The D Series Exograft
Exografts are mechanical augmentations that are attached to the body, often hardwired into the nervous system, but most of their bulk is outside the body. The most common exograft is the Exocranial Cyberdeck which is used by high end cybersecurity and CogNet specialists, and by Clone-Drones with artificial brains.
The D-Series Exograft is a stopgap between muscle tracer technology often found in encounter suits, and powered armor suits. The unit is physically grafted to the soldier/victim, anchored to various points on the skeleton, and it is tied into the central nervous system through a cranial probe. This allows for intuitive use, and for the maximum application of mechanical force. The exograft increases the wearer's strength with a negligible decrease in agility and dexterity, and the system, aside from the brain probe, is remarkably cheap. The D9 uses pneumatic pistons and servo motors to augment strength. These technologies are in the Cosmic Era, centuries old, primitive and sometimes simply archaic.
The Kinburg NeuroComp
The Kinburg NeuroComp started life as a Behaviour Modification System used on hardened criminals and uncontrolled parapsychics. The computer, a glorified Biofeedback data processor, mostly interfaces with the limbic system of the brain and responds to major changes in brain chemistry. The Kinburg T99 NeuroComp provides a system of rapid response signals that integrate the D9 hardware with the physical impulses of the wearer.
Wearing a D9 is like having a SmartGun harness hotbolted to your spine, it's effective, but sweet baby Buddha it hurts. I couldn't wait to be unbolted from the damned thing.
Sharko - freelance mercenary
The D series of exograft suits were created with a single purpose in mind, augmenting throw away soldiers. The suits were to be mass produced, convicts and other social outcasts were to be subjected to the equipment and sent to the military to be used as high profile soldiers. The harness made them able to heft heavy weapons, often suited for powered armor suits, while the NeuroComp kept them behaviorally under control. A controlled could often remote access the NeuroComp and 'sleep' a rogue soldier, or simply have their body shut down and kill them. This was considered offensive and the militarized use of prisoners was eventually panned and banned by the SAUR. The SAUR Armed Forces would have to find another way to create expendable soldiers in the future.
The technology was simple and it was discovered that shadowrunners and other special ops types had a limited interest in the system. The main draw was that the D-series was amazingly cheap, even compared to the basement bargain price of the Chemical Augmentation System. Unlike the CAS, the D-series had a certain intimidation factor to it. It looked mean, it looked nasty and there was something about it that made people want to avoid the men and rare women who wore one. Intimidation is it's own weapon, so the suit remained in limited light production.
The entire Exograft concept has serious drawbacks that limit it's value. The biggest flaw in the exograft concept is that the system is both inside and outside of the body, and the points of entry are prone to sores, tearing, and bleeding as flesh and skin move and flex, and metal and plastic do not. This leads to not uncommon infections around the implant sites, as well as a persistent need for painkillers, antiseptic treatments, and antibiotics. These points of contact are also vulnerable points where the system can be damaged or disabled. A good fall in the right direction can damage the NeuroComp, cause software glitches or even take a soldier out of action while the system reboots and attempts to repair its coding.
The mechanical aspect also has flaws. The graft points of the body harness place a large amount of stress on the bones, and can cause bone fatigue and in the case of heavy usage, even cause severe fractures and outright breaks. The suit only enhances strength, it does nothing to augment the basic durability of the human frame. The enhanced strength can be deceptive, and wearers only realize this once they have attempted to pick up something, or throw something and had a bone snap like a twig.
On a cosmetic level, clothing and hygiene are difficult with a D9. Shirts can't be tossed over it, as the system chews them up and they are prone to getting stuck in the sores around graft points. The bare chested look is okay, so long as the weather is agreeable. It is also incompatible with almost all power armors, or operating anything but large civilian use mecha.
Like the Chemical Augmentation System, there is a social stigma that goes with the D-series. It was designed for convicts, and the NeuroComp is publically known for controlling lunatics and the worst of the worst criminals. The average exograft user is a low to middle level shadowrunner, willing to do wetwork and no questions asked jobs. Thus it is largely assumed that anyone wearing such a suit bolted to their skeleton and jacked into their brain is likewise a low end professional thug.
Chemical addiction, typically painkillers, but other drugs, especially tailored combat drugs, are common. It is not uncommon to see a D-wearer taking painkillers, antibiotics, metabolism boosters, bone health supplements, and militarized drugs like 'Psycho' or 'Jet' to give them the edge in the next go round.
Purpose and Plot Hooks
The typical use of the D9 is for last ditch efforts, final shots at glory. The system can be purchased and grafted on in most favela medical units, for the right price. Last jobs, suicide runs, revenge missions, and other jobs typically draw the system in, especially for down and out shadowrunners and mercenaries.
The Last Samurai - the PCs are on a final desperate mission, and they need every advantage they can get with their limited budget. With D9 suits they can get augmented strength and pick up inexpensive heavy weapons, like archaic M2 heavy machine guns or miniguns and use them with ease.
The Lunatic - The PCs have been tasked with hunting down a known fugitive, said fugitive shows up with a gang of thugs tricked out with graft suits and everything from oversized weapons (car bumper as a club) to serious firepower. Mayhem ensues.
The Puppermaster - The PCs have been abducted and fit with D9s. Their mysterious master communicates with them through the NeuroComp, doling out rewards and punishment through said computer for doing what he wants them to do. He promises if they fulfill his mission, they will be freed. Cue maniacal laughter.
Author's Note: This entire submission was inspired by the harness worn by Matt Damon in the upcoming movie Elysium. I haven't seen the movie, but I did have my interest piqued by the hardware he was wearing and the desperate way it is being used. Also: this was written in one setting, but ran well past the 30 min reserved for Oekaki. Please, enjoy.