Pink goes by many names, including blush, puff powder, powder puff, pink
panther, rose, free, and rap. Pink is a highly addictive substance
produced in large, transparent slabs which closely resemble thick, pink glass.
It is then broken down into smaller chunks ("kibbles") for smoking;
crushed into powder for snorting (and mixed with saline water for injecting);
or melted down for injecting.
Each form is said to give a different high (specifically as to intensity), but
pink is an extremely cheap, extremely short-lived euphoric (2d10 minutes), regardless of administration. You cannot overdose on it, you
will not "freak-out" on it; the only side-effect is that it is extremely addictive.
Pink is a popular recreational drug in Metrodome, most prevalent in and around
the BioMed precincts, but slowly making its way into the Anthills throughout the Dome;
anyone with Streetwise 5+ has at least heard of it and knows of its euphoric effects (those with Streetwise 4- must make a successful roll), but little information is available aside from
that. It can be scored on a successful Streetwise check, but addicts are shambling messes and the drug is considered
"uncool" and relegated to the poor, so using it is not a good idea.
Those under its influence suffer -2 to both AGL and INT. They also suffer -1 EMP.
Every use requires a roll vs. impaired INT (-2) to avoid addiction. Obviously, once failed, no further rolls are made,
as user is now an addict. Pink slowly loses potency with prolonged use,
resulting in the addict needing more and more to achieve his desired high.
Addicts must have at least one dose of the drug everyday; without it, they suffer -3 CHA and -1 EMP and INT until they use. Withdrawals are marked by wracking abdominal pains,
constant thirst/dry mouth, and extreme nausea. After three consecutive
days of withdrawal, the victim begins suffering actual physical damage - d2 Hits/day. This lasts for (d6) days, then passes. If the victim goes back to the drug after detoxing,
he must roll CON for the first dose, with failure indicating d6Hitsimmediate damage (abdominal pains, severe nausea) and immediate readdiction. If he
succeeds this initial "relapse" check, he begins rolling for
addiction with every use as detailed above. For some, where their
willpower fails, the pain and injury is enough for them to kick the habit -
pending they never touch the stuff again!
Biomed, the corporation the ETs are using as a front, has to have enough proles
to make sure the Igors get the political seats needed to allow them to keep
operating. This is why they do not simply use the proles for food,
instead of going to all this trouble. They get these proles unwittingly
addicted to pink by placing it in their food and drink, even pumping it into
the ventilator shafts of the building(s) the proles occupy. That way, if
the proles try to leave, they end up dying from withdrawal or are confronted by
one of the corporation's agents who explains to them that they have a
"rare disease" and don't have enough money to pay for the specialized
drugs needed to fight it then offers to allow them back into the
community. Using these subtle methods, they're hoping no one will be able
to trace the manufacturing of pink to the corporation.
But one prole does escape the anthills and goes to someone with his
story. Of course, almost no one believes him or wants to hear his
story... except a yellow journalist, eager for his next paycheck. The
journalist could be a Contact.
When the story leaks, the public barely raises an eyebrow, but the government,
BioMed CEOs, many proles, and Dark Minions and Minion Hunters alike, do.
Pink is a prevalent recreational drug in Metrodome, most prevalent in and
around the BioMed district, and anyone with Streetwise 5+ has at least heard of it and knows of its euphoric effects and knows it's a
popular party drug amongst both younger people and the elite set (those with Streetwise 4- must test) but little information aside from that is available - most
certainly not that it causes death if you don't take it.
That pink is so physically addictive that some can die from withdrawal should
be hard to discover. After all, you can't OD on it and it's so clean that
most of it passes from the user's bloodstream within several hours, so it's
virtually undetectable unless the coroner happens to get very lucky. Most
blush-related deaths appear as sudden, mysterious deaths and are attributed to
any number of other possible causes. Also, the shock and physical strain
of going without the substance can cause false indications of death due to
normal causes - such as heart attack, stroke, seizure, renal failure, and so on.
Pink was developed to better control people; it keeps them placid and happy, as
well as makes them more susceptible to Dark Empathic attacks (as Control: 1 - DarkTek, p. 8). They want people addicted to it so they have to keep getting more of
it. In the best scenarios, the victim winds up spending all his money,
selling all his possessions, and doing literally anything to score - this leads
him to the BioMed district, where they gladly accept him as either a prole or
The ETs do not want people killing and dying for it, so it will be plentiful
and cheap enough for almost everyone to afford, at least once in a while.
Again, best scenario is people so addicted that they leave their jobs and
families in pursuit of it, winding up on the streets with nowhere to go... then
influenced to move into BioMed's housing projects or enter one of the many
rehab programs the medical corporation offers.
ETs manufacture Pink and use the HooDoos to distribute it.
Also, some people may not like the HooDoos nor want to associate with them, at
all; if the ETs rely solely on them to push the product, they are not able to
move as much of it as they'd like.
If you have to get characters motivated to investigate, have a close friend,
ally, neighbor, or even a contact die a mysterious death. Or have them
discover that this contact has become addicted to the drug before he
dies. Maybe he has disappeared or has spent all his money, traded in all
his possessions, and is now running the streets, doing whatever he can to
score. Once they start asking questions about the manner of death, many close
to the victim will tell how he destroyed his life by getting hooked on
"that pink." This should intrigue them enough to investigate.