Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Cyberware

In addition to cutting edge weaponry and (for those who can afford it) paramilitary vehicles, one of the most important tools for deCom is cyberware.  Cybernetic implants that improve reaction time, senses (especially sight), and auto-medicate during times of injury and common.  Others implant weaponry, or genetically modify their bodies with animal DNA or enhanced muscle tissue.  But there are two other cybernetic implants that are very important for deCom.

The first is the cortical stack, a universal cybernetic implant usually grafted onto a body shortly after birth.  A person's brain activity, their very personality, is converted to a digital format, and then downloaded onto a cortical stack and re-implanted in the body.  From then on, the cortical stack controls the body.  The stack is impact-resistant and is located at the base of the skull.  When a person is injured, the stack can be removed and the consciousness uploaded into another body, such as a clone, a synthetic body, or the body of someone whose consciousness is elsewhere, such as someone in digital incarceration.  It is not uncommon for a person to deliberately move into a new body that has been modified or enhanced, or has aged past a point of interest or usefulness.  Among the wealthiest humans in the galaxy it is not unheard of to have a person's lifespan exceed centuries as a result.  The digitalization of a person's consciousness has allowed for reasonable, if highly expensive interstellar travel as people's consciousnesses are hyper-cast through space.

If the cortical stack is ubiquitous, the other is extremely rare, namely the command head link.  This implant is a combination implanted computer and datacore link which allows the wielder to access the global data core, communicate with crew members via implants, and engage in cyberwarfare at the speed of thought.  Command heads, as they are generally known in deCom, are usually crew leaders and the most valuable members of their team.  A command head is capable of detecting mimint activity based on sensing their own communications via the datacore, but are also subject to hacking attempts on their own digital consciousnesses from the AI's.  Those most command heads are heavily loaded up with protective software but are also a little "off" in their personalities if they have been without a thorough anti-viral cleansing for a while.  The command head implant resembles about a eight inch flexible tentacle protruding from the back of the neck.  Command heads tend to cover this implant with long, synthetic hair.

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