Batch 5 is a particular formulation in a series of mixtures of Pituarin and Pinearin. The exact quantities of each, and any other possible ingredients, are not known. A potent and unpredictable mutagen, it was administered to several inmates at the Larkhill Resettlement Camp during 1993.
While the effects of Batches 1 through 4 are unknown, Batch 5 frequently caused the development of supernumary organs in those it was administered to, often accompanied by the atrophy of other organs. It was regarded as a success by the researchers and administration of Larkhill, although those it was administered to were not volunteers and gave no consent to be experimented on, and most of them died in agony.
In at least once case, that of the individual known only as “Codename V”, Batch 5 seems to have caused no deleterious physical effects, instead apparently enhancing strength and agility, although it is possible that the drug did drive “V” mad – or perhaps madder, as “V” may have already been insane at the time he was dosed.
No known samples of Batch 5 or instructions for its preparation survived the destruction of the Larkhill camp by “Codename V”.
Bipolar Bears is a line of combination vitamins and mood-altering drugs, produced by The Corporation and marketed primarily at teenage girls. Not much more is known about them, but the odds are that they’re basically chewable Prozac with added vitamin C and artificial orange flavouring.
Black Forest High is a breed of marijuana grown a woman described (by those who do not know her well, which is nearly everyone) as “a little old lady from Pasadena”. In actuality, the woman in question is more or less ageless. Her name is Agnes, and just by coincidence, she’s a witch. A murderous cannibalistic Nazi witch.
The Black Forest High was grown in the basement of her house, which was extensive as a result of having been originally constructed as a funeral home with a large attached bomb shelter, and fertilised with the remains of the young humans killed by the witch. At the present time, all known samples of Black Forest High have been destroyed, but Agnes is still out there, somewhere. Only time will tell when she returns and whether she’ll bring her drug with her.
Ex-Tend is an anti-agathic about which little is known. It appears to be a close relative of the drug FOREVER.
Although little is known about the mechanisms by which it works, it is known that it does not confer actual immortality, in addition to which there were claims of deleterious side effects. Nonetheless, most users are content to take it for now, and let it delay their aging until an even better anti-agathic is invented.
Ex-Tend exists in only a handful of closely-related alternate timelines or eigenstates.
Related Drugs: FEMFREE, FOREVER, NEURO and ORGASMOR
FEMFREE is a drug that suppresses the maternal instincts in women. It is not clear how this physical effect is acheived, but it seems likely that it suppresses certain hormones, and likely also reduces the likelihood of conception.
However, the social effects of the drug are even more striking. Shortly after the drug’s introduction, it was outlawed by President Lousewart, which swiflty led to the formation of a black market selling FEMFREE to the women who wanted it.
Related drugs: Ex-Tend, FOREVER, NEURO and ORGASMOR.
FOREVER is an anti-aging drug produced by Blue Sky Inc.
Although little is known about the mechanisms by which it works, it is known that it does not confer immortality. It is available only in pull form and must be taken daily.
FOREVER is known to exist in most of a cluster of closely-related alternate timelines or eigenstates.
Ex-Tend, FEMFREE, NEURO and ORGASMOR.
A bog-standard amphetamine with a cool name, Jumpstart is one of the most popular stimulants in the City. It’s even legal for some professions, such as journalists.
Jumpstart is often accused of being an halluncinogen, but in fact, the waking dreams and delusions associated with prolonged use are the normal effect of days or weeks of sleep deprivation, and only incidentally associated with the drug itself.
Related Drugs: Mechanics, Space and Tripwire 7.0.
Love Potion No. 9 is an aphrodisiac of undeniable potency, and great caution is urged in its use. It is a deep black in colour and smells not unlike turpentine.
As far as can be told, it is sold only by Madame Rue, a gypsy reader of palms and maker of potions who, as of 1959, lived at a place on the corner of Vine St and 34th St (now Jefferson Boulevard) in Los Angeles, California.
It induces feelings of extreme amorousness in those who imbibe it – so great that they may feel amorous towards inanimate objects, even – although how long these feelings last, the appropriate dosage, the best-before date, and the true identity of Madame Rue (as the name is most certainly a pseudonym) are details lost in the mists of time. Lost with them, apparently, are Love Potions Number 1 through 8, whose existence can be inferred from this Potion’s number, and possibly additional Love Potions numbered 10 or higher.
Technically, that should be MañanacillinTM, which is how it inevitably appears when mentioned in the pages of American Flagg!.
MañanacillinTM is of that class of substances euphemistically referred to as ‘morning after pills’ or abortifacients. Sold in pill form by the Plex, its existence serves primarily to reinforce the general disregard for the consequences of their actions that characterises most of the citizenry of 2030’s Chicago.
Curiously absent from American Flagg! is any religious group decrying MañanacillinTM as the offence against God’s will they would no doubt see it as.
Related drugs: Somnambutol.
A rare cyberdrug that affects both machines and people, Mechanics is a hard drug to quantify. It is slow to build into an addiction, but irreversible in its effects long before that point.
Mechanics can only be taken by a human and an artificial intelligence in tandem – it is a source code level drug that rewrites the source code of those who take it. For a human, that means DNA.
Each use of the drug transforms a little more of the user’s body into inorganic matter, slowly transforming them into a cyborg at first, and later, an artificial intelligence altogether. The high from taking the drug might fade away, but the mutations never do.
Related Drugs: Jumpstart, Space and Tripwire 7.0.
NEURO is an intelligence-enhancing drug, but is unclear exactly how it works – it may be a mutagen, a stimulant or a psychiatric, or some combination of these or other elements.
Questions of mechanism aside, the drug is known to be very effective.
NEURO is known to exist in most of a cluster of closely-related alternate timelines or eigenstates.
Related drugs: Ex-Tend, FEMFREE, FOREVER and ORGASMOR.
Possibly the most powerful mutagen ever created, the Nuncio (Latin for ‘messenger’) was created by Dr Richard Fletcher in the late Sixties, in a private lab funded by Randolph Jaffe in Baja California, on the coast of the Pacific.
There are two versions of the drug, the lesser being a prototype that was tested on an ape named Raul and evolved him to more human state, making him sentient and capable of human speech. The completed Nuncio was a bluish serum that was known to move under its own power in search of a host.
The effects of the serum varied from person to person, but were always strongly reflective of the mental states of those who took it. Inevitably, it would grant them a degree of mystical power, including the ability to see and travel beyond our mundane reality to more fundamental ones. Three doses were made, and a total of five people are known to have taken the Nuncio: Fletcher and Jaffe, who each took a full dose, while the remaining dose was shared between Jaffe’s son Tommy, a woman named Tesla Bombeck and the ape-man Raul.
ORGASMOR is a legal drug which is applied as a lotion. It is reputed to have aphrodisiac and lubricious properties, although these statements are made nowhere in the advertising.
In fact, its chemical properties are not terribly dissimilar to those of Coca Cola, and all the reported results can safely be attributed to the placebo effect.
ORGASMOR is known to exist in most of a cluster of closely-related alternate timelines or eigenstates.
Related drugs: Ex-Tend, FEMFREE, FOREVER and NEURO.
Both a drug and a poison, Poudre de la Mort Vraie – The Powder of True Death or Powder of the True Death, depending on your translator – is specifically designed for use by vampires. Created by Signalman Reynolds, formely of His Majesty’s British Army, it is extremely potent and addictive to vampires.
Reynolds, whose own wife had been a vampire, spent decades discovering how to create a substance that vampires would be attracted to. The actual formula for the creation of the grey powder is unknown, although it includes the dust of ground up mummies and assorted alchemical treatments.
Its effect on vampires is exactly what Reynolds intended: it has a euphoric rush, but leaves the vampire overwhlemed with the guilt of all their actions (both as a human and as a vampire) and not at all hungry for blood. The idea is that the vampire will be tortured by both remorse and starvation as they slowly wither away to nothing – the taste of blood will lead a vampire who has consumed Poudre de la Mort Vraie retch and vomit.
A large enough dose of the untainted blood of another vampire will throw off the effects of the drug, and a small enough dose can be outlasted – after a few days, normal vampiric instincts will reassert themselves.
Developed by a Dr. Duran of Hopkins University and her faithful assistant, Calvin, the Priapism Formula is a highly effective aphrodisiac – as the Dr and Calvin discovered when she accidentally inhaled the fumes from it one day.
From there, the Priapism Formula next turned up as the secret ingredient in the sauce used on burgers at Pop’s – a start-up operated, not coincidentally, by friends of Calvin’s who had stolen the formula from Duran’s lab. Somewhat more dilute in its effects when consumed with a burger, fries and a milkshake, the Priapism Formula – now called the Secret Sauce – remained a mild aphrodisiac and something of a euphoric. Unsurprisingly, this made Pop’s quite popular.
A bright yellow powder ingested directly, Rapture is taken as a party drug, but has the unusual effect of increasing the cognitive power of its users, especially with regard to mathematical calculations. Even a single dose seems to have this effect.
It also creates limited psychic powers, including the ability to psychically attack others, and also creates a limited mindlink between users – a mindlink that can be used to increase the power of the psychic attacks. The mindlink allows access to memories and also the ability for the most heavy users to control the less heavy, effectively over-writing their minds and using them to increase the power of their own mental powers.
It is also powerfully addictive – a single hit is enough to get a user hooked. It was created by a sentient AI, with the intention of controlling humans. Fortunately, it had but one source, a young chemist in Texas who committed suicide while under the effects of the drug. It appears that the effects are temporary, and wear off when the drug is no longer consumed.
How metafictional can a metafictional drug get? Skyfish Testes is a strong contender for the most metafictional drug ever. Not only is it explicitly fictional in its own context, but that context is an hallucination occurring as part of a larger story, rendering it doubly fictional.
Skyfish Testes, if they existed, would be a treatment for cancer of the soul and mental cirrhosis – although not one that Delmar Insurance would cover. But they don’t exist, and to claim that they do is just silly.
Everyone knows that skyfish don’t have testes…
Technically, that should be SomnambutolTM, which is how it inevitably appears when mentioned – even when a character says it name in dialogue (I always wondered if they actually said the TM’s or not – Mr Chaykin, if you’re reading, please let us know :)).
A recreational barbituate and hallucinogen, SomnambutolTM, is sold in pill form by the Plex, and is soluble in most common drinks. It does not seem to have much of a taste when in drinks, so it’s presumably a popular date-rape drug in the Chicago of the 2030’s.
It is also available in a more concentrated aerosolised form, in which it is commonly used by law enforcement and private security agencies for crowd control, since it knocks people out for about an hour, and does so quickly and mostly harmlessly – although use does seem to lead to slight hangover-like symptoms afterwards.
Related drugs: Mañanacillan.
Space is a drug that replicates the experience of super-modernity. Which is to say, it creates the feeling of being endlessly between places in space, always between moments in time. It is a hallucination of the emotions one feels while trapped in an airport lounge waiting for a terrifyingly overdue flight, only with less interesting decor.
Why anyone finds this attractive is beyond me, but you know kids these days…
Related Drugs: Jumpstart, Mechanics and Tripwire 7.0.
One of the more effective truth drugs out there, TC-6 is typically used only by government agencies for interrogations. Administered via direct injection, it leaves those it is administered to able to respond intelligently, although it will make most people somewhat literal-minded. It will also leave them utterly without volition of their own and thus unable to lie.
It is possible to resist the effects of TC-6, although to do so requires considerable experience with truth drugs, and a certain amount of psychological conditioning, as well.
Very few people have this conditioning, however, so the drug remains useful. A single dose will last for several hours, although the drug is known to have certain side-effects regarding impaired cardiac function in some people – potentially fatal side-effects – and there is no test to determine ahead of time who will suffer them.
Triptine is a basic legal hallucinogen with no particular distinguishing qualities.
Its name seems deliberately intended to evoke associations with LSD and other ‘trip’ drugs, but what little evidence exists suggests that it is weaker and tamer than these.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Truth and Consequences and Yaginol.
A simulation of the hallucingenic experience designed for intelligent household appliances, Tripwire 7.0 is the latest in a series of such cyberdrugs.
Its popularity among sentient machines is vast, because the experience of being a household appliance, sessile constantly and unable to interact unless the humans around you decide to talk to – i.e. demand something of – you, is a spectactularly dull one.
It’s hard to blame the machines, really.
Related Drugs: Jumpstart, Mechanics and Space.
Truth or Consequences, as the name suggests, has effects similar to the party game of the same name, with one key diffference: you can’t quit. A colourless liquid not very different from water to touch, it is often used to provoke responses that are more honest than the respondent would like.
The drug suppresses inhibitions, leading those who have taken it to speak their minds with great vehemence. As such, it is a common prank for the drug to be unknowingly administered to priests, politicians, cops and other self-appointed moral authorities. It is equally common for such pranks to end in gunfire.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Triptine and Yaginol.
Vioplex is a pain killer produced by Pallogen. It is identical in formula to another drug created by Pallogen, HT1 – a drug that killed numerous test subjects by causing liver failures. Pallogen, although fully aware of the drug’s fatal nature, planned to market it anyway, since the profits to be made dwarfed any potential fine or court settlement it might cost them.
Fortunately, the involvement of the Leverage team in this case prevented the drug from ever being sold, and bankrupted Pallogen into the bargain.
Related Drugs: Fastlife
X-Drugs are like a stronger form of LSD. So strong, in fact, that they grant the user a certain amount of superpowers – including telekinesis, teleportation, intangebility, reversal of personal gravity and super-speed – while they last. A standard dose lasts a short time – an hour or so – and reportedly, the experience is quite a rush. Despite the name, there is in fact only one X-Drug, although it is often tailored to the DNA of the user for maximum effectiveness.
The principle by which X-Drugs operate is based on an unusual interpretation of certain aspects of quantum physics, notably Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. They allow the user to make the apparent manipulation of reality by consciousness under LSD to be an actual manipulation, albeit of a strongly limited nature.
X-Drugs were created by an unamed former faculty member at UC Berkeley, and later improved by both the Scary Clowns and their enemies, the Troop.
No, actually, all of the above is a lie: there are no X-Drugs: they are fictional even in the context of the fiction in which they appear, and their effects were simulated by the Scary Clowns for their own purposes.
An hallucinogen whose name suggests a connection with the Yagé plant, Yaginol is one the most popular recreational drugs of the over-populated dystopia that is Stand on Zanzibar.
Although legal to sell and use, interested parties should be aware that it is known to cuase birth defects – which is one of the more subtle ways in which the government attempts to combat over-population.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Triptine and Truth and Consequences.
Zembla-4 was an anti-asthma drug that was never actually offered for sale, due to a scandal that occurred around the time that it was going through the approvals process. Calenture-Deutz, the company behind the drug, had concealed a number of deaths among the children that it was tested upon.
The chief scientist on the project was a Dr Phillip Wang – whose murder after he threatened to blow the whistle on the deaths ultimately led to the exposure of the deaths and the utter collapse of Calenture-Deutz.
Related Drugs: Bynogol and PRO-Vyril
Zydrate is a highly addictive painkiller developed by GeneCo as one aspect of its highly lucrative business plan.
Zydrate is also sold in a debased street form, which is extracted from the bodies of the dead by grave-robbing drug dealers. Street Zydrate is of highly dubious and variable quality (although always lower quality than the real drug). Although oddly, it still looks exactly like the pure kind, no matter how long the person has been dead or what quantity of Zydrate was in their system.
Zzonga is a drug made from the Zzonga fruit of the Zzonga bush. It is a highly addictive intoxicant that causes a level of fascination with whatever is in front of the user that borders on OCD.
The plant it grows on is a small shrub, growing no more than four foot high, with a multitude of spiky, short leaves. The fruit itself resembles a strawberry in size and colour (although tending more to pink than to red), and has a very distinctive smell (which it retains when juiced or cooked).
Effects of the drug last for up to four days for a single dose, and the fascination effect makes it almost impossible to concentrate while under the influence. For this reason, the Thyatian empire made a point of encouraging addiction to Zzonga in their enemy, the Alphatian empire – reckoning that the Alphatian’s magical superiority, caused by their great numbers of wizards, would be nullified if none of the wizards were able to focus enough to cast even the simplest of spells.