Thursday, October 24, 2019

Shot Through the HEART_ (REVANESCENCE_'s health mechanic)

REVANESCENCE_ is a word made of a simple idea. 

Evanescence: fleeting, it's there and then it's gone. But it's RE: that passing, briefly existing thing, it happens over and over and over again. Always repeating. Looping. 

The health system in RVNS_ (That's REVANESCENCE_'s abbreviation) is based on that principle. Your body has something called a HEART_. That's linked to a COFFIN_, which is a container holding a tank full of biomass, computer and a battery. The HEART_ keeps a picture-perfect scan of you. An image, like you take of a computer. A back-up save of your entire biochemical makeup plus your neural activity. Thoughts. Feelings. Memories. The whole noodle shop.

When you're killed, the HEART_ recycles what's left of you that it can access and uses BIO_ (a measure of biomass and electricity) from your COFFIN_ to reconstruct you from the last image it took, right before your death. Basically, it retroactively clones you. Your health in this system does not reflect how hardy your body is, or any of that vague shit. Every succesful hit kills you. Your health is how much BIO_ you've got left to be remade. You live, you die, you live again. That's REVANESCENCE_, baby. At least, as long as you've got BIO_, and your HEART_ is intact.

Art by Jan Buragay

You don't get BIO_ from nowhere. You gotta buy it, of course. But you can steal the money you do it with. Corporate'll take anything. Money's BIO_. BIO_ is your life. Put two and two together, why don'tcha.

When your BIO_ runs out you're nothing but a HEART_ stuck in a corpse. People'll just rip you out of your last body and use you as an extra core in a cracked junk computer somwehere.

Sure, there's people with no HEART_s. But they don't last long. Not in this economy. When you can only die once, you're gonna need a real good head on your shoulders for it to stay that way in the strata. The things are crooked too. BIO_ Doesn't feed you. Doesn't heal you. Probably could. They say the technology ain't been developed, but they can bring you back from the dead. Truth is why would they? When you're alive, you buy. You consume. You worship. So they just need you alive. BIO_ only gets transferred when you croak.

Could you hack your HEART_ to do that anyway? Maybe, probably. But hacking HEARTS_ is illegal - yeah, one of the few things that still is - and corporate isn't forgiving about it. Someone who hacks hearts as a job is called a Heartbreaker, or a Casanova.

Art by Jakub Rebelka

You don't control your COFFIN_. It's in a big bank somewhere, a CRYPT_. Could say it's like cloud data, except it's your life. There's crazy people who build their own tanks of bio, with their own mass transmitter, and switch the link from their corporate one to theirs like they're Indiana Jones. Most of the times it doesn't work. They turn into goop when the ego scan doesn't come through. Maybe the computer gets glitchy and reads the scanfile from a year ago, they lose a year's worth of their existence, maybe ten. Maybe the transmitter's a bust, maybe it just fills them up with undifferentiated BIO_ like a water balloon. Pop.

Art by Jan Buragay

But there's some who manage. Those are really far out. When the system works, having the BIO_ feed you, heal you, is a sinch. Those people become what big corporate refers to as "null assets": people who don't eat, don't drink, don't watch BUYBUYBUY, don't have the impulses that the market assumes you have. They hide deep in the strata, because the Zodiac doesn't want people to have that option. They're hidden gurus, impossible to find, for corpos, for anyone. But they're the best non-corporate techies out there. By a long shot.

Oh, and a last note: When you're out of BIO_, dead, and you're in your HEART_, the pearly gates sure look a lot like adverts for BIO_ loans. "STRAIGHT TO BANK ACCOUNT - NO BULLSHIT" "GET BACK YOUR LIFE - DOWNLOAD EXTRA BIO" Don't expect any good to come of it when you take one. People living on a loan are called ZOMBIES_. Undead. Desperate for money to pay back their necromancer.


  1. Is BIO stored in the COFFIN or on the person?

  2. Dark, creepy and super visual and visceral. Love it.