Field Reports: Colorado Springs
• Matter Perceptions
The most basic understanding of Matter gives an agent a clear insight into the nature of material objects. By scrutinizing a Pattern, the agent can tell not only how massive something is and what it’s made of, but whether it’s a composite, whether it’s damaged in any way, how it might interact with other objects and what could be hidden inside. Combining Matter and Entropy lets the agent sense weak points and identify the best means by which to break them, Forces tells what energy to bring to bear against objects. With Life Science, the agent can determine the presence and composition of inert matter in living Patterns, like piercings and implants. The use of more ephemeral Spheres lends itself to scanning objects at range or determining whether a given object is actually a form of Primal Energy.
• • Basic Transmutation
The agent may transmute one substance into another, without changing its shape, temperature or basic state (solid, liquid, gas). The object simply takes on a new composition, according to the agent’s designs. Complex creations are more difficult or in some cases impossible; usually, agents are limited to creating or transmuting homogenous substances — a block of wood into a brick of stone, for instance, but not into an alloy of gold and osmium. A Technocrat is more likely to convert simple elements like hydrogen to helium. Only simple and inert forms of Matter can be transformed at this level. The agent cannot make radioactive elements. Doing so requires Mastery, as such Patterns shed their essence in the form of Forces. Matter Patterns also tend to have a rigid shape, and this shape cannot be changed with this base understanding. Of course, if the agent turns a rock into butter, he can sculpt or melt it easily. Rare materials are also hard to create. Metaphysically, such matter is a precious substance, not easily found or made, which reflects in the difficulty of artificial duplication.
Basic transmutation combines with other Pattern Spheres to let the agent create solid matter from forces or even from living beings. (Of course, anyone can turn a Life Pattern into a Matter Pattern — just kill it). The agent can also conjure a basic object out of Prime energy. With the right understanding of Forces, the agent can impart enough energy to change an item’s state while transforming it. He can use Correspondence to pull or push items around and even to reach into them and remove parts. The agent can give an extradimensional entity a physical representation or create an object according to a mental image with Primal Energy.
• • • Alter Form
Although Matter Patterns are resilient, they are not inviolable, and an agent with enough experience can reshape matter extensively. This level of skill lets the agent sculpt the object, changing its form or even compressing or expanding certain elements of its material properties. The agent can increase the object’s density or disperse it into gas, or he can just make it take on a different silhouette. Broken materials can be rejoined and matter made whole once more, or the agent can pull things apart, separate them into components or make mixtures of matter. With the Pattern Spheres, the agent can easily draw energy out of a Matter Pattern or make it mesh with a living creature. More ephemeral Spheres let the object change in response to thought or even cause it shift randomly into a useful (or harmful) shape.
• • • • Complex Transformation
By tearing out the detailed elements of combined Matter Patterns, an Adept of Matter can rebuild complex Patterns that rely on rare and complex material or on multiple independent pieces with different bases. Assuming that he has the appropriate mundane knowledge, the agent can easily make objects with moving parts or do the opposite in order to turn valuable equipment into useless lumps. Whereas a less experienced agent is limited to making simple items or Patterns of a homogenous sort, an Adept can create alloys, combinations of multiple types of matter and other fine details. Both the level of detail and the complexity of the final object determine the difficulty of the Effect.
With Forces or Life Science, the agent can transform creatures or energies directly into complex objects. He can turn a canary into a golden cybernetic songbird or a lightning bolt into a silver stylization. Life Science lets the agent blend living and unliving matter, making silk, fresh food and the like. Prime energy can be used to construct complex matter from nothing — more than one Reality Deviant has pulled a gun seemingly out of nowhere.