Wednesday, January 2, 2013

002: Rimwalkers

ENTRY 002: Rimwalkers

There has always been a segment of transhumanity that is disenfranchised, lost, or refuses to be tied down. Some are criminals, others just outcasts, while still others are the detritus of civilization—relicts of old humanity, failed experiments, flawed forks in broken morphs, all gathering at the edges of transhuman society. They thrive in the fringes of habitats, beyond the ambiguous fringes of legal and political jurisdictions, moving on and adapting to each new culture, finding out what they need to do in order to breath, subsist, heal, fuck, and move on. Closer in to the warmth of Sol, they inhabit scumbarges and slip from asteroid to planetoid and back again, wearing many names.  Sooner or later, though, the game grows too hot, debts are called in, and the enemies they make start to close the noose—then they flee outwards, trying to lose themselves in the vast emptiness as they walk the rim.

Rimwalkers are hardy itinerants that move between the habitats of the outer solar system. Poor by most material standards, they sell what they carry with them always: their skills, knowledge, and experience. They are freelancers who often specialize in negotiating the legalities and commerce between habitats, or the make-do technical know-how that doesn’t come out of a text book. Most are criminals in one way or another, though that means nothing out on the Rim, where a transhuman might be a criminal just for wearing the wrong shell. All are opportunists, looking for the next score. They familiarize themselves with the rules and laws of each habitat they encounter, the better to avoid trouble until time to circumvent them.

Among themselves, rimwalkers tend to trade favors and information. Many rim habitats have corners of the local mesh with signs and codewords where rimwalkers have left messages and advice, gathering rep among their contemporaries, helping each other live a little longer. While rarely clannish and never organized beyond small groups, as a whole rimwalkers recognize the need to avoid preying on one another, and con artists or those who prey on fellow rimwalkers quickly become unwelcome—outcasts among outcasts.


Rimwalkers are not quite a faction, and use the Guanxi rep system (g-Rep). Rimwalker characters that betray or rip off other rimwalkers may have the Black Mark or even the Blacklisted negative traits (Eclipse Phase, p.149) relative to other rimwalkers.


The conflict on Eris has become a beacon for rimwalkers, who sell their services to both sides, rarely on the front lines, but as smugglers, negotiators, spies, subject matter specialists, and teachers. So many have been drawn in to the edges of the conflict, in fact, that something like a rimwalker community is forming, with a darkcast mesh and shared resources—safe houses, false identities, secure data storage, community dead drops, etc. The problem is that a rimwalker called Noface, a neuter splicer, has taken it in their head to play kingmaker—and if either the ultimates or exhumans perceive the rimwalkers as a coherent group they will be seen as a threat, and the whole game will collapse. Senior rimwalkers recognize this, but none wants the black mark that would come from killing a fellow rimwalker out of turn: but if an outside group can kill NoFace or ruin their reputation, they would be very grateful.

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