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Lingas Pepper

Fresh Lingas Peppers appear slightly translucent

Lingas Peppers are an obscure descendant of specially bred Capsicum frutescens cultivars from pre-Fall Terra. Records from this era preserved on Generation Ships escaping the doomed world refer to a sub-culture that worshiped the Capsicum plant, a type of fruiting bush. This sub-culture used selective breeding and genetic modification to create the most potent expression of its defensive neurotoxin, and then consuming the resultant fruit in ecstatic competitive eating events, most likely to obtain communion with their plant-deity. The Lingas Pepper line is believed to have been modified to create alternate formulations of the core neurotoxin, and explore how variant chemicals could be used in this communion.

Wealthy members of this sub-culture, concentrated in the pre-Fall North American continent, obtained passage on several Generation Ships, and added several ancestors of the Lingas Pepper, as well as many other Capsicum varietals, to the ship's genetic databanks and seed vaults. The proto-Lingas Peppers produced a combination of 12 different alkaloids in their fruits, which were described as “lethal” and “gives you hallucinations” by farmers who accidentally grew the plants. However, one cache of seeds on a Generation Ship that seeded worlds in what is now the Concord Sector suffered genetic damage while in cryo-storage, which resulted in several critical mutations in the seed's genome. This cache was recovered and grown by a Capsicum enthusiast during the initial colonisation of Olosten-5 (now in the Free Union), who managed to grow them despite significant difficulties in working out the ideal growing conditions for the now-mutant plant. The alkaloid mixture in this plant was observed to have strange effects on the Terran metabolism, and the plant was cultivated for further study.

After a thousand years of selective breeding, the Lingas Pepper in its modern form has become hardier and easier to grow, but is still a significant challenge for a skilled horticulturalist. Extracting the essential alkaloids from the pepper and refining them into a fast-acting and easily administered form is also quite a task, leaving Lingas Pepper harvesting and processing quite a niche activity, and impossible to scale up to a large scale agricultural operation. It remains legendary among legacy capsicum enthusiasts, among whom it has the nicknames “turbo-chilli”, “ultra-capsiacin” and “a cool 10 million” (referring to an archaic method of measuring the potency of these plants). Ingesting a Lingas Pepper directly causes tissue damage to the upper digestive tract, gastro-intestinal distress that can last several days, and usually 30-150 minutes of hallucinatory visions.

When properly prepared, Lingas Pepper alkaloids can be stored indefinitely in the preserved and dried husk of the fruit. A skilled Life Scientist can administer them intravenously after some minor biochemical tailoring to the target, and produce a profound metabolic effect. Lingas Pepper alkaloids cause a rapid increase metabolic rate and body temperature, often by 10 degrees Celsius or more, as well as additional changes to many of the body's organs to survive this increase. Affected individual's cells burn additional calories to maintain the increased temperature, blood vessels dilate to assist in heat transfer, and many of the bodies hyperthemia defences are suppressed. In effect, the treatment “recalibrates” the body's core temperature, causing them to feel warm even in the coldest environments. However, the effect also makes the body much more prone to overheating, and individuals who have been treated with Lingas Pepper alkaloids should avoid hot environments at all costs - even short-term exposure to external temperatures over the recalibrate body temperature can result in hyperthermia, leading to loss of cognitive function, seizures and possible organ damage.

OOC Game Information

Lingas Pepper is a type of Exotic Biotic - an Exotic Substance related to Life Science. A physrep of some kind of dried fruit, or a vial of red or green coloured liquid can be used to represent measures of this substance. Small samples can represent one or two measures, while larger physrep samples can hold more.

A measure of Lingas Pepper can be applied to a Character to provide some protection from Major COLD Environments. This stacks with other sources of protection from COLD Environments. If you are entering a COLD Environment, the Encounter Referee will usually let you know, and may ask if you have any relevant protection. Even if the Environment effect is more powerful than this substance can protect from alone you will still have greater protection than none - you may be able to go longer before suffering a Condition, or may suffer a less severe version of a COLD Condition. It is important to note that this substance does not protect against weapon attacks or other direct sources of harm - only to the more distributed hazard of an Environment. The boost provided by this substance wears off at the end of the current Day (effectively at dawn the following day).

Lingas Pepper also makes the target character more Vulnerable to HEAT Environments. If you are entering a HEAT Environment, you must inform the Encounter Referee that you are VULNERABLE TO HEAT.

As with all Exotic Substances, a character with at least 1 rank in the relevant speciality (Life Science in this case) can spend 1 minute of appropriate roleplaying to apply 1 measure of Lingas Pepper to a character. After this roleplaying, they should unpeel the sticker that represents this substance, and stick it to the affected Character's Character Passport. Most characters can only be under the effect of one Exotic Substance at a time, and applying Lingas Pepper to a character will cover up and negate any other Exotic Substance that is already affecting them.

lingas_pepper.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/26 01:16 by conan