Although marketed as a drug, Returné is actually a nanotech-laced serum with the rather unusual effect of raising the dead – although not forever. A single injection lasts for about 24 hours before needing to be replenished (although actual death doesn’t result for another five or six days).
Because users of Returné are actually dead, they are immune to aging and illness. In fact, they are mnore or less immune to any thing that might cause death other than immolation, dismemberment or dissolution (that is, acid bath suicide).
The drug was produced by shadowy Big Pharma company Pharmadene, which goes a way towards explaining why this nanotech miracle isn’t permanent when it so easily could be – where’s the money in that? The drug has not yet been cleared by the FDA for public use, although it rapidly leaked out through an underground of criminal funeral homes, from which it was sold at exhorbitant prices. As a result, a shadowy war of corporate espionage and covert law enforcement broke out, whose outcome is still unclear at this time.
Snow Crash exists in two forms, although it’s unclear how similar their effects are. The first form is as a blood serum taken from existing users, which induces a number of effects, the most apparent of which is glossolalia or speaking in tongues.
The second form is as a cyberdrug, which specifically disrupts the thought processes (and Metaverse avatars) of experienced coders. This drug takes the form of binary code that is somehow able to derange the thought processes of those who look directly at it, leaving them, so far as medical science can detect, like the victims of an induced stroke.
Both forms of the drug are connected to a sinister cult that is apparently seeking to take over the world. It’s always something.
Verbality is one of many designer drugs developed by Orange County pharmacologist Sandy Chapman, and like most of his output, it is a colourless liquid that is taken by dropping directly into the eye.
The particular effect of Verbality is a fascination with words – their meanings, origins, sounds and so on. As such, it was dismissed by Chapman, who did not see any commercial possibilities in it – he was primarily a creator and supplier of party drugs, and a drug that his friends derisively called Verbosity did not fit his portfolio. It is a shame for Chapman that he did not see the wider possibilities – Verbality would likely have been a great hit on any university campus with strong Literature, Linguistics, Languages or Semantics faculties.
Related Drugs: Apprehension of Beauty, Buzz, California Mello, Funnybone, Get Wired, Pattern Perception & Rhinoceros