Thursday, May 7, 2015

127. Driver Failure

"Driver Failure" was the quiet cause of uncounted deaths during the Fall. Today many are still infected, effectively banished from biomorphs, able to live only in unliving synthmorphs.

Driver failure is an entirely information-based virus, capable of infecting any mind. It is capable of spreading through any sufficiently information-dense medium; cyberbrains can be infected by digital variants, but biological brains can only be infected by a basilisk hack.

Although they can carry it, synths and informorphs are immune to driver failure's effects. The easiest treatment, it would seem, is to resleeve into a synth or infomorph, or else use a pacemaker and respiration machine. These are only temporary solutions, however, as the virus survives the resleeving process, however, and if the victim ever resleeves into a biomorph, however, they will suffer its full effects. The only real cure is restoration from a pre-infection backup.

Mechanics

Driver failure is an information based strain, capable of infecting all transhuman minds.

Stage 1: (Initial infection to one week) In the initial stage, autonomic control of breathing begins to break down. At first this will manifest as apnea and asthma-like symptoms. Within a couple days, autonomic control will break down entirely, and the victim will have to maintain a constant conscious effort to keep breathing

Victims must make a WIL x 3 test once per day, representing the constant vigilance required to maintain their breathing. If they succeed, they take 1d10/2 SV, if they fail, they roll again. Success on the second test means they have had a close call, and take an additional 1d10 SV. If they fail, they die.

Stage 2: (One week+) If the first week is survived, the virus progresses to the heart. Heart arrhythmias appear, and soon the heartbeat must be consciously maintained, in addition to the breath.

Victims must make a WIL x 2 test once per day, representing the constant vigilance required to maintain their breathing and heartbeat. If they succeed, they take 1d10/2 SV. If they fail, they die.

Plot Hook: On man afflicted with driver failure has lived far longer than any others. He exists in a state like constant meditation, under study on a remote Jovian research station. Firewall has obtained some of his brain scans, and believe he is beginning to manifest gamma-sleights, without any signs of Watts-McLeod infection. The players are tasked with raiding the station and retrieving as much information as possible, up to and including the man himself, if possible.

Notes: Inspired by the terrifyingly real Ondine's curse.

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