Origin

The greatest power the western nations, the Atlantic Federation and its allies, have, is the CogNet and all the technological wonder and ability it contains. Any force or faction that faces the Federation and its allies has to find a way to either match their technological prowess, or a way to nullify it. Common tools for this include signal jammers, static smoke devices, shroud technology, creating deadly computer viruses, EMP weapons, and resorting to using dumb weapons that cant be co-opted by high tech systems. The Eurasian Alliance uses a variety of methods, ranging from their own high tech corps, to using dumb technology, to their wonder weapon, the Poteka.

The Poteka is an arcanotech device that is pill sized and easily swallowed. When introduced into a stomach, the acids dissolve the outer casing, and chemical reactions power the micro-scale device. The device releases its payload of nano-machines that hunt out and seek cybernetic implants, and specifically target the part of the brain that regulate cognitive interface, the hypothalamus.

The Outcome

The end result is that all cybernetic components are hopelessly fouled and have to be removed. The changes wrought on the nervous system prevent new components from being implanted, as it will foul them just as quickly, and the host runs the risk of biorejection, an intense immune reaction that treats the new component like a foreign object. This anti-tech 'allergy' can last for years. The damage done to the hypothalamus also renders the brain unable to access or use any sort of cog gear.

This isn't just horrifying to the average augmented Federation citizen, it is horrifying to any citizen. Without peripheral access to the network, the citizen is ejected from society. A person lacking a personal identification code will not be able to use anything inside an arcology. Doors wont open for them, vending services wont acknowledge their inputs, autons and machinery will only recognize them as it would an animal, or intruder. Such people are taken into custody by the systems that control the buildings and removes them, throws them into exile.

There is no 'cure' for this other than to have the disconnected citizen wear some sort of permanent bioteletrix that is not connected to their body.

Other Side Effects:

In addition to causing the rejection of cybernetic implants and cognitive system linking, the changes made in the hypothalamus also tend to cause victims of the pill to have problems regulating their sleep patterns, and issues with arousal and sexual response. There is no single profile, some can't sleep at all and require chemical treatment, usually venturing into a linger psychosis and death. Others struggle with narcolepsy or even spending days at a time asleep, some starving to death, or dying from exposure because of where their malfunctioning brain let them lay down. The same applies to sexual response, though muted response or complete sexual dysfunction are more common that ending up with a libido that has no off switch.

Work-Arounds

The effects of the poteka can be neutralized by a long series of bioregenerative treatments, introducing anti-virals, and EM radiation therapy. This can dampen the effect of the pill. The most radical treatment is a hypothalamus transplant, but at this point, it remains one of the few parts of the brain resistant to being replaced with a cybenetic component, and unless the victim in question had a brain matter sample on file for growing a replacement, all of their existing bio-data has been corrupted by the poteka.

Immediate Use

The most common targets or potekas are going to be heavily tech involved people, such as cybersecurity, augmented shadowrunners, and anyone who has the implants to link with something like a mech or aerospace fighter. Severing the connection between a pilot and their machine makes them no longer a pilot, and in the case of aces or celebrity pilots, it is a fall from grace, and a strike against morale for the entire nation, even the entire military. The pilot didn't die a hero, they were retired, shamed, made impotent.

VIPs and other persons of interest can be targeted for 'poisoning' so that their technopathic connections are severed, removing them from the cognitive system. For people in positions of power, this is disastrous because the system treats them like they are dead, but they aren't. Being unable to digitally confirm their data, most of the time to machinery will effectively kick them out, and activate their last wishes and similar documents. A few are able to survive this disaster, but most regular folk who are hit with this are exiled from their technophillic homes and forced into the slums where they cease to be anything other than just meat. A lucky few end up being kept as 'pets' by someone who cared enough for them to sponsor them into their home. A family with a 'dead' member has their credit scores docked, and are treated accordingly. 'Dead' citizens cannot use things like the food dispenary, access basic medical care, or even be acknowledged by autons and service industry machines.

Some criminals are given a similar treatment, effecting a permanent exile, and drastically reducing their value to any wastelanders or geofront gangers who might let them in.

Luddites, aesthetes, and hermits have been known to make a public show of excising themselves from the system, but typically not before having a haven or retreat set up for themselves outside of the body electric. These communes and retreats are viewed as highly strange by most citizens, as many have deeply religious bases for their actions.

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