ENTRY 264: Ghost Boxing
“Some people just can’t throw memories away.”
- Eddie of Luna
Forking technology has led to some odd derivative practices and technologies; one of the most long-lasting is a spin-off of neural pruning known as ghost boxing—a sort of mental scrapbooking where the pruned memories of egos are stored as a stack of inert files in a “ghost box” which can be quickly re-merged with the fork. Most ghost boxers are security-minded individuals that are conscious of the need to keep some secrets, even from themselves, and store their ghost boxes in secure servers that can only be accessed under specific conditions. Ghost boxes are considered more secure than XP recordings and the like specifically because the neural pruning process is both imperfect and tuned to a specific ego—if an ego not derived from the original attempts to access the ghost box, the merging process will fail (and probably drive the ego trying it insane).
Ghost boxing is basically a storage technique to keep the “scraps” left over from a session of neural pruning. Any fork of the ego can attempt to assimilate the scraps into their own memory and personality using a Merging Test, and functions in an identical manner (see Merging, in Eclipse Phase 275). Generally speaking, and ego merging with a ghost box is less of an ordeal than two egos merging and comes with fewer penalties—beta or delta forks tend to stabilize (or even regain lost skill ranks and Traits). However, if the memories and experiences contained in the ghost box are traumatic, they can potentially lead to mental derangements.
- Many habitats and organizations that edit memories keep a ghost box with the removed memories on file, just in case. Jazee is one such individual, a former criminal who can’t even remember what his crime was—or worse, where he stashed the loot. He asks the PCs to help him acquire his ghost box, offering them a 50% cut.
- One of the PCs receives an update that the account containing their ghost box is about to expire due to non-payment…but the PC doesn’t remember ever making a ghost box, much less paying to have it stored in a secure account. When did they prune those memories out, and what secrets could they be hiding from themselves?
- The last fork of exsurgent cult leader Niggly Bits has finally been hunted down and exterminated, but his followers are busy scouring the Mesh for his ghost boxes, hoping to merge them all into a stable fork. Firewall isn’t sure that will work, but they’re taking no chances: the PCs are to hunt down the exsurgent cult and stop them with extreme prejudice.
- On Titan, the Ghost Monolith is a public archive shaped like an obelisk where citizens can store their ghost boxes free of charge. Unfortunately, the Monolith has been stolen, and a cryptic clue left in its place. The clue (a cloned coelacanth dyed red) is meant to send investigators off on a wild goose chase while the perpetrators, a petal-crafter collective attached to the art college of the university, sift through the stored memories to make new drugs.