So, after five crazy years of the wildest ride in comics or science fiction journalism, our heroes – and for that matter, our villains – have been out of the game for another five years. So, where are they now?
FX7 is an extremely powerful mutagen, created by Carrick Masterson by extensively by modifying the psychedelic Tryptamine 5-MEO-DIPT in San Francisco in the mid- to late Sixties. He created it as a way to form his own superhuman group, originally called the Levellers, later re-named the Front Line.
However, the effects of FX7 vary wildly from person to person – Masterson refers to the process as ‘tuning’, and even the doses and methods of administration vary based on each subject’s medical work up. Although only one dose is required, to actually make it kick in takes a high level of adrenalin response: a shock or fright. When that happens, the subject can expect 12 hours of horribly mutating pain, after which they will wake up with superpowers.
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.
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.
Shocktoxin was created by an unrevealed US military contractor for use by S.H.I.E.L.D., who in turn issued it to members of the Secret Avengers team. Crafted into flechettes with a monofilament edge, Shocktoxin projectiles could slice through almost any armour, and shots that missed left little evidence as the compound dissolved in minutes if left in the open air.
A hit from a Shocktoxin flechette would allow the nerve toxin to do its work – and a single flechette can knock out a healthy bull for about six hours. Human test subjects reported experiencing truly horrifying nightmares while knocked out by the drug. It is not known what the bull experienced.
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…
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.
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.