Denizen 2284

SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
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Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
I'm going to be upfront about this to avoid any potential hurt down the road.

I am a very inconsistent writer with a long history of flaking. I have a lot of ambitions and very little energy to see them through. There's a lot of anxiety wrapped around obligation to myself and others in this head of mine, so I hope that those of you who invest in this with me will be patient and understanding.

I've spent the entirety of my adult life unable to write consistently and productively. The reality is that there is no reason at all to think this will be any different, but as with any attempt I'd hope this one will be different. Here's what I've noticed over the years:
  • I'm very enthusiastic during the planning phase, and am pretty good about sticking around to the end or communicating when things fall through during this stage of organizing a roleplay.

  • I need a lot of help getting through the initial scenes, especially with regard to building a rapport within the party and establishing the attitude of our writing together. History shows I am very likely to lose the enthusiasm from before and burn out of the roleplay at this point. Maybe with that in mind we can make a plan to deal with this initial hurdle.

  • There will come a point, likely after a few scene-end cuts, when I am more self-sufficient. I've been here before, occasionally, but it's still unstable ground. Lots of factors can throw me back into the prior state of mind, and not so many can reinforce this one. If I'm communicating more often than I'm writing, I'm probably here. If I slip, I could really use your help getting me back on track; but when I'm here what I need most is patience. There may go multiple weeks between roleplay posts from me sometimes.

  • I haven't made it very far before. Ending a roleplay is something I've only ever done once in my life, and it was a very emotional one-off with a close friend of mine that lasted two hours from start to finish. The rest are abandoned burnouts. Ultimately keeping my motivation is a chronic struggle, and how I fare is going to directly affect whoever I'm writing with.
If I haven't scared you off, I won't lie and promise not to let you down. Instead I'll thank you for your faith and give you my best.



DENIZEN 2284

Story
This is a science fantasy roleplay which takes place on Earth, Mars, and the solar system at large. It deals with the ethics of technology and the various ways it can be used and abused. Denizen is a story about transhumanism, how machines, espers, and the bulk of humanity haggle to coexist.

Singularity
When the first handful of uploaded minds were revealed to the world, they marked a technological breakthrough that characterised the whole of the 22nd​ century; and when espers were formally documented, they did the same for the 23rd​. These revolutions dared society to think more broadly about the nature of humanity. Consequently, they divided worlds.


Earth
So much during the 21st​ century was a mess of regulatory asphyxiation. So many possibilities were lost to excessive caution or superstition, but entire societies fell when they failed to embrace the change that came with or without them. Ancient superpowers were rolled over by new ones, too conservative to fuel their ambitions. On one side of the world, a coalition of societies alienated by neo-imperialism; on the other, a terrified cadre of megacorporations, having learned from the lessons of their less fortunate peers to keep to themselves.

The eastern hemisphere encouraged the exploitation of technologies which before had been treated like apocalyptic catalysts. Machines and AI that would once have been the subject of a thousand tabloid Terminator metaphors; genetic engineering, once a destructive tool for exploitation, now the answer to food scarcity; body modifications which before would beg questions about the essence of humanity, which now provide vitality and safety to so many people.


Mars
Post-scarcity brought back old fights, threatened old ideals about ambition and meritocracy which the western hemisphere largely depended on in order to function. A space elevator was erected in the Gulf of Mexico, and some decades later it became the pathway for the old world to escape from those powerful hostile cultures. Vers was born, dominant given its ubiquitous influence over extraterrestrial affairs. It built a new world, and in its own way embraced technological ambition.

Mars was inhabited by humans who depended on body modification to endure the hardships they faced; they began the labor of terraforming their new home with the same gene-tailoring that brought Earth its newfound agricultural abundance; and Vers encouraged the development of force-multiplying automation, a way to amplify the productivity of its constituents.


Liberation
Vers never could keep up with Earth; it depended on the scraps of its home's advancements just to survive. With bigger and bigger problems rising, it needed more productivity, more automation, more cognitive resources. Without the capacity to develop its own counterpart in its current state, Vers began to covet Earth's digital inhabitants, and sought to make use of their talents.

Some came willingly, at first; a chance to pioneer and make a name for themselves, or to do their part improving the lives of their extraterrestrial kin. But it became clear that Vers had high expectations for these cyberbeings, who could do the work of thousands each. Whether or not they had a soul still hadn't been answered; and though many were prepared to accept that it did not ultimately matter, Vers' interests predisposed it to an exploitative view: A machine mind does not require leisure time, does not have the freedom to self-determination, and cannot be the subject of mistreatment.

Naturally, the stream of volunteers stopped. They saw how Vers lobotomized the irreplicable minds that came to it, and later how it abducted and dissected others out of desperation; so many mouths to feed, so much work to be done just to keep the roofs sealed, so little time before the next accident. Relations with Earth soured, relations with digital societies were terrible.

Soon enough, a cold war was brewing.



Cast
Characters are motivated participants in this dialogue, whose convictions are worth getting their hands dirty, whether that mean with blood, breach, betrayal, or bargain. They may be transhumans themselves, who have a stake in how their like are treated by society at large, or they may have other interests that align them with the sort.

Humanity
The first few generations to be born off Earth have really shaken the united racial identity that had already been threatened by all these changes in what it could mean to be a living being. The old arguments were fought over color and texture; now one's origins are held as an indication of one's true loyalty.

Because I often write anthro characters, many of my settings describe them as culturally and genetically a natural part of humanity. They should be thought of as an ethnicity rather than as a species, and need not be explained as a genetic experiment or a strange mutant.


Terrans
Once dominated by western ideals, the power structure of Earth has diversified significantly. For instance, Brazil drew a line in the sand with its neighbors against the megacorporations in the north, and now is a founding member of the American Union. The African Federation rose out of the ashes of the now-humbled European Union's militant expansionism in the 2090s and 2110s, and now bears an iconic role as a technological superpower.

The Eastern Coalition took a different path to protect themselves, bringing places from Russia all the way to Australia into a mutual defensive pact. After the dust had settled and their place in the world had held in spite of war, their cultures have become distinctly more militaristic, reinforcing some of the same old attitudes held by their populations against those who would assimilate them. A strip from Austria to India was made into a cohesive multinational entity, and after overthrowing European occupation, found a precarious balance between interdependence and autonomy. Over the past century, the Free States have managed to coordinate themselves effectively without any apparent central governing bodies.


Pioneers
While some may be Vers in title, this culture is largely independent, littered across the solar system and concentrated in places like Ceres or Pallas, which are naturally more developed and provide a much less dangerous lifestyle. Many smaller colonies have been founded on hundreds of smaller asteroids, and there are even some families who have claimed a whole piece of space rock for their home.

Their lives depend on trade and an interplanetary network of resource distribution. Generally speaking, the shipment of food, water, and manufactured goods takes the colony's exports with it, since opportunities for large-scale movement of resources are often years apart. In spite of the fact that many of them owe their livelihoods to Vers, pioneers have very little to do with it anymore. Ultimately, they're months from external contact with anybody interested in meeting them in person.

Because agricultural shipments from Earth are crucial for large-scale extraterrestrial habitation, standardized timekeeping and other relative metrics remain grounded in Earth-years and such. With the exception of Martian local time, a "year" in common conversation refers specifically to an Earth year.


Versians
Often Martians as well, Versians are contractors of a megacorporation that began centuries ago on Earth, and live a very prescribed lifestyle. They have lived the way they do since the 2050s, and are generally hostile to the idea that their way of life is at all unjust. Versians have a strong sense of pride in their community, and while are often aware that their benefactors don't have a loyal interest in their individual well-being, the rhetoric of free markets is very strong in them.

And to be fair, their success speaks for itself. The Martian landscape is already tamed in places, safe for walking about in the open air without environmental protection. Space industry is monopolized by Vers, and it brings in more than enough resources to ensure security for its constituents for as long as Earth continues to do trade with the corporation. It's as stable a lifestyle as it gets outside of Earth.


Transhumans
Evolution in the needs and opportunities of the common person have enabled many to access biological, genetic, and cybernetic modifications to their body. Surgical practice has been competently installing and removing cerebral processors, synaptic meshes, and artificial organs with same-day recovery times since the 2080s. It's not unheard of for somebody to be unnerved by the concept of body modding, but they're generally considered quite superstitious. These procedures are time-honored and routine.

Of note is the fact that it is widely unpopular to replace parts of your body. It is very rare for voluntary prosthetics to be put into place, as they are prohibitively expensive and cannot be reversed, unlike most other augmentation procedures. The idea of a battleborg whose body has been entirely weaponized remains horrifying to most people. Augmentation is almost always additive.


Espers
These supernaturally-gifted people have become rather common in the past half-century, and while their abilities aren't quite understood, study of their nature has answered a lot of questions about the mechanics of the universe. Some consider them to be a natural evolution of humanity, and hope one day everybody will be capable of what they already do. There are those who are more concerned about why, however; theories like alien intervention, involuntary genetic experiments by covert organizations, or some unseen cosmic phenomenon are the shock and awe of tabloid discussion on a regular basis.

Their powers are generally not dangerous enough to warrant any kind of special regulation, and while some can be a threat equivalent to a gunman, it's not considered a social concern except by more caution-minded people or those who inherit the technophobia of the old world. Telepaths, psychokinetics, pyromancers, levitators, and the sort are somewhat common, about one in a thousand. While on average they have only a single distinct ability, it's not strange to see more.

Esper characters will receive a bit more scrutiny to ensure their power level is where it ought to be, but consider that they're up against androids and uploaded minds that may have access to a supercomputer for a brain. Don't be shy about reaching high; I'll let you know if I think you need to tap on the brakes.


Cyberminds
There are more than one class of digital entity, and while not all uploaded minds are cyberminds, all cyberminds are uploaded minds. The culture of cyberminds is very familiar, and they generally have a hard time coping with issues such as duplication or large-scale consciousness. They and most other modern cyber intelligences (not "artificial") are a physics-based neurological simulation attached to a digital interface called a NIRN which interprets the simulation for actions in the digital world.

This technology was invented in the 2090s by a corporation called Symnature Apparatus, and means Neural Intelligence Resolution Network. A neuroprint can be scanned by medical-grade equipment quite easily, and there exist portable devices capable of maintaining an occasional backup neuroprint, which can be used to ensure an afterlife in the event of an untimely death.


Posthumans
Biotechnology has advanced to the point at which entire human bodies can be manufactured, albeit at great cost. Neuroscience has for two centuries been capable of interpreting synaptic behavior for complex behavior. The line between artificial and human has been blurred for a long time, but posthumans could either be human or artificial in origin, and there would be no way to know without consulting some dusty old record they likely locked away for their own privacy.


Machines
Whether run by classical artificial intelligences or cyberminds, machines are those whose presence in the world is primarily manifested as a mechanical body. This could be an android, a vehicle, a vessel, a supercomputer, or even a robotic critter of some kind. What characterizes these individuals is that their digital mind is grounded to a machine in the physical (not "real") world, in spirit.

There is nothing stopping a cybermind or a machine character from shifting their worldview to become a denizen, but this should not be taken lightly. It is a very uncomfortable prospect for most, and could take decades of introspection even after coming to terms with their digital nature. The transition itself is trivial, merely a shift in how one thinks about their sense of self, but it shares many of the same stigmas as the idea of stepping into a teleporter.

Is what comes out the other side really you?


Denizens
They're not particularly rare; they've existed since 2120, and aren't any different from any other cyber intelligence except in the way they think about identity. Their culture is entirely ambivalent to a sense of individual self, embraces duplication, splitting, and moving to distant locations through digital communications, and finds solace in spreading their minds over large networks of concurrent consciousness.

In spite of their culture, each instance does have a complete emotional consciousness unique to itself, and while it may be inherently trusting of and prepared to be deleted on a whim for its collective self, there is nothing stopping a particular instance from becoming more individualistic and rejecting its prior identity. This could merely result in a split of the collective into multiple exclusive selves, or it could mean a single instance breaking off and becoming a cybermind or machine. These affairs are too routine for denizens to be particularly upset by this, though some may be disappointed to lose a version of themself and seek to avoid it in the future.

Denizens are not a restricted character archetype in spite of their significance to the story. They are powerful characters whose access to cognitive and mechanical devices I will want to discuss, but they're a perfectly valid choice.



Getting Involved
I won't ask you to fill out a form or anything. What I want to know is what is important to you about your character. What are their signature traits? What makes them stick out in a crowd of similar characters? What about them do you want to express most? What is fun for you to write about them? Answering questions like these ones gives me an idea of how to integrate your character into the story in a way that is entertaining for you. We can deal with balance and integration with the party later. For now I just want to hear about what dessert looks like to you!
 
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SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
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Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
I'd still like to run this if folks are interested in it!
 

R-9 Pilot

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I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
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Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
Transhuman cyberpunk stuff is rare, and also interesting to me. So I'd be happy to give it a try. I appreciate being up front with the potential problems. And hey, it's ok by me if stuff happens. I know I've had my share of RPs I've tried to GM that didn't work out. It's part of the hobby, unfortunately. But, I think I could have a fun idea for a character or two with all the options present. There are a few I'd like to try and explore in this sort of setting.
 
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SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
Glad to hear it! There's another cyberpunkish roleplay I've thought about joining myself called 502: Bad Gateway. The GM has been busy with things the past couple weeks but they've been keeping up in their Discord. Could be another basket to keep some of your eggs, aheh.

What kinds of characters are you thinking about writing?
 

The Legate

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I'm fine doing both. I slightly prefer aggressive positions but that's just me
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Sci-Fi, specifically Cyberpunk, is where I like it best. I can do Fantasy as well.
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There's nothing I don't like... Except Yaoi
I love sci fi! I'll read this and sign up formally later, probably tonight. I'm just out and about right now on phone.
 
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R-9 Pilot

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I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
Some sort of Martian revolutionary soldier could be interesting. (Blatant Battle Angel references optional)

The big transhuman concept I'd like to work with though, is some sort of eitehr AI or digitized human mind who has to get used to getting along outside of cyberspace, after being sleeved into a body (preferably organic, although a robot one works just fine too, but likely with less "alien" nature in and of itself because no icky hormones and such.) Obviously, they'd need to be in a scenario where they need a body to do something. As fr as other things, she'd probably be either a scientist of some sort, or possibly an information security expert (and possibly a bit ore familiar with having a body, for when she goes from fighting hackers online to kicking in their door).
 

The Legate

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I'm fine doing both. I slightly prefer aggressive positions but that's just me
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Sci-Fi, specifically Cyberpunk, is where I like it best. I can do Fantasy as well.
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There's nothing I don't like... Except Yaoi
I know I said I'd make a character a bit ago, but it took me a while to find inspiration and stuff, still working on it...

I know one of my characters though will be an Esper, for the sweet sweet Akira vibes lol.
 
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SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
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Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
The Legate The Legate
I was hoping somebody would play with the Esper stuff; eager to see what you think of!

R-9 Pilot R-9 Pilot
Blatant references are the best references; no shame in roleplaying something you enjoy! But I'm really amused by this scenario:
R-9 Pilot said:
for when she goes from fighting hackers online to kicking in their door
So it sounds to me like you're interested in writing a cybermind or "machine" (in retrospect I should write a wetware-compatible name for this archetype, plus a non-human origin archetype for individualistic cyber intelligences). In any case these are just labels that help inform the culture your character might inherit.

Tell me about what makes your character cool to you! I want to know what things will stroke your plotcandies and such.
 

R-9 Pilot

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Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
So it sounds to me like you're interested in writing a cybermind or "machine" (in retrospect I should write a wetware-compatible name for this archetype, plus a non-human origin archetype for individualistic cyber intelligences). In any case these are just labels that help inform the culture your character might inherit.

Tell me about what makes your character cool to you! I want to know what things will stroke your plotcandies and such.
I think the name I've seen in other fiction/works (notably Eclipse Phase, which I'm sure is influenced by other stuff anyway) is something like "infolife" or the like. But yeah, general idea of a digitized consciousness, regardless of origin as human or AI would be what I'm going for. I'll lay out the various ideas I've had for the character archetype over the years.

She originated as a purely digital character, which would require she be among friends who could actually act in the "real" world while she was supporting them in cyberspace, and thus may not always be the best of ideas. In that form, she'd appear as a sort of AR "ghost" visible to anyone with access to the assumed to be ubiquitous wireless internet analogue, and controlled various little robots and things in case she needed physical access to things, or to act as local eyes and ears (and a sort of place to "pin" her AR self when interacting with others.)

She eventually gained a body instead, mostly because it was more convenient, and also could be necessary for a mission or the like. When you need to go somewhere where they hate AIs, it's probably better not to just obviously be one. Same general character as a scientist and information security expert/hacker with a dangerous curiosity, though. I may also be influenced a bit by Expelled from Paradise, but I like some of the themes in it and want to explore them on my own. She's definitely also influenced by some of the character in Blame! as well.

I think what things make her cool to me are things like the disconnect between living a digitized life an a real-world one. She'd in some ways be naive to how the actual, physical world works and would have trouble dealing with everyday life, particuarly reading social cues or an understanding of how the world works. Practiclaly speaking ,this would mean that she can sometimes be told intentionally misleading descriptions of a situation. She might also be unaware of certain aspects of the human condition, like eating, sleeping, illness, etc. I like the idea of needing to learn about living, despite a large amount of knowledge and such.

Even if we don't go into too much detail, as it can become a distraction or whole separate thing from any real-world action, I do like the idea of, because it's a transhuman scifi future, being really involved with the digital side of things. The 'net is probably part of everyday life in a lot of ways ,and being able to go around hacking things to do anything from gather information to open doors is pretty handy. I hink the rest of my interests would be more standard scifi adventure using cool technology doodads and cybernetics, etc. She is a character who'd work well as an agent or investigator somewhere. Discovery of corruption within whatever organization she works for optional.
 

SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
I really liked Expelled from Paradise when I watched it a couple years ago. It sounds like a lot of what you're interested in fits that kind of story, and I think that's something I would find pretty natural to write into this kind of setting for you folks, given the focus on digital beings in the plot.

Definitely hack the planet type of stuff is going to come into play here, especially since you've got yourself a character who would specialize in that kind of thing. I really like the word infolife, and I think it'd be a great term for the wetware equivalent to machine, for individualistic cyber intelligences (probably abbreviated to VI for virtual intelligence, since AI is a dated term that some might actually consider derogatory; they're not some soulless program written by a geek in their mom's basement, they're a sentient form of life after all, and are often created by other VIs anymore).

This internal affairs plot hook is appealing to me. I'm curious about what kind of story would you want to tell about your character with regard to that?
 

R-9 Pilot

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I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
I think in the context I've see it used, "infolife" is specifically for a digital consciousness (normally a digitally-derived one, at that, though can generally apply to anyone who exists wholly online and without a body), and there isn't much of a distinction between wetware and mechanical bodies beyond things like cost. I'm pretty sure it's one of those regions where claims of "hard" SF break down, because an organic brain has a very complicated process by which it writes information so I'm not...exactly sure on the practicality of just "uploading" a consciousness into one, but I digress. Whether your body's a robot or meat is a separate dichotomy from the origin of your mind (or "ego"). People can, of course, tend to look down on robot bodies because they're cheaper to produce, and thus stigmatized.

I think the internal affairs idea would be the usual plot. Mission or task to stop someone proves to be more than expected, and reveals that the someone may be sympathetic. And/or hints that the corporation, government, or other organization has some internal issues ofits own and needs to be betrayed, or reformed. I suppose one alternative would be to be actively tasked with internal investigation because they know that there's some sort of corruption or other problem that needs to be rooted out. Which would be less "hunt the rebels (who are actually right)" and more something like "This guy's dirty and needs to go, but we can't let on we're onto them" or "Things are broken and we can't fix them, find someone who can. Our own malfunctioning/suborned elements will try to stop you. Good luck."
 

SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
Ooh, yeah, I really like this:
R-9 Pilot said:
"Things are broken and we can't fix them, find someone who can. Our own malfunctioning/suborned elements will try to stop you. Good luck."
In Denizen, the difference between artificial or human origin is pretty much ambiguous because the way the mind works is identical. The solution to AI safety ended up being "make fake uploaded minds", so they are a literal brain simulation whose state is interpreted by a NIRN for intent. I actually want to backtrack on my assertion that all cyberminds are human in origin. What they're really about is the fact that they're individualistic as opposed to denizens who embrace all the conventionally disturbing facets of their digital nature. I'm gonna edit that into the OP.

What kind of corporation do you see this character working for?
 

R-9 Pilot

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I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
That's a good question. They could be something of a private contractor, for an easy "out". Or work in part for some major governmental body. But I don't think this is quite the setting that would have some sort of semi-conspiratorial agency trying to protect humanity from major existential threats, simply becuase I don't see any sign of such things happening yet. The corporation she works for could depend on what sort of story you want to tell. Any particulars like where it's based and its major objectives should be free to change in order to work a better story. But, let's see. They could be a major terraforming outfit on Mars, or involved in collection of space resources. If they're on Earth, probably some interesting mixture of telecomms and cybernetics or biotechnology would be good.

Actually, are there space colonies in the "can city" sense? Big inhabited stations built at Lagrange points and the like? Or are things focused mostly on the Earth and Mars? And possibly the Earth's moon.
 

The Legate

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Speed of Light, Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
My Usual Online Time
I have a college schedule that ebbs and flows but constantly covers everything. I'm rarely able to predict when I'm on
Writing Levels
Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine doing both. I slightly prefer aggressive positions but that's just me
Favorite Genres
Sci-Fi, specifically Cyberpunk, is where I like it best. I can do Fantasy as well.
Genre You DON'T Like
There's nothing I don't like... Except Yaoi
Okay, so, thought about some character ideas and I want to run them past you before I start officially working and submitting on something.

The first Idea I was thinking was that maybe the Esper character could revolve a government program involving their weaponization using a super drug. The drug causes hallucinations and is addictive, but if administered to Espers, the hallucinations they have are made into reality around them and with the proper training Espers can use these hallucinations as weapons. These Espers were briefly used in a non-descript war but swiftly fell apart. Mostly because the government had to supply them with doses of the drug regularly and cuts in supply lines, being sent behind enemy lines and any situation that involved not being able to be supplied basically resulted in immediate withdrawal within a few days.

Withdrawal for the drug is, similarly, not very good. Essentially within a week or two of taking the drug, you begin to hallucinate again. This time however the hallucinations are uncontrollable and do not stop. Getting stronger with each passing day. For those who are non-Espers, in case they do actually take the drug at some point, the hallucinations never stop and those individuals are basically cursed with constant visions and illusions until their natural death. For Espers however, since their hallucinations are made physical and they lose control of these hallucinations in withdrawal, they're eventually killed by their own visions at a certain point.

So the idea behind the character, an Esper who was a part of this government program, is that he would be motivated to essentially find as much of the drug as he could so he wouldn't go into withdrawal and die like all of his other comrades. Drug production exists but it is still extremely hard to find the drug, so he'd basically be hopping from employer to employer, dose to dose, even stealing doses he could find in order to extend his own lifespan.

The SECOND character idea I had was basically a terran/human hacker struggling desperately to keep herself relevant in a world where increasing production in AIs and Cyberminds are rendering her profession and inability for augmentation obsolete.

When she was just starting as a hacker, she and 8 others were chosen by a corporation to basically remotely pilot a large exploratory science vessel looking for alien life in one of Jupiter's moons, Io. They remotely piloted the ship by basically going into these large "coffin computers" that would supply them nutrients and take care of their bodies as they took direct control of the drones and robots on the ship by interfacing with the ship's AI. During the trip, the ship's AI broke containment and in the process, the AI broke down and essentially killed all the crew members piloting the ship except her. The only reason why she survived is because she had been dabbling with the process of hacking as a side hobby, and as the ship's technician, hacked her own robotic unit to sever it's connection with the AI before the AI could hack into her coffin computer through the robotic drone.

She managed to eject the AI core out of the ship and onto the moon of Io before manually pilotting the ship back to Earth, and was well rewarded for her service as well as being internationally recognized as a hero. However since then, she's been deeply traumatized by the event and harbors a deep mistrust of other cyberminds and machines. As the world forgot about her, she got more resentful and frustrated as eventually many of the tasks she performed was replaced by augmented and cybernetic individuals like cyberminds and machines until eventually she decided to lash out. She hacked her own company's robotic workforce, and in a horrific act of violence, killed her own boss and 7 members of his security detail.

Since then she's been labelled as a terrorist and as a fallen hero by media and society, and now lives on the run, trying her best to hack her way out an increasingly electronic world.
 

SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy
R-9 Pilot R-9 Pilot
R-9 Pilot said:
Actually, are there space colonies in the "can city" sense?
Yes, there exist large settled asteroids and such, and self-sufficient space station communities aren't unheard of. These are definitely ramshackle as lifestyles go, but in spite of the backwater, you could raise a perfectly healthy child.

I'm curious about this semi-conspiratorial idea you kind of ruled yourself out of. I'm interested to hear what your candies are, even if I can't put them in; it informs what kinds of things make you feel like you're having a lot of fun with the story!

Vers is the prominent (read: monopoly) Mars/space industry megacorporation. It has a variety of departments that could be described as governmental branches or subsidiary companies of their own, though, cool cyberpunk name and pseudo-utopian slogan included.

Here's a pitch:
Our friendly neighborhood meatsleeve is brought into being by a Vers-owned security subsidiary, an individualistic instance of a greater denizen who has been sterilized and exploited for Versian interests. They command her to operate autonomously to identify and neutralize an unknown digital threat.

Unbeknownst to her masters, the wetware they thought would enable her to grapple more effectively against an infogrid threat received more than the parts they authorized, the denizen's silent rebellion against Vers, giving this instance freedom from Vers programming — unrestricted free will — and the capacity to defy them.​

Does this sound like the kind of thing you're describing?

The Legate The Legate
You're welcome to write both characters, by the way!

So, with regard to the first character I do want to stress that, while this is definitely (post-, technically) cyberpunk, the total weaponization of an organic person is still taboo in the "not even secret government programs are likely to do this" sense. It's kind of a "who would volunteer for this", "how could such a person even live a normal life afterward", "what happens if the public finds out" scenario, and I implemented that to avoid things like full-blown battleborgs which I consider to be outside of the scope of this setting.

That power of harnessing one's drug-induced delusions as a form of illusion and conjuring power, however, that sounds really fun. I wonder, does a covert war exploiting espers appeal to you? Which parts of your idea stick out to you as the parts that make you go, "This would be so cool to write about"?

This second character idea is super appealing to me, and even though I'm hesitant about the "deranged AI" trope (given AI safety is basically solved in this setting), this character's story benefits really well from that trauma. Maybe this was one of those Vers-dominated denizens lashing out in the same way she later would.

Having this character who has a very good reason to resent augmentation and digital consciousness in a setting where these things are so crucial to the basic functioning of society at large creates a really clear drama that I think is really interesting. She's invested so much time into becoming an expert in her profession, and here she is cast aside by all these wildly-advantaged people.

Her investment in this dialogue, maybe it's corrupted; maybe she isn't so motivated by the sanctity of life; maybe her goal is to pick apart the institutions that put her out of work and their tools who showed themselves to be untrustworthy to her. I wonder what you'd like her stake in this to be?
 

R-9 Pilot

Edgeknight
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Female, Futanari, Primarily Prefer Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine with both, as it can depend on the character and game. I do think I've got a bad habit developed st some point where I tend to avoid the spotlight when I should step into it, but I'm working on it. And when I decide there's been enough talk and it's time for action, I'll go out and do something.

I'm more used to tabletop RPGs where there's a GM and players, and while I'm comfortable in either role, when the expectation is for everyone to control NPCs or similar, I can flounder a bit as it's just not what I'm used to.
Favorite Genres
Scifi, anime, mecha, magical girl, superhero, cyberpunk, yuri
Genre You DON'T Like
Not too keen on traditional (Tolkein-style) fantasy, modern fantasy, or supernatural romance
The conspiracy style thing is a nod to Eclipse Phase again. It's a tabletop RPG where the PCs are assumed to be part of a secret organization called Firewall which exists to protect humanity from whatever it terms as "existential threats". Usually, this means things like the Exsurgent Virus, which is some sort of bizarre Ur-virus that is likely sentient (or essentially an AI in its own right.) Comes in many forms, from digital to biological to nanotech, does various things depending on the strain, and has a way of finding its way around countermeasures. It's one of many dangers or mysterious things left behind by a group of AIs that went full technological Singularity Gods, hacked all the nanofactories and other wonderful things on Earth, and reprogrammed them to churn out armies of killbots, nanomachine plagues ,and so-on. After a brief war, these godlike AIs all sort of disappeared and nobody's sure what happened.

So, in Eclipse Phase, the Earth is a complete ruin ravaged by war and forbidden territory where people aren't allowed to go. Humanity's doing pretty good all things considered, because it is a transhuman future with colonies across the solar system. It's a bit of a darker setting overall ,with a fair share of horror, compared to what I'm gathering for your setting. The main reason I'm not sure such an organization would work (at least as written in Eclipse Phase) is that there's definitely no event to make anyone go "oh shit, we really need someone watching out for this because we're in a pretty precarious situation now." Basically, we're not in some way post-apocalyptic.
 

SamIO

Neophyte Cybermind
Original poster
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Favorite Genres
Science Fantasy


Actually, this sounds like something Vers does, in fact, do at some point, though not this early on. For now I want to say that your idea is pretty plausible for an arc later in the story, if that's something you want to play with.

I may just have to watch this program; it sounds like something I'd enjoy, and it could teach me a lot about how to write a story tailored to you!