When the Sazashi mind is pushed too far
Astenu's head whipped around, face the very visage of wrath. Blood rained from the matted fur of his jowls—ichor robbed fresh from the veins of the poor vagrant still twitching in his grasp. By the lamplight of the hall I saw a sharp blue light reflected in his yawning pupils, and knew my friend was gone.Mataglap is a condition unique to the Sazashi. It occurs when they are driven beyond the limits of their sanity, and is the result of their Sazakraht mind overriding all reason to send them into a feral state. Mataglap is divided into two types: Episodic and Everlasting. Episodic Mataglap is a one-off occurence that will abate with light treatment or of its own accord, everlasting Mataglap represents a permanant and irreperable break in the faculties of the affected. Unfortunately, each time a Sazashi experiences episodic Mataglap, they have an increasing risk of it happening again in the future. After so many times they may enter everlasting Mataglap.
SymptomsIn both episodic and everlasting Mataglap, the Sazashi becomes entirely animalistic. While there still remains a good amount of reasoning skills and potentially even some communication skills, it's the core atavistic drives such as hunting, breeding, and safety which drives their actions. Their eyes also dilate noticeably, becoming large, black circles with very little iris, this makes them rather light-sensitive.
Episodic In this state the Sazashi will be extremely prone to violence, will try to hole up somewhere secluded, and will be easily started by stimuli. Their heart rate will spike and they will begin to hyperventilate as they reach a state of higher adrenaline rush. If the Sazashi does not have long-term treatment to overcome the trauma which triggered the original Mataglap episode they are in danger of later recurrences which may lead to everlasting Mataglap.
Everlasting While the symptoms aren't as constant and severe as with episodic Mataglap, there is always the lurking threat of an episode at even the most harmless stimuli. Any minor surprise can send the Mataglap off the handle and into a violent fight-or-flight response. Sazashi with everlasting Mataglap demonstrate signs of advanced dementia, including an inability to speak coherently and being unable to recognize anyone as familiar.
TreatmentFor episodic Mataglap, sedation and a cocktail of various mood-altering drugs or spells are required to quell the ferality of the Sazakraht mind long enough for higher intelligence to take back control of the Sazashi's faculties. For everlasting Mataglap the neural pathways of the Sazashi are so inclined towards Mataglap that there is no return without Neural Reconfiguration—this is such an expensive and often inaccurate treatment that only high profile cases usually even turn to it.
Really the best treatment is to just euthanize them. You save them and yourself a lot of pain that way. I know that sounds horrible but I lost my brother to Mataglap after he came back from the war and Stokanai and it was just awful. He ate our pets, pissed on everything, terrorized the neighborhood, and brought shame to our family. The last straw was when he attacked an officer and got himself shot. Now I have a dead brother and all I can remember of him is those horrible final years.
Scars of War An alarming percentage of the Sazashi returning from warzones report having Mataglap. There is a suspected silent majority who don't report Mataglap. Veterans often struggle with the lifelong possibility of a relapse.
A Lesser Peoples The presence of Mataglap within Sazashi, and the threat of it occurring within any one Sazashi, has lead other Sophont (and even some Sazashi) to see Sazashi as a lesser Sophont.
Shunned from Society Few places are willing to home a Mataglap, and so they often end up in undercities, catacombs, sewers, transit tunnels, and so forth. A handful of worlds have Asylum Communes in which Mataglap live humble lives in primitive dwellings.
Berserkers Some Sazashi cultures embrace and esteem Mataglap to the point of having Mataglap Berserkers who are seemingly capable of controlling their Mataglap. While this feeds the stigma, it has proven horribly effective in battles and remains in practice.
- Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
- Affected Species
- Difficulty speaking