Desperate egocasting

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Irenaeus Irenaeus's picture
Desperate egocasting

Hey everybody, first post here.

I've been running a game, putting four characters through Continuity and then Mind the WMD. Now we're going to start on The Black Spot (plus hijackers and some more) from the excellent resources at aleph.se.

One thing I'm trying to establish properly is what the absolute minimum required equipment is for a long-range egocast in the solar system. I get that people in the EP world are fuzzy about information security when it comes to their egos, and that quantum-encrypted neutrino comms are the standard, but if you're desperate to get your ego out, how low can you go? And what dangers would be associated with such an attempt?

All input is welcome.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Do you worry about 9-Lives?

A lot on the information security side is what makes things tricky. I suspect that an Ego Bridge and a radio transmitter are the bare minimum to exfiltrate a mindstate, but there's enough looseness on the beam that anyone in between your source and destination will be able to slurp up a copy of that traffic, even if it's some tiny sniffer sat trying to scoop up everything.

At that point, since you just sent yourself, there could now be a copy of you in the clutches of any number of groups. The Jovians, the Inner Planets Alliance, a criminal consortium. If they realize they have slurped up a mindstate, they might be willing to spool up simulspace and attempt to extract every bit of information that you know.

Since you're a firewall agent, this is potentially really dangerous for Firewall's secrecy. Needing to rescue such an ego (or -being- such a fork) could be good setup for a mission.

A slight smell of ions....

Irenaeus Irenaeus's picture
o11o1 wrote:A lot on the

o11o1 wrote:
A lot on the information security side is what makes things tricky. I suspect that an Ego Bridge and a radio transmitter are the bare minimum to exfiltrate a mindstate, but there's enough looseness on the beam that anyone in between your source and destination will be able to slurp up a copy of that traffic, even if it's some tiny sniffer sat trying to scoop up everything.

At that point, since you just sent yourself, there could now be a copy of you in the clutches of any number of groups. The Jovians, the Inner Planets Alliance, a criminal consortium. If they realize they have slurped up a mindstate, they might be willing to spool up simulspace and attempt to extract every bit of information that you know.

Since you're a firewall agent, this is potentially really dangerous for Firewall's secrecy. Needing to rescue such an ego (or -being- such a fork) could be good setup for a mission.


Thanks, that's pretty close to what I suspected. I like the assumption that will pick it up, hell, even just some rescue service. It changes the question from "can I do that" to "is it worth it", "how much will I need to trim a fork for this to be even vaguely acceptable", and "am I ok with pruned copies of me I might never be aware of being interrogated or tortured for information for a potential virtual eternity".

I like the mission suggestion rather a lot as well. Thanks for the excellent answer.

P.S. Extrapolating from this, it makes me wonder about desperate infugees from the inner system wanting to go to e.g. Titan. Can unsecure egocasts be some sort of parallell to the horrors of boat refugees or human trafficking today? Hell, the standard may even be that they both arrive safely are intercepted and exploited.

CarolineWebb CarolineWebb's picture
Thanks for providing here

Thanks for providing here information on Desperate egocasting.

UCAS personal statement service provided by UCAS Personal Statement writer with admission guarantee at Personal Statement Folks.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
As far as "Can somebody pick

As far as "Can somebody pick it up" look up The Long Array on Dione. It can pick up a distress call pretty much across the entire solar system, never mind an egocast meant to go any real distance.
Their policy is to freely distribute all received transmissions, too - wonder if they'd make an exception for a wayward ego?

Irenaeus Irenaeus's picture
MAD Crab wrote:As far as "Can

MAD Crab wrote:
As far as "Can somebody pick it up" look up The Long Array on Dione. It can pick up a distress call pretty much across the entire solar system, never mind an egocast meant to go any real distance.
Their policy is to freely distribute all received transmissions, too - wonder if they'd make an exception for a wayward ego?

Thanks for the tip on the Long Array. That's interesting. I'll easily buy that there are numerous exeptions in the way signals are passed on, and egos would probably be close to the top of that list.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it a common infugee fate in my game to have simultaneous alpha forks at existing at Titan (usually only as a backup or inforph, though, considering the waiting time for morphs for fugees) and some sort of explotative situation other places. An interesting dynamic to this which seems very different from any refugee crisis I know of is that the least skilled and most damaged people can probably risk an insecure egocast without fear of being abused far more easily than strong and resourceful refugees.

Looking forward to seeing if my PCs prefer an insecure emergency egocast or just dying and reverting to a backup without continuity if things doesn't play out.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Oooh, Lost Fork.

Sounds like the Lost Fork negative trait.

A slight smell of ions....

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
At a certain point, it might

At a certain point, it might be better to just send the most important information and die than send a fork, heavily pruned or not. The intel might be intercepted, but at least then you know exactly what information you leaked. If you tell that there is an angry TITAN-thing somewhere, odds are most people will steer clear or nuke the site from orbit, neither of which are a bad thing (of course you could get stupider responses).

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Well transmitter and ego

Well transmitter and ego bridge are the bare minimum. Truly minimalistic. As previously said totally unsecure.

Buuuuut...

Firewall being highly concerned with security would probably provide one-time pad security codes for agents. Then after encrypting the ego it could be decrypted only in one place in the system but it is better than broadcasting your soul all over Sol.

EDIT: after realising they one-time pad has to be bigger than the message maybe it could be used to send XP data for merge with backup stored by Firewall.

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

Baribal Baribal's picture
o11o1 wrote:I suspect that an

o11o1 wrote:
I suspect that an Ego Bridge and a radio transmitter are the bare minimum to exfiltrate a mindstate

In a pinch (and assuming that a spare person is present to do it), you can skimp on 90% of the ego bridge by removing the stack and reading it directly. If memory serves, even an ecto is capable of doing that, which, given that ego bridges are expensive / resource-intensive and rare, often even restricted objects, would be helpful if the situation is desperate enough.
Also, it'd underline said desperation. But if you have the tools to extract the stack, you also have the tools to euthanize its bearer beforehand, so there's at least that modicum of mercy.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Hm I don't recall stacks

Hm I don't recall stacks being ecto-compatibile. But then the minimum is really low: a knife, an ecto and antenna for range. If you are really desperate an ecto will do. But digging out someone's stack with your bare hands will not be really pleasant experience.

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
one time pads are not often

one time pads are not often sent ahead of the message. rather I would tell the receiving that the one time pad could be one of hundreds of potential key files sent months or years in advance

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
The problem with one-time pad

The problem with one-time pad is that it has to be at least as big as message coded. So the problem is carrying one around in your head. Unless I'm mistaken and you can easily store multiples of amounts required for ego storage in mesh inserts.

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
The lowest point on the "get

The lowest point on the "get the ego out ASAP" is either to run as an Infomorph, or be physically carried as a Cortical Stack (very used during the Fall). Both have problems, security-wise, and both risk Exurgent infection.

About one-time pads, I'd say its availability is at GM's discretion. When we talk about people in the same planet, creating and sharing them is quite trivial, and might involve dead drops or even just handshakes. Please do notice that "one time pad" used to refer to a substitution card, or small notepads, but in EP it can mean an encryption key that will be used once and then deleted, between two ends. That means you don't move one, but hundreds or thousands at the same time, usually between proxies. Some will be used between proxies, and some will be handed from the proxy to the agents, but unless the proxy makes them he wouldn't have both pairs... So it's reasonable to think that each "one time pad" also goes to a unique and precise "email address".

As for interplanetary exchanges of "one time pads", agents passing by might do dead drops, or Toybox might use the same box they deliver the toy to also carry some pads (if they are compromised, Firewall is quite screwed anyway).

Finally, some qbits are really expensive, but Twitter has proven one can be very expressive with a minimum amount of characters (which translates directly to bits).