1. Jarrett
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    Jarrett New Member

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    How to Lose One's Psychic Abilities Temporarily?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jarrett, Feb 14, 2014.

    So in my Lightning War series, I need to have a character lose her psychic and telekinetic abilities temporarily.

    In my magic system (which isn't really a magic system since it's based on pseudoscience, which has also helped put my books in an awkward position straddling the line between sci-fi and urban fantasy), the seven chakras of the body commonly talked about in a spiritual context exist in the forms of bundles of special nerve tissue called chakral tissue running up the spine onto the top of the head capable of creating an electromagnetic field around the body, called an aura. The energy that feeds this field comes from the collision of the light and dark astral planes, parallel universes made of energy, and if the energy composing things from both of them comes together it can create energy on the physical plane. Most people aren't even aware that this process happens around them daily, but through a small genetic mutation in the top chakra, called the crown chakra, some are able to control larger levels of astral energy consciously and use the effects of this energy to do different things, mainly telekinesis that reacts differently with different materials, but their hypersensitivity to this energy can allow them to "feel" what's going on around them, such as a person's thoughts or intentions.

    In Volume I of the series, Dale, Blake, Alina, and Dylyn (my four mains) join the United States Paranormal Combat Force, a top secret branch of the military for people with these abilities. All of them but Dylyn have working abilities. They eventually come to learn that Dylyn was attacked as a child by a dark person, a manifestation made by Zozo (antagonist in Volume I, heavily based on the occult) which took her telekinesis away, but Corporal Hughes (their base commander) says that she can get it back. During the final fight at the end of the first book, Dylyn needs to get her abilities back somehow while fighting so that she can help cause the "beginning of the end" of that fight.

    The only way to block abilities in the books as of now is to hit somebody over the crown of the head with plenty of force. This can cause a bunch of sensitive neurons in the crown chakra to fire out of control and completely disable the victim's abilities for anywhere from five minutes to a whole day. In Volume III, you'll meet Latya, a character who fights almost entirely by shooting people with a sling shot and aiming for their heads, allowing others to get them more easily.

    So in the context of this magic system, what does this entity do to Dylyn to temporarily take away her telekinesis? It's a major plot hole, but it's one that needs filled. As the series goes on, all five of my mains (yes, I add one more in Volume II) end up having something against the Illuminati that goes beyond the war, and this has to be Dylyn's.
     
  2. Ekriven
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    Ekriven New Member

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    Hmm, this is pretty interesting. As to Dylyn's power, you can use psycological stuff, as having a trauma or her unconsious self is still blocking it or something like that. Since peoples minds are huge engine to power, no matter what way, but it can backfire.
     
  3. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    She could be drugged.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    A headache? Vertigo? Hallucinations would work as well.
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since a few pretty good specific ideas have already been suggested: maybe you could buy yourself some time by having Dylyn not know either, adding a mystery subplot ("What happened to my powers and how do I get them back?") to the action/adventure main plot ("I have to get my powers back before X happens!")?
     
  6. Earthshine
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    Earthshine Member

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    Well, in traditional Hindu belief, the chakras each represent something within the person, and each Chakra can be blocked by a certain emotion or psychological state of mind. For instance, the Earth Chakra (which is located in the base of the spine) represents the idea of survival, and is blocked by fear. If your character were crippled by fear, it could ultimately block this Chakra. And once one Chakra is disrupted, the energy cannot flow between all the Chakras, disrupting their power.

    I realise you might not want to base your power system on Hindu belief, but it could be worthwhile researching actual belief systems surrounding Chakras. You can get a lot of inspiration from religion, mythology and the like.

    Other ideas - maybe she could get pregnant, and the pregnancy blocks her powers.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    According to the psychic community that is a thing that exists, a-typical anti-psychotics inhibit psychic ability.

    Or they were never psychic in the first place. Just crazy.
     
  8. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Tinfoil hat.
     
  9. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Tinfoil hat, but warm it up in the microwave first.
     
  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    A special tattoo was placed at the base of her spine using an exotic metal based ink. The tattoo blocks the energy of the Root Chakra located at that spot, the Chakra responsible for grounding the body and allowing it to connect with the "Earth Force". A hypnotic implant prevented her from remembering that the tattoo was forcibly placed upon her.

    At the critical juncture she succeeds in breaking through the hypnotic implant/spell and remembers. To undo the tattoo's effect, simply slash the tattoo with a blade during combat, disrupting its pattern and freeing her Chakra.
     
  11. Jarrett
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    Jarrett New Member

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    Loving these ideas, guys! :D

    The issue is that this isn't a, "My abilities are gone! Oh, wait, not anymore," type of temporary hinderance, she loses them when she's seven and gets them back when she's fourteen. Second, this entity is called a dark person and takes the form of a human outline made up of thick black smoke. They're very easy to kill and don't have much of a mind of their own, and it just did it to her because Zozo was targeting young people with abilities like her.

    It would almost have to be an issue with her crown chakra, since that's the one that controls telekinesis. One idea I had was the dark person doing something to it to send her crown chakra into a perpetual state of random firing. Since Zozo fights by shooting lightning at his victims, I had the idea of him shocking her in the head, which would temporarily stop the random firing sequence and allow the damaged chakra to reset itself.

    A few thoughts on some of the ideas:
    *If one blocked chakra blocked through emotion could shut down abilities, nobody in the series would have abilities. Raine (who you'll meet in Volume II) spends all of her debut novel terrified of Bernard's ties to her, Volshik (who you'll see in Volume IV onward) feels a passionate hatred of the Illuminati that can manifest itself in sometimes extreme actions, Latya who I already mentioned is completely desensitized to acts of evil, plenty of my characters have angsty little quirks that would block chakras if they blocked like that in this magic/not magic system.
    *I really like the tattoo idea (I couldn't help but think if it were the Illuminati triangle how AWESOME it would be) but a dark person doesn't have access to tattoo supplies. That, and it could be easily removed by the USPCF.
    *I could make it a bit mysterious, but my only issue is that's pretty much the entire plot structure for Volume II. But this does act as an extra source of tension in the conflict and does add to the need to take down Zozo.
     
  12. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    You could always take the Gilligan's Island route. Coconut to the head! It really doesn't have to be anything that even makes sense, and you could bend the fourth wall a little bit by having the characters make mention of how it just doesn't add up, that this shouldn't have happened, all the rest. And maybe the psychic character hasn't really lost her abilities, maybe it's psychosomatic or something.
     
  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Do like Freddy did with Jason and make them self look like the mother or father of the person, and bring up a bad memory.
     
  14. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps if you explain briefly what a "dark one" can do (or can't), we can get closer to the target.
     
  15. Jarrett
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    Jarrett New Member

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    Okay, thanks. I'll try my best.

    Zozo is a demon-like being from the dark astral plane whose goal is to bring the light and dark planes crashing together in the physical plane, causing cataclysmic destruction and allowing him and his Illuminati to take power over everything in existence. He lives in a fortress manifested on a rocky island north of Iceland far away from civilization. Around the world he manifested four pieces of an astral artifact called the Material Key for Bernard (his right-hand man) to use to get into his fortress should he need to for protection. The USPCF is onto the existence of this secret emergency system and tries to get access to all four pieces. To keep them away, he can manifest these dark people that take the shapes of humans but are made of thick dark smoke. They fight with basic telekinetic abilities (hydro, geo, aero, and pyrokinesis mainly, though some other abilities are used to guard Zozo's fortress) that are about the same intensity as that of humans. Their biggest danger is that they're easy for Zozo to create and unless while fighting them you fan the smoke to the point where you can't see them, they can regenerate. They also have the ability to manipulate basic energy fields like humans do

    So that's a dark person for you.
     
  16. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK, so basically telekineses only for the dark ones.

    First of all, I have no investment in my original suggestion so change or abandon it as you will, but a serves as a jump off point based on what you explained. The mark or tattoo concept can still work. Presumably, hydro or pyrokenesis would be capable of making a mark on or under the skin of an unconscious child. So although a dark one could not create a traditional tattoo, a mark on the skin resembling a birth mark or brand/burn scar is within its capabilities.

    As for the USPCF removing it, they could only do so if they were aware of its purpose. If they assumed it was a birthmark or placed upon her by accident (in a fire, car crash, etc) or by her previous guardians/parents it might be overlooked. It would seem to me that the USPCF would not a full understanding of Zozo's abilities, or they wouldn't need the four part key to get into the fortress in the first place. So the power blocking mark could be unknown to them.
     

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