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In a place far away from anyone, I drifted off for a moment.

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In a place far away from anyone, I drifted off for a moment.

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Marten on Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:56 am

An era in which even if the entire Network connecting our minds were to channel the photons and electrons of our thoughts in a single direction, standalone individuals have not yet been converted to date to the extent that they become discrete components of a larger complex.

In 2003, the first cyberized* soldiers had appeared on the front lines, and as technologies that linked the human brain to external devices became more sophisticated, understanding of the brain itself made tremendous strides.

*Cyberization is the process whereby a normal brain is physically integrated with electronic components to produce an augmented organ referred to as a cyberbrain, which in conjunction with micromachines, allow the brain to initiate and maintain a connection to computer networks or other individuals who also possess a cyberbrain. Through the use of a cyberbrain it is possible to have a direct, constant connection between the human brain and the Internet without the need for external devices. This procedure increases the subject's neural abilities beyond their original biological constrains in fields such as neurokinetics and data analysis. Additionally to gain these increased abilities it is not necessary for a subject to undergo complete cyberization and acquire a body prostesis to support the cyberized brain. Due to advances in technology and the understanding of a human being's biological processes, an individual may choose to only have their brain cyberized, leaving the rest of their body in its original state. Also, after undergoing neural cyberization an individual may easily be transferred to a new cyberbrain as conditions dictate and if integrated with a complete cyborg body an individual could increase their lifespan several fold beyond that of a normal human. Terminals are implanted into the back of one's neck, ranging from one to four open ports in which a cable may be inserted to aid one's self in accessing the Net if they're unable to do so wirelessly. Said ports can also be used to hack your way into another's cyberbrain, granting full control of their bodies and memories if the hacker is skilled enough.

In 2015, scientists mapped the structure of memory and human beings obtained the ability to control memory, as data. For the first time, the brain was linked directly to the Net, allowing the massive quantities of information therein to be utilized as external memory with optimal efficiency.

The practice of embedding the brain with micromachines so that it could operate as an independent terminal spread like wildfire, transforming human beings into Units floating in a sea of information. Connecting one terminal directly to another became an efficient way to exchange information and people began to apply this technique to their own brains. People's lives were gradually tansformed as they became able to transmit their thoughts directly to another party's cyberbrain and communication no longer relied on information obtained through one's own sense of sight, hearing, smell, touch or taste. In 2027, the government declared Japan a Cyberbrain Nation, officially acknowledging the importance of the relationship between human beings and the cyberbrain.

Now, in the year 2030, some people implanted micromachines in their children before they could even talk, making it possible to track their whereabouts as a countermeasure against the increasingly widespread threat of kidnapping in order to provide the blackmarket with both organs and cybernetic parts. Needless to say, the ethical questions this posed led to widespread debate, resulting in conflicts such as the Cyberbrain Pollution White Paper controversy of 2024. However, this in itself was indicative of how deeply ingrained in society cyberbrain technology had become.

Meanwhile, it became apparent that some people were constitutionally unsuited to cyberization. Physiologically, they were perfectly healthy. But in an information-based world, being unable to access data was paramount to being unable to function in society. Those that suffered from this condition were known as "Cyberbrain Maladaptive". Technologies were developed that allowed Cyberbrain Maladaptives to overcome their "condition" and granted access to the Net, although adjusting to a Cyberbrain later on in life was relegated to the status of a baby learning to walk.

Located on Japan's western coast, on Nagasaki Bay, the metropolis known as Niihama is within the Niihama Prefecture bounds, near the refugee island known as Dejima. After the third and fourth world war, Niihama became Japan's newest capital, replacing Tokyo which was lost during an airstrike by several nations that had banded together. Net access cables cling to the walls of Niihama's buildings, their semblance to parasitic worms draining the buildings of their energy was found by many to be somewhat disturbing. One of the many landmarks of Niihama resides in its harbour, offering a spectacular view of the night sky along with the mesmerizing skyline provided by Dejima's industrialized and entertainment sectors, the effulgence of the lights reflecting off of the water. Another attraction would be Niihama's cyberbrain district, in which the latest and most advanced technological breakthroughs are put on display for those with enough yen to purchase them, as well as a place where many can go to take in the delights cyberization has provided for mankind. One such delight, although frowned upon and in many cases illegal, would be a Dreamery (a place where memories that have been crafted by a "dream-maker" are embedded into one's cyberbrain, making it seem as if it was their memory. The more complex "dreams" are capable of dredging up olfactory, visual, audible and physical stimuli.) Niihama is truly a testament to Japan's integration with cybernetics, skyscrapers and other assorted buildings filling its ken from across the expanse of sea or air.

Dejima Island was originally a man-made artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki, used as a Dutch trading post in the past during Japan's self-imposed isolation, lasting from 1641 to 1853. The island is now used as a refugee zone, harbouring those who lost their homes in other countries during the third and fourth world war. Due to current problems with Japan's economy, the Dejima, also known as the Refugee Residential Zones, were suffering from a shortage of food caused by their burden upon Japanese tax-payers. Dejima has its own refugee network which is used by its denizens to find work in order to feed themselves, aside from waiting in line for a bowl of lukewarm rice porridge. In order to work, though, one would have to present their prospective employer with a "Special Immigrant Labor Permit", proving that they were in fact refugees as opposed to Japanese citizens who, after having become empoverished, jumped the fences and took up residence in the Refugee Zones, believing they would be granted handouts from their government. Dejima was initially used as an asylum by the Japanese government to not only appeal to the masses and not desert their Asian brothers, but as a way to rebuild their war-ravaged country by workers who would perform dangerous tasks for low wages. The more dangerous the work, which would require a cyberized body, the more lucrative the pay, which as a result caused those that were not refugees to flock to the Zones. After the armistice, though, the demand for laborers dwindled, resulting in corporations that had experienced dramatic growth during the war and its subsequent years to scale down their operations and the need for construction workers tapered off. As the unemployment rate rose, so did the hostility. A portion of every citizen's tax dollars subsidized the livelihood of the refugees, although they were taking the jobs Japanese citizens needed in order to survive. As employment opportunities lessened for the refugees, more and more of them were forced to rely on government assistance that would soon come to an end, giving the refugee population that was well into the millions the arduous task of fending for themselves.

(( This is basically background information about cyberbrains, Niihama, Dejima and the history of each. Use this to assist with your role playing. If you can't tell, the setting is a futuristic city in Japan. I'm sure that's easy enough for a lot of people. ))
Last edited by Marten on Fri May 18, 2007 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Marten on Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:16 pm

Batou had spent his day off in his room; he didn't have any obligations. He had nowhere to be and the cold rain continued to fall, giving him no reason to leave. The sun began to set and Batou, looking out past the window and towards the lights of Niihama's skyscrapers as they stretched high into the dull damask of dusk, glimmering like a terrestrial constellation. Several streams of light flowed like tributaries into this river of luminescence. It was the system of highways that tied the city together.

Pulling his thoughts away from such surrealist idolatry, Batou raised the stein he held in one of his massive hands to his mouth, the white foam that veiled the effervescent amber liquid crashed against his lips as he took a draught from the glass. Before he had been completely cyberized, Batou drank occasionally but after having gone through the horrendous campaign in South America and undergone full cyberization, he drank more often. The need to drink was purely psychological, though. He knew that he could not get drunk yet he continued to drink, allowing the placebo to grant him a moment's reprieve.

The circular cursor of Batou's tubular ocular implants moved about the room as he finished off the stein's contents. The way the world looked to Batou was unique, even though his implants seemed to be a standard issue given to Japan's GSDF Rangers. He did not suffer from the prosthetic blind spot, which would have meant Batou would have to turn his head in order to see things peripherally. The cursor that roamed about the room would appear to others as a sort of matryoshka pattern set so that three circles with protrusions at odd intervals along its circumference moved about in conflicting rotation, a gap in each "circle" meant to house the protrusions.

Setting the tankard down, Batou took a step towards the door before he was interrupted by Motoko, whom he addressed as the Major openly.

| Batou, the Chief has called an important meeting and the rest of Section 9 is on their way, except for you. |

| Hmm? Oh, I was in Autistic mode. I believe today was my day off |

| I know you were in Autistic mode. It took me a few minutes to break through. Now, get down here immediately. We can't get started until you arrive. |

| Yes, ma'am. I'll be right there. |

Closing the Major's cybercomm, Batou slipped into his thick coat before issuing a command with his cyberbrain that would lock down his safe house, severing all connections with the outside world and protecting the few things he valued within it. As he strode towards the door, Batou grabbed his FN Browning BDA9 from atop a table littered with various photographs of Motoko.

Exiting his home and traversing the distance between the door and the spot where he had parked his Lancia Stratos, Batou peered over his shoulder for a moment, watching the lights within his home slowly extinguish themselves and the security system set itself before he entered his Stratos and drove off towards the highway, the streetlights casting an azure sheen on the road's surface.

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