November 18, 2013

From the Zones -- Brain Jelly


An entry for +John Till's From the Zones community project!

Zones are places where the laws of reality roll up like hot linoleum. One of the stranger anomalies are what has come to be known as 'brain jelly.' No physical vector has been been found but the Institutes postulate that it is the side effect of an unknown form of radiation. It has no dramatic effect, stalkers who find themselves in an area of brain jelly rarely discover so until it is far too late. The process begins slowly, a stalker might notice a blue stain on ground beside him, or a pool of azure liquid, but more likely nothing. His mind will begin to spin. This first seems natural, the highly tuned senses stalkers need to survive are especially sensitive today, but the stalker's thoughts come faster and faster. This is the first and final warning that he is in incredible danger. If he can get away from the area then he might survive. A moment later and a blue liquid will begin to slowly sweat from his head. This goes unnoticed until it begins to fill his mask or goggles, but by then it is too late. The stalker panics, blue sweat becomes rivulets as his mind races. It quickly coalesces into a jelly. This jelly is incredibly slippery, as it covers the stalker's body he becomes helpless. This slippery state is what kills most stalkers, they fall off ledges or into other anomalies, but those who rest gently have it worst, they're slowly entombed by brain jelly, suffocated by their own thoughts. By the next morning their bodies are gone, leaving only a blue stain where they lay.

I once heard of a team of scientists who ran afoul of brain jelly, it devoured even faster them as they tried to think up an escape from the clammy blue surrounding them. Only a single half-witted bodyguard made it out alive.

A PC can safely stay in an area affected by Brain Jelly up to (20-Intelligence) rounds. After that the brain jelly will begin to form. Save vs Petrify or the PC will be trapped in the blue gel and permanently lost.

12 comments:

  1. If Stalkers ever figure out how to bottle this and bring it out of the Zone, a lot of people are going to take an interest in weaponzining it!

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    Replies
    1. Perfect little planet killer weapon they'd have.

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    2. Now that you mention it, that is a rather chilling idea.

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    3. My next question was always "What does a world buried under a mile of solid thought look like, and how does does anyone left survive?"

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    4. There's a starting point for a setting, with potentially very strange ecologies, and maybe outside influences limited to certain types. Existence could be based on avoiding, shielding or adapting thought. Or possibly only certain kinds of thought, those of more familiar organic structures say. Is there an equivalent for inorganic processors for example, or mind structures we can't yet imagine?

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    5. Exactly! I've always pictured weird Zen hunter gatherers tunneling through the murk for relics of the past and trying to avoid predatory engrams. Monsters from the Id, if you will.

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  2. This is really brilliant setting extrapolation. Shades of Solaris and other things, such as Dick's "A Maze of Death."

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    Replies
    1. I've got several design iterations cluttering up my Google drive that explore the setting, but it's generally turned out too weird to be playable. As thought (lol ugh) experiments its lots of fun, but it's yet to become usable.

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