Technical/ Mechanical
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ID: 7246


March 17, 2013, 1:27 pm

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Angel BioModification


An uncommon, but visually dramatic body modification in the Cosmic era

Description: The Angel Form biomodification process creates the visual image of the Human angel. A pair of wings are grafted to the applicant's torso. The wings, grown from donor tissue and surgically grafted to the body, are large and covered with modified feathers. The color and type of feather is determined during the first consultation, so the type of wings that a person can have is only limited to their imagination. The most common modification is for white plumage. For some, this is a better representation of the traditional image of the Christian angel. Other more pragmatic (scoff) applicants find a white base much easier to color, and change with dyes and genetic pigmentation mods. There have been in the past raptor/eagle wings, parrot and other tropical colors, flamingo, and raven/crow wings.

Creator: Worthington Biotechnologies fostered and maintained the Angel Form program at the behest of it's CEO, Damien Worthington, who was well known for both his ego-eccentricism and his fascination with Christian Iconograpy. Worthington sank a large amount of money into the project over a span of 11 years, and Damien was finally granted his long desired wings. He later fell to his tragic death after overestimating his ability to fly. He had made several BASE jumps off of various structures and buildings to land with dramatic effect at different interviews and conferences. His last jump was off the top of the newly finished Worthington Industrial Arcology in UAC Newark. The height of the building stressed his endurance, and he was buffeted by strong winds until one of his wings folded under load and exhaustion and he fell into a spin that he didn't recover from.

Worthington Biotechnologies would be later bought out and subsumed into the conglomerate of Gordon, Kingsman, and Thorne (GKT).

History: Xeno-Modification is the practice of creating dramatic bio modification through the use of genetic mods, cosmetic surgery and other medical procedures. This was pioneered through illegal Human+ programs, and eventually exploded on the market after the success of neko augmentation. The Angel-Form modification is simple on the surface, human + wing (x2). In practice the dream of pure human flight was difficult, dangerous, and expensive.

The first stage was a failed attempt to force a human body to grow the wings itself, but this proved to be not just horrifically painful, but had a fairly high rate of not just failure, but catastrophic failure. Several test subjects (clones) died in the testing phase.

Test Subject: Lana

The Lana Series of clones were designed and bred to be test subjects for genetic augmentation and experimentation. Lana is a stereotypical Caucasian female with red hair, green eyes, and fair skin. She has slightly above average intelligence (for better understanding of instructions, and ability to fill out test forms and documents) and is easily likable, with a cheery personality and docile nature. Lana is produced by McCandless Corp of New Nuyork and the clone is shipped to labs and test facilities around the world.

Given Lana's appearance and her nature, it is invariable that at least one tech, assistant, or junior researcher will fall in love or lust with a Lana. Older researchers, often having seen the horrific death of at least one Lana, or participating in a post test autopsy on one are a bit more jaded. These jaded souls tend to treat all clones like clever dogs, and are sad when they see a junior member becoming involved with a test subject.

The Second Stage went much better as the scientists decided to grow the wings separately from the body, and then later attach the fully grown wings to the torso, much like any other prosthetic attachment. This went better but there were still many mechanical problems. The wings just bobbed around, and lacked true strength or versatility. This required the creation of new muscle groups to move the wings, and alterations to the patient's nervous system to handle the addition of a second set of limbs. This technology already existed in the form of the Rokuro-Gongor apparatus, a nerve cluster that had been designed almost a decade before. The RG apparatus was first created for the addition of arms to a patient, typically a second set of slightly smaller arms with fully functional hands. This was primarily used by sculpting artists, climbers, experimental martial artists and most famously, Handy Hanna the Handjob Artist.
The use of the RK apparatus and the vat grown wings paved the way for the third and final stage. The end result was a healthy and athletic person with wings. Training was required, but they were capable of short bursts of (chicken like) flight and controlled glides and such.

Specifics: The torso of the applicant is prepared through genetic treatments to strengthen the ribcage as well as creating a second section of fused vertebrae to accommodate the addition of the wings, and their associated joints and musculature. New muscle groups are grown and used to not only anchor the wings, but provide power for them. This generally represents a 20% increase in body mass as wings are grown to proportion for the applicant.

The Greater Angel form has other modifications, usually muscle and nerve enhancement for facilitating self powered flight. This is a difficult act, as the human body is not designed for flight, and it is dense and heavy. The wings that the body can reasonably support are two small in surface area to facilitate the powerful flight ability of large birds such as hawks, owls, or other predators. Rather the wings are pumped in a fashion closer to songbirds and other small avians. This sort of flight is akin to sprinting as fast as possible, it can be done, but not for long periods or time or long distances.

The Greater Angel Form is used in conjunction with telekinesis or other flight boosting parapsychic ability can easily produce the easy flight of a large wing bird, or the high speed flit of a hummingbird. The wings remain as aerodynamic surfaces, and they are easily manipulatable, so an angel form modification with a jetpack or other arcanotech device that allows flight can produce an incredibly acrobatic flier.

The Lesser Angel Form is only 15% increase in body mass, but flight is not possible. The wings function as a second set of limbs. These are rather useless limbs as they lack hands or the ability to manipulate objects. They are however dramatically cheaper to gain and are predominantly used by female entertainers, sexlebrities, and other media performers.

Wings have lots of downsides they don't tell you about in the consultations. They can get cold real quick, and leech body heat right out of you. They also require a special high protein diet to keep up the feathers. Wanna see something sad, find an angel mod with a case of bad diet and you'll see scabby half feathered wings. The wings are sensitive too, bumping the wing is like stubbing your toe, except your toe is the size of your entire arm. That's one of the reasons those show girls hate being touched. It's also a pain in the ass having all your clothes altered to accommodate wings. And anyone who's ever mentioned just cutting holes in the back of all your shirts has never considered the logistical difficulty of sticking a feathered wing through a slit in a jacket. Better get used to wearing things that lace up the side.

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Chaosmark
March 18, 2013, 11:06
This is a good piece of setting fluff, much like most of the other Cosmic Era subs. Things like this show that you're really thinking through your setting and making it all fit together.

Lana makes me sad though.
March 18, 2013, 11:08
Lana was just a random tangent, but I have a feeling she's the real gem in this submission. There are so many story potentials there, the cynic scientist purging a compromised test clone because she has bonded with a lab assistant, the lab assistant trying to break her out of the facility, the inhuman treatment of the clones.

I love you, but it's publish or die. In your case, kiss, its you die and I get published.

Sometimes my own setting makes me feel sad and hollow inside.
Voted Dossta
March 18, 2013, 13:44
I agree -- Lana is tragically beautiful, and a great source of plot hooks for the party. Escaped Lanas are probably rare, but could make for interesting NPCs.

As for the wings themselves, I love the thought that went into these! The mechanics, biology and social implications were all touched on and dealt with credibly. And an NPC with scabbed feathers -- possibly a fallen-from-grace celebrity now working on the streets -- is a very cool image.

With the title, I was kinda hoping that this would be a Quest submission. I know that religion isn't a big part of the Cosmic Era, but I refuse to believe that faith could die off entirely -- there will always be some holdouts. It would be really cool to hear a little about how religions/cults function in your setting.
Voted Ted
March 18, 2013, 17:16
Scrasa is a constant source of fun reads.
Voted axlerowes
March 18, 2013, 19:43
Lana is the gem of this one and indeed breaks it right in half. You take all this great material for story and bog it down with mundane gaming details and these weird facts you get off in folding into things .

"Worthington Biotechnologies would be later bought out and subsumed into the conglomerate of Gordon, Kingsman, and Thorne (GKT)."

I wouldn't say this anyone else: KEEP TELLING YOURSELF WRITER FIRST.
Voted Murometz
March 18, 2013, 20:03

"Worthington Biotechnologies would be later bought out and subsumed into the conglomerate of Gordon, Kingsman, and Thorne (GKT)."

Hey, I love that kinda stuff!
Voted EchoMirage
March 20, 2013, 9:20
I would highly recommend GURPS Biotech for a thorough discussion of this topic - but you covered the main issues very well.

As others said, Lana is the top seller. Imagine a group of escaped Lanas from the Angel program... serving as mercs in some backwater.
They can be told apart only by their wings.
Dude. May I write the MercLanas up?
May I?
*bounces up and down on office chair*
March 20, 2013, 10:08
I am looking forward to seeing it, Echo. It would be interesting to see a group of mercenary/shadowrunner Lana clones. The general public would probably guess they are clones, but the Lana series isn't a mass produced version, so people outside of human testing labs (if it doesn't make your skin crawl writing about that part you're not doing it right) aren't going to know that they are escaped buxom ginger lab mice.
Voted Darkornyx
March 20, 2013, 10:00
Only voted
Voted valadaar
April 22, 2013, 11:26
An excellent background piece and insight into the coldness of the Cosmic Age.

It would seem to me that an off-the-chart parapsychic mutation just ask to be created (ala River from Firefly).

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