Augmentations are any Cybernetic device designed to modify, enhance, or replace any function of the human body. Augmentations may also be used to add completely new functions.
The science of Bionic Augmentation is an ancient one, going back to the 20th century various primitive devices were used to replace failed biological functions. One of the most advanced of the time, called a "Pacemaker" was attached to a human heart to regulate a patient's heartrate. Less cutting edge 20th century augmentations were iron lungs, which forced an otherwise paralized body to continue breathing, and dialisis machines which replaced kidney functions, both were much larger than the original organ(s) and external, as well as being largely or completly immobile. The 21st century saw a great deal of experimentation, as well as advances in practicatiliy, portability, and variety of funtion, but it wasn't until the 23rd century that cybernetic augmentations started to be accepted as part of ordinary life. In the 27th century, life without augmentations is almost unthinkable and surveys show that roughly 80% of planetry populations and 95% of space-going populations have been augmented.
Augmentations are typically defined by their function and their class:
|Cosmetic||Certain augmentations are essentially consumer products, designed with minimal functionality but purchased primarily for aesthetic reasons. Such augs are influenced by changes in fashion, and tend to be short-lived.|
|Supplemental||Designed to add new functionality, regarldess of appearance, these augmentations cause the most controversy. Essentially used to give humans abilities that do not come naturally, some governments have strict controls over what is legally acceptable. Supplemental Augs are commonly called "Enhancements" and most commonly associated with improve strength, stamina and vision. Suplemental Augs are not limited to physical capabilities, and also include the various enhanced mental capabilities of characters such as Whisper, Bob, and Sarah, all of whom have greatly enhanced mental functions which allow direct mind/machine interface with ships and stations. Note that basic mind machine interfaces are not uncommon, Kari has a more basic version of the same fuction.|
|Surgical||Augmentations which repair or replace damaged organic tissue are regarded as Surgical in nature, and are generally unopposed in most societies. Often, surgical augmentations will come with supplemental features (a cybernetic limb is likely to be stronger than an organic one). This does however have limits, a stronger arm is still limited to how much strength the rest of the body it is attached to can support.|
|Class A||These augmentations are primarily external to the person's body, sitting on top of the skin or grafted onto it. Some class A augmentations may be readily removeable. Most "cosmetic" Augmentations fall into this class. Though many Class A augs are quite cheap, some can also be remarkably expensive.|
|Class B||Class B Augs are both internal and external, partially replacing organic tissue but still obviously visible from the outside. The vast majority of enhancement augs fall into this class.|
|Class C||Class C Augs are primarily or entirely internal, replacing organic tissue and organs. Many of the most advanced surgical augmentations are Class C.|
|Class D||These augs completely replace a significant portion of a person's body with cybernetic equivalents. Typically, class D augs are used to replace lost or crippled limbs.|
Augmentation Roles and TermsEdit
Technically speaking, any augmented individual is a "cyborg", but in the 27th century the term is reserved for people who are heavily augmented (ie: more than 50% of their body mass is cybernetic). If people wish to be rude about it, they call them a "body-job" which is a derogatory term for a person who has extensive, visible augmentations to most of their body. Whisper and Shade are prime examples of what an average person in the Crimson Dark universe would consider a body-job. CD News-10.31
See main article: Controller
Controllers are people who have comprehensive, high bandwidth, mind/machine interfaces. Such an interface allows for the augmented person to take on the direct control of an entire ship or station. CD News-02.02
A JAK is any human whose brain has been replaced by an AI. They human who, upon death, has all the parts of their brain associated with personality and identity removed and replaced by an Artificial Intelligence and recieves unusually heavily augmention. JAKs tend to be used as assasins, saboteurs, or elite combat forces, sent on suicide missions. The United Terran Coalition has banned their use, but this doesn't stop most of the outer Protectorates from using them anyway. Some JAKs are volunteers (like organ donors, but more holistic), others never know what becomes of their body. Examples include the saboteur JAK on the Niobe, the Assasin JAKs on the Prospero, and the Marines on board the Espenson Station. CD News-01.19