BMC Long Term Care patient 6656, Annathena Val (hence Val) is a Cognitive Empath, born with an incredibly rare neurological disorder that arises only under a “perfect storm” of genetic abnormalities – a condition afflicting roughly one out of every ten billion humans. In simple terms, Val’s brain is a “receiver” that tunes in to the strongest signal in relative range – though in this case the signal isn’t a radio tower, it’s the human mind – and the “range” seems to have more to do with the strength of the transmission than its proximity.
Annathena Val is just like you.
Mistaken for a troubled yet incredibly precocious child, it was eventually determined that Val was “receiving” her mother, father, babysitter, doctor, psychologist or nurse, behaving EXACTLY as that individual would if placed in the same circumstances. In time she arrived at Bethlehem Medical Centre, where her condition was studied, analyzed, and diagnosed. Val was eventually dosed with an orally administered chemical compound that reduced her “range” to line of sight. Deprived of a mind, the body became catatonic and, when acting on its own, behaved in a fashion similar to that of a schizophrenic. It has been theorized that Val’s brain “records” information the same way other human brains do, with her erratic behavior being explained as the brain attempting to organize and route the dozens of partial personality fragments she’s absorbed in her lifetime.
Alone, Val is clinically insane and incapable of functioning on even the most basic level. With another person around, Val becomes that person, exhibiting all of the same personality traits and possessing all of the same memories, with anything “accessed” entering into the psychotic jumble of the “alone brain.” in the strictest definition of the term (point-of-origin exertion of Will), Val does not have a “soul” or identity. She is whoever she’s next to, relatively speaking.
This “relatively speaking” aspect of her ‘ability’ is the maguffin of The Dualist, as Val becomes a receptacle for all of Thad’s emotional baggage and psychological damage. Thad effectively “banishes” the parts of himself that he despises, with this aetherical ejecta ultimately finding a home in the receptive “blank slate” of the Cognitive Empath. Thad is unaware of his status as The Dualist – the Chosen capable of ‘multiprocessing’, possessing the ability to harmoniously exist in two places at the same time. Thad unknowingly throws his perceived “baggage” ‘away,’ at which point all of those poisonous personality traits – supported by the higher-plane multi-self of The Dualist – find themselves in a body. A body ungoverned by Thad’s deep-seated ignorance and refusal; a body that “receives” the Higher Self that Thad ignores, and receives it gladly. With all of the capabilities that Thad won’t embrace and all of the hate that Thad has “ejected,” Val becomes a half in aggressive search of a whole.
Val’s status as a receptacle for the projection of The Dualist and how this effectively enables Thad to exist in Val’s body while otherwise “near death” is the focus of Transitional Voices, with relevant material yet to be produced.