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Surges: sudden lurches in the motion of the cosmos, giving birth to a new species. Blame Playboy and Einstein.
The Surges are seldom written, but are vastly spread through the OU; everyone from a Santerian in Sao Paolo to a closet-case druid in Manchester has seen them, but neither may know what they were.
Oddly enough, one frizzy-haired mathematician may have written off their whole species, having visualized one. That's right: Albert Einstein saw one, sort of.
The Cosmos is operating on a large-scale arc, bending around a central point, still undiscovered; in the higher-mathematically-attuned spectrum of the Occult Underground, it's thought that this might be the physics of finding the center where the Last Man will ascend to. Almost like finding the address of the Statosphere's outlet to the end of time, but more likely just a cosmically-important event in space/time.
It's also where Einstein figured would be the origin of the Big Bang. The notes for it became sentient after he wrote them, finding themselves hurriedly evacuating his life for good; the math was too accurate, too painful for reckoning, and their subsequent transformation into an original first issue of Playboy was also probably significant. Somewhere in Hugh Hefner's commentary in the first issue is a quantum physics equation which would take fifty three thousand lifetimes to calculate, but has never been seen outside of Einstein's mind.
Except for the Surges. They know it by heart, so to speak.
The calculation, when it took to life, ran to the far corners of the world, and drew one item of sentience from four minds, and formed a new species. The ideas in question they drew from:
Outside of Cambridge, an electrician was being electrocuted (non-lethally) fixing a streetlight. They drew their name from his encounter.
In Austrailia, two brothers were fighting over a tattoo artist's affection, having both gotten devils tattooed on their posteriors, each claiming it was the better of the two. Their subsequent deaths by stabbing was the source of the Surges' newly-formed ethics: violence and camraderie by blood, in every way possible.
Rio de Janeiro, on the roof of a hotel, an idiot savant was being hurled off of a building for counting cards in a high-stakes game of poker he shouldn't have been involved in. From him, they drew genius and luck, but also his potent curse -- to be assumed less than brilliant.
The last thing they drew from was from Africa, Cote de Ivorie: a woman giving birth seeing visions of a cane-wielding dancing skeleton, singing a song which would later have it's rhythm be used as the theme for "CHiPs". From the gasps of agony, they drew their worst trait: songs stick in their head, painfully so. Music would be their undoing; harmonious noise pains them immensely.
Throughout this entire debacle, the issue of Playboy was embarassingly placed into a pile of outgoing mail, and sent off to a friend in Munich; Einstein never read the issue, and thusly, missed his chance to reclaim his theorem, stripped from his mind by forces unseen.
The Surges continued to procreate at an alarming rate, but were stilled in human populations by their method of breeding; they could only be born in someone a minute before their death, and they couldn't alter this. Unfortunately, the cosmos had better plans for them: the first time one inhabited the body of someone who was rescued by use of shock paddles in the back of an ambulance, they knew the way to live, as a species: they would be the Near Death Experiencers.
As NDEs, they could pass for human, and claim visions of lost relatives, with sacred words to pass on to the world, and operate under the collective radar. The 'lost relatives' were in fact their fellows, all waiting to be reborn, and the message was their original equation, filtered through human minds. When 53,000 NDEs exist in total, the equation will have been written out in full.
No one knows when they will have reached their goal, nor can they tell which NDEs are the real deal, and which are hosts to the Surges. When cornered, however, the distinction becomes both obvious and painful.
Surges can warp gravity in small fields, allowing them to blast away from attackers, and cling to walls, ceilings or passing aircraft. They are remarkably physically fit when they 'surge' into hand-to-hand combat, but they prefer to use less obvious methods: by altering gravity around someone, they can make 'reverse landmines', as they call it. As time progresses around someone, they can fix a point in space/time on their body, and force it to 'fall' in any direction they so choose.
Several cases exists for 'falls' occuring when someone has killed the Surge, and been thrown out a window, sixty stories up, a week afterwards. Others have fallen into traffic, under passing helicopters and in one tragic case, they shot into low-earth orbit for nine days, the surprised look on their face only matched as they bounced off of the Hubble telescope after its launch.
Notably, they are potent foes, but only for a few minutes a year; the rest of the time, they must keep away from their bane: music of any kinds. It is thought that the expression written out by Einstein is the chords used by the Invisible Clergy during an Ascension, and is unfit for the human ear; only Godwalkers know the tune, but wouldn't place importance on it, until they met a Surge. This is part of the reason why they avoid Godwalkers.
BODY 50-75% (Tough)
Ballistic Physics: 50-75% (*1)
SPEED 40-65 (Nimble)
B.P. 40-65% (*2)
MIND 60-80 (Scary-Smart)
Notice 35-50% Quantum Physics 25-50%
SOUL 35 (Unstable and Unsettling)
Charm 35% Lie 35%
Additional Notes: (*3 & *4)
1.) When making H-t-H attacks, it counts as Struggle, and does Firearm-style damage for one round per 10's digit (with a Body of 75, it works for 7 rounds, 50 is 5, etc.). Afterwards, they have a base Struggle of 1/2 their Body stat, rounded down. It does normal damage.
2.) When used to dodge damage, it counts as being the equivalent Dodge stat, and this function works for twice as long as their Speed stat's ten-score (50 is 10 rounds, 45 is 8, etc.). In so Dodging, they eject to nearby surfaces other than the floor; wherever possible, it is a far wall or comparable flat surface. They do not use the floor when in combat; this is for psychological reasons -- they're phobic of fights on ground-to-ground.
3.) They do not take falling damage; they are, in essence, immune to trauma brought on by falling. If they are pushed off of a building, they will flip out, as anyone would (suffering Madness checks for Helplessness at +1 for each 10 ft. above ground level). They hate height, unless it is to dodge an attack; after doing so, they must return to 'ground level', and usually elect to run away from combat they can not win.
4.) The basics of their primary attack (the gravity alteration) is essentially a significant blast; it works on one target per round, and for a number of minutes equal to their 'attack' roll, added together. They roll a 37, it works for ten rounds; if they sent someone out a window, he's going to fall 'sideways' and *then* go splat. They can also 'pin' someone, acting as if their Ballistic Physics stat were their Body stat. It is, for the record, possible to pin someone to the ceiling; their usually like to line their homes in pieces of glass glued to the tiles of their ceilings. If possible, don't fight one on a plane; they can use their attack against inanimate objects just as well. Guns have been known to stick to passing cars, or rip into their hands from across a crowded nightclub. It has an effective range of their collective Soul and Speed stats, added together, in meters. The effects of their attack are worth a few Madness checks, usually on Helplessness and Violence, depending on how they move.
Your mileage may vary.
Obsession: Continue the Equation
Rage: Music of any kind drives them up the walls, so to speak.
Fear: Heights (Helplessness).
Noble: they do not have a Noble idea in their heads. Sucks to be them.
Lastly, their 'Cover' ability: it is equal to their Charm skill, and operates as simply as pretending to be the person who had the original NDE; the first consciousness in the body is dead, gone for good. No demon wandering about here; it is obliterated and returned to sender, postage due. Not all people who experience an NDE are a Surge, but of those who do, chances are, they at least saw one or two of them. Some see them as 'angels'. They're not. Go figure.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Jan 31, 04 | 7:00 pm
Wow cool! I like how you drew from a wide variety of modern influences to create these frightening creatures.
Was waiting for this one, until after a comment showed up.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Feb 02, 04 | 4:27 am
You might want to slide these into the "Unnatural" section... where they'd be among friends.
Menzoa | profile | Feb 02, 04 | 6:19 pm
Nice combo of humor and horror in your description. I wouldn't want to face one...but my players might.
Bruce MacMonkey | profile | Feb 05, 04 | 10:48 am