Friday, October 11, 2013

284: Transprimitivism

ENTRY 284: Transprimitivism

"There is an ancient and primeval need in transhumanity, to go into the great out of doors, to find or make your own shelter, learn to live off the land, and in other ways enjoy for a brief period the self-sufficiency that comes from surviving on your own, with only your skills and knowledge. One would have thought that the destruction of transhumanity's only natural habitat would have squelched that ancestral urge, but alas old habits resleeve with little difficulty..."
- Deep Red, Ruster trailblazer

One of the oddest survivals among disparate transhuman cultures is the stubborn retention of formal camping or "roughing it" excursions, where alone or in small groups transhumans set out from their artificial ecosystems with a bare minimum of technology and see or learn what it is to survive on their own for a few days or weeks. Of course, in a system with no fully-terraformed planets as yet "bare minimum" covers quite a large selection of necessary equipment, and these weekened getaways are less the proverbial hike in the woods with a tent and a water bottle and something closer to an extended surface excursion in a vacsuit from a mobile forward observer station. It is particularly notable that this sort of transprimitivist activity is more common on the more developed and hospitable bodies of Mars, Luna, and Titan than anywhere else in the system.

Mars and Luna in particular are home to the Solar Scouts Organization, in the form of the BGNT Scouts of Mars and the Young Transhuman Scouts of Luna, both transprimitivist organizations dedicated to teaching transhumans critical post-Fall survival skills such as Advanced Atmosphere Loss Training, Shipboard Firefighting, Emergency Repairs, Cortical Stack Harvesting, First Aid, Leadership & Administration, Spacewalking, and of course Surface Survival. Solar Scoutmasters train their students thoroughly before going on any planned surface excursions, which are only undertaken when a scout group as a whole has passed the qualifying exams and mock-emergency timed drills in an airlock to see if they are adequately prepared to patch sudden holes, set up mobile shelters, and perform triage and first aid, all while wearing their vacsuits.

While the Solar Scouts trace their skills and organizational heritage to similar traditions on Earth, as with the rest of transhuman society it is still relatively young - the first generation of Solar Scouts is just now entering their period of graduation, when they must personally complete a project for the benefit of their community to achieve the status of Solar Eagles. These young transhumans, having passed so many trials and proven their skills and abilities before their peers and teachers, face the world with solid starting reps and are already receiving offers to join gatecrashing and exploration expeditions.

Aside from the scouts, there are innumerable other transhumans who engage in transprimitivism more directly - Rusters who use laser-cutters to hollow out a cave in the rock, then set up an air-tight seal with a portable airlock to form a crude dwelling; Europans with aquatic morphs that go out for week-long fishing expeditions with nothing but a submersible and as much alcohol and bait as they can carry; "walkabout" Jovians on Ganymede that can survive for weeks off icemelt and slow-release nutrient implants; and even scumbarge vacation retailers who advertise three-day stays in private tents outside the hull, local radiation levels permitting. 


  • Jul Breen is a 17-year old Solar Scout, eager to earn their eagle. His proposed project is the rehabilitation of a damaged and abandoned bacteria-stack atmosphere processing station near the Martian north pole, and he asks the PCs to help volunteer their time and efforts. Breen is aware that the PCs might not help out for free, and is willing to offer his expertise and training in survival, tracking, and other skills; of course, nothing is ever simple, and it turns out that not only is fixing the station more difficult than it first appeared, but someone appears to have deliberately sabotaged the station to hide evidence of a murder...that points to another Solar Scout.

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