Thursday, June 27, 2013

178: Niels Watanabe

ENTRY 178: Niels Watanabe

Early menton designs focused primarily on functionality, to the exclusion and detriment of all else. The prototypical models were often flawed caricatures of humanity—stunted, malformed, and ugly by comparison to the mediagenic gods that dominate the Mesh. These were only the most visible errors; later on researchers and early adopters realized the dangers these unperfected morphs posed to egos, the enhanced wetware of the brain often leading the transhuman consciousness into extended fugue states as they lived entirely in their own minds, forgetting reality, or became fixated into various autistic states. Still, the enhanced mental capabilities attracted any number of scholars, researchers, and others who wanted the intelligence edge that they felt the morph would give them. Perhaps this is the truth underlying the media’s portrayal of mentons as cold creatures of rational intellect or unhinged mad scientists, but while it is true many mentons fit that mold, not all of them do.

Niels Watanabe was an early adopter, and for his troubles was sleeved into a stunted morph with a severe degeneration of the spine and brainstem, rendering him a quadripalegic with an outsized cranium on top of a stick-thin, useless body. He took the loss of mobility in stride and good humor, and is generally carried about in a variety of automated walkers or other vehicles, sometimes driven by one of his three wives. Unlike most mentons, Watanabe is not much of an academic, nor interested in research of formal learning. Instead his is a genius at problem-solving, brilliantly creative to the point that he is nearly unemployable—some of his proposed solutions have included the invention of exotic states of matter or permanently dying every resident of a habitat half-black and half-white, for example. These moments aside, Watanabe is infamous for his frankness, insight, and undisputable creative brilliance, and his services put him in sufficiently high demand that he never wants for work or favors when he wants them. Keeping busy keeps him happy, whether it is on a project or picking out gifts for his identical triplet brides, but sometimes he does enjoy a challenge—especially if it is a truly strange situation—and his friends and colleagues are aware of this aspect of his nature, and continually send along any interesting problems they encounter.


Morph: Menton
Skills: Art: Poetry (Limerick) 45, Interests: Any* 25, Interfacing 60, Investigation 50, Kinesics 50, Language: Native Japanese 80, Language: Norwegian 66, Language: English 44, Language: Hindi 44, Language: Italian 44, Language: Korean 44, Languague: Mandarin: 44, Networking: Hypercorps 36, Networking: Scientists 53, Perception (Visual) 56, Profession: Creative Consultant 60, Programming 33
Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Eidetic Memory, Hyper-Linguist, Math Boost, Oracles
Traits: Exceptional Aptitude (COG), Common Sense, Feeble (SOM), Frail (1), Neural Damage (Quadripalegic), Unfit (2)

* Niels has a vast number of interests and a lot of time on his hands; assume he has a rating of 25 in any non-Academic field of knowledge, even obscure ones like Old Earth Yo-Yos or Hyperspace Engineering.

Using Niels Watanabe

Watanabe is not insane, nor is he your typical genius. If asked some complicated or obscure question, he may cheerfully answer “I don’t know!” and then have one of his wives (Ivanna, Kim-Lee, and Star) show you the new recipe he just thought of for synthetic tapioca. He is so creative in fact, that many people have difficulty following his reasoning, and sometimes his answers are completely useless (anytime he goes on about “anti-neutrino fields” and the color purple, his wives just shrug and roll their eyes). However, his intuitive genius does allow him to skip past several logical steps to suggest innovative, if occasionally wacky, solutions to any problem—and if the PCs have a suitably wacky or difficult problem and need a solution, Niels Watanabe may be their go-to contact.

On the other hand, being trapped in a useless, deformed body has rather twisted Niels mind a bit, and there’s more than enough super-villain potential there for gamemasters that need someone brilliant, bitter, and off-the-wall to mastermind some harebrained scheme.

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