Thursday, December 19, 2013

353: Junyo

ENTRY 353: Junyo

"People are a sometimes food."
- Long Pig Monster

Cloned meat farms, resleeving, recycling corpses for their elements as a regular process - cannibalism hasn't been this easy and accepted a practice among transhumanity since the Pleistocene. With the removal of bodily death as a major concern, transhumans eating other transhumans has lost a lot of its moral force on most habitats, allowing plenty of transhumans to engage in the practice of tasting human flesh (cloned or real) perfectly legally. For example in Nova York, Takonashi 2.0 serves human sashimi culled from fetal clones; and in the Jovian Republic elite military orders partake in ritual feasting on enemy hearts. The surprising thing to most sociologists is that given the opportunity to engage in a formerly taboo activity, most...don't. The novelty of chomping down on a recognizable-as-human-limb wears off fairly quick, leaving the customer to worry about prion disease, cost, and taste.

Prion disease is a danger when consuming any protein source, though transhumans eating transhumans represents a considerably higher risk of transmission and transmissible degenerative diseases like kuru are known to persist in transhumanity. Price is a greater concern; "natural" human flesh is generally more expensive than forced-growth clones which is generally more expensive than edible shaped "meat" constructs built up with human muscle tissue; fat, bile, blood, and bone marrow are available for gourmands, and represents a minor side-industry for "scraps" in the medical cloning industry. Taste is the major issue - transhumans, as a rule, don't taste particularly better than pork or veal. There's no special flavor to the meat, and "natural" transhuman flesh in particular is typically chock-full of pollutants, stress chemicals, drugs, and augmentations that sour the taste. So while transhumanity has accepted that they can use each other as food, there are few popular restaurant chains based on the concept (and of those, only Fried Fingers is interplanetary), and most transhumans that do care to indulge prefer going out to a restaurant with certified prion-sniffers and rated chefs than trying to take home a steak or rump roast and figure out how to cook it in their quarters without violating the fire/heat source safety protocols.

Junyo is an assistant chef specializing in the preparation of transhuman meat. He first got his taste of it on the Jenny Greenteeth, a scum barge known for its food riots and rolling brownouts in AF 2, 4, 5, and 7, but unlike his peers he turned that into a passion for cooking, moved to Nova York, and enrolled in culinary school. For now he works for Takonashi 2.0 in Nova York, employed as a "guest chef" appearing at other restaurants in the solar system and preparing special meals for clientele, though he still dreams of getting enough favors and connections to one day open his own place - perhaps with an attached butcher shop.


Morph: Nova Crab
Skills: Academics: Anatomy 30, Academics: History (Cannibalism) 50, Art: Cooking 50, Blades 25, Free Fall (Microgravity) 18, Interests: Butchery 24, Interests: Cannibalism Cooking Styles 34, Interests: Cloning 25, Interfacing 16, Language: Native Malay 90, Language: English 85, Networking: Media 20, Networking: Science 11, Perception (Taste) 60, Profession: Chef 30, Protocol 25, Unarmed Combat (Claws) 35
Implants: Access Jacks, Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Carapace Armor, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced Respiration, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Taste, Gills, Mnemonic Augmentation, Oxygen Reserve, Puppet Sock, Temperature Tolerance, Vacuum Sealing
Traits: Addiction (Human flesh, Moderate), Armor (11/11), Mental Derangement (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

Using Junyo

The selling point for cannibalism is that it is taboo, and lacking the taboo element cannibalism in science fiction is usually a bit of exploitative shock (cf. Long Pig in Transmetropolitan or Soylent Green), and after that is generally just a minor (occasionally blackly comedic) background element. Horror tends to go the other way, hyping up on the visceral and bloody violation implied by historical cannibalism, which is restricted either to extreme hunger or psychosis. Eclipse Phase as a game of science fiction and horror can go either way as needed - eating a cloned ancephelous baby ("human veal") that appears on a porcelain plate and comes with a 400-credit bottle of wine or a couple of kids noshing on original recipe deep-fried hands from Fried Fingers are exploitative but probably background noise; a group of starving astronauts breaking open the cryogenic tubes to eat the sleeping colonists in their slowship or an exsurgent creature cracking a victim's skull and slurping out their living brain are scenes designed to evoke the horror of the setting.

Junyo can swing either way as the gamemaster needs. As a transhuman deep in the food industry of processing, serving, and selling transhuman meat, Junyo can be the mouthpiece of the science fiction practicality behind the practice; on the other hand as someone that probably had to gut and eat a friend more than once and now engaged in an industry where his powerful claws clip through transhuman flesh and limbs every day, he might just be psychotic and feeding his personal addiction. In either depiction, Junyo tends to be highly devoted to both his job and an advocate of consuming transhuman flesh - he doesn't play down the disadvantages, but is more than willing to highlight that the general distaste towards transhuman flesh is based off of antiquated moral codes, dying religions, and poor preparation - and is willing to underline the last bit by preparing small appetizers for the player characters (a great excuse to break out the game snacks).

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