The Squad

Gestalt Mind

Description:
  • Name: Not applicable
  • Nationality: Multiple
  • Political Affiliation: Multiple
  • DOB: Multiple
  • DOD: Multiple
  • Known Parahuman Abilities: The Squad is a group mind made up of 9 otherwise entirely normal human bodies. A single intelligence looks out through all nine sets of eyes, a single will moves all eighteen hands. The Squad’s intermeshed intelligence possesses the sum knowledge of all its members, thinking at levels unknown to ordinary humans. It has all the skills of its component bodies, with each body able to employ any of them at will. Furthermore, its net intelligence soars into superhuman levels; when The Squad is whole and functional, it is one of the most intelligent people on the planet.

If any of its component bodies are killed, a new body will be assimilated into the Gestalt if a suitable one is available. Only a human being who is utterly exhausted or mentally broken (A Base Will of Zero, such as from battlefield trauma or brain-death.) can be so integrated. The Squad has no conscious control of this assimilation, and physical proximity to a suitable body is all that is needed to initiate the process.

The Squad’s group mind has no known range restriction, and it can easily coordinate the actions of all its bodies regardless of distance. When working as a unit in combat, The Squad’s ability to sight with one set of eyes while moving or firing with another body made it a deadly tactical opponent. Several times during the war, The Allies dispersed its bodies to provide near-instant communications, and several bodies were killed in this way.

The Squad can survive the death of all but one of its members, but its special mental abilities were reduced significantly when it had less than nine members in its Gestalt.

Bio:

History:

The Squad arose when a unit of GIs were pinned down under relentless artillery barrage, forced against their will to hold position. Eventually, the green troops all suffered mental collapse (from the terror of imminent death), and one among them manifested a singular Talent. He became a ‘psychic connector’ and the entire squad fused together into a single gestalt mind; a creature with nine independently functioning bodies but a single superior intelligence. It used the best skills of any single member of its unity, and could survive the death of all but one of its bodies.

The Talent which created The Squad and all the combined humans’ memories could survive in a single body, but would reflexively reach out and merge any mentally exhausted or shattered person into the Squad in order to refresh its bodies back to the normal number of nine.

During the war, The Squad inadvertently merged battle-fatigued soldiers into its number, and never managed to gain control over this aspect of its Talent.

The Squad was a repository of memories- it kept the individual memories of all its members, and when new members were joined, their memories were added to the whole. By the war’s end, it was a master of numerous fields, expert with every weapon, tactic, and vehicle in the theaters of battle where it replaced members. Several times, it absorbed Axis soldiers, and Section Two considered using it as a foolproof interrogation method, before it was realized that adding too many Axis-loyal members to The Squad could sway the whole gestalt’s loyalties away from the Allies.

No single original member of The Squad survived the war, but the entity still maintains close relations (at least through writing) with its members’ families- those who can accept that in some way, their relations still live on in The Squad.

The Squad could coordinate its individual members across any tested distance, and in post-war years, won three Pulitzer prizes for investigative journalism, by placing members near national leaders and in international hotspots and reporting simultaneously on all levels of a crisis.

In addition to its journalism, The Squad acted as an international troubleshooter, freelance diplomat, and professional neutral party. During the Cold War, the Russians often insisted that it sit in on negotiations with the US because until 1973, one of its members was a decorated Soviet state hero.

A true citizen of the world, The Squad travels frequently, speaks thirty or forty languages like a native, and is a veritable jack of all trades. In 1981, it gave birth to a child via its only female member. The child was born a member of The Squad, increasing the number of members from 9 to 10. When asked by abortion-conscious political movements “At what point did the fetus become part of your self… at what point was the fetus a human?”, The Squad politely declined to comment.

At the time of Yama’s Apocalypse, The Squad resided in Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Moscow, Paris, London, Calcutta, and Hong Kong. They lost five of their number but regained only four from the shattered survivors, bringing their number back to the original nine. The entity has since become an outspoken advocate of Talent integration and international diplomacy in a time of increasing nationalist tensions.

(Concept and much of the above by Benjamin Baugh)

The Squad

Section 2 - Aftermath ardhanari