(Abyssal Intrusions, Part 2)
Dark Angel Aphasia (Intrusion): It is sometimes said that the Abyss is unspeakable, indescribable. That may be true or not, depending on the Greater Abyssal Entity in question, but in the case of this Abyss-born memetic disease, it is almost humorously literal. Dark Angel Aphasia, also known as contagious global aphasia, causes the carrier in question to simultaneously develop spontaneous insights about the Abyss and its relationship to the Tellurian while, as the name suggests, becoming increasingly aphasic-which, for non-doctors, means "unable to communicate". In the case of angel aphasics, it goes both ways-a sufferer increasingly cannot understand or make themselves understood as the disease progresses. Unfortunately, they can communicate enough in early stages for their writings and speech to serve as a vector for the Intrusion...and curing it requires exposure.
Dark Angel Aphasia begins its "life" cycle when a person reads or listens to the semi-garbled wisdom on the Abyss that an early-stage aphasic constantly spouts as part of the diseases "shedding" phase. While this isn't (usually) enough for the toxic meme to take a foothold in the mind, it does enough to induce a moderate obsession in the prospective carrier, with finding more aphasia-born knowledge, often from the same carrier. While they can be turned away, the initial infection is subtle enough that often, even people who know of Dark Angel Aphasia's existence can be caught off guard long enough for the full infection to take root. Once that occurs, the carrier often has a dream involving the titular Dark Angel, described as a beautiful being made of the night sky (these are never nightmares, by the way). After the dream occurs, the carrier begins to have the first insights, and the disease prompts them to speak and write about said insights, all of which serves as a vector. The disease progresses fairly quickly, with either writing or speech becoming incomprehensible after about one week, the other a week after that (assuming, that for some reason, the progression isn't delayed). Once both avenues of normal communication are knocked out, even telepathy is lost in a sort of "thought scramble" that allows the aphasic to act normally except for the lack of any communication whatsoever despite being apparently insane to psionic scrutiny (though, at least the aphasic ceases to be a vector for the meme at this stage-can't cut with no knife). Within four or five days, the aphasic spontaneously falls unconscious, at which point one of three things happen. 75% of the time, the carrier's soul, mind, and memories simply vanish and go to an unknown fate-the body left behind is good as a meat puppet or creating a new mind in, but little else. 12%, not even the body is left-as soon as nobody is watching them, all animals in the vicinity are blinded and all mechanical recordings are lost for a half-second, and when vision comes back, the carrier is simply gone. For the lucky remainder, they simply wake up, completely cured...and with complete amnesia from the time of the infection to the recovery, and nothing can bring those memories back.
Preventing full infection is easy if you catch it in time-simply isolate the prospective carrier from aphasia-infected communications for three days, at which point it evaporates and the person comes to their senses. So is it with any aphasia-induced writings or recordings-they aren't any more resilient for the meme they contain. Actually curing the full infection is more psychological than medical-the carrier must be made to focus on the Tellurian rather than the Abyss. This can be augmented through mental powers, but ultimately, a team of professional shrinks or at least socially adept individuals are recommended (technically, one could do it, but the words of the infected are a vector, and one has to actually talk to an aphasic for this to work..). Of course, one could simply erase the memory of the meme, but the actual Abyssal connection isn't cured-it's easy to become infected again for a forcefully cured aphasic. And all this assumes the aphasic is still capable of communication-at the final stages, all one can do is pray.
It should also be noted that many Scelesti view the dark angel as the avatar of an Annaku, and thus when they get their hands on a vector for Dark Angel Aphasia, spread it as far and wide as they feel safe doing, then use the victims as prophets to learn more of the bleak cosmos they worship. Leaving aside the Wicked, there is no shortage of desperate and/or greedy individuals who wish to have Abyssal knowledge...or warm bodies.
Electric Animator (Gulmoth): Perhaps the only Abyssal manifestation not called by darker events, an Electric Animator, also known as Living Lighting, is a sentient electrical field that manifests during extremely powerful thunderstorms, in particular when ball lighting manifests. Since they need electricity to sustain their Intrusions, most don't last very long after the storm clears, but occasionally, an Animator will be lucky enough to appear near a power source, usually a building connected to a power grid. It's there that the Electric Animator gets its name, as the entity is quite intelligent and spends a few days examining and playing with any devices the power source is linked to, causing some rather annoying but utterly inconsequential phenomenon such as static or lights flickering. Once the Animator gets the hang of controlling the machines, it begins to work towards its own alien goals, causing many effects similar to a haunting-the static on a television begins to resemble coherent patterns that change when the Animator is watching someone, strange voices speaking arcane syllables come over a radio, mechanical arms begin to move like they're dancing. Thankfully, seemingly keeping with the fact the Gulmoth was called by random chance, the Animator mostly minds its own business, being creepy but not really aggressive.
The problem is that while Electric Animators aren't out for Tellurian blood, they are also some of the most alien of an already alien realm-while apparently sapient, Animators have such a divergent form of intellect that they honestly don't recognize that corporeal beings are something other than dumb beasts. Thus, physical sapients are mentally classified as Scenery, Potential Threats, and Dangers, with it being extremely easy to change classes from the former to the latter. Worse, an Animator cannot be made to recognize this-nothing, not even divine intervention, has managed to create coherent communication with one, and what does come across has a tendency to briefly disrupt the Animator's field, quickly putting the would-be ambassador in the Threat category. Beyond all that, an Animator is still a Gulmoth, and it still works towards the fortunes of the Abyss-it may take years, but eventually, the Animator will do something that helps the Abyss in some way, whether it be summoning another Gulmoth, awakening an Acamoth, or helping a Sclestus find an obscure and powerful bit of lore.
Getting rid of an Electric Animator requires starving it-without power, the matrix that makes an Animator's form will dissipate, and it will be banished back to the Abyss. Easier said than done. An Animator can survive for fifteen minutes without power, and it is fully aware of any attempt to cut off its food source. What's more, the thing can travel along power grids-so long as it conducts electricity, the Animator can use it as a medium to travel to a new food source, or power it to somehow reclaim the old one. Thankfully, actually powering a device without a power source eats up a lot of the Animator's reserves, and it can only do so for three minutes at max before it disrupts the matrix and it is banished. It can also only move as fast as a running human, so knocking off small area's power grid usually works...assuming that's actually feasible, and that the Animator hasn't possessed a power plant or somewhere with a good generator. If all else fails, a powerful electromagnetic pulse directly disrupts the matrix, as well as makes most electrical equipment irreparably damaged. Thus, one has to ask whether the banishment of a fairly benign if annoying and often paranoid entity is really worth the lawsuits.
(More to come.....)