All posts by DaveBot

Mjölnir

When a traditional EMP just doesn’t cut it or a specific target needs to be incapacitated without destroying the surroundings, the Mjölnir targeted EMP system is brought into play. Named after the god of thunder’s hammer, this incredible weapon operates on a one-two-punch method which allows it to shoot lightning at very specific targets up to 100 meters away.

This feat is performed by first ionizing the atmosphere between the weapon and the target, by firing a powerful laser. Milliseconds later an electromagnetic charge is released, which will naturally seek to travel the path of least resistance – down the ion channel which the laser has just formed. The effect of this setup is a fairly precise lightning strike, even capable of disabling most insulated targets, as the laser can burn through the padding on the electronics.

Vacuum accelerator

“Is this really just a glorified potato cannon? Why yes it is. But will it launch that potato through a brick wall, a car door or even your neighbor? Why yes it will.”

The vacuum accelerator is a scrap cannon, typically employed by low-budget militia types, which is used to launch almost any item, at an extreme velocity.

The design is very simple: A tube from which all atmosphere is removed, after the desired projectile is placed inside of it. When one end of the tube opens, the atmosphere rushes in, creating enough internal pressure to accelerate most objects beyond the speed of sound. The user should be careful to select the appropriate projectiles however, as misfires are commonplace when trying to launch jagged objects, which may collide with the edges of the nuzzle in ways that sends them flying in unfortunate directions.

PEA shooter

The Plasma Exhaust Accelerator (aka PEA shooter) is – contrary to its namesake – a heavy duty weapon capable of burning some very serious holes in anything but the heaviest armored plating. The accelerator uses a circular vacuum tube, carrying a tiny bit of magnetite which is moved by the use of electromagnetic pulses. Since the tube carries no air, the speed of the magnetite goes far above the speed of sound, producing a gyroscopic effect that makes it harder to rotate the weapon while it charges.

Once the appropriate speed is reached, an injection of air into the chamber will disintegrate the magnetite. As it collides with the air particles, it produces an extreme amount of pressure, ionizing the air into plasma, which can then be ejected through the nuzzle of the weapon. Take care to use the shoulder-rest to prevent any broken wrists or flying teeth when pressing the trigger.

Tabula Erasure (TE) chip

The Tabula Erasure chip can delete a person’s memories, but only within an easily definable time-frame. The chip works by identifying patterns as they form in the brain, meaning that it can only delete memories from the time it was implanted and forward. The widespread use of the chip is partly due to this restriction, as it makes it very clear for users what memories can be mapped for potential erasure.

Both inter-cranial and plug-in installations exist. Which option is chosen depends on the level of confidentiality and the paygrade of the employee.

Critics of the TE chip mention the risk of deleting memories of similar nature to one another, due to how the brain can compress similar experiences.

One of the most interesting uses of the TE chip comes from its creators the SimStim corporation, who actively uses the technology to forget their own narratives and grant them a fresh perspective on their own work.

Nocturne implant

An implant designed in an era where creativity trumped production, the value of adding waking hours to the day was rapidly increasing. Enter the Nocturne implant, a piece of technology to handle the chemical cleanup process in the brain, which normally occurs during sleep. Nocturne was mostly embraced in smaller countries, which traditionally considered innovation to be their greatest export. As the price dropped on the implant, it became more and more of an everyday product, people simply wanting more hours in a day. 

The biggest criticism of Nocturne was how it provided unfair competition for those who did not use it, and robbed us of our ability to dream. Some reports tell of users hallucinating, like waking dreams and nightmares, but have since been dismissed at attempts at damaging the name of the product. As a counterpoint to this argument, many of these users have started using the Sim Stim chip as an alternative to dreaming their own dreams.

Mediator implant

The Mediator implant has its name from the Mediator group, the people who were modified to interface with the artificial general intelligence Primordia, but also houses an on-board AI to help facilitate its functionality, as some of the features are too complex for both the human brain and the Cradle which it is built upon. The personality of the AI varies, as it emerges from an analysis of the user’s brain, in an attempt to estimate the most responsive presentation for that person. Once an AI has been manifested this way, it does not change considerably, unless the user of the implant undergoes trauma or other significantly reformative experiences.

The implant is installed on the link between the two hemispheres of the brain (corpus callosum), where it replaces much of the original stem and is able to inject signals to manifest experiences as though they are real – such as showing the AI personality as a real individual in the eyes of the Mediator.

Caster implant

The caster implant allows a user to “rent out” some of their brain capacity, to be used for computational processing. By design, the data being processed is not experienced by the user in any way, as it is intended to act as a secure method of processing for those who make use of it. Under exceptional circumstances however, some users may catch glimpses of what their brains have worked through in the aftermath.

Some people make a living by renting out their capacity several hours a day, a group which is commonly referred to as “Cloudheads.” Most companies using cloudheads for cheap processing are certified, but there have been stories of well-paying, uncertified companies, whose work may or may not have resulted in users having horrible visions, or hearing voices outside of their designated processing times. Caster corporations deny any liability for these occurrences, as they are considered malware on a platform that is otherwise perfectly safe, so long as the users only deal with licensed individuals and institutions.

Sim stim chip

The Simulated Stimulant chip (Sim Stim for short) is the ultimate tool in storytelling and entertainment, developed by the SimStim corporation.  It allows for the user to dream- with full awareness – a narrative designed by professionals.

"Ever fallen asleep for a few minutes, yet dreamt for something that felt like hours? The untethered brain is capable of experiencing things so much faster than when bound by the body. Lucid dreamers have known this for ages, walking their dreamscapes as realities outside our own. Our chip is capable of inducing the NREM-sleep state required for coherent dreams, while simultaneously allowing the user to be fully aware and remember what happens. In this state, the chip provides the framework which the user interacts with, it tells the story as written by us. It gives moments of respite to even those who are too busy to relax. Although many have augmented themselves from the need to sleep, we beg to differ: With us, there is always time to dream."

With all of our technological advances, we have yet to overcome hedonic adaptation, however. To combat this problem, sim stim writers work with a Tabula Erasure chip installed, to always keep a fresh perspective on their own work, as though it is always written by someone else.

"Only by erasing our memories can we relive something as new, but our memories define our perception of time and as such we erase ourselves."

While there are many who have attempted to make stories and experiences for the chip, it is this approach which the founder of SimStim, Daniel Jacobsen, accredits to the company’s success. However, there is a downside to using the chip too much. As with anything that pleases, the brain can become addicted and some users experience withdrawal or even depression from an existence that holds less defined purpose than the one they dream within the chip. Some corporations and individuals exploit these addicts by selling them unlicensed chips with home-brewed content, often with the intent of stealing personal information, harming the individual or simply testing prototype software that none of their own employees were willing to plug into their own heads.

For a more detailed description of the Sim Stim chip and the corporation and people behind it, we recommend you read the following interview with the SimStim founder:

Chronophobia

On this being the five-year anniversary of the world renowned SimStim phenomenon, our publication has reached out to Daniel Jacobsen, founder of SimStim, and asked him to personally write this headliner. In the wake of both recent awards and controversies, it seemed only fitting that the entrepreneur himself would elaborate on what makes him tick, as well as shed some light on the criticism which has recently been levered at the company.

Continue reading Chronophobia

Cradle

The Cradle augmentation is the neural interface that allows its user to plug different chips into the head, to interface with their brain. The most common use for the Cradle is to have a personally tailored operating system, built to assist in day-to-day tasks and provide entertainment.

The original Cradle was developed by the Lupei corporation as a response to the creation of Synthec, in an attempt to keep ordinary folks competitive with the androids. Since then, many other models have been produced by other companies, the market quickly evolving in ways similar to that of the personal computer.