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)

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