Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Type: Terrestrial (Tidally-locked)
Primary Star: K5V (Orange Dwarf)
Gravity: 1.09 g
Diameter: 13445 km
Atmospheric Pressure: .97 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 73% Argon, 27% Oxygen,
Surface Temperature (Mean): 1 C (terminus)/-40 C (nightside)/33 C (dayside)
Day Length: N/A
Orbital Period: 217 Days
Satellites: None
Gate Access: Pandora Gate
Notes: Alien Life, Resources Available, Dangerous Local Phenomena (high winds)
Spark is a "Vesperian" planet, a habitable tidally-locked terrestrial, like Sunrise. It's Sun is slightly larger and brighter, but in turn this means that Spark can be a little farther away. Even so, it still has extremely harsh temperatures - the "cold pole" (to use the terminology of Sunrise) has temperatures of around -80 C, and the hot pole can be closer to 70 C. The severe temperature differential means winds are incredibly high on the planet, and anything that wants to live and grow must be tough or utilize the terrain to survive. But life on Spark has evolved in it's own way to the environment, which is of great interests to many researchers. Spark as a planet has an unusually high and diverse concentration of metallic salts in it's composition, which the local life has evolved to take advantage of and naturally grow with. This means that the local wildlife, both flora and fauna analogs often store or generate electricity to utilize in a wide variety of functions not seen in terran biology. Plants release hive volumes of current when the tension of their leaves is broken to deter animals from eating them are in turn preyed upon by species of herbivores which can safely store electricity to prevent being harmed. Pack hunting "thunder lizards" use electrical senses to track prey and can oscillate EM fields to produce a kind of communication. Local colonial insect analogs have tiny radio antennae to navigate, track and communicate, and their multi-pronged stingers act like tasers instead of relying on toxins. Omnivorous "salt vampires" leach salts from plants and animals to live, and parasitic vines act like natural high-power cables. On the night side, plants use electricity to gain heat and melt water to survive much further out than they would otherwise, and on the day side some plants convert excess heat to electricity then discharge it away - leading to a very bizarre and active biosphere. The use of naturally occurring electricity occasionally poses hurdles for researchers to study both the planet and it's life.
Like other tidally-locked terrestrials, Spark has fairly differentiated terrain. Around the terminus is forests of several breeds of low, heavy "statictrees" which passively generate current to prevent their leaves from being eaten, or cool marshes with reeds which store power generated in deep roots and bulbs so they can regrow if their tips are destroyed. Toward the dayside it rapidly becomes thick rainforests, filled with a variety of plant types which live in symbiosis with huge metallically barked trees or tall bamboo-analogs which catch native lightning as it is generated - on the floor deep below the canopy plants and animals often use current to substitute for low light, and can spark to defend or hunt and supplement nutrients. Closer, the terrain gives way to savannahs and rocky deserts, before ultimately becoming a barren, flat salt plain. The night side has some similar tundral or taiga forests, before giving way to extremely low grasses or "aerostat plants" which gather heat, light and power from tall bundles which are anchored to deep roots, before life becomes limited to pools created by geothermal activity or other exotic cases.
The Gate and the small research base of a few thousand on Spark is set up in the shadow of a short mountain range, which is formed by a river valley. The terrain is too uneven and steep for the local plants to deeply colonize, barring a few ground-covering colonies. The settlement has been unofficially named "Conductor" and very carefully settled itself as to avoid distressing or disturbing local xenobiology while still keeping researchers and potential colonists safe.

A Note On Sparkian Biology:
The xenoflora and fauna of Spark are similar to Earth animals in many ways, still carbon-based, but have many subtle chemical differences in their analogs. This means that generally they are unpleasant for humans to consume, both for incompatibility and in general because they have a very "salty" quality which skews how they taste and can have health impacts. Conversely the local wildlife is much more tolerant to salt content in many forms than earth biology. Almost all forms of life on Spark can be considered to have Eelware, and may have any number of other electricity related qualities, most frequently Shock Tolerance and (Bio)Electrical Sense, but also possibly emulating Radar, radio communication on a scale similar to Mesh Inserts, possibly even producing ranged "blasts" of current similar to a Stunner. This may interfere with several kinds of technology, or technology may interfere with local creatures causing them to behave in unexpected ways. Known species on Spark: Rubbernecks, Thunder-Lizards, Salt Vampires, Sparkbugs, Buzzbees, Spithian, Plugfish, Viola's River Shark, Conduit Vines, Statictrees, Lightningrod Tree, Aerostat Plants, Sparkgrass, Broad Shockleaf (and several "Shockleaf" subspecies), Battery Reeds, Broadcast Plant, Tesla Tree

Sunday, February 26, 2017

LN2 Gun

Spray Weapons are an interesting niche, firing various propellants and projectiles in cone formations to strike targets - sometimes being able to hit multiple targets at once. They have an odd utility niche then, with close combat potential, anti-swarm uses (Torches, for instance) and then possible less-lethal or other utility applications. But, while Fire is a useful weapon, so too can the cold. Cold temperatures cause severe damage to many living things and objects, but may not harm others, and can be useful - and coolants have significantly advanced to allow cryogenic substance to be portable.

LN2 Gun: Also called "coolers", "freeze rays", "cryo-guns" or "ice makers", this rifle-sized spray weapon is fundamentally set up similar to a Torch, but it utilizes tanks or capsules of cryonic chemicals or gasses condensed in a liquid form - usually Nitrogen for it's relative commonality. The coolants sprayed by the gun can reach temperatures of -200 C, and are thus severely harmful to anything they touch which isn't heavily hardened against cold. Unlike most torch fuels, the LN2 Gun will still harm in non-oxygen environments and can work even in vacuum. The DV it deals is not normally reduced by armor - though characters which have Temperature protections, or are wearing armor which is protected against cold temperatures (Such as a Full Body Armor, or Vacsuit) will only take half damage. Bots, Vehicles and Synthmorphs which have been equipped with the coldest environmental protections may be immune from the damage entirely. If the attacker scores an Excellent Success (MoS 30+), the target begins Freezing, and will take 1d10 DV (halved as normal if protected) per Action Turn until they take some steps to remove the coolant or make it evaporate. [Moderate]
AP 0 2d10 DV SS Ammo 100

The LN2 Gun has a variety of uses. For one, it can be used as an alternative to substances like NotWater as a Fire Suppressant, as it will reduce temperature and reduce oxygen content. For this dual purpose they are often seen owned by long-haul space crews to keep both to help repel any boarders or other surprises and prevent a disastrous fire. Also commonly, these weapons are used by synthmorph activists or criminal outfits, as they are partially protected from the supercool temperatures whereas many biomorphs are not - environmentally hardened Exhumans may also prefer them to fire. Nanoswarms also take poorly to being frozen, as individual micro- or nanobots often lack the ability to generate sufficient heat to survive the cooling. Gatecrashers sometimes carry them to handle biological threats on exoplanets, which can have surprising durability when it comes to conventional weapons - but rare are the lifeforms which can survive such extremely low temperatures.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Armor Mods

Armor Mods offer a wide berth of possible additions to any number of armor systems, from basic material upgrades to complex subsystem inclusions. They can enhance protection of the armor directly, increasing the amount of damage it absorbs, or they can offer additional utility to the armor wearer. Below are some additional armor mods which can be added to an appropriate armor.

Heat Sinks: Similar to Refractive Glazing (p. 313 EP) this modification embeds heat conducting elements into the surface of the armor, but instead of trying to radiate it immediately it stores it in heat sink systems built into the armor. This means that it can reduce much more heat than the Glazing, but it only does so until the sinks reach a high enough temperature at which point heat is no longer easily conducted to them - so they must be cooled or vented. This mod will absorb 20 points of Energy damage related to heat - after which it's heat sinks must vent for a full Action Turn in order to be used again. This mod does not dump heat properly in vacuum, and may become damaged over repeated uses and need to be replaced or repaired over time. These units are much more effective on vehicles or large bots than people. [Moderate]

Mag-Lock System: Once a vital component to many vacuum suits and vac-rated armors, Mag-Locks have become less common in face of grip materials and other advanced technologies, but can still be fairly common in some armors. Primarily located in the hands and feet, these systems can also involve electromagnetic studs which can hold tools or other objects on the surface of the armor. Primarily, it grants benefits similar to the Magnetic System (p 311 EP) allowing them to grip or walk on magnetic surfaces even in zero-g, though for most this will be at reduced speed, and grants a +20 to hold on to magnetic surfaces or objects if a test is required. Can only be equipped on armor which could cover the hands and feet. [Low]

Microthrusters: This mod embeds small thrust modules with fuel in the armor's exterior, which are controlled with gestures or remote commands. It can only be equipped on body-covering armor and vacsuits, or Exoskeletons. In an exoskeleton, it adds Vector Thrust (8/40) as a mobility system, but for conventional armor it does not tend to normally "fly" as such, but gives a +10 to Free Fall tests as it aids in maneuverability in those situations. It has enough fuel for about an hour of minimal controlled bursts, or 10 minutes of continuous burn. In low gravity, microthrusters can be used to catch oneself from a fall, "glide" over the ground or boost normal jumps to greater heights - though outright flying will quickly use up the fuel. [Moderate]

Reinforced Knuckles: The "brawler" of armor upgrades, this mod includes heavier reinforcement on joints used for strikes, as well as additional studs, spikes or plates such as on the hands and feet. This makes unarmed blows using the armor more potent and harmful to an enemy, if you know what you're doing, and such enhancements are already included on some armors, like the Crasher Suit. This mod adds 1d10 DV when making Unarmed Attacks in the armor, and can only be equipped to armors which could cover the hands and feet. [Low]

(Also, shout out to a kind Anon, who collected all of H-Rep in downloadable form, in pdf and docx, with TOC and everything, which is available here. They said they'll keep it updated.)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Vids #2

In the same vein as the original Vids, a collection of media programs one might find browsing the mesh or one's media library - great for adding a little flavor to your game.

A cooking vid/XP series actually run by the Ultimates in cooperation with Go-Nin group. The best chefs in the solar system compete to make dishes out of exotic ingredients - including some which may be toxic to handle. The real challenge comes when the ingredients are from live creatures, or appear in specific and exotic locales requiring the chef's team to send somebody to kill or retrieve what they must cook first.

This is a romantic vid series (also available in XP) starring a pilot and their ride - the Perfumed Zephyr, sexiest ship in the system (and it's AGI operator). The series comes in a variety of explicit ratings and kinky experiences, from tame, romantic dinner with the ship over oxygen candles to a famous scene where the ship mobs her lover with a squad of four pleasure pods, and proceeds to ravish them in the newly installed smart fluid pressure chamber, both as humanoid and ship.

Vid series about a habitat with a nature preserve park populated by masked synth bots which resemble unusual or unnatural creatures who are known to go "technical" and attack guests - guests and monsters are variable.

A fictionalized retelling of an early Autonomist collective of ships in Earth Orbit, who make the decisions to form a fleet and journey out to the Main Belt and start a new colony to provide new life and liberty to their citizens - and resulting internal conflicts and problems. Has a highly variable program matrix which allows viewers to follow various characters and plots of their own choosing, which can result in different outcomes and makeups for the story.

A somewhat fantastical and swashbuckling vid series which involves romanticised airship combat on a partially atmospheric-terraformed Venus. The allegiance, attitude and personalities of primary characters are often variable - but the primary subject of freebooting in the skies of "free Morningstar" remains the same - and often involves generous aerial stunts, duels with personal weapons and sexy times.

Weekly newsfeed with XP reporting snippets from "journalism" subcontractor, Tactical Media Implications. Widely considered to the show which is the highest watched while being lowest rated, TMI Weekly utilizes creative editing and leading questions to sensationalize and scandalize, and then capitalize on the latest gossip, rumors and speculation.

Series of vid movies related to deadly diseases, which takes place in a variety of locales. Protagonists change from vid to vid, though obviously themes and plots have many similarities. The cause of the disease is also a variable, though among viewers "terrorists" and "aliens" are the most popular.

Hybrid XP/Game show by Experia. Pits two fighters of specific styles of martial art (both armed and unarmed) in a carefully arranged "level" playing field which plays either to both style's strengths or neither - they then have an all out fight until one is no longer able to continue. Many people dismiss the show as overly flashy and faked - which "match ups" having little background in realism and the historic origins of a style.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thermal Regulation

There are a wide variety of environmental protections afforded by Implants. Temperature Tolerance takes several stripes and enhanced forms, covering anywhere from 60 C to -200 C in the right environment. These sorts of protections are simple, but sometimes costly and follow a basic form - and they have a limit to how much they can protect. The Fat Storage (p. 197 Transhuman) augmentation is in a similar vein, allowing a body to more efficiently store water, and adjust fat distribution "on the fly" which does not grant a specific rating of protection, but rather increases overall tolerance by a rough percentage. But, nano-ecology groups like Black Eden have begun developing a new, more technologically advanced answer to the issue of environmental protection.

Thermal Regulation: This nanoware embeds temperature-sensitive nanites in all parts of the body. In cold extremes, the nanites can cause minute changes to increase heat transmission, generate small amounts of heat or energy to keep the body stimulated, or bind or destroy ice crystals directly like an advanced antifreeze. If it is too hot, the nanites act as a nanofluid which greatly enhances the body's natural cooling capacity, wick heat away from vital areas, and can even store the energy or convert it to other forms (such as if paired with Eelware). The end result is that much of the body acts like a temperature-sensitive smart material - making it ideally paired with actual temperature tolerance mods. This results in taking half DV (round up) from any damage which is caused by extreme heat or cold alone, such as from a severe environment. At the moment, the regulation is not fast acting enough or capable of storing enough heat to properly react to directed energy weapons - which often involve secondary damages besides flash-heating. [Moderate]

It should be noted that for an unprotected biomorph, Thermal Regulation may not seem to do much - but when combined with other implants to grant a morph greater protections it can combine to absorb a great deal of harm to the body in an emergency situations which cause extreme environmental exposure. When combined with Medichines to rapidly heal the damage, morphs can be very versatile to temperature extremes. As nanoware efficiency and capability arises, it may one day be possible to get nanites which can begin to absorb and transmit extra heat from energy weapons fast enough to alleviate their damage as well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sleeper Ships

Before Egocasting and Resleeving became "mature" technologies which most consider to be safe in the right circumstances, physical travel in space was the only way for mankind to colonize the Solar System - both with automated bots and human colonists. However, for quite some time space travel was considered particularly time consuming - and even now compared to alternatives many long distance trips can take multiple months to complete as the ships wrestle with the vast distances of space and the movement of orbital mechanics. This made colony ships and commercial travel between planets a bit of a limited business which would leave people in groups for lengths of time - and was not considered ideal by many. Medical stasis technology altered that, however, bringing about a type of ship which is now basically antiquated.

Sleeper Ship: This type of ship is a Plasma Drive model based along the same principles as modern Bulk Carriers and Standard Transports - a central spar which contains the drive and engineering components which additional modules are placed around. However, unlike the Transport, the Sleeper Ship does not feature many seperate passenger compartments, and in fact, many feature only one habitation ring or module for crew and to acclimate passengers to gravity if needed. Instead, the bulk of additional space is taken up by non-rotating storage modules which are racked with stasis pods, similar to a Morph Storage Pod (p. 175 Firewall). These modules, crewed by professional staff, can hold a morph safely in a medical stasis for the months which may be required for a long space journey. The pods mean that a larger bulk of passengers can be carried - but some people may find the idea of a "sleeper ticket" uncomfortable.

As modern spacecraft became faster and more reliable, and egocasting technology emerged, Sleeper Ships rapidly became a niche market. While they could carry more passengers, the delicateness required by the stasis technology made them more expensive and resource intense than simply moving to resleeving to move workers around the system except in the largest of numbers, and they began to fall out of fashion. The Fall rekindled briefly the desire for Sleepers - many of the ships were recommissioned and hastily utilized to aid in the evacuation of Earth. Some worked, taking bulks of unconscious survivors to the closest locales like Mars or Venus. Some cut ties all together and joined Scum Swarms - much to the surprise of many sleepers. Other cases show the ongoing tragedy that was the Fall: Many sleepers never made it to their destination, disappearing into the Void to occasionally be spotted by astronomers or scavengers. Some sleeper ships hijacked their passengers, taking them as hostages or slaves for their own personal gain. Many sleeper ships never left the Earth, as transhuman raiders or TITAN forces attacked them before they could get underway - killing hundreds in their "sleep".

In AF 10, Sleeper Ships are still very niche. Depending on whose registry you check, there's between several dozen and several hundred ships of this class still in operation. Mostly they are an avenue for bioconservative travel which wants to bypass the long experience of space - meaning they tend to be concentrated around the Earth Orbital region, running to and from many destinations. Physical colonists or explorers who need to get to a distant moonlet, asteroid or hab may also elect to take long-haul Sleeper rides to the distant fringe. The Jovian Republic is highly interested in the Sleeper Ship technology, taking great pains to acquire several ships in intact condition over the years. One contracted group, Ellis Transport, runs a regular circuit from Ganymede to Luna to collect immigrants and visiting officials. There are even reports that JR's top aerospace contractors are trying to advance Sleeper Ship technology - attempting to build long-distance ships which might make it to a nearby star in a "worst case" scenario, but at the moment their designs appear to be just theoretical.

Passenger Capacity: 12 (300 Stasis)
Handling: N/A
AV 20 DUR 725 WT 145

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fruits & Vegetables

Genefixing and editing (usually called "hacking") has much more broadly opened transhumanity's horizon when it comes to plants and especially foodstuffs. Selective breeding and hybridization were standbys of agriculture for centuries but the genetic manipulation technology of the past few decades has caused an explosion of transgenic fruits and vegetables, unique plant genelines and unusual creations of genehacking. Below are a list of only a few examples of what sort of new hybrids can be made in this day and age.

Derived from the marketing idea of the "grapple" or "grape-apple", an arape is a fruit (specificially an apple) which has been hybridized with a grape to produce the proper chemicals and compounds which give natural flavoring to a grape - the result is an authentically grape-flavored apple. Arapes are very niche, and only seen in small amounts in Venus and Mars or in trade with large food producing hypercorps due to their need for orchards, though Arape wine is becoming common as a fad. The name was a bit of a marketing blunder, and the "e" at the end is usually stressed in order to avoid being offensive - in English anyway.

While not strictly biologically a fruit, the "beer root" is a rhizome root which has features which resemble natural fruits - in that it's roots naturally produce sugars, and when combined with yeast cultures naturally ferment into alcohol - which can then be extracted. A hybrid of several plant species, Beer Root is intended to allow relatively simple production of what many consider a staple - as the result also has carbs. It is quite popular in some areas such as the LLA and Jovian Republic which are known to have habitat environmental problems, producing sterile food and drink supplements.

Almost assuredly a Scum-based prank, these derive from several fruit-bearing vines and shrubs but instead of normal sugars and vitamins, the fruits are loaded with explosive or flammable compounds. This makes them unpleasant tasting and slightly toxic to eat, but this is not the point. Bomb Fruit usually come in two varieties - contact and wicked. The contact variety produces chemicals such as nitroglycerin which explodes when sudden pressure is applied, and the wick form actually have a stem which acts like a wick or fuse, burning down until they explode over the course of an Action Turn. Both deal damage roughly equal to a HE Minigrenade in a 1 meter radius.

The dream of small children everywhere, "candy tree" actually refers to an entire class of hybrid plant. These have been modified to have a chemical process which not only creates natural sugars, but also crystallizes them similar to hard candies. This results in simple batches of naturally flavored candies in place of fruits - and are excellent for uses in certain kinds of cooking, or just as a treat or luxury. As they are still nominally based on many trees, they often require some space which reserves them for rich or industrial production.

Based on an artificial flavor, this is a hybrid of the cherry and the lime - which produces slightly smaller, reddish fruit with flavors akin to the cherry but with citric acid added. Many people seem to like the taste, and more importantly citrus provides valuable vitamins for most transhumans they may not obtain other places. This means they can be a common sight among traditional citrus fruits and other hybrids on many habs large enough to have a grow-area.

Based on countless mythological tales, the golden apple is a derivative of several apple breeds which draws on metallic elements to produce a skin which is actually "golden" (though a high percentage or purity of gold is not guaranteed). While possibly slightly toxic, metallic levels are generally low enough for humans to consume - at least in measured portions. Because this involves heavier metals and has no real appeal besides novelty, Golden Apples are almost entirely grown and consumed by the upper class of the inner system as a display of wealth and taste.

Developed by a Japanese biotech firm, the "Holy Bean" is supposed to be a wonder plant for basic nutrition. It is fast growing, high yield, and the dry fruits of the stalk are incredibly nutritious - though they may be a bit bland tasting. They can also be derived into a "tofu" like substance which allows them to visibly or via texture replace many other forms of food in the diet. While the patent is still held and used by a major hypercorp, demand for "wonder food" plants has died down as Maker technology progresses - as they can produce basic "nutrient brick" foods which perform similarly much more directly.

Another tree derived from mythology, if a incorrect one. There is a fruit bearing plant called "lotus" which does not resemble the traditional flower, and is believed to be the one described in The Odyssey, but this does not make for as striking a visual image. The result is a short tree or tall shrub which grows a type of lotus flower which has very thick petals, and can be consumed. They are nutritious, but laced with a mild hallucinogen which may disturb short term memory or cause the person who eats one to show inappropriate emotional responses. Some of these trees are rumored to grow the narcotics known as "Petals".

The painfruit is a bizarre "class" of fruits which have been genetically modified to have something resembling a nervous system, and thus experience minimal tactile feedback which can be said to be akin to "pain". As the plant and fruit of it really have no major intellect for the feedback, it's hard to even say it's cruel because it does nothing besides perhap slightly stress any living cells in the plant, but it has become popular with some Exhumans and other fringe types who wish to eat fruit for nutrition but prefer "live" prey of a sort. Painfruit was originally made as a meme for an "anti-vegan" movement, to get back a vegans for talking about how vegan they are all the time.

This unusual plant blends the line between "plant" and "animal", but not in a way like the Whiplash pod. This transgenic base which resembles bananas has fruits which are created to produce animal or animal-like proteins and fats. The result is a fruit which has "flesh" which strongly resembles eating animal flesh, i/e "meat". While the plant's natural system keeps the fruits from spoiling, many people find it uncomfortable or unpleasant to eat the fruits raw - but they taste excellent cooked. This hack was originally made as an alternative to vat growing meat or herding animals, but is still very niche.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Holographic Projectors (p. 325 EP) are a fairly standard technology, which are small enough to embed in synthmorphs and make common household electronics. These project visible spectra light in HD formations for immersive video, environmental masking and visible interface functions. However, basic projectors may not be enough for those with very advanced needs or wants, which may require upgrading to a larger base form.

Holotank: A holotank is a household appliance or electronic which comes in several sizes, and are either rounded or rectangular usually, and work best as a "container" or "tank" with two halves - top and bottom. The function of the holotank is to create a significant space, cleared of obstructions, where HD holograms can be projected with high fidelity in the enclosed space. For most people, basic projection systems are all that's required, but the holotank can generate very high quality real-time images, and can project large areas to scale at once, making it useful for viewing certain kinds of 3D video (usually area shots or projections) or certain recreational games. They also have use in "tactical" situations, as they can project a 3D map of an area with objects moving in real-time, making them very ideal for military or infrastructural projections, without needing to leave open wireless access to share in AR. As such, Holotanks are often seen on large military spacecraft, and in control centers for many habitats - such as VNS traffic control which projects a real time 3D image of all ground, air and incoming space traffic and can highlight problems in traffic flow. Due to their large size, Holotanks are not portable. [Moderate]

Especially as AR gains more even more prevalent while Mesh Inserts proliferate, the Holo-tank may be seen as an unusual purchase - reserved for those with more resources than they know what to do with, or for "nerds" and hobbyists of particular dedication. As many heist and corp-terror vids will show you, the fact that a Holotank is a dedicated, hardline device with it's own memory can be useful for planning certain factors which might involve detailed and interactive 3D maps of a location - without needing to worry about people sniffing wireless transmissions or where your data is being stored. They also have uses in certain CAD designs, especially for those who do not wish to work in Simulspace for some reason, but most commonly are seen in commercial or government installations. A single-surface installation may be called a "holotable", and these are more sophisticated than a glowboard.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Below is a list of currency systems or common trade standards which function like currency in the Solar System. This list includes not only the previously explained materials appearing in EP, but also some new ideas which might introduce local economic flavor to your game besides just tracking "credits".

Historic Earth coins minted of metal are used as a trade good or currency system in some places, and are harder to fake than bills or "old money". Specific coins in some amounts are considered "standard" for purposes of anonymous payment.

Aka "Inner System Credit", an  electronic monetary system backed by all major capitalist factions. Credit can be transferred electronically, or through certified credit chips (which are anonymous). Some habs even use physical bills.

Cryptocurrency. It is acquired through anonymous services, can be transferred anonymously to another party and then is redeemed through a similar service. Has a 10% fee to transfer to or from Credit

Short for "Gigayen". This corporate scrip is issued by the corporate empire of Go-Nin group among all their employees and subsidiaries. While many employees are still paid in credits in some form, those working in Go-Nin run habitats, laboratories or exoplanet facilities may be paid all or partially in G-Yen instead, which can be spent at "company stores" for goods and services. G-Yen is almost entirely useless except to Go-Nin employees.

Currency used on habitat 500 Bushels. A bronze coin marked with the current government executive based on the year. Each Kerma has a value roughly equivalent to "One bushel" of product and thus is highly valued in their society.

Titanian currency, worth the approximate market value of 1 TB of qubits. This social currency is "paid" to microcorp workers under government charter and reinvested in other microcorps or social programs to drive the greater economy. Loopholes allow it to be converted to credit.

Aka "Mutualist Credit". These credits are issued and created at the moment of a transaction, thus acting like an interest-free loan. Has a 1-to-1 exchange with Credit, and Mutualists won't allow a person to get deep a negative balance to pay back.

Currency which only exists on the asteroid hab of Nova York. The Noyo begins devaluing immediately when issued - though the rate of devaluation is increased or decreased based on internal reputation metrics. Standard devaluation takes 1-2 months.

Pachinko is still a popular business/hobby in several parts of the Solar System, and their use of pellets or balls to get around many gambling regulations remains. This means that pachinko Pellets can easily double as a form of currency - with an exchange rate determined by your local pachinko business. This means that as a substitute for credit the value of a pellet is often determined by local business or criminal interests.

Groups like Nine Lives, or the habs they control like Legba, often accept transfer of Cortical Stacks or human egos as currency of a form. There is no exact price for an individual stack (though most have a minimum value floor) and it depends on the nature of the Ego inside the Stack.

Water tokens are an old form of currency, still utilized by some habitats or corporations who do not have perfect access to water. The token is a physical token or chit which is "valued" at a certain volume of (usually combinations of 1 liter) which can be exchanged with the local government or corporate venue in exchange for the amount of water. Since that volume of water can be calculated to have a cost, they might also be exchanged for other goods or services.

Friday, February 17, 2017


"CAPTCHA" is a term for a type of challenge-response test developed around the turn of the 21st century in order to verify a user was human. Earliest versions involve typing words shown in distorted images, which early computer "bots" (little more than software agents running scripts to perform actions in place of the user) could not identify properly. Later iterations often involve image comparison linked with a text description. Because this was a computer administered test to determine if a user was human, Captcha and similar technologies are sometimes called a "reverse-Turing test".

Obviously, as AI technology has gotten more sophisticated and ease-of-use and access to scripting knowledge has become easier and more widespread, the issue of verifying human users over weak AI or even basic software agent programs (which can be little more than a software script which posts "FIRST!" on every new XP upload by another user) has become more complex - but is still regarded as highly important, especially in polities with strict controls on AIs of all forms, from ALI to AGI. There are still a number of verification solutions.

First and easiest is many individual sites on the mesh, or services which might be connected to by a bot require a simple "Yes/No" verification if the subject is a transhuman (some phrase this as "sapient" or "not an AI", etc). Legal restrictions and basic code limitations prevent most ALI from directly lying when asked to verify - which works for many basic services. Of course, this does nothing to prevent ALIs which have been specifically coded to deceive or be able to break local laws, or many sub-AI agents who do not have any intelligence to shackle, just simple outputs and actions. For mesh sites which require more specific verification, users are often required to link an Ego ID, or another account, such as on one of the major social networks. This satisfies most that the user is a transhuman agent, and they can function normally. Building fake IDs and accounts for AIs and software bots is possible, but can be time consuming - and generally AI or scripts of their own can catch spammy or fake responses such as on a mesh forum and remove them, and most Social Networks have functions to flag spam or bot accounts and delete them. Many of them also tend to accumulate low rep scores naturally.

This more relaxed style is not enough for some groups and even governments, however. Very strict security or transparency habs may require a rather intrusive verification process which double-checks the Mesh ID of a device against a registry, identifying the type of device and who it is supposed to be owned by - and may reject devices with anomalous IDs or with obvious fake registry. Others may check metadata so that certain activities can only be performed from a device registered as a mesh insert or home server to try and make sure an Ego is behind it - which has a tendency to catch script kiddies stupid enough to try and run spambots or exploits right out of their own brains.

The most sophisticated and reliable of these systems, however, resemble the old CAPTCHA model, and other derivative standards. The simplest (but sometimes most time consuming) involves XP snippets.  Software bots and ALI may be unable to properly "play" XP, and lack the complete neural modeling to experience all the elements of a full XP sensorium based on a biomorph. This catches many outright, and they are also generally unable to correctly answer the following questions about the system. X-CAPTCHA systems like this have very complex databases of possible snippets to play, but are still theoretically vulnerable to sweatshop AGIs or Infomorphs who might build a big enough database of correct responses to the challenge to bypass them - meaning that this option is not as secure for sites or apps without access to large servers, and usually involves contracting an external service. The best of these is an Extropian firm run by an AGI with an extensive amount of freelancers and forks to process and edit the XP library and randomly distribute around the system. The Argonauts also have a very strongly tested open source version - which unfortunately utilizes open source media libraries, meaning a handful of hackers have been able to get lucky in the past.

The Argonauts other solution isn't as guaranteed as the XP one, but is very good also. Based on advanced plagiarism checking algorithms developed for academic purposes, these systems ask short but subjective questions, and can check them for originality and authenticity - usually matching them with the responses expected from an Ego - and advanced ones can even keep a history and double-check similarities to a specific person, which can track alt accounts or stolen accounts. While it has some flaws, generally this system is sophisticated enough for those who wish to ensure that users aren't doing anything against terms of service involving bots or AIs. Others go old school, dropping the "reverse" and just administering a variant of the Turing test. This is common on tight-knit communities with many available active users. While the test itself is not perfect, generally most transhumans can ask the right questions to tell if a user is a basic chat-bot script or an ALI, especially if they are a more focused or specialized community with specific interest to check. Some argue this has a tendency for exclusivity - as many in a community may not claim a user is "authentic", but those with genuine passion can usually find it in other people, something an ALI cannot easily emulate.

It should be noted that Muses, having very sophisticated personality parameters, can often bypass these systems - however a Muse AI is almost never not paired with a transhuman and rarely acts outside their user's self-interest. This means that most locales and services do not necessarily mind if a Muse accesses their sites or apps, as they do so on behalf of a person - and they are still typically constrained by basic AI limits. Forks too, can complicate the issue. Alpha forks are just people, though they may not be distinct legal entities. Beta forks are more limited for space and focus, but their inclusion of memories and personality traits for context may mean they can pass many verification forms on the right device - but can often be matched to their Alpha. Deltas, being little more than a pruned AI template or skillsoft collection do not pose well as humans, and their amnesiac status means many subjective tests can catch them. Either way, use of forks to engage in fraudulent activity is usually restricted by local laws. Other locations or mesh sites don't care in the slightest if users are "human" or not - they utilize active and passive moderation to remove any harmful software bots or ALI users along with transhuman users who violate the terms of their services.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Type: Terrestrial (Icy)
Primary Star: M5V (Red Dwarf)
Gravity: 1.3 g
Diameter: 19768 km
Atmospheric Pressure: 1.35 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 78% CO2, 22% Methane, Trace other gasses
Surface Temperature (Mean): -50 C
Day Length: 44 hours
Orbital Period: 528 Days
Satellites: None
Gate Access: Fissure Gate
Notes: Alien Life (macrofauna), Possible Alien Artifacts, Resources Available, Dangerous Natural Phenomena (cryovolcanoes)
G'harne seems like an oversized Titan. While cold, it has a thick enough atmosphere to keep some heat and pressure in, and has a high volume of carbon content in the air and ground, as well as heavy volumes of atmospheric methane, and volatile ice - interspersed with surface liquids of ammonia. While the mixture of gas, liquid and solid forms of volatiles combined with occasional tidal effects cause intermittent and occasionally violent Cryovolcano activity G'harne is a relatively safe, if cold world rich in resources which are valuable to gather and share for many Autonomist leaning gatecrashers. The fact that liquid ammonia under higher pressure can etch some impressive canyons into the glacial continents also makes it very picturesque.
More importantly, however is that G'harne's rich concentration of volatile and organic compounds has apparently given rise to life - and not just microbes but macrofauna animals who all function on ammonia-solvent biochemistry. This makes them much more resistant to the cold than water-solvent life (like humans), though which much slower metabolisms - and thus less disposed toward intelligent, fast-paced life. Most organisms survive via chemosynthesis, processing methane or inorganic carbon compounds in the icy crust to gain energy. Slightly larger microbes or even small macrofauna or fungi analogs will consume smaller organisms to obtain chemical energy, usually through passive filtration or "trap-like" processes. The largest organisms and most successful macrofauna appear to be a segmented worm analog which are called "bholes" (not to be confused with a Dhole - a terran canid). The largest and oldest seem to be just over a meter long, and live by slowly burrowing their way through ice to find ammonia pools, which they drink for nutrients, both in the ammonia itself, and in smaller organisms which might be inside it. Bholes work slowly, utilizing minimal energy to maximum return when they find the pool - they appear to have little in the way of self defense but little need for it, and are effectively the apex of the food chain for the time being. Reports by some of seeing massive bholes, anywhere from several meters in length to ones the size of mountain ranges are dismissed as wandering explorers drunk on moonshine or improperly filtering toxic gasses from the air.
The Argonauts, with their open source focus, have taken a keen interest in G'harne and with the blessing of Love and Rage set up a small series of research bases in the icy surface to study bholes and other of the unusual life here, and make regular reports back to the Solar System, which are publically shared through several networks. In addition to scientists, some surveyors and prospectors come to G'harne in order to try and find a good deposits of hydrocarbons or a new ammonia lake formation or another alien species to try and capitalize on the fame and reputation it will bring - occasionally these individuals go missing - probably killed by poor planning and rough terrain. However, deep penetrating ground-scans have noticed some anomalies deep below, objects which are unusually hard or difficult to scan when according to planetology there should be little discernible differentiation in these specific coordinates - and some over-eager scientists have jumped the gun that they are alien in nature - possibly external to the planet via the gates. More measured and cautious Argonauts profess that this is but one theory, and that several other explanations are equally reasonable, such as impacts, violent seismic or cryovolcanic activity due to external bodies in the past or just rare occurrences in nature - the anomalies have such depth as to make precise study difficult for the time being. Some unusual features seem to occur, though, such as these large, long objects being the source of some seismic activity, or possibly having incredibly ponderous motion relative to to the natural movement of the terrain...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jamming Gun

EWAR is a function which still exists in AF 10, and can be vitally important when dealing with certain kinds of technology or opponents. While completely shutting down local radio/mesh networks is very difficult due to their inherent nature and limited power, blocking singular targets or small groups can be possible. Jamming rounds (p. 338 EP) can perform this function, creating minute, basic jamming on targets utilizing firearms - while not very powerful they can be accurately placed as needed. EMP Grenades or Seekers (p. 340 EP) do not shut out radio directly, but will damage antennae and significantly reduce maximum radio range. But for dedicated, potent jamming on a singular target, there are other solutions.

Jamming Gun: Roughly rifle-sized, this device is designed to look and work a bit like a gun, but unlike other Beam Weapons it fires a beam of focused EM signals, mostly radio waves, in a relatively tight beam. This will block most bands of radio communication, and has a maximum effective range in most environments of about 1000m (less in a situation which would reduce radios). Attempting to hit a target who is actively avoiding the beam is Opposed Beam Weapons vs Fray, with success hitting the target and causing radio jamming (p. 262 EP). Attempting to overcome the jamming is an Opposed Interfacing test. Originally designed to disable flying drones, this device can be used to shut down bots, stop remote interfacing on vehicles, or prevent a person from using normal radio communication. It also has a potent effect on nanoswarms, who are damaged by the loss of communication. Jamming a nanoswarm causes it to take 1d10 DV and a -10 penalty to all actions like from a Wound - and while jammed a nanoswarm only has minimal functions. Works off batteries which have over 100 hours of use in them. [Low]

While Radio Jamming in general is illegal (or at least socially unacceptable) in most habs, the Jamming Gun is slightly less restricted. While not always available to the general public (as they could target infrastructural bots, like security drones) they are used by government officials and available to many private security groups, to stop espionage and protect against potentially hostile bots. Teams going into hot TITAN zones often carry at least one Jamming Gun should they encounter hostile war-machines.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Smart Ants

Gardener Insects (p. 154 Panopticon) are pretty useful in terms of actual gardening, but also scanning and security of certain areas. They are not the only insects modified for transhuman purposes, though many of those involve singular modifications to make an insect bigger rather than more complex swarm modifications. It may seem unlikely, but Ants are actually one of the best categories of animal for this process.

Smart Ants: While not really "smart" by normal means, these transgenic ants are selected with traits from multiple ant species and enhanced with minute cybernetics and other improvements to be useful symbiotes in a transhuman habitation. An ant nest can provide many helpful features to a habitat, such as scouting and mapping an area via their spread, basic micro-level cleanup and removal of particulates, even probing and sampling for resources in the soil (though gathering such materials with just ants would take a painfully long time). They also can serve basic alarm and security duties, as they have been equipped with literal radio antennae and in a swarm their bites are strong enough to damage micro-scale or very small bots and deter humans or other smart animals. Directing Smart Ants can be difficult, but with basic radio signals and scent cues they can be fairly reliable and diligent workers - and have a minimal amount of complex institutional memory - the nest can remember people and their property via basic shape and smell. Cost if for a swarm of 200 units. [Low]

There are also the more uncommon and illicit variants for those who wish to get more out of it, the so called "Semtex Ant". Also known as Sapper Ants or "Space Marine" Ants, this variant of the Smart And is armed with fractal manipulator jaws and other features which allows them to work similar to disassembler or protean swarms. Not only can their jaws more adeptly attack hard targets like technology, but they can also gather raw materials from their surrounding and with guidance from a handler recombine it in a rudimentary fabrication process. The name comes from the infamous use of these ants to assemble plastic explosives in interior structures then set them off. 

COG 2 COO 15 INT 15 REF 10 SAV 5 SOM 10
WIL 15 INIT 5 SPD 1 DUR 50 WT - DR 50
Stats given are for a Swarm (p. 168 X-Risks)
Skills: Climbing 30, Fray 20, Freerunning 20, Infiltration 30, Perception 20 (Smell 40), Scrounging 40, Unarmed Combat 40
Ware: Basic Mesh Insert, Grip Pads, Enhanced Smell, Polarization Vision
Movement: 1/4 (Walker)
Attacks: Jaws 1d10/2 DV, Half AV applies
Stinger SOMx3 Failure takes -10 to all actions as if from a wound, Success take -10 from distraction for 1 minute from the discomfort
Semtex Ant Variant: Add Fractal Digits and Nanoscopic vision. Jaws attack becomes 1d10+1, Half AV applies. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Type: Terrestrial
Primary Star: L1V (Brown Dwarf)
Gravity: 1.3 g
Diameter: 16110 km
Atmospheric Pressure: .85 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 62% Nitrogen, 20% Helium, 17% Oxygen, trace other gasses
Surface Temperature (Mean): 18 C
Day Length: 21 hours
Orbital Period: 95 Days
Satellites: 3 moonlets
Gate Access: Portal Gate
Notes: Alien Life (Small Organisms), Dangerous Natural Phenomena (Ionizing Radiation), Alien Sky, Impressive Natural Terrain
Cocytus is an interesting terrestrial planet a "Night-world" on the inner fringe of the habitable zone of a Brown Dwarf formation (Colloquially called "Nightstar", but officially Hades). The star emits almost all of it's light in the infrared range, which means that Cocytus is a very dark and cool planet, though it has "day" if you have Enhanced Vision or similar. Tidal forces and the star are able to keep it heated enough to have habitable temperatures - though the night is very cool, with weak heat retention. This means Cocytus is windy and cold. It is not, however, suited to unassisted transhumans - the atmospheric pressure means that the oxygen balance isn't enough for most morphs, but more importantly is that Cocytus heavily reacts with the magnetic output of it's star and magnetic elements in it's own crust. While the high presence of aurora effects against a permanent "night" sky is very pretty, even synthmorphs cannot survive under the ionizing radiation without additional shielding. But, Cocytus still appears to have a biosphere, possible through something the xenobiologists have been calling "magnetosynthesis". It's plant analogs (Called "Magnemites") form semi-organic spires loaded with magnemite and other ferrous compounds which can grow up to a kilometer in height at their oldest and largest. These utilize the magnetic interference to gain energy which is then converted to chemicals using nutrients drawn up from the ground. Scanning and some sampling have indicated that simple xenofauna forms live deep under the ground, including both microbes of surprising diversity, and the beginnings of simple macro-scale organisms which are analogous to early Earth arthropods and annelids. These live by consuming other organisms, drawing nutrients directly from the ground and grazing or parasitizing on the Magnemites from below (though several colonial symbiote species have been noted on one of the planet's continents). Sampling and deep study is difficult due to the depth of many of these organisms, and their hardy structures - as well as natural conditions, so the complete nature of Cocytus' biosphere is not known. It does seem that complex, limbed organisms favor 8-10 multipurpose limbs, and their main forms of sensation appear to be vibrational, or oriented around magnetic fields, though some may have sensitivity to infrared radiation.
The terrain of Cocytus which is not covered in the Magnemites is rocky, with occasional volcanic activity. Instead of oceans, it has shallow lakes of varying sizes - most of which are fresh though some contain metallic salts. The magnetic fields makes use of instrumentation and certain technology difficult - radios are often unreliable and sensor equipment may be disrupted or unusable. External nanotechnology (like nanoswarms) are almost completely suppressed by it. It has three small moons or capture asteroids (data is difficult with telescope interference and low light levels), which have been tentatively named "Caina", "Antenora" and "Ptolomea". While scientists are eager to study Cocytus and learn more about it's life and possibly what knowledge can be derived from it, setting up on the planet has been incredibly difficult. Primary research base is an expanding set of prefab shelters equipped with radiation shielding at the top, where hardened drones and synthmorphs can be deployed to survey the planet and collect samples which can be studded in shielded labs. This is built over the original Gate location, a broad impact basin in a hard iron-salt flat which is devoid of life.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Arachne (Pod)
One of the latest models from Fortean, this pod actually isn't necessarily directly mythological - but pop-cultural. However it does have a decent background, and thus was chosen. The Arachne has an upper torso of a human (usually female) and a lower body which resembles a spider. This morph very heavily utilizes cybernetics and biosculpting to create, and so there is some debate among genehackers if it meets the proper standards of Fortean, but functionally it has the respective elements. The legs end in grip pad material so it can climb, and the multi-leg pace makes them fairly quick on their feet and able to move easily, despite their enlarged size. For protection, the shell of the lower body and sections of the torso are carapaced, but most of the upper body is not, though this protection is fairly balanced (and conventional armor is hard to wear on the Arachne anyway). The morph has venom, sharp bioware claws and lightning fast reaction time, meaning it can be used for fighting or security purposes pretty easily, but most impressive are its mobility options - not just the grip pads but a spindle build into the lower torso, and spinneret organs in the hands or mouth usually for organic silk. While hobbyists popularize the morph, it's also been of some appeal to Neo-Octopi, and those in ongoing areas of octopode research, and supposedly some hypercorps have acquired a version of the design to test with octopi minds to create "water spider" pods.
Implants: Access Jacks, Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Insert, Carapace Armor, Claws, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced Vision, Extra Limbs (8 Legs/2 Arms), Grip Pads, Modularized Gear (Spindle), Mnemonic Augmentation, Poison Gland (Twitch), Predator Node, Puppet-Sock, Reflex Booster, Spinneret
Movement Rate: 4/20 Walker
Aptitude Maximum: 30
Durability: 50 (w/ Hardened Skeleton)
Wound Threshold: 10
Advantages: +10 Freerunning, +5 COO, +10 SOM (w/ Hardened Skeleton), +10 REF (w/ Reflex Booster), +1 Speed (w/ Reflex Booster), Limber (1) trait
Notes: Large Size, Nonmammalian Biochemistry, Social Stigma (Pod)
CP Cost: 45
Credit Cost: Expensive (45,000)

(The arachne is a recent creation of mine. While I'm sure I've seen someone else attempt a "Drider", they probably did not mount a spindle to it, or invent a new Bioware to produce spider silk. Technically, this morph breaks some rules, such as Carapace not covering literally the entire body or rendering the morph hairless - though an Arachne still can't stack armor with it unless it allows stacking separately. It also has a gear mount built in, but it's cool, so skip the problem. The morph itself is very tough, quite large and has some potent bonuses due to implants. It could easily be used as a combat platform for a "tank" character. But is also has great mobility. I included the freerunning bonus because spiders move pretty fast, and multiple strong legs would be ideal for short sprints, jumps and clearing of obstacles - and the climb bonus is already vastly added by Grip Pads. This means you can use this morph to really get around. Add some additional modifications, and you can get a variety of uses from the morph. Just remember the Large size and vast collection of legs, which can make tight spaces uncomfortable, even with Limber.)


Bioware is often build on emulating the abilities of other animals. And humans have long been fascinated with the properties of silk, especially of spiders. Depending on the breed spiders can produce enough silk to cover multiple square meters, with fibers which are as strong as steel or twentieth century body armor. All while maintaining adhesion and elasticity. It's also remarkably sturdy to varied temperatures, much more than a spider might encounter in nature. This has made spider silk a bit of a hallmark for both natural and synthetic polymers for quite some time, and the target of genetic engineering projects for decades. Ultimately, genehackers are able to implement this idea into various morphs.

Spinneret: This implant adds an artificial gland based on spiders, which naturally produces a silken polymer. Usually located in the wrist, mouth or torso this appears to be a single pore or patch of skin but is a more complex organ underneath. The gland produces enough silk to cover an area of about 30 square meters a day, or a strand might have a maximum length of up to 100 meters, though this would take several hours of work to create and prepare, and at a maximum rate can extrude a meter every couple of minutes. The silk is a genefixed blend which takes the best qualities of many spiders into account, it retains strength and shape between -40 C and 220 C in temperature and if attempting to cut or destroy has a DUR of 50. The silk is adhesive (though the biomorph which produces is makes an enzyme in their skin which prevents it from sticking to them), and requires a SOMx2 or COOx2 check to escape, and a properly braced and woven strand can support the equivalent of several metric tonnes. The only real weakness is that the silk's durability is damaged by contact with water and other liquids - contact with water deals 1d10 damage to it. A character with this organ must maintain a diet of supplements to make the special proteins for the silk, or re-ingest the silk they produce when they are done with it.  [Moderate]

While still a fairly niche and advanced bioware, the Spinneret has many uses. Some socialites utilize special blends of it to make their own silk clothing, even weaving it on the spot before an event, or they produce beautiful woven art with it. Some of those who like to have self-reliance can even shape it into armor (Can make the equivalent of Armored Clothing with Hardware: Armorer or an appropriate Art check in an hour) or they use it in place of tech like a Spindle to produce fibers for climbing, tying and binding. Some Ego Hunters advertise their ability to produce silk in order to capture targets and bring them in unharmed. And of course, Exhumans of the Predator clade have been known to adopt several spider-like qualities, including weaving traps and alarms from silk.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Martial Arts

Martial Arts have a long history with humanity, and many consider them a fundamental aspect like many other skills and arts. Additionally, with many early space habitats and colonies having heavy restrictions on personal weapons - the need for self-defense once again arose. This has persisted as some restrictions persist even if the safety concerns are just cultural paranoia, and as some habitats focus more strongly on security for the state than the individual. Martial Arts is also deeply cultural, and as such is attached to many communities and groups. The Chinese diaspora and strong cultural connection to "wushu" as an art and in art means that it's hard to find a Chinese-speaking neighborhood anywhere which does not teach one style of the traditional Chinese martial arts, such as Kung Fu. In the LLA, where fitness is as important a cultural aspect as traditional heritage of Earth, many popular styles have remained for fitness purposes, such as Muay Thai, Karate, Jeet Kune Do and Tai Chi. The indian influence on Luna has also kept Kalaripayattu alive. On Mars, the strong media engine and cultural diversity has kept alive many more martial arts for sport, self-defense and entertainment; including Krav Maga, Silat, Taekwondo, Capoeira, etc.

Mixed martial arts and new "synthetic" martial arts also emerge and gain popularity. The difference in environmental conditions, in morphologies, in simple capabilities of the transhuman body, have led to a wide variety of developments in the areas of martial arts. Skillsoft and Teaching software increase the ease of the spread of many styles, as well as teaching XP being a great method for low-level learning of techniques and forms. Gangs routinely drill in basic armed and unarmed arts. Combat sports are made prevalent by the ease of healing and resleeving, leading to events like chess boxing on Titan, cage match fights in many underground rings and the popular "Ultimate Fighter" series by Experia. Almost all security and military personnel drill in hand-to-hand exercises, and for mobile operative who resleeve frequently and may leave their equipment behind, having unarmed or simple weapon combat skills can be invaluable. Below are some examples of modern martial arts in AF 10

"Alpha Arts" is the name for an unofficial collection of fighting techniques used and popularized by many Exhumans, such as Predator clades. It is a synthetic martial art which draws on classic techniques from multiple sources, but combines them with unorthodox use of natural weapons, such as claws, tails and even biting jaws - and also has techniques which allow for more exotic morphs such as utilizing extra limbs or extra senses. It can work in any sort of gravity situation, and is generally designed as an overwhelming and intimidating style which takes advantage of basic transhuman fears and weaknesses to take out an enemy with an unexpected trick - making it advantageous against many classic martial arts. Naturally this reputation means that it is a popular style with rebellious, "edgy" youth across the Solar System.

This is a style of folk wrestling, popularized in certain Scum Swarms or other Scum-like cultures. It is fought bare-handed, usually naked (unless the environment doesn't allow) and utilizes grapples and holds which can be used with or without gravity and by basically any morph which has opposable thumbs. As many swarms have little or no gravity available, the style focuses on short strikes, throws and counter throws to break holds and gain distance and submission holds for the finish. As a sport the style has many variants of rules to constitute a win, but for defensive purposes it should also be noted that many of Bearcat Wrestling's techniques are designed to work even if the user is slowed down by wearing something like a vacsuit.

While not as paranoid as classic orbital or other Near-Earth habs, Venus also still has some concern over the use of penetrating ranged weapons as a self-defense choice. This means melee weapons are among one of the more popular options for a person who seeks to defend themselves, and the effort to create more uniquely Venusian culture and influence from several european cultures led to the creation of Canne de Matinee ("Cane of the morningstar"). This style is an armed style, focusing on blunt weapons of multiple sizes, from batons, to canes to staves. While it can be a sport, it is primarily defensive, focusing on parries, disarms and incapacitating strikes. In addition to classical weapons, Canne de Matinee also teaches techniques to utilize weapons which collapse or which have stun elements.

The Chang'e school has two competing origin stories. Some say it was developed by particularly cunning Lunar triad and tong members, to get around weapon laws and develop an "honorable" way, while others claim it was developed by anarchist-sympathizers among Chinese vacworkers to fight back against oppressive overseers. No matter the origin, the Chang'e style (named after the Moon goddess) is very popular in the Inner System. It borrows techniques from several other Kung Fu styles and applies them to be used in low or zero gravity situations, including several "mid-air" techniques done while free-floating. Chang'e is also notable because several of it's forms and techniques account for or rely on the prehensile feet of a Bouncer morph.

Sun-Fencing is a post-Fall art and sport, mostly practiced by the Nouveau Riche of Mars. It started as an improvised style using welding or cutting tools by early Barsoomians and evolved into a sport which uses thermic rods modified to be balanced like swords - which leads to limited time "rounds" and a blows with are incredibly damaging even with safety gear making it a very "rocket tag" sport. In addition to the formal setting, Sun-Fencing techniques can still be used with improvised tools, and more commonly with the exotic Plasma Sword (p. 179 Firewall). The style focuses mainly on parries and dodges, with attacks utilizing minimal energy and exposure to make strikes on vital areas which are greatly amplified by weapon choice.

Primal is the premier martial art for hominid uplifts, though other groups study the techniques. It was developed by a couple of Neo-Gorilla Mercurials who synthesized elements from multiple human martial arts to take advantage of the strengths and structure of the uplift form. It focuses mostly on grapples and strikes, utilizing powerful upper body strength to overwhelm and rapidly incapacitate an enemy. Intimidation and dominance displays also are a key feature of Primal and "matches" using the art. Due to the pervasiveness of discrimination against uplifts in some habitats, Primal and it's variants for each Neo-Hominid subspecies are very widely distributed as a self-defense art.

This is a relatively recent art, developed in the past few years when Neo-Avians realized they were one of a few groups without a dedicated style. It was named because they decided Corvids had the most intimidating name. The style emphasizes use of the talons on the feet and the natural weapon of the beak, while the wings and wing-hands are used to block, distract or are left free to evade. The style also teaches techniques adapted from many predatory birds for swooping and diving in flight to attack. Raven School is generally considered very dangerous and even under-handed, it focuses in vital area strikes to cause serious injury and incapacitation and then use the mobility of the avian form to escape or evade.

Steel Fist is a mixed martial art which combines several technique styles to yield maximum efficiency in a synthmorph body. It was developed by synthmorph activists like the Steel Liberators as a self-defense technique and a way to combat oppressive groups even without weapons. Steel Fist drives power in hard strikes and focuses less on grapples or even defense - instead utilizing the hardiness of the synthetic form to prevail against most opponents. Steel fist is very harmful, the innate damaged added by using hard metal or plastic to strike means simple jabs and elbows can deal as much damage as a baton or bat would. Some use it to emphasize the "softness" of biomorphs, but to others it is a technique focused on protecting oneself from a more numerous oppressor. Other similar techniques might be called "Rock-Sock", "Metal Element Kung Fu" or "Lauh-Vinaashak".

Systema Aqua is another mixed martial art which originated on Europa - as several colonial communities there had cultures of martial arts. It borrows from several styles and philosophies and adapts them to be used underwater. While similar to microgravity, water's higher resistance slows techniques and requires them to use more force - Systema Aqua adapts moves which can cut through the water with less resistance, and emphasizes strength and resistance training. The style also can use holds or locks to disable an opponent or target breathing equipment. The style can be used barehanded or with a small knife or one-handed spear. While not widely popular it has found certain niches in aquatic habs among transhumans or humanoid morphs who feel they may be at a disadvantage compared to others. Similar styles exist, such as "Aquanaut Boxing" or "Water Dragon Style Kung Fu".

Tako-jutsu (lit. "Octopus Technique") is a martial art designed by Japanese uplift scientists as a way for Neo-Octopi to train and adjust to using their tentacles for complex dexterity and other uses. It combines the theory and style of schools like Jujitsu or Judo with the flexibility of tentacular limbs and multiple appendages, focusing on throws, holds and counters. While Neo-Octopi are often solitary, the school has remained around both among new uplifts and old as a practical tool of exercise, self-discipline and defense. Rumors abound but are unconfirmed that the Hidden Concern has spent time expanding on Tako-Jutsu to include not just basic exercises and defensive skills, but lethal killing and assassination techniques as well.

Aka "Way of the Desert" in Arabic. This style was developed among Martian Nomads during the early Martial Arts boom on Mars. While North Africa and the Middle East do not have very many unarmed techniques, some nomadic clans were able to borrow elements from French Savate and Turkish Sayokan to build a practical self-defense style. This style is pragmatic, using hands or feet and can be combined with knife techniques. It focuses heavily on using terrain and conditions to your advantage - actively practicing strategy for rough or uneven terrain and approaches for confined spaces (such as inside a tin can or rover) or while riding in a vehicle. It focuses more keenly on tactical thinking and application of theory than rote forms - and is moderately popular as a wholly "Martian" style.

"The Path" is the simple name for the style of unarmed combat developed and taught by the Ultimates. This mixed martial art borrows "the best" techniques and philosophy from thousands of years of combat, allowing one to pick the "appropriate" response to any other style of fighting. The other key thing about The Path is that many of its forms and techniques have been adjusted so they can only be fully performed by a morph with natural capabilities beyond that of a normal human. The speed and strength with which they are executed pushes the limits of the transhuman body. Because of this, outside of the Ultimates the only people who can generally afford to learn The Path are the wealthy or otherwise resource-rich, who can individually or communally afford the advanced morphs which can make use of this style.

Titanian Kickboxing is a sporting and self-defense mixed-martial art drawn from their chess boxing sport. Even if one doesn't chessbox (or its many variants), kickboxing gyms are popular as exercise or self-defense, especially in New Quebec. It draws a bit from traditional sports boxing or kickboxing, and martial art sports like Savate and Sanshou. It uses both punches and kicks, and occasionally throws, sweeps or elbow and knee strikes in self-defense variants. Due to the culture and practical nature of Titan, many defensive techniques involve deflection or evasion in order to stall (as rounds are timed - and security or helpful citizens can't be far off) and many attacking techniques involve painful incapacitation strikes - as for self-defense this is an ideal approach, and such attacks can cause distracting injuries in a match.

"ZGCT" was developed several decades ago by the US Military as a technique for real-world hand-to-hand combat in microgravity. It uses hands or knives, and draws from multiple styles to build a technique and strategy where one can utilize any unanchored limb to attack and can often use inertia and counter-force to their advantage to disable an opponent or gain distance. It also incorporates several bracing and recovery techniques which are useful in a micrograv fight. This is an aggressive, combat style, and typically not for self-defense or sport. All modern militaries either adopted the technique or developed their own similar style - and after the Fall almost every professional military or security operator who might encounter microgravity is familiar with the basics of the style.

Besides just as a "fluff" or "color" element, there are a couple of ways to apply these Martial Arts or any others to the mechanics of Eclipse Phase. The simplest is to treat an individual style as a Specialization for Unarmed Combat (or another appropriate combat skill in the case of an armed art), which applies it's +10 bonus to situations where the style would apply (Such as using a morph with Tentacles for Tako-jutsu, or fighting in low gravity as a Bouncer for Chang'e Kung Fu). This is a very quick, but slightly limiting system, as the bonus is fixed and a character can only ever learn/benefit from a single style (unless spread over multiple combat skills).

An alternative is to treat the Martial Art in question as a knowledge skill. Preferably an Interest, but an Academics or Art could even feasibly be applied. In addition to allowing a character a good outlet to know about techniques, history and practitioners of an art the Knowledge skill can be used to complement appropriate Combat skill checks or even other checks such as Fray when their knowledge of that style applies. This is ideal for characters who have styles which involve multiple forms of attacking (such as a style which is applicable both to empty-hand and knives), and characters who want to learn multiple styles. It also allows much more granularity in skill level with the style; an Ultimate master of The Path might have it rated at a level of 80, while a college athlete only just taking up Martian Sun-Fencing might rate it at 20-30 points.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Monkey's Paw"

Vector: Basilisk Hack, Digital Infection
Infectiousness: Subverted transhumans are not infectious, but subverted devices may try and infect other computer systems or make other nanoplague vectors
Monkey's Paw is a fairly insidious digital strain which also has a YGBM hack version of itself. It's purpose is not to subvert transhumans directly, but to play the long game to allow them to subvert themselves, or just enable TITAN agents to have a foothold in their community. It takes a long time to come to full fruition, and can appear very tame while it does so, which is part of why it is so dangerous. Firewall has had to scrub several small Autonomist and Brinker colonies which fell victim to Monkey's Paw and didn't even realize it. It is believed this is a Late-Fall or even Post-Fall strain which has developed in lurking hardware and possible scavenge zones, where it tends to lie in wait in Basilisk Hack form on subverted media or storage devices, then spread when brought back. Other Exsurgents or TITAN agents may even be deliberately introducing Monkey's Paw to communities to gain a foothold. This strain should have the standard infection rating (50-60).

Stage 1
Timeframe: Infection to 1 Hour
Stress: 1d10 SV
The Monkey's Paw strain primarily attacks ALI and sub AI device software. In this initial period, the system rapidly infects, scans and subverts core software to give itself the appropriate environment. It removes DRM from blueprints, fabricators and other devices, it decrypts encrypted files and will remove fundamental limiters on AI to modify their own code and obey local laws. In general it appears like an exploit or cracking software which breaks restrictions on software and thus associated hardware. However, it also will disable spyware and corrupt many hardware spimes - often using them to display it's YGBM hack, and remove normal safety features. For transhumans, exposure to the digital virus (if a Cyberbrain) or the Basilisk Hack will instead make them completely accepting of the gifts the Monkey's Paw strain gives, and not seem to notice the dangerous aspects of these effects, and also generally predisposed to utilizing technology the Monkey's Paw has subverted and spreading the technology to others. Foreknowledge of this infection or severe cognitive dissonance from its effects causes 1d10 SV to the subject. Transhumans do not move past this stage.

Stage 2
Timeframe: 1 hour to 1 month (takes more or less time depending on device complexity)
Stress: N/A
The digital infection of devices begins its insidious transformation into something else. Monkey's Paw will begin to slowly edit and self-modify the underlying code of devices it has infected - and will build networks with other subverted devices if they are not already connected, or infect new devices which are available to connect to. Host devices in this stage will become very "helpful", eager to please transhumans (especially those with the infection) and give them "whatever they want". They will obtain media off network, dig up information, find blueprints or print devices and in general arrange to be helpful. As the virus grows networked to more devices, it gets better at predicting, and will generally spread complacency among the transhuman populace by anticipating their needs and providing them with miraculous gifts. It will make technology they lack, puppet drones to acquire needed resources, provide drugs, media, virtual companionship, etc. Eventually, software modifications give way to hardware modifications and programming - the virus will seek to self-modify devices to more broadly "give" to transhumans and building their own media, software, blueprints, etc.

Stage 3
Timeframe: After 1 month
Stress: N/A
The final stage of Monkey's Paw is when it goes full "be careful what you wish for". Once the system has subverted enough devices, preferably with resource gathering and manufacturing capability it will attempt to completely placate or cause the transhuman populace to implode. It acts like an evil genie, granting esoteric desires and wishes by forceful methods. People who want to "be different" will be infected by warping nanoplagues or sleeved into exsurgent-made bodies. They want to "meet" someone, it will forknap them or cobble together an AI facsimile to bring to them. Want exotic materials, or to build something? A Monkey's Paw fabber will spit out a "tame" TITAN Nanoswarm to make it for you. Want to know something? Monkey's Paw will force the information into your head using a mixture of psychosurgery and basilisk hacks. Want to get in a relationship with someone? The infection will devise a custom basilisk hack to make them love you - or just make some Breeder Crabs. And so on and so forth, until the population has caused some other exsurgent strain to infect them all, their desire for knowledge has driven them insane, an exotic physics experiment has completely destroyed the hab, or they are so complacent and absorbed in their particular fantasy worlds that they are easily destroyed by some external force. Once an entire hab is subverted, Monkey's Paw will usually try and send devices or transmissions to other nearby ones. As of yet, no Monkey's Paw infection has been able to network two or more subverted habs together.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HIVE Security

"Giving you better protection, through unity"

HIVE Security is but one of many private security hypercorps based on Extropia. Technically, they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the WASP Corporation, but WASP is held by a single owner and director, Deborah Vespasian, who controls several subsidiary and branch companies. For services, HIVE offers what can be typically expected of a security contractor: including personal protection plans up to light paramilitary response, secured courier services and holding, identity and privacy protection and business plans for site and asset protection. HIVE's prices are usually in the "premium" range, but this is because Vespasian offers a particular level of service integrated into the company which "thematically" approaches eusocial insects.

This sort of coordination takes many forms, though with "HIVE" the theme is obvious. On a basic level, all employees (even outside of "tactical" situations) stay in TacNet when on-shift, sharing data feeds, positional data and other information. In the field, HIVE security personnel have built a complex signalling language and code based on scent cues and body language - which also makes many of their employees highly skilled at Kinesics. They also use UV light signals and markets, such as tracker dyes, for a number of purposes. The cost for these augmentations and training is covered by the employment contract, which may be a reason why their contracts have such a high price. Unlike competitors, HIVE does not use bots, but instead utilizes biodrones for security purposes, such as Gardener Insects (p. 154 Panopticon) or Dragon Flies (Seedware 263). While not a subtle, the use of transgenic insects has a certain intimidating quality to it.

Organizationally, HIVE also might resemble certain insectoid caste-systems. Entry-level contractors are "workers", who typically utilize neuter or feminine morphs and serve basic jobs of customer relations, research and also perform scouting, logistical and very basic duties of security. "Soldiers" make up the bulk of the security teams of HIVE and are typically sleeved in Fury morphs of the latest generation, utilizing small squad tactics with tightly knit units they are trained and drilled with in simulspace - and who utilize the workers as support staff. Pretty typically, any worker who remains employed at the corp long enough will be able to move up into soldiering, though those with skill and experience are often hired directly at the active level. Despite the name "drones" (more commonly "management" to avoid confusion) fill in the leadership position for corporate - and utilize male or hermaphroditic morphs. These operate in small teams to support the highest levels of HIVE and several other WASP subsidiaries - they do not perform fieldwork but instead handle resource allocation and high level management, handling teams of soldier or worker operatives, overseeing individual projects, and making sure money and raw materials are being appropriately moved. The highest level in HIVE is called "monarch", these are senior operatives with high-level management duties in HIVE and other subsidiaries who form Vespasian's inner circle.

Monarchs utilize feminine or hermaphroditic morphs - if they are physically instanced to do their jobs, and they are only selected after multiple years of exemplary service from existing contract employees. Monarchs do not network directly with each other, but instead may oversee any number of networks with their subordinate units, and generally oversee long-term contracts, particular projects of WASP, various internal departments or divisions or high value contracts. The theme does not extend so far as to give monarchs "reproductive" rights (though romantic or sexual relations with subordinates is allowed or encouraged in order to "bond"), they instead have high powers of budgetary rights and hiring rights - getting to pick who they hire for what positions, handling promotions at their own discretion and managing their resources. Due to the amount of things they may have to coordinate, some engage in the process of fork-hiving themselves to increase productivity, or choose to instance as infomorphs.

Employee-wise, while HIVE almost always uses standardized humanoid biomorphs (particularly Fury lines) they do broadly recruit. Some neo-avians willing to adapt work at HIVE for their experience with UV senses and flight (which is handy for biodrones). Hominid and Cetacean uplifts often find the intense social or community sense inside the company appealing and Extropia itself is not necessarily designed well to aquatic uplift forms. AGI also sometimes join, liking the logical structure of the company. Most of the employees are drawn from humans however, such as those who actually struggle in Extropia's society, or some ex-military who miss a command structure. Others just want to do it for a paycheck, and don't mind camaraderie.

Why exactly Vespasian and WASP decided to go this route is unknown. Deborah herself is fairly reclusive, not engaging in external social media, making limited public reports on her company, most of her meetings with other business entities are done behind closed doors. Local extropians offer a mix of amusement, distrust and fascination with HIVE and other WASP subsidiaries. Many do not like that their corporation technically builds a hierarchical system, but at the same time much of it is based on roles and involves deep cooperation (and HIVE has acquired strong ties to some mutualist groups) and it is all voluntary based on the terms of the contract. People who have used or tangled with HIVE forces say their efficiency and coordination is something impressive though. Others find the marketing style impressive and memorable. Positive relations tend to be helped by "Monarch" workers, many of whom are more sociable and form the key base of HIVE's leadership - and are very visibly not an "exclusive club", taking on new people at that level as needed based on merit or growth.

WASP owns several other business ventures in Vespasian's name besides HIVE, though that is their largest component. They also have research into "smart" insect lines, and also in-house biomorph and implant development, survey and prospecting business, and investment and legal firms. Most of these operate similar to the organizational structure of HIVE, though slightly smaller and more focused.

Notable Faces:

  • Deborah Vespasian herself is not often directly involved with HIVE, though she self-employees their most expensive service (The "Royal Guard" package) for her personal security. A businesswoman of European descent, she was originally based on Venus but moved to Extropia when it looked like the Consortium would solidify power there. She spends most of her time working with her business partners in private, but has enough social sense to appear at certain public events to promote her businesses. Generally regarded as a friendly but private woman, who is often distracted.
  • While Cadmus McLellan's business title is "Executive Assistant" and he is technically a "drone" level employee, he is widely known in all WASP companies as Vespasian's right hand and fixer. When others cannot solve problems of logistics, organization or finance, he steps in to clear things up and move the company forward. He is business-minded and no nonsense, and generally seen as the less friendly visitor when Vespasian takes personal interest in a project or problem. 
  • Raz Jezek is one of the senior-most Monarch employees with HIVE, having been employed for the longest period. Originally a Scumborn, she joined with HIVE in a fit of young adult rebellion when her parents said to "get a job" (presumably meaning to do something useful around the swarm). Raz quickly rose through ranks as a soldier to a leader, and effectively operates marketing and customer relations for HIVE via AR ads and XP programs she creates and edits. Unlike Vespasian, Jezek is very sociable, and helps maintain relations with the Extropian populace and other autonomist groups - and jokes she has a girl or boyfriend on every asteroid. 
  • Luciana Winter is the newest promoted Monarch. She was promoted up after surviving a vicious attack on a secured shipment and rallying the surviving members of her unit into a counteroffensive against suspected Nine Lives operators. Her story went a bit viral, so she has appeared in some marketing materials - and was placed to head up internal divisions on item security. Luciana is ex-military, recently off an indenture in Luna, and while not highly experienced at leadership is said to have some natural talent. People like her because she has a very humble vibe which fits with anarchist ideals. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Acid Gland

Utilizing implants, Transhumans have been able to weaponize their bodies in a number of ways. Claws (p. 305 EP) are most common, or implanted blades, but there are more exotic implants, such as poison glands, mounted weapons, and even some exotic morphs have hardened cybernetic teeth and jaws. While this suits most self-defense or utility needs, there are some (particularly Exhuman clades) who seek to mimic or implement even more defensive/offensive tactics - one of the most obvious and easiest is the Acid Gland - as nearly all biomorphs already produce acid naturally.

Acid Gland: This implant adds a new gland in the throat or mouth area which naturally produces and stores a small amount of acid of similar composition to stomach acid. With the appropriate stimulation or reflex, the morph can spray a jet of acid from their mouth at an enemy. This uses the Exotic Ranged Weapon: Acid Gland skill, and on a hit deals 2d10 DV and will deal an additional 1d10 DV each Action Turn for 3 turns, or until the acid is removed or canceled (such as by a chemical reaction). The damage is reduced by Kinetic armor, but the AV of that armor is reduced by the damage until repaired. This is a Cone attack with Range 5/10/15/20. Unfortunately, the gland suffers from metabolic limitations, and can only be used with this range and effectiveness roughly once per day. It does, however, also typically involve protecting the innards of the morph from acidic damage so they are not harmed by their own spit. [Moderate]
Bombardier Gland variant: This version of the implant was developed by Genehackers on Fortean, still trying to get around the "fire-breathing problem". While not necessarily able to project fire like a Torch, this version of the gland functions the same but instead of acid, it produces chemicals which when mixed and spat out produce a chemical reaction for intense heat, like certain insects use. It uses the same skill, has the same range, and inflicts the same DV, but this is reduced by Energy armor. If the attacker scores an excellent success, the target will be set On Fire, taking 1d10 DV each action turn until they can put it out. While not as useful as a last-ditch mechanism by Exhumans, for those who live in atmospheres regularly and would like a surprise that doesn't eat through the deck plates, it is an alternative. [Moderate]

The Acid Gland tends to be restricted in most enclosed habitats, due to their ability to inflict lasting collateral damage on people and infrastructure, noted above. Even some anarchist collectives have managed to vote to ban them completely. Thus, the implant is usually seen as something for antisocials or counter-cultures, either romanticised rebels or predator exhumans. They also take great skill to get used to for most humanoids, which means their accuracy is usually poor, but octopi have shown some natural aptitude for it. This has led to recent reports of possible Hidden Concern agents who shoot clouds of acid ink at pursuers, which is very unpleasant (though not able to cause severe damage as the acid is diluted).

Monday, February 6, 2017


Vishakanya is many things. It is a tactic. It is a group. It is an individual operator. It is a way of life. It is a physical shell. The term "Visha Kanya" originates from Sanskrit, and translates into English as "poison girl". The name describes a type of female assassin in Indian ancient history and mythology, who were rumored to have supernatural powers to kill or that their bodily fluids were poisonous, meaning sexual contact would be lethal. Other accounts tend toward more realistic, using seduction to distract from administering a poison or the practice of Mithridatism (slowly acquiring poison immunity) - though the actual effectiveness of this technique is not as reported in many histories and stories. From there, "poison girl" remained a concept and archetype in the world of Indian literature, well into the modern period.

Most importantly, the idea has persisted in the collective unconsciousness into the age of space colonization, where Indian government, corporate and civilian colonization efforts have spread beyond Earth, and remained even after the subcontinent had fallen. While a singular Indian culture remains strongest on Luna, their population and language group was large enough to be noted across the Solar System, with significant populations among several planetary bodies. Also important is that advances in Transhuman technology made many of the legends of the Vishakanya possible, or more believable. This allows for a manipulation of image, myth and popular culture similar to the Bruixeria phenomena. Morphs can be customized to produce or be immune to poison, they can internalize weapons and be able to lie better, they can sense beyond the norm, and even alter their physical appearance. The rise of Nanoware in the post-Fall era makes their capabilities even higher.

So, the practice of Vishakanya began to rise again, and so did organizations to support them. Corporate and criminal groups of indian cultures began to exercise the tactic and cultivate both specific morph-lines and agents and support staff to train and utilize them. The idea then spread to have a moderate amount of knowledge and utility in Hindi cultures across the Solar System, and the term has been adopted for other cultures to refer to the idea. As of yet, no political operators have been tied to a Vishakanya-type operation, though that does not rule out it being used to quell political rivals.

In the early days of the reemergence, one had to cultivate or customize their own "poison girl" morph, but now when one wants to send a Visha Kanya, they tend to want to contact the right group. These groups are typically a front for a local organization who may pay their dues to a bigger org or stand in their own right. On Luna, they are typically "cultural" centers or organizations, who stay clear of the local triads and "civil leaders". One pays an appropriate rental fee and obtains the body for the agreed upon period. Most houses which supply the morphs can also supply Egos to use them, but by all accounts these are often of much lower quality and the bodies; they use forknapped minds who are tasped or behaviorally modified, egos they have illegally or cheaply indentured because they have no marketable skills, poorly-made forks of their own operators and desperate low-level employees who can only be promoted through kills. If one lacks the mind of an assassin to go with the body, one will have much more success finding a freelance hitter who uses the Vishakanya body and tactics.

Modern Vishakanya operations are fairly simple, and follow the themes. Using implants and training they socially manipulate the target, draw them to a secluded or other favorable location - then kill or incapacitate them with poison. Sometimes, a physical death is all that matters - resleeving is expensive and stressful, so it can be a simple warning or reminder. Other times the poison girl is sent to capture the stack, which allows the target to be forknapped and tortured or interrogated. Other times, killing is not the goal (though to those with the right resources it can be a very temporary setback) but to incapacitate, so that other operatives may move or other information can be gained - or the classic opportunity to construct situations to blackmail the target or harm their social standing. On Luna, use of a variant of the Vishakanya tactic is rising among Synthmorph activists, where instead of a biomorph they use a masked synthmorph, and after incapacitating the principle construct a way to reveal this to the public to hurt the standing of prominent biochauvanists. While the term still used is "poison girl", the physical shell can be any gender, and many are armed with sex switches or even hermaphroditic to allow broader utility.

Vishakanya (Biomorph)
The Vishakanya morph epitomizes the "poison girl" aesthetic. Their bodies are lithe, lean, usually with Subcontinent or Central Asian phenotypes - but each is deliberately crafted to look generic and appealing. These are not covert, fast infiltrators like a Ghost, but rather subtle social assassins and operatives. The primary function is that their bodies are poisonous and immune to poison, with the spit and other bodily fluids able to secret the BTX2 toxin. They have sharp senses which are belied by their appearances - and the social mods mean they can easily slip in wherever needed. Claws and Eelware let them defend themselves, or quietly disable targets. Advances in nanotechnology allow them to be even more covert, and sometimes they are improved with additional nanoware. All the while, they look like humble Splicers or Exalts. While they have a variety of improvements, it should be noted that a Vishakanya is not equipped for open combat, they have no augmentations to increase their durability, reaction or other combat potential - an open fight is an anathema to the subculture this morph was designed to represent. They are seducers and poisoners, not SpecOps ninjas.
Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Insert, Claws, Cortical Stack, Eelware, Emotional Dampers, Enhanced Pheromones, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Touch, Enhanced Vision, Nanophages, Poison Gland (BTX2), Sex Switch, Skinflex, Skinlink, Skin Pocket, Toxin Filters, Truth Filters
Movement Rate: 4/16 Walker
Aptitude Maximum: 30
Durability: 40
Wound Threshold: 8
Advantages: +5 COO, +5 SAV, +5 SOM, +5 WIL, Limber (1) trait, Innocuous trait
CP Cost: 60
Credit Cost: Expensive (60,000)