"Look at him there...drooling, staring at nothing. It's fearful to think that he sees his life speeding by without him...we're thinking about now, and he's already years and years into his future, about to die forgotten and alone in some filthy corner. The worst part is that he slows down sometimes...and screams, cause suddenly he's as old as a granddaddy and he wants to get off the wild ride but he can't, cause he took the Swift. Now his tether in time is loose as the gods' chains. Don't you ever take Swift, boyos, less you want to get stuck in your own head and watch your life rush by you." - Citizen, circa 7500
Untethered, also known as Timesped, Burnout, or Dayfly Syndrome, is a condition brought about by frequently imbibing the drug known as Swift
. Swift is a powerful hallucinogen that is sold on the Black Market
. It is more commonly found in certain hubs of trade where more sophisticated crime is stronger. After repeated drug abuse, the victim begins to spiral into longer and longer periods of sped up perception, until he or she is permanently consumed by it, save for unpredictable moments of lucidity.
Originally, the condition was known as Burnout. This was due to the fact that the only outward visible symptoms of the condition was a glassy stare, labored breathing, and the inability to hear or respond to outside stimuli.
Later after a period of intense study, the Archivists
were able to use their magic to communicate with the minds of the afflicted. What they discovered was horrifying: the victim was indeed conscious, but their perception of time's passage was so intensely hastened that they could see faces and hear the rush of noise, but everything seemed to pass so quickly that life was almost a blur, and it was only the arrival of death that brought them to a halt. They would grow old and die and be completely aware of it but be utterly incapable of reacting in time.
Treatment and Prognosis
The victims were either abandoned in street corners or Houses of Refuge
, but as there was no hope of their recovery they were often left to die in deplorable conditions. Some passed away from neglect and malnutrition, helpless to save themselves. Others were fed and cared for and managed to survive to the end of a natural lifespan. However this was often argued as a waste of resources and unmerciful to force the victim to continue on.
"The worst part of this affliction...is that their lives are rendered far, far too short. Every moment for them is precious. If it is in our power to give them an hour instead of a few seconds...why should we not give it?" - Heather Rowan, sister of the House of Refuge, circa 7502 AC
Because it destroyed the victim's ability to appreciate their own life, effectively isolating them from the rest of humanity forever, and only ended with death, the prognosis for Untethered is always fatal.