Sunday, April 7, 2013

097: Cicada

ENTRY 097: Cicada

Transhumanity is not a state of being, but a process; to be transhuman is to be on the way to becoming something else, something other. Most do not have any definitive goal, no self-defined end state, transitioning between morphs and upgrading as their needs, resources, and opportunities permit or require. Others take a more disciplined approach, focusing their personal evolution in a specific direction, aiming for the moving target as technology continues to progress and open up new ways for them to become what they wish to be. Among the latter is the morph known as Cicada.

Insect-style biomorphs are relatively rare, due both to low demand and engineering issues with scalability—the square-cube law still applies, even if you want to be a giant ant or spider. As a consequence, insect-style morphs do not look much like actual insects from a biomechanics standpoint: the exoskeleton is reinforced with cartilaginous endoskeletal elements, the musculature is enhanced, the limbs and claws redesigned to distribute mass more evenly, and sometimes exotic materials must be used to help regulate body temperature. On top of that, the biological boilerplate for most biomorphs remains the classical human form, which provides the necessary brain and complementary support system for intelligence; the vast majority of insect-style biomorphs are little more than extensive cosmetic alterations on top of a human chassis.

Cicada has no interest in being like the majority. To outsiders she appears as a seven-foot, eight-limbed insectoid dressed only in loops of pocket-belts, whose slick green carapace is accentuated by the suggest remnants of her humanity—bare breasts, ears, strands of hair, and multifaceted eyes located in a still-somewhat elfin face. She is still on the path of becoming what she wishes to be, eagerly sharing with others her next planned operations—poison glands, honey glands, spinnerets—and long-term goals of egg-based reproductive systems and harmonious multi-species hives with herself as one of the queens. To fund these activities, she operates as a lawyer, legal advisor, consultant, and spokesperson specializing in uplift rights and discrimination in the Planetary Consortium.


Morph: Cicada (Futura variant)
Skills: Academics: Biomechanics 45, Academics: Entomology 72, Academics: Law 70, Art: Tattooing (Carapace Decoration) 40, Art: Writing 50, Deception 60, Freerunning 40, Infosec 40, Interests: Insectmorphs 80, Interests: Uplift Rights 60, Interfacing 40, Intimidation 50, Investigation 40, Kinesics 50, Language: Native English 87, Language: Mandarin 55, Networking: Criminal 50, Networking: Hypercorps 60, Networking: Media 50, Profession: Lawyer 70, Protocol (Legal) 65, Research (Legal) 40
Implants: 360-Degree Vision, Adrenal Boost, Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Carapace Armor, Cortical Stack, Cyberlimb (x4, w/synthetic mask), Eidetic memory, Emotional Dampers, Endocrine Control, Enhanced Pheromones, Enhanced Smell, Grip Pads, Hardened Exoskeleton (as Hardened Skeleton), Multiple Personalities (x3), Multitasking, Neurachem, Sex Switch
Traits: Striking Looks (2)

Using Cicada

As a giant insectoid, Cicada is well aware of the impact her appearance makes—and combined with her social skills and pheromones, makes the most of it. She excels at in-person social confrontations, a great negotiator in closed room meetings and a skilled orator who rarely slips into her personal obsession with transhumanity’s insect future when on the job. Cicada’s multiple personalities normally each control a pair of limbs; in extremis they can engage in multitasking and each limb will have a separate ego-fork controlling it, which is quite a sight. As a consequence of having 4-8 minds in collaboration at any given time, Cicada tends to sing and talk to herself (and her pet space roaches) all the time, though she clamps down on that when in professional mode.

As an NPC she can be an ally or contact (if the PCs need legal advice or representation), a source of work (she frequently needs investigators to look into the details of her cases), or even a neutral adversary (if the PCs are subject to a lawsuit, and the opposition hires her). Unlike NPCs, Cicada’s combat skills are somewhere between rudimentary and missing—in the event of an actual fight, she’ll either run or curl up in herself.

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