(Homo sapiens amens)
Intelligent mutants with dangerous creativity.
Avg. Height: M - 5'11" F - 5'9"
Avg. Weight: M - 200# F - 165#
Hair Color: Brown, black, blonde, red
Eye Color: Brown, hazel, blue, green
Blood Pressure: 160/100
Life Expectancy: 35 years
Dist. Marks: Large build, facial tics, twitching, erratic behavior
Psychos are wildly creative and immensely unpredictable. Likewise, their
minds are capable of unpredictable effects on the minds and bodies of
Since they share some genetic background with their GOTH ancestors, psychos
are technically considered GOTHs, but their closest cousins are definitely
savants, with whom they share their ability to alter the body's electrical
fields. However, due to the fact that their mothers are human and not
savant, their capabilities are somewhat mutated and uncontrollable. In a
best case scenario, this inability to control even their own minds and
bodies often leaves psychos as overly emotional, reactive and somewhat
dangerous individuals. At their worst, they become mentally unstable and
withdraw (or are removed from) society. Perhaps fortunately, psychos are
among the least populous of the non-human genotypes, with around 2 to 3,000
of them alive today, many residing permanently in asylums or prisons.
Like their close cousins, psychos have an enanced central nervous system
(CNS) which operates at roughly 100 times the efficiency and speed of a
normal human nervous system. However, while this is limited to only muscular
and touch-sense nerves in other genotypes, almost all of the psycho's nerve
pathways are so enhanced, including nerve fibers that carry sensations such
as itch, temperature and pain. The most obvious problem here is that psychos
lack the ability to diminish or eliminate such sensations, and so they are
almost constantly suffering from some sort of physical pain (from headaches
to shooting pains in the arms to cramps). Another related problem is a low
tolerance for neurotoxins, toxic substances with selective actions on the
nervous system including everything from spider venom and snake toxin to
insecticides and weed killers; even trace amounts of such materials can be
extremely harmful or lethal.
A secondary "brain stem" at the base of the psycho's spine (also known as a
"booster") gives psychos the ability to affect the central nervous systems
of themselves and other individuals. This is done not through some magical
or psychic ability, but through the simple manipulation of the electrical
charges flowing through the CNS. The basic process is simple in concept--the
psycho generates an intention in his or her brain, which travels down the
spinal cord to the booster. If the effect is desired within the psycho's own
body, the normal path is chosen, and the psycho can affect him or herself in
even dramatic ways, everything from temporarily ignoring incoming trauma, to
stopping and starting the beating of their own hearts. If the target is
external, the booster filters the signal externally to another person (or
persons), where the psycho's signal overrides normal signals. Since emotions
are a function of electrochemical responses, psychos can easily perceive and
affect these, causing anger, fear, etc. They can also manipulate a great
many physical reactions, causing dizziness, cramps and other such reactions.
In all cases, while their "booster" does increase the signal to make it
strong enough to transmit to another's body, broadcasts tend to "leak" and
disperse, and all signals travel much more efficiently if transmitted via
touch. Since it is easier for psychos to physically pass the charge from
nerve ending to nerve ending, many tend to be rather "touchy-feely" and
interested in close contact.
In psychos, the "booster" is also somewhat underdeveloped, leading to an
inability of the booster to effectively filter out signals from the brain.
This is coupled with the fact that many of the axons and nerve pathways
connecting their "booster" to the spinal column do not grow properly, fuse
together or fail to grow at all. This means that many of a psycho's "nerve
pathways" may dead-end or cross one another, leading to a great many
"misfires" in the CNS. The net result is that when trying to manipulate the
electrochemical energy in the CNS, be it that in the psycho's own body or
someone else's, the psycho is far less capable of controlling the results.
At times, a psycho may fall victim to an impulse intended for another, or
could even spread an effect among random passers-by. In a crowded room, this
could be devastating if the psycho was attempting to cause muscle spasms, or
temporary blindness, or a heart attack.
Without benefit of proper filtering, psychos are constantly bombarded with
what their brains perceive as bits and pieces of conversations,
hallucinations, images, voices in their heads, and so on, as their booster
receives all these impulses at random and tries to interpret them.
Ultimately, it becomes difficult to determine what is real and what is not,
especially in a crowded city filled with millions of minds and billions of
electrochemical firings every second, and it can be hard to determine where
one's own mind begins and the minds of a hundred other people end. The
psycho might suddenly twitch his arm spasmodically, not because he wanted
to, but because around the block, someone got his arm jostled and the
psycho's body received that signal and reacted to it. Likewise, the psycho
who spills hot coffee on his lap might not even notice, his booster instead
sending the pain signal to the guy two tables over.
This random input makes it extremely difficult for psychos to think
linearly, and making plans to meet them somewhere is a futile task, at best.
It's not that they're stupid, insane or forgetful, but just that they have
so much other "stuff" to deal with that any plans they made earlier tend to
drift into the background noise. This is exacerbated by the fact that a
psycho's brain has a hyper-efficient right lobe, containing billions more
neurons than a normal human. This tends to make psychos even more distinctly
"right-brained", creative to the point of annoyance and far superior when it
comes to making creative leaps and generating original ideas (not to mention
making them significantly more likely to be left-handed). Spouting ideas as
fast as they come, and operating on a creative level far beyond normal, only
other psychos can truly appreciate psycho art, humor and creativity; while
other artists can pick a color from their box of crayons, the psycho has all
128 colors crammed in his fists at the same time (and likely a few in his
mouth too). This incredible creativity also makes psychos brilliant
strategists and tacticians, all that constant input forcing the psycho's
brain to make new connections between seemingly random things. A psycho
could easily plot military strategies given snippets of data and weather
charts, or could see every possible ending to a chess game simultaneously
after every single move was made.
This is not to say that psychos are never wrong; when they fail, the blunder
badly, but when they succeed they succeed brilliantly and in unthinkable
ways. When they do succeed, many psychos will attribute the success to
"their Voice." Whether this little "Voice" is actually the psycho's own mind
or merely some sort of unconscious coping mechanism is up for debate; the
important thing is that in a world full of voices and thoughts and echoes,
one particular "Voice" seems loudest, and whether or not it's the psycho's
own is immaterial to them. While the voice might tell the psycho to paint
his name on a wall, or run around naked, or commit a series of horrible
murders, in the end it's a direction to follow, and psychos usually choose
to follow it.
As might be expected, psychos are often incapable of dealing with society
unless they are heavily sedated or on a behavior control drug such as
Lithium Dycarbonate (which is very expensive). Because their nervous system
is constantly getting false readings, they will sometimes blurt out things
at random, spasm uncontrollably, drool, or even lose control of other bodily
functions, all of which make them not a lot of fun at a party. Those with
better control can hide their nature for short periods of time, but over
time their appearance and behavior inevitably degrades. Any expensive
clothes they purchase are usually lost, torn to shreds or covered in filth
within a few days, and hair and skin typically become filthy if they don't
have someone to care for them, and haven't yet found their "Voice."
Since psychos are also almost constantly feeling pain from everything, they
eventually build up a tolerance to it. Coupled with hyperactivity and
hormonal swings, this can lead many to seek out bizarre ways to feed a
growing need for pain and stimulation, causing some to pierce themselves in
odd places or practice ritual scarring. It is this pain which also leads to
a psycho's often remarkable physical ability, since the constant presence of
pain in its many forms means that a psycho's body is on a constant
adrenaline rush. Not only does the adrenaline itself dull pain and give them
an additional physical boost, but it also keeps them awake at night, causing
them to be more physically active than savants and many other genotypes.
Cleaning the apartment at 4 in the morning, jogging at noon, working out at
lunch, dancing into the night: anything to keep the muscles moving and the
As has been mentioned, many psychos eventually drive themselves right into
prison or an asylum, and those that remain free typically have a hard time
holding down any occupation, or having any concrete motivations or drives,
leading them to become virtual outcasts no matter where they go. Those who
truly understand what they are capable of often hire them on as strategists
and tacticians, and the particularly patient see that they make brilliant
teachers and philosophers, capable of leaps of thinking far beyond those of
normal huamns. For better or worse, whether pondering the mysteries of life
or carving a trail of blood through a city's underbelly, psychos are
certainly the most creative individuals on the planet.
Music: Nick Cave "Murder Ballads" nin "Ringfinger" Metallica "Sanitarium"
Stories: "Silence of the Lambs," "Seven"
Quote: "Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing, tending to make a man shallow
or insane." --Karl Shapiro
* Higher than average Mental Mutation.
* Below average Physical Endurance & Strength.
* Psychos possess some of the most powerful mental powers of any genotype.
* An unpredictable creativity keeps people guessing.
* Psychos are more susceptible to bouts of mental illness than other
genotypes, and many go completely insane.