Friday, March 9, 2012

Doctor Persephone and the Agents of Undermind

Doctor Persephone and the Agents of Undermind is a psychological adventure story taking place in both the physical and mental worlds. The agents are psychics who are engaged in a war of psychic colonization against Overmind, a secret organization who is effecting the world's psyche in ways both broad and toxic as well as specific and controlled.

Doctor Persephone is the leader of this group, but whether or not he is part of anything larger is anyone's guess. He is, by far, their most powerful adept. His most obvious characteristic is his flamboyant personality. He has a very intellectual demeanor which suits his British accent. He also has a tendency towards androgyny and sexual ambiguity (although never flirting with subordinates). Whenever anyone questions his identity, he simply replies that he has "a fondness for pretty things" and leaves it at that. These effeminate characteristics can lead people to underestimate him, but he has a brilliantly tactical mind, a fierce fighting ability, and sublime understanding of consciousness.

In truth, Persephone doesn't even know who he is... or at least, was. He calls himself an amalgamated construct or patchwork personality. As far as he has been able to figure out, the mind which previously ran his body was shattered beyond recognition (presumably in Overmind experiments). Somehow, the shattered remains of a few dozen people were essentially dumped in his head.

After a few months of wildly schizophrenic behavior (where he was still demonstrating psychic ability), he learned how to reconcile his contradictory personality elements in a single persona. He has studied meditation with Buddhist monks and astral projection with Australian aborigines. In creating his entire identity from separate pieces, he has a far superior understanding of what consciousness is and how it works. His work with experts on mental exploration has really helped him more to return to the realm of the mundane rather than to escape it.

He now seeks out psychic adepts of a very certain sort. While Overmind seeks the most powerful minds, Persephone seeks the most creative minds. He seeks those who can harness the abstract and yet give live to it. He also seeks out those with an aversion to authority and tendency toward anarchy.

Fighting a war for mental real estate, Persephone has liberated some of the Overmind experiments including a group of triplets he calls the Wired Systers. They are connected to eachother and then to a computer. Consequently, they look somewhat like they are lounging in a hookah bar while tripping on shrooms, but this is only because their consciousness is always more in the virtual world than the physical. Yet their connection between the digital world and the mental world is invaluable. They provide Undermind with a psychic map that shows psychological currents like a Doppler map. This is the tool that allows them to plan their operations. This sometimes makes them feel more like meteorologists or firemen then a military force. They are just responding to disasters on they can see.

Overmind functions in very direct ways by fighting the war on two fronts - the populace and the individual. Most of their projects involve pushing certain emotions such as artificially raising feelings of need or loyalty in a particular area to create dependency. But when dealing with individuals, they have Dream Doctors, experts in psychic construction, who will essentially live in someone's mind for an extended period of time to spy on someone and/or control their thoughts. They cannot control behavior directly, but they can generate strong desires and obsessive thoughts. They can also twist memories.

But Undermind operates by using the terrain to their advantage. If they are fighting on the collective unconscious, they can use group sentiment and cultural myths as weapons. If they are fighting in an individual consciousness, they can use the individuals identity, memories, and personality to subvert the alien consciousness.

Yet the collective unconscious is not a neutral or benign landscape for this battle. There are entities which have no corporeal form, creations of human imagination given a life of its own beyond its creators. There are goblins, ghosts, and Gods. As Persephone says, "We just got it backwards. They didn't create us, we created them. We just created them thinking they created us and that makes them very difficult to work with."