The goals of the wealthy and the powerful tend to be simple: more wealth, more power, more entertainment, and the vanquishing of mortality. In the Cosmic Era, none of that has changed, other than advances in hypertech and arcanotech have made the defeat of death easier and easier.
Technodynasties have been born in the Cosmic Era, with the scions of wealthy and powerful families using new technology to keep their fingers dug into the land of the living as well as keeping control over their empires and allies. This is not true immortality, on a long enough timeline they will all eventually perish, but it is a timeline measured in centuries and multiple human lifetimes. The technodynast is playing a stalling game, slowly giving ground to keep their wits and legal rights and powers.
The first stage technodynast is still human and passes for human. The dynast has started basic anagathic treatments to offset the early symptoms of aging. At this stage, the dynast is going to be steadily replacing their organs as they fail, and replacing their extremities and sensory organs at the same rate. Despite this change, as mentioned, they still appear to be normally human, and can carry on this stage for quite some time. The human genome is robust, and can take quite an amount of modification before suffering degradation.
At the second stage, the outer body of the dynast has continued to degrade and requires protection from the environment. At this point, the core of the dynast, the head and torso organs are removed from the human body and placed into a full cybernetic body, complete with a fascia instead of their face. The organs and brain of the dynast are suspended in a synthetic amniotic fluid that provides nutrition, filtering, and other other biological needs of the host. At this point, the dynast no longer eats, drinks, nor carries out any other biological functions. The dynast still has a humanoid form, but they are far more machine than human, and their personalities, divorced from most biological impulses, become more alien in thought.
Many Dynasts at this point will keep either a surrogate droid that resembles an idealized version of their organic self, or a clone with a full artificial brain that they can proxy through. This is not mandatory, but most will do it out of a desire to engage in mortal activities like eating, drinking, consuming drugs, or engaging in sexual relations. These dynast clones are, of course, sterile, for legal purposes. A paranoid dynast will have a retinue of these clones, and even body double autons that match their augmented bodies. Killing one of these dynasts is exceedingly difficult.
The third stage dynast has decayed to the point that their biology is incredibly fragile. They are reduced to a sedentary organism, likely bound into a sarcophagus like med-pod. Their mind is even kept in a passive sleeping state, linked to the CogNet where they dream through their twilight phase. Despite this, these dynasts are still fully capable of carrying on proxy work through surrogate droids and cymek clones.
The main threats to a stage 3 dynast are ennui and a breakdown of the psyche, and interruption of their life support systems. Despite living in a 'twilight' these dynasts are among the most powerful and dangerous. They have long since moved past biological desires like drugs or indulgences of sex. Their desires are sharpened to the point that they could split atoms. They have both focus, and the ability to make plans that span decades. They have spend decades linked to computers, and are well accustomed to delegating their authority to semi-autonomous programs, machines, and human subordinates.
All technodynasts have one thing in common, they are all immensely wealthy and immensely powerful. This allows them to own and command the loyalty of people around them, and to afford the astronomical cost of immortality. They are political leaders, moguls of industry, scions of old families, presidents of megacorporations, and so forth. They range across a variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, and their long term goals are as diverse as they are. They are not quite the immortal and ageless puppetmasters of the Cosmic Era, but are rather the kingmakers, the grand financiers, and the minds behind seemingly bizarre interests and endeavors.
Author's Note: The Technodynast is a relatively common sight in anime, a man or woman typically in a sitting or passive pose, speaking through a mask, or a voice echoing through a chamber while a hologram logo shimmers indicating with immortal has deigned to speak with the lowly mortals. Technodynasts are geniuses, leaders, and other people of great importance, so important that they determined that no one else was capable of taking up their mantle so they forsook their humanity to become immortal god-machine constructs. The seven sages of APE in Darling in the FranXX, SEELE from Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Immortal Ship Council from Knights of Sidonia, and so forth, are all examples of technodynasts in varying stages.
This is an excellent idea. My brain is rolling around like crazy. I think the god-Emporer from the 40K universe. They also did something similar in in Doctor Who.
There is a robot NPC wearing a projected on face. He helps our main characters, gets caught in a meat grinder, blown up, ect... They morn his loss but a new shiny robot appears, same guy, same face.
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I suppose House from Fallout would also qualify as one of these. Nice to see a name put on them.
This type of character features commonly in anime, such as the Immortal Ship Council from Knights of Sidonia, the mysterious SEELE from Neon Genesis Evangelion, or the members of APE in Darling in the FranXX. Nigh immortal manipulative bastards who play with the lives of tens of thousands to the fate of all of humanity, but could be easily defeated by a clumsy janitor moping the floor and unplugging their life support unit. I worked on this one for quite a while. I started a half dozen subs on the concept and deleted them until I rolled around to this. In a live action work, Weyland from Alien: Prometheus would almost count as one of the technodynasts with all of his life extending tech, but he never goes the cyber-augmentation path.