sterile nova women cannot be impregnated in this manner. Extras: Affects Sterile Novas (requires Quantum 6) The nova can impregnate a nova woman that has been dosed with the Utopian sterility cocktail, at the cost of spending 12 quantum points and a permanent Willpower point. Nova women whose sterility is not the result of the sterility cocktail (such as those with the Sterility aberration/Flaw) cannot be impregnated unless the aberration or Flaw is corrected.

New Quantum Powers Quantum Conception


Level: 3 Quantum Minimum: 5 Dice Pool: Stamina + Quantum Conception Range: (Quantum) meters Area: N/A Duration: Instant Effect: Character can impregnate a woman without requiring physical contact. Multiple Actions: Yes Description: This power allows the nova to impregnate a woman of childbearing age without physical contact. Effectively, the nova creates an undamaged partial copy of his or her own DNA just as when happens when gametes are formed which is then implanted into an ovum inside the targets uterus. In this

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Sterilize

Level: 2 Quantum Minimum: 4 Dice Pool: Stamina + Sterilize Range: Touch Area: N/A Duration: Instant Effect: Characters touch can induce sterility in another person or lifeform. Multiple Actions: Yes Description: This power allows the nova to render another being sterile with a touch. When used on novas, this power functions in much the same manner as Project Utopias sterility cocktail. Unlike the Utopian sterility cocktail, this power will also work on baselines, animals, plants and fungi. When used on small lifeforms such as insects, small plants or fungi, its reasonable for the nova to be capable of sterilizing an entire fields worth of such targets rather than a single small lifeform. (In that circumstance, treat this power as having the Area Extra.) Even worse is the extreme subtlety of this power. If the target has no way of detecting either the use of this power or the state of his own fertility (such as Body Awareness or active use of Quantum Awareness), he will have no clue that hes just been sterilized until his next medical examination. Using this power requires a resisted roll, pitting the targets Stamina + Resistance against the novas Stamina + Sterilize dice pool. The nova can add a number of successes equal to her Quantum rating to the power roll, and must achieve two net successes against the targets Resistance roll in order to sterilize the target. Nova targets with either of the Health or Fertility enhancements will automatically subtract (the targets Mega-Stamina) successes from the novas power roll. Likewise, each dot of Invulnerability: Disease possessed by the target will grant six successes to the target novas Willpower roll and make the roll automatic (see below). The Adaptability enhancement is of no use against this power. Targets who are aware of the attacking novas sterilization attempt may make a Willpower roll to actively resist this powers effect, with each success adding another die to the Resistance dice pool. Successes from a Healing roll can also be added to the targets Resistance dice, provided the target and/or the nova with Healing is aware of the attacking novas sterilization attempt. Healing cannot be applied retroactively and cannot be used to correct this powers effect. The sterility induced by this power is permanent, unless the target is a nova who either has or develops the Health or Fertility enhancements, in which case the condition will heal normally. For this purpose, induced sterility is counted as 2 levels of bashing damage. Female targets who are sterilized while pregnant will have a miscarriage within 24 hours. Extras: None.

New Flaws and Aberrations


Adolescent/Child [1, 4 or 6 point Flaw]
A character with this Flaw is younger than 17 years of age. As such, the character will have certain social and physical limitations which are described below. In addition, the character is limited to a maximum rating (which varies with age) in her Intelligence-based Abilities. The Storyteller is also within her rights to forbid nova characters with this Flaw from taking either of the Seductive Looks and Seductive enhancements, along with any other enhancements that depend on sexual attraction. At the Storytellers discretion, characters with this Flaw may have fewer dots of Abilities than adult characters, although Mega-Intelligent characters are exempt from that limitation. Immature novas with the Adaptability enhancement may require regular periods of sleep and a diet of healthy food and drink in order to grow normally. This Flaw will decrease in value naturally as the character gets older, and cannot be bought off with experience points. Second-generation nova children with the Accelerated Maturation enhancement will still suffer the effects of this Flaw, but do not receive any freebie points from it due to their drastically-shortened period of immaturity. At the 1-point level, the character is an adolescent (13 to 16 years of age). The character will not have any limits on her base Attribute ratings, but is limited to a maximum rating of 3 dots in her Intelligence-based Abilities. She will have obvious social limitations; which include various legal difficulties, curfews, a lack of intellectual respect from adults, and not being able to legally engage in certain adult activities. At the 4-point level, the character is a pre-adolescent child (7 to 12 years of age). The social limitations the character will face will become even more onerous, as children are even more restricted in their activities than teenagers are. The characters base Strength rating cant be any higher than 3, and her base Stamina score cant be any higher than 4. She is also limited to a maximum rating of 2 dots in her Intelligence-based Abilities. Finally, the character will have the Short Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p.70), the cost of which has already been factored into this Flaw. At the 6-point level, the character is a very young child (6 years and younger). The character can walk, talk and has hair on his head, but none of that matters very much as she will only be about a meter tall at best. The social restrictions faced by the character will become extreme, which is only to be expected. The characters base Strength and Stamina both cant be any higher than 1 dot each, and her Dexterity cant go above 2 dots. She is also limited to a maximum rating of 1 dot in her Intelligence-based Abilities. The character is also small enough to suffer the equivalent of an extreme version of the Short Flaw, as her running speed will be reduced to 25% of normal and she will encounter severe difficulties in using equipment designed for people with average builds, the cost of which has already been factored into this Flaw.

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Altered Gestation [physical aberration]

Estrus [physical aberration]

Manifested only by fertile female novas, this aberration gradually mutates the novas reproductive system as she accumulates permanent Taint, forcing her to give birth in some other manner than the typical human fashion. At low levels of Taint, the system used is no more burdensome than mammalianstyle live birth. One example is becoming a marsupial, and giving birth to a small fetus which is placed in an exterior pouch in which it will develop for the rest of the pregnancy. In this case the nova has an actual marsupial pouch on her belly, which normally remains taut & unusable except when shes carrying an infant inside it. For this pouch to be useful for anything other than carrying her infant, the nova must purchase the large pouch version of the Pouch body modification. Another example is becoming oviparous (an egg-layer), with the egg being carried internally for 9 months before being laid, after which it will hatch within 24 hours. With medium Taint, the system used is noticeably more burdensome. An example of this is being oviparous and laying one or more eggs shortly after conception, which will then require constant care (such as being placed within an incubating machine) in order to hatch. Other examples include having to remain within a specific environment or being dependent on a chosen substance (or being) in order to carry a fetus safely to term. With high Taint, the system used is far more burdensome. This would cover being oviparous and laying one or more eggs shortly after conception, which will then require constant physical contact & care from the nova in order to hatch. Another possibility is for the novas offspring to be born in a larval form for the duration of its infancy, which must eat voraciously before pupation & metamorphosis into juvenile human form. Alternatively, the novas egg or larvae may require some substance thats hazardous or offensive to human sensibilities in order to develop properly. Finally, the novas body may simply create offspring through budding, which will look quite grotesque to human eyes.

this state is indistinguishable from the Hormonal Imbalance Lust aberration (Aberrant core book, p. 152) during estrus. At high Taint the nova will also suffer from a 2-point version of the Dependence Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 70), as not engaging in sexual activity while in estrus will cause actual physical damage. When the nova isnt in estrus, his total lack of sexual interest makes him unable to enjoy sexual relations and makes him immune to seduction attempts. Storyteller Note: While most of the material in this sourcebook is considered sensitive topics, that goes double for this aberration. Be very sure to discuss it with your players before using it in a chronicle. Unlike most other 2ndGen novas, a character with this Flaw was not born with his farahcytes evenly distributed throughout his brains grey matter. Instead, he was born with an M-R node comparable to those of the first generation novas. The character will be subject to all the drawbacks of having a high rating of the Node Background, including the possibility of brain damage caused by M-R node growth and the resulting mental Taint and aberrations. This Flaw is most often found among 2ndGen novas who were born through genetic engineering or whose births were anomalous. This Flaw is only available to 2ndGen nova characters.

Regressive Node [4 point Flaw]

Retarded Aging [2, 5 or 7 point Flaw, or physical aberration]

The sexual responses of a nova with this aberration are dependent on a specific trigger chosen by the Storyteller, and is unresponsive sexually without it. At low levels of Taint (4-5 dots), this aberration can make the nova go into estrus during a specific large time period per Terran year (such as a season) or when the nova experiences a specific emotion or sensation. At medium Taint (6-7 dots), the trigger can be a short time period per Terran year (like a month), a highly unpleasant emotion or sensation, or an actual physical substance. With high Taint (8-10 dots), the trigger can be a very brief time period per Terran year (anywhere from four to seven days), or an extremely intense and highly unpleasant emotion or sensation. If the trigger is a physical substance, its either very hard to acquire, hazardous or offensive to human sensibilities. Aside from the problems (social and otherwise) caused by this aberration, both hormonal states experienced by the nova will be more extreme than the human norm. While in estrus, the nova will be noticeably more eager to engage in sexual activity than is typical for baseline humans. At low levels of Taint this is equivalent to the Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72). At medium Taint,

Found exclusively in novas who are born erupted, erupt prior to adulthood or that have been physically regressed in age, this condition leaves the novas body stuck in an immature state. Whats worse is that the novas aging process comes to a standstill for all practical concerns. As a Flaw this condition can reflect any one of an assortment of problems; including such things as a growth hormone deficiency, arrested aging or an extremely slow rate of aging that would be logical for a being with a lifespan of several centuries or more. Inspired medical treatments and/or the use of the Age Alteration technique of Temporal Manipulation can correct this condition, provided that the nova also buys off this Flaw with experience points. As an aberration, this most often develops from Tainted MegaStamina or Temporal Manipulation. Nothing the nova tries in the way of medical treatments Inspired or otherwise will make him or her grow any older at all. Age Alteration is also ineffective in correcting this aberration. In any case, the nova will eventually have a mature mind trapped inside the body of a teenager or child, which can make for social problems and much frustration on the novas part. Also, people who dont know any better will treat the nova as the teenager, child or infant that he appears to be. As a 2-point Flaw or a low-level aberration, this condition leaves the nova as an adolescent (13 to 16 years of age). The nova will not have any limits on his base Attribute ratings, but will have obvious social limitations. These will include various legal difficulties, curfews, ignorant adults refusing to take the nova seriously, and not being able to legally engage in certain adult activities. As a 5-point Flaw or a medium-level aberration, the nova has the body of a pre-adolescent child (7 to 12 years of age).

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The social limitations the nova will face will become even more onerous, as children are even more restricted in their activities than teenagers are. The novas base Strength rating cant be any higher than 3, and his base Stamina score cant be any higher than 4. If the novas prior Strength and/or Stamina ratings were above these limits, then the nova will gain 1 experience point per dot lost upon developing this condition. The nova will also have the Short Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p.70), the cost of which has already been factored into this Flaw. As a 7-point Flaw or a high-level aberration, the nova has the body of an very young child (6 years and younger). The nova can walk, talk and has hair on his head, but none of that matters very much as he will only be about a meter tall at best. The social restrictions faced by the nova will become extreme, which is understandable since baseline society isnt really set up to handle the possibility of small chidren with adult minds. The novas base Strength and Stamina are both lowered to 1 dot each, and his Dexterity cant go above 2 dots. If the novas prior ratings are above these limits, then the nova will gain 1 experience point per dot lost upon developing this condition. The nova is also small enough to qualify for the equivalent of an extreme version of the Short Flaw, as his running speed will be reduced to 25% of normal and he will encounter severe difficulties in using equipment designed for people with average builds.

Storytelling

When running a breeder nova scenario, it always helps to keep several core concepts of their situation in mind. No matter whether your players take the parts of valiant delivery boys, grim motherhunters or the besieged breeder novas themselves, all of these concepts will be important factors in your series.

Themes

Sterility [1 point Flaw, or lowlevel physical aberration]

A nova with this aberration is still capable of normal sexual function, but cannot conceive children in the typical human manner. This aberration most often results from having dots of Tainted Mega-Stamina. Even Inspired fertility treatments cannot help a nova with this aberration conceive, as only the use of quantum powers that directly affect a novas Taint and/or aberrations will be effective.

Now that youve finally got the inside information on the breeder novas, their friends and their foes; its time to put that information to use in your Aberrant chronicle. In Storytelling, well touch on some basic themes, moods and conflicts for scenarios using breeder novas, and provide some plot hooks that can be used in your Aberrant chronicle with a minimum of effort. The clandestine efforts intended to aid breeder novas against their many enemies are detailed in The Sixth Column, along with guidelines for Aberrant Storytellers (and players) to create their own such operations. Finally, well round things off with a small rogues gallery of Family, Friends and Fiends.

The Family Scrapbook

For most baseline humans, becoming a parent is one of the events that science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein termed a cusp, a decision point at which ones life can (and usually does) change drastically according to what choices are made. For some breeder novas who manage to become parents, the only real difference in their situation is that just about everything baseline parents have to deal with the joys and difficulties of raising a child, the various threats posed to the family, the importance of ones offspring is magnified many times over. Fortunately, the various quantum abilities that breeder novas possess will give them a good shot at overcoming what would be insurmountable obstacles for baseline parents, if they have a conscience and sufficient discipline. Instead of indulging their desires and seeking thrills, conscientious nova parents will accept responsibility for their newborn children and modify their lives accordingly. In return, they will hopefully reap the rewards of successful parenthood; which include loving parent-child relationships and personal fulfillment. Other nova parents will neglect their children to varying degrees, with consequences ranging anywhere from soured parent-child relationships to the premature death of the child. What throws all this into sharp relief is the potential for extreme power thats the birthright of the 2ndGen novas. Like it or not, the parents of a 2ndGen nova child are in an unparalleled position to influence the development of that infant god. If they do well by their offspring (or are far luckier than they deserve to be), they will leave behind a legacy either for good or ill that will prove more lasting than the fame of any Team Tomorrow member or novox star. If not, the childs much-vaunted potential could easily go unrealized, leaving the parents as just another minor footnote in the history of the Nova Age. Just what is it like to grow up as a 2ndGen nova child? Not only do these wunderkinder have to face the usual hurdles of growing up, but they must do so while both learning to master their inborn quantum abilities and surviving in a social climate that is certain to grow ever more hostile to novas in the coming decades. True 2ndGen kids will also have to deal with varying levels of isolation from either baseline society or their 2ndGen peers, depending on what approach their parents took in living undercover. Terat 2ndGens have no real refuge from danger, for

Parenthood

Just about any theme has some potential for use in a breeder nova scenario, and examples of such can be found in any family drama or comedy on the bookshelves or in the video store. That said, here are the four themes that are most appropriate for a series using breeder novas.

Childhood

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not only are they faced with a hostile world, they must also learn to live and somehow thrive in the treacherous garden that is the Teragen. With Bounty as their only confirmed Terat protector, it remains to be seen if any of these children will escape the egomania-driven plots of their elders in the Pantheon. Trog 2ndGens progeny must survive in the harshest social climate of all; as nearly all of baseline humanity and many novas will oppose them, and the support of their insane parents cannot be relied upon. These little monsters may have the cards stacked against them now, but the survivors will be sure to repay baseline humanitys hostility with interest. And all of that still does not take into account the pressures and influences that being the child of nova parents will bring into their lives. Its not like these kids parents couldnt have very colorful histories, after all... When running an Aberrant chronicle dealing with breeder novas and their children, the theme of discernment should always be present. Comprised of both sound judgment and keen insight, this quality is of extreme importance to breeder novas wishing to live and raise their children free from the interference of outside interests. It is also useful for novas in service to certain of the factions, who otherwise might not question the commands of their superiors until it was far too late. Discernment is what allows a human to realize what things are truly important, and discard what is merely trivial. In the case of a nova, it lets him see the ultimately empty nature of the perks of celebrity offered to them by baseline society, and spurn them for the less glamorous yet far more lasting rewards of having a family. Discernment is what allows a nova to recognize her own worth, and refrain from signing away her self-determination (and possibly her soul) to a faceless organization. Without discernment, a nova cannot judge whether or not baseline humanity and its world truly merits any or all of the sacrifices that novas are urged to make in their name by Aeon and others. And without discernment, a nova cannot accurately determine the value of humanity, both in terms of an inherent quality within herself or in terms of the entire population of homo sapiens. Finally, novas lacking in discernment are more likely to develop excessive levels of Taint thanks to mistakes resulting from their poor judgment, which can have horrifying effects on their offspring... constant vigilance or isolation, as any lapse in maintaining them can place the breeder novas at serious risk of capture and/or death. The savage breeder novas are the exception to all this, as could only be expected. These 21st Century barbarians take the idea of freedom much too far to suit the majority of baselines and other novas. The only thing keeping these novas from total anarchy is a primitive tribal structure most often seen in baboon troops. The only law is the whim of the troop leader, which will often be inconsistent at best. In the end, savage breeder novas are truly free free to abuse others and be abused, to harm others and be harmed, to kill and be killed and all without any possibility of real justice for these crimes.

Discernment

Moods
Danger

The emotional tone of a breeder nova scenario can and will vary just as much as the themes. Nevertheless, these four moods are highly appropriate and should crop up on a regular basis. Thanks to a world that simply refuses to leave them be, breeder novas of all stripes will always be faced with the threat of danger and violence with little or no warning. Much like the players in a Teragen series, players in a breeder nova series should be kept on their toes at all times. Even breeder novas living in the space colonies are not exempt from this, as their extreme isolation from Terran society only means that when an attack comes, it will be all the more shocking. On the other side of the coin, consider that there are few beings as dangerous as a parent fighting to defend spouse and offspring. Those who attack breeder novas can expect no mercy.

Freedom

At the core of the breeder novas effort to live undercover is the desire for freedom. Its important to note that most breeder novas dont equate freedom with running roughshod over the baselines in the manner of the Teragen. Instead, they choose to avoid being detected as novas in the first place, either through posing as baselines or living in remote areas. This way, breeder novas can divorce themselves and their children from the expectations placed on novas by society at large without all the furor aroused by the Teragens open rebellion. This in turn makes it easier for them to reject the often-inaccurate beliefs and opinions of baselines (and the more ideological novas) as to what novas are and what they should be. By maintaining their cover, breeder novas can remain free from media exposure and the consequent manipulation and exploitation by outside interests. Of course, the price for all this freedom is either

Those breeder novas who manage to survive and remain free quickly learn that there are few if any people who they can trust. Any seemingly friendly nova could be a motherhunter just waiting for the right moment to strike. That nice middle-aged neighbor couple two doors down the street could be spies working for the Directive or another baseline intelligence agency. A breeder novas own baseline relative could be a closet member of the Church of Michael Archangel. Worse, even if these people are what they appear to be they still probably cant be trusted. Relatives can be watched. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. Nice people can talk to other nice people and start rumors. And any mistakes made or rumors started will end up in the ears of the motherhunters. Faced with such a wide array of potential threats, its no surprise that most breeder novas reserve most of their trust for their spouses and children. This in turn makes family bonds especially strong in breeder nova families, sometimes comparable to that displayed by the Norse clans in the Nibelungenlied and Volsungsaga. Again, savage breeder novas are the exception, as they all too often have little or no trust in each other. In more than a few cases, the only thing keeping a savage breeder nova tribe together is their total distrust of outsiders.

Trust and Distrust

Hope

While this is the major theme of Adventure!, this emotion takes a different tone in a breeder nova scenario. Instead of a pulp-era sense that anything is possible, the efforts of breeder

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novas exemplify a hope that with sufficient effort and good acumen, worthwhile rewards can be attained regardless of what other people think they should be allowed. For many baselines, the event of settling down and starting a family is considered a good example of hope in the course of human life. For the majority of breeder novas this event is possibly the premier example, considering the numerous obstacles arrayed against their achieving some form of domestic bliss. Between the recruiters, the motherhunters and even the media, breeder nova families are plagued with legions of corrupt jerks who are willing to harm them in order to turn a profit or follow their beliefs. Yet despite such dire circumstances, many breeder novas have not only managed to start families, but they have a good shot at seeing their children grow up and start families of their own. In contrast, the motherhunters (and to a lesser degree the celebrity novas) exemplify a loss of hope. Whether it is manifested as personal cynicism, a conviction that all novas are inherently doomed to become taint-ridden monsters or a belief that nothing they do matters; they are denying the hope that novas can have a fairly bright future ahead of them both as a people and as individuals, if they so choose. This is one of the reasons why motherhunters are willing to kill innocent nova men, women and children. This is why so many nova celebrities while away the years in hedonism and debauchery to fill the emptiness in their personal lives. It should also be noted that where highlytainted breeder novas and their Trog 2ndGen offspring are concerned, the tones are reversed. The growing numbers of Trog 2ndGens in the world is an excellent damper for feelings of hope in general, as they really do pose a huge threat to humanity as a whole. Likewise, the motherhunters tasked with stopping those monsters are excellent reasons for hope as far as baseline humanity is concerned.

Love

Despite over five decades worth of saccharine-sweet greeting cards and sappy songs, the idea of love cannot be discounted in a breeder nova scenario. The need for love is one of the basic motivations for humans to take spouses and raise children, and breeder novas (in most cases) are no exception. What else could make all the toil of raising a nova child worthwhile? Why else would breeder novas endure the stresses and dangers of living underground in order to raise their children without interference? What other reason would breeder novas have for being willing to abandon baseline civilization and possibly Earth itself in order for their children to have a brighter future? This becomes even more obvious when the fickle affections of ones fans and/or worshippers are measured against the honest love of ones spouse and children there simply is no comparison. The lack of love in a novas life is also important, as the resulting emotional anguish can easily drive a nova into mental illness and a consequent increase in taint. The most telling example of this is found in the savage breeder novas, among whom love is rarely found and is never healthy such states include obsessive love, codependencies and delusions of being loved. To compensate for their relative lack of love these monsters tend to develop narcissistic disorders, taking self-love and egomania to new extremes, with horrific results.

As the driving engine of every story, the importance of conflict cannot be downplayed. The following are the basic conflicts which are most suited to an Aberrant series using breeder novas. Motherhunters vs. Breeder Novas and/or Delivery Boys: Many people consider the family unit to be the basis for human society. So what happens when powerful elements within human society seem hellbent on either killing or enslaving families whose only crime (in most cases) is to possess godlike power? By having remained fertile and produced children, breeder novas are in a position to draw much hostile attention from those powerful groups and individuals who see them as a threat to their designs. Even with the aid of delivery boy allies, there is never any guarantee that a family of breeder novas will go unnoticed by the motherhunters, much less escape them. Novas vs. Baseline Humanity: While this conflict is present to a degree in all Aberrant stories, it takes on special significance where breeder novas are concerned. In the opinion of too many baselines, novas are little more than servants whose only purpose is to entertain, fight for and clean up after the common run of humanity. Those novas who refuse to serve as collective caretakers of baseline humanity such as breeder novas are considered selfish and evil. Other baselines take note of the power and potential of novas, and see them as the possible evolutionary successors to homo sapiens sapiens. The incredible potential of the 2ndGen novas only serves to heighten the threat these baselines see novas posing to unerupted humanity, leading them to consider breeder novas a direct cause of a possible baseline extinction. Baselines who reject those two viewpoints and all their preconceptions, leaving them free to see breeder novas as the people they are instead of commodities or threats to humanitys survival, tend to be on the scarce side. What will it take for the rest of baseline humanity to learn the errors in their ideas about novakind? Are they even willing to learn, or will they just cling to their mistaken beliefs all the more tightly? Generational Conflict: The event of parents being eclipsed by their grown children is a common thread throughout the human condition. As the parents grow old and their importance wanes over the passing years, their children take advantage of new things and opportunities their forbears never had. Worse, the children will have new experiences and do new things that were either unknown or merely dreamt of during their parents glory days. While some parents learn to take pride in their grown childrens accomplishments, others become bitter and jealous of the new generation. This situation becomes especially problematic where novas are concerned. With considerable numbers of the first generation novas being both sterile and given to severe egotism, theyve grown very comfortable in their place as (some of) the most important people of the Nova Age. Now toss the breeder novas into the mix, whose lifestyle choices not only invalidate the worth of the egotists privileged lives, but have given rise to the 2ndGen novas. When the first generation egotists realize that the 2ndGen novas will make most of their predecessors look like second-

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stringers (at best) when they come of age, their reactions will not be pretty. Personal Needs vs. Selfless Altruism: While altruism is a virtue, it can easily be taken too far, and thats just what too many baselines are demanding from novas. Almost from their eruptions, most novas are constantly bombarded with the notion that their powers are meant to serve humanity, regardless of the personal sacrifices novas must make to perform that service. This is no small matter, as this requires giving up all semblance of a normal life and its associated benefits. In return for that, novas receive the transitory and hollow rewards of nova life, which do little or nothing to assuage their personal needs and increases their risks of developing Taint. Making the situation even worse is that giving in to the baselines demands only results in them making more and greater demands of novas. By living undercover, breeder novas have a much better shot at meeting their personal needs, but at what cost to the world? Can a balance be struck between novas personal needs and their altruism, or will the increasing demands of the baselines only serve to further alienate novas from them? parents are remorseless criminals, does that also make the children criminals as well? What faction are the motherhunters working for, and why are they after the family of breeder novas? Do they intend to capture the family for interrogation or lab research, or summarily execute them? And if the player characters do manage to rescue the family, what will they do then? Will they part ways from necessity, or can the player characters set the family up in a new life to replace the one they lost? Hatcher Hunt: The player characters are approached by a group of motherhunters from one of the more public factions (Project Utopia, the Directive or a national government) for their aid in hunting down a highly-tainted Hatcher nova. The player characters have been identified as the only novas having the right mix of quantum abilities to track down and deal with the Hatcher nova before it has a chance to produce offspring. The motherhunters can provide a limited amount of equipment and plenty of good information on the target, but ultimately theyll be working as the player characters backup. And the catch to all this is that this is a covert operation, where they must do their job without attracting the notice of the media. If the player characters prevail, they will have averted a deadly threat to all human life and will be richly rewarded, assuming that they survive the mission. If they fail, humankind is looking at their own possible extinction as the Hatcher novas offspring begin reproducing as well. If they fail to be discreet in either case, the resulting public relations disaster could wreck baseline-nova relations for decades to come. A Woman Wronged?: A female baseline relative of one of the player characters has an encounter with a Casanova, and winds up pregnant by him. Whats more, she says that it happened against her will. Claiming to have no other recourse, the woman turns to the nova in her family for help in resolving this matter. How are the player characters going to handle this? Did the Casanova actively choose to seduce and impregnate the woman in question, or was she attempting to induce her own eruption by having unprotected sex with a nova? If the Casanova has Mega-Social Attributes, did he use them to impair the womans judgment and make it appear as if she was willingly seduced by him? Was the encounter the result of an unplanned social meeting, or was it planned as part of a medical experiment for which the woman was paid to participate in? If the womans claims are valid and the Casanova is indeed guilty of what amounts to date rape, what will the player characters do in order to seek justice on her behalf? Will bringing the Casanova to trial result in his receiving a well-deserved prison term, or will he just receive a slap on the wrist and walk away a free man? Seeking vigilante justice might bring more decisive results albeit at greater risk, especially if the Casanova is a combathardened elite with a few colleagues on call. Outlaws Brood: The player characters are elites hired by a law enforcement agency to track down a criminal nova living in hiding, who also happens to be the head of a family of breeder novas. Things start getting complicated when the player characters realize that they may have been tricked into working as motherhunters, and it doesnt get any better from then on. After watching the family for a while, it soon becomes obvious that the family head has apparently reformed and forsaken his

An Offer You Cant Refuse: If any of the player characters are fertile, this becomes known to someone or some group that is not only willing to attempt blackmail, but is powerful enough to have a shot at getting away with it. The threat this poses to fertile player characters is exposure either to the global media at large or one of the factions as breeder novas, which can have serious, possibly lethal consequences. Exactly what the blackmailer wants is up to the Storyteller, as some will just want to coerce favors or large amounts of money from the fertile player characters. Other blackmailers will have more unconventional goals. The C-Z Megasyndicate might want to recruit fertile male player characters as donors for their sperm bank operation. A scientific research firm could want the player characters to serve as lab subjects in their quest to solve the puzzle of nova infertility. The blackmailers could even be other fertile novas that are sufficiently obsessed with having children to see the fertile player characters as convenient breeding partners whose compliance must be obtained by any means necessary. In any case, the player characters must find a way to deal with their would-be blackmailers without risking exposure as breeder novas. Unscheduled Delivery: In the course of their other activities, the player characters run across a family of breeder novas who ask for their help in escaping from a group of motherhunters. (Devious Storytellers may arrange matters so that the player characters are directly responsible for blowing the familys cover, adding in an element of guilt to the story.) Provided that the player characters arent completely callous, they can be drafted into service as impromptu delivery boys for the duration. In the midst of their possibly quite lethal conflict with the motherhunters, the player characters must find answers to a whole host of questions. Are the parents of the family the innocent victims faced with unjust persecution that they claim to be, or are they hiding a history of criminal activity? If their

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or her criminal past. Has the family head really gone straight, or is he or she just lying low until the heat dies down? If the family heads reformation is authentic, does he or she deserve to be arrested and sent before a jury? What about the rest of the family? Are they also criminals who deserve to be hunted down and arrested, or are they innocent victims in this affair? Whos footing the bill for hiring the player characters? Do the player characters clients honestly want to see the criminal nova brought to justice, or do they have other motives for having this family captured? The DeVries Dynasty: Ever since DeVries diversified from its beginnings as a purely mercenary company, a power struggle has been brewing between Anna DeVries and Frank Carrington. (See Aberrant: Elites pp. 21-24 for details.) Annas giving birth to their child (a male True 2ndGen nova named Peter) in 2012 only served to intensify the potential for conflict; as Frank plans to steal away enough DeVries employees to start his own mercenary company and take sole custody of their son. Annas response to this premeditated personal and professional betrayal will not be restrained, to say the least. And caught up in the middle of this mess is young Peter, the other DeVries nova children and their parents. The player characters are all DeVries employees possibly with spouses and children of their own that find themselves front and center when this situation breaks out into open conflict. Not only will the player characters have to deal with the expected boardroom maneuverings, but they also risk being caught up in actual combat as the resident elites choose a side and matters escalate. Will loyalty to their employers cause them to take part in the conflict, or will the player characters seek to protect Peter and the other innocents from this madness? And what will the consequences of their choices be, both for themselves and for DeVries? of the potential mates that a breeder nova will encounter will be baseline humans or sterile novas instead of other breeder novas. Add in all the obstacles that have been placed in their way (knowingly or not) by Project Proteus and other groups, and it becomes apparent that the number of breeder nova families in 2015 should be somewhere in the very low end of the doubledigit range. Thats the conventional wisdom among most who are both in the know about breeder novas and in a position to do something about the situation. Its a comforting opinion, as it greatly reduces the apparent threat posed to the baseline Establishment by breeder novas and their 2ndGen children. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on ones viewpoint), this is yet another instance where the conventional wisdom is gravely mistaken. Against all odds, a sizeable number of breeder novas actually have managed to form marital bonds and produce 2ndGen offspring. Whats even more astounding is that the majority of these families have also managed to conceal their existence from those who would seek to harm or exploit them. Whats going on here? Theres a saying among the military and intelligence communities: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. And in this case, the enemy is none other than Sophia Rousseau. As the power behind the throne of the Aberrants, Mme. Rousseau has been aware of the various threats posed to breeder novas for quite some time now, and has been working in two ways to derail said threats. The first way is instigating the delivery boy activities of the Aberrants, which has been detailed earlier in this book. The other ways all involve her unmatched command over the forces of entropy, chaos and probability. Employing a form of probability alteration of which only the truly powerful novas are capable, Rousseau has effectively rewritten the destinies of breeder novas on a grand scale. There is no game mechanic for this effect, but Storytellers who use this subplot in their Aberrant chronicles should feel free to not only have breeder novas (especially fertile player characters) coincidentally encounter other breeder novas on a regular basis, but for them to eventually find their dream mates in this manner. (This applies to homosexual breeder novas as well, the only difference being that producing offspring will be a bit more difficult for a same-sex breeder nova couple.) Those breeder novas who do find mates will show a strong tendency to adopt a low profile, becoming highly reclusive if not going underground. As Rousseau can sense breeder novas as a result of her tampering with their destinies, she will use her powers to cloak families she approves of from hostile attention (typically by decreasing the odds of accidental exposure to near-zero) and redirect hostile attention to those she doesnt. Generally, breeder nova families that Rousseau doesnt approve of are those in which the parents are malignant in some way; such as being highly-tainted, vicious criminals or simply very poor parenting material. She will attempt to save the progeny of such unfit parents if she deems such children salvageable, but will otherwise write them off along with their parents. Rousseau also keeps a close watch over those families shes cloaked, and will dispatch Aberrant delivery boys to aid them as needed. It is important to note that Mme. Rousseaus quantumpowered mass matchmaking effort has had mixed

At its most basic level, the setting of Aberrant is a world of mystery & conspiracy; where very little is as it appears and threats to all but the most powerful novas lurk behind benevolent faades. This is especially true for the breeder novas and their 2ndGen children, as many powerful people - even certain directors of the Aeon Society itself - seem hellbent on doing away with them. Even so, the breeder novas do have a few conspiracies that seek to aid them in whatever ways necessary for their survival. With the stakes piled so high against them, few breeder novas would balk at accepting this aid, even if it might come from questionable sources. We have detailed two of the more notable of these helpful conspiracies for ready use in an Aberrant chronicle, and have provided guidelines for Storytellers (and ambitious players) who wish to create their own helpful conspiracies.

The Sixth Column

By all reasonable estimations, the number of breeder novas who manage to form marital bonds and produce 2ndGen nova offspring should be miniscule to the point of nonexistence. Novas are hardly commonplace in 2015 to begin with, and the fertile ones are even less so. Then theres the fact that almost all

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consequences. On the positive side, Rousseau has given novas a much better chance of long-term survival as a people and as a human subspecies. The problem with this is that her destiny rewrite didnt affect only those breeder novas who werent what she considers malignant- it affected all of the breeder novas. Making breeder novas much more likely to encounter each other sounds fine at first, as it greatly increases their chances for finding a suitable mate. Unfortunately, theres no guarantee that a breeder nova wont be one of the malignant ones, in which case cool aloofness is the best that can be hoped for. Along with ensuring the survival of non-malignant breeder nova families, Rousseau has also made it possible for families of malignant breeder novas to take root and pose a serious threat to humanity in general. Rousseau has attempted to mollify this by redirecting the attention of the motherhunters to those nascent broods of monsters, which has resulted in yet another batch of mixed consequences. On one hand, no matter who prevails in the deadly conflict between motherhunters and malignant breeder novas, a threat to the survival of the nonmalignant breeder novas will have been eliminated. On the other, this understandable bit of misdirection can easily cause baseline experts on novas (and the powerful people they advise) to develop the mistaken notion that all novas are doomed to become taint-ridden monstrosities and/or extremely dangerous psychotics. Without knowledge of the non-malignant breeder novas to act as a counterweight, the majority of baseline humans are all the more likely to consider all novas to be incipient monsters. is generally heroic, while doing the same for malignant breeder novas threatens humanity as a whole. The only real question in these cases is what sacrifices the player characters are willing to make on the behalf of other peoples survival.

The Maer Enclave

Using Sophias Scheme in your chronicle

Inserting this subplot into an Aberrant chronicle isnt difficult, as there are only one question that must be answered: Are some or all of the player characters fertile? If any of the player characters are breeder novas, Rousseaus predestination can affect their lives in radical ways. What happens when a novox star meets her perfect significant other, and vanishes from public life in order to settle down and start a family in secret? Not only will the motherhunters be after the former novox star and her loved ones, but her fans and agent are definitely going to be on the lookout for her as well. What if its a highly-placed agent of Utopia (or Proteus) that gets bitten by Rousseaus love bug? Can he defect and escape from his former allies without getting himself or his loved ones killed in the process? What happens if a player character encounters a malignant breeder nova who is under the delusion that the player character is his intended? How far will the malignant breeder nova be willing to go in order to claim the player character for himself? What happens if the player character is a motherhunter, and finds himself lovestruck for the breeder nova that hes been ordered to either capture or kill? In all of these cases, the question can be boiled down to this: What is the player character willing to sacrifice in hopes of gaining a loving spouse and children? If the player characters are not fertile, Rousseaus predestination can only affect them indirectly. Typically, the player characters will be given the choice of either aiding or hindering the survival of breeder novas. As usual, context is everything: aiding non-malignant breeder novas

After Bountys accusations about Project Utopia being responsible for nova sterility became common knowledge in Terat circles, various Terats put together a think tank to look at the issue, and this first effort failed dramatically. The nova drugs they found werent laced with the sterility cocktail, and other problems came up which caused the group to be disbanded. However, various Terat masterminds kept looking into the subject and corresponding via OpMail. Eventually the Apothecary and Count Orzaiz realized that the original think tank had been manipulated by outside interests. Some talks with the Mathematician convinced them that any research into this matter would be a magnet for saboteurs and Project Utopias tech police. The trio soon decided to fund the effort properly and isolate the group. If Utopia was putting this much effort into disrupting an investigation, then maybe there was something to be found. The Maer Enclave is located on one of the minor undeveloped islands of Indonesia. Thanks to Orzaizs secret negotiations with Prime Minister Sutowow in 2008, the Casablancas now effectively own the island, where theyve created an underground (both literally and figuratively) scientific research facility. Certain unusual mineral formations help shield the Maer Enclave from detection via both technological (spyplanes, surveillance satellites) and paranormal (nova powers) methods. According to the Indonesian government, the island is a nature preserve where unapproved (by Jakarta, anyway) human visitation, habitation and land development are all highly illegal. This ban has been strictly enforced, typically using Indonesian military forces whose standard operating procedure is shoot first & dont ask questions. The newly-established Maer Enclave was created with three long-term goals in mind. First, the resident scientists were to determine the exact mechanism of the Utopian nova sterilization agent. This hurdle has been breached, despite having been an exceedingly tough nut to crack as far as scientific puzzles go, as the researchers have been atypically (especially for Terat scientists) objective about their research and cooperative with each other. There was no disagreement at all between the researchers on this matter; they are all convinced that countering Utopias pogrom in a pill is vitally important to the survival of the One Race. The second goal was to find ways for fertile novas to defend themselves against the Utopian nova sterilization agent. This is where the disagreements have blossomed. Some want to create a preventative vaccine, others want to concoct a counteractive drug, and still others have proposed more radical methods to shield novas against the Utopian nova sterilization agent. Finally, the third goal was to find a way to fully restore the fertility of novas who have already been sterilized. The debates over this goal havent been quite as contentious as those focused on their

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second goal, but the various methods proposed to accomplish the third goal are somewhat more radical, not to mention ethically dubious (especially from the viewpoint of baseline medical ethics). Currently, both the second and third goals are still in the theoretical stages, with intense conflicts brewing among the resident scientists over how to accomplish them. Security at the Maer Enclave is extremely tight. As a deep-cover operation, even the existence - much less the location and purpose - of the Maer enclave is unknown to the nearly all other Terats, including Pantheon members such as Bounty and Scripture and even Mal himself. Other than Count Orzaiz and the Mathematician; the only Terats who know what is going on at the Maer Enclave and where it is are actually at the site. Even Synapse only knows that the island is of some interest to Orzaiz for unknown reasons, and while the Apothecary knows of the project he agreed at the beginning that he wouldnt be informed of its location. Every computer used at the Maer Enclave is physically separated from the OpNet so its impossible for them to be hacked externally. All of the Terats involved in the project were selected not only for their superhuman intelligence (or other abilities), but also for having mental shields against telepathy. Terats without mind shields are simply not allowed anywhere near the Maer Enclave no matter what their other abilities. The Mathematician was key in recruiting the Maer Enclaves personnel. If a prospective recruit was going to refuse to join the project or refuse the required isolation, he or she was simply not asked. The resident scientists of the Maer Enclave are as follows: Trang Doctor Anh Sng Sao Xuan Tu, a Vietnamese former employee of CORE International before his eruption and subsequent recruitment by the Mathematician for the Casablancas. Dr. Starlight is better known among Terats for his glowing blue skin, superhuman visual capabilities, powers over light and a complete lack of a sense of humor rather than his nova-caliber skills as a genetic engineer. Anh Sng Sao sees himself as the obvious leader of the Maer Enclave, but is constantly distressed by his fellow scientists stubborn rejection of his natural authority - especially in the case of Permafrost, whose respect (and love) he foolishly hopes to win, somehow. Francesco Thermite Anselmi, a Utopian paraphysician from Italy prior to discovering that Utopia had sterilized him. He then joined the Primacy, where he researched the mysteries of nova biology in hopes of finding new advantages on the battlefield for the One Race. Thermite has become obsessed with the goal of fathering his own nova children, but has avoided seeking out Bountys aid due to wanting to raise his children in the traditional Italian manner. Thermites powers over chemical reactions and heat serve him equally well both in the lab and in combat, not to mention checking out attractive nova women like Permafrost - with infrared vision. Tamara Permafrost Kavanne, a Finnish gynecologist who erupted after being locked inside a walk-in medical freezer by the wife of one of the male doctors that shed been having affairs with. After taking revenge with her newly-acquired cryokinetic powers, she was rescued from the local police by one of Orzaiz operatives. As the Casablancas premier gynecologist and expert on human fertility, Permafrost is determined to replicate Bountys superhuman fertility both in herself and in the One Race as a whole. As the Maer Enclaves resident Mega-Attractive sex kitten, Permafrost has found that the male attention she previously reveled in has instead become a highly-aggravating nuisance. Maurice Brainstorm Whitworth, a Canadian pharmaceutical researcher who erupted after accidentally overdosing on one of his own concoctions. Quickly recruited by Narcosis, Brainstorm happily invented several highly profitable designer drugs for the Pandaimonion while becoming a regular on the Pandaimonion party circuit. When approached to join the Maer Enclave, Brainstorm couldnt resist the challenge that the mystery of nova sterility posed to his intellect. Despite the revelation that the Utopian sterility agent wasnt a drug at all, Brainstorm is confident that he can concoct a wonder drug that will cure nova sterility - and (hopefully) let him score big with Permafrost. Ethan Platypus Butler, a Harvester biologist from New Zealand and an understudy of the Apothecary. While the Platypus does greatly resemble his namesake due to his powers and aberrations (down to having venomous spurs on his wrists and ankles) his superhuman physical prowess ensures that hes nowhere near as ungainly as his deceptively comical appearance suggests. The Platypus is quite firmly convinced that the Chrysalis holds the key to overcoming the Utopian nova sterility agent. Unfortunately, the Platypus is also developing platypus instincts - such as increased aggressiveness toward his rivals for Permafrosts favors - which further clouds his judgment. Aside from the scientists, also present at the Maer Enclave are three other Terats: one overworked administrator, one warper and one fairly dimwitted nova who has the Clone power and does maintenance work. These last three also double as security personnel for the Maer Enclave. There is also an AI which is tied into the monitoring systems and oversees the Maer Enclaves isolated mini-OpNet. The warper handles the delivery of supplies and communications with the outside world, the cloner deals with ensuring that all the facilities function as they should, and the administrator vainly tries to keep his much smarter charges in line. That wasnt much of a problem at first, when everything went pretty smoothly and significant progress was made. However shortly after this initial burst of productivity, the resident masterminds got caught up in their own egotism and infighting. All five of the masterminds are roughly equal in their mental wattage, as well as their egocentrism and strong wills. Most of them suffer from mental disorders and all five are very close to embodying the mad scientist stereotype. The Maer Enclave would likely have been better off with fewer novas of such brilliance and more novas of less brilliance (i.e. more followers and fewer leaders), however this flaw wasnt foreseen by the Mathematician because of his heavy involvement in setting up the project.

Due the slightly more limited nature of this subplot, its best used in Aberrant chronicles where the player characters are either Terats themselves or are foes of the Teragen. The most likely way for Terat player characters to become involved with the Maer Enclave is to be assigned to aid them in some manner.

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The resident scientists could easily need some lab assistants, or perhaps the player characters have powers or capabilities that could aid them in their researches. If the facility is under threat of attack by hostile novas of military forces, combat-hardened Nova Vigilance and/or Primacy members could take over security operations for the Maer Enclave. Of course, that aid could also take the form of Count Orzaiz ordering an investigation into the scientists sudden lack of progress towards achieving the projects second and third goals, with the player characters as the investigators. In any case, the player characters will have to deal with the powderkeg of professional rivalry, laboratory intrigue and sexual tension that the erstwhile think tank has become. None of the five scientists are willing to concede that their pet theory holds anything less than the cure for nova sterility, making the situation potentially explosive. The sparks that threaten to set off that explosion are provided by the sexual rivalry of the quartet of male scientists over their female colleague, who has no romantic interest in any of the other current Maer Enclave residents whatsoever. As Permafrosts normal romantic habits have been frustrated ever since she joined the Maer Enclave, the chance that she might fancy one of the male player characters is significant, and her male colleagues wont like that one bit. The actions of the player characters could either bring success to the Maer Enclave and the promise of restored fertility to the One Race... or cause this grandoise project to fail utterly. Non-Terat player characters involved with this subplot will most likely be either mercenary elites, law enforcement agents or operatives of Project Utopia (or Project Proteus). Elite investigators could be hired to look into the apparent disappearance of one or more of the five missing Terat scientists, while espionage-oriented elites could be hired to investigate the weird satellite imagery from a certain supposedly uninhabited Indonesian island. One or more of the resident scientists research efforts could easily take an unethical direction, with experiments involving kidnapped baselines or novas being only the most obvious way to bring player character investigators to the Maer Enclaves door. If Director Thetis ever gets any hint as to the Maer Enclaves existence and location, she will send Proteus nova operatives there on orders to find out whats been going on at first opportunity. If she ever learns the purpose of the Maer Enclave, Thetis is sure to order it destroyed with extreme prejudice, while keeping copies of the research data for Proteus archives. Finally, the most radical option for using this subplot with nonTerat player characters is where the Teragen either goes public with the results of the Maer Enclaves research - creating another huge public relation disaster for both Project Utopia and Aeon - or attempts to use that evidence to blackmail Utopia and Aeon for some reason. Either way, both Utopian and Proteus player characters will have their hands full in trying to ameliorate the resulting damage to Utopia, or in their attempts to bury the evidence before the Teragen can use it against them. First, not all Aberrant Storytellers keep the storylines of their games in strict conformity with game canon, nor should they. Theres no guarantee that Sophia Rousseau will appear as one of the good guys in any given Aberrant chronicle - or that Mme. Rousseau will even exist, for that matter. Some Aberrant Storytellers and players will always prefer to use their own homebrew subplots instead of those provided for them. Second is that fact that even without Director Thetis and Project Proteus to act as their main collective nemeses, breeder novas and their 2ndGen nova children in any alternate version of the Nova Age will eventually find themselves targeted by motherhunters of some sort. The faces may change, but the basic situation remains the same: the breeder novas must hide from (and fight off, when discovered) a planetful of powerful organizations and individuals who seek to exploit and/or harm them. These quantum powered families are just that important; as few governments, multinational corporations or powerful people in any world would hesitate to either take whatever advantage of them they could - or attempt to dispose of them, if they appear to pose a threat. And thats why weve provided some handy guidelines for interested Storytellers who want to design their own helpful conspiracies, in response to whatever motherhunters are present. There are two main types of subplots that can be inserted into a breeder nova chronicle, which are described below.

Acts of God

Old-Fashioned Skullduggery

This subplot is centered around the actions of a very powerful nova who has decided to use his or her powers to aid breeder novas and their children, either in an overt or covert manner. In game terms, this means that the culprit must be a nova with a Quantum rating of 6+ and at least a few dots of a Level 4+ quantum power that could plausibly be useful in this situation. As a result, this subplot will typically be used by the Storyteller, unless the players are using 100+ nova point characters in the chronicle. Sophias Scheme is a good example of this type of subplot; as is the theorized mass restoration of nova fertility in the 2030s by means of the Ecological Supremacy power on the part of either Antaeus, Belladonna or Regina Mundi. The other subplot involves the actions of novas who lack the godlike capabilities of Divis Mal and Sophia Rousseau, but make up for that lack by acting as a coordinated group. Instead of making sweeping changes with an berpower, these nova groups must form functional conspiracies in order to aid the breeder novas. Not only is this subplot more readily available to players in an Aberrant chronicle, but indulging in this sort of intrigue can also be more fun for them as well. Changing the world with an berpower can be fun for the nova who has it, but good conspiracies are collective efforts, where the fun can be spread around. The Maer Enclave provides a good look at such a conspiracy, as do the covert space colonization efforts of the Daedelus League. In either case, there are several questions about the culprit and the deed that must be answered for these subplots to work well.

Alternate Sixth Columns

As you may have noticed, both Sophias Scheme and The Maer Enclave are listed as completely optional additions for your Aberrant chronicle. The reasons for this are twofold.

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Who is the culprit? Of the known canon novas in the Quantum 6+ club circa 2015, only Caestus Pax, Divis Mal, Antaeus and Sophia Rousseau are known to still be alive. (Gabriel Melchior died in December of 2009, and theres little evidence to show that Bounty is powerful enough to be counted among them.) Going by their canon roles and personalities, Mme. Rousseau is the one of this quartet most likely to attempt to aid the breeder novas. Mal and Antaeus are also possible benefactors for the breeder novas, despite their being somewhat detached from the experience of starting families. Finally, Pax is guaranteed to not even consider helping the breeder novas. Unless his personality diverges greatly from canon, Pax will certainly be on the side of Proteus and the other motherhunters. Ironically, Storytellers whose chronicles diverge from the canon setting and metaplot enjoy a much greater degree of freedom in their choice of culprit, at the cost of having to create said nova from the ground up. Choosing a canon group to be the culprit is only somewhat less daunting. Unless the players have started their own faction (which isnt unheard of), only those canon groups which have been known to engage in delivery boy operations will be likely to form conspiracies to aid the breeder novas. Non-canon groups have no such official history constraining them, of course. What is the culprits motivation? For all but the most powerful novas, thwarting the efforts of the motherhunters and their powerful patrons is no small thing. Depending on the nature of his or her nova capabilities, the culprits attempt to aid the breeder novas may very well amount to putting his or her neck on the proverbial chopping block. So what is it that has driven the culprit to take such a risk? Does the culprit feel an idealistic need to protect his own kind against baseline aggression? Does the culprit have a grudge against the motherhunters and/or their patrons, and consider aiding the breeder novas to be her most effective means of taking revenge? Has the culprit soured on all of baseline humanity, and seek to ensure the survival and prosperity of novakind as the only real alternative culture for her to belong to? Does the culprit see himself as a destined leader of novakind, and regard his effort to aid breeder novas as a way to garner support for him to become an authority figure to them in the future? If the culprit is a breeder nova himself, does he aspire to starting a family of his own, and see aiding the breeder novas as a way to help himself and his hypothetical spouse and offspring? These questions are only a little different for the members of a culprit group, which must have a broad goal that all of its members support. If anything, their collective motivation will have to be more powerful than that of a powerful lone culprit, especially since theyre a good deal more vulnerable to reprisals from the motherhunters. Individual members of the group will also have their own motives for joining the conspiracy, which will keep things interesting. How does the culprit plan to aid the breeder novas? This is the real nuts and bolts question for a powerful nova: what does the culprits quantum powers allow her to do that could help the breeder novas? In Sophias Scheme, Mme. Rousseau uses her powers over entropy and probability to not only dramatically increase the chances for breeder novas to encounter each other and form viable marital bonds, but also makes it far less likely that those breeder novas she approves of will be noticed by the motherhunters. If they are ever so inclined, Mals command over quantum signatures of other novas and Antaeus power to control ecological and biological processes on a grand scale can also allow them to stack the deck in the breeder novas favor in their own ways with a little forethought. As for Pax, his control over kinetic energy makes him unsuited to aid breeder novas in both personality and power. Non-canon culprits have other options available to them; as an ber-telepath could use Consciousness Supremacy to inspire cautious behavior and a tendency to conceal their identities in newly-erupted breeder novas. A precognitive nova of this caliber could predict the eruptions of breeder novas, and make arrangements to have pre-emptive measures in place to ensure that they dont get noticed (much less caught) by the motherhunters. If the motherhunters are employing sterility retroviruses as part of their arsenal, a nova with Disease Authority to destroy or even subvert those bioweapons. Culprit groups will lack the extreme power of the lone culprits, but can draw on the wider range of capabilities possessed by their members instead. Combined with an appropriate strategy, culprit groups can be startlingly effective. Groups can provide breeder novas with new identities and livelihoods, relocate them to any refuge that can be found on Earth (and a few that are off of it), work to find ways to restore the fertility of sterile novas and/or immunize breeder novas against the Utopian sterility retroviruses, and generally hinder the motherhunters efforts at every turn. Is the culprits effort to aid the breeder novas overt or covert? Depending on the circumstances, the culprit may either conceal or reveal (even if only to the breeder novas hes attempting to help) his effort to aid the breeder novas. Overt efforts have the advantage of letting the affected breeder novas know how and why theyve been helped by the culprit, as well as letting the culprit take the credit for his deed. The downside to being overt is that some breeder novas may resent the culprits help (rightfully or not), and they will know exatly who to blame for the unwanted interference. Also, overt attempts are easier for other novas - like the motherhunters - to thwart. Covert attempts are harder for the motherhunters and other enemies to interfere with, as even those breeder novas aided by the culprits deed probably know about it. The problem with this is that it creates a mystery in the lives of those breeder novas affected by it, and some of them are certainly perceptive and/or intuitive enough to notice it. If an attempt to investigate a culprits covert deed isnt quickly derailed, it can easily expose both the culprit and the breeder novas he helped to the motherhunters. Culprit groups will typically have no choice but to keep their actions covert, as secrecy is absolutely vital to the proper functioning of any conspiracy. Unlike the powerful novas, a culprit group will not be able to afford being overt and daring the motherhunters to interfere with them. What are the consequences - both good and bad - of the culprits deed? In all but a few cases, the culprits deed will have both good and bad consequences. Case in point: In Sophias Scheme, Mme. Rousseaus mass matchmaking effort affected all of the

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breeder novas, including those who would spawn Trog 2ndGens and future criminals. Likewise, her cloaking of breeder novas of whom she approves from the motherhunters and baseline authorities does much to ensure their safety, at the cost of creating a misperception among baselines that all breeder novas can only give birth to the monstrous Trog 2ndGen novas. That mistaken belief will make it very easy for baselines to condemn all novas as monsters; regardless of their deeds or actual status. For the mixed consequences of a culprit groups actions, the Daedelus Leagues relocation of suitable breeder novas to their asteroid colonies is a good example. On the positive side, the Daedelus League has provided what are clearly some of the safest refuges from the motherhunters that exist in 2015. These asteroid colonies are also an important first step for the eventual colonization of suitable extrasolar planets by the Daedelus League, Protectors and whatever other groups of sane novas that may arise in the decades leading to the Aberrant War and the Exodus. In short, these novas have a potential for power and growth of all kinds that is astronomical (pun intended). On the negative side, the Daedelus League and their fellow space colonists have for the most part negated themselves as factors in the ongoing power struggle between the various factions of the Nova Age. Also, there is an element of rejection in the Daedelus Leagues plans to abandon Earth. In addition to the desires to lead more satisfying lives and raise their families without undue interference, they have effectively decided that Terran civilization and baseline humanity are not worth protecting. Why should they risk their lives and those of their children in an effort to defend a society that - for the most part - only wants to use them as disposable beasts of burden? The Daedelus League and their fellow future space colonists have a very bright future ahead of them and their children, but it will come at the cost of some very dark times on Earth.

Family
Susan Bellson
Background: Up until Susan was well into her fifth year of childhood, things were fairly happy for the little girl and her parents in their isolated town in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. That all changed when Susans mother died of pancreatic cancer, and her father became an alcoholic in a misguided effort to cope with his wifes death. While the man was never outright abusive to his daughter, this did make Susans life very unstable while she was growing up. When Susan was 17, her father was driving her home - while drunk - along a winding mountain road at night in a sudden windstorm. As stress built, the two of them started an argument about his drinking and their rotten lives in general. The distraction was enough for their car to go over a cliff. While her father died in the crash, Susan erupted, and was found by a search party a few days later wandering around the countryside in shock. She told the authorities about her fathers drinking, their argument and the storm. Everyone assumed that Susan had been thrown clear of the car just before it had been blown off the road. That was seven years ago. The money from her fathers life insurance policy, along with some modest financial support from her mothers family proved sufficient for Susan to put herself through college. It took Susan a few months after the accident to realize shed erupted as a nova, whereupon she was appalled and quickly decided to walk away from her powers. It wasnt a hard choice. When Susan began to experiment with her powers, she found herself transformed into a living incarnation of the windstorm, an uncontrollably destructive force of nature prone to fits of rage and tormented by memories she didnt want to deal with ever again. It was obvious to Susan that shed eventually wind up leveling buildings and killing people if she tried to live as a nova 24/7. Fortunately, she also knew how to shut down her nova powers and revert back to a near-baseline state. After she learned to control her powers somewhat, Susan dormed down one day and has remained dormant ever since then. Susan considers giving up her powers a fair trade. When dormant, she could live and enjoy life like any other normal person. Maybe she got some small, useful things out of eruption like not getting sick, but the bulk of it was better left alone. Susan doesnt even consider herself a nova anymore. Not only has she never told anyone her secret, its been more than 6 years since she has activated her M-R node, and shes tried very hard not to think about it. Now Susan is happily married to an insurance agent, runs her own bridal shop, and is four months pregnant with her first child. Description: When shes channeling quantum, Susan is a white ghostly figure made up of, and surrounded by, icy winds. Similarly, her personality is also wild and volatile in this form. When dormant, Susan is a very attractive Caucasian blue eyed blonde. Eruption made her healthier and bleached out her hair from her prior dull brown shade, but she had bleached her hair even before so her appearance didnt change much. Roleplaying Hints: Novas? You can honestly say that as far as you know there arent any around here. Most of the novas who erupt in places like your neck of the woods either head out to New York or the West Coast if they dont leave the country entirely, and good for them. You have a good, stable life, and

As could only be expected, breeder novas have proven to be an extremely diverse lot. Aside from their ability to channel quantum energies, the only thing that binds them together is their capability to sire or bear the extremely powerful 2ndGen nova children. Those novas who either seek to aid or harm breeder novas and their children likewise have little in common. The following trios of breeder novas, delivery boys and motherhunters have been designed to show the different paths that novas can follow in this conflict, and are ready to use as Storyteller (and possibly player) characters. As always, Storytellers and players should feel free to alter these characters to better suit their Aberrant chronicles and/or personal tastes if desired, but they can also provide story hooks that are ready-made to be inserted into a breeder nova chronicle.

Family, Friends and Fiends

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thats the important thing. Your husband makes a good living selling insurance, business at your bridal shop has been brisk and the two of you love each other. Other people can have their interesting lives, you are long past the pain of growing up and have no interest in revisiting it. If youre about anything, you are about the joys of stability. You like your life, and beyond accommodating the needs of your upcoming child you see no reason to change. Nature: Caregiver Allegiance: Independent Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 3, Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma 4 Abilities: Academics 1, Arts 4 (wedding design), Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Biz 3, Bureaucracy 1, Diplomacy 2, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 2, Navigation 1, Rapport 4, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Science 1, Stealth 2, Style 4, Subterfuge 1, Survival 1. Backgrounds: Attunement 3, Dormancy 5, Node 4, Resources 3 Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit), Secret (dormant highly tainted nova, 3 point Flaw). Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Albinism, Chilling [The ambient air temperature in Susans vicinity is lowered by 8 degrees Celsius], Energy Emission [cold wind], Hormonal Imbalance [Rage], Permanent Power: Bodymorph) Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Irresistible Force), MegaStamina (Adaptability, Regeneration), Mega-Intelligence (Eidetic Memory) Quantum Powers: Bodymorph: Air (one dot each of Density Decrease, Flight, Force Field and Immolate [cold wind, inflicts bashing damage]), Elemental Anima: Air (Enhance/Diminish, Lethal Blast, Sphere, Storm). Methods and tactics: How about this dress? As befits someone who doesnt think of herself as a nova, Susans methods are fairly baseline and would revolve around common sense. If something unpleasant happens she will flee, call the police, an auto mechanic, her husband, or whoever else is appropriate. It is extremely unlikely in the normal course of things that shed ever let her genie out of its bottle, especially with Susan currently being pregnant. If Susan ever did transform into her nova self, she would be extremely destructive to any buildings and any baseline humans nearby, and her secret would be out. On the other hand, although the lethal force of her other self isnt going to be the first club out of the bag, it is there. Transformed, Susan could attune small objects (a small child perhaps) and flee, flying through any walls or other barriers. She could reduce the amount of air around large areas to nearvacuum and induce suffocation. She could employ the storm technique to bring down buildings and/or hamper people. Although Susans nova self is violent and (by baseline standards) crazy, she isnt actually a different person and her motivations would be the same. It is unlikely anyone could convince Susan to transform into her nova self without physically threatening her family, but if they did, theyd find themselves as the targets for Susans rage and deadly force. Note: Unknown to Susan, her husband David is also a closet breeder nova. For his part, David strongly suspects that Susan has erupted, but has decided to avoid that topic until Susan feels comfortable enough with it to come out to him. Also, Susans unborn child will be born as a True 2ndGen nova, provided that she remains dormant for the remainder of her pregnancy. If she does not, she risks pregnancy complications and having her child become a Trog 2ndGen nova.

Background: Mitch was the illegitimate son of an unwed teen mother, and the other residents of the small Kansas town he grew up in never let him forget it. Mitch was always getting into unearned trouble as a result of his neighbors prejudices, so early on he decided he might as well become a troublemaker in truth and have as much fun as possible. While in high school, Mitch was being busted for underage drinking when he erupted. His new powers let him pass the blood test, and the charges were dropped. It wasnt long before Mitch figured out that he could also beat up jocks and score with their babes. He could even become someone else to pull off some awesome practical jokes like knocking up the daughters of both the local head of the Church of Michael Archangel and the local sheriff. Mitch was never implicated in the following investigations, but he still decided that his hometown was in danger of becoming too hot for his liking. Mitch was on a Greyhound bus headed for New York City a few days later, with his few belongings and a healthy amount of stolen cash. Immediately dismissing Project Utopia as unsuited to his tastes, Mitch instead applied at DeVries New York office. Mitch was signing a contract with some very nice benefits right after the interview. After helping Mitch reinvent himself as Andy Smith, DeVries set him up as a paid escort for baseline ladies around the party circuit. Andy has also been acting as a stud nova in DeVries compensated dating program since its inception. A years worth of working for DeVries hasnt stopped Andy from indulging in his favored pastime of hell-raising, hes only become much more discreet about it. Whether or not Andy will eventually grow up is an open question. When Andy gives thought to the ethics of what he does (which is rare), he thinks that novas like him are responsible for creating the next generation of novas, especially since most other elites are so busy killing off so much of the old one or something like that. He didnt really follow all the logic of the queen bee theory one of the scientists at DeVries went into when Andy joined DeVries compensated dating program. But Andy knows that its his duty to get as many women pregnant as possible. Description: In his default form Andy is a drop-dead gorgeous Caucasian male, noticeably taller than average with sandy-blond hair and hazel eyes. He typically appears to be in his early twenties thanks to his near-constant use of Appearance Alteration, but is actually only 16 years old. Roleplaying Hints: The world is yours now, but the one thing you learned from eruption was that getting caught sucks, so no bragging about it. Subtlety rules. Continue to research your project(s) and be sure to take lots of time off for breaks. Smile mysteriously, give a wink and a nod, and let people see what they want to see in you. Make small talk and make sure their glass is half full. Other novas, especially elites are better left prankless and avoided, not so much because youre afraid

Andy Loverboy Smith (formerly Mitch Falwell)

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of them okay, maybe exactly because you are afraid of them, but also because some of them are better at the social thing than you are and some of them are able to effortlessly see through your attempts to disguise. Nature: Somewhere between Hedonist and Jester Allegiance: DeVries Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 4, Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma 5 Abilities: Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Carousing 3, Disguise 1, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Investigation 5, Legerdemain 1, Linguistics 1 (English native, French), Martial Arts 1, Perform 1, Resistance 3, Seduction 5, Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 3. Backgrounds: Backing (DeVries) 1, Cipher 3, Eufiber 2, Resources 3 Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative), Lusty (1 point Flaw), Secret (teenage serial deadbeat dad and former thief, 3 point Flaw). Quantum 1, Quantum Pool 22, Willpower 6, Taint 0 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), MegaStamina (Health), Mega-Perception (Bloodhound), MegaAppearance (Appearance Alteration, Copycat, Seductive Looks), Mega-Charisma (Seductive) Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ, Intuition . Methods and tactics: Andy is always careful to not wear his own face when pulling off his pranks, especially those that involve seducing women. Combined with his Cipher rating and investigative skills, this makes fingering Andy as the culprit close to impossible. If Andy is caught while pulling a prank and it looks like its getting violent, hell use Quantum Leap and a quick use of Copycat to escape. With the exception of his compensated dates, Andy is also careful to never get any of the women he escorts pregnant, as that would bring the DeVries gravy train to a halt, but other than that the sky is the limit. One of Andys favorite tricks is to date women who are currently fertile. He especially delights in knocking up the daughters and/or wives of the more straight-laced and moralistic members of society, as Andy considers loosening up their world to be great fun. The irony of such upstanding pillars of the community becoming implicated in the resulting scandals is just desserts as far as Andys concerned. Fortunately for Andy, his definition of straight-laced does not include elites or other novas, and he takes considerable pains to avoid targeting them and their relatives with his pranks. Andys methodology is very flexible and he tends to make it up as he goes along. Common techniques he uses are: First scoping out the babes, picking one, figuring out what she wants, then leaving. A little later hell come back wearing a different face, clothes, and mannerisms and make his move. This can range from looking like someone he wants to blame to being a generic other person and leaving no trace, or even looking like someones significant other to put the moves on them. If possible hell wait to make his move until the two of them are alone or alone in a crowd. Andys powers prevent him from getting drunk or drugged. Thus he can engage in drinking contests or just wait for the party to supply alcohol. He can and will use his social skills to encourage drinking, typically more on the part of obstacles to his schemes than on his dates (if his social skills cant get someone to say yes then it must be a seriously messed up situation). As a matter of habit Andy doesnt tend to leave fingerprints whenever he can avoid doing so. If a woman says no and means it, Andy will assume shes an elite and walk away (this was beaten into him one night). Andy tends to function at one of two levels, either determined or opportunistic. If all hes looking to do is score with a hot babe then opportunity rules and there are lots of fish in the ocean well, make that singles bars and college campuses. But a well-crafted prank can take weeks or even months of determined research and preparation before it can be pulled off.

Jean Insecta Whittaker

Background: A year ago, Jean Whittaker was an unattractive young spinster who worked as a registered nurse at Rush-Presbyterian-St Lukes Medical Center in Chicago. During a home invasion of her three-room apartment, Jean was raped by the robber and became pregnant. After enduring the unwanted fetus inside of her for nine months, Jean erupted while she was recovering from her labor. At first eruption was wonderful for Jean, as not only was she no longer fat or ugly, she was now superhumanly attractive and charismatic. She could fly, and command insects with her mind. She also gained a bizarre power to make men pregnant with her children, which she regarded as an embarrassing secret. Flush with a newfound selfconfidence from her eruption, Jean found the strength of will to give her child up for adoption. After mastering her nova capabilities, Jean then tracked down her rapist via her superhuman senses and insect servants, and proceeded to beat him to death with her bare hands. Jean was never even suspected of the murder. Maybe it was residual anger she had from being raped, maybe it was the guilt from killing her rapist and getting away with it, maybe it was the guilt from giving her child up for adoption (on some level this felt like abandoning him), but since her eruption Jean has become absolutely riddled with taint. (In game terms she has been buying things tainted, most recently her fifth dot of quantum). Now she is a very twisted reflection of all of her guilts and wishes. As Insecta she seduces (rapes?) men, leaving them pregnant with her fetus inside of them and then once again she just walks away from her offspring. Shes also rebuilt her psyche into that of a sociopath so that this inhuman behavior feels natural to her now. Having quit her nursing job, Insecta supports herself as a transient by preying (mostly) on Chicagos criminal population. This is more a matter of convenience to her mind than justice or compassion killing and robbing criminals instead of solid citizens attracts less attention from the police. Usually. Description: Before her eruption, Jean Whittaker was a short, unhandsome Caucasian female in her mid-thirties with frizzy brown hair and watery blue eyes, and had become noticeably obese as a result of her pregnancy. Just after her eruption, Jean was an absolutely stunning beauty of supermodel caliber, being slightly taller than average with satiny black hair and sapphire blue eyes. As Insecta, shes gone from model thin to starving model on crack thin and she now smells pleasantly of fresh honey. She dresses surprisingly well when on the hunt

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for either mates or funds. Roleplaying Hints: People? There are no people, just objects. Those things walking around on two legs are either potential mates or (more often) threats to your survival. Try not to talk with them any more than is necessary, insects make more sense. Nature: Survivor Allegiance: Independent Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 4, Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma 5 Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5, Disguise 1, Endurance 3, Intrusion 4, Investigation 3, Martial Arts 2, Medicine 2, Navigation 2, Perform 1, Resistance 3, Seduction 5, Stealth 3, Style 4, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1, Survival 2. Backgrounds: Attunement 2, Cipher 5, Node 2, Resources 2 Merits & Flaws: None. Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Altered Gestation [Insecta must implant her fetus into a large, healthy young man in order for it to develop properly, & cannot bear it to term herself], Estrus [Insecta is driven to mate once a month, with healthy men only], Painfully Thin, Sociopathic, Strange Scent [smells like honey]) Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Precision), MegaDexterity (Catfooted), Mega-Stamina (Accelerated Gestation x2, Fertility, Health, Regeneration), Mega-Perception (Bloodhound, Ultraperipheral Perception), Mega-Wits (Mind Over Matter), Mega-Appearance (Seductive Looks), Mega-Charisma (Seductive) Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery (Weakness: Insects only), Bioluminescence , Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ, Body Modification: Parasitic Gestation (3 nova point level), Claws , Flight , Immobilize (webbing) , Poison (Extra Duration x2: effect lasts for days, Weakness: Only produces a single poison type, reduces victims Strength dice pool), Psychic Shield . Methods and tactics: Once a month Insectas instincts drive her to try and reproduce. So far she has made five attempts, with four of the men dying before her offspring could come to term and the fifth being recovered by the police (he was sterile). Insectas fifth victim is still paralyzed and is currently hospitalized. Insecta has figured out that leaving men in hot attics results in their death after a couple of days, so she wont be doing that anymore. Shes also figured out that her partner needs to be extremely fit and big (in game terms, have the Huge Size Merit) to survive long enough to bring her offspring to term. Now she will look for young, large men (the bigger the better) to serve as her mates. When stalking humans for their cash, Insecta typically disguises her attack as a seduction attempt. Once shes gotten her victim alone, she quickly kills him and helps herself to his cash. If forced into combat, she almost always strikes from ambush to minimize any risks to herself. While Insecta can talk normally she doesnt bother to do so beyond the minimum necessary to make purchases or seduce men, as she now finds communication with humans fairly pointless and confusing. If Insecta senses another nova, or even the police, she will flee. Insecta only goes out at night and is always on the lookout for empty homes that she can squat in and use as love nests for her mates. If she cant find an empty home then she will find an abandoned car or building or somewhere else to lair. For money she sometimes raids criminals after asking her insects to look for drugs, other times she pulls money from the wallets of her victims or money stashed in houses where she lairs. She used to visit soup kitchens but the social interaction was too much for her. When the urge to mate is on her she will fly around and look for suitable mates. Insecta prefers to seduce a chosen mate so that hell accompany her to her lair under his own power. If her seduction attempt fails (or if shes feeling too desperate to bother with seduction), she will simply grab the first suitable mate she finds, poison him so that he cant struggle, and fly off with him. Then she will carry him off to her current lair, mate with him, web him up, and leave to find herself a new lair. As bad as the threat posed by Insecta is now, potentially it could be much worse. At the moment its unclear whether or not her children would inherit her powers, but if she picks up a second level of Fertility her offspring would most likely be Trog 2ndGen novas. If Insecta develops the Adaptability enhancement, she could become almost impossible for a group of novas to deal with. Finally, if Insecta gains further dots of permanent taint, she could become driven to mate on a daily basis, possibly reproducing asexually and making clones of herself.

Friends
David Bellson
Background: David came from a typical boring Colorado upper middle class family composed of a mother, father, three children and a dog. Dad was a high-level manager for a local mining company, while Mom stayed home and raised the kids. As the middle child of a family made up of stable, well-off people his family life was fairly idyllic, even if it was like having Ward & June Cleaver for parents at times. Everyone got along and was reasonably comfortable and happy. David never managed to pin down the exact time of his eruption, as hed never had anything more than minor headaches. Its possible that it took years, since far back as he can remember hed always considered himself lucky. At some point in high school David blossomed in several ways, which included becoming both a talented athlete and a knack for dealing with people really well socially. With his father being a noted former jock and varsity baseball team captain during his own high school days, he wrote off his talent for sports as inherited good genetics at the time. During his senior year of high school, Davids life began to take a turn for the bizarre that he couldnt explain away. The young man started to have dreams that told him things about the world that he couldnt possibly have learned through normal means, although telling the prophetic dreams from his normal ones took him a while. It was at this time that he dreamed about a female classmate of his getting hit by a car, only to transform into an air elemental and start killing people afterwards. David intervened and prevented the accident from taking place, after which he began observing the young woman in question. Soon enough observation became outright attraction, and they started dating. A few years later, David and Susan got married while attending college. By his sophomore year in college the dreams had turned

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into full-blown visions that came to him even during his waking hours, and after a while David figured it out. Somehow, he had erupted as a nova and had gained the ability to see visions of both the past and possible future events. Although he briefly considered telling people about his eruption, it seemed best to keep his ace hidden until he figured out what he could and would do. After a while David decided that hed just stay hidden, as he noticed that all sorts of unpleasant people took notice of novas and made preparations to deal with them. Considering that those preparations ranged from social pressure and blackmail to bringing in other novas and cold-blooded murder, David felt that living openly as a nova wasnt for him. He also realized that his power of pretercognition fell into the category of way too useful for his own good. It didnt take precognition to see that certain people with secrets to hide could assume that he knew too much and would try to do something permanent about the threat he posed to them. Only slightly less distasteful was the prospect of finding himself conscripted by some covert government agency, where hed likely end up living in a gilded cage while using his visions for the good of national security. David decided to keep his nova status secret, and he has never seen a reason to alter this choice. After college David used his powers to become a very well-paid insurance salesman, and nowadays he owns his own insurance company. His pretercognition has allowed him to avoid otherwise-profitable contracts for people and properties that are highly likely to be seriously injured, killed or damaged in the future, as hell see the trouble coming and not take up the contract in the first place. David found that the ability to check the future and make the right choices in a business environment is extremely profitable. His company has been extremely profitable and tends to avoid serious losses in the wake of major traffic accidents and natural disasters, including collateral damage from other novas quantum battles. Luckily for David, as a private company he doesnt need to post his profits and as a small company its easy to avoid publicity. To date David has never told anyone he is a nova, not even his wife Susan. Since he doesnt really look the part and doesnt have any flashy powers, its been fairly easy to stay in the closet so far. Despite the success of his insurance company and his happy marriage to Susan, there are still several things that continue to worry him. After preventing the traffic accident where hed first seen Susan in his dreams, David thought hed prevented her from erupting into the enraged elemental creature hed seen in his vision. His later visions of Susan in her elemental form quickly threw that conclusion into dispute. David now suspects that Susan must have erupted at some point in the past, but he isnt totally sure whether or not shes aware of it. When he looks at those futures where he brings up that subject in private conversation, Susan gets very upset. Davids decided that when Susan is ready she will come to him, as it seems like this is a sore subject that he shouldnt touch. A few years ago he noticed something else very disturbing in his visions. In every future where he and Susan go public as novas, they end up losing their unborn child to a miscarriage and become unable to have any more children. In every future where they go public as fertile breeder novas, an accident of some sort occurs and they (and their child) end up dead. The conclusion that the more vile rumors about some conspiracy being behind novas fertility problems were true was fairly obvious to David so without telling his wife he made plans for them. Plans to flee. Plans to hide. Plans to establish secret caches of money and supplies. Then David figured out that they werent the only closet breeder novas facing this problem. Description: David appears to be a fit and moderately handsome Caucasian man, perhaps in his early thirties. He has brown eyes which are beginning to develop crows feet, and wavy black hair that has noticeably thinned. He typically dresses in whatever business or casual attire is appropriate for the occasion, and wears wire-framed eyeglasses (which he doesnt actually need). Roleplaying Hints: The reason why people say dont shoot the messenger is because the messenger is usually shot. Similarly, telling people you made ten times what they did last year is unlikely to convince them to buy insurance policies from you. You get more money by being humble than by being selfimportant; so never brag, or talk about money, or mention what the future will bring. Be sure to gamble for small stakes and lose on purpose (this can be hard, but do it anyway). Go hunting with the guys and let the other guy get the first shot but be good enough that they respect you. Giving money opens doors, this specifically includes political ones. Be active in church, and be sure to meet lots of people. When making big decisions examine the issue from several viewpoints, specifically Susans and the future. Nature: Architect Allegiance: Aberrants Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 3, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma 4 Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5*, Biz 5*, Bureaucracy 2, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Gambling 1, Interrogation 1, Investigation 5*, Martial Arts 1, Might 1, Navigation 2, Perform 2, Rapport 3, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 5, Survival 2, Tradecraft 3*. Abilities marked with * are heavily dependent on Davids precognitive powers, and if he loses them through being moxed or dorming then he functions at three dots less. Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Susan Bellson, Sophia Rousseau), Cipher 2, Contacts 3 (various business contacts), Dormancy 2, Followers 3 (his office staff), Influence 2, Node 1, Resources 5 Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit). Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 0 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Perception (That Creepy Feeling), Mega-Intelligence (Mental Prodigy: Strategic), MegaManipulation (Persuader), Mega-Charisma (Perfect Guest). Quantum Powers: Intuition , Luck , Premonition (Others) , Pretercognition , Psychic Shield **. **Attempts to read Davids mind tend to result in the gathering of a great deal of mind-numbingly boring accounting information. Methods and tactics: If David senses hes going to run across a nova he makes sure that he doesnt. This limits some of his activities, but the price of exposure as a nova is just too high for him to accept. For example, David could run for public office, but sooner or later this course of action would require him to

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meet other novas publicly, which in turn would result in his being outed as a nova. When dealing with baselines David makes sure to be a good businessman and only sell people what they need. As a soft target with no combat abilities, in theory David should be an ineffectual player in the grand game of power in the Nova Age. In practice David has proven to be a force multiplier in the factional struggles. Davids visions led him to contact the head of the Aberrants, Sophia Rousseau. Now he acts as a private oracle for Mme. Rousseau, and gives her his precognitive advice via a mind link. Its been a profitable relationship for the both of them; as David gets to aid the Aberrants (and receive the same from them, if needed) while staying firmly in the closet. In return, Sophia gets timely forecasts from David on a variety of concerns, letting her see whats coming and make appropriate plans. started going right for her. Now she works for the Aberrants as a delivery girl, operating mostly in the western regions of North America. As far as Sally is concerned, every breeder nova and nova child she saves from the motherhunters is another dollop of revenge against Utopia and Aeon. It remains to be seen when Sally will consider herself and her unborn child to have been avenged. Description: Sally is a fashion model-caliber caucasian woman with straight black hair and cherrywood-brown eyes. As shes a bit shorter than average and looks younger than she really is, she can easily pass herself off as still being in her late teens instead of her true age of 21. Roleplaying Hints: Stay calm. Stay cool. Smile. And be the first one to act, theres no point to having all this speed if you let the other guys go first. You are not over what those jerks at Utopia did to you and your unborn child, but you have come to terms with it. You even know that most people arent ready to accept the truth about Utopia so mostly you dont talk about it. What you do now days is stop others from making your mistakes even if that does sound too much like your damn parents for your comfort. Just be sure to take advantage of your infrequent downtime to go clubbing and pick up a boyfriend now and then. Nature: Rebel Allegiance: Aberrants Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 5, Appearance 5, Manipulation 3, Charisma 4 Abilities: Athletics 5, Awareness 3, Brawl 2, Command 1, Disguise 2, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Firearms 1, Intrusion 2, Linguistics 2 (English native, French, Spanish), Martial Arts 5 (specialty), Medicine 1, Navigation 2, Rapport 2, Resistance 3, Stealth 2, Streetwise 2, Style 1, Survival 2, Tradecraft 1. Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Aberrants), Attunement 5, Backing 2 (Aberrants), Cipher 2, Eufiber 3, Node 2, Resources 2. Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative), Intolerance (of Utopian/Aeon agents & employees, 1 point Flaw). Quantum 2, Quantum Pool 26, Willpower 8, Taint 0 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), MegaDexterity (Rapid Strike), Mega-Stamina (Durability, Regeneration), Mega-Wits (Quickness x3), Mega-Charisma (Seductive). Quantum Powers: Armor , Strobe (Sensory Deprivation Wave), Hypermovement (Running) , Intuition , Psychic Shield . Methods and tactics: Sally generally gets two types of missions. In a grab the goods and run mission, somehow the Aberrants have discovered that some breeder nova couple whove been living in the closet has had (or maybe thats will have) their cover blown. Typically Sally is told to get to a breeder nova couple and to get them (and their kids, if any) out of whatever danger theyre facing before the shit even has time to hit the fan. Sally isnt sure how the Aberrants are getting such timely information, but someone must really on the ball as shes usually the first person on the scene. She will then make first contact with the breeder nova couple and explain to them that the motherhunters and/or Utopians and/or other unsavory types

Sally Rebel Yell Seashore

Background: Sally Seashore was born in the spring of 1994 to a neo-hippie couple in San Francisco, California, but early on in her life they found Jesus and made a radical lifestyle change. Moving out of their apartment in the Haight-Ashbury district, they reinvented themselves as social reactionaries and Christian fundamentalists, and resettled in a small house in the outskirts of Daly City. They didnt change their family name however, which pretty much ensured that Sally would regularly be picked on at school by her peers. This unearned mistreatment caused Sally to develop a rebellious streak at an early age, much to her parents consternation. That consternation became outright dismay as Sally also developed other undesirable traits such as disrespect for authority, rejection of traditional values, and a total unwillingness to accept her divinely ordained role of meek, obedient housewife. Things only became more strained when Sally hit 14 and became a devoted fan of novas (and a would-be nova groupie). Their tolerance for Sallys freethinking ways reached the breaking point in Sallys 16th year, when they discovered that she was three months pregnant. Aghast that their willful daughter had been having sex without their knowledge or permission and had shamed them in front of their congregation, Sallys parents promptly disowned her and kicked her out of the house. It wasnt but 24 hours later that Sally erupted just a few blocks away from Golden Gate Park in respose to a mugging attempt. After beating the hell out of her assailant with her newfound superhuman speed and mastery of the martial arts, the would-be mugger was arrested by a nearby police officer and sent to a hospital for his injuries. In the throes of a typically horrible eruption headache, Sally allowed herself to be whisked away to the San Francisco Rashoud clinic for medical assistance. The whole experience of registration and testing somehow felt a bit off to Sally, but having nowhere else to go, she ignored her uneasiness. Even though Utopias smile-faced authoritarianism quickly began to grate on Sallys nerves, her determination to master her nova capabilities allowed her to hold back her natural recalcitrance while they trained her. It wasnt until Sally suddenly had a miscarriage and found herself sterile that her constant unease blossomed into the certainty that Project Utopia had deliberately killed her unborn child. Sally then left Utopia without a word, and disappeared into the streets of San Francisco. It wasnt soon afterwards that Sally found herself recruited by the Aberrants, and things finally

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are only a step behind her. Hopefully Sally can convince them to flee, allowing her to just pick her charges up and rocket off at superspeed, leaving an empty house with the lights on. Sally is extremely convincing and she will use that to her advantage. She can attune one or more people (depending on their weight) so they will gain immunity to side effects of her speed, and anyone over that weight limit can be carried. Sally will then take her charges to a safehouse where other Aberrants will take over and see to relocating the breeder novas somewhere safer. Sallys other type of mission can be called covert social calls, and involve her making contact with breeder novas or Aberrant sympathizers whose covers have NOT been blown. The objectives for this type of mission vary; Sallys tasks have included talking Aberrant sympathizers into setting up a safehouse and warning breeder nova couples against coming out of the closet. On these missions Sally often chooses to make contact gradually. Sally still looks young enough to pass as an older teenager, and she takes pains to reinforce that image by doing her hair up in a ponytail and keeping up to date with the latest teen fashions and fads. This form of social camouflage allows Sally to walk up to someone quite openly in a large variety of public settings without attracting undue attention. If other (usually hostile) novas show up during a mission, given the choice Sally will simply zoom off and let them eat her dust. If she must engage in combat, Sally prefers to take full advantage of her speed to attack and then move out of range of any counterattacks. Sally also has the ability to give a nerveshattering rebel yell (thus her name) which overloads her opponents nervous systems for a few moments. If she thinks shes dealing with other novas sometimes she will open with her rebel yell as a prelude towards running away. features, with dark eyes and green leaves instead of hair. Her skin has a delicate covering of leafy vines and moss growing from it, which also gives off the pleasant scent of fresh-cut grass. As this vegetation provides her with what she considers adequate coverage (and she rarely associates with baselines), Bounty typically goes without clothing of any sort. Roleplaying Hints: You dont have much interaction with the outside world because the children come first. Your time is mostly spent entertaining and educating them. They are the reason you exist and your lifes calling. The only reason you dont have more is to concentrate on the ones you already have. When you do interact with the outside world you advocate peace among your fellow Terats. Peace would allow the children to grow up and mature and eventually take their place among the most evolved. While your calling has been your source of strength and direction, it has also blinded you to some of the maneuverings of your more ruthless fellow Pantheon members. Nature: Caregiver Allegiance: Teragen Archetype: Portent Stage: Second Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5, Perception 4, Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 2, Charisma 4 Abilities: Academics 1, Animal Training 1, Arts 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 1, Command 1, Diplomacy 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette 1, Interrogation 1, Instruction 3 (Children), Linguistics 4 (Orominga native, Amharic, English, Arabic, French), Medicine 2, Rapport 5, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Stealth 2, Style 1, Survival 1, Seduction 1 Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 3 (Teragen), Contacts 3 (Teragen), Influence 2 (Teragen), Node 3, Resources 3 Merits & Flaws: None. Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 7, Taint 3, Chrysalis 2 (Fur/Feathers [skin covered with a thin layer of leafy vines & moss], Obsession [rearing/protecting her children], Psychic Feedback*, Strange Scent [smells like freshly-cut grass]) *Bounty is so in tune with living creatures that she experiences their pain as her own. In game terms, treat this as the 4 point Passive flaw combined with a pathological aversion to consuming animal-derived foods (requires Willpower roll to overcome). Psychic Feedback is a mediumlevel mental aberration. Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability, Fertility x2, Health), Mega-Perception (Body Awareness, Bloodhound), Mega-Intelligence (Mental Prodigy: Medical), Mega-Charisma (Seductive) Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ, Fertility *, Animal/Plant Mastery (Nature Mastery), Growth ** *Fertility is a Level 2 quantum power derived from the Body Manipulation technique of Biomanipulation, and is limited to briefly increasing a subjects fertility. **Growth is a Level 2 quantum power identical to the Biomanipulation technique of the same name. Methods and tactics: With her powers Bounty could easily feed an army, a pity she doesnt have one. On occasion she has been assigned bodyguards from the various Terat factions or

Background: Bene Manata was married when she was 14. She then proceeded to have miscarriage after miscarriage until her husband divorced her when she was 18. Alone and lacking any direction in her life, Benes curiosity led her to the Ethiopian outback, where Project Utopias Operation Eden was underway. Once there, Bene got caught up in a Utopian terraforming accident that triggered her eruption. She was rescued by nearby Utopian novas, who convinced her to sign on with the Project. With her power over plants Bene was assigned to work closely with Antaeus in his efforts to further Operation Eden. However, shortly after starting work with Antaeus, Bene was exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail and she recognized it for what it was. After very quietly informing Antaeus about the Utopian sterility cocktail, Bene fled from Project Utopia. She then approached Count Orzaiz for advice on joining the Teragen and was promptly recruited by him. From that point on, Bounty became the Teragens de facto fertility goddess and has been accepted (albeit a bit grudgingly) as a member of the Pantheon. Bountys claims to membership in the Pantheon are that she has gone through a Chrysalis and she cares for, and has helped conceive, the Teragens children. One effect of Bountys evolution through Chrysalis has been a tendency to care so deeply for her children that she cant let go of them. It is for this reason Bounty insists all Terat novas who make use of her services must leave the resulting children in her care. Description: Bounty is a striking woman with African

Bene Bounty Manata

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from her charges parents, but she has found that having more than one promotes conflict and causes her to spend too much time mediating disputes. She allows one, and only one, nova guard at her Nursery. Typically this is a parent of one of the children. Other than that she uses her powers to turn nature against the few baselines who wander too close to the Nursery until they leave. , Sterilize (Range) . Methods and tactics: Alice normally uses tactics akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Most of her targets are in jail, under medical restraints in a clinic, or otherwise physically unable to do anything even if they figure out whats happened. She uses a combination of Ms. Nobody and her connections to see people under conditions where they have no effective choice but to take her attack, if they even notice it and if they understand what it means, both of which are extremely rare in any event. For example, a target in the XWF that was identified would receive a visit after the match while they are still unconscious, and if the wrong guy wins, then at least she got to see a fight. Alice has no way to undo the effect of her power, even on herself. Project Proteus is extremely careful about exposing her, and will hire bodyguards and/or transport appropriate for the mission (normally a nova with Attunement 5 and some kind of transport power).

Fiends
Background: On the madness of the first anniversary of NDay, a nova who was celebrating his eruption raped Alice. She found out she was pregnant shortly thereafter. This put her under enormous emotional stress, as she both wanted the baby badly and didnt want it at all. Deeply religious, abortion was something she wanted and needed badly, and she was absolutely opposed to the idea with every fiber of her being. After a few weeks of the anguish of this mental deadlock, Alice erupted. This solved one set of problems, but at a cost. Alice became sterile, had a miscarriage, and gained powers that revolved around sterility. Distraught, she went to Utopia and came to the attention of Director Thetis, who turned Alices physical and mental issues into assets for Proteus. With some psychological counseling, Alice came to the conclusions that her barrenness was Gods will, and that her nova powers were tools with which to perform the service God had commanded from her. Alice now considers her job of covertly sterilizing other novas to be her calling, and sees the phenomenon of nova sterility as Gods divine judgment on novas as a whole. After meeting Mary Armstrong (see below), Alice has found further justification for her beliefs. Description: Alice appears to be an unremarkable woman in her mid-30s. Her race is unclear, and most people will describe her as being the same race as they are. Roleplaying Hints: Remain silent, be humble, let people think you a servant or just no one. Few could understand, fewer still could believe. Your cross is your own to bear, it is your calling, your punishment, and your destiny. Nature: Martyr Allegiance: Project Proteus Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 5, Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Appearance 5 (Face in the crowd), Manipulation 4, Charisma 4 Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 1, Disguise 3, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Intrusion 1, Martial Arts 1, Medicine 1, Meditation 3, Might 1, Perform 1, Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 2, Style 1, Subterfuge 2, Survival 1, Tactics 1 Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 5 (Proteus), Cipher 5, Influence 2, Node 2, Resources 3 Merits & Flaws: Sterility (1 point Flaw). Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 2 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), MegaStamina (Regeneration), Mega-Perception (Body Awareness, Bloodhound), Mega-Appearance (Ms. Nobody). Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ, Intuition , Poison (Projectile) , Psychic Shield

Alice Anguish Nyce

Adam Smith

Background: Once upon a time, Adams life was perfect. He was a police officer in Tampa, and his deeply loved wife Sandra was a secretary at City Hall. On June 6th, 2007, they had just found out that Sandra was pregnant. Two days later, Geryon walked through her office en route to killing the Mayor, and he pushed her through a wall for not getting out of his way fast enough. The Terat killed her like a man would step on a bug. Over the next two years Adam became obsessed with novas, became an alcoholic, got kicked off the police force, joined the Church of Michael Archangel, had a mental breakdown (not necessarily in that order), and finally erupted. Ideally hed have erupted with enough power to kill Geryon, but that didnt happen. Someone who slugs it out with Lotus Infinite and Core on a regular basis would make short work of Adam Smith. But with his enhanced intelligence came the realization that killing Geryon would have been putting an end to the Terats pain, instead of the beginning of his torment. What Adam really wanted to do was to hurt Geryon, as Geryon had hurt him. Studying the reports of Geryons public appearances brought the realization that Geryon had an alternative identity. Perhaps a normal, civilian identity as a baseline with a family. Adam now spends his time hunting down closet novas, Teragen members, and their families. Once hes found them out, Adam delights in dropping dimes on the unfortunates. Turnabout is fair play, after all. Description: Adam appears to be a fairly typical white man in his late 30s with brown hair and eyes. Roleplaying Hints: Follow the money, and when you find someone, one properly placed Op-mail, letter, or more rarely, phone call through your double blinds and history will repeat itself with the correct ending. Its a pity you cant be there to watch, but vengeance is a dish best served cold. Nature: Fanatic Allegiance: Project Proteus Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma 3 Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 5, Biz 5, Brawl 2, Bureaucracy 1, Computer 1, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Interrogation 1, Intimidation 1, Intrusion 1, Investigation 5,

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Linguistics 1 (Spanish), Medicine 1, Melee 2 (nightstick), Might 1, Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 5, Survival 1, Tactics 1 Backgrounds: Backing 2 (Proteus), Cipher 5, Contacts 3 (Church of Michael Archangel, The Directive), Resources 2 Merits & Flaws: Vengeful (2 point Flaw) Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 1 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability), MegaIntelligence (Eidetic Memory, Mental Prodigy: Investigative), Mega-Perception (Electromagnetic Vision, That Creepy Feeling) Quantum Powers: Luck , Pretercognition Methods and tactics: Mostly Adam just follows the money. For days on end he will sit at a computer, run multiple information sifting programs and connect the dots. Its really scary how easily things tend to just fall into place for him, and with his flashes of insight even a perfectly hidden trail can grow hot. will never agree with this idea, but she is utterly convinced that only novas who have developed stable personalities prior to their eruptions can avoid becoming monsters. Description: Mary is an attractive woman of mixed race in her late twenties or early thirties. Roleplaying Hints: Dont bother trying to explain things, unless theyd been through what you had, people just cant understand. The reality is that under the cute faade, child novas are little monsters. If you have to talk keep it small, the weather, sports, whatever. Scout things out for a while from a long distance using animals, wait until people are asleep, then sneak in. Its really for their parents benefit, youre sparing them and the world the hell that the small ones would bring. Nature: Visionary Allegiance: Project Proteus Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4, Perception 5, Intelligence 3, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma 3 Abilities: Animal Training 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 4, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Instruction 1, Intrusion 5, Martial Arts 5, Melee 2, Resistance 3, Ride 2, Subterfuge 3, Stealth 5, Streetwise 1, Style 1 Backgrounds: Attunement 4, Backing 4 (Proteus), Cipher 5,Followers 1 (random animal that shes psychically linked to), Node 2, Resources 4 Merits & Flaws: None. Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 3 Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Crush, Irresistible Force), Mega-Dexterity (Catfooted, Enhanced Movement), MegaStamina (Hardbody, Regeneration), Mega-Perception (Quantum Awareness, That Creepy Feeling) Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery , Armor , Disintegration , Invisibility , Invulnerability: Willpower resisted effects (Broad Category), Psychic Link . Methods and tactics: Formerly a dog trainer, now Mary is an ambush assassin. Normally she will watch and/or scout out a location with a local animal, a bird or rat or something. Then she uses her powers to sneak in, scan the target with Quantum Awareness to make sure they dont have a defense, and then uses the ambush combat maneuver in combination with Disintegration. If possible she will then sneak out, if not possible she will use her Enhanced Movement to run away.

Background: It has been said by some that children are little monsters. Mary has lived through the reality of that saying. Her son Joshua erupted when he was only 18 months old. He acquired superhuman intelligence without any of the ethics that an adult develops later, superhuman charisma and manipulation without the empathy that an adult has, and the ability to force his desires on others through some fairly scary mental powers. Many young children accidentally(?) hurt their pets, so maybe Joshua was a normal child who ignored the consequences of misusing his abilities, or maybe he was always destined to be a monster. In any case, for the next two years Joshuas small world was his playground. It was also a living hell for his parents, as Joshua discovered that he enjoyed the pain of others. Josh had monstrous mental powers of telekinesis and he could also control others and even animals. Worse, he had the social abilities to make others enjoy their torment. Eventually Marys husband Robert killed himself to escape Joshuas torments, and Mary erupted and killed her son. The one idea that this experience really ground into Marys psyche was this: nova children arent human, and they should all be killed ASAP. Mary considers this revelation of hers to be sad and perhaps counterintuitive, but in her mind it is nothing less than the undeniable truth. She also understands the fact that most people

Mary Kinslayer Armstrong

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CREDITS
Authors: Shawn Sprocket Henley Additional Contributors: Daniel Alex Green Buss, Fred Ayre el KaBeer Salem, Michael Bahamut810 Whitaker, Jamais Finbar Jochim, Jack Gideon Summanen , Richard Glitch Drysdale, Jessica JessiLaurn Orsini, Reg Knave Stuart, Michael Nullifier Milberg, Ben phoenix Quigley, Dion Reighnhell Woods, Jacob "t-dev" Donahue Storyteller Game System Designed By: Mark Rein Hagen Aberrant Developed By: Kraig Blackwelder Developers: Shawn Sprocket Henley, Jack Gideon Summanen Editors: Shawn Sprocket Henley Interior Artwork: Rodney Gott (p. 42), Cottus Centimane (pp. 46 & 48) Layout and Typesetting: Jessica JessiLaurn Orsini Special Thanks to: Alchemist and the other fine folks at N!Prime (www.nprime.net) who assisted with this project, as well as all of the folks at the eononline.net forums

http://eononline.net

Various terms used throughout this book are copyright White Wolf Publishing Inc. This publication is purely fan fiction, it is in no way associated with or recognised by White Wolf Publishing Inc. In short, this book is completely unofficial, please take it as that. In order to use the contents of this book you will need to have purchased several of the official books available from White Wolf Publishing at http://www.white-wolf.com or in electronic format from DriveThruRPG.com at http://www.drivethrurpg.com Support Aberrant and the Trinity Universe by either visiting White Wolfs website, DriveThruPRG.coms website, or your local gaming store to purchase the official books. This book in its entirety has been developed to be freely available to fans of White Wolfs Trinity Universe the most recent copy of this book can be downloaded for free from EON at http://eononline.net The mention of or reference to any company or product in these pages is not a challenge to the trademark or copyright concerned. This book uses science fiction for settings, characters and themes. All science fiction and geopolitical scenarios are fiction and intended for entertainment purposes only. Reader discretion is advised.

Legal Notice

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A BREED APART
A NEW RACE
When novas came on the public scene in 1998, they were nothing short of amazing. Even so, they were but a taste of things to come. Despite the best efforts of Project Proteus and with secretive help by the Teragen the new marvels would bring forth a second generationand those children would prove to be a purer breed.

FOR A NEW AGE


Aberrant: A Breed Apart explores the future of novakind, a future that is nearer than some may think. The ever-thorny issue of mixed heritage is addressed. The sterilization mickey is examined, as are ways in which it may be bypassed. Groups and individuals that are driven to find and either aid or stop nova parents are detailed. And new rules are presented for the so-called 2ndGen novas who can follow very different paths, depending upon how their parents addressed the matter of Taint.