Saturday, February 9, 2013

040: Knowledge-of-Self

ENTRY 040: Knowledge-of-Self

What began as a specialized Montessori curriculum dedicated to teaching genetics to young flats has become one of the more popular education systems among biomorphs. The system is uniquely personalized to each individual, helping the student to sequence and analyze their own DNA, RNA, and mRNA. Studies follow the student’s interest, highlighting mutations, transcription errors, artifacts of genetic manipulation, heredity groups, even applicable copyright and intellectual property law, interspersed with a series of experiments in manipulating their own genetic material to better understand what can be done. In habitats which recognize hypercorp intellectual property laws actually implementing or selling genetic code or material derived from Knowledge-of-Self experiments is illegal, but most jurisdictions concede the right to experiment.


Knowledge-of-Self as an education program is available to all biomorphs with access to the Mesh, and provides training allowing characters to purchase any relevant skill up to a rating of 50 in a reduced timeframe: 1 week of K-o-S schooling yields 2 RP for relevant skills only. Higher ratings and specializations from the program are possible, but generally require access to the greater facilities available at an institute of higher learning and one-on-one teaching sessions.


  • A dozen biomorphs in an open-source K-o-S program have contracted cancer from an experiment; the markers for the cancer are disconcertingly similar to those left by infection by the exsurgent virus. Firewall tasks the characters with finding out who hacked the program and stop them—and they need to do it quick, before the genetic terrorist perfects the program and tries again.
  • Genetics hypercorps and the government are attempting to ban K-o-S programs from the Jovian Republic, citing the dangers of unsupervised experimentation with human genetics. Local teachers have put out a surreptitious call for assistance in backing up K-o-S materials to darkcast sites. The players can earn a good bit of rep, as long as they stay ahead of the Junta and the hypercorps.
  • A genetic artist is being sued for adding an art module to an existing K-o-S program, which encourages students to express themselves through modeling and manipulating their DNA; a hypercorp hires the player characters to steal the sourcecode so they can reverse-engineer it and add it to their existing commercial education software.
  • While working on K-o-S, an NPC discovers they have a genetic clone-sibling—one of the PCs. While not identical, with a deft bit of hacking the clone has stolen their identity and has been borrowing the PC’s name and rep for a series of criminal transactions, and now the various players are calling the markers due. The PCs will have to find the clone if they want to clear their rep.
  • The K-o-S programs for uplifts are generally much less complete than those for transhumans; a dolphin uplift named Mickeymac asks the player characters to help “liberate” an archive of private data on uplift genetics to a specific pirate network so that ze can integrate it into the existing open-source software.