Zeka (plural Zeky), from the Russian word for "prisoner", is the name of a Promethean Lineage; they are also known as the Children of the Bomb. The youngest Lineage, the Zeka are the legendary "Nuclear Prometheans" who haunt the legends and stories of the Created. Extremely rare, Zeky struggle with the very nature of their existence, and with the question of whether they are even capable of succeeding in the Great Work.
Zeky may take any element at their creation, along with the associated humour; however, that element has a radioactive taint that affects its interaction with other things, most notably in the effects of a Zeka's Disquiet and Torment.
The Zeka are unique among the Lineages, in that no less than five different demiurges have created a Zeka independently of each other since 1945. The most famous of these creations, and the one that lent its name to the Lineage, is Tsar Bomba from Siberia, as he was made from the bodies of zeky, or convicts who worked in a nuclear gulag.
Of the other four creations, two are still reported extant and active. One is presumed dead after disappearing into the ocean. The final one is confirmed dead, having placed itself at ground zero of a bomb test.
In order to create a Zeka, radiation must naturally be involved. The potential body or bodies of Zeka-to-be must have died of radiation poisoning; more radiation is then used to awaken the Azoth in the body. The methods for awakening a Child of the Bomb are varied, from placing the body at ground zero of an atomic bomb to using long-term exposure at the site of nuclear disasters like Chernobyl.
Zeky exist in constant agony, usually alone and unable or unwilling to make contact with the humans and Prometheans around them. In addition, not one Zeka has, to date, achieved their New Dawn. As a result, the majority of Zeky are Centimani; seeing themselves as incapable of humanity, they reject it utterly. The rare few who take a less hazardous path tend towards Cuprum, reflecting their solitary existences, or Stannum, reflecting their constant Torment. Rarest of all is a Zeka who will follow Aurum, as the Zeky condition makes it intensely difficult for them to fit in among humanity, even more so than is normal for Prometheans.
For the Zeky, Centimani is as easy to join - and as hard to leave - as Stannum is for 'typical' Prometheans. However, Zeky find joining and leaving Stannum has the same requirements as the other standard Refinements.
The Zeka's affinity with nuclear energy grants them access to a unique class of Transmutations, the Irradiation Transmutation. It can replace one of the standard Transmutation lists on any Refinement, unless the Zeka is a Centimani. If that is the case, a Zeka can take Irradiation alongside the Pandoran Transmutations available.
Zeky are usually content to be alone, away from the society of humanity and the Created. They tend to become obsessed with certain ideas and notions that may benefit themselves but no one around them, such as ending their own suffering - even if it means destroying others - or of using their powers to expand their territory with no regard for the environment or humans around them.
Most of the Zeky also suffer from constant pain or discomfort in some form. Headaches, lesions, or sores that constantly itch or bleed are some of the more benign forms of the pain that the Zeky feel in their existence.
Unlike the other Prometheans, Zeky cannot use electricity to heal themselves or regain Pyros. Instead, they must use radiation. The radiation does not have to be at harmful levels, however, and can come from any source, from a microwave to a radio tower to a nuclear reactor. Generally, the more powerful the source, the more they will be healed or the faster they will regain Pyros. A Zeka cannot, however, reap any benefits from the radiation effects of their Wasteland.
The Zeka suffer from Disfigurements in both their mortal forms and their true forms. When appearing as a human, a Zeka will have some sign of radiation exposure clearly visible on their person; it may take the form of tumors, melanoma, a lack of hair, or a pattern of burns. Zeka always appear strange and unsettling to humans, and it is one of the major reasons they usually hide away from society.
The effect is only compounded in their actual Promethean Disfigurements. Most of the Zeky show the horrific effects of long-term radiation exposure through their skin, from massive burns, sores, or tumors to having none at all.