Kaspar erupted right when he was taking inventory at the supermarket
in Freiburg where he worked. Suddenly he was blind – and his workmates
were fleeing in awe and fear of the strange shifts in gravity around him.
When brought to a doctor and nova experts he complained about his blindness:
he could not see anything but darkness, interrupted by weak greyish
light here and there. He could hear, feel and smell everything around
him more than perfectly (in fact, he was subconsciously avoiding hinders
and thrown objects like a classic blindsight case).
Ideally one of the PCs should ask him to describe the greyish light
and eventually realise that they are galaxy clusters: he is perceiving
from somewhere in intergalactic space. With some help from an astronomy
database and a few recognisable galaxies they will eventually find that
he is in the Columba Void. By now people will have guessed that he has
ESP out of control and will try to guide him home. He can move his point
of view freely, but his path must be described by words. During this
process he will either accidentally (or preferably because someone suggests
it) come close to the Horologium Phenomenon.
He will report seeing a wall of bright clouds and brilliant stars –
actually supernovae. As he moves closer he will start to realise that
they are actually billions of stars erupting. Then he will notice that
something is spreading among them: “I see something that looks like
squids… or starfish… moving. Starfish made of black steel. They are
flying across space. Oh, some of them are flying into stars…
they seem to draw star stuff onto themselves. Now they are shining,
becoming brighter… there are more and more of them in the star – they
seem to be reproducing somehow. In some stars they are so many that
they make nearly the entire star to flow onto them… oh my god, the star
is imploding! … What a sight… They made the star explode! All
of the star falling down around them, turning hotter and brighter, and
then BOOOM… and billions of them ride the explosion outwards. More and
more stareaters… I don’t want to see this any more…”
Later, during training to detect novas with his node, he will remark
that the squid-things felt like novas
If he returns, he can bring more information, including that there
is a kind of war going on – enormous energy releases, “fire breaks”
made by detonating entire spiral arms, black holes hurled through space
surrounded with bizarre structures that hurt just by being seen, illusions
of illusions and clouds of weapons made out of entire nebular.
If Kaspar is becoming too useful for the PCs, giving away information
too quickly, he can be attacked from there – suddenly Kaspar seems to
become distant. He is still sitting at the table but seems to be drawing
back. His voice is coming as if from a great distance and the wall behind
him is distorted. He shouts “It’s seen me!” and something seem to be
emerging from the farness where he is – something of black steel…
Kaspar is a friendly, helpful person. He is of average intelligence
and interests, and has never really cared for higher education or anything
out of the ordinary (with the exception for the occasional paintball
game with his friends). He has absolutely no idea why he erupted or
why he would want ESP and gravity control.
ESP (essentially unlimited range)
His ESP makes him perceive things consciously within a sphere he can
move around and change size. Even when he is “home” he will not be consciously
aware of anything going on outside the sphere (usually a few meters)
but he will see everything inside – including the inside of people,
locked boxes and the plumbing. When walking he has to consciously move
his sphere along or he will go “blind”.
For a fictional treatment of a somewhat similar sensory abberation,
see Greg Egan’s short story “Seeing” in the collection Axiomatic.