Wednesday, September 30, 2015

273. Babysitter

There have probably been feral children throughout human history. Increasingly heavy surveillance and data-gathering has made them virtually impossible, but in the chaos of the Fall, many children were lost, abandoned, or became the sole survivors of their families. They were still not entirely alone: they had their muses.

Socially, children raised by their muses are not entirely dysfunctional, but do struggle in many ways. They speak well, although almost always formally, with no slang or common verbal shortcuts. They do not use greetings, usually do not address people by name, and tend to expect others to respond at a moment's notice, just as their muse does. Overall, they give the impression that they do not view other people as real people.

A muse will provide its ward with the best education it can, but the results are inevitably spotty. Many feral children must scavenge to survive, and develop hands-on technology skills, which may be improved if they are lucky enough to possess a muse with technology skills of its own. While they lack social skills, most muses are experts or better in psychology, and pass on as much of that knowledge as they can. Many also become multilingual. Any subjects the muse does not know about will be a hole in the child's education.

Plot Hook: The PCs are part of a crew salvaging a ship that is supposed to abandoned.


Inspired by the short story The Island by Peter Watts.

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