ENTRY 149: Goopers
Exhuman cliques tend to push the boundaries of the available technology, driving themselves along the bleeding edge of innovation as they work to transcend or remove themselves from the traditional mental, social, and physical limitations of human existence. One such group is the Liquid Morph Project, which pursues the technical challenge of building a fluid or mostly-fluid based morph. Derisively nicknamed “Goopers” by many, they’ve managed some moderate successes with a series of morphs based around a strong, flexible plastic membrane with over a million piezoelectric feet/sensors filled with fluidic circuits and a distributed nanite-based computer network that sustains the guiding intelligence. These bean-bag like fluid morphs are vacuum-sealed and can be powered by thermoelectricity, with a plastic surface area that allows them considerable ability to reshape themselves, but yet lack considerable means of manipulating the environment; communication is mostly via the Mesh, vibration, or changing color. The Gooper habitat is little more than a small research station on the surface of Neptune’s moon Nereid, where the fluid morphs can easily operate on the surface.
To fund their research, the Goopers have been experimenting with smaller-scale “pet” fluid morphs, called Liters (as each has about one liter of fluid volume). Liters are driven by primitive AGI based on the intellects and responses of relatively intelligent small animals like rats, squirrels, and ferrets, modified to take into account their lack of limbs and changed sensory apparatus. Unlike traditional biomorphs, Liters are fairly self-sufficient, require little physical maintenance, and can be extremely sociable. Focus group testing for the Liters is currently being conducted in Ilmarinen and Glitch habitats, and if the feedback is good the Goopers are ready to begin full production, with contracts being negotiated with retailers on Titan and Mars.
The philosophical approach of the Goopers is that freedom from mechanical constraints is essential to freedom from the human condition, and dream of a variant grey goo scenario where they all live as liquid suspensions of nanite clouds in one vast ocean, forming bodies and structures according to their needs. That said, the Goopers recognize how far off their dream is, and the difficulties of their particular approach, which is why they’re trying to drum up funding. While it is possible for the gamemaster to portray them as cunning and malevolent water balloons, most Goopers spend their days on cat-schedules, stretched out on the surface of Nereid with one end in shadow and the other in sunlight to generate thermoelectricity, plugging away at the mental problems of achieving their liquid paradise.
- A political snafu occurred on Ilmarinen when a visiting argonaut mistook the Gooper ambassador for a gel chair and sat on it. Worse, the sudden drastic pressure caused a puncture and the ambassador lost fluid before the membrane sealed itself. The Goopers are furious and have become incommunicative. The Ilmarinens need a neutral third party to visit Nereid and apologize on their behalf. If they accept, the PCs are informed that the incident was staged by the Ilmarinen Secretum, a private industrial espionage group that believes the Goopers are planning on using the Liters for espionage (which is half-true, the Liters do record information and transfer it back via certain channels, but solely for customer feedback purposes), and that in addition to the apology their main mission is to snoop out as much of the Gooper’s plans and technology as possible.