played and written by Susan Giusto, traits by Earl Wajenberg
Odd as it might seem, being a Lady of Chaos and all, Zabeth has always loved numbers and the power that comes from understanding their behavior and uses. Although, when she came upon this planet, she found it quite chaotic that no one believed that a woman could be proficient with the art of Mathematics, Physics or Astronomy… silly humans. Just to show them, Zabeth has always manifested as female.
When Zabeth first arrived upon Earth around the 5th century AD, she quickly befriended a marvelous woman who was the world's greatest living mathematician, quite physically beautiful and simultaneously the world's leading astronomer. The woman was Hypatia of Alexandria and to this day it causes Zabeth a painful moment of pause when she remembers Hypatia's brutal murder by those twisted Christian fanatics and followers of St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Universal Church, and in particular, Doctor of the Incarnation – phooey!
Being a woman was not going to be an optimal form, should she want to hang around with the keepers of sciences greatest discoveries, so it was soon after the demise of the Hellenistic Age in Greece that Zabeth took on the form of an elegant black cat with silver eyes. She would shift to her womanly form for proper events but found the presence of a cat most comforting to writers, philosophers, mathematicians and physicists. (Black cats would have it bad in the Renaissance, but that wouldn't be for a long time.)
Then as now Zabeth observed the uses of math and the sciences was, in large measure, the quest to foretell the future, be it one's fortune or one's financial forecast. For the ordinary people in the street, the future that most interested them was not so much the state of the heavens, as their own immediate future. Into this void came astrology. The sun and the moon ruled the calendar and the seasons, or even more spectacularly, gave rise to eclipses. The other variable heavenly bodies, the planets, it was thought, likewise had effects. During the ancient times these bits of skyward observations presided over the detail of peoples' daily lives. Zabeth found her calling as some people, even some very powerful intelligent people, still believe this today.
She has been studying and slightly influencing thoughts by hovering right at the edge of the spotlight of celebrity. She feels a little bad about giving the idea to Schrödinger of illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a single radioactive atom, and as well to nudge into existence Maxwell's demon, in which a supernatural being is instructed to attempt to violate the second law of thermodynamics.
She has never been famous, but she has usually been known by many famous people. She has never sought power. On the other hand, she has her own sense of right and wrong (being Chaotic, she tends to favor freedom over law), and she likes to help friends. She has smuggled people, art objects, and lots of information. She has also become quite an accomplished cat burglar, borrowing items here and there to suit her fancy or to gain a favor here and there. Some of the people she "borrows" from don't seem to deserve what they have, and having seen the charity of Good Sir Robin of Sherwood long ago, she mostly donates to very good causes with her "findings."
One quite special evening, she was on an adventurous romp in a science lab after gathering some more data from the running experiments, and she came upon an interesting flask with some lovely shiny liquid in it. Mercury is very pretty and that evening she wanted some. She had read about how if you have a compound of mercury and neon gas (HgNe) together you can achieve the lowest inter-atomic potential of the Van Der Waals complex in the E(3 +) Rydberg state. This would be useful in her numerical ponderings of quantum state theories. Using some influence on the mercury, she induced a current to create a 1.5 cm sphere to form and pawed that into the small black suede pouch she wears whilst prowling. [*]
Zabeth has found that her love of numbers is very useful in the technology of the day. Cryptography has become a vital concern in the society of the day and she is very good at it. To her social friends, she is a great numerologist; yet to her science and industry friends, she is quite good at black ops and intelligence. So she circulates at the fringes of the diplomatic and intelligence communities, doing favors, getting owed favors, calling them in from time to time, and collecting influence to cache for when she needs to pull strings. Every once in a while, she gets a visit from a curious angel sent by one of the Principalities (the guardian angels of peoples and nations), checking to make sure she has no ambitions regarding human destiny. (She hasn't.)
She is also interested in the development of the arts, and some of the favors she calls in are often on behalf of struggling musicians, writers, painters, actors, etc. She often has a collection of these types as house guests, along with philosophers and diplomats and spies, to help mingle with the scientists, as they need to get out more and her salons help to socialize even the nerdiest. She maintains a residence near the Sorbonne in Paris. She is often a house guest herself, often in the homes of diplomats or prominent artists. She is a very social being and enjoys both hosting and visiting.
She is now a confirmed jet-setter, offering astrological consults and numerology work world wide while still slipping into her feli similis to learn, observe, be pampered, and practice her sticky paw skills.
Zabeth is of average height, thin, with black hair and olive skin, appearing somewhere in indeterminate middle age. Her eyes are silver grey with a hint of violet. She is usually dressed flamboyantly or so tastefully that it hurts. She maintains her fingernails with utmost care.
Salonnière: 70% — Zabeth runs a 21st-century version of an Enlightenment salon, in Paris. (Before that, she ran a 20th-century one. And a 19th and an 18th.) It's a fashionably appointed place where talented people can show off to each other, be witty, encourage each other, and trade ideas. Having moved with the times, Zabeth also runs private on-line chat-rooms and blogs that serve a similar function on the Internet and can reach a wider audience. Being a salonnière is Zabeth's position at the edge of the limelight, not quite famous but knowing the famous. It means Zabeth has fingers on many important and interesting pulses, cultural, academic, and political. And it means she is known (almost always in a favorable light) by a great many important people. She can use this trait to find helpful people or come up with useful information on people. Sign: "Zabeth! What are you doing here?" She runs into familiar faces often, and in surprising places.
Mathemagician: 70% — On the mundane side, Zabeth is skilled at cryptography, crypanalysis, signal analysis, and hacking (this last touching on her cat-burglary trait). Esoterically, she uses her own form of numerology, giving results equivalent to the Astrology and Foresight skills from
FuRPiG, couched in suitable math-babble: "Ah, I knew events would lead us toward some clustered catastrophe points." (Gun fire.) "We should be fine with the right timing. What time is it?" (Checks palmtop clock.) "Get ready to run on Zero. Nineteen, eighteen..."
Cost for 1d6 astrology-style readings: 3 Psi and Focus points, in any mix as long as there is some Psi. The more Psi, the faster the work goes; in combat, it has to be pure Psi. The more numerical data you have on the subject, the better.
Cost for Foresight's magical "preparedness" by writing in bits of backstory: 2 Psi or 1 Psi and 1 Focus.
Additionally, there are the Psi and Focus points she can spend to boost the level of the trait.
Sign: Carries a heavily customized palmtop computer. May describe people and situations numerologically: "He's a twelve, you see." "This is a semi-perfect triangular set-up. We need to find something else semi-perfect and triangular to complete it."
Cat burglar: 60% — On the mundane side, Zabeth is skilled at stealth, concealment, disguise, climbing, and lock-picking. She can also amplify her senses with hyperesthesia (for 1 Psi pt). Her best trick, though, is turning into an actual black cat or back, in a fraction of a second, for 1 Psi pt (in contrast with the 10 Psi pts and ten minutes it would normally take a Courtier to do this). Sign: Owns a black velvet bag containing lock picks and a black body-stocking that a cat can slip out of easily; the velvet bag has a handle that lets a cat carry it easily.
40- or 50-something caucasian woman, 60 kgs (130 lbs), 145 cm (5'5")], strength 90 kgs (200 lbs)
Languages: French, English, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Arabic, German, Russian, Latin. (Rusty languages: Hebrew, Egyptian, Persian, P-Celtic, Sanskrit)
Effort Pts: 10__________________________________________
x1= 10 x2= 20 x3= 30 x4= 40 x5= 50
Focus Pts: 10__________________________________________
x1= 10 x2= 20 x3= 30 x4= 40 x5= 50
Psi Pts: 10 __________________________________________
x1= 10 x2= 20 x3= 30 x4= 40 x5= 50
What you have here is a pet. You don't know how it happened, but shortly after you took that lump of mercury, it started acting ... animate. It moves about, amoeboid fashion or rolling along as a sphere, and appears to have an animal level of intelligence (at least). You've named it "Hig." [Or whatever you would rather.] You have had it a few years, now, and it has become something of a Lassie. It has learned several tricks, including:
- "Hide" – Very useful. It usually does this by soaking into the substrate.
- "Solid" – It imitates a large ball bearing, making it easy to carry.
- "Bring that" (with pointing) – Carrying capacity seems to be about half a pound, a quarter kilo.
- "Hold that" (handing it something)
- "Bubble" – It loves this one and will do it without being asked, puffing itself out into silvery bubbles, which can be thin enough to see through.
- "Light" – It bubbles out and some of the bubbles become translucent, then fill with mercury-vapor light. It can adjust this with commands of "more" and "less."
- "Float" – It bubbles out to about the size of a beachball and becomes airborne.
- "Dance" – It loves this one and actually invented it for itself. It swirls and bubbles, breaks up into several pieces and re-groups, even scatters into a thin mist of micro-droplets and swirls over the substrate in a 2-D mist.
- "Mirror" – It flattens out on the substrate into a pancake-sized mirror. If you pick it up, it develops a convenient handle. This has been useful for peering around corners, on occasion.
This "Lassie"-type pet has definite cat-like attributes. It wanders off for days at a time, occasionally, and is certainly not reliably obedient. You have no idea where it goes, when it goes off; nor do you know what, if anything, it runs on or "feeds" on.