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Zombie Animation

This is a macabre Power that is definitely more at home in the horror genre than in the heroic genre. The hero, um...well, the character with this Power can Animate any previously living body. Normally, the Power is used to Animate relatively intact cadavers, since these are capable of a greater variety of actions. Part of the Power is used to halt the process of decay and to maintain the structural integrity of the remaining body parts. Still, Zombies look awful, even the fresh ones.

This Power is not Bio-Physical Control - Revival. The Zombies are not alive. They lack the essential lifeforce that is the core of each living being. The Zombies are at best mindless slaves, at worst grotesque marionettes who shuffle on the end of the Zombie Master's strings.

The condition of a Zombie can range from freshly deceased to skeletal. The latter type of Zombie is little more than a walking skeleton, though being mostly bone it is cleaner than a still-fleshed Zombie. The Zombie does not have to have all its body parts. In fact, the Power can be used to Animate detached limbs or partial remains. These have their uses too. For example, if a character's Physical Type is either Cyborg or Compound/Undead and he possesses this Power, perhaps some of his body parts are Animated bones grafted onto his still living sections. (I told you this is a grotesque Power)

Zombies possess Physical Abilities that are -3CS Power rank. Mental Abilities are Shift 0. A Zombie's "Health" is the same as the Zombie Animator's Power rank. Karma is non-existent and Popularity is as low as the scale goes.

Most Zombies were originally human but there is nothing to prevent your Animator from creating Zombies of other species. Since Zombies probably can't swim or fly worth a darn, the Animator is best choosing land-based species for his experiments. Possibilities include Undead wolves, tigers, elephants, and so on.

The Zombie Animator can create a single Zombie in a process whose minimum time gets shorter as the Power rank gets higher. It comes in 2 stages, Preparation and Activation. The required Preparation time is the number of rounds equal to 101 minus the Power rank number. For example, a Gd(10) rank can prepare a Zombie for Animation in 91 turns, a Mn(75) rank can do it in 26 turns, and any rank higher than Un(100) doesn't need any Preparation time at all. The next step is Activation. All this requires is a successful red Power FEAT. Failure requires the Animator to Prepare for another minute. It is possible, if however unlikely, for a character to have this Power and never, ever be able to successfully Animate a Zombie. That's 1 of the mysteries of random chance.

Once he creates a Zombie, the Animator retains control over it until it is destroyed, returned to life, or stolen away by a higher ranked Undead Controller. An Animator can create an infinite supply of Zombies but can only retain direct control of a number of them equal to his Psyche rank number. For example, an Animator with an Ex(20) Psyche can control up to 20 Zombies simultaneously. Any Zombies over that number are in effect free agents who can act independently. Such free Zombies never attack their Animator though.

Curiously, some Zombies retain some of their Resources and Contacts. This is an extremely rare occurrence and is only possible if the Zombie is in a near-perfect condition (albeit of course dead) and if the late person's death was not widely known. In such a case, a clever Zombie Animator can make the Zombie pretend to still be alive. For example, Nekra Animated the corpse of the Grim Reaper so well that the risen Zombie actually believed he was alive.

Zombies are immune to attacks based on Psionics or other Mental Powers, Disease, poisons, Pheromones, Hard Radiation, and Sonics. They cannot see Illusions. They have Power rank Resistance to most of the Lifeform Control Powers; the Power rank that created them decreases such Powers by that number. The exception is Undead Control, with which a green FEAT can permit control of any independent Zombie.

Some aspect of the original mind remains. Zombies possess rudimentary memories of their previous existence. A Zombies is also linked to the Spirit that once dwelled within it and can be used as a tool to Communicate with, Summon, and Control that Spirit. The use of a Zombie in this way increases the other Powers' rank +1CS. It is possible return the Spirit to its now-Zombie body by use of the Forced Reincarnation. Although this does not return the body to actual life, it does weld the spirit and body together so well that only the total destruction of the body will free the spirit again. Such a Spirited Zombie possesses his original Mental Abilities and can work at restoring the other Abilities to their original levels.

The effect of Bio-Physical Control on a Zombie is peculiar. Zombies don't actually Heal since that is a function of living organisms. Any attempt to Heal a Zombie actually kills it by negating the Animation. Only Revival will truly return the Zombie to life, as it negates the Animation, cures any damage or decay, and draws the spirit back home.

Note: if the Spirit is now Reincarnated elsewhere, this action creates a person with a newborn's mind and spirit.

Okay, so why would anyone want to Animate Zombies, particularly so-called heroes? The popular misconception is that Zombies are inherently evil. This is not true. Zombies are only a reflection of their Animator's personality. A currently popular fantasy series features a goodwilled if misunderstood character whose sole Magical Power is Zombie Animation. He uses them as servants and if necessary soldiers. He even used the Power on himself in order to wait out the centuries until his fiancee could return to life. Your character will have his own justifications and uses for this Power. The key thing, as always, to use your imagination and not be afraid to experiment. Be afraid of your experiment's results instead.

Optional Powers include Extradimensional Detection (limited to detecting spirit realms), Forced Reincarnation, Summoning (Spirits only), Undead Control, and Communication with Non-living Matter.

The Nemeses for this Power include Exorcism, Healing, and Undead Control.

Range: Column A.