Phenomena

Wherein the rules of coming back to life and the occasional consequences of doing so are explained.

Phenomena

Postby Penultimate Pi » Sat May 18, 2013 4:41 pm

Phenomena:

A currently non-canon explanation to the many strange things at Swamp Rat.

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Respawn and the Chips:

The Respawn Chips have become the driving technology behind Mann Co.'s infamous replication technology. Previously, capture points and intelligence capsules were used to log a mercenary's data, which occasionally led to discrepancies like short-term amnesia and scrambled memories.
By the end of 196X, the Respawn Chip had been tested and approved for use in further mercenaries. They were first made as part of a technology to distinguish soldiers fighting in the late Robot War. Even with the Manns dead, there was still massive competition for their amassed land, and new inventions in war technology insured they would need much more than nine mercs at a time; a niche the Respawn Chip fulfilled in whole. Their ability to be mass-produced became invaluable to keep track of many different unique mercenaries hired beyond the Robot War, as opposed to the capacity of the original nine.

The chips function through their placement between the vertebrae of the spinal column, just in the neck. The spine acts as a conductor of the body's brain signals, and so the chip not not only get power from that, but records these brain signals for updates.

Whenever someone dies, the Respawn chip implanted in their spine sends out a signal indicating that their heart and brain rates have dropped to nothing. This pulse is sensed by Respawn, which uses the chip's signal as a tracking mechanism for a specialized teleport. What may be known as 'despawning' is the process of matter from the remains of a corpse being teleported away into an unoccupied Respawn capsule.
From there, the matter is reconstructed into a human body based on the last iteration of saved information from the chip and the database. Because the brain's cells are reconstructed exactly, the mind remains largely the same minus any events that occurred after the last save.
Once this process is complete, the capsule sends large amounts of energy through the body to revitalize it and ensure that the resulting organ systems are rebooted and functioning. The capsule opens, and the subject wakes up. Repeat, and so on and so forth.

NOTE: The functioning of this chip is thought to be genius among the mercenaries who heard of it at the time, but it has more than once led to strange mishaps that have been attempted to be sealed away. Modern improvements in the system and chip have since been made to eliminate such errors.

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Zombies:

Thought to be things of myth and speculation, Respawn technology has technically made the undead possible.

This phenomenon occurs by Respawn failing to pick up the dead bodies of chipped mercenaries. A erroneous attempt at despawning will jolt the mind into thin life. Any sudden exposure to power sources that can power up their brain again will bring the zombies back to life. How they function is dependent on how long they stay dead. Most corpses lose rational brain function after about 24 hours, when the brain cells rot. As the rest of the body becomes malnourished and rotten, the zombie loses its senses of touch, smell, taste and hearing, degrading into the slow, lumbering forms typically depicted in myth.

In this state, the Respawn Chip is salvageable, but may cause respawning errors if the mercenary has retained this undead state extensively enough to govern a save of information from the chip, which a very rare occurance that this point considering the chip believes the subject is dead.

STATUS: Further investigation is not suggested.

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Ghosts:

Again, like Zombies, the Respawn System is the cause of this just-as-mythical, but not quite as explored phenomenon.

Again, a failed despawn results in jolts of energy, and any power source can restore it's effects. This time, the data on the Respawn Chip is actually tapped into, and the body's lost energy flows into the chip. In this state, the mercenary has largely free will, and can talk, see, hear and move to the limited extent of the chip. This sort of sensing is very macabre, as with no physical organs, the chip itself is what is sening from reverberations of its signal, a sort of echolocation.

Additionaly, it has been observed that the mercanary, under intense thought, can change his or her own spectral form, based on the data in the Respawn Chip. However, it can be noted that the ghost will only have access to the memories stored on the chip, which often don't extend far beyond a name, bits of any additional language, and certain events experienced prior to the mercenary's death. The chip will continue to gather information even after death, so any information the 'ghost' has learned may be salvaged if the chip is recovered and the data saved. Without any save function, however, the ghost may be prone to short term memory loss of events it has experienced.

STATUS: Further investigation is requested on updated Respawn systems.

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Schrodinger's Soldier (Josif's Incident):

Before we can explain how the incident with Josif Arcson occured, we need to first explain how Respawn fuctions and dysfunctions.

Most anomalies in the Respawn system occurs in the reconstruction of matter, in which something is simply put together wrong. This ranges anywhere from physical defects to mental instabilities or even the use of false reconstruction information entirely. In newer, updated Respawn systems, these problems are virtually nonexistent because of added algorithms that check to make sure everything was reconstructed *exactly*.

But there are still three persistent problems in most all iterations of Respawn, but the conditions for emulating them are rare. Zombies and Ghosts occur with disruptions in the despawn. Zombies occur when their signal is not detected and they are exposed to another source that revitalizes their chip. Ghosts occur when the chip's signal is sensed, but unable to despawn and therefore stuck with the body's energy left seperated from the body and bound to the chip. Only one or the other can happen ata time, due to the conditions required.

Josif's Incident (codenamed Schrodinger's Soldier) defies all of these conditions. Because his body has an evolved dual-personality syndrome, he essentially has two seperate mind in the same brain. Only one can be active at a time, or the body will drain the energy of two active minds at the sime time: in other words, getting fatigued really fast. Josif's last save must have occured when both or neither conciousness was active; that is, when he was weakened and in a coma. Therefore, when he respawned, the system attempted to revitalize Josif and in turned triggered both conciousness at the same time, causing massive power surges in Respawn. This is what likely triggered the fatal error.

The respawn would be finished when a single conciousness of brain waves was detected, but in this case there were two: too much information to properly process. Having Respawn crash is not a desired outcome under any circumstance, so the system had to undo the problem. It retracted energy from the body, essentially forced the capsule's functions to backfire and causing yet more damage.

In this process, one of the minds was sucked out (Josif's), and the data and its associated energy became leftover in the system, creating a ghost. Meanwhile, the body in the capsule, being put under too much stress and then having the energy sucked out of it, was basically a bundle of dead cells still governed by the mind and energy of one consciousness (Xavier's). In this matter, it is technically simultaneously alive and dead, and under the qualifications of a zombie.

NOTE: It is currently unknown if an evolved dual-personality syndrome is required in these specific circumstances in order to produce both a ghost and a zombie.
STATUS: Further testing is not advised at this moment.

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The Late Robot War:

Late into the Robot War, Grey Mann realized his error in powering his robots with money, no matter how counterfeit. Coal and oil seemed to be cheap options, but Grey wanted some long-lasting fuel that would power every robot indefinitely. The radiative powers of Australium seemed promising, but too expensive to monopolize enough. Eventually, Grey managed to discover stores of Uranium withing mountains in some of the Mann's territory.

This paved the way to nuclear fission power, a source that proved very potent and volatile at the same time. It gave the teams a run for their money, but their abilities were cut short when Grey and his life-extending machine began to malfunction and weaken. Realizing the extensive waste that nuclear power left behind, he arranged for several isolated dumpsites to place the waste material to decay in solitude. (Because he was likely unaware of radiation's effects on Respawn, he didn't think to dump the waste onto the mercenary sites.)

The common exposure to nuclear radiation regardless killed Grey slowly but swiftly. With no more main production line, the remaining robots were forced to fight to live. Their last stand at Grey's factory put an end to the Robot War, and triggered the new age of the Mann Companies.

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The Swamp Rat Dumpsite:

Investigation of Grey Mann's information indicated the locations of the dumpsites, but not their purpose. Figuring the bases to be key points of some value, the companies erected bases on the Swamp Rat dumpsite, unaware of the expiring nuclear wastes below. This led to many different issues in the first dispatch, and eventually led to a large-scale incident in the second dispatch.

Knowing there was some real threat to Swamp Rat, the Companies shut down the site for nearly three decades. When the genetic arms company known as HARA came to power, they gained permission to use the dumpsite to disposing of 'mistakes' they created. Time passed, and the Mann Companies gradually used the site to dump their mistakes, too; dysfunctional mercenaries not suited to fighting in any normal conditions.

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The Wrecked Tank Crawler:

It was noted, when the site was first searched, that a ruined tank crawler of Grey Mann's robots was found partially buried in the think of the swamp. Initial investigation concluded that the tank was inactive, and not a viable threat to be disposed of. It was much later theorized that tank was assigned to perhaps dump nuclear waste into the site, and shut off when the main factory was destroyed, devoid of power.
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