For all of its misgivings, the Milleauxese Republic was well-known for its advanced chemical industry. Because its internal security forces were unable to effectively crush internal dissent, some Milleauxese policymakers thought it wise to utilize their national strength. A chemical solution to dissent appealed to Milleauxese politicians, who pictured the problem being swept away with technological might. So began the Cytherea Initiative: a program to create a chemical weapon that would make all exposed extremely loyal to the state.
The idea of artificially-generated loyalty is not a new one, having existed since the beginning of human history. By necessity, the superpowers expended massive amounts of capital in keeping their populations complacent and obedient. The United Technocracies' Ministry of Love partly gained its name because it had the mission of destroying any identity a captured dissident had and replacing it with love for the state. But all of these methods were either passive or necessitated the capture and subduing of the subject. Few attempts were made into the development of a weapon system that would make loyalists out of dissidents; most states preferred to kill "lost causes" than to try and convert them. Consequently, the Cytherea Initiative was breaking new ground and several approaches were proposed and rejected.
Those in charge of the Cytherea Initiative were initially divided over whether they should work toward a chemical that made targets loyal to the state or love the state, with a third group insisting there was no difference. It was eventually decided that replicating the effects of love would be preferable, as it was believed that this was a stronger emotion and would more easily inspire fanaticism. The idea of familial love, making targets view the state as a parental figure that must be obeyed or a child to be protected, competed with the idea of replicating romantic love and the obsessive behavior that entailed. Ultimately it was decided that the synthesis of the chemical effects of romantic love would create a more fanatical subject.
The product of the Cytherea Initiative was a simple chemical (naturally named Cytherea) that, when inhaled, would increase dopamine production in the brain, along with altering functions pertaining to logical thought, as it was believed this would achieve the effects necessary. This would be followed up with the administration of mass propaganda, in the hopes that this would attach whatever affections the targets develop to the state. Although none realized it (or dared to speak up), the Cytherea Initiative was doomed from the start. There was no way to reliably “attach” the positive emotional attachment the program sought toward the state without capturing them and using more traditional brainwashing techniques. However it would prove to be useful in other ways.
Cytherea failed in turning those exposed into loyalists to command, both in lab and field tests, but the effects that Cytherea did have on test subjects warranted more attention. Those exposed to even small amounts of Cytherea exhibited symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Typically subjects would report hallucinations, obsess over trivial details, express disjointed and paranoid thoughts, the inability to form coherent thought structure and withdrawal from social organization. Exposure to higher doses, or the continued development of Cytherea Syndrome, would cause subjects to become homicidally paranoid, attacking, killing and mutilating others at the suggestion of the “voices” they heard. When subjected to propaganda during exposure, these voices became patriotic and made subjects obsessively assault perceived “traitors” around them, although by this point rational thought has decayed to the point that these attacks are not targeted.
While the Cytherea Initiative failed at its stated goal, the Milleauxese military immediately saw the combat applications of such a chemical. The ability to turn an entire army against itself could turn the tide of entire wars. Cytherea was used extensively during the Galactic War, but it was ineffective against the Euskadi as they supplied their troops with Conseil gas masks. As the Milleauxese state collapsed, the remaining stockpiles of Cytherea were seized by the Coalition and either shipped offworld or stored in Port Determination. Since Cytherea is cheap to manufacture, the Coalition has expressed interest in using it on primitive civilizations that do not have widespread counters to chemical warfare, such as isolated star systems or auszeit worlds.