Card Stats and Summary
Weight: 125 lbs.
Appears in: 102 Escape to Questworld, 108 Assault on Questworld, 116 Besieged in Paradise, 118 Heroes, 121 The Secret of the Moai, 126 To Bardo and Back, 206 Cyberswitch, 213 Without a Trace, 217 Digital Doublecross, 218 Thoughtscape
Dr. Jeremiah Surd was a brilliant scientist who once worked for the United States government. When his funding was cut by a certain congressman, he resorted to holding the city of Chicago for ransom with nerve gas in 1978; two lackeys, Julia and Lorenzo supported him. A SWAT team led by Race Bannon thwarted his plans, and a trigger-happy SWAT member shot him in the leg and neck, paralyzing him. He was moved to the Belle Isle Institute of the Insane for interment. Years later, a construction crew uncovered his nerve gas, and Dr. Benton Quest and Race went to Chicago to try and contain it. Jonny Quest, Jessie Bannon, and Hadji Singh located Dr. Surd and proposed a trade: use of Questworld for the disabled Surd in exchange for information to deactivate the nerve gas. Dr. Surd agreed, but quickly betrayed the Quests after using Questworld to contact Julia and Lorenzo. Though Dr. Quest and Race were able to contain the nerve gas, Dr. Surd remained at large.
Dr. Surd quickly hatched several plans, each involving Questworld, to exact revenge upon Race Bannon and the Quest family by association. He first attacked Jonny and Jessie in Questworld while a strike team led by Julia and Lorenzo infiltrated the Quest Compound; Dr. Quest and Race were meanwhile away in Nepal. Hadji was able to save both, and the team then outwitted the strike team at night, repelling the attack. His next plan involved accosting the Quests and Alice Starseer on her visit near the Colorado River to bury her father. He took Dr. Quest, Race, and Alice captive, then used Questworld to establish a link with the alien home planet, which would grant him use of their technology. Jonny, Jessie, Hadji, and a pair of old Native Americans rescued their fathers, but Alice let Surd go as part of her burial ritual. He returned to his ship and plotted to tap into the cetacean Internet with sonic equipment and control the minds of whales for diabolical ends. He succeeded, and terrorized the Quest team off the coast of Hawaii. Race contacted Captain Havell, who torpedoed Surd's boat, forcing him and his team to escape in a helicopter.
Surd waited for a new opportunity, and found it when the Quests recovered a statue of Apollo with a strange, mystical power in its head—released when the head broke in extraction. The Quests run a Questworld program to reassemble the head, and Surd hacks it; when the Quest team enter to see what's wrong, they find themselves in a Greek temple high upon a cliff with Surd attacking as Medusa. Surd successfully turns all the Quest team to stone except Jonny, who shows Surd his own reflection, turning him to stone and freeing the others. Surd is painfully caught in the destruction of the virtual place that occurs when the head is completed. Unfazed, he watches the Quests uncover the mystery of DNA-recombining tones at Easter Island, and sends a strike team to steal the technology. He tests out the tones on Dr. Quest and Race, reverting them to primal states. His use attracts the attention of aliens who conducted experiments there; they restore the Quests and instantly teleport Surd and his strike team with erased memories to a desert setting. He regrouped and used Questworld to enrage a bull at a rodeo to cripple Race. When the Quest team tried to revive Race by entering his mind, Surd intervened to exact his revenge. Race threw Surd to the edge of Bardo's river, causing him to enter a minor seizure; Julia pulled him out of Questworld at this point.
Surd's next plan involved the use of Questworld to switch minds between bodies. After capturing Race Bannon and Jonny Quest, Surd switched minds with Race and drives to the Quest Compound to kill Dr. Quest. His plan is discovered, and the process reversed; Race handles his henchmen while Jonny beats him in Questworld. Surd, Julia, and Lorenzo are then arrested and detained. While Surd is in prison, a sleeper program attached to a Questworld game activates, threatening to kill Jonny and Jessie. Race phones the prison Surd's detained in and concocts a plan; he bargains with Surd to liberate him in exchange for stopping the program. Race and the guards fake a daring rescue mission, and Race takes Surd towards the Quest Compound. Dr. Quest fakes news of Jessie's death, and Surd fearfully gives Race the abort code for the game. When Surd and Race land, police are waiting to take Surd back to prison, and Jonny and Jessie are saved.
Surd, Julia, and Lorenzo somehow escape from prison, and Surd devises a scheme to torture and kill the congressman who denied him funding in the 70s (now president) and frame the Quests for the theft of Airforce One. He hacked the airplane's flight computers to land it in a remote location in Utah, then linked the hacking to the Quests; Race and Dr. Quest were soon arrested and interrogated, while Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji traveled to Utah to try and defeat Surd's plan. He captured them and put them on the plane with the president, setting it to remote control from his helicopter and arming nerve gas to go off inside. Jonny regains control in Questworld and takes the plane to a high altitude, creating a vacuum from a puncture that sucks the nerve gas out. The President clears the Quests.
Surd creates a plan to brainwash Jessie, and intercepts her after she exits a movie in a nearby town in Maine. Surd brainwashes her successfully; she returns home and causes serious damage at the Quest Compound with the Queststream. Fearing for her health, Jonny and Dr. Quest enter her mind, while Lorenzo arrives in reality and holds Race and Hadji at gunpoint. Surd then initiates phase two; custom, torturous illusions are given to Dr. Quest and Jonny, inflicting significant emotional damage. Hadji and Race overturn Lorenzo and help Jonny and Dr. Quest in Questworld; however, Surd uses a cheat to grow to huge heights in combat with them. Suddenly, a huge Jessie kicks Surd away; her subconscious mind is beginning to clear out the foreign information introduced through brainwashing. Jonny and Dr. Quest escape, but Jessie sends Surd to Questworld and strips him of his mobility, dooming him there forever as the real Surd's body sits catatonic. Julia, Lorenzo, and the catatonic Surd are then hauled off to jail.
Peter Lawrence Writer's Bible
THE VR WORLD VILLAIN
In the known world, a Stephen Hawking-like genius whose physical being has degenerated almost to the point of death. Having been introduced to the Virtual World -- In which he can recreate himself in any form he wishes, he is an all-powerful force.
Free to roam cyberspace, he becomes an overwhelming opponent -- for each time Jonny kills him in VR Surd simply returns in another more powerful, more malevolent form.
The only way Surd can truly be neutralized is to find his "known world" base -- to destroy the corporeal being and so kill the VR emanation.
But here's the question: even if you kill the corporeal being, will the VR "soul" remain free to roam Cyberspace?
- Race - "Doesn't it bother you that millions will die?"
- Surd - "Does it bother me when I step on ants crossing the sidewalk?"
- Race - "How'd you get so twisted?"
- Surd - "Every station on television has been playing that story since this morning. Do you know how many times they've interrupted Scooby-Doo? And it wasn't even one I'd seen yet!"
- Surd - "Oh, Jonny Quest, do you really understand the entity you've unleashed upon your world?"
- Surd - "I want your father and Race Bannon here in five minutes! Or little Hadji will be on the menu tomorrow as the vegetable dujour."
- Surd - "I cannot tell you how much I resent these returns to the real world!"
- Surd - "You're such an impolite earthling, too! Alice Starseer's returning for a terrestrial visit, and you weren't even going to roll out the red carpet!"
- Surd - "Questworld is MY universe!"
- Surd - "Once again, I amaze myself with my technological abilities."
- Surd - "Don't bother speaking to your friends. They're stone deaf!"
- Surd - "Care to tango, little man?"
- Surd - "Only a game, but the pain is real—thanks to my new neurocyberoptics program. But you ain't felt nothin' yet!"
- Surd - "I dropped him—at the movies. He's probably glued to his seat."
- Surd - "Now that you've gained the office, I felt the need to make a political statement—namely, your death! But for your last eighteen hours alive, I've devised a little private hell for you. Just in case the torments of your next life are not enough to suit my sense of justice! You see, through virtual reality, you will live as I have lived...the torment of being trapped in a powerless body—the horror of phantom pain—the ridicule and prejudice! I hope you enjoy your little session in virtual reality. It will be the very last thing you ever experience!!"
- Surd - "Welcome to Mega Quest, Surd version 6.0...or should I say six feet under?"
- Surd - "Aw, but you can't quit now! You are bound by my neurocybernet! Try to shut off the game and you perish! Perish in the game and you lose for real! It's what we call a lose-lose situation!"
- Surd - "Oh, your son will be well taken care of, Dr. Quest."
- Evil Jonny - "Here's Jonny!"