The main man behind the cyber coffin is rather surprisingly, a musician, Icewhite Sovrabbondanza.
Icewhite was a massively successful and immensely wealthy noise punk celebrity, creating club music out of ambient noise, static, and audio sampling people's social media. Some considered this the highest form of art, others considered it an ongoing assault on their ears and an affront to god and nature. Regardless, Icewhite was popular and wealthy, and became the nexus of one of the top ten largest relationship networks in the world. Icewhite had no fewer than forty seven wives and three husbands, and a simply unimaginable number of children and later grandchildren.
This became an enormous drag when Icewhite was on tour, or when he wanted to hang out with groupies, or not have to remember the dozens of birthdays, and pay for the entourage for all of his spouses.
Icewhite decided that the best way to exit this situation was to die.
To this end, he drafted multiple end of life documents and made financial arrangements for his estate, including appointing several cybernetically augmented humans, three autons, and an AISC he purchased specifically for the purpose act as his executors. The hard part was going to be dead long enough for it to work, but not dead so long that he was forgotten, or his estate was dismantled.
A year seemed like a good amount of time.
The Cyber Coffin
The Cyber coffin shares many things in common with the utility med-pod or the ubiquitous hibernation or cyrogenics pod. The device largely acts as a holder for a body, and preserves it indefinitely. Unlike a med pod or other life support device, the cyber coffin is a death support device. A living person placed in the coffin will undergo a brief treatment and then be rendered dead. This is a legal death as there is no pulse, no breath, no activity on an EEG or EKG, and even Kirilian photography detects no remnant of an aura.
When Icewhite died and was lain in state, millions attended his funeral, both virtual and in person. Tribute albums were crafted, and the label made a vast amount of money over his apparent demise. Doctors and lawyers were involved to determine that without a doubt, the eccentric musician known for such antics was truly and actually dead. This pushed the estate into forbearance, and what post-life payments and divestments that were to be made, were. The many wives and scores of children were removed from the Sovrabbondanza Orbital Home, leaving it to become a museum and mausoleum for Icewhite to remain indefinitely.
Once a month, legal and medical experts were invited to the Orbital Home to inspect Icewhite's remains. This quickly wore thin as most were unimpressed with this constant inspection of a cold corpse for no apparent reason. There was no joke or prank, nothing amusing, it was something that Icewhite was never known for, it was methodical and tedious.
How Does it Work?
The Cyber Coffin is an arcanotech device that uses a hyperdimensional object, a four dimensional sphere known as a glome, to hold the soul/anima/spirit of the person placed inside it, so long as the person dies while inside the coffin. The soul of the person is protected inside the glome until as such time as their body is reanimated and the soul is reinserted. The coffin portion is an affection, and used in keeping the body preserved so that reanimation is simple and there is little damage to the body in the meantime.
Icewhite was reanimated after a year, and spent another two years in recovery and therapy. He had indeed been dead for a year, and the experience was not what he had expected. It left him deeply traumatized, incapable of laughter or even speaking for several weeks. Biologically he was fine, but spiritually he was deeply wounded. Five years after his stunt, Icewhite was able to return to his career as a musician, and when he reappeared on the music scene it was playing his greatest hits, and doing covers of other popular musicians. This was financially successful, but Icewhite never released another new track of his own writing.
So What is the Real Deal?
The Cyber Coffin is what happens when someone is handed a piece of hypertechnology and has no idea how to use it, and instead of realizing they have the cure for the world's power problem, they use it as a coaster for a drink. Sovrabbondanza quite accidentally used his vast fortune and connections to get random bits of tech, some of it black market Imbrian tech salvaged from the Moon or from the asteroid belt and had a phoenix engine built. The Imbrian Phoenix Engine had the ability to keep a host body alive and healthy for decades past it's prime until it exhausted the corpus. The Imbrians used their alcazars to keep each host body alive for centuries, and only when it could no longer be rejuvenated, they threw it away.
When an Immortal Dynast cast off their shell, they would use the Phoenix Engine to draw out their soul. The empty meat would be discarded, and a new host, cloned from their own cells, or increasingly later in the middle and late dynastic periods, gene crafted and specifically bred host bodies would be sourced. The dynast's immortal soul would be inserted into the new body, and they would rise again, fresh and new, ready for another round of the great game.
What Sovrabbondanza and his technicians got wrong with the cyber coffin is that the transfer time should be short, a few minutes or hours at the most, and the soul would never be placed back in it's old body. The general idea was that once a soul was flayed from its body, that body would never be a good fit again. When there is an organ transplant, the old organ isnt cut out, left on a tray for a minute, and then put back in. The same applies with the cyber coffin and the Phoenix Engine.
What Happens to the Soul?
While the soul is extracted from the body, it is a raw and exposed nerve. No longer sheltered by flesh and the bioetheric energy, the aura, generated by the body, it is vulnerable. The exposed soul, even contained in the coffin or engine, exists in the same energy plane as the larvae of the Outer Gods. It is also bared to metaphasic space and the entities that dwell there.
Roll 1d20 versus an increasing difficulty scale on a sliding time scale.
Once per minute, very easy, for three minutes
Once per minute, easy, for seven minutes.
Once every ten minutes, moderate, for an hour
Once an hour for six hours, moderate to difficult
Once a day for one week, difficult
Once a week for a month, hard
Once a month for a year, very hard
If the roll succeeds, then nothing happens. If there is a critical success, either the time frame can be mitigated, or the difficulty reduced a step. If there roll fails, roll against the Soul Harrowing table.
Soul Harrowing Table
1 - critical failure, the soul has to roll dice against its willpower/wisdom score. If this is failed, the soul is corrupted and upon reanimation the person becomes a Desolate One, a human with an alien soul, parapsychic abilities and becomes a campaign villain
2 - failure, reduce talents, skills, and knowledges by 25%, at random. The soul has lost parts of itself. Gain PTSD, nightmares flaw, and a 1D3 phobias.
3 - Rough ride, reduce talents, skills, and knowledges by 10%, at random. The soul has been wounded. Gain PTSD, nightmares, and a 33% chance of a phobia.
4 - Shaken, gain Nightmares flaw.
5 to 8 - Profoundly negative, change character alignment one step towards Chaotic Evil (Good down to lawful, or lawful across towards neutral)
9 - Simply profound, change character alignment one step towards lawful good.
10 - Shakingly Profound, gain second character alignment at random, this has a 10% chance of manifesting as the character alignment for the scene/scenario
11 - Prophetically Profound, character has a 50% chance of gaining each of the following flaws: paranoia, xenophobia, monomania/obsession, megalomania, and stress atavism
12 - Critical Success - the soul has deliberately and willingly merged with something from metaphasic space and become a lawful aligned nihilid in a flesh suit.
Uses for the Cyber Coffin
The cyber coffin can be used as a body stealing device, but no one really knows that yet. The people using them currently are either death tourists or people who have an interest in being legally dead for whatever reason.
Death Tourism - some people want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or their lives flashing before their eyes, then wake up and laugh about how death isn't so big and scary now. Most of the time this involves the person being dead for a minute or two, long enough to be issued their death certificate and then they go on with their lives. A few have nightmares, a few experience profound changes in perspective.
Alternative Therapy - looking for cures to migraines, PTSD, and other chronic issues that can as often be psychological as biological, some people try dying for a little while. A few people do see considerable improvement, their depression or anxiety going away, but its overall a negative game. For each person who has their chronic issue relieved by death, two to three gain new issues, new nightmares, or a worsening of their condition, some become suicidal very quickly.
Thananauts - some people think death is a destination and use scientific equipment in an attempt to record their experiences on the other side, with very questionable results and professional thananauts tend to be unhinged and unraveling people obsessed with finding the other side like it is a destination. Unlike the previous entries, thananauts tend to go for extended periods, pushing for hours rather than minutes.
Suicidal Ideation - some think that a potential cure for suicidal thoughts is to go through with it and die. Then they are brought back and the question is asked, do you still want to do that, or was once enough?
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