ENTRY 123: Blemmyes
Morph engineering is a combination of technical and aesthetic challenges, balancing the need to meet certain performance specifications with building a morph that an ego is willing to resleeve into. As a consequence, most morphs abide by at least the general outlines of the classical human form (bipedal, two forward-facing eyes, etc.) or other Terran animal life. It is generally only the most daring and independent morphs that play with major variations, such as the headless, or blemmyes morph.
The blemmyes design philosophy is that in contemporary transhuman society, a distinct head is both unnecessary and something of a liability—with modern bioengineering, there is no reason why the most important aspect of the morph, the brain, should be located in a relatively vulnerable position away from the central mass. So, the blemmyes morph was designed so that the brain is located in the central torso, behind a reinforced ribcage where the individual ribs have grown and fused together as an armored pseudo-skull. This protects the brain, increases blood flow to brain tissues, and shortens neural path distance to outlying muscles and organs; however, it also necessitated several other modifications—temperature controls, and the relocation of sensory organs to account for the lack of eyes, ears, nose, and tongue. The blemmyes’ torso is dotted with receptors that provide weak senses of sight, smell, and hearing—for example, the photosensitive patches can discern the difference between light and darkness, but not color or distance. For general interaction with the environment, the blemmyes relies on echolocation, and a keen sense of touch, with its fingers and toes incorporating taste receptors.
Even with these modifications, blemmyes more than many other morphs require a complete change in lifestyle. Instead of a mouth, blemmyes possess a single orifice between their shoulders used mainly for respiration, and incapable of speech, so they rely primarily on sign language, Flavored Braille, and Mesh-based communications. Without teeth or other masticators, they rely on pre-processed foods, and most choose to sustain themselves on an intravenous diet. In large part because of these disadvantages, blemmye morphs are unpopular and remain relatively scarce, but are cheaper than several comparable morphs.
Generic Blemmyes Stats
Enhancements: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Enhanced Senses (Echolocation, Enhanced Taste, Enhanced Touch), Oxygen Reserve, Temperature Tolerance
Aptitude Maximum: 30
Wound Threshold: 8
Advantages: Armor (3/3), +5 COG, +5 COO, +5 INT
Disadvantages: Mute, Reduced Senses (Hearing, Sight, Smell)*
CP Cost: 20
Credit Cost: Expensive
* Blemmyes take a -30 modifier to Perception tests relying on any of these senses.
- Morphist tensions have erupted on Mars between a majority Barsoomian community and the blemmyes minority. The center of the dispute is a disruption in blemmyes-accomodating Mesh services, making it difficult for them to communicate and receive proper nourishment—a disruption that one blemmyes hacker has tracked down to an outside scholar. The Barsoomians will never believe the blemmyes, so they turn to the player characters to help them uncover who is really behind things.