Cybernetics

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Cyberware

The first cyberware made its appearance in 2001, when Westinghouse-Microsoft developed the first Digital Neural Interface (DNI). A DNI allowed a full-range sensory experience to be delivered directly to the implanted subject's brain. Matrix applications that utilized this capability were promptly developed world-wide.

Tissue grafting and implantation had been known for some time, yet was still in its infancy as well, at this stage. Over the next decade, biotech firms raced each other to develop more and better applications that combined the best of implanted human tissue and the new electronics that were able to interface directly with the human body. Unfortunate side-effects began to make themselves known almost immediately. The most glaringly obvious of them was Implanted Cyberware Induced Psychosis, which was quickly shortened in common speech to "Cyberpsychosis" or simply "CP." Afflicted users of cyberware found themselves experiencing a range of symptoms from paranoia to visual and auditory hallucinations to uncontrollable homicidal or even suicidal urges.

In response, the tech firms began researching the effects of implants on the human brain, and Mortius Biotechnologies developed its Cyberpsychosis Index, a reasonably accurate way of measuring the effect an implant would have on a customer's psyche. The index has proved the most useful predictor for whether or not a patient can handle a given load of implants. However, as in all matters dealing with the still-misunderstood human brain, there is a wide degree of variability between what given individuals can handle, and what symptoms they will experience.

As time went on and technologies improved exponentially, entire engineered bodies were developed and offered to the public. Rumors exist of clone bodies that have been reserved by corporations for their own security and infiltration use, but it seems likely that such tech would have made its way to the black market clone facilities by now. Conspiracy theorists even speculate that new types of engineered bodies are leaked to the underground facilities first so that corporations eager to save (or even earn) money on research and development can track subject responses to the clones without taking on any physical or legal risk.

At present, the only part of the human body that cannot be replaced entirely is the brain, and even it can be heavily enhanced. It is best to keep in mind, though, that anyone using a body mainly composed of cyberware is never going to win the Mr. Sanity contest, even in New Carthage.

Cyberlimbs

Cyberlimbs replace less capable flesh-and-blood counterparts, attached and controlled via direct nerve, skin, and joint grafts. With cloned replacement tissue so common, there is little need for realistic prosthetics: Almost all cyberlimbs are designed to augment or complement their user's "natural" abilities with armatures of smooth chrome and stylish myomer. As cyberlimbs develop more and more mechanical functions, they erode the user's human identity and emotional stability.

Cyberweapons

Popular for their style, stealth, and concealability, cyber-weapons come in many forms. Most close-quarters designs complement a user's strength and melee skills, with specialized cyberweapons based on knife, sword, or martial-arts styles. Firearm units closely model the utility and feel of various pistols and rifles. Some cyberweapons feature retractable sections for covert employment. Most cyberweapons invasively transform a user's hands and arms into lethal weapons, often at the risk of severe cyberpsychosis.

Cyberorgans

Designed to replace original, flesh-and-blood organs, most cyber organ models emphasize upgraded capabilities. Internal energy supplies are sufficient for cyber organs to carry out nominal life support and bio functions. For performance boosts and augmented abilities, additional energy is drawn from externally mounted, expendable power cells. Cyber organs are minimally invasive because of their internalized structure.

Cyberskins

Grafts and sub-dermal inserts provide a wide spectrum of additional protection, insulation, and survivability. Since they dramatically alter the user's appearance, moderate psychological problems may result.

Interfaces

Cyber interfaces provide direct brain-to-hardware connection between the user and a host of network, sensory, and media applications. Mostly non-invasive in nature, these modules rarely cause psychosis episodes except in extreme cases of over-installed neural hardware.

Cyberpumps

Cyberpumps, usually mounted in tandem with the heart, allow direct injection or filtration of various chemicals and drugs. Invasiveness is minimal, though repeated doses of various drugs and hormonal substitutes may cause mental instability due to chemical imbalances in the brain.

Cybersensors

Cybersensors replace or upgrade various sensory organs. Since they affect the user's perception of the social environment, moderate mental health risks result.

Augmentation

A general class of cybernetic enhancements, augments are designed for installation alongside existing organs or tissues to maximize performance. Low-end augments are cheap and manifest only moderate psychological side-effects.

Chipware

Also known as "Chipsofts", chipware implants allow pre-loaded knowledge sets to be socketed into a base unit, typically on the user's neck or spinal column. Capable of storing rudimentary training in basic functions like repair or first-aid, they are invaluable to jack-of-all-trades users. Chipsofts degrade from the wear and tear of repeated use, and their basic proficiency levels replace any training a user might possess, instead of adding to it. Because they forcibly upload memory patterns into the user's consciousness, extended use of many chipsofts simultaneously can degrade mental stability.

Commware

The heavily networked future makes a connectivity a vital staple of any urban lifestyle. Commware miniaturizes network and messaging technology into a convenient, capable package. Commware is designed with the casual user in mind; most units cause only minimal psychological side-effects.

Fashionware

In Cybersphere's fast-forward pop culture, style implants are a popular and common way to break out from the perfectly sculpted and enhanced masses: Cheap vat-cloned tissue puts any face, feature, or body within reach, and glitzy fashionware marks the wearer as a cut above the rest. Designed to be user-friendly, all types of fashionware are easy to install, wear, and use with minimal invasiveness or side effects.