Vectors are the unique set of paranormal powers which the Scourge allows Toxic to not only perform but to master over time. We (the Lambent Foundation) have been conducting this research for the last ninety years, and we are proud to say that most of these ideas have now been widely adopted by the Toxic community at large, so we must be onto something. From recent document leaks, it’s clear that BLEACH and the CDC continue to conduct experiments and maintain an exhaustive database on us. The following material is based upon data collected from thirty-nine participants, many of which included the principal authors due to limitations in the number of available research participants. For this edition, we were aided by a true genius of the art of Vectors, Cloacina, through information we gleaned from her former chauffeur’s journal.
The Burgenvaste Taxonomy Index
The original system of classifications of Vectors was invented in 1856 by H.P Burgenvaste and is called the BTI (Burgenvaste Taxonomy Index). The Burgenvaste categorization has been updated over the decades, but there is a general consensus among its users that it is not yet fully developed. This is, in part, due to the fact that Vectors seem to be mutating. While records of earlier indexes are relatively easy to come by (at least compared to other more obscure works), it is still a matter of debate whether the phenotypes described in earlier versions of the Burgenvaste Index are genotypically different from those in modern revisions; the differences arise from individual interpretations of the same symptoms. Working from the original Burgenvaste Taxonomy Index would be like working from the New England Journal Of Medicine if they’d stopped printing it right after learning that bloodletting didn’t work.
More than a century of experimentation based on the original tome has yet to reveal a consistent nature of the Vectors of the Scourge. The present edition is a compromise between several contemporary, yet conflicting, versions of the Burgenvaste Index, and it is the generally accepted standard among Toxic scientists (however few they may be). Given the mutation rate of Vectors, local variations are surely in effect in isolated Toxic communities around the globe, and an abundance of layman’s versions of the index exist among Toxic with lesser regard for scientific consistency.
H.P. Burgenvaste: Alienist, Neurologist, Living Dead Behaviorist
In addition to being an established medical doctor within the Bavarian tradition, H.P. Burgenvaste was also one of us—a Rotter, as we called ourselves at the time. It is unknown at what age he contracted the Scourge, or from which source. Letters and diary entries tell a story of a well-respected scientist who gradually descended into pure-bred insanity, but a great wealth of his earlier (more sane) writings have been preserved by Toxic scientists and occult libraries.
At that time, microbiology was a speculative science at best, and being a neurologist by training, Burgenvaste attributed the excesses of abilities to neurological dysfunctions—or parafunctions, as they have also been called. He believed that his own growing powers, as well as those his later subjects experienced, to be the effects of disinhibited centers of the brain. (Long-forgotten abilities of our primal ancestors, if one wills.)
In his later years, Burgenvaste’s research deteriorated from a noble altruistic approach into unscrupulous human experimentation, often with fatal consequences. When the locals finally torched the Burgenvaste estate, one of Burgenvaste’s more promising experiments managed to abscond with his own severed head, according to one questionable newspaper at the time.
Special Note: Medical literature has long since discounted Burgenvaste’s index as the ravings of a madman. There is a running joke that Burgenvaste’s infection and subsequent descent into madness may well have inspired the movie archetype of the crazy old scientist who performs grotesque experiments from the secrecy of a castle laboratory somewhere on the European moors.