Though babel normally spreads as an aural basilisk hack, it is sometimes transmitted via bionanobots or the digital exsurgent virus. This virus infects muses and some other limited AIs as well as egos.

Stage 1

Timeframe: Instantaneous-12 hours

Infected characters experience all languages (both text and auditory) as alien and incomprehensible. They may make a COG x 3 Test to successfully interpret any language input (including Babel) for 1 Action Turn. Any time the character attempts to communicate using languages they know, they must make a COG x 3 Test to effectively communicate, otherwise they spout gibberish (which sounds fine to them). The hyper linguist implant or trait provides a +30 modi er to these tests. Additionally, the infected acquire the Mental Disorder (Delusions) trait, as non-Babel-speaking people look increasingly like aliens in disguise.

Stress: 1d10

Stage 2

Timeframe: Instantaneous-1 day

The infected character speaks completely in Babel language, which acts as a basilisk hack to others. They also acquire the Mental Disorder (Compulsion: Logorrhea) trait, meaning that they can’t stop talking. This compulsion manifests as an incontrollable desire to make a communication breakthrough with others, to make them understand, to try and figure out whether they are actually aliens in disguise. Infectees will attempt to “communicate” with as many people as possible.

At this stage, infected characters are completely unable to understand other languages. However, characters with the hyper linguist implant or trait may still attempt to communicate or understand languages as normal with a COG x 2 Test, though they experience these attempts as communicating via an alien language.

Stress: 1d10

Stage 3

Infected characters gain the Mental Disorder (Paranoia) trait, believing that the non-infected are exsurgents out to get them and that an attack is imminent. The infected will band together, arm up, and barricade themselves in secure areas. They will also be compelled to take non-infected people as hostages, whom they will attempt to talk to, likely infecting them. Others may try to spread the virus by broadcasting excerpts of the Babel language.

Stress: 1d10 per day

Babel Exsurgents

Once their stress reaches their Lucidity, characters become exsurgents under the virus’s dominion. They become violent and irrational, attacking any non- exsurgents they encounter. They retain their technical and weapon skills, and will use whatever means they have to defend themselves and infect others.