Tuesday, December 24, 2013

358: Honour Stitch

ENTRY 358: Honour Stitch

"Jaeger Heinrich saved this habitat. We honor him by making him a part of us - through him, we live; through us, part of him will continue to live."
- Surgeon General, Opening Invocation

While a romantic concept, for the most part transhumanity hasn't attached substantial emotional attachment to organ donars since about the time transplant surgery became reliably survivable. Despite the imaginations and fears of writers and the superstitious, the hands of murderers do not influence the receiver beyond the grave, much less their bone marrow or tendons. Today, only the most superstitious or bigoted attach any particular importance to the donor as long as it's a match - and with the popularity and availability of cloned organs, even those points are mostly moot.

There are exceptions. In the Brittany A.V. scumbarge, a scarcity of clonal technology means that organ harvesting is much more common, and by local regulation transplant organs are individually tagged so that they and their donor histories are visible in augmented reality for medtechs. In the neo-Islamic community on Proteus, where clans and corporate holdings overlap strongly, adopted family members are only accepted if they share some of the blood and flesh of the clan - new members marrying in typically swap kidneys if their blood types are compatible. However, the most prominent of these romantic traditions is the Honour Stitch - most popular among the Mercurials and in the Jovian Republic.

The Honour Stitch are organs and, less commonly, personal augmentations harvested from the most lauded heroes of the habitats and societies. Most, though not all, of the transhuman donors died in combat, sometimes in conflicts predating the Fall, and the organs are genefixed and universal donor-compatible. The transhumans chosen to carried an Honour Stitch - named for the notable scar purposefully left by the surgery - are selected based on demonstrated service in the spirit of the individual whom the donated organ or augmentation came from. Most Mercurials and Jovians consider an Honour Stitch the highest commendation that a living transhuman can receive, and the stitchbearers are accorded considerable status in their communities, and those who prove unworthy of carrying an Honour Stitch soon find themselves relieved of it...without anesthetic, and often without being sewn up afterwards.


In place of a typical Rep award of 5 points or more, a character may be offered an Honour Stitch. This is an implanted donor organ or personal augmentation of a fallen hero - no, the PC doesn't get to pick which one. An Honour Stitch is worth double the original Rep award, but only applies if the PC is is in the biomorph with the Honour Stitch - if they resleeve without taking the Honour Stitch with them, the Rep bonus is lost. Likewise, if the Honour Stitch is ever destroyed, the Rep bonus is also lost.

Using Honour Stitch

Most Rep rewards are just a couple of points added on to a statistic. Honour Stitches are a way to make such a reward more visceral and material, and can combine a Rep award with a minor personal augmentation like a drug gland or cyberclaws. However, given the restrictions on resleeving, this option is probably best for Jovians or other characters that don't resleeve frequently.


  • Stitchbearer Marshall Yul Nagoya was a hero of the Jovian Republic who served the state well before defecting - and worse, taking with him an Honour Stitch: the Eyes of Jules (cybereyes that provide Enhanced Vision, Nanovision, and a complementary Oracles nanoinfection). The PCs are hired to get them back, no matter how.

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