Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

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MirrorField MirrorField's picture
Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

Here are some notes I use in my campaign regarding infugees. Comments / criticism is welcome.

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Infugee Travails or Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

The Fall was quite a mess. Billions of people beamed their backups out to space when TITANs roamed the Earth and spaceborne people feverishly nanofabricated storage media to contain the informational flood. Innocent egos ended up who-knows-where and even though majority of this huge morass has been at least preliminarily evaluated, many habitats contain huge banks of archived egos with very little idea who (or what) are contained inside and forgotten/abandoned/lost ego caches are recovered regularly. Some of these ego banks haven't even been scanned against TITAN viruses yet and may contain absolutely anything. Several organizations and hypercorps exist to simply index and organize these messes, identify the people inside and scan the archives for any possible informational viruses, TITAN surprises and whatever.

Planetary Consortium has set standardized "recovery fees" for infugees (A Moderate cost, 5000 Credits); the recoverer may waive this at it's discretion, but he legally cannot demand more. This is to discourage people and organizations from deliberately hunting out and ego-ransoming famous/important people, neatly preclude any legal challenges of contract unconscionability, function as a nice prod to get infugees to sign on the various indenture schemes and, of course, to provide adequate compensation for the recoverer. Refusal/inability to pay this fee does not allow for deletion; worst a legitimate operation can do is to file the ego back in dead storage in some soul market firm with a standing civil claim.

A Legitimate infugee recovery operation cannot run psychosurgery on the ego in question without eg. court order or disassemble or otherwise interfere with infugee's muse which, if present, is normally filed attached to ego in question and must be available for the infugee. Ego files usually include metadata (name, identity, etc.) but reliability of this data is lousy at best and usually the authorities who issued the ego identities are now defunct so personal interviews are necessary. This is another reason for the recovery fee: Even with best virus scans you can never be quite sure what will come to life when you boot up a recovered ego.

In any legitimate ego-recovery operation after virus scans and other such checks the resurrectee is entitled to communicate via mesh and access public media "to get back on speed" on current situation in solar system for defined amounts of time (few days which must run in realtime); costs of these are covered by the recovery fee and usually handled inside simulspace. Every now and then, when an introductory interview with resurrected infugee is held, the infugee calmly asks to send an e-mail and the next thing the interviewer knows is that he's dealing with a lawyer saying "Here's the standard recovery fee, we'll be leaving on next egocast. Kthxbye." Sometimes this is followed up in few days with a splash in the inner system's glitterati scene as another socialite makes a sudden surprise entrance.

It should be noted that the indenture market in Planetary Consortium is unified and that the infugee can (and often does) pick his indenture employer ("I'm not working for those a-holes at Cognite and if the indenture terms offered by Exotech are slightly worse, so be it."), even though this is usually a choice between scylla and charybdis and may mean an indeterminate amount of more time in dead storage.

Autonomist infugee recoveries are much more informal, but generally consider recovery a moderate favor and not returning it is bad for your rep. Still, they're quite a lot more flexible and understanding in favor-returning arrangements than hypercorps, generally friendlier to boot and more helpful in giving infugee opportunities to get back on his feet.

Jovian junta with it's bioconservative ideology disapproves of the infugees and usually sell any recovered ego caches to Planetary Consortium with minimal checks on the contents. While the infugees may not be human by their calculation, they're still valuable and it's more profitable to sell them to PC than to scrap the caches...

There is considerable traffic in recently-awakened infugees between various jurisdictions as people want to be reunited with their families, some can't handle scum lifestyle and other innumerable reasons. There may be immigration/emigration problems between various jurisdictions, but it's rare there are problems that suitable amount of bribes/favors/lawyering cannot handle. One notable glitterati princess, for example, notoriously spent few weeks in Carnival of the Goat after her revival before egocast back home to daddy could be arranged. She still tells stories about the outré things she saw and experienced, the weird blue-skinned bouncer biomorph with even weirder bio- and nanoware that she wore while there and so on.

Adventure seeds:

*Ego Caches are always nice MacGuffins. For darker Firewall adventures season liberally with TITAN viruses and despair over having to permanently delete few thousand innocent people...

*A Noted anarchist networker has located her dad working as a shuttle pilot in Jovian Junta and she's calling in some heavy favors to get him reunited with her at Locus. Getting his ass (or at least ego) out of the Junta should be a piece of cake with a suitable combination of lawyers, guns and money, yes?

*A Recently resurrected misfiled infugee just took over her inheritance stored in Lunar banks, which included majority shares of a software hypercorp named SeleSoft. However, Prometheans are worried about the little factoids that SeleSoft worked as a software development subcontractor for Pentagon's TITAN projects (no SeleSoft culpability in the Fall or TITANs has been ever found, although these projects are something they'd prefer everyone forgot about) and that while it's public knowledge that the young heiress' Muse is a custom unit that SeleSoft built before the Fall, it somehow feels just a bit too competent for a normal AI... Even if both heiress and her Muse were carefully scanned for any viruses or other nastiness.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

Excellent ideas!

One of the more interesting characters in our campaign carries around Tanzania in a suitcase. The suitcase contains [*] several million stored citizens and runs the Tanzanian cabinet in a simspace [**]. His job is to act as lobbyist and find good places to instantiate the citizens - ideally so they can pay back taxes to their dear government and finance more instantiation. Unfortunately this is complicated by citizens going autonomist or hypercorp and just buying out their relatives without considering the budget balance of their former nation.

Compared to other nations Tanzania did well. Sudan's leaders sold off their remaining population to Nine Lives.

[*] Actually, it is an interface to remote storage, but the character doesn't know the technical details. He is a lobbyist, not an upload technician.

[**] There is some complex backstory for why the cabinet has to wait until enough citizens have been instantiated. In the meantime, the prime minister demands to use the character's puppet socket to shake hands with other dignitaries.

Extropian

root root's picture
Re: Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

root@Infugee Travails


MirrorField = h-rep++;

That is fantastic. I especially enjoy the lost adventure seed. I could see a number of infomorph spies getting caught out in a panic about Muse-jacking by TITANs.

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

MirrorField MirrorField's picture
Re: Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

To Expand on infugee situation somewhat, this little gadget is intended as a regular MacGuffin for any campaign. Any comments?

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Standard Ego Cache

This design was created by the precursors of Argonauts for Earth's evacuation. Literally millions were nanofabricated during the Fall around the solar system and a large percentage of the original manufacturing glut is still floating around entire system. Salvagers in LEO recover these units almost daily.

The Cache is extremely durable, basically a ruggedized slab of solid-state circuitry in diamondoid matrix, multiply redundant by design. It's designed to tolerate all sorts of abuse while retaining functionality and data integrity. The Outer casing also contains passive anti-nano features (long-chain molecules designed to gum up nanite gears, etc.) that make it somewhat resistant against all sorts of nanite attacks (treat as dedicated, immobile guardian nanoswarm).

Physically the cache is a briefcase-sized solid slab with rounded-off edges and integral carrying handle fit for transhuman hand. It masses about 20 kilograms and fits into standard server rack with appropriate rail adapter. It can be (and has been) used as a bludgeoning weapon or shield...

The Cache does not have any wireless capabilities (a deliberate security measure), only a power socket (still-used UN standard), a wideband fiber-optic data socket (ditto) and a "molly-guarded" miniature control panel for firmware (including a physical write protection switch). It doesn't have any processing capabilities aside hardwired firmware (another security measure) which is basically too simple to corrupt without physically compromising the circuitry and cannot be accessed via the fiber-optic data link.

This type of cache is designed to contain 256 transhuman egos, along their personal data (ie. mesh insert or ecto contents) and muses.

The Design is completely Open Source, widely available everywhere and often used as non-volatile data storage for nearly any conceivable purpose, including the original one (soul market firms often possess huge racks of these units). Not many are fabricated these days as there is already a large glut on the market.

The Market value of empty Ego Cache is around 4000 credits (moderate). Note that the "recovery fees" for 256 infugees comes up to 1.28 million credits in Planetary Consortium; even dimmest salvager knows better than to delete salvaged infugee egos to simply reuse the cache hardware.

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Infugee Travails aka. Welcome to 10 AF, Resurrectee

I think that's really excellent! One thing I might add is that some ego cashes might have a receive only antenna for the initial uploads that may well have self destructed after it was full. They might have been set in stationary orbits near habitats and such or the details of their orbits destroyed by habitat erasing TITAN viruses. So this makes them like modern day treasure chests just floating out there in the void.

Baribal Baribal's picture
The downside of redundancy

I see one problem with a design like that cache, or rather, its practical application. As during the Fall egos were cast with little regard for where they end up, is there any accounting for multiple copies of egos stored in different caches?

I dimply remember reading something about the legal status of multiple instances in some book, something along the lines of "If any has been instantiated apart from the others for longer than $short_time_frame_depending_on_local_law, it is considered a separate individual." Now, how do PC-member hypercorps deal with that? Is the recovery fee on an ego that has already been submitted somewhere null and void? Thus, is picking up a cache from LEO more of a gamble with a *maximum* payout of 1.28Mc? What are the coordinating authorities for that, and how do they mesh with othr instancing providers, for instance Extropians, or Autonomists at large?

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