Sunday, March 22, 2015

82. Zombies

The existence of asynchs and their sleights gave rise to huge new questions about transhuman consciousness and egos, and new ideas as to what could be done with transhuman consciousnesses and egos. A research team funded by Direct Action, Fa Jing and Somatek were assigned the "unconscious lead" chi slight. Specifically, hypercorp higher-ups wanted to know if the effect could be reproduced with psychosurgery. They succeeded.

Zombies, those who have undergone the procedure, have no apparent consciousness, and the unconscious sections of the brain are given free reign. Zombies are nonetheless quite competent in everyday life; they may require supervision when dealing with unknowns, but are entirely capable of maintaining a basic routine. One of the largest changes in function is a loss of direction. Commonly zombies are given specialized Muses to assist them in navigating unexpected problems. Without a conscious mind prioritizing tasks, a zombie will simply do whatever falls in line with their basic instincts, whatever they can recognize as critical, and, most importantly, whatever they have been trained to do or ordered to do by recognized authorities.

Control of zombies is handled in two parts. First, before the procedure, the ego is given exhaustive training in whatever tasks they may be required to do. Second, during the procedure, the ego is imprinted with a deep-seated instinct to obey certain people, their muse, or other sources of orders. Once this has been done, the completed zombie will accept commands as if it were their own will.

Zombies are goal-oriented to the point of suicide. Left to their own devices, their basic aversion to pain keeps them from harming themselves, but they will ignore pain, injury and immanent death when pursuing a goal (unless ordered to preserve themselves). They can also be highly suggestible; isolated from their muse or superior, or improperly imprinted, they tend follow any suggestion that is not obviously a bad idea.

Mechanics

Creation of a zombie is a psychosurgical procedure. The zombie gains +1 speed, and do not take SV.

Timeframe: 1 month
PM: -30
SV: -

The procedure is irreversible.

Notes

Inspired by the zombies from Peter Watts' Echopraxia, and the PRISM theory of consciousness.

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