A BREED APART
A New Race for a New Age.
They were all standing on a massive rock the size of a city Peter nodded. “Also, there is nothing prohibitively unusual
bus, which jutted up out of the rapidly moving river beneath about a son erupting to known baseline parents, such as your
them. A few hundred yards downstream, the roar of the mother and myself.” He ruffled his wings. “Lana’s identity and
waterfall could be heard. mine are secure.”
Lana Macon smiled serenely out at the rain forest beyond, Nick wheeled neatly to his feet. He walked over to Peter
and placed a hand on her husband’s bare shoulder. Peter’s dark, and hugged him, who returned the gesture with strong arms that
mocha skin felt hot and damp in the jungle air, but it was a could bend lead pipe. “Thanks, Dad.”
pleasant texture, and she traced a gentle pattern up his humerus. Annie came up behind Nick and brushed something off his
As her brown fingers traced the intricate feathering of his giant shoulder. “Now, when you take him to the Facility, be sure you
hawk wing, Peter looked up at her, and the sun seemed to shine go to Ann Arbor, not Detroit. I have friends at the one in Ann
brighter on their little group. Lana heard the hiss of Annie’s Arbor, and... oh, what?” Nick and Lana had exchanged a glance.
portal closing behind them. “I think we might not be going with the whole Rashoud
“Look at that, Lana,” Annie said. “Your son just smiled at Facility route, Annie.”
me, even though he’s wearing sunglasses! I’ve never seen you “Not that we don’t trust the Project, you understand…”
smile with shades on, Nick kiddo, not once since I’ve known “Oh, stop,” said Annie. “It’s fine! It’s a perfectly
you.” Annie “Trade Winds” Horne, the legendary legitimate decision. Christ, I used to work for them; I’m not their
transportation Elite, grinned happily and mussed Nick’s hair. roving sales-nova. Peter, I’m sure you’ll be a fine teacher.”
Nick broke into a wry grin as Lana turned to look, and Lana nodded carefully, and was silent for a moment before
awkwardly returned Annie’s hug from his flank. To his mother, adding, “It’s not about Corbin and Rousseau.”
he said, “She’s like a giant, white puppy.” “It’s okay if it is. I used to be friends with Rousseau.”
“Hey!” Annie bopped him gently on the back of the head. Lana nodded again. Peter coughed.
Lana shrugged. “I’m sorry, dear, it’s true. You’re white as “Look, well, I’d better be going. I’ll be back in half an
can be.” She sniffled dramatically. “I... didn’t know how to tell hour.” Annie stood on tiptoes to kiss Nick on the forehead.
you before.” “You practice your terminal velocity falls now, and enjoy your
Annie laughed. “Hey, in this kind of sun, white is by far the picnic.” A jet-black disc opened in the air, and Annie Horne
best color scheme I can think of.” stepped into it and was gone.
Lana smiled. For an affluent, 21st century Southern belle, Lana smiled. “See you, Annie.”
Annie was remarkably unselfconscious about her race. Possibly Peter wheeled on his son, wings unfolding to their full size.
because she had made her fortune on her own as Trade Winds, “Going down the waterfall first was a good idea. Best to get
inheriting next to nothing from her happy Alabama home. your head wrapped around the whole ‘falling’ idea first before
Meanwhile, Nick had lay face-down on the hot rock, and you try it on pavement.”
started to do one-armed push-ups, smoothly switching at every Nick beamed. “I’m ready, Dad.”
peak from one arm to the other. Annie walked over and took a Lana sat down on the warm rock and hugged her knees.
seat on his back as it rapidly rose and fell. Nick’s pace did not “Peter, are you sure this is safe?”
alter in the slightest; it just rhythmically pumped the lady Elite Peter shrugged. Nick exploded.
up and down like a bourgeois piston. “Mom! This is how you erupted for real, and you already
“Excited for your upcoming eruption, Nick?” said you know I’m stronger! How could it not be safe?”
Nick just grinned wider at the rock. “Up, Aunt Annie.” “Every nova is different! Nicky… I just worry about you.”
Annie obligingly hopped to her feet, and Nick swung his “Dad, let’s go.”
legs up in the air and began a set of one-arm-stand pushups, Peter nodded. He squeezed his wife’s hand, and Nick
switching fluidly from hand to hand like before. “I’m just happy embraced his mother with one arm. Then the hawk-winged
Mom and Dad are letting me have an ‘eruption’ for the public to nova’s big hands slipped under his son’s armpits, and powerful
see at all.” wing beats lifted them up over the water.
Lana smiled at her son. Peter did not smile, but he stood up Lana looked down at the sun’s reflection glittering across
behind her and faced Nick with his arm around Lana, brightly the face of the river. She looked up just in time to see her
colored hawk wings folded neatly behind him. He looked proud, husband’s left wing explode in a flurry of feathers and spattering
and happy. blood. Before Lana’s eyes, her husband and son lost their
“Your father and I have both had our heyday, Nicky; we balance, and plummeted toward the water.
don’t mind being ‘retired’ as novas. But your nova powers She was flying through the air before Peter’s scream left
already put ours to shame, and you’ve got your whole life in his throat. Lana’s slight form slammed into the two most
front of you. We don’t want you to spend it undercover.”
SPECIAL DELIVERY 1
important men in her life, driving their fall trajectory off the into the lake, with him in it.” Nick glanced up at the truck’s cab.
edge of the waterfall. “And then I picked up the front of his car to show I meant it… I
* * * hope I didn’t scare him too bad.”
“Mom!” Lana collapsed to the bed of the truck, near exhaustion and
She regained consciousness, soaking wet and smelling sick with relief over Peter’s fate.
algae. She picked her head up and looked around, and saw that Nick put his arm around her, and rested his head on his
the jungle scenery was moving. She was in the bed of a Toyota shoulder and closed his eyes. He opened them seconds later to
pickup truck, which was hurtling down a dirt road, with Nick and get a last look at the waterfall, as it dropped out of view, and
an unconscious, bleeding Peter lying on his stomach, wings sighed his own relief. “I wonder who was back there? Why
folded awkwardly over him. would anyone shoot at us, and how did they know where to find
“Mom, is Dad going to be okay?” us?”
Lana fell onto her husband and turned him onto his side, * * *
fumbling at his neck. She placed her fingers there for a moment, “Motherhunter,” Annie snarled.
then heaved a sigh. With the Macons gone, the jungle had reverted to its usual
“He’s got a pulse…” quiet, with a more or less constant fwoosh from the river
She grabbed onto the forewing and pulled it up to expose punctuated by the cries of territorial birds of paradise. The
the bullet hole behind the dark feathers. sniper, at least, wasn’t saying anything – Annie wasn’t sure if
“I think he’ll live… Sniper’s bullets are high-penetration, the massive, spherical “force blob” enveloping him actually
but it just blew through the wing at a single point and didn’t tear suppressed speech, or if the would-be assassin was just too
up much of the surrounding tissue.” Lana wiped her eyes, teary terrified to talk. Oh, but he would talk. Annie smiled widely at
from the wind and stress, and looked up at Nick. “Where did the surrounding jungle, then made a gesture, and a bright green
this truck and driver come from?” circular gate opened up in the air below them, with only Annie’s
“Oh… Well, I pulled you and Dad out of the lake and carried “Trade Winds” powers holding them suspended in the jungle air.
you, and once I got us to the dirt road, I waved down the first “Let’s go see Mme. Rousseau,” Annie said. The dark man
car I saw and told him if he didn’t give us a ride, I’d throw his car in her bubble said nothing..
2 SPECIAL DELIVERY
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[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
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 you’ll 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 Aeon’s plans for humanity’s 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? Wouldn’t 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 we’re 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 Utopia’s 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 don’t 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.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Utopia Case-file #: T2M-121808-JJL2251
Author: Justin J. Laragione
Author’s Title: Director, Project Utopia
Subject: “Breeder” novas
Urgency Level: Urgent
Minimum Security Rating: Beta
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 Utopia’s 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
they’ve been blessed with to humanity’s 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 newly-
erupted 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
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 don’t need someone with Pax’s 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.
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.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[Begin Proteus Communiqué double-encrypted with Navajo Daedelus 3; dated 12/18/08]
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 we’re 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. Stadler’s 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.
To: All Medical Facilities
From: Internal Affairs, Triton
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.
[SECURITY CODE Omicron-Epsilon-859-3]
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 case-
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Re: Good News
You know how we’ve talked about that “what if”? About what it would be like if we were normal people and could have what
We can stop talking. We’re going to have a baby. :-)
Come home, hon; we’ve got a lot of planning to do!
From Parenting World Magazine
● PW: Correct me if I’m wrong, but do you mean that your
daughter was born with these spots? And does that mean what I
think it means?
The Ingersols ● Gregory: Yes; Meghan was born a nova.
● PW: Did that come with any complications? And do you
Mom, Dad and toddler daughter, living in the suburbs of know why she was a…well, I suppose you would call it a pre-natal
Denver. Dad works for a local pharmaceutical company, Mom eruption?
does free-lance writing from home, and daughter has found her ● Melissa: Actually, it probably saved her life. I have an rh-
voice as she has entered the “terrible twos”. Sounds like your negative bloodtype, and Gregory is rh-positive, as is Meghan.
typical American family, right? Because my immune system is as strong as it is, the normal pre-
Well, the Ingersols couldn’t be less typical if they tried. Dad natal treatment for the mismatch was not very effective; my
is Gregory “Microbe” Ingersol, the man who has created six antibodies were attacking her blood cells faster than the treatments
different cancer vaccines from scratch in the past six years, and is could counteract. It was actually touch and go for a while…and
the founder of Ingersol Biosolutions. Mom is Melissa “Cheetah” then, her blood count shot well past the norm and up into nova
Hatch-Ingersol, renown wildlife biologist and author of more than territory. We think she erupted in an effort to resist my antibodies,
40 books on the big cats of the world. And daughter Meghan is – and it certainly worked.
at two years of age – not only a latent, but a full-fledged nova. ● PW: That’s amazing. And wonderful, I might add!
We are thrilled to be able to interview this remarkable family. ● Gregory: It was a life-saver, literally.
● PW: Thank you for meeting with us today, Mr. and Mrs. ● PW: So, Meghan is probably the picture of health then, yes?
Ingersol. ● Gregory: She hasn’t been sick a day in her life. And from
● Gregory Ingersol: Please, call me Gregory. what I can tell, she never will be; it looks like the immunity that
● Melissa Hatch-Ingersol: And call me Melissa. It’s no both her mother and I have passed along to her in full.
trouble; we’re happy to be here. ● PW: No worries about colds and chicken pox then. I’m
● PW: Gregory, Melissa, I’m sure that you both are aware of sure, though, that Meghan presents different sort of challenges…
just how rare your situation is, even 13 years after N-Day. And as ● Melissa: Oh, you can say that again. She goes through food
that topic has been discussed extensively in recent years elsewhere, like any other nova: lots of it, with gusto. There were times where
I’d like skip past it and talk about your family. I honestly wondered if I was going to have to nurse her 24/7 that
● Gregory: That’s fine. first year.
● PW: Now, I see that your daughter, Meghan, seems to have ● PW: Wow! She probably has quite the diaper bill, too.
your eyes, Gregory…and if you don’t mind me saying so, your ● Melissa: Had one, yes. The rate she went through diapers
spots, Melissa. Is this…normal with nova children? was unreal, but she’s already moved out of them.
● Melissa: Well, it’s hard to say what really is and is not Developmentally, Meghan’s well ahead of the curve. She’s
normal when you are talking about second-generation novas. already reading at a 5th-grade level.
There’s a vanishingly small sample from which to draw ● PW: At two years old? That’s remarkable!
conclusions. That said, there have been previous examples of ● Gregory: Unfortunately, the tantrums are pretty remarkable,
inherited patternings and colorations and such. So it wasn’t a too. She’s still only two emotionally… and a two-year old with a
complete surprise when Meghan showed up with my cheetah spots. 10-year old’s vocabulary, well, it gets a bit rough.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQUÉ]
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
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.
[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQUÉ]
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
Proposed resolution 3 is approved. Commence conclusion of operation.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
General News Release
[Excerpt taken from the Denver Post, March 23, 2011]
Celebrated Nova Family Killed in Automobile Accident
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 Ingersol’s
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 Ingersol’s 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….
[BEGIN PROTEUS COMMUNIQUÉ]
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
Operation completed successfully. Awaiting new assignment.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[Encrypted OpNet Email]
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 didn’t 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. That’s when Project Utopia’s 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 PU’s Tech police showed up, we could’ve 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 they’re so
desperate to hide, the results could be explosive.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Teragen OpNet Transcript
[Excerpt from a private OpNet chat dated 4/23/2006]
Open Secure Channel (Superuser: Synapse)
Geryon: OK, I’m here. What all is this BIG project you’ve 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 Utopia’s 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.
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
Geryon: He’s really OK with future members of the One Race being raised by baselines?
Synapse: Guess so. Besides, outside of Bounty’s 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 Bounty’s help, and there aren’t many novas who can do that. We’ve tried putting sperm
samples from Terat guys that she’d just used her power on into cryogenic storage, but it didn’t help any. The effect of Bounty’s
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 can’t.
Orzaiz: All those nights drinking in public, somewhere down the line they managed to get to me. I’m sterile.
Geryon: Ah, that bites man. I’m sorry.
Geryon: But what you’re asking me to do, it’s a big deal. I’d be having kids out there that I’d 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, I’m not saying yes, just yet. How, exactly, would this work?.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Encrypted OpNet Message
I’m 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 subject’s existing gametes, while the second
targets gamete-producing structures in the subject’s gonads. In both cases, infection results in the nova’s gametes being genetically
damaged to the point of being precancerous. As a result, the subject’s existing gametes and any that may be produced by the
subject’s gonads in the future are summarily dispatched by the subject’s 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 Utopia’s 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 Utopia’s 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
PS: Please pass along our appreciation to Synapse for changing the tone of our false addresses.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Maer Enclave Personal Log Excerpts
[Excerpted from personal log of Trang “Doctor Anh Sáng 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 Sáng 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. Let’s just see if he’s ‘bright’ enough to figure it out. Now Permafrost is impressive, she’s 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 Bounty’s techniques. I think Thermite is trying to steal my
research, he came over to my lab, again, and “made eyes” at me. Like I’m supposed to not know that he prefers men? Worse, he
didn’t correct me when I deliberately made a few errors on some of my blackboard calculations. Either he wasn’t 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
Sáng Sao’s 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 Sáng Sao would deliberately sabotage his work, and of course Anh Sáng Sao helped the
issue by saying that he couldn’t 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 Sáng Sao left him. Hopefully this will refocus his mind on his work.
* * *
[Excerpted from personal log of Ethan “Platypus” Butler]
Anh Sáng Sao could just make me scream. He tries to hide his technical inferiority by stealing ideas from his betters. I found
evidence that he’d been in my lab, which he denied. Worse, his research used the same stand in variables I did on THREE separate
points. The ass didn’t even bother to change them for the presentation!!! No way does it end here.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
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 I’ve 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 I’ve 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. It’s 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 recruiter’s
death just minutes before the family he’d uncovered vanished. The old cliché 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. Utopia’s 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 it’s only a matter of
time. One big surprise was confirmed evidence of a breeder nova couple from Saskatchewan, Canada being recruited by DeVries.
They’ve kept this success very quiet, and have already fended off one attempt (by a probable Utopian spy) to uncover the family’s
new location. Most of the minor factions don’t 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 they’d mistaken for breeder novas.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
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]
Let 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, I’d like to clue you in on a very serious problem that’s 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 human’s 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 isn’t unbalancing to the environment because the vast
majority of these offspring don’t survive, but then they also aren’t 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. It’s also
possible that the reproductive cycle of such a nova will accelerate to match the cycles of those creatures. Finally, it’s also possible
that any offspring produced by that nova will be just like their tainted parent.
That’s the bad news. The good news is this level of extreme aberration isn’t the sort of thing that just appears full blown in a
tainted nova’s 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 nova’s
quantum-powered r-type reproductive strategy is simple and brutal, but I’m sure you can do it yourself. I’m also sure I won’t need to
spell out and the implications for you and the world, either.
Good night. Sleep tight.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
AOR: Breeder Novas
DIRECTIVE FILE: AH-91
REL: Cell leaders and analysts.
Thanks to the media, I’m 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 who’ve 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 that’s only if we don’t 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, they’ll 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 hadn’t 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
[Begin Proteus Communiqué double-encrypted with Navajo Daedelus 3; dated 09/13/09]
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 Aeon’s vision of a
better future for humanity. One way or another, they must be dealt with.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Encoded OpNet Message
To: Sophia Rousseau
Subject: The Motherhunters
I wish I could’ve 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 I’ve gathered, what we didn’t 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. I’ve labeled these operatives “motherhunters”, after the agents in the “Gil the ARM” stories of the
American science fiction author Larry Niven. If you’ve read those stories, you’ll see that the label is chillingly appropriate. If the Aeon
Society has knowingly given their approval for these operations, I can only think that they’ve 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 didn’t bother with their
Rashoud clinic files. We must simply assume that any Utopian nova field agent could be a motherhunter. They’ve 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
Utopia’s Nova Medicine section, but I fear that is where they’ll vanish, never to be heard from again.
What really got to me were the non-Utopian novas that’ve 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 who’ll 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 they’ll have no qualms about murdering innocents or anyone who gets in their way.
I’m sure that you and the others are already planning to thwart these despicable plots, and that the intelligence I’ve relayed to
you will be of great help in your doing so. That said, I’m 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 I’ve nearly hit mine.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
Encoded OpNet Message
From: Sophia Rousseau
Subject: Exfiltration & Replacement
I hope the holiday season has found you well, as I’ve 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
won’t 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 Utopia’s nastier plans, but has
also managed to recruit Athena Boyd for the Aberrants. I’ll leave the details up to you, but be sure to perform the exfiltration ASAP.
The stress is finally getting to him, and it won’t 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 Corkscrew’s position at Utopia as Athena Boyd’s assistant. Ms.
Boyd is a valuable asset, and I don’t want to see her commit suicide by attempting to take on Proteus all by herself.
[Partial Transcript: Triumvirate Meeting, 12/26/08]
Sophia Rousseau: Season’s greetings to you both, André , Doctor. Thank you for coming here on such short notice. This room is
secure, so speak freely.
André Corbin: Glad to see ye too, Sophia. I’d like to wish ye ‘happy holidays’, but I’ve a hunch that it wouldnae fit the tone of the
news ye’ve 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. Utopia’s
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. I’ve come
up with a plan to thwart Aeon on this matter, but I’ll 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 Doc’s friends will be settin’ up the families we’ve rescued in new an’ safer locations?
Rousseau: There will be some overlap given the varying capabilities of our people, but that’s 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. It’s not like the breeder novas we’ll be rescuing and resettling will want to draw any more possibly hostile attention to
themselves. But since we’ve 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 shouldn’t.
Dr. Worm: Not bad, I don’t have a problem with it. But we will have a bigger problem to deal with here. I can’t see the Teragen
letting Aeon’s 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 Teragen’s 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: It’s settled, then? Right, now let’s see who we’ve got that’s up fer this kind of work...
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
FROM: Renaissance Man
As requested, I’ve analyzed the various intelligence reports you sent to me and have reached a conclusion. Despite Proteus’
public exposure as a result of André Corbin’s 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 Quince’s obtaining the briefing memos for the
Utopian motherhunter teams, it’s clear that Proteus still retains considerable influence within Project Utopia’s 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: Shunt’s accounts of unidentified individuals engaging in certain criminal activities
would ordinarily count for little, except that he’s 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: Folsom’s 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 Utopia’s Nova Medicine
section. Folsom’s 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 contractor’s true nature, they had also
been told that the mother of the breeder nova family they’d 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.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
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.
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 Toni’s 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 newborn’s 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.
Doctor Edward Hiltonson
Director of Genetic Studies,
DeVries Medical, Pretoria, South Africa
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[From a DeVries internal memo dated 8/26/09]
From: Anna DeVries
To: Matthew Tsvangirai
Re: Blood Tests
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.
[From a DeVries internal memo dated 10/20/09]
To: Matthew Tsvangirai
Re: Blood Tests
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.
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
[From a DeVries internal memo dated 4/20/13]
From: Laurel Devereaux
To: Anna DeVries
Re: Applicant Group Delta Victor 8
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
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 Bonita’s 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: Bonita’s 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 doesn’t mind paparazzi.
Winiwini “Win” Camisha
Marital Status: Divorced
Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (communications technician).
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 - it’s likely her husband was sterile but without tests we’ll never be sure). Even worse, Win’s family was too traditional to allow
her to put the Western-style education they’d 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
Marital Status: Widowed
Occupation: Employee of DVNTS medical staff (registered nurse and paramedic).
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
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
Sarah’s 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
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (OpNet R&D), former Olympic athlete (track & field).
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 Master’s 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 Japan’s
premier nova websites. Kimiyo’s 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, Kimiyo’s
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 Kimiyo’s 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, she’s 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
Kimiyo’s child to be adopted by a suitable DeVries employee, in case that Kimiyo winds up killing herself in an attempt to erupt.
Marital Status: Widowed
Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (security consultant), former police officer (New York City PD)
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 hasn’t gotten around to curing. Toni’s 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
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
DeVries Memorandum (Continued)
sibling’s 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
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. That’s when you stepped in as her advocate, and
personally recruited her for DeVries. She’s 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. Elly’s 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 sister’s infertility.
Recommendation: Good candidate for a compensated date. In terms of ability, attitude and loyalty to DeVries, she’s nearly ideal.
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Lawyer, law firm of Brown & Cohen (New York City)
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 that’s 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 she’s 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 she’s almost as
good a lawyer as our own Mr. Wether.
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Singer / Actress managed by DeVries
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 mother’s death later on, Nitara became a substitute mother for her younger brother and sister. She was
A B E R R A N T
A BREED APART
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
Chou Ling-yu, M.D.
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Employee of DVNTS Agency (Medical Doctor / Researcher)
Ethnicity: Han Chinese
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 she’s finally gotten her timing right, and has applied. On the face of it, Ling-yu would
be an excellent choice for a compensated date; she’s 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 she’s tested positive for carrying the M-R gene sequence. That
said, her bedside manner (pun intended) could use some work. Ling-yu’s 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
Carol Aquash, CPA
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Employee of DeVries Agency (CPA)
Ethnicity: Native American (Mi’kmaq)
Remarks: A certified public accountant, Carol Aquash left the Mi’kmaq 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 doesn’t 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. I’d have rated her as “excellent” if it weren’t 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.
A BREED APART
exploitation or assassination by the various factions of the Nova
Perilous Beginnings Age. Faced with these threats, will the nova families try to make
peace with a society that too often only seeks to either exploit
According to some thinkers, the reproductive drive or kill them? Will they lash out against baseline humanity in
underpins all of human society. From that somewhat reductionist genocidal warfare? Or will they abandon Earth for new homes
viewpoint, the myriad aspects of human life – agriculture, and lives out among the stars, leaving baseline humanity and
commerce, science, entertainment, et al. – can be boiled down Terran “civilization” to their fate?
into ways to either attract potential mates or care for the young. With all of these questions, only one thing remains certain.
In a very real sense, a human’s spouse and children are his or her Conflict is at hand.
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 Lexicon
when a human lacks either spouse or children, and appears to Applegate: Slang term for novas who live incognito in Nova
have less of a stake in society? Surprisingly, just having one of Age society by passing themselves off as baselines, many of which
these blessings can often make up for not having the other. are also “breeder” novas. This is because many breeder novas
Happy, committed couples that are childless can be found almost have decided to live undercover and raise families free from the
everywhere humans live. Likewise, if some people didn’t find interference of the various factions, and because many novas who
parenthood deeply fulfilling, there wouldn’t be single and erupted and immediately went undercover avoided being sterilized
widowed parents out there raising their children (either their in the first place.
own or adopted) as best they can. But still, that leaves those Breeder: Somewhat derogatory (and occasionally envious)
who are either unwilling or unable to both attract a long-term slang term for both fertile baselines and fertile novas that
mate and have children, even through indirect methods such as developed after the reality of widespread infertility among novas
adoption. For these people, one of the activities of human life became public knowledge in the nova community.
(such as religion) instead becomes a way to sublimate the Delivery Boy/Girl: Slang term for operatives who “deliver”
reproductive drive. Sometimes that proves sufficient to fill the (read: rescue) breeder novas and their offspring from the threats
void caused by not having a family of their own, and they can posed by motherhunters and other hostile parties.
benefit society (and vice versa). Sometimes it doesn’t, resulting Harpy: Derogatory slang term for sterile novas of either
in a tendency for these people to endanger themselves and gender who have a hatred of breeder novas and their offspring,
others, if not society as a whole. which often extends to baseline parents and children as well.
In the world of Aberrant, novas would seem to both have Jaffa: Self-referential slang term used by sterile novas of
their cake and eat it. They’re often wealthy, glamorous, and are both genders. Originally British slang for infertile men, derived
eagerly sought after by marriage-minded suitors. As celebrities from the “Jaffa” variety of seedless orange.
they’re globally famous, and their scientific achievements Mare: Short for “brood mare”; derogatory slang term for a
advance baseline society by leaps and bounds. Upon closer fertile female nova.
inspection, the perks of being a nova tend to turn out hollow in Motherhunter: Derogatory slang term for operatives who
the long run. Fame and glamour are fleeting, wealth is too easily track down breeder novas and their offspring (if any), typically
lost, and yesterday’s hot prospect for marriage becomes today’s with sinister intent.
has-been. Scientific achievements are relegated to history as 2ndGen: Slang term for the second generation novas, the
new discoveries come to light, and the human need to tear down offspring of two nova parents. These novas are divided into three
their celebrities makes no exception for novas. That wouldn’t be separate clades (Trues, Terats and Trogs), depending on how their
so bad if the pressures of nova life and the mystery of nova parents dealt with Taint.
sterility didn’t make successful long-term relationships and Stud: Somewhat derogatory, occasionally complimentary
parenthood pipe dreams for most novas. Combine the sheer slang term for a fertile male nova.
power of novas with the lack of any real stake in human society, Terat (second definition): Slang term for second generation
and the conditions for potential worldwide catastrophe are met. novas born to the Teragen.
And yet, despite the odds against them, some novas have Trog: Slang term for second generation novas born to
managed to bear and raise children of their own. These new highly-Tainted nova parents.
families face an entirely new level of danger, as the “second True: Slang term for second generation novas born to nova
generation” novas have the potential for power that will dwarf parents with little or no Taint.
their parents’, which in turn makes them targets for either
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 25
will not be able to reproduce at all without the aid of either
Disclaimer specialized medical assistance (and a surrogate mother, in some
cases) or certain quantum abilities.
Much of the material presented in this sourcebook deals with
mature issues, and may not be suitable for some Aberrant players. With just the normal nova metabolism, a nova’s fertility
As such, this material is entirely optional. Storytellers are rating is 5% greater than that of a healthy baseline human with
encouraged to discuss the subjects covered in this sourcebook the same base Stamina rating. Possessing Mega-Stamina will
with their players before introducing them into their Aberrant increase a nova’s fertility rating by an additional 5% per dot;
chronicles. If a player has personal issues with these matters, then with a nova’s base fertility rating being increased by 10% at
show that player some respect and don’t press his or her buttons Mega-Stamina 1, 15% at Mega-Stamina 2, and so on. Also, fertile
through his or her character. Aberrant is a game, and games are novas have a certain advantage where their gametes are
meant to be fun. 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
Nova Reproduction either freebie or nova points) for two reasons. First off, any
novas who are dosed with adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine at a
While a great many novas do suffer from a currently Rashoud clinic or by a Utopian Intervention Team are also
inexplicable form of sterility in 2015, that isn’t true for all novas. exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail. This makes it easy to
And like other humans, these fertile novas will eventually turn sterilize novas who either seek training at a Rashoud clinic or
their thoughts toward settling down and starting families. For have only just erupted and aren’t in a position to defend
those Aberrant chronicles where these matters will be explored, themselves, assuming that said novas lack certain Mega-Stamina
we’ve provided new rules to cover this essentially human enhancements. Second, fertile novas who are publicly known to
phenomenon. have either become pregnant or caused a pregnancy may
become targets for assassination or kidnapping by Utopia,
Proteus and many other groups.
Nova Fertility Contraception
Provided that a nova isn’t sterile due to either the Utopian
sterility cocktail or Taint, he or she will possess enhanced Given how widespread the Utopian-induced sterility is
fertility. As human fertility is an extraordinarily complex matter, among the nova population, it’s ironic that most fertile novas
characters in an Aberrant chronicle are assigned a “fertility tend to have difficulties with keeping their fertility in check.
rating”, which is a simple percentage chance roughly equal to a With how easily novas can shrug off the effects of drugs tailored
character’s base Stamina rating. (Mega-Stamina isn’t counted, to the baseline metabolism, it’s only to be expected that many
as it figures into the fertility rating in a different way.) The contraceptives are ineffective for fertile novas. Hormone-based
percentage chances of both partners in a sexually-active contraceptives (such as birth control pills and hormone-infused
relationship are added together, and a roll is made against the implants) are completely useless, as a nova’s body will process
combined percentage rating to see if conception occurs. In the the hormones too quickly for them to have any effect.
case of nova couples where both partners have superhuman Contraceptive drugs must be cut so that they are just as pure as
fertility ratings, the maximum possible combined fertility rating other drugs intended for nova use for them to be effective. This
is 100%. The conception roll is always made by the Storyteller in will make nova contraceptive drugs toxic to baselines, which in
secret, with the results revealed to the players only when turn can make using a nova-strength spermicidal agent with a
appropriate (Storyteller’s discretion). The Storyteller is always baseline sexual partner potentially fatal for the baseline. This
within her rights to fake the roll when a given result would either leaves physical contraceptive devices as the only option for
help or hinder the plot. Variable factors such as drug use, most fertile novas, provided they lack any aberrations that
mundane fertility treatments, advanced age, a character’s level cause damage to matter. If either partner has Mega-Strength,
of sexual education and level of physical activity (among many physical contraceptive devices can easily be damaged to the
others) can also alter a character’s fertility rating in any way the point of uselessness.
Storyteller sees fit. Mundane fertility treatments cannot
increase a character’s fertility rating above 10%, however. Paternity
Assuming that a couple has sexual encounters on a regular In the case of nova women who become pregnant after
basis, the percentage roll should be made once per month of encounters with multiple male partners, the Storyteller will either
game-time, barring unusual circumstances. If either or both assign percentage chances to the males in question in order to
members of a couple are experiencing high levels of stress determine paternity with a dice roll, or she may simply choose one
and/or physical hardship, the percentage roll might be made only of them. In either case the choice is made in secret, and the result
once every three months or even waived completely. Characters will be kept from the players until it could be plausibly discovered
that are sterile are typically considered to have a fertility rating in the events of the story.
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
metabolisms. This changes if a nova mother and/or her partner
Nova Pregnancy (usually a male nova) has a permanent Taint rating of 6 or
In most cases, the pregnancy of a fertile female nova is higher. If one of the parents has a Taint rating of 6-7, the base
much the same as those of fertile baseline women, except that chance for complications is 10%. If both parents have a Taint
her optimized body will lessen the strain that the developing rating of 6-7, this chance rises to 20%. If one of the parents has
fetus will place on her system. a Taint rating of 8-10, the base chance for complications is
First Trimester: The nova mother-to-be will become 40%. If both parents have a Taint rating of 8-10, the chance
hypersensitive to smell and taste, receiving -1 to her difficulties rises to 80%. The Fertility enhancement can reduce the chance
on Perception rolls involving smell or taste. This is a mixed for complications, although nova mothers will gain the most
blessing, as she will also suffer a penalty of +1 on Stamina rolls to benefit from it. A nova’s Chrysalis rating will have no effect on
avoid becoming severely nauseous when exposed to strong his or her chances for pregnancy complications.
unpleasant smells and/or tastes. Fortunately, most nova women The kinds of complications that a nova mother can face in
are better able to stave off the resulting morning sickness than her pregnancy not only include the mundane varieties known to
baseline women. She will also experience sudden cravings and/or baseline obstetrics, but also many bizarre conditions caused by
aversions to certain food items. Aversions will lead her to reject either parent’s Taint. Mundane complications that can occur
a given type of food item, even if it was previously one of her include (but are not limited to) birth defects of all kinds, a
favorites. Cravings can be for just about any food item, ranging diminished Attribute on part of the infant, rhesus factor
from the stereotypical (pickles and ice cream) to the exotic mismatches between mother and child, stillbirths, footling
(such as dirt). position, miscarriages, natural abortion, terminally ill infants,
Second Trimester: The nova mother will begin to gain tubal pregnancies, false pregnancies, and premature deliveries.
weight in order to better support her pregnancy. Her body will Complications arising from parental Taint can be literally
become increasingly awkward, which in game terms translates anything that the Storyteller’s twisted imagination can conjure
into a -1 die penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around. She up, although the Storyteller is advised to determine remedies for
will also develop the famous “motherly glow” as hormonal such beforehand in the case of the pregnancy of a player
changes make her skin become rosy and her hair thickens and character or an important Storyteller character.
becomes lustrous. In game terms, she receives -1 to her One unique variety of pregnancy complication that merits
difficulties on Appearance rolls involving being physically special attention is prenatal eruption and power usage on the
attractive. part of a nova fetus. While this is most often seen in second
Third Trimester: A nova mother’s augmented metabolism generation nova fetuses, it is possible for unborn nova offspring
makes her better able to withstand the general aches and pains of baseline parents as well. In either case, this phenomenon
experienced in the third trimester, but it’s (usually) not enough typically occurs in response to a threat (real or perceived) to
to let her just shug them off. In game terms, she will suffer a the survival of the mother and/or fetus. Unlike other pregnancy
penalty of +1 on all of her Stamina rolls due to general lethargy complications, the chance of prenatal eruption and power use
and exhaustion. Fortunately, a nova mother won’t suffer from are not affected by the Fertility enhancement. Maternal stress
insomnia as a result of that. Also, the nova mother will also will also increase the chances for this to happen (the details are
exude an “aura of neediness” at this stage of her pregnancy, for left to the Storyteller’s discretion), especially if the mother is
lack of a better term. This gives her -1 to her difficulties on threatened with physical and/or emotional harm on a regular
Charisma rolls that involve getting other people to help her. In basis. The Storyteller is always free to fake the roll and apply
the last few weeks before delivery, the mother’s nesting instinct whatever result she deems best, however. In game terms, a nova
will take hold. She will suddenly become both quite energetic and fetus and its mother are automatically considered to be attuned
nearly obsessed with getting things ready for her baby’s arrival. to each other, as per the Attunement background. Pre-natal
Postpartum (birth to approx. 6 months afterwards): After power use is treated as though the mother had the
the birth, the nova mother will begin to lose the excess weight “Uncontrollable Power” quantum aberration (Aberrant Players
gained during her pregnancy. This will happen faster than it does Guide, p. 95), with the Storyteller having complete control over
with baseline mothers, but it’s still a fairly slow process which the quantum power and other nova traits manifested by the nova
breastfeeding the infant will accelerate. Speaking of which, fetus. This allows the Storyteller to employ pre-natal power use
lactation in nova mothers is almost as uncomfortable as it is for as a convenient deus ex machina to help the storyline of the
baseline mothers, as even the nova metabolism won’t do much to chronicle along in whatever way she sees fit. While this usually
impede the natural function of the mammary glands. Fortunately, means protecting the mother and/or her unborn child from
it does make the period of her hormonal flux drastically shorter, actual threats, it can also cause complications if the fetus lashes
allowing the nova mother to escape the resulting altered out at someone its mother perceives (mistakenly or not) as a
psychological states (severe depression, anxiety, loss of self- threat to her or her child.
esteem, intense worrying about the infant, and the rare When Genetics Goes Boink
psychotic break) experienced by baseline mothers.
Despite their powers, the breeding (and interbreeding) of
Pregnancy Complications Homo sapiens novus is still a natural process for the most part.
Nova women also face the risk of complications during As such, Nature (or the Storyteller) can throw a monkey wrench
pregnancy, although their chances for such are much lower (1% into the reproductive processes of novas on occasion, leading to
at most) than those of baseline women thanks to their optimized anomalous births. While this generally means having a child that
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 27
isn’t “a chip off one of the old blocks” for baseline couples, it taint levels, as a multitude of factors can act and counteract with
can become much more dire in the case of nova offspring. each other to influence the developing child. One such influence
Fortunately this tends to be rare, with it having roughly the same that deserves special mention is the Fertility enhancement,
chance of occurring as complications in nova pregnancies. (The which can shift the percentage chances in the following
effects of the Fertility enhancement and high levels of Taint will guidelines in the favor of the parent with that enhancement. In
affect the chance for anomalous births normally.) Of course, the game terms, the chance of having the “wrong” type of 2ndGen
Storyteller is always within her rights to fake the roll and choose child is just another type of pregnancy complication as far as the
a result she feels would add some needed drama to the chronicle. effects of Fertility are concerned. For low- and intermediate-
That said, the Storyteller is strongly encouraged to discuss this taint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of having a Trog 2ndGen
topic with the players before introducing it into the chronicle. child. For high-taint novas, Fertility reduces the chance of
Also, it’s a good idea to limit these events to Storyteller having a True 2ndGen child.
character couples, although nothing is wrong with players Astute readers may have noticed that the Terat 2ndGens
wanting to explore these circumstances through roleplaying. have been ignored in the following guidelines. This is a
Examples of anomalous nova births for nova couples include deliberate omission, since due to certain established facts in the
birthing the “wrong” type of 2ndGen nova infant (low-Taint Aberrant setting, Terat 2ndGens cannot just crop up out of the
novas birthing a Trog 2ndGen nova or high-Taint novas birthing a woodwork the way that True and Trog 2ndGens can. Unlike their
True 2ndGen nova), or having a “normal” (a latent, High- True and Trog peers, Terat 2ndGens derive more of their
Quantum baseline, or an actual baseline) child. In the case of distinctiveness from the novacentric (and isolated) upbringing
nova interbreeding, the standard guidelines for determining the and education provided by the Teragen than they do from the
chance of conceiving offspring (and the status of said offspring) effects of the Chrysalis on their Terat parents. Like other human
are tossed out the window in favor of random chance and/or the infants, the Terat 2ndGens are extremely impressionable in their
Storyteller’s whim. early years of life. This is why Bounty and Scripture have taken
such extreme pains to sequester them in their formative years;
New Parent Syndrome as instilling the philosophy of Teras to the point where it
Just like expectant and new baseline parents, expectant and becomes natural (as it has become for the Terat 2ndGens)
new nova parents are often nearly incapable of either thinking or requires serious indoctrination from a very early age. Unless
talking about anything other than their new child and parenthood. both parents in a breeding nova couple are Terats with a
While this is only somewhat annoying in baseline parents, this Chrysalis rating and give away their child to Bounty for her to
behavior can become extremely dangerous for nova parents. rear, the status of any offspring should be determined
Without the aid of psychic or hypnotic blocks to suppress this regardless of a parent’s Chrysalis rating.
tendency (or living in seclusion), nova parents who indulge Low-Taint Nova father & Low-Taint Nova mother:
themselves in this behavior are effectively making excellent 100% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring, barring
targets of themselves and their child for the motherhunters of the any anomalous births.
major factions. 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
Tainted Heritages offspring.
As we have shown, taint can throw quite a few monkey High-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother:
wrenches into the otherwise optimized reproductive processes 100% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring, barring
of a nova couple. So it should come as no surprise that taint can any anomalous births.
also affect the 2ndGen offspring of such couples on some very Low-Taint Nova father & Intermediate-Taint Nova
basic levels. While this is most obvious when highly-tainted mother: 90% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring
novas give birth to Trog 2ndGen novas, the children of nova and a 10% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring.
couples with intermediate levels of taint can also be affected. Low-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova mother: 65%
Things become even more confusing when the parents of a chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 35%
2ndGen child have differing (sometimes to a radical degree) chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
levels of taint. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to hammer out Low-Taint Nova mother & Intermediate-Taint Nova
some guidelines for these situations. father: 95% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring
Barring anomalous births, all offspring of a first-generation and a 5% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring.
nova couple will be 2ndGen novas. Nova parents who both have Low-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova father: 55%
little or no permanent Taint (5 dots or less) will bear True chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring and a 45%
2ndGen children, while nova parents who both have high chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
permanent Taint (8 dots or more) will give birth to Trog 2ndGen Intermediate-Taint Nova father & High-Taint Nova
progeny. The question of what any possible children will be like mother: 95% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring
becomes a little dicey in the case of nova parents that both have and a 5% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
intermediate permanent Taint (6 or 7 dots), as they will usually Intermediate-Taint Nova mother & High-Taint Nova
produce True 2ndGen offspring, but have a chance to produce father: 90% chance of producing Trog 2ndGen nova offspring
Trog 2ndGen infants as well. This matter becomes even more a and a 10% chance of producing True 2ndGen nova offspring.
matter of chance when a pair of nova parents have differing
desires, only to abandon his newly-impregnated conquests in his
Dormancy search for even more women to sire offspring on. Male breeder
While most breeder novas most commonly use this ability to novas with the Copycat enhancement or the Shapeshift power
pose as baselines and stay under the radar of the motherhunters, it could easily impersonate a woman’s husband or boyfriend in
does provide an unexpected benefit for those with moderate to order to seduce and impregnate her. While the Casanovas are
high levels of permanent Taint. Female breeder novas are the more common of the r-type breeder novas, they’re also the
perfectly capable of conceiving and bearing children - including ones whose offspring have the best chance of evading the notice
2ndGen nova children - while dormant. Pregnant breeder novas of the motherhunters. In many cases, the offspring of a
that remain dormant for the full duration of their gestational Casanova will be baselines, and even those who are latent first-
period (conception, pregnancy and labor) use the basic mechanics generation novas will attract little or no attention to themselves
for nova pregnancy, despite their inability to actively channel prior to their eruptions.
quantum in that state. The benefit gained from following that The second – and far more dangerous – category of the r-
course of action is that the breeder nova’s permanent Taint is type breeders are the “Hatchers”, which is comprised of highly-
considered to be 1 dot lower than normal per dot of the nova’s tainted breeder novas. While most of these monsters still follow
Dormancy rating for all reproductive purposes, including the “k-type & situational limited r-type” strategy preferred by
determining the clade of any 2ndGen nova offspring. In this way baselines, a few have adopted an extreme r-type strategy little
breeder nova mothers with Dormancy ratings sufficient to counter different from that of insects and fish. Thanks to their taint-
most or all of their own Taint can avoid the risks of pregnancy derived mental disorders and problems with social interaction,
complications and birthing Trog 2ndGen novas. Breeder nova establishing the family bonds required for the k-type strategy
fathers with moderate to high levels of Taint should also be can be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible for these
dormant at the time of the encounter in question, as they can also novas. Highly-tainted breeder novas following an extreme r-
receive lowered permanent Taint ratings for all reproductive type strategy will seek to produce as many offspring as they
purposes. Depending on the circumstances of the chronicle (and can, and will invest little or no resources or time in said
the Storyteller’s discretion), breeder nova fathers with serious offspring. Depending on the details of a highly-tainted breeder
Taint may also find it necessary to remain dormant during their nova’s powers and aberrations, the specific method of
partner’s full gestational period while within her immediate reproduction and treatment of resulting offspring will vary
vicinity, due to the potential risk of paternal Taint contamination wildly. A telepathic high-taint breeder nova might use the
affecting the unborn child. “changeling” method and use her mental powers to brainwash a
baseline couple into thinking that one of her many offspring is
Inhuman Upbringings actually their child, after which she abandons the child for good.
A female high-taint breeder nova with the Parasitic Gestation
Despite the proclamations of the Teragen, most novas still body modification might use a method like that used by the
have more than a little in common with their baseline forebears, spider wasp, which involves paralyzing a well-fleshed baseline,
including their reproductive strategy. Baseline humans and most implanting him with one or more of her parasitic fetuses, and
novas are considered “k-type breeders”, in that on the average leaving him in a convenient attic for her offspring to feed off of
a breeding couple will produce only a few offspring and are him. Others might abandon their many offspring after birth to
willing to invest much time and resources in their children. In live or die on their own, in the hopes that at least few will
times of stress and danger where the family bonds cannot be survive to reach maturity. In these cases, the offspring will
relied on, humans can temporarily adopt a limited “r-type always be born with whatever Mega-Attributes, enhancements
breeder” strategy, where producing as many offspring as and powers that will let them survive on their own. It should also
possible while investing few resources (at least on the father’s be noted that the surviving children may have at least some
part) is favored. When peaceful times return and general wealth psychological problems of their own due to their abandonment
rises again, humans will return to following the k-type strategy. even without taking the influence of parental Taint into account.
This is not the case for certain breeder novas, as they have Despite the rarity of extreme r-type breeder novas, Project
adopted varying levels of r-type breeding strategies for full- Proteus and the other motherhunters spend a disproportionate
time use. The first category of r-type breeder novas – the amount of time and resources hunting them because the math
“Casanovas” – is comprised of lecherous and ethically- behind a quantum powered extreme r-type strategy is
challenged heterosexual nova men. Just like certain of their terrifying. According to one of Proteus’ worst case scenarios, a
baseline counterparts, these nova men prefer to follow the heavily tainted breeder nova could reproduce asexually by
limited r-type strategy which most humans reserve for generating exact copies of itself, and create 10 such “offspring”
emergency situations at all times, regardless of the a month, each of whom could possibly reach maturity in as little
circumstances and consequences. These conscienceless jerks as 6 months. Assuming a 50% survival rate among the offspring,
see nothing wrong with “loving and leaving” whatever women there would be roughly 600 such novas “born” after a year, and
that they can become physically intimate with. In the case of 45,000 in two years. If this theory of Proteus’ researchers ever
certain male breeder novas among elites and Teragen, this became reality, baseline humanity could be facing extinction.
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 Mega-
Social male breeder nova who seduces any fertile women he
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 29
there is a 100% chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova.
Interbreeding 100% chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R
Throughout human mythology, gods and goddesses have sequence as either latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20%
often dallied with mortals. This state of affairs (pun intended) is chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily
little different in the Nova Age circa 2015, as few novas – aside Tainted.
from the Teragen and those novas who are highly Tainted – Baseline mother & Baseline father: 1% chance of having a
have shied away from enjoying intimate relationships with first-generation nova child. 5% chance that baseline offspring
baselines. Widespread sterility among novas has ensured that will carry the M-R sequence as either latents or High-Quantum
the consequences of most of these encounters are limited to the baselines.
emotional and social varieties, but what happens if the nova is Baseline mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 5%
fertile? For that matter, how often can the potential to erupt as chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline
a nova crop up in a family of (ostensibly) normal baselines? offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence
What if a fertile nova’s sexual partner happens to be something as either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
more than a baseline? What will the resulting children from such Baseline father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 5%
unions be like? Here are a few guidelines for when this situation chance of having a first-generation nova child. Baseline
comes up in an Aberrant chronicles. offspring will have a 50% chance of carrying the M-R sequence
In most cases, first generation novas are the ones who will as either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
be interbreeding with baseline humans and members of the other High-Quantum Baseline mother & High-Quantum
Inspired human subspecies. As former baselines, most of these Baseline father: 10% chance of having a first-generation nova
novas remain close to their baseline roots (unless they start child, 1% chance of having a second-generation nova child. 50%
racking up permanent Taint), and are much less likely to shun chance that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as
baseline suitors. The following entries on possible matches with either latents or High-Quantum baselines.
novas have been written with the first generation in mind. As far Nova father & Psiad mother: 0% chance of viable
as second generation novas are concerned, things are not nearly offspring; any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or
as clear-cut. Some arguments have been made that 2ndGen novas miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and
– especially the Taint-altered Terat and Trog clades – have psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal
diverged far enough genetically that they could be considered humans.
new species of humanity, and therefore are incapable of Nova mother & Psiad father: 1% chance of viable
interbreeding at all. Others reject this, saying that one offspring, in which case the child will be a sterile baseline human;
generation of breeding isn’t nearly enough to cause the otherwise any pregnancies will result in stillbirths or
necessary genetic alterations, even where novas are concerned. miscarriages. This assumes that the parents are active novas and
From that viewpoint, 2ndGen novas are just as capable of psiads, as latent novas and psiads can interbreed as normal
interbreeding as their parents. For this reason, the question of humans.
whether or not 2ndGen novas can interbreed at all with either
baseline humans or the non-eximorph varieties of Inspired A Daredevil By Any Other Name...
humans has been left to the Storyteller’s discretion. In this sourcebook, we’ve gone along with Bruce Baugh’s
Nova father & Baseline mother: 25% chance (at best) of ideas on the nature of daredevils. According to him daredevils are
having a first-generation nova child. 50% chance that baseline paramorphs, capable of subconsciously manipulating perpendicular
offspring will carry the M-R sequence as latents or High- time (also known as probability) to perform extraordinary feats.
Quantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy Max Mercer happens to be a highly advanced example of the
complications if the father has moderate Taint, guaranteed breed, as shown by his ability to consciously control linear time. As
pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted. such, we have posited daredevils as the third known Inspired
Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline mother: 50% subspecies of humanity, occupying a middle branch between
chance of having a second-generation nova child. 100% chance eximorphs and psychomorphs on the evolutionary tree of Homo
that baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either sapiens. For those Aberrant Storytellers and players who prefer
latents or High-Quantum baselines. 20% chance of pregnancy Andrew Bates’ ideas on daredevils (daredevils are just exceptional
complications if the father is heavily Tainted. baselines, and Max Mercer is the only known paramorph), we
Nova mother & Baseline father: 50% chance of having a encourage you to change these rules to suit your own Aberrant
first-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels of the chronicles. It’s your game, after all.
Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100% chance that
the child will be a second-generation nova. 100% chance that Nova father & Daredevil mother: 50% chance of having
baseline offspring will carry the M-R sequence as either latents a second-generation nova child. 100% chance that other (non-
or High-Quantum baselines. Small chance (5-10%) of pregnancy second generation nova) offspring will carry the M-R sequence
complications if the mother has moderate Taint, guaranteed as either latents or first-generation novas. 5% chance of
pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily Tainted. pregnancy complications if the father is heavily Tainted.
Nova mother & High-Quantum Baseline father: 80% Nova mother & Daredevil father: 80% chance of having
chance of having a second-generation nova child, unless the a second-generation nova child, unless the mother has 2 levels
mother has 2 levels of the Fertility enhancement, in which case of the Fertility enhancement, in which case there is a 100%
chance that the child will be a 2ndGen nova. 100% chance that
other (non-second generation nova) offspring will carry the M- or have hard evidence of just how powerful these “2ndGen”
R sequence as either latents or first-generation novas. 5% novas will be when they mature. This has made 2ndGen novas –
chance of pregnancy complications if the mother is heavily and their parents – targets for either exploitation (if deemed
Tainted. useful) or assassination (if deemed a threat) in the view of many
of these well-informed and influential people. Other such
High-Quantum Baselines “power players” may seek to protect 2ndGen novas and their
parents, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how successful their
It’s technically possible for an otherwise-normal baseline
efforts will be. The second factor that has altered this conflict is
character to have a Quantum rating of 1 by spending 7 bonus
the excessive levels of Taint which are slowly becoming more
points for it at the time of character creation. About 1 in
common among the first generation novas. Along with the
500,000 baseline humans is a High-Quantum baseline. Such a
“normal” nova couples that manage to somehow settle down and
baseline cannot actively use his single dot of Quantum but will
have kids, there are also Taint-ridden novas whose offspring
enjoy certain small benefits derived from having it, such as a
will redefine baseline humanity’s concept of “monstrosity” for
slightly-increased resistance to certain quantum powers. That
centuries to come. These mockeries of nova families pose a
said, a High-Quantum baseline is not a latent nova and won’t
threat to humanity and the entire world unlike any seen before.
ever erupt as one, barring the use of quantum powers such as
Between the potential power of the 2ndGen novas and the
the Quantum Transformation technique of Quantum Supremacy.
growing influence of Taint among the first generation, the
High-Quantum baselines do have an increased chance of
stakes can only go higher.
producing nova offspring, especially if the other parent is a
Latents are baselines who are born carrying the M-R gene
sequence but lack any predisposition to eruption as a nova. Such Project Utopia’s Sterility
baselines could become novas, psiads or paramorphs depending
on what sort of telluric energies they are exposed to later in life. Cocktail
We’ve taken the time to come up with what we feel is the
Surrogate Mothers most plausible explanation of what the Utopian sterility cocktail
It is possible for baseline surrogate mothers to carry a nova actually is, how it works and why it hasn’t been cured by some
fetus to term safely, so that both the surrogate mother and the medically-inclined nova hypergenius prior to 2015. Of course, all
infant nova survive childbirth. This requires that (1) the surrogate this can easily be changed by the Storyteller to suit the
mother receives quality medical OB-GYN supervision & assistance individual needs of his or her own Aberrant chronicle.
during the pregnancy, and (2) the unborn nova isn’t the offspring What is the Utopian sterility cocktail, and how does it
of a moderately or heavily Tainted nova father. If either condition work?
cannot be met, complications with the pregnancy can occur. The Utopian sterility cocktail is actually a pair of
bioengineered retroviruses that were developed in secret by
Proteus agents in Project Utopia’s Nova Medicine section.
Acting under the command of Director Thetis, those Proteus
agents had their Triton researchers genetically engineer
Wicked Aunts components of the retroviruses’ genomes, which were then
assembled into the two finished retroviruses by Proteus
scientists for later mass production. The retroviruses were
and Uncles designed so that they would specifically target and infect all the
cells of a nova’s gonads within thirty minutes after exposure.
The process of choosing a spouse, starting a family and Once there, the retroviruses attack two different targets in the
raising children has always been a timeless cycle in the course of nova’s DNA, both of which are involved in the genetic basis for
human life. Likewise, there have always been social deviants who nova capabilities. The first retrovirus directly attacks any and all
seek to harm or exploit families and children, and people with existing gametes, altering the targeted DNA so that they carry
sufficient courage and moral fiber to stand up against these what amounts to an encrypted genetic sequence. The second
predators. Even in the Nova Age, this conflict hasn’t changed retrovirus alters the cells that produce gametes, ensuring that
very much. When fertile novas manage to pair off and start any gametes produced in the future will also carry the encrypted
families, there are many people out there who will gladly use, genetic sequence. Their dirty work accomplished, the viruses
abuse or kill them and/or their children. Fortunately, there are are then quickly eliminated from the nova’s system. The altered
novas who seek to protect (some of) these new families, and gametes are now genetically dissimilar to the rest of the nova’s
ensure the future of novakind. The future of baseline humanity is body (with the potential to eventually become cancerous), and
another matter entirely... for this reason are quickly destroyed by the nova’s own
The first factor that has altered this conflict where novas are leukocytes. As of 2015, there is no known cure for the effects of
concerned is the potential for unimaginable power which is the this retrovirus. Director Thetis’ interest lies in controlling the
birthright of the “second generation” novas. There are those nova population by preventing their reproduction, so creating a
among the factions of the world of Aberrant who either suspect
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 31
cure (a key to the genetic encryption) was deemed both covertly provide Utopian novas with several doses of
unnecessary and counterproductive. Proteus began the nova moxinoquantamine that have been laced with the sterility
sterilization program on June 1st, 2000, and it has been retroviruses. As a rule, Utopian novas won’t hesitate to use mox
successful for the most part. on their foes, and so end up doing Proteus’ work for them. On
Why were two retroviruses necessary? the other hand, Proteus agents are routinely issued sterility
Proteus has hard evidence that the basic nova metabolism retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine (or
grants fertile novas two advantages unavailable to baseline men the “sterility retrovirus mickey”, in the case of Proteus
and women. The sperm of fertile nova men can live for up to bartenders) as Director Thetis deems necessary, usually to
seven days, where that of baseline men only lives for 72 hours at sterilize novas in other organizations that Proteus has infiltrated.
most. Likewise, fertile nova women can produce several new Note again that most Proteus agents don’t know what the
ova on a monthly basis, which baseline women cannot do at all sterility retrovirus-laced drugs or mickeys that they are dosing
according to current gynecology. So any effective nova novas with really are. As far as they know, they are either using
sterilization agent would have to ensure that both any existing standard adrenocilin and/or mox, or as bartenders are covertly
gametes in a nova’s body and any gametes a nova’s body testing experimental medicines intended to retard Taint
produced in the future would be destroyed. Director Thetis is accumulation in novas on Director Thetis’ orders. No matter how
nothing if not thorough. they are used, sterility retrovirus-laced doses of adrenocilin and
If Utopia’s retroviruses are the true cause of nova moxinoquantamine or the sterility retrovirus mickey are only
sterility, what about the claims of Jennifer “Slider” Landers and used once or twice on any given nova. Since the sterility
Director Iktome that there are sterility-inducing chemicals in retroviruses typically need only one chance to do their dirty
the Utopian nova drugs? work, one or two doses are all that’s required. Batches of
Slider and Iktome were confusing the cause of the sterility adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that are distributed through
with it’s method of transmission. Proteus long ago buried the other channels will lack the sterility retroviruses, and the
secret of the source of nova sterility, but it still has to actively sterility retrovirus mickey is only distributed by Proteus.
put the sterility retroviruses into batches of adrenocilin and If the sterility retroviruses are so weak in terms of their
moxinoquantuamine on occasion. That’s what Slider and Iktome Virulence Ratings, why don’t novas resist them?
found. Most exposure to the sterility retroviruses occurs when
Are the two sterility retroviruses triggered by novas either take adrenocilin or moxinoquantamine for the pain
channeling quantum energy? of eruption or training in the use of their quantum powers,
No. That tidbit is another piece of disinformation created respectively. Proteus agents working as bartenders also use a
by Proteus. The retroviruses will do their dirty work regardless “sterility retrovirus mickey”, which they slip into hyper-
of whether or not a nova is channeling quantum energy at the intoxicating drinks such as Amp Wells. In both cases, a nova
time of exposure. would not even think of attempting to resist the drugs or the
Are the sterility retroviruses present in all of the Utopian drinks, especially since relatively few novas will have any clue
nova drugs? that they’ve just been infected by the sterility retroviruses. The
They aren’t, for two reasons. First off, the sterility exception to this are novas with the Body Awareness
retroviruses were deliberately made too weak to survive for enhancement (from Aberrant: Brainwaves), who will instantly
very long outside of a specialized laboratory environment – in notice the sterility retroviruses entering their systems. They can
game terms, they both have a Virulence Rating of 2 when used then make a Resistance roll to purge the sterility retroviruses
on a nova. This allows the retroviruses to be used safely – in from their bodies. Alternatively, the Mind Over Matter
most cases – on novas without the risk of mutation and enhancement (also from Aberrant: Brainwaves) can be used to
subsequent transmission to the baseline population. This retard the onset of the sterility retroviruses, and the Healing
changes if the retroviruses are used on a heavily-Tainted nova quantum power can aid in the Resistance roll to purge the
(8-10 dots of permanent Taint), as the nova’s Taint can easily sterility retroviruses. Use of the Suspension enhancement (from
cause severe mutations in the retroviruses. This unforeseen Aberrant: The New Flesh) can also halt the onset of the
circumstance will prove to be the source of some of the retroviruses, as can the Stop Time technique of Temporal
infamous “Taint diseases” that will ravage the baseline populace Manipulation.
both during the upcoming Aberrant War and in the Trinity Era. How else can novas resist the effects of the Utopian
Second, both adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine are readily sterility retroviruses?
available to novas (with a prescription), making it all too easy Having the Health enhancement is the most obvious
for them to end up being examined in some nova mastermind’s defense novas can have against the Utopian sterility
biology lab. For this reason, the only Utopians that are regularly retroviruses, although having dots of Invulnerability: Disease
issued doses of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine that have works just as well. The only problem with these defenses is that
been laced with the sterility retroviruses are Project Utopia’s a nova must gain them upon eruption for them to be effective. If
Intervention Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. The they are developed after a nova erupts and is sterilized by the
only exception to this is when Utopian novas are tasked with Utopian retroviruses, they cannot restore the nova’s fertility.
subduing what Aeon terms “rogue novas” (read: dissidents, What’s worse is that those defenses can also prevent any future
suspected Aberrants or Terats, and novas too paranoid or cagey attempts to use retroviruses to cure the nova’s sterility. The
to go anywhere near a Rashoud clinic). In that case, Proteus will Fertility enhancement (found later on in this sourcebook) is also
a viable defense, and is more useful as developing it after a to eventually develop that power are Antaeus, Regina Mundi and
nova’s eruption will actually allow a sterilized nova to regain his Belladonna. It is speculated that one of these novas not only
or her fertility. restored the fertility of the nova population in the 2030s, but
Why haven’t any medically-inclined nova masterminds granted all novas the equivalent of one level of the Health
discovered this before 2015? And why haven’t any of those enhancement as well.
masterminds come up with a cure for it? How did Proteus manage to sterilize nearly so many
Certain Mega-Intelligent novas have known about the of the known novas prior to the Slider scandal in 2008?
Utopian sterilization program for quite some time, with Antaeus Soon after their recreation in January of 1999, the first
being the most notable of them. Knowing that a problem exists real project of the Aberrant-era incarnation of Proteus was the
and doing something constructive about it are two different creation of the sterility retroviruses. By late May in 2000,
things, however. Provided that a mastermind can see through Proteus began mass-producing the sterility retroviruses, and
the disinformation put out by Proteus (several Proteus agents quickly built up respectable supplies of sterility retrovirus-laced
churn out fanciful and lurid stories for the tabloid industry, for adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine. Before Jennifer “Slider”
example), she will then have to investigate other possible ways Landers was murdered, relatively few novas had any reason at
to induce sterility in novas. If the mastermind suspects a genetic all to be distrustful of Project Utopia. Many novas, often still in
cause of nova sterility, she will then be faced with strong pain from their eruptions, either sought help at Utopia’s
evidence that it is apparently linked to the genes that allow for Rashoud clinics or gladly welcomed the aid offered by Project
nova capabilities to develop in the first place. If said mastermind Utopia’s Intervention Teams. Those few that weren’t eager to
thinks to compare the DNA from a sterilized nova’s gonads to accept this Utopian aid were deemed “rogue novas”, and were
that from the rest of his body, she can verify that nova sterility typically dosed with sterility retrovirus-laced mox at least once.
is not a natural part of the nova genome, leading her to suspect Proteus agents infiltrated many other organizations that counted
that retroviruses have been at work. That leaves her with the novas among their ranks, often under the cover of working as
task of locating the genetic alteration caused by the retroviruses either paraphysicians or more frequently as pharmacists. Some
within the nova genome, and the task of “decrypting” the even operated as “street paraphysicians”, offering their
genetic alteration once it’s been found. That’s when attempting discreet medical services to criminal novas. Other Proteus
to reverse nova sterility becomes a truly Herculean labor. First agents found employment as bartenders at various nightclubs
off, Proteus’ genetic encryption has no “key”, making it a one- frequented by novas, where they would occasionally add a
way process, as Director Thetis never intended nova sterility to sterility retrovirus mickey to the hyper-intoxicating drinks
be reversible. Second, since a gamete has only half of a human’s formulated for nova consumption, such as the Amp Wells of the
genetic code and the individual chromosomes of that code are Amp Room.
randomly selected, the encrypted message is non-determinate. How did Proteus manage to create the sterility
This leaves developing another retrovirus to correct the genetic retroviruses so quickly?
alteration made by the Utopian sterility retroviruses as the only They actually got lucky, believe it or not. One of the first
conventional way to cure nova sterility. Once you add in the novas recruited by Proteus had become naturally sterile as a
difficulties of evading Utopia’s Technological Regulation agents, side-effect of her eruption. Thanks to her superhuman
Proteus saboteurs and industrial espionage in the course of awareness of her own body (the Body Awareness enhancement
developing said retrovirus, it becomes all too easy to see why from Aberrant: Brainwaves), she realized that her own immune
even nova masterminds have made little progress in the matter system had not only wiped out her existing supply of ova, but
of curing nova sterility through conventional means. was also systematically killing the new ones that her ovaries
Are there any unconventional ways to cure the effects of were somehow generating as soon as they were released into
the Utopian sterility retroviruses? her Fallopian tubes. Distraught, she went to a Rashoud clinic
Yes, but they’re not widely available to novas in 2015. seeking medical assistance, where she was examined by Proteus
Developing the Fertility enhancement will allow a nova to doctors. Intensive medical investigation revealed that the
correct the Utopian-induced sterility without any medical eruption trauma had created two separate genetic defects in the
assistance. Healing simply will not work, as it doesn’t affect a nova’s DNA, which combined to make both her original ova and
subject’s DNA. Biomanipulation can allow normally-sterile novas any newly-generated ova into precancerous cells. Director
to produce offspring by means of the Body Manipulation Thetis realized this for the golden opportunity it was, as
technique (to induce brief hyperfertility). This technique is what attempting to deliberately engineer those genetic defects from
has allowed the Teragen to secretly produce a small brood of scratch in the lab would have easily taken decades of hard,
nova children. The catch to this method of sidestepping nova expensive work. Duplicating them, however, only cost Proteus
sterility is that this technique doesn’t alter the parents’ DNA, so scientists a few days’ effort. Proteus had the weapon they
that the offspring will inherit their parents’ induced sterility. wanted, so all they needed was a delivery system. Proteus then
Powers that directly control the DNA of other novas (such as arranged for separate parts of the sterility retrovirus
possessed by the Terat Altaz “The Apothecary” Zia) are development project to be farmed out to many extremely
capable of correcting the effects of the retroviruses in a single talented researchers at Triton Pharmaceuticals, who worked
nova. The Mutation technique of the Ecological Supremacy either as individuals or in tiny groups. The Proteus agents at
power is capable of restoring the fertility of the entire nova Triton (some of whom were in management positions)
population with a single use, but the only novas known in canon deliberately misled the researchers as to what the actual use of
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 33
their products would be. With the resources of Triton at their have instead sought to attain it for their children. And despite
disposal (which included unethical medical experimentation the best efforts of Project Utopia, Project Proteus and the
performed on Proteus novas), completing these “mini-projects” Directive, certain organized crime syndicates have stepped in to
only required a few months. Formulating adrenocilin and claim a share of that highly lucrative market. Caveat emptor
moxinoquantamine didn’t even take that long, since they’re applies especially to such proscribed services and shady
basically baseline drugs cut so that they’re strong enough to providers, however. Both the DeVries Agency and the Teragen
affect novas. Once the “parts” were all completed, all Proteus also have implemented their own plans to covertly increase the
had to do was have their own scientists assemble them nova population, the ramifications of which will not become
correctly, check that the finished sterility retroviruses apparent to the world at large until 2025. The seeds have been
performed as intended, and ensure that they could make more sown, and all that remains is to see what will grow from them.
of the sterility retroviruses as needed. The unwitting Triton More Precious Than Gold
researchers got a nice fat bonus on their paychecks, and started
When the genetic basis for becoming a nova was revealed
work on their next projects in blissful ignorance.
to the scientific community in late 1998, savvy individuals
Was Max Mercer behind the Utopian sterility
quickly realized the extreme value that would eventually be
placed on viable homo sapiens novus sperm. Unfortunately, the
Certainly not. As written, Max Mercer is not someone who
majority of novas at that time were either still trying to adjust
would countenance the mass sterilization of an entire group of
to their new powers or had yet to erupt, so chances to acquire
humans, even one as powerful as the novas. Aeon was left to its
samples of said tissue were nearly impossible to come by. As the
own devices after Mercer vanished in the mid-1950s. Others in
phenomenon of novas as celebrities began to develop during
Aeon attempted to carry on what they thought was his dream,
1999, there was a brief window of opportunity for covert
but they wound up shifting focus to their own personal agendas.
sampling as certain male novas indulged in debaucheries that had
Said personal agendas have diverged greatly from Mercer’s
previously been restricted to rock stars and their like. When the
original vision of what Aeon’s ideals, goals and methods should
mysterious problem of nova sterility became widespread in late
be. When Mercer returned to Aeon in the mid-1990s, he did not
2000, the whole matter became moot as far as the most of the
like what found. To Mercer, the lengths to which Aeon projects
world at large was concerned. One of the first people to realize
like Utopia and Proteus have gone indicates that he screwed up
the potential of this new commodity was one Doctor Takeshi
royally somewhere. Mercer retains much control over Aeon, but
Maeda, a skilled medical doctor and cutting-edge geneticist who
he’s got a lot of work to do before Aeon can really be
also happened to be born to a yakuza family and loyal to the
considered “his group” once again. So while Mercer would not
Nakato Gumi. He then drew up plans to use a few suitable male
have aided in the development and use of the Utopian sterility
novas to supply a nova sperm bank, the services of which the
retroviruses, he was also far too busy regaining control over
Nakato Gumi could then reap extreme profits from. Having
Aeon to rein in Thetis’ premier atrocity.
alerted his superiors in the Nakato Gumi to this opportunity in
That explanation is all very nice, but it doesn’t suit my
December of 1998, Maeda’s proposal was deemed both feasible
Aberrant chronicle. Are there any alternatives?
and profitable, yet was shelved as a low-priority project during
Of course! At the Storyteller’s discretion, the Utopian
the Nakato Gumi’s rise to ascendancy over the Japanese
sterility cocktail may truly be an assortment of sterility-inducing
underworld. By 2010, however, Maeda’s project finally got
drugs tailored to affect novas instead of a pair of engineered
approval from the oyabun and was implemented. Five years
retroviruses. Alternatively, the sterility-inducing drugs could be
later, Maeda’s project has paid for itself scores of times over,
too expensive and/or too difficult to produce for it to used
and has given the Nakato Gumi a near-monopoly on one of the
widely, leading it to be used in only the adrenocilin and
most precious commodities of the Nova Age.
moxinoquantamine issued to Project Utopia’s Intervention
Dr. Maeda’s operation currently uses three Japanese “stud
Teams and the doctors at the Rashoud clinics. Also, the Utopian
novas” as unknowing sperm donors for the Nakato Gumi sperm
sterility retroviruses or drugs can also have a more exotic
bank. The stud novas came to the attention of the Nakato Gumi
source than we have indicated, again at the Storyteller’s
by means of their contacts in the Japanese medical system, and
discretion. It’s not impossible for a mad scientist from the
have been tricked into their current predicament though use of
Adventure! Era to have developed either engineered viruses or
unspecified family obligations. One of the stud novas’ own
special drugs with the Super-Science rules.
inclinations helped to lure him in – he is a confirmed lecher
whose interest in sex borders on satyriasis. The powers of these
Seeds of Divinity novas are quite low-key – in game terms they are all “stealth
novas” (Aberrant core book, p. 155) with many Mega-
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 Attributes at low ratings. They have also become very attractive
success. Unfortunately, most of them also know that the to women in some way or another. Having been relatively normal
capacity to erupt is an extremely rare genetic mutation. (Those young Japanese guys (very late teens to early 20s in age) before
who don’t accept the latter fact fill the ranks of baselines who their eruption, the stud novas decided (with parental urging) to
end up either crippling or killing themselves in misguided hide their novahood and attempt to lead reasonably normal lives.
attempts to induce their own eruptions.) With no known reliable The Nakato Gumi has secretly helped them with the prior, but
means of gaining novahood for themselves, wealthy baselines made the latter impossible. All three of these novas have been
unknowingly set up in living situations that had previously only
been seen in Japan’s various “harem” anime and manga series. resulting child’s chances of eruption as a nova, it also means
As far as the stud novas know, they have somehow found stable bearing a provable bastard who could disgrace their family and
jobs as building managers of one sort or another – one runs a reveal the ostensible father as a cuckold. The considereably
boarding house, another oversees a small apartment complex, greater production costs involved make the M-R gene sequence
and a third somehow wound up managing a small girls’ dormitory. implantation not quite as profitable for the Nakato Gumi as their
All three establishments are owned by the Nakato Gumi through nova sperm bank operation, but it still rakes in plenty of money
several shell companies. Leaving little to chance, Dr. Maeda had for their bank accounts. It can safely be assumed that Professor
the three establishments filled with a pre-screened selection of Ikeda will be performing this procedure for the Nakato Gumi’s
young female tenants. Aside from being very attractive and paying clients for decades to come.
generally pleasant – if somewhat eccentric – in personality, the Purchasing the services of the Nakato Gumi’s nova sperm
young women chosen by Dr. Maeda were all fleeing unpleasant bank requires a minimum of Resources and Contacts
family situations and were romantically unattached. Tenants still , with the latter representing a major contact in both the
attending high school have mysteriously inherited sizeable Nakato Gumi and the Japanese government. Those who wish to
savings accounts (actually provided by the Nakato Gumi), while have the M-R gene sequence gengineered into their unborn
the older tenants have luckily found jobs at local businesses that offspring instead need Resources and Contacts .
the Nakato Gumi has full or partial ownership of. After settling Clients from Japan’s upper social strata (generally powerful
into their new lives, the managers and the tenants got politicians, successful business families and Japan’s “blue
acquainted with each other, and Nature eventually took its blooded” gentry and nobility) may substitute dots of Influence
course. Being lonely young women faced with a superhumanly (based in Japan) to lower the actual price to Resources and
attractive guy on a 24/7 basis, it wasn’t too long before the , respectively. For purposes of determining the status of
tenants actually fell in love with their respective manager (and any offspring of the Nakato Gumi nova sperm bank, the stud
vice versa). All of the tenants have lost any qualms they might novas are all first generation novas with no permanent Taint.
have had about seducing their particular “Mr. Right” (or being Most of the children that have been gengineered with the M-R
seduced by their tenants, in the case of the stud novas) gene sequence won’t erupt as novas – in game terms, they are
whenever possible. The free medical care the residents are all considered to be High-Quantum baselines. Only about 10 to 3%
provided with by the Nakato Gumi – which includes the services (Storyteller’s discretion as to the exact percentage) of such
of skilled gynecologists who handle the sperm harvesting from children are born as latent novas. If the mother of such a
the female tenants – allows the managers and their tenants to gengineered child happens to be a High-Quantum baseline
carry on in their accustomed lifestyle without any inconvenient herself, there’s a chance that the child will be born as a 2ndGen
fears of pregnancy. It is important to note that neither these nova, as per the “Nova father & High-Quantum Baseline
young men nor the young women they live with have any clue mother” listing in the Interbreeding tables.
that their surreal lifestyle is all a setup for them to be exploited Fools’ Gold
by the Nakato Gumi. If the truth were revealed to them, their
The demand for viable nova sperm hasn’t gone unnoticed
reactions would be nearly impossible to predict. Dr. Maeda also
by the rest of the underworld. The Camparelli-Zhukov
keeps a close watch over the tenants’ medical reports – he has
Megasyndicate also discreetly offers the services of their own
theorized that regular intimate contact with a nova might be
nova sperm bank to certain customers. These are generally
sufficient to trigger eruption as a nova, and is eager to gather
marks who are rich enough to be worthwhile targets, foolish
any evidence that would confirm his theory.
enough to be conned and not powerful enough to mount serious
Kuro-Tek’s covert research into nova genetics has also
reprisals against the Megasyndicate. The main difference
resulted in a technique that allows the M-R gene sequence to be
between the Megasyndicate’s operation and that of the Nakato
genetically engineered into a human blastula either before
Gumi is that most of the Megasyndicate’s “product” is actually
conception or during the first month of pregnancy. This project
taken from baseline sperm donors. When the children resulting
has only been somewhat successful as far as Professor Sayo
from the couterfeit nova sperm fail to erupt, the Megasyndicate
Ikeda, Kuro-Tek’s premier hyperintelligent nova gengineer is
plans to place the blame for that on the mothers’ baseline
concerned – the genetic implant is completely safe and stable,
genetics. It’s possible to buy the real thing from the
but very few of the resulting children seem likely to ever erupt
Megasyndicate – for a much steeper price, naturally – but that
as novas later on in life. Professor Ikeda also seems to be the
option has its own problems. The few fertile male novas in the
only gengineer – nova or otherwise – on the planet capable of
service of the Megasyndicate all have medium to high levels of
performing the required genetic manipulations reliably and
permanent Taint (five dots or higher), which can lead to all sorts
without any errors. In game terms, the M-R gene sequence
of pregnancy complications for the unfortunate mothers who
implantation technique is essentially a gadget useable only by
purchase the Megasyndicate’s “premium” sperm bank services.
novas (Aberrant Players Guide, pp. 143-148), which also
Purchasing the basic services (and counterfeit nova sperm) of
requires extensive training in human genetics and genetic
the Megasyndicate’s nova sperm bank requires a minimum of
engineering to use. Despite all this, the implantation procedure is
Resources and Contacts , with the latter representing one
considered preferable to using the Nakato Gumi nova sperm
or more minor contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate.
bank by those upper-class couples who deem matters of good
Purchasing the premium services requires Resources
breeding and legitimate birth to be vitally important. While using
and Contacts , with the latter representing two major
a sample from the nova sperm bank drastically increases the
contacts within the C-Z Megasyndicate.
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 35
Anna’s Stud Service compensated date are also charged a much smaller fee, and
those in sufficiently good standing with the DeVries Agency may
Ever since DeVries Agency President Anna DeVries
also have their fees waived entirely. If Rachel Alinsky ever hears
decided to find a way for her to become pregnant, medical
her biological clock ticking and decides to apply for a
researchers within the amoral elite agency have taken a keen
compensated date, not only would Anna eagerly grant her as
interest in matters of nova sexuality and fertility. It soon became
many compensated dates as she wanted, none of the stud novas
apparent that while fertile male novas were more commonly
would even dream of refusing Rachel’s application. Anna has
found among the ranks of elites than in the general nova
also set up a discreet nova sperm bank, for those women who
population, their often extremely hazardous lifestyles also made
either feel uncomfortable with applying for a compensated date
it highly unlikely that they would survive to sire any offspring.
or have had their applications rejected by one or more of the
When combined with the hedonistic attitudes that many elites
stud novas. This isn’t generosity on Anna’s part, but is a vital
develop – “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” –
part of her long-term schemes. Like the Teragen with whom she
most people would see it as proof positive of the essential
sympathizes, Anna DeVries wishes to increase the population of
emptiness of the elite lifestyle and its vaunted glory. Anna
novas, but she also wants to take advantage of the new novas
DeVries never was “most people”, and quickly spotted the
that her scheming produces. Anna has used her influence over
highly profitable business opportunity that the situation offered.
DeVries’ recruiters to ensure that attractive, healthy young
Instead of suggesting to the fertile male heterosexual novas
women who want to bear nova children are more common
among her elites that she wanted them to moonlight as gigolos,
among the employees than they would be if standard hiring
she has set up a very discreet “compensated dating”
practices were followed. If a female DeVries employee becomes
arrangement for them. Anna takes applications for
pregnant as a result of a compensated date, she is encouraged in
“compensated dates” from interested women, many of whom
person by none other than Anna DeVries herself to relocate to
are DeVries employees – fertile female novas employed by
the DeVries Compound at Pretoria, South Africa. To date, none
DeVries receive a special discount. The chosen elites then get to
of the employees have refused Anna’s offer. Once they have
pick and choose which women they will “entertain” from their
transferred to the DeVries Compound, the new mothers willingly
pool of applicants. The ladies receive several nights of passion,
sign up any resulting children into a special child care and
the elites receive some sexual relief and the lion’s share of the
educational program sponsored by DeVries at no charge. By
money (minus a matchmaker’s fee for DeVries), and the
indoctrinating the children to see DeVries as their trusted friend
transaction is finished as far as the world at large is concerned.
from an early age, Anna hopes to ensure that a healthy portion
As could only be expected, Anna’s ambitions go far beyond
of the next generation of novas will be loyal DeVries employees.
arranging hot dates for some of her elites. What everyone not
Assuming that a woman meets with the approval of the
involved in the transaction doesn’t know is that the women the
elite she has applied for, purchasing a compensated date for
DeVries elites are being paid to entertain in compensated dates
three days with a DeVries stud nova requires both Resources
aren’t just after some romance and sexual satisfaction – they
and Contacts , with the latter representing a major
are also attempting to become pregnant. The elites who work
contact within the DeVries Agency. Purchasing a compensated
for Anna’s compensated dating service have not only been
date for seven days requires Resources . If the woman
informed of their state of reproductive health, but are
in question is either a “person of interest” or a DeVries
unanimously willing to sire children in this manner. These men
employee, purchasing a compensated date only requires
have long realized their own mortality, and yet cannot abandon
Resources (three days) or (seven days) and either
the life of the combat elite. They see Anna’s compensated
Contacts (DeVries) or Backing (DeVries). Female novas
dating operation as a way to leave behind some sort of legacy
that are fertile only need Resources (three days) or
after their deaths other than battlefield tales, empty mansions
(seven days) and Contacts (DeVries) or Backing
and fat Swiss bank accounts. The parental rights of the DeVries
(DeVries) to purchase a compensated date. Applicants with
stud novas aren’t usually an issue, as the elites will only rarely
Backing (DeVries) or higher or a good Reputation with
enforce them. On the other hand, most of the elites also take a
DeVries may have their fees waived entirely at the Storyteller’s
very dim view of “their” children being manhandled, regardless
discretion. Acquiring a sample of viable nova sperm from the
of whether or not they have been involved in the child’s
DeVries nova sperm bank requires Resources and either
parenting. In the case of women from outside the DeVries
Contacts (DeVries) or Backing (DeVries), with the cost
Agency who apply for her compensated dating service, Anna is
lowered to Resources for fertile female novas. The only
generally content to charge a very stiff fee for the services of
catch to using the DeVries sperm bank is that fertilization is
her elites. She does make regular exception for women Anna
always performed in the main medical clinic in the DeVries
deems “people of interest”; who tend to be blood relatives of
Compound at Pretoria, South Africa – they never ship their
novas, women that are otherwise highly likely to bear nova
samples. Any resulting children from a DeVries employee’s
children, friends of either Anna herself or the DeVries family,
compensated date or use of the DeVries nova sperm bank are
female novas who have been proven fertile by DeVries’ resident
then typically signed up by their mothers for Anna DeVries’ free
paraphysicians, and women to whom Anna feels indebted in
child care program, which later on includes education and
some way. Anna charges these ladies a much smaller fee, and
indoctrination. For purposes of determining the status of the
may even waive the fee entirely in certain cases. (In this
children resulting from a compensated date or use of the
situation, the elite’s fee comes from the general company
payroll.) Female DeVries employees who apply for a
DeVries nova sperm bank, DeVries’ stud novas are all novas male nova. Refer to the appropriate listings in the Interbreeding
with little or no permanent Taint (zero to four dots). tables for details.
The Hagar Procedure The Cuckoo Gambit
Like most novas, Anna DeVries was unknowingly dosed With their plans for eventual nova domination of baseline
with the Utopian sterility cocktail and rendered unable to civilization, it was only a matter of time before the Teragen
conceive. Unlike most other novas, Anna DeVries also had the hatched their own plots dealing with reproductive technologies.
resources to do something about this problem. Anna started Certain medically knowledgeable Terats within the Casablanca
DeVries’ research program on the nova infertility problem faction have been gathering viable sperm samples from the few
immediately after finding out she was sterile. The researchers’ fertile male novas scattered throughout the ranks of the
first big break was the discovery of the small handful of fertile Teragen since 2003. These Terats have also infiltrated many
novas among DeVries’ nova employees. While this quickly normal sperm banks in the First World nations and secretly
resulted in the establishment of a profitable side venture for replaced selected baseline sperm samples with those from the
DeVries (see Anna’s Stud Service, above); finding a way to use Terat stud novas. The only criteria that has to be met is a rough
fertile novas to solve Anna’s problem took several more years of match between the racial characteristics of the original donor
research, many millions of dollars and a breakthrough on the and his nova replacement. As far as the Teragen is concerned,
part of one nova gengineer by the name of Harold Manders, the ranks of novas must be replenished by any means necessary.
M.D. With Dr. Manders’ skills at their disposal, DeVries now has If doing so means causing potential emotional harm to the
a procedure to sidestep nova infertility that works fairly well – couples they deceive, then so be it. The natural process of
sometimes. The procedure begins with an egg cell donated by evolution is cruel, so why should they be any different? It is also
one of DeVries’ few fertile female novas, from which all of the important to note that Divis Mal and Jeremiah Scripture not only
nuclear genetic material has been removed. Several stem cells have full knowledge of this scheme, but have given the
are then taken from the sterile female nova who is attempting to Casablancas the blessing of Mal for this project. The Terat
conceive. The 23 chromosomes that would ordinarily be split off donor novas can have any level of permanent Taint desired by
into an egg cell are taken from the stem cells, with the the Storyteller, with the effects on the resulting pregnancies and
chromosome carrying the maternal M-R gene sequence singled offspring being as stated in the Interbreeding tables.
out for special attention. The mother’s M-R gene sequence is Exposure
removed from that chromosome, and replaced with the M-R
As of 2015, only the C-Z Megasyndicate has been unlucky
gene sequence from the donor’s egg. The maternal
enough to attract any official attention to their sperm bank
chromosomes are then transplanted into the donor’s egg, which
scam. As far as Utopia, Proteus and the Directive knows, all that
is then fertilized by donated sperm in a standard in vitro
the Megasyndicate has done is fraudulently sell viable baseline
procedure. Special medical nanotechnology developed by Rachel
sperm as that of nova donors, which is fairly trivial when
Alinsky is then implanted along with the fertilized egg into the
compared to their other crimes. This state of blissful ignorance
mother’s womb. If all goes well, the medical nanites will prevent
cannot last. Revelation of the operations of the Nakato Gumi, C-
the fertilized egg from being rejected by the mother’s immune
Z Megasyndicate, DeVries Agency and Teragen involving
reproductive technologies would immediately draw intense
Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to the Hagar
hostile interest from many factions. Utopia and Proteus would
Procedure. First off, Rachel Alinsky’s special medical
take a dim view of any operations intended to increase the nova
nanotechnology is in game terms a gadget useable only by novas
population, and would seek to shut them down with extreme
with medical expertise. Second is the fact that the genetic
prejudice. The Directive would seek to immediately shut down
manipulations and nanotech operations involved in the Hagar
the operations of the C-Z Megasyndicate and the Teragen, but
Procedure are both unwieldy enough that the nova gengineer
would assuredly leave the Nakato Gumi and DeVries to their own
must have Luck and Attunement , in order to
devices. The Teragen would seek to subvert the operations of
literally shift the odds for successful conception and pregnancy
the Nakato Gumi and C-Z Megasyndicate (along with any stud
in the favor of the would-be mother. Third is the failure rate of
novas involved) for their own purposes. The Aberrants would
80%; for every successful pregnancy resulting from the Hagar
want to rescue unwilling stud novas in the Nakato Gumi’s
Procedure, there are four cases of stillbirth or natural abortion.
operation, and prevent the C-Z Megasyndicate stud novas from
Fourth, Anna DeVries has kept a very tight rein over who gets
being used as such due to their (and presumably their offspring)
to use her new medical miracle. Using the Hagar Procedure
being highly prone to taint. Interference with the DeVries or
requires Backing with DeVries. There is no Resource
Teragen operations is unlikely, though possible victimization of
rating required, as Anna expects the resulting children to
the resulting offspring would be an issue for the Aberrants. Most
literally be raised as part of the DeVries “corporate
elite agencies would be ambivalent or disgusted by the
community”. Finally, it can’t do a thing to help infertile male
operations, but would refrain from interfering with them unless
novas father their own children. As of 2015, eight ostensibly
hired to do so. As far as the baseline factions are concerned,
sterile nova women have managed to conceive and successfully
their reactions would range from alarm and concern (at best) to
bear children by means of the Hagar Procedure, including Anna
subversion attempts or witch-hunts (at worst). Many national
DeVries herself. The status of children created with the Hagar
governments and corporations would leap at the chance to
Procedure depends on the status of the biological father; who
breed and raise their own force of novas, while the Church of
will usually be a baseline, High-Quantum baseline or a fertile
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 37
Michael Archangel would see the donors, parents and children the motherhunters is another good way to enter into conflict
involved in these operations as yet more targets to eliminate. 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
The Motherhunters them beforehand? Recruiting freshly-rescued breeder novas to
Utopia, Proteus, and other groups have agents that track join the operatives’ faction has been known to happen, as timing
down any proven “breeder” novas that those organizations can be everything in a sales pitch. And as money can buy nearly
uncover or otherwise become aware of. Utopians might seek to anything in 2015, greed can pull an operative into the thick of
take their quarry and their offspring into custody (where this conflict, provided that the client he’s working for can afford
Proteus can execute and/or experiment on them with impunity), his services. The common thread here is that the delivery boys
while Proteus agents may likely kill them as soon as is feasible. and girls agree that breeder novas and their offspring are worth
Agents of other groups may or may not have other plans for protecting. This can lead to problems when said breeder novas
“breeder” novas and their children, depending on the goals of are either tainted monstrosities or remorseless criminals. If
their organization. Who are these people, and how do they delivery boys and girls aren’t careful in choosing which novas to
operate? And how can a budding nova family avoid their notice, protect, they could wind up bearing partial responsibility for any
or failing that, avoid being captured and/or killed? unwarranted deaths and destruction their erstwhile charges may
Sinister Actions cause in the future.
The experiences of taking a spouse and having children are
Utopia: Motherhunters. At the
arguably two of the major cornerstones of human society, and
very least, Utopians will seek to
are assumed to be common goals for most people. So what could
establish & maintain surveillance of
make a nova capable of doing harm to a couple or family of
suspected breeder novas. If direct
breeder novas? Sadly, there are many things that can cause a
action is deemed necessary by their
nova to become one of the true “motherhunters”, with
superiors, Utopians will typically seek
sociopathy and sadism being only two of the more obvious
to take their quarry and their
reasons. Simple greed can also be enough, as most organizations
offspring into custody (where Proteus
that sponsor motherhunters can afford to pay them very
can execute and/or experiment on
handsomely for performing this particular brand of dirty work. A
them with impunity, if Thetis so
desire for revenge on a particular nova can all too easily expand
desires). This isn’t the case where
in focus to cover novas in general. Misguided religious zeal has
highly-tainted breeder novas are
led devout baselines to commit atrocities for centuries, and
concerned, as Utopians will use deadly
devout novas are no less vulnerable to it. It’s not unheard of for
force against obvious threats.
some sterile novas to become so envious of their fertile
Proteus: Motherhunters. Proteus agents’ aims will vary
brethren that they can’t bear the thought of breeder novas
with their mission parameters. They
having children and starting families. Even simple mistaken
will depend on Utopian surveillance for
beliefs about the nature of novas and/or their 2ndGen offspring
the most part, with Proteus’ spies
can be enough, given sufficiently unpleasant prior experience
performing surveillance in those areas
with a nova. The one thing that motherhunters all have in
beyond Utopia’s reach. When actively
common is a willingness to dehumanize their prey, to see them
motherhunting, Proteus agents will
as objects to either be used or disposed of instead of thinking,
typically attempt to capture their
feeling humans. Of course, dehumanizing other novas is much
quarry for live experimentation. If any
easier when the novas in question are either heavily tainted or
discovered offspring are young
prove themselves monstrous by their deeds. In these latter
enough, Thetis might have them sent
situations, an erstwhile motherhunter will have more in common
to Dr. Toiho at the Bahrain clinic for
with the monster hunters of past centuries, and is more liable to
comparison to his artificially-produced
come away from such hunts with a clean conscience.
nova children. Otherwise, they will kill
Opposite Reactions breeder novas and their offspring as
Just as the motherhunters seek to harm or exploit breeder soon as is feasible.
novas and their families, there are those nova operatives who Teragen: Delivery Boys. By their way of thinking, every
also track those novas down in order to aid and protect them. nova they rescue from baseline oppression is a
The motives of these “delivery boys and girls” are almost as future Terat – the only variable is how long it
varied as those of the motherhunters. Moral integrity and will take said nova to see the light (read:
idealism have often inspired ordinary people to stand against accept the Terat viewpoint as the truth). Only
wrongdoing, as have religious conviction, ideology and those breeder novas known to have harmed
possession of a strong sense of justice. A need for vengeance other novas will be denied Terat aid. Of
against motherhunters – or the organizations that employ them course, the price of Terat aid is often to
– can easily lead a nova into this kind of protection work. become Terats themselves (or at least allies of
Revulsion and outrage over the despicable goals and tactics of the Teragen).
The Directive: Motherhunters. The only thing preventing makes their effectiveness questionable. And of course, the
these operatives from being as Church of Michael Archangel will be fanatic (if mostly
vicious as Proteus agents is their ineffective) motherhunters.
tendency to obey civil laws, even if One such group that deserves special attention where this
only in the breach. In the eyes of conflict is concerned is the Daedelus League. Most of the other
too many Directive agents, novas factions believe that this loose association of nova space travel
are threats to baseline enthusiasts is of little importance and even less relevance to the
governments and society just by conflict between motherhunters
virtue of their existence, and are and delivery boys. They couldn’t be
therefore just as guilty as any more mistaken. The Daedelus
international criminal or petty Third World dictator. They won’t League’s sympathies makes them
seek to kill breeder novas and their offspring if unprovoked, but delivery boys in most cases, much
a lifetime of imprisonment and interrogation isn’t that much like the Aberrants, although their
better than death. facilities for relocating breeder
Aberrants: Delivery Boys. Aberrant operatives will seek novas aren’t for everyone. As all
to protect breeder novas who aren’t they currently have are a few
obvious threats to humanity, who covert asteroid bases, the Daedelus
will either have high levels of taint League lacks any offworld refuges for novas who cannot handle
or are harmful criminals. Recruit- life in a space habitat and don’t have Adaptability. (The
ment of breeder novas rescued by hyperactive metabolism of novas fortunately makes them
Aberrant operatives isn’t unknown immune to low-gravity aggravated osteoporosis, so artificial
– the Aberrants tend to be fugitives gravity isn’t a necessity for the residents of the League’s
as well, so it isn’t that much of a asteroid bases.) This will change in upcoming years, however.
lifestyle change for a breeder nova. After his talks with Thomas Sering and the Protectors on
DeVries: Variable. Anna DeVries has instituted a quiet establishing an offworld colony (Aberrant Players Guide, p.
program of offering sanctuary to “employable” breeder novas 178), Cyrus Katrak has slowly become convinced of three things.
and their offspring in return for hiring on as DeVries employees. First is the fact that those novas who wish to lead a relatively
DeVries elites have been known to accept offers to hunt down normal life – a surprisingly large minority – instead of becoming
breeder novas who are obvious celebrities and commodities have almost no chance of doing so
threats, but Anna has also directed on Earth, thanks to the influence of the various factions of the
them to discreetly capture their Nova Age. Second is the growing certainty that the existing
offspring. These children are then social order between novas and baselines as of 2015 cannot be
adopted by loyal DeVries employ- sustained over the long term without risking catastrophic
ees, in hopes that they will become damage to either Terran civilization (at best) or Earth’s
DeVries employees themselves biosphere (at worst). Third is the knowledge that advances in
when they grow up. Terran space exploration will certainly lead to most of the Solar
Other Elite agencies: Variable. Agencies such as Argus, System being claimed by various Earth governments, making
Peacekeepers and NovaCom will likely seek to protect breeder asteroid and interplanetary colonies stopgap measures at best
novas that aren’t violent criminals or tainted monstrosities. The for novas wishing to live free of their entanglements.
Janissaries and other agencies who focus more on combat for For these reasons, Katrak and certain other Daedelus
profit without regard to morality will tend to act as League members have started a long-term covert operation of
motherhunters more often than not. space exploration beyond the Solar System, with the goal of
National governments: Variable. Depending on the finding new worlds for humans – both nova and baseline – to
attitudes towards novas held by a given regime, breeder novas inhabit. Although the Daedelus League has always paid lip
could find themselves deported, marked for execution, or service to the idea of eventually finding extrasolar planets
recruited for (often lucrative) government service. National capable of supporting human life, Katrak’s recent conclusions
nova groups such as Nordlysene, Nippontai or Australis will act have given them motivations for that search beyond scientific
as directed by their government superiors. Any motherhunter or curiosity and the urge to explore. They have also managed to
delivery boy operatives lacking an organized nova group will keep this operation a secret (so far) from the scientific
come from the security agencies of the given country. community and the various other factions of the Nova Age.
Other groups: Variable. Groups that specialize in a After fending off repeated recruiting attempts from Project
certain activity, such as the Gestalt does in the use of psychic Utopia, Katrak has no intention of allowing the Daedelus League
abilities or Greenwar in ecoterrorism, won’t have much to do to be subverted by any of the other factions, especially since
with either motherhunters or delivery boys. Isolationist groups that would put the survival of both the known human subspecies
such as the Protectors could offer sanctuary to “suitable” at risk. Currently, the Daedelus League has drawn up plans for
breeder novas and their offspring. The Queer Nova Alliance expeditions to certain star systems and has quietly recruited
would be most likely to act as delivery boys where matters of warper novas capable of reaching those star systems as quickly
conflicting loyalties don’t apply, although their lax security as possible. Their hope is that they will find at least one
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 39
habitable planet before the situation on Earth between novas as the Copycat or Mr. Nobody Mega-Appearance enhancements
and baselines degenerates and breaks out into global warfare. are the best disguises available to them. The only alternative for
Once one or more such planets are found, they can then be an Applegate nova who cannot pass for baseline is the
colonized by those novas and baselines who wish to live together unenviable life of a shut-in. Living undercover is hard enough for
in peace, far away from the madness and devastation that adults, but it’s even harder for young children. Once the
threatens Earth and all who live there. That way, something expected difficulties of raising one or more nova children while
worthwhile of humanity and its civilization will survive, even remaining undercover become apparent, most Applegate
should the Earth itself be reduced to a radioactive cinder in the families tend to become fairly transient in order to minimize the
upcoming conflict. risks of exposure. Jobs where an employee’s family must move
on a regular basis are coveted by Applegate novas, as the
constant relocation provides a ready explanation for their
Dangerous Prey reluctance to form social bonds with their current neighbors.
Finally, we come to the focus of the conflict between the Jobs where the employee can work from home using the OpNet
motherhunters and delivery boys, the breeder novas and their are also valued, as it allows an Applegate nova parent to keep an
children. Forswearing the easy fame and glamor that most of eye on his or her kids during work hours. Due to their largely
their kind are accustomed to, these novas instead do their best unofficial nature, employment in many of the criminal
to live free from the interference of a world that sees them as occupations also works well in the Applegate lifestyle. While
commodities, media icons and political pawns instead of the Applegate novas and their kids prefer not to make casual friends
people that they really are. Ironically, their disengagement from and acquaintances for security reasons, they do sometimes
the typical nova lifestyle has made these recluses even more manage to make real friends on rare occasion. Applegate nova
important to the world than their more public brethren. Thanks children tend to be fairly isolated from the communities they live
to their shunning of the media’s limelight, these hidden novas in, with much of their education either given them by their
have managed to avoid Utopia’s nova sterilization program. parents through home schooling or acquired online through
Against all odds, the majority of these isolated novas have OpNet-based educational institutions. Provided that an
managed to pair off into breeding couples and have had children. Applegate nova couple has enough discipline to only use their
The nascent power of these “second generation” novas is what nova capabilities when necessary, and that they can teach their
has made them and their parents into some of the most highly children to do the same, they can go on for several years
sought-after novas on the planet. With so many of the factions without being discovered by their enemies... if they’re lucky.
of the Nova Age bent on either exploiting or killing them, how Country Cousins
have the breeder novas and their offspring managed to remain
hidden and survive on their own for as long as they have? And The second option available to breeder novas is to establish
for how much longer can they expect to keep their hard-won some sort of homestead in a region on Earth that is at least
freedom? somewhat removed from baseline civilization. Breeder novas
taking this “backwoods” route tend to be either those who
The Applegates cannot pose as baselines in civilized society due to personal
For breeder novas attempting to live their lives and raise circumstances or those who just don’t want to do so for some
their children free from unwanted interference, there are four reason. The main benefit of this route is that they won’t have to
main options. The first option is what some have referred to as keep as quite a low profile as the Applegate breeder novas.
“the Applegate route”. An Applegate nova is one who has They still have to be wary of remote surveillance and the like,
abandoned all ties to her pre-eruption life, gone underground but both the breeder novas and their 2ndGen children can use
and is currently living under an assumed identity as a baseline. their powers somewhat more openly and put in more of their
The main benefit of this approach is the (usually) convenient spare time into practicing their use. They might have to pose as
access to the goods and services offered by baseline society. baselines when visitors come calling or when they go to town,
Provided that an Applegate family remains as anonymous as but they can be themselves at other times. The drawback to all
possible, they can enjoy the comforts that too many baselines in this is the physical and social isolation that’s required. Novas
the First World take for granted. The main problem with attempting to live apart from baseline civilization are put in
adopting this lifestyle is the constant secrecy that an Applegate much the same position as the American pioneers of the 19th
family must maintain at all times in order to keep from blowing Century, as they will typically be living with little or no readily
their cover. Applegate novas must have some way to pass for available support from society. Basic competence in a wide
baseline, possibly for long periods of time. Fortunately, the array of skills such as construction, medicine, cooking and
Dormancy background is tailor-made for this situation. Provided agriculture – just to name a few examples – will be required for
that the nova using it hasn’t accumulated too much taint, a backwoods nova family to survive. Fortunately, a nova can
“dorming down” will allow a breeder nova to effectively revert literally have several lifetimes’ worth of skills, making this way
to his or her previous baseline self for as long as necessary and of life much more feasible for a backwoods nova family. If all or
with little risk of detection. The only problem with this tactic is even just a few members of a backwoods nova family has
that second generation novas cannot use Dormancy at all – superhuman survival advantages such as the Adaptability
since they were essentially born erupted, the 2ndGen novas enhancement, the cards used in the game of survival are stacked
literally have no baseline selves to revert to. If the 2ndGen nova even more in their favor. Unfortunately, the members of a
child in question isn’t a “stealth nova”, temporary solutions such backwoods nova family will need all of those advantages sooner
or later. Unlike the Applegate breeder novas, backwoods pioneers, as the surrounding environment is far more hostile
breeder novas have no one but themselves to rely on in an than the American Old West ever was, making the colony
emergency. They may live at a distance from the towns and extremely dependent on highly complex technology for their
cities, but can visit them when necessary to obtain needed survival. If the colonists fail to get along and work well together,
goods, services and social contact. The basic tenets of civilized the social environment of a space colony will resemble a
life are respected – sometimes – and occasionally with more potential forest fire, as even the smallest faux pas or
sincerity than is normally found in mainstream baseline society. indiscretion can threaten the survival of the colony as a whole.
Personal honor and integrity (or the appearance of such) are Without ready access to Earth’s markets, all food, medicines and
also valued, as they are marks of someone who can be relied other consumer goods must be either produced at the colony,
upon in a pinch and will reciprocate aid given to him. Education imported in large quantities or simply done without. Even simple
for the children in such families tends to be of the home- luxuries such as chocolate or coffee are few and far between.
schooling variety, but a wealth of practical knowledge and skills The maintenance of a colony’s technological devices will be of
are also part of the curriculum. Backwoods breeder novas prime importance, as a breakdown in either of the life support
following this lifestyle tend to have little or no Taint, as they rely systems or the power plant, for example, is the stuff of
on being able to cooperate with each other and interact nightmares for space colonists. Living inside a sealed habitat can
successfully with their family members (and with their also lead to outbreaks of cabin fever, which may or may not be
neighbors, on occasion) in order to survive. Backwoods breeder alleviated by going outside the colony in a spacesuit or small
novas who refrain from drawing attention to themselves can spacecraft. Nova space colonists are extremely likely to either
expect to live unmolested for years before eventually being have or develop Adaptability, as the ability go simply go outside
discovered. the colony without risking immediate death makes for a welcome
Settlers of the Solar System psychological release valve. Education for the children of a
Daedelus League or Protectors space colony is excellent, as both
The third option is to become a space colonist. Only two of
groups have members who are well capable of and willing to
the factions of the Nova Age have managed to establish
provide quality instruction up to the university level. In other
operational offworld colonies by 2015, although they are not
space colonies education will be of the home-schooling variety,
currently open to habitation by baselines. The Daedelus League
although instruction related to techonology and living in space it
has established secret habitats hollowed out from the cores of a
will likely be of high quality thanks to their extreme importance
few of the larger stony asteroids (the smallest is 12 km in
to space colonists. Breeder novas living in a space colony will
diameter) found within the main Asteroid Belt. The habitats
always have little or no Taint, as the survival of everyone in
were designed by the League’s resident Mega-Intelligent nova
their community often depends on their being able to cooperate
space scientists, and are surprisingly livable for a microgravity
and get along with each other, even in the most difficult of
environment. The Protectors have established a subsurface
circumstances. If they don’t draw attention to themselves, space
Mars colony with the aid of the Daedelus League, which is buried
colonists can expect to go for decades without fear of attack.
somewhere beneath the bottom of Hellas Planitia. While only a
few Protector novas are living there in 2015, the Protectors The New Barbarians
eventually plan to relocate their entire organization en masse to The fourth option is a reversion to a savage lifestyle, which
their Mars colony, abandoning both their Antarctic base and is all too often the only feasible choice for breeder novas that
Earth by 2020. The only thing holding them back is their current have developed excessive amounts of taint, with all the insanity
lack of a reliable artificial gravity system. With such a system in and social difficulties that entails. Savage breeder novas tend to
place, the Protectors’ baseline members will be able to live and rely on their Mega-Attributes and quantum powers for their
work right alongside their nova brethren, just as Thomas Sering survival, although only some of them have completely abandoned
had always intended. Three of the Protectors’ best the use of technology. Provided that the members of a savage
hyperintelligent nova scientists have been working on tribe all have the Adaptability enhancement, just about any
developing such a system for several months, and a isolated and rarely-visited locale on Earth (and many places
breakthrough is expected soon. The other space colonies tend to offplanet) can make suitable refuges for these monsters. Denied
be the residences of either powerful individual novas or small the benefits of being part of a civilized, humane society, these
nova groups. The Teragen have made tentative plans to breeder novas have adopted a degraded tribal sort of existence
establish a new enclave somewhere on Luna (see Aberrant that many 21st Century baseline tribal cultures would find
Worldwide: Phase I, p. 84), but with events such as the “Night apalling. In this way of life might literally does make right,
of Long Knives” in their immediate future, it remains to be seen outsiders are either allies of convenience or victims to be
whether those plans will ever make it off the drawing board. exploited, and baselines are seen as ready-made peons to
Aside from their extreme isolation, the main benefit of this dominate however one wishes. Social norms can vary wildly
lifestyle is becoming part of a tightly-knit small community from those of modern baseline society, and transgressions
where the colonists don’t have to hide their nova powers and against said norms may either be punished severely or merely
can engage in honest social relationships with other colonists winked at and ignored. In this social environment, it can only be
than their immediate family group. Despite minor differences expected for dysfunctional personalities and relationships to
such as location and exterior environment, all space colonies become the rule instead of the exception. Cruelty and a basic
present similar challenges for the colonists who live there. The lack of empathy for others – including their fellow tribe
basic situation is even more difficult than that of historical members – are all but universal in savage breeder novas, as
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 41
these qualities allow them to take advantage of whatever relocating a space colony is a massive undertaking, and will only
opportunities fall their way without wasting time on debates be considered in the most dire circumstances. Lethal force will
over morality. Education for the children in a savage tribe is almost always be used against motherhunters, as a motherhunter
widely varied at best, and often tends to be short on cultural and attack against a space colony requires serious material and
technological knowledge. Backwoods breeder novas who take up financial support. Aside from their own nova powers, space
this lifestyle are always those who have accumulated large colonists will not hesitate to use any technological weapons that
amounts of taint, as their various mental disorders and could feasibly kill the attackers. Depending on the level of
difficulties in social interactions with baselines can make it near- resources and scientific expertise among their members, space
impossible to operate in civilized society. With their mental and colonists could plausibly deploy large-scale monofilament
social problems derived from their taint and a casual contempt weapons, kinetic railguns, DeVries Nanokill (see Aberrant:
Brainwaves), nuclear warheads and bomb-pumped x-ray or
for outsiders, a tribe of savage breeder novas is fortunate if
gamma lasers. If the space colonists are fortunate, the fate of
they have the sense to avoid drawing hostile attention to any motherhunters they kill will become just another unsolved
themselves. If so, they can probably manage to engage in their mystery of the Nova Age. As most space colonies will have been
brutal activities for years. If not, they can expect to be attacked established under the provenance of benevolent factions such as
in short order. the Daedelus League and the Protectors, the aid of delivery boys
Exposure from the colony’s parent organization or their allies will always
No matter which lifestyle they adopt, all breeder novas and be welcomed by space colonists. Savage breeder novas will most
their offspring must make plans for when they will eventually often fight any motherhunters who attack them, although some
come under attack from the motherhunters. Unless breeder of them will certainly have enough sense to flee in the face of
novas have access to telepathic means of altering the memories overwhelming opposition. Lethal force will be used on any and
of inconvenient people, their reactions can be boiled down to a all motherhunters, unless a savage nova thinks that one of the
simple choice: fight or flight. Applegate breeder novas will seek attackers might be more desirable as a captive instead of a
to flee at the first sign that they have been compromised, corpse. In this case, a captive might prefer death to becoming a
although they will fight in the defense of themselves and their slave, torture subject or concubine. Discretion in their fighting
children. If the threat posed by the motherhunters is dire usually won’t be a concern for savage novas, as almost all of
enough, Applegates will have no compunctions about using lethal them really like the idea of being feared by outsider novas and
force against their antagonists if they can do so discreetly or in baselines. Relocation is a haphazard affair at best for tribes of
a manner that can’t be connected to them. After escaping from a savage novas, as they will end up losing their accumulated wealth
motherhunter attack, Applegate novas will abandon their just as often as they manage to save it. Assuming new identities
current identities and lives and establish new ones elsewhere. is rarely done, as most savage novas are either too twisted by
For this reason, it’s common for Applegates to keep most of Taint for that to be feasible or too egotistical to even consider
their wealth and personal records in forms that are either easily it. Likewise, any delivery boys who offer aid to a tribe of savage
transported or disposed of, as the situation warrants. They also novas are walking a fine line – the savages might accept the
try to limit the amount of possessions they have, for much the offer, or they might consider it an insult to be repaid in blood.
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 won’t 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 –
scaled down a bit. This makes feeding an infant nova a Herculean
“And Baby Makes task, not to mention dealing with huge amount of dirty diapers
that will be produced. Clothing for a 2ndGen nova baby had best
Three…” 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
For quite a few breeder nova couples attempting to
become parents, bearing a healthy nova infant is often paraphysician with training in pediatrics as a loyal ally is the best
considered the ultimate prize. Considering all the hurdles placed possible situation as far as the infant’s medical care is
in their path by Project Proteus and other factions, it’s not concerned, especially as modern medical ethics frowns upon a
surprising that breeder novas often romanticize their goal of medical doctor treating her own relatives. Education is also a
becoming parents, as the fantasy of achieving domestic familial concern, especially in the case of Mega-Intelligent 2ndGen
bliss can sustain them in difficult situations. Unfortunately, that’s children – if the parents aren’t careful, a 2ndGen child prodigy
still just a fantasy, and one that’s only loosely connected to could wind up learning things unsuited for young and overly
reality at best. Lots of new parents can easily be that naïve, and impressionable minds. As if that wasn’t enough, the various
new nova parents are no exception. Getting pregnant and giving powers and Mega-Attributes a 2ndGen infant can manifest will
birth is only the beginning. For new baseline parents, the add new and wicked little wrinkles to this situation. The playpen
experience of having a child will either make or break their of a 2ndGen baby with any form of flight will have to come with a
relationship as a couple and a family. The basic situation isn’t lockable lid. Keeping clothes on a toddler can be hard enough
that much different for new nova parents, as 2ndGen nova without the toddler being able to use Bodymorph or Shapeshift
children are usually just as troublesome as their baseline to escape from them. 2ndGen kids with destructive powers such
counterparts – it’s just that the problems (if not the joys) of as Immolate can also go through a lot of outfits in short order. A
raising a 2ndGen nova child can be and often are very different. 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 won’t have to consume
Nova Parenting 101 as much food as other infant novas must, she could possibly also
With the birth of their first child, a breeder nova couple remain awake and crying for attention 24 hours a day. If a
will experience a permanent lifestyle change of a truly radical 2ndGen child manifests a dangerous power at too early an age (or
degree. The responsibilities of caring for a completely one that would draw attention from motherhunters, in the case
dependent child will almost entirely divorce the new parents of families living on Earth), his or her parents will have to create
from the hedonistic and often irresponsible lifestyles practiced a complex inhibiting use of that power in the child’s psyche,
by the majority of other novas in the early Nova Age. Combine much as is done in the course of toilet training. The complex will
that with either having to go underground or leaving Earth to usually be removed by the parents once the child is old enough
evade the motherhunters, and you have an adjustment which can to use the power responsibly, even though this tactic tends to
be truly hard for even novas to make. The pleasures most novas result in overcompensation when the complex is undone. (The
take for granted will become things of the past for nova parents, age-based cap on a True 2ndGen child’s Mega-Attribute and
especially if indulging in them would risk exposing their family to quantum power ratings is a welcome blessing in this situation.)
the motherhunters. Socializing with casual friends and When a 2ndGen child is older, her parents must also train her in
acquaintances will become a danger to be avoided instead of a such things as self-discipline, combat and the use of her nova
way to relieve pyschological stress. The idea of freedom can capabilities. Depending on where a breeder nova couple decides
also become an near-alien concept for nova parents, as living to settle down, they will also have to train the child in either
undercover or in the wilderness precludes hiring a babysitter or maintaining secrecy or living in a space habitat. Neither situation
going to child-friendly restaurants on a regular basis. Nova is free of problems for a 2ndGen child’s development; growing up
parents in the space colonies have it only slightly easier in terms undercover can result in social inexperience, while growing up in
of their social lives, as the isolation and pressures of living in an space limits the child’s social exposure to their own tiny
asteroid colony or interplanetary base will make up for the community.
increased opportunities for safe social contact. Even engaging in Fortunately, the rewards of parenthood and family usually
combat is seen from a different perspective, as the risks of balance out the problems and restrictions, even for novas. When
fighting deadly foes are thrown into sharp relief when one has a compared to the hollow pleasures of most novas, the sense of
spouse and children depending on them. fulfillment that comes from having a family of one’s own stacks
All of that would be difficult enough if the offspring of a up surprisingly well. The enduring love of spouse and children
nova couple was a powerless and easily-handled infant. will always beat out transitory fame and the fickle adulation of
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one’s point of the global media. When the 2ndGen novas come into their own in
view), most breeder nova couples will bear 2ndGen nova upcoming decades, one can be sure that some of them will have
offspring, who are literally born with their quantum powers. parents filled with pride over their exploits and achievements.
Nova parents will have to provide all of the expected necessities Closer allies than one’s own spouse and children cannot be asked
(food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.), which can be quite a for. As adults, a nova couple’s grown-up children can typically
hassle even with the aid of quantum powers. Nova infants be relied on for both the little things (helping their parents move
typically share the enormous appetite of adult novas, even if it’s into a new home) and the great (taking care of their elderly
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 43
parents). The True 2ndGens’ high resistance to Taint will also some way is a waste of time and effort. It’s not a question of
prove a comfort to their parents, who will have seen far too Trog 2ndGens being either born as or made into monsters, as
many former friends and colleagues become irreparably twisted both nature and nurture conspire to make them into
by the taint. Finally, breeder novas with children have a more- abominations.
or-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, L’Enfants Terrible
considering that knowledge of so many of the heroic novas and On rare occasion, a couple comprised of latent novas
their good deeds has either been forgotten or deliberately and/or High-Quantum baselines will manage to give birth to a
suppressed by Aeon by the Trinity era. 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
Scions of Teras and Taint their parents, if they can manage it.) Lacking any way to defend
Much of what has been said on the parenting of nova themselves against the infant’s nova capabilities, the baseline
children has been mainly applicable to the True 2ndGen novas parents of a 2ndGen nova child at best will be living under the
and their parents. But what of the progeny of the Teragen, or constant threat of injury, mental domination or death due to
the spawn of the highly-tainted breeder novas? As could only be inadvertent or deliberate power use. At worst, the parents can
expected for novas who have either rejected their baseline easily find themselves trapped in a nightmarish existence
human heritage or lost it to taint, their “family” situations are straight out of a horror movie. In these situations, most such
quite different. For the Terat 2ndGens, the main differences baseline couples will gladly give up their nova offspring to be
from their True counterparts is an increased vulnerability to adopted and raised by other novas.
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 hasn’t been much in the way of Playing 2ndGen Novas
family bonding for Terat 2ndGens, as the only parents they have Despite the best efforts of Director Thetis and Project
ever known are Bounty, Jeremiah Scripture and Divis Mal. (Plans Proteus, the second generation novas have been born and are
have been made to have the 2ndGens adopted by Terat foster now available as player characters (at your Storyteller’s
parents at Badanah in coming years, but it remains to be seen if discretion). The progeny of two fertile novas, these children can
anything will come of that after the Night of Long Knives.) Given attain levels of power that few outside of the Teragen have any
up to Bounty’s care by their biological parents, these nova inkling of in 2015. However, the 2ndGens’ potential for extreme
children have literally been raised in the ways of Teras and the power is counterbalanced by their immaturity and inexperience.
Chrysalis by Scripture, thanks to his powers over Barring the odd 2ndGen nova with an accelerated growth cycle,
communication. Having been raised free from baseline in 2015 even the oldest known 2ndGen novas will only be in their
expectations and connections, the Teragen’s stated intention is mid-teens, with the vast majority of 2ndGens being either pre-
for these children to become living exemplars of Teras, for adolescent or still in diapers. Not only will the 2ndGens face the
other novas to rally around when the conflict between novas and difficulties of nova life, they also get to deal with all the “joys”
baseline humanity breaks out into open warfare. The reality of of being kids. Add in a whole grocers’ list of people who want to
the situation is that too many Terats have little if any parental either recruit, exploit or kill these child-gods, and you have what
bonds with their 2ndGen progeny, and see them only as useful could only be called an “interesting” (as in the Chinese curse)
pawns in the continuing conflicts both with baseline humanity childhood and a certifiable roleplaying challenge. If that sounds
and between the Terats themselves. Aside from Bounty, the appealing to you, read on...
Terat 2ndGens have few if any defenders within the Teragen, The Basic Template
and their survival is by no means assured, especially as they will
likely turn out just as egomaniacal as their elders. For the Trog 2ndGen novas are created much like other Aberrant
2ndGens, their family situations tend to range from “bad” to characters, except for having several additional benefits and
“worse” to “abysmal”. These nova offspring are not only born limitations that are unique to these “natural born novas”.
mentally warped by taint, but also by the experience of being 2ndGen novas do not erupt, but are born with their
raised by insane, dysfunctional and quite possibly abusive quantum powers and will grow into them naturally.
parents. Highly-tainted breeder novas also tend to either lead 2ndGen novas start with +20 nova points in addition to
dangerous lives or tend not to be strong believers in permanent the level of nova points used in the chronicle (Aberrant Players
mating relationships, which results in a higher than average rate Guide, pp. 66-68). As the other characters in an Aberrant
of single mothers among these novas, with all the additional chronicle usually won’t be the parents of a 2ndGen character, this
problems that implies. Add in the fact that these little monsters shouldn’t be taken a reliable indicator of the power levels of a
don’t have any limits on their base Attribute, Mega-Attribute 2ndGen character’s parents.
and quantum power ratings, and you have the makings of a truly 2ndGen novas cannot gain Taint from having a high rating
hellish family life. As most Trog 2ndGens will only receive of the Node Background. The individual farahcyte cells that
cursory care from their parents at best, they quickly learn that would form the M-R node in a first generation nova’s brain are
caring for other beings who cannot immediately benefit them in instead evenly distributed throughout the grey matter of a
2ndGen nova’s brain, so there is no possibility of brain damage.
2ndGen novas have their life expectancy increased by Apotheosis, the Storyteller can then switch to awarding that
+50% longer than that of first generation novas, even before character experience points just like any other Aberrant
any dots of Mega-Stamina are factored in. character. The third method is to award experience points to
2ndGen novas cannot buy Tainted Quantum, Mega- 2ndGen nova characters normally, but let them use the following
Attributes, enhancements or quantum powers with either nova chart for purchasing quantum-related items with experience
points or experience points. points after they undergo Apotheosis. Storytellers who want to
2ndGen novas cannot take the Dormancy Background, as really emphasize the extreme potential of the 2ndGen novas may
they literally have no “baseline selves”. also use the first or second methods along with the third, at their
2ndGen novas cannot have an active Quantum rating discretion.
higher than 5 until they undergo Apotheosis and come into their
full power. However, a 2ndGen nova character can purchase Trait Increase Cost
more than 5 dots of Quantum, with the additional dots Mega-Attribute CR x3*
representing “untapped potential” that the character cannot use Quantum Power (Level 1) current rating x 2*
until Apotheosis takes place. Quantum Power (Level 2) current rating x 3*
2ndGen novas must take one of the Clade packages (True, Quantum Power (Level 3) current rating x 5*
Terat or Trog). Quantum Power (Level 4) current rating x 7*
Unless your Aberrant chronicle takes place after 2015, Quantum Power (Level 5) current rating x 9*
all 2ndGen novas must take some level of the Adolescent/Child Quantum Power (Level 6) current rating x 12*
Flaw. 2ndGen characters who have already reached maturity via Quantum current rating x 6*
the Accelerated Maturation enhancement might also be allowed, Quantum Pool 2 per dot
but only at the Storyteller’s discretion. New Trait Cost
Apotheosis Mega-Attribute 3*
Despite having been born with the ability to manipulate Quantum Power (Level 1) 2*
quantum, 2ndGen nova children won’t start to develop their true Quantum Power (Level 2) 3*
potential until sometime during puberty. At that point, 2ndGen Quantum Power (Level 3) 5*
children will undergo a process called Apotheosis that’s similar to Quantum Power (Level 4) 7*
the eruptions of their parents, if far less traumatic. While there is Quantum Power (Level 5) 9*
no physical trauma associated with Apotheosis, a 2ndGen nova Quantum Power (Level 6) 12*
must still adjust to her greatly expanded powers and capabilities.
The exact details of the effects of undergoing Apotheosis have * Cannot be purchased Tainted.
been left to the Storyteller’s discretion, but they all involve a **(This reduced cost applies only to available quantum-
dramatic increase in a 2ndGen nova’s power. The exact time at related backgrounds such as Attunement and Node.)
which Apotheosis will occur will vary (and will also be at the Extras for an existing quantum power are bought at 50%
Storyteller’s discretion), as some precocious 2ndGen might (round up) of the difference between total normal cost with &
undergo it as soon as they hit puberty, while late bloomers could without the Extra (Aberrant core book, p. 230).
undergo it during their mid- to late-teen years. Many other
factors can also influence the timing of a 2ndGen’s Apotheosis,
clade [kleyd] - noun, Biology
similar to the factors that can trigger eruption in first generation
A taxonomic group of organisms classified together on the
basis of homologous features traced to a common ancestor.
Fast-Track Development The Clades
There are three ways to depict in game terms the rapid
The tendency to see all individuals belonging to a given
increase in power that 2ndGen novas will exhibit as they grow
category as a unified group – especially if the category in
into their full power. The first method hews closely to the
question is seen as dangerous and/or just very different – is a
speculations of Dr. Toiho (see Aberrant: Project Utopia pp. 138-
common human failing. Even in the Nova Age, things are no
139), as 2ndGen characters will use the standard experience
different, especially when it comes to such a small and
point costs, but will also be granted a windfall of anywhere
mysterious category as the 2ndGen novas. Despite their potential
between 50 to 100 additional nova points (Storyteller’s
power being more theorized about than documented, the 2ndGen
discretion) when they undergo Apotheosis. The second method
novas are commonly considered by those few who know of them
is to grant a 2ndGen character a variable amount of nova points
to be monolithic in what they have to offer humanity, either in
instead of experience points at the end of every story until that
aid or harm. As always, the situation is more complex than most
character undergoes Apotheosis. Over the duration of a 2ndGen
people realize. 2ndGen novas are not one homogenous group, and
nova’s pre-Apotheosis “adventuring” life (which can be
never were. Most of them aren’t even organized into formal
anywhere from four to ten years of game time), the Storyteller
groups at all, which is understandable given how many of them
should expect to to grant that character the allotment of 50 to
are still under the age of 10 by 2015. Instead, they are split into
100 additional nova points. After a 2ndGen nova undergoes
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 45
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
Just from being born as novas (and never having been
to inherit parental aberrations by manifesting them as false
baseline humans), Trues can seem very strange to baseline
aberrations (a.k.a. taking aberrations as Flaws), but are
humans at first, and they can also sometimes lack insight into
otherwise highly Taint-resistant. (It’s the player’s choice as to
and/or sympathy for the problems that baseline humanity has to
whether or not this happens, as is which aberrations the 2ndGen
deal with. In game terms, Trues have a +2 difficulty penalty on
character will manifest.)
their initial social interactions with baseline humans. In both
cases, sustained positive social interaction (which includes such
Increased Taint Resistance: Trues cannot gain Taint
things as empathy, respect, compassion and good manners) can
from purchasing high Quantum, and automatically have the Taint
overcome this difficulty after the initial meeting. Keep in mind
Resistance Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 76). Trues use the
that this penalty will always be applied to a True’s initial social
“Very Low Taint” rules on p. 68 of the Aberrant Players Guide,
interactions with baseline humans, however. Trues will find
as they can gain temporary Taint from Power Strain & Rapid
xenophilic and/or “marginal” baselines (eccentrics, minorities
Recovery, but only in the most extreme cases (such as Power
and other “fellow outsiders”) the easiest to get along with.
Strain caused by maxing a Level 4 power several times in the
Baselines who are xenophobic can’t overcome their aversion to
space of an hour).
a True without appropriate psychotherapy, while
prejudiced/bigoted baselines will refuse to do so without the
The main problem faced by True 2ndGens is the intense
psychological impact of a “life-changing event” or something
interest that certain factions of both nova and baseline society
will have in using them, once they become aware of their
Ironically, Trues also have problems when socially
existence. The combination of a potential for extreme power
interacting with both heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas.
and a lack of Taint will make these kids either extremely
Sensing the increased power of a True without the
valuable or dangerous in the eyes of the various factions. Some
accompanying Taint that they’re accustomed to can put heavily
of the factions won’t hesitate to recruit, indoctrinate & exploit
Tainted novas and Terat novas on edge, as something about the
these young novas by any means necessary; and they simply
True just seems off-kilter, impossible or just flat-out wrong. In
won’t care to hear any objections from their parents. Other
game terms, Trues suffer a difficulty penalty of +2 on rolls for
factions will see a True as posing just as much of a potential
social interactions with heavily Tainted novas and Terat novas.
threat as the Terat and Trog 2ndGens, and may decide to strike
Trues can take false aberrations as Flaws to reduce their
at a True while he or she is still relatively weak. For this reason,
Adversarial Background ratings, with each point from a false
the Storyteller will assign True 2ndGens a variable number of
aberration Flaw replacing 1 dot of an Adversarial Background.
dots in the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
These false aberrations can be either inherited from a parent or
Backgrounds as appropriate. The True will receive no
be original to the True. In the latter case, the false aberrations
compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be
can be reflective of a parent’s quantum powers if desired. In any
bought off, as the factions’ interest in either exploiting or
case, a True cannot develop mental aberrations in this manner.
eliminating a known True 2ndGen will only increase in the years
Physical aberrations which aren’t repulsive to baselines are
leading up to the Aberrant War.
allowed, as are quantum aberrations which are not harmful to the duration of the Chrysalis will only be 1 day per experience
the True or those around him or her. Trues will be most likely to point spent while in Chrysalis.
have “special effect” aberrations, although aberrations which Problems:
can make a True’s life interesting (in a non-threatening, The main problem of being a child of the Teragen is that
comedic sense) are also possible. it’s somewhat like being born into the European aristocracy
As an adaptation to aid their survival to adulthood, pre- during the Renaissance. Despite having the potential for great
Apotheosis Trues have an age-based maximum limit on the dot power, Terat 2ndGens are often viewed as pawns by their elders;
ratings of their quantum powers and Mega-Attributes. This to be cultivated, manipulated, and when necessary (or desired)
makes them somewhat less of a hazard to their parents’ health, sacrificed for personal gain. Aside from Bounty (and perhaps
wealth and peace of mind; and also forces them to develop a Divis Mal and Scripture), few of the 1stGen Terats feel any
wider base for their future quantum power development. Pre- parental bonds with their 2ndGen offspring. This makes for a
Apotheosis Trues of 13 to 16 years of age are limited to 3 dots, dangerous situation for Terat 2ndGens to live in, especially as
those from 7 to 12 years of age are limited to 2 dots, and those Bounty has few true allies amongst her fellow Terats. Many
who are 6 years and younger are limited to 1 dot. Also, Pre- Flaws and Adversarial Backgrounds can be used to reflect the
Apotheosis Trues in these age ranges are unable to develop the perils that Terat 2ndGens will encounter from within the
Mastery Extra. The silver lining to this cloud is that these Trues Teragen.
are better able to manipulate their quantum energies at this From birth, Terat 2ndGens have been taught to reject
reduced power level, and can ignore botches on their power their baseline heritage and to view baselines as lesser beings.
rolls, treating them as simple failures instead. This mixed Combined with the fact they they have never been baseline
blessing/curse is lost when the True undergoes Apotheosis & his humans, this makes for a marked lack of sympathy, compassion
or her full power kicks in. At that time, the Storyteller may make and respect for baselines among many Terat 2ndGens. Even
up for that loss by assigning the True additional dots of the those who aren’t openly contemptuous and/or dismissive of
“Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial Backgrounds, baseline humanity will still tend to treat baselines with an air of
to reflect an increased interest the factions will have in a True superiority and noblesse oblige, and will see baselines as
once his or her full power becomes evident. Mega-Intelligent animalistic creatures who shouldn’t be expected to know any
pre-Apotheosis Trues with the Precocity enhancement still better and are perhaps to be pitied. Even the most tolerant
qualify for this limitation, despite their accelerated intellects. baselines will take offense at this, resulting in Terat 2ndGens
Terats suffering an additional +2 difficulties on their rolls for social
interactions with baselines. And since a belief in nova superiority
These are the offspring of two 1stGen Terat novas that
(if not outright supremacy) is a cornerstone of Teras, Terat
have gone through the Chrysalis. The Teragen always intended
2ndGens will almost never seek to remedy this fault in their
for their offspring to grow up free from baseline influences and
expectations, and they have succeeded for the most part.
As children of the Teragen, Terat 2ndGens are essentially
born with bull’s-eyes on them. From the viewpoint of Aeon and
Born to Teras: Due to the influence of the Chrysalis on
the rest of the baseline world, Terat 2ndGens are a deadly threat
their parents, Terat 2ndGens do not have the same resistance to
to be “nipped in the bud” whenever possible. For this reason,
Taint that the Trues do. Terats do not gain permanent Taint
the Storyteller will assign Terat 2ndGens a variable number of
from having too much Quantum or Node; and cannot buy Tainted
dots in the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
Quantum, Mega-Attributes, enhancements or quantum powers.
Backgrounds as appropriate. The Terat 2ndGen will receive no
Terats can (and will) gain permanent Taint from accumulating
compensatory points for this burden. These dots cannot be
excessive temporary Taint. Terats can gain temporary Taint
bought off, as the collective reputation of the Teragen will only
through Power Strain, Rapid Recovery and Mental Disorders.
grow worse in the years leading up to the Aberrant War.
Also, they cannot have the have Taint Resistance Merit. This
Terat 2ndGens can also inherit actual aberrations from
vulnerability to Taint is necessary for Terat 2ndGens to engage
their parents to reduce their Adversarial Background ratings.
in the Chrysalis. Since they have been schooled in Teras almost
Inherited aberrations will be priced as Flaws (for this purpose
from birth, Terat 2ndGens automatically have both an archetype
only), with every 2 points from inherited aberrations replacing 1
and 1 dot of Chrysalis. This is what allows them to accumulate
dot of the “Skeleton in the Closet” or “Wanted” Adversarial
Chrysalis as 1stGen Terats do when performing actions that are
Backgrounds. These aberrations can be of any kind, but must be
in line with their archetype, although Terat 2ndGens only pay 5
ones derived from a parent’s Chrysalis. Ironically, this will
quantum points to turn a point of temporary Taint into
increase the chance that the parent an aberration is inherited
temporary Chrysalis. They also do not use the Chrysalis
from may actually take an interest in his or her offspring’s well-
experience point chart on p. 125 of Aberrant: Teragen, as they
being, and perhaps might act as a Mentor to the child. That the
instead use the experience point chart from “Fast-Track
child would also inherit the emnity of the parent’s Terat rivals is
Development” for all purchases of quantum traits. They do find
only to be expected. In game terms, the Terat 2ndGen with a
entering a Chrysalis somewhat easier, as they roll against their
parental Mentor rating gained in this way must also have an
Chrysalis without the normal +2 difficulty penalty and only have
equal rating of the “Rival” Adversarial Background.
to pay 8 quantum points. The amount of time that a Terat
As their conception is a direct result of Bounty’s fertility
2ndGen will spend in a Chrysalis is also drastically shortened, as
powers, nearly all Terat 2ndGens have inherited the genetic
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 47
alteration that Utopia inflicted on their parents. Save for those equivalent in lesser aberrations. In this case, one high-level
few whose parents have either never been exposed to the aberration is equal to two medium-level aberrations or four low-
Utopian sterility cocktail or erupted with the Health level aberrations. The Storyteller is free to “mix and match”
enhancement, Terat 2ndGens are naturally sterile from birth. aberrations of differing levels to inflict on the Trog as she
Terat 2ndGens also tend to be more than a little self- pleases.
absorbed, which isn’t surprising given how egomania runs suffer from an increased vulnerability to noetic
unchecked among their elders. Terat 2ndGens must make a energies beyond that of other Trogs. In game terms, Trogs with
Willpower roll (without penalties) in order to put aside their permanent Taint ratings of 11+ are twice as likely to be detected
self-interest for the sake of anyone who isn’t a Terat or could through psionic Attunement, and their vulnerability to psionic
become one in the future. attack becomes even greater.
Unlike other 2ndGen novas, Trogs are not highly resistant
These are the offspring of two heavily-Tainted novas, and
to Taint – in fact, they’re even more vulnerable to it than their
conform closely to the true “aberrants” seen in Trinity. Trogs
parents! Trog 2ndGens can gain temporary Taint through Power
are generally considered to be Taint-ridden abominations by
Strain, Rapid Recovery, and mental disorders just like 1stGen
baselines and other novas. Even the Teragen (save for the
novas, and can gain permanent Taint by accumulating temporary
Harvesters) look down on them for their inability to deal with
Taint. Trogs also use the “High Taint” rules on p. 68 of the
their Taint. These “Funky Taint Babies” practically reek of
Aberrant Players Guide (they automatically receive 1 dot of
Taint, and baselines are far more likely to refer to a Trog as “it”
permanent Taint per dot of Quantum possessed), but cannot
rather than “him” or “her”. Unless a group of Aberrant gamers
gain Taint from the Node background. Trogs cannot have the
(and their Storyteller) really want to play in an angst-fest
“Taint Resistant” Merit.
chronicle, these 2ndGens are best left as Storyteller characters.
Trogs don’t inherit Taint as such from their parents, but
they will be born with a number of aberrations (and the
Born Aberrant: Unlike other novas, Trogs are not taken
accompanying social penalties) equal to the combined total of
out of play when they finally accumulate 10 dots of permanent
their parents’ aberrations in addition to those derived from their
Taint. Instead, they face the unenviable prospect of becoming
own Taint. These inherited aberrations will usually match those
even more Tainted. A side-effect of this allows Trogs to
of the parents, although the Storyteller is within her rights to
sidestep the normal limits on physical Attribute ratings imposed
prohibit incompatible combinations of aberrations. Trogs will
by the Adolescent/Child Flaw. Thanks to the Taint, Trogs aren’t
also start out with at least one mental aberration chosen for
exactly children and don’t share all of their limits.
them by the Storyteller (with the player’s input, in the case of a
For each dot of permanent Taint gained after the tenth, a
PC Trog). The Storyteller is within her rights to forbid a Trog
from taking the “Mega-Attractive” form of the Mega-
suffer an additional +1 difficulty penalty on social
Appearance attribute. Similarly, the Storyteller may make Trogs
rolls with baseline humans (and most other sapients).
incapable of using Mega-Charisma in a positive manner with
develop two high-level aberrations, or the
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
are deeply dysfunctional people (to use the term very loosely).
Codependencies, perverted affection and twisted love-hate New Enhancements
relationships are what Trogs have in place of the healthy social Accelerated Gestation (Mega-
relationships enjoyed by most baselines. In general, Trogs are
incapable of functioning in any reliable or healthy way. Add in Stamina)
the expected difficulties of growing up as a Trog, and it’s easy Prerequisite: One level of the Fertility enhancement.
to see why so many Trogs wind up becoming monsters by deed With all the dangers posed to nova parents and their
as well as birth. offspring in the Nova Age, taking a full nine months to conceive
Last but hardly least, Trogs are surprisingly sensitive to a child and carry it safely to term can be just too much of a risk.
noetic energies. Not only can they (and any use of their powers) In response to this evolutionary pressure, certain Mega-
be detected with psionic Attunement and the Cognitive Modes Vigorous novas have developed an appropriate countermeasure.
(Telepathy & Clairsentience), but Trogs will also be quite System: This enhancement allows a female nova (or a nova
vulnerable to psionic attacks. Attempts to detect a Trog by with either the Yin-Yang enhancement or the Hermaphrodite
psionic Attunement will receive a difficulty modifier, with aberration) to safely carry a fetus to term in a dramatically
penalties to detect the weaker Trogs and bonuses to detect shorter period of time than a baseline woman can. Fertile male
strong Trogs (Storyteller’s discretion as to which Trogs qualify novas with the three nova point version of the Parasitic
as “weak” or “strong”). Psions will receive an automatic success Gestation body modification can also take this enhancement, in
to detect a Trog powerful enough to be rated as a “Prime which case it affects the prenatal development rate of any
Threat” in Trinity terms. The details of a Trog’s vulnerability to children they manage to sire. Up to four levels of this
psionic attack have been left to the Storyteller’s discretion; her enhancement can be taken, with each level reducing the time
options include reducing a Trog’s soak rating, adding dice to period used to measure the duration of a female nova’s
psionic attacks made against the Trog, and treating the damage pregnancy by one category. So where a typical baseline woman’s
a Trog takes from psionic attacks as lethal if bashing and pregnancy (from conception to delivery) would last for nine
aggravated if lethal. 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
Aberrations, levels, and nine minutes with four levels. Not only does this make
pregnancy more convenient for a nova mother, it also allows
Enhancements & fertile novas to reproduce at considerably faster rates than
baseline humans. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a pregnant nova
with this enhancement may have to consume huge quantities of
Powers 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
Existing Aberrations & enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the
duration of the pregnancy.
Enhancements Accelerated Maturation (Mega-
Very few aberrations, Mega-Attribute enhancements, Stamina)
quantum powers or body modifications factor into either the For the second generation novas (the offspring of two nova
reproductive or maturation processes of novas directly. parents), the times of childhood and adolescence are when they
Common sense is your best guide in deciding whether a given are the most vulnerable. Given the wide assortment of dangers
aberration will interfere with a nova’s attempts to reproduce, that they will face in the Nova Age, having to spend almost
although the Storyteller still has the final say in this matter. A eighteen years in states of immaturity and adolescence before
nova whose body has been permanently transformed into some becoming a capable adult can be more than some of these novas
living inorganic substance will certainly be sterile, as will a nova can really afford. Certain Mega-Vigorous novas of the second
that continually emits dangerous levels of radiation or other generation have found a radical solution to this problem.
energies. Novas with the Sexless aberration (Aberrant Players System: This enhancement grants a second-generation
Guide, p.93) are completely incapable of reproduction. As for child nova a dramatically shortened period of immaturity. Up to
the existing enhancements, only two are known to have much four levels of Accelerated Maturation can be taken, with each
effect on a nova’s fertility. Health (Aberrant Players Guide, level shortening the duration of the nova’s childhood and
p.103) not only allows a nova to better resist the sterility adolescence in a not-quite-smooth curve of progression. For
cocktails of Project Utopia, it also adds +5% to his or her purposes of this enhancement, “maturity” is defined as the
fertility rating. None of the existing body modifications have any equivalent of seventeen years of age. With one level of
direct effect on a nova’s fertility. Likewise, none of the existing Accelerated Maturation, the nova would reach maturity at only
aberrations, enhancements or body modifications have any five years of age. This is reduced to one year with two levels,
direct effect on the maturation of a nova child. three months with three levels, and a mere twenty days with
four levels. The nova’s development in all areas will be
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 49
extremely rapid, and he will be able to learn things with speeds effects – including this enhancement, if the nova’s partner
normally seen only in Mega-Intelligent novas. (The Storyteller is happens to have it as well! Female novas with one level of
encouraged to waive the matter of training times completely in Fertility will also have their chances for pregnancy complications
this situation.) Depending on how the nova’s player and/or the either reduced by half in the case of moderate to heavy parental
Storyteller decide this enhancement should function, the nova Taint, or negated completely if the chance was only 1%. Finally,
may either simply develop quickly or he may go through one or novas of both genders that have been sterilized (by the Utopian
more periods of metamorphosis. In the latter case, the nova will sterility cocktail or by other means) can permanently overcome
pupate at certain stages of his development, forming a cocoon the induced sterility by purchasing one level of this enhancement
very similar to that developed by novas undergoing the with experience points.
Teragen’s Chrysalis. The nova will only remain in the cocoon for If a female nova buys two levels of this enhancement, she
a short period of time (determined by the Storyteller), from gains the following benefits:
which he will emerge noticeably older. When the age of maturity The nova no longer has to menstruate, nor does she
is reached, the nova’s aging rate will slow down to the normal suffer from PMS or the later problems of menopause.
rate for a nova with his Mega-Stamina rating, or even slower if After conception, the nova does not have to endure
he has either of the Adaptability or Unaging enhancements. The many of the problems of both pregnancy and delivery. She
nova will lose all levels of this enhancement when he reaches doesn’t suffer from morning sickness at all. Her nervous system
maturity, which will be replaced with different Mega-Stamina automatically adjusts for the changes in her center of balance
enhancements of the Storyteller’s choosing. At the Storyteller’s and her musculoskeletal system, making her much less awkward
discretion, the nova may have to consume huge quantities of than a pregnant baseline woman. The nova’s metabolism kicks
food (equivalent to the amounts consumed by novas with the into high gear, allowing her to remain physically active during
Ravenous aberration) for the duration of his period of pregnancy when other mothers-to-be would find themselves
accelerated growth in order to ensure normal development. This exhausted. The nova’s pelvis becomes inhumanly flexible and
enhancement has no quantum point cost, and lasts for the certain arrays of pain receptors are temporarily shut down
duration of the nova’s period of immaturity. during labor, allowing for deliveries that are nearly painless
Fertility (Mega-Stamina) when compared to those of baseline mothers.
The nova may use her quantum powers to the fullest
The bodies of novas with Mega-Stamina are optimized to
while pregnant without the slightest risk of harming the unborn
function marvelously well, resulting in a degree of physical
child – a definite plus when defending oneself against Utopian
health that baselines and novas lacking Mega-Stamina simply
motherhunters. Even the use of powers such as Shapeshift,
cannot achieve. There is a glaring exception to this, though:
Sizemorph, Bodymorph, or Matter Chameleon will not harm the
many novas are sterile for some reason. Despite this, some
child. If the mother accumulates temporary or permanent Taint,
independent paraphysicians theorize that certain novas could
her child will remain unaffected.
possess or develop superhuman reproductive capacity, although
The nova’s chances for pregnancy complications are
these claims are inevitably ridiculed and dismissed by Utopia-
either reduced to 25% of the normal value (rounded up) in the
backed paraphysicians and researchers into nova biology. If a
case of moderate to heavy parental Taint, or negated
nova did have such an ability, he or she would do well to keep it a
completely if the chance was only 10%.
secret for as long as possible, or risk being hunted down and
All of the nova’s offspring will be second-generation
murdered by Utopian (and Proteus) deathsquads...
novas, regardless of the father’s specific classification
System: The basic form (one level) of this enhancement
(assumuing that there is a father).
provides several advantages. First off, it subtracts the nova’s
If desired, the nova can spend a quantum point to release
Mega-Stamina from the Virulence Rating of any contraceptive
2 or 3 eggs prior to conception, resulting in the birth of healthy
or sterility-causing chemical, disease or effect; including those
fraternal twins or triplets, respectively.
caused by quantum powers. This is wholly cumulative with the
If the nova still wants to become a mother but cannot
effects of the Adaptability and Health enhancements. Second, it
find a suitable nova male to father her child, she can spend 2
makes the nova more likely to either become pregnant (if
quantum points and roll Stamina. Even 1 success on the roll
female) or cause a pregnancy (if male) after a single
means that the nova becomes pregnant through
unprotected sexual encounter, as the nova’s fertility rating is
parthenogenesis. The pregnancy will be normal (for a nova
increased by 20%. If two levels of this enhancement are taken,
pregnancy, anyway), but the resulting healthy female infant will
the nova’s fertility rating is increased by 40% instead. Third,
effectively be a genetic clone of her mother. If the nova mother
the nova’s reproductive span is increased, allowing the nova to
also has the Yin-Yang Mega-Appearance enhancement, she can
sire or bear children without difficulty until he or she has lived
spend an extra quantum point (for a total of 3 q.p.) to conceive
through 90% of his or her total lifespan. (This limitation can be
and bear a cross-gender clone of herself. The resulting healthy
sidestepped if the nova is restored to physical youth with the
male infant will be a genetic clone of his mother except for
Age Alteration technique of Temporal Manipulation.)
having a “Y” chromosome instead of a second “X” chromosome.
Fortunately, the fourth benefit gained by the nova is complete
This form of reproduction does have its advantages, but can
control over his or her own fertility rating, as he or she can
seriously deplete a population’s genetic diversity over the long
switch between being sterile (fertility rating of 0%) or being
term, making this an emergency measure at best.
fertile (normal fertility rating) as an automatic action. This
benefit functions regardless of any other fertility-inducing
If a male nova buys two levels of this enhancement, he immature as their peers, and they will not have the wisdom that
gains the following benefits: only experience can grant. Even so, this can be a vital edge in
By selecting which gametes to release, the nova can the conflicts that all second generation novas will face long
choose the gender of any children he sires. before they reach adulthood, especially if they can keep their
The chances for complications in any pregnancy the nova adult antagonists ignorant of the true state of their intellects.
causes are either reduced by half in the case of moderate to Being underestimated has its benefits...
heavy parental Taint, or negated completely if the chance was System: Unlike other second generation nova children,
only 1%. those with this enhancement aren’t restricted to a maximum
If he wants to, the nova can spend 2 quantum points and rating in their Intelligence-based Abilities, allowing them to
roll Stamina when causing a pregnancy. Even 1 success on the function at an adult intellectual level. This enhancement is lost
roll means that the nova’s partner will give birth to healthy for good when the character reaches maturity (about 17 years of
identical twins – 4 or more successes indicates healthy identical age), when it will be replaced with another Mega-Intelligence
triplets! For best results, the nova’s partner should be a nova enhancement of the Storyteller’s choosing. This enhancement is
herself with two levels of the Fertility enhancement. The nova permanent, and has no quantum point cost.
should also tell his partner about this beforehand – otherwise,
he risks being skinned alive, horsewhipped, or strangled by his
justifiably irate sweetheart! New Body Modifications
Note: Depending on how your Storyteller decides this Augmented Fecundity (one nova point/ three experience
enhancement should function, female novas with both Fertility points)
and the Adaptability enhancement may need to resume a regular This body modification allows a female breeder nova to
diet of healthy food and drink for the duration of the pregnancy. consistently bear four offspring (on the average) per pregnancy.
The details of a “healthy diet” may vary for nova mothers-to-be Unlike female breeder novas who induce multiple births with two
with the True Omnivore enhancement or the Altered Diet body levels of the Fertility enhancement, a nova with Augmented
modification. Just imagine the weird food cravings they could Fecundity does not have to make a Stamina roll or spend
get! To heck with pickles and ice cream – what if such a quantum points to produce these multiple offspring. This body
pregnant nova started craving uranium? modification may be taken multiple times by female breeder
This enhancement is permanent, and ordinarily has no novas whose bodies and/or methods of reproduction differ
quantum point cost. The exceptions to this have already been greatly from baseline human women.
noted above. Enhanced Vomeronasal Organ (two nova points / four
Mental Prodigy: Survival The nova has an augmented vomeronasal organ (also
(Mega-Intelligence) known as the Jacobson’s organ), which grants him an increased
No matter where on Earth a Survival Prodigy finds himself ability to detect pheromones by their scent. Not only can the
(or elsewhere, in some cases), he will be able to survive with the nova consciously detect and interpret the unconscious
ease of an experienced outdoorsman. A nova with this pheromonal signals of other humans, but he can “listen in” on
enhancement has a natural genius for living without the comforts the interspecies pheromonal communications of the rest of
of civilization, as he can provide for himself – and for others, if Earth’s animal and plant populations. In game terms, the nova
need be – using the natural resources around him. If he actually can detect pheromones and decipher the pheromonal
has formal survival training (the Survival Ability), he can thrive communications of humans and all other Terran organisms (and
in the harshest of wildernesses and other inhospitable certain alien ones, at the Storyteller’s discretion) with an
surroundings. Awareness roll. These communications will be extremely basic,
System: Whenever the character is involved with situations with most of them indicating the organism’s physical (and in the
or problems concerning survival in wilderness or hostile case of the higher animals, emotional) state. The range of these
environments (a highly-tainted nova forced to live like an animal pheromonal communications tends to be very short; in the
would consider a baseline human community a hostile nova’s case he will be able to detect pheromones within a
environment), the player may make an Intelligence roll. For each number of meters equal to the nova’s (Perception) + (Mega-
success achieved, he may roll an additional die when making Perception x 2). Finally, with this increased ability to notice
Survival rolls and any other rolls related to surviving in pheromones comes a better chance to resist their effects, as the
uncivilized circumstances. (The Storyteller has full discretion as nova will automatically notice any pheromone-based effects that
to what qualifies as a “related” roll.) Activating this others may try to use on him.
enhancement requires spending 1 quantum point, with the As this body modification allows the nova to detect and
effects and bonuses lasting an hour or longer at the Storyteller’s interpret the natural pheromone signals given off by other
discretion. humans, it’s very useful for evaluating both potential mates and
potential sexual rivals. The nova can detect both the status and
Precocity (Mega-Intelligence) fitness (in terms of reproduction) of humans of both genders. A
Certain Mega-Intelligent second generation nova children subject’s reproductive status will include facts such as actual
have a hyper-accelerated rate of intellectual development, gender, sexual maturity, and current fertility. If the subject is
allowing them to achieve mental maturity long before their peers female, the nova can also detect whether she’s pregnant or
will. Sadly, those novas are still every bit as emotionally
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 51
lactating. Reproductive fitness will include the presence (or lack surgical procedures. Fortunately, the birth of the transplanted
of same) of problems such as genetic damage, disease, drug infant will be unbelievably easy, as the nova’s pouch will simply
abuse and chemical contamination. It’s also possible for the nova (and painlessly) open up on its own at the correct moment.
to detect when his or her partner is most fertile with an Despite certain cultural preconceptions, novas of either gender
Awareness roll; with every 2 successes scored allowing an can have this body modification. Male novas with this body
additional conception roll to be made per month. This will modification that are hosting a fetus will be slightly more
require the nova to stay close to his or her partner on a 24 hour, awkward than a female nova would, as the male body isn’t really
7-days-a week basis until the partner reaches a point of peak designed for carrying an unborn infant around as internally-
fertility. Couples attempting to conceive at that time will receive stored cargo. In game terms this translates into a penalty of -2
a +5% bonus to their combined fertility rating. Alternatively, the dice on Dexterity rolls for moving around, beginning at the start
nova can attempt to detect times of peak fertility in any of the second trimester. Male novas in this situation will also be
potential mate he or she meets and gain the same bonus, certain to draw a good number of stares, especially in the
although whether or not that tactic is successful is up to random second and third trimesters. At the Storyteller’s discretion, one
chance (and the Storyteller’s whim). At the Storyteller’s or more additional levels of this body modification can be taken,
discretion, the nova may also determine the general nature of a although a male nova whose body is both normal-sized and
problem that makes a subject reproductively unfit (disease, drug passably human will likely be limited to two levels. Female novas
abuse, a serious genetic defect, etc.) with an Awareness roll. cannot take additional levels of this body modification if their
Storyteller Note: Novas with the Fertility enhancement bodies are both normal-sized and passably human.
who are currently sterile by choice will be detected as such by a Parasitic Gestation (one nova point / three experience
nova with this body modification, and cannot be differentiated points, or three nova points / six experience points)
from other sterile novas. The one nova point version of this body modification allows a
Genetic Sampler (two nova points/ four experience pregnant female nova (or novas with either the Yin-Yang
points) enhancement or the Hermaphrodite aberration that are in the
A nova with this body modification is capable of acquiring a same situation) to implant a fetus that she has conceived within
sample of another human’s DNA through simple physical contact the first 14 days of the first trimester of her pregnancy into a
with the target. All that’s required is for an area of the nova’s female nova or baseline human, who will then carry the fetus to
bare skin equal to one fingertip to touch the bare skin or the term as a host mother in the normal human manner. (Novas of
blood of the target for one turn. Even mundane clothing can either gender that have the Gestation Pouch body modification
prevent a target’s DNA from being sampled via the skin, can also serve as “host mothers”.) If for whatever reasons the
although such coverings offer no protection if they’re soaked nova isn’t carrying a fetus, then this body modification will not
with the target’s blood. Novas who either cannot be touched or function. If the nova retains her fetus past the 14 day limit, it will
who don’t have DNA (due to using Matter Chameleon or become too large for her to transfer safely, and she will have to
Bodymorph) cannot be sampled. While the genetic samples carry it to term herself. The nova uses a short, retractable
gained can easily be used in conventional forensics or genetic sharp-tipped ovipositor to implant the fetus, which will cause no
testing (there’s no possibility of sample contamination), most physical damage to the host mother but can be a traumatic
novas with this body modification are female breeder novas who experience if she is both unwilling and conscious during the
can use genetic samples from other humans (of either gender) to implantation.
fertilize themselves without engaging in coitus. If the target The three nova point version of this body modification is
human is a male, the female breeder nova can choose the gender available to both fertile male novas and pregnant female novas.
of any children she conceives in this manner with a simple A pregnant female nova will be able to use the aforementioned
Perception roll. If the target is a woman, any children “sired” by ovipositor to implant her fetus into the abdominal cavity of any
the target in this manner will also be female. The nova is capable adult male baseline human she can either convince, trick or force
of storing up to (Stamina) genetic samples acquired with this into submitting to her designs. It should be noted that the
body modification for a duration of (Stamina + Mega-Stamina) ovipositor cannot normally be used to implant male novas, as all
days, after which the samples will irreversibly degrade and novas possess some level of lethal soak. The exceptions are
become useless. Only one level of this body modification can be when the implanting nova has some means of breaching her
taken. victim’s defenses (such as using the Claws quantum power) or
Gestation Pouch (one nova point/ three experience can take advantage of an open wound that has already breached
points) the victim’s abdominal cavity. Fertile male novas will only need
This body modification is basically a large pouch that’s to engage in coitus with a fertile female human in order to use
specifically designed for only one purpose: to carry a human this body modification. Neither method of implantation will
fetus safely to term. Much like the Pouch body modification, this directly cause physical damage to the host by itself, but the
extra physical structure is typically located on the abdomen at fetus will have a mutated placenta that will literally feed off the
stomach level, although female novas will have it sited on the host’s body in a parasitic manner. In game terms, carrying a
upper back instead. The pouch will function just as well as (if not fetus in this manner will cause the host 2 levels of unsoakable
better than) an actual uterus, although the fetus will have to be Stun damage per day, with the damage inflicted one level at a
transplanted into the pouch from the mother’s uterus, either by time over the course of the day to allow the host to heal the
means of the Parasitic Gestation body modification or through damage normally. In addition, hosts will also experience near-
constant fatigue from the stress of supporting the parasitic way novas who have been affected by Project Utopia’s sterility
fetus, resulting in a +2 difficulty penalty on all Stamina rolls. The cocktail can “sire” offspring without using their damaged
host will also find his or her body becoming awkward as this gametes. Female novas using this power to reproduce will only
parasitic pregnancy progresses – male hosts get a -2 dice be able to “sire” female offspring, however. If the nova also has
penalty on Dexterity rolls for moving around starting at the the Genetic Sampler body modification, he can use any samples
second trimester, while female hosts will suffer the normal he’s collected with that body modification to impregnate women
difficulties of pregnancy. At the time of birth, the fetus’ mutated with this power, instead of just being limited to using his own
placenta will literally rip open both itself and the host’s DNA. What really makes this power so insidious is its subtlety. If
abdominal cavity from the inside, inflicting three levels of the target has no way of detecting the use of this power or the
unsoakable lethal damage in the process. Most hosts subjected state of her own reproductive system (such as Body Awareness
to this sort of treatment will not survive the birthing process or active use of Quantum Awareness), she will have no clue that
without immediate medical aid. For this reason, novas with this she has been impregnated until she either has her next medical
form of Parasitic Gestation will sometimes keep their host(s) examination or first episode of morning sickness.
imprisoned and reasonably well cared for until the birth. Using this power on a willing target just requires a straight
Removing the parasitic fetus prior to birth requires a fully- power roll. Only one success is needed for the nova to
stocked surgical bay, along with the services of a doctor with successfully impregnate a willing target, with each additional
the Medicine Ability at 3+ dots and the Surgery specialty. If the success on the power roll reducing the target’s chances for
fetus is to survive, it must be developed enough for the surgeon pregnancy complications and anomalous births by 5%. Using this
to perform a modified Caesarian section on the host. Please note power on an unknowing or unwilling target requires a resisted
that at this level, this body modification can also be combined roll, pitting the target’s Stamina + Resistance against the nova’s
with the Accelerated Gestation enhancement. In this case, it will Stamina + Quantum Conception dice pool. The nova can add a
reflect the extraordinary speed at which the parasitic fetus will number of successes equal to his Quantum rating to the power
develop. This will put an incredible strain on the host, as he or roll, and need only achieve one net successes against the
she will suffer 2 levels of unsoakable bashing damage per day target’s Resistance roll in order to impregnate the target. In
with one level of Accelerated Gestation. The damage will still be either case, since the nova is effectively creating something
inflicted one level at a time over the course of the day, so the permanent (the 23 “paternal” chromosomes) from nearby
host will still be able to survive and heal the damage normally. If inorganic matter, using this power requires spending a
the nova has two or more levels of Accelerated Gestation the permanent Willpower point along with the normal quantum cost.
parasitic pregnancy will pose a far greater risk to the host’s life; It should also be noted that if the target is already pregnant, is
as the damage inflicted will be counted as one level of not of childbearing age or is biologically male, uses of this power
unsoakable lethal damage. The damage will occur on an daily will automatically fail – don’t even bother rolling. Nova targets
basis with 2 levels, every hour with three levels, and every with the Fertility enhancement are also immune to this power,
minute with four levels. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a unless the target wants to become pregnant in this manner. If
baseline host’s appetite will grow to nova proportions and a the target has the Mind Over Matter enhancement (from
nova host’s appetite will match that of novas with the Ravenous Aberrant: Brainwaves), she can spend 1 quantum point and make
aberration for the duration of the pregnancy, as their a Wits roll to self-induce a natural abortion and rid herself of the
metabolisms go into overdrive in an attempt to meet the nutrient unwanted fetus. Unwilling nova targets who are aware of the
demands placed on them by the parasitic fetus. attacking nova’s impregnation attempt may make a Willpower
roll to actively resist this power’s effect, with each success
adding another die to the Resistance dice pool. The nova can
New Quantum Powers 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
Quantum Conception carry the resulting healthy child to term just as if she were
Level: 3 fertile. Unfortunately, sterile nova women cannot be
Quantum Minimum: 5 impregnated in this manner.
Dice Pool: Stamina + Quantum Conception Extras: Affects Sterile Novas (requires Quantum 6) – The
Range: (Quantum) meters nova can impregnate a nova woman that has been dosed with the
Area: N/A Utopian sterility cocktail, at the cost of spending 12 quantum
Duration: Instant points and a permanent Willpower point. Nova women whose
Effect: Character can impregnate a woman without sterility is not the result of the sterility cocktail (such as those
requiring physical contact. with the Sterility aberration/Flaw) cannot be impregnated unless
Multiple Actions: Yes the aberration or Flaw is corrected.
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 target’s uterus. In this
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 53
Sterilize New Flaws and
Quantum Minimum: 4 Aberrations
Dice Pool: Stamina + Sterilize Adolescent/Child
Area: N/A [1, 4 or 6 point Flaw]
Duration: Instant A character with this Flaw is younger than 17 years of age.
Effect: Character’s touch can induce sterility in another As such, the character will have certain social and physical
person or lifeform. limitations which are described below. In addition, the character
Multiple Actions: Yes is limited to a maximum rating (which varies with age) in her
Description: This power allows the nova to render another Intelligence-based Abilities. The Storyteller is also within her
being sterile with a touch. When used on novas, this power rights to forbid nova characters with this Flaw from taking
functions in much the same manner as Project Utopia’s sterility either of the Seductive Looks and Seductive enhancements,
cocktail. Unlike the Utopian sterility cocktail, this power will also along with any other enhancements that depend on sexual
work on baselines, animals, plants and fungi. When used on small attraction. At the Storyteller’s discretion, characters with this
lifeforms such as insects, small plants or fungi, it’s reasonable Flaw may have fewer dots of Abilities than adult characters,
for the nova to be capable of sterilizing an entire field’s worth of although Mega-Intelligent characters are exempt from that
such targets rather than a single small lifeform. (In that limitation. Immature novas with the Adaptability enhancement
circumstance, treat this power as having the Area Extra.) Even may require regular periods of sleep and a diet of healthy food
worse is the extreme subtlety of this power. If the target has no and drink in order to grow normally. This Flaw will decrease in
way of detecting either the use of this power or the state of his value naturally as the character gets older, and cannot be bought
own fertility (such as Body Awareness or active use of Quantum off with experience points. Second-generation nova children
Awareness), he will have no clue that he’s just been sterilized with the Accelerated Maturation enhancement will still suffer
until his next medical examination. the effects of this Flaw, but do not receive any freebie points
Using this power requires a resisted roll, pitting the from it due to their drastically-shortened period of immaturity.
target’s Stamina + Resistance against the nova’s Stamina + At the 1-point level, the character is an adolescent (13 to 16
Sterilize dice pool. The nova can add a number of successes years of age). The character will not have any limits on her base
equal to her Quantum rating to the power roll, and must achieve Attribute ratings, but is limited to a maximum rating of 3 dots in
two net successes against the target’s Resistance roll in order to her Intelligence-based Abilities. She will have obvious social
sterilize the target. Nova targets with either of the Health or limitations; which include various legal difficulties, curfews, a
Fertility enhancements will automatically subtract (the target’s lack of intellectual respect from adults, and not being able to
Mega-Stamina) successes from the nova’s power roll. Likewise, legally engage in certain adult activities.
each dot of Invulnerability: Disease possessed by the target will At the 4-point level, the character is a pre-adolescent
grant six successes to the target nova’s Willpower roll and make child (7 to 12 years of age). The social limitations the character
the roll automatic (see below). The Adaptability enhancement is will face will become even more onerous, as children are even
of no use against this power. Targets who are aware of the more restricted in their activities than teenagers are. The
attacking nova’s sterilization attempt may make a Willpower roll character’s base Strength rating can’t be any higher than 3, and
to actively resist this power’s effect, with each success adding her base Stamina score can’t be any higher than 4. She is also
another die to the Resistance dice pool. Successes from a limited to a maximum rating of 2 dots in her Intelligence-based
Healing roll can also be added to the target’s Resistance dice, Abilities. Finally, the character will have the Short Flaw
provided the target and/or the nova with Healing is aware of the (Aberrant Players Guide, p.70), the cost of which has already
attacking nova’s sterilization attempt. Healing cannot be applied been factored into this Flaw.
retroactively and cannot be used to correct this power’s effect. At the 6-point level, the character is a very young child (6
The sterility induced by this power is permanent, unless the years and younger). The character can walk, talk and has hair on
target is a nova who either has or develops the Health or his head, but none of that matters very much as she will only be
Fertility enhancements, in which case the condition will heal about a meter tall at best. The social restrictions faced by the
normally. For this purpose, induced sterility is counted as 2 character will become extreme, which is only to be expected.
levels of bashing damage. Female targets who are sterilized The character’s base Strength and Stamina both can’t be any
while pregnant will have a miscarriage within 24 hours. higher than 1 dot each, and her Dexterity can’t go above 2 dots.
Extras: None. 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.
Altered Gestation [physical this state is indistinguishable from the “Hormonal Imbalance –
Lust” aberration (Aberrant core book, p. 152) during estrus. At
aberration] high Taint the nova will also suffer from a 2-point version of the
Manifested only by fertile female novas, this aberration Dependence Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 70), as not
gradually mutates the nova’s reproductive system as she engaging in sexual activity while in estrus will cause actual
accumulates permanent Taint, forcing her to give birth in some physical damage. When the nova isn’t in estrus, his total lack of
other manner than the typical human fashion. At low levels of sexual interest makes him unable to enjoy sexual relations and
Taint, the system used is no more burdensome than mammalian- makes him immune to seduction attempts.
style live birth. One example is becoming a marsupial, and giving Storyteller Note: While most of the material in this
birth to a small fetus which is placed in an exterior pouch in sourcebook is considered “sensitive topics”, that goes double
which it will develop for the rest of the “pregnancy”. In this case for this aberration. Be very sure to discuss it with your players
the nova has an actual marsupial pouch on her belly, which before using it in a chronicle.
normally remains taut & unusable except when she’s carrying an Regressive Node [4 point Flaw]
infant inside it. For this pouch to be useful for anything other
Unlike most other 2ndGen novas, a character with this Flaw
than carrying her infant, the nova must purchase the “large
was not born with his farahcytes evenly distributed throughout
pouch” version of the Pouch body modification. Another
his brain’s grey matter. Instead, he was born with an M-R node
example is becoming oviparous (an egg-layer), with the egg
comparable to those of the first generation novas. The
being carried internally for 9 months before being laid, after
character will be subject to all the drawbacks of having a high
which it will hatch within 24 hours. With medium Taint, the
rating of the Node Background, including the possibility of brain
system used is noticeably more burdensome. An example of this
damage caused by M-R node growth and the resulting mental
is being oviparous and laying one or more eggs shortly after
Taint and aberrations. This Flaw is most often found among
conception, which will then require constant care (such as being
2ndGen novas who were born through genetic engineering or
placed within an incubating machine) in order to hatch. Other
whose births were anomalous.
examples include having to remain within a specific environment
This Flaw is only available to 2ndGen nova characters.
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 Retarded Aging [2, 5 or 7 point
far more burdensome. This would cover being oviparous and Flaw, or physical aberration]
laying one or more eggs shortly after conception, which will then
Found exclusively in novas who are born erupted, erupt
require constant physical contact & care from the nova in order
prior to adulthood or that have been physically regressed in age,
to hatch. Another possibility is for the nova’s offspring to be
this condition leaves the nova’s body stuck in an immature state.
born in a larval form for the duration of its infancy, which must
What’s worse is that the nova’s aging process comes to a
eat voraciously before pupation & metamorphosis into juvenile
standstill for all practical concerns. As a Flaw this condition can
human form. Alternatively, the nova’s egg or larvae may require
reflect any one of an assortment of problems; including such
some substance that’s hazardous or offensive to human
things as a growth hormone deficiency, arrested aging or an
sensibilities in order to develop properly. Finally, the nova’s
extremely slow rate of aging that would be logical for a being
body may simply create offspring through budding, which will
with a lifespan of several centuries or more. Inspired medical
look quite grotesque to human eyes.
treatments and/or the use of the Age Alteration technique of
Estrus [physical aberration] Temporal Manipulation can correct this condition, provided that
The sexual responses of a nova with this aberration are the nova also buys off this Flaw with experience points. As an
dependent on a specific trigger chosen by the Storyteller, and is aberration, this most often develops from Tainted Mega-
unresponsive sexually without it. At low levels of Taint (4-5 Stamina or Temporal Manipulation. Nothing the nova tries in the
dots), this aberration can make the nova go into estrus during a way of medical treatments – Inspired or otherwise – will make
specific large time period per Terran year (such as a season) or him or her grow any older at all. Age Alteration is also
when the nova experiences a specific emotion or sensation. At ineffective in correcting this aberration. In any case, the nova
medium Taint (6-7 dots), the trigger can be a short time period will eventually have a mature mind trapped inside the body of a
per Terran year (like a month), a highly unpleasant emotion or teenager or child, which can make for social problems and much
sensation, or an actual physical substance. With high Taint (8-10 frustration on the nova’s part. Also, people who don’t know any
dots), the trigger can be a very brief time period per Terran better will treat the nova as the teenager, child or infant that he
year (anywhere from four to seven days), or an extremely appears to be.
intense and highly unpleasant emotion or sensation. If the trigger As a 2-point Flaw or a low-level aberration, this condition
is a physical substance, it’s either very hard to acquire, leaves the nova as an adolescent (13 to 16 years of age). The
hazardous or offensive to human sensibilities. Aside from the nova will not have any limits on his base Attribute ratings, but
problems (social and otherwise) caused by this aberration, both will have obvious social limitations. These will include various
hormonal states experienced by the nova will be more extreme legal difficulties, curfews, ignorant adults refusing to take the
than the human norm. While in estrus, the nova will be noticeably nova seriously, and not being able to legally engage in certain
more eager to engage in sexual activity than is typical for adult activities.
baseline humans. At low levels of Taint this is equivalent to the As a 5-point Flaw or a medium-level aberration, the nova
Lusty Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p. 72). At medium Taint, has the body of a pre-adolescent child (7 to 12 years of age).
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 55
The social limitations the nova will face will become even more
onerous, as children are even more restricted in their activities Storytelling
than teenagers are. The nova’s base Strength rating can’t be any When running a breeder nova scenario, it always helps to
higher than 3, and his base Stamina score can’t be any higher keep several core concepts of their situation in mind. No matter
than 4. If the nova’s prior Strength and/or Stamina ratings were whether your players take the parts of valiant delivery boys,
above these limits, then the nova will gain 1 experience point per grim motherhunters or the besieged breeder novas themselves,
dot lost upon developing this condition. The nova will also have all of these concepts will be important factors in your series.
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 Themes
body of an very young child (6 years and younger). The nova Just about any theme has some potential for use in a
can walk, talk and has hair on his head, but none of that matters breeder nova scenario, and examples of such can be found in any
very much as he will only be about a meter tall at best. The social family drama or comedy on the bookshelves or in the video
restrictions faced by the nova will become extreme, which is store. That said, here are the four themes that are most
understandable since baseline society isn’t really set up to appropriate for a series using breeder novas.
handle the possibility of small chidren with adult minds. The Parenthood
nova’s base Strength and Stamina are both lowered to 1 dot For most baseline humans, becoming a parent is one of the
each, and his Dexterity can’t go above 2 dots. If the nova’s prior events that science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein termed a
ratings are above these limits, then the nova will gain 1 “cusp”, a decision point at which one’s life can (and usually
experience point per dot lost upon developing this condition. does) change drastically according to what choices are made.
The nova is also small enough to qualify for the equivalent of an For some breeder novas who manage to become parents, the
extreme version of the Short Flaw, as his running speed will be only real difference in their situation is that just about
reduced to 25% of normal and he will encounter severe everything baseline parents have to deal with – the joys and
difficulties in using equipment designed for people with average difficulties of raising a child, the various threats posed to the
builds. family, the importance of one’s offspring – is magnified many
Sterility [1 point Flaw, or low- times over. Fortunately, the various quantum abilities that
breeder novas possess will give them a good shot at overcoming
level physical aberration] what would be insurmountable obstacles for baseline parents, if
A nova with this aberration is still capable of normal sexual they have a conscience and sufficient discipline. Instead of
function, but cannot conceive children in the typical human indulging their desires and seeking thrills, conscientious nova
manner. This aberration most often results from having dots of parents will accept responsibility for their newborn children and
Tainted Mega-Stamina. Even Inspired fertility treatments modify their lives accordingly. In return, they will hopefully reap
cannot help a nova with this aberration conceive, as only the use the rewards of successful parenthood; which include loving
of quantum powers that directly affect a nova’s Taint and/or parent-child relationships and personal fulfillment. Other nova
aberrations will be effective. 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 that’s
The Family 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
Scrapbook offspring (or are far luckier than they deserve to be), they will
leave behind a legacy – either for good or ill – that will prove
Now that you’ve finally got the inside information on the more lasting than the fame of any Team Tomorrow member or
breeder novas, their friends and their foes; it’s time to put that novox star. If not, the child’s much-vaunted potential could
information to use in your Aberrant chronicle. In Storytelling, easily go unrealized, leaving the parents as just another minor
we’ll touch on some basic themes, moods and conflicts for footnote in the history of the Nova Age.
scenarios using breeder novas, and provide some plot hooks that
can be used in your Aberrant chronicle with a minimum of effort. Childhood
The clandestine efforts intended to aid breeder novas against Just what is it like to grow up as a 2ndGen nova child? Not
their many enemies are detailed in The Sixth Column, along with only do these wunderkinder have to face the usual hurdles of
guidelines for Aberrant Storytellers (and players) to create their growing up, but they must do so while both learning to master
own such operations. Finally, we’ll round things off with a small their inborn quantum abilities and surviving in a social climate
rogues’ gallery of Family, Friends and Fiends. 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
not only are they faced with a hostile world, they must also learn constant vigilance or isolation, as any lapse in maintaining them
to live and somehow thrive in the treacherous garden that is the can place the breeder novas at serious risk of capture and/or
Teragen. With Bounty as their only confirmed Terat protector, death. The savage breeder novas are the exception to all this, as
it remains to be seen if any of these children will escape the could only be expected. These 21st Century barbarians take the
egomania-driven plots of their elders in the Pantheon. Trog idea of freedom much too far to suit the majority of baselines
2ndGens progeny must survive in the harshest social climate of and other novas. The only thing keeping these novas from total
all; as nearly all of baseline humanity and many novas will oppose anarchy is a primitive tribal structure most often seen in baboon
them, and the support of their insane parents cannot be relied troops. The only law is the whim of the troop leader, which will
upon. These little monsters may have the cards stacked against often be inconsistent at best. In the end, savage breeder novas
them now, but the survivors will be sure to repay baseline are truly free – free to abuse others and be abused, to harm
humanity’s hostility with interest. And all of that still does not others and be harmed, to kill and be killed – and all without any
take into account the pressures and influences that being the possibility of real justice for these crimes.
child of nova parents will bring into their lives. It’s not like these
kids’ parents couldn’t have very colorful histories, after all...
The emotional tone of a breeder nova scenario can and will
When running an Aberrant chronicle dealing with breeder vary just as much as the themes. Nevertheless, these four moods
novas and their children, the theme of discernment should are highly appropriate and should crop up on a regular basis.
always be present. Comprised of both sound judgment and keen
insight, this quality is of extreme importance to breeder novas Danger
wishing to live and raise their children free from the Thanks to a world that simply refuses to leave them be,
interference of outside interests. It is also useful for novas in breeder novas of all stripes will always be faced with the threat
service to certain of the factions, who otherwise might not of danger and violence with little or no warning. Much like the
question the commands of their superiors until it was far too players in a Teragen series, players in a breeder nova series
late. Discernment is what allows a human to realize what things should be kept on their toes at all times. Even breeder novas
are truly important, and discard what is merely trivial. In the living in the space colonies are not exempt from this, as their
case of a nova, it lets him see the ultimately empty nature of the extreme isolation from Terran society only means that when an
perks of celebrity offered to them by baseline society, and attack comes, it will be all the more shocking. On the other side
spurn them for the less glamorous yet far more lasting rewards of the coin, consider that there are few beings as dangerous as a
of having a family. Discernment is what allows a nova to parent fighting to defend spouse and offspring. Those who
recognize her own worth, and refrain from signing away her attack breeder novas can expect no mercy.
self-determination (and possibly her soul) to a faceless Trust and Distrust
organization. Without discernment, a nova cannot judge whether
Those breeder novas who manage to survive and remain
or not baseline humanity and its world truly merits any or all of
free quickly learn that there are few if any people who they can
the sacrifices that novas are urged to make in their name by
trust. Any seemingly friendly nova could be a motherhunter just
Aeon and others. And without discernment, a nova cannot
waiting for the right moment to strike. That nice middle-aged
accurately determine the value of humanity, both in terms of an
neighbor couple two doors down the street could be spies
inherent quality within herself or in terms of the entire
working for the Directive or another baseline intelligence
population of homo sapiens. Finally, novas lacking in discernment
agency. A breeder nova’s own baseline relative could be a closet
are more likely to develop excessive levels of Taint thanks to
member of the Church of Michael Archangel. Worse, even if
mistakes resulting from their poor judgment, which can have
these people are what they appear to be they still probably can’t
horrifying effects on their offspring...
be trusted. Relatives can be watched. Everyone wants their 15
Freedom minutes of fame. Nice people can talk to other nice people and
At the core of the breeder novas’ effort to live undercover start rumors. And any mistakes made or rumors started will end
is the desire for freedom. It’s important to note that most up in the ears of the motherhunters. Faced with such a wide
breeder novas don’t equate freedom with “running roughshod array of potential threats, it’s no surprise that most breeder
over the baselines” in the manner of the Teragen. Instead, they novas reserve most of their trust for their spouses and children.
choose to avoid being detected as novas in the first place, either This in turn makes family bonds especially strong in breeder
through posing as baselines or living in remote areas. This way, nova families, sometimes comparable to that displayed by the
breeder novas can divorce themselves and their children from Norse clans in the Nibelungenlied and Volsungsaga. Again,
the expectations placed on novas by society at large without all savage breeder novas are the exception, as they all too often
the furor aroused by the Teragen’s open rebellion. This in turn have little or no trust in each other. In more than a few cases,
makes it easier for them to reject the often-inaccurate beliefs the only thing keeping a savage breeder nova tribe together is
and opinions of baselines (and the more ideological novas) as to their total distrust of outsiders.
what novas are and what they should be. By maintaining their Hope
cover, breeder novas can remain free from media exposure and
While this is the major theme of Adventure!, this emotion
the consequent manipulation and exploitation by outside
takes a different tone in a breeder nova scenario. Instead of a
interests. Of course, the price for all this freedom is either
pulp-era sense that anything is possible, the efforts of breeder
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 57
novas exemplify a hope that with sufficient effort and good
acumen, worthwhile rewards can be attained regardless of what Conflicts
other people think they should be allowed. For many baselines, As the driving engine of every story, the importance of
the event of settling down and starting a family is considered a conflict cannot be downplayed. The following are the basic
good example of hope in the course of human life. For the conflicts which are most suited to an Aberrant series using
majority of breeder novas this event is possibly the premier breeder novas.
example, considering the numerous obstacles arrayed against Motherhunters vs. Breeder Novas and/or Delivery Boys:
their achieving some form of domestic bliss. Between the Many people consider the family unit to be the basis for human
recruiters, the motherhunters and even the media, breeder nova society. So what happens when powerful elements within human
families are plagued with legions of corrupt jerks who are willing society seem hellbent on either killing or enslaving families
to harm them in order to turn a profit or follow their beliefs. Yet whose only crime (in most cases) is to possess godlike power?
despite such dire circumstances, many breeder novas have not By having remained fertile and produced children, breeder
only managed to start families, but they have a good shot at novas are in a position to draw much hostile attention from
seeing their children grow up and start families of their own. In those powerful groups and individuals who see them as a threat
contrast, the motherhunters (and to a lesser degree the to their designs. Even with the aid of delivery boy allies, there is
“celebrity” novas) exemplify a loss of hope. Whether it is never any guarantee that a family of breeder novas will go
manifested as personal cynicism, a conviction that all novas are unnoticed by the motherhunters, much less escape them.
inherently doomed to become taint-ridden monsters or a belief Novas vs. Baseline Humanity: While this conflict is
that nothing they do matters; they are denying the hope that present to a degree in all Aberrant stories, it takes on special
novas can have a fairly bright future ahead of them both as a significance where breeder novas are concerned. In the opinion
people and as individuals, if they so choose. This is one of the of too many baselines, novas are little more than servants whose
reasons why motherhunters are willing to kill innocent nova men, only purpose is to entertain, fight for and clean up after the
women and children. This is why so many nova celebrities while common run of humanity. Those novas who refuse to serve as
away the years in hedonism and debauchery to fill the emptiness collective caretakers of baseline humanity – such as breeder
in their personal lives. It should also be noted that where highly- novas – are considered selfish and evil. Other baselines take
tainted breeder novas and their Trog 2ndGen offspring are note of the power and potential of novas, and see them as the
concerned, the tones are reversed. The growing numbers of possible evolutionary successors to homo sapiens sapiens. The
Trog 2ndGens in the world is an excellent damper for feelings of incredible potential of the 2ndGen novas only serves to heighten
hope in general, as they really do pose a huge threat to humanity the threat these baselines see novas posing to unerupted
as a whole. Likewise, the motherhunters tasked with stopping humanity, leading them to consider breeder novas a direct cause
those monsters are excellent reasons for hope as far as baseline of a possible baseline extinction. Baselines who reject those two
humanity is concerned. viewpoints and all their preconceptions, leaving them free to see
breeder novas as the people they are instead of commodities or
Love threats to humanity’s survival, tend to be on the scarce side.
Despite over five decades’ worth of saccharine-sweet What will it take for the rest of baseline humanity to learn the
greeting cards and sappy songs, the idea of love cannot be errors in their ideas about novakind? Are they even willing to
discounted in a breeder nova scenario. The need for love is one learn, or will they just cling to their mistaken beliefs all the more
of the basic motivations for humans to take spouses and raise tightly?
children, and breeder novas (in most cases) are no exception. Generational Conflict: The event of parents being
What else could make all the toil of raising a nova child eclipsed by their grown children is a common thread throughout
worthwhile? Why else would breeder novas endure the stresses the human condition. As the parents grow old and their
and dangers of living underground in order to raise their importance wanes over the passing years, their children take
children without interference? What other reason would advantage of new things and opportunities their forbears never
breeder novas have for being willing to abandon baseline had. Worse, the children will have new experiences and do new
“civilization” – and possibly Earth itself – in order for their things that were either unknown or merely dreamt of during
children to have a brighter future? This becomes even more their parents’ glory days. While some parents learn to take pride
obvious when the fickle affections of one’s fans and/or in their grown childrens’ accomplishments, others become bitter
worshippers are measured against the honest love of one’s and jealous of the new generation. This situation becomes
spouse and children – there simply is no comparison. The lack of especially problematic where novas are concerned. With
love in a nova’s life is also important, as the resulting emotional considerable numbers of the first generation novas being both
anguish can easily drive a nova into mental illness and a sterile and given to severe egotism, they’ve grown very
consequent increase in taint. The most telling example of this is comfortable in their place as (some of) the most important
found in the savage breeder novas, among whom love is rarely people of the Nova Age. Now toss the breeder novas into the
found and is never healthy – such states include obsessive love, mix, whose lifestyle choices not only invalidate the worth of the
codependencies and delusions of being loved. To compensate egotists’ privileged lives, but have given rise to the 2ndGen
for their relative lack of love these monsters tend to develop novas. When the first generation egotists realize that the 2ndGen
narcissistic disorders, taking self-love and egomania to new novas will make most of their predecessors look like second-
extremes, with horrific results.
stringers (at best) when they come of age, their reactions will parents are remorseless criminals, does that also make the
not be pretty. children criminals as well? What faction are the motherhunters
Personal Needs vs. Selfless Altruism: While altruism is a working for, and why are they after the family of breeder
virtue, it can easily be taken too far, and that’s just what too novas? Do they intend to capture the family for interrogation or
many baselines are demanding from novas. Almost from their lab research, or summarily execute them? And if the player
eruptions, most novas are constantly bombarded with the notion characters do manage to rescue the family, what will they do
that their powers are meant to serve humanity, regardless of the then? Will they part ways from necessity, or can the player
personal sacrifices novas must make to perform that service. characters set the family up in a new life to replace the one they
This is no small matter, as this requires giving up all semblance lost?
of a normal life and its associated benefits. In return for that, Hatcher Hunt: The player characters are approached by
novas receive the transitory and hollow rewards of nova life, a group of motherhunters from one of the more public factions
which do little or nothing to assuage their personal needs and (Project Utopia, the Directive or a national government) for
increases their risks of developing Taint. Making the situation their aid in hunting down a highly-tainted Hatcher nova. The
even worse is that giving in to the baselines’ demands only player characters have been identified as the only novas having
results in them making more and greater demands of novas. By the right mix of quantum abilities to track down and deal with
living undercover, breeder novas have a much better shot at the Hatcher nova before it has a chance to produce offspring.
meeting their personal needs, but at what cost to the world? Can The motherhunters can provide a limited amount of equipment
a balance be struck between novas’ personal needs and their and plenty of good information on the target, but ultimately
altruism, or will the increasing demands of the baselines only they’ll be working as the player characters’ backup. And the
serve to further alienate novas from them? 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
Story Seeds threat to all human life and will be richly rewarded, assuming
An Offer You Can’t Refuse: If any of the player that they survive the mission. If they fail, humankind is looking at
characters are fertile, this becomes known to someone or some their own possible extinction as the Hatcher nova’s offspring
group that is not only willing to attempt blackmail, but is begin reproducing as well. If they fail to be discreet in either
powerful enough to have a shot at getting away with it. The case, the resulting public relations disaster could wreck
threat this poses to fertile player characters is exposure – baseline-nova relations for decades to come.
either to the global media at large or one of the factions – as A Woman Wronged?: A female baseline relative of one
breeder novas, which can have serious, possibly lethal of the player characters has an encounter with a Casanova, and
consequences. Exactly what the blackmailer wants is up to the winds up pregnant by him. What’s more, she says that it
Storyteller, as some will just want to coerce “favors” or large happened against her will. Claiming to have no other recourse,
amounts of money from the fertile player characters. Other the woman turns to the nova in her family for help in resolving
blackmailers will have more unconventional goals. The C-Z this matter. How are the player characters going to handle this?
Megasyndicate might want to recruit fertile male player Did the Casanova actively choose to seduce and impregnate the
characters as donors for their sperm bank operation. A woman in question, or was she attempting to induce her own
scientific research firm could want the player characters to eruption by having unprotected sex with a nova? If the Casanova
serve as lab subjects in their quest to solve the puzzle of nova has Mega-Social Attributes, did he use them to impair the
infertility. The blackmailers could even be other fertile novas woman’s judgment and make it appear as if she was willingly
that are sufficiently obsessed with having children to see the seduced by him? Was the encounter the result of an unplanned
fertile player characters as convenient breeding partners whose social meeting, or was it planned as part of a medical experiment
compliance must be obtained by any means necessary. In any for which the woman was paid to participate in? If the woman’s
case, the player characters must find a way to deal with their claims are valid and the Casanova is indeed guilty of what
would-be blackmailers without risking exposure as breeder amounts to date rape, what will the player characters do in
novas. order to seek justice on her behalf? Will bringing the Casanova
Unscheduled Delivery: In the course of their other to trial result in his receiving a well-deserved prison term, or
activities, the player characters run across a family of breeder will he just receive a slap on the wrist and walk away a free
novas who ask for their help in escaping from a group of man? Seeking vigilante justice might bring more decisive results
motherhunters. (Devious Storytellers may arrange matters so albeit at greater risk, especially if the Casanova is a combat-
that the player characters are directly responsible for blowing hardened elite with a few colleagues on call.
the family’s cover, adding in an element of guilt to the story.) Outlaw’s Brood: The player characters are elites hired by
Provided that the player characters aren’t completely callous, a law enforcement agency to track down a criminal nova living in
they can be drafted into service as impromptu delivery boys for hiding, who also happens to be the head of a family of breeder
the duration. In the midst of their possibly quite lethal conflict novas. Things start getting complicated when the player
with the motherhunters, the player characters must find answers characters realize that they may have been tricked into working
to a whole host of questions. Are the parents of the family the as motherhunters, and it doesn’t get any better from then on.
innocent victims faced with unjust persecution that they claim to After watching the family for a while, it soon becomes obvious
be, or are they hiding a history of criminal activity? If their that the family head has apparently reformed and forsaken his
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 59
or her criminal past. Has the family head really gone straight, or of the potential mates that a breeder nova will encounter will be
is he or she just lying low until the heat dies down? If the family baseline humans or sterile novas instead of other breeder novas.
head’s reformation is authentic, does he or she deserve to be Add in all the obstacles that have been placed in their way
arrested and sent before a jury? What about the rest of the (knowingly or not) by Project Proteus and other groups, and it
family? Are they also criminals who deserve to be hunted down becomes apparent that the number of breeder nova families in
and arrested, or are they innocent victims in this affair? Who’s 2015 should be somewhere in the very low end of the double-
footing the bill for hiring the player characters? Do the player digit range. That’s the conventional wisdom among most who are
characters’ clients honestly want to see the criminal nova both “in the know” about breeder novas and in a position to do
brought to justice, or do they have other motives for having this something about the situation. It’s a comforting opinion, as it
family captured? greatly reduces the apparent threat posed to the baseline
The DeVries Dynasty: Ever since DeVries diversified Establishment by breeder novas and their 2ndGen children.
from its beginnings as a purely mercenary company, a power Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on one’s viewpoint),
struggle has been brewing between Anna DeVries and Frank this is yet another instance where the conventional wisdom is
Carrington. (See Aberrant: Elites pp. 21-24 for details.) Anna’s gravely mistaken. Against all odds, a sizeable number of breeder
giving birth to their child (a male True 2ndGen nova named novas actually have managed to form marital bonds and produce
Peter) in 2012 only served to intensify the potential for conflict; 2ndGen offspring. What’s even more astounding is that the
as Frank plans to steal away enough DeVries employees to start majority of these families have also managed to conceal their
his own mercenary company and take sole custody of their son. existence from those who would seek to harm or exploit them.
Anna’s response to this premeditated personal and professional What’s going on here?
betrayal will not be restrained, to say the least. And caught up in There’s a saying among the military and intelligence
the middle of this mess is young Peter, the other DeVries nova communities: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three
children and their parents. The player characters are all DeVries times is enemy action. And in this case, the “enemy” is none
employees – possibly with spouses and children of their own – other than Sophia Rousseau. As the “power behind the throne”
that find themselves front and center when this situation breaks of the Aberrants, Mme. Rousseau has been aware of the various
out into open conflict. Not only will the player characters have threats posed to breeder novas for quite some time now, and
to deal with the expected boardroom maneuverings, but they has been working in two ways to derail said threats. The first
also risk being caught up in actual combat as the resident elites way is instigating the “delivery boy” activities of the Aberrants,
choose a side and matters escalate. Will loyalty to their which has been detailed earlier in this book. The other ways all
employers cause them to take part in the conflict, or will the involve her unmatched command over the forces of entropy,
player characters seek to protect Peter and the other innocents chaos and probability. Employing a form of probability alteration
from this madness? And what will the consequences of their of which only the truly powerful novas are capable, Rousseau
choices be, both for themselves and for DeVries? 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
The Sixth Column should feel free to not only have breeder novas (especially
fertile player characters) “coincidentally” encounter other
At its most basic level, the setting of Aberrant is a world of breeder novas on a regular basis, but for them to eventually find
mystery & conspiracy; where very little is as it appears and their “dream mates” in this manner. (This applies to homosexual
threats to all but the most powerful novas lurk behind breeder novas as well, the only difference being that producing
benevolent façades. This is especially true for the breeder novas offspring will be a bit more difficult for a same-sex breeder
and their 2ndGen children, as many powerful people - even nova couple.) Those breeder novas who do find mates will show
certain directors of the Aeon Society itself - seem hellbent on a strong tendency to adopt a low profile, becoming highly
doing away with them. Even so, the breeder novas do have a few reclusive if not going underground. As Rousseau can sense
conspiracies that seek to aid them in whatever ways necessary breeder novas as a result of her tampering with their destinies,
for their survival. With the stakes piled so high against them, she will use her powers to “cloak” families she approves of from
few breeder novas would balk at accepting this aid, even if it hostile attention (typically by decreasing the odds of accidental
might come from questionable sources. We have detailed two of exposure to near-zero) and redirect hostile attention to those
the more notable of these “helpful conspiracies” for ready use in she doesn’t. Generally, breeder nova families that Rousseau
an Aberrant chronicle, and have provided guidelines for doesn’t approve of are those in which the parents are malignant
Storytellers (and ambitious players) who wish to create their in some way; such as being highly-tainted, vicious criminals or
own helpful conspiracies. simply very poor parenting material. She will attempt to save the
progeny of such unfit parents if she deems such children
Sophia’s Scheme salvageable, but will otherwise write them off along with their
parents. Rousseau also keeps a close watch over those families
By all reasonable estimations, the number of breeder novas she’s “cloaked”, and will dispatch Aberrant delivery boys to aid
who manage to form marital bonds and produce 2ndGen nova them as needed.
offspring should be miniscule to the point of nonexistence. It is important to note that Mme. Rousseau’s quantum-
Novas are hardly commonplace in 2015 to begin with, and the powered “mass matchmaking” effort has had mixed
fertile ones are even less so. Then there’s the fact that almost all
consequences. On the positive side, Rousseau has given novas a is generally heroic, while doing the same for malignant breeder
much better chance of long-term survival as a people and as a novas threatens humanity as a whole. The only real question in
human subspecies. The problem with this is that her “destiny these cases is what sacrifices the player characters are willing to
rewrite” didn’t affect only those breeder novas who weren’t make on the behalf of other peoples’ survival.
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 The Maer Enclave
chances for finding a suitable mate. Unfortunately, there’s no After Bounty’s accusations about Project Utopia being
guarantee that a breeder nova won’t be one of the malignant responsible for nova sterility became common knowledge in
ones, in which case cool aloofness is the best that can be hoped Terat circles, various Terats put together a think tank to look at
for. Along with ensuring the survival of non-malignant breeder the issue, and this first effort failed dramatically. The nova drugs
nova families, Rousseau has also made it possible for families of they found weren’t laced with the sterility cocktail, and other
malignant breeder novas to take root and pose a serious threat problems came up which caused the group to be disbanded.
to humanity in general. Rousseau has attempted to mollify this However, various Terat masterminds kept looking into the
by redirecting the attention of the motherhunters to those subject and corresponding via OpMail. Eventually the
nascent broods of monsters, which has resulted in yet another Apothecary and Count Orzaiz realized that the original think
batch of mixed consequences. On one hand, no matter who tank had been manipulated by outside interests. Some talks with
prevails in the deadly conflict between motherhunters and the Mathematician convinced them that any research into this
malignant breeder novas, a threat to the survival of the non- matter would be a magnet for saboteurs and Project Utopia’s
malignant breeder novas will have been eliminated. On the other, tech police. The trio soon decided to fund the effort properly
this understandable bit of misdirection can easily cause baseline and isolate the group. If Utopia was putting this much effort into
“experts” on novas (and the powerful people they advise) to disrupting an investigation, then maybe there was something to
develop the mistaken notion that all novas are doomed to be found.
become taint-ridden monstrosities and/or extremely dangerous The Maer Enclave is located on one of the minor
psychotics. Without knowledge of the non-malignant breeder undeveloped islands of Indonesia. Thanks to Orzaiz’s secret
novas to act as a counterweight, the majority of baseline humans negotiations with Prime Minister Sutowow in 2008, the
are all the more likely to consider all novas to be incipient Casablancas now effectively own the island, where they’ve
monsters. created an underground (both literally and figuratively)
Using “Sophia’s Scheme” in scientific research facility. Certain unusual mineral formations
help shield the Maer Enclave from detection via both
your chronicle technological (spyplanes, surveillance satellites) and paranormal
Inserting this subplot into an Aberrant chronicle isn’t (nova powers) methods. According to the Indonesian
difficult, as there are only one question that must be answered: government, the island is a nature preserve where unapproved
Are some or all of the player characters fertile? If any of the (by Jakarta, anyway) human visitation, habitation and land
player characters are breeder novas, Rousseau’s predestination development are all highly illegal. This ban has been strictly
can affect their lives in radical ways. What happens when a enforced, typically using Indonesian military forces whose
novox star meets her “perfect significant other”, and vanishes standard operating procedure is “shoot first & don’t ask
from public life in order to settle down and start a family in questions”.
secret? Not only will the motherhunters be after the former The newly-established Maer Enclave was created with
novox star and her loved ones, but her fans and agent are three long-term goals in mind. First, the resident scientists were
definitely going to be on the lookout for her as well. What if it’s to determine the exact mechanism of the Utopian nova
a highly-placed agent of Utopia (or Proteus) that gets bitten by sterilization agent. This hurdle has been breached, despite
Rousseau’s love bug? Can he defect and escape from his former having been an exceedingly tough nut to crack as far as
allies without getting himself or his loved ones killed in the scientific puzzles go, as the researchers have been atypically
process? What happens if a player character encounters a (especially for Terat scientists) objective about their research
malignant breeder nova who is under the delusion that the player and cooperative with each other. There was no disagreement at
character is his “intended”? How far will the malignant breeder all between the researchers on this matter; they are all
nova be willing to go in order to claim the player character for convinced that countering Utopia’s “pogrom in a pill” is vitally
himself? What happens if the player character is a important to the survival of the One Race. The second goal was
motherhunter, and finds himself lovestruck for the breeder nova to find ways for fertile novas to defend themselves against the
that he’s been ordered to either capture or kill? In all of these Utopian nova sterilization agent. This is where the
cases, the question can be boiled down to this: What is the disagreements have blossomed. Some want to create a
player character willing to sacrifice in hopes of gaining a loving preventative vaccine, others want to concoct a counteractive
spouse and children? If the player characters are not fertile, drug, and still others have proposed more radical methods to
Rousseau’s predestination can only affect them indirectly. shield novas against the Utopian nova sterilization agent. Finally,
Typically, the player characters will be given the choice of the third goal was to find a way to fully restore the fertility of
either aiding or hindering the survival of breeder novas. As novas who have already been sterilized. The debates over this
usual, context is everything: aiding non-malignant breeder novas goal haven’t been quite as contentious as those focused on their
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 61
second goal, but the various methods proposed to accomplish herself and in the One Race as a whole. As the Maer Enclave’s
the third goal are somewhat more radical, not to mention resident Mega-Attractive sex kitten, Permafrost has found that
ethically dubious (especially from the viewpoint of baseline the male attention she previously reveled in has instead become
medical ethics). Currently, both the second and third goals are a highly-aggravating nuisance.
still in the theoretical stages, with intense conflicts brewing Maurice “Brainstorm” Whitworth, a Canadian
among the resident scientists over how to accomplish them. pharmaceutical researcher who erupted after accidentally
Security at the Maer Enclave is extremely tight. As a overdosing on one of his own concoctions. Quickly recruited by
“deep-cover” operation, even the existence - much less the Narcosis, Brainstorm happily invented several highly profitable
location and purpose - of the Maer enclave is unknown to the designer drugs for the Pandaimonion while becoming a regular
nearly all other Terats, including Pantheon members such as on the Pandaimonion party circuit. When approached to join the
Bounty and Scripture and even Mal himself. Other than Count Maer Enclave, Brainstorm couldn’t resist the challenge that the
Orzaiz and the Mathematician; the only Terats who know what is mystery of nova sterility posed to his intellect. Despite the
going on at the Maer Enclave and where it is are actually at the revelation that the Utopian sterility agent wasn’t a drug at all,
site. Even Synapse only knows that the island is of some interest Brainstorm is confident that he can concoct a wonder drug that
to Orzaiz for unknown reasons, and while the Apothecary knows will cure nova sterility - and (hopefully) let him score big with
of the project he agreed at the beginning that he wouldn’t be Permafrost.
informed of its location. Every computer used at the Maer Ethan “Platypus” Butler, a Harvester biologist from New
Enclave is physically separated from the OpNet so it’s Zealand and an understudy of the Apothecary. While the
impossible for them to be hacked externally. All of the Terats Platypus does greatly resemble his namesake due to his powers
involved in the project were selected not only for their and aberrations (down to having venomous spurs on his wrists
superhuman intelligence (or other abilities), but also for having and ankles) his superhuman physical prowess ensures that he’s
mental shields against telepathy. Terats without mind shields are nowhere near as ungainly as his deceptively comical appearance
simply not allowed anywhere near the Maer Enclave no matter suggests. The Platypus is quite firmly convinced that the
what their other abilities. The Mathematician was key in Chrysalis holds the key to overcoming the Utopian nova sterility
recruiting the Maer Enclave’s personnel. If a prospective recruit agent. Unfortunately, the Platypus is also developing platypus
was going to refuse to join the project or refuse the required instincts - such as increased aggressiveness toward his rivals for
isolation, he or she was simply not asked. Permafrost’s favors - which further clouds his judgment.
The resident scientists of the Maer Enclave are as follows: Aside from the scientists, also present at the Maer Enclave
Trang “Doctor Anh Sáng Sao” Xuan Tu’, a Vietnamese are three other Terats: one overworked administrator, one
former employee of CORE International before his eruption and warper and one fairly dimwitted nova who has the Clone power
subsequent recruitment by the Mathematician for the and does maintenance work. These last three also double as
Casablancas. “Dr. Starlight” is better known among Terats for security personnel for the Maer Enclave. There is also an AI
his glowing blue skin, superhuman visual capabilities, powers which is tied into the monitoring systems and oversees the Maer
over light and a complete lack of a sense of humor rather than Enclave’s isolated mini-OpNet. The warper handles the delivery
his nova-caliber skills as a genetic engineer. Anh Sáng Sao sees of supplies and communications with the outside world, the
himself as the obvious leader of the Maer Enclave, but is cloner deals with ensuring that all the facilities function as they
constantly distressed by his fellow scientists’ stubborn rejection should, and the administrator vainly tries to keep his much
of his “natural authority” - especially in the case of Permafrost, smarter charges in line. That wasn’t much of a problem at first,
whose respect (and love) he foolishly hopes to win, somehow. when everything went pretty smoothly and significant progress
Francesco “Thermite” Anselmi, a Utopian paraphysician was made. However shortly after this initial burst of
from Italy prior to discovering that Utopia had sterilized him. He productivity, the resident masterminds got caught up in their
then joined the Primacy, where he researched the mysteries of own egotism and infighting. All five of the masterminds are
nova biology in hopes of finding new advantages on the roughly equal in their mental wattage, as well as their
battlefield for the One Race. Thermite has become obsessed egocentrism and strong wills. Most of them suffer from mental
with the goal of fathering his own nova children, but has avoided disorders and all five are very close to embodying the mad
seeking out Bounty’s aid due to wanting to raise his children in scientist stereotype. The Maer Enclave would likely have been
the traditional Italian manner. Thermite’s powers over chemical better off with fewer novas of such brilliance and more novas of
reactions and heat serve him equally well both in the lab and in less brilliance (i.e. more followers and fewer leaders), however
combat, not to mention checking out attractive nova women - this flaw wasn’t foreseen by the Mathematician because of his
like Permafrost - with infrared vision. heavy involvement in setting up the project.
Tamara “Permafrost” Kavanne, a Finnish gynecologist Using “The Maer Enclave” in
who erupted after being locked inside a walk-in medical freezer
by the wife of one of the male doctors that she’d been having your chronicle
affairs with. After taking revenge with her newly-acquired Due the slightly more limited nature of this subplot, it’s best
cryokinetic powers, she was rescued from the local police by used in Aberrant chronicles where the player characters are
one of Orzaiz’ operatives. As the Casablancas’ premier either Terats themselves or are foes of the Teragen. The most
gynecologist and expert on human fertility, Permafrost is likely way for Terat player characters to become involved with
determined to replicate Bounty’s superhuman fertility both in the Maer Enclave is to be assigned to aid them in some manner.
The resident scientists could easily need some lab assistants, or First, not all Aberrant Storytellers keep the storylines of their
perhaps the player characters have powers or capabilities that games in strict conformity with game canon, nor should they.
could aid them in their researches. If the facility is under threat There’s no guarantee that Sophia Rousseau will appear as one of
of attack by hostile novas of military forces, combat-hardened the “good guys” in any given Aberrant chronicle - or that Mme.
Nova Vigilance and/or Primacy members could take over Rousseau will even exist, for that matter. Some Aberrant
security operations for the Maer Enclave. Of course, that “aid” Storytellers and players will always prefer to use their own
could also take the form of Count Orzaiz ordering an “homebrew” subplots instead of those provided for them.
investigation into the scientists’ sudden lack of progress Second is that fact that even without Director Thetis and
towards achieving the projects’ second and third goals, with the Project Proteus to act as their main collective nemeses, breeder
player characters as the investigators. In any case, the player novas and their 2ndGen nova children in any alternate version of
characters will have to deal with the powderkeg of professional the Nova Age will eventually find themselves targeted by
rivalry, laboratory intrigue and sexual tension that the erstwhile motherhunters of some sort. The faces may change, but the
think tank has become. None of the five scientists are willing to basic situation remains the same: the breeder novas must hide
concede that their pet theory holds anything less than the cure from (and fight off, when discovered) a planetful of powerful
for nova sterility, making the situation potentially explosive. The organizations and individuals who seek to exploit and/or harm
sparks that threaten to set off that explosion are provided by them. These quantum powered families are just that important;
the sexual rivalry of the quartet of male scientists over their as few governments, multinational corporations or powerful
female colleague, who has no romantic interest in any of the people in any world would hesitate to either take whatever
other current Maer Enclave residents whatsoever. As advantage of them they could - or attempt to dispose of them, if
Permafrost’s normal romantic habits have been frustrated ever they appear to pose a threat. And that’s why we’ve provided
since she joined the Maer Enclave, the chance that she might some handy guidelines for interested Storytellers who want to
fancy one of the male player characters is significant, and her design their own helpful conspiracies, in response to whatever
male colleagues won’t like that one bit. The actions of the player motherhunters are present. There are two main types of
characters could either bring success to the Maer Enclave and subplots that can be inserted into a breeder nova chronicle,
the promise of restored fertility to the One Race... or cause this which are described below.
grandoise project to fail utterly. Non-Terat player characters Acts of God
involved with this subplot will most likely be either mercenary
This subplot is centered around the actions of a very
elites, law enforcement agents or operatives of Project Utopia
powerful nova who has decided to use his or her powers to aid
(or Project Proteus). Elite investigators could be hired to look
breeder novas and their children, either in an overt or covert
into the apparent disappearance of one or more of the five
manner. In game terms, this means that the culprit must be a
“missing” Terat scientists, while espionage-oriented elites could
nova with a Quantum rating of 6+ and at least a few dots of a
be hired to investigate the weird satellite imagery from a certain
Level 4+ quantum power that could plausibly be useful in this
supposedly uninhabited Indonesian island. One or more of the
situation. As a result, this subplot will typically be used by the
resident scientists’ research efforts could easily take an
Storyteller, unless the players are using 100+ nova point
unethical direction, with experiments involving kidnapped
characters in the chronicle. “Sophia’s Scheme” is a good
baselines or novas being only the most obvious way to bring
example of this type of subplot; as is the theorized mass
player character investigators to the Maer Enclave’s door. If
restoration of nova fertility in the 2030s by means of the
Director Thetis ever gets any hint as to the Maer Enclave’s
Ecological Supremacy power on the part of either Antaeus,
existence and location, she will send Proteus nova operatives
Belladonna or Regina Mundi.
there on orders to find out what’s been going on at first
opportunity. If she ever learns the purpose of the Maer Enclave, Old-Fashioned Skullduggery
Thetis is sure to order it destroyed with extreme prejudice, The other subplot involves the actions of novas who lack
while keeping copies of the research data for Proteus’ archives. the godlike capabilities of Divis Mal and Sophia Rousseau, but
Finally, the most radical option for using this subplot with non- make up for that lack by acting as a coordinated group. Instead
Terat player characters is where the Teragen either goes public of making sweeping changes with an überpower, these nova
with the results of the Maer Enclave’s research - creating groups must form functional conspiracies in order to aid the
another huge public relation disaster for both Project Utopia and breeder novas. Not only is this subplot more readily available to
Aeon - or attempts to use that evidence to blackmail Utopia and players in an Aberrant chronicle, but indulging in this sort of
Aeon for some reason. Either way, both Utopian and Proteus intrigue can also be more fun for them as well. Changing the
player characters will have their hands full in trying to world with an überpower can be fun for the nova who has it, but
ameliorate the resulting damage to Utopia, or in their attempts good conspiracies are collective efforts, where the fun can be
to bury the evidence before the Teragen can use it against them. spread around. “The Maer Enclave” provides a good look at
such a conspiracy, as do the covert space colonization efforts of
the Daedelus League.
Alternate Sixth Columns In either case, there are several questions about the culprit
As you may have noticed, both “Sophia’s Scheme” and and the deed that must be answered for these subplots to work
“The Maer Enclave” are listed as completely optional additions well.
for your Aberrant chronicle. The reasons for this are twofold.
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 63
Who is the culprit? makes it far less likely that those breeder novas she approves of
Of the known canon novas in the “Quantum 6+ club” circa will be noticed by the motherhunters. If they are ever so
2015, only Caestus Pax, Divis Mal, Antaeus and Sophia Rousseau inclined, Mal’s command over quantum signatures of other novas
are known to still be alive. (Gabriel Melchior died in December of and Antaeus’ power to control ecological and biological
2009, and there’s little evidence to show that Bounty is processes on a grand scale can also allow them to “stack the
powerful enough to be counted among them.) Going by their deck” in the breeder novas’ favor in their own ways with a little
canon roles and personalities, Mme. Rousseau is the one of this forethought. As for Pax, his control over kinetic energy makes
quartet most likely to attempt to aid the breeder novas. Mal and him unsuited to aid breeder novas in both personality and power.
Antaeus are also possible benefactors for the breeder novas, Non-canon culprits have other options available to them; as an
despite their being somewhat detached from the experience of über-telepath could use Consciousness Supremacy to inspire
starting families. Finally, Pax is guaranteed to not even consider cautious behavior and a tendency to conceal their identities in
helping the breeder novas. Unless his personality diverges newly-erupted breeder novas. A precognitive nova of this
greatly from canon, Pax will certainly be on the side of Proteus caliber could predict the eruptions of breeder novas, and make
and the other motherhunters. Ironically, Storytellers whose arrangements to have pre-emptive measures in place to ensure
chronicles diverge from the canon setting and metaplot enjoy a that they don’t get noticed (much less caught) by the
much greater degree of freedom in their choice of culprit, at the motherhunters. If the motherhunters are employing sterility
cost of having to create said nova from the ground up. Choosing retroviruses as part of their arsenal, a nova with Disease
a canon group to be the culprit is only somewhat less daunting. Authority to destroy or even subvert those bioweapons. Culprit
Unless the players have started their own faction (which isn’t groups will lack the extreme power of the lone culprits, but can
unheard of), only those canon groups which have been known to draw on the wider range of capabilities possessed by their
engage in “delivery boy” operations will be likely to form members instead. Combined with an appropriate strategy,
conspiracies to aid the breeder novas. Non-canon groups have culprit groups can be startlingly effective. Groups can provide
no such official history constraining them, of course. breeder novas with new identities and livelihoods, relocate them
What is the culprit’s motivation? to any refuge that can be found on Earth (and a few that are off
For all but the most powerful novas, thwarting the efforts of it), work to find ways to restore the fertility of sterile novas
of the motherhunters and their powerful patrons is no small and/or immunize breeder novas against the Utopian sterility
thing. Depending on the nature of his or her nova capabilities, retroviruses, and generally hinder the motherhunters’ efforts at
the culprit’s attempt to aid the breeder novas may very well every turn.
amount to putting his or her neck on the proverbial chopping Is the culprit’s effort to aid the breeder novas overt or
block. So what is it that has driven the culprit to take such a covert?
risk? Does the culprit feel an idealistic need to protect “his own Depending on the circumstances, the culprit may either
kind” against baseline aggression? Does the culprit have a conceal or reveal (even if only to the breeder novas he’s
grudge against the motherhunters and/or their patrons, and attempting to help) his effort to aid the breeder novas. Overt
consider aiding the breeder novas to be her most effective efforts have the advantage of letting the affected breeder novas
means of taking revenge? Has the culprit soured on all of know how and why they’ve been helped by the culprit, as well as
baseline humanity, and seek to ensure the survival and letting the culprit take the credit for his deed. The downside to
prosperity of novakind as the only real alternative culture for being overt is that some breeder novas may resent the culprit’s
her to belong to? Does the culprit see himself as a destined help (rightfully or not), and they will know exatly who to blame
leader of novakind, and regard his effort to aid breeder novas as for the “unwanted interference”. Also, overt attempts are
a way to garner support for him to become an authority figure to easier for other novas - like the motherhunters - to thwart.
them in the future? If the culprit is a breeder nova himself, does Covert attempts are harder for the motherhunters and other
he aspire to starting a family of his own, and see aiding the enemies to interfere with, as even those breeder novas aided by
breeder novas as a way to help himself and his hypothetical the culprit’s deed probably know about it. The problem with this
spouse and offspring? These questions are only a little different is that it creates a mystery in the lives of those breeder novas
for the members of a culprit group, which must have a broad affected by it, and some of them are certainly perceptive and/or
goal that all of its members support. If anything, their collective intuitive enough to notice it. If an attempt to investigate a
motivation will have to be more powerful than that of a powerful culprit’s covert deed isn’t quickly derailed, it can easily expose
lone culprit, especially since they’re a good deal more vulnerable both the culprit and the breeder novas he helped to the
to reprisals from the motherhunters. Individual members of the motherhunters. Culprit groups will typically have no choice but
group will also have their own motives for joining the to keep their actions covert, as secrecy is absolutely vital to the
conspiracy, which will keep things interesting. proper functioning of any conspiracy. Unlike the powerful
How does the culprit plan to aid the breeder novas? novas, a culprit group will not be able to afford being overt and
This is the real “nuts and bolts” question for a powerful daring the motherhunters to interfere with them.
nova: what does the culprit’s quantum powers allow her to do What are the consequences - both good and bad - of the
that could help the breeder novas? In “Sophia’s Scheme”, Mme. culprit’s deed?
Rousseau uses her powers over entropy and probability to not In all but a few cases, the culprit’s deed will have both good
only dramatically increase the chances for breeder novas to and bad consequences. Case in point: In “Sophia’s Scheme”,
encounter each other and form viable marital bonds, but also Mme. Rousseau’s “mass matchmaking” effort affected all of the
breeder novas, including those who would spawn Trog 2ndGens
and future criminals. Likewise, her “cloaking” of breeder novas Family
of whom she approves from the motherhunters and baseline Susan Bellson
authorities does much to ensure their safety, at the cost of
Background: Up until Susan was well into her fifth year of
creating a misperception among baselines that all breeder novas
childhood, things were fairly happy for the little girl and her
can only give birth to the monstrous Trog 2ndGen novas. That
parents in their isolated town in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
mistaken belief will make it very easy for baselines to condemn
That all changed when Susan’s mother died of pancreatic
all novas as monsters; regardless of their deeds or actual status.
cancer, and her father became an alcoholic in a misguided effort
For the mixed consequences of a culprit group’s actions, the
to cope with his wife’s death. While the man was never outright
Daedelus League’s relocation of suitable breeder novas to their
abusive to his daughter, this did make Susan’s life very unstable
asteroid colonies is a good example. On the positive side, the
while she was growing up. When Susan was 17, her father was
Daedelus League has provided what are clearly some of the
driving her home - while drunk - along a winding mountain road
safest refuges from the motherhunters that exist in 2015. These
at night in a sudden windstorm. As stress built, the two of them
asteroid colonies are also an important first step for the
started an argument about his drinking and their rotten lives in
eventual colonization of suitable extrasolar planets by the
general. The distraction was enough for their car to go over a
Daedelus League, Protectors and whatever other groups of sane
cliff. While her father died in the crash, Susan erupted, and was
novas that may arise in the decades leading to the Aberrant War
found by a search party a few days later wandering around the
and the Exodus. In short, these novas have a potential for power
countryside in shock. She told the authorities about her father’s
and growth of all kinds that is astronomical (pun intended). On
drinking, their argument and the storm. Everyone assumed that
the negative side, the Daedelus League and their fellow space
Susan had been thrown clear of the car just before it had been
colonists have for the most part negated themselves as factors
blown off the road. That was seven years ago. The money from
in the ongoing power struggle between the various factions of
her father’s life insurance policy, along with some modest
the Nova Age. Also, there is an element of rejection in the
financial support from her mother’s family proved sufficient for
Daedelus League’s plans to abandon Earth. In addition to the
Susan to put herself through college. It took Susan a few months
desires to lead more satisfying lives and raise their families
after the accident to realize she’d erupted as a nova, whereupon
without undue interference, they have effectively decided that
she was appalled and quickly decided to walk away from her
Terran civilization and baseline humanity are not worth
powers. It wasn’t a hard choice. When Susan began to
protecting. Why should they risk their lives and those of their
experiment with her powers, she found herself transformed into
children in an effort to defend a society that - for the most part
a living incarnation of the windstorm, an uncontrollably
- only wants to use them as disposable beasts of burden? The
destructive force of nature prone to fits of rage and tormented
Daedelus League and their fellow future space colonists have a
by memories she didn’t want to deal with ever again. It was
very bright future ahead of them and their children, but it will
obvious to Susan that she’d eventually wind up leveling buildings
come at the cost of some very dark times on Earth.
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
Family, Friends 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
and Fiends her powers a fair trade. When dormant, she could live and enjoy
life like any other normal person. Maybe she got some small,
As could only be expected, breeder novas have proven to useful things out of eruption like not getting sick, but the bulk of
be an extremely diverse lot. Aside from their ability to channel it was better left alone. Susan doesn’t even consider herself a
quantum energies, the only thing that binds them together is nova anymore. Not only has she never told anyone her secret,
their capability to sire or bear the extremely powerful 2ndGen it’s been more than 6 years since she has activated her M-R
nova children. Those novas who either seek to aid or harm node, and she’s tried very hard not to think about it. Now Susan
breeder novas and their children likewise have little in common. is happily married to an insurance agent, runs her own bridal
The following trios of breeder novas, delivery boys and shop, and is four months pregnant with her first child.
motherhunters have been designed to show the different paths Description: When she’s channeling quantum, Susan is a
that novas can follow in this conflict, and are ready to use as white ghostly figure made up of, and surrounded by, icy winds.
Storyteller (and possibly player) characters. As always, Similarly, her personality is also wild and volatile in this form.
Storytellers and players should feel free to alter these When dormant, Susan is a very attractive Caucasian blue eyed
characters to better suit their Aberrant chronicles and/or blonde. Eruption made her healthier and bleached out her hair
personal tastes if desired, but they can also provide story hooks from her prior dull brown shade, but she had bleached her hair
that are ready-made to be inserted into a breeder nova even before so her appearance didn’t change much.
chronicle. Roleplaying Hints: Novas? You can honestly say that as far
as you know there aren’t 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 don’t leave the country
entirely, and good for them. You have a good, stable life, and
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 65
that’s the important thing. Your husband makes a good living comfortable enough with it to “come out” to him. Also, Susan’s
selling insurance, business at your bridal shop has been brisk and unborn child will be born as a True 2ndGen nova, provided that
the two of you love each other. Other people can have their she remains dormant for the remainder of her pregnancy. If she
interesting lives, you are long past the pain of growing up and does not, she risks pregnancy complications and having her child
have no interest in revisiting it. If you’re “about” anything, you become a Trog 2ndGen nova.
are about the joys of stability. You like your life, and beyond Andy “Loverboy” Smith
accommodating the needs of your upcoming child you see no
reason to change. (formerly Mitch Falwell)
Nature: Caregiver Background: Mitch was the illegitimate son of an unwed
Allegiance: Independent teen mother, and the other residents of the small Kansas town
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 3, he grew up in never let him forget it. Mitch was always getting
Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma into unearned trouble as a result of his neighbors’ prejudices, so
4 early on he decided he might as well become a troublemaker in
Abilities: Academics 1, Arts 4 (wedding design), Athletics 2, truth and have as much fun as possible. While in high school,
Awareness 2, Biz 3, Bureaucracy 1, Diplomacy 2, Drive 1, Mitch was being busted for underage drinking when he erupted.
Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 2, Navigation 1, Rapport 4, His new powers let him pass the blood test, and the charges
Resistance 3, Ride 1, Science 1, Stealth 2, Style 4, Subterfuge 1, were dropped. It wasn’t long before Mitch figured out that he
Survival 1. could also beat up jocks and score with their babes. He could
Backgrounds: Attunement 3, Dormancy 5, Node 4, Resources 3 even become someone else to pull off some awesome practical
Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit), Secret (dormant jokes… like knocking up the daughters of both the local head of
highly tainted nova, 3 point Flaw). the Church of Michael Archangel and the local sheriff. Mitch was
Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Albinism, never implicated in the following investigations, but he still
Chilling [The ambient air temperature in Susan’s vicinity is decided that his hometown was in danger of becoming too hot
lowered by 8 degrees Celsius], Energy Emission [cold wind], for his liking. Mitch was on a Greyhound bus headed for New
Hormonal Imbalance [Rage], Permanent Power: Bodymorph) York City a few days later, with his few belongings and a healthy
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Irresistible Force), Mega- amount of stolen cash. Immediately dismissing Project Utopia as
Stamina (Adaptability, Regeneration), Mega-Intelligence unsuited to his tastes, Mitch instead applied at DeVries’ New
(Eidetic Memory) York office. Mitch was signing a contract with some very nice
Quantum Powers: Bodymorph: Air (one dot each of benefits right after the interview. After helping Mitch reinvent
Density Decrease, Flight, Force Field and Immolate [cold wind, himself as “Andy Smith”, DeVries set him up as a paid escort for
inflicts bashing damage]), Elemental Anima: Air baseline ladies around the party circuit. Andy has also been
(Enhance/Diminish, Lethal Blast, Sphere, Storm). acting as a stud nova in DeVries’ “compensated dating” program
Methods and tactics: “How about this dress?” As befits since its’ inception. A year’s worth of working for DeVries
someone who doesn’t think of herself as a nova, Susan’s hasn’t stopped Andy from indulging in his favored pastime of
methods are fairly baseline and would revolve around common hell-raising, he’s only become much more discreet about it.
sense. If something unpleasant happens she will flee, call the Whether or not Andy will eventually grow up is an open
police, an auto mechanic, her husband, or whoever else is question. When Andy gives thought to the ethics of what he
appropriate. It is extremely unlikely in the normal course of does (which is rare), he thinks that novas like him are
things that she’d ever “let her genie out of its bottle”, especially responsible for creating the next generation of novas, especially
with Susan currently being pregnant. If Susan ever did transform since most other elites are so busy killing off so much of the old
into her nova self, she would be extremely destructive to any one… or something like that. He didn’t really follow all the logic
buildings and any baseline humans nearby, and her secret would of the “queen bee” theory one of the scientists at DeVries went
be out. On the other hand, although the lethal force of her other into when Andy joined DeVries’ “compensated dating” program.
self isn’t going to be the first club out of the bag, it is there. But Andy knows that it’s his duty to get as many women
Transformed, Susan could attune small objects (a small child pregnant as possible.
perhaps) and flee, flying through any walls or other barriers. She Description: In his “default” form Andy is a drop-dead
could reduce the amount of air around large areas to near- gorgeous Caucasian male, noticeably taller than average with
vacuum and induce suffocation. She could employ the storm sandy-blond hair and hazel eyes. He typically appears to be in
technique to bring down buildings and/or hamper people. his early twenties thanks to his near-constant use of
Although Susan’s nova self is violent and (by baseline standards) Appearance Alteration, but is actually only 16 years old.
crazy, she isn’t actually a different person and her motivations Roleplaying Hints: The world is yours now, but the one
would be the same. It is unlikely anyone could convince Susan to thing you learned from eruption was that getting caught sucks,
transform into her nova self without physically threatening her so no bragging about it. Subtlety rules. Continue to research
family, but if they did, they’d find themselves as the targets for your project(s) and be sure to take lots of time off for “breaks”.
Susan’s rage and deadly force. Smile mysteriously, give a wink and a nod, and let people see
Note: Unknown to Susan, her husband David is also a closet what they want to see in you. Make small talk and make sure
breeder nova. For his part, David strongly suspects that Susan their glass is half full. Other novas, especially elites are better
has erupted, but has decided to avoid that topic until Susan feels left “prankless” and avoided, not so much because you’re afraid
of them… okay, maybe exactly because you are afraid of them, skills to encourage drinking, typically more on the part of
but also because some of them are better at the social thing than obstacles to his schemes than on his “dates” (if his social skills
you are and some of them are able to effortlessly see through can’t get someone to say yes then it must be a seriously messed
your attempts to disguise. up situation).
Nature: Somewhere between Hedonist and Jester As a matter of habit Andy doesn’t tend to leave
Allegiance: DeVries fingerprints whenever he can avoid doing so.
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 4, If a woman says no and means it, Andy will assume she’s
Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma an elite and walk away (this was beaten into him one night).
5 Andy tends to function at one of two levels, either
Abilities: Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Carousing 3, Disguise 1, Drive determined or opportunistic. If all he’s looking to do is score
1, Endurance 3, Investigation 5, Legerdemain 1, Linguistics 1 with a hot babe then opportunity rules and there are lots of fish
(English native, French), Martial Arts 1, Perform 1, Resistance 3, in the ocean… well, make that singles bars and college campuses.
Seduction 5, Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 3. But a well-crafted prank can take weeks or even months of
Backgrounds: Backing (DeVries) 1, Cipher 3, Eufiber 2, determined research and preparation before it can be pulled off.
Resources 3 Jean “Insecta” Whittaker
Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative), Lusty (1
Background: A year ago, Jean Whittaker was an
point Flaw), Secret (teenage serial deadbeat dad and former
unattractive young spinster who worked as a registered nurse at
thief, 3 point Flaw).
Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. During
Quantum 1, Quantum Pool 22, Willpower 6, Taint 0
a home invasion of her three-room apartment, Jean was raped
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), Mega-
by the robber and became pregnant. After enduring the
Stamina (Health), Mega-Perception (Bloodhound), Mega-
unwanted fetus inside of her for nine months, Jean erupted while
Appearance (Appearance Alteration, Copycat, Seductive
she was recovering from her labor. At first eruption was
Looks), Mega-Charisma (Seductive)
wonderful for Jean, as not only was she no longer fat or ugly, she
Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
was now superhumanly attractive and charismatic. She could fly,
Organ, Intuition .
and command insects with her mind. She also gained a bizarre
Methods and tactics: Andy is always careful to not wear his
power to make men pregnant with her children, which she
own face when pulling off his “pranks”, especially those that
regarded as an embarrassing secret. Flush with a newfound self-
involve seducing women. Combined with his Cipher rating and
confidence from her eruption, Jean found the strength of will to
investigative skills, this makes fingering Andy as the culprit
give her child up for adoption. After mastering her nova
close to impossible. If Andy is caught while pulling a prank and it
capabilities, Jean then tracked down her rapist via her
looks like it’s getting violent, he’ll use Quantum Leap and a quick
superhuman senses and insect servants, and proceeded to beat
use of Copycat to escape. With the exception of his
him to death with her bare hands. Jean was never even
“compensated dates”, Andy is also careful to never get any of
suspected of the murder. Maybe it was residual anger she had
the women he “escorts” pregnant, as that would bring the
from being raped, maybe it was the guilt from killing her rapist
DeVries gravy train to a halt, but other than that the sky is the
and getting away with it, maybe it was the guilt from giving her
limit. One of Andy’s favorite tricks is to “date” women who are
child up for adoption (on some level this felt like abandoning
currently fertile. He especially delights in knocking up the
him), but since her eruption Jean has become absolutely riddled
daughters and/or wives of the more straight-laced and
with taint. (In game terms she has been buying things tainted,
moralistic members of society, as Andy considers “loosening up
most recently her fifth dot of quantum). Now she is a very
their world” to be great fun. The irony of such “upstanding
twisted reflection of all of her guilts and wishes. As Insecta she
pillars of the community” becoming implicated in the resulting
seduces (rapes?) men, leaving them pregnant with her fetus
scandals is just desserts as far as Andy’s concerned. Fortunately
inside of them and then once again she just walks away from her
for Andy, his definition of “straight-laced” does not include
offspring. She’s also rebuilt her psyche into that of a sociopath
elites or other novas, and he takes considerable pains to avoid
so that this inhuman behavior feels natural to her now. Having
targeting them and their relatives with his pranks. Andy’s
quit her nursing job, Insecta supports herself as a transient by
methodology is very flexible and he tends to make it up as he
preying (mostly) on Chicago’s criminal population. This is more a
goes along. Common techniques he uses are:
matter of convenience to her mind than justice or compassion -
First scoping out the babes, picking one, figuring out
killing and robbing criminals instead of “solid citizens” attracts
what she wants, then leaving. A little later he’ll come back
less attention from the police. Usually.
wearing a different face, clothes, and mannerisms and make his
Description: Before her eruption, Jean Whittaker was a
move. This can range from looking like someone he wants to
short, unhandsome Caucasian female in her mid-thirties with
blame to being a generic ‘other person’ and leaving no trace, or
frizzy brown hair and watery blue eyes, and had become
even looking like someone’s significant other to put the moves
noticeably obese as a result of her pregnancy. Just after her
on them. If possible he’ll wait to make his move until the two of
eruption, Jean was an absolutely stunning beauty of supermodel
them are alone or alone in a crowd.
caliber, being slightly taller than average with satiny black hair
Andy’s powers prevent him from getting drunk or
and sapphire blue eyes. As Insecta, she’s gone from “model” thin
drugged. Thus he can engage in drinking contests or just wait
to “starving model on crack” thin and she now smells pleasantly
for the party to supply alcohol. He can and will use his social
of fresh honey. She dresses surprisingly well when on the hunt
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 67
for either mates or funds. use as “love nests” for her mates. If she can’t find an empty
Roleplaying Hints: People? There are no people, just home then she will find an abandoned car or building or
objects. Those things walking around on two legs are either somewhere else to lair. For money she sometimes raids criminals
potential mates or (more often) threats to your survival. Try not after asking her insects to look for drugs, other times she pulls
to talk with them any more than is necessary, insects make more money from the wallets of her victims or money stashed in
sense. houses where she lairs. She used to visit soup kitchens but the
Nature: Survivor social interaction was too much for her. When the urge to mate
Allegiance: Independent is on her she will fly around and look for suitable mates. Insecta
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 4, prefers to seduce a chosen mate so that he’ll accompany her to
Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Appearance 5, Manipulation 4, Charisma her lair under his own power. If her seduction attempt fails (or if
5 she’s feeling too desperate to bother with seduction), she will
Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5, Disguise 1, simply grab the first suitable mate she finds, poison him so that
Endurance 3, Intrusion 4, Investigation 3, Martial Arts 2, he can’t struggle, and fly off with him. Then she will carry him
Medicine 2, Navigation 2, Perform 1, Resistance 3, Seduction 5, off to her current lair, mate with him, web him up, and leave to
Stealth 3, Style 4, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1, Survival 2. find herself a new lair. As bad as the threat posed by Insecta is
Backgrounds: Attunement 2, Cipher 5, Node 2, Resources 2 now, potentially it could be much worse. At the moment it’s
Merits & Flaws: None. unclear whether or not her “children” would inherit her powers,
Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 8 (Altered but if she picks up a second level of Fertility her offspring would
Gestation [Insecta must implant her fetus into a large, healthy most likely be Trog 2ndGen novas. If Insecta develops the
young man in order for it to develop properly, & cannot bear it Adaptability enhancement, she could become almost impossible
to term herself], Estrus [Insecta is driven to mate once a month, for a group of novas to deal with. Finally, if Insecta gains further
with healthy men only], Painfully Thin, Sociopathic, Strange dots of permanent taint, she could become driven to mate on a
Scent [smells like honey]) daily basis, possibly reproducing asexually and making clones of
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Precision), Mega- herself.
Dexterity (Catfooted), Mega-Stamina (Accelerated
Gestation x2, Fertility, Health, Regeneration), Mega-Perception
(Bloodhound, Ultraperipheral Perception), Mega-Wits Friends
(Mind Over Matter), Mega-Appearance (Seductive Looks), David Bellson
Background: David came from a typical boring Colorado upper
Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery (Weakness: Insects only),
middle class family composed of a mother, father, three children
Bioluminescence , Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
and a dog. Dad was a high-level manager for a local mining
Organ, Body Modification: Parasitic Gestation (3 nova point
company, while Mom stayed home and raised the kids. As the
level), Claws , Flight , Immobilize (webbing) , Poison
middle child of a family made up of stable, well-off people his
(Extra Duration x2: effect lasts for days, Weakness: Only
family life was fairly idyllic, even if it was like having Ward &
produces a single poison type, reduces victim’s Strength dice
June Cleaver for parents at times. Everyone got along and was
pool), Psychic Shield .
reasonably comfortable and happy. David never managed to pin
Methods and tactics: Once a month Insecta’s instincts drive
down the exact time of his eruption, as he’d never had anything
her to try and reproduce. So far she has made five attempts,
more than minor headaches. It’s possible that it took years, since
with four of the men dying before her offspring could come to
far back as he can remember he’d always considered himself
term and the fifth being recovered by the police (he was sterile).
lucky. At some point in high school David blossomed in several
Insecta’s fifth victim is still paralyzed and is currently
ways, which included becoming both a talented athlete and a
hospitalized. Insecta has figured out that leaving men in hot
knack for dealing with people really well socially. With his father
attics results in their death after a couple of days, so she won’t
being a noted former jock and varsity baseball team captain
be doing that anymore. She’s also figured out that her “partner”
during his own high school days, he wrote off his talent for
needs to be extremely fit and big (in game terms, have the Huge
sports as “inherited good genetics” at the time. During his
Size Merit) to survive long enough to bring her offspring to
senior year of high school, David’s life began to take a turn for
term. Now she will look for young, large men (the bigger the
the bizarre that he couldn’t explain away. The young man started
better) to serve as her mates. When stalking humans for their
to have dreams that told him things about the world that he
cash, Insecta typically disguises her attack as a seduction
couldn’t possibly have learned through normal means, although
attempt. Once she’s gotten her victim alone, she quickly kills him
telling the prophetic dreams from his normal ones took him a
and helps herself to his cash. If forced into combat, she almost
while. It was at this time that he dreamed about a female
always strikes from ambush to minimize any risks to herself.
classmate of his getting hit by a car, only to transform into an air
While Insecta can talk normally she doesn’t bother to do so
elemental and start killing people afterwards. David intervened
beyond the minimum necessary to make purchases or seduce
and prevented the accident from taking place, after which he
men, as she now finds communication with humans fairly
began observing the young woman in question. Soon enough
pointless and confusing. If Insecta senses another nova, or even
observation became outright attraction, and they started dating.
the police, she will flee. Insecta only goes out at night and is
A few years later, David and Susan got married while attending
always on the lookout for empty homes that she can squat in and
college. By his sophomore year in college the dreams had turned
into full-blown visions that came to him even during his waking vile rumors about some conspiracy being behind novas’ fertility
hours, and after a while David figured it out. Somehow, he had problems were true was fairly obvious to David… so without
erupted as a nova and had gained the ability to see visions of telling his wife he made plans for them. Plans to flee. Plans to
both the past and possible future events. Although he briefly hide. Plans to establish secret caches of money and supplies.
considered telling people about his eruption, it seemed best to Then David figured out that they weren’t the only closet
keep his “ace” hidden until he figured out what he could and breeder novas facing this problem.
would do. After a while David decided that he’d just stay hidden, Description: David appears to be a fit and moderately
as he noticed that all sorts of unpleasant people took notice of handsome Caucasian man, perhaps in his early thirties. He has
novas and made preparations to deal with them. Considering brown eyes which are beginning to develop crow’s feet, and
that those “preparations” ranged from social pressure and wavy black hair that has noticeably thinned. He typically dresses
blackmail to bringing in other novas and cold-blooded murder, in whatever business or casual attire is appropriate for the
David felt that living openly as a nova wasn’t for him. He also occasion, and wears wire-framed eyeglasses (which he doesn’t
realized that his power of pretercognition fell into the category actually need).
of “way too useful for his own good”. It didn’t take precognition Roleplaying Hints: The reason why people say “don’t shoot
to see that certain people with secrets to hide could assume that the messenger” is because the messenger is usually shot.
he knew too much and would try to do something permanent Similarly, telling people you made ten times what they did last
about the threat he posed to them. Only slightly less distasteful year is unlikely to convince them to buy insurance policies from
was the prospect of finding himself conscripted by some covert you. You get more money by being humble than by being self-
government agency, where he’d likely end up living in a gilded important; so never brag, or talk about money, or mention what
cage while using his visions “for the good of national security”. the future will bring. Be sure to gamble for small stakes and lose
David decided to keep his nova status secret, and he has never on purpose (this can be hard, but do it anyway). Go hunting with
seen a reason to alter this choice. After college David used his the guys and let the other guy get the first shot… but be good
powers to become a very well-paid insurance salesman, and enough that they respect you. Giving money opens doors, this
nowadays he owns his own insurance company. His specifically includes political ones. Be active in church, and be
pretercognition has allowed him to avoid otherwise-profitable sure to meet lots of people. When making big decisions examine
contracts for people and properties that are highly likely to be the issue from several viewpoints, specifically Susan’s and the
seriously injured, killed or damaged in the future, as he’ll see the future.
trouble coming and not take up the contract in the first place. Nature: Architect
David found that the ability to check the future and make the Allegiance: Aberrants
right choices in a business environment is extremely profitable. Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Perception 5,
His company has been extremely profitable and tends to avoid Intelligence 5, Wits 3, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma
serious losses in the wake of major traffic accidents and natural 4
disasters, including collateral damage from other novas’ quantum Abilities: Animal Training 1, Athletics 2, Awareness 5*, Biz 5*,
battles. Luckily for David, as a private company he doesn’t need Bureaucracy 2, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Gambling 1,
to post his profits and as a small company it’s easy to avoid Interrogation 1, Investigation 5*, Martial Arts 1, Might 1,
publicity. To date David has never told anyone he is a nova, not Navigation 2, Perform 2, Rapport 3, Resistance 3, Ride 1,
even his wife Susan. Since he doesn’t really look the part and Stealth 1, Style 2, Subterfuge 5, Survival 2, Tradecraft 3*.
doesn’t have any flashy powers, it’s been fairly easy to stay in Abilities marked with * are heavily dependent on David’s
the closet so far. precognitive powers, and if he loses them through being moxed
Despite the success of his insurance company and his or dorming then he functions at three dots less.
happy marriage to Susan, there are still several things that Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Susan Bellson, Sophia Rousseau), Cipher
continue to worry him. After preventing the traffic accident 2, Contacts 3 (various business contacts), Dormancy 2,
where he’d first seen Susan in his dreams, David thought he’d Followers 3 (his office staff), Influence 2, Node 1, Resources 5
prevented her from erupting into the enraged elemental Merits & Flaws: Common Sense (1 point Merit).
creature he’d seen in his vision. His later visions of Susan in her Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 0
elemental form quickly threw that conclusion into dispute. David Mega-Attributes: Mega-Perception (That Creepy Feeling),
now suspects that Susan must have erupted at some point in the Mega-Intelligence (Mental Prodigy: Strategic), Mega-
past, but he isn’t totally sure whether or not she’s aware of it. Manipulation (Persuader), Mega-Charisma (Perfect Guest).
When he looks at those futures where he brings up that subject Quantum Powers: Intuition , Luck , Premonition
in private conversation, Susan gets very upset. David’s decided (Others) , Pretercognition , Psychic Shield **.
that when Susan is ready she will come to him, as it seems like **Attempts to read David’s mind tend to result in the
this is a sore subject that he shouldn’t touch. A few years ago he gathering of a great deal of mind-numbingly boring accounting
noticed something else very disturbing in his visions. In every information.
future where he and Susan go public as novas, they end up losing Methods and tactics: If David senses he’s going to run
their unborn child to a miscarriage and become unable to have across a nova he makes sure that he doesn’t. This limits some of
any more children. In every future where they go public as his activities, but the price of exposure as a nova is just too high
fertile “breeder novas”, an accident of some sort occurs and for him to accept. For example, David could run for public office,
they (and their child) end up dead. The conclusion that the more but sooner or later this course of action would require him to
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 69
meet other novas publicly, which in turn would result in his being started going right for her. Now she works for the Aberrants as
“outed” as a nova. When dealing with baselines David makes a delivery girl, operating mostly in the western regions of North
sure to be a good businessman and only sell people what they America. As far as Sally is concerned, every breeder nova and
need. As a soft target with no combat abilities, in theory David nova child she saves from the motherhunters is another dollop of
should be an ineffectual player in the grand game of power in revenge against Utopia and Aeon. It remains to be seen when
the Nova Age. In practice David has proven to be a force Sally will consider herself and her unborn child to have been
multiplier in the factional struggles. David’s visions led him to avenged.
contact the head of the Aberrants, Sophia Rousseau. Now he Description: Sally is a fashion model-caliber caucasian
acts as a private oracle for Mme. Rousseau, and gives her his woman with straight black hair and cherrywood-brown eyes. As
precognitive “advice” via a mind link. It’s been a profitable she’s a bit shorter than average and looks younger than she
relationship for the both of them; as David gets to aid the really is, she can easily pass herself off as still being in her late
Aberrants (and receive the same from them, if needed) while teens instead of her true age of 21.
staying firmly in the closet. In return, Sophia gets timely Roleplaying Hints: Stay calm. Stay cool. Smile. And be the
forecasts from David on a variety of concerns, letting her see first one to act, there’s no point to having all this speed if you let
what’s coming and make appropriate plans. the other guys go first. You are not “over” what those jerks at
Sally “Rebel Yell” Seashore Utopia did to you and your unborn child, but you have come to
terms with it. You even know that most people aren’t ready to
Background: Sally Seashore was born in the spring of 1994
accept the truth about Utopia so mostly you don’t talk about it.
to a neo-hippie couple in San Francisco, California, but early on
What you do now days is stop others from making your
in her life they “found Jesus” and made a radical lifestyle
mistakes… even if that does sound too much like your damn
change. Moving out of their apartment in the Haight-Ashbury
parents for your comfort. Just be sure to take advantage of your
district, they reinvented themselves as social reactionaries and
infrequent downtime to go clubbing and pick up a boyfriend now
Christian fundamentalists, and resettled in a small house in the
outskirts of Daly City. They didn’t change their family name
however, which pretty much ensured that Sally would regularly
be picked on at school by her peers. This unearned mistreatment
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5, Perception 3,
caused Sally to develop a rebellious streak at an early age, much
Intelligence 2, Wits 5, Appearance 5, Manipulation 3, Charisma
to her parents’ consternation. That consternation became
outright dismay as Sally also developed other “undesirable”
Abilities: Athletics 5, Awareness 3, Brawl 2, Command 1,
traits such as disrespect for authority, rejection of traditional
Disguise 2, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Firearms 1, Intrusion 2,
values, and a total unwillingness to accept her divinely ordained
Linguistics 2 (English native, French, Spanish), Martial Arts 5
role of “meek, obedient housewife”. Things only became more
(specialty), Medicine 1, Navigation 2, Rapport 2, Resistance 3,
strained when Sally hit 14 and became a devoted fan of novas
Stealth 2, Streetwise 2, Style 1, Survival 2, Tradecraft 1.
(and a would-be nova groupie). Their tolerance for Sally’s
Backgrounds: Allies 2 (Aberrants), Attunement 5, Backing 2
freethinking ways reached the breaking point in Sally’s 16th
(Aberrants), Cipher 2, Eufiber 3, Node 2, Resources 2.
year, when they discovered that she was three months pregnant.
Merits & Flaws: Speedy (7 point Merit, +7 to Initiative),
Aghast that their willful daughter had been having sex without
Intolerance (of Utopian/Aeon agents & employees, 1 point
their knowledge or permission and had shamed them in front of
their congregation, Sally’s parents promptly disowned her and
Quantum 2, Quantum Pool 26, Willpower 8, Taint 0
kicked her out of the house. It wasn’t but 24 hours later that
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), Mega-
Sally erupted just a few blocks away from Golden Gate Park in
Dexterity (Rapid Strike), Mega-Stamina (Durability,
respose to a mugging attempt. After beating the hell out of her
Regeneration), Mega-Wits (Quickness x3), Mega-Charisma
assailant with her newfound superhuman speed and mastery of
the martial arts, the would-be mugger was arrested by a nearby
Quantum Powers: Armor , Strobe (Sensory Deprivation
police officer and sent to a hospital for his injuries. In the throes
Wave), Hypermovement (Running) , Intuition , Psychic
of a typically horrible eruption headache, Sally allowed herself to
be whisked away to the San Francisco Rashoud clinic for medical
Methods and tactics: Sally generally gets two types of
assistance. The whole experience of registration and testing
missions. In a “grab the goods and run” mission, somehow the
somehow felt a bit off to Sally, but having nowhere else to go,
Aberrants have discovered that some breeder nova couple
she ignored her uneasiness. Even though Utopia’s smile-faced
who’ve been living in the closet has had (or maybe that’s ‘will
authoritarianism quickly began to grate on Sally’s nerves, her
have’) their cover blown. Typically Sally is told to get to a
determination to master her nova capabilities allowed her to
breeder nova couple and to get them (and their kids, if any) out
hold back her natural recalcitrance while they trained her. It
of whatever danger they’re facing before the shit even has time
wasn’t until Sally suddenly had a miscarriage and found herself
to hit the fan. Sally isn’t sure how the Aberrants are getting such
sterile that her constant unease blossomed into the certainty
timely information, but someone must really on the ball as she’s
that Project Utopia had deliberately killed her unborn child. Sally
usually the first person on the scene. She will then make first
then left Utopia without a word, and disappeared into the
contact with the breeder nova couple and explain to them that
streets of San Francisco. It wasn’t soon afterwards that Sally
the motherhunters and/or Utopians and/or other unsavory types
found herself recruited by the Aberrants, and things finally
are only a step behind her. Hopefully Sally can convince them to features, with dark eyes and green leaves instead of hair. Her
flee, allowing her to just pick her charges up and rocket off at skin has a delicate covering of leafy vines and moss growing
superspeed, leaving an empty house with the lights on. Sally is from it, which also gives off the pleasant scent of fresh-cut
extremely convincing and she will use that to her advantage. She grass. As this vegetation provides her with what she considers
can attune one or more people (depending on their weight) so adequate coverage (and she rarely associates with baselines),
they will gain immunity to side effects of her speed, and anyone Bounty typically goes without clothing of any sort.
over that weight limit can be carried. Sally will then take her Roleplaying Hints: You don’t have much interaction with
charges to a safehouse where other Aberrants will take over and the ‘outside’ world because the children come first. Your time is
see to relocating the breeder novas somewhere safer. Sally’s mostly spent entertaining and educating them. They are the
other type of mission can be called “covert social calls”, and reason you exist and your life’s calling. The only reason you
involve her making contact with breeder novas or Aberrant don’t have more is to concentrate on the ones you already have.
sympathizers whose covers have NOT been blown. The When you do interact with the outside world you advocate
objectives for this type of mission vary; Sally’s tasks have peace among your fellow Terats. Peace would allow the children
included talking Aberrant sympathizers into setting up a to grow up and mature and eventually take their place among the
safehouse and warning breeder nova couples against “coming most evolved. While your calling has been your source of
out of the closet”. On these missions Sally often chooses to strength and direction, it has also blinded you to some of the
make contact gradually. Sally still looks young enough to pass as maneuverings of your more ruthless fellow Pantheon members.
an older teenager, and she takes pains to reinforce that image Nature: Caregiver
by doing her hair up in a ponytail and keeping up to date with the Allegiance: Teragen
latest teen fashions and fads. This form of social camouflage Archetype: Portent
allows Sally to walk up to someone quite openly in a large variety Stage: Second
of public settings without attracting undue attention. If other Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5, Perception 4,
(usually hostile) novas show up during a mission, given the Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 2, Charisma
choice Sally will simply zoom off and let them eat her dust. If she 4
must engage in combat, Sally prefers to take full advantage of Abilities: Academics 1, Animal Training 1, Arts 1, Athletics 1,
her speed to attack and then move out of range of any Awareness 1, Command 1, Diplomacy 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette
counterattacks. Sally also has the ability to give a nerve- 1, Interrogation 1, Instruction 3 (Children), Linguistics 4
shattering “rebel yell” (thus her name) which overloads her (Orominga native, Amharic, English, Arabic, French), Medicine
opponents’ nervous systems for a few moments. If she thinks 2, Rapport 5, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Stealth 2, Style 1, Survival 1,
she’s dealing with other novas sometimes she will open with her Seduction 1
“rebel yell” as a prelude towards running away. Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 3 (Teragen), Contacts 3
Bene “Bounty” Manata (Teragen), Influence 2 (Teragen), Node 3, Resources 3
Merits & Flaws: None.
Background: Bene Manata was married when she was 14.
Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 7, Taint 3, Chrysalis 2
She then proceeded to have miscarriage after miscarriage until
(Fur/Feathers [skin covered with a thin layer of leafy vines &
her husband divorced her when she was 18. Alone and lacking
moss], Obsession [rearing/protecting ‘her’ children], Psychic
any direction in her life, Bene’s curiosity led her to the Ethiopian
Feedback*, Strange Scent [smells like freshly-cut grass])
outback, where Project Utopia’s Operation Eden was underway.
*Bounty is so “in tune” with living creatures that she
Once there, Bene got caught up in a Utopian terraforming
experiences their pain as her own. In game terms, treat this as
accident that triggered her eruption. She was ‘rescued’ by
the 4 point “Passive” flaw combined with a pathological
nearby Utopian novas, who convinced her to sign on with the
aversion to consuming animal-derived foods (requires
Project. With her power over plants Bene was assigned to work
Willpower roll to overcome). Psychic Feedback is a medium-
closely with Antaeus in his efforts to further Operation Eden.
level mental aberration.
However, shortly after starting work with Antaeus, Bene was
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability, Fertility
exposed to the Utopian sterility cocktail and she recognized it
x2, Health), Mega-Perception (Body Awareness,
for what it was. After very quietly informing Antaeus about the
Bloodhound), Mega-Intelligence (Mental Prodigy: Medical),
Utopian sterility cocktail, Bene fled from Project Utopia. She
then approached Count Orzaiz for advice on joining the Teragen
Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal
and was promptly recruited by him. From that point on, Bounty
Organ, Fertility *, Animal/Plant Mastery (Nature
became the Teragen’s de facto fertility goddess and has been
Mastery), Growth **
accepted (albeit a bit grudgingly) as a member of the Pantheon.
*Fertility is a Level 2 quantum power derived from the
Bounty’s claims to membership in the Pantheon are that she has
Body Manipulation technique of Biomanipulation, and is limited
gone through a Chrysalis and she cares for, and has helped
to briefly increasing a subject’s fertility.
conceive, the Teragens’ children. One effect of Bounty’s
**Growth is a Level 2 quantum power identical to the
evolution through Chrysalis has been a tendency to care so
Biomanipulation technique of the same name.
deeply for ‘her’ children that she can’t let go of them. It is for
Methods and tactics: With her powers Bounty could easily
this reason Bounty insists all Terat novas who make use of her
feed an army, a pity she doesn’t have one. On occasion she has
services must leave the resulting children in her care.
been assigned bodyguards from the various Terat factions or
Description: Bounty is a striking woman with African
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 71
from her charges’ parents, but she has found that having more , Sterilize (Range) .
than one promotes conflict and causes her to spend too much Methods and tactics: Alice normally uses tactics akin to
time mediating disputes. She allows one, and only one, nova “shooting fish in a barrel”. Most of her targets are in jail, under
guard at her Nursery. Typically this is a parent of one of the medical restraints in a clinic, or otherwise physically unable to
children. Other than that she uses her powers to turn nature do anything even if they figure out what’s happened. She uses a
against the few baselines who wander too close to the Nursery combination of Ms. Nobody and her connections to see people
until they leave. 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.
Fiends For example, a target in the XWF that was identified would
Alice “Anguish” Nyce 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.
Background: On the madness of the first anniversary of N-
Alice has no way to undo the effect of her power, even on
Day, a nova who was ‘celebrating’ his eruption raped Alice. She
herself. Project Proteus is extremely careful about exposing her,
found out she was pregnant shortly thereafter. This put her
and will hire bodyguards and/or transport appropriate for the
under enormous emotional stress, as she both wanted the baby
mission (normally a nova with Attunement 5 and some kind of
badly and didn’t 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 Adam Smith
weeks of the anguish of this mental deadlock, Alice erupted. Background: Once upon a time, Adam’s life was perfect. He
This solved one set of problems, but at a cost. Alice became was a police officer in Tampa, and his deeply loved wife Sandra
sterile, had a miscarriage, and gained powers that revolved was a secretary at City Hall. On June 6th, 2007, they had just
around sterility. Distraught, she went to Utopia and came to the found out that Sandra was pregnant. Two days later, Geryon
attention of Director Thetis, who turned Alice’s physical and walked through her office en route to killing the Mayor, and he
mental issues into assets for Proteus. With some psychological pushed her through a wall for not getting out of his way fast
counseling, Alice came to the conclusions that her barrenness enough. The Terat killed her like a man would step on a bug.
was God’s will, and that her nova powers were tools with which Over the next two years Adam became obsessed with novas,
to perform the service God had commanded from her. Alice now became an alcoholic, got kicked off the police force, joined the
considers her job of covertly sterilizing other novas to be her Church of Michael Archangel, had a mental breakdown (not
calling, and sees the phenomenon of nova sterility as God’s necessarily in that order), and finally erupted. Ideally he’d have
divine judgment on novas as a whole. After meeting Mary erupted with enough power to kill Geryon, but that didn’t
Armstrong (see below), Alice has found further justification for happen. Someone who slugs it out with Lotus Infinite and Core
her beliefs. on a regular basis would make short work of Adam Smith. But
Description: Alice appears to be an unremarkable woman in with his enhanced intelligence came the realization that killing
her mid-30s. Her race is unclear, and most people will describe Geryon would have been putting an end to the Terat’s pain,
her as being the same race as they are. instead of the beginning of his torment. What Adam really
Roleplaying Hints: Remain silent, be humble, let people wanted to do was to hurt Geryon, as Geryon had hurt him.
think you a servant or just no one. Few could understand, fewer Studying the reports of Geryon’s public appearances brought
still could believe. Your cross is your own to bear, it is your the realization that Geryon had an alternative identity. Perhaps a
calling, your punishment, and your destiny. “normal”, civilian identity as a baseline… with a family. Adam
Nature: Martyr now spends his time hunting down closet novas, Teragen
Allegiance: Project Proteus members, and their families. Once he’s found them out, Adam
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Perception 5, delights in dropping dimes on the unfortunates. Turnabout is fair
Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Appearance 5 (Face in the crowd), play, after all.
Manipulation 4, Charisma 4 Description: Adam appears to be a fairly typical white man
Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 1, in his late 30s with brown hair and eyes.
Disguise 3, Drive 1, Endurance 3, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Roleplaying Hints: Follow the money, and when you find
Intrusion 1, Martial Arts 1, Medicine 1, Meditation 3, Might 1, someone, one properly placed Op-mail, letter, or more rarely,
Perform 1, Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 2, Style 1, phone call through your double blinds and history will repeat
Subterfuge 2, Survival 1, Tactics 1 itself with the correct ending. It’s a pity you can’t be there to
Backgrounds: Attunement 1, Backing 5 (Proteus), Cipher 5, watch, but vengeance is a dish best served cold.
Influence 2, Node 2, Resources 3 Nature: Fanatic
Merits & Flaws: Sterility (1 point Flaw). Allegiance: Project Proteus
Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 2 Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Perception 5,
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Quantum Leap), Mega- Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Appearance 3, Manipulation 5, Charisma
Stamina (Regeneration), Mega-Perception (Body 3
Awareness, Bloodhound), Mega-Appearance (Ms. Nobody). Abilities: Academics 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 5, Biz 5, Brawl 2,
Quantum Powers: Body Modification: Enhanced Vomeronasal Bureaucracy 1, Computer 1, Drive 2, Endurance 3, Firearms 2,
Organ, Intuition , Poison (Projectile) , Psychic Shield Interrogation 1, Intimidation 1, Intrusion 1, Investigation 5,
Linguistics 1 (Spanish), Medicine 1, Melee 2 (nightstick), Might 1, will never agree with this idea, but she is utterly convinced that
Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 5, Survival 1, only novas who have developed stable personalities prior to
Tactics 1 their eruptions can avoid becoming monsters.
Backgrounds: Backing 2 (Proteus), Cipher 5, Contacts 3 (Church Description: Mary is an attractive woman of mixed race in
of Michael Archangel, The Directive), Resources 2 her late twenties or early thirties.
Merits & Flaws: Vengeful (2 point Flaw) Roleplaying Hints: Don’t bother trying to explain things,
Quantum 4, Quantum Pool 28, Willpower 7, Taint 1 unless they’d been through what you had, people just can’t
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Stamina (Adaptability), Mega- understand. The reality is that under the cute façade, child
Intelligence (Eidetic Memory, Mental Prodigy: novas are little monsters. If you have to talk keep it small, the
Investigative), Mega-Perception (Electromagnetic Vision, weather, sports, whatever. Scout things out for a while from a
That Creepy Feeling) long distance using animals, wait until people are asleep, then
Quantum Powers: Luck , Pretercognition sneak in. It’s really for their parents’ benefit, you’re sparing
Methods and tactics: Mostly Adam just follows the money. them and the world the hell that the small ones would bring.
For days on end he will sit at a computer, run multiple Nature: Visionary
information sifting programs and connect the dots. It’s really Allegiance: Project Proteus
scary how easily things tend to just fall into place for him, and Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4, Perception 5,
with his flashes of ‘insight’ even a perfectly hidden trail can Intelligence 3, Wits 5, Appearance 4, Manipulation 3, Charisma
grow hot. 3
Mary “Kinslayer” Armstrong Abilities: Animal Training 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 4, Drive 1,
Endurance 3, Firearms 2, Instruction 1, Intrusion 5, Martial Arts
Background: It has been said by some that children are little
5, Melee 2, Resistance 3, Ride 2, Subterfuge 3, Stealth 5,
monsters. Mary has lived through the reality of that saying. Her
Streetwise 1, Style 1
son Joshua erupted when he was only 18 months old. He acquired
Backgrounds: Attunement 4, Backing 4 (Proteus), Cipher
superhuman intelligence without any of the ethics that an adult
5,Followers 1 (random animal that she’s psychically linked to),
develops later, superhuman charisma and manipulation without
Node 2, Resources 4
the empathy that an adult has, and the ability to force his desires
Merits & Flaws: None.
on others through some fairly scary mental powers. Many young
Quantum 5, Quantum Pool 30, Willpower 9, Taint 3
children accidentally(?) hurt their pets, so maybe Joshua was a
Mega-Attributes: Mega-Strength (Crush, Irresistible Force),
normal child who ignored the consequences of misusing his
Mega-Dexterity (Catfooted, Enhanced Movement), Mega-
abilities, or maybe he was always destined to be a monster. In
Stamina (Hardbody, Regeneration), Mega-Perception
any case, for the next two years Joshua’s small world was his
(Quantum Awareness, That Creepy Feeling)
playground. It was also a living hell for his parents, as Joshua
Quantum Powers: Animal Mastery , Armor , Disintegration
discovered that he enjoyed the pain of others. Josh had
, Invisibility , Invulnerability: Willpower resisted effects
monstrous mental powers of telekinesis and he could also
(Broad Category), Psychic Link .
control others and even animals. Worse, he had the social
Methods and tactics: Formerly a dog trainer, now Mary is
abilities to make others enjoy their torment. Eventually Mary’s
an ambush assassin. Normally she will watch and/or scout out a
husband Robert killed himself to escape Joshua’s torments, and
location with a local animal, a bird or rat or something. Then she
Mary erupted and killed her son. The one idea that this
uses her powers to sneak in, scan the target with Quantum
experience really ground into Mary’s psyche was this: nova
Awareness to make sure they don’t have a defense, and then
children aren’t human, and they should all be killed ASAP. Mary uses the ambush combat maneuver in combination with
considers this revelation of hers to be sad and perhaps
Disintegration. If possible she will then sneak out, if not possible
counterintuitive, but in her mind it is nothing less than the
she will use her Enhanced Movement to run away.
undeniable truth. She also understands the fact that most people
ABERRANT: A BREED APART 73
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
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 Wolf’s website,
DriveThruPRG.com’s 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 Wolf’s 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.
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
generation…and 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.