Brancusi

This strain transforms its victims into exsurgent infrastructure, immobilizing and transforming them into sculptures and machines meant for a larger TITAN project. The victim’s mind remains intact throughout the transformation until it is rewritten as a complete exsurgent. It is irreversible, but another character can remove the cortical stack of a victim in the first 10 minutes of the transformation. After that, the stack is merged with the rest of the machinery and can no longer be targeted.

Stage 1

Timeframe: Instantaneous-10 minutes

During the first 10 minutes of infection, the char- acter begins to lose control of their body. Each Action Turn they must make a WIL x 3 Test to direct their own physical actions, otherwise their morph will move of its own accord. Most actions seem random, often taking poses or testing the morph’s range of movement, but they will sometimes be erratic, jerky, or even violent, under the virus’s control.

Stress: 1d10 + 3

Stage 2

Timeframe: 10 minutes

Against their will, the character freezes in place, usually posing in an unnatural manner. Then, over the next hour, they will undergo a transformation. Organic components of the morph are typically shed in a horrific display of gore, though in some cases they are simply transformed into a new, immobile biological form. Most infected will keep some of their old appearance in their new form. It will generally have a recognizable face and parts of its body can be seen embedded in the machine. Some could serve mundane purposes, such as server farms, heat sinks, or defense systems. Others are designed with unknowable TITAN interests in mind, or are simply broken or incomplete. Every brancusi has its own unique design and features. If a group of morphs are infected at the same time, they are usually merged into a cluster, their bodies wrapping around each other, a single gestalt sculpture.

At this stage, egos have no control over their morph, but they may still act mentally or even evacuate the morph if they have a cyberbrain. As each hour passes, however, the virus will slowly transform their mind.

Stress: 1d10 + 5 per hour

Brancusi Exsurgents

When their stress reaches their Lucidity, the infected become exsurgents. They will attempt to hack every uninfected system they can mesh with (treat as the digital exsurgent virus, p. 364, EP). Nanofabbers will be hacked to create brancusi nanoplagues, while infomorphs and other egos will be attacked with other strains of the virus.

Brancusi fixtures have Armor 20/20, Durability 60, and they self-repair 1d10 DV every hour. Viewing a brancusi exsurgent or their transformation requires a WIL x 3 Test. Failure causes 1d10 ÷ 2 mental stress. Particularly bizarre, alien, or gory brancusis may inflict extra stress at the GM’s discretion.

Cluster Mind: The brancusi becomes a server, housing hundreds of egos chained together to form a gestalt mind. It is completely insane, babbling incom- prehensibly in a hundred voices at once, both vocally and through open mesh communications.

Exo-Womb: The exsurgent houses an exo-womb, growing nightmarish exsurgent xenomorph life forms or something even more disturbing. Examining an exo-womb requires a WIL x 3 Test or the character suffers 1d10 mental stress.

Monomolecular Web: Monomolecular thread is webbed around the area of the exsurgent. Detecting it requires a successful Perception test at a −10 penalty. A moving character attempting to avoid a spotted thread must make an appropriate Free Fall, Freerunning, or Fray Test. Moving into a thread in icts DV 2d10, AP −8, and breaks the thread.

Nano-Hive: Brancusi exsurgents build and release nanoplague swarms in the local area, at the rate of 1 swarm per day, as long as suf cient raw materials are available. These swarms will attempt to infect all morphs, machines, and biological life in the area. Space-Time Anomaly: The brancusi exsurgent generates a localized anomaly in space-time, part of an abandoned TITAN research project. Its appearance varies: perhaps a rotating fractal energy eld, what appears to be a two-meter black hole, or a mirror that seems to reflect what happens one second in the future. Whatever it is, transhuman science cannot explain it. Merely viewing may require a WIL x 3 Test to avoid taking anywhere from 1 to 2d10 mental stress (GM’s discretion). If a character succeeds with an appropriate Knowledge skill test such as Academics: Physics, they may learn something of the anomaly’s true nature. Full analysis would require years of study, however. Attempting to move or dismantle the exsurgent causes the anomaly to collapse, possibly in a catastrophic manner.