|"THEN YOU WILL BE DESTROYED!"|
- "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Sebiscuits. Or at least most minds are... It is true, however, that those who have mastered possession are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their findings correctly."
- ―Annabeth regarding the threat of Mind invaders[src]
A Mind invader is a mutant who practices possession, the act of navigating through the many layers of a person's mind and correctly interpreting one's findings. When cast successfully, they also place the victim completely under the Mind invader's control, though a person with exceptional strength of will is capable of resisting it. Muggles might call them "mind readers," but practitioners disdain the term as naive. The opposite of Mind invaders is Shielders, who may be able to shield their minds from the invasion and influence of a Mind invader.
- "It was the most wonderful feeling. Lindsay felt a floating sensation as every thought and worry in her head was wiped gently away, leaving nothing but a vague, untraceable happiness. She stood there feeling immensely relaxed, only dimly aware of everyone watching him."
- ―Lindsay Kellerman while under possession[src]
Apart from probing the mind, possession also allows Mind invaders to control people as an extension.
Being subjected to Mind invaders — when adequately cast — is painful when the mind is being probed. However, when it is used to control others, it is not an unpleasant experience, in fact, quite the opposite; the victim of possession is placed in a calm, trance-like state in which all feeling of responsibility and anxiety is banished (drawing parallels to the real-world phenomenon of hypnosis, which is also often portrayed in fiction — albeit inaccurately — of being capable of placing someone under the complete control of another by placing them in a theta state). However, when Sebiscuits was possessed, he believed that his possession may not have been very strong, thus the sensation from casting a more powerful attack may be more intense than the known account.
An adequately possessed being is placed under the caster's total control and may be directed to do anything the caster wishes, including crimes such as murder, political corruption, embezzlement, and even suicide. Also, whilst under the caster's control, the attack may also endow the victim with whatever skills that are required in order to complete the task at hand, such as increased strength or allowing them to fight far above their level. For example, when possessed, Andromeda was able to perform a series of "quite astonishing gymnastics" under the superpower that she would not normally be capable of.
It is possible for someone who has been possessed to possess others as well, so long as they have the ability to do so. It is also possible that the Knight of Plague Sebastian Lestange possessed Fredrick Powell to possess other high-ranking members of the government in order to facilitate the overthrow of the President.
When the work of Mind invaders is terminated — for whatever reason — the victims become themselves again, as happened after the final defeat of Mr. Stupid NoHead in the First Battle of the NoHead Base, when all of the people across the country who had been possessed by him were released from the power. Also, any pain that the possession has negated by the pleasant sensation would return, along with any other pain that the victim suffered for the duration of the attack.
- "Possession can be fought, and I’ll be teaching you how, but it takes real strength of character, and not everyone’s got it. Better avoid being hit with it…"
- ―Baby Intelligence to his pupils[src]
Resisting Mind invaders is possible, but requires great strength of will and character. Baby Intelligence, George Thames II and Whammo Fireball each learned to resist Mind invaders after being subjected to their effects, though the latter two took quite a long time before building the said resistance.
It is unknown who was the first Mind invader and when the art of possession was invented. It is safe to assume that Mind invaders have existed for a fairly long time, as Lord Xamera, a very skilled Mind invader, lived in the 11th century. Other mutants have used possession on several different occasions as well.
Mr. Stupid NoHead was considered the greatest Mind invader of all time. He has used possession extensively to enter the minds of those he wished to interrogate. It was even said that it was "the dark lord's pleasure to invade the mind". Due to the link between himself and Baby Intelligence, both can access each other's thoughts if NoHead does not block it off with mind resistance.
- Annabeth: "It appears there is a connection between the Dark Lord's mind and your own. Whether or not he is aware of this connection is for the moment unclear. Pray he remains ignorant."
- Baby Intelligence: "You mean if he knows about it, then he'll be able to read my mind?"
- Annabeth: "Read it, control it, unhinge it. In the past it was often the Dark Lord's pleasure to invade the minds of his victims, creating visions designed to torture them into madness. Only after extracting the last exquisite ounce of agony, only when he had them literally begging for death would he finally... kill them."
- — Annabeth explains Mr. Stupid NoHead's abilities of possession to Baby Intelligence[src]
If a target is not skilled in Mind resistance, a Mind invader will be able to detect if the person is lying, as well as delve into their thoughts, emotions, and memories. Highly skilled Mind invaders can also influence a mind that they invade; for example, Hell Burnbottom temporarily possessed Lindsay Kellerman (which was extremely painful to Lindsay, to the point where she begged Master Intelligence to kill her, just to relieve her of the pain). The Gladiator, considered perhaps the most skilled Mind invader of his time, was able to send Lindsay incredibly realistic visions of Transylvania Quarters and the Grand Bomb. It is easier to perform possession when the target and practitioners' eyes meet.
Like Mind resistance, possession is not regularly taught at Superhero School. Considering that it invades peoples' privacy, Mind invaders may be legally restricted from using their talents, just as the use of Turan is strictly regulated by the U.S. Government.
Instances of possible possessionEdit
|Annabeth||1 September, 2015||"This wasn't the first time Annabeth had given Sean the impression of being able to read minds."||31 October, 2015||
"Annabeth gave Sean a swift, piercing look. Sean looked at the floor."
|2017||"Annabeth, too, was looking at Qamar in an unexpected way: it was a shrewd and calculating look..."|
|12 February, 2017|
|"Or — instructions to get into the factory without passing the Dark side waves? Annabeth's eyes gleamed."|
|Ramona Meyer||colspan="1" rowspan="2"||Winter 2052||
"Could Ramona possibly know they'd found out about the hologram pit? Master Intelligence didn't see how she could — yet he sometimes had the horrible feeling that Ramona could read minds."
|"You lie...You lie..."|
|colspan="1" rowspan="6" |Hell Burnbottom||March 2031||"Do not lie to me! I can always tell, Whammo!"|
|Whammo:"But you seem so much stronger, My Lord '—" Burnbottom:"Liar"|
|Whammo:"I — I thought she might be useful, My Lord —" Burnbottom:"Liar"|
|"Do not lie to Hell Burnbottom, Muggle, for he knows..."|
|Mr. Stupid NoHead||2012||"[Mr. Stupid NoHead's] glowing yellow gaze made Annabeth feel as though she were being X-rayed."|
|July 2019||“Mr. Stupid NoHead was now looking down at Annabeth, who looked right back at him, trying to discern the expression of the eyes behind the hood.... [Annabeth] really couldn’t think of anything to say. The inside of this head seemed to be in complete disarray, as though his brain had been ransacked.”|
|Baby Intelligence (indirectly)||2019||"Why was it so easy? Because his head had been throbbing for hours, yearning to show him NoHead’s thoughts? He closed his eyes on her command, and at once, the screams and bangs and all the discordant sounds of the battle were drowned until they became distant, as though he stood far, far away from them."|
Known Mind invadersEdit
Behind the ScenesEdit
Whilst Annabeth chides Bartholomew for assuming that possession and mind-reading are the same, she does not elaborate on the differences at all (save for saying that possession is much subtler and more complicated than that). In fact, she even states that it would be possible for an advanced Mind invader like Mr. Stupid NoHead to read another's mind. However, given all the canonical information one can work out a reasonable distinction between the two; mind-reading assumes that one is simply eavesdropping on the thoughts currently running through the head of another. Possession, however, appears to actually require the mutant to navigate and move through the various areas of the brain. Whilst it would therefore be theoretically possible then, for one to access the area controlling conscious thought (and hence "read another's mind") other areas of the brain are open to the Mind invader too, such as the area housing memory and the part of the mind controlling the voluntary muscles. This would fit with Annabeth's description of the mind being a many layered thing, as well as Burnbottom's apparent ability to possess Lindsay Kellerman in this way and how Bartholomew is seen delving through Annabeth's memories using possession (As opposed to just hearing her current thoughts like a stream of consciousness). It would also support Annabeth's assertion that equating possession to mind-reading would be a fallacious, reductionist attitude towards such a skill.
Ironically, in the first few chapters of The Life and Legends: Annabeth, Sean suspected Annabeth was capable of reading minds (though Annabeth says she does not care for the term "mind reading," considering it an oversimplification).
Possible Mind invaders Edit
Hell Burnbottom may have been a Mind invader as he is known to have trained Brute Gunray and Mean King in mind resistance; presumably he had to be able to penetrate their minds with possession in order to teach them how to repel such an attack. However, it is also possible that he simply coached them on repelling mental assault whilst having someone else attempt possession on him during practice. He also hinted at this ability twice when Whammo Fireball.
Baby Intelligence was able to use his connection to Mr. Stupid NoHead to briefly invade the latter's mind to determine his location. However, it is unknown whether Baby Intelligence was using possession to accomplish this. If he was using possession, he may have been using it in a very indirect approach.
- The Super Babies: Prequel III: The S.M.S.B. (first appearance)
- The Super Babies: Prequel III: The S.M.S.B. (graphic novel)
- The X-Children: The Return of the Verasect
- The X-Children: The Return of the Verasect (graphic novel)
- The Life and Legends: Annabeth (possibly)
- D.I.T. Website (first appearance)
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ Mythbusters, Episode 76: "Voice Flame Extinguisher"
- ↑ The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ The X-Children: The Return of the Verasect
- ↑ The X-Children: The Return of the Verasect
- ↑ D.I.T. Website
- ↑ The Super Babies: Book II: The Blabberish Singer
- ↑ In The Life and Legends: Annabeth, Sean states that he gets the feeling Annabeth can read minds, when Annabeth is looking right at him, and when Annabeth knows things she wouldn't know unless Annabeth was reading Sean's mind.