Ye starkest of faces in bone and in brine,
As drunk from a skullish of colorless wine.
Necrosis, necrosis, me intimate fiend,
Me brotherly wound of ye motherless mean.

[This information is for the Gamemaster's Eyes Only]

There is a reason why the draconian Research Control Regime was signed and implemented with such rigour by the major nations of the world. There is a reason why the Medical Collegium holds such power over the health and death of people in almost every nation on Earth.

The first reason—the one commonly cited by historians and analysts—is that the disastrous New Mutation necessitated swift and harsh measures to contain the genetic damage and ensure that civilization would not collapse in the face of massive ecosystem breakdown. The second reason—known only to the higher echelons of major governments—is that advanced medical procedures can now bring recently-dead people back from the void.

This shocking fact has been successfully suppressed for nearly fifteen years now, with only superstitious rumours finding their way onto the trash-shows via Fringer culture and through crack-pot conspiracy theorists. The development of the procedure known as the Delblanche Necrotic Regenerative Series came as a shock to the British government, which at the time was busy re-integrating Scotland into its tattered national edifice. Within hours of contacting the British government of their findings at Oxford Laboratories, the entire bio-engineering team and their families were whisked away to a secret GCHQ facility in the Midlands, to await the verdict of a meeting the British were initiating with their major allies. Under intense American pressure the British agreed to bury the project. Two weeks later the American Directory had replicated and perfected the process. One year later, with the secret still spreading and an increasing likelihood of exposure, the American government called a super-secret meeting of the Protocol Security Board and proposed the Research Control Regime. After hearing the details of the Regenerative Series, the Board unanimously voted to implement the RCR and to keep the process secret for a minimum of twenty years. Apparatus agents who learned of the process never again used the word Lazarus.

Test Case

An event occurred on May 7, 2027 which generated a create deal of confusion in the media, suspicion in the Fringer community, and (most surprisingly) terror in the ranks of the American Intelligence Apparatus. Celebrated Texas Governor M. H. Dalton was visiting the former Freehold of Houston which had agreed to rejoin the State when a series of bullets hit him in the head, abdomen and arms. He was immediately rushed to Alamagordo General Hospital where, after 2 hours of intensive surgery, he was pronounced dead at 01:44 am by the hospital spokesman. His assassins were captured within three hours by State Troopers and taken to Fort Brack Penitentiary. At 02:36 the armoured police van carrying them hit a derelict landmine left over from the War and exploded, killing everyone on board. At 02:15am Special Washington Envoy Harris Kensington held a press conference and announced that Governor Dalton's life had been saved at the last moment by a team of specialist surgeons flown in from DC, and that despite the seriousness of the Governor's wounds he would most likely recover from his injuries. Chief Surgeon Bartholomev Yip, who was resting in the basement during the conference, expressed stunned disbelief when first approached with the news by a team of mediagraphers. In the webcast interview he said "that the re-animation of a man from such a severe state of death" was beyond his belief and "certainly not within the bounds of medical knowledge". He later recanted his statement. At 02:30 President Aspen expressed his "...great regret and grief at having lost a valuable friend and advisor.", a remark he later attributed to lack of sleep and the confusion of the moment. The following morning the Hospital staff announced that Governor Dalton was recovering in critical condition. The incident was never fully cleared up, and was marked only by the eerie refusal of any of the people involved to discuss it. Hospital webwork logs smuggled out of the network by unknown hackers indicate a clear cessation of bodily function at 01:19am for a period of 46 minutes, at which point the surgical-control computer in the operating theatre was deactivated by authorized sources.

Necrotic Effects

Necrosis is the name given by Fringers to the 'resurrection' of someone who should have died, and is usually followed by the half-joking remark that "It's a terminal disease of the powerful". The Delblanche Necrotic Regenerative Series is a potent process through which a recently-dead person may be re-awakened back to life despite the obvious degeneration of bodily tissues, especially in the brain. The patients of the process show distinct memory loss, a fading of energy, a certain coldness of emotion, and a frightening lack of what psychologists call Affect. Instability builds up within the patient until a complete collapse (mostly in the form of a coronary) kills the patient, this time for good.

Necrosis is practised in the utmost secrecy by the American Apparatus and Directory, and the fact that its scientific details are known to only the highest-placed personnel is the reason behind the paranoid superstition of these organizations. Everyone within the Apparatus knows the process exists, but most believe this to be a quasi-mystical aspect of the Government, not a scientific procedure. Most also believe the process utilizes alien parasites, and they view all patients of the DNRS with barely repressed horror. CIA personnel maintain that the process can be used to dig up secrets and memories within a dead man's mind, and will therefore never, ever willingly betray anything about the Delblanche process to anyone.

The frightening truth is that the people who Return from wherever they were while dead (they never remember) bring something back with them. It's not something that can be measured in psyche profiles or in blood-sugar levels, but its there nonetheless. The families of people who have been reunited report that sometimes it's as if something else was watching out of the eyes of their loved one. Watching, and taking notes.