Escaping From Yourself

One of the most potent of these extremely rare drugs is the unassuming, shimmering nanofluid sold as cháldar.  The nanites suspended within the fluid are a modification of the standard brain-alteration nanites used for downloading mind-states into organic brains, modified to have an erratic temporary effect.

One who injects a vial of cháldar (this injection, as with downloading, must be done directly into the fluid volumes surrounding the brain) begins within minutes to experience its effects.  Cháldar is distilled from pithed sophont mind-states, and the nanites rapidly distribute themselves throughout the user’s neural volume, and begin irregularly imposing sections of the neural net reflecting the mind-state from which they were distilled on top of the user’s own.  The result is an hours-long cascade, usually quite exhilarating, of alien images, feelings, thoughtways, memories, and ideas – effectively, as close as one can come to the dream of being able to experience another’s consciousness from the inside.

While occasional cháldar users may only acquire a few personality distortions from use of the substance – although social problems may result if they interact with others while sections of the alien neural net are active; for this reason, cháldar users generally have themselves immobilized while taking the drug – risks of its use include a wide variety of identity disorders and schizophrenias as the brain adapts to, or incorporates, sections of the alien neural net.

Cháldar is also fraught with legal problems.  While it is produced from legally tradable pithed mind-states, the “best” cháldar highs come from the most complex, unusual, or rare mind-states.  Since the Excellences and Exquisites and their foreign equivalents rarely place their mind-states upon the open market, cháldar is often produced from stolen or otherwise illegally acquired mind-states, leaving the manufacturers open to criminal charges of forknapping, or worse, and any subsequent purchasers to a variety of intellectual property and privacy crimes.

In addition, in the search for outré experience, some manufacturers have taken to manufacturing cháldar from criminal mind-states or the mind-states of the severely insane, the use of which poses a risk of memetic infection or investigation by the Guardians of Our Harmony for pernicious irrationalism.

– Journal of Chemical Hedonism, 1217th issue

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