30 Drugs from the Cosmic Era
Aldus Huxley imagined a future where the masses were controlled by readily available doses of a drug called soma. The Cosmic Era is rife with drugs, some illicit and some marketed with the accuracy of laser guided weapons. The only thing he got wrong was that there isn't one happy pill, there are hundreds to choose from.
Arcana is the sort of drug that street chemists cook up in portable labs that are known for catching fire, exploding, and generally causing serious hazmat conditions. The drug they are cooking is generally worse. Arcana is the Cosmic Era iteration of the family of drugs that produced 'bath salts' in the Petroleum Era. Arcana functions much like a mixture of cocaine and amphetamines, stimulating the production of neurotransmitter chemicals in brain, and also preventing them from being absorbed and excreted from the body. Arcana highs are marked by frantic energy, manic behaviour, and highly erratic activities. The quality of the drug ranges from literal poison to computer modeled High Arcana. The drug is cheap to make, fairly easy to distribute, and profitable for those who truck in it. It comes in a variety of 'flavors' which tend to be named after cards from the Tarot.
There are three major strains of Arcana in Metrocity, all flowing up from the Geofront. Hanged Man Arcana is the most common, and it is low grade, highly addictive, and frequently cut with other things for higher profit margins. It is a drug of desperation. Heirophant Arcana, and Fool Arcana are harder to get and more expensive, but are less likely to be cut with industrial waste.
Zydrate was pioneered in the EuroZone of the Atlantic Federation during the Second Dark Age. The powerful, and unfortunately addictive, drug was engineered as a new anesthetic for surgery. The drug worked fantastically, and ended up causing people to become addicted to surgery just so they could get more of the drug.
The term became known as Greater Body Disassociation Disorder, or Surgery Addiction. The victims of the disorder were not just addicted to the painkiller and anesthetic they were given, they became addicted to the way they felt after undergoing procedures. For a short time, it became quite the fad to undergo routine cosmetic surgery. This was largely before the advent of easy genetic augmentation and widespread use eventually fell off. It is still available, and a preferred drug for people undergoing cybernetic augmentation, because they become addicted to their own upgrades, and have little compunction about slicing more and more of their own flesh away to replace it was machines. This is a common addiction for face dancers as well.
3. Chmmr dust
Chmmr dust is a powerful psychoactive and euphoria inducing drug. The drug is taken through the eyes, dissolving in the tear ducts of the user. They experience dream like hallucinations and exhibit dangerously erratic brainwave patterns. One in seven users will die from their first dose of the drug, going into a sort of cerebral shock.
You don't smoke it, you don't snort it.
Apparently, you put it in your eyes, and it tells you lies. The dust is made from crushed quantum circuits, and is fairly toxic. The majority of users die within a year of their first dose. Those who survive generally do so with brain damage. Chmmr Dust acts like a cognitive enhancer for users who have artificial brain components, and can also interact strangely with implanted cybernetics, especially smart gear.
Vellocet is a fairly common and legal recreational drug, typically sold over the counter in specialty venues. The drug creates a decent metabolic high, and is technically not addictive, and has a limited amount of side effects. It is commonly mixed with Chrome and other designer beverages for party goers to enjoy partying for 24-40 hours without resting.
Vellocet is most commonly associated with molokos. A moloko is typically a dive bar located in a geofront, and caters to Arco-dwellers looking for an exciting night out. Vellocet will be mixed with beverages, with the most common being the name giving moloko cocktail. The original moloko is a dose of Vellocet mixed into a tumbler of soy milk. It is a geofront tradition that to toast someone with a proper moloko is a declaration of intent to physically assault said person, with great zeal, for the laughs of it.
Hypnocil is a common drug in the Cosmic Era, and it functions as a REM sleep inhibitor. The drug interferes with the brain's sleep patterns, and a person who manages to go to sleep on the drug will not dream, or if they do, it is very minimally. The most common use for this drug is to treat CogNet addiction. Even small amounts of the drug can prevent immersive cog use, as the brain and the typical headgear unit cannot sync. A person using hypnocil will continually encountered buffering, time out, and a-sync errors when trying to use anything dependent on a neurokinetic connection, outside of a Wachowski probe.
While the main use for hypnocil is theraputic, some people will use the drug to harass others or in a prank fashion. The most prominent misuse of hypnocil involved a food delivery unit having it's stock of beverages contaminated with the drug, disrupting well over 200 CogNet users who worked in network admin positions. The tainted beverages overlapped with a large cyber attack, which was very damaging as well over half of the security force could not even link with their terminals.
The origin of chamalla is unknown, as it didn't exist before the 23rd century, and then it was found growing in herb gardens across eastern Europe. It is a fairly commonly found plant, noted for it's glossy green leaves with black traced veins. The plant is used in the same ways tobacco is used, plus it is steeped and fermented into a thick green oil.
Chamalla is popular in folk and herbal medicine, where it is claimed to be a panacea for the ailments of humanity. In truth, the various forms of ingesting the plant convey a very spiritual/receptive high to the user. The users experience vision like hallucinations and a deep feeling of wellbeing. After this, the plant has no beneficial uses. It doesn't cure any diseases, nor does it treat any diseases other than being stressed out.
Dust is classified as a Keter type substance. The substance is a product of the Eurasian Alliance Psi-Corps, and Dust is vital to the operation of this agency. In it's natural form, Dust is an iridescent red powder. This powder is snorted, and after a short delay, gives the user telepathic abilities. This doesn't allow for any sort of mind control, or suggestion abilities, but it does allow them to read the minds of others, and to broadcast their own thoughts into the minds of others. This is a primitive form of telepathy, and is inferior to actual parapsychic telepathy. Dust is not addictive, but it does damage the lining of the sinuses, and a number of users become addicted to reading the minds of other people. This can eventually lead to dementia.
Dust is a psi-ops drug created by the Neo-Soviets, initially for interrogation purposes, but it has found a place among religious cult leaders, spies, and most infamously, among the Alliance Psi-Corps. In addition to employing the majority of Alliance parapsychics, the Psi-Corps can use Dust to bolster their ranks, or have existing parapsychics use the drug to boost their own abilities. This is rare, as parapsychics who use performance enhancing drugs run a greater risk of entering a parapsi burn.
Also known as Bliss, Vraxoin was synthesized from data recovered from the Emigre Codex and was just as quickly suppressed. The drug is euphoria inducing, and a single hit of it can last for days or even a week. The high from Vraxoin can be transmitted by contact with someone under the effects of the drug, with such second hand exposure lasting as long as a day. It was discovered that a hospital handling a single user could be nearly crippled because the drug can cross membranes out to fourth hand exposure. Bliss is extremely addictive, and withdrawal can be severe, even from a single experience with the drug.
The Csepol district of the Budapest Urban Zone is the only area where Vraxoin has gotten loose. Within two weeks, the district was on the verge of collapsing. Hundreds of people were dead from starvation, exposure, or self neglect. Almost as many perished in attempts to escape the district as misunderstandings lead outsiders to believe that Cespol was having an explosive epidemic, and quickly enforced a quarantine. Many of the medical and security personnel who responded were contaminated with Bliss, and the event almost spiraled out of control before a Special Ops discovered the truth of the matter.
Vraxoin was a Imbrian weapon to be used against rebellious populations. Overcome by the euphoria of the drug, they would not be able to resist when the soldiers of the Dynasty were unleashed against them.
Oxyclonein is a for most people, a middle of the road painkiller. It is seldom prescribed as there are painkillers that are both cheaper, and stronger. The area where the drug stands out is that for the majority of clones, the drug is a powerful narcotic. There are many conspiracy theories about OxyClone, with the most prominent being that the drug was created as a pacifier for clones, and that with routine exposure to the drug, body swapped clones and infiltrators could be easily smoked out.
The truth is mundane, OxyClone was engineered using clone coding to be a cheap and effect drug for clones. So long as the proper micro-doses are used, it is a normal painkiller for clones, but in normal human level doses, it as debilitating and addictive as heroin or morphine.
10. Scrambled Eggs
The origin of Scrambled Eggs in unknown, it just rather appeared on the streets of California one day, and by the end of that first year there were tens of thousands of addicts. The drug is a simple clear liquid of bizarre chemical structure. When snorted, it rushes to the nervous system where it causes extreme hallucinations and 'creates new emotions that never existed before' as expressed by addicts. It is extremely addictive and repeated use causes emotional, psychic, and physical trauma. Addicts demonstrate paranoia, dementia, facial blindness, as well as existential phobias, such as fear of sleeping, fear of eating, fear of excreting, and so forth.
It is believed that Scrambled Eggs came from an undisclosed DFE in the San Fernando region, though it is not known if the drug itself was the product, or if an intelligent being/entity is behind the appearance of the drug. Extensive work is being done to try and keep it out of the arcologies, and quarantined to the super-urban parts of the Republic. The drug has already made appearances in China, Nippon, India, and South America.
11. Mugwump Juice
A popular demi-narcotic and neurostimulant, Mugwump juice is the drug of choice for entertainment content creators. It is bought and sold in small plastic ampoules that users will either consume directly, or will add to a beverage of their choice. While not chemically addictive, creative people can find their ability to create tied to consuming the juice, and thus cannot perform when cut off from their supply. It is not regulated as a narcotic or other drug, but is rather peddled alongside with herbal, folk, and holistic remedies at kiosks and vendor stalls in geofronts and undercities. The source of Mugwump juice is in North Africa, and is easy to get there, and increasingly difficult and expensive to get the further away one goes.
The Mugwump is a genetic aberration, believed to be the result of humans breeding (willingly or otherwise) with a currently unknown extradimensional being. The resulting being has radical deformations, including alopecia, fish like beaks, and traits consistent with fish and other aquatic animals. The deformed individuals have a series of papilla running from the crown of their head to the base of their frequently twisted spine. These fleshy protuberances are the source of Mugwump juice. The strongest and purest source it to suck the juice directly from the creature.
12. Orange Entheogenic Spore
Found in the Rub'al Khali in the Arabian Peninsula, the Orange Entheogenic Spore has become the subject of extensive scientific inquiry around the world. The orange dust, a particulate made of sun decayed fungoid spores, has been found to have a number of highly unexpected affects on a human being. The spore seems to lengthen the lifespan of the consumer. They also have had significant religious experiences while on the drug. The real matter of interest is that while under the affects of the spore, arcanotech is much easier to grasp. The sanity eroding effects of arcanotech also seem to be negated by the spore. As can be expected, several projects are underway to understand what the spore is, how it works, how it can be synthesized, and where it came from. Spectrographic analysis of the spore samples show a non-terrestrial origin.
OES is arcane in nature, and was introduced to the Arabian desert in the early part of the Second Dark age. The entire region is classified as a red level wasteland, with a number of black zones. The spores come from several of the black zones. It is a thick fungal mass that grows over the sand, and is eventually covered by sand and buried. After it is buried, if it comes in contact with water, it will start to decompose and or spore, accelerating the creation of waste gases. Eventually, the air bubble will push up through the sand and create a blow. The blow will be surrounded by the fungal spores. These spores begin to rot in sunlight, and only a few will survive to create new fungal colonies. The rest becomes the orange spore dust.
Kava is quite simply sythetic coffee. Given the cost of agriculture, and the consumption of luxury goods, it was a matter of necessity that man create a replacement for the arabica coffee bean. The result is Kava. It is dark brown, slightly bitter, and after being made for well over a century, almost nothing like actual coffee. Kava has a taste profile that has notes of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, malt, and artificial sweeteners. It has a supplemental amount of caffeine added, so it remains the go to hot beverage eye-opener after Stim drinks like Chrome.
Kava comes from a large family of synthetics. In the Cosmic era, coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola have all been synthesized away from their original source. This might seem like a leap, but cola, the traditional dark soda flavor, was derived from the African Kola nut. This source material is no longer used, and modern cola tastes nothing like the original kola. The same has occurred for the popular sweets and indulges of the CE
Med-X was created during the Resource Wars, and is an industrially produced synthetic opiate. This was issued to soldiers fighting the Resource Wars so that they could continue fighting if injured, and to reduce demand on traditional opiate painkillers. It is addictive, and relatively low grade. It was, however, produced in large amounts, and is still readily available. The containers and kits the drug was sealed in can last for centuries with proper storage or decades if left exposed. Military stockpiles can still be found with still viable Med-X in them. Such stockpiles also tend to have stores of anti-radiation medicine, and stimulants.
A relic of the Petroleum Era, Med-X is the most common black market opiate, though it doesn't move far away from the Silk Road. Most arco-dwellers have access to better newer drugs, or treatments to overcome chemical drug addictions. Mercenaries will often have this for it's intended combat painkiller use.
Created as one of the pioneer super soldier drugs, Coldstream shut down pain receptors in the body, and increased adrenal reactivity. This gave soldiers using the drug the ability to shrug off non-lethal wounds and to act with extreme aggression. The drug was considered a failure as it also caused severe hallucinations and caused emotional and mental deterioration in test subjects. The drug is still in underworld production as a recreational hallucinogen (favored by urban primitives and street shamans).
One of the things that was actually behind Coldstream's termination was that the test subjects all had very similar hallucinations, and it was determined that the drug made users parapsychically aware and able to perceive aphasic and subphasic energy patterns. A handful of test subjects became sociopathic and omnicidal, and seemingly tried to invoke powers they did not possess before they were terminated.
Often found in stockpiles with Med-X, Stimutacs were developed during the Resource Wars and were distributed to law enforcement, national guardsmen, pro-government militias, and the army. These were intended to be non-addictive methamphetamine strength stimulant pills to keep men and women on their feet for hours after they should have collapsed from exhaustion. In highly moderated use, the stimutac does exactly as it is intended, keep a person awake and focused for up to 30 hours. Moderate to heavy use causes highly erratic behavior, nervous twitches, psychosis, and potentially death from either lack of sleep or cardiac arrest
Stimutacs only remained in production for as long as they did because the side effects were considered worth the risk at the time. In hindsight, there is some research into the potential for the use of such combat drugs among law enforcement and militia irregulars to have triggered many of the conflicts and calamities that marked the end of the Petroleum Era.
The scientific name for the street drug Cheese is one of the longest words in the English language, and it is a similarly massive aromatic organic molecule. Technically Cheese is a very potent hallucinogen, one that is very specifically tailored and target to a single purpose, shared hallucination/altered states. Rather surprisingly, everyone who has taken Cheese has had a highly similar set of hallucinations, which overlay with each other to create a map/shared experience that is functionally a bizarro pastiche of retropunk, rennaissance faire, and grunge entertainment. It is a relatively hard to obtain drug, but those who have taken it crave more, because each trip takes them deeper and further into the realm of the bizarre, and there is a sense of importance and urgency to each trip.
Cheese, also known as Ultharium, is a technopsychic drug that allows the people who take it to become antenna for digitized and wireless data signals. The thing that causes the consensual hallucination is that everyone who has taken it has been tuned to receive a certain signal. The test signal is an old discontinued CogFantasy that was based on gonzo-retropunk and was full of nudity, gore, and generally low standards and bad taste.
Synthetic drugs became the craze in the drug world when many of the natural sourced narcotics started dying off. Given the poor relations between the Federation and the EUdAS, cocaine quickly fell into short supply, and the cost accordingly skyrocketed. Synthetic cocaine was concocted in a geofront lab, and in fairly quick order restored the supply of nose candy to the Northern Hemisphere. It acts similar to the natural drug, but being synthetic, is somewhat more prone to questions of purity and authenticity. Most people who truck in nyborg have small test tools to determine if their synthetic coke is legit, or if they are being sold rat poison, arcana, or some other fake.
The street name of synth coke came from the Lunar Free States, where it is among the most popular of narcotics. Lunars started calling the drug nyborg, and since they became the bellwether of the quality of the drug, their vernacular become the common.The good Lunat Nyborg, the good stuff.
Accela isn't so much a drug as it is a nanite based cybernetic augmentation treatment. If successful, Accela rewrites portions of the subject's brain, often giving them the ability to access the CogNet without the need for peripheral devices. Unfortunately, the success rate of Accela is very low. For every person who is able to see the net after taking the drug, nine become brain damaged addicts, who's brains are increasingly scrambled by the nanites, and fifteen are left catatonic, or dead.
Accela has a different affect on people with cybernetic brain implants, artificial brains, or other large amounts of cranial cybernetics. To the already wired, Accela functions like a sublime pleasure generator.
Rhapsody is just one of several hundred Brand Loyalty Additives. Consumables companies created BLAs as a way to keep people coming back to their products. Rhapsody is an Addictive, a chemical designed to just to be addictive. It has no high, no low, just creates a craving in the user.
Rhapsody is one of the most effective BLAs created and is most commonly used in Atlas Aquatics processed fish and seaweed products. Their kelp-cakes, synthetic shellfish, and minced fish cakes, fingers, and sticks are all treated with Rhapsody. Miniscule amounts of the additive makes their products among the top ranked in their category. While mundane, AA frequently sells Rhapsody out the back door where it is used for a number of black market products. Some drug dealers like to spike their products with it, and some using it to make 'love potions' and home brew 'pheromone wipes'
Neuroin is a synthetic form of morphin. The drug was found to have an adverse affect on the central nervous system, and because of this, was shelved.
Neuroin found a new life as a parapsychic control drug. Parapsychics who draw too much power can move into a state called 'burn'. In burn, a parapsychic is unable to control their powers, and can be an incredible danger to themselves and others. it was discovered that Neuroin can disrupt a parapsychic's conduit, and can bring them out of a burn situation. This isn't a full remedy, as it becomes less and less effective, the more the drug is needed, and then it can become completely ineffective. It is addictive.
Quietus was a quietly introduced suicide pill manufactured during the end of the Resource Wars. The drug was distributed to spec ops, pilots, spies, and other people who were in dangerous situations and could not, or were not willing to be captured. It is similar to the cyanide capsules of previous espionage eras, but functions quickly and much more humanely.
Quietus gained notoriety during 2051, the Year Fire. Dozens of nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, and worse were detonated around the globe. There is a large record of personal logs and journals that detail the despair of that year, and recount the number of people who committed suicide after receiving lethal doses of radiation, or coming down with terminal cancer from dust exposure. Biological weapons were used, and sick people chose the pill rather than linger and die slowly, choking on their own fluids. The gold pill is now a symbol of suicide in the CE.
Prozium is a brand new version of lybrium, shinier, happier, with fewer side effects, and a slicker PR campaign.
Prozium is functionally just a larger dose of Lybrium, with a different color, and Brand loyalty additive. The drug is being marketed as a social normalizer, for when you have to deal with actual people, in person, rather than through peripheral devices, virtual communications, or through a surrogate droid.
24. Liquid Kharma
Liquid Kharma, Brass Balls, Gadzooks, and a bunch of other names were all given to the combat drug created by the fragmenting United States. The drug was a hyper-aggressant, and induced an invincible euphoria in users. The user became surreally calm, hyper focused, and a sense of self described supernatural awareness. The soldiers using LK would walk through crippling injuries, carrying heavy weapons bared handed, and continue fighting even with limbs blown off.
Liquid Kharma fell out of production after the facility making it was destroyed in a dirty bomb attack. The remaining supply was rapidly consumed by the remaining war fighters. There are small amounts of the drug still around, and a number of labs are working on recreating it, but the information on the design and manufacture of the drug was lost in the war. It is prized by modern gladiators, power armor troopers, and so forth. The most infamous image of LK is of a USMC armor trooper standing on top of a destroyed tank, his right arm blown off, torso and face shredded by shrapnel, holding the tank's M2 machine gun in his off hand. His last words were 'I am the God of War,' just before being killed by a 120mm tank round.
25. Blood of Christ
Also known as V, True Blood, Vitae, and several other names. It isn't so much a drug as it is an unnaturally occurring unknown substance. There are frequently small and self contained DFEs that occur semi-regularly in certain places. Some of these places aren't a surprise, such as mythic locations like Stonehenge, Machu Pichu, and the like. Others are less obvious such as places of intense spirituality and emotion. The Blood of Christ is a blood like substance that is found weeping from the eyes of religious statues. It is hard to study as the congregations around where it occurs are strongly opposed to scientists and investigators poking into their faith.
The Blood of Christ is ectoplasmic blood, and it has demonstrated healing powers on the people who are exposed to it. The blood will heal wounds it is smeared on, and the terminally ill can see their diseases driven into remission by the substance. It does only work on the faithful, and those who are not sick who are exposed to the substance have religious hallucinations, including speaking in tongues.
Ephemerol was engineered as a drug that would kickstart parapsychic powers in test subjects. It was considered a failure, and most of the records of it were classified, expunged, or destroyed.
The clinical trials of ephemerol were largely unremarkable failures. A small number of test subjects did develop parapsychic abilities. These individuals were likely already predisposed to developing them. The major problem was that the powers were not gradually developing, but grow exponentially until blossoming into full burn in matter of days or even hours. The main center of research for Ephemerol was completely destroyed by a test subject in full parapsychic burn. Several hundred people were harmed or killed. This was deemed to be excessively risky and not worth the loss of materiel and personnel. There are rumors that the drug is still being used for test purposes in clandestine offworld facilities.
A fairly recent innovation, Pax was created as the ultimate narcotic/sedative. With the increasing number of DFE spawned monsters, monstrous human hybrids, rogue supersoldiers, and the rest, governments wanted a way to capture these individuals for research purposes. Rail guns and plasma rifles don't leave living subjects. Pax was formulated as a substance to 'Tranq Godzilla' and put 'Satan on his ass'. It is incredibly powerful, and in normal human subjects, a single dose is enough to leave a victim out for days. The danger of recreational use of Pax is death from starvation, dehydration, or exposure. Most people won't move for days after their dose.
Pax has a very rare side effect, causing one tenth of one percent of users to switch completely on. They go into a full adrenal fight or flight mode, often for days, until the drug wears off. These subjects indulge in self mutlitation, cannibalism, autocannibalism, rape, murder, flaying people alive.
28. Morpheum Red
Morpheum Red is a very dangerous bit of code, a digital drug. It originated as a CogNet enhancing drug, it worked very well. It worked entirely too well. Users of the drug are exceptional hackers and good at immersive gaming, but run into psychological problems when they unplug from the system. The drug has no effect outside of the CogNet, and because of this, the analog world feels less real than the cognitive one.
Morpheum Red addiction is a fairly common problem across the northern hemisphere, and is contemporary to marijauna usage in the Petroleum Era. Serious users develop twitches and facial tics, and excessive use can lead to Zrcado syndrome.
29. Morpheum Blue
Designed well after Morpheum Red, Morpheum Blue was designed as a detoxing counterpart, a come down after the digital high. It didn't catch on, and sales plummeted. The only legal use of the drug is for detox from CogNet addiction.
Morpheum Blue still has a small presence on the streets and in geofronts where it is used to punish people with Cog addiction who haven't paid their debts. It is also sometimes used by urban primitives and Luddites who want to make sure that they don't fall into digital addiction.
Tek is a combination of SQUIDband recordings, Kakugrams, and infectious code. The end product is a one shot digital program that uploads into the user's brain, inducing the emotional euphoria and pleasures on the chip, and then burning out. Users tend to come from emotionally broken backgrounds, or have suffered personal tragedies, and either bury them in bliss, or use the Tek to tear at their emotional wounds.
Tek use is fairly uncommon, but the people who use it can become emotionally unstable, and almost always are in advanced stages of Emotional disruption syndrome. The use of tek has been tied to serial criminals, and is a strong component of high level perversion and organized crime. The majority of Tek users will use tek a dozen times or more before they even realize they are doing digitized drugs. By that point, they don't care.
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Not things to mess with.
Soooo, this is very good! I've always had in the back of my mind to do a 30 drugs submission, but felt I couldn't come up with 30 of them that were interesting and/or different enough. No such issue here. And LOVE all the names and 'other' names. Automatic 'will use these' score from me.