Thursday, January 26, 2017

False Death

For security, it is possible to neutralize oneself and prevent capture of an Ego. The Dead Switch (p. 306 EP) erases a stack completely if the morph dies. Emergency Farcaster (p. 306 EP) broadcasts regular backups and can be used to farcast from a morph in a quick emergency - but at the "cost" of destroying the body and all its implants. Memory Wipe allows memories to be protected (by deleting them) from a cyberbrain, infomorph or other situation with Mnemonic Augmentation. But, what if you only wanted to secure yourself for a little while? What if you just needed a second? Cyberware has existed long enough to grapple with security concerns like this and offer a solution - though not an elegant one.

False Death: This old style of cybernetic implant buries several self-charging electrical leads into the nervous system. On command from a cranial computer, they will activate, dispensing a charge which stops heart, lung and other autonomous activity. To a casual observer, the morph stops breathing, has no pulse and will show minimal brain activity due to interference from the implant - but their electronics will continue to function in low power mode for quite some time. Then, after either another signal or a preset amount of time, the implant activates again, resuming normal functions - faking a clinical death for a short period. Because of their age and often illicit uses, these implants also tended to be unpleasant and unstable, and even in AF 10 are inherently risky. The user of the implant immediately begins to suffer the effects of Asphyxia (as outlined on p. 194 EP) and could well pass out and die if the implant runs too long. This can be avoided by integration with Medichines (p. 308 EP), which can safely but the body in stasis to prevent damage - however the user is still likely to pass out - and must make DUR tests at increasing penalties as normal. This implant is only available to bimorphs. [Low]

When someone is under the effects of False Death, the only way to tell their still alive would be to take a detailed brainscan (which would probably take longer than the user has to live) or via a thorough examination of the morph (such as with X or Gamma Rays) which would detect the implant. A thorough forensic could identify cause of death as something unusual, but most persons still "alive" through the implant would be roused before an autopsy could take place. Historically, the implant has been very unreliable and make-shift - having a tendency to fail or inflict permanent brain damage. However certain persons attached to their morph are more comfortable with a brief clinical death than the possibility of "real" death or capture, making it an alternate option for some.

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