Typically, Vevaphones, SLA Industries’ biogenetic shapechangers, are unable to imitate the human form perfectly.
Vevaphones affected by the so called Galatea-Syndrome are not so limited. In human shape, it is impossible to tell them apart from real humans. This increased mimicry ability, though, is accompanied by a gradual and selective loss of memory, making the Vevaphone forget about its own nature and abilities.
A Galatea-Vevaphone does not just look like a human, it believes itself to be human.
The degree of both memory loss and improved mimicry are intrinsically linked and the most obvious criterion for assessing the stage or severity of the Galatea-Syndrome.
In a mild case, the Vevaphone’s personality remains mostly intact and it will be able to remember its training and mission, though, the full extent of their powers might escape them.
A severe case, however, might unshakeably believe itself to be Lower Downtown resident Jane Doe and indeed live in her flat. (Who knows what happened to the real Jane Doe – if there ever was one…) Perhaps this Jane Doe ist then identified by a talent scout and becomes an operative with her SCL card reading “Race: Human”.
But are the Galatea-Vevaphones really victims, having completely lost their true selves? Or do they rather finally reveal their true powers as perfect infiltrators? If you cannot identify them, where might they already be? And who is behind this Galatea-Conspiracy?
The Galatea-Syndrome is a cost-neutral combination of the advantages Looks: Handsome and General: Medical, and the disadvantages General: Amnesia and Psychosis: Delusions. All the advantages and disadvantages have the same rank.
Looks: Handsome is used to represent the perfected shapechanging into a human form.
General: Medical (equivalently costed to the Medical disadvantage at +3/rank) makes a Vevaphone harder to tell apart from a human even with medical investigations.
General: Amnesia, of course, stands for how the Vevaphone forgets its powers, nature and finally its history.
Finally, Psychosis: Delusions portrays the belief to be human – even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
A note on Vevaphone abilities and Stress:
A Vevaphone suffering from the Galatea-Syndrome will gradually come to employ its passive abilities only, and even the use of those might cause it Stress. It might instinctively fall back on active power use if suffering from a great deal of Stress from other sources, which in turn will cause it to gain even more Stress, break down and then repress the memories of the entire episode.
Perhaps it is exactly this which leads to Jane X, the Vevaphone operative with the memory lapses, to become Jane Doe, who lived her entire life in this Downtown sector.