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Created on 2014-02-06 22:03:08 (#2161140), never updated

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About Sasha Nein (Canon)

Sasha Nein is a human male of Germanic descent (indeed, born in the BRD) with considerable psychic abilities, which he uses in the service of an international covert operations organization, the Psychonauts. He has thwarted the plans of psychic villains all over the world, and will do so again; right now, though, his principal assignment is training Psychonauts-to-be, starting from the age of ten or so, at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. He is also conducting research into the origin and development of psychic talent.

As befits a psychic secret agent, he is generally level-headed, sober, and phlegmatic, but he has an irrational hatred of stained-glass lamps and other tacky interior decorations (which he will destroy if given the slightest excuse) and he could be said to be too logical. His research ethics are somewhat questionable; he won't experiment on anyone without their own consent, but he considers his (admittedly, often prodigal) juvenile students capable of agreeing to quite risky procedures, has repeatedly gone ahead with experiments over his fellow instructors' objections, and doesn't even bother to mention any of this to anyone's parents.

Physically, he's quite tall, has an oblong head, black hair going a little thin on top, and wears dark suits and mirrorshades at all times. His mother tongue is German of the northwestern variety; he speaks English fluently, but with a noticeable German accent, and he may command other languages as well.

More detail about Sasha in particular and his canon in general may be found at the Psychonauts wiki.

Sasha Nein is from the video game Psychonauts, which is the property of Double Fine Studios. They appear here solely for the purpose of role-playing in [community profile] milliways_bar, from which no profit whatsoever is being made. Icons thanks to sonicsora and kunoichi-life.

Additional Background for Milliways

The game doesn't give us much of Sasha's backstory, or hardly anything about the setting beyond the camp, so for Milliways purposes, I am fabricating these additional details:

  • The events of his canon take place in the summer of the year the game was released, 2006. Sasha first appears in-bar earlier that year; to what extent I'm going to run him through canon is TBD.
  • He was born in 1974, making him 32 at time of first appearance.
  • Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp is somewhere in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.
  • The Psychonauts do offer training to psychically gifted children year-round, but not at Whispering Rock, where the snow usually starts in October and doesn't let up till April.
  • Psychonaut global headquarters is somewhere in Colorado. They also have major bases in Brazil, Romania, South Africa, India, and South Korea.
  • Sasha and the other camp counselors have cabins at Whispering Rock, but they only live there when it's in session. Where he lives when he's not there and not on a mission is TBD.
  • Contra what it says on his wiki page, he is in fact still in active service as a Psychonaut agent, as is Milla.
  • The exact nature of his relationship with Milla Vodello is nobody's business but theirs (OOC: but if you think of Scully and Mulder that's probably not far off).
  • The first man on the moon in his timeline was Alexei Leonov, in 1971.
  • He used to smoke two packs a day, but has cut back to only three or four cigarettes a day since he started being a teacher, and feels he ought to quit altogether.
  • He does not actually have green skin; that's just a quirk of the game's art.

Sasha's Psychic Abilities and You

Sasha has powerful psychic abilities, is fully trained in their use, and relies on them every day as a psychic secret agent. He casually uses telekinesis and pyrokinesis in everyday life, e.g. to hold and light cigarettes. I'd prefer to keep the exact extent of his powers a bit vague, but here are some things psychics in his setting can canonically do:

  • telekinetically lift and hurl quite heavy objects
  • levitate and glide
  • light things on fire
  • fire bolts of psychic energy with accuracy, range, and destructive power on a par with a rifle bullet
  • teleport (range unknown)
  • communicate directly to someone else's mind (range unknown)
  • see and hear through someone else's senses (range unknown)
  • become invisible
  • cause confusion
  • learn important events in the history of an object
  • bring someone else's consciousness into an artificial scenario constructed within his own mind (in canon, used for psychic training exercises)
  • intrude his own consciousness into someone else's mind (in canon, this last is capable of both correcting and imposing major psychological issues, and exposing details about people's pasts that they would really rather conceal)

It never comes up in canon, but it is logical to assume that he can keep other psychics out of his own mind if he wants, and can at least try to conceal the presence of his own talents.

The more intrusive of these powers pose significant risk for conflict with other players. The way I'm going to handle that is, first, he doesn't snoop in other people's minds, even to the extent of surface thoughts, unless he has a compelling reason, and he doesn't modify other people's minds without their consent. That said, he is a secret agent with all the professional habits that that implies. If your character gives him an IC reason to poke around in their mind, he will not hesitate; at that point I will discuss that with you OOC and we can work out what he might learn. In canon, learning more than surface information, or making any sort of change is a lengthy process involving puzzle-solving in someone's interior landscape, which could be roleplayed at length if you felt like it. (He would, for instance, be quite happy to help a character work through their neuroses in this way.) If other psychics try to poke around in his mind, and get past some basic level of shielding, they will discover first that he has an extremely disciplined and ordered interior landscape, and second that all of his psychic combat abilities work as well or better inside his mind as they do in meatspace.

He will pick up thoughts and emotions deliberately aimed at him, even by people with no psychic abilities of their own. (Read: if you tell me he notices a thought, he does.) Also, if your character is psychic, and isn't actively trying to conceal it, he will notice, but he won't know exactly what they are capable of (beyond any abilities blatantly used) unless he goes snooping (which, see above). Characters with other types of paranormal ability (magic user, Force sensitive, is a supernatural being, etc) may or may not register for him, and may or may not render his own abilities useless; none of these exist (as far as we know) in his own canon. His abilities do work on characters who are biological but nonhuman (after all, in canon they work on giant lake monsters), but he will be at a disadvantage if he doesn't grok their psychology. He doesn't actively conceal his own abilities unless he is on a mission, so unless I specifically say otherwise in an EP or tag, if your character would notice his abilities, they can go ahead and notice.

If your character has not fully mastered their own psychic abilities, he may offer training along the lines of what he does for the children at Whispering Rock. This doesn't have to be limited to magic missile "psychic marksmanship"; for instance, Milla is a better levitation instructor than he is, but he can do it if Milla's unavailable.

There will be no sneezing of brains out of noses in the bar, but if someone accompanies him back to his home universe, I cannot guarantee anything.

About the Mun

Call me Hoborg. I prefer male pronouns, live in the US/Eastern time zone, and am in my middle thirties. I can be reached by email or AIM, both of which should be visible on this profile. I have an AO3 account which may give you a taste of my writing.

If you know what my birth name is, please do not mention it in connection with Milliways or AO3 anywhere it might get indexed.

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