Deep within the labs of Nox (the company that brought Soma to the masses) a group of radicals lost in the company bureaucracy are trying to make a substance that either prevents or mitigates aggression. In their minds it would lead to utopia.

They believe a chemical planted either in the air or food/water supply is much easier then putting inhibitor chips inside of people and all the messy surgery to make people "Non-cogs".

What sort of chemicals would they be looking for? Also what is the best way to deliver this chemical (we will name it "Pax")

Note: - takes place roughly 50 years in the future (the universe this is set in) - I'm using the term Soma like how Orson Scott Card used ansible. In universe they just grabbed the term from an old book.

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    $\begingroup$ This is the plot line of the movie Serenity. Quote: "There has been no war here. It was the Pax. The G23 Paxilon hydrochloride acid that we added to the air processors. It was supposed to calm the population, weed out aggression. Well it worked. The people here stopped fighting, and then they stopped everything else. They stopped going to work, they stopped breeding, talking, eating. There’s 30 million people here and they all just let themselves die." All, except the small percentage that became the ultra-aggressive Reavers. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2019 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ One would think a "group of radicals" would want to overthrow or change the situation, not preserve it through extraordinary measures. Generally, such folks are not called 'radicals' $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jan 4, 2019 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ Remember paradoxical reaction. In some % of population it may just go very, very wrong. @JBH that's why Reavers are so frighteningly realistic in that aspect. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Jan 4, 2019 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot, No doubt. Indeed, my comment wasn't meant to dissuade CDE at all, only to point out that the idea's been used and he'll need to work around that with his idea. I ran a micropublisher for 10 years. It's unbelievably rare to find a unique story. It's common to find a unique retelling of the same 10 basic stories (boy meets girl, alien climbs out of body...). Regrettably, most authors write in a vacuum so most stories are nearly identical to their influential predecessors. We once had a guy submit a nearly word-perfect version of Star Trek "The Cage." He swore it was original. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2019 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore, I said that. And what I meant by it is that most authors don't look around them as they write. The vacuum isn't the lack of influence (influence in an artist's life is overflowing), it's the lack of keeping track of those influences and not realizing they have as much influence as they do. We reviewed over 10,000 manuscripts a year. You'd be shocked at how many too-much-in-common-with-published-stories we ran in to. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2019 at 4:05

2 Answers 2


Microdosed psychedelics in the water supply

But be aware that for some people this may backfire. Some are bound to trip and have adverse effecs such as paranoia aftet tripping, depending on what you give them.

LSD is probably the easiest one to use, but since managing the dose is very hard you will have a society of constantly stoned people. People in professions that may endanger the public if intoxicated, such as aircraft pilots, should be required to drink only bottled water.

DMT is where the fun really is. Prolonged exposure tends to make people really docile and tame; it also turns die-hard atheists into new wave spiritualists. Be prepared to see your govermnent become a theocracy of elf worshippers.

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    $\begingroup$ Now all the board of directors of Nox need to do is have plastic surgery to get elongated ears, and world-domination is theirs! $\endgroup$
    – Gryphon
    Jan 4, 2019 at 15:14


The active principle of Cannabis Sativa does, among other things, give euphoria and lower aggressiveness.

It can be conveniently dispersed in the air and, giving no tolerance or withdrawal symptoms, leave the option open for having aggressive people when needed.

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    $\begingroup$ Really no single tolerance or withdrawal symptoms? I find that hard to believe. As a sketch in GTA:SA says: "use Grin! Nothing addicting to a substance that makes you happy all the time..." I'll look myself later but is there research that confirms this? $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Jan 4, 2019 at 15:40

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