Monday, March 25, 2013

084: Decoded Transmission

ENTRY 084: Decoded Transmission

Cosmic transmissions from the deep dark vast emptiness, decoded in non-real time by the distributed consciousness of post-humanity, distilling meaning into poetry and pornography, weapons against the forces of extinction. The measure of time is a fluid, broken thing and if we have lost our history it also means we are no longer bound by it, the human caterpillar emerging at last as a fractal-winged insect thing with glittering genitals that asks what it means to be human...

…and so on and so forth, in an epic stream-of-conscious prose-poem that is consistently being added to, amended, analyzed, edited, reworked, and rehashed by transhumans across the system. The Decoded Transmission is part group artistic project, part game, spooling out on forums and sites throughout the mesh, bits and pieces of it archived and published in different media. There are stanzas from it carved onto the mountainside of Mars, and a few million lines etched in microscopic characters along a meter of wall in Extropia. Spies use it as a public dead-drop, encoding their secrets into drabbles, and portions have been removed from public view because they are encoded with basilisk hacks and dangerous philosophies.

Using the Decoded Transmission

Aside from indulging in a bit of prose or poesy, the Decoded Transmission is a transhuman art project on a monumental scale, a group effort that can show up nearly anywhere transhumanity has been, and contain nearly anything. As a gamemaster tool, the Decoded Transmission is an excellent way to provide a critical phrase or theme to the campaign, a recurring image or words that the player characters come across, time after time, to reinforce a sense of continuity about a game. This is best done in a subdued, unforced manner—tattoos, logos, background paintings with fragments of words, etc. Of course, the GM can also simply use the Decoded Transmission as a prop, providing fragments of messages hidden in plain sight, prophecies and predictions, or just shout-outs—if their reps are legendary enough, someone may capture the PCs and their adventures for all time as a fragment of the Decoded Transmission.


  • It’s said the oldest-known archive of the Decoded Transmission is on Luna, with parts dating back before the Fall. Leira 6, a female-identified infomorph and sixth-generation fork of one of the original contributors, hires the player characters to find it and make a copy—but at least one of her “aunts,” an fourth-generation fork called Ariela, is willing to kill to prevent that from happening.
  • Firewall has identified a loose group of individuals assembling the Forbidden Transmission—the parts of the Decoded Transmission written during and immediately after the Fall, long suppressed for fear that they may be dangerous and contain basilisk hacks and digital viruses. Whether it contains the secrets of the TITANs or bad homemade transhuman erotica, Firewall believes the group must be stopped. The player characters are tapped to handle the situation, peaceably if possible, but if not, they have carte blanche to handle the situation as they see fit.

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