Syntergene

A syntergene is a subconscious, viral thought-form released through some medium which takes root in an observer's brain. This is similar to an earworm song or an ideé fixe but much more insidious. Syntergenes can drive a person to murder, create subservient drones, or compel someone to adopt obsessive compulsive behavior as a result of the psychological meme they are exposed to.

The first syntergene was created by Jason Weeks in 1969, a book which promotes free-thought entitled Inoculus. Weeks coins both the term "syntergene" and the science of creating them, "Syntergenics" (a name conflating synergies, genetics, syntax and interaction). A number of other metahumans utitilized syntergenes, however, including Nguyet Cam (as part of Progressive Harmony), a pro-marijuana faction on Atlantis, the IRA supergroup Glóir, and Bich Thi Nguyen. Others benefitted from working with hyperminds like Weeks, including the songwriter Deionne Bright.

Those who create syntergenes (called syntergineers) are immune to the effects of their own creations, but not to the syntergenes of others. They are difficult to notice once written and the victims do not question the embedded behavior once it has taken hold.

Syntergenes have three different elements: breadth, length, and depth. Breadth is a measure of how many people the syntergene is structured to affect, from a small niche population to a whole nation. Length is a measure of how much time a victim needs to be exposed to the syntergene before it takes hold. Depth means the degree to which the syntergene affects a person's behavior, and it can be fairly profound indeed.

Thankfully, syntergenes do not last forever and there effects generally fade in time. People can also be "deprogrammed" from syntergenes once exposed, as in the infamous case of Abe Sykes when he was exposed to a Progressive Harmony syntergene.

A list of syntergenes can be found here.

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