ENTRY 046: Zushell
The dearth of affordable morphs has led to many egos and infomorphs adopting less pleasant and durable options for physical embodiment. One of the most disturbing vehicles for transhuman consciousness are zushells, sometimes called “zombie morphs.” Initially designed as disposable bodies for temporary activity of a few hours in dangerous environments where synthmorphs were undesirable, zushells are biomorphs with zero regenerative cell activity, existing in a constant state of apoptosis: skin cells die and slough off in a few days, never to be replaced; red blood cells usually last four months before they die and the zushell’s blood literally begins to rot; injuries never heal and necrotic tissue never expelled. Even with constant tissue replacement therapy and various preventative measures, the ego living inside a zushell faces a constant battle against their failing body.
For some, it’s worth it. Buying a zushell is relatively cheap compared to renting a morph in the short term, and the attendant health defects aren’t generally noticeable for the first 72 hours after the zushell is decanted. For others, zushells are the final resort for the poorest and most desperate egos, willing to cling to physical existence even if it means living in dying shells of flesh.
Generic Zushell Stats
Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Puppet Sock
Aptitude Maximum: 15
Wound Threshold: 2
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Pod), Doesn’t Heal
CP Cost: 5
Credit Cost: Moderate
Zushells require regular tissue replacement therapy. Initial treatments (weeks 1-4) are Trivial in cost, and increase one level every subsequent period (weeks 5-8, Low; weeks 9+, Moderate; etc.). This generally requires at least moderate medical facilities and stocks of clonal material available. After a week without tissue therapy, a zushell’s durability is permanently reduced by 5 points.
Zushells cannot heal damage or wounds without medical care. Zushells can accept Medichines (p.308, Eclipse Phase), but do not benefit from the accelerated healing provided by that implant.
Aside from introducing a zombie-like figure to your Eclipse Phase game, zushells are both cheap and disposable, a bit like burner phones for some of the more shady movers and shakers in the grey lines. Zushells see the most use in places with lots of biomorphs and where synthmorphs and pods are expensive or rare, such as the Jovian Republic or some of the more distant or metal-poor habitats. Gamemasters should always remember that characters that occupy zushells for an extended period of time are trapped in biological existential hells of their own making—skin growing grey and falling off, teeth falling out, minor and major organs failing, even minor injuries failing to heal.
- An exsurgent terrorist is planning to release dozens of zushells puppeted by his forks and infected with the exsurgent virus within a habitat, with the intent of spreading the disease. Firewall has caught wind of the plan and asks the player characters to eliminate the threat—whether it means an old-school zombie massacre, opening the habitat to space, or however else they choose to handle the situation.