As mammals we have an elaborate sensory system for processing chemical signals to help with social bonding, which often goes overlooked in favor of the visual and auditory senses when considering ways to tweak behavior by others in your favor. The technology of chemical analysis allows us to isolate and reproduce those compounds which exert an outsized influence upon our subconscious mind and deploy them at will on friends and foes. With this tool the full range of behavioral modification becomes available to you, frequently in a fashion which your rivals cannot detect, until it is too late.
- Isolation. The chemosensory systems are amenable to study via brain imaging and deep neural probing just as you would approach any other mental function, as you expose your subjects to various stimuli to establish which ones bring about the particular effects you require. This can be a laborious process, requiring many dozens of experimental trials to establish thresholds, optimal dose, interactions, and so forth, so you should plan on a large population of individuals under test.
- Mass production. Once the most promising compounds have been identified, it is a matter of scaling up production of the material (either by extracting it from natural sources or producing it synthetically from raw materials). Depending on how large an industrial process you require, you may need to take active measures to guard against disclosure, sabotage, and/or outright theft by your adversaries.
- Packaging. The precious end product of your labor will need to be mated with a suitable delivery system, whether this takes the form of shells, broadcast sprayers, films which work upon contact, or whatever. Keep in mind the expected lifetime of the pheromones as they are subject to environmental degradation, and establish a schedule of application when possible.
Strokes of genius
- Minions. Many supervillains get started in the pheromone business as they consider gentler ways to control their own staff than the rubber hose and the long trip down to the dungeon. The compounds employed to foster group spirit and a motivated upbeat attitude are generally unsuitable for weapons purposes unless they can be delivered in very large concentrations.
- Love potions. Airborne sex attractants are probably the first thing a person thinks about when the idea of pheromones comes up, although despite considerable effort expended on this area the demonstrated applications of this technique are still somewhat sketchy. It has not yet progressed to the point where a chemical cloud can convince an entire city that you are their beloved protector, much less inciting an indifferent or hostile subject to a state of lust. As a nudge in the proper direction, however, they may be employed to some effect.
- The scent to enrage. In many cases you just need to send an anxious and agitated individual over the edge to run completely amok, a much simpler goal than overcoming that person's inclinations to turn matters back the other way. Certain signals associated with a pack mentality can be exploited to bring about a descent into a primal state of aggression, effectively amplifying your chemical suggestion a millionfold or more. Somewhat less successful is the utility of using this on your own forces, unless you are specifically looking for a drawdown in minion levels.
- The stink of despair. Writers have long spoken of the dank stench of discouragement, now available to you in handy quart sizes to sprinkle among enemy forces. It is especially useful when engaging entrenched forces so as to turn the strength of their static position against themselves.
- Stealthy dribbles. Not every use of offensive pheromones needs to be upfront, calling attention to itself. Some of the most effective applications relies on the sneaky way they insinuate themselves into an innocent-looking scene
- Nonhumans. The keener senses of creatures with antennae or the like makes the use of friendly chemicals nearly child's play. You can lay down invisible scent trails for a bloodhound to follow with considerable specificity, or signal the moon-moths of Uranus where you intend them to land in a teeming metropolis.
Traps for mere fools
- Cold season. Stuffy noses mean the winter months are not the best for pheromone sensitivity.
- Activated charcoal. With an appetite for sucking up all the best scents.
- Bomb-sniffing animals.
Precious and needful
- Crystal phial.
- Crop duster.
- Burst charge.
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- Image credit Oil Later by lyzadanger
- Image credit Ancient weapons of mass destruction by vintagedept
- Image credit Flit (munged) by Prehensile Eye
Created by: . Last Modification: Monday 24 of September, 2012 22:22:55 EDT by .