ENTRY 091: Seanav
“Slow free-fall through the dark waters, pressure climbing, cold creeping in as the diver sinks; in the midnight expanse absolute direction is tenuous, a gulf of kilometers between reference points, space enough to get lost in, to drift unknowingly from the course on some subtle current, with no way to find the path back home…”
– Xene Ye, final journal entry recovered from cortical stack
Direction sense implants, despite the name, consist of more than a single new sensory organ. Most of these bioware implants combine moderate boosts to several peripheral senses already present in the transhuman body, combined with selective memory routing options to emphasize path-recognition and retention. In conjunction these provide the user with excellent mapping skills; even outside the context of physical motion a user presented with a map or maze will be able to mentally navigate the pathways with relative ease. In three-dimensional environments, however, these typical augmentations are insufficient; routes are too fluid and complex, subtle sensory cues often overwhelming or nonexistent. Biotechnicians on Europa have addressed this shortcoming with an accessory bioware implant: the Seanav.
Seanav was developed as an adaptation and refinement of the gyromagnetic organs discerned in some of the larger examples of Europan native lifeforms, though xenobiologists believe some similar principle may be at work at all level down to certain of the native bacteria. The Seanav provides a heightened awareness of the body’s movement as a series of vectors; in addition to any specific routes the user took they retain a clear impression of the absolute distance and direction from their current position to their starting reference point. For example, in navigating a complex underwater cave system a standard direction sense user may have trouble remembering the exact series of caverns they entered by, particularly if a cave-in prevented them from exactly retracing their route, but a Seanav user would retain a clear impression of the distance and direction between their current position and the entrance, no matter which route they were to take.
Seanav is an augmentation available for characters with the Direction Sense bioware implant (Eclipse Phase, p.301). With Seanav and Direction Sense a character may navigate in undersea and deep space with only a -10 modifier (instead of the normal -30 modifier). [Low]
Aside from the mechanical advantage, the Seanav implant exists to make the players and gamemaster’s lives easier—getting lost has its benefits from a story standpoint, but generally speaking it is good for the PCs to at least be able to orient themselves and move in the desired direction, at least to keep a session from stalling out as players try to sort out what to do next. From an in-game standpoint, Seanav is one possible incentive that gamemasters can provide to player characters in an underwater or outer space setting, particularly Europa. Many hypercorps or local power groups looking to hire outside morphs could provide the augmentation gratis as a sign-on bonus for taking the job; local habitats looking to attract settlers could do the same.