ENTRY 070: Kidmoths
Genehacking is highly prevalent in transhumanity’s expanded ecosystems, and the hydroponics bays of major habitats are areas of sensor-aided, climate-controlled, clinically clean perfection—custom designed green growing things in chemically perfect soil receiving measured cycles of light and shade and water.
Yet many of the most fascinating creatures and plants that occupy the edges of the human ecosystem are not the products of transhuman science, but of nature’s own genehacking: mutation, unsolicited hybrids, and bizarre adaptations. One of the most prevalent of these species on Mars is Korscheltellus ares, the kidmoth.
Believed to have been introduced in a shipment of potato plants to Olympus, this insect “sings” at a frequency in the upper range of unaugmented flat hearing (19-20 MHz), unlike most moths. Most transhumans lose sensitivity in this range by adulthood, so that kidmoths are mostly only heard by children—hence the name.
From Olympus, kidmoths have spread to a number of other colonies, nestled away in nooks and crannies. Most habitats consider them a pest, an intrusive species that upsets the careful ecological balance, while others consider them part of the substance of human habitation, and have sought to incorporate (and even monetize) kidmoths.
- SaturnSilk, Inc. (SSI) is a small hypercorp that farms a slightly genetweaked breed of domesticated kidmoth, using the cocoon material as a silk substitute. SSI has the largest database of kidmoth breeds in existence, and pays a bounty of kidsilk cloth or rep boost on unusual specimens, double if they’re live. A particular breed of mutant kidmoth in the PC’s habitat is said to have a wingspan of 10 centimeters—if they can capture a breeding pair, SSI will reward them handsomely.
- A lapse in control protocols has led to an explosion of kidmoths in the PC’s habitat, a situation that is getting dangerous as the massive swarms threaten transhuman life and devastate any available plants. The PCs are hired to deal with the situation, but are forbidden from using chemical pesticides. They will have to be creative in getting rid of the bugs!
- A hypercorp representative has discovered her company has developed a variety of kidmoth that can consume bioweave armor—and plans to release it in a terrorist-style event on Olympus, so that the company can then market its kidmoth-repelling bioweave armor alternative. Disgusted, she asks the PCs for help in stopping the kidmoth event and outing the nefarious hypercorp’s deeds.
- Kidmoth drones are a local hack that has become prevalent in the PC’s habitat, where small neural implants allow a user to monitor the kidmoth’s environment and direct the direction of its flight. Local anarchists believe someone is using the kidmoth drones to monitor the entire habitat. They’ve tracked the signal back to an area restricted to administrative personnel, and now they want the PCs to find out what’s going on behind closed doors. Unfortunately, it’s worse than they think—a rogue admin is perfecting the kidmoth drones so that they can swarm, the shifting patterns delivering a basilisk hack; and the maiden test for the new weapon are those pesky anarchists…