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. 

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